Wrap Up

Wrap Up | February 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to a shocking good wrap up. I am surprised to say that I read 10 books this month. I have absolutely no idea how this has happened, but it has. This month has been a bit of a roller coaster when it has come to reading. I have read a book from literally every rating, 1-5. While I am not thrilled with reading 1 and 2 star books, it happens from time to time. The good news is I also read a 5 star book and a few great 4 star ones as well. Now, on to the mini reviews!


Read 2

Little ChildrenLittle Children by Tom Perrotta

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, now that I have finally finished this book, I can say that I generally enjoyed it. I think what stuck out to me the most about this book is that is a satire, but a sad one in my eyes. The characters that are talked about had different plans for their lives or they are slipping away in a manner. It really is a look into society and people and kept my interest for sure, I read it in four days.

Another thing that stood out to me is how this book is set up, you can tell the author did a great job laying out this novel. The characters seems very tangible and very likely to be real people in your own community. The characters seem to be facing issues that aren’t so unlike what you might see yourself or others you know deal with. The character development as well as the plot and how they interact with one another is well done. I will say, this book will also have to questioning the morals of others and society as well.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I feel like it is very out of my normal read for me. I don’t always enjoy books like this, but this novel did it well. I ended up giving it a solid three stars and I can see other people really enjoying it if the description interests you. I am really happy that Reg picked it for me, it was a nice change of pace in my reading this month.

View all my reviews


The Starless SeaThe Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am really glad that my friend, Reg, picked this to buddy read, but I am mad it took me so long to read/get to. I really enjoy the premise of this book very much and I can see why people love this book. I was really drawn in when I did read it, but I had a really hard tome actually getting myself to pick it up if that makes sense. I feel like this was due to my mood and I think I will want to reread this book in the future when I am more in the mood for a book like this.

Overall, it was a good book and I looking forward to a reread down the road.

View all my reviews


CujoCujo by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was both a very scary read and a heart breaking read. While Cujo is for sure a book that is well known by many and I was familiar with the idea of this story due to its pop culture relevance, this book turned out to be so much more. This book turned out to be more than one story and more dynamic than I thought it was going to be. I really thought it was just going to be a killer dog, but it explored so much more. I don’t want to say too much and ruin it for others, but it was a wild ride of a book.

View all my reviews


Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a wonderfully written book. Ron Chernow did a wonderful job at exploring the life of one of America’s. founding father’s, but also explored his family and political climate of the young nation. I felt like his biography was fair look at Hamilton, showing both his faults and good characteristics, it was realistic and didn’t just idealize the man. I throughly enjoyed learning more about his early life, which isn’t covered much in my previous reading.

Overall, I can see why this book inspired the popular play. It is a very exciting story of an individual during a very pivotal point in America’s history. Chernow does a wonderful job mixing scholarship with a plethora of sources, but also kept the book entertaining and not bogged down by facts and statistics.

View all my reviews


OthelloOthello by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

More of my review at 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February


Middle Mark Books 2

The Langoliers by Stephen King, rating: 5 of 5 stars

God Country by Donny Cates, rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman, rating: 1 of 5 stars

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, rating: 3 of 5 stars

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg, rating: 4 of 5 stars


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 27


Reading Stats

  • Number of Books: 10
  • Number of Pages: 4,4466
  • Fiction: 8
  • Nonfiction: 2
  • DNF’ed: 1
  • Ebook: 0
  • Audiobook: 0
  • Paperback: 8
  • Hardcover: 2
  • Library: 3
  • Owned: 7
  • 5 Stars: 1
  • 4 Stars: 4
  • 3 Stars: 3
  • 2 Stars: 1
  • 1 Star: 1

    What was your favorite read of the month?

    What was the last book you read in January?

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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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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | February 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid-month reaching check in! This month started off a bit stressful if I am to be completely honest, so I am actually surprised I was able to finish a book let alone more. So, I am very happy with my wrap up, even if I did already have my first low rating of the year. I will say I am forseeing my reading totals to fall from this point forward because I am starting something new I am really excited about and will be sharing soon. But, I will give a very bad hint though: I love learning something new and it being self directed. Like I said a bad hint, but anyway, on to the books! 😂


Read 2

The LangoliersThe Langoliers by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very imaginative take on a children’s night time scary story come to life mixed with the Bermuda Triangle. It was very interesting to see how King’s characters, who were all there by accident, reacted to the situation. I don’t want to say too much because I feel like if I said anymore I would ruin it, but I will say that you can read this on it’s own or inn the short stoy collection of Four Past Midnight.

