Goals

Reflection | 2020 Goals, 6 Month Checkin

Reflection

Hello everyone and welcome to my 6 month 2020 goals check in. I cannot believe that wee are halfway through 2020 already. Anyway, I am going to keep this short and sweet and just get into the goal. The thing is I wanted to give you a bit of a heads up. I am writing this blog post in advance so my numbers might be a tad bit higher in real time.


The List

  1. Read a shortlist: Man Booker 2019
    • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, Not really excited about this one…
    • ✔️Ducks, Newburyport  by Lucy Ellmann
    • ✔️Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
    • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
    • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie Owned
    • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak Owned
  2. Read 50 books, 55 books read. 
  3. Read all backlisted books, 46 books in all. Down to 10.
  4. Read 30,000 pages. Read 20,068 pages so far. 
  5. Read 16 nonfiction books. Read 8 so far. 
  6. Read 16 books from the library. Read 7 so far. 
  7. Read a book from each continent
    • ✔️North America: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
    • South America
    • ✔️ Europe: Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • Asia
    • Australia
    • ✔️Antarctica: The Magicians by Lev Grossman 
    • Africa
  8. Read a book recommended by Joe Hill or Stephen King
    • The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
    • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Purchased 
    • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
    • Frankenstorm by Ray Garton
  9. Read a Shakespeare play a month, you can join the fun by going to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.
    • January: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    • February: Othello
    • March: Hamlet
    • April: Macbeth
    • May: The Taming of the Shrew
    • June: Twelfth Night
    • July:
    • August:
    • September:
    • October:
    • November:
    • December:

Reflection

  1.  I read two of these books and did a review here:Reflection | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1. I picked up two more I am veery excited to get to. Two I still need to buy or get from the library. One I am really not looking forward to it The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I read the first book and I did not like it at all. I am technically a little behind on this one, but I am not too far behind.
  2. Did it!!
  3. I only have 10 more books to go, so I am very excited about that, I thought I was going to have a lot more left on my TBR.
  4. I am more than halfway to my page goal, yay! This is always the goal I am more worried about since I can’t just read short books, manga, or graphic novels to just pump up my numbers. I need to put in the reading work for this one.
  5. I am exactly at the halfway mark for reading 16 non-fictions books. I am really happy to be on track for this one. I have been really in the mood to learn lately and I feel like I will have this goal done very soon.
  6. With everything going on with a pandemic, my library was closed for a very long time so I was not able to borrow from them too much. I could request ebooks, but the ebook waits have sky rocketed since that is the only option for many people. I am not too worried about this goal though since I am not too far off.
  7. I am halfway through this one so I am very much on track. I also have the 3 books in mind I am going to be reading. So, I think this is another “win”.
  8. I picked the book I am going to read and purchased it, I just need to get my butt in gear and actually read it.
  9. As for this year long challenge I am very much on track. I was kinda worried I would have given it up at this point.

How are your goals going?

Have you decided to change any of yours or introduce new ones?

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TBR

My Owned TBR | June 2020

Owned TBRHello and welcome to my little post about my owned TBR. Last June I shared a post called My Owned TBR | June 2019, I figured it would be fun to look back and see how my list has changed over the last year. I am also going to be doing something a little new, so please let me know if you like it!


2019 Owned TBR

Here is my Owned TBR from last year. At this point in time I only had 44 books on my my shelf that needed to be read. Looking back at this list I can see that I read or unhauled every single one of these books and that kind of blows my mind.


My Current Owned TBR

  • Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman – A wonderful gift from Ariel!
  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore
  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore
  • House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas – suggested reading
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore

I hope you liked this type of writing and comment on my book stacks. I figured I have Procreate, I might as well use it now and again for my blog. Anyway, that is my owned TBR list. I have a total of 33 books, less than I had this time last year I feel like that is a win for two reasons. The first being my TBR is going down and second I want to get my TBR to around 5 by the end of the year. I decided to give To Be Read Time by Read it Forward to see how long it would actually take me to get my TBR to 0. According to this and if I keep up my reading pace of finishing a book every 3-4 days I will finish my TBR by October of this year. I am tempted to give this a shot so I might be posting more about owned TBR list.

What books are on your TBR?

Are any of these books on your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | June 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid-month reading check in! This month is already off to a wonderful reading start. Last month I read so little I didn’t even post a Middle Mark post, but today I can happily say I read enough to warrant a post. At this point my reading has spanned both non-fiction and fiction as I make efforts to better educate myself and continue to grow. Now, on to the books!


