Revisiting

Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist 2019

revisiting

Hello everyone today I wanted to share my progress with one of my 2019 goals/challenges. We are in the 5th month of the year, I can’t hardly believe it. I thought it was time to do more of a in-depth look at this goal because it is a bit more than a checklist type goal to me. I see it more as an experience or an experiment of sorts. I personally have never much been one to follow book awards and let them dictate my reading or sway my reading choices. This year I kinda wanted to see if I had been missing out because of this. If you want to see my reasoning for why I picked this reading award, you can see that in my original post; Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist.

Without more of a delay here are my reviews and my reflection on this experience so far!

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-Reviews-

Washington Black

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is such an adventure, it starts with a young boy, age 11. Sadly, he is a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados run by two brothers. The author wrote a beautiful book that shows the ugly that is slavery. It talks about awful psychological games played by owners and the bad treatment many had to endure unfairly. I also like how the author showed abolitionists and aspects of the underground railroad. The dangers of faced by those who escaped and freed those who did not belong to them. I also really enjoyed the science, art, and almost steampunk elements. I am honestly not doing this book justice, but I will say it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is well deserved. I also have to agree with the quote on the front of my book calling it a masterpiece.

View all my reviews


MilkmanMilkman by Anna Burns

I wont give this book a star rating because I could not finish it, it was not for me in the slightest. I picked it up and I was bored nearly right away. I can see how other might enjoy this book, but I did not.

View all my reviews


The Mars RoomThe Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

I can’t give this book a star review, because I did not finish reading the book.

I had such high hopes for this book for a few reasons. The first being the description sounded amazing and it seemed like something I would normally gravitate towards. The second reason being is that it was short listed for the man booker prize as well as other noted literary awards.

The main reason this fell short for me was that it didn’t really capture my attention. That is not to say it was not dramatic, because it very much was, but it just was not something I wanted to pick up again after putting it down.

Don’t get me wrong, this book had a lot going for it and I was rooting for it. It had a great concept of critiquing society and how economics have such an impact on individuals lives. I also felt horrible for the main character because no one should have to go through what she and some of the other women went through. I am glad light was shed on a lot of issues in this book. But, a main character that doesn’t really seem in the story, a plot that jumps around too much, and it all left me looking to do something else.

View all my reviews

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-Reflection-

So far my reading has been mixed with this experiment 1 book has been a win and one has not been a win. I am sitting at 1:2 or 33% success rate. Not the best of scores. I am hoping that it will rise higher the more I read. At this time I have 3 more books to go so there are a lot of chances for me to get a good reading experience.

I am expecting it to go up not just because I have more  books to read, but also because I am fairy interested in 1 of them and I already picked it up. So I am hoping since I own that one I like it. I feel like if I do not like this next one I am going to abandon this goal for 2019. I seem to not really like the types of books that they picked for their winner or their shortlist at this point. Fingers crossed this next one is a winner!

-Remaining Books-

The Long Take by Robin Robertson

The Overstory by Richard Powers – Owned

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? How do you think this experiment will go?

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Wrap Up

Year in Review | 2018

Year in Review!

This year has been  a really amazing reading year for me. I found a few new favorite authors, read some books I have been dreaming of reading for years, and I met most off my reading goals, you  can learn more about that here: Reading Goals | 2018 Recap. Anyway, I have already posted a few blog posts talking about my favorite books, Lists | Best Books of 2018 , my least favorite, Lists | Worst Books of 2018, but I wanted to share more about my actual over all reading stats.

If you want to see all of these in detail, where all of my books are listed you can visit that here.

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How did your reading year go?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | December 2018

Monthly Wrap Up

The last wrap up of 2018, I just cannot believe it. Soon I will be starting my reading back at 0 and trying to reach my yearly goals. But, I have to say I ended the year on such a high-note I think 2019 is going to be a wonderful reading year. I read a lot of books I have been meaning to and some I absolutely loved. I also made it to a point where I have read all of the book I have owned for over a year. I have never been to that point before so I am very excited about it and I am going to do my best to keep it that way. So, without more of a delay I am going to share the books I read this month. Some of these books were featured in my post, Middle Mark | December 2018, so some of these are a recap.

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Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry

4stars

The first book I read this month was Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Overall I really liked this book more than I thought I would. If you want a more detailed review you can find that here: Let’s Talk |Fall Book Recommendation Test & Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs Review

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Faithful

4stars

Alice Hoffman has never disappointed me.I have previously read Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic by her this year and I loved the books. This book was no different, her focus was on family, but in a different way this time around. I was really invested in this story, so much in fact I read this in a single day. It was great breaking at times and other times I smiled as I read. It really was a beautiful emotional rollercoaster.

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story

I have to admit I did not fully read this book. I ended up DNFing this about 20% through. It was not a bad book, it just was one I was not really feeling so I did not want to push myself all the way through it. It was an interesting story set up and such. I ended up passing this book on to my friends daughter who is getting into horror.

A Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood

A Meeting by the River2stars

This is the 4th Christopher Isherwood book I have read over the years and this one was eh. While, it is not my favorite of his works, my favorite is Christopher and His Kind, I still enjoyed the writing and the ride he puts you on. If you have ever read one of his books you will know that his writing style is unique. You feel like you are drifting along on a ride watching the main character.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains

5stars

So I read this as a buddy read with some amazing ladies and I have to admit I ended up finishing it earlier than planned. The first reason being is the writing and how it is organized. I really enjoyed how the story flowed and the sections had some very good cliffhangers so I had no choice but to continue. I really enjoyed how detailed this was and how the story is told between two time periods. I highly suggest this thriller/mystery to everyone. A lot of people compare this to The Secret History, but I think I actually prefer this book over that one. Controversial? Maybe, but it is true.

Down There on a Visit by Christopher Isherwood

Down There on a Visit

4stars

I finally read Down There on a Visit and I did enjoy it overall. As I have said 1000 times, his writing style is so enjoyable I think he could write about anything and I would enjoy it to some extent. I really enjoyed how this was broken down into sections based off of the main characters life. Also, this wrap up proves the point that you will not always love every book by an author you love and that is okay.

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks

5starsI absolutely loved this book! It was hilarious and at times just made me shake my head. It is fun learning about some of the funny and creepy things that happen to librarians while working. The regulars, the weird interactions, hilarious things said by children. I loved how this was organized by topic and the introductions to each section really added to it as well. If this author came out with another book I would pick it up without thinking.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The Broken Girls

4stars

I really loved how this book was set up in the past and more presents. It was a thriller/ghost story that went throughout time and if you know me anything with some ghosts is a win. The writing was so rich I was able to visualize everything with ease. I really enjoyed the fictional history the author created, it really felt genuine and not forced. I also enjoyed the time periods she used in telling this story, it added a lot to the plot, but also gives a nod to the strides our society has taken to be more understanding, but also why we need to continue to be more understanding. The only reason this did not get 5 stars was because I was one thing coming, but the rest of it was a complete surprise.

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

2stars

I really just think anthologies in general are just not for me. I am always disappointed because I want more. The mix of medium and the stories that were written well, but they are just too short.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves

4starsI cannot believe I have finished this book! I was totally thinking this read would follow me into 2019, but I pulled a late night because this book serious hooked me. I totally understand why this is considered a favorite by many. I may or may not have read the last 300 pages in one sitting. This is a very interesting horror book that is is more creepy than outright scary. It seems like it is more a mind game than anything else. I really enjoyed how this unorthodox book was put together and how it was more than one story. It was refreshing to read something so different. I will mention I tried to read this when I was in middle school, when it first came out. I am glad I never finished it then, because I know I would not have appreciated it as much. There are layers and layers and you need to dissect this book a little bit.

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery and Other Stories

4stars

I finally read The Lottery and Other Stories and I am so happy that I did. I read right through this collection in a single day. There is something about Jackson’s writing that is just hypnotizing to me. While most of these stories are very short, some only 3 pages. She packs a lot into those 3 pages. Her writing always has layers and leaves you thinking. I highly suggest this if you enjoy reading short stories that at times are creepy or just a little jabs at society in the 1950s.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome

3stars

I felt like Under the Dome was the adult version of Lord of the Flies. I read Lord of the Flies when I was in high school and I HATED it. I can’t pinpoint why I hated it, but I was so bored by it and I just couldn’t get into any of it. Under the Dome I could get into though. Right off the bat big things happen that just hook you and the way that the cut off from society was well done, even thought it was really out there. I will say there were some points where I was bored and I just wanted to find out what was happening with another group of characters. For that reason I drifted in and out of caring about the story.

