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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Reviews

REVIEW | Caleb’s Window by John J. Siefring

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* I received this book from the author for free in exchange for an honest review.*Caleb's Window

Description

Born in the village of Easkey, Ireland just before World War II, Cara Brannan dreams of becoming a nurse and starting a new life in America. Her mother, an Irish suffragette, encourages Cara to set goals and be fiercely independent. She moves to Dublin and begins nurses training at Saint John’s Hospital, forging friendships and encountering obstacles as a young single woman. Then she meets Aiden Whyte. Like-minded, Cara and Aiden join forces, marry, and journey to the States as newlyweds.

Welcoming their son Caleb into the world, Cara embraces motherhood. As a new mother and nurse in New York City, she struggles, facing class conflict, gender discrimination and career barriers, as well as loneliness. Cara endures because of her strength of character, compassion, and an irrepressible joy of life.

As Caleb comes of age, it’s his turn to carve out a place for himself during the late 1960s—a time of turbulence, protest, and incredible change. He finds New York to be a challenge but filled with opportunity.

Caleb’s Window will quietly move into your heart and mind, remaining long after you turn the final page.–goodreads.com

What I Liked

The first thing I really noticed about the this book was the characters. His characters are so strong and really drive the narrative. First we have Cara who is strong, brave, and just a very great character. She really is is stubborn when it comes to what she wants and I admire that about her. Later on we meet Caleb and he too is a very definitive character. I really wanted to have even more time exploring his story.

The authors writing was done very well. Not only was the plot great, but it for flowed very nicely. I really liked how the story was character driven, but not forced for the sake of growth. The plot felt genuine and like the characters would actually do the things that they did.

I also really liked that this story was not just about Cara or Caleb, but it was generational and a lot of world events were covered and discussed. I thought that really added to the story since you get to see the affect choices had later on down the road.

What I Didn’t Like

The one real fault I had with this book was the last section of the book just seemed to go a tad bit to quickly. While, it was not so fast that the story was lost, but it was just so fast. I wanted more time and to explore the story a bit.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I have to say that this was a wonderfully written book. The author really has talent when it comes to writing. The story was filled with emotion and I found myself drawn to the characters. This book is a great book if you are looking for a generational story dealing with some major historical events such as WWII.

4stars

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Author Links

John J. Siefring

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Book Information

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: February 12th 2018

List Price: $10.99

ISBN: 9781984032195

Pages: 274 pages

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Tags

Tag | Ranking Harry Potter Books & Characters

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I was tagged by Whitney to participate in a week long celebration in honor of 21st anniversary of the UK release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. This was created by  Margaret from Weird Zeal. Today I am combining day 2 and 3 of the tag. For day 2 you are asked to rank the books from your favorite to your least favorite. On day 3 you are asked to name your top 7 characters.

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  • Link back to one of Weird Zeal’s posts so she can see that you’re taking part!
  • Tag your friends and tell them to join in as well!
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Harry Potter Book Ranking

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsDivider

My 7 Favorite Harry Potter Characters

Teddy Lupin – Amazing professor and is so positive even though what happened to him.

Rubeus Hagrid – I mean, he has the biggest heart I have ever heard of.

Nymphadora Tonks – She is just awesome in my book, but a Hufflepuff!

Fred Weasley &George Weasley – They are just good ol’ trouble makers with golden hearts.

Severus Snape – I love the complexity and the divide dealing with this character, just makes me think a whole lot.

Minerva McGonagall – Awesome witch, total role model.

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What Harry Potter book was your favorite?

What character is the most memorable to you?

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TBR

TBR | EBOOKATHON

ToBeRead12:17Surprise! I am taking part in a readathon taking place from May 27th-June 2nd. I came across a post on Victoria’s blog announcing she is hosting a readathon with Brookesbooknook where all you do is read ebooks that have been piling up on an ereader. Since I have a thing where I always buy discount ebooks and then totally forget about them, I thought it would be perfect. Here is my TBR for the readathon!

