Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | May 2020 | Book Haul

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my May Read 5, Buy 1 challenge recap and haul. Earlier this month was my birthday and I did a seprate haul, which you can read here: Haul | Birthday 2020 . I am not counting these books towards by challenge because, well I didn’t buy them. Pretty amazing people were kind enough to buy them for me. But, that does not mean I didn’t buy anything for myself. I can never go a month without adding to my TBR myself! Now, on to the breakdown.


The Breakdown

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

  • The Book of Longing by Sue Monk Kidd

 

 


Extra Books

After I posted my birthday haul I actually got another book as a present and I was very pleasantly surprised. It was The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold thanks to Reg!  I have been interested in this story for as long as it has been out it seems like. Thank you!

So, did break my Read 5, Buy 1, but only by one book. I ended up picking up A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. The reason being is that with this series I always buy the next book in the series when I start reading one. So, I just ordered it without really thinking about it oops.


 Overall, I think I did pretty darn good! I only bought one extra book this month for myself and my owned TBR is down to 26 books, which is a great amount and it heading downwards still.

What does your TBR look like?

What books did you recently haul from the library or bookstore?

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Lets Talk · Tags · Uncategorized

Let’s Talk | The Currently Reading Tag

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a very delayed tag post. I am so bad with keeping up with these, I don’t know why. Anyway, I am excited to be doing The Currently Reading Tag and I was tagged by the wonderful Whitney from Whit Reads Lit.


My Current Read


The Questions

How many books do you usually read at once?

I usually read between 1 and 3 books. At one point I remember reading 5 at a time and I don’t recommend it. If we are talking about right now,  I have managed to keep it to 1!

How do you decide when to switch between multiple reads?

When I am jumping between multiple books it is usually because one is an audiobook and another is physical. I might also remember I have to return a book to the library and just start it so I don’t miss out on it as well.

Do you ever switch bookmarks partway through a book?

Usually I do this if I loose the bookmark, which I do quite frequently when I am on the go. The past few months of staying home I have managed to only loose 1 bookmark.

Where do you keep the book(s) you’re currently reading?

I tend to keep the books I am currently reading either directly on my bed or on my nightstand. But, I will be honest, they are usually just sitting on my bed because I read before going to sleep.

What time of day do you read the most?

I tend to read a lot during the late morning and early afternoon, but that is if I don’t have any plans. If I have plans during that time I will read at night. I pretty much read when I have time to read.

How long do you typically read in one session?

I usually read for around an hour, but sometimes I will just binge a book and sit there for hours as well. If I pick up a book I make sure I have at least an hour to read.

Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket off?

Yeah, I always take the dust jackets off when I am reading because I am afraid of ruining them or bending them funny.

What position do you mainly use to read?

I mainly read sitting in my chair or laying down in bed. Since the weather is getting nice I am reading in my hammock more, which has been lovely!

Do you take your current read with you everywhere you go?

Well, since my area is still for the most part locked down I am not really going anywhere other than the supermarket. I am not really bringing anything extra with me to the supermarket.

How often do you update your Goodreads reading progress?

I update my good reads when I start a book, finish a reading season, and finish a book. I am pretty on top of goodreads. Updating my reading else where, well, not so good.


I Tag

Melinda

Evelyn

Destiny

You!


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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | June 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to another look into my bullet journal. The past month has been fun breaking in my new one. The pages are starting to fill in nicely and it isn’t looking so pristine anymore. This month, like last month, I wanted to try a new weekly layout and a few new spreads I felt like they layouts I had worked well in theory and in some cases, but some of them were just not as practical. So, without further delay, here is what I did for the month of June! Wow, June already.


Items Used

Archer & Olive A5 Garden Sliter Dot Grid notebook

SAKURA Pigma Micron Pen Set  01

Kraft paper

Unknown orange – label rubbed off.


Here is my dashboard page, this month I decided to to a more horizontal layout to my calendar. Last month I tried a vertical layout and while it looked cool, but it wasn’t really practical for what I needed it to do. So, I changed it up to this. I also am using art that is from Plant Based Bride, who I have been following for some time. Her stuff is just amazing. I decided to print it on kraft colored printer paper this month to warm up my bujo a bit.

