Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Crochet | My Project for Pride Month

Hello and welcome to a bit of a different crochet post than I regularlly do. I wanted to showcase something I am planning on making for pride month this year. I am part of a crochet discord group that has a monthly theme or idea that we crochet a project based upon. We decided pride would be this months theme, which is really awesome. For this I choose to make a blanket of sorts out of the ally flag.

The Haul

Red Heart Supersaver in the colors Medium Purple, Cherry Read, Light Periwinkle, Light Sage, Cornmeal, Black, Softwire, and Carrot

The Plan

This project I have a feeling will take more than a month to complete for a few reasons, the first being it is a blanket, they always take a ton of time. The second biggest reason being this is going to be a graphgan, which I have never done in my life before. So, I feel like I might have to make quite a bit of fixes here and there to make sure it is perfect. I also had to design my own pattern for this, which was an interesting learning experience so we shall see how well I actually did with that. But, I am really happy to be taking this project on and working on it throughout the month and most likely beyond. If anyone has tips and tricks I would appreciate it!

Too add on to this, if anyone would like the pattern I came up with I will be more than happy to share, if you have a twitter it would be easiest to reach be on there and I can link it to you, but feel free to comment here as well, it might just take a little bit longer for me to get back.

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | November 2020

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up, can you believe that the 11th month of the year is already behind us? I sure can’t I feel like November went very quickly this time around and we are already getting reading for the last month of 2020. This past month I didn’t do as well reading wise as previous months, but still feel like I read some great books and found a few new favorites.


Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A SelectionDecisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Selection by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful collection of RBG’s ideas and thoughts on major topics such as equal rights and womens rights.

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Venus in the Blind SpotVenus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again Junji Ito has made a wonderful collection of short manga horror tales. As always the art is great, the tales eerie and horrific and I read them quickly. I will continue to pick up more from him.

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Cemetery BoysCemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was just a wonderful read. I laughed, I cried, and a bunch of emotions in-between. I really loved Yadriel, Maritza and Julian as individual characters, but also how they interacted with one another. It really focused on acceptance, love, and family, blood or otherwise. It really was such an emotional read in the perfect way.

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The Nickel BoysThe Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Colson Whitehead has done it again, he has written another amazing book. He is certainly turning into one of my auto buy authors. This story was dark, raw, and emotional, but it was also beautifully told. Sadly, this story is based off of real events and many have had these experiences. I certainly is thought provoking and will be a book I think about in the future.

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What was your favorite or least favorite read of October?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Olivia’s Catastrophe | Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! For November I was lucky enough to have Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe pick my book for me. She is very active over on her youtube channel, which is amazing, and twitter @oliviascatastro. I was so happy when she picked Clap When You Land, I heard nothing but amazing things and she even said she gave it 5 stars. I felt like this month was going to be a huge win.


One Sentence Review

A beautifully written exploration of the complexities of relationships and people, on top of that it explores the life of two half sisters that have no idea existed until they experience a life changing tragedy.

Description

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive. -goodreads.com


What I Liked

Just a warning, this review is just going to be me gushing about a book I loved. This book is so beautifully written. I am actually surprised that I am saying this. Going into this book I had no idea that it was written in verse before I actually went to read it. I normally don’t do well with books written in this manner, but Acevedo really made it count in this book and not just a gimmick. The words were powerful, meaningful, and beautiful. You can see the authors care when it came to constructing each sentence and picking each word.

As for the two main characters, I really felt that the dual perspective worked wonderfully and we really were able to explore the lives of Camino and Yahaira. I really appreciated the fact that the author didn’t just tell us how different these half siblings lived, but showed us. I felt like while exploring the grief they had the author really opened up their worlds and made them dimensional. I really loved their personalities and I really enjoyed following them both. Normally when I read a dual or muliple perspective book there is one I am not too fond of, but in this book, I really enjoyed them both. I would not be sad to see another book with these two, I would love to see how they are doing. When I put down this book initially, I was thinking of all the possible situations they could be in now.

