Goals

Challenges | Reading 64 Pages a Day

challenges

Hello everyone! Today I wanted to share a little challenge with you that I came across when I fell down the booktube hole instead of being a good bookworm and reading. I started reading Books and Lala’s video where she read the same number of pages each day, based upon her average for the previous month or so. If you would like to watch her video, you can find that here: reading 116 pages every day for a month. If you don’t know her channel, you are missing out she is one of the most creative youtubers I know of. Anyway, I really loved the idea and wanted to give it a try and see if this helps to keep my stress levels down while my life gets more chaotic.

Anyway, I did not want to just steal her number of pages a day, so I decided to do what she did. I looked at the previous month at the time of planning this, July 2019, and saw that I read a total of 1984 pages (hello George Orwell!) then divided it by 31 days, the number of days in that particular month. This simple little equation gave me 64 pages a day. So, I am planning on reading 64 pages a day for the first half of September! I am happy with this number, it is neither too much or too little.


-Reading/Page Log-

♣ = Completed on time,  > = Read more,  =Read Less

  • ♣1: 1-64 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman
  • ♣2: 65-128 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman
  • ♣3:129-192 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman
  • ♣4: 192-224 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman, 1-32 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣5: 33-96 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣6: 1-64 of The Tea Dragon Society byKatie O’Neill 
  • ♣7: 97- 160 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣8: 161- 224 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣9: 225-270 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, 1-18 of Coffey’s Hands (The Green Mile #3) by Stephen King 
  • ♣10: 19-82 Coffey’s Hands (Green Mile Part 3) by Stephen King 
  • ♣11:83-90 Coffey’s Hands (Green Mile Part 3) by Stephen King, 1-56 of The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix (The Green Mile #4) by Stephen King
  • >12: 1-96…oops I went over my 64 pages a day limit gah! Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill
  • 13:(34) 57- 90 of The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix (The Green Mile #4) by Stephen King, (30) 1-30 of Night Journey(The Green Mile #5) by Stephen King
  • 14: (60) 31-90 Night Journey(The Green Mile #5) by Stephen King,  (4) 1-4 of Coffey on the Mile (The Green Mile #6) by Stephen King
  • 15: (64) 5-68 of Coffey on the Mile (The Green Mile #6) by Stephen King

-Reflection- 

Okay, even though I only did this challenge for half of the month, I feel like I have some interesting things I realized. Some of these were more of an impact than others, but they all were notable things. Some had to do with my sleep, productivity, and readalongs/buddyreads.

The first one was, some nights I had things I needed to get done so reading had to take a back seat. Sadly, this meant I ended up staying up late to do my required reading and I was not happy when I had to wake up early the next morning.  Sometimes I don’t read for a day or so because life gets in the way and even though 64 pages isn’t a ton it feels like it when you start reading at 10 at night.

The second thing that this really affected was my buddy reads. I really had a hard time planning my reading ahead of time so I could read what I wanted to read, but also make sure I was prepared for my discussions and such. So, I kinda got stressed I was not going to be able to fit everything in, but also not read it to far in advance where I would forget everything.

Lastly, I would say it made me feel very productive. It was nice to check something off my check list all day that was a challenge, but kinda easy and very enjoyable at the same time.

I don’t think I would ever read like this again, but it was really interesting to see how I would do with reading my average every day.


Do you ever take part in a reading challenge?

What youtuber or book blogger inspires you?

Would you try a challenge like this?

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Decluttering

Down the TBR Hole | #1

declutterHello everyone, welcome to another post. So, I went on to goodreads the other day and noticed that my goodreads TBR is kinda out of control for me personally, 159 books. I decided I would take a page from Lia  from Lost in a Story and slowly go through my TBR and delete the books I no longer feel interested in.

