Hauls

Book Haul | March 2019

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I will be the first to admit, I come into way to many books since my last haul, Book Haul | January & February 2019, which was two months combined. I am not sure what happened, but I think I am prone to stress buying. Anyway, this book haul with be a few books I picked up at the end of February and all of the books I have picked up up until this point in March. I did order another book for #OWLsReadathon2019 since I had none that met the requirements, so it wont be in the picture, but it will be mentioned.
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-The Books-

  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, I picked this up at my local independant bookstore because I was in the area. I try to help them out as much as I can.
  • Catapult by Emily Fridlund, this is the second book I picked up at the indie bookstore
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, this was a preorder I put in months and months ago. I think I preordered it as soon as you could honestly. I loved her Bone Season series and her writing style so I wanted to see how her adult fantasy was.
  • Where’d You go Bernadette by Maria Semple, I picked this up to help with my reading goals, you can find my most recent update here: Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In, this book covers Antartica if many lists on goodreads are to be trusted. lol.
  • The Butchering Art by Lindsay Fitzharris, this book about very early medicine and how they pretty much just butchered people in the earlier days has been on my radar for some time and with the BN sale earlier in the month I picked it up for 50% off.
  • Elevation by Stephen King – This was a very nice library find that I picked up for $1.00. I was very happy about this because this is a very tiny books, yes a tiny book by Stephen King, but I did not want to pay full price for it.
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This was my BOTM pick for March, you can find all my reasons for picking here: Book of the Month| March 2019.
  • Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop, I was went this book by the authors team. I read the description and I think it is really intriguing.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein, I have previously read this and owned this, but my old edition needed to be replaced before I can reread it.
  • The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, this book is a combination of my friend Amy, from Tomes With Tea  raving about it and it being on my radar for some time.
  • Skin Deep by Liz Nugent – Liz Nugent is one of auto buy authors, whom I just love. I will be buying a second copy of this when it comes out in the US so I can support her as much as I can.
  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, this I was able to get for free from a coworker and I have seen it for quite some time and it seems really interesting.
  • Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill, so I was in need for a book meet a requirement for Care of Magical Creatures-Land animal on the cover in this year I reached out to Amy, from Tomes With Tea,
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama, I have been wanting to read this, but the price was a bit too high for me. I was able to find it on sale and I jumped on the deal.

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So in total I added 14 books to my collection this month. Oops! 

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Are any of these on your TBR?

What book have you acquired or borrowed this month?

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Goals

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In

Reading Goals NEW

I cannot believe a quarter of the year is nearly already over, but you know that means it is time to check into my yearly goals to see my progress and see if I need to adjust myself to reach my goals. If you want to see the entire post explaining my 2019 goals, you can read that post here: Reading Goals | 2019 Edition. Anyway, I thought I would do a brief list of the goals and then I would do a but of commenting on them. I also want to share my updated yearly goals spread in my bullet journal. I am a very visual person so having that in my bullet journal really helps.

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-My Goals-

  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
  2. Read a book set in each of the 7 continents
  3. Read 50 books
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read at least one book per month from the library
  6. Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. Read a book recommended by someone I look up to
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    • My backlisted books are here.

Divider 2-My Updates-

1. At this time I have only read 1 of the 6 books from this shortlist.

Washington BlackWashington 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

2. At this time I have read 2 books for this goal. I have read for North America and Europe. I have picked up three more books for this challenge. Those being Africa, Antartica, and Asia. If you have any recommendations for South America, please share!

3. At this time I have read 19 books, I am 9 books ahead of schedule!

4. At this point in time I have read 9498 pages, so I am nearly a third of the way to my goal. So theory I should be finishing this before the year is out and I am on track.

5. So far I gave stuck to that, at minimum I have read a book a month from the library.

6. Looking at the 19 books I have read this year, a total of 6 books have been non-fiction. So, I am already 50% done with this goal.