I also want to take a moment to appreciate that this author talked about a very difficult topic that in my opinion was very respectful, but also did not shy about from the difficult aspects as well.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. I really enjoyed reading this book and I am so happy that Olivia picked this one for me. I can see why she also gave it 5 stars.

Overall

Overall, I loved and adored this book so much. I have already recommended it to a few people in my life and will continue to do so. This book is a beautiful exploration of relationships, people, and family.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Erica who you can find on twitter as @2020hines_sight or on her youtube channel The Broken Spine. I am beyond thrilled to read her pick, I have been holding myself back from reading it too early for months!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | July 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up! I missed out on my middle mark post for the month so be prepared for quite a few mini reviews and well as my monthly stats overall. I think I did good overall this month, I even found a few books I love. The main driving force in my reading amount was The Reading Rush that book place between July 20th-26th. In that readathon alone I ended up reading ___ books that week alone. Anyway, on to the books, the reason you clicked onto this post.


Read 2

LGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the NumbersLGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the Numbers by Bennett Singer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very interesting, the name is very accurate, this book is a lot of questions being answers via data collected via census and polls. It is best read in chunks a little at a time because it reads like a textbook.

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The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the RipperThe Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed learning more about these women instead of just hearing about how they died. It was a very interesting read that I just flew through. I feel like you should give this a try if non-fiction is not really your thing because it does not read like a textbook, which in my eyes is a huge compliment to the author when it comes to non-fiction.

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Civil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent GrantCivil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent Grant by Carol Berkin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very interesting and good look into the wives of a couple of the most known individuals during the civil war. It was interesting to have a peak into their lives before, during, and after the war and see if and how they supported their partners, but also if they felt the same as their husbands. In addition, you can learn about the efforts made by some of these women on their own. The writing itself is done very well and the extent of sources is encouraging.

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The TempestThe Tempest by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are a few things I really liked about this play in particular the first being a ship wreck that reminded me of Odyssey in a way. I am not sure if this was the purpose, but I enjoyed the connection I made. I also liked that in this play there was also magic and magical creatures. As I said about Twelfth Night, I am always a sucker for it. I ended up giving this play 4 stars because I was a bit more into actually reading this and it kept my attention for than Twelfth Night did. It is one of the Shakespeare plays that I actually would not mind reading for a second time, I think Macbeth is the only other one on that list.

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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to start off by saying that this is one of the most inventive and unique books I have read based upon the idea alone. But, this book is penned by a very talented writing and it just makes the book that much better. The first part of this book follows the 10 min. after death of a woman named Leila, who lived a very interesting life. You learn about her life through various memories that come to her in her last moments of life. It really hits home the “life flashes before your eyes” idea.

The second part discusses humility, society, and just being a decent human and how a system takes that away. How some individuals in life and in death can be discriminated against. It was a very interesting book that not only showed you the life of the characters, but also talked about society and highlighted how friendship can be such a powerful thing. I feel like this is a book I will be rereading because I feel like I can get even more out of it.

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Mexican GothicMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is just amazing and I really think it is going to be one of my favorites for this year. It was a wonderfully written horror that had me flipping pages faster than I have in a bit. It reminded me of a few movies and novels, but even with that it was unique and all its own. If you enjoy horror I really think that this is something you might enjoy.

The writing was amazing, the main character was wonderfully written as well as the side characters. Usually side characters are just there, but Moreno-Garcia establishes them so well and they truly are part of the story. On top of the characters the atmosphere was spot on. It reminded me of crimson peak, haunting of hill house, and others. But, like I said, this is truly unique to is all the authors own.

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House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am going to be honest, I really went into this book thinking I was going to enjoy it quite a bit. The idea sounded interesting and the world created sounded very interesting, but I was kind of bored reading this… okay very bored. The weird thing is, things were happening, some pretty intense stuff. So, I am not sure how or why I was bored, but I was. I might go back in the future and give this book another go, I might not have been in the right mood for it.

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The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a wonderful ending to the series, did not disappoint! Holly Black as always does a great job of writing about fae and does wondering with writing in riddles and such. I give her a lot of credit in doing this because sometimes I can’t figure out the loopholes myself. In other books where there are fae characters I usually can figure it out easