Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Indoor Garden Adventures|February 2019

More Than Books

Welcome to the second month of my indoor garden adventures, if you missed the first installment where I introduce the first terrariums I set up, Indoor Garden Adventures | January 2019. This installment I will update you with how the seedlings are doing and share a new addition I have added to my garden. I will say starting this in January might not have been the best start since I have been trying to keep the temperature nice and warm for my plants, but it has been so cold. Anyway, here are the updates!

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Updates

So, sadly I have an update that is not so good. Then a bit of an upgrade for one of my established plants The first bit of news is my air plant was damaged during shipping. Seemed the heat pack was too hot for the little plant and it was too stressed. I honestly felt horrible. As soon as I noticed something was wrong I thought I already did something to the plant. Turns out I personally did not, but the shipping did not go so well. I was sent a replacement plant, which arrived 2/29/19 and it seemed to be be in better condition. It felt like it had more heft to it and was brighter in color.

The second bad news, well not sure if I should call it bad news… my seeds never sprouted like I suspected they wouldn’t. This is true for my outside gardening as well. I can never do seed starters, but if you give me a baby tomato plant I will grow it larger than myself, yes that actually happened to me last year. My plant became bigger than me. I am still not sure how I pulled it off, but I have a green thumb somewhere it seems.

Also, I am happy to say that I have had an aloe plant for years. Sadly it is not able to live in my room because it needs more natural light than it can get in my room with the window I have. Anyway, it has gotten so big! It has 3 pups growing off of it now and I thought it was time to give it an upgrade! I am hoping it does well with the new pot and continues to thrive.

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Additions

So, while I was waiting for my replacement air plant I ended up picking up a grow light for my plants. I wanted them to get as much sunlight as they needed and the weather has been not so great the past month. Every day seemed to be overcast and dark. So I picked up a cheaper one and I am hoping that will help the little ones.

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What is your favorite plant or flower? Do you have a garden, indoor or outdoor?

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TBR

March TBR | 2019

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

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The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Hours (Black Death, #1)

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

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Neverworld Wake

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

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

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

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

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree

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

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What are you reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | February 2019

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After reading so many books in January I was bound to read less this month for two reasons. World became really, really busy and I was overwhelmed and the month is only 28 days long. Three more days I feel like I would have read more, but oh well there is always next month.

Even though I did not feel like I read a ton, I did manage to read 4 books, so a book a week is not bad at all. Three of those books were taken right off of my TBR while the fourth was one I reread. So, not to shabby over all. Without more rambling and me wishing I was able to read more, here are the books I read this month!

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In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at YorktownIn the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown by Nathaniel Philbrick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One thing I really liked about this was not only did it talk about Yorktown, it talked about what was going on right before and where the major players had their heads at. It explained things very well and had quite a few maps to help visually explain what was going on. This is a great addition if you ask me.

Being a history major I knew quite a bit of the information going into this book, but I did learn some new things and more details about the battle itself. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in the battle or in the revolution. Beginner and those who know a bit of the details.

View all my reviews


Save the DateSave the Date by Morgan Matson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed how over the top this book is. The main character was a little in a lala land and idealized everything and at times I found it really annoying from time to time. I feel like she needed some tough love sooner rather than later when it came to living her own life in the real world.

I loved that the setting was at a wedding, I thought it was a really good setting. I laughed at some of the events and can I just say I loved the puppy waffle. The comedic timing of the puppy was spot on as well as his mischievous time.

Overall, this was a really good contemporary that broke up the heavy reading I have been reading as of late. I read through it very quickly when I did pick it up.

View all my reviews

 

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Middle Mark Books 2

I didn’t want to just rewrite my review, but if you want to know the details of my thoughts on these books please see my post, Middle Mark | February 2019. 

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Divider 2What is your favorite book you read this month? Have you read any of the books I have mentioned?What are you planning on reading next?

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Tags

Tag Time | Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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I was so happy when I was tagged by Lexie to complete this tag. I always love reading these types of blog posts and booktube videos. I don’t know what it is about these types of posts that I love, but I think it might be because from time to time someone else has the same unpopular opinions as I do and I finally feel like I am not the only one who feels that way.

Anyway, I was ecstatic to be tagged and I hope you enjoy reading my unpopular opinions!

