Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | August 2022

Hello and welcome to a monthly recap post that takes a look at my reading, crafting, and random things I did this month. This month was a ton of fun and relaxing at the same time. I was able to spend a lot of time outside enjoying the summer weather, but also enjoyed some time cooling off indoors with a good book. Anyway, here are some of the things I was up to this past month!

Reading

Finished The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager, I read this with my friends Jenna and Reg earlier this month. I was slow to get into it, but once I did it went pretty quickly. I think what made it hard to get into was the fact I was not a huge fan of the main character. To be fair they are a untrustworthy narrator because of their drinking very frequent, so I think this was the authors point. Personally, I am kind of sick of this in thrillers. Apart from that I really enjoyed the lake setting, it really lent itself to the story. I was able to clearly picture the scenes from the pages and felt that each person we met had their own personality. I did really enjoy the use of lore in this story, it was interesting and really engaged me in the story.

I am currently in the middle of Maledictions: A Horror Anthology by Cassandra Khaw and I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. I am really enjoying both of them for completely different reasons. Maledictions is a wonderful collection of horror short stories that is great for when I don’t have a ton of time to sit and read. On the other hand I’m Glad My Mom Died is a nonfiction book written by a now grown child actress sharing her story. With this book, I really enjoy being able to dedicate time to reading it.

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

Textured socks on sock blockers with contrasting heels and toes.


This month I ended up finishing a complete pair of knitted socks! I decided to follow a pattern this time around instead of doing a plain sock, I ended up using Picnic Blanket Socks by Helen Stewart. All her patterns are just wonderfully broken down line by line with stitch counts and % progress shown. They are really great patterns for when you are trying as new technique and want more than just the section ending count. These were a ton of fun to make, the texture was super easy and I can’t wait to wear them this winter.

Gray cropped tank top with bows on the straps


The second item I completed this month is the Georges Top by Johanna Gehrisch. I have some mixed feelings about this pattern. While I was making it I came across some things that I would change if I were to make this again. I would complete the bottom section on the round then pick up stiches to do the shaping. I also had to do ribbing around the bottom so the bottom did not curl, if done again, I would do a folded hem, the only reason I did not this time was because I didn’t know if I would have enough yarn. When finishing this pattern, at the time of making it, there was not a lot of guidance, did not tell me how far up to stich the halves together. I ended up guessing the the section I would do in the round in the future, well turns out I needed to do it higher for this items to sit correctly. Some guidance would have been helpful in that regard. Do I like this item? Yes, I do. Would I make it again. No, idea. I really loved the pattern, but having the lack in support towards the end was a bit of a turn off. If I did make it again I would remove the bows and make it longer as well as the changes I mentioned above.

Life

Kindle on table and dog sitting by feet of the reader

This month I was able to get a new ereader, if you want some more detail you can see my post called; My New eReader. Overall, I am loving using this, I take it everywhere and I really feel like I get more reading done. Yes, even though I only finished one book. Also, because it is not a computer screen I feel a difference in my eyes, they don’t feel as fatigued after a longer reading session.

mentioned tweet and described four items, Saraya Shawl, Anker’s Summer Shirt, Kari Shawl, Socks.

A milestone I really wanted to celebrate is the fact that August marked one year of knitting. I did a post over on my twitter celebrating it as well. It is so hard to believe I have only been knitting for a month and have created things I never thought I would be able to and have fun challenging myself. Some of the more notable ones include a red textured and cabled shawl called the Saraya shawl, a textured brown shirt called Anker’s Summer Shirt, a gray shawl with eyelet details on the edge called the Kari Shawl and lastly some socks I am very proud of with contrasting heels and toes that I made from memory based on a vanilla sock pattern.

Rock beach next to the woods and water

One of the most relaxing things I did this month was taking walks outside and just enjoying nature. While there were some VERY hot days, it was great to just get out and walk on the days it wasn’t too bad or in the morning or evening. I took the above picture on one of my walks.

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | February 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a book haul for February. This month was really great for my book buying and I am thrilled about that. I love when I read more books than add to my TBR. But, because I picked up so few books, I am really, really happy about the ones I did decide to add to my shelves. Anyway, here are the books I decided to add!


The Last Negros at Harvard by Jeanna Ellsworth and Kent Garrett, I picked this up at my local bookstore, but I had heard about it on twitter and thought it was a very interesting story. I really want to know the experiences of these very brave and intelligent men who attended Harvard during a time described as “between integration and affirmative action” in the description.

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, this was my BOTM pick for February. It follow a very young family who have traveled from to the US from Bogotá and stay longer than their visa allows because they want what is best for their family. It follows them as they move from place to place and the stress and hardships that follow.

What Would Frida Do? by Arianna Davis, I am going to be honest here, I don’t know too much about Frida and I saw this on BOTM so I decided to add it to my box this month. This is a nonfiction book about the artist and I have heard that you can really read the passion the author has for this prominent figure. It seems to not just talk about her art, but her life as a whole.

Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom, I have had this book on my to buy list for a very long time and I finally came across it in the bookstore so I picked it up. This is a grim book, but I find it to be a very interesting topic. This book dives into the history of books bound in human skin. The author, who is a librarian, goes through the myths and legends and uses science to see if the books that are claimed to have been bound in human skin, really are.

This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch, I picked up this thriller for a series on my blog called, Someone Picks My Books. I don’t want to say too much, but I did post the review for this book already so you can find that here, Someone Picks My Books | Nicky from @cre8ive_nicky | This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch.


What book have you recently added to your shelves from the library or the store?

What book have you recently read?

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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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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

This month has been a really interesting reading month for me. I feel like my reading was all over the place, but at the same time not. I have read a lot of non-fiction or very large books the past few weeks, with only a sprinkling of thrillers from a buddy read and a novel from one of my 2019 reading challenges.

I am not quite sure why I tended to read a lot about Russian history or Russian influenced books, but I think I was really craving non-fiction and historical fiction. As to the big books, I think I have been in a mood to just pick up a book and just dedicate myself to reading it and really absorbing it, not just reading something and flying through it. Either way, I am really happy with the books I have read this month, without more of my ramblings and reflection, here are the books I read!

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wonderfully written non-fiction account of the daughter of one of the worlds most notorious men. It was really enlightening to read about her relationship with her father for a few reasons. The first being it really gave insight into Soviet Russian elite, which to me seemed to not be so different with how the elite lived under the tsars, and how Stalin was as a husband and a father.

I also liked how this novel tracked her life following the death of her father and beyond. I think it was a very good nod to her because it seemed like she tried hard to be seen as her own person and this novel really does just that.

As I said earlier, this is well written. The style of writing is story like with a great deal of information, I think this is great for those who want to read more non-fiction but are intimidated by books being to “academic”. In addition to this, the organization and execution of this biography is wonderful. The flow was very natural and I never felt like I was jumping around in her story, even though we cover an entire lifetime in a single book.

This book also inspired me to look into Svetlana’s own books about her story and also read more from this author.

View all my reviews


BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her story in her own words. If you have any interest, I highly recommend.

View all my reviews


Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very thought out thriller and I can really appreciate that. I just wish one aspect of the story was more explored throughout the novel. While this was a well planned thriller, it is by no means bad, but it also isn’t one of my top ones.

The story will keep you on your toes and just like the dust jacket says, if you think you can guess the ending. I think your guess most likely will be wrong.

View all my reviews


The StandThe Stand by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am still surprised I was able to finish this book in a single month, but I am so happy that I read it. While it was long, I was not once bored and I never wanted to skip a particular part.

Overall, I really liked the wide array of characters in this novel. I was expecting to get them all confused and turned around, but they are so distinct and their motives for their actions are always true to them so I did not have a problem keeping them all straight. There were characters in here that I cried for and I cheered for. There were those I did not care for in the slightest. It really is interesting to see all the different ways humans deal with something like this.

I really enjoy this type of story from king, it is a mixture of ghosts, monsters, but also human nature and what it could be. Making is just enough real to make you uneasy. Also, whenever anyone sneezed I got anxious. I had to laugh at myself a bit, but according to the Stephen King subreddit, I am not the only one who this happened to.

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Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to read my review of the following books, please see my post; Middle Mark | May 2019.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 38

Current Backlist TBR: 9Divider 2

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up: January 2017

2

jan17

5 star reads:

This book has a mixture of beautiful pictures and words that will leave you thinking about the world you live in.


4 star reads:

Volume two left me on the edge waiting for Vol 3, don’t want to share much because it is the 2nd volume, but there is a lot going on. All I have to say is if you like action and fun pick it up.

This book was just the right mixture of creepy and interesting. I read this book in a single day. If you like books that are creepy, eerie, or are a commentary on the human soul pick up this book!

This collection of poetry was enjoyable and I nearly loved every single one.

This was a fun sequel to The Rosie Project, I will say at times it seemed like the characters weren’t acting like themselves. Don’t let that stop you from picking up this short series, I throughly enjoyed it. I was connected to the characters throughout both books and was always cheering for them to get a happy ending because there were quite a few hiccups.

The Grownup is fun and fast paced, it really made me think. I have to say the ending to this book messed with my mind a bit. I highly recommend this thriller since it is short,”fun”, and under 100 pages.


3 star reads:

I picked this up mainly to learn more about Stephen King, it was a mixture of his life and writing advice. I personally did not pick it up for the writing advice, while it is very good, it broke up the story of his life for me.

This was a mixture of short letters in the last few days of WWII. Some of the letters were very enjoyable while others didn’t really tell me much about life at the end of the war. Some just happened to be written then, but did not discuss it.


2 star reads:

I have learned something about myself this month, I do not enjoy love poems. If you love…love poems it would be a nice little collection to add to your TBR. Side note, without the dust jacket it is gorgeous!


1 star reads:

The story was disjoined and just ridiculous. I did not enjoy at all.


 

Well, those are the books I read in January. I have to say I am proud of what I read especially since this month was very busy for me. I hope you all had a great reading month as well.


What did you  read this month and which was your favorite?

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