-The Rules-

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  •  Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

-The Books-

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Added on October 1st, 2017. I feel like I added this book because of a youtuber, but I can;t remember why or who. This book sounds like it is a biblical battle over knowledge fought by a single adopted girl. I am not really feeling it honestly. So, I am tossing it.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Added on November 3rd, 2017. This has been on my radar for years and to this day I keep almost picking it up. I love a goof book with magic, so I don’t know why I have no picked it up already. After reading the description, I still want to read it one day so I am going to keep it.

Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko

Added on November 19th, 2017. This book talks about the political and social atmosphere in Nigeria with a focus on women. At this time, I don’t think I would personally be able to handle the content if I am reading into the description correctly. I feel like in the future I may want to come back to it because it seems like a powerful read, but I can’t currently. I am going to toss this off of my TBR for now.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Added on November 19th, 2017. This book also has to do with women and the social atmosphere. I am really intrigued how this author sees the world if women were given a power to inflict pain. It sounds both dark and thought provoking. I am going to be keeping this on my TBR.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Added on November 23, 2017. This novel seems like it is an emotional one, it might give me a good cry. It also seems like it might have a little twist to it since some people have it listed as fantasy. I think I am going to keep this one because sometimes I am in the mood for a good sad story.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy Edited by Kelly Jensen

Added on November 25, 2017. This anthology allows those with mental illness to share how they live and how they feel about the label and stigmas placed upon them. For me, this looks like a very important read. I actually added it to my TBR because my aunt was diagnosed with mental illness and while she is no longer with us, I still want to read it and understand as much as I can. I am going to keep this.

The Collector by John Fowles

Added on December 17, 2017. This book has a very straightforward description and I wish more books did. It seems like the main character likes to collect butterflies, but then one day decides he was to also collect a woman he thinks he loves. I am very interested in this 1960s thriller, I am going to keep it.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Added on December 17, 2017. This is another thriller that deals with memory loss. I also have to say, this is written by Margaret Atwood, so I feel like it will be an amazing read just because of that. Since the description and author are both wonderful, I am going to keep it.

The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

Added on December 17, 2017. This thriller seems like a plot I have heard before, at least troupe wise. I don’t see myself ever reading this so I am going to be tossing it.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Added on December 18, 2017. So, this one I am torn about. I didn’t love the last book in the series too much, but this one is just a novella… Gah! I think I am going to toss it because if I am honest with myself I don’t really want to.


-Outcome-

Keep: 6

Toss: 4

Total: 155


Have you read any of these books?

Were there any you would have kept that I tossed?

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Wrap Up

#NEWTsReadathon | Wrap Up | August 2019

NEWTS 2019

Hello everyone, the time has come! The NEWTs are officially complete. I am happy to say that I was able to pass all of the exams that were requirement of me with the needed scores. You are not reading a post written by a Herbologist! Anyway, below you will find mini reviews and my overall scores on my NEWTs and what I read for each prompt. I did got a bit above and beyond.


-Mandatory-

Herbology

  • A: Audiobook: Supermarket by Bobby Hall
  • E: Between 350-390 pages: Bringing Down the Colonial by Patricia Miller
  • O: Flowers on the Cover: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson 

Potions

  • A: Friends Fav: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman *cough* Jenna, Reg *cough*
  • E: Yellow on the Cover, Yay Hufflepuff!: The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

Care of Magical Creatures

  • A: Book that stars with A: The Alienist by Caleb Carr
  • E: Book under 300 pages: Ghosts of Acadia  by Marcus LiBrizzi (Bonus Letter)
  • O: Read a book with a bird on the cover: The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost (Owl & Bonus Letter)

-Bonus-

Arithmancy

  • A: Ends in an even number: Needful Things by Stephen King
  • E: Standalone: Endless Night by Agatha Christie
  • O: A Book Longer that 350 pages: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 

Charms

  • A: Beautiful Cover: Smashed by Junji Ito
  • E: Read a book under 150 pages: The Inner Room by Robert Aickman 

-Current NEWT Scores-

  • Herbology: O
  • Potion: E
  • Care of Magical Creatures: O
  • Charms: E
  • Arithmancy: O

-Reviews-

Endless NightEndless Night by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Agatha Christie is such a wonderful writer, her imagination is outstanding and I always kick myself for not reading more of her works. The pacing was wonderful and you can see the attention to detail within this book.

