Hauls & Unboxings

February Book Haul

Hello and welcome to the first book haul of 2022. Each year I have a list of books I really want to take the time to read throughout the year, most of which are from the International Booker Prize shortlist. Since my reading was so reduced in December I held off on picking any of them up. But, with my reading taking off in January with 9 books, I thought it was a good time to add these books to my tbr pile since I am activity reading a ton.

Stack of hauled physical books.

Physical Books

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann, I read another book by Kelmann last year called Tyll and I loved how out there it was. Knowing this one of my friends off line picked this book for me to pick this year for my 12 in 12 challenge. This short story is a horror novel that follows a family that spends 7 days in a rented house. From the description I am getting Jack vibes from The Shining by Stephen King for the main character. Which, for me works because I love The Shining. I am curious how this short story is going to turn out because his other works were wild and out there, but also mesmerizing and I couldn’t put it down.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, this is a science fiction novel. This too was on the shortlist for the International Booker Prize, but I am intrigued due to the fact that in the description it mentions it follows those who were born and other who were created. That really piqued my interest.

Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, I have read about 2 other works by this author and this one has been on my list for a bit. I finally decided to pick up a physical copy. This book takes a look at being a modern day woman in Japan. The story itself is fiction, but it touches on the experience of the author and others. At least that is my current understanding.

When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins, this one I added to my TBR because it was picked by Little Miss Booklover 87 for my 12 in 12 challenge I placed on twitter where I asked people to pick a book for me to read this year. All I know about this book at this point is that it is a thriller that takes place many years after a double murder. Where someone finally decides to break their silence. I have not read a ton of thrillers over the past few months so I though this would be a good time to read it.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut, this is a nonfiction novel, but seems to have some fiction as well, that takes a look at science, discovery and those who make these breakthroughs. It appears that this book touches on Albert Einstein, Alexander Grothendieck, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, this is a collection of short horror stories that was also placed on the International Booker Prize shortlist. I love horror and it is refreshing to have some short stories on my shelf to grab when I don’t feel like reading an entire novel.

The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, is a horror novel that was placed in the shortlist for the International Booker Prize. It deals with inequality and takes place during 16th century in Europe. With the combination of horror and history I feel like this book will be a win for me personally.

Digital Books

Immune by Philipp Dettmer, I picked this up because I heard it mentioned on a twitch stream with Bob, Wade and Mark. I thought it would be a really interesting read and I do love myself a good nonfiction here and there.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | February 2022

Welcome to my very ambitious post about my February plans. I don’t know why, but I always end up making a ton of plans and lofty goals for the shortest month of the year. With that aside, I do have a few things I want to try and accomplish over the next 28 days.

Reading Plans

This month I would like to finish reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, which I am buddy reading with @jkimexploring. I am about 30% into it as of right now and I am really enjoying it. Outside of that I don’t want to have any set reading because mood reading and not setting to many specific reading goals for myself last month really paid off since I ended up reading 9 books.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month is all about starting a few projects that will take me some time. The first one is the Saraya Shawl by Saysha Greene. I love how beautiful and playful this shawl looks, I first saw it in my copy of Worsted and I loved it right away. I ended up ordering the same color as the sample. Since a lot of the techniques used in this pattern are new to me I know it is going to take quite a while, but I love a challenge!

The second project I plan to start and I know I will not finish for months if not years is the Scrappy Granny Stripe Blanket by Lucy of Attic24. I have quite a few scraps left over from projects and the like so I was looking all over for fun things to make with them. I came across this pattern and knew I wanted to start it ASAP. So, every time I finish a projects with fingering weight yarn I am going to add to this. I can’t wait to see how all the colors play together as time goes on. In February I am planning on getting all the stripes for the scraps I already have crocheted up. I am going to try to keep up with this by doing scrappy Sunday, which is a thing I found through Crazy Sock Lady on youtube.

Random Goals

I really want to try learning a new craft this month, I am learning towards cross stitch. I also really want to get back into language learning. I was doing really well for a bit, then life got a bit chaotic and I had to let some things go. But, I really want to jump into it again. Outside of those two things, I just want to have some quality time with my loved ones. January was good in quite a few ways, but sadly I was not able to see my significant other the entire month so I really would like to spend as much time as possible with him.

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | January 2022

Hello and welcome to the first Monthly Digest of 2022! This month was VERY chaotic personally with work, getting sick, and just a lot of stuff that needed my attention. Somehow I managed to find time to read, make, and do some other fun things.

Reading

My reading mojo is back! I was able to finish 9 books, which is a shock because I only read 1 last month. I really was afraid that trend was going to continue. I found some winners this month and unfortunately not so great ones, but I am glad I read them.

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt in red.