View all my reviews


God CountryGod Country by Donny Cates

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I can’t say for sure why I wasn’t drawn into this volume, but I just didn’t get into it. Not sure if it was the plot, how the dialog was placed on the page or the layout. It just fell flat unfortunately. The artwork was wonderful though and the idea was great.

View all my reviews


Ducks, NewburyportDucks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I don’t want to say much on this book at the current moment because I am going to explore this novel a bit more when I read a few more of the books on the 2019 Man Booker Shortlist. I will say at this time the main reason I did not like this book was due to the formatting. This is a very personal thing, so I feel like a lot of people wont be as bothered by it, but that is what I shall say for now.

View all my reviews


The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a very typical enemies to lovers type of book, but I will say I really like the way the author built upon that trope. I really enjoyed the plot and the side things as well, the writing was do very well. I will say there were times I wanted to just skip ahead just because I just wanted to know what will happen and I was not really fully invested in the journey.

View all my reviews


No One Is Too Small to Make a DifferenceNo One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful collection of speeches made by Greta Thunberg.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, I am currently 37% through. At this point I am enjoying the book once I pick it up, but for some reason I don’t feel enticed enough to pick it up.  I don’t understand why my brain does this sometimes.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, I am currently only 8% through this Tome and I am really enjoying it so far. It is written very well and I am surprised how quickly I am reading it.


 What was the last book you finished?

What book are you currently reading?

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Hauls

Unboxing | BOTM February 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to my monthly Book of the Month post! This month I picked only one book, I am trying to read all of my backlisted BOTM books so I don’t want to add too many more to the pile. This month I chose something a bit outside my normal reading, but I am still excited about it. Now, on to the haul!


Description

“In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya’s room.” –goodrerads.com


This month I decided on The Holdout, a thriller of sorts that is driven via the court system. I normally do not read thrillers or mysteries that have a lot of law enforcement, courtroom drama, or themes along those lines. Normally, my thrillers of choice are more domestic and psychological. If there is law enforcement. it is usually towards the end, not the entire plot.  I will say the exception to this would have to be the Mr. Mercedes series by Stephen King, although it. was a mix of a detective mystery and something else.

I am excited to give this one a go because it seems like it’s a mixture of a detective mystery and a domestic thriller. So, I feel like this would be a good way to see if I enjoy thrillers along those lines, just dipping my toes while still in my comfort zone a bit.

I will also openly admit, I loved the Imitation Game, so that was also a bit of a selling point of this book. If you do get the chance, it is a wonderful story, but totally heart breaking and could be very difficult to watch. Do a bit of research to see if it would be triggering for you before giving it a go.


Does this book sound interesting to you?

If you have BOTM what book did you pick this month?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | February 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to another bujo post! I know last week I shared my unboxing of the most recently Tombow VIP Club, Unboxing | Tombow VIP Club January 2020, sadly I already had my February spreads all set up already. But, I am planning to use all of those items in next months spreads and really try and add more color. This month I have gone really simple and to the point because I have so much going on, I don’t really want distractions. If I do need more spreads, I will add them at a later date. As for now, here is my February bujo!


So here is my dash page! The flower art was created by Shayda Campbell, I am really loving the floral lately and her stuff is all about bringing in the natural feelings. On the right I wanted a quote and I did some abstract art with some cut up black paper I had laying around. I decided to add a quote I came across online and add a little doodle.

Here is my must have spread, since I starting using this I have just fallen in love with it. I track the books I have read and when I have read them. I color code the blocks with the book.  It is a little hard to explain so I am going to add my January completed one below so you can see.

So, on the book tracker. page you can see on the right I have a book title highlighted in a particular color. I then block off a square or squares for the dates that I read that book. An example would be a Midsummers Night’s Dream in a light purple color. I look at the chart and I can see that I read it from the 12th to the 16th of January. On the right I have my tbr and then I add extra books if I read them.

Here is my super simple and the same as I have been weekly layouts. These were originally inspired by Elizabeth Turnbull months and months ago and they just work for me. In my eyes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. So I am keeping these the same.

I know this month is super short and simple, but like I said, I don’t really want to add to much this month because I have so much going on I don’t want to be distracted by anything. But, I am loving the ones I have created.


What bujo spread is your favorite?

What colors do you think I should start incorporating into my bujo?

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TBR

To Be Read | February 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my February TBR! This year is leap year, which means we get an additional day in February to read. So, this month I am thinking about taking on some of my larger books, with one in particular being a goal.


Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann is my Man Booker short list book of the month. As I am writing this I have not finished Girl, Woman, Other, but I am putting the next one on the list on my TBR. This one is truly a hefty book, I could probably use it as protection against a bad person. It is a bit intimidating, but the description sounds really interesting and I am excited to jump in.

Little Children by Tom Perrotta, is on my list this month due Reg picking it out for me to read for my relaunched Someone Picks My Books series. In January I read a book recommended by my aunt, Where the Crawdads Sing and it was a total win, I think this one is going to be as well. If you want to check that out, you can do that here: Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

Othello by William Shakespeare, this is another book I am reading for a series this year. Othello is going to be my Shakespeare play of the month. I have decided this year to read a Shakespeare play a month and really determine if I hate his works because I was forced to read them, or they truly are not for me. Last month I read A Midsummers Night’s Dream, you can see my thought on it here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

The Langoliers by Stephen King, last but not least is a horror I picked up in January and I am very excited to read it this month. Something about the setting being an eerie train just pulled me in. It also just feels like the classic scary monster vibe I have been missing as of late.

While I have only picked four books for my TBR this month, I am planning on reading more, but these are my priority. After I get through these my mood reading can really take off!


Bonus Books

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, this was a leftover from last month, I started it and still have to finish it, but so far so good! 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, I was meant to read this last month, but I ran out of time sadly so I want to get to it this month.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman, I am buddy reading with Jenna and Reg, which I am super excited about. I have been wanting to read it for a long time now and I finally get the chance to read it with two awesome people. 

 


What books are you planning on reading this month?

What book are you currently reading?

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Hauls

Book Haul | January & February 2019

BookHaul12:17

So, this year I restarted by read 5, buy 1 and so far it has been going really well last month I didn’t really haul many books so I decided to combine January and February. I will say that the challenge is going really nicely. My owned TBR is currently sitting at 37 books, which I am very proud of. I am well on my way to get into the teens, which is my ultimate goal. Anyway, I am going to stop blabbing on and on and get to the book!

-Pre Read 5, Buy 1-

The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

So I love Holly Black and I really enjoyed reading the first book in this series, The Cruel Prince. I had this book preordered and it was placed before the new year and also because I was really excited about it I needed to preordered it. Anyway, I am really excited to get to it in the near future.


-Post Read 5, Buy 1-

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

I decided to pick this up for Black History Month… oops I read it in January because I could not wait and I really liked it. If you want to see my full review of it please go to my Monthly Wrap Up | January 2019 it was really enjoyable  and I really do suggest it.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)

So, I have been eyeing starting this series for some time and I finally decided to pick it up. I have been wanting to get more into adult fantasy and right and left people have said to give Robin Hobb a try and I read the description and it sounds really interesting.

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

Early Riser

So this book is from my Book of the Month | February 2019 post I did a few weeks ago. Like I said in the post, this book is a science fiction read nothing like I have read before. It reminded me of a recent movie with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence where they wake up in space and everyone else is asleep. On top of that I would really like to hibernate sometimes so I can live through the characters lol.

 

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Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your TBR? Which one would you read first?

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Hauls

Book of the Month | February 2019

Unboxing

Well, the start of the month is one of my favorite times. If you have Amazon Prime you get to pick a free book through First Reads and I can pick my Book of the Month. I have been a member of book of the month well over a year at this point and I have found some unexpected favorites.

The main thing I love about this subscription is, I get to pick from 5 books or I can skip if nothing sounds interesting. I love having the books curated for me, but also having the power to choose where my money goes. Anyway, I am getting off topic. I wanted to share the book I picked this month.

