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.

Sign Off 2020
Sign off, thanks for reading!

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Barnes and Noble 50% Hardcover Haul

Hello and welcome to a very surprising post. I had not expected this sale, but I was really happy that it came up because I was able to pick up some books I was putting off buying due to their price. If you did not already know, Barnes and Noble had a 50% off Hardcover sale starting on boxing day and the day after, as far as I am aware that is the length. I ended up going to BN for another reason and saw all the signs all over the store so I ended up picking up 5 books.

Photo of hauled books

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon, this is the newest book in the Outlander series, book 9. This one is also a huge book and I have wanted to pick it up, but was waiting for it to come out in softcover.

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw, this horror novella caught my eye and I have seen the cover around and I thought I would give it a shot. My understanding is this horror tale is a combination of lore from Japan and takes place in an abandoned building.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, I have read about 3 of Jones’ work and have generally enjoyed his stuff. I had this on my list to pick up when the softcover released, but I didn’t need to wait anymore because of this sale. He tends to write horror fiction that reflects his Native American roots.

Billy Summers by Stephen King, I enjoy Kings novels, but there are only a few I will reread and because of that I never pay full price for them. I have been waiting for this book to have its softcover release or go on sale, which yay, it did! This work of his is more thrilled than horror based, but still has his horror roots. It follows a killer for hire that will only take jobs that target bad people.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris, talk about timing with this book. I was just recommended this book by a friend and I walked into BN and it was right in front so I scoped it up! When I first read the description it sounded like a fun fiction, but the more I read it turned into a mystery thriller, which really intrigued me.

Sign Off 2020
Sign off, thanks for reading!

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

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!

Sign Off 2020
Sign off, thanks for reading!

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | My Doctor | Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Book, this month I am reading a book that was recommended by my doctor at my most recent annual visit. We always name a few books for each other, which is a lot of fun. I ended up picking Anxious People from the couple they mentioned mainly because I have seen this cover and title all over the place.

Description

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix up their own marriage. There’s a wealthy banker who has been too busy making money to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in a motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next. – goodreads.com

What I Liked

This novel really has a unique premise to it. I mean, you jump right into a hostage situation in an open house. The life stories that are explored are interesting if that is something you enjoy reading for sure. The main thing I like about this book is that it really shows you don’t know what goes on in other peoples lives and what they are dealing with that led them to where they are.

What I Didn’t Like

This is a very personal thing when it comes to reading, but I thought personally there were so many side stories I started to loose interest. I am not someone who enjoys a large cast of characters. I enjoy maybe 4 if I am being adventurous. I feel like this book gave peaks into the lives of these peoples, all great ideas and really made it clear that you never really know what someone is dealing with, but I never connected with anyone. I want to make it clear, I DNF’ed this book at 70% so I gave it a real try, but I just didn’t feel overly drawn or connected to anyone. I did feel empathetic to people who do deal with these things though. Some of the things that happen to these characters I would not wish on anyone at all. Like I said, this is a really personal thing when it comes to reading and I feel like it is also affected by my current mood.

Overall

This was not the best book for me. I had a hard time getting into it or connecting with the characters because it jumped around so much for me personally. I really loved the idea of the book, looking at what is going on in the lives of those who were taken hostage as well as the failed robber. This book explores the hardships that sadly a lot of people end up facing. I thought the ideas was GREAT and I can see why other people adore this book. It really has a lot going for it. It just isn’t for me, at least not right now. I can see myself reading this again in the future when I am in a different mood and feeling differently about it. But, as of right now I DNF’ed it at 70%.

Up Next

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

Sign Off 2020
Thanks for reading! Sincerely, Luna

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | October 2021

Hello and welcome to my monthly intent post for the month for October! This month is pretty straightforward and I don’t plan on doing anything too out there, apart from maybe reading some spooky read and decorating with more skulls than normally sit on my shelves. But, I do have a quite a few things I would like to do otherwise, here are those plans and goals!

Reading Plans

This month I have three books I want to prioritize the first is finishing Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb, I read the Farseer Trilogy this year and I enjoyed it. I want to continue working my way through Hobbs works. Plus, I hear this trilogy is even better than the last. Another book from my 2021 reading goals I want to get to it is my reread of The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. I read this 6 or 7 years ago and a lot of the details are starting to fade away so I thought this year would be a great time to reread. I already read The Hobbit last month so I am thrilled to be back in the world. The last book I am hoping to get to between all my mood reading is The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben. I have not read a thriller in a while so I am thinking October might be a really great month to jump into the genre.

Crochet & Knitting Plans

This upcoming month I really want to focus on finishing a few presents and also a donation I am in the middle of. A friend of mine let me know there was an LGBTQ+ organization that was collecting winter items for LGBTQ+ youth. The website for it is Knit the Rainbow if you want more details. I am really excited about creating these items. I have a hat and a cowl already going and I am going to try to finish a few more items before the end of the month.

As for the presents I am making I have a blanket and two stockings I need to get done, but I feel like I can get at least the two stockings done before October is done and really focus on the blanket either at the end of the month and November if need be. Both are using bulky yarn, so they should work up fairly quickly. After these projects are done I am going to be starting to make a few things for myself again.

Random Goals

This month there is not a ton I want to get done other than what I already listed. Reading and crafting are at the top of my to do list. If I was going to add another goal it would be sit around a camp fire and make some s’mores to send off the summer and welcome fall in.

What are you planning on doing this month?

Sign Off 2020
Sign off, thanks for reading!

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Bookish Minna | The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Picture of ebook on ipad on a pile of blankets.

Hello and welcome to a bit of a delayed post of my August Someone Picks My Books. This month the wonderful Minna from Bookish Minna picked my book. Not only can you find them on their blog, linked earlier, but you can also find them on twitter @bookishminna. This is my first introduction to the works of N.K. Jemisim, but I will say I have heard this book title quite a few times through blogs and twitter. So this led me to be really curious with this choice to see if I like their writing style or the world they seemed to build for their book series.

Description

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter. goodreads.com

What I Liked

As I stated earlier, I have never read anything byN.K. Jemisim and I was curious to see if I liked their writing style. The great news is, I really enjoyed how they crafted this story and brought it to life. The author was able to pull me into their world with barely any issues, I could clearly picture everything the author talked about or described.

I also really enjoyed getting to know and go on a gritty adventure with the characters in The Fifth Season. The didn’t come across flat in any way, which I appreciate a lot. I find in fantasy it is easy to write a flat character, but the combination with a rich world and these dynamic characters I was truly thrilled. Fantasy is a hard genre for me honestly, I either LOVE it or LOATH it. I go past hate. I am happy to say that this book really is one I truly enjoyed and it really comes down to the talent of the author being able to so clearly get across their world and characters without us actually being in their head.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing I had the most “problems” with, I put it in quotations because it wasn’t really a problem is the fact the author using unique phrases etc. that takes some times to get used to. I read the book from the library, but it is my understanding from other reviews I have come across there is a glossary so I would suggest looking at that. But, understanding these phrases isn’t too hard if you use some context clues and it really does add to the story. It makes the world feel that much more real, but also adds to it being an fantasy because it does not use the same vocabulary as the reader does.

Overall

This is a really great fantasy novel and series, I didn’t know it was a series when I first picked it up. It is rich with details and great characters. It can be a little bumpy if new vocabulary or sayings are thrown in, but is easily remedied and you can easily fall into the tale. I am so thrilled that Minna picked this for me because while I heard about this novel before I would never have picked it up because the description for me didn’t do it justice. While the whole idea of this novel is heart breaking, just needing basic necessities to live, it was a very enjoyable read and I really hope to continue this series one day.

Up Next

Next month I am reading a book picked by my doctor. We often share our recently reads when I go in for my routine check up and I decided to use one of the book they told me about as my September book!

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

Sign Off 2020
Thanks for reading! Sincerely, Luna

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

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

Sign Off 2020
Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

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?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

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.

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads