Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my January book haul. This past month or two I ended up being gifted quite a few books that I am very grateful for and would like to share with everyone to see if you have read them and if you have any thoughts on them. Following this month I am going back to my Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge since I made it down to 0 books last year and now I am in the 30s again. Ooops. Anyway, here are the books I most recently added to my TBR!


Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman, I am honestly not 100% sure what this book is about if I am being honest. Any insight would be really helpful. I received this as a gift from a family member and I have seen a lot of people mention it over the past few years. But, I kind of avoided all of the reviews etc.

Lady Killers by Tori Telfer, I was gifted this really interesting book by Heidi you can find her on twitter as @TIMbookshelf or over on her blog This is My Bookshelf Blog. She really is vey sweet and kind and I am so happy she picked this book off of my wishlist because I have been in such a nonfiction mood. It moved pretty quickly to the top of my TBR. This non-fiction book discusses various lady killers throughout history.

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, recommended by Amy who you can find on twitter as @SalieriSin and over on her blog The Book Siren. I was so happy when I saw a book from the list of books I compiled from a thread of nonfiction recommendations on twitter. I scooped this one up no questions asked. This book discusses how feminism is actually white feminism and does not include black women and women of color in their fight for equality. It does this by going throughout history to modern times and across many continents from my understanding.

Sons of Cain by Peter Vronsky, Once again I wanted a nonfiction and I was in my bookstore. I ended up coming across this book that talks about the history of serial killers and how we actually started using that title. It is almost like a historiography on how we view these individuals and also goes into what their crimes are. This is a perfect read for me because I love to see how a topic has been viewed over a period of time and how that view has changed and reading and watching true crime.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, this is a classic that has been on my list for some time and I saw this edition on sale so I decided to finally pick it up. I have never read any of Woolf other works from my memory, so this could be very interesting to see if I enjoy her writing style or not. I also find it interesting that this novel follows a singular person over a singular day while they are trying to set up for a party.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I was gifted this book by Reg who you can find on twitter as @BookishinBed or on her blog that goes by the same name, Bookish In Bed. I was so delighted when this showed up in my box. Taylor Jenkins Reid has quickly become one of my favorite authors and this is one of her books that I have yet to read so I am super thankful!

World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, this book I picked up at my local bookstore as well and saw the beautiful cover and then I read the description and I needed to have it! I love when a “cover buy” is more than just a cover buy. This 100 pages or so is a collection of non-fiction essays surrounding the author and focuses on the natural world that surrounds us.

The Unwanted by Michael Dobbs, This non-fiction novel was recommended by local bookstore owner in my area. I did not have a lot of nonfiction on my shelf and I was in the mood for some so I asked the owner to recommend me one and this is the novel they picked. This is about a small own where many were trying to seek asylum to aviod the Nazi party in World War One. I think it is going to be a very well done book, but heart breaking because it focuses on how these people were stuck trying to get the proper paperwork that would literally save their lives and the bureaucracy they had to deal with.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas, I was gifted this book by Misty who you can find on twitter as @mistymichelle30 or over at her blog entitled, Misty’s Book Space. She sent me a message in early January to ask if I have read this book yet and I let her know that I have not and she was super kind and sweet to send this to me. So, I can check out more of this series.


What books have you recently added to your TBR or taken out from your library?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month Unboxing | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing post. This month I landed on a single book, but was able to pick a free book since I have been a member for so long. Since I am a BFF I am able to pick one of the finalists for book of the year, so you will also see what I picked for that. Funny enough, I was going to pick up this book regardless, but to get it for free was a wonderful bonus.


The Books

The Removed by Brandon Hobson, according to the description this novel deals with grief a family feels after a loss of a child to a police shooting. This story itself does not happen right after the events, but years later and gos over how the parents and siblings deal with the grief as well as what life has thrown at them since. It also pulls from Cherokee folklore from my understanding.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, I have been hearing about this book all over the place and it has won 2020 Book of the Year from BOTM. I have read a previous book by the author and I enjoyed it as well so I am looking forward to hearing the story of two twin sisters whose lives end up radically different and how their families progress as the generations pass. Also, from my current understanding the story will also discuss white privilege from the families stories as well. I am really curious to see where Bennett story takes the reader.


Have you read either of these books or heard of them? Did you pick a different book from BOTMs picks?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | December 2020

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing. This month I ended up choosing two books instead of the standard one book. They really are starting to make it harder and harder to just pick one book because their choices have improved dramatically from when I first subscribed. Anyway, on to the books I picked!

The Books

The Office of Historical Corracerections by Danielle Evans

Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters’ lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief—all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history—about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight. –goodreads.com

This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing on the side of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.

Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. But what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not the only one who needs healing — and she’s not the only one with secrets. –goodreads.com


Why I Picked These Books

The main reason I decided to pick The Office of Historical Corrections was due to the focus on relationships. As of late I have really been enjoying books that seemed to focus on relationships between characters to tells a larger story that is larger than the characters as well as the readers. I feel like it is more impactful and I make more connections between the story and other moments in my life, whether that be to another story or something in my own life.

As for This Close to Okay, the same is particular the reason. The main characters seem like they are going to make a strong connection to one another which will lead to very impactful dialog. I also have been in the mood to read a book where a single moment is a turning point for a character.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Do these books sound interesting to you?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | November 2020

Hello and welcome to my November book haul. This past month I picked up a few books to finish out some 2020 reading challenges as well as finally getting my hands on a few books I have been very much looking forward to. I don’t want to drag on the introduction, so here are the books I picked up in November.

An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma, this is the final book I need to read for my reading a shortlist challenge for 2020. I am really looking forward to this “contemporary twist on the Odyssey”. I have had to read the Odyssey quite a few times through my education so I am really excited to see how someone updated it and came it more modern.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, I happened to come across this book while shopping one day. I saw the over and thought to myself, “this looks interesting”. Then I read the description and I really wanted to read it. It reminded me of the Tardis, the building being bigger on the inside. Plus they say if you like Neil Gaiman and Madeline Miller’s books, chances are you will enjoy this.

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger, now this one I have been waiting to come out for some time. I did a zoom event with an author named Megan Miranda who wrote The Girl from Widow Hills, whichI loved. The event was great we got to talk about our love of Ruth Ware and she recommended this book to us.

Women in Art by Rachel Ignotofsky, I have loved the work of this artist for some time. I used to have a whole thing of postcards with their art on them that I sent to people via postcrossing for a good amount of time. Well, I happened to see she had a book out talking about influential women of art and I needed to get it. PLUS IT WAS ON SALE!

Titan by Ron Chernow, I mainly picked this on up because I enjoyed reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. I figured if he could keep me entertained for nearly 1000 pages and not bored while reading non-fiction I should check out his other works. Plus, John D. Rockefeller seemed to have a very interesting life from my current understanding.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama, I have been looking forward to this book since it was announced. So, I preordered it and now I have my hands on it.


What are some books you added to your TBR this past month?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Crochet Haul | The Hook Nook

Hello and welcome to a crochet centered post. I recently ordered from a crochet and knitting company that I have never heard of before called The Hook Nook which was founded by Jessica Carey. I will openly admit this, I am envious of her vibe and I have more outfit inspiration than I thought I could ever have found on her social media. Of course this led me to her website and I ordered quite a few things.


THN Iridescent Ends Weaver – Currently $10

Last year I made a beautiful temperature blanket and I really loved the process. That is until I have to weave in the ends of 366 ends thanks to leap year. Turns out there is a nifty little tool that can help with this process and I cannot wait to give it a try.

THN Skein Savers – Acrylic (Gold and Silver) – Currently $8

I don’t know about other crocheters, but I always end up with an open skein of yarn that I barely used in a current project. I try to put the wrapper back on, but the size is too different and the ends come loose and end up making a huge mess. This is the meant to help with that. It is a stretchy band that keeps your opened and used skein in order and stop them from making a birds nest while in storage waiting to be used in another project.

THN Designer Interchangeable Crochet Hook Set – Currently $40

Lastly, is this really nifty interchangeable crochet hook set. I have been seeing them for years, but never came across ones while I shopped in person. My go to hooks are Clover, but I really wanted a set I can easily take with me while in the car or somewhere where I have size options. Plus, they came in a really nice carrying case. I tried them out briefly and they felt great in my hand, but I suggest giving them a quick wipe down before using. They had a bit of gunk on them from manufacturing.

Some nice bonus items that they sent my way are a few branded stickers, a pin, and aa yummy serving of yogi Honey Lavender Stress Tea. All of which was a really nice touch and the branded items were adorable and I can’t wait to stick them on things.


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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | Tombow VIP Club November 2020

Hello and welcome to a little unboxing post of he most recent Tombow VIP Club box. This box pops up from time to time on their site and often is a great deal to try out new items. This box is currently listed for $30 on tombowusa.com and had free shipping when I ordered within the US.


Image of opening the box. Card on top of items with logo.

I really loved the color scheme of this box, bright yellows, muted pinks and earthy greens. As soon as you open the box you are met with a card that on the front has the logo of the box that is usually decorated in art using the colors in the box. On the other side they detail the items and their worth.

Image of items in the box, detailed below.

First you have tthe ABT PRO Alcohol-Based Marker 5-pack, which comes with the colors P817 Mauve, P993 Chrome Orange, P249 Hunter Green, P761 Carnation, and PN75 Cool Gray 3. This 5 pack combination ended up being an exclusive to the box. Following this are three of their famous Dual Brush Pens in he colors 312 Holly Green, 879 Brown, 942 Tan. Next is a single MONO Sand Eraser, which is said to erase pens, I cannot wait to give that a try. Lastly, a new to me product the Irojiten Colored Pencils in the colors D-04 Maple Sugar, DL-06 Hummingbird, D-20 Indigo, D-14 Bamboo, D-12 Maroon.

I am really excited to give these items a try. I think I am most excited about the eraser and the ABT PRO Alcohol-Based Markers. I really want to see how they compare to the Dual Brush Pens. This box ended up being a value of $54.50. So, it is certainly worth the money spent and is a fun little box in my eyes. This is the third on I hav gotten and I plan on getting more in the future.


What is your favorite art supply?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | November 2020

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing, I am not going to do a huge introduction to this post today, but I am excited to share what I picked this month. This month I added an add on book, which is great because you get to add a hardcover to your order for about $10, don’t quote me on that because I don’t remember the exact amount. But, I. ended. up getting aa horror and a contemporary romance that takes place in Italy. Since traveling this year is not a thing, maybe I can through a book! Anyway, on to he unboxing!


Books pictured on top of piece of wood

The Books

The Whisper Man by Alex North

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window… –goodreads.com

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman

A trio of second-born daughters set out to break the family curse that says they’ll never find love on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed—secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse. -goodreads.com


Why I Picked These Books

The Whisper Man was mainly added to my TBR because I felt like I should read it before I read The Shadows by the same author. While you don’t need to read the other first, I have heard that there are some nods and I wanted to make sure I got the most out of my reading experience. On top of that I have heard really good things about this book so it can’t hurt to give it a go.

As for my other pick, Star-Crossed Sisters in Tuscany, the blurb said family curse and I was sold. There are a few phases that make a book an insta pick or buy for me and that is one of them. I am really curious to see where this book and plot take these sisters. I have never read a book by this author as well, so it will be fun to give their work a go, especially since their other books have been given pretty decent ratings.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Does this book sound interesting to you?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | November 2020 | Celebrating 0 Books on TBR

Hello and welcome to a book haul post! This book haul has been a long time coming because I have not done a book haul for months. The reason I am finally doing one now is because my owned TBR finally hit 0 books and I could not have been more excited. I never thought that it would happen, but it did! But, of course as a book lover I had to celebrate by buying some books. I do plan on keeping my TBR on the lower side, never going above 10 books, but I would like it to sit more around 5. Anyway, here are the books I decided to buy to celebrate.



Books stacked on a green chair.

The Books

First I want to start off the the JRR Tolkein boxset of the hobbit and Lord of the Rings. This is not actually adding to my TBR, but I have always wanted these small leather (faux I am pretty sure) editions. I figured since this was a celebration and I had a coupon I would treat myself to them as well as a reread soon!

Now, these are the books that are now my owned TBR. Some of these were actually gifts, but I figured I would just add all of the books all together. I will follow the image above from top to bottom.

The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates, I decided to pick up this book mainly because I just recently read Between the World and Me and I really liked it. I didn’t know this author had another book, but it was on display in my local bookstore and I picked it up without a second thought. His other work that I have read mentioned and hinted at the content in this book, but I very much looking forward to exploring it even more.

Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker, I happened to come across with in a recommendation list on the side of goodreads. It talks about objects around the world that are thought to be cursed. It would have been a perfect Halloween read, but I never was one to stick to seasonal reading. Anyway, this shares the story of these objects and the myths that surround them.

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas, I have heard a ton about this book and I am curious to see if I enjoy this one. So, when Jenna from JK I’m Exploring asked me if I wanted it , I jumped at the chance. I don’t know too much about the plot, but I feel like that might be the best way to read this book.

The Law of Color by Richard Rothstein. I saw this book on a lot of anti-racist reading lists this year so I really wanted to get my hands on it. I was going to get it from the library, but I am happy to say that the waiting list for this book is still really long. So, I decided I would get it for myself. This book takes a close look at how our country and government have segregated the US. I think it mainly discuses housing policy, but other subjects are also brought up from my current understanding.

