Wrap Up

Wrap Up | March 2021

Hello and welcome to my March edition of my monthly wrap up, I am sad to say that this month has not been the best reading wise, but I am hoping that April will knock this month out of the park. I am happy that I was able to finish a total of three books, one of which was a tome. Anyway, on to the books I read this month!

Royal Assassin: The Illustrated Edition (Farseer Trilogy, #2)Royal Assassin: The Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am still very much enjoying my first read through of this series and my first jump into the world of Robin Hobb, I have the next one sitting next to me ready to go!

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The Unexpected Joy of the OrdinaryThe Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary by Catherine Gray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am going to be posting a dedicated review for this book, but over all I liked it! Keep an eye out for the review for some of my specific thoughts.

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I managed to read a total of 3 books, 1,280 pages.2 of those books were fiction and the remaining book was nonfiction. I read 1 audiobook, 1 hard cover and 1 soft cover books. I have 1 4 star read, 1 3 star read and 1 2 star read this month.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1 Update

Hello and welcome to my first checkin for one of my largest reading challenges of the year where I read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Prize. If you would like a breakdown of my challenge you can do so by reading my post, Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals. Even though it is already February, I have already read 2 of the 6 books on this list so I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on these books before too much times has passed and the details begin to get fuzzy. Anway, on to the reviews!


The Books

The Memory PoliceThe Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels and have not been for a long time. I read this novel mainly because it was part of my challenge to read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Award. I have to say I am thrilled it was on this list because I loved it. It was a dystopian novel, but was more. It had elements of science fiction and fantasy as well. The writing was grand and I give huge credit to the translator because it seems a lot of the magic of this novel remained in the tale.

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Hurricane SeasonHurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting read. The murder of the witch is told through the POV of multiple people. With each perspective you learn more about the past and the murder itself. I liked how it also was a social commentary with a mixture of a thriller.

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Overall, I am feeling very good about the books on this list so far. I enjoyed both of these books and even enjoyed loving one of them. Starting off the list by finding a 5 star read is just phenomenal. Last year, I didn’t have the best start to this challenge so this is a great contrast. I have very high hopes for the rest of these books and I am loving that my enjoying percentage is 100%!

Liked: 2

Hated: 0



Have you read either of these books? Would you add either of these to your TBR?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | A Little Announcement

Hello and welcome to a very short post, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am currently waiting on a new computer and will not be able to post until my new one arrives.

If you follow me on twitter (@BookishLuna) you will be familiar with what happened. A week or so ago my computer would not turn on and was stuck in a loop. Thankfully I was able to get it out of the loop and able to backup everything. Even with that I thought I would be okay still using it, sadly the keys were not working properly the on and off button did not function so if it turned off it was done for. So, it really is not a functioning laptop anymore and trying to type on it was starting to be a headache.

Hopefully, the new computer should be here in the next week and you will start seeing posts like normal again. I was thinking of even posting my unboxing of it because I am so excited about having a functioning keyboard again. Let me know what you think!

Thank you all for being amazing I will be back soon!

Wrap Up

Middle Mark | March 2021

Hello and welcome to my middle of the month reading check in! This month my reading is kind of slumpy. I think because I have so much going on this month I am just so exhausted when I do have some down time. But, I have managed to make some progress in quite a few books. Anyway, here is what I read and what I am in the middle of.


This Little Dark PlaceThis Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A long winded dark tale told through letters that jumps around in time. I did a full review on this book as a separate post earlier this month. I was not a huge fan overall, but it had some good aspects to it.

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Royal Assassin: The Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb, I am currently at 22% through this book and I am still enjoying this series very much. I might even pick up the second book in the series right after I finish this one. It is a very interesting world and I really like the characters as well. I am truly invested in this trilogy!

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, this is the 7th book in the Outlander series and what a tome it is! I am currently 13% into it this one and I invested it this one as well. I keep switching between the two of my current reads. Since this is the 7th book, I don’t want to talk about what is happening, but this series really is a blast because it touches on so much history.


What have you read so far this month or what are you currently reading?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | February 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a book haul for February. This month was really great for my book buying and I am thrilled about that. I love when I read more books than add to my TBR. But, because I picked up so few books, I am really, really happy about the ones I did decide to add to my shelves. Anyway, here are the books I decided to add!


The Last Negros at Harvard by Jeanna Ellsworth and Kent Garrett, I picked this up at my local bookstore, but I had heard about it on twitter and thought it was a very interesting story. I really want to know the experiences of these very brave and intelligent men who attended Harvard during a time described as “between integration and affirmative action” in the description.

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, this was my BOTM pick for February. It follow a very young family who have traveled from to the US from Bogotá and stay longer than their visa allows because they want what is best for their family. It follows them as they move from place to place and the stress and hardships that follow.

What Would Frida Do? by Arianna Davis, I am going to be honest here, I don’t know too much about Frida and I saw this on BOTM so I decided to add it to my box this month. This is a nonfiction book about the artist and I have heard that you can really read the passion the author has for this prominent figure. It seems to not just talk about her art, but her life as a whole.

Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom, I have had this book on my to buy list for a very long time and I finally came across it in the bookstore so I picked it up. This is a grim book, but I find it to be a very interesting topic. This book dives into the history of books bound in human skin. The author, who is a librarian, goes through the myths and legends and uses science to see if the books that are claimed to have been bound in human skin, really are.

This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch, I picked up this thriller for a series on my blog called, Someone Picks My Books. I don’t want to say too much, but I did post the review for this book already so you can find that here, Someone Picks My Books | Nicky from @cre8ive_nicky | This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch.


What book have you recently added to your shelves from the library or the store?

What book have you recently read?

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Bullet Journal, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | March 2021

Hello and welcome to another post where I share a peak into my bullet journal. I have not posted about it last month, but that is because I wanted to try to share a completed month as well as a clean slate for the month ahead. If you wanted to see how I set up my bullet journal for the year, you can find that in my post called, Bullet Journal | 2021 Reading Bujo Set Up I hope that makes sense, I just think it would be great for you to see how my spreads function when they are all filled out as well. Anyway, onto the bullet journal!


Materials


Last Month – February 2021

I decided to make a dahsboard for the month on the left-hand side, I used my stamps to write out the month and year. On the right hand side I decided to put a reading tracker so I can track how much I read each day and as you may be able to tell. I am using 3 different colors because I am also tracking the books I read with the same color so I can see how long I have been reading a single book. I will be honest, I messed up on the tracking of this in February and I am debating adding a few new colors to make it a bit easier. I will update this if I decide to do so.

On the left-hand side I have my TBR for the month listed and on the right I have a list of all the books I hauled this past month. I wanted to really track the books leaving my shelves and coming onto my shelves, but also as you might be able to see in the picture. I crossed off a hauled book. I also wanted to try to read some of the books I added to my shelves this past month. So, I hauled 5, but I read 1. So it was only as net gain of 4 books onto my TBR.

I made a graphic for a buddy read I did this past month. I think for my next buddy read I am going to continue doing this, but I want to also use this blank page, so I might add quotes or thoughts to it.

This is my bujo spread for the #24in48 readathon. I did end up reading 24 hours, but I did not update the spread before taking this picture. i color coded each book so I can see which hours I read which book, tracked my total hours at the bottom. Tracked my TBR and my page stats and percentage as I read.

Here is a little peak into my completed reading journal section of my bullet journal. I glue down a picture of the book cover, I add the dates read, this happened to be my #24in28 books so I read them in a single day, then I add the star rating and then a mini review. This really helps me write reviews for my blog.

This Month – March 2021

In March, I really decided that I liked how clean the dashboard and tracking my reading. I used my alphabet stamps to add the month and year. There is quite a different look when this tracker is empty from when it is full. I am going to be adding 2 more colors, but I am not sure what those colors are going to be at this time.

Once again I have my TBR on the left and my book haul on the right. I had preordered a few books so I was able to add a few books already. I am just hoping I can read enough of these books this month to even out the haul.

This month I am buddy reading The Color of Law with Jenna. I added the reading schedule for us as a graphic and glued it into my bullet journal. I am planning on adding some notes to the page opposite, but I feel like I am going to also be annotating the book.


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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Nicky from @cre8ive_nicky | This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks my Book! This month my book was picked by the lovely Nicky who you can find on twitter as @cre8ive_nicky. As you can see from the title, she picked This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch, this is a thriller which I have not read as much as I once did so I was both nervous and looking forward to reading their pick. Now, here. we are I read this picks and here are my thoughts

One Sentence Review

A long winded dark tale told through letters that jumps around in time.

Description

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust. – goodreads.com

What I Liked

This was a very interestingly set up thriller, one of the main things I liked was that it utilized written letters throughout. This is one of my favorite things found in a novel so I was glad to see it here. It is nice to see an author play with this.

Other than the utilization of letters, there was not a ton I enjoyed about this book. That is not to say it is bad, just nothing specifically stood out or made an impression on me to the point I feel the need to point it out. The writing was okay, the plot was a bit jarring, but interesting. I thought the author had a very interesting imagination.

What I Didn’t Like

This was kind of a confusing read, it jumped around in time quite a bit. On top of that, the chapters were quite annoying, they were VERY long and I need natural breaking points in my books otherwise I get worn down while reading. I hate just stopping in the middle of a chapter so this was a bit frustrating.

Overall

I am really not sure about this thriller. I didn’t hate it, but it was not my favorite either. I thought it did some fun things with writing letters and it was dark and kept me on my toes. Sadly, the actual formatting of the book really took away from it for me personally. Like I said I was confused a lot because it jumped in time abruptly and the long chapters made it drag for me. I feel like if this sounds like an interesting read and long chapters and jumping around in time a lot doesn’t bother you, I feel like this would be a win for you.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Annelies, who you can find on twitter as @AnneliesExpl or on their blog called Annelies Explores. I am really looking forward to reading the book they picked for me, it just sounds grand!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | March 2021

Hello and welcome to my March TBR list! I cannot believe I am already planning my reading for March, I still feel like February just begun and I have a ton of time to keep reading my February TBR. Nope, not the case at all. I will have to move a few books from February to March since I just ran out of time…oops! Anyway, this month quite a few of the books I don’t quite have a physical copies for so they are not in the picture. Some are ebooks and another is a preorder I can’t wait to get my hands on.


