Revisiting

Revisiting | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 2

revisiting

So it has been some time since I mentioned by ______ Picks My Books series I did in 2018. I honestly got so caught up in my own books and just kept putting the books off for one reason or another. But, I am happy to say that I can finally do a bit of an update. If you want to read the rest of the series,  I will link that below for you.

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Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 3

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 2

Revisiting| _____ Picks My Books

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books

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The Books

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Huge

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I ended up liking this book so much more than I thought I would. I normally rarely read about celebrities or actors I like in real life, so I always thought, “Why would I care about one that didn’t even exist?”. Well, I have to say that this book proved that point wrong. Within the first chapter I was already hooked. They methods used by the author to tell Evelyn Hugo’s story were wonderful and made it feel so tangible. Not only did the author tell an addicting story of this woman, but she told a story of so much more than that. That is the part of the story I did not expect and loved. The author did some great things with this book and I highly recommend. Review first published here: Weeks in Review | November 4th-November 10th.

5stars

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

So, I need to admit something here. I ended up DNFing this book. I read about 50 pages of it and while I enjoyed it very much while reading it. Once I put it down I just did not want to pick it up again. I cannot pin point the reason why, but I just didn’t feel the need to. Like I said, I enjoyed what I read, so I am even more confused. The writing was good, the story was interesting. I just think it was a case of the right book at the right time. I think I may try it again in the future, we shall see. I would suggest that you try it for yourself, I am a huge mood reader and in this case I think I was simply not in the mood.

DividerOverall, I am so happy with Jenna’s choices. I absolutely loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I was in shock at how much I liked it because I usually don’t enjoy books like this at all. While I DNF’ed the other book, I still think it is a good book, I just think I read it at the wrong time and I may give it another shot later on when I am more in the mood for something like that.

Anyway, thank-you for reading and thank-you so much Jenna for picking books to add to my TBR!

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | February 2019

Recs

This month I ended up having to migrate into a new bullet journal, just a month shy of starting a new one in the new year, but I can’t bring myself to waste so many pages. Anyway, I love starting a new bullet journal because, for me, I always end up not using spreads I used constantly in the start and creating something new. I like removing all the fluff and redoing all the things I love and use. So this months installment of my bullet journal you will see the spreads I migrated and then my monthly set up. If you want to see my previous bullet journal and spreads you can find those here.

Supplies I Used

Inspiration From

Boho Berry, @bulletjournaltime, @northernplanner, XOXOKAYMO, and Plant Based Bride.

DividerMy Spreads

Here is the opening of my new bullet journal, I wanted to add a bit more artistic flair to this one instead of jumping right into my spreads. On the right side quote/art Credit: Epooch I ordered a card with this quote on it planning on pasting it inside my bullet journal, but sadly it did not arrive on time so I recreated it. But, I am excited to be able to keep it and put it on my tack board to look at all the time. On the left side I did my best to doodle a bee and some honey comb patterns.

I made a “year” at a glance with only 3 months because my bullet journals really don’t even last a year or even 6 months. Mine tend to last 3-5 months if I am lucky. I use mine for notes and organization so I have many pages of notes and random things. On the right hand side I added a page that I can turn to to easily find the middle of the page and other spacing that might be useful to me.

The layout on the left is a migration of my winter bucket list from my previous bullet journal. I really enjoy this idea, it gives me a little drive to do something fun and different. The righthand side is the migration of my ARC Tracker as well. I have not really changed anything other than adding a downloaded column to keep track of the books I have added to my kindle or my computer depending on the format.

So, I have said a lot of times that I am not a blogger for the numbers or anything like that, I am here to talk books, bookish things and additionally my other hobbies. Well, when I was googling inspiration for a bee inspired layouts I found this tracker and I thought it was so cute with all the honey combs. I wanted to doodle it for two reasons. The first being it was a challenge to draw that shape so many times without messing up and the second being it was so aesthetically pleasing. So I added social media tracking. Each comb has a number and when I reach that number I color the edges in and write the date I met the milestone.

