Lists & Recommendations

Ten Random Books from my Owned TBR

Pile of 10 books from my owned tbr

Hello and welcome to a post where I show you a glimpse of a few books on my owned tbr. I planned on showing you only 10, but alas, I cannot count and took a picture of 11. I felt like it might be fun to just pick up the first books I saw and showcase them a bit. As of writing this my TBR is around 35 books so this is only a third of what I have. Anyway, here are the 11 books I picked up!

Inferno by Dante Alighieri

Dinner by César Aira

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríof

Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami

Ms. Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Heaven by Meiko Kawakami

Fresh by Margot Wood

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

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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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Let's Talk · Tags

Let’s Talk | My Chaotic Reading Habits Tag

Hello and welcome to a bit of a tag post that I thought was really fun. I came across this tag a few months ago when it was posted by Noelle Gallagher, a booktuber. As soon as I watched I knew I would eventually get around to posting my own answers because I love learning about other reading habits as well as talking about them in general. I always found it kind of funny how so many people can love the same hobby, but engage in it so differently!

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I generally read in my room either in my bed or in my chair. If it is warmer out I will read outside and enjoy some fresh air.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Now, this one is interesting. I used to be someone who just used whatever was around me. But, as of late I have been using bookmarks more consistently. I am not sure when this shift started or what actually changed for me because I always had bookmarks on hand. lol.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

I need a natural break in a book to stop reading. I either will stop after a chapter or if there is a break in a chapter. If not I get a bit annoyed at having to find exactly where I put the book down. But, I will say there are times I just stop because something has to be addressed or comes up. This is a huge reason why I am not a fan of books that don’t have chapters or natural breaking points.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

Yeah, I tent to have a drink of some sort when I am drinking. I don’t always have a snack, but not because I am against eating while reading. I just tend to read after a meal or before bed so I am not too hungry.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

I often have instrumental music playing in the background or an ambiance video playing. I actually did a post on some of my favorites a while ago, it is called Let’s Talk | Personal Reading Sprints with ASMR. I tend to use them as guidance for reading sprints and I listed a few of my favorite channels.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

I generally have 2 or more books going at once, but they tend to be two different formats. I will tend to read a physical book or ebook and then listen to an audiobook at the same time.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

I generally read at home, mainly because I don’t go many places these days with the world being what it is currently. I have in the past always brought a book with me on the go.

8. Reading out lout or silently in your head?

I really don’t enjoy reading aloud. I always read to myself in my head.

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I have done this from time to time if a book is REALLY dragging or there is a POV in a book I loath and I will skip their chapter. I am reading for entertainment and if it is not entertaining me I am skipping it.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I am not someone who is like I NEED to break the spine or someone who will be upset if the spines are broken. I just kind of let happen what is going to happen. I will be very careful with a book though if I am borrowing it from a friend because it is not mine. Library books tend to be hard covers and tend to have some sort of protection so I don’t need to be as careful as if I am reading a friends copy.

11. Do you write in your books?

Yes, I will write in a book if I have strong reactions to something in it or I am reading it for a buddy read or review. That way I can find some things to discuss easily and not need to look from a note book then to a book and then try to find a line on a page. But, if I do not own the book I will not do this.

Tagging

The Glitter Bomb, Howling Libraries, What Vicky Read, BinxThinx

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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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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | July 2021

Hello and welcome to “new” kind of post here on my blog. In the past I just did monthly TBRs and didn’t really talk about my goals outside of this or share the things I wanted to try to get to during the month. Well, I decided to change that and post a monthly intent post to share what I intend to do over the course of the month book wise and beyond!

Reading Plans

This upcoming month I really want to read a few books, but the two I want to prioritize this month are How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson and Later by Stephen King. When it comes to How to Think Like a Roman Emperor I am curious to continue looking into philosophy. I took a class when I was in school and really enjoyed it, but I have not really explored it more since. I am really hoping to chance that. As for King’s book, I really loved the last two books he wrote for hard case crime, so I am hoping that this is another great mystery penned by King.