I don’t want to say more, but this is a standalone mystery and I don’t want to spoil anything. Only know, that this is a wonderful and I highly recommend.

View all my reviews


The Colorado KidThe Colorado Kid by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say this work is very different from what King normally writes, but I enjoyed it so much. I think it was a combination of where I read this book and just the way it was presented. I feel like I will be thinking about The Colorado Kid trying to picture Stephenie today. Anyway, I am glad King look at those news clippings and thought of this story. It really is interesting and makes you think.

View all my reviews


Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my second read through of this novel. For me personally I enjoyed it more the second time around. I don’t want to say much since it is the 4th book in a series, but if you liked the pervious books you will enjoy this one as well.

View all my reviews


The Inner Room: Faber StoriesThe Inner Room: Faber Stories by Robert Aickman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short horror story was just the right amount of spooky that I needed. Even though it is such a short tale, it really was atmospheric and gave me The Haunting of Hill House vibes. If you want a quick little scare that will leave you a bit uneasy, I recommend.

View all my reviews


Ghosts of Acadia PBGhosts of Acadia PB by Marcus LiBrizzi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting collection of ghost stories of this small island in Maine, which I am very familiar with. I really enjoyed hearing about stories from long ago and the sightings seen by many. The one thing I wish this book did was add more personal accounts, sometimes the stories were so vague and had little detail or real story to them. Overall, I enjoyed.

View all my reviews


The Secret History of Twin PeaksThe Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am giving this book 2.5 stars. I found this tale to be interesting, but at times I found the font to be a real pain in the butt to read (hand written notes in script and sometimes really messy handwriting). I also found that the description misled me a little bit, I thought it was going to focus mainly on one thing, but jumped around a bit. I will say I enjoyed the mixing of fiction and facts to create this story, it really added to the feeling of this book.

If you enjoy reading novels that are made up of a bunch of documents, alien stories, or stories following research I think you will like this.

View all my reviews


Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 33

Backlist TBR: 1

When traveling, I always adventure to new bookstores. oops.


What was your favorite book you read this month?

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TBR

My Owned TBR | June 2019

BOOKSHELVES

While I am putting the header of Annotating my Bookshelf, I am going to be talking the books I own and have not read as of right writing this. Earlier this month I shared my new bullet journal with you, Bullet Journal | June 2019, but I did not share a particular page. I decided to put my entire owned TBR into my bullet journal and I wanted to share that with you separately.

Divider 2

Above you will see my new Owned TBR layout. I am really happy with how it came out. As you can see I have a little key on the top for started, DNFed/unhauled, and read. You can see that applied to the square to the left of the title. On the right of the title you will see a larger rectangle. I am putting 3 possible symbols there, an A and audiobook available on audible, L for an audiobook available from my library, and an * for if I own the audiobook already. This way I can keep track of books that have audiobooks and such so I can sprinkle them into my reading. I always have an audiobook going since I listen to them in the car and while I am cleaning or doing chores.

One thing I am proud of is that my TBR fits on two pages with a bit of wiggle room. A few years ago my TBR was over 100 easily and I managed to get it down to about 40. My happy place with my TBR is 40 books or less so I am excited. Another plus is that there are no unread books that I have owned for more than a year. Everyone of these books U have owned for 11 months or less in most cases. Not something I was able to say in the past as well.

I am really happy with this spread, but also the books on my Owned TBR. Over the years I have really been able to pinpoint the types of books I really enjoy. A few years ago I was still all over the place and just picking up books that were familiar to me without really reading the descriptions. At this point I can happily and honestly say I want to read all of these books.

Divider 2How many books are on your TBR?

