Lists & Recommendations

My Entire Owned TBR January 2022

Hello and welcome to another post here on my blog. I decided that I really wanted to take a look at the books that are sitting on my shelves waiting to be read in 2022. Then at the end of the year it might be fun to take a look back and see which books I read, unhauled, or are still sitting on my shelves. So, here are all the books that are currently sitting on my owned TBR shelves!

  • The Unwanted by Michael Dobbs
  • Sons of Cain by Peter Vronsky
  • The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
  • The Vorrh by Brian Catling
  • The Erstwhile by Brian Catling
  • The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hestor Fox
  • Ms Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami
  • Record of a Night Too Brief by Mieko Kawakami
  • People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  • Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin
  • Dinner by César Aira
  • The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Field House by Robin Clifford Wood
  • The House of Lobster Cove by Jane Goodrich
  • Writing On Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis
  • A Haunting Fog by Heidi Martin Washburn
  • Fresh by Margot Wood
  • Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Irish Folktales by Henry Glassie
  • Afterland by Lauren Beukes
  • Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
  • Dead Relatives by Lucie McKnight Hardy
  • How to Be a Stoic by Penguin
  • Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert
  • The Stone Face by William Gardner Smith
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • Slow Boat by Iain Maloney
  • At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop
  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
  • Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Billy Summers by Stephen King
  • The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

If you are curious what my current owned TBR is if you are reading this much later, you can always find that on my shelf labeled Owned TBR on my goodreads account. I usually update it about once a month, usually towards the end when I am organizing for my Monthly Digest posts.

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Reading Challenges

My 2022 Goals and Challenges

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today I will be talking about a few of the goals I have for myself in the coming year. I always love setting goals for myself, but I also know they are not the end all be all because a lot can change over a years time. This year I plan on sharing some of my reading goals, crafting goals and even a few life goals I have for myself.

Reading Goals

Life Goals

  • See a new place
  • Teach myself something new

Maker Goals

  • Knit a sweater
  • Knit 6 pairs of socks
  • Crochet a sweater
  • Create 10 things with my hands
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Reading Challenges

2021 Reading Goals Revisited

Hello and welcome to my reflection on my 2021 reading goals. I feel like the first half of the year went really, really slow and then the second half ended up going way too fast. Funny how time seems to do that. Anyway, as I do with other years, I wanted to take a moment to look at the goals I set for myself a year ago and see how I faired.

Achieved

Use the library once a month-I did this for sure! I used the library for audiobooks constantly this year and I am so thankful they have the digital resources that they do between those audiobooks and ebooks.

Read 12 nonfiction books-As of writing this post I have read a total of 19 nonfiction books!

Read 50 books – As of writing this post I have read a total of 73 books, so I accomplished this!

Reread The Hobbit and the Lord of the Ring Trilogy – I did it! I reread The Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy over again. It was a lot of fun to dive back into these books the last few months of 2021.

Not Achieved

Read the International Booker Prize – I read 4 of the 6 books from the shortlist this year. I do have the other two on my kobo and I still plan to read them, but I am such a mood reader I didn’t want to read these great books when I was not in the mood.

Read The Farseer Trilogy and The Liveship Traders Trilogy by Robin Hobb – This one I half did. I read the entire Farseer Trilogy, but I ended up DNFing The Liveship Traders Trilogy for now.

Keep my owned TBR under 10 books – I have it in the 20s, so not too far off, but not the goal I set for myself.

How did you do with your 2021 goals?

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Tags

Naughty or Nice Book Tag Vol. 2

Hello and welcome to a tag post! I have not done one in a really long time, but I was recently tagged by Meeghan Read to complete this very festive tag, thank you Meeghan! I wanted to jump on this since it is so time sensitive so this is getting posted sooner rather than later. Also, can I just say I LOVE these types of tags. I love seeing others reading habits, good or bad. Anyway, on to the questions!

Achieved your goodreads goal this year – Thankfully, I finished this a few months ago!

Finished your reading challenges this year – I have finished most of them, I have a post coming out near the end of the month going through all of my challenges and how I did since I had quite a few.

Have a TBR under 100 books – Yes! My TBR is currently 29 at the time of writing this.

Didn’t break a book buying ban – I didn’t really have a book buying ban this year. I have gotten more picky with this books I picked up at the store though.

Donated books you unhauled this year – Yep! Every time I unhaul I send pictures to my friends asking if they want any and those that are unclaimed get donated.

Did not extend a library book more than once – I think I did only because I was on vacation and could not return it because I was not in the state.

Actually read the book your friend recommended – I have done this most of the time. I still need to read about 3 books recommended by friends though at this point.

Rearranged your shelves – Oh, I did this for sure this year. I unhauled over 100 books so I needed to fix everything.

