This month I have to admit, I bought a ton of books. I am not sure why, but for some reason I caught the book buying bug and I could not resist. Some of these books were picked up a thrift shops while others were bought at chain bookstores, online retailers, and independent bookstores. I will say the thing we all say when we haul books, I am excited to read all of these books. I cannot wait to read them, it is true. While it might take me some times to get to all of them, I do no regret adding them to my collection. I threw together my instagram stories to create a video, but if you just want a list of the books I picked up, that is at the bottom of the post. So please feel free to explore both or one. It is totally up to you. Without anymore delay, here are the books I picked up in April!
Welcome to the third installment of Operation Find a Hobby. This round I tried scrapbooking. Now, I shall admit I have some limited exposure to scrapbooking. A few of my family members used to do it constantly. So I was able to get some first hand guidance. But, before I get any further if you have not see my previous posts in this series, you can find them here; Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction, Operation Find A Hobby | Embroidery, and Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle. Now lets get into my experience trying scrapbooking!
So first things first, I needed to figure out the actual purpose of a scrapbook. Now, this may just sound silly, but I felt like there was more to it than just taping pictures together. So, a quick google search gave me this definition thanks to Merriam-Webster.
Definition of scrapbook : a blank book in which various items (such as newspaper clippings or pictures) are collected and preserved
For me this still did not seem right. So I decided to actually go to some family members who used to/still scrapbook. I liked their definition a bit better.
Without rambling to much they pretty much told it is a way to celebrate and remember memories, milestones, and events. Creating a scrapbook was a celebration, anyone can just put their photos and such in an album. But, creating a scrapbook and taking the time to create a page from nothing is giving value to the memory and honoring it. That seemed a bit more appropriate to me. Mainly because of the effort that people put into scrapbooks. When I was searching for some ideas/inspiration and from previous layout there were some detailed layouts. It seemed more than just “preserving items”.
Now with scrapbooking you need supplies and some of these can get expensive. Let’s just say I used quite a bit of coupons and waited for the supplies to go on sale. I also raided the closets of loved ones. While I was confident I would like this hobby, I was not comfortable with investing a lot of money in a maybe.
I also felt that this hobby needed a but more planning than the previous ones I have tried. Completing a puzzle, all I needed to do was buy one. With Embroidery I was able to buy just one kit and complete it. These were more or less already set up for me where scrapbooking is something I would have to come up with from nothing. So I decided I needed a focus before I went and bought everything.
I ended up deciding that I would use my book to highlight a year and each layout would focus on a month. I then expanded on this and came up with a color pallet; yellow, green, pink, gray, and off white. With this I was able to get the creative supplies and the practical ones. Once I collected them from either the store or from others I got to work making my March pages for my scrapbook.
On this page I wanted to highlight the books I read this past month. So I printed out each of the covers and then decided to highlight my top three, which you can see at the center. I also wanted to remember that I got a new netgalley badge so I added those images to this page as well. I thought the pattern change at the center and the leaf stamps made the page pop a bit more. I will be keeping this method in mind for the future.
On this page I made it a bit more personal. I highlighted a conversation with an author I adore, even though it was totally not substancial in the eyes of some. For me I never thought I would have the guts to talk and ask one of my fav. authors a questions and actually hear back from them. I also added the description of my new netgalley badge on this page. Another things I added that I love is the buddy reads I did this month and who I was reading them with. Just a heads up if you ever want to buddy read a book you can always tweet or message me. If I can chances are I will buddy read a book with you. I find them so much fun!
Okay, I have to say that I really enjoyed this. It was a lot of fun to just take the time and make this. While it did take time. It took a lot less than putting a puzzle together, thats for sure. I enjoyed picking through my memories and deciding which bookish ones I wanted to remember and honor. I really just enjoyed the entire process, for me this was almost therapeutic. It is very rare that I truly take “me time”, so doing this was almost like meditating and made me more mindful and reflective on the things I have done over the past month.
I also loved that this was create and I was able to make something with my own hands. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to talk to my family members about something I had never talked to them about before. It was nice having a new topic to discuss. Overall, I have to say that this hobby is a winner and I am going to be doing it again in the future.
Well, I am going to continue on my quest to find a new hobby!
Happy Spring! I know it has been Spring for some time, but lately it has actually started to feel like Spring. For me this is one of my favorite times of the year. The flowers are starting to bloom, I can read outside and not be freezing. I think this year I want to make it a goal to buy a hammock so I can lay down and read outside instead of just sitting on a blanket. Anyway, I wanted to touch base and share the books I am currently reading. Side note, I am surprised that I have gotten my currently reading from 5 down to 2. Woohoo!
