Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Try A Chapter January 2020

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to another Try a Chapter post! So looking at my TBR I noticed there were a few books I wasn’t so much drawn to read as of late and I wanted to either unhaul them or reignited my want to read them. So, the best way for me to make a decision is to read a the first chapter of each of these books and decide if I am going to keep them on my owned TBR, or unhaul them and send them to a friend or donate. Now, on to the books!


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Honestly, I felt like skipping ahead and I was only reading the first chapter. Which, for me is a bad sign. I was already bored, which is a huge shame because it sounds really interesting, but it didn’t personally pull me in at all. I am going to unhaul this.

Outside the Gateby Molly Gloss

This is a very interesting take on a Dystopian for sure. It is a quite short story, not even 100 pages, but the way it was narrated it moved very slowly for me personally. With it being so short I thought it would move quickly, but 12 pages felt like 50. I am going to unhaul this one as well.

Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

This shows great potential for me, we are placed right into an event. It flows nicely and it seems more alive than the previously two I tried to read. This seems to feel bigger in a way. I am going to be keeping this one on my owned TBR.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Eh, I didn’t think what I read was bad, but it wasn’t great either. A very middle of the road first chapter. I think I am going to unahul it because honestly I don’t see myself picking it up.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

All I have to say is WOW. This book really starts off with something heart wrenching and devastating. It can be very triggering to some though, trigger warning for suicide. Reading that first chapter, I need to know more about what has happened in this world. Due to this, I am keeping this book on my owned TBR.

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

When you start a book talking about Rigor mortis …. I am going to continue reading it. I don’t know why I even put it in this list, I love Liz Nugent, I think just wanted an excuse to read part of it honestly.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Uh, wow, this book is so imaginative. I don’t want to say too much, but I really want to continue reading this so much so that I am pretty sure it is going to be my next read after my required reading this month. KEEPING!

Winter at Death’s Hotel by Kenneth M. Cameron

This seems like a really interesting read, but I am not pulled into this book. I am not really interested in Mrs. Arthur Conan Doyles wife playing Sherlock. I much prefer Bradley Harpers spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was first gifted a copy for a blog tour, it was great I even bought the second on that just came out a few months ago. As for this one, I am going to unhaul it.

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

It started off too poetic for my tastes and I didn’t really care honestly. I wanted to already start skipping ahead. This book just isn’t for me. I decided to unahul it.

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

I need to oread this right away as well. It really pulled me in right off the bat. It has a palpable atmosphere coming right off the page. I really want to know what happens at Pale Harbor and soon! I am keeping this on my owned TBR.


Keeping: 5

Unhauling: 5

Somehow this ended up being a 50/50 split. I ended up removing 5 books and keeping 5. I have to admit, the ones I am keeping I am really thrilled about getting too again. It is funny how we can be so pumped about a book, but then just leave it on our shelves and almost forget why we got it in the first place.


Have you read any of these books?

Should I give any of them a second chance?

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Hauls

Unboxing | BOTM January 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another post! I am excited to share my Book of the Month this month because I ended up with three books. Oops! Since I am a BOTM BFF ( I have been subscribed for more than 12 month, time flies when reading good books!) I get the to pick one of the Book of the Year Nominations for free as a thank you from them. Then I decided to add an extra book, because I had such a hard time deciding on just one. Anyway, here are the books!


As I said, I had a hard time choosing between two books, these two were Things in Jars by Jess Kidd and The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. Simone St. James wrote the The Broken Girls and I read it last year and I ADORED it, so when I saw another one of her books on here I wanted it. But, I then read the description of Things in Jars. This book is a combination of macabre with ghosts, supernatural elements, but also a Victorian mystery led by female detective. I was sold, so I ended up picking both books, one of thee beauties of BOTM. Now, Recursion by Blake Crouch was my free pick from their Book of the Year finalists. It sounded really interesting and different, so I am also excited to give this one a go as well. Below are the descriptions of all three of the books.


Things in Jars by Jess Kidd Description 

“Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jarsis a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.” –goodreads.com


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James Description 

“The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…” –goodreads.com 


Recursion by Blake Crouch Description 

“Memory makes reality.

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

That’s what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?”- goodreads.com


So there you have it, the three books I received in my January BOTM! I am so excited about jumping in and read these titles this year.

QOTD: Have you read any of these books? Which one would you have picked? Do you subscribe to a book box? If so which one?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Updated Annotating Kit

Let's Talk

Hello everyone! A few / a lot of *months* ago (sorry) I posted a poll on twitter to see if anyone was interested in an update on my current essentials for reading, reviewing, and annotating my books. I will say I was not really anticipating a yes, but it seems like it is something that at least a few people wanted to see. So, without more rambling, let’s get to business!