How do you keep track of your TBR?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | June 2019

Recs

So, this month I was so excited to be starting a new bullet journal. I don’t know about you, but I get super excited about starting a new one. It feels like a fresh start, a sweet breeze, or a clean slate. I can take all the spreads that have worked for me and leave the ones behind that I either don’t use or out grew. It is nice to see it evolve and grow as you do. Well, this time around I will admit I was heavily inspired by the Plant Based Bride over on youtube and her blog, http://plantbasedbride.com. I really enjoy the feel and simplicity of her bullet journal and I have heavily taken inspiration along with the spreads that have worked for me to create this new bullet journal.

Divider 2

My last bullet journal was a Rhodia goalbook, I HATED it. The pages fell apart just from erasing it, the paper was awful and I will not be buying a new one. Also, their customer service is horrible. I filled out a from and reached out on twitter and they said they would contact me twice and they never did. Not how you handle a situation as a company. This time around I am trying a new company, their notebooks are a bit pricy, but I was lucky enough to get it as a gift from my wonderful BF. I am trying an Archer and Olive notebook.


Before I moved into my new notebook I decided to make a list of the spread I wanted to keep and the ones I wanted to add. Here is a bit of a peak into the spreads I wanted to keep for this bullet journal, as well as add.

Keep

  • Crochet hooks ✔️
  • Weight-loss Tracker ✔️
  • Yearly Reading Goals ✔️
  • War and Peace readalong tracker ✔️
  • Twitter tracker ✔️
  • Blog tracker ✔️
  • Seasonal Bucket List ✔️
  • Grid spacing ✔️
  • ARC Tracker ✔️

Add

  • Period Tracker ✔️
  • Crochet Project Tracker/Wishlist Just Bright Ideas ✔️
  • 5K Training Progress ✔️
  • Owned TBR ✔️
  • Buddy Reads ✔️
  • Study Tracker ✔️

-General Spreads-

This layout is very helpful for me when I move into a new bullet journal, especailly when the brand is new to me. This lets me quickly see where 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 in either direction as well as how many boxes are in each page.

I tent to only keep a bullet journal for 4-6 months, so I only bother putting 6 months ahead so I can easily see how many days are in each month. I also left an area on the bottom incase I wanted to add a particular note for a day. On the other page I updated my eARC/ARC tracker page. I can easily see when a book comes out and if I have reviewed it. In this bujo I only added the ones I am still working on.

While I am not in blogging or on twitter for the numbers, I find it fun to track them. Seeing all the people I can connect with or who want to read my work is motivating in a way.

Alright, these two pages are totally new. On the right I added a different layout for my War and Peace reading this year. This year I decided that I would read W&P on the right hand side I write what sections I should read each month to finish on time. On the right I am writing when I actually end up reading it. I also added a little progress bar at the bottom. On the right I decided I wanted to keep track of all the books Reg, Jenna, Amy and myself read together. I added a bit of a starry night because I messed up, but I really did love how it came out.

Here is my reading challenge tracker, the same as it was in my old bujo. On the right I started writing my seasonal bucket list. I am still thinking up ideas, if you have any suggestions let me know!

I decided I wanted to track my studying my writing in the topic as well as checking off if I actually do study. I am trying to become a bit more structured. On the right I am tracking my period, I find myself needing to track it more now so I figured having an over all picture in one place would be helpful.

If you did not know this year I am really taking the time for myself and my health. So, I have been doing my best to make healthier decisions and lose some extra weight. I really loved the spreads I had in my other bujo so I migrated them over. I took the layout on the right from Forever Good Life.

A bit of a continuation, I am currently doing a 5K training app. I wanted to track my progress through the program as well as the km per week I am running/walking. On the right I wanted to keep track of the crochet hooks I have so I did some googling and found this spread from paperandinkco.heidi on instagram.

On the left I decided to give myself a space to write all of my “dream” crochet projects. I also decided to implement a kanban board for my blog posts. I picked this up from Plant Based Bride, as I said in the start of this post I found a lot of inspiration from her.

Divider 2

-Monthly-

This is my dashboard page and a bit of a monthly overview. I really enjoy having this monthly overview each month and I wanted to continue with it.