I am about 2 chapters into this book and so far I am very much enjoying it. The author has done a wonderful job building the “scene” and introducing the characters. Her writing is very beautiful and I easily got lost in it. I am looking forward to continuing this book.
This is a huge book and I love it. I picked this book up a few months ago on the recommendation of a bookseller. You can see the details of that adventure in my post Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books . It was a great adventure. Anyway I am about 200 or so pages into this book and it is so elaborate and wonderful. I can see there are going to be a lot of plots intertwining and I love it. I am very excited to see where this goes. In fact I picked up the second book in the series so I can pick it up soon after.
Hello everyone. So as of late I have been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of books I own and need to read. I’m not sure why, but I have been starting to feel flustered by them. Now compared to other people my TBR is tiny, but for me I feel it is too many. But, I want to get into a little back story first.
In 2014 I found booktube and fell down a rabbit hole, I honestly felt like Alice when she entered Wonderland. Prior to this I had no idea there was such a huge book community. It was just magical. During that time I ended up getting a ton of books, mostly used and discounted, but still a ton. Even though I read about 100 books that year my TBR was still well over 100 books. Since then I have done various things to try to get it down and keep it down.
The first thing I tried was a book buying ban, for me this worked in the short term, maybe a week or two at most. Then when it was over I would just end up buying even more books. So that didn’t really work. Then I did the read 5 buy 1 challenge. This was a bit more doable, but still was difficult to stick to 100% of the time. So I ended up doing it on rotation. One month on and one month off until my TBR was in the 30s. Welcome to modern times!
So my current TBR is at 42. I know, I know that really is not a lot compared to others. For me, it is just too much. My goal for my TBR is around 15. That was I have choices, but not too many. Sometimes, I think having so many options gets in my way. So I am going to do a Try a Chapter, which I have done in the past and enjoyed. Try a Chapter | June 2017 and Try a Chapter | August 2017.
Outcome: I bought this book for 2 reasons. The first being that Joh Boyne wrote The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, if you have not read that book you should. It will break your heart. The second reason is because I found the description interesting. I will admit that this was the most enrolling read out of the bunch. In a mere 10 pages I had to fight with myself to not keep reading. So much had happened and I can tell there is a lot more to come. John Boyne is a gifted writer. I shall be keeping this book on my TBR.
Outcome: Before getting into the first chapter I was feeling like this was going to be a discard because this is an incomplete series where that author has not released/not written the next book in the last 7 year. Do I really want to start a series that has a high chance of never getting finished? Also, I bought this just because I wanted to buy a book, not a great reason. I read about 19 pages of this and decided it isn’t really for me. As of late I have not been into fantasy and it didn’t pull me in. So I shall be removing this from my TBR and donating it.
Outcome: By Gaslight had a very interesting start, I just was not pulled in by it. I think it was due to the formatting. For some reason there are ” used when people are talking. It was kind of annoying because at first it took my some time to realize that people were talking aloud and not inside their head anymore. I honestly think this could be a very good book for the right person, sadly that person is not me. I shall be unhauling this book and donating it.
Outcome: Before even reading the first chapter I will admit I was leaning towards getting rid of this one because I read The Miniaturist not to long ago and it had a strong start for me, but I ended up not really liking it. There was beautiful writing with that one, but I did not like the plot must. When I did read the first chapter I was okay with it until it said, “Stumpy McGee” (p.6), when referring to a women who had the misfortune of loosing part of her foot. While I know characters can be written to be cruel or rude no one corrected this and it irked me. I shall be removing this from my TBR.
So there you have it another try a chapter post. I am honestly surprised I only kept one book because I tend to get pulled into books once I start reading them. Either way my TBR is now 38 and a little closer to my goal.
What do you think about unhauling books? What is your TBR currently?
I was nominated by the lovely Claire over at Cup of Books, thanks Claire!
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Seven Facts About Me
1.I used to play multiple instruments, I even read music. But, I have forgotten how to now.
2. My favorite color is green, but chances are that will change in a week. I never have the same favorite color for loIng.
3. I used to HATE reading. When I was a child I would read like crazy then people started to tell me what to read. Then, I refused to read everything, then when people stopped telling me to read I finally did. I am a stubborn person.
4. Watched the first Harry Potter movie before I started reading the books. I know, I watched the movie first, the HORROR!
5. I love collecting mugs, I tend to pick up one from every place I visit or if I think one is cute. The last one I bought was created by Lia over at Lost in a Story, you can find that here.
6. I have a huge sweet tooth. I especially love brownies. If you have a good recipe please send it my way. I love trying new ones.
7. I enjoy both coffee and tea, I tend to one each of them every day. Most of the time I have coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.
Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read. In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past. –goodreads.com
What I Liked
The first thing I noticed while reading this novel is that Kate Summerscale is very thorough. Her knowledge of not just the crime itself, the perpetrator, and his family, but of the town and the time period are easily noticed. She goes into detail of the events of the town and the economic and social conditions that not only put our child murderer and his family in, but may have even contributed to it. Some of the information she shares in this book you know she had to look long and hard for it.
Another things I liked about this book was the content of the book. Now, I enjoy non-fiction very much and enjoy a book mystery. But, this book was different. It deals with the life of a child murderer. Someone who at a very young age decided to kill one of his parents. To me that both intrigues me as well as worries me. A child is meant to me innocent and this action/situation is the farthest things from innocent. Due to this the entire time I read this novel it was both almost morbid, but very thought provoking. It made me think about many topics, but I don’t want to list them because that might be considered a spoiler. I rather not spoil this book for anyone.
The last thing that really stood out to me was the ending of this book, it was an unexpected turn I was not expecting. While a majority of this book made me uncomfortable due to the subject the ending made me think even more about human nature and how and if people can change. Many non-fiction authors tend to stop at the “big” event, sometimes that is a disservice. I really appreciated that fact that Summerscale no only covered and researched the murder and trial, but continued and expanded beyond the “main” event.
What I Didn’t Like
One thing that can be seen as a negative with this book is that it contains a lot of background information. For some people this can be a downside to the book. I personally did not have a problem with this because I loved learning about the town, culture, and other events happening at the time. But, I recognize that for some this is not what they signed up for when they picked up a book about a child murderer.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this. I think Summerscale did a wonderful job researching and telling the story of Robert Coombes and his brother. Throughout I was interested and I often found myself thinking about the book once I put it down. For me that makes a good non-fiction read. I would say if you enjoy non-fiction, true crime, or reading about morbid topics this book is for you. I just would keep in mind that you will also be learning about the time period etc., but I feel it is needed to understand the environment the Coombes boys lived in. I ended up giving this story novel 4 stars.
Hello everyone, I hope you are having a wonderful day. Today I thought I would share something different with you. As a book blog I write book reviews and other book related posts. Now, for me this was not always an easy thing. I still struggle from time to time, which is fine by me.
When I started this blog or I should say when I really started to post on this blog was January 2017. At times point in time I never really wrote book reviews and I never really thought ahead with my posts. A little over a year later, I approach my writing a bit differently. That is not to say I am more rigid or I am not free to write whatever I want. In fact, how I approach writing has made it more fun and freeing.
Now, when I started my blog the only reference I had was looking at other peoples blogs. I saw these awesome reviews and blog posts and the entire time I was reading them all I kept thinking was, “How do they remember all these details?” Thus, my journey to create my review/reading kit began.
What is a review/reading kit?
A review kit or reading kit is a small or big, depending on your preference, tools that help you keep track of your reading, ideas, and thoughts. This is highly personal and will vary from person to person. It could be digital or physical, maybe when a mixture of both. The important things is that it works with you and made the process of keeping track of your ideas and thoughts easier, not more cumbersome.
What does my reading kit look like you ask, I’ll show you.
This is the pouch I keep my reading kit in. It is small, durable, and lined so no water can get inside. I had a few reasons for picking this pouch. The first was because the size was perfect for what I needed, obviously this is the most important and practical reason. The second is because I liked how the zipper was on the smaller size, that way when I no doubt left it open there was less of a chance of escape by the things that I placed inside. The last reason is the aesthetic of it. I love the colors, they are soothing and remind me of the water. I also love the quote, it is a nice reminder “Life is Lovely”. Sometimes you just need to hear it from time to time.
But Luna, what is actually inside? Let me show you!
Inside I keep very little because I personally don’t need much. This is a year worth of me trial and error. Finding what worked and what didn’t. It is important to note what wha works for you will not work for you. But, if you need a starting point you may use mine as a reference.
mini notebook (mine is a soft moleskin)
2 mechanical pencils
I have a habit of not grabbing a bookmark when I begin a new book, so I always keep one in my kit just incase. My mini notebook is the perfect size to fit into my pouch and it nice and light. I write a the title of a book on the top of two pages. Once side I write the positives and the other I write the negatives. I write a star next to random thoughts at the bottom of both pages. It almost ends up looking like a T chart with a free block at the bottom. The post-it tabs are used for various things. The first reason being if the book is a buddy read or a larger text I will tab my daily reading goals so I stay on track. The second reason is if I find a quote that inspires me or gets some type of reaction out of me I want to remember where it is.