For a reference moving forward, in my previous post, my essentials were: bookmark, mini notebook, 2 mechanical pencils and post-it tabs. If you want some more detail, you can find that here: Writing | My Reading/Review Kit. I didn’t really have specific pencils or anything, but just whatever was available and I already had.

Over the course of nearly a year and a half I feel like a lot has changed when it has come to my review essentials. I feel like I whittled what I carry around and use because I carry so much around for my work. Since I am always carrying around a ton of things, I really tried to not add more, mainly to ensure I don’t break my back. While obviously a few pens and a mini notebook aren’t heavy, but every little thing adds up. Anyway, here are the things I carry around with me now.

My go to writing implement is no longer a pencil, but a pen. I came into the problem where things were getting smudged and I getting graphite everywhere! I now use a Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pen in the color Salmon. It is a light pink in color, which is a perfect combination of grabbing my attention when I go back to look at my notes, but not enough to be to distracting if I was to reread.

A few of the other things to go are my mini notebook, bookmark, and post it tabs. I realized that the mini notebook was not essential and with the lighter color pen I was able to write my notes in the margin or use a notecard, which I was inspired by Waving Fiction’s post, Why I Use Notecards in My Books. But, I only use a notecard in some books, where I realize I am writing a bit too much to fit on a margin. I do note the page number for my notes if I do use a notecard so I can refer back to a quite if my note doesn’t make sense when I look over them.

The last thing I want to mention is a little addition to my essentials and this would be a mini ruler. I was driving myself crazy with lines that went crooked or I accidentally wrote in the middle of a line, so I picked up a ruler. Now, the one I got is metal, but has cork on the underside so I don’t feel like it could hurt my book any, which is great. The best part is I carry it around anyway because I use one in my bujo too! If you want to check my bujo out, you can look at my spreads and such here: Projects: Bullet Journal.

Thanks so much for reading about my annotating supplies, I know it isn’t as much as it used to be, but this is what works for me! I also hope that this little explanation helps you find what works for you on your reviewing and annotating journey!


Do you have any annotation go to supplies?

Do you write in your books or on something else?

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Reviews

Book Review | Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman by Laura Kate Dale

Book Review.jpg

*Book given by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman
Description: 

“So while the assumption when I was born was that I was or would grow up to be a neurotypical heterosexual boy, that whole idea didn’t really pan out long term.”

In this candid, first-of-its-kind memoir, Laura Kate Dale recounts what life is like growing up as a gay trans woman on the autism spectrum. From struggling with sensory processing, managing socially demanding situations and learning social cues and feminine presentation, through to coming out as trans during an autistic meltdown, Laura draws on her personal experiences from life prior to transition and diagnosis, and moving on to the years of self-discovery, to give a unique insight into the nuances of sexuality, gender and autism, and how they intersect.

Charting the ups and downs of being autistic and on the LGBT spectrum with searing honesty and humour, this is an empowering, life-affirming read for anyone who’s felt they don’t fit in. –goodreads.com

 

 


What I Liked

I have to say, I feel honored by being let into the authors life. This book is very raw, real, and powerful. Her writing pulled me in nearly right away and when I read this, I needed to keep on reading it. This book was really insightful and really gave me an understanding of the trials and tribulations of their live with being transgender as well as having been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

On top of sharing their story, the writing was wonderfully and refreshingly honest. This book faces all of their experiences both positive and negative. The author faces these in writing this story and I give the author a lot of credit for being so open. There were times where I was angry on her behalf at how she was treated. I also cheered with her for every victory she shared. I was very much pulled into the story.

I really don’t want to say much more about this book, I really feel like it is best read without knowing too much about it. I will say, there are very difficult topics discussed in the book, transphobia, suicide, depression, bullying, addiction, assault. So, if these topics or similar topics bother you unfortunately this book might be difficult to read. Please read other reviews and make your own decision, you are the only one who can make this choice for you.


What I Didn’t Like

At times the writing itself was a bit all over the place, but this is more a personal feeling than anything. I can see a lot of people not being bothered by it.


Overall Thoughts

Honestly, I think this is a very powerful book. It is brutally honest, insightful, and I think it is a great book to read to not only learn about the trans community or the autism community, but the life experiences of a very strong person. I recommend picking this book up either from the library, online or your local bookstore.

4stars


Author Links


Twitter: LaurakBuzz

Book Information

Publication Date: July 18th 2019

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

List Price: $18.95

ISBN: 9781785925870

Pages: 192 pages

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2020 Edition

Reading Goals NEW

Hello and welcome to my 2020 reading goals. I am so excited about writing this blog post.  I am not sure why, but I feel like 2020 is going to be an amazing reading year. Like last year, I am going to be keeping my goals pretty general, but also challenging. Some will be repeats, but I also changed a few up as well.