This is my normal book tracker that I have been using for MONTHS and I just love seeing what books I read and on what days. It is a great overview picture of my reading habits without using a habit tracker, which I realized are not for me because I don’t look at them for days and then have to do my best to remember when I did what.

Here is a bit of a view of my other reading tracker. I color in a block for each chapter that I have read. It is almost like a goodreads for my notebook when it comes to progress.

I wanted to try something new for my social media page. I decided to draw a mini calendar and highlight my blogging days, but I want to also color in when I post on instagram. I will see how this format goes instead of a list. On the other page is my TBR, pretty simple and straight forward.

Last month I used this weekly spread and I really loved it. I had to resize it a bit for this new notebook, but I still really like it. It made organizing my day really easy and gave me a clear view of my week. I will be adding some quotes as I move through the weeks, but I also left room to add doodles if I want to as well.

Divider 2

Well, there you have it, my new bullet journal and my June spreads, what do you think? Have you ever used a notebook by this brand before? Are there any notebooks you think I should try in the future?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Why Reading Only Digital Books is Harder Than it Seems

LetsTalk12:17

Hi everyone, it has been some time before I have done a full Let’s Talk post. I haven’t really had anything I wanted to talk about until today, I am writing this May 22nd. I was walking around the bookstore looking for a book to peak my interest. Which, if you read my post Decluttering | Switching to Ebooks, is most likely VERY confusing and pretty much hypocritical.

In this post I talked about why I wanted to switch to ebooks, how I didn’t have room on my shelves and how I wanted to carry all of my books around with me on my kindle. I made the very bold statement of switching to ebooks and committing myself to it. That was before really researching it and realizing how difficult it could really be.

Now, for some there are medical reasons why this is not viable, there is also the price of the device, and a few other issues with this. But, in this post I really want to focus on one aspect that I found difficult/annoying and derailed me from my goal.

Divider 2

So, like I said earlier in this post I was walking around a bookstore looking for a book to inspire me to pick it up. I received some great news and I wanted to treat myself in celebration. Now, I didn’t have a ton of money in my budget so I was looking strictly in the discount section of the store. I ended up finding a book I was really interested in called The Secret History of Twin Peaks, it appears to be a thriller/mystery told through documents and interviews. It kind of has a House of Leaves interview type feel, thankfully the pages aren’t as all over the place.

As you can see from the picture I posted earlier today, The book was under $7, I actually for it for under $5 because I have a membership. Now, as you know I was making the switch to ebooks so when I find a book I am interesting I look up the ebook cost, this is where once again I ran into my problem/issue.

When I first looked it up on amazon, where I get my ebooks for my kindle, at first I was excited to see what the hardback copy was going for.

I knew right off the bat that I was getting a very good deal. I then clicked on the book and then switched to kindle edition and was not as happy. 

The ebook was more expensive than the hardback edition in person as well as online. It was a whole $10 more… How can I justify spending $10 more on a book? I can buy a lot of food and other necessities with this money. How is it that something that is digital is more than something made of actual matter? This is the issue I have found myself running into time and time again. The digital editions of books costing more than physical and not by a few dollars.

Now I know, I can spend $0 on a book by using the library via ebook or even physical. While, I am lucky my library generally has books I am looking for. But, recently they have broken from the company they were working with and the choices have gone down. So, where I was able to get ebooks and audiobooks for nearly all of the books I wanted that is sadly, no longer the case.

So, I am left with spending the least amount of money. That means I am picking up a physical book. Thus, my ebook commitment has kinda gone out the window. On top of that, I have the problem of not wanting to keep my credit card bill high and less and less stores are carrying gift cards for amazon. So, there is another issue that is kinda related.

So, thanks for listening to my rant/possible discussion about ebooks.

Divider 2

Have you ever run into this issue?

Do you know any other sites I can buy ebooks for my kindle?

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Decluttering

Book Unhaul | March 2019

declutter

Hello everyone, since I managed to acquire a ton of books I decided to revise my shelves to see if there were any books I was willing to part with and make room for some new arrivals. I don’t know about you, but I have done quite a bit of unhauls in the past few years. With everyone I do I find that it is harder and harder to get rid of the books on my shelf. I think it is because I have really gotten my reading tastes down and because I have already removed the “easy” books.

This round I found that I was able to still get rid of quite a few, 13 in fact. But, I had to make quite a few hard decisions. Since some of these have great memories attached to them and I did quite enjoy many of these as well. I just had to realize, I was never going to reread any of them.

Divider 2

-The Books-

Divider 2

-The Reasons-

The Silent Companions: I was given this book for free from my local indie bookstore, which was really nice of them. I just realized that I was never really going to be in the mood to read it, even though it sounded really interesting. It has made the cut for many unhauls already, but this time I realize that it was always in the maybe pile, but I never picked it up to read.

in a dark, dark wood: I really loved this book and Ruth Ware is one of my auto buy authors. Just for me it is really hard to reread a thriller and I would rather donate this book and allow someone else to experience this wonderful book!

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink: This book was also hard to part with, I really enjoyed reading it, but ultimately I think it would be better passed on to someone else who would love to read it since I would not be rereading it.

Fresh Ink: I am not a big anthology person so I knew I would never reread this. I am going to be passing this on to a friend who loves reading collections from various authors.

Everything’s Eventual: I have so many Stephen King books I love and I would rather just have the ones I love instead of just having all of his books if I am honest.

The Winter People: I loved this book, I just will never reread it in the future. I would rather allow someone else to read it.

East of Eden: I read this and I was eh about it. I will be donating it.

Faithful: Love this author, but I have never really been in the mood to read this book.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: I picked this book up for the BN book club, I lost it, found it and realized I didn’t care about it at all. I never finished it and I don’t really care to. It wasn’t a bad book. I just didn’t care.

The Broken Girls: Another amazing books that I want to share with others, I just wont ever reread it.

The Book of Essie: I realized I was more into the idea of this book than actually reading it. Which, is a huge shame.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: I think I was not in the right mood to read this book, but I thought it was okay and I am passing it on to my friend Reg!

The Wicked Deep: This is another book I really loved the idea of this book and I read the first few chapters and enjoyed it. I was just never really pulled in enough to keep on reading. I think it was just the mood I was in when I picked it up, but I know I am not going to pick it up again and I would prefer not to waste a good book.

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Those are the books and the reasons why I am unhauling them. Do you agree with my decisions? What is the last book you unhauled?

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Goals

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In

Reading Goals NEW

I cannot believe a quarter of the year is nearly already over, but you know that means it is time to check into my yearly goals to see my progress and see if I need to adjust myself to reach my goals. If you want to see the entire post explaining my 2019 goals, you can read that post here: Reading Goals | 2019 Edition. Anyway, I thought I would do a brief list of the goals and then I would do a but of commenting on them. I also want to share my updated yearly goals spread in my bullet journal. I am a very visual person so having that in my bullet journal really helps.

Divider 2

-My Goals-

  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
  2. Read a book set in each of the 7 continents
  3. Read 50 books
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read at least one book per month from the library
  6. Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. Read a book recommended by someone I look up to
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    • My backlisted books are here.

Divider 2-My Updates-

1. At this time I have only read 1 of the 6 books from this shortlist.

Washington BlackWashington Black by Esi Edugyan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is such an adventure, it starts with a young boy, age 11. Sadly, he is a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados run by two brothers. The author wrote a beautiful book that shows the ugly that is slavery. It talks about awful psychological games played by owners and the bad treatment many had to endure unfairly. I also like how the author showed abolitionists and aspects of the underground railroad. The dangers of faced by those who escaped and freed those who did not belong to them. I also really enjoyed the science, art, and almost steampunk elements. I am honestly not doing this book justice, but I will say it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is well deserved. I also have to agree with the quote on the front of my book calling it a masterpiece.

View all my reviews

2. At this time I have read 2 books for this goal. I have read for North America and Europe. I have picked up three more books for this challenge. Those being Africa, Antartica, and Asia. If you have any recommendations for South America, please share!

