Hauls & Unboxings · Knitting, Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

La Mercerie Knitting Haul

Hello and welcome to a little haul from an online shop called La Mercerie. This is the second time I have purchased from them and both times I have been thrilled with the quality of the products and the quick shipping. So, I wanted to take a moment and share what I picked up this time around because I am so thrilled and I would not have been able to get these items in my local store.

Picture of Sock Set and Worsted Book

Worsted – A Knitwear Collection Curated by Aimée Gille of La Bien Aimée

I have been eyeing this book since I have heard about it. I have really been wanting to move away from making bags and winter accessories for the most part, I still want to be warm this year, but I wanted to make more wearable pieces and work with worsted weight yarn. As of late I have worked with a lot of fingering, which I love don’t get me wrong, but I want to explore more types of yarns. The curator of this book is an owner of a well known brand and I have seen a few people already starting to make projects from these pages and have heard great things. As a newer knitter, this is a must, I am still learning to read patterns in regards to knitting, crochet I am a pro at this point, so I need something that is clear, but challenging and this seems to be just the thing.

January – Sock Sets – 2022 Year of Socks

So, I ended up getting their January sock set for their year of socks. I missed out on their buy the entire year upfront and subscription options, but I really wanted to get my hands on this beautiful sock set called Snowdrift by Grenouille Co.. I really loved the deep winter feel of both the main color and mini. I can’t wait to make these into a cozy pair of socks!

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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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Lists & Recommendations

My Entire Owned TBR January 2022

Hello and welcome to another post here on my blog. I decided that I really wanted to take a look at the books that are sitting on my shelves waiting to be read in 2022. Then at the end of the year it might be fun to take a look back and see which books I read, unhauled, or are still sitting on my shelves. So, here are all the books that are currently sitting on my owned TBR shelves!

  • The Unwanted by Michael Dobbs
  • Sons of Cain by Peter Vronsky
  • The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
  • The Vorrh by Brian Catling
  • The Erstwhile by Brian Catling
  • The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hestor Fox
  • Ms Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami
  • Record of a Night Too Brief by Mieko Kawakami
  • People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  • Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin
  • Dinner by César Aira
  • The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Field House by Robin Clifford Wood
  • The House of Lobster Cove by Jane Goodrich
  • Writing On Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis
  • A Haunting Fog by Heidi Martin Washburn
  • Fresh by Margot Wood
  • Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Irish Folktales by Henry Glassie
  • Afterland by Lauren Beukes
  • Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
  • Dead Relatives by Lucie McKnight Hardy
  • How to Be a Stoic by Penguin
  • Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert
  • The Stone Face by William Gardner Smith
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • Slow Boat by Iain Maloney
  • At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop
  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
  • Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Billy Summers by Stephen King
  • The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

If you are curious what my current owned TBR is if you are reading this much later, you can always find that on my shelf labeled Owned TBR on my goodreads account. I usually update it about once a month, usually towards the end when I am organizing for my Monthly Digest posts.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | January 2022

Hello and welcome to my little planning post for the Month of January! I am so excited to start off this year by sharing some of the things I wish to do in its first month, happy New Year by the way! This month I don’t have too many specific things I want to do, just some ideas that I think would be good and fun.

Reading Plans

This month I would love to read just one book. My reading has really just slowed down a lot in the past year, but especially this past month. To me this is fine because at this point when I do pick up a book when the mood hits I am enjoying it. Due to this, I am going to let myself be a total mood reader and just read what I feel like when I feel like it and I just want to finish one book.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month I would like to knit a pair of socks for my significant other. I have not knit him anything yet and I thought this would be something fun since I can only knit myself so many socks. He picked out the yarn,
Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Ultramarine Violet, and the pattern he settled on is Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes. On top of that pair of socks I would like to start another pair for myself I am using Tube Socks by Mary Anne as inspiration, but I am playing with the numbers quite a bit. For my pair of socks I am going to be using Spun Right Round Classic Sock in Sly Fox. The final project, but most likely the first one I am going to be casting on in the new year would be the Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt. I am planning on using some Drops Kid Silk in Red and holding it with Kraken by Lantern Light Hand-Dyed Yarn & Fiber.

Random Goals

With random goals this month I honestly cannot think of one I would like to do specifically. I would like to try or see something new though and just enjoy the experience. I know it is annoying vague and they say that goals shouldn’t be, but to be honest I think with how things are currently, it is just perfect.

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my January book haul. This past month or two I ended up being gifted quite a few books that I am very grateful for and would like to share with everyone to see if you have read them and if you have any thoughts on them. Following this month I am going back to my Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge since I made it down to 0 books last year and now I am in the 30s again. Ooops. Anyway, here are the books I most recently added to my TBR!


Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman, I am honestly not 100% sure what this book is about if I am being honest. Any insight would be really helpful. I received this as a gift from a family member and I have seen a lot of people mention it over the past few years. But, I kind of avoided all of the reviews etc.

Lady Killers by Tori Telfer, I was gifted this really interesting book by Heidi you can find her on twitter as @TIMbookshelf or over on her blog This is My Bookshelf Blog. She really is vey sweet and kind and I am so happy she picked this book off of my wishlist because I have been in such a nonfiction mood. It moved pretty quickly to the top of my TBR. This non-fiction book discusses various lady killers throughout history.

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, recommended by Amy who you can find on twitter as @SalieriSin and over on her blog The Book Siren. I was so happy when I saw a book from the list of books I compiled from a thread of nonfiction recommendations on twitter. I scooped this one up no questions asked. This book discusses how feminism is actually white feminism and does not include black women and women of color in their fight for equality. It does this by going throughout history to modern times and across many continents from my understanding.

Sons of Cain by Peter Vronsky, Once again I wanted a nonfiction and I was in my bookstore. I ended up coming across this book that talks about the history of serial killers and how we actually started using that title. It is almost like a historiography on how we view these individuals and also goes into what their crimes are. This is a perfect read for me because I love to see how a topic has been viewed over a period of time and how that view has changed and reading and watching true crime.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, this is a classic that has been on my list for some time and I saw this edition on sale so I decided to finally pick it up. I have never read any of Woolf other works from my memory, so this could be very interesting to see if I enjoy her writing style or not. I also find it interesting that this novel follows a singular person over a singular day while they are trying to set up for a party.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I was gifted this book by Reg who you can find on twitter as @BookishinBed or on her blog that goes by the same name, Bookish In Bed. I was so delighted when this showed up in my box. Taylor Jenkins Reid has quickly become one of my favorite authors and this is one of her books that I have yet to read so I am super thankful!

World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, this book I picked up at my local bookstore as well and saw the beautiful cover and then I read the description and I needed to have it! I love when a “cover buy” is more than just a cover buy. This 100 pages or so is a collection of non-fiction essays surrounding the author and focuses on the natural world that surrounds us.

The Unwanted by Michael Dobbs, This non-fiction novel was recommended by local bookstore owner in my area. I did not have a lot of nonfiction on my shelf and I was in the mood for some so I asked the owner to recommend me one and this is the novel they picked. This is about a small own where many were trying to seek asylum to aviod the Nazi party in World War One. I think it is going to be a very well done book, but heart breaking because it focuses on how these people were stuck trying to get the proper paperwork that would literally save their lives and the bureaucracy they had to deal with.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas, I was gifted this book by Misty who you can find on twitter as @mistymichelle30 or over at her blog entitled, Misty’s Book Space. She sent me a message in early January to ask if I have read this book yet and I let her know that I have not and she was super kind and sweet to send this to me. So, I can check out more of this series.


What books have you recently added to your TBR or taken out from your library?

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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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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month Unboxing | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing post. This month I landed on a single book, but was able to pick a free book since I have been a member for so long. Since I am a BFF I am able to pick one of the finalists for book of the year, so you will also see what I picked for that. Funny enough, I was going to pick up this book regardless, but to get it for free was a wonderful bonus.


The Books

The Removed by Brandon Hobson, according to the description this novel deals with grief a family feels after a loss of a child to a police shooting. This story itself does not happen right after the events, but years later and gos over how the parents and siblings deal with the grief as well as what life has thrown at them since. It also pulls from Cherokee folklore from my understanding.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, I have been hearing about this book all over the place and it has won 2020 Book of the Year from BOTM. I have read a previous book by the author and I enjoyed it as well so I am looking forward to hearing the story of two twin sisters whose lives end up radically different and how their families progress as the generations pass. Also, from my current understanding the story will also discuss white privilege from the families stories as well. I am really curious to see where Bennett story takes the reader.


Have you read either of these books or heard of them? Did you pick a different book from BOTMs picks?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | January 2020

Wrap Up

Wow, the first month of the year is a wrap,  2020 is off to a great start reading wise. I managed to read a total of 11 books, which is just an amazing reading month over all. On top of that I think I might have found a contender for one of my favorite books of the year already. I know it is too soon to really tell, but I really truly loved a book I read this month, more details about that below and mini summaries of all the books I read this month along with some fun stats I am keeping this year.