Both of these are buddy reads I am doing currently. War and Peace I am reading throughout the year and Monte Cristo I am cohosting a buddy read with Jenna on instagram [find her account here], if you have read the book or want to jump in and join us we would be thrilled. We are reading it until April and will have discussions every Friday.

These are both migrations as well. On the left-hand side I a cheatsheet to help me come up with blog post ideas. I don’t stick to this layout, but it helps when I need to come up with an idea what types of blog posts I can do without writing a lot of the same thing again and again. On the right-hand side I have my idea daily routine if I didn’t need to do anything.

On the left-hand side you can see my reading goals, you can see I have already made some progress on some of them, which makes me super happy. On the right-hand side I added a date night idea page. I thought this would be fun to add a bunch of stuff to and when my bf and myself feel like we want to do something different, we can just look at this page and do something.

DividerJanuary Spreads

So, with this being the first month in my bullet journal I wanted to stay with the overall theme I started it with. So we are continuing with the bees. The reason I came up with this theme is I watch a youtuber and then I found out she had a separate bee keeping channel, emmymade, and then I fell into a rabbit hole and ended up watching all of the videos from the last year. While I am afraid of bees, I can very much respect them. I am also really jealous of those who are not afraid and can bee keep. It looks like a very rewarding experience.

Here is my monthly habit tracker for this month. This monthly tracker is from my Boho Berry Box and her theme this month was sending letters. Not something I was really into as a theme, but I do love sending postcards. I participate in postcrossing and I love sending postcards all over the world as well as receiving them and learning about those who live in other countries.

On the left-hand side is my book tracker where I color in squares to show how many days I am reading a particular book. It is a wonderful visual tracker that I have fallen in love with over the past two months of trying it. I have gotten rid of my book stack and replaced it with this. On the right-hand side I have my key as well as room to add the book titles. As you can see I am carrying over two books from January so I already added them. I am keeping them the same color so it is more consistent.

This page is another book tracker I have used for months and months. I write the title of the book then underneath I add a square for each chapter or section of the book. When I complete that chapter or section I color in a square. It is like the goodreads precent tracker, but in a notebook.

In this monthly overview I write down all of the blogposts I plan on writing and publishing throughout the month. You will see on the left I have dots next to some of the dates. This is because those are my posting days. This reminds me that I need to get brain storming. On the right side I just write the books I am going to try and read in the month. It is a simple checklist layout. Sometimes simple spreads are just what you need.

Last month I tried a new weekly layout and I will say I absolutely HATED it. I am so happy that this month I get to use my old layout. The other one I did not have enough room to write the items I needed to get done each day as well as appointments I had. I did want to still have room to journal or take notes so, as you can seen below, I added a page here and there that is just meant for notes. I added a simple header at the top of the left page and bottom of the right page.

So there you have it, my February bullet journal. As you can see I have a fun new bullet journal with a new theme and I have kept some of the spreads and others I have dropped  like hot cakes. That is the thing I LOVE about bullet journals, you can keep what works and throw away the rest. As your life changes you can change you bujo.

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Lets Talk · Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Finding Balance | Netgalley Backlist & Rules

FindingBalance12:17

Overall, I have to say I am pretty good with keeping up with my Netgalley list now. I used to be fairly bad at it. I would often go on requesting sprees because I was not sure if I would or would not get approved for books. I figured most were a long shot and I would just up my odds by requesting a bunch. Well, that approach did not work.

When I first started I had no system or rules in place, so I would just pick a random ARC I needed to review and read it every so often. I did not account for when it came out or how long I had on my shelf. I was kind of overwhelmed and I had a ton on my kindle. I really had no idea where to start so I pick threw a dart and read that one.

This was not the best course of action for me. I saw more and more books go into the 6 months or older section and I became stressed. I was getting approved more often as I handed in reviews, which I was excited about, but then I had more and more books coming into my kindle that I previously. One day I was just so over whelmed I took a day and just went through everything. When I did this I came up with a few rules and tracking system that helped me.

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My Tracking System

I made a really simple tracking system for myself. I write down the title, if I reviewed it, when it is to be published, and when it will be archived. When I go to read an ARC, I go to this list and I look at the published date to determine which one I will read next.