Tomie by Junji Ito, I have read about 4 or 5 of his horror mangas and I have to say I have never been disappointed so I picked up another one of his works. His stuff is thought provoking, disturbing, and beautifully illustrated.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, I have been hearing amazing this about this book left and right. But, the thing that made me really want to read this is the fact that the dynamic of the two main characters was compared to the dynamic between Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens and for me that is an auto buy dynamic.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, I cannot believe I am finally this far into this series, but I am really happy with how it is going. I wanted to just pick up the next book so I could continue. I need to know what happens to Clare and Jamie!

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, I read and loved this author s previous work and when I saw that this book was available I knew I needed to get my hands on it. I really enjoyed his writing style and the twists of his previous work, so I have high hopes.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, This was on a display for anti-racist reading so I decided to add it to my pile. I will be honest, I do not know too much about this book, but from what I read from the description it is taking a closer at the past and present of American society and how it ties into a caste system and how it influences daily life and opportunities.


What was the last book you added to your TBR? Have you read any of them, if so what did you think?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | OwlCrate Edition of The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

Open box with enamel pin and card explaining this is the owlcrate special edition box.

I have yet to read this book, but I have heard both good things and more critical. Before I get into this unboxing I want to link one of the more critical reviews for your reference, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue Review by Read at Midnight. I preordered this book months ago and I am glad to finally have this in my hands, but when I read it, I will have this review in the back of my mind. Now, without more of an introduction here is the unboxing.


Here is a picture of the items I am really thrilled with, I will review from left to right. First we have the enamel pin that is a picture of an open book and a it says ” a story is an idea, as wild as a weed”. I already added this to my pin display. Next is a three year memory journal, the cover says, “What a luxury to tell ones story. To be read. Remembered.” from the book. It is well made and bound nicely, I have no doubt that it will last the three years. Next is the special edition book which is a card cover and just pictures the title on the front. Place on the book is a wooden ring page holder, which I used once and it seems very useful for me personally. It has vines and the words, “il ètait une fois once upon a time” engraved into it. Lastly is a candle that goes along with the story.

Here is a quick picture of the back of the book that have layered diamond shapes and a banner. It has the words, “Never pray to the gods that answer after dark” embossed in rose gold.

Here is a quick peak into the three year memory journal. I really liked the rose gold touch on the edges of this journal as well as the smoky effect on the pages. Each page gives 3 lines for three different years for two days, which I think is a fair amount to jot a quick memory at the end of the day.

Now, on to the things I am indifferent or disappointed with. Now, this water bottle is well made and has a really nice quote that says, “Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives – or to find strength in a very long one” in white text on the black bottle. just have so many traveling bottles that I can’t use as it is that adding one to my collection is not bad or good. But, I will say it is amazingly made and the printing is great.

Lastly, we have the one item I am actually really upset in the quality. This item is a wooden perpetual calendar, painted black with rose gold sides made of wire and the text is also in the rose gold color. The part that I am disappointed with mainly is the quality. I put the date of the unboxing and you can see all the scuff marks and chipped paint already. Even the base itself you can see the sloppy glue job to put it together. In addition to the bad craftsmanship, can you see the “beautiful” quote that is featured on this item? Me either, they placed it behind the blocks, which is pretty pointless in my opinion. Why even bother adding it?


Anyway, that was my unboxinig of the Owl Crate special edition box for The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab. As you can tell I am really happy with a few of the items in the box and others I am not happy with at all. But, I will say over all I am happy. Now, the question is will I be ordering one of these types of boxes again? I am honestly not sure. What do you think?


What are your thoughts on this book? Do you subscribe to OwlCrate?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | October 2020

Hello and welcome to another BOTM unboxing! I think this month was the first month where I saw a book title and added it as my BOTM without looking at the other books. The book I picked I have been looking forward to for month since it is connected to a movie I love and have sentimental attachments to. Now, let’s talk about the book!


Picture of Magic Lesson by Alice Hoffman with a bookmark that says “Get Lost (In a story, that is).” propped up on pillows.

Description

“Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.” – goodreads.com


Why This Book

I already hinted a bit as to why I picked this book. But, incase you did not know this book is the prequel to the book Practical Magic. Now, since I was young I watched the Practical Magic movie that is based off that book with my mom and we continue to watch it from time to time. We always had a great time and made wonderful memories surrounding it. So, you can see why I jumped at the chance to know more about the background of the family. It is just one of those tales for me that is ingrained in my memories and has been a part of my life for some time.

Who would have thought sentimental reasons would be the cause for me to pick a BOTM? I sure didn’t think that would ever happen, but here we are. I am hoping to read it before the month is through. October is a good time to read a story about a witch!


Are you interested in the prequel to Practical Magic?

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