DividerWhat is the last book you have read?

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Hauls

Book Haul | December 2018

BookHaul12:17

So, the last month of the year between buying myself goodies and others being so wonderful and gifting my books has led to me having the largest haul since bookcon in June of this year. So, it is safe to say I will be doing a lot of reading in the new future. I don’t want to ramble on because I have quite a few books here, but I will say some I have been wanting a while and a few were gems I just happen to learn about fairly recently and felt like I needed to have them.

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Gifts

Brining Down the Colonel by Patrica Miller

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington

This book was a huge surprise! I got it from one of my friends as an early present and I have to say she picked a great one. This book follows the events that were considered scandalous at the time. A young women was accusing a Colonel of sexual assault. This book talks about how it was received and what happened. I am really curious to see the social ramifications at the time since it seems to mirror a lot of what we see today.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sit Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes

I absolutely love Sherlock Holmes and I had the complete collection in a collection of ripped paperbacks. Well, I am luck to receive this fo-leather bound editions for Christmas. It was a wonderful gift and I am so happy with the upgrade. From what I have seen about this edition it seems to be chronological, but time will tell as I make my way through it.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo

This is a book I have been hearing a ton about this year. I think there was a read-along going on on twitter and I know I have been talking to my friend Jenna about reading this in the future. I asked for the book so I would be ready to go, but I did not expect this beautiful edition. It is bright and beautiful, even the sprayed edges are gold and it has a ribbon bookmark. I am going to love reading this.

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The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

The Far Field

This was my December Book of the Month pick, I am really curious to see how this book plays out. I did not really look at the description before picking up the book apart from it being set in Asia. I want to read more books from around the world in the upcoming year so I thought this would be a wonderful way to start the journey.

Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

This is a non-fiction novel I have been hearing a ton about in the last few months. While I was in school I studied the Russian Revolution among a few other topics and when I heard such good things about this I thought I would expand my own edition by learning about the family of one of the most notorious Soviet Russian leaders. You always hear about the person or the people living under their reign, but to learn about their daughter, that is something new to me. So, I am very excited to jump into this book.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

This was a book I knew I needed to get since I am doing a bit of a challenge in the new year, Reading Goals |Reading a Shortlist. This was the first book on the list I came across in the wild to I scooped it up to take home with me. I have heard some wonderful things from those I trust when it comes to book reviews so I think I will end up very impressed.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies: Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them

I  originally saw this book in a post by Amy, where she explored her favorite bookshop and I felt like I needed to have it. I ended up putting in an order for it and then I actually picked it up on the way to my friends wedding. Let’s just say, they know my love of books and would have understand if I was a few moments late. lol. I really like that this explores the meaning of the word feminism and how this word means so many different things to each person.

Milkman: A Novel by Anna Burns

Milkman

So, this was another book from my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist list and I saw it when I ran into the store to pick up the previous book. Since it was on sale I grabbed it without thinking about it and added it to my order. I am so exited to now have two books on the list to start off the year. I feel like this is going to be a very atmospheric book and I hope I am correct.

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House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves

4stars

I cannot believe I have finished this book! I was totally thinking this read would follow me into 2019, but I pulled a late night because this book serious hooked me. I totally understand why this is considered a favorite by many. I may or may not have read the last 300 pages in one sitting. This is a very interesting horror book that is is more creepy than outright scary. It seems like it is more a mind game than anything else. I really enjoyed how this unorthodox book was put together and how it was more than one story. It was refreshing to read something so different. I will mention I tried to read this when I was in middle school, when it first came out. I am glad I never finished it then, because I know I would not have appreciated it as much. There are layers and layers and you need to dissect this book a little bit.

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What was the last book you acquired?

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Goals

Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist 2019

Reading Goals NEW

Throughout the year I hear about book award and short lists from time to time. One I hear about most often would have to be The Man Booker Prize. It is a literary award that has been around for nearly 5 decades. Over that time works that are published in English are eligible to win. Translated or originally published in that language, I cannot say for sure if that was always the case, but I know that now it is. Some of the notable authors that have been honored are Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, Zadie Smith, and George Sanders to name a few.