  1. Read a shortlist: Man Booker 2019
    • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
    • Ducks, Newburyport  by Lucy Ellmann
    • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
    • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
    • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
    • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
  2. Read 50 books
  3. Read all backlisted books, 46 books in all
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read 16 nonfiction books
  6. Read 16 books from the library
  7. Read a book from each continent
    • North America
    • South America
    • Europe
    • Asia
    • Australia
    • Antartica
  8. Read a book recommended by Joe Hill or Stephen King
    • The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
    • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
    • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
    • Frankenstorm by Ray Garton
  9. Read a Shakespeare play a month, you can join the fun by going to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.

So these are my goals reading wise for the upcoming year. I am excited to jump in and I am very much motivated. I feel like this year I might have the hardest time with my continent challenge because of needing to find another book that takes place in Antartica. If you have any suggestions let me know!


What are the goals you have for yourself in 2019?

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Goals

Year in Review | 2019 Final Check-In

Year in Review!

Hello and welcome to my little review of 2019. I love these types of posts, being able to reflect and look back on what you have accomplished. This post will be broken down into two parts, the first being reviewing my goals and the second will be my yearly stats, which will be taken from the data given on December 29th. So, with all of that information being packed into this post, lets jump right into it.


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

Yearly Reading Stats

Books Read: 106

Pages Read: 38, 421

Nonfiction: 17

Fiction: 89

Money Saved Using Library:

Average Rating: 4.0

Shortest Book: Quidditch Through the Ages

Longest Book: Death Note All-in-One

Most Popular:Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Least Popular: Independence Haul and the Liberty Bell

Highest Rated on Goodreads: Good Omens

If you would like to see all of the books I read in 2019, you can find all that information over on goodreads here: Bookish Luna’s Year in Review.


Yearly Blog Stats

Views: 13,872

Comments:1,226

Followers: 783

Likes: 3,724

Posts: 148

 


How did you do with your 2019 goals?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | December 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to the last wrap up of 2019. It is hard to believe that New Years Eve is right around the corner and 2020 is about to begin, a new year and decade. Anyway, I wanted to wrap up my reading  year and take this time to wish everyone a wonderful, safe, and happy New Year. I hope all your dreams and goals come true for each and everyone of you. Now, on to the books!


Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women #1)Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a wonderful read, when I opened it I stayed up past my bed time on multiple occasions. I loved the setting and time period this is set in. I also really enjoyed the cast of characters. I am so happy that this is a series.

View all my reviews


Quidditch Through the AgesQuidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun way to jump into the HP world without reading the entire series for the 6th time. I do love seeing these books around, it really makes you feel like you are in the wizarding world being able to read books that existed within it.

View all my reviews


Strange PlanetStrange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this as a gift from my friend, we always send these comic back and forth to one another so it was the perfect gift. If you enjoy the illustrators work already you will continue to enjoy these quirky aliens. I read this fairly quickly and it was got a few giggles out of me. Great book to flip through now and again.

View all my reviews


 

Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and MonstersGreat Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters by Nikita Gill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great collection of poetry from Nikita Gill. I loved that fact she took inspiration from Goddesses, it really felt powerful. Even though she used these well explored characters, she really made them her own. She is still one of the few poets that I genuinely enjoy reading.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

I am currently in the middle of The Fiery Cross  by Diana Gabaldon, it is the 5th book in this series. Since it is so far into the series I don’t want to say to much, but I am enjoying what I have read so far. This is a series I take my time to read, they are truly tomes.

Next on my currently reading list is The Morrigan by Courtney Weber. I picked this up about a week ago and I really am enjoying reading the myths surrounding this goddess. The writing is really well done and the author seems very well researched on not just her own feelings, but feelings of others when talking about this goddess.


Middle Mark Books 2


Wow, I managed to read 11 books this month. I am honestly very surprised since I was in such a slump in Novemeber, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be doing any reading at all this month.

What was your favorite read of the month or year?

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Goals

Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge

Reading Goals NEW

Hello and welcome to a little my little chat about one of my goals for 2020. In the past I have been adamant about hating Shakespeare. I never enjoyed any of his plays that I read, I found them dull and just boring honestly. But, the last time I read one of his works, any of this works honestly, I was always told to read them.

Now, I don’t know about you, but even though I am a book lover and avid reader, the fastest way to not get me to read a book is to make it required. I hate being told what to read. In fact, I didn’t read this much until I went to college, high school made me hate reading because they were never anything that interested me. Now, that is an entire other discussion I can get into another time. For now, let’s get back to Shakespeare.

So, I am not sure why, but I want to give Ol’ Shakespeare  another go and see if my tastes have either changed or simply not making his work required changed me view.

