Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | July 2022

Hello and welcome to a post highlighting my reading, crafting, and life over the past month. This month I finally felt like I had free time and I could relax a bit. I for sure kicked up my feet and read some thing month, which I am thrilled about. I also was on a making kick and was able to go on some adventures as well.

Reading

Gwendy’s Final Task by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar, I went into a bit more detail of my thoughts of this book in my post, The Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag, but I will say I ended up DNF’ing this book about halfway through. The reason I DNF’ed the book was because all of the real world references within the book kept taking me out of the story and into the real world and I kept drifting into my thoughts. I will try this book again down the road because the writing was great.

The Facemaker by Lindsey Fitzharris, this was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I read Fitzharris’ first book and adored it as well, The Butchering Art. This book took a deep dive into the the beginnings of reconstruction surgery during and after World War I. While this is a nonfiction read, the author is very talented and made this read as if a friend was telling you about something interesting them learned. There is a lot of information in this book, but you never feel bogged down etc. You also got to know the life of the doctors, the patients, and nurses so you they don’t come across as just people who worked there or just subjects.

The next two books I ended up reading during a impromptu 24 hour readathon. If you wanna see some more details on how that went, you can see that in my post, Impromptu Personal 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (Translator), I really enjoyed this wild ride of a science fiction. It is very hard to put into words why I liked this book so much. But, trying my best I think it comes from they way the story is told through very brief interviews. Even from these small interviews you get a clear picture of the ship, those on the ship, and the challenges they face. The atmosphere that is created is so detailed you find yourself reacting to the interviews subconsciously, you just get feelings deep down in your gut. Not only this, but it explores the idea what it means to be human.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (Translator), this book is really a wild ride. You go into it thinking you are going to read a general fiction about a man who was left by his wife for whatever reason and going to explore him navigating this. Well, as always Murakami always seems to add another layer to his books. This novel takes a supernatural/magical realism turn that makes this novel addicting to read. When I picked this book up I didn’t think I was going to finish it during the 24 hour readathon, I was wrong. I ended up reading this 600 page book in a single day.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, Adrian Nathan West (translator), this fiction book takes real life players and events and takes the reader on a wild ride. It does talk about both mathematicians and physics, not knowing too much about both, just general knowledge, I was not lost in the slightest. The author did a great job of blending fact and fiction and really makes the reader think about the question if humanity is going forwards or backwards through discoveries. It plays on the quote from Jurassic park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” It for sure is a book that sits with you and makes you think.

Willie the Weirdo by Stephen King, this was a mere 18 pages so I don’t really want to say too much, but I will say this this short story really had the creepy vibes I have been missing from his more recent works.

Slow Boat by Hideo Furukawa, David Boyd (Translator), this book was meh. It was not bad by any stretch, the writing was very well done, but this story was kind of boring. I read 45 pages the first sitting, which was a huge dent since this book is so short, but it was a struggle to pick it up again. If this book was any longer I probably would have DNF’ed it because it just didn’t pull me in personally. Like I said, the writing is really good, for a short book, the author did a lot in those pages, which is impressive.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune, this story made my heart hurt, It was imaginative in all the right ways. I read this in a 24 hour period from cover to cover. I don’t get too emotional while reading, but this book certainly pulled at my heart strings between friendships, found family and just the growth of the main character . Plus, GHOSTS, I am 100% on board.

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

Anker’s Summer Shirt

Anker’s Summer Shirt by PetiteKnit, this was my first time working a pattern by PetiteKnit and I can see why other knitters lover her patterns so much. They are simple, but have enough going on to keep you engaged. The styles are classic and timeless and are great for layering. I want to work another one of her patterns already. I made this project out of Sandnes Garn Line, which is a blend of cotton, rayon, and linen so it was perfect to make this summer shirt for sure. I really loved the textured yoke of this top down sweater.

Duotone Cowl

Next project I completed was a Duotone Cowl (Non-ralvery Option) by Orange Flower Yarn. I did this project as a stash busting project with the intent of donating it come colder months. I happened to have two skein of
Ritual Dyes Marona in a pink color and a dark green so I whipped up this project. I really loved how this pattern didn’t work with equal sized stripes all around, but made one color dominate in one half and then reversed on the second half. It makes this scarf look more intricate than it is and I love that in a project, plus it is a free pattern and very well written!

Vanilla Socks

The next and final project I finished was a plain vanilla sock with a contrasting heel and toe for sock week 2022, I did an entire post dedicated to this project and you can find that here, Sock Week 2022 Journal. It was a fun quick project before jumping back into some larger ones.

Life

This past month I did a bunch of fun things. I went to the beach a few times, getting that fresh salt water air really helped me get over a cold I had for over two weeks. While at the beach I was able to get some reading and knitting done as well. It was just truly a relaxing experience and I needed it greatly. I always forget how much I need to be around nature and how calming it is personally to me.