Well, like I said I have been hearing a lot about this award from fellow book bloggers and even on some literary interviews. So I looked more into it and I thought I would also challenge myself a little bit in the upcoming year. In 2019 I want to read the entire shortlist from 2018. Obviously, I would be a year behind, but I thought it would be interesting to see what I think about the books that this well known book award and their judges deem to amazing books.

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The Short List

Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman

The Long Take by Robin Robertson

The Long Take

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

Everything Under

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

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I guess, if you want to be technical, I am making this shortlist my 5 books I want to read in 2019. But, I think this will be a bit more interesting than picking books I already want to read. I think reading these 5 titles will  get me out of my comfort zone in some aspects and maybe even expand me reading tastes. Who knows, I might even find a new favorite author. Wouldn’t that be a great outcome? I am really excited about this experience and I will update you all as soon as I read these 5 novels.

What book award do you wait to be announced each year?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Best Books of 2018

Lists

Early in the week I talked about the worst books I read in 2018, while that is not the most positive approach to talking about reading, I think it is important to share all aspects of the reading year and have some great discussions. But, I will admit I am must more happy to share the following books because these are ones that have stuck with me and I know will continue to do so. One I even finished on the first day of the year and I still recommend it all the time to everyone. I never thought that it would happen, but it did! Also, all of the books on this list I really do recommend you looking into, I loved every single one of them and if they are in a genre that you enjoy I don’t anticipate you being disappointed. Without anymore rambling and gushing, here are the books!

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Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Strange Weather

There has never been a short story collection where I have loved every single story, but somehow Joe Hill has managed to do that with Stange Weather. Each story was very unique and I can see myself rereading this again and again. I am actually kind of tempted to reread them as the weather conditions show themselves. I read this book in a single day, and when I first reviewed this on good reads I said “Have you ever liked something so much you couldn’t really express how why you like it so much all you can say is, “READ THIS, IT IS GREAT! JUST READ IT!”? Yeah well, that is me with this.” I am happy to say that this feeling has held up.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House

I picked up this book mainly because Joe Hill and Stephen King both have raved about it. Well, because of them I found a new favorite author. Even though this is a short novel, it really is scary. I never had nightmares from watching to reading horror, but with this book I did. It was not really a full on nightmare, but I had a dream I was in Hill House. Even while I was in it I knew it was a dream and I started to laugh. The writing was magnificent, the characters were so distinct and interesting. and the style in which she writes is very effective.

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Unraveling Oliver

Of the multiple Liz Nugent novels I read this year, I would say that Unraveling Oliver is my favorite for a few reasons. The first being it was the first book of hers I read and she has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her writing is just enchanting. While I read this novel I was shocked, heart broken, irate, and heart warmed. It show cases how horrible and also how good people can truly be. This is really an amazing thriller even though you go into the book knowing what happens. In my eyes, only a really gifted author can pull that off.

The Outsider by Stephen King

The Outsider

I adored this novel. It had the perfect balance of the real world and monsters and paranormal features I look for in King’s novels. The monster he created was so interesting and I really liked how he pulled from myths and legends to do this. I also liked the fact that the characters felt real, also there was a nice bonus of seeing a character I never thought I would see again.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I ended up liking this book so much more than I thought I would. I normally rarely read about celebrities or actors I like in real life, so I always thought, “Why would I care about one that didn’t even exist?”. Well, I have to say that this book proved that point wrong. Within the first chapter I was already hooked. They methods used by the author to tell Evelyn Hugo’s story were wonderful and made it feel so tangible. Not only did the author tell an addicting story of this woman, but she told a story of so much more than that. That is the part of the story I did not expect and loved. The author did some great things with this book and I highly recommend. *copied from my original review*

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

The Witches: Salem, 1692

When it comes to those who are just getting into nonfiction, this is the first book I recommend them. The first reason being it is a well researched and presented work. The second being it written in a manner that reads like a story instead of a textbook, which is always hard to do when it comes to properly researched nonfiction reads. You can easily tell the effort that went into collecting all the articles and penning this work. Additionally, this book talks about the Salem Witch Trials in a way that respects those who were affected by it, but does not interject feeling or emotion into it. This truly is the best nonfiction I have read all year and continues to be one of my top ones of all time.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