7. At this time I have read 0 books for this goal, I did buy Milkman by Anna Burns, but with recent reviews I am a little afraid to pick it up. I have very similar taste in books to one of my friends and she did not enjoy it, I think she told me she DNFed it or struggled to read it.

8. At this time I have read 2 sections of the 17 I set up for the year. I am a bit behind because I focused on reading Monte Cristo with Jenna and put War and Peace on the back burner. I plan on picking it back up in April.

9. As of writing this I am going very well with my backlist. I have 20 books on my backlist, which I am very ecstatic about!

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-Bullet Journal Spread-

Overall, for only being a quarter into the year, I think I am doing very well for myself. I know with the OWLs Readathon coming up I will be getting though many more books as well. Plus, I do a lot of reading in the warmer months of the year and I have plenty of time.

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How are your goals progressing so far? What goals did you get for yourself in 2019?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | March 2019

Recs

Hello everyone, I just wanted to share a few pictures of my bullet journal today. This month I am very much following the theme from this months Boho Berry Box, you can see all the things inside here, Unboxing Boho Berry | March 2019. I really loved the theme and instead of just adding it to another theme or using bits and leaving others I decided to embrace everything and use as much as I could. Here are my March spreads!

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I want to star off by sharing the spread I added to my bullet journal since last month. If you have not seen my posts about me trying to have an indoor garden I till leave that here, Indoor Garden Adventures| January 2019. Anyway, I wanted to make a spread that would help me care for my new plants. As you can see the left is all filled out, but the right I just have a sketch. I am currently waiting for my Queen Pothos to arrive so I wanted to make sure I left room to add, but I love how it came out!


Here is my March dashboard of sorts and my monthly calendar of events. I decided to try using the Faber and Castell Gelatos on these two pages. I really like the colors, but they do not work well on this paper, I blame the paper, it is bad paper! Anyway. I added a few stickers and used washi tape to set the tone of this months theme. Also, sorry for the horrible editing on the picture, I just wanted to keep a few things a surprise!


This month I am using a mood tracker for the first time. I wasn’t quite sure what types of books to add so I picked calm, happy, anxious and sad/mad. If you have any suggestions that you think might work a little better let me know. On the right I added my habit tracker, this month I kept all the categories, but I added crocheting. I am currently working on a baby blanket and I need to get it done by the end of the month. I am hoping having it trackable will help me get my butt in gear.


Here is my tried and true reading/book tracker. I have really been loving this tracker and how visual it is. As you can see I plan on reading, for certain, these three books so I have them already penciled in and color coded.


Here are my chapter trackers for the books I am reading. I have a square for each chapter or section and I have not colored in my total progress into War and Peace and The Count of Monte Cristo yet because when I took these pictures it was still February and I didn’t want to get too far ahead of myself.


On the left is where I plan off of my blog posts, sometimes I plan ahead and other times I don’t it really depends on my mood. At least point I can say I have about a week ahead planned, which works well for me. On the right I have my TBR for March, if you want some more details you can read my post, March TBR | 2019.


This month I added a to do section for those larger projects that won’t really be taken care of on a particular day. I also wanted to give you a little peak into what my dailies look like.

With that, those are the spreads I have added since February, I hope you enjoyed this little peak inside my bullet journal!

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Hauls

Unboxing Boho Berry | March 2019

Unboxing

Hello everyone and welcome to another unboxing! This box has been one I have been looking forward to. I love opening it and seeing all the new things to try and use in my bullet journal. I don’t know about you, but I am always afraid to try new products and pay shipping for a pack of them. This box has really made it easy for me to try something new, but not having to invest in a particular thing. Last month was fun and light hearted with a theme of sending letters, I am excited to see what this month will bring!

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Here is the box that was delivered to my doorstep, always adorable and arrives in great condition.

This is what you see as soon as you open the box up. You always get a card that explains all of the items, but I never look at it because I like the surprise. If there is anything I am unsure of how to use, that is when I look at it.