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Challenges

  1. Oldest book on your e-reader
  2. Ebook you got for free
  3. Ebook you forgot about
  4. Daily deal impulse buy
  5. Free choice

 

My TBR

It Starts Like This: a collection of poetry by Shelby Leigh

It Starts Like This: a collection of poetry

A powerful poetry and prose collection about the journey through love, loss, healing, and hope. This book is for anyone who loves deeply, has bad days, and searches for happiness in the world around them. It is for those who have been hurt and have the scars to prove they’re still alive. -goodreads.com

Go: A Coming of Age Novel by Kazuki Kaneshiro translated by Takami Nieda

Go: A Coming of Age Novel

As a Korean student in a Japanese high school, Sugihara has had to defend himself against all kinds of bullies. But nothing could have prepared him for the heartache he feels when he falls hopelessly in love with a Japanese girl named Sakurai. Immersed in their shared love for classical music and foreign movies, the two gradually grow closer and closer.

One night, after being hit by personal tragedy, Sugihara reveals to Sakurai that he is not Japanese—as his name might indicate.

Torn between a chance at self-discovery that he’s ready to seize and the prejudices of others that he can’t control, Sugihara must decide who he wants to be and where he wants to go next. Will Sakurai be able to confront her own bias and accompany him on his journey? -goodreads.com

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters

Hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield.

Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car. Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century. -goodreads.com

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, Yves Bigerel, Michael Avon Oeming

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers

The Guardians of the Galaxy are imposing a new rule: Earth is off limits! What has made this world so important? Join Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Iron Man and more as they fight the foes no single planet’s heroes could withstand! -goodreads.com

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time. -goodreads.com

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Are you taking part in the readathon?

What ebook have you ben putting off?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2018 | 1st Quarter Review

Reading Goals

Since the third month of the year is coming to a close, that means it is time to check in with my yearly goals for my reading and my blog. I cannot believe that we are already a quarter of the way through 2018. I feel like this year is just flying by. Anyway, without further delay here are the updates on my 2018 goals!

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Update my blog post headers

I am happy to say that I have redesigned all of my banners and post headers. I love how them came out. This is one is a check!

Read 50 books

Currently I am ahead of schedule on this goal by 7 books. Woohoo!

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Read 30,000 pages

I am currently at 6519 pages. So that means if I continue on this path I will have 26,076 pages by the end of the year. So while I am making great progress I need to up my reading a bit, but I will admit this does not include books I am currently in the middle of so I might actually be on track. I guess we shall see.

Try new things

I think I am doing good with this one as well. I have started a few new series on my blog. The first being Operation Find a Hobby where I try a bunch of different hobbies to see if I like them or not. I also started a series where I have others pick out the books I add to my TBR.  If you wanted to see what I have tried so far or added to my TBR I shall link them below.

Operation Find a Hobby

Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction

Operation Find A Hobby | Embroidery

Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle

_____ Picks My Books

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books

Complete the 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge

I would say that so far I am doing pretty good with this goal. I have 16 down and only 24 more to go according to my spreadsheet.

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How are your 2018 goals going?

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Hauls

Book Haul | June & July 2017

Book Haul

The past two months I have accumulated a bunch of new books. Some I bought myself, some were gifts, and some I received from authors and publishers. Without further delay here are the books from I picked up in June and July.

I Bought

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

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EleanorRoosevelt, Vol 1 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

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EleanorRoosevelt, Vol 2 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

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Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

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Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat

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Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

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Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

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Joyland by Stephen King

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The Nix by Nathan Hill

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Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat

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Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

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Gifts

EleanorRoosevelt, Vol 3 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

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First Tycoon by T.J. Stiles

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Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic

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Received from Authors & Publishers

Eye of the Storm by Frank Cavallo

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A Sea of Straw by Julia Sutton

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Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

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 What is the last book you bought or picked up from the library?

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Tags

TAG | “Keep it Fresh” Award

Tag Tuesday

I was nominated by Audrey over at audreywritesabroad, thank you!

Rules

  1. Post the rules before starting and link back to this post as a reference for other bloggers.
  2. Part AAnswer each of the fruit questions, explaining why you thought that particular book deserves that particular fruit.
  3. Part BChoose your favorite fruit (even if it is one of the fruits in part A). Come up with a question that we didn’t ask and answer it.
  4. Part CCreate your own smoothie from the fruits in Part A (imagine a Lemon-Tomato-Apple smoothie ~ yuck), and find a book that would correlate to your smoothie!
  5. Nominate as many and anyone that you think are deserving of this award!
  6. Notify your nominees of the nomination.
  7. The most important rules? Have fun and of course, keep it fresh!