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  1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like
    • The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. I tried reading this series, I read about half of the first book and I did not like it at all. I found it annoying. I am happy to say I read and LOVED her most recent book, A Very Large Expanse of Sea.
  2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.
    • I will openly admit I loved the Twilight Series and I am not ashamed of it. I devoured those books, reading one a day. Would I feel the same now? Who knows, but I absolutely loved it.
  3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with  OR an OTP that you don’t like.
    • The book series that stands out to me the most is To All the Boys I’v Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was soooooo mad and after the 2nd book I refused to continue with it. At least I think it was the 2nd one.
  4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.
    • I am not really interested in science fiction, I feel like everyone loves science fiction and fantasy. While I can get into fantasy, science fiction is a lot harder for me.
  5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like
    • Hum, this one is really hard for me to figure out. I don’t think there is a character I flat out dislike, but I do have a problem with Albus Dumbledore because I feel like he was really manipulative.
  6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into
    • This is a hard one, I think if I had to name one I would pick VE Schwab. I just don’t really get excited by the descriptions of her books so I never picked up her books.
  7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing
    • I am really tired of seeing girl in a bad situation and all of a sudden has everything and is super powerful out of luck and never saw it coming. I find it really annoying and if someone is going to become powerful it will be through hard work, not random or an ability randomly found out decade(s) into your life.
  8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading. 
    • The Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard, I tried reading it on an airplane ride when it first came out when everyone was all over it. I gave up after 35 pages or so. I was so bored the rest of the flight.
  9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?
    • I really liked the adaptation of Death Note, not the Netflix one,  more than the actual manga.

      -I Tag-

      JaneKatie, Allison

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Do you agree with my answers? What unpopular opinion do you have?

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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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Lets Talk

Lets Talk | Preordering Books

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Hello and welcome to the March discussion post. I have been loving these the past few months. Being able to hear your options and talk about books just makes me want to blog more. I started bookishluna because I wanted to talk books and to see all the support through comments and taking part in my polls has been great. Thank-you for talking books with me. If you want to read my previous discussion post you can find them here; Lets Talk | Reading Formats Lets Talk | Big Books.

Last month we talked about big books, this month lets talk about preordering books. But, before we move on to this months discussion topic I want to go over the poll results.

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The Results


The poll this month shows that most people like big books. I will admit I was thinking that more people would say no because they can be intimidating. Either way, if you like big books or not, we can all agree that books are amazing.

What do you think about the poll results?

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When you preorder a book, you are taking a chance, it could work out in your favor or not. A big fear of mine is preordering a book and absolutely hating it. We have all been there, we read a book description or review on a fell bloggers page and thought, “This book is for me”.  We preorder it and wait. When it finally arrived we happily open it and maybe share our bookmail on our social media accounts. Then when we go to read the book it falls flat for one reason or another. This is large con when it comes to preordering books. There is no guarantee we are going to like the book.

The pros to preordering are numerous. Sometimes there are preorder goodies, I know when I preordered The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon I was sent a beautiful full colored map of the world. I still have it displayed. Other times there may be exclusive covers, extra art, stickers, and other bookish goodies. Another bonus of preordering books is they are sometimes cheaper. This is not guaranteed, but in some cases if you preorder in advance online they prices may be cheaper. But, I will admit I am an advocate of preordering at a physical books store, chain or independent if you have access to that. When you do this, chances are you will not get a discount.

Another pro, which I find the most powerful is that it supports the author. It helps them get better release day/week numbers which helps them gain support for publishing another book. Now obviously, you can do this by going to the store on opening day, but I am horrible about remember release days. This way you don’t need to remember, it either shows up at your door or you get a phone call saying you can pick up your book.

If you want to hear it from an author you can see that Melissa Albert herself says the best says to support an author when you preorder or buy it in store on the appropriate date. Buying them before release date  does not support authors. So if you see a book out before their release date, it does not help their numbers. If you want to ensure you get a copy asap preorder it online or at a bookshop. I myself have seen them out before their date and have gotten super excited because I feel like I have found buried treasure. After realizing it does not help authors I will no longer buy books early.

Thanks again for letting me use your tweet! 

Now I want to take a moment to say that you can support authors by requesting their books at the library, I don’t always have money for book and I know a lot of people are also in the same boat. Now, I did a bit of reading and the amount of financial support authors get from library sales differ from author to author. I recently read a great post on the topic, How do authors make money from library books? I was curious because I wanted to know that these authors still get the support they deserve when I put a book on hold. It seems that they do, but in different ways. Divider

For me preordering books is something I do when it meets my criteria. For me to preorder a book it has to hit at least 2 of the following; I have read 1 or more of the authors works already and enjoyed them, the description of the books pulls me in, and/or I read a review by someones I trust or know I have similar tastes too. Having this criteria has helped me greatly. I am very rarely disappointed by books I preorder anymore.

Of course there is an exception, if I have read the book as an ARC and I loved it, I am going to preorder it as well. While I do want to support authors, I want to be as sure as I can be before spending money on a book. They can be expensive and sometimes my disposable income in limited.

(Some) Books I have Pre-Ordered and the Criteria They Met

  • Illustrated editions of Harry Potter: I read them all in original format
  • The Hazel Wood By Melissa Albert: Received as an ARC and reviewed
  • Review | The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: I read 2 books by her and the description sounded amazing.
  • The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel by William Ritter: I read the other books in the series and loved it, plus the description sounded like it was going to continue being amazing. (P.S this series is one where I loved every book) 
  •  I currently have Stephen Kings newest book The Outsider that comes out May 22nd, 2018 preordered. I have read at least 8 of his books and really enjoyed them. On top of that the description gave me the creeps, which is the point of a Stephen King book.

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What do you think about preordering books?

Do you preorder books? Let me know in the poll below.

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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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