One thing I have to say about this book is the fact I did not expect for it to be rated so highly. I just thought I would enjoy it because I watched the movie adaptation long before I even knew there was a book. When I did read it, I learned that the book was very different, but I fell in love with it anyway. I loved how the sisters were more involved and the way the plot turned and twisted. It was beautifully written and really hypnotized me. When I picked up this book it was really hard to put down. I also saw some characters in new light. This look truly is a wonderful story of family, magic, curses, and secrets. In fact, I picked up and read the prequel The Rules of Magic, which I loved as well, but it made me treasure this story even more.

DividerWhile this was a really difficult list to make, because I was so fortunate to read so many great ones, I really enjoyed making it. I love talking about book and I love sharing the ones I really enjoyed hoping that you all will enjoy them just as much.

What books did you adore this year?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Worst Books of 2018

Lists

So, with all the reading I have done over the year, right around 100 books. I can say that I have read some good books and some not so great ones. It is bound to happen for one reason or another. It could have been the fact I took a chance on a genre I don’t normally read, it was a book club pick, or it just didn’t live up to my expectations. It happens from time to time and there is nothing wrong with that.

Now books are very personal experience, that is the beauty of them.  I may get the saying wrong, but I think it goes that people can read the same book and get different stories. I think it is very true, that is why I love books some people hate and some people love the books I am not too fond of and that is okay. Everyones opinions are just that, opinions and everyone is allowed to have them. So, if your favorite book ends up on this list, I am  so happy that you liked it,  but it was just not for me. Also, some of these I read very early on in the year and I kinda forgot about what happened so I copied and pasted some of my reviews to highlight what I felt just as I finished reading the books. This was not the case with all of the books though. Without more rambling, here are the worst books I read in 2018.

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A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials by Frances Hill

A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials

I absolute hated this book and I am so upset by it. The writing had so much of the authors opinion in it and it could be very misleading if this is the only book you have read on the Salem Witch Trials. I also did not like how the end note were set up. In the back of the book it lists the chapters then what sources were used. That is not how end notes work. Which sources was used for which topic? This makes it very hard to go back and read the authors sources to compare and do your  own research. There are so many better books on this topic that I recommend. I really wanted to like this book, I had such high hopes. I read a view by Jon, and I have to say I agree with him on a lot of his points and I wish I could have explained myself as clearly.

Tropic Of Cancer by Henry Miller

Tropic Of Cancer

So, this was a really weird book. While I did read the entire thing I can’t really tell you what happened if that makes sense. As the story progresses it does get a little more coherent, but it never becomes tame in any shape way or form. I would never have read this book on my own that is for sure, the description is not something I would normally be drawn to. I honestly can’t really suggest this book to anyone though.

Salem’s Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity by John Goff

Salem's Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity

So I was super excited to read this book, I ended up being disappointed. The book was more of a history of who lived in the house and what stores it had been and less about the role it had during the Salem witch trials. While it was interesting I found the name it be a tad bit misleading so it left be just feeling like I missed out on something. If you know nothing about the history of the house and such, this would be a good read for you.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist

This one I wanted to love, it was a historical fiction read, which I normally love and it sounded like such an interesting and magical story. It turned out not to be so magical to me. The authors writing is beautiful, but the story just didn’t really wow me. I am thinking about trying another one of her books, because like I said her writing is beautiful, I Just did not like the story all that much. While, I do think it highlight some things in the past that were just truly NOT OKAY, I  was left feeling blah about the whole thing because it was not really addressed.

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

The Tommyknockers

I will openly admit that if I did not have the audiobook I would never have finished this novel. While I love a lot of King’s writing, this one is a bit of a bust for me. I did a bit of researching to see if I was the only one or not, but it seems I am not. I have to admit that this article explains my feelings as well as says my thoughts on this novel very clearly.

It is all over the place, longer than it needs to be by a lot, and just seems to loose the king flair that I enjoy.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

I don’t really know what happened to me when I was reading this book. The first two books in the series I did enjoy very much. This one I felt was annoying and I wanted to skip around a lot. I wanted to just find out the main stuff and move on. I felt like there was just too much drama for the sake of drama and it just added pages and not really much to the overall plot. I did not get the novella that is set after this, I may get it from the library at some point because I know there are just some duds in a series, but I want to make sure before I spend more of my money.