Crochet Plans

This month I want to finally tackle a project I have been putting off. I have all the yarn for the project and everything, I just have been so intimidated by it that I keep picking up other projects first. The pattern in question is the Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. It is a beautiful sweater/poncho that I really want to have done for the fall months so I can wear it out and about. I have been dabaling in creating wearables this year outside of scarfs and hats and I already notice an improvement in my abilities. I am hoping I have gotten good enough to create this beautiful pattern. I ended up picking up Brava Bulky Weight Yarn in the color Sienna.

Random Goals

Something different I would love to do this month is create a room spray. I normally just buy some from the store and call it a day, but I think it would be a ton of fun to try and make one myself and really tailor it to my tastes. This is not to say that the store bought ones or bad, I tend to like most of the ones I have picked up. I just think it would be fun to mix my own or follow a guide to create a scent I really adore.

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | JJ Clapton | The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Someone Picks My Books where I ask for volunteers to pick a random book for me to read and see if I like it just as much as they did. This past May I had the wonderful JJ Clapton, who you can find over on twitter as @JJClaptonWrites as well on her website jjclapton.com. Yes, I am sorry I am late to posting this because I have been rethinking my blog a bit, but this series is one I truly love and wont to continue into the future. Anyway, I really excited to share my thoughts on this adventure of a book!

Description

For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob — a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing.
There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality. –goodreads

What I Liked

First and foremost, I absolutely adored the imaginative aspect of this book. I mean, the ideas of book characters jumping off the pages is something a lot of us book lovers say as a figure of speech and most likely has been around for a while. The thing is, the author actually made this figure of speech seem like a reality and created a whole book around it, amazingly I might add.

This book opened up the readers in such a great manner it was a mixture of explaining and showing that was balanced really well. I felt like the author explained just enough that the reader isn’t lost, but we are thrown right into the action of the story. The writing really was just wonderful throughout. The plot was well done, the atmosphere was great, and when I read it felt like I was falling into the book just as much as the characters in this story were coming to life because of Charley’s abilities.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, I really enjoyed this book and I can’t think of a single thing I did not enjoy about this book.

Overall

If you couldn’t tell, I loved this book. It was imaginative and unlike anything I have read personally and on top of that was executed amazingly. I was honestly shocked to see that this was the authors first book, but very happy too see that they have others out and another one in the works. This review was hard to write because all I wanted to do was gush about it and say, how much I loved it. I will say that there are a few scenes in the book that depict a few dark things that could be triggering to some such as violence, if curious here is a list of trigger warnings. If this is something that does not affect you, I highly suggest giving this book a try. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I could not be more ecstatic that JJ Clapton picked it for me to read!

Up Next

The next installment that is coming very soon was picked by the wonderful Whitney, who you can find on both twitter as @whitreadslit and over on her blog, whitreadslit.com. She is a very kind individual and her content is amazing!

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

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Crochet Talk | January – March 2021

Hello and welcome to another crochet check in! The past few months I have taken on quite a few new projects and challenges when it comes to crochet and I wanted to take a moment to share the outcomes of these adventures. I know a bit ago I did a post detailing my crochet plans called, Crochet Talk | Upcoming Projects, I figured I should share an update!


The Projects

The first project I finished was a Crochet Kobo Cover. I used a pattern inspired by Melanie Ham called Easy Crochet Kindle Cover. I used Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend in the color Chai Latte with a 6.0 mm hook. I added a the optional strap and button as well as a fabric lining, the first time I have done either. It was a bit of a challenge doing the lining, but I think the next time I try it will be better.

The next few projects I made were Drawstring Pom Pom Bags designed by Knit Crochet Addict called Crochet Drawstring Pom Pom Bag, I left the pom poms off, not really my style, but it is cute! I used Wool Ease by Lion Brand in quite a few different colors because I made two for me a few for friends of mine. When making this I used the recommended hook size on the yarn to complete the project.


This next project was a basket called the Jessie Stash Basket by Toni Lipsey. To complete the project I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick Color Fisherman doubled up and used a 9.0 mm hook. I really loved how this book came out so much in this cream color! I even placed it on my nightstand to hold my current read and current crochet projects. It is very durable too because the yarn was doubled up. I really love Toni’s patterns and videos.