The Books

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, ebook not pictured. This is a book for my read a shortlist challenge for 2021, if you want to see the details you can see that in my post called, Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021. I am excited to get to this one because it was awarded the International Booker Prize so I have high hopes especially since I have enjoyed the other books on this list so far.

The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary by Catherine Gray, audiobook not pictured. I am really excited to get to this book, I have not read a book quite like this one is described in some time and I think it will be very refreshing and uplifting.

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb, pre-ordered not pictured. This is the book I currently and waiting for release day, which is early on in March. This will be the third book I have read by Hobb this year and I am really enjoying her style of writing and the world she has created.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, pictured. I started this tome in February and I really want to continue and finish it up over the next month. As always I am curious as to what Clair and Jamie will be getting into. I am actually crocheting a few Outlander inspired things as I read this book, which has really added to the fun.

Dead Blonds and Bad Mothers by Sady Doyle, pictured. I have had this non-fiction on my shelf for a bit and I am really feeling the urge to read it now. The second part of this title is “Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power”, I mean that alone just draws me in.

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, pictured. I am reading this with Jenna this month so we can discuss it as we read, which I think will be really good and spark some very good discussions on systematic racism.


What do you plan on reading this month?

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Reviews

Wrap Up | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my February wrap up. Another month down, can you believe it? I know February is a short month, but I felt like it went faster than usual. I did manage to read quite a bit this month and found quite a few I really enjoyed.


Our Little CrueltiesOur Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I really hated all of the characters of this book. But, like always Liz Nugent was a wonderful writer.

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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a reread for me, this time around I still really loved the dynamics between Aziraphale and Crowley as well as the version of the world that Pratchett and Gaiman have created. It is fun, pokes fun, and at times just turns ideas on their head. This was one of my favorite books of 2019 and it is still a gem and I am so glad I took the time this month to reread it and was so happy to have read it with Lauren.

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This month I read a total of 8 books, not bad for a shorter month! In total that was 2,383 pages, which tuned out to be 4 fiction and 4 nonfiction. I read an ebook, an audiobook, 2 hard covers, and 4 softcover books. One of my reads was from the library and the others were from my own shelves. The rating broke down to: 3-5 stars, 2-4 stars, and 3-3 stars.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge | BuzzFeed’s “Which Book Perfectly Matches Your Personality?” Picks My Read

Hello and welcome to a post where I let a BuzzFeed Quiz pick one of my reads. This is a cobiination of having some fun, challenging mtself to read a book I didn’t think I would read and how accuraet thtis little quiz could be. I took this quiz in either July or August of 2020, as you can see it took me a little bit to get around to getting the book and reading it, but I did it! Anyway, here is the link to the quiz if you want to take it yourself: Which Book Perfectly Matches Your Personality?. It was a quick and fun quiz for me personally.


The Outcome/The Book

The book the quiz picked for me was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It mainly picked this due to my imagination and I am fond of exploring. Which, from seeing the animated movie years and years ago I can see how this book could tie into this assumption of me. Now the question is, will I enjoy reading the book? Also, how accurate is this assumption?


Now, this review is just going to be for Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland even though I also read the second book in the series because I had a bind up edition. I have to say, I have watched the movie quite a few times as a child, the 1951 version, and it was still very clear in my head many years later. While reading I was very vividly able to picture what was happening, with the occasional switch up due to the adaptation. I will say, while I was able to imagine everything I still was bored a bit by it.

I think this happened for a combination of things. I think the way the story is told, it was a bit dry even with all this outlandish and silly things happened. I think it did not personally mesh well for me. But, I will say I think this is because it is a classic and it was written for the time. We don’t really talk like we did in 1865 and this novel was written for that time and I feel like it would have been more natural then. I also felt like being so familiar with the plot also added to this. It didn’t have the magic of being totally random and outlandish like the story truly is.

This is not to say that I did not enjoy the adventure. It was fun to see characters I have not seen in year and years. The Mad Hatter and the Rabbit were always my favorites. It was also fun to see if the Cheshire Cat was as terrifying as I remembered. Also, if you really want to be terrified… look at the original illustration for the Cheshire Cat. Obviously, this book is a classic written in 1865, so it has its voice and such reflect that. It is interesting to picture a child reading this book during this time period and comparing it to the books I read as a child myself.

Overall, I ended up giving three stars. I did enjoy it, but it was just an average read. I think if I want this story ever again I will just watch the 1951 film again. I will say, I thought this was a fun experiment to try and I want to give these types of quizzes a try again.


What did you think about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

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