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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Reading Challenges

My 2022 Goals and Challenges

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today I will be talking about a few of the goals I have for myself in the coming year. I always love setting goals for myself, but I also know they are not the end all be all because a lot can change over a years time. This year I plan on sharing some of my reading goals, crafting goals and even a few life goals I have for myself.

Reading Goals

Life Goals

  • See a new place
  • Teach myself something new

Maker Goals

  • Knit a sweater
  • Knit 6 pairs of socks
  • Crochet a sweater
  • Create 10 things with my hands
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Reading Challenges

2021 Reading Goals Revisited

Hello and welcome to my reflection on my 2021 reading goals. I feel like the first half of the year went really, really slow and then the second half ended up going way too fast. Funny how time seems to do that. Anyway, as I do with other years, I wanted to take a moment to look at the goals I set for myself a year ago and see how I faired.

Achieved

Use the library once a month-I did this for sure! I used the library for audiobooks constantly this year and I am so thankful they have the digital resources that they do between those audiobooks and ebooks.

Read 12 nonfiction books-As of writing this post I have read a total of 19 nonfiction books!

Read 50 books – As of writing this post I have read a total of 73 books, so I accomplished this!

Reread The Hobbit and the Lord of the Ring Trilogy – I did it! I reread The Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy over again. It was a lot of fun to dive back into these books the last few months of 2021.

Not Achieved

Read the International Booker Prize – I read 4 of the 6 books from the shortlist this year. I do have the other two on my kobo and I still plan to read them, but I am such a mood reader I didn’t want to read these great books when I was not in the mood.

Read The Farseer Trilogy and The Liveship Traders Trilogy by Robin Hobb – This one I half did. I read the entire Farseer Trilogy, but I ended up DNFing The Liveship Traders Trilogy for now.

Keep my owned TBR under 10 books – I have it in the 20s, so not too far off, but not the goal I set for myself.

How did you do with your 2021 goals?

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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!

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | November 2021

Hello and welcome to a slightly late reflection on my experiences during the month of November. I had a lot of fun this month, but it was also SUPER busy. So, as some of you might have been able to tell, I only posted a few things. Sometimes real life just gets so chaotic you need to just focus on that. Anyway, I can’t wait to share some of what happened in November!

Reading

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

Store front of yarn shop called Yarnia.

This month was a ton of fun when it has come to crocheting and knitting. I started off the month by going with a good friend of mine to a really lovely indie yarn shop. We spent easily an hour in this really lovely shop. They were so kind and helpful and had too many great options for my budget. I did a post earlier in the month showing what I picked up, you can find that here: Local Yarn Shop Haul. I even got to cast on one of the socks I was planning with the two blues and try my hand at color work for the first time!

On top of that I finished my last hand made Christmas present, I ended up crocheting the Avon Throw Blanket by Toni Lipsey. I ended up using a gray colored yarn and it was such a fun project and it really flew by. Following this, I ended up making the short version of the All Shawl by Doris Chan. I have not crocheted lace in a while and this detailed looking shawl was so much easier than I thought it would have been. I ended up finishing it in two days or so.

As of writing this I have four WIPs going, 2 are socks, 1 is a blanket, and 1 is a shawl. I am hoping to get two of these done before the year ends, but we shall see. I have really been loving making this the past few months.

Life

A tree lined walkway lit up with purple lights.

This month I did a lot of things between hanging out with a few of my friends, seeing my family later in the month for the holiday, which I loved and was so happy we were able to do this year. One thing that really stood out to me was a night time stroll my boyfriend and myself went on. This park that is a bit far from us was having an exhibit where the paths were all lit up and some of their statues. It was a really fun experience and thankfully we went when it was not too cold yet! It was so beautiful and it was great just to spend time in each other company and be out and about.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | December 2021

Hello and welcome to my little planning post for the Month of December. It is hard to believe that 2021 is in its final month and 2022 is right around the corner. I feel like I am already cooking up ideas for 2022, but I want to accomplish a bunch of things this month as well. I will say, I am going to try and be a bit better about posting, life has just been a bit hectic and it was not much of a priority. I have some ideas planned though for this month and I can’t wait to share them with you, also I will still be posting a wrap up of sorts for November, it will just be a bit late. Oops!

Reading Plans

This month I really want to finish reading the last two books in the Lord of the Ring Trilogy, The Two Towers and The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien. Apart from that, I want to read the second book in the Dune Series by Frank Herbert called Dune Messiah. If I read any more than that I will be thrilled, but those are the books I really want to get through before the year is over.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month I am taking part in Knitty Natty’s Sockmas challenge of sorts. You can find all the information on her website linked here. As I write this, it has already started since it started the day after Thanksgiving here in the US. The main purpose of this is to complete a pair of socks in the allotted time, about three weeks. As of right now I am about halfway through both of my socks so I am well on my way to achieve this. I decided to knit using the pattern Cafe Mocha by Twin Stitches Designs. I am using blue though instead of brown/tan yarn so it will look more wintery. Other than that, I really want to get my WIPs down and I don’t plan on casting anything new on as of right now, but we shall see. I feel like I always want to start a new project before I finish another one.

Random Goals

I honestly don’t have many goals for myself this month. I am really focusing on finishing up some of those pesky goals I had for myself this year overall, a lot of them you can see in my post Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals. I also want to focus on getting organized and get better at making more manageable goals and expectations on myself. Lately, I have really been making outlandish goals for myself that are just not doable in the time I give myself and I need to just get better at being realistic while challenging myself.

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful month and aren’t too cold as the fall weather starts to slowly shift into something that feels a lot like winter.

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