Resisted buying a physical copy of a book you read digitally or audiobooked just to have it on your shelves – I tend to do the opposite. I might borrow a digital or audiobook for a book I already own physically. I have never done the opposite though.

Did not forget about your ‘books read’ twitter thread – Oh, this was abandoned a few months into the year. I was really good about it in previous years, but this year not so much.

Posted on bookstagram once per week – I don’t have an instagram anymore. I deleted it and it felt so good!

Tracked all your read books (on Goodreads, by spreadsheet or journal — however you do it) – Yes, I have tracked all my books read on goodreads this year!

Saved a friend from reading a book so they didn’t have to suffer also – I don’t think so, but I can’t say for sure. I tend to talk about books I liked and I don’t tend to tell people not to read things that interest them because they might end up enjoying it.

Finished a completed series you started – Yes, I finished reading two series this year. It might be more, but for sure two series.

Did not deliberately look for spoilers – I don’t really ever do this. I can’t recall a time that I have ever, maybe with I was younger?

Dusted your bookshelves (regularly) – Yep, I do this about once a month at least.

Did not put off reading books because the rest of the series isn’t out yet – I don’t read series too often, but I didn’t do this in 2021.

Unhauled a limited edition book that you didn’t enjoy – Yep! Unhauled a few signed editions and special editions this year.

Did not buy multiple editions of the same book to collect (and not read) – I did not do this. I did get gifted a book I already owned, not sure if that counts though. lol.

Finished the year with LESS books in your TBR than when you started – I am not sure what I started the year with so I can’t honestly answer it. If anything I know I am pretty sure I am about the same amount.

Feel free to consider yourself tagged!

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Hauls & Unboxings

Local Indie Bookstore Haul

picture of hauled books

Hello and welcome to a small post sharing my finds at my most recent trip to an indie bookstore. I posted earlier in the week about taking a day trip with a friend and going to visit a yarn store, you can read about that here: Local Yarn Shop Haul. On this adventure we also walked around the corner and took a bit of stroll to a really lovely bookstore. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture, but this bookstore was packed with books. There was not a nook or cranny that was not filled with books and I was so excited. It was also one of the most busy indie bookstores I have seen before, which made me happy. Anyway, on to the two books I ended up picking up!

The first book that caught my eye was The Stone Face by William Gardner Smith. What first caught my attention was the black and white cover that really stood out among all the colorful and saturated colors of the other covers. This ended up being a historical fiction novel from around 1963 and this was a rerelease. This story follows a man named Simeon Brown who lost an eye in a racist attack. This story focuses on how he left America to escape racism and made a home for himself in France, which at the time was known as a safe haven for black artists. My understanding from the description is that the book mostly follows him once he is in France, but I cannot be 100% sure. I look forward to reading this ASAP. I had no idea that France was ever seen as this so I am curious to explore that.

The second book I picked up is Dune Messiah, the second book in the Dune series by Frank Herbert. I am only about 100 pages into the first book and I can tell I am going to want to continue the series so I decided to pick it up and support this indie bookstore. At first I didn’t think they had the book in stock, but a really lovely person helped me locate it. I was so thrilled because this was the one book I really had a plan of buying this day.

Anyway, while this is a small haul, I am really happy with the books I found and added to my TBR. The past few months my book hauling has slowed quite a bit and has been more meaningful and honestly, I am really happy about that.

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Life Style

My Reading Routine 2021

Hello and welcome to post where I talk about what my reading looks like these days. A long time ago in 2017 I made a post called My Reading Routine. I feel like a lot has changed in the roughly 4 years since I have written that post. So, here is a little update!

When

This one actually has not changed too much. In my original post I mentioned that I mainly read on the weekends. This is still true, but that is because that is when I do my chores and listen to audiobooks. But, it is also when I have time to take a breath and set aside some me time. I have also started reading more at night, but it might not be a book. It could be articles, blog posts, or anything else. I just read what I feel like reading while I wind down for the day. I just need to make sure it isn’t too engaging because I will be up all night reading.

Where

In my original post I talked about how I like to read outside, which I still do. Nothing better than reading on a hammock when there is a light breeze in the air. I don’t so much go out in the summer time anymore though. I save outside reading for when it is cooler so I am not melting into a puddle.

Now, as far as reading inside I still read mainly in my room laying in bed. Like I mentioned earlier I have tried to make reading any form of media before bed. I don’t use my arm chair too much these days because my plant collection kind of gets in the way, but I forgive them because they are majestic and bring some beauty to my room. Since shifting away from using my chair, I now read quite often at my desk. I am not sure if it is because I have been working from home for so long or what, but I have found this space to break away from others and just focus. As for audiobooks, I listen to them while doing chores around the house so any and all rooms get utilized.