Part A

1. Strawberries – Name the sweetest book you’ve read. (e.g. sweet in terms of the characters or if the story takes place in a sweet world… etc.)

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2. Coconut – What is a book that you would bring on vacation with you to a tropical destination? (Or if you’re just relaxing at the beach…)

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3. Pineapple – What is a book that you didn’t think you would like by judging its cover/summary/the first few pages but started to grow on you?

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4. Orange – What’s the juiciest book you’ve read? (e.g. A book with tons of action, romance… etc.)

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5. Watermelon – A watery book (e.g. There wasn’t tons of substance to the book/the details were just too watery, etc. Don’t get us wrong though, we love watermelons!)

I honestly, I don’t know what to pick for this one!

6. Dragonfruit – What’s the most unique book you’ve read? (e.g. Unique in writing style, characters, plot … etc.)

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7. Lemons – Name a book that made you feel sour. (e.g. The emotions were just sour, you just felt sour reading the book, or the book includes sour characters… etc.)

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8. Tomato – What is a wonderful book that you think should be more widely known? Or a fantastic author whom you think deserves more recognition? (Since some may not know that tomatoes are actually fruits!

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9. Apple – Name a really stereotypical book of a certain genre just like apples which are typical fruits. In the end was that book good or not? (e.g. A very typical contemporary/fantasy book… etc.)

This was a typical Stephen King book that was very enjoyable. 22055262

10. Blueberries – Name a book that made you feel blue. (Any sad, depressing books that you’ve read?)

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11. Grapefruit – Any bitter books? (e.g. a book that was blue but MORE … do you have any bitter resentments towards characters from a book? Any sour turned bitter emotions? Any uber-hateful villains?)

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12. Limes – Name a funny book that you’ve read because limes add flavour and so does humour with every book.

Oddly enough, I have not read a funny book so far this year. I need to remedy this quickly.

Part B

Create your own. 

Peach – Name a books that was just peachy/excellent.

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Part C

Smoothie: Strawberry + apple + orange + pineapple + blueberry.

I loved Audrey  answer so I am going to take it, sorry Audrey! I am picking the Harry Potter series as whole because it made me feel many emotions throughout the series, and because Smoothies are amazing and so is the series.

Nominees

Lovelene from thesetrappedwords

Plus anyone who would live to do this tag!

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Goals

Reading Goals | Mid-Year Check-In

Reading Challenge

In March I did a quarter of the year check in on my goals to see if I was either on track or falling behind. Since seeing everyone post their mid-year check-ins, I thought it might once again be a good time to revisit my own goals to see if I am on track.

Top Five Book I Want to Read in 2017

At the start of the year I picked 5 books off of my TBR I wanted to get to this year the most. You can find the post here. I am happy to say I achieved this goal I have read every book I picked. You can find a review of most of those books in my #TBRTakeDown Wrap Up. Since I did so well with this I think I want to add another 5. So here are my new choices.

Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

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Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol 1, 1884-1933 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

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Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

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Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat

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Giving Up on Series/Books I Am Not Enjoying

Check! If feels so good to just let go of a book I am not enjoying.

Becoming a More Critical Review/Reader

This is more of a reflective goal than a goal you can actively seek such as page count or books read, but I felt it was important for me to become more critical. In the past where I have read if a book made me happy it was automatically 5 starts even if it was not my favorite. I have to say that this year I have become less of a passive reader and have taken time to reflect on my reading THEN rate/review the book.

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Get to 0 by 2018

This goal is something I am having trouble with. At the start of the year I had 26 books on my TBR, which was great for me because it was well over 100 in the past. Currently, I have 34, but I have read 46 books so far this year. In theory I have read more than the books that were in my TBR, but I am not sure what happened. There are to many good book sales plus I went on vacation and picked up about 5-6 books. I think I am going to go on a Book Buying Ban or Read 5 to Get 1. I really crave the idea of walking into a bookstore of library and picking up a book and reading it then and there without adding it to a pile.

Post On My Blog at Least Twice a Month

Check!

Organize My Goodreads Shelves

Check! You can see all of my Goodreads shelves on my post  TAG | The Goodreads Tag.

