Hauls

Book Haul |Boxing Day 2018

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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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Goals

Reading Goals | 2019 Edition

Reading Goals NEW.jpgI still cannot believe I am writing the year 2019, it feels so weird to be thinking we are kinda close to 2020 which used to be put in the titles of so many futuristic and science fiction shows, movies, and such. Anyway, as always I set goals for myself each year and then we see what happens as time progresses. Last year I did not follow through on all my goals, but I am still proud of what I accomplished. This upcoming year I am excited about the things I am going to try to do.

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  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
    1. Reading Goals |Reading a Shortlist
  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
    1. Lists | Megan Mullally Book Recommendations
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
    1. Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    1. My backlisted books are here.

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Bonus Bujo Spread!

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There you have it, my 2019 goals. While they are not too over the top I think they are the right amount of challenging and put me out of my element as well as not to over ambitious like I was with the Pop Sugar challenge I tried to do last year.

What are the goals you have for yourself in 2019?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | January 2019

Recs

So this month I decided to try a new weekly layout and added a few new spreads. I am curious if I will actually be using a lot of the things I added or they end up being some pages that I doodled with high hopes. Either way, I am really digging the peach color currently so I decided to use that as my color of the month. One thing I have noticed is that I do not like to use a bunch of different colors as ascents throughout my monthly spreads. So, I am going to do my best to keep to one color a month, apart from my book tracker that depends on using different colors.

I wanted to note that I took inspiration from Boho Berry and a few different youtubers. Regrettably, my screen shots were taken on full screen view so their usernames were not in the image like I thought they would be to credit. If you know the channels please let me know, I feel awful. I thought I had their names in the screen shot, but no, I stink.

Anyway, here is my bullet journal and the new things I tried for the new year.

P.S. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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So this month instead of making an entire calendar that I don’t really end up using past setting up my weekly spreads. I decided to put in a little less effort and do a Monday start quick look on the left and a line to write what I need to write on the right hand side. This can include events, birthdays, or whatever I want.

On the left hand side I wanted to start really taking a look at my daily activity. I always feel like I don’t have time, but I think that is because I waste a lot of it. I want to sketch out my idea week day on the left and my ideal weekend day on the right in pencil. From there I want to try and follow it to the best of my ability and see if that helps me find some extra time to do something new.  On the right I am also trying a habit tracker which is something I have tried in the past and stunk at because I always kept forgetting to track my data. With this big picture addition and something I added to my weekly spread I am excited to see if I can finally be consistent.

So, this is a layout I tried out last month for the first time, I pretty much picked this up from BookandLala. I ended up loving this idea a lot more than I thought I would so I decided to bring it back again this month and I decided to drop the doodled stack of books. While, it was beautiful, it didn’t really give me the data I wanted, this on the other hand have me a lot more information about my reading habits.

Here is my December one completed for reference, one thing I learned was that I needed to carry around a few different colors of highlighter with me so I can fill this out in a more pleasing manner. I ended up having to use dots and lines, which don’t look great, but not what I prefer.

So once again on the left I have my monthly overview where I plan all of my blog posts and I put a dot on the dates that I normally schedule, those I come up with ideas first. I always end up posting more for one reason or another, but I like some consistency. On the right I have my TBR for January. I have a few idea of what books I am going to read next month, but I have not declared them just yet.

Now, I am trying a new weekly spread this month. I have no idea if it will workout for me or not, but it is worth a try. I made my daily’s a bit smaller and left room on the left and write to add tasks that are not day dependent or notes. I put a small tracker in the top left because I know I will be on this page a lot more than the monthly tracker. I figured at the end of the week I can move the data from my weekly to my monthly so I can see a bigger picture without going back and forth each day.

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I don’t know if it is just the new year, but I am really excited about this months spreads and color choices. Once again I want to say have a wonderful New Year and I wish each and every one of you the best in 2019.

What bullet journal spread is you must have each month?

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Goals

Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019

 LetsTalk12:17 So, since the year is coming close to an end I am starting to think about the things I want to accomplish in 2019, it feels so weird typing that. So this is one of the first of many posts that are going to be talking about the things I want to do in 2019 and I hope you enjoy. This will not be the only post about this specific book, so look forward to that!

So in 2019, I really wanted to read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy for a few reasons. The first being I read Anna Karenina in 2018 and I have been loving it more and more as time passes. The second I find Tolstoys writing so be beautiful. The last reason being is it on nearly every “100 Books to Read in a Life Time” lists. So this year I decided it was going to happen. Do this year I decided I was going to break up the book so I can read about a section every 3 weeks and finish in December. I am lucky enough to have friends who want to join me and you can see by the following tweet we are all excited about this year long endeavor.

I think the main reason why I am so exited about this endeavor is because I have made the book manageable by breaking up the book and spread it out throughout the year of 2019. This book is huge, that is one of the reasons it has taken my such a long time to get to it. I thought since I made this book manageable for me I would share the schedule I came up with with all of you.

War and Peace Document

What was the last classic you read?

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Goals

Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist

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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