Read 2The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)The Wicked King by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit I am totally that person that puts off reading the second book in a series because I always think it is going to be a filler book. I was convinced that this too was going to be a filler book, but I was wrong.
This was a real whopper of a book, I buddy read this with someone and I have to say our conversation did not dampen on most days. A lot of stuff happens in this book and it really kept me guessing. Holly Black takes her riddles and truth spinning to the max and I am always trying to figure out what the characters are really saying. She is so talented with her words.
As for the actions in this book, let me just say wow. I don’t want to ruin anything, but you can bet I have the third book here ready to read.

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Where the Crawdads SingWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“So, am I am writing this I just finished this book and I have to say I absolutely love it. This is actually my first 5 star read of 2020, which is super exciting. I am also going to take this time to apologies about the gush fest this post has now turned into.

First thing I really liked was the choice of time period. While it does have a wide range and is told by jumping back and forth, I think the time period was a great choice for a few reasons. The first being alluding to civil rights and Jim Crow laws. There were a few time in this book that I just teared up or flat out cried at. The second aspect being the hard topic of abuse. I feel like the author did a good job of handling such a hard topic. It didn’t shy away from it, it was a hard honest look at it. I really liked that the author didn’t just comment on one social issue, but a few.” More at Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

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A Midsummer Night's DreamA Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I have to start this off by saying I am really happy to have started this year long challenge with this play in particular, the main reason being I actually enjoyed it. Yes, I am surprised to say that, but so grateful. I really was worried going into this thinking I was going to dislike everyone of his works, but that was not the case. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was actually really enjoyable and has made me more excited about this entire process.” – More at 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, SpyBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an absolutely remarkable story about a very remarkable person who went and did something that many did not and would not do during WW2. I really enjoyed learning about Bonhoeffer and his life. I have already recommended it to quite a few people in my life because it was such a powerful read and so well done.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2019: 51

Current: 43


Reading Stats

  • Number of Books: 11
  • Number of Pages: 3,195
  • Fiction: 8
  • Nonfiction: 3
  • DNF’ed: 0
  • Ebook: 0
  • Audiobook:  1
  • Paperback: 6
  • Hardcover: 4
  • Library: 2
  • Owned: 9
  • 5 Stars: 1
  • 4 Stars: 7
  • 3 Stars: 3
  • 2 Stars: 0
  • 1 Star: 0

What was your favorite read of the month?

What was the last book you read in January?

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Let's Talk

Let’s Talk | Try A Chapter January 2020

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to another Try a Chapter post! So looking at my TBR I noticed there were a few books I wasn’t so much drawn to read as of late and I wanted to either unhaul them or reignited my want to read them. So, the best way for me to make a decision is to read a the first chapter of each of these books and decide if I am going to keep them on my owned TBR, or unhaul them and send them to a friend or donate. Now, on to the books!


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Honestly, I felt like skipping ahead and I was only reading the first chapter. Which, for me is a bad sign. I was already bored, which is a huge shame because it sounds really interesting, but it didn’t personally pull me in at all. I am going to unhaul this.

Outside the Gateby Molly Gloss

This is a very interesting take on a Dystopian for sure. It is a quite short story, not even 100 pages, but the way it was narrated it moved very slowly for me personally. With it being so short I thought it would move quickly, but 12 pages felt like 50. I am going to unhaul this one as well.

Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

This shows great potential for me, we are placed right into an event. It flows nicely and it seems more alive than the previously two I tried to read. This seems to feel bigger in a way. I am going to be keeping this one on my owned TBR.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Eh, I didn’t think what I read was bad, but it wasn’t great either. A very middle of the road first chapter. I think I am going to unahul it because honestly I don’t see myself picking it up.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

All I have to say is WOW. This book really starts off with something heart wrenching and devastating. It can be very triggering to some though, trigger warning for suicide. Reading that first chapter, I need to know more about what has happened in this world. Due to this, I am keeping this book on my owned TBR.

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

When you start a book talking about Rigor mortis …. I am going to continue reading it. I don’t know why I even put it in this list, I love Liz Nugent, I think just wanted an excuse to read part of it honestly.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Uh, wow, this book is so imaginative. I don’t want to say too much, but I really want to continue reading this so much so that I am pretty sure it is going to be my next read after my required reading this month. KEEPING!

