Revisiting

Revisiting | Short List 2019 Continued and Wrap Up

revisiting

Hello everyone and welcome to another update on one of my bigger 2019 goals. Reading the entire shortlist of the 2018 Man Booker Prize. If you want some more information on this goal, you can read my first on the topic here: Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist 2019.

Anyway, this past year I have been slowly reading the 6 books on this short list and I previously shared my reading experience of the first 3 books I read, which were Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, Milkman by Anna Burns, and The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner. You can find my full thoughts on these books on my first update post called; Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist 2019. But, for the abrivated verson I will say I really enjoyed Washington Black, but was not thrilled by Milkman and The Mars Room and I was kinda starting to question this challenge/goal I had for myself. But, since I already owned two more of the books on this list, I decided to continue on. On the to the reviews and reflection!


Everything UnderEverything Under by Daisy Johnson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is going to be a really weird review. I liked the story, but the way it was portrayed irritated me. There are no ” marks, “You” is used so much, the POV was personally aggravating to read. Now all of these are personal preference and does not in any way mean that the book is bad, but it was very much not for me. Also, why do chapters have the same names? I didn’t know these things mattered go much to me until now.

If you read the first chapter of this book or a sample I feel like you will know right away if this book is for you or not.

View all my reviews


The OverstoryThe Overstory by Richard Powers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting read for sure, I can see why it has won awards and shortlisted for others. The idea is very thought provoking, involving individuals who have a very strong with nature and more specifically the trees. At first all these stories seem unconnected, more like a short story collection, then slowly they start to come together as the need to protect the forest grows larger.

I have to say, I enjoyed the first half of this book more than the second half. The first half has so much of a personal connection with nature and trees and it was great learning about all of these families and individuals. For me it started to get less interesting when things got mushed together. I am not sure if it is because it seemed to be more “preachy” or the individual stories that drew me in kinda for the most part fell to the side and were only a plot device instead of the story. It seemed to loose the magic and the soul of the story.

With that aside the writing was done very well, I am curious to get into other works of this author.

View all my reviews


The Long TakeThe Long Take by Robin Robertson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say that this is one of the better books shortlisted for the Man Book Prize in 2018. I really enjoyed the format being utilized, it really set the feeling of the story for me. This book really talks about a very difficult topic that many have to deal with PTSD and having known someone who suffered with it first hand, I feel like the author did a great job portraying how it can affect some people. PTSD affects many, but can affect each person differently.

This book really had a feel to it that I think sticks to a reader, I feel like I will bee thinking about it for sometime. It is encompassing and consuming in a way. I also like how the author portrays the internal feelings struggles of the main character to the external society/city. It was veery interesting to read. There are many dark topics in this novel/poem, so if PTSD, drug use, and other dark themes are something that can bother you, I would stay away. If that is not the case it is a powerful read for sure.

View all my reviews


-Reflection-

I feel like this second bunch of books from the short list I had a bit more success with over all. My last post I couldn’t even give star ratings to two of the books. I would say that  in this group there are now two books I would recommend to people, The Long Take and The Overstory, but I would have to feel confident in the fact I know their likes and dislikes when it comes to reading. I feel like that is a pretty decent turn around. I find it ironic that I liked the books I put off more than the ones I was excited about.

That being said I would 100% do this challenge again, in fact I already added a lot of the books from the 2019 short list to my TBR and put in a wishlist at my local library. One thing I learned from this challenge is that I should get these books from the library. While  there is no denying that they are well written books, I cannot say that I will enjoy the content every time. So, while I enjoy exploring new things, the library is my friend when it comes to this challenge.


Have or would you read any of these books?

Are you excited about the 2019 Man Booker Shortlisted books?

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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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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | September 2019 Fail

Read 5 Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my admittance of my Read 5, Buy 1 failure. This past month I have read a lot, but I had the itch to buy a bunch of books as well. I felt so bad about this, I actually did a bit of an unhaul so my TBR didn’t grow to much and I might even unhaul some more. I feel like I am in a spot where my reading tastes are changing again so a lot of the things on my shelf are not calling to me quite so much. Anyway, here are the books I read and the books I added to my Owned TBR.


Read 2

 

 

 


Books Added 2

-Gifted-


OWNED TBR COUNT

35 books!

Thankfully, only up 2 books from last month, so not totally horrific. I do think an unhaul is going to be in my near future though. Like I said earlier in the post my reading tastes are shifting and some of the titles are just not doing it for me anymore.