Showing off Slow Boat by Hideo Furukawa on the beach

I also went on a lovely nature walk with my boyfriend this month. We walked around for about 2 hours easily looking at statues and enjoying all the different plants, flowers, and trees. We even found one that looked like it was growing tiny bananas. I think my favorite part of this walk was any time we came across the water. We found a water fall, a stream with a ton of koi fish, and even found a frog among the water lilies.

waterfall through a stone window

As you can see I spent a lot of time doing the things I love and enjoy this month and I really hope to keep this going. I want to go to the beach a few more times before it gets chilly again. I do have some fun plans coming up in August that I am really looking forward to sharing with you! But, that was my month of July! I hope your July was just as wonderful if not more so.

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Reviews

Wrap Up | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my February wrap up. Another month down, can you believe it? I know February is a short month, but I felt like it went faster than usual. I did manage to read quite a bit this month and found quite a few I really enjoyed.


Our Little CrueltiesOur Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I really hated all of the characters of this book. But, like always Liz Nugent was a wonderful writer.

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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a reread for me, this time around I still really loved the dynamics between Aziraphale and Crowley as well as the version of the world that Pratchett and Gaiman have created. It is fun, pokes fun, and at times just turns ideas on their head. This was one of my favorite books of 2019 and it is still a gem and I am so glad I took the time this month to reread it and was so happy to have read it with Lauren.

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This month I read a total of 8 books, not bad for a shorter month! In total that was 2,383 pages, which tuned out to be 4 fiction and 4 nonfiction. I read an ebook, an audiobook, 2 hard covers, and 4 softcover books. One of my reads was from the library and the others were from my own shelves. The rating broke down to: 3-5 stars, 2-4 stars, and 3-3 stars.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | August

Hello and welcome another check in for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you would like to learn more you can look at my initial post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. This month I read The Comedy of Errors and errors there where!


This book is just a mixture of mess ups and miscommunication. It kinda reminded me of the exaggerated outcome of the telephone game, if you are familiar with that. The main aspect of this play is mistaken identity, which has been present in quite a few of his other plays that I have read this year. In this play in particular it it comes from not one, but two sets of twins and their loved ones having no idea who is who and let the mayhem begin.

I have to admit, that this is one of the better plays when it comes to mistaken identity. There were a few times where I giggled to myself while reading this, which is great because not a lot of his comedies have actually made me laugh or feel humor. Maybe I am finally getting Shakespeare’s sense of humor? Either way, without giving away too much, there is a lot of misunderstandings, surprises, and puns galore!

This review isn’t that long due to the fact that I feel like a lot of the humor would be removed from this play if it is really discussed as much as I normally do. I would rather you read it for yourself and truly get the laugh out of it than being ruined by my review. But, overall I think this is one of the better comedies as I said earlier. I think it is worth checking out if you like his other plays or even has not read any of his comedies before.


Next month I am reading another comedy by William Shakespeare called Much Ado About Nothing, I have heard a great deal about this one so I am excited!

What are your thoughts on this play?

What is your favorite play by Shakespeare?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my June wrap up, wow it feels so weird typing that. Already halfway through 2020. This month was quite an improvement reading wise for me, I actually did some reading. I am not quite sure what happened in May and what put me out of the mood to read, but thankfully it has passed and I ended up reading quite a bit. Here are the books I read, my backlist checkin and my monthly stats!


Read 2

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

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UntamedUntamed by Glennon Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very interesting collection of stories to make up the author’s memoir. I found the stories shared to be heart warming and raw. The author really sharers herself with her readers, but also gives them something to reflect on.

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Twelfth NightTwelfth Night by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to come!

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Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this novel has a lot of potential, it was dark, twisted and let’s face it inspired by one of the most popular horror novels of all time. I really enjoyed a lot about this book, but what lost me was the characters actions. Sometimes I just felt like, wow, they are meant to be detectives? Their actions just were not believable. That aside, I did enjoy parts of it and I am curious enough to be thinking about continuing this series. That is a big deal for me, because I tend to hate series.

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Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1922-5/5 psychological and dark real world horror

Big Driver-2/5 the assault is r*ape.

Fair Extension-3/5 – interesting, but I wasn’t really feeling it.

A Good Marriage-5/5 Just when you thought you knew someone completely, another story were man is the true monster.

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Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really interesting story sett in the same world as American Gods. It was a twisting tale and as always Gaiman has a way with words. As always the writing was done very well and the story was imaginative to say the least. The reason I took a few stars off it because there were a few parts I became bored with, but over all I really did enjoy it. If you liked American Gods, I think you will like this as well.

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Before the Coffee Gets ColdBefore the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this and I really want to read more from this author. I really liked how the author mixed the magical with the mundane to create such a heart warming story.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 6


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | February 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid-month reaching check in! This month started off a bit stressful if I am to be completely honest, so I am actually surprised I was able to finish a book let alone more. So, I am very happy with my wrap up, even if I did already have my first low rating of the year. I will say I am forseeing my reading totals to fall from this point forward because I am starting something new I am really excited about and will be sharing soon. But, I will give a very bad hint though: I love learning something new and it being self directed. Like I said a bad hint, but anyway, on to the books! 😂


Read 2

The LangoliersThe Langoliers by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very imaginative take on a children’s night time scary story come to life mixed with the Bermuda Triangle. It was very interesting to see how King’s characters, who were all there by accident, reacted to the situation. I don’t want to say too much because I feel like if I said anymore I would ruin it, but I will say that you can read this on it’s own or inn the short stoy collection of Four Past Midnight.

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God CountryGod Country by Donny Cates

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I can’t say for sure why I wasn’t drawn into this volume, but I just didn’t get into it. Not sure if it was the plot, how the dialog was placed on the page or the layout. It just fell flat unfortunately. The artwork was wonderful though and the idea was great.

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Ducks, NewburyportDucks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I don’t want to say much on this book at the current moment because I am going to explore this novel a bit more when I read a few more of the books on the 2019 Man Booker Shortlist. I will say at this time the main reason I did not like this book was due to the formatting. This is a very personal thing, so I feel like a lot of people wont be as bothered by it, but that is what I shall say for now.

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The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a very typical enemies to lovers type of book, but I will say I really like the way the author built upon that trope. I really enjoyed the plot and the side things as well, the writing was do very well. I will say there were times I wanted to just skip ahead just because I just wanted to know what will happen and I was not really fully invested in the journey.

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No One Is Too Small to Make a DifferenceNo One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful collection of speeches made by Greta Thunberg.

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Currently Reading 2

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, I am currently 37% through. At this point I am enjoying the book once I pick it up, but for some reason I don’t feel enticed enough to pick it up.  I don’t understand why my brain does this sometimes.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, I am currently only 8% through this Tome and I am really enjoying it so far. It is written very well and I am surprised how quickly I am reading it.


 What was the last book you finished?

What book are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | January 2020

Wrap Up

Wow, the first month of the year is a wrap,  2020 is off to a great start reading wise. I managed to read a total of 11 books, which is just an amazing reading month over all. On top of that I think I might have found a contender for one of my favorite books of the year already. I know it is too soon to really tell, but I really truly loved a book I read this month, more details about that below and mini summaries of all the books I read this month along with some fun stats I am keeping this year.


Read 2The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)The Wicked King by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit I am totally that person that puts off reading the second book in a series because I always think it is going to be a filler book. I was convinced that this too was going to be a filler book, but I was wrong.
This was a real whopper of a book, I buddy read this with someone and I have to say our conversation did not dampen on most days. A lot of stuff happens in this book and it really kept me guessing. Holly Black takes her riddles and truth spinning to the max and I am always trying to figure out what the characters are really saying. She is so talented with her words.
As for the actions in this book, let me just say wow. I don’t want to ruin anything, but you can bet I have the third book here ready to read.

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Where the Crawdads SingWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“So, am I am writing this I just finished this book and I have to say I absolutely love it. This is actually my first 5 star read of 2020, which is super exciting. I am also going to take this time to apologies about the gush fest this post has now turned into.

First thing I really liked was the choice of time period. While it does have a wide range and is told by jumping back and forth, I think the time period was a great choice for a few reasons. The first being alluding to civil rights and Jim Crow laws. There were a few time in this book that I just teared up or flat out cried at. The second aspect being the hard topic of abuse. I feel like the author did a good job of handling such a hard topic. It didn’t shy away from it, it was a hard honest look at it. I really liked that the author didn’t just comment on one social issue, but a few.” More at Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

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A Midsummer Night's DreamA Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I have to start this off by saying I am really happy to have started this year long challenge with this play in particular, the main reason being I actually enjoyed it. Yes, I am surprised to say that, but so grateful. I really was worried going into this thinking I was going to dislike everyone of his works, but that was not the case. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was actually really enjoyable and has made me more excited about this entire process.” – More at 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, SpyBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an absolutely remarkable story about a very remarkable person who went and did something that many did not and would not do during WW2. I really enjoyed learning about Bonhoeffer and his life. I have already recommended it to quite a few people in my life because it was such a powerful read and so well done.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2019: 51

Current: 43


Reading Stats

  • Number of Books: 11
  • Number of Pages: 3,195
  • Fiction: 8
  • Nonfiction: 3
  • DNF’ed: 0
  • Ebook: 0
  • Audiobook:  1
  • Paperback: 6
  • Hardcover: 4
  • Library: 2
  • Owned: 9
  • 5 Stars: 1
  • 4 Stars: 7
  • 3 Stars: 3
  • 2 Stars: 0
  • 1 Star: 0

What was your favorite read of the month?

What was the last book you read in January?

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