Current Reads and WIPs

Current WIPs and Reads | May 2022

Hello and welcome to a midmonth check-in! I just wanted to take a moment to share what I am currently reading and what I am currently working on craft wise as well. This month has already flown by, I have already finished a few books and projects that you will see in my Monthly Digest post for the month, but I am still reading and working away on other projects and books currently.

My Current Reads

Berserk Deluxe Edition Volume 1 by Kentaro Miura, Jason DeAngelis (Translator), I just started reading this so I am not too far into it , but the illustration style is great! It can be graphic though, so be warned! There is a lot going on so you just keep wanting to turn the pages and get sucked in for sure.

Other than this, I am planning on picking up The Baby is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite, who wrote My Sister, the Serial Killer, which I LOVED! So I am really looking forward to reading this because her thriller style is unique. Even if you know what you are picking up, she still manages to surprise you. For me, this is a HUGE plus. Even thrillers that don’t give away huge plot points I feel like I can easily predict since I read so many of them. Braithwaite on the other hand can tell you a ton about what is going to happen, but still takes me on a ride!

My Current WIPs

Body Language Cardigan by Knits N Knots, I am finally working on anther crochet project! I have not done crochet for a while, but I have missed it. I decided on this pattern because it looks nice and cozy, but also lets me practice some seaming since it is made in pieces. I am hoping to finish it before it gets too hot and I wont want to touch it and it will be ready for next fall. I am currently working on the back panel and the largest for this sweater. I feel like once I finish this panel the rest will fly!

Crochet project, showing the start of the back panel

My on the go project has been my Rainbow Vanilla Socks, no pattern followed for this. I am just knitting based off memory of knitting other socks. I am at the heel on both of the socks currently, I like to work both socks and keep them at the same sections so I finish them close together instead of getting with burn out when I have one totally complete sock an one not even started.

Rainbow knitted socks, in progress.

What are you currently reading or working on?

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Let's Talk · Reading Challenges

First Goal Check in for 2022!

Hello and welcome to my first check in with my 2022 goals! I was planning on doing this check in a bit earlier, but time got away from me. I must also admit I have not looked at any of these goals since writing this post back in December, so this should be interesting!

Reading Goals

Read 6 non-fiction books, I have read a total of 4 non-fiction books! I am well on my way to achieve this goal

Read the International Booker Prize Shortlist, I have read 2 of the 6, so I feel like I am doing well with this goal as well.

Get owned TBR under 15 books, I am currently at about 20 books, so I am getting close!

Life Goals

See a new place, I ended up visiting about 4 new yarn shops this year. Not quite what I had in mind for this goal, but technically I did do it.

Teach myself something new, this year I have learned how to do color work, cables, and bobbles! I also took a class relating to researching genealogy and learned a lot in regards to that as well!

Maker Goals

Knit a sweater, achieved! I ended up knitting a Ranunculus which you can see a picture of in my post entitled, Monthly Digest | April 2022. I am really happy with how it came out!

Knit 6 pairs of socks, so far I have created 2 pairs of socks. I am in the middle of my third so I feel like I am making good time with this goal.

Crochet a sweater, I have yet to do this one, but I have plans to crochet one in May 2022. I am crossing my fingers that I actually get the time to do this.

Create 10 things with my hands, as of writing this I have created 6 items. These include; shawls, socks, cowls, and a sweater.

Goal Count

Completed: 3

Not Completed: 6

I have successfully achieved 3 of my 9 goals for this year. This is actually great in my eyes due to the fact we are 1/3 of the way through the year and I completed 1/3 of my goals. As for the goals I have not achieved I seemed to be making good progress to where I don’t feel like I am behind on any of them just yet.

I really hope your 2022 is going well and you are working towards all of your goals!

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | April 2022

Hey all and welcome to a bit of a review of the previous month! Spring has officially sprung bringing with it a ton of rain and pollen. While I did really enjoy falling asleep to the steady rain this past month, I am not too thrilled with the pollen that is making me sneeze left and right. But, I will say overall this month has kept me busy in a really good way!

Reading

The first book I read this month was The War of the Poor by Èric Vuillard. I originally picked this book up because I read a book by the author in the past. While I really enjoyed the writing style of this book, I was not too keen on there not being footnotes or endnotes to support their nonfiction book. I will be honest though, I am not sure if the intention of this book was meant to be nonfiction as well so I decided to do a little digging. The reason I had the expectations of this book being nonfiction is due to it’s tags on goodreads; History, Nonfiction, French History, but on the publishers site is quoted as saying, “A dazzling piece of historical re-imaginingPan Macmillan. So, I feel like individuals are mislabeling this historical fiction novella as nonfiction, which is unfortunate. Obviously, this is no fault of the author by any means, but it does change how I see this novella. The writing was engaging to say the least. This was a topic I studied a lot during my time in University, but it was really interesting seeing it portrayed in this manner. Even though I read about this time in history I was not bored or felt like I was experiencing Déjà vu. I read it in two sittings and I only put it down the first time because I needed to get to sleep. Overall, I ended up giving the book 3 stars!

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

I completed two large projects this month, the first being a Ranunculus, my first wearable and I am actually quite proud of it. I ended up wearing it the day after I finished it! I can see why so many people love this pattern, it was a project I never hesitated to pick up and it worked up quite quickly. It had some new things I needed to learn, but I am always open to learn something new.

Ranunculus Sweater – Short Sleeves

The second big project I finished was my Saraya Shawl, which I plan on wearing to a friends wedding later this Spring. This pattern was written by Saysha Greene and was published in Worsted. It was a really fun knit that challenged me, but didn’t leave me burnt out.

Saraya Shawl

Life

This month I did a lot of fun things, especially since the weather started to warm up. I had a really lovely date with my boyfriend to celebrate our anniversary where we got to have a really delicious meal while enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors. Then we adventured to our favorite ice cream shop and enjoyed them while hanging out on a bench talking and people watching.

I also went on a few adventures with my friends. I went to the movies for the first time in YEARS, which was nice because no one else was there really. So the two of us were not holding back our reactions to the movie in the slight, it was funny because the few other people watching the movie did the same thing. Then, with another friend of mine we went yarn shop hopping, I ended up picking up yarn for a few projects I want to make this year. We ended up going to about 8 shops, the discounts were so good I could not resist. I would have bought this yarn anyway, just for later down the line. We also ended up getting takeout after all that shopping and the food was just AMAZING!

This month was really great, mainly because I was able to hangout and create some great memories with others. I really hope to have a few picnics with some of my other friends I need to catch up with in the upcoming months.

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Hauls & Unboxings

February Book Haul

Hello and welcome to the first book haul of 2022. Each year I have a list of books I really want to take the time to read throughout the year, most of which are from the International Booker Prize shortlist. Since my reading was so reduced in December I held off on picking any of them up. But, with my reading taking off in January with 9 books, I thought it was a good time to add these books to my tbr pile since I am activity reading a ton.

Stack of hauled physical books.

Physical Books

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann, I read another book by Kelmann last year called Tyll and I loved how out there it was. Knowing this one of my friends off line picked this book for me to pick this year for my 12 in 12 challenge. This short story is a horror novel that follows a family that spends 7 days in a rented house. From the description I am getting Jack vibes from The Shining by Stephen King for the main character. Which, for me works because I love The Shining. I am curious how this short story is going to turn out because his other works were wild and out there, but also mesmerizing and I couldn’t put it down.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, this is a science fiction novel. This too was on the shortlist for the International Booker Prize, but I am intrigued due to the fact that in the description it mentions it follows those who were born and other who were created. That really piqued my interest.

Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, I have read about 2 other works by this author and this one has been on my list for a bit. I finally decided to pick up a physical copy. This book takes a look at being a modern day woman in Japan. The story itself is fiction, but it touches on the experience of the author and others. At least that is my current understanding.

When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins, this one I added to my TBR because it was picked by Little Miss Booklover 87 for my 12 in 12 challenge I placed on twitter where I asked people to pick a book for me to read this year. All I know about this book at this point is that it is a thriller that takes place many years after a double murder. Where someone finally decides to break their silence. I have not read a ton of thrillers over the past few months so I though this would be a good time to read it.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut, this is a nonfiction novel, but seems to have some fiction as well, that takes a look at science, discovery and those who make these breakthroughs. It appears that this book touches on Albert Einstein, Alexander Grothendieck, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, this is a collection of short horror stories that was also placed on the International Booker Prize shortlist. I love horror and it is refreshing to have some short stories on my shelf to grab when I don’t feel like reading an entire novel.

The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, is a horror novel that was placed in the shortlist for the International Booker Prize. It deals with inequality and takes place during 16th century in Europe. With the combination of horror and history I feel like this book will be a win for me personally.

Digital Books

Immune by Philipp Dettmer, I picked this up because I heard it mentioned on a twitch stream with Bob, Wade and Mark. I thought it would be a really interesting read and I do love myself a good nonfiction here and there.

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

February 2022 Bullet Journal Spread

Hello and welcome to my bullet journal! In 2022 I really wanted to jump back into bullet journaling because I realized one thing when not really utilizing it. I FORGET EVERYTHING! I do have a regular planner I run around with, but it is hard to add checklists for long tern goals and similar things. So, I have thankfully been using it in January pretty consistently and if you couldn’t tell, I have actually been blogging! Anyway, I am here to show you what I have going for February.

Items Used

Spreads

monthly dash and calendar

First off I really like to have a monthly dash to clearly define where one month starts and ends. I tend to just have the name of the month and an image. This month is obviously February and I added a wintery picture that shows pine branches and two silver hearts in the snow. I really liked how wintery this picture looked and how it tied in love without being over the time for Valentines Day. On the second page I just have the monthly calendar doodled. I highlighted the days I am planning on posting on my blog so they stand out a bit and they don’t pass me by. I decided to use a gray color to go with the cold wintery theme.

Habit tracker and monthly notes

This next pair of spreads start with my habit tracker, I ended up adding it last month because I wanted to really see how often I do the tasks I want to do. Most of these are fun/hobby based such as reading, fiber arts, and cross stitch. The other two are no spend and closing the rings on my watch. I really liked the idea of just layout out the number of the day and just highlighting when I meet it. When I had these in the past and needed to color things in I never did it, but a quick highlight really works for me. On the second page I have a blank page with monthly notes. Here I write down when I finish a book or haul one, a memorable event happens, or really just anything I feel like I might want to remember that happens throughout the month. It is really helpful when I do my Monthly Digest posts.

Weekly schedule and Korean study objectives

These next two sets of spreads are new to me this month. On the one side I ended up adding a weekly schedule for myself to follow. I actually made two schedules to try and then use which one works best for me. I really like having daily goals and objectives, it is just how my brain works. If I don’t I end up being unproductive or I try to be productive and get overwhelmed because I have no idea what I should be doing or what needs to be done. On the second page here I have a Korean Study page. I looked up how to write that in Hangeul, hopefully it is right, I figured I would find out for sure the more I study. Anyway, I really want to get back into language learning, I had to put it by the wayside because life got in the way like it does from time to time. I am focusing on learning Hangeul using Becoming a Hangeul Master by Talk to Me in Korean. So, I broke down the book into lessons that are a good size for me and created a study plan. I know it will most likely take more than this month, but I really wanted to get it in the BUJO!

Secret spread and Kanban Board

The last spready for the month are a bit bland, but needed by me. Sadly, the first one I can’t share so I added a recent knitting swatch to cover the title. The second page is a spread I have used in the past called a Kanban board. It is a way to help with projects by tracking where in the “production” line they are. I really wanted to use this again when it came to blog writing so I made a board with the four categories: ideas, write, photo, schedule. I am going to use tabs to write the titles and move them as I progress through my writing process.

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Lists & Recommendations

My Favorite Books of 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a throwback to 2021! I wanted to take a moment and share some of my favorite reads of the past year and give them a bit of a shoutout. Last year I did not do great with my reading numbers, I read about half as much as a usually do, but I am happy to say there were a few I really enjoyed. Here is a list of the ones that stuck out to me the most in no particular order.

The Books

Dune by Frank Herbert

Heaven by Mieko Kawakami

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yū

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann

White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad

Later by Stephen King

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald J. Robertson

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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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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | January 2022

Hello and welcome to my little planning post for the Month of January! I am so excited to start off this year by sharing some of the things I wish to do in its first month, happy New Year by the way! This month I don’t have too many specific things I want to do, just some ideas that I think would be good and fun.

Reading Plans

This month I would love to read just one book. My reading has really just slowed down a lot in the past year, but especially this past month. To me this is fine because at this point when I do pick up a book when the mood hits I am enjoying it. Due to this, I am going to let myself be a total mood reader and just read what I feel like when I feel like it and I just want to finish one book.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month I would like to knit a pair of socks for my significant other. I have not knit him anything yet and I thought this would be something fun since I can only knit myself so many socks. He picked out the yarn,
Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Ultramarine Violet, and the pattern he settled on is Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes. On top of that pair of socks I would like to start another pair for myself I am using Tube Socks by Mary Anne as inspiration, but I am playing with the numbers quite a bit. For my pair of socks I am going to be using Spun Right Round Classic Sock in Sly Fox. The final project, but most likely the first one I am going to be casting on in the new year would be the Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt. I am planning on using some Drops Kid Silk in Red and holding it with Kraken by Lantern Light Hand-Dyed Yarn & Fiber.

Random Goals

With random goals this month I honestly cannot think of one I would like to do specifically. I would like to try or see something new though and just enjoy the experience. I know it is annoying vague and they say that goals shouldn’t be, but to be honest I think with how things are currently, it is just perfect.

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | December 2021

Hello and welcome to a fairly short recap of what what reading, crafting, and life was like over the past month. This final month of 2021 was faster than I care to admit, but it was still filled with some great things. I am really overall happy with how this month went, but also this past year. Even with everything going on I feel like it was an improvement from the year before and I hope that next year is even better than this one for myself and all of you. I am wishing you all a wonderful 2022! Now, on to how my month was.

Reading

This month was a bit weird when it came to reading. I ended up only reading one book, The Bear and the Paving Stone by Toshiyuki Horie and translated by Geraint Howells, I ended up giving it 4 stars. As for a book haul I picked up 5 books only because of the 50% off hardcover sale at BN. If you want to see the books I picked up from that haul you can see that in my post; Barnes and Noble 50% Hardcover Haul.

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

As for crafting, knitting, and crocheting I ended up finishing all of my WIPs so I can start off 2022 with a clean slate. I already know the first project I am going to be casting on. I completed the 2021 12 Days of Tosh Advent Crochet Cowl designed by Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts, who is just an amazing designer. The colors were just so beautiful and it was a blast to work on for the first 12 days of December. Next I finished the Kari Shawl by Sari Nordlund. I absolutely love how it came out and I can’t wait to block it and use it! The last project I finished this month is Modern Double Crochet V-Stitch Blanket by Daisy Farm Crafts. I have been working on this blanket on and off since 2019 so I am happy to finally be able to use it!

Life

This month was a bit of a roller coaster of good news and some bummer news, but overall the month was really awesome. I got to catch up with some friends I had lost touch with due to our busy lives. I got to go to a traditional tea, which was very lovely! I didn’t do much outside this month, it was a bit too cold for me personally, but I got to spend a lot of time with my loved ones and catching up with friends and honestly, that was the beat part of this month.

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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.

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