Also, I am very aware that my previous post Decluttering | Switching to Ebooks, I said I would not be buying physical books. But, I am making Book of the Month the exceptions.

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-My Choice-

Early Riser byJasper FForde

-Description-

Every Winter, the human population hibernates.

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing and it’s your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it’s unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it’s weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from the Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping, and stamp collecting, ensure you aren’t eaten by Nightwalkers, whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you’ll be fine.

Also, I love that they add a unique touch to all their books. There is not way I will ever forget when I picked up this book.” (Source: goodreads)

-Why I picked this book-

The main reason I picked this book is because I have never read anything like this. It kinda felt like that recent movie with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence when they wake up in the middle of space. How eerie and creepy would it be to be awake while the world slept? How would you protect, care for, and function? I also wanted to read science-fiction because it has been a while and I found this to be one that really peaked my interest. Personally, I have a hard time finding science fiction that really excites me. Any recommendations, please share! I just feel like I have not found the right type because I love watching tv shows and movies in the genre.

-Bonus-

I really do love that BOTM puts the month and year the book was from on the books. That way I know how long it has sat on my shelve instead of just thinking it was a month or so ago. For me this is the ultimate memory keeper, but also kick in the butt to read it.

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What did you think of my pick? What is your favorite Science Fiction read?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | February 2019

Recs

This month I ended up having to migrate into a new bullet journal, just a month shy of starting a new one in the new year, but I can’t bring myself to waste so many pages. Anyway, I love starting a new bullet journal because, for me, I always end up not using spreads I used constantly in the start and creating something new. I like removing all the fluff and redoing all the things I love and use. So this months installment of my bullet journal you will see the spreads I migrated and then my monthly set up. If you want to see my previous bullet journal and spreads you can find those here.

Supplies I Used

Inspiration From

Boho Berry, @bulletjournaltime, @northernplanner, XOXOKAYMO, and Plant Based Bride.

DividerMy Spreads

Here is the opening of my new bullet journal, I wanted to add a bit more artistic flair to this one instead of jumping right into my spreads. On the right side quote/art Credit: Epooch I ordered a card with this quote on it planning on pasting it inside my bullet journal, but sadly it did not arrive on time so I recreated it. But, I am excited to be able to keep it and put it on my tack board to look at all the time. On the left side I did my best to doodle a bee and some honey comb patterns.

I made a “year” at a glance with only 3 months because my bullet journals really don’t even last a year or even 6 months. Mine tend to last 3-5 months if I am lucky. I use mine for notes and organization so I have many pages of notes and random things. On the right hand side I added a page that I can turn to to easily find the middle of the page and other spacing that might be useful to me.

The layout on the left is a migration of my winter bucket list from my previous bullet journal. I really enjoy this idea, it gives me a little drive to do something fun and different. The righthand side is the migration of my ARC Tracker as well. I have not really changed anything other than adding a downloaded column to keep track of the books I have added to my kindle or my computer depending on the format.

So, I have said a lot of times that I am not a blogger for the numbers or anything like that, I am here to talk books, bookish things and additionally my other hobbies. Well, when I was googling inspiration for a bee inspired layouts I found this tracker and I thought it was so cute with all the honey combs. I wanted to doodle it for two reasons. The first being it was a challenge to draw that shape so many times without messing up and the second being it was so aesthetically pleasing. So I added social media tracking. Each comb has a number and when I reach that number I color the edges in and write the date I met the milestone.

Both of these are buddy reads I am doing currently. War and Peace I am reading throughout the year and Monte Cristo I am cohosting a buddy read with Jenna on instagram [find her account here], if you have read the book or want to jump in and join us we would be thrilled. We are reading it until April and will have discussions every Friday.

These are both migrations as well. On the left-hand side I a cheatsheet to help me come up with blog post ideas. I don’t stick to this layout, but it helps when I need to come up with an idea what types of blog posts I can do without writing a lot of the same thing again and again. On the right-hand side I have my idea daily routine if I didn’t need to do anything.

On the left-hand side you can see my reading goals, you can see I have already made some progress on some of them, which makes me super happy. On the right-hand side I added a date night idea page. I thought this would be fun to add a bunch of stuff to and when my bf and myself feel like we want to do something different, we can just look at this page and do something.