My first look at all the goodies, I was so excited to see colored crystals or stones. Color choice was so up my alley. I really enjoy these theme much more than last months even though I have not seen everything yet.

Here are the first few sticker sheets I pulled out of the box. The one on the left is a bunch of stickers that you can use throughout your month. One are weekly trackers, others are headers, and quotes. I love adding these throughout. In the middle is a very nice sticker that is made of a different type of paper, it is very sturdy. The last sticker on the right is a mood tracker, which I had never tried before. So I am excited to see if it will work for me or not.

The last two sticker sheets are pretty straight forward. The left is a bunch of stickers that are just stones, which I love to add to the theme throughout the spreads. The one on the right is the monthly habit tracker. I really like how this month there is color already added to these.

This month we were given a few Faber-Castell Gelatoes that went along with the colors used in the stickers, which I appreciated. It will allow my to play with them in a way that will still keep everything related to one another instead of randomly having a spread that doesn’t really flow.

I also am in LOVE with the washi tape this month. I am adding it so nearly everything I can because it is just perfect. I love the colors, the art, and the size of it. Just perfect!

We also received this sparkly blue Jelly Roll pen. It writes really smooth and I was happy to get this, because I have been wanting to try these pens, but not quite ready to invest.

The last little bonus was this beautiful necklace, it is very nice and it isn’t too big or small. It really brings the theme of the month into the real world, if that makes sense?

I decided to do a few swatches of all of the items inside of this months box, apart from the gold. The gold is a paint I picked up myself and put it on the same swatch page in my bullet journal. Anyway, I really enjoyed the Jelly Roll pen, although be warned you have to let it sit for a moment I used it else where and it smudged. The Gelatos did not preform well in my bullet journal, but I think it was more the paper, which I dislike to begin with. I will never guy a bullet journal from this company ever again. The paper is just horrid, especially for the price, but I digress.

I am truly thrilled with this months theme. I don’t normally hold myself to the themes of this box, but this month I am going for it and using it throughout.

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What is your go to bullet journal tool?

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TBR

March TBR | 2019

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Hello everyone, it is a new month. That means I write another TBR that I may or may not stick too. Last month I did not stick to my TBR in the slightest because I was on the verge of going into a book slump and I decided to be a full fledge mood reader instead of reading a mixture of mood and set TBR. Anyway, I feel much better in regards to the possible slump so I wanted to try something new. I decided to post a few polls to twitter to have you, my wonderful readers, to pick my TBR!

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The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Hours (Black Death, #1)

This book has been on my TBR since July of 2018 and it is about time I get to this book. The main reason I ended up with this book was because I got it as an ARC at bookcon. I explained the types of books I liked and I was given this as a recommendation. As soon as they said historical fiction and black plague I said “I’ll take that”. That does not speak well for my interests, but who cares. It sounds perfect.

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Neverworld Wake

This book I am picking up because it was picked by my friend Jenna for our buddy reading group to read this month. I am excited to read this with Jenna, Amy, and Reg and talk about this thriller. As soon as I looked up the description I was so happy about her choice and I put a hold on it through my library at once.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

This was another book I put on the poll on twitter to have others help me pick my TBR. I really loved the first book in the series and I am really hoping to enjoy this one as well. I am also really happy that this one won because I feel like I am reading a lot of big books as of late and this small book I think will break them up wonderfully.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree

I preorederd this book months ago and I really want to get to it sooner rather than later. I am excited for this adult fantasy from an author I have really enjoyed over the years. Also, how can anyone go wrong with a fantasy with dragons?!

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What are you reading this month?

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Hauls

Book of the Month | February 2019

Unboxing

Well, the start of the month is one of my favorite times. If you have Amazon Prime you get to pick a free book through First Reads and I can pick my Book of the Month. I have been a member of book of the month well over a year at this point and I have found some unexpected favorites.

The main thing I love about this subscription is, I get to pick from 5 books or I can skip if nothing sounds interesting. I love having the books curated for me, but also having the power to choose where my money goes. Anyway, I am getting off topic. I wanted to share the book I picked this month.