Next, I created a Highlander Twisted Shawl which was designed by Lilian for a friend of mine. I decided to use Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in the color Galaxy, which is a bit hard to see in the picture, but is a deep purple with sparkles here and there. I ended up using a 9.0 mm hook. On a great note, my friend loved it!

Following the shawl, I made another gift, but this one was a Snoopy Amigurumi plush by Amigurinos softies. I ended up using Big Twist Value Worsted Yarn in black and white and used the size down from recommended hook size for the yarn. What I loved about Amigurumi is you can change up the yarn size and hook size to make a larger or smaller plush. I am happy with how this one comes out and I really hope the person it is meant for will love it.


This month I made a lot of gifts for others, this time around I made an Outlander Cowl by Jamey from Dabbles & Babbles. I used Big Twist Sincerely Solids in the color Oatmeal Heather. I doubled up on the yarn and ended up using a size 10.0 mm hook. I really loved the texture of this scarf and really love how this came out. The person I made it for ended up wearing it all day when I gifted it to them.

This next project is for me, I ended up making myself the Crochet The Claire Shawl From Outlander by Selina Veronique
using Stylecraft Special Aran in Khaki (1) and Camel (4). I ended up using a size 6.0 mm (J) hook. I decided to use yellow and a green color instead of the green and black used in the show because I wanted to make it more spring-y.

The last project I finished in March was Beginner Felici Crochet Socks by Briana K Designs. I ended up using
Patons North America Kroy Socks yarn doubled up, I actually mixed the colors brown rose marl and
gray brown marl together and used a 4.5 mm hook. This was a project I was very much intimidated by, but so happy that I tried. Plus, I am really happy with how they came out.

What hobbies have you been filling your time with?

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | My favorite Spread of 2020

Hello and welcome to a little post where I am going to share a few of my favorite bujo spread from the past year. I am not going to do much of an introduction other than I am basing this off of how practical and how they helped me throughout the year, not necessarily how pretty they are. Anyway, here are the spreads!


Monthly Books Read

One of my favorite spreads of this year, well it really happened every month, was my monthly read books spread. At the start of the month I would draw four shelves and then throughout the month print out pictures of the book covers for each book I finished. It was a really fun and visual way to see all the books I was reading without just keeping track of a number.

Oracle Card of the Month

I think the last half of the year I started adding an oracle card of the month to my bullet journal, which I loved because I used a selfcare oracle which had a journal prompt, actives, and more to help take care of yourself. I really loved this because 2020 has been a really interesting year to say the least, but I really loved these prompts because some of them I would never have tried otherwise. The one pictured focusing on the moon cycle and it focuses on mindfulness throughout every phase.

Get to 0 Books on TBR

I am not 100% sure if I ever shared this spread, or table actually, where I listed weeks from June 2020-October 2020 and my goal for my TBR and actually where I ended up at the end of the week. Well, this is not a picture of it competed, but I did get to 0 this year, which was so awesome. I really didn’t think it would have happened. Anyway, I loved checking in with this spread because it really kept me motivated from week to week.


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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Crafting | Making My Own Book Sleeve

Hello and welcome to a DIY testing post! I have always loved using book sleeves for my books since I always am carrying one around with me. Well, I recently picked up a sewing machines and I wanted to finally give making one on my own a try. I came across the following video tutorial on youtube and it seemed very simple. I made a few following the tutorial perfectly and another adapting it for my ereader. This tutorial is called: DIY | Book Sleeve | Tutorial by Craftastic Artist. I highly suggest taking a look at it yourself, it is only about 1 min and 30 sec.


I will start off by saying the instructions are really straight forward and the video is done in such a wonderful way you can actually see everything and hands don’t get in the way. I was able to follow along wonderfully. My first few attempts I followed the tutorial to a T and here are the results.

I will start off by saying I loved this green colored fabric the the pin up zombies were fun for Halloween. I actually made three of these and gifted them to friends and loved ones. I made the mistake of placinbg the pattern upside down, but other than that I loved pretty much everything. One thing I would have liked would have been the edge that is sewn with a lip, I would have preferred that to be bigger. Also, this side only fits mid sized paperbacks and smaller. So, I would modify the measurements in the future, but the tutorial is good. I just wish the pattern stated book size plus a length to aid in adapting it.