The first project I finished this year was the Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt. This was my first time needing a cable needle and I was very intimidated at first. As I worked through it, it became easier. Funny how that happens! lol. I really loved how this came out because I have been using it every day since. It is cute, warm, and soft as can be.

Musselburgh by Ysolda Teague in a gray.

The second item I finished was also a winter accessory, a Musselburgh by Ysolda Teague. This was an impulse make through and through. I had to put working on socks aside because I was unable to see the person I was making them for so I needed something else to work on. I ended up using fingering scraps from an old project. I love how this hat ended up coming out. I have not used it yet because I still need to block the hat, but I am waiting to have to block a few more things.

Life

This month was a really weird one to say the least. But, with that being said, I managed to make some pretty great memories. I went to a paint class with my friend and had a blast! I have not painted in a very long time so it was great to do something different and have some great conversation. I also somehow was able to order a new graphics card for my computer so once that arrives I can install it and hopefully finally finish my play through of Resident Evil Village and actually see what is going on. So, while January was really chaotic, some great things came out of it.

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Current Reads and WIPs

Current WIPs and Reads

Hello and welcome to a little chat where I share what I am currently reading and working on. I am actually happy to say I have been reading this month, I have actually finished 3 books already. I know, I know, where did this reading mojo come from?! I have no idea, but I am running with it.

Current Reads

Two current reads, listed below.

The first book I am currently reading is The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, I am actually buddy reading this with Jenna! We have not buddy read anything in a while so I am excited about it. You can find her on twitter as @jkimexploring. I am also reading Irish Folktales edited by Henry Glassie on my own. I have always loved folktales so when I found this collection at my local store I picked up up right away.

Current WIPS

Current knitting projects, listed below.

I went from having no WIPs at the start of 2022 to be in the middle of three projects. The first one being a pattern inspired by Tube Socks by Mary Anne and I am using Spun Right Round Classic Sock in the color Sly Fox. The second one is another pair of socks called Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes I am using Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the color Ultramarine Violet. The last one I decided to cast on out of no where is the Musselburgh hat by Ysolda Teague. For this I decided to use up some of my scrap sock yarn, Spun Right Round Classic Sock in Pavement.

What are you currently reading or working on?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Barnes and Noble 50% Hardcover Haul

Hello and welcome to a very surprising post. I had not expected this sale, but I was really happy that it came up because I was able to pick up some books I was putting off buying due to their price. If you did not already know, Barnes and Noble had a 50% off Hardcover sale starting on boxing day and the day after, as far as I am aware that is the length. I ended up going to BN for another reason and saw all the signs all over the store so I ended up picking up 5 books.

Photo of hauled books

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon, this is the newest book in the Outlander series, book 9. This one is also a huge book and I have wanted to pick it up, but was waiting for it to come out in softcover.

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw, this horror novella caught my eye and I have seen the cover around and I thought I would give it a shot. My understanding is this horror tale is a combination of lore from Japan and takes place in an abandoned building.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, I have read about 3 of Jones’ work and have generally enjoyed his stuff. I had this on my list to pick up when the softcover released, but I didn’t need to wait anymore because of this sale. He tends to write horror fiction that reflects his Native American roots.

Billy Summers by Stephen King, I enjoy Kings novels, but there are only a few I will reread and because of that I never pay full price for them. I have been waiting for this book to have its softcover release or go on sale, which yay, it did! This work of his is more thrilled than horror based, but still has his horror roots. It follows a killer for hire that will only take jobs that target bad people.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris, talk about timing with this book. I was just recommended this book by a friend and I walked into BN and it was right in front so I scoped it up! When I first read the description it sounded like a fun fiction, but the more I read it turned into a mystery thriller, which really intrigued me.

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Monthly Intent · To Be Read

Monthly Intent | August 2021

Books I plan on reading this month!

Hello and welcome to my monthly intent post for August! I hope everyone has a lovely July, and August will even better! This month I have quite a few things I would like to see or give a try. I am really hoping the weather ends up cooperating because a lot of them are outdoorsy or a DIY I would need good ventilation.

Reading Plans

This upcoming month I have three books I really would love to get to. The first one being Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann, I have wanted to read this for months and for some reason I just have not picked it up. I was in a bit of a slump after the first few months of the year, so I am going to blame it on that. Thankfully, I think it is starting to go away since my reading has gone up a bit the last few months. Next, I really would love to read Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin. I read Fever Dream by the same author and I really loved it so I have very high hopes. Her last one had a bit of a horror twist that I was not expecting. I want to slowly read all of her stuff. Last, but not least is Writing on Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis. I recently picked this up, but I just want to get to it right away! It’s a nonfiction about a small island community in Maine.