You may notice that I do not track which books I request. I used to, but now I only pick one ARC to request per month. You can see from the above image I have an ARC for February, March, April and July. I only requested one per month so I can’t get over whelmed with the ARCs coming in. Having one ARC a month means I can still read all the books I have on my shelf without worrying about getting my reviews in.

My Rules

Now these rules are just what works for me, that does not mean they will work for you, but I thought it would be interesting to share.

  1. Request one book per month, dependent on the release date.
    • This limits the amount of ARCs coming in
  2. Read the an ARC the month before it’s release date.
    • Takes the pressure off
  3. As soon as I get an approval email, add book to the ARC Tracker
    • This ensures I don’t forget a book I am approved for.
  4. Only request books I would pay to read.
    • This one is my top rules, this makes sure I request only books I will want to read asap. I will not want to put them off and I know I am not taking ARCs away from others who really want to read them.
  5. No book can make it to the 3 month or older shelf.
    • Ensures I keep my feedback ratio over 80%

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The Current State of my Netgalley

Feedback Ratio: 87%

31 Approved  |  27 Feedback Sent

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How do you manage your requests and netgalley reviews?

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Tags

Liebster Award | Vol. 4

TagTimel12:17Thank you so much for the tag Meeghan, you should all check her out! Her blog is wonderful! This is my 4th time doing this award, but I have to say I really enjoy that each time the questions are different and it keeps things interesting. If you want to see my previous ones I will list them for you to check out.

Rules

  • Answer the 11 questions you’ve been asked
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions
  • Let them know you’ve nominated them

Questions

  1. What are you currently reading, and are you enjoying it?
    • I am currently reading 4 books; War and Peace, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Clockmaker’s Daughter, and the Familiars. I am enjoying them all, I am actually very surprised by how much I am liking The Count of Monte Cristo.
  2. Who is your all-time favourite character?
    • Jo from Little Women, she is smart, kind, brave, and not afraid to be herself.
  3. What are your thoughts on love triangles?
    • If done right they are alright, but the majority of them are annoying and seem forced.
  4. What is your fave book to re-read?
    • I really enjoy rereading the Little Women series and the Harry Potter series.
  5. What was the last book you DNF’ed?
    • I think it was Emergency Contact, I really did not like the main character and I could not make it past 18 pages.
  6. What is your fave fictional animal?
    • Mogget the “cat” from Sabriel.
  7. How many books are on your TBR?
    • My currently at 44 books.
  8. Which book has been on your shelf the longest (read or unread)?
    • The book I have had on my tbr the longest is From Here to Eternity. It has been on my tbr for a year.
  9. What is your fave book to movie adaptation?
    • The Harry Potter series.
  10. Which character would you swap lives with?
    • None, we only see a small part of a characters life. I enjoy my life and would like it keep it.
  11. What do you do when you’re in a reading slump?
    • I read a small book, a graphic novel, or reread a favorite.

My Questions

  1. What book/s can you not live without?
  2. Your first favorite book?
  3. Goodreads challenge/reading goal for this year?
  4. Favorite series?
  5. Do you read Fanfiction?
  6. Where is your favorite place to read?
  7. Are you a fast or slow reader?
  8. Do you use bookmarks?
  9. What book do you recommend the most to others?
  10. Where do you buy your books?
  11. What book do you dislike that everyone seems to love?

I Nominate

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Reviews

REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls

BookReview12:17

* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*

The FamiliarsDescription

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.

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What I Liked

I would like to start off by saying, this is going to be one of these reviews where I just want to gush about a book and ramble. I am going to do my absolute best and actually write a review that makes sense.

The main thing I like about this historical fiction novel is the fact it doesn’t just take place in the past. I have read so many historical novels that just take place during a time period, but this novel really encapsulates the events, social order, societal expectations. The author embedded characters and people who were alive during the time period and even though this is a work of fiction you can tell that she did a lot of research and in knowledgeable about this period.

One part that I really like is how accurate she was when showing how women were treated during this period in time. I have read a few reviews that said that the main character is meek, but I have to respectfully disagree with this. During this period in time, if you were not meek and subservient as a women, SADLY, your life could be in serious danger depending on who your husband was. I found that even though that this character was controlled to an extent, she was also free and really pushed the barriers. A lot of women would have been deathly afraid or just did not think of doing a lot of the stuff Fleetwood has done. This historical fiction novel, like I said earlier, is pretty darn accurate historical fiction. Do I think this was good? No, but regrettably it is a great representation.

I also liked how class prejudices were lightly touched on, especially with the witch themes throughout this book. I felt that this book not only was accurate, but it also tried to show how wrong these social norms were.

Apart from the historical aspects of this novel, I really enjoyed the writing. I sat down in 3 sittings and I flew through this. It was fast paced, but did not jump in a way that made you think you missed something. I also enjoyed that it did not feel like the writing was modern, it was a nice touch and really added to the atmosphere of the book. I also felt genuine anger at some parts of the book and I felt myself tearing up at others. I really was rooting for Fleetwood and Alice.

What I Didn’t Like

The only fault I could even think about is not knowing more of what happened to a particular a character.

Overall Thoughts

If you could not tell, I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel.

Thank-you for listening to my gushing rambles!

5stars

Tweet showing how much I wanted to read this in less time:

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Author Links

Stacey Halls

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Book Information

Publication Date: February 19th 2019

Publisher: Mira Books

List Price: $26.99

ISBN: 9780778369189

Pages: 352 pages

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Lists & Recommendations · Revisiting · Uncategorized

Revisiting | Un-listened to Audiobooks

revisiting

So back in August I made a post listing all of the audiobooks I owned and have yet to get to for one reason or another. If you want to check it out, you can find it here: Lists | Un-listened to Audiobooks. Well, since it has been a few months I wanted to update you on my progress. I will openly admit I have acquired more since August, it has been nearly 5 months, but I have also listened to quite a bit more since then as well. I am hoping it will kind of even out, fingers crossed!

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Stats

Un-listened 8/2018: 16

Un-listened 1/2019: 13

Books listened to from previous post: 13

New books added and not listened to: 10

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Updated List of Un-listened to Audiobooks

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | January 2019

Middle Mark

I don’t know about you, but I am still have a really hard time writing 2019 and we are a full 15 days in. I feel like I am going to be writing 2018 for the next few weeks too. Anyway, I am happy to say that I am really enjoying my reading progress this month. I have surprised myself by being able to track somethings with my 2019 goals, but also I feel like the quality has been good so far as well. For me that is the ideal way to start off a year. Without more of me rambling, here is an update on my reading so far this month.

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Books I Finished

Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

This is a beautiful book, it details so much of the history of magic that influenced Harry Potter’s world as well as a peek into early drafts, edits, and early doodles of the book. Even though I went to the exhibit I still read through this book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. (Originally found here).

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

I absolutely loved this book, I was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking. If you are looking to read a memoir I highly suggest you pick it up. The writing is amazing, there is something about this book that just appalls you, but also inspires you due to the life that Tara Westover has lived. (Originally found here).

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

Best for beginners and those who are not happy with their current bullet journals. If you already have a bullet journal you are happy with you can pass on this book.

For those who are beginners this is a great way to learn about the process and find out what a bujo actually is. It is well organized and I like the take what works for you and leave the rest mentality of the book. (Originally found here).

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

I have read and reread quite a few Sherlock stories. I will admit at this point some stories I will continue to rereading, but others I will never pick up again for one reason or another. Mainly because I did not enjoy the  the thrill of the story. It is a wonderful collection to have. (Originally found here).

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle 

4stars

I recently wrote an entire review of this book, you can find that here: _______________________. But, I will say overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you. (Originally found here).

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The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

So far I am reading enjoying this buddy read with Jenna, Reg, and Amy. I have quite a few post-it notes throughout the 94 pages of this book. I really love the feel and atmosphere about this book. I also really enjoy how it is organized. I am looking forward to continuing on with this read.