Adapting

So the second time around I wanted to make a cover for my kobo reader. So, I needed to adapt the pattern a bit. I ended up cutting the fabric 8.5 inches by 16 inches. The one thing I realized about this pattern when adapting it was you use A LOT of fabric with the two different levels of sewing. The first being attaching all of the pieces of fabric together and the second is creating the pouch. Even though I added more than 2 inches of extra fabric this almost ended up being too small. In the future I would add an additional inch height-wise and maybe another inch width. But, I am no professional since sewing is new to me.

In the above picture you can really see the two “levels” of sewing you are doing and you can see how much space is lost in this manner. But, I think I learned a lot from this and it still managed to fit my ereader sideways so it is protected and I am happy.

If you could not tell from my tarot covered fabric I took advance of halloween fabric being on sale, but I really do like the muted colors used. I think it came out better the second time because I learned a lot and was more aware of my placement and pinning of things. I think going forward I am going to get even better at it and make changes as needed.


Overall, I really liked how straightforward and simple this tutorial is. It was helpful to see them planning it all out and their clear pictures. I might try to find a tutorial for a bigger size to try and compare the two patterns and see if I can find a style that better suits my needs and wants. I hope you liked a little peak at my sewing adventures, if you know any good tutorials for a beginner like me, please send them my way!


Do you use a book sleeves? Have you ever made one before?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | OwlCrate Edition of The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

Open box with enamel pin and card explaining this is the owlcrate special edition box.

I have yet to read this book, but I have heard both good things and more critical. Before I get into this unboxing I want to link one of the more critical reviews for your reference, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue Review by Read at Midnight. I preordered this book months ago and I am glad to finally have this in my hands, but when I read it, I will have this review in the back of my mind. Now, without more of an introduction here is the unboxing.


Here is a picture of the items I am really thrilled with, I will review from left to right. First we have the enamel pin that is a picture of an open book and a it says ” a story is an idea, as wild as a weed”. I already added this to my pin display. Next is a three year memory journal, the cover says, “What a luxury to tell ones story. To be read. Remembered.” from the book. It is well made and bound nicely, I have no doubt that it will last the three years. Next is the special edition book which is a card cover and just pictures the title on the front. Place on the book is a wooden ring page holder, which I used once and it seems very useful for me personally. It has vines and the words, “il ètait une fois once upon a time” engraved into it. Lastly is a candle that goes along with the story.

Here is a quick picture of the back of the book that have layered diamond shapes and a banner. It has the words, “Never pray to the gods that answer after dark” embossed in rose gold.

Here is a quick peak into the three year memory journal. I really liked the rose gold touch on the edges of this journal as well as the smoky effect on the pages. Each page gives 3 lines for three different years for two days, which I think is a fair amount to jot a quick memory at the end of the day.

Now, on to the things I am indifferent or disappointed with. Now, this water bottle is well made and has a really nice quote that says, “Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives – or to find strength in a very long one” in white text on the black bottle. just have so many traveling bottles that I can’t use as it is that adding one to my collection is not bad or good. But, I will say it is amazingly made and the printing is great.

Lastly, we have the one item I am actually really upset in the quality. This item is a wooden perpetual calendar, painted black with rose gold sides made of wire and the text is also in the rose gold color. The part that I am disappointed with mainly is the quality. I put the date of the unboxing and you can see all the scuff marks and chipped paint already. Even the base itself you can see the sloppy glue job to put it together. In addition to the bad craftsmanship, can you see the “beautiful” quote that is featured on this item? Me either, they placed it behind the blocks, which is pretty pointless in my opinion. Why even bother adding it?


Anyway, that was my unboxinig of the Owl Crate special edition box for The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab. As you can tell I am really happy with a few of the items in the box and others I am not happy with at all. But, I will say over all I am happy. Now, the question is will I be ordering one of these types of boxes again? I am honestly not sure. What do you think?


What are your thoughts on this book? Do you subscribe to OwlCrate?

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