Crochet Plans

This month I want to finally finish my Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. I am loving how it is coming out and I just cannot wait to get to wear it in the fall. Another thing I want to attempt to do is knit a pair of socks. I signed up for a class of sorts to try and learn, we shall see how it goes! I do not have the highest of hopes, BUT I am excited to give it a try and also have the support if I need it. Even if they come out wonky I will love them. I might just hang them on the wall as an art piece instead of functioning socks though. lol. If I happen to have time I have a few smaller projects I want to work on to try to get ahead on gifts during the holiday season.

Random Goals

This month I have it in my head to dye my own yarn. I found a method using blackbeans and I was thinking of giving it a go. The post I found is called Natural Dyeing with Black Beans by fiberartsy. I just need to find the right kind of yarn to dye, I feel like that is going to be the most difficult. I want to use a cotton, but we shall see! Next, I really want to go to an art museum of some sort. I have a few that are within my state so I am trying to decide which one I would feel the most comfortable going to.

What are you planning on doing this month?

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | July 2021

Hello and welcome to my monthly digest post where I talk about how the past month has gone in terms of reading, crafting, and random life events. This month was a really fun one. I did some reading I didn’t think I would get to and created quite a few things as well. I went on a few adventures, which was a great change of scenery since I have not really gone far from home over the last 15 months or so. Anyway, here is what happened over the past month!

Book stack of read books, current crochet project, and my D.I.Y. room spray.

Reading

  • Hauled The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil by Bill Sprouse
  • Hauled Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yu
  • Read Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
  • Read Later by Stephen King LOVED
  • Hauled The Field House by Robin Clifford Wood
  • Hauled The House of Lobster Cove by Jane Goodrich
  • Hauled Writing on Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis
  • Hauled A Haunting Fog by Heidi Martin Washburn
  • Hauled Wild! Weird! Wonderful Maine! by Earl D. Brechlin
  • Read Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker
  • Read How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson LOVED
  • Read The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Read Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power by Sady Doyle LOVED
  • Hauled and Read a story I cannot share, but know that it was great!

Total TBR Count: 35, Last Month: 33

Crochet & Crafting

Over this month I crocheted quite a bit, I made at least 4 market bags and gifted them to family members. I really need to make myself one in the future. Now that we can start using our own bags again I think it would be great to use for produce instead of the plastic bags. I did also made a ton of progress on the  Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. I am about 1/3 of the way done with it, but sadly I did not have the time to dedicate to it like I thought I would this month. I am planning on continuing this pattern in the upcoming month. Another crafting this I did this month was restore an antique picnic basket to use for my larger crochet projects because I have a few blankets I need to be making in the near future. I resealed it and even sewed a liner, a first for me! It even had button holes! As for the goal of making a room spray I ended up making the Mood-Boosting Blend room spray by Hello Glow. It included mixing up orange, lemon, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils with a little bit of vodka and filtered water. If you want to make some for yourself, I suggest checking out their post. I really loved how mine ended up smelling. I keep using it and I plan on making it again!

Life

Yard when staying with family.

This month was filled with a ton of really memorable things. As I mentioned in the start of this post, I went on a few adventures. The first being an almost 2 hour trip (one way) with a friend to a indie yarn store called Yarnia. I went a little over the top with picking up yarn because there were so many beautiful options I don’t see normally. Also, can I just say the name of this place is just perfect! A pun involving reading and yarn, not easily topped. I also decided while I was here I would attempt to maybe learn how to knit…it isn’t going so well. I am a crocheter and to be honest, I think it is going to be hard to break away from that.

Another thing I did was finally visit with family I have not seen in nearly 2 years. We got to spend a week together in the middle of the woods. It was so peaceful and calming. It was just great to spend quality time with them once again and also not have to deal with all of the people and congestion that goes on in my daily life. I ended up doing a lot of reading, relaxing, and just spending time outside. Spending time outside and in nature really is something I treasure because it also grounds me no matter what is going on in my life. I really wish I made it more of a priority because it makes such a difference. I will for sure need to work on that going forward.

I hope you had a wonderful July and have a few great memories to dwell upon in the future. I would love it if you shared something you tried or did over the past month. I also hope you have a wonderful month ahead!

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To Be Read

To Be Read | March 2021

Hello and welcome to my March TBR list! I cannot believe I am already planning my reading for March, I still feel like February just begun and I have a ton of time to keep reading my February TBR. Nope, not the case at all. I will have to move a few books from February to March since I just ran out of time…oops! Anyway, this month quite a few of the books I don’t quite have a physical copies for so they are not in the picture. Some are ebooks and another is a preorder I can’t wait to get my hands on.


The Books

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, ebook not pictured. This is a book for my read a shortlist challenge for 2021, if you want to see the details you can see that in my post called, Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021. I am excited to get to this one because it was awarded the International Booker Prize so I have high hopes especially since I have enjoyed the other books on this list so far.

The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary by Catherine Gray, audiobook not pictured. I am really excited to get to this book, I have not read a book quite like this one is described in some time and I think it will be very refreshing and uplifting.

