Let's Talk · Reading Challenges

First Goal Check in for 2022!

Hello and welcome to my first check in with my 2022 goals! I was planning on doing this check in a bit earlier, but time got away from me. I must also admit I have not looked at any of these goals since writing this post back in December, so this should be interesting!

Reading Goals

Read 6 non-fiction books, I have read a total of 4 non-fiction books! I am well on my way to achieve this goal

Read the International Booker Prize Shortlist, I have read 2 of the 6, so I feel like I am doing well with this goal as well.

Get owned TBR under 15 books, I am currently at about 20 books, so I am getting close!

Life Goals

See a new place, I ended up visiting about 4 new yarn shops this year. Not quite what I had in mind for this goal, but technically I did do it.

Teach myself something new, this year I have learned how to do color work, cables, and bobbles! I also took a class relating to researching genealogy and learned a lot in regards to that as well!

Maker Goals

Knit a sweater, achieved! I ended up knitting a Ranunculus which you can see a picture of in my post entitled, Monthly Digest | April 2022. I am really happy with how it came out!

Knit 6 pairs of socks, so far I have created 2 pairs of socks. I am in the middle of my third so I feel like I am making good time with this goal.

Crochet a sweater, I have yet to do this one, but I have plans to crochet one in May 2022. I am crossing my fingers that I actually get the time to do this.

Create 10 things with my hands, as of writing this I have created 6 items. These include; shawls, socks, cowls, and a sweater.

Goal Count

Completed: 3

Not Completed: 6

I have successfully achieved 3 of my 9 goals for this year. This is actually great in my eyes due to the fact we are 1/3 of the way through the year and I completed 1/3 of my goals. As for the goals I have not achieved I seemed to be making good progress to where I don’t feel like I am behind on any of them just yet.

I really hope your 2022 is going well and you are working towards all of your goals!

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More · Let's Talk

Winter 2022 Crochet and Knitting Plans

Hello and welcome to a bit of a planning post where I am going to share the crochet and knitting projects I would love to finish this winter. I am on really good footing to start any project I want right now due to the fact I have no WIPs going into 2022, which has not happened in years. So, I feel like a kid in a candy shop and spoiled for choice. Thankfully, I was able to narrow it down to 5 projects I really would love to start working on and hopefully finish before Winter is through.

Day Date Cardigan by Jess Coppom

This first pattern I actually bought yarn for back in the Summer of 2021 when I was visiting family in Maine. I really want to finish this ASAP and hopefully I can wear it the next time I see those family members. The yarn that I picked up for this project is Berroco Providence in the color Rosecliff – 1115.

Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes

This pair of socks is actually for my significant other. I had him pick a yarn for me to use and it finally arrived! I am so excited to get to make these for him, I just need to figure out the stitches needed and I am going to have to keep bugging him to try them on as I go to ensure I am making them to properly fit. This will be the first socks I am making for someone else. The yarn that he picked for this pair of socks is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the color Ultramarine Violet, which is a really vibrant purple that I swear is going to glow in the dark.

Tube Socks by Mary Anne

This pair of socks is going to be for me. I have never worn tube socks or made them so I wanted to experiment a bit. I used this “pattern” to come up with my own formula of sorts for the ones I am going to be making. This pattern, which is actually a blog post was really helpful in doing that going through different options etc. The yarn I am using for this pattern is Spun Right Round Classic Sock in the color Sly Fox, which is almost like a burn orange.

Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt

This is another selfish creation, I was lucky enough to be gifted a new jacket so I need to make a new cowl to go with it. I saw this pattern first mentioned by Knitty Natty and her looked beautiful and she said it was pretty simple to make. It is the first time I will be knitting something with a pattern of sorts so it will be an experiment as well! I am using yarn died by the etsy shop LanternLightYarn in the color Kraken, which is a red color with variations and Drops Kid-Silk in the color 14, which is red as well, held together to create this winter accessory.