Th8is month I decided to take about my pages a day spread, I did like no reading in May, well a lot less than I have been so far this year. I just didn’t like how it looked without being so filled in. I kept my TBR list about the same and then added monthly goals. On the right side I added a social media planner of sorts just to keep track of it a bit better. In May I forgot to write a few posts on time and they were a bit late and I was not too please with myself. I also decided to try this reading tracker and just mark the days I read, almost like a habit tracker.

This month I decided to take a book out of Books with Chloe reading journal and track my reading for the monthly by printing out little pictures of book covers and gluing them in my bujo. I doodled a few shelves for them and hopefully there will be a few here. I also put another piece of art from the same author above. I really loved the feel of these pieces it gives me a roman feel.

On the right is another piece from Plant Based Bride, I wanted to keep this spread pretty blank. On the right is going to be a picture of this months oracle card for my to reflect upon. I did not pick it yet so I left it blank. I am just going to scan it and print it out and then doodle my thoughts around it as them come throughout the month.

Now, here is the weekly layout I am giving a try this month. This spread is taken from Shayda Campbell. I really liked how this weekly spread focused on a reflecting on ones week. In her adaptation she put a place for a good memory, miles or km run I think, and really structured the reflection more than I personally wanted to. So, I took her idea and just left it open for myself to just do as I pleased. I also noticed at this point in time I don’t need a box for each day of the weekend and I can just join them together.

Also, this month I decided I wanted to take part in a low key readathon and I really saw a ton of great ones, huge thanks to those who let me know over on twitter! I ended up picking the FeelGoodathon. I liked that you could either follow reading prompts or self care prompts for this readathon and the fact it is two weeks. If you want more information you can check out their twitter here: @feelgoodathon. I decided since it was a readathon I wanted to track my pages a bit at this point or maybe just the books read each day. I figured I would put both here and not pressure myself to write both if I didn’t feel like it, which I feel like goes well with this readathon.


What theme are you using this month?

What do you have planned for June?

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TBR

To Be Read | June 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my June TBR! I am actually excited for the month of June for a few reasons. We are officially in the last month of the first half of the year, which is a bit mind blowing. On top of that I feel like it will be a nice fresh start for my reading since it was a bit subpar last month and I am actually not forgetting about my ebooks for once! I don’t want to ramble this month, but I really feel like it is going to be a great month. On to the books!


Physical Books

The first book is going to be a mystery one that was picked for me by Melinda from Basement Bookcase. It is a new to me author and something that is very outside my normal reading so I am excited to see how it works out.

The first book pictures is Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Last year I read my first book from him and I really fell in love with his writing style. Plus, one of my goal this year is to read a book recommended by one o my favorite authors and this was on Joe Hill’s list. So, I get to read a book by a great author and cross a 2020 goal off of my list.

Next I have Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King, which is the Stephen King book that I have had on my owned TBR the longest and I am in the mood for something scary so I am picking this up. I am not really sure what to expect because I completely forgot the description at this point. I just remember picking this up at The Strand in NYC at last years Bookcon.

Twelfth Night is my Shakespeare pick for June, I really don’t have a ton of thoughts on this just yet.

Lastly I am buddy reading Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz with Jenna and Reg this month. I have never read anything by Dean Koontz, but I know they are a popular author and I am always seeing their name everywhere so I am excited to give them a shot.


Digital Copies

I have really been neglecting my digital books as of late and I really need to get to them. So, this month I want to read three of these.

The first listed here is The Devil in the White City by by Erik Larson. This story shares some of what transpired around the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, including Americas first serial killer. It is a morbid one, but I really want to know more about the World Fair because I hear about it often, but also about this criminal history.

The second book is I’m Ju I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi. The tag line “Perfect for starting important and meaty discussions about all of the topics your mama told you never to bring up at polite dinner parties.” really sold me.