Also, I am very aware that my previous post Decluttering | Switching to Ebooks, I said I would not be buying physical books. But, I am making Book of the Month the exceptions.

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-My Choice-

Early Riser byJasper FForde

-Description-

Every Winter, the human population hibernates.

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing and it’s your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it’s unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it’s weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from the Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping, and stamp collecting, ensure you aren’t eaten by Nightwalkers, whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you’ll be fine.

Also, I love that they add a unique touch to all their books. There is not way I will ever forget when I picked up this book.” (Source: goodreads)

-Why I picked this book-

The main reason I picked this book is because I have never read anything like this. It kinda felt like that recent movie with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence when they wake up in the middle of space. How eerie and creepy would it be to be awake while the world slept? How would you protect, care for, and function? I also wanted to read science-fiction because it has been a while and I found this to be one that really peaked my interest. Personally, I have a hard time finding science fiction that really excites me. Any recommendations, please share! I just feel like I have not found the right type because I love watching tv shows and movies in the genre.

-Bonus-

I really do love that BOTM puts the month and year the book was from on the books. That way I know how long it has sat on my shelve instead of just thinking it was a month or so ago. For me this is the ultimate memory keeper, but also kick in the butt to read it.

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What did you think of my pick? What is your favorite Science Fiction read?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | January 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Well, here I am to share my first monthly wrap up of 2019. It seems like this month has gone slow, but also thrown by for me. I saw my first snow fall of the season, started playing around with programming and painting once again. I feel refreshed as well as have a drive I have not had in some time. I am not sure why the new year sparked this in me, but it has and I am happy about it.

So, as before, some of these books have been previously shown in Middle Mark | January 2019, but I wanted to post a comprehensive wrap-up. If you wish to skip over the books I already talked about I have no problem with that, but I have quite a few more books I read because I ended up reading 11 books.

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Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

This is a beautiful book, it details so much of the history of magic that influenced Harry Potter’s world as well as a peek into early drafts, edits, and early doodles of the book. Even though I went to the exhibit I still read through this book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. (Originally found here).

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

I absolutely loved this book, I was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking. If you are looking to read a memoir I highly suggest you pick it up. The writing is amazing, there is something about this book that just appalls you, but also inspires you due to the life that Tara Westover has lived. (Originally found here).

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

Best for beginners and those who are not happy with their current bullet journals. If you already have a bullet journal you are happy with you can pass on this book.

For those who are beginners this is a great way to learn about the process and find out what a bujo actually is. It is well organized and I like the take what works for you and leave the rest mentality of the book. (Originally found here).

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

I have read and reread quite a few Sherlock stories. I will admit at this point some stories I will continue to rereading, but others I will never pick up again for one reason or another. Mainly because I did not enjoy the  the thrill of the story. It is a wonderful collection to have. (Originally found here).

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle

4stars

I recently wrote an entire review of this book, you can find that here: REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan. But, I will say overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you. (Originally found here).

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars

5stars

I wrote an entire review of this book, but I will sum it up here. I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel. (Originally found here REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls)

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

3stars

Overall, this was a really good short eerie short story. I can see why it is a classic that people talk about time and time again. But, it also did not wow me like other eerie stories  I have read in the past.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

5stars

This was an amazing read, I am kinda mad at myself for putting it off so the last few months. I really loved the conversation that book brings to the forefront. How it shows a different perspective that I really appreciate being shared with me. I also loved how I could relate tot the it me period this book takes place in. I remember the walkmans, start of the iPods and I really relate to the high prices text messages and minuets used to be. I feel like the mixture of highly relatable aspects as well as seeing a new perspective really  made this such a wonderful book. I highly suggest you picking this up. I feel like I am not articulating myself quite right, but I loved this book.

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

4stars

I really enjoyed the fact that this book had so many voices and talked on so many topics. There was a mixture of playlists, lists, essays, poetry, interviews and more. It was a wonderful read that allowed me to read the thoughts of some people I know, but also expose me to others I will now be looking into their work.