What’s the last book you added to your TBR?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | September 2019

Recs

Hello everyone! Today I am going to be sharing my bullet journal spreads for the month of September. I am so excited and pumped about this month because I am trying more new spreads and I am in love with my theme. This year I went on vacation to Maine and I fell in love with the state, it is so beautiful and wonderful. I decided I wanted to hold on to those memories and feelings by making Septembers theme Maine!


This has not changed, it really works for me to have a little mini calendar for quick reference at the front of the month. I also decided to doodle a lighthouse that I took a picture of when I was in Maine. I have not drawn in a while so excuse the wonkiness, but I love it!

So, this month I decided to try a new type of habit tracker inspired by journalby.amber on instagram. I really liked how simple and clean it looked and it wasn’t a huge rectangle that took up the whole page. I like how each habit has its own little home. On the other page, which is kinda a little peak into something I am giving a go, you will see a page tracker. This was inspired by BooksandLala on youtube a long time ago. The doodles for these two pages are lobster and buoys. I was tempted to color these in, but I decided to leave this month without color, I don’t want to steal someone else’s color! If you didn’t know the color scheme on a buoy is unique to each fisher.

This month I decided to give my TBR a little bit of a makeover inspired by bookshelves and paperbacks. I loved that she had a bit of an area to check off her progress. I edited them a bit to fit my needs more, but I put S- started, R-read, P-placed. All are pretty self explanatory, but placed means that I placed the mini review in my middle mark or wrap up and marked it in my bujo tbr list. This illustration is of a mountainside. The area in Maine I was in a lot of it was made of granite . So the beaches are all rock and have a lot of steep drops. It is really beautiful to see the pink granite everywhere you look.

The last spread I added was 50 miles in September, which was inspired by The Petite Planner on instagram. If you were not aware this summer I did 2 5Ks and really enjoyed myself and I want to keep up being active. So looking through the internet I found this challenge of sorts and I really wanted to do it. I also loved that it had a spot built in to write my way ins. I kinda hate having to flip to more pages than I need to.

This month my weekly spreads are the same as they were in August, the only difference is I added some doodles since I was feeling inspired. I added a hook because fishing is such a staple in Maine, Blueberries because everyone had a famous blueberry pie or blueberry infused food item, a whale because they are everywhere, and lastly a huge pine tree because I loved the trees by where I was staying so much. They were so tall and sturdy.


Where is your favorite place to visit?

Do you use a habit tracker? What kind of format is it?

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Goals

Luna’s Weekly Book Photo Challenge | September 2019

#lunaseptember19

So, if you could not tell from the title of this post. I wanted to try something new and fun. One thing I always enjoy watching and trying to participate in are book photo challenges.  As I said, I try to, but I am horrible at sticking to them on a daily basis so I thought I would create my own that better fit me. Thus, the birth of Luna’s Weekly Book Photo Challenge!

I decided that I can commit to a weekly photo to post on twitter as well as instagram and I hope some of you could join me by using #lunaseptember19 on both of these platforms. I would really love to see what everyone comes up with.

To help everyone out I decided to make a handy little image you could save on your computer or phone so you could reference it throughout the month. I placed the date, prompt, and the hashtag so it is all together in one handy spot.

Anyway, thanks for reading this not so normal post from me and I hope you will join me!


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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | July 2019

Read 5 Buy 1

Welcome to the second month of my Read 5, Buy 1! I have to say I am very proud of the progress I have made over the past month and a half of doing this. My TBR is down to ___ amount of books and I have been really selective with the books I have been adding to my TBR. Anyway, here are the books I read and here are the books that I bought!

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Read 2


Books Added 2

Divider 2What does your TBR look like?

Have you ever done a book buying ban?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | June 2019

Read 5 Buy 1.jpg

Hello and welcome to another kind of blog post series I am adding to my blog. Nearly a year ago I shared by Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge, you can find that here: Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge. In this post I explain how I challenge myself when I feel that my Owned TBR has gotten a bit out of hand. Well, This past month with Book Con I decided that having nearly 50 books at one point was way to high for me to be comfortable with. So, I decided to reinstate the Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge. In the linked post it goes into detail of what it is and what it entails, but I will give you a little summary.

Pretty much for every 5 books you read, you get to buy 1 book. No book buying bans needed with this, but it does help you cull your TBR and get it under control. I have used it quite a few times over the year. My last run of it I got my TBR down to the high teens, which is within my happy place of owned TBR. Anyway, each month I am going to give a little summary of how it is going and share the books I read and the book I bought.


