Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Using a Commonplace Book

Let's TalkHello and welcome to my post where I am sharing my reading notebook and I would love to hear your thoughts! So, a few months ago I came across the idea of a commonplace book while researching different note taking methods on youtube. I came across Amy Landino’s video, which I will link to below and went from there. As someone who loves note taking, notebooks, and the link I am honestly surprised that I have not heard about this sooner. A commonplace book is defined as…

Commonplace Book  – source: Lexico powered by Oxford

NOUN

  • A book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.


What is a Commonplace Book and What Method I am Using?

Now, there are many ways to organized a commonplace book, some people use notecards and a series of boxes or dividers, digitally create one, or use an old fashioned notebook. I feel like the method you use really comes down to your personality and why you are using it. From the light research I have done, I see a lot of authors using the notecard system, if you want to check that version out, I suggest starting out with Amy Landino video called My Box of Inspiration! How to Create a Commonplace Book. I have not watched any other videos by her or anything, but I felt like she did a wonderful job explaining her version of a commonplace book. Now, as for myself personally, I went for using an actual notebook.

There are a few reasons why I went with an actual notebook. The first being it is the most historically accurate and pays a bit of homage to the history of a commonplace book. This is not to say the other methods are less, I am just a huge history nerd. See, commonplace notebooks have actually be around for a very long time, they were very prominent during the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods (source, source) and a lot of them were almost like scrap books of information.  Just like actual scrap books, they really varied from person to person depending on their lives and interests. It is even featured in some literary works ranging by Virginia Woolf and can even apparently be found in A Series of Unfortunate Events.  (source). As someone who like historical stuff, I am used this in historical context of everything including the kitchen sink. A lot of people who use them now organize them based upon theme and honestly me organizing my months and such is more effective for me. I do not want to create sections in a notebook. Although if I ever do I feel like a travelers notebook would work wonders for that.

Now, that I rambled about the first reason, to be fair the biggest reason for me personally, here are the other two. I have a ton of notebooks. I love stationary so I have it laying around, but it brings me true joy when I actually use them. On top of that I feel like I absorb more when I physically write and then put things into my own words. I feel like this is something I personally can only accomplish with the notebook style. While a notecard system would have me writing, I wouldn’t really have room to reflect or put it into my own words. So, that is how I decided what method I was going to use and now onto the notebook itself and my experience.


My  Commonplace Notebook

Dark brown notebook with tan inserts, one is labeled common place book. Notebook is placed open on a color striped blanket.

So above is a picture of the notebook I will be using as my commonplace notebook. It is a A5 side travelers notebook with a beautiful brown fake leather cover. Inside I have a few dot grid inserts so I am free to format as I please. As some of you might know I am someone who loves bullet journaling and I have fallen in love with dot grid paper.


My Thoughts and Outcome

So, I have really enjoyed using a commonplace notebook. It has been great to keep all the random things such as quotes, ideas, and little tidbits. I have been using it on and off for about a month and half and I feel like it is really beneficial to have an outlet. While I have a bullet journal, I am more worried about keeping it neat and tidy. The coommonplace notebook I am free and happy to doodle, write, and more without having to worry.


Bonus: a bit ago another blogger I follow posted on the topic as well WHAT IS A COMMONPLACE BOOK & HOW TO USE IT

Do you have a way to organize your notes?

Do you use a commonplace book, maybe even without knowing it?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | August

Hello and welcome another check in for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you would like to learn more you can look at my initial post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. This month I read The Comedy of Errors and errors there where!


This book is just a mixture of mess ups and miscommunication. It kinda reminded me of the exaggerated outcome of the telephone game, if you are familiar with that. The main aspect of this play is mistaken identity, which has been present in quite a few of his other plays that I have read this year. In this play in particular it it comes from not one, but two sets of twins and their loved ones having no idea who is who and let the mayhem begin.