Easy Eyelet Yoke Sweater by Knitatude / Chantal Miyagishima

This last one is really a project I know is going to take me a lot of time and challenge me a lot. I am putting it at the bottom of this list because I really want to work on the other projects and continue to work on the basics before jumping into making a sweater. That being said, the stiches that are used in this I have already used a bunch, but making a sweater I feel like is a huge step. I am using the recommended yarn, Lion Brand Chainette, in the color mustard, which seems to now be discontinued even though I only bought it a month or so ago. I hope I bought enough to finish it!

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Let's Talk · Tags

Let’s Talk | My Chaotic Reading Habits Tag

Hello and welcome to a bit of a tag post that I thought was really fun. I came across this tag a few months ago when it was posted by Noelle Gallagher, a booktuber. As soon as I watched I knew I would eventually get around to posting my own answers because I love learning about other reading habits as well as talking about them in general. I always found it kind of funny how so many people can love the same hobby, but engage in it so differently!

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I generally read in my room either in my bed or in my chair. If it is warmer out I will read outside and enjoy some fresh air.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Now, this one is interesting. I used to be someone who just used whatever was around me. But, as of late I have been using bookmarks more consistently. I am not sure when this shift started or what actually changed for me because I always had bookmarks on hand. lol.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

I need a natural break in a book to stop reading. I either will stop after a chapter or if there is a break in a chapter. If not I get a bit annoyed at having to find exactly where I put the book down. But, I will say there are times I just stop because something has to be addressed or comes up. This is a huge reason why I am not a fan of books that don’t have chapters or natural breaking points.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

Yeah, I tent to have a drink of some sort when I am drinking. I don’t always have a snack, but not because I am against eating while reading. I just tend to read after a meal or before bed so I am not too hungry.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

I often have instrumental music playing in the background or an ambiance video playing. I actually did a post on some of my favorites a while ago, it is called Let’s Talk | Personal Reading Sprints with ASMR. I tend to use them as guidance for reading sprints and I listed a few of my favorite channels.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

I generally have 2 or more books going at once, but they tend to be two different formats. I will tend to read a physical book or ebook and then listen to an audiobook at the same time.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

I generally read at home, mainly because I don’t go many places these days with the world being what it is currently. I have in the past always brought a book with me on the go.

8. Reading out lout or silently in your head?

I really don’t enjoy reading aloud. I always read to myself in my head.

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I have done this from time to time if a book is REALLY dragging or there is a POV in a book I loath and I will skip their chapter. I am reading for entertainment and if it is not entertaining me I am skipping it.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I am not someone who is like I NEED to break the spine or someone who will be upset if the spines are broken. I just kind of let happen what is going to happen. I will be very careful with a book though if I am borrowing it from a friend because it is not mine. Library books tend to be hard covers and tend to have some sort of protection so I don’t need to be as careful as if I am reading a friends copy.

11. Do you write in your books?

Yes, I will write in a book if I have strong reactions to something in it or I am reading it for a buddy read or review. That way I can find some things to discuss easily and not need to look from a note book then to a book and then try to find a line on a page. But, if I do not own the book I will not do this.

Tagging

The Glitter Bomb, Howling Libraries, What Vicky Read, BinxThinx

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Let's Talk

Books I Took On Vacation and Did I finish Them?

Hello and welcome to a short post talking about the books I recently took with me when going out of state for the first time since everything went haywire in 2020. My household and I stayed in the middle of the woods, it was great to see different scenery and be in the middle of nature. Something I have not been able to do for a long time. Anyway, here is a list of the books I bought with me to read in the woods!

What I Took

Later by Stephen King

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella

What I Read

Later by Stephen King, finished, paperback, pictured

This is the first book I finished on vacation. I have a tradition of reading a King novel whenever I go away and this short one was perfect and did not disappoint. It was a great of traditional monsters in Kings writing. This book took it a bit further and sadly showed the monsters that humans can be as well. I read it within two days and I could not put it down once it really got going. I also really liked them POV that was used for this novel. I think it really lent itself to what King was going for.

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami, finished, ebook, not pictured

I don’t want to say too much about this novel because I am going to do a whole separate post about it soon. I will say that I really enjoyed reading this collection of short stories and was great to bring with me when I went on a walk or just sat outside for a bit.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald J. Robertson, started , paperback, pictured

As the heading says, I only started to read this book, but I will say I am really enjoying it. I decided that I wanted to take my time with this one and not rush too much because I think I could take a lot from this and I don’t want to miss out on anything. I am about 88 pages into it and looking forward to reading more soon.

What book has been your favorite vacation read?

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Let’s Talk | Best Books I Have Read so Far in 2021

Hello and welcome to a little chatty post where I put together a little list of the best books I have read so far in 2021. I decided since we are already in the 6th month of the year, I would take some time this month to reflect on the year so far in a few posts throughout the month, but this is the first!


The Books

The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa

Lady Killers by Tori Telfer (Not Pictured, Loaned Out)

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad (Not Pictured, Loaned Out)

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu


What has been a few of the best books you have read so far this year?

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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!

Let's Talk

Let’s Talk | 6 Month Review of Kobo Libra H2O

Hello and welcome to an update post where I discuss how I am feeling about my kobo eReader I bought in July of 2020. This little talk is just to go over how I am feeling after reading on it for about 6 months. If you want to see my first impressions of this device you can see my post, Unboxing | New eReader!. If you are not familiar I picked up a  Kobo Libra H2O because of the price and the abilities of the device.

Picture of eReader and pillow on chair that says “If you were in my novel I would have killed you off by now”.

Pros

I really love how easily this works with my library. I don’t buy many ebooks because I don’t think the pricing is that great over all, so working with my library was one of the main selling points for this eReader. Thankfully, it is as seamless as Kobo made it seem. I can request books at the library and borrow immediately from my Kobo when it is connected to wifi.

I have carried this device in my backpack, purse, and thrown it in my backseat. It has held up very well. There is no light bleeding or spots that don’t go away. I have previously had a kindle and I had to be so careful with the screen and even then spots would show up. So, the quality is there. The buttons on the device as well exceeded my expectations. I thought they would be flimsy, but they work great.

Lastly, if you do like finding ebook deals kobo has them as well as other ebook dealers, but they also have Price Match where you can submit to have a refund of the difference plus 10% of the competitors price at the time of writing this. You do need to buy the book first and then get a refund though. But, having that ability is great in my option.

Cons

If you want to read self published books, chances are you will not be able to get them on kobo. If an author uses amazon to self publish they sign a contract where the ebook is only able to be on their platform. At least this is my understanding. I was really bummed to read this because I love supporting indie authors.

Another con is while this ereader does work with netgalley, it is a few extra steps. It took me a bit of time to actually figure it out the first time, longer than I would expect to find the information. Thankfully, after the first time and I had everything set up I was good to go. I feel like this is more of an adjustment than a con though.

Thoughts

For me personally this was a great choice, I have a great device physically. It holds up really well to my daily needs and movements. I have not found that it has been damaged in any way after 6 months. It is also a great choice for me because it works amazingly with my library. I have not had any software issues as well. I truly am happy with my decision.


Do you have an eReader? If so, which one?

What are your musts when it comes to an eReader?

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Let's Talk · Lists & Recommendations

Let’s Talk | Series I Read or Started in 2020

Hello and welcome to a post where I share a few of the book series I finished or started in 2020. Now, to be honest I don’t read too many series so the ones I start I really have to be interested in. I have realized that series reading is not something to take lightly because of the commitment. I have realized that type of reading is generally not for me as the years have passed, but there are a few exceptions and here they are!