Winter at Death’s Hotel by Kenneth M. Cameron

This seems like a really interesting read, but I am not pulled into this book. I am not really interested in Mrs. Arthur Conan Doyles wife playing Sherlock. I much prefer Bradley Harpers spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was first gifted a copy for a blog tour, it was great I even bought the second on that just came out a few months ago. As for this one, I am going to unhaul it.

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

It started off too poetic for my tastes and I didn’t really care honestly. I wanted to already start skipping ahead. This book just isn’t for me. I decided to unahul it.

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

I need to oread this right away as well. It really pulled me in right off the bat. It has a palpable atmosphere coming right off the page. I really want to know what happens at Pale Harbor and soon! I am keeping this on my owned TBR.


Keeping: 5

Unhauling: 5

Somehow this ended up being a 50/50 split. I ended up removing 5 books and keeping 5. I have to admit, the ones I am keeping I am really thrilled about getting too again. It is funny how we can be so pumped about a book, but then just leave it on our shelves and almost forget why we got it in the first place.


Have you read any of these books?

Should I give any of them a second chance?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | January 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to the first Middle Mark post of 2020! I cannot believe that we are already halfway through the month. If you are new here, Middle Mark is where I talk about the books I read the first half of the month with mini reviews and what I am currently reading.

I have to say, I am starting 2020 on a really good note. I have been doing a ton of reading and I have been so inspired to just keep going. I have read a wide array of genres from graphic novels to Russian classic literature and nonfiction of mythology. I am truly all over the place with my mood reading and I am embracing it fully. Now, without more rambling, on to the books!


Read 2

Crime And PunishmentCrime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Going into this novel I new it was well known, but had no idea what it was about. Having now finished it I will say I did not expect such a start to the novel. With that surprise out of the way I really enjoyed how the novel explores guilt and morality. It was a very interesting read and I did not feel like there was too much fluff in it. The ending was a bit much, but it was nice to see as well. Overall, a good book to start off 2020.

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The Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick and MightThe Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick and Might by Courtney Weber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very good insight into the Celtic goddess who I previously knew nothing about. This book was well written and broke down the subject matter very nicely. I really like the history aspect of this book, the main reason behind picking it up, but it was a lot more. I love reading about individual experiences and thoughts on her as well.

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The Dutch HouseThe Dutch House by Ann Patchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a story filled with family grief, journey, and things coming full circle. It is written beautifully and the characters for the most part were interesting. I will say I did not enjoy the story of the mother for some reason and I was angered at the whole college situation, but I don’t want to say more than that. I don’t want to spoil anything. I can see why so many people love this book, it was good, but I feel like some things were too perfect if that makes any sense.

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Revised Widow's Weeds and Weeping Veils : Mourning Rituals in 19th Century AmericaRevised Widow’s Weeds and Weeping Veils : Mourning Rituals in 19th Century America by Bernadette Loeffel-Atkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fascinating read. While today this is not an easy topic to discuss it is interesting to explorer just how much mourning played in the lives of humans only a few hundred years ago. This small book covers quite a bit from clothing, food, home decor, and more. It goes into symbolism, ways to remember loved ones, I honestly could keep going. It is apparent that the author is knowledgeable.

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MythosMythos by Stephen Fry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is such a wonderful retelling of the classic Greek Myths. While I am very familiar with a lot of these stories, the random comments and little additions of Fry make them magnificent. This is well organized and Fry tells these in a way a Greek Myth beginner can easily jump into the tails. I highly recombined this collection of tails of you are interested in it, even slightly. The humor is spot on.

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Farmhand, Vol. 1: Reap What Was SownFarmhand, Vol. 1: Reap What Was Sown by Rob Guillory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A dark and imaginative science fiction tale. For me, this was a very original graphic novel that explore a medical break through and its impact on a family. The plot line was great and the art was beautiful. I really am enjoying how they are exploring different aspects of how this breakthrough could impact this family, this world, and their relationships with each other and others. Like I said, this a dark one and I can see it getting even more grim. I can’t wait to jump into the next volume.

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Farmhand, Vol. 2: Thorne in the FleshFarmhand, Vol. 2: Thorne in the Flesh by Rob Guillory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am very glad that I had the second volume ready to go after reading the first and this did not disappoint. The plot continues to be interesting and imaginative and thee artwork continues to really lend itself to the story. The story has gotten a bit more dark and family relationships continue to evolve. I am excitedly and impatiently waiting for the release of Vol.3. I can easily say this graphic novel series is one of my favorite I have read.

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Currently Reading 2

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, 39%

The Wicked King by Holly Black, 28%

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, 3%


What was the last book you finished? What book are you currently reading?

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