I have to admit, that this is one of the better plays when it comes to mistaken identity. There were a few times where I giggled to myself while reading this, which is great because not a lot of his comedies have actually made me laugh or feel humor. Maybe I am finally getting Shakespeare’s sense of humor? Either way, without giving away too much, there is a lot of misunderstandings, surprises, and puns galore!

This review isn’t that long due to the fact that I feel like a lot of the humor would be removed from this play if it is really discussed as much as I normally do. I would rather you read it for yourself and truly get the laugh out of it than being ruined by my review. But, overall I think this is one of the better comedies as I said earlier. I think it is worth checking out if you like his other plays or even has not read any of his comedies before.


Next month I am reading another comedy by William Shakespeare called Much Ado About Nothing, I have heard a great deal about this one so I am excited!

What are your thoughts on this play?

What is your favorite play by Shakespeare?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Read 5, Buy 1 | June 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my Read 5, Buy 1 post, If I am being honest with myself I should be calling this a book haul because wow, did I totally ignore this in June. I am not sure why, but I really had the buying itch in June. I figured since I have done so well and my TBR was under 20 at the time, why not have some fun. So, here is my break down of the books I read since the last check in, but also the books I bought this past month.


The Breakdown

  • Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi
  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
    • Bought Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
    • Bought Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Books Added To My TBR

I added, Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, The Incarnations by Susan Barker, Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz, The Changeling by Victor LaValle, Before the Coffee Gets Coldby Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, The Hungerby Alma Katsu, Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, and LGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the Numbers by Bennett Singer and David Deschamps to my TBR.


As you can see, I bought quite a few extra books this month. I am thinking it might have to do with that fact that I was not really in the reading mood in May and maybe it was because I didn’t really want to read any of the books I owned. I am a total mood reader. Regardless of the reason, I added an extra 7 books. Oops! Good thing I have been in a reading mood!
Over all, my TBR is now sitting at a total of 26 books, so my owned TBRhe  stayed about the same, but thankfully it decided to not go up with all the buying I did.

What does your TBR look like?

What books did you recently haul from the library or bookstore?

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To Be Read

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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Hauls & Unboxings

Read 5, Buy 1 | May 2020 | Book Haul

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my May Read 5, Buy 1 challenge recap and haul. Earlier this month was my birthday and I did a seprate haul, which you can read here: Haul | Birthday 2020 . I am not counting these books towards by challenge because, well I didn’t buy them. Pretty amazing people were kind enough to buy them for me. But, that does not mean I didn’t buy anything for myself. I can never go a month without adding to my TBR myself! Now, on to the breakdown.


The Breakdown

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

  • The Book of Longing by Sue Monk Kidd

 

 


Extra Books

After I posted my birthday haul I actually got another book as a present and I was very pleasantly surprised. It was The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold thanks to Reg!  I have been interested in this story for as long as it has been out it seems like. Thank you!

So, did break my Read 5, Buy 1, but only by one book. I ended up picking up A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. The reason being is that with this series I always buy the next book in the series when I start reading one. So, I just ordered it without really thinking about it oops.


 Overall, I think I did pretty darn good! I only bought one extra book this month for myself and my owned TBR is down to 26 books, which is a great amount and it heading downwards still.

What does your TBR look like?

What books did you recently haul from the library or bookstore?

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Reading Challenges

Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed

challenges

So, the first half of may has been a reading mess. I only read 22 pages on May first and it is now May 10th and another page has not been read. Then I came across an old video of Ariel Bissett’s called “i tried reading before every day for a week’ and I was inspired to give it a go and maybe jumpstart my reading again.


The Video


Reading Journal May 10th-May 16th, 2020

5/10: 25 pages of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

5/11: 344 pages of Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

5/12: 41 pages of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

5/13: 30 pages of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

5/14: 20 pages of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

5/15: 15 pages of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

5/16: 22 pages of mystery book


Reflection

So,  there are a few things I noticed throughout this process. First, I got back into the habit of reading and enjoying it. The main point of this was to help with me get back into reading. Like I said in the intro, this challenge came into being because I went a long time without reading that was not the cause of a slump. Well, I am happy to report I am reading constantly again. Plus, I wasn’t even feeling forced or pushed into reading, which I was a bit worried about if I am honest.

The second thing I noticed is I found I wanted to read at other points of the day as the challenge continued. At the start I didn’t have the urge to read throughout the day. But, since I was getting back into the habit and as I got closer to the end of this challenge, I would want to read in the afternoon and had to hold off. I feel like scheduling time to read or restricting when I can read, doesn’t fully work for me. Apparently my mood reading isn’t just restricted to what I want to read.

I think I am going to continue to make reading part of my nighttime routine. I enjoyed how relaxing and calming it was. Overall, I really had fun giving this a go. I love reading challenges and I would like to do more in the future. But, I think this one will have a bit of a lasting impression on me. I just need to make sure my nighttime reading is away from a screen and not read too late into the night.


Do you have a consistent reading habit?

Do you normally read a particular time of day

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Hauls & Unboxings

Read 5, Buy 1 | April 2020 Haul

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to another check in for my Read 5, Buy 1 challenge. I am happy to report I did a lot better with my challenge this time around! The OWLs Readathon really pushed my reading, which was just wonderful plus a lot of fun. Without further delay, here is my progress of my challenge for April!


The Breakdown

They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

HausMagick: Transform Your Home with Witchcraft by Erica Feldmann

  • The Goddess Year by Skye Alexander

 

How to Read Literature by Terry Eagleton

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Beach Read by Emily Henry

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

  • The Spendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

 

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas 

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

  • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

 


Extra Books

The Canary Keeper by Clare Carson, which was gifted by Adrianna from Romance Book Binge. I was so surprised to see this in my mailbox and was even more excited that I can now read this book. I have heard such great things and the description just sounds promising for me.


Overall, I did very well this month. I read quite a bit more than I usually do and being gifted a book and not buying too much really aided in my getting my TBR this month. This was a huge help because my birthday is in May and well,  always end up getting a few books so my TBR goes up without me doing any buying.


Are any of these books on your TBR?

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | March

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the third installment of the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I have been really enjoying this challenge more than I thought I would have, but here we are, three months into the challenge and I was looking forward to giving Hamlet a try, something I really didn’t think was going to ever happen. Also, if you want to see what reads are coming up and what books I have read to can check it out in the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. Now, on to Hamlet!


The Book

This month was the very popular play of Hamlet, I feel like this is one of the more popular and referenced plays from my own personal experience. It is also a tragedy, up until this point I have been reading his comedies so, this could be interesting. Anyway, Hamlet was written around 1599.


My Review

While I have read Shakespeare before, I have never read so many so quickly before. I am beginning to notice a few things I am not too keen on. Why is it that Shakespeare always wants to punish a woman for loving? I get it, it is the time period, but isn’t there something else you can try to write about? I know that love and loss are always great plot lines when it comes to plays, but his ideas are becoming a bit too repetitive for my personal liking.

This is a very dramatic play with quite a few deep feelings that many can relate too. The thing with this play is that they are very amplified. There is quite a bit of passion in this story. We have loss, revenge, anger, dishonor and quite a bit more. This truly is a sad play. You watch a young man in grief become more and more erratic and many around him begin to question if he is truly alright.

This is murder and death, accidental and planned. There are plots within plots. This play really has a lot going on. I just wish some of these characters just talked to one another and weren’t so impulsive, a lot could have been avoided. While I know that wouldn’t make such a tragic play, but I think it would have made a better story personally.

Also, without really spoiling anyone I had to reread a few times how the ghost says he dies… that is the most interesting cause of death I have ever heard.

Overall, I don’t regret reading this play. Did I love it? No. Was it my favorite? No. Did I absolutely hate it? No again. I did enjoy the creepiness and the exploration  such deep feelings, even if they were exaggerated for the sake of the play. This was very average in my book.


Next months pick is Macbeth, which I kinda of think will have about the same rating as Hamlet. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I am very much willing to give this a shot. I just need to keep an open mind and hope that Hamlet doesn’t put a damper on future plays.