Read 2

I'm Judging You: The Do-Better ManualI’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As the descriptions says this book talks about “all of the topics your mama told you never to bring up at polite dinner parties.” There were a wide range of topics in this book from social media sharing to race. But, they were all important ones that needed to be addressed. The author does a really great job of writing no-nonsense and felt like a friend was talking to you. I realized a lot while reading this book and I highlighted so much that I want to go back on and reflect some more.

View all my reviews


 

The Glass HotelThe Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The major theme of this book is moral and moral compromise. Throughout this story many characters are faced with making a decision and coming to terms with their own morality or lack there of. This could be getting into a relationship with a wealthily man not for love, overlooking how greedy they really are. This was an interesting read for sure, but I thought it would not be so focused on the 2008 economic disaster. I thought it would have been more balanced between the three settings put forth in the description. Regardless of this, as I said, this was an interesting read and I did not regret it at all.

View all my reviews


 

QuichotteQuichotte by Salman Rushdie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I really liked this book it addressed a lot of issues in our society when it comes to both race and mental illness. I recommended this to quote a few people after reading this retelling of sorts of Don Quixote. But, it is more than a retelling, as I mentioned it address quite a few topics, but does so as a magical realism novel mixed with a couple other genres.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

I am currently reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I am enjoying it a ton and I should be finishing it today at some point.  I am sitting at around 60% and that chunk I read in one sitting, soo you can see why I am so confident it is going to be finished today. After I finish this I am going to be jumping into my buddy read with Jenna and Reg, we are reading Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz, I have never read a book by this author so I am really intrigued.


What was the last book you read, did you like it?

How are your reading month coming along? 

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TBR

To Be Read | June 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my June TBR! I am actually excited for the month of June for a few reasons. We are officially in the last month of the first half of the year, which is a bit mind blowing. On top of that I feel like it will be a nice fresh start for my reading since it was a bit subpar last month and I am actually not forgetting about my ebooks for once! I don’t want to ramble this month, but I really feel like it is going to be a great month. On to the books!


Physical Books

The first book is going to be a mystery one that was picked for me by Melinda from Basement Bookcase. It is a new to me author and something that is very outside my normal reading so I am excited to see how it works out.

The first book pictures is Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Last year I read my first book from him and I really fell in love with his writing style. Plus, one of my goal this year is to read a book recommended by one o my favorite authors and this was on Joe Hill’s list. So, I get to read a book by a great author and cross a 2020 goal off of my list.

Next I have Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King, which is the Stephen King book that I have had on my owned TBR the longest and I am in the mood for something scary so I am picking this up. I am not really sure what to expect because I completely forgot the description at this point. I just remember picking this up at The Strand in NYC at last years Bookcon.

Twelfth Night is my Shakespeare pick for June, I really don’t have a ton of thoughts on this just yet.

Lastly I am buddy reading Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz with Jenna and Reg this month. I have never read anything by Dean Koontz, but I know they are a popular author and I am always seeing their name everywhere so I am excited to give them a shot.


Digital Copies

I have really been neglecting my digital books as of late and I really need to get to them. So, this month I want to read three of these.

The first listed here is The Devil in the White City by by Erik Larson. This story shares some of what transpired around the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, including Americas first serial killer. It is a morbid one, but I really want to know more about the World Fair because I hear about it often, but also about this criminal history.

The second book is I’m Ju I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi. The tag line “Perfect for starting important and meaty discussions about all of the topics your mama told you never to bring up at polite dinner parties.” really sold me.

Lastly, we have Your Goddess Year: A Week-by-Week Guide to Invoking the Divine Feminine by Skye Alexander. I have always been interested in leaning about the gods and goddesses from a wide range of civilizations. I feel like a lot of them are not talked about a lot because they are not part of the major circles of gods we study in school so I am excited to learn about 52 new ones!

I just noticed that all my ebooks were nonfiction! This really excites me because I have been meaning to read more of it since I read none last month.


What are you planning to reading this month?

Have you read any of these books, did you like them?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month Evelyn over at evelynreads.com has picked my read. I was very excited when she picked this months pick because I have read other works by this author and really enjoyed it and I have seen many others have loved this book. I guess I should tell you that the book is Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. This is the first adult book I have read and the longest book I have read by this author so I am curious to see is her talent flows into this age group and length.


Book Description

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained. – goodreads.com


Review

I decided that I am going write this post more like my traditional review format where I talk about what I liked and didn’t like and then my overall feelings.