What I Need

When I first wrote this post I talked about wearing comfortable clothing, listening to classical or instrumental music, lighting a candle, and a comfortable blanket. A little has changed. I still love being comfortable when reading, especially if I plan on reading for quite some time. As far as background noise I have really taken to ambient ASMR, especially fire places and thunder storms. I don’t bother with candles in the same way that I did. I will light them from time to time, but it is few and far between. But, the thing I need the most and I can’t read without is a good book. Everything else I can do without.

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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 2

Hello and welcome to another check in for one of my reading goals for 2021. Every year I make it a goal to read the International Booker Prize short list, so far this year I have done one update, Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1 Update, where I talked about my thoughts on The Memory Police and Hurricane Season. In this update post I am going to be sharing my brief thoughts on Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann.

The Book

Image
Picture of Tyll

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann

Honestly, this book gave my some serious Loki vibes with the tricker that we follow and hear tales from. There was magic, lore, and a court jester. Following the adventures of Tyll was a very interesting ride that was woven with historical events and was a bit of historical fiction. I have to say, it is hard to pin down what this book is, but I did very much enjoy it. It was fast paced, kept me engaged from page one till the end. I honestly would have kept reading about Tyll if the book went on a few more hundred pages.

Tyll himself was a very interesting character and has a very interesting personal history. I really enjoyed learning about him. From my little research I found that this Tyll is apparently based on a Till Eulenspiegel from German folklore. I want to explore this more, because I feel like it could be really interesting. I have always loved reading folklore from different places around the world.

The only thing I can really see as difficult about this book is the way it jumps around in time. It was an adjustment for me at first, after the first few jumps I was fine.

Overall, I am very happy with how this challenge is shaping up this year. I have read books about places I heard of, but didn’t really know about. This years shortlist involves quite a bit of magical elements, but I feel like even with the fantastical elements of the books I have read so far, they cover serious topics from a life changing events, historical events as well as sharing legends and myths from the authors culture. At this point in time I have few more books to read from this list.


Have you read either of these books? Would you add either of these to your TBR?

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Reading Taste Test · Reviews

Reading Taste Test | @jacksepticeye

Hello and welcome to a new thing I have been wanting to introduce on my blog for some time. I am always getting book recs and such from book blogs, bloggers, and friends who love reading a ton. While I LOVE the recommendations, I have always been curious to see if books recommended by those who are not known for their love of books would be just as enjoyable or maybe even a new favorite. So over the past few months as I watched youtubers or their other social media accounts who are not book centric and started to take some notes of books they mentioned. This month I decided to give jacksepticeye’s or Seán McLoughlin’s book recommendation a try.

This pick I came across in his video entitled, Jacksepticeye’s REAL Personality Revealed (Enneagram Test), who would have thought a book rec would have come from a title like that? lol. But, this just comes to show you that you can find books anywhere. Anyway, the book mentioned in this video is How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald J. Robertson. When I studied history for my degree I did take quite a few philosophy courses, but have not really touched it since then, a shame because I really liked those classes because they challenged your own thinking. So, when he mentioned this book, I knew it was one I was going to use in this series.

Description

“Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was the final famous Stoic philosopher of the ancient world. The Meditations, his personal journal, survives to this day as one of the most loved self-help and spiritual classics of all time. In How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, cognitive psychotherapist Donald Robertson weaves the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius together seamlessly to provide a compelling modern-day guide to the Stoic wisdom followed by countless individuals throughout the centuries as a path to achieving greater fulfillment and emotional resilience.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor takes readers on a transformative journey along with Marcus, following his progress from a young noble at the court of Hadrian—taken under the wing of some of the finest philosophers of his day—through to his reign as emperor of Rome at the height of its power. Robertson shows how Marcus used philosophical doctrines and therapeutic practices to build emotional resilience and endure tremendous adversity, and guides readers through applying the same methods to their own lives.

Combining remarkable stories from Marcus’s life with insights from modern psychology and the enduring wisdom of his philosophy, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor puts a human face on Stoicism and offers a timeless and essential guide to handling the ethical and psychological challenges we face today.” –goodreads.com

First Impressions

Even though I was already sold on this book because it is a topic I want to explore again I didn’t know too much about the book itself until I got my hands on it and read the above description. What stood out to me most was the fact that this book seems like a combination of a history, philosophy, and self help. On top of that it seems like the author is going to be taking ideas that many scoff at because they are “old” and revitalizing them though a modern lens. As someone who has studied history, you really can see a lot of parallels to old idea and civilizations and the modern day if you only took the time to really see the connections. Obviously, this is not to say the past is perfect in anyway, but nor are we perfect now. One thing for sure is that the past and present are connected.

