Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Bookstore Travels

A few weeks ago I drove a few hours to Princeton University and walk around the historic campus and downtown. To my amazement when we were walking around the downtown I found a cute little bookstore that I HAD to go into. Let’s just say I spent an hour in here easily.

The Bookstore: Labyrinth Books 

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What cause my eye first about this bookstore was the fact that they had 6 or 7 tables out front piled high with books. Not only were there so many outside they were ALL on sale! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE when books are on sale. It means I can buy more and not feel as guilty about spending money on them.

When I finally combed through all of the sale books I headed inside dragging my friend along. The inside was bright and beautiful. There were books on two floors. There were displays by subjects, new releases, ancient texts, and classics. What I liked the most was the wide range of non-fiction that I don’t normally find in my local bookstores. So jealous of people who live a reasonable distance away from this place. Here are a few pictures I was able to take inside the shop.


After spending about an hour in this store I ended up leaving with three gorgeous books. Still so sad I have to travel hours to get to this place!

The Haul:

 


I think I want to plan some more day trips to far off bookstores. On a side note, this campus is just as beautiful as the bookshop!

What is your favorite bookstore you love to visit?

 

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Reviews

REVIEW: A Short History of the Russian Revolution by Geoffrey Swain

Book Review

I wanted to start off by saying that I received an ebook copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for my honest review.


A Short History of the Russian Revolution discusses the Russian Revolution that ended the Tsarist monarchy and ushers in the communist regime in Russia during 1917. Now I will 30897399say that someone can easily write a 1000 page book on this topic so when I requested this I knew that some things would be missing. When I did finally get to reading it I laughed a bit when the author himself said, “much has to be left out” because this is such a complex period of history.
I will say that Geoffrey Swain did a good job summing up such a complex event(s). For someone who does not know a lot about the Russian Revolution they will benefit a lot from reading this. Swain knows his topic well, he discusses a wide range of related events and organizations which I find important. A historical event did not happen in a vacuum, society prior to the event let to the Russian Revolution and it impacted a lot of events, policies, and individuals following it as well. I will say that this book is very academic, since this is a short history it is jammed packed with facts. So if you are looking for a non-fiction account that reads like a novel this is not for you. This is more of something you would read if you are interested in learning about the event or need a good resources for research. I wish I had read something like this years ago when I took a class dealing with this topic. On another note I really enjoyed was the short timeline in the beginning of the book. It really showed a quick summary before getting into details.

Overall, I think that this is a good book. I ended up giving it a 3.5/5 stars. This is a great book for those who are studying the Russian Revolution, have a serious interest, an introduction to the topic, and a good resource for research, but it is not something I feel many individuals will pick up a read “for the fun of it”. But, to restate what I have said, this really is a well written “short” history of the Russian Revolution.


Book Information

Publisher: I. B. Tauris & Company

Publication Date: March 30th 2017

List Price: Varies – $10.60 on Kindle $29.00 on Nook

ISBN: 9781780767925

Pages: 256 pages


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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30897399-a-short-history-of-the-russian-revolution

 

Tags

The Cake Book Tag

So I was watching some booktube instead of reading today and I saw PeruseProject do this tag and I thought would be fun to do. I did make it a bit more challenging by making myself stick to books I have read in the last 12 months. Time to mix all the ingredients together and make a great book cake! P.S. All titles are linked to go to the books goodreads pages if you are interested in learning more about the books. 

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source: Princeton Public Library

 

FLOUR: A book that was a little slow to start, but really picked up as it went along.

Euphoria by Lily King 

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Euphoria by Lily King is a great book, when I finished it I knew it would be a book I would revisit. But, it didn’t start off that way. At first it was a little slow even though it was interesting, but I almost put it down for good. Then, the story picked up and I couldn’t put it down. Talk about a 180. 

Blurb: “Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is the story of three young, gifted anthropologists of the 1930s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.” via goodreads

BUTTER: A book that had a rich, great plot. 

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel was one of the best books I read last year. I was so engrossed in the story and invested. It had an interesting concept and the plot took unexpected twists and turns. The sequel, Waking Gods, came out not that long ago and I cannot wait to get to it. 