Series I Started

Assassination Classroom by Yūsei Matsui

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 01

Now, I will be honest here. I have watched the entirety of the anime and loved it. The next logical step for this reader was to read the manga. So, I finally decided to start reading them this year and at this point in time I have read the first two volumes and I have a few waiting for me on my shelf. This series takes place in a school where the students are tasked by the government to assassinate their teacher who seems to be a monster or alien that blew up the moon and promises to do the same to Earth. The funny thing is, this teacher is probably the best teacher ever and really cares about the kids and helps train them to try and get him. It really is hard to explain but I cried a few times and it takes a lot for me to cry.

Frankenstein by Dean Koontz

Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein #1)

This series I started as a buddy read with Jenna and Reg. We all read the first book, Prodigal Son, in the series together but we have all stalled funny enough. It was a good start for sure, but just something I am in the mood for currently. It has a mixture of horror with an immortal and also has aspects of a thriller with a serial killer on the loose. It really left off on a great point in the plot so I really do want to continue one day.

Series I Continued

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)

I have been reading this series over the last few years and I have been enjoying it, but I have been reading about two a year. At this point in time I am up to An Echo in the Bone, which his book 7. I am hoping to read it the last week of December or early January. I tend to read one in the Winter and one in the Summer. Since I am so far in the series I don’t want to say too much at this point.

Series I Finished

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café

I read the first two books in this series, that is all that is available in English at this time so I am going to count this as completed. I do hope the third installment of this whimsical, emotional, and magical collection of short tales. I don’t want to say too much about these because I feel like the less you know the better, but do know that these are amazing!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians Trilogy Boxed Set

This year I started and finished Th Magicians Series. I have to say I really loved this series throughout. If fact it got better as it went on. I really loved that the characters started learning magic in college and that it took place in a world hidden within our own. I also loved the fact that his fantasy novel is new adult as well. I also liked that the main character isn’t perfect, it really makes all of the characters feel like actual humans with flaws and all. I really feel like I might reread this series in the future as well. I also read these with Jenna and Reg!

Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle Series by Bradley Harper

Queen's Gambit

This last series I read this year because I was part of a blog tour of the first book, A Knife in the Fog. I then decided to continue the series because I enjoyed the first one. This fast paced historical mystery was a ton of fun and gave off a ton of Sherlock Holmes vibes.


What series have you read this year?

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Let's Talk

Let’s Talk | Best Books of 2020

Hello and welcome to a post where I am taking a moment to share some of my favorite reads of 2020. A few days ago I shared a post of the worst books of 2020, Let’s Talk | Worst Books of 2020. I also wanted to highlight a few new favorite books I found and a few new authors where I really loved their work and I look forward to seeing what they do next.


The House in the Cerulean SeaThe House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved the setting, the plot, and the relationships within this story. The author did an amazing job in creating distinct and unique characters and giving them such great personalities. I felt like I was reading about actual people and not just characters. I have a feeling that this book is going to be at the top of the list for my favorite reads of 2020.

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The Death of Vivek OjiThe Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A powerful and heart breaking read that I read far too quickly. This is such a talented author, they were able to craft such a wonderfully heart wrenching novel about a family ties and LGBTQ+ treatment. This story from the first page pulled me in and I don’t cry often when I read. but this book had me tearing up. I don’t want to say too much because I feel like this book has a larger impact if you go in knowing less.

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The HungerThe Hunger by Alma Katsu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a very intriguing, imaginative and haunting horror. Not only was this horror atmospheric, but it mixed “real world” horror and monster based horror. This mixed with history only made it just seem even more real. The writing was well done, the pacing, characters, and relationships were all done so well. I will be trying more books from this author in the future.

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Mexican GothicMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is just amazing and I really think it is going to be one of my favorites for this year. It was a wonderfully written horror that had me flipping pages faster than I have in a bit. It reminded me of a few movies and novels, but even with that it was unique and all its own. If you enjoy horror I really think that this is something you might enjoy.