What did you think of this play?

Which play should I add to the monthly polls?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Read 5, Buy 1 | January & February 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to a post that is a mixture of a bookhaul and a challenge update. This time I will be diving a bit into my Read 5, Buy 1 that has been going on so far this year. I will admit, this will not seem like much of a success, but I think it is.


  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Dutch House
  • Widow Weed and Weeping Veils
  • The Morrigan
  • Mythos
    • Quichotte
  • Farmhand 1
  • Farmhand 2
  • The Wicked King
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Bonhoffer
    • The Magicians Trilogy
  • Where the Crawdad’s Sing
  • God Country
  • The Langoliers
  • Ducks, Newburyport
  • The Unhoneymooners
    • Prodigal Son
  • No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
  • Little Children
  • The Starless Sea
  • Othello
  • Cujo
    • Blood of Elves

-All Books Added-

  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert – PreOrder before challenge started.
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz – Buy 1
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • One Voice, Two Lives: From Auschwitz Prisoner to Airborne Trooper by David Wisnia – Bought before challenge started
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie, Buy 1

  • The Magicians Trilogy – Buy 1
  • Imaginary Friend – Broke Challenge for signed copy

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd – BOTM

The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James – BOTM

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski – Buy 1

How to Read Literature by Terry Eagleton – Gift

They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru – Gift

A Matter of Interpretation by Elizabeth  – Won in a giveaway


So, I would have to say overall I am doing pretty darn good. I only broke by Read 5, Buy 1 only once since my BOTM does not count or at least I am not counting it. I decided early on that I am only going to get one book box now, since I limited it to only one book I decided that my BOTM would be a pass. As for my gifts and won giveaway, I can’t really count that because I did not buy the books. Also, I am aware I am cheating a bit when I count a trilogy as one, but it was a single purchase and I am buddy reading the entire series with Reg and Jenna. I can’t not have the books.

As I said, overall I am feeling pretty well about this challenge, I have not been perfect about it, but I feel like my buying has certainly gone down and I am saving money and my owned and unread books are getting a bit more love and attention. If you want to see a list of all my owned and unread books, you can find that here: Bookish Luna’s Owned TBR Shelf.


Anyway, Out of all of these books, which one do you think I should read first?

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the second month of 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. The first month went so well, I ended up really loving I also have a goodreads group going if you want to join in on the challenge, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


The Book

This months book was Othello, chosen via a poll on my twitter account. This play is thought to be written around 1603. I will say, this is one of the play I am more nervous about this book because I have read this before and I did not enjoy it very much. Going into this I was really hoping that my view on it has changed.


My Review

So, coming into this month I felt both better and a bit worried about reading Othello. I felt a bit more at ease because I really enjoyed a Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I remember reading Othello and really disliking it. So, I really saw things going either way.

I have to say, the start of this book kind of made me feel like The Count of Monte Cristo. It starts off with a man feeling wronged by not being promoted and is newly married. Very much sounded very familiar, which for Othello is a good thing because I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. Another work I made a connection to is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The father in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was so upset and would not accept his daughter marrying for love and was so dramatic about it. The same happened in this story pretty much, which was kind of annoying. Only two books into this challenge and already recycling characters in a way.

But, with that aside I will say I did enjoy this one more so than I remembered the first time I read it years ago. What I did like about this was how it was organized and how it created such a villain. Even at only about 40 pages in I already hated a character and I wanted him to get lost at sea or something. The fact that I felt so much in that way saved this play in my eyes. If I didn’t dislike that person so much I would have rated it a lot lower honestly. Also, the ending is just so tragic and I felt so horrible for the jerks wife, she knew she was doing wrong, but not as wrong as she actually did. She most likely felt sole responsible for what occurred.


Next months play is going to be Hamlet as voted on by my wonderful twitter followers! If you want to join in with me please do by jumping into the conversation here or over on the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


What did you think of this play?

What play do you think I should add to the poll for April? 

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