Writing and More

Bullet Journal | July 2019

Recs

Hello again! Welcome to my monthly peek into my bullet journal. This month, much like last month I took a lot of inspiration from Plant Based Bride over on youtube and her blog, http://plantbasedbride.com. I took her theme and quote and then added in my own style to it and my spreads that work from me. If you have never seen her stuff before, I suggest taking a look. She is very talented.


First off I loved her use of peaches for July, I know I am eating a ton of fruit this time of year so I loved this. I drew her images on my into page and then used my stamps for the month. I also decided to keep my spreads mainly monotone, but with a splash of peach. Which, you can see on my calendar overview.

I absolutely loved this quote that she used this month, so I decided to add it to mine as well. If I am not mistaken it is a quote from Dita Von Teese. I changed the font to just my hand writing and added in a little pop of color instead of going all out with the coloring. In the past I have noticed when I add color I tend to ruin my spreads by over doing it. I really loved this new social media calendar that I tried last month so I added it again. I wish I had used this spread sooner to track by blog and insta posts.

Next is my much loved book tracker. I have used this tracker through two different bullet journals and I am going to keep it for a long while I think. It is just really satisfying to see how long it takes to read a book and how often I actually read.

Here is my TBR for the month of July. You may have seen my TBR post, if you have you will notice I added another book in there. Since I loved Good Omens so much when I read it last month I wanted to read more works by Terry Pratchett so on the guidance of quite a few people I decided to start with Mort.

Last, but the most useful to me on a daily basis would be my weekly spreads. At this time I have not added the hours in the little squares on the left side of the day because my schedule has recently changed and I need to find a new balance with that.


What Bujo spread is the most used by you?

Do you track your reading outside of goodreads?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

TBR

TBR | July 2019

ToBeRead12:17

We are officially in the second half of the year, I can’t get over it. But, I am excited to share another TBR with you. This month I am reading a few books by adored authors, continuing a reread of a series I love, and then throwing in a few books written by new to me authors. In other words I am reading a little bit of everything. Without a huge introduction, here are the books I am going to do my best to read this upcoming month.


-The Books-

The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

Each month I have been trying to read the book I have had on my owned TBR the longest. At this point in the that would be The Bird’s Nest. I picked it up in July, so this would be a year so it is time to read it because I don’t really keep books over a year because I have not read it by then I am never going to read it. I do love Jackson’s work, I just know I read a lot of them last year and that is most likely why I have put this one off.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Last month I started my reread of the LOTR series and this month I wanted to continue along with that. I feel like reading one a month leaves me at a good pace while not neglecting the rest of my TBR.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

I was lucky enough to get this as an eARC via netgalley. Ruth Ware is one of my top thriller writers so I am very excited to get to this and review it for all of you. Thank-you Gallery Books!


-TBR Jar Pick-

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

This is a fairly recent addition to my TBR I got it as my bonus book of the month book in May since I was gifted a free book from them since I have been a member for so long. I am very interested to see where this novel goes because I opened the inside flap and it says “A Girl…A Prince…A Monster” in large type, how could I not want to know how these three fair together?


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

TBR

June TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello everyone and happy June, the halfway mark in the year. So weird saying that, but it seems to be true we are officially halfway through 2019. This month is shaping up to be the month of rereads. Half of my tbr is rereading two of my favorite series and the other half are standalone novels from two new to me authors. I think I am going to really enjoy myself this month!


-The Books

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • This is one of my rereads, I read this 4 or 5 years ago for the first time and with Tolkien the movie coming out it has really made me want to reread and jump into his world.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

  • This was my Book of the Month pick, I was pulled toward it because it is based off of the life of Varian Fry who tried to save the lives of Jews during WWII.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

  • Do I really need to explain myself with this one? I miss the magic and I want to go back to Hogwarts!

The Women in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

  • This is the June buddy read for Amy, Jenna, Reg and myself. I am very excited to jump into this haunting thriller I happened to come across in the bookstore a week and and half ago.

-TBR Jar Pick-

This month I actually had my boyfriend pick my TBR jar pick and he did not disappoint! He picked The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, which I already talked about above. I am really excited to jump into this tome and I think it is going to give me some hope in humanity and I feel like it might also be an emotional roller coaster. He picked very well indeed.


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls

Book Haul | April & May 2019

BookHaul12:17

Hello everyone, it has been some time since I posted a bookhaul. I didn’t realize it has been two months until I ran out of room on my cart where I put the books I need to haul officially. Then, I realized I put some on my shelves without actually hauling them… oops. It turns out I acquired more books that I thought I did between treating myself and my birthday this month. The good news is I already read some of the books I hauled and some are replacement copies. So my overall TBR isn’t being completely bogged down.

Divider 2

-The Books-

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, birthday gift and read.

You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman, unread.

If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley, unread.

Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides, unread.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston, Thank-you Reg! Unread.

Blaze by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King, unread.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien, replacement copy and gift

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, replacement copy and gift.

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick, unread.

Peace and Turmoil by Elliot Brooks, unread.

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan, gift and unread.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, unread.

Classic Penguin by various editors, read.

The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects by John Tingey, read.

The Things I Would Tell You edited by Sabrina Mahfouz, read.

Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill, read.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, birthday gift and read.

Divider 2So over the past two months I acquired 17 books, not to bad for a birthday month and for such a long period of time. Plus, I already read 8 of them already.

Divider 2

Have you read any of these books? Which one should I read first?

What book have you acquired or borrowed this month?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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!

Divider

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.

Divider

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.

Divider

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

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

TBR

March TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

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!

Divider 2

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?!

Divider

What are you reading this month?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | February 2019

WrapUp12:17

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!

Divider 2Read 2

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

 

Divider 2

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. 

Divider 2

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?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Tags

Tag Time | Unpopular Bookish Opinions

TagTimel12:17

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!

Divider 2-Tag Questions-

  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

Divider 2

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

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Lets Talk

Lets Talk | Preordering Books

LetsTalk12:17

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.

Divider

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?

Divider

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.

Divider

What do you think about preordering books?

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

SignOff12:17