The writing was amazing, the main character was wonderfully written as well as the side characters. Usually side characters are just there, but Moreno-Garcia establishes them so well and they truly are part of the story. On top of the characters the atmosphere was spot on. It reminded me of crimson peak, haunting of hill house, and others. But, like I said, this is truly unique to is all the authors own.

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Before the Coffee Gets ColdBefore the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this and I really want to read more from this author. I really liked how the author mixed the magical with the mundane to create such a heart warming story.

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The LangoliersThe Langoliers by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very imaginative take on a children’s night time scary story come to life mixed with the Bermuda Triangle. It was very interesting to see how King’s characters, who were all there by accident, reacted to the situation. I don’t want to say too much because I feel like if I said anymore I would ruin it, but I will say that you can read this on it’s own or inn the short stoy collection of Four Past Midnight.

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Beach ReadBeach Read by Emily Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! I had a feeling I would because it had a few of my go to keywords, writers and not a great first impression. What really stood out to me about this book was the dynamic the two main characters had. It was fun, light hearted, but also serious. I really loved the style of this book and will read more from her  easily. 

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What was you favorite book of 2020?

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Let’s Talk | Worst Books of 2020

Hello and welcome to a bit of a round of post for the year 2020. I wanted to take a moment and share a few of my most disappointing reads of the year. In a few days I will have a bit more of a positive post where I will be sharing my best reads of the year. Until then, here is a collection of books that just didn’t do it for me for one reason or another. Sometimes books just aren’t for me.


Ducks, NewburyportDucks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This is a book I would have never tried to read if it was not on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize. Saying that, you can most likely see I ended up giving this book 1 star. While the idea of this book did sound very appealing as soon as I started to read it a red flag for my personal reading tastes went up. The first few pages was just a never ending list with commas, never a period. The book was being told by someone who is just rambling on and on, which I can see is most likely a choice to get the feel for how thee narrator is feeling about life.

For me, this was so stress inducing for a few reasons. I felt like I was reading the equivalent to Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder movie) taking the winners down the chocolate river through a tunnel. It was just getting more and more intense because I was reading faster and faster just trying to find a period. I. just wanted a natural stopping point to put the book down. The second being, I personally dislike stream of consciousness writing.

Mainly due to the formatting and how the author choose to write this book, I did not like it. But, thesee are mainly personal reasons and if any of these don’t bother you I say give it a go. Like I said the idea of this book is great, it was just ruined for me based upon the formatting.

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Imaginary FriendImaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so much enjoying this book for the first 400 pages or so. Then it just started to feel like there was a. huge ending coming, but there were 100s of pages left. I feel like this book went on for way too long and the pacing was just all messed up. I liked it less and less as it went on and it is a shame because I really was loving this book at the start.

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The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner's Guide to Getting Good with MoneyThe Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a VERY basic finance book that seems to be only for women. If you know anything about basic budgeting you can skip this. But, this could be good for someone who just graduated and is just starting out.

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Midnight Sun (Twilight, #5)Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got very bored halfway though. The main selling point of this book is seeing more of the Cullens. That is how this book got 2 stars. The rest, really didn’t really keep me engaged and was not really interesting.

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The Order of the DayThe Order of the Day by Éric Vuillard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While the content and the writing overall easily warrants 4 or 5 stars I cannot give it this rating. The main reason being there are no footnotes or end notes to share any sources. Quotes that are in the text have no mention of where it is from, which is very disappointing. This is not acceptable for a nonfiction book.

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House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am going to be honest, I really went into this book thinking I was going to enjoy it quite a bit. The idea sounded interesting and the world created sounded very interesting, but I was kind of bored reading this… okay very bored. The weird thing is, things were happening, some pretty intense stuff. So, I am not sure how or why I was bored, but I was. I might go back in the future and give this book another go, I might not have been in the right mood for it. (Update, no I will not).

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