Blurb: “A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.” via goodreads

EGGS: A book you thought was going to be bad, but actually turned out quite enjoyable. 

The Picture of Dorian Gray

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While the description of this classic sounds interesting for some reason I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it at all. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed it. It was the perfect mixture of having the classic critiques, gothic style, and it can still be related to the modern world. 

Blurb: “Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890” via goodreads

SUGAR: A sugary, sweet book.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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Ah, the sugar in this book cake, The Rosie Project. I have to say I just adored this book, I think mainly because it speaks a lot to my personal life and I made a connection to it. I fell in love with this book nearly right from the beginning. 

Blurb: “Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project.” via goodreads

ICING : A book that covered every element that you enjoy about a book.  

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter 

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The Jackaby series is an auto buy series for me, I even have the next book on preorder. From the three that are currently out I have loved every single one. For my personally, that has never happened before. Even with my beloved (and most likely a lot of other peoples) Harry Potter series. There are books I am just meh about, but still enjoy. But Ghostly Echoes is great and so is the rest of the series, it is a mixture of Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes. I know I should not be comparing this series to other series (TV and books), but it really is. 

Blurb from book one: “Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose.” via goodreads

SPRINKLES: A book series that you can kind of turned back to for a little pick me up when you’re feeling down.

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

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Do I really need to explain this one? lol.


THE CHERRY ON TOP: Your Favorite book you have read so far this year.

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel 

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So far The Stranger in the Woods has been my top read. Mainly because it has a sense of adventure, justice, psychology, and a wonderful story that is not intimidating at all to read. This book is with well researched and has personal touches that make a great narrative. 

Blurb:”In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries.” via goodreads

If you have made it this far into this post I congratulate you, it was a bit of reading for sure. This posts question is…

What book would be your butter in your Cake Book Tag?

Thank you for reading, have a great day and happy reading!


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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

My Reading Routine

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When:

Most of the time my reading is done on the weekends. During the week I am working 98cbe271faf500e149e14f5527fc035b
everyday and when I come home I am tired. I just want to come home and turn off my brain for fear that it might overload. So, this leaves me with a lot of reading on the weekend. Now, since I don’t have work on the weekends, most weekends. I read anytime of day I can. If I have I have plans in the afternoon I will read in the morning and at night. If I have plans at night I read from the moment I wake up to the moment I need to start getting ready. I love reading and I make time for it, any time.

Where:

woodsI tend to read in two different places. Out of the two I prefer to read outside. I love reading outside, I find it relaxing and it removes me from a lot of the distractions in my life. Now, since this is outside I can’t only read here, but I wish I could! I tend to read outside in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, as long as it is not raining out or very windy. There is nothing more annoying than the wind turning the pages for you and you accidentally get spoiled.

The second place I like to read is in my room. I read either in my bed, or in my arm chair. I enjoy reading here is because it is my space, I can turn off the T.V. burn a candle and control the atmosphere. I can once again remove distractions from this room. The only down side is that sometimes you cannot tell other people to turn down the television. So I still get distracted or side tracked.

 

What I “need”:

When I read I personally do not “need” much. I say “need” and not need because if I did af4e46320371bdd4737232150cfd25abnot have these things I could still read. When I read I love to be comfortable, I tend to read for long periods of time. So I usually throw on my PJs or some yoga pants before I crack open my book. I also need quiet, now when I say quiet I do not mean the absence of sound. I mean I need to not hear people talking, that sounds so harsh, but is it true. Sorry! Hearing conversations or lyrics of a song distracts me personally and it stops me from getting involved in my book, which takes away from the reading experience. On the other hand, I do love listening to classical or instrumental music and the sounds of nature while I am reading.

When I am outside I really only need a comfortable place, my book, and a source of music. When I am inside I light a candle, get a comfortable blanket to wrap myself in, and put on some music. The candle I pick is usually something I think would go with the book. I am fortunate enough to have family and friends who make candles so I get gifted them often. Lighting a candle and changing the smell of the room, helps me feel like I am entering the world that was created between the pages. Also, another bonus to this is that when I light the candle outside of reading it reminds me of the story and characters.

So there are my reading habits/reading routine. I hope you enjoyed!