War and Peace

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

If you have read my post, Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019, you will know it is one of my goals to read this book in 2019. So I am happy to report that I am enjoying the read very much, especially the nods to class specific behaviors of fads during this time frame in history. I also really like the time frame that Tolstoy wrote this book in, full of history and historical figures. I wont be adding updates to this book every middle mark, but I will give an update during my monthly wrap-ups.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this little reading check in!

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What is the last book you read?

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Reviews

REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan

BookReview12:17

* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the WorldDescription

Prepare for the cutest world tour ever with Kawaii Doodle Cuties! YouTube celebrity artist Pic Candle will show you how to draw kawaii characters from every stop on the map!

The Japanese word kawaii translates to “cute,” and this how-to book is chock-full of super-adorable images from your favorite spots around the globe. From animals and nature to fashion and food, you will learn to draw cute artwork from countries all over the world!

Learn how to draw a cute Eiffel Tower and kawaii macarons from Paris. Master how to draw natural beauty like Holland’s stunning tulips and monuments like the Taj Mahal in India. Or sketch fashion fun with a cute K-pop skirt from South Korea or a kimono from Japan. The simple, step-by-step illustrations and instructions make drawing these characters perfect for beginner artists or anyone who wants to add a heaping spoonful of cute to their art.

Thanks to this adorable crash course in doodling all things kawaii, you’ll soon be enhancing your notebooks, stationery, artwork, and everything with unbelievably adorable illustrations!

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What I Liked

Right off the bat, I really liked the overall look of this book. It is cute, just like the title says. The authors style is really defined in this book, when it comes both to color pallet and technique. I also like how simple a majority of these are. While you do need to be able to draw ovals, circles, triangles, and other shapes to follow the instructions, with practice you will be able to follow most of these with ease.

I also loved how this book had adorable doodles from many, many countries. Including, USA, Mexico, Australia, Spain, Cuba and many more. They ranged from buildings to foods, a very wide array to represent each country in there.  I will admit I was a bit partial towards the foods, what can I say?  I love food and they were just too kawaii. They truly lived up to the title.

What I Didn’t Like

Some of the step by step recreations kinda take weird jumps. One example is the crepe. You go from adding. a few simple lines to then in the next stop add in all of the cream and. strawberries without giving a starting point. While the author does say to fill it with your own favorite toppings, it would be nice to practice drawing the ones in the book with more guidance to get better with perspective and layering. I do appreciate the author trying to give the reader more control, while learning there need to be more guidance,  then once mastered move on.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you.

4stars

Some of my doodles from the book!

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Author Links

Twitter: @PicCandle
Youtube: piccandle

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Book Information

Publication Date: November 6th 2018

Publisher: Race Point Publishing

List Price: $21.99

ISBN: 9781631065682

Pages: 144 pages

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Hauls

Book Haul |Boxing Day 2018

BookHaul12:17

So, this will post likely be the last huge haul you will see for some time. I tend to stay away from the website bookoutlet, but boxing day always pulls me in. It is not that the website is bad or anything like that. I just tend to buy more books than I need or ones that are not really on my radar and then months pass and I end up unhauling them. I try not to do that so my wallet is a bit happier. But, every year on boxing day, day after Christmas, I put in an order of books that have piled up in my cart that I have had my eye on for some time. Without more of a delay, here are the books I picked up on Boxing day! Divider

DividerThe Books

The Good People by Hannah Kent

Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent’s startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community.
Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheal, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nora just as rumors begin to spread that Micheal is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nora and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways.

Set in a lost world bound by its own laws, THE GOOD PEOPLE is Hannah Kent’s startling new novel about absolute belief and devoted love. Terrifying, thrilling and moving in equal measure, this follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers. -goodreads

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision. -goodreads

Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson

London was still recovering from the devastation of World War II when another disaster hit: for five long days in December 1952, a killer smog held the city firmly in its grip and refused to let go. Day became night, mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and some 12,000 people died from the poisonous air. But in the chaotic aftermath, another killer was stalking the streets, using the fog as a cloak for his crimes.