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of a Bookseller

So when I picked up this book I was sure it would be more along the lines of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jennifer Campbell, which I loved! This on the other hand was dull and mundane. It was more of  what the owned did and the daily workings of a bookshop and not really to much about the interactions with the customers. I also found that there was a lot a repeating of the same things happening over and over again. While I can see why some people would like this book, I was left a disappointed.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1)

I can see why other people like this book so much, I am not saying this is a bad book by any stretch of the imagination. I really enjoyed the first part of this book, but the second part of the book totally lost me. I felt like the main character just got things or things just happened to the main character without there being any real time given to acquiring them or working for them. Just BAM, amazing thing happened/brilliant abilities! This book just is not for me, it is for you if you like… Individual fighting for a cause, Fantasy, YA transitioning to adult, rags to riches in a way, not exactly and an individual taking on the Empire.

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There you have it, the worst books I read in 2018. All of these are the only books I rated below average and I have to say there aren’t a lot of them. To read about 100 books and only 8 fall under an average rating is wonderful. Plus, like I said in the beginning, these are just my personal feelings. These books are great reads for many and I am truly happy about that.

What book fell flat for you this year?

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TBR

Christmas at Hogwarts | TBR

 

So, this past year they have been very many different Hogwarts themed readathons boasted by bookroast on youtube. There have been the OWLS, NEWTS, and a few extra credit ones as well. Now it is time for Christmas at Hogwarts and our goal is to make it to the Christmas Feast. If you want a lot of details about the readathon I suggest looking at her video, which you can find here.

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  • December 17th- December 26th
  • Follow the foot prints to the feast
  • Complete 6 challenges that are connected by footprints.

DividerFinish your coursework – finish your current read

  • This will honestly depend on where I am with my books on Monday. I am currently reading a few books so this one I can’t quite say just yet.

Have a snowball fight with the Weasley twins – a book you think will be humorous

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks

Visit 3 Broomsticks for muller pixie wine – a read that should only take you a day/evening

  • Fresh Ink: An Anthology by Lamar Giles, I have had this since bookcon 2018 and it is about time I read this small anthology!

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Attend a Yule Ball – book you’ve been preparing yourself for

  • The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I picked this book up when I was on vacation where the House of the Seven Gables is, even though that is technically fake. It was inspired by a house then it was turned I into the house. It was all rather weird honestly. But, I have been putting this off because I hated The Scarlet Letter and this is by the same author. I am hoping I like this one more.

The House of the Seven Gables

Use your Invisibility Cloak to get to the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library – read a banned book

  • The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson, I am really looking forward to reading  more of Shirley Jackson’s books.  I have really fallen in love with her writing over the past year and I thought this would be a good way to end the year.

The Lottery and Other Stories

Attend the Christmas Feast – watch a Harry Potter movie

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I have been meaning to watch this movie again. For some reason this is the movie I always stop right before when I rewatch the movies.

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Are you taking part in the readathon?

What prompt are you most looking forward to?

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Hauls

Unboxing Boho Berry | December 2018

Unboxing

So I finally caved and signed up for a bullet journal subscription box and after looking at a bunch of blog posts, instagram pictures, and youtube unboxing I decided on trying Boho Berry. Years ago I watched her youtube channel and really enjoyed her content, but at that time I was not really ready to invest in notebooks or related objects. Then she turned to digital planning and I unsubscribed. Well, upon my most recent research I am happy to say not only did I order her box, I resubscribed to her channel since she is doing more physical planning again.

What really drew me to this box over the other ones was the fact that it was consistently delivering quality items to their subscribers. There were a few that I was excited about only to realize that a lot of the time their boxes were misses and a few winners mixed in. I work hard for my money so when I spend it I want consistency. Another point that draw me in was the fact that she designed certain things just for her box, such as stickers. I thought this was fun, interesting and something different.

So, now that I ordered my first box, here is what I got inside!

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The box that it is shipped in is so beautiful, but it also more importantly held up very well while shipping. There was no dents or damage to it.