What is your reading routine?

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Goals

2017 Goals Update: First Quarter

The firstupdatetop5 quarter of 2017 is nearly over so I thought I would take this time to do a little update on my 2017 goals, you can find the post here: 2017 Goals! I also thought it would be fun to go through and show my progress of the books outlined in my post called Top 5 Books I Want to Read in 2017

On the right side of the post you will see an image of a few books. If you have not seen my previous post those are the top 5 books I wanted to read this year. There are also large green X’s on some of those books. Those are the books I have completed, 4 of the 5. I am actually very surprised at my progress, I did not expect to get threw them this quickly. If you are interested you can find short reviews for three of the completed books on my post entitled #TBRTakeDown: Wrap Up.

The first goal I had set forth for myself was to give up on series and books I am not enjoying. I have to say that so far I am keeping true to this goal. I have stopped reading two series I was not feeling and DNF’ed one book.

The second goal I set for myself was to become a more critical reading and rater. Once again I feel that I have held true to this, while I have really enjoyed a lot of the books I have read this year, so far 23, only one has been given 5 stars.

The third goal I set was getting my TBR to 0 by the end of the year. Now this one I am having a hard time with. I don’t think I am the only reader with this “problem”. Since January I have read 23 books, so in theory I should be very close to have 0 already. The thing is I am finding books online and in bookstores I want to read and I just can’t seem to help myself. I have managed to get my TBR to 33, up 7 books. If you are interested you can find my TBR on my Libib account.

The fourth goal I have set was to post on my blog at least twice a month. I have crushed this one by posting at least once a week so far this year. In some cases twice a week. Yay!

The final goal I have set myself was getting my goodreads shelves under control. A month or so ago I took time and sat down and created new shelves based upon genre. I have slowly been going through and moving my current reads and previous reads onto these shelves. So I can happily say I am on the right track.

Over all I have to say that 2017 is getting off to a great start. Now to get my TBR and book buying under control… yeah I am shaking my head as well, but I can dream!


 

How are your 2017 goals coming along?

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Lists & Recommendations

Bookstagrammers I am Loving

Since last week I talked about my reflections upon my own bookstagram I decided this week to share some of my favorites in no particular order. Also, please share some of your favorites in the comments! I am always looking for new people to follow.

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Bookstagram Reflection: January

 

I cannot believe the first month of 2017 is already behind us. It seemed like it flew right past me. Anyway, I wanted to take this time and reflect on the pictures I have taken on instagram over the past month. Man, were my tastes all over the place! I had graphic novels, horrors, classics, thrillers, and some non-fiction books. Some of my photos were full of color while others were in black and white. I think my instagram page is like my taste in books, all over the place.

Below I have added two of my favorite of the month. One is an old edition of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and the other is The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. Now comes the reflection part of the post.


Little Women

What I liked:

There are a few things about this picture that make me enjoy it. The first is that I love this book. I first read this book when I was a little girl and have reread it numerous times throughout my life. Even though so much has changed for me I still enjoy the story and it continues to resinate with me. Second, I love the worn look of the book as well as the natural look of the wooden chair. This makes me want to add some more natural elements into my photos.

What I did not like:

One thing I did not like about this picture is the color. For me it feels like the blue of the book is fighting with the deep brown of the chair. To me the main focus is the book not the chair.


The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

What I liked:

What I love the most about this picture is the intensity of the red and blue of the book. Even though my eyes are torn between looking at both of these colors they are both on the main focus of the photograph. The contrast of the color saturated book and white simple background works well in my eyes.

What I did not like:

When I took this photo it was boring. There was minimal challenge in balancing the photo.  I don’t know, I guess I just like a little bit of a challenge. I enjoy setting up and staging photographs that are dynamic, but not overwhelming.


Thanks for reading my little self reflection. From time to time I personally think it is important for me to look at the past to make the future better.

What are some things you love seeing in bookstagram pictures?

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Uncategorized

Daily Photo: June 21st, 2016

Uncategorized

Daily Book Photo: June 3rd 2016

For the past few months I have been taking daily bookish inspired photos and I think it was finally time to share. I hope you enjoy!