What I Liked

While I really loved this book quite a bit, there are a few things that stood out the most while reading this book. The first being the authors ability to showcase ancient philosophy in a way that is easily understood. Not only was it easily understood, I liked how the author connected this philosophy to modern psychology. As someone who studied both of these a bit in the past, it really solidified my understanding as well as cementing the fact that this does in fact have a place in the modern world. I would like to make it clear that I feel like this book would still be easily understood and impactful if the reader does not have any background or previous interest in these fields. The authors plain language and explanations don’t come across as belittling or condescending, but like a friend talking to you and explain something new to you. Nothing is overly complicated in the slightest.

The second things that really stood out to me, I kind of already hinted at, but the authors way of telling the story of Marcus Aurelius or Stoicism was phenomenal. As someone who had no idea about either of these topics. Though his narrative way to telling the history combined with his friendly way of giving examples of how to bring these practices to your life it is an enjoyable read. It neither reads like someone knowledgeable talking down to someone or like you are in a lecture. When reading about ancient ways of thinking or individuals, this can often happen. But, Donald J. Robertson stands out in this regard.

What I Didn’t Like

I have to say I really don’t have anything specific to note in regards to dislikes when reading this book.

Overall

I am really glad that I came across this video by jacksepticeye because otherwise I would have never read this book. If you couldn’t tell already, I loved this book. I annotated it quite a lot. You would be hard pressed to find a page without a scribble or underlined passages. It was organized very well, the narrator/ author had a very clear and kind tone, and I learned quite a lot without feeling like I was attending a class or seminar. My personal opinion is this is a wonderful book and if you are interested in this topic, look further into this book.

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

Bullet Journal Jottings August 2021

Items Used

My Bullet Journal

August dashboard pages

This months calendar I took some inspiration from Happy D. Artist on youtube. I really liked how they had the month written in larger bubble letters a little behind the actually daily boxes. I did however leave off the days of the week labels because for me I don’t really need it personally. I highlighted the days I am meant to be posting on the blog so I can visually see it easier like I did in July. Lastly I added some pothos doodles to fill in the empty space. I have never really drawn this plant before so it was a nice little challenge.

Book Digest and Monthly Intent pages

My next two spaces are exactly the same as last month. On the left I am planning on keeping track of the books I read arrow pointing to the left, hauled books, arrow to the right, and two arrows pointing towards each other will mark hauled and read in the month. As for my Monthly Intent, when I write those down I am just going to have a check box there to check off. I like keeping these very plain so I have a lot of room to add throughout the month without needing to use another page.

30 Day Uke and Daily Doodle Tracker

These two monthly trackers are new to me because I am in the process of learning to play the uke. I am using the 30 Day Uke Challenge by Bernadette Teaches Music so I wanted to create a tracker to make sure I am on target with my daily studies. I am really loving it so far, I started in July so I have a few boxes already shaded in.

On the right I wanted to do a daily doodle so I put this list of prompts combining lists already created by psychara_art and goretober. I am tempted to make them all houses because I loved Minnie Small‘s art dealing with houses and I thought it would be a fun challenge for myself, but also keep me from making the doodles too complicated.

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Reading Taste Test · Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Cousin Edition | Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Hello and welcome to the July edition of Someone Picks My Books! This month I reached out to my cousin to pick a book for me. She ended up picking Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami, but you probably figured that out from the title. I have read a few of Murakami’s books so I was thrilled when she brought this one up so I get to read it. I was able to get it right from the library on my ereader so I got right to reading!

Description

A dazzling new collection of short stories—the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

I really enjoyed the bite sized looks into the lives of those within the stories. I felt like the stories were well paced and the length of each one was perfect. I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything, but I also never felt like a story went on too long. A very difficult balance to maintain as a writer. I felt that while we got a snippet of each of these men, each was unique and I didn’t feel like a plot was recycled in any way.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the fact that these short stories has the same feel that I have previously loved in works I have read by the author. This is personally a worry for me when I am used to reading novels by an author, changing the type of fiction an author writes can at times ruin an author for me because they can loose a sense of what I enjoy about them. Happily that was not the case at all here.

What I Didn’t Like

As with short story collections there are some winners and some not great ones. I normally have this experience with collections, but I have to say I felt overall very positive about the collection and I didn’t outright hate or fully dislike one in particular.

Overall

This is a great collection of short stories and I am very glad that my cousin picked this for me to read. I was lucky enough to bring this with my on vacation and it was honestly perfect for that setting. It was bite sized chunks of great works by a very talented writer. The stories didn’t go to fast or drag on in any way. If you love Murakami or have been wanting to give his works a try, but 1Q84 is overwhelming I think you should look into this collection.

Up Next

Next month I am reading a book picked by the lovely Minna, where you can find them on twitter as @bookishminna and on their blog bookishminna. I really love their combination of book content and life where their personality shines through as well as their passions.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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