Lastly, we have Your Goddess Year: A Week-by-Week Guide to Invoking the Divine Feminine by Skye Alexander. I have always been interested in leaning about the gods and goddesses from a wide range of civilizations. I feel like a lot of them are not talked about a lot because they are not part of the major circles of gods we study in school so I am excited to learn about 52 new ones!

I just noticed that all my ebooks were nonfiction! This really excites me because I have been meaning to read more of it since I read none last month.


What are you planning to reading this month?

Have you read any of these books, did you like them?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to this months reading wrap up! This month has been a stand out for me for this year and not for the best reasons. This year I have managed to read double digits every single month before this month, this month I struggled to read what I did read. I am not really sure what the reason was, I was not in a reading slump. I think I was just tired, I am not really sure how to explain it. I tried to turn it around in the later part of the month by doing a challenge, you can read about that in my post called, Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed. This was nice because it kind of restarted my habit of reading, I am thankful I gave it a go. Well, even though this was not the best reading month, I still managed to read a few books and here they are!


Read 2

The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since this is the fifth book in the series, I don’t want to say so much. But, I will say that this is a wonderful continuation of the series. As always the writing is wonderful, the research put in is apparent, and the characters are still written amazingly.

View all my reviews


The Taming of the Shrew (Barnes  Noble Shakespeare)The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, this was a pretty alright read. There were parts that I really disliked about this play. First how t8765423533523242e “shrew” is treated really kinda pissed me off to no end. I might have annotated this with a few “WTF!” throughout. I did like the other aspects such as the “pretending”, I wont say more than this because I don’t want to ruin this play for others. Honestly, part of me wants to rate this lower than I have as more time passes. Might come back and do that.

View all my reviews


MooncakesMooncakes by Suzanne Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a wonderful graphic novel. I loved the relationship characters, a plot through and through.

View all my reviews


MiddlegameMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually wrote up a whole review on this book for a my series called, Someone Picks My Books. If you want to hear all of my thoughts and why I enjoyed it so much please check out my review here: Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

View all my reviews


The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3)The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fantastic end to the series and it took some surprising turns and new characters. I felt like a lot of growth happened between book 2 and 3 for quite a few characters as well. I really liked how a lot was resolved, but also the ending leaves a lot open as well to let you think of what might have happened.

View all my reviews


 

Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really loved the use of novels and story telling throughout this novel and how it impacted the main characters imagination. This was a very good novel and I enjoyed reading it immensely. I might even like this more than Pride and Prejudice.

View all my reviews


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 10


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

How did you do in your OWLs? 

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month Evelyn over at evelynreads.com has picked my read. I was very excited when she picked this months pick because I have read other works by this author and really enjoyed it and I have seen many others have loved this book. I guess I should tell you that the book is Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. This is the first adult book I have read and the longest book I have read by this author so I am curious to see is her talent flows into this age group and length.


Book Description

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained. – goodreads.com


Review

I decided that I am going write this post more like my traditional review format where I talk about what I liked and didn’t like and then my overall feelings.

What I Liked

As with other works by Seanan McGuire the worlds she creates is very imaginative, but this is imaginative in a very different way than the there works I have read by her. One of the standout things in this book for me is the mixture of alchemy and science. While  I have read quite a few books with these aspects in them, I have never seen them combined in such a way. It was refreshing and interesting, part of my wishes that I saw more of it.

Also, if you know me science fiction isn’t really my thing…like at all. I don’t know what it is, but I am unlikely to enjoy a book with science fictions details in it with a few rare exceptions of 11/22/63, Jacky, and a few others. I have to say that this book also makes that list for me. I think the reason that it does make it on that short list is because it has an old world feel to it, which I love. It is almost like a spooky gothic modern science fiction book? It is really hard to pinpoint what this book truly is because I feel like McGuire melds together so many things so seamlessly.

On top of everything I also mentioned I found it really interesting the “rules” of this world when it came to particular characters interacting as well as the “government”. I felt like a lot of these aspects were shown and not told to me, which was great. Sometimes books that have such “out there” things in them the author can come across as if they are showing an unknowing child something. McGuire just goes through the story and you don’t miss anything.