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb, pre-ordered not pictured. This is the book I currently and waiting for release day, which is early on in March. This will be the third book I have read by Hobb this year and I am really enjoying her style of writing and the world she has created.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, pictured. I started this tome in February and I really want to continue and finish it up over the next month. As always I am curious as to what Clair and Jamie will be getting into. I am actually crocheting a few Outlander inspired things as I read this book, which has really added to the fun.

Dead Blonds and Bad Mothers by Sady Doyle, pictured. I have had this non-fiction on my shelf for a bit and I am really feeling the urge to read it now. The second part of this title is “Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power”, I mean that alone just draws me in.

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, pictured. I am reading this with Jenna this month so we can discuss it as we read, which I think will be really good and spark some very good discussions on systematic racism.


What do you plan on reading this month?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my TBR post for February. I am going to try to keep this TBR small so I can have some mood reading throughout the month as well, but we shall see how that goes. I have really been enjoying nonfiction lately, so this TBR could go out the window, but I have a few books I would like to get to regardless of my mood.


The Books

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, Hurricane Season Fernanda Melchor, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Royal Assassin by Robin Hobbs

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, I was recommended this book on twitter by Amy when I recently put a post out to ask for nonfiction recommendations. As I mentioned I have been on a huge kick for nonfiction so I really want to get to this. I was so happy to see it sitting in my local bookstore.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, I want to read this book for a few reasons, the first being it is the book that has been on my TBR the longest. The second being it was my late aunts favorite book. I figure it would be a good book to throw into this months reading plans because all the other books are a bit more dense with world building, tough but essential conversations, and horror.

Hurricane Season Fernanda Melchor, here is a book that is tied to one of my 2021 goals. You can see more details on it on my post entitled, Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021. This is a book I have heard nothing but wonderful things and was placed on the Man Booker Shortlist last year. I am really excited to finally get to reading it.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I am rereading this as a buddy read with Lauren this month and I could not be more excited. I loved this book the first time I read it and I loved the show. Now that I am writing this out I kinda want to rewatch the show this weekend. lol.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, as some of you know, if you read my post Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals, I want to read two of Robin Hobbs series this year. I read the first book last month and I really want to keep up the momentum and read a book a month so I am not tying to stuff them into my reading and not enjoy them as much as I know I will.


If you are looking for a recommendation for Black History Month please see this tweet posted by Ibram X. Kendi on twitter. You can also check out this thread by Lane that showcases new releases by black authors.

What do you plan on reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my wrap up for the first month of 2021! I ended up reading a lot of nonfiction, but honestly I really liked what I read. Who would have thought the year would have stated off like that? Anyway, here are the books I finished reading this month.


The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, MississippiThe Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi by Richard Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short book ended up having a ton inside of it. It had the story of Price Abd al-rahman Ibrahima, a history of a town built on slavery. The author goes into the history without sugar coating like quite a few of the people who live there do. He discusses the relationships and views between many of the towns citizens and how varied they are on the topic of their history itself and racism. He also highlights that there has been progress, but a lot more needs to be done. This town in particular was a very interesting microcosm of society as a whole to read about. I really liked how the author went to the town itself and interviewed many people within the town. Older people, younger people, white, black and those who lived there for generations and those who recently moved in.

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Assassin's Apprentice: The Illustrated Edition (Farseer Trilogy, #1)Assassin’s Apprentice: The Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the start of this trilogy so much more than I thought I would. I thought it would be bogged down by world building, but it was done in such a masterfully natural way. I enjoyed the 1st period perspective, mainly because I enjoyed our main character Fitz so much. I am excited to continue this series next month.

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The Memory PoliceThe Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels and have not been for a long time. I read this novel mainly because it was part of my challenge to read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Award. I have to say I am thrilled it was on this list because I loved it. It was a dystopian novel, but was more. It had elements of science fiction and fantasy as well. The writing was grand and I give huge credit to the translator because it seems a lot of the magic of this novel remained in the tale.

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Not Quite OutNot Quite Out by Louise Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Given review copy via publisher in exchange of an honest review.

I really enjoyed the story quite a bit, a more detailed review will be posted on my blog on February 16th!

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TomieTomie by Junji Ito
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have read quite a few of Junji Ito’s work and I have loved all of those very much. As with those, his imagination and ideas are very original and the artwork is wonderful. Unfortunately about 1/3 of the way through this I started to loose interest because the plot began to feel repetitive.

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I managed to read a total of 9 books, 3,986 pages. Six of those books were fiction and the remaining 3 were nonfiction. I read 1 ebook, 1 audiobook, 5 hard cover and 2 soft cover books. I borrowed one of the books read this month from the library. I have 2 5 star reads, 6 4 star read and 1 3 star read.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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