What I Liked

As with other works by Seanan McGuire the worlds she creates is very imaginative, but this is imaginative in a very different way than the there works I have read by her. One of the standout things in this book for me is the mixture of alchemy and science. While  I have read quite a few books with these aspects in them, I have never seen them combined in such a way. It was refreshing and interesting, part of my wishes that I saw more of it.

Also, if you know me science fiction isn’t really my thing…like at all. I don’t know what it is, but I am unlikely to enjoy a book with science fictions details in it with a few rare exceptions of 11/22/63, Jacky, and a few others. I have to say that this book also makes that list for me. I think the reason that it does make it on that short list is because it has an old world feel to it, which I love. It is almost like a spooky gothic modern science fiction book? It is really hard to pinpoint what this book truly is because I feel like McGuire melds together so many things so seamlessly.

On top of everything I also mentioned I found it really interesting the “rules” of this world when it came to particular characters interacting as well as the “government”. I felt like a lot of these aspects were shown and not told to me, which was great. Sometimes books that have such “out there” things in them the author can come across as if they are showing an unknowing child something. McGuire just goes through the story and you don’t miss anything.

What I Didn’t Like

One of the things I did not fully like about this book was that in the start I felt like one section of interaction could have been cut and not a ton would have been lost. This is just a personal thing and I feel like a lot of people enjoy seeing these sections interactions. They are still written in a really enjoyable manner and I didn’t feel like I had to seriously push myself to oread them, but I did find myself going “again?”

Overall

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am so happy that Evelyn picked this for my to read because honestly, while I enjoyed McGuire’s other works I am fairly certain I would not have picked it up. That is the beauty of this series. This was a very imaginative book with a very gothic/dark/old world feel to it that I was craving. On top of that it was well written had great characters.


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Melinda at Basement Bookcase!

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

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Hauls

Haul | Birthday 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to my birthday haul! This past week was my birthday, which was so weird since. could not do what. normally do. But, wow my friends came through with birthday messages, videos, and zoom chats. Once of my friends even was sweet enough to drop me off some delicious food! I am truly lucky when it comes to friends. I just wanted to take the time to share the books and such I got this year for my birthday.


So, if you follow me on twitter you know. I have a switch lite and play some animal crossing. But, what you might not know is I love classic Nintendo games. I have always had a Nintendo gaming system since I was younger. So, my family chipped in together to get my a carrying case for my switch lite, a set of joycons, and Super Mario Party. I am so thankful, it is comforting to go back and play an updated version of an old favorite!


Next up is the books! I will be honest,  I bought The Glass Hotel as a birthday present to myself since it was signed and I really wanted to support my local indie bookstore. Next is Mooncakes, which was gifted by Jenna and Celtic Mythology, which was gifted by  Ariel. Both are such sweet people! I also found out I have a delivery waiting for me from Reg, who is also amazing! The last two books were bought by my parents, Color Therapy and Korean Cooking Favorites. I am so excited to get into that cook book!


My grandmother was also very kind in gifting me a 3 month subscription to The Sill, so I will be getting 3 deliveries over the next three months of beautiful plants. A gift that keeps on giving!


Last, but not least is a new Kitchen Aid hand mixer from my boyfriend. He knows how much I enjoy to cook and such and wanted to get me a good one. I used it for the first time last night to make bread, IT CAME WITH BREAD HOOKS! It worked so wonderfully. I did not take a picture of it because I was way too excited to use it.


I know I am so fortunate to have received these things from such wonderful people.

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Hauls

Unboxing | BOTM May 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Book of the Month! This month was exciting because I have been a member long enough to get a free book for my birthday! I love this little bonus they have for its members after a certain period of time. It is a really nice was to give back I feel like, plus who can say no to a free book?! Anyway, on to my two picks for May!


The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd Description

“In her fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.” – goodreads.com 

Untamed by Glennon Doyle Description 

“This is how you find yourself.

There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful. We hide our simmering discontent—even from ourselves. Until we reach our boiling point.

Four years ago, Glennon Doyle—bestselling Oprah-endorsed author, renowned activist and humanitarian, wife and mother of three—was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. Soon she realized that they came to her from within.”- goodreads.com


Why These Books

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, as you can see from the above description, is very different. I really think this take on such a propionate figure is very intriguing and that is the main reason I picked it up, I really just needed too see what it was all about. I have read one other book by Kidd and I did enjoy it, so I think I will like the writing style, but we will see about the content. I really just have no idea what to think! As for Untamed by Glennon Doyle, it sounds like a very uplifting memoir about finding your true self and your inner voice. I know for me I have been doing a lot of self searching as of late so this was appealing to me in this regard. On top of that I have not read a memoir in such a long time and I am kind of craving one, plus I have been hearing such wonderful things about it. Between those reasons I could not say no to it.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Do either of these books interest you?

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Hauls

Unboxing | BOTM March 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of BOTM. This month I was very much in the mood for a  relationship centered romance type of read. I have no idea why, but I just wanted something cute to read. It might be because I am reading a lot of bigger books that have some darker elements to them, or it is just my mood reading kicking into full gear to mess up my reading plans. So, when I saw they had a romance pick this month I had to have it!


Book Description

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible.

But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life–and perhaps even love–again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.

Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay. –goodreads.com


While this is a really sad and almost horrifying way for a person to become single. I am curious to see where this book goes because it does not seem like a typical romance or sorts, but it is labeled as. So, we shall see what will happen. I read the first few pages of this when I went to pick it for my BOTM and I feel like the writing style is up my alley as well. I am also intrigued because this author wrote One Day in December and I know a lot of people have read and loved it. So, I feel like this is going to be an overall good reading experience.


What is your favorite fully read?

Does this book sound like something you would pick up?

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TBR

To Be Read | January 2020

To Be ReadHello and welcome to my first post of 2020! I am excited that my first post is setting an intention for the first month of the year, my TBR for the month. This month I am keeping it pretty relaxed so I can add more books as I feel, but there are a few I really want to get to this month for one reason or another. So, on with the books!


This first set of books are ones I am really excited to jump into. Girl, Woman, Other is the first book I am reading for my Read a Shortlist Challenge. It was on the Shortlist and won The Man Booker Prize 2019. Where the CrawDads Sing is another one for a series I am going to be revamping this year ‘Someone Picks My Books’, I am so excited to be bringing it back, I truly have missed it. Mythos has nothing to do with a series or challenge, but I have been on such a mythology kick I want to read it now.

These next two books are also ones I am really excited about, but were so small they wouldn’t stand up with the rest of the books, so they get their own picture. The first book is Widows Weeds and Weeping Veils and it talks about 1800s mourning rituals, which is a bit dark, but I personally find the topic really interesting. The second book here is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is the Shakespeare play I am reading in January for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I am really excited to jump into this Challenge and I created a goodreads group for it if you would like to join, it is called  2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group. Very original, I know.

Anyway here are the books I am very excited to get to in January! I really love how all over the place they are, works perfectly for my mood reading.


What books are you planning on reading this month?

What book are you currently reading?

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Hauls

Book Haul | Last One of 2019

BookHaul12:17

Welcome to my last haul of 2019, I still cannot believe I am writing that. Anyway, before the year finished up I wanted to post my book haul from the second half of December, I went a little over board with my holiday money and used my gift cards well. From this point on I am officially back on my Read 5, Buy 1, which if you want to learn anything about, you can do so here: Read 5, Buy 1 Series. Anyway, here are the books I added to my owned TBR! 


American Dirt was a hand me down from a friend, I am so thankful for! I have been seeing so many people saying great things.  Girl Woman, Other is a book I am very excited to get to, I feel like it is going to be heart wrenching and powerful, it was also awarded The Man Booker Prize 2019. Civil War Wives is a non-fiction I am excited to jump into, it was an area that was much overlooked in my education and I wish to explore it further. Were the Crawdads Sing has been recommended to me so many times I lost count. Some of these you will be seeing in upcoming series, so keep an eye out!

The Girls of Gettysburg is along the same line as Civil War Wives, I really want to dive into the lives of women who witnessed or partook in the Civil War. It really was overlooked and I know there is a lot to explore. Agatha Christie collection was from my Coffee and a Classic Box, sadly the last one I will be getting. I loved the box, but I needed to make some cuts and save some more money. I will miss it greatly. I will say, I am happy to end with this box because Agatha Christie is one of my favorite mystery writers. Last in this picture is Mythos, I have been on a huge myth swing as of late so I needed to add another one to my TBR.

Here is a Celestial Atlas I picked up and I am in love with. It is so beautiful with stories about all the constellations. Next is a very short book no mourning in the 1800s, I have always been intrigued with how society deals with this topic and how it has evolved so when I saw this I added it to my pile. It also gives me Caitlin Doughty vibes and I just love her books and her youtube channel called Ask a Mortician.

Here are a few more Shakespeare plays I am adding to my collection and for the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, which I went on about in my post Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you want to join in on the fun I created a goodreads group or you can just follow along on my blog. In January I will be reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


What books did you acquire during the month of December?

Have you read any of these books? Do you think I will like them?

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