What I Didn’t Like

One of the things I did not fully like about this book was that in the start I felt like one section of interaction could have been cut and not a ton would have been lost. This is just a personal thing and I feel like a lot of people enjoy seeing these sections interactions. They are still written in a really enjoyable manner and I didn’t feel like I had to seriously push myself to oread them, but I did find myself going “again?”

Overall

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am so happy that Evelyn picked this for my to read because honestly, while I enjoyed McGuire’s other works I am fairly certain I would not have picked it up. That is the beauty of this series. This was a very imaginative book with a very gothic/dark/old world feel to it that I was craving. On top of that it was well written had great characters.


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Melinda at Basement Bookcase!

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

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | May

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the fifth installment of my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge! If you would like some more details about the challenge you can find that in my post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. It feels so long since I started this challenge and I have found some I really loved and some I really didn’t enjoy. May was an interesting one fore sure. Before we jump into this review/discussion/rant I just want link to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. And yes, I said rant this time around.


The Book

This months story The Taming of the Shrew. The title alone had me a bit apprehensive about this book, but my twitter followers picked it so I was going to follow through and read it. According to a quick search this was written around 1950.


My Review

I am going to honest, I am kind of torn on this one. This is really a cruel story in quite a few ways.  A well off man tricking a man into thinking he is a lord just for the fun of it. Taming a woman and making her not herself like she is an animal. Just all around manipulation in this book. I will say it was imaginative and like nothing I have read personally.

This starts off with a noble man of sorts feeling like they have so much power and influence they can just totally mess with someones life with fun. It put a really horrid taste in my mouth. I am really hoping Shakespeare was attempting to ridicule higher ups in society, if that was not the case I might actually hate him. The fact that this privileged person felt they could just do that was irritating and I was so irate while reading this. Everyone just went along with it like it was normal! I don’t understand.

Now the whole title of this play had me worried, like I mentioned earlier. Lexico describes one of the definitions of this word as “A bad-tempered or aggressively assertive woman.” I will also put forward when I hear the word tame, I think of a pet or animal, not a human being. So, I was kind of waiting for someone treating a lady as less than. Well, I was correct. The shrew in this story was treated like a jerk, only married to get her out of the way so others could marry her younger sister. While she was not nice I liked that she was strong willed and knew what she wanted. Well, her “husband” and I put it in quotations for a reason, he just was hired to marry her to get her out of the way treated her like garbage and manipulated her into being brainwashed and subservient. It honestly made me super mad and I hated every moment of this.

The more I write about this story and think about it, honestly the more I dislike it. Now, don’t get me wrong I know this was written around 1590, women had no place in society and her not seen as equals and it is apparent in many of Shakespeares plays where the father and husband have the final say and such, but I felt like this play just took it to a whole new extreme. IN the past plays I have read women were still allowed to be themselves and were not manipulated in the same manner and just seen as a creature that need to be moved out of the way so men could get to eh more desirable sister.

I really don’t want to say much more because I feel like this is already a rant. I really am hoping deep down that Shakespeare wrote the play with these two very troubling plot lines where two people are just totally manipulated as social commentary and didn’t just write it because it would be “fun” and “enjoyable”.


Next months pick is Twelfth Night, a huge thanks to those who voted in the poll!


Have you ever read The Taming of the Shrew? If so, what were your thoughts?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Personal Reading Sprints with ASMR

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a bit of a different post. I have not don’t a discussion post in a long time and I felt like doing something a bit different since I have not really been reading as much as I normally do. Anyway, my last post Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed I talked about how I did a reading challenge where I read every night before bed. Well, I felt like I should share something else as well.


For the past few years or so, I have really fallen in to love a specific type of ASMR video. I don’t mean the food eating, sand cutting, and stuff like that ASMR, I am talked about ASMR Ambience. I love ambience and background noise any time I doing something, I really don’t enjoy the silence. So, when I came across this genre of videos I was really excited. For me, this is great to fall asleep to, get stuff done, but also the perfect method to set up a reading sprint for myself.

A lot of the videos I watch are around an hour, for me this is the perfect amount of time for a reading sprint. Putting on one of these ASMR Ambience videos I know the amount of time I have for a task or in this case reading. Also, it is great when you can find one that fits the setting of your book, it really ads to the experience. Now, when I use these videos for a reading sprint I don’t need to keep track of the clock or get startled out of my book by an alarm.

While reading it is a great experience for me.  I don’t get distracted by sounds around my room or home. It also keeps those I live with away, they can hear I have these videos on and it is a signal at this point that I am busy.  These videos allow me to just focus on my book, which is the whole point of a reading sprint in my option. But, as I mentioned before it can even pull you more into reading if you can find one that can go with the world you are falling into.

When the video is done and my hour long sprint is over, as I said I am not startled out of my book. Things just go silent. For me this is a lot more beneficial to my reading experience. If I am in the middle of a sentence, page, or chapter. I can finish without having to rush to turn off an alarm that is getting louder and louder as I try to ignore it. These allow me to find a natural stopping place, which I always need to stop at. I can never stop reading in the middle because I will forget my spot.

Anyway, this is my experience and I thought I would share it. I feel like this has made a good impact on my personal reading habits and experience.


My Favorite ASMR Ambience Youtube Channels


Do you participate in reading sprints?

Do you listen to ASMR?

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Goals

Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed

challenges

So, the first half of may has been a reading mess. I only read 22 pages on May first and it is now May 10th and another page has not been read. Then I came across an old video of Ariel Bissett’s called “i tried reading before every day for a week’ and I was inspired to give it a go and maybe jumpstart my reading again.


The Video


Reading Journal May 10th-May 16th, 2020

5/10: 25 pages of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

5/11: 344 pages of Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

5/12: 41 pages of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

5/13: 30 pages of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

5/14: 20 pages of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

5/15: 15 pages of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

5/16: 22 pages of mystery book


Reflection

So,  there are a few things I noticed throughout this process. First, I got back into the habit of reading and enjoying it. The main point of this was to help with me get back into reading. Like I said in the intro, this challenge came into being because I went a long time without reading that was not the cause of a slump. Well, I am happy to report I am reading constantly again. Plus, I wasn’t even feeling forced or pushed into reading, which I was a bit worried about if I am honest.

The second thing I noticed is I found I wanted to read at other points of the day as the challenge continued. At the start I didn’t have the urge to read throughout the day. But, since I was getting back into the habit and as I got closer to the end of this challenge, I would want to read in the afternoon and had to hold off. I feel like scheduling time to read or restricting when I can read, doesn’t fully work for me. Apparently my mood reading isn’t just restricted to what I want to read.

I think I am going to continue to make reading part of my nighttime routine. I enjoyed how relaxing and calming it was. Overall, I really had fun giving this a go. I love reading challenges and I would like to do more in the future. But, I think this one will have a bit of a lasting impression on me. I just need to make sure my nighttime reading is away from a screen and not read too late into the night.


Do you have a consistent reading habit?

Do you normally read a particular time of day

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | April 2020 Haul

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to another check in for my Read 5, Buy 1 challenge. I am happy to report I did a lot better with my challenge this time around! The OWLs Readathon really pushed my reading, which was just wonderful plus a lot of fun. Without further delay, here is my progress of my challenge for April!


The Breakdown

They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

HausMagick: Transform Your Home with Witchcraft by Erica Feldmann

  • The Goddess Year by Skye Alexander

 

How to Read Literature by Terry Eagleton

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Beach Read by Emily Henry

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

  • The Spendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

 

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas 

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

  • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

 


Extra Books

The Canary Keeper by Clare Carson, which was gifted by Adrianna from Romance Book Binge. I was so surprised to see this in my mailbox and was even more excited that I can now read this book. I have heard such great things and the description just sounds promising for me.


Overall, I did very well this month. I read quite a bit more than I usually do and being gifted a book and not buying too much really aided in my getting my TBR this month. This was a huge help because my birthday is in May and well,  always end up getting a few books so my TBR goes up without me doing any buying.


Are any of these books on your TBR?

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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