The attention to detail in this box is really wonderful, a cover to protect the information card was adorable.

Upon first opening the box you can see that it is stuffed with goodies. Stickers for decoration and some that are very practical.

Here are ones I am the most curious about. The first is a December tracker, I normally don’t use these. I think the main reason is I am to lazy to actually make the layout myself. The second one is a great sticker that helps you reflect upon the year which I really appreciate. Never hurts to be a little more mindful and reflective to better yourself and grow.

These are the other stickers that are present in the box. There is a beautifully illustrated quote that is black and yellow. Then the second sheet is a mixture of preactical stickers I am very much looking forward to using my in bullet journal soon. I will say since I already had my December layout done, Bullet Journal | December 2018, so I don’t be using the December stickers this month. The great news is that they are undated so I am already prepared for next year! The last sticker sheet is beautiful and I think are perfect for adding a little something to spreads that just need a little uplifting.

This last group of goodies I am very excited about. The first item on the left are beautiful paper clips. One side is a star and the other is a moon, which with a name like Luna I really appreciate. I am already using these. The second item is a mechanic pencil called Tombow Mono Graph Mechanical Pencil. I love using pencils to add in dates and stuff incase things have to get shifted around so I am really curious to see if I like the feel of this one. The next is a Tombow Dual Brush Pen in Light Orange. I already have this color, but I am passing it along to someone who needs it. I really love these pens so this was a great thing to get in this box. The last thing in this was a Moon Desk Dish, which I LOVE. I already have it on my desk with my paperclips inside

I absolutely loved my first Boho Berry Box and I am looking forward to see what is coming in my next one.

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What is your go to bullet journal tool?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2018 Recap

Reading Goals NEW

I cannot believe this year is coming to a close soon and it is time to reflect on the goals I set for myself back in December 2017. It feels like so long ago, but at the same time this year felt like it flew by. A few times this year I checked in with my goals, but I have not done so since the first half a the year. I honestly kinda lost track of my goals because one large one I realized was not going to happen. I will get more into that later in this post.

Earlier Posts

Reading Goals | 2018Reading Goals | 2018 | 1st Quarter Review, and Reading Goals | 2018 | 2nd Quarter Review.

DividerThe Goals

  1. Update my blog post headers
    • I loved designing so I want to introduce a few new headers and give myself that time to be creative.
  2. Read 50 books
    • Every year I set my reading goal at 50. It is an average of a book in little over a week and I tend to not stress out about it.
  3. Read 30,000 pages
    • I though this page goal would be fun.
  4. Try new things
    • This year I want to experiment a little outside of what I normally post, spice things up a little bit.
  5. Complete the 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge

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My Reflection

  1. I did this as soon as the year started and I am very happy with the graphics I created. I also like the fact that I made them in a way where I can change the background images if I ever feel like it and it would not be too much work.
  2. I am happy to say that I read more than 50 books this year, in fact I read 105 as of 12/9.
  3. Once again I can say that I read more than 30,000 page throughout the year. I ended up reading a grand total of 36,985 pages as of 12/9.
  4. This year I felt like I tried some new things on my blog such as posting about My life, DIYs, and Cooking as well as doing a few fun series such as _____ Picks my books, Annotating my Bookshelf , and introducing discussion posts. All of which I had a ton of fun doing. I know in the new year I want to do another round of Annotating my Bookshelf.
  5. This one is where the problem came in. While I love the idea of the pop sugar challenge, it really is not a good challenge for me. There are a 52 prompts and while I did do a majority of them. I am a book reader and I honestly have no interest in reading nordic noir currently. While my goal was to read 50 books, why would I pick a challenge that would assign me 52 books. On top of that a majority of the books on this challenge I did not own and this year I really wanted to read some of the books I had on my shelf the longest. Which I did and now the longest a book has been on myself has been 19 months, less than two years. So I was happy to give up on this goal because it did not line up with my other goals, which were a priority to me.

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Overall, I am very happy with how I did with my 2018 Reading and Blog goals. I achieve the ones that were the most important to me and I am proud of myself for putting aside one that really did not benefit me in reaching my other goals. Goals should be realistic and reachable. While I come up with my 2019 goals, this is going to be in my mind.

How did you do with your 2018 goals?

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