DividerJanuary Spreads

So, with this being the first month in my bullet journal I wanted to stay with the overall theme I started it with. So we are continuing with the bees. The reason I came up with this theme is I watch a youtuber and then I found out she had a separate bee keeping channel, emmymade, and then I fell into a rabbit hole and ended up watching all of the videos from the last year. While I am afraid of bees, I can very much respect them. I am also really jealous of those who are not afraid and can bee keep. It looks like a very rewarding experience.

Here is my monthly habit tracker for this month. This monthly tracker is from my Boho Berry Box and her theme this month was sending letters. Not something I was really into as a theme, but I do love sending postcards. I participate in postcrossing and I love sending postcards all over the world as well as receiving them and learning about those who live in other countries.

On the left-hand side is my book tracker where I color in squares to show how many days I am reading a particular book. It is a wonderful visual tracker that I have fallen in love with over the past two months of trying it. I have gotten rid of my book stack and replaced it with this. On the right-hand side I have my key as well as room to add the book titles. As you can see I am carrying over two books from January so I already added them. I am keeping them the same color so it is more consistent.

This page is another book tracker I have used for months and months. I write the title of the book then underneath I add a square for each chapter or section of the book. When I complete that chapter or section I color in a square. It is like the goodreads precent tracker, but in a notebook.

In this monthly overview I write down all of the blogposts I plan on writing and publishing throughout the month. You will see on the left I have dots next to some of the dates. This is because those are my posting days. This reminds me that I need to get brain storming. On the right side I just write the books I am going to try and read in the month. It is a simple checklist layout. Sometimes simple spreads are just what you need.

Last month I tried a new weekly layout and I will say I absolutely HATED it. I am so happy that this month I get to use my old layout. The other one I did not have enough room to write the items I needed to get done each day as well as appointments I had. I did want to still have room to journal or take notes so, as you can seen below, I added a page here and there that is just meant for notes. I added a simple header at the top of the left page and bottom of the right page.

So there you have it, my February bullet journal. As you can see I have a fun new bullet journal with a new theme and I have kept some of the spreads and others I have dropped  like hot cakes. That is the thing I LOVE about bullet journals, you can keep what works and throw away the rest. As your life changes you can change you bujo.

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Hauls

Haul | February 2018

BookHaul12:17

This month I have to say I found a ton of awesome books. All of them I am very excited about and I cannot wait to read them. Some of these books are from my Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books and others were recommended to me by friends or strangers who I ran into at the bookstore. If you have read any of these please let me know what you thought of them. Also, are any of these on your TBR as well?

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The Books

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.

The Fandom by Anna Day

They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands …

A fast-paced, genre-flipping YA fantasy adventure from a brand new author, writing in homage to the best YA fiction.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

Hiddensee recreates the backstory of the Nutcracker, reimaging how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how it magically guided an ailing little girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a snowy Christmas Eve. It also brings to life the mysterious godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toymaker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism a migrating strain of a Hellenic mystery-cult, and ponders a profound question: how a person who is abused by life, short-changed and challenged, can access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless. Ultimately, Hiddensee, offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized on the eve of a winter holiday, has something precious to share.

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata (Illustrator), Pookie Rolf (Translator)

Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami, a death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?

Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note’s powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily, Light’s father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father’s files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn’t know?

By Gaslight by Steven Price

London, 1885. In a city of fog and darkness, the notorious thief Edward Shade exists only as a ghost, a fabled con, a thief of other men’s futures — a man of smoke. William Pinkerton is already famous, the son of a brutal detective, when he descends into the underworld of Victorian London in pursuit of a new lead. His father died without ever tracing Shade; William, still reeling from his loss, is determined to drag the thief out of the shadows. Adam Foole is a gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. When he receives a letter from his lost beloved, he returns to London in search of her; what he learns of her fate, and its connection to the man known as Shade, will force him to confront a grief he thought long-buried. What follows is a fog-enshrouded hunt through sewers, opium dens, drawing rooms, and seance halls. Above all, it is the story of the most unlikely of bonds: between William Pinkerton, the greatest detective of his age, and Adam Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.

The Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett

Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

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