3. At this time I have read 19 books, I am 9 books ahead of schedule!

4. At this point in time I have read 9498 pages, so I am nearly a third of the way to my goal. So theory I should be finishing this before the year is out and I am on track.

5. So far I gave stuck to that, at minimum I have read a book a month from the library.

6. Looking at the 19 books I have read this year, a total of 6 books have been non-fiction. So, I am already 50% done with this goal.

7. At this time I have read 0 books for this goal, I did buy Milkman by Anna Burns, but with recent reviews I am a little afraid to pick it up. I have very similar taste in books to one of my friends and she did not enjoy it, I think she told me she DNFed it or struggled to read it.

8. At this time I have read 2 sections of the 17 I set up for the year. I am a bit behind because I focused on reading Monte Cristo with Jenna and put War and Peace on the back burner. I plan on picking it back up in April.

9. As of writing this I am going very well with my backlist. I have 20 books on my backlist, which I am very ecstatic about!

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Overall, for only being a quarter into the year, I think I am doing very well for myself. I know with the OWLs Readathon coming up I will be getting though many more books as well. Plus, I do a lot of reading in the warmer months of the year and I have plenty of time.

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How are your goals progressing so far? What goals did you get for yourself in 2019?

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Reviews

REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls

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* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*

The FamiliarsDescription

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.

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What I Liked

I would like to start off by saying, this is going to be one of these reviews where I just want to gush about a book and ramble. I am going to do my absolute best and actually write a review that makes sense.

The main thing I like about this historical fiction novel is the fact it doesn’t just take place in the past. I have read so many historical novels that just take place during a time period, but this novel really encapsulates the events, social order, societal expectations. The author embedded characters and people who were alive during the time period and even though this is a work of fiction you can tell that she did a lot of research and in knowledgeable about this period.

One part that I really like is how accurate she was when showing how women were treated during this period in time. I have read a few reviews that said that the main character is meek, but I have to respectfully disagree with this. During this period in time, if you were not meek and subservient as a women, SADLY, your life could be in serious danger depending on who your husband was. I found that even though that this character was controlled to an extent, she was also free and really pushed the barriers. A lot of women would have been deathly afraid or just did not think of doing a lot of the stuff Fleetwood has done. This historical fiction novel, like I said earlier, is pretty darn accurate historical fiction. Do I think this was good? No, but regrettably it is a great representation.

I also liked how class prejudices were lightly touched on, especially with the witch themes throughout this book. I felt that this book not only was accurate, but it also tried to show how wrong these social norms were.

Apart from the historical aspects of this novel, I really enjoyed the writing. I sat down in 3 sittings and I flew through this. It was fast paced, but did not jump in a way that made you think you missed something. I also enjoyed that it did not feel like the writing was modern, it was a nice touch and really added to the atmosphere of the book. I also felt genuine anger at some parts of the book and I felt myself tearing up at others. I really was rooting for Fleetwood and Alice.

What I Didn’t Like

The only fault I could even think about is not knowing more of what happened to a particular a character.

Overall Thoughts

If you could not tell, I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel.

Thank-you for listening to my gushing rambles!

5stars

Tweet showing how much I wanted to read this in less time:

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Author Links

Stacey Halls

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Book Information

Publication Date: February 19th 2019

Publisher: Mira Books

List Price: $26.99

ISBN: 9780778369189

Pages: 352 pages

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Wrap Up

Year in Review | 2018

Year in Review!

This year has been  a really amazing reading year for me. I found a few new favorite authors, read some books I have been dreaming of reading for years, and I met most off my reading goals, you  can learn more about that here: Reading Goals | 2018 Recap. Anyway, I have already posted a few blog posts talking about my favorite books, Lists | Best Books of 2018 , my least favorite, Lists | Worst Books of 2018, but I wanted to share more about my actual over all reading stats.

If you want to see all of these in detail, where all of my books are listed you can visit that here.

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How did your reading year go?

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