All across London, women were going missing–poor women, forgotten women. Their disappearances caused little alarm, but each of them had one thing in common: they had the misfortune of meeting a quiet, unassuming man, John Reginald Christie, who invited them back to his decrepit Notting Hill flat during that dark winter. They never left.

The eventual arrest of the “Beast of Rillington Place” caused a media frenzy: were there more bodies buried in the walls, under the floorboards, in the back garden of this house of horrors? Was it the fog that had caused Christie to suddenly snap? And what role had he played in the notorious double murder that had happened in that same apartment building not three years before–a murder for which another, possibly innocent, man was sent to the gallows?

The Great Smog of 1952 remains the deadliest air pollution disaster in world history, and John Reginald Christie is still one of the most unfathomable serial killers of modern times. Journalist Kate Winkler Dawson braids these strands together into a taut, compulsively readable true crime thriller about a man who changed the fate of the death penalty in the UK, and an environmental catastrophe with implications that still echo today. -goodreads

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

A journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today—guided by the owner himself.

Bestselling author Daniel Tammet (Thinking in Numbers) is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life and able to explain what is happening inside his head.

He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition that gives him the most unimaginable mental powers, much like those portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man.

Fascinating and inspiring, Born on a Blue Day explores what it’s like to be special and gives us an insight into what makes us all human—our minds.  -goodreads

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.– goodreads

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians. -goodreads 

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences. -goodreads

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What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY Tested | Creating a Serialized Book

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Hello and welcome to another attempt at me recreating a DIY! This time I am trying to serialize a novel. I first came across this DIY on instagram posted by Sarah on Book50Blog. When I first saw this back in August I was first shocked by the methods used, but she made a really good point. Doing this to a huge, mountainous book into something really manageable.

Now, because this was on Instagram stories, it disappeared in 24 hours, so thankfully I thought it was a great idea and I wanted to try it right there and then. I screen shotted the steps so I could try when the time was right. That time has just now arrived, but before I get into the DIY I want to explain what a serialized novel is.

This was very popular during the victorian era, many books that are now published and full novels were once realized in chunks on a set schedule. This could be once a month, once every two months, or sometimes every other week. It really depending on the magazine or paper that the story was published. Some of the popular books that were originally published in the manner were The Women in White by Wilkie Collins, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Bleak House by Charlies Dickens. I tend to read a lot of classics like this in their original form thanks to a website called Victorian Serial Novels. I suggest checking them out, it really give you a whole new reading experience, you get cliff hangers in places you wouldn’t even believe.

Now, the book I am testing this out on was partly published like this, but then was turned into a novel part of the way through. You can read all about that here. So I am taking a little bit of liberties with breaking it up for a few reasons. The first being I wanted to try this on a big book and the second was because I had a cheap version of this classic so I would not be horribly upset if it all went wrong.

The book I decided to try this on was War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy because I plan on reading it in 2019. So, here it goes, the doing part of DIY.

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Supplies

  • Book
  • Cutting device
  • Washi tape
  • Adult supervision-if you get hurt it is not my responsibility ask a responsible adult to help you cut. Using a knife or cutting device can be dangerous do this at your own risk!

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The DIY

First you need to find the sections, I decided to break the book down into 17 sections. Book 1-25 then he first and second epilogue. I think in herLes Misérables by Victor Hugo if I am not mistaken.

This is the part I was most worried about, I really thought I was going to butcher the edges and the entire book would fall apart page by page. But, I have to admit seeing the little bits of the spine actually looks kinda cool… did I just say destroyed book looks cool? Who am I?

The last step I think was the best part of this for a few reasons. The first being it kinda made me less worried about the book just falling apart and it made it look more uniform.

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This is such a wonderfully straight forward DIY, thank you Sarah! Three steps with not a lot of fluff, it gets right to the point. I think that is why it caught my eye right away.

Overall, I really liked this DIY. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would. I would say I did have to cut the sections two times to really get a clear cut. The first to open up the pages to get to the binding, then the second actually cut the binding. I am really looking forward to reading this now serialized edition of War and Peace in 2019!

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I hoped your enjoyed me testing out a DIY.

Which ones should I try next?

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