Another thing I loved was the continued reading section where books are recommended and also a section to workout your own thoughts on feminism. This book doesn’t just talk at you, it starts a conversation. (Originally found here).

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

4stars

I really loved how this seemed to be more of an anthropological look at death as apposed to her other book. I really enjoyed how she explored how cultures within the US and around the world pay respect to their loved ones with no judgement. It really is eye opening how we are all the same species, but we have our own ways we pay respect to those we love. It is comforting that we can all find a way to honor those who came before us. I hope to see more writings by her because I have enjoyed both of her books immensely. (Originally found here).

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

5stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took. (Originally found here).

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

4stars

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.  (Originally found here).

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | February 2019

Recs

This month I ended up having to migrate into a new bullet journal, just a month shy of starting a new one in the new year, but I can’t bring myself to waste so many pages. Anyway, I love starting a new bullet journal because, for me, I always end up not using spreads I used constantly in the start and creating something new. I like removing all the fluff and redoing all the things I love and use. So this months installment of my bullet journal you will see the spreads I migrated and then my monthly set up. If you want to see my previous bullet journal and spreads you can find those here.

Supplies I Used

Inspiration From

Boho Berry, @bulletjournaltime, @northernplanner, XOXOKAYMO, and Plant Based Bride.

DividerMy Spreads

Here is the opening of my new bullet journal, I wanted to add a bit more artistic flair to this one instead of jumping right into my spreads. On the right side quote/art Credit: Epooch I ordered a card with this quote on it planning on pasting it inside my bullet journal, but sadly it did not arrive on time so I recreated it. But, I am excited to be able to keep it and put it on my tack board to look at all the time. On the left side I did my best to doodle a bee and some honey comb patterns.

I made a “year” at a glance with only 3 months because my bullet journals really don’t even last a year or even 6 months. Mine tend to last 3-5 months if I am lucky. I use mine for notes and organization so I have many pages of notes and random things. On the right hand side I added a page that I can turn to to easily find the middle of the page and other spacing that might be useful to me.

The layout on the left is a migration of my winter bucket list from my previous bullet journal. I really enjoy this idea, it gives me a little drive to do something fun and different. The righthand side is the migration of my ARC Tracker as well. I have not really changed anything other than adding a downloaded column to keep track of the books I have added to my kindle or my computer depending on the format.

So, I have said a lot of times that I am not a blogger for the numbers or anything like that, I am here to talk books, bookish things and additionally my other hobbies. Well, when I was googling inspiration for a bee inspired layouts I found this tracker and I thought it was so cute with all the honey combs. I wanted to doodle it for two reasons. The first being it was a challenge to draw that shape so many times without messing up and the second being it was so aesthetically pleasing. So I added social media tracking. Each comb has a number and when I reach that number I color the edges in and write the date I met the milestone.

Both of these are buddy reads I am doing currently. War and Peace I am reading throughout the year and Monte Cristo I am cohosting a buddy read with Jenna on instagram [find her account here], if you have read the book or want to jump in and join us we would be thrilled. We are reading it until April and will have discussions every Friday.

These are both migrations as well. On the left-hand side I a cheatsheet to help me come up with blog post ideas. I don’t stick to this layout, but it helps when I need to come up with an idea what types of blog posts I can do without writing a lot of the same thing again and again. On the right-hand side I have my idea daily routine if I didn’t need to do anything.

On the left-hand side you can see my reading goals, you can see I have already made some progress on some of them, which makes me super happy. On the right-hand side I added a date night idea page. I thought this would be fun to add a bunch of stuff to and when my bf and myself feel like we want to do something different, we can just look at this page and do something.

