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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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Lets 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 | 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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Let’s Talk | My Christmas Outfit

Hello and welcome to a bit of a fashion post. Well, more like a picture of pajamas I am super excited about wearing Christmas Eve into Christmas. This year is very different for myself and my family because we are not all getting together like we normally do, but I am able to celebrate with my household, which is really nice. This year we are doing a “lazy” Christmas just like we did for Thanksgiving this year. That means, pajama time! Normally I have a very nice outfit for both days, but this year we decided to stay comfortable while we stay home. So, here are the PJs I am wearing this year.


The PJs I ended up picking up are from target and are a set called Women’s Henley Pajama Set – Stars Above™ in the color cream. The top is a regular T-shirt, but the bottoms are so soft!

The bottoms are a plush fabric that is prominently an off white color and it has what looks like water color pinecones and pine needle pattern. I always get PJs that are oversized so I am more comfortable, I am so glad that there is a nice little tie on the pants to make sure they stay secure.

The top, like I said, is a normal T-shirt fabric. The only difference it that it is long sleeved and has 5 buttons near the neckline. Also, I didn’t notice when I first picked them up, I tried to get a good picture, but there is shimmery flecks in the fabric as well. I really like this because it is festive, but subtle as well.

I hope you liked this little “fashion post”, I know it is not my normal, but it is always fun to give something else a try every now and again.


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Sharing | My Holiday Decorations

Hello and welcome to a blogmas post that is a bit different than my normal content. I wanted to take a moment to share some of the decorating I have been doing for the upcoming holidays. So, here are a few photos and descriptions of what I have placed around my small space.


I hung garland that was intertwined with lights and pinecones across my window and added a star lantern in the middle. Not pictured is an electric tea light candle I turn on at night. I love how it flickers in the dark.

Next I added some standard green garland across the top of my bed and along my books. I really loved how my editions of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy popped among the greenery.

Here is a close up of some of the decorations on my tree. My tree is a light green that has scattered silver ornaments, clear or white snow flakes, chocolate candy canes, and pine cones.

I hope you enjoyed these few photos where I share some of my decorations for this year.

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Let’s Talk | 10 Things I Love About This Time of Year

Hello and welcome to a bit of a different type of post. I wanted to take a moment during this very strange year and this very chaotic month to take a moment and share some of the things I truly love about this magical time of year. Sometimes I find myself just rushing through things, but not really taking them in and enjoying them as much as I could be. I thought this type of post would help me be more mindful of the things I love about this time of year and enjoy them more fully than I might have if I had not brought attention to them. So, here is my list of 10 things I love about this time of the year.


  1. I really enjoy the crisp air this time of year. While the temperature this time of the year really ranges from warm to really cold, I do enjoy how clean and crisp it feels. I am not sure why, but I feel like it is just lighter and enjoyable. The heat is no longer heavy on everyone.
  2. I really enjoy how the holidays this time of year focus on family and connecting and making family a priority. While this year is different than any other year, family is still a priority. While I am not seeing my family like I normally do, I am still making sure they know I care about them.
  3. I love being able to sit in front of the fire place without melting and I can actually enjoy the heat coming off the flames.
  4. I enjoy seeing all the beautiful decorations that go up around town. I really love wintery decorations, the wreaths, the rich colors, and of course the adorable snow men.
  5. I love the joy I get by giving things to others I care about. There is nothing better than the smile on someones face when you give them an awesome gift. I love seeing the joy on their face.
  6. Being able to drink hot cocoa whenever I want without others giving me a funny look. Yes, I drink hot cocoa all year and yes I get funny looks when it is in the high 90s and I am drinking a hot drink. lol.
  7. I love the feeling of a new start coming and setting intentions / goals for myself. I always find joy in challenging myself and growing through process.
  8. I find joy in looking back at the past year and seeing all the obstacles I have over comes, how much I have changed, and the new things I have tried.
  9. I really enjoy wearing a very warm sweater that is just the right amount of warmth and comfort.
  10. Everyone sharing all the great memories they have. I find that this time of the year more and more people share more about themselves and the fun memories they hold from the past. It is great to see them light up and share a funny memory or a small smile grow across there face remembering someone who has since past.

What are your favorite things about this time of the year?

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Lets Talk · Lists & Recommendations

Let’s Talk | Wintery Books

Hello and welcome to a post where I talk about a few of my wintery themed books. I am not usually a seasonal reader, but I feel like there is nothing better than snuggling up next to a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa with a winter read. It is just so relaxing during the long nights. Anyway, here are the books I think wold be great to read in the winter.


NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

While this is a horror novel, it has a large wintery and Christmas theme throughout. I mean it has a place called Christmasland in it, it doesn’t get more christmas-y in a horror novel than that. On top of this it really is a really enjoyable horror novel on its own that I recommend to quite a few to my friends to read this time of the year. I feel like the mixture of horror and the holiday season really is a great tie in between Halloween and Christmas.

One by One by Ruth Ware

If you are in the mood for a thriller and a wintry backdrop, this is a wonderful option. This thriller/mystery takes place at a ski retreat where the characters are trapped and cut off the from the rest of the world at the top of a mountain in the middle of a snow storm. This is a great option to read as soon as the temperature starts to drop.

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

Now, this one is a really atmospheric read. It is a really great thriller with a very big dark feeling to it that is hard to explain. It is not dark in a way that is evil, but the novel just reads like it takes place in the time of year where the nights are long. On top of that it takes place in a really small lovely town where everyone is really close, but also it a historical fiction. It has a lot going for it.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Does it get more wintry than a classic Russian novel? This novel is a classic for a reason, this book covers themes and such that are still relevant in todays world. While there is a lot of drama in this book, a lot of the issues the characters face are still feelings that a lot of us still feel during 2020. When I first read this novel I gave it 3 stars, but as time past I realized that I liked it more and more.

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

I just finished this very cute romance last night, I have not stayed up this late to finish a book in a while, but this book had me needing to know what happened next between the two main characters. The main character, Vivian, travels with her daughter, Maddie, across the ocean to spend Christmas with her while working for the royal family, then the story builds from there. It is an adorable setting, the characters were wonderful, and takes place the week surrounding Christmas.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

These two collections of short stories that are about 200 pages are so wonderful and heart wrenching focus on making connections with those in our lives and celebrating and making the most of the time we have together. With all of the holidays where family is the main focus I feel like this really is a wonderful time to read both of these. Plus, a cafe where you can travel in time, I mean, this is just a great addition!


I hope you found a book that you might enjoy reading over the long nights this winter or holiday season!

Are there any wintery themed books you are enjoying currently?

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Let’s Talk | My Favorite Etsy Shops

Hello and welcome to a post where I want to take a moment to shout out a few lovely etsy shops I just adore. I know this time a year many are looking for gifts for others and maybe pick themselves out something so I thought this would be the perfect time to do this. Also, at the time of writing this I am not affiliated with any of these shops.


ArkCreationInc, their bullet journal stickers are great quality and I have loved all of the ones I have ordered.

Picture of ArkCreationInc etsy page

kbkilnart, has wonderful ceramic pieces. I have ordered multiple yarn bowls from them and I have loved each one. They have held up wonderfully and the colors they use are just great. Plus, they have great non-crocheting items as well.

Picture of kbkilnart etsy page

ArtisanalAne, I have purchased multiple ereader covers for them. I love their funky patters and their quality.

Picture of ArtisanalAne etsy page

TheHomebodySociety, I have purchased a bookplate stamp and a personalized postcrossing stamp from this company and the quality is amazing as well as their customer service.

Picture of TheHomebodySociety etsy page

daisyfarmcrafts, if you have seen a few of my crochet posts, you know I have mentioned them a few time they have free and paid crochet patterns that are clear and wonderfully written. I learned a lot from them over this past year.

Picture of daisyfarmcrafts etsy page

What are a few of your etsy shops?

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Let’s Talk | Blogmas Post Ideas

Hello and welcome to a little post I think some people might find helpful this month. December is a truly magical time of the year, but it is also a time where many bloggers accept the challenge of posting for 24 days straight. I though that while I am not planning on doing the entire 24, but we shall see, this post might help a few people out.


Blogmas Ideas

Winter themed tag, I know I did a really fun one called Baby It’s Cold Outside Book Tag. It was such a blast!

Discussing a favorite winter memory and getting personal with your followers.

Sharing your go to warm beverage recipe.

Taking some time to share pictures of your decorations this year.

Make a list of things you are thankful for this past year.

Checking in on your 2020 goals.

Share a top five with your followers, maybe talk about books, movies, shows, candles and more.

Share a few small businesses you love.

Share some goals you have for yourself going into the new year.

Get personal and share something you learned about yourself in 2020.

Share a few pictures of your favorite wrapping supplies, I know I love the wrapping paper and bows!

Share your favorite posts from this past year, nothing wrong with giving yourself a shout out.

Take a day to do a low effort post and jus share what you are doing that day.

Write letter to your future or past self. If you do the future version, it might be fun to do a reaction for next years blogmas!


I hope those of you who are taking on this challenge have found a few of these helpful. Best of luck in your challenge and I wish you all he best this blogmas!

What are you writing about this month?

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