Goodreads Reading Goal

I set this years goal at 50, which I do every year. I am very much on track having read 46 books so far this year.


How is your reading year going?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY | TBR JAR

diyHello everyone, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t know what to read next. Most of the time I pick my next read based off of what catches my eye, but sometimes that does not work. So I decided to make a TBR jar. Now of course I went to youtube to get some inspiration. I ended up getting inspiration from J. Bookish , although I did tweak it a bit because I did not want to wait overnight for it to dry. Now on to the DIY project!

Step One: Get the Supplies

 photo IMG_9761_zpsxld37w9d.jpgYou need a jar, Mod Podge, gel food coloring, a few paper plates, a paint brush, and any decorations you may want. I picked up wooden letters and a few small paper flowers. Depending on the decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun or super glue.

Step Two: Add Some Color


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For this step you are going to take your jar and add some Mod Podge, I recommend adding more than you think you will need. Then add a little bit of the gel food coloring. For the coloring I suggest starting off with a little and mixing it, then you can add more if you would like the color to be darker. Stir, stir, stir until everything is evenly mixed. This is important because it will show later on if it is not mixed correctly. P.S. don’t stir to quickly you will get air bubbles.

Step 3: Turn That Jar!

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Now that your color is mixed you need to slowly rotate while slowly turning it side ways. This will evenly distruble the mixture inside the jar. If done to quickly you may have uneven coverage and air bubble.

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Once your entire jar is covered continue to rotate it and pour the extra color mixture onto a plate. Get as much of this out as you can because it will speed up your drying time.

Step Four: Let it Dry

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When as much of the liquid is out you place it upside down on a plate. Now at this point you have two options:

  • You can leave it like this and let it dry over night and continue tomorrow
  • Set oven to warm or 175 degrees F. Place the jar upside down for 10 min. on top of wax paper or foil. When those 10 min. are up it is now time to flip your jar over so the opening is facing up and keep in oven for another 20-30 min. If you take it out of the oven and there is still streaking you may need to leave it in for a bit longer.

While it is air drying or you are baking it in the oven now is a great time to either print and cut out the books on your TBR or hand write them. Even though I did not add reading challenges I think that could also be a fun idea.

Step 5: The Fun Part, It’s Time to Decorate!

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Here are a few of the decorations I picked up, you can get whatever it is you like. I did not end up using everything.

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Sorry you cannot really see the color of my jar in this picture. I had to place it on an oven mitt to protect my floor. Yes, I was to lazy to wait over night, I wanted to decorate! Anyway, I suggest planning out what you are going to place on your jar. As you can see in the top left I picked out my letters and flowers and laid them out. Now depending on what decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun, use some more of the glue we used earlier, or you have picked something that already has adhesive on it.

Step Six: Put in Your TBR Titles

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Here is my final TBR jar. I really love how the color came out. It is light enough you can see all the papers inside, but dark enough that it colorful. I hope you enjoyed this little bookish DIY. I love this DIY because it is so customizable and does not require a lot of supplies. It can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it.


Do you have a TBR jar?

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Tags

T5W | July 5th|Books Without Romance

Blog

In the past I have never done Top 5 Wednesday, but this week I decided to give it a shot. This week the prompt asks us to list the top five books without romance or have a tiny bit of romance. I went to the Top 5 Wednesday goodreads group to get this weeks prompt. You can also find all of the prompts for this upcoming month.

Jackaby by William Ritter

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I cannot speak more highly of a book/series. I love Jackaby and all the other cast of characters. Now, this book has some lingering eyes, but it barely even in the book. I will say there are a lot of people who want to see some of the characters shipped, but there is no romance in this book. Just  glorious supernatural adventure.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

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Sabriel is way to busy trying to save her father Mage Abhorsen in the Old Kingdom. She is dealing with free magic and a companion that might not actually be on her side to worry about a true romance.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

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This books is a wonderful story. Honestly a must read in my opinion.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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This is one of my favorite books. A high fantasy adventure following Bilbo Baggins. There is magic, orcs, elves, an angry dragon and much more…apart from romance.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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This books main focus is on Jonas and his internal struggle becoming Receiver of Memory. Being given this role causes him to question the society he has grown up in.


Can you think of any other books without romance?

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