DividerJanuary Spreads

So, with this being the first month in my bullet journal I wanted to stay with the overall theme I started it with. So we are continuing with the bees. The reason I came up with this theme is I watch a youtuber and then I found out she had a separate bee keeping channel, emmymade, and then I fell into a rabbit hole and ended up watching all of the videos from the last year. While I am afraid of bees, I can very much respect them. I am also really jealous of those who are not afraid and can bee keep. It looks like a very rewarding experience.

Here is my monthly habit tracker for this month. This monthly tracker is from my Boho Berry Box and her theme this month was sending letters. Not something I was really into as a theme, but I do love sending postcards. I participate in postcrossing and I love sending postcards all over the world as well as receiving them and learning about those who live in other countries.

On the left-hand side is my book tracker where I color in squares to show how many days I am reading a particular book. It is a wonderful visual tracker that I have fallen in love with over the past two months of trying it. I have gotten rid of my book stack and replaced it with this. On the right-hand side I have my key as well as room to add the book titles. As you can see I am carrying over two books from January so I already added them. I am keeping them the same color so it is more consistent.

This page is another book tracker I have used for months and months. I write the title of the book then underneath I add a square for each chapter or section of the book. When I complete that chapter or section I color in a square. It is like the goodreads precent tracker, but in a notebook.

In this monthly overview I write down all of the blogposts I plan on writing and publishing throughout the month. You will see on the left I have dots next to some of the dates. This is because those are my posting days. This reminds me that I need to get brain storming. On the right side I just write the books I am going to try and read in the month. It is a simple checklist layout. Sometimes simple spreads are just what you need.

Last month I tried a new weekly layout and I will say I absolutely HATED it. I am so happy that this month I get to use my old layout. The other one I did not have enough room to write the items I needed to get done each day as well as appointments I had. I did want to still have room to journal or take notes so, as you can seen below, I added a page here and there that is just meant for notes. I added a simple header at the top of the left page and bottom of the right page.

So there you have it, my February bullet journal. As you can see I have a fun new bullet journal with a new theme and I have kept some of the spreads and others I have dropped  like hot cakes. That is the thing I LOVE about bullet journals, you can keep what works and throw away the rest. As your life changes you can change you bujo.

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Hauls

Book Haul |Boxing Day 2018

BookHaul12:17

So, this will post likely be the last huge haul you will see for some time. I tend to stay away from the website bookoutlet, but boxing day always pulls me in. It is not that the website is bad or anything like that. I just tend to buy more books than I need or ones that are not really on my radar and then months pass and I end up unhauling them. I try not to do that so my wallet is a bit happier. But, every year on boxing day, day after Christmas, I put in an order of books that have piled up in my cart that I have had my eye on for some time. Without more of a delay, here are the books I picked up on Boxing day! Divider

DividerThe Books

The Good People by Hannah Kent

Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent’s startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community.
Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheal, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nora just as rumors begin to spread that Micheal is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nora and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways.

Set in a lost world bound by its own laws, THE GOOD PEOPLE is Hannah Kent’s startling new novel about absolute belief and devoted love. Terrifying, thrilling and moving in equal measure, this follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers. -goodreads

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision. -goodreads

Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson

London was still recovering from the devastation of World War II when another disaster hit: for five long days in December 1952, a killer smog held the city firmly in its grip and refused to let go. Day became night, mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and some 12,000 people died from the poisonous air. But in the chaotic aftermath, another killer was stalking the streets, using the fog as a cloak for his crimes.

All across London, women were going missing–poor women, forgotten women. Their disappearances caused little alarm, but each of them had one thing in common: they had the misfortune of meeting a quiet, unassuming man, John Reginald Christie, who invited them back to his decrepit Notting Hill flat during that dark winter. They never left.

The eventual arrest of the “Beast of Rillington Place” caused a media frenzy: were there more bodies buried in the walls, under the floorboards, in the back garden of this house of horrors? Was it the fog that had caused Christie to suddenly snap? And what role had he played in the notorious double murder that had happened in that same apartment building not three years before–a murder for which another, possibly innocent, man was sent to the gallows?