Even though my kit only has 4 items in it, it helps me greatly. If I am sitting at home reading I know everything I need is in one spot and if I am out and about it fits nicely into any bag I own. For me this has made reviewing more fun and LESS WORK. I used to dread writing reviews because I thought my brain would explode trying to remember everything. For me that is not an option. I need to keep track of my ideas and thoughts as I read. Now I am writing more reviews that I have ever and I am proud of that. It has given me confidence to try new things on my blog and go outside my comfort zone.
Do you have a reading kit? How do you keep track of your ideas while reading books?
Hello and welcome to the third installment of Annotating my bookshelf! This time we are taking a look at my somewhat color coded shelf. I am not sure how must some of my shelves are color coded and the others aren’t, but this one ended up being a shelf of black and gray books. I hope you enjoy!
Hello all, today I am here to share a tag. I was lucky enough to be tagged by Regina from Bookish in Bed to complete the Ace of Spades Book Tag. This is an awesome tag that surrounds the book written by Amanda Foode, how fun is that? Sadly, I myself have not read the book, but these questions made me even more intrigued. Anyway, without further delay, to the tag!
1. Ace of Shades takes place in the very mysterious, very dangerous City of Sin. Name a fictional city with a personality of it’s own!
This may be a catch all answer, but Hobbiton and Bag End. I feel like this little town is just magical. I love the Hobbit and I always liked the start of the book and imagined all the things that happen there.
2. The City of Sin is home to three ruthless gangs: the Irons, the Scarhands and the Doves. Tell us about your favorite fictional criminal family/gang!
Honestly, I can’t answer this. I don’t really have a favorite fictional criminal gang. The only one that really pops into my head are the characters from the Bone Season. So I shall go with that!
3. Enne and Levi are about to be thrown into a deadly game… Name your favorite book in which the characters must play with, and for, their lives.
The only character that comes into my mind is Sherlock Holmes. While he does not “play” for his life. He often has to play mental chess to solve a murder and keep himself and Dr. Watson safe.
4. The Doves are a gang of assassins… What book you’d kill to have in your hands right now?
Right now all I want is to have Stephen Kings new book in my hand. It is called the Outsider and comes out in May.
5. The City of Sin is full of people with dark and complicated pasts. Name one book or book series you used to like, but don’t anymore.
Sadly, I loved Sleeping Giants, but I have since lost interest. It is not fault of the series itself I am just a huge mood reader. Chances are I will end up liking it again in a few months or years.
6. With complicated pasts abound, we can find many… burnt cinnamon rolls, so to speak. Name a character that has prickly and tough exterior, but is actually a sweetheart deep down!
Gah, I have no idea how to answer this, sorry!
7. Not only anti-heroes live in the Ace of Shades world! In New Reynes, one can find plenty of villains as well. Which bookish character do you just love to hate?
I love to hate Dolores Umbridge. She is a horrid character, but I have to admit so well written.
8. You, much like our main character Enne’s mother, went missing in the City of Sin. The main character from the last book you read is the one looking for you… How screwed are you?
Well, it seems like I am in the World of the Dead. I don’t want to say the book because it may be a spoiler if you have not read it just yet. Sorry to be so vague.
Are you interested in Ace of Spades by Amanda Foode?
A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality.
Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new authority. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets—to be released as a handbound chapbook—has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with a portion of proceeds supporting Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker. –goodreads.com
What I Liked
One of the main thing I like about this collection of poems is the fact that you can tell it is written by a wide array of women. You can tell they all have different life experiences and circumstances. For me, that is a sign of a well rounded collection. Due to this the poems are very different from one another, but they all share that single thread with one another. Feminism, strong women. This also led to there being so many different voices and I found myself really enjoying the scope of styles and stories that these individuals wrote.
Another thing I liked about this was the fact that this was a collection labeled as feminist and was truly feminist. It talked about equality of all. There were poems that dealt with race, violence, and of course gender issues. It was a nice seeing a collection and a book labeled as feminist saying “All. All. All!” instead of “Us. Us. Us!”
What I Didn’t Like
One thing I did not like, which is more me being unprepared than any fault of the book itself. Some of the poems were difficult, which I think they need to be to be true to themselves. But, this being unexpected made some of the reading difficult. But, as soon as I knew what some of the poems might be exploring I was fine. It was just the initial surprise. So just a warning, some of these poems explore very difficult situations.
I would have to say I enjoyed this poetry collection. It explored the voices of an array of writings giving it a distinct feeling of authenticity. It also gives a voice to those who have gone through difficult experiences. It really makes you think outside of your own bubble and forces you to face it. If you enjoy feminist literature and poetry I would say you should pick this collection up. It was wonderful.