Read

Buy


Since I started this in the middle of the month I only have one book hauled through this challenge. Now, I need to get reading so I can get my TBR down and buy some books! Any questions about this challenge I am happy to answer.

Divider 2What does your TBR look like?

Have you ever done a book buying ban?

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Revisiting

Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist 2019

revisiting

Hello everyone today I wanted to share my progress with one of my 2019 goals/challenges. We are in the 5th month of the year, I can’t hardly believe it. I thought it was time to do more of a in-depth look at this goal because it is a bit more than a checklist type goal to me. I see it more as an experience or an experiment of sorts. I personally have never much been one to follow book awards and let them dictate my reading or sway my reading choices. This year I kinda wanted to see if I had been missing out because of this. If you want to see my reasoning for why I picked this reading award, you can see that in my original post; Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist.

Without more of a delay here are my reviews and my reflection on this experience so far!

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-Reviews-

Washington Black

Washington 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


MilkmanMilkman by Anna Burns

I wont give this book a star rating because I could not finish it, it was not for me in the slightest. I picked it up and I was bored nearly right away. I can see how other might enjoy this book, but I did not.

View all my reviews


The Mars RoomThe Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

I can’t give this book a star review, because I did not finish reading the book.

I had such high hopes for this book for a few reasons. The first being the description sounded amazing and it seemed like something I would normally gravitate towards. The second reason being is that it was short listed for the man booker prize as well as other noted literary awards.

The main reason this fell short for me was that it didn’t really capture my attention. That is not to say it was not dramatic, because it very much was, but it just was not something I wanted to pick up again after putting it down.

Don’t get me wrong, this book had a lot going for it and I was rooting for it. It had a great concept of critiquing society and how economics have such an impact on individuals lives. I also felt horrible for the main character because no one should have to go through what she and some of the other women went through. I am glad light was shed on a lot of issues in this book. But, a main character that doesn’t really seem in the story, a plot that jumps around too much, and it all left me looking to do something else.

View all my reviews

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-Reflection-

So far my reading has been mixed with this experiment 1 book has been a win and one has not been a win. I am sitting at 1:2 or 33% success rate. Not the best of scores. I am hoping that it will rise higher the more I read. At this time I have 3 more books to go so there are a lot of chances for me to get a good reading experience.

I am expecting it to go up not just because I have more  books to read, but also because I am fairy interested in 1 of them and I already picked it up. So I am hoping since I own that one I like it. I feel like if I do not like this next one I am going to abandon this goal for 2019. I seem to not really like the types of books that they picked for their winner or their shortlist at this point. Fingers crossed this next one is a winner!

-Remaining Books-

The Long Take by Robin Robertson

The Overstory by Richard Powers – Owned

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? How do you think this experiment will go?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | 100 Books Bucket List

Lists

I don’t know about you, but I have seen a lot of ‘100 Books You Must Read in Your Lifetime!’ articles. All of them seem different, some focus on more modern books and others on classics. In November 2018 I happened to come across a poster on amazon while shopping for my friends and families and I really liked that it had some classics and more modern books on the list as well. It was called, Gift Republic 100 Books Bucket List Poster (not an affiliate link). So of course, I ended up buying it for myself. 

While this is not the best picture in the world of the poster, you can see that I have read 20 21 of the books already on this list, I missed The Time Machine on my first look through. Overall, reading 21 books is not a horrible start if you ask me. I thought it would be fun to share my progress on this poster throughout the year and see how much progress I make on this bookish bucket list.

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  • American Gods
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Siddhartha 
  • Sophie’s World
  • A Brief History of Time
  • The Great Gatsby
  • To Kill a Mocking Bird
  • Matilda
  • The Complete Art of War
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • Long Walk to Freedom
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Shoe
  • Noughts & Crosses
  • In Cold Blood
  • Frankenstein
  • The Secret History 
  • Wuthering Heights 
  • 1984
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Norwegian Wood
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • The Color Purple
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Lolita 
  • Great Expectations
  • Harry Potter Series
  • His Dark Materials Trilogy
  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Road
  • Ulysses
  • Bad Science
  • I Capture the Castle
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Les Misérables
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • Wind in the Willows
  • Wild Swans
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe
  • Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy
  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • Anna Karenina 
  • Freakonomics
  • A Game of Thrones
  • The Help
  • Flowers for Algernon
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • American Psycho
  • Notes From Small Island
  • Macbeth
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • A History of Venice
  • The Selfish Gene
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • A Wild Sheep Chase
  • Schindler’s Ark
  • London Fields
  • The House of the Baskerville
  • My Man Jeeves
  • The English Patient
  • The Mill on the Floss
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Commitments
  • Gladys Aylward,: The Little Women
  • Midnight’s Children
  • Tess of the D’urbervilles
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • Hamlet
  • Goodnight Mister Tom
  • Dissolution
  • The Time Machine
  • Winnie the Pooh 
  • Animal Farm
  • The Diary of a Young Girl
  • The Enchanted Wood
  • Dracula
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • The Kite Runner
  • Pride and Prejudice 
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Misery 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Watership Down
  • The Odyssey
  • War and Peace
  • Bird Song
  • Tell No One
  • Moby-Dick
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Middlemarch
  • Jane Eyre 

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What book is on your bucket list?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | TBR Jar Experiment

LetsTalk12:17

So I know a lot of us book lovers have a huge owned TBR or TBR list and some of us in this community use a TBR jar. In the past I have made one or two of them, but I never really stuck with them for one reason of another. It might have been because I had so many incoming books I didn’t keep up with adding them, I am not really sure. Either way I always failed even though I have even posted a DIY for one a year or maybe even longer. You can see that DIY here: DIY | TBR JAR.

So for the month of October I decided that I would try the famious TBR jar once again and really commit myself to the process. So I went to the thrift store and picked up a small TBR jar and wrote down every book I owned that I still needed to read.

As you can see from the picture above my little jar was VERY full. I might have needed to get a larger one or I need to hurry up and get reading. Now, once I wrote down all the titles It was time to pick my next book.

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So this was the first book I picked out of the jar I picked a very recent addition to my TBR, Salem’s Witch House. I read it pretty quickly and I am glad I picked it up sooner rather than later. If you want to see what I thought in detail about this book you can read my post: A Week in Review | October 1st -October 6th. I will say I did not like it as much as I thought I would, but it was just not what I thought it was. It really stinks when a description was a bit misleading.

The next book I picked was a book my aunt lent to me and wanted to hear my opinion on. I was very happy to picked this book because I did not want to put it off since she is interested in hearing my opinion. I will say that this book was a wild ride and it was truly all over the place. If you want to know what I thought in a lot of detail you can read my post: A Week in Review | October 7th -October 13th.

When I picked this from the jar I was so happy and excited to pick this book. Mainly because I needed to read it for the BN book club and I did not think about that when I started this experiment. Sadly, I ended up loosing this book and needing to pick up another book.

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Reflection

So, upon having used this method for a few weeks. I can say it has its pros and cons. The first thing I liked about this was how easy it was to just pick a book and read. There was no staring at the bookshelf and being overwhelmed by choices. This happens to be from time to time and I can see that it really did cut down on that. The second pro is the fact that it really does show you how many unread books you own. Even though I have 2 book shelves that are pact with books, I mainly just see that I am lucky enough to have those books. I don’t see how many I truly have left unread because they are all spread out. This really forces you to see a visual representation that cannot be ignored and is more meaningful, at least to me, than just seeing a number.

Now, while there are some pretty serious pros to having and using a TBR jar, there are some cons as well. The first you can mainly see in my last pick. I was planning on taking part in the book club, but if I did not pick it there was no way I could have. So having books with a deadline would not work well with this format. Another con would be not really being able to pick what you are in the mood for. While this kind of helps in some situation when you are not in a specific mood, if you want to read a thriller and you picked a nonfiction or a general fiction book you would not be very thrilled. Being a mood reader, this was something I was really afraid of.

Overall I really think a TBR jar has its place in a bookworms life, especially for a mood reader like me. Sometimes I have no idea what I want to read and this could help me. Moving forward I plan on only using my TBR jar for when I am stuck on what to read next. I also think it would be fun to pick a book from the jar once a month just to get me to read some of the books I have been putting off.

I made the decision to kind of mix Books and Lala’s Closet unhaul series and My Reading is Odd TBR jar. Both of these youtubers are amazing and you should check them out ASAP! Anyway, I think I will be pulling a book per month, My Reading is Odd normally pulls more than this, but I don’t want to overwhelmed myself too much.  Now, if I do not read that book in that month off it goes from my shelves, kinda like Lala did in her series.

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What do you think about TBR Jars? Do you use one? How come?

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