The Great Smog of 1952 remains the deadliest air pollution disaster in world history, and John Reginald Christie is still one of the most unfathomable serial killers of modern times. Journalist Kate Winkler Dawson braids these strands together into a taut, compulsively readable true crime thriller about a man who changed the fate of the death penalty in the UK, and an environmental catastrophe with implications that still echo today. -goodreads

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

A journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today—guided by the owner himself.

Bestselling author Daniel Tammet (Thinking in Numbers) is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life and able to explain what is happening inside his head.

He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition that gives him the most unimaginable mental powers, much like those portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man.

Fascinating and inspiring, Born on a Blue Day explores what it’s like to be special and gives us an insight into what makes us all human—our minds.  -goodreads

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.– goodreads

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians. -goodreads 

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences. -goodreads

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What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Top 9 Books I Want to Read in 2019

Lists

So every year there are always a few books I am really excited to read. I make it a semi-goal to read them by the end of the year because I have a very good feeling I am going to like them all very much. While a lot of people have been posting the 19 books I want to read, I am going to keep mine at 9 because I don’t want to just throw some books in that I am not nearly positive I will love. So, where are the books I really want to read in 2019!

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange TreeThis is a book I am very much interested in. I have read a few of Shannon’s books in the past and I really enjoy her creativity and her writing. When I found out she was writing a standalone I was very much excited. Between the teasers and cryptic tweets from her as well as the mention of forbidden magic, I was pulled in and I preordered the book.

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller

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

So, this is a little sneak peak or a throw back to my Christmas Haul. I am unsure of when I am actually going to post this so it could go either way. Anyway, I received this from someone at work and I have to say they really surprised me by picking a book I love the sound of. This is a nonfiction account of one of the first women to sue someone of power during the gilded age in the USA. I am curious to see how this topic is handled and if it becomes biased.

The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

This is another book I have preordered and I am excited to get it in the new year. I have always liked Holly Black and I read the first book in this series a few months ago. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would and decided I was going to jump into this continuation. I want to know how two characters in particular deal with one another. I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

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

This is a novel I picked up in my local independent bookstore. I just happened to be roaming and I came across it. This book has a bit of buzz around it and I read the description and I am very much interesting in learning more about the daughter of one of histories more notorious figures. It seems to be pretty straightforward and I am judging on its size is going to be very detailed.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter

I picked this up from Book of the Month a few months ago and I really want to get to it. It seems like a mix between a historical fiction and a thriller and I am excited about it. I mean, I love history and I have been really enjoying thrillers, how can I not like this book? On top of that I have been hearing quite a few wonderful things about it.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

So this book has a very interesting dejcitption. There is mentions of scientists, near death experiences, strangers, and talking trees. While that seems all over the place, it kind of is, but when you read the entire description it sounds a lot better. Anyway, I picked this up on a whim mainly because it sounds like it has to do with nature and protecting the last of the forests on Earth. Plus, how can you not be pulled in when all those things are mentioned in the same description?

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

This is a kinda historical fiction, at least I think it is. It talks about women throughout history doing this they feel they need to for one reason or another. While this is not nonfiction I have heard that they author has done a very good job of bringing a lot of the feelings and events that plagued women during various time periods. I am keen on reading this very soon and I have heard great things.

The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

The Bird's Nest

This is the next Shirley Jackson I really want to read. Last year I have discovered her works and I have enjoyed all and some I absolutely loved! This book seems to follow a girl who is gaining more and more personalities that are more and more extreme. I am unsure if this will be about mental illness or not since the author writes horror and its could be possessions, but I am very curious to find out how Jackson is going to shape this story.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Murder mystery, Freaky Friday, and thriller all mixed into one has me very interested. The description of the book just says there are 8 days and 8 witnesses and the. main character needs to figure out who the killer is by reliving the day over and over again, but from different bodies. I am think this is very clever and interesting way to write a murder mystery/thriller and I am really excited to see how it was executed.

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What book do you want to read this year?

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