Lists & Recommendations

My Unread eBooks

picture of ereader among plants

Hello and welcome to a post where I share some of the ebooks I own and have yet to read. I will say, I mainly use my ereader to read books from the library, but there are a few books I have picked up because they were on sale. The ereader I use is a Kobo Libra H2O. I did a few posts about it when I first unboxed it, Unboxing | New eReader! and also an update on how I felt about it after some use Let’s Talk | 6 Month Review of Kobo Libra H2O. Anyway, here is a list of the books that I have sitting on my ereader ready for me read.

  • The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller
  • Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami
  • The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
  • The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox
  • Middle March by Mary Ann Evans
  • Horns by Joe Hill
  • 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
  • Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
  • Ships of Destiny by Robin Hobb
  • Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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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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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 Challenges

Replacing My Screen Time

Hello and welcome to a post where I am going to share my experience attempting to replace my screen time with some reading instead. I have been seeing this concept shared by a few booktubers such as The Book Leo and Spoopyhol. I thought it was a really fun idea and would be a great way to put my energy in enjoying my hobbies and not just looking at a screen mindlessly. This really goes hand in hand with me wanting to take a few ideas from my recent read, Thinking Like a Roman Emperor and implementing them. I did a whole review on this book, you can read that here: Reading Taste Test | @jacksepticeye. Anyway, here is what happened throughout my attempt to replace my screen time!

screen time data

To start off I needed to take a look at my screen time for the previous week and I ended up spending 1h 48min a day on my phone. This is actually better than I thought it would be, but to think of reading that much a day seems like it might be a bit difficult. Also, I am going to be monitoring or tracking my reading using an app called Study Bunny and set it to 110m, which is the equivalent to 1h 50m.

Screen shot of Study Bunny

Monday, August 2nd: Read from 13% to 100% of The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar. I ended up reading a total of 2h 15m.

Tuesday, August 3rd: Started reading Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobbs and ended on page 154. I read for 1h 50m.

Wednesday, August 4th: Oops life got in the way. So my time for the day was 0h 0m. I am hoping to make this up before the week is over so I can get the time in.

Thursday, August 5th: Continued reading Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobbs I started on page 154 and ended on page 296. I read for the full 1h 50m.

Friday, August 6th: Continued reading Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobbs I started on page 296 and read until page 398. Following reading my tome for the entire 110m, I ended up reading two short stories, Snow Flakes by Ruth Ware and then Treasure Oyinkan Braithwaite. I read both of these short stories back to back and added another 40m to my reading for a total of 3h 40m.

Saturday, August 7th: The first section of reading was the daily amount of 110 min and I read from pages 398 to 547. Later in the day I decided to read some more. I ended up making it to page 631 and took the days total to 3h 13m.

Sunday, August 8th: The last day of the challenge and I was determined to finish this read to end this challenge with the book, I thought it would be fun. I read from page 631 to page 880. The total time of reading for the day ended up being 3h 19m.

Reading Time Graph

Number of hours of required reading was 12h 50m or 770m. I ended up reading a total of 16 hours and 7 min this past week. I ended up exceeding my goal, even though I missed a day of reading, which I am proud of. I thought I would have a hard time trying to make up the missed day, but it all worked out in the end! I am really glad I ended up taking on this challenge and I hope to try another reading challenge in the future!

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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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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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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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Monthly Intent · To Be Read

Monthly Intent | August 2021

Books I plan on reading this month!

Hello and welcome to my monthly intent post for August! I hope everyone has a lovely July, and August will even better! This month I have quite a few things I would like to see or give a try. I am really hoping the weather ends up cooperating because a lot of them are outdoorsy or a DIY I would need good ventilation.

Reading Plans

This upcoming month I have three books I really would love to get to. The first one being Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann, I have wanted to read this for months and for some reason I just have not picked it up. I was in a bit of a slump after the first few months of the year, so I am going to blame it on that. Thankfully, I think it is starting to go away since my reading has gone up a bit the last few months. Next, I really would love to read Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin. I read Fever Dream by the same author and I really loved it so I have very high hopes. Her last one had a bit of a horror twist that I was not expecting. I want to slowly read all of her stuff. Last, but not least is Writing on Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis. I recently picked this up, but I just want to get to it right away! It’s a nonfiction about a small island community in Maine.

Crochet Plans

This month I want to finally finish my Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. I am loving how it is coming out and I just cannot wait to get to wear it in the fall. Another thing I want to attempt to do is knit a pair of socks. I signed up for a class of sorts to try and learn, we shall see how it goes! I do not have the highest of hopes, BUT I am excited to give it a try and also have the support if I need it. Even if they come out wonky I will love them. I might just hang them on the wall as an art piece instead of functioning socks though. lol. If I happen to have time I have a few smaller projects I want to work on to try to get ahead on gifts during the holiday season.

Random Goals

This month I have it in my head to dye my own yarn. I found a method using blackbeans and I was thinking of giving it a go. The post I found is called Natural Dyeing with Black Beans by fiberartsy. I just need to find the right kind of yarn to dye, I feel like that is going to be the most difficult. I want to use a cotton, but we shall see! Next, I really want to go to an art museum of some sort. I have a few that are within my state so I am trying to decide which one I would feel the most comfortable going to.

What are you planning on doing this month?

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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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