While going to my local indie bookstore I was looking at the classics, my go to there for some reason and I saw a bunch of Shakespeare’s plays. For some reason the idea for this challenge hit me. Currently, I think this is a wonderful idea. In the future, past me might be a huge jerk. Only time will tell. So, this is my plan, every month I will read 1 Shakespeare and review it. Nice and simple right? Wrong, I honestly have no idea what plays might be interesting. I picked up the ones pictured above because A Midsummers Night Dream was one I was able to tolerate reading all those moons ago and the second, Twelfth Night I have never even heard of and I thought I would give it a go.

So, there is my year long classics challenge for myself. If you have a favorite play or work by him please comment below the name and why you liked it. I could really use the help!

Also, I will be starting off with reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, thanks to those who voted for the first month! Also, please feel free to join me in this challenge. It would be a ton of fun to read along with you! In fact, I created a goodreads group so we can all connect and you can see which plays are coming up, you can find that group here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.


Which one of Shakespeare works did you enjoy reading?

Which one did you detest?

Have you read any of his works?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | What I Want From Blogging

LetsTalk12:17

Hello and welcome to this little discussion post! Since it is nearing the end of the year and my wordpress renewal went through I wanted to take this time and reflect on what I truly want from blogging and to check in and see if my motivation for it has changed since I started writing and posting on here.


So, when I first started blogging I was still in college and I had a very different way of life. A lot of the people I went to school with loved to read, but no longer really had the time to read due to our heavy reading loads. My degree was reading and critique heavy, so it is understandable that a lot of my peers didn’t want to pick up a book over reading a text and determining if it biased and how and if sources are right and so on. I on the other hand went to books to relax and still read a decent amount, but not as much as I do now.

I started to blog because I saw other book blogs online and I wanted to jump in on the conversation. I wanted to chat and gush about books I loved and hear what others had to say about their favorite reads of the year, month or in general. I feel like this is why a lot of us started our book blogs, if I am wrong please feel free to correct me.

Now, many years later and out of college my life has changed a lot. I actually have more time to read if I feel like it, I don’t pressure myself to read. If book blogging every did that to me I would honestly walk away. Reading in my hobby and how I enjoy my time, if anything stops that from happening outside of the dreaded book slump, Hello November 2019 Slump I am looking at you, I would stop. Now, I still am here to talk books and hear about others gush about books. I still want to talk to bloggers, I even started a twitter since I started blogging and I am on there all the time.

But, the question is, do I want more? The honest answer is yes. I would love to start a book club or a podcast of sorts. I feel like these would support my overall goal for blogging, connecting and talking books with awesome people. I know reading a blog is not always doable and bookclubs and podcasts are a wonderful alternate option. I also want to have more discussion posts like this, sometimes just reading information about what a person is reading or doing isn’t always inviting to comment on, but preficit it by saying “Let’S Talk”, it seems way more inviting.

Overall, I just want to find new ways to connect to you, my readers and fellow book lovers.


If you blog what do you want out of blogging? Have you ever blogged?

Do you still blog or have you stopped? If you stopped what were the reasons? 

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Hauls

Blogmas | Book Haul | November & December 2019

BookHaul12:17

Hello and welcome to my my book haul for both November and December. I fell a bit behind with my haul last month so I decided to just put everything together. I don’t want to ramble too much, so here are the books I picked up in one way or another!


I received A Christmas Carol through Coffee and a Classic Box, which I have been subscribed too for months at this point. The Queen of Nothing I picked up at Barns and Nobel it is a signed edition because I could not resist.  Bonhoeffer is actually my mothers and I wanted to read it for a while so I am borrowing it from her because she is very supportive in my reading habit. Last, but not least is Gwendy’s Magic Feather which was a pre-order and a sequel to Gwendy’s Magic Box.

Great Goddesses is my latest purchase, I feel like Nikita Gill is one of the few poets I auto buy their works. I decided to pick up two of Shakespeare’s plays for a project I am working on for next year, I decided on Midsummers Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night. You should hear about that project very soon if you have not already. The Light Between Oceans is actually from my library, but I borrowed it this month for my book from Australia read, Bury What You Cannot Take is also for for that challenge, but takes place in China. Last in this pile is The Glittering Hour, this was my BOTM pick for December, if you want to see why I picked this one you can see my post here:BOTM Unboxing | December 2019.

My Best Friends’s Exorcism I picked up from a library sale, I know a lot of people were reading it during Halloween this year so I wanted to give it a go. I finally caved and picked up Alexander Hamilton that inspired the play. I also have my BOTM from November, if you want to know my reasonings you can see that here: BOTM Unboxing | November 2019.

Lastly I have The Morrigan, which is tales of a Celtic Goddess, I have always loved lure and myths so I wanted to explore more. I also picked up a book called Muse with the Moon, which is almost like a reflection activity book that has specific prompts during a particular phase of the moon. You all will be seeing that a lot, I am thinking about starting a series with what I put in that book each month until it is full.


What was your most recently acquired book?

Do any of these books sit on your shelf or have you read them already?

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