Hauls

Book Haul |Boxing Day 2018

BookHaul12:17

So, this will post likely be the last huge haul you will see for some time. I tend to stay away from the website bookoutlet, but boxing day always pulls me in. It is not that the website is bad or anything like that. I just tend to buy more books than I need or ones that are not really on my radar and then months pass and I end up unhauling them. I try not to do that so my wallet is a bit happier. But, every year on boxing day, day after Christmas, I put in an order of books that have piled up in my cart that I have had my eye on for some time. Without more of a delay, here are the books I picked up on Boxing day! Divider

DividerThe Books

The Good People by Hannah Kent

Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent’s startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community.
Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheal, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nora just as rumors begin to spread that Micheal is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nora and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways.

Set in a lost world bound by its own laws, THE GOOD PEOPLE is Hannah Kent’s startling new novel about absolute belief and devoted love. Terrifying, thrilling and moving in equal measure, this follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers. -goodreads

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision. -goodreads

Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson

London was still recovering from the devastation of World War II when another disaster hit: for five long days in December 1952, a killer smog held the city firmly in its grip and refused to let go. Day became night, mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and some 12,000 people died from the poisonous air. But in the chaotic aftermath, another killer was stalking the streets, using the fog as a cloak for his crimes.

All across London, women were going missing–poor women, forgotten women. Their disappearances caused little alarm, but each of them had one thing in common: they had the misfortune of meeting a quiet, unassuming man, John Reginald Christie, who invited them back to his decrepit Notting Hill flat during that dark winter. They never left.

The eventual arrest of the “Beast of Rillington Place” caused a media frenzy: were there more bodies buried in the walls, under the floorboards, in the back garden of this house of horrors? Was it the fog that had caused Christie to suddenly snap? And what role had he played in the notorious double murder that had happened in that same apartment building not three years before–a murder for which another, possibly innocent, man was sent to the gallows?

The Great Smog of 1952 remains the deadliest air pollution disaster in world history, and John Reginald Christie is still one of the most unfathomable serial killers of modern times. Journalist Kate Winkler Dawson braids these strands together into a taut, compulsively readable true crime thriller about a man who changed the fate of the death penalty in the UK, and an environmental catastrophe with implications that still echo today. -goodreads

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

A journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today—guided by the owner himself.

Bestselling author Daniel Tammet (Thinking in Numbers) is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life and able to explain what is happening inside his head.

He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition that gives him the most unimaginable mental powers, much like those portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man.

Fascinating and inspiring, Born on a Blue Day explores what it’s like to be special and gives us an insight into what makes us all human—our minds.  -goodreads

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.– goodreads

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians. -goodreads 

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences. -goodreads

Divider

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Writing and More

Bullet Journal | January 2019

Recs

So this month I decided to try a new weekly layout and added a few new spreads. I am curious if I will actually be using a lot of the things I added or they end up being some pages that I doodled with high hopes. Either way, I am really digging the peach color currently so I decided to use that as my color of the month. One thing I have noticed is that I do not like to use a bunch of different colors as ascents throughout my monthly spreads. So, I am going to do my best to keep to one color a month, apart from my book tracker that depends on using different colors.

I wanted to note that I took inspiration from Boho Berry and a few different youtubers. Regrettably, my screen shots were taken on full screen view so their usernames were not in the image like I thought they would be to credit. If you know the channels please let me know, I feel awful. I thought I had their names in the screen shot, but no, I stink.

Anyway, here is my bullet journal and the new things I tried for the new year.

P.S. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Divider

So this month instead of making an entire calendar that I don’t really end up using past setting up my weekly spreads. I decided to put in a little less effort and do a Monday start quick look on the left and a line to write what I need to write on the right hand side. This can include events, birthdays, or whatever I want.

On the left hand side I wanted to start really taking a look at my daily activity. I always feel like I don’t have time, but I think that is because I waste a lot of it. I want to sketch out my idea week day on the left and my ideal weekend day on the right in pencil. From there I want to try and follow it to the best of my ability and see if that helps me find some extra time to do something new.  On the right I am also trying a habit tracker which is something I have tried in the past and stunk at because I always kept forgetting to track my data. With this big picture addition and something I added to my weekly spread I am excited to see if I can finally be consistent.

So, this is a layout I tried out last month for the first time, I pretty much picked this up from BookandLala. I ended up loving this idea a lot more than I thought I would so I decided to bring it back again this month and I decided to drop the doodled stack of books. While, it was beautiful, it didn’t really give me the data I wanted, this on the other hand have me a lot more information about my reading habits.

Here is my December one completed for reference, one thing I learned was that I needed to carry around a few different colors of highlighter with me so I can fill this out in a more pleasing manner. I ended up having to use dots and lines, which don’t look great, but not what I prefer.

So once again on the left I have my monthly overview where I plan all of my blog posts and I put a dot on the dates that I normally schedule, those I come up with ideas first. I always end up posting more for one reason or another, but I like some consistency. On the right I have my TBR for January. I have a few idea of what books I am going to read next month, but I have not declared them just yet.

Now, I am trying a new weekly spread this month. I have no idea if it will workout for me or not, but it is worth a try. I made my daily’s a bit smaller and left room on the left and write to add tasks that are not day dependent or notes. I put a small tracker in the top left because I know I will be on this page a lot more than the monthly tracker. I figured at the end of the week I can move the data from my weekly to my monthly so I can see a bigger picture without going back and forth each day.

Divider

I don’t know if it is just the new year, but I am really excited about this months spreads and color choices. Once again I want to say have a wonderful New Year and I wish each and every one of you the best in 2019.

What bullet journal spread is you must have each month?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Wrap Up

WRAP UP | January 2018

WrapUp12:17

I have to say that this month was so busy, I think I had a few things to do after work each week. It was nice because I got to see friends I have not seen in a while and met some new ones as well. But, with all that social stuff I did not read a whole ton. The books that I did read I absolutely loved!

Books I Finished

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

18302455

This is the second poetry collection I have read by Rupi Kaur. While I did like this collection, for me personally I preferred her first one more. I think it just resinated with me more. If you did like her first one, I would suggest getting this one from the library or reading a few at the bookstore before picking it up yourself.

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

18302455

This non-fiction account discussing the Salem witch trials is amazing. This non-fiction is filled with a lot of background information and discusses many accounts. But, it does it in a way that doesn’t make it feel like you are reading a textbook. It reads more like a narrative, you get to know the characters. You learn about their lives, their hardships, why they did the things they did, and what they did after the trials…if they lived. Not only does it talk about before and during the trials. There is also a discussion following it and its affects not only on Salem, Massachusetts but on the region. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys non-fiction or maybe has a new years resolution to read more non-fiction works.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

18302455

This was a great thriller, I read it in a single day. I could not put this down. If you like creepy thrillers with some mystery and paranormal you will LOVE this. I have been telling so many of my friends to pick this book up. Not one has reported being disappointed.

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

18302455

This is a very small Stephen King story. I think it is among my top five reads of his. I say this because it has all the elements I love in his writing. It is unexpected, it makes you think, and man is it creepy.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

18302455

This is the first mystery I have read by Agatha Christie and I will say without a doubt it will not be my last. This was fast pace, well written, and kept my attention the entire time. Once again I finished this book in a single day. The end was just amazing by the way. I wont ruin it, but I don’t think you will be expecting it.

I am Still Reading

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

18302455

I am still reading and loving The Secret History. Since I am reading this in a read-a-long I want to stick to the schedule because I don’t want to accidentally spoil anyone.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

18302455

I started this a few days ago and so far I am liking it. It is a bit to early to say any definitive thoughts on the book, but I am very interested to see what happens next.


What was your favorite book you read this month?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

TBR

January TBR | 2018

ToBeRead12:17

Hello January! I love setting my TBR for the first month out of the year. I feel like it is going to set the tone for the following months. I am excited about each and every one of these books. If you have read any of these books let me know what you thoughts. Without anymore delay here is my January TBR!

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

18302455

Lisey Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago, after a twenty-five-year marriage of profound, sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was a celebrated, award-winning, novelist. And a complex man. Lisey knew there was a dark place where her husband ventured to face his demons. Boo’ya Moon is what Scott called it; a realm that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed to write and live. Now, it’s Lisey’s turn to face her husband’s demons. And what begins as a widow’s effort to sort through her husband’s effects, becomes a perilous journey into the heart of darkness

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

18302455

In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While she was there, she began to understand the fate that awaited the Jewish families who were unable to leave. Soon she reached out to the trapped families, going from door to door and asking them to trust her with their young children. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings.

But Irena did something even more astonishing at immense personal risk: she kept a secret list buried in bottles under an old apple tree in a friend’s back garden. On it were the names and true identities of these Jewish children, recorded so their families could find them after the war. She could not know that more than ninety percent of their families would perish.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

18302455

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

18302455

I am participating in a buddy read of The Secret History by Donna Tartt with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and last but not least Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring!  Check them out, they are so kind and have awesome blogs.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.


I know my TBR is a bit short, but I wanted to keep the pressure off and leave room for myself to pick books based upon my mood. I have learned over the past year or so that sticking to longer TBRs are just not for me. I do better with small goals where I can always go above and beyond if I feel like it.


What are you reading this month?

Do you use a TBR or a mood reader?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Lists & Recommendations

January 2018 | Books I Am Excited About

NewReleases12:17

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

18302455

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

18302455

Release Date: January 16th, 2018

In the industrial 1860s at the dawn of the Carnegie empire, Irish immigrant Clara Kelly finds herself in desperate circumstances. Looking for a way out, she seeks employment as a lady’s maid in the home of the prominent businessman Andrew Carnegie. Soon, the bond between Clara and her employer deepens into love. But when Clara goes missing, Carnegie’s search for her unearths secrets and revelations that lay the foundation for his lasting legacy. With captivating insight and stunning heart, Carnegie’s Maid tells the story of one lost woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from ruthless industrialist into the world’s first true philanthropist.

The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

18302455

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

December 1348. What if you had just six days to save your soul?

With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and suffer in the afterlife. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last.

John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them in further unexpected ways. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived.

As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment, and war. But their time is running out—can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?

Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black by Catherine Kerrison

18302455

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

My Review: REVIEW | Jefferson’s Daughters by Catherine Kerrison

Thomas Jefferson fathered three girls: two white and free, one black and a slave. This book about Martha, Maria, and Harriet tells the fascinating story of their very different lives at Monticello and beyond, as daughters of one of our most brilliant and complicated Founding Fathers.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

18302455

Release Date: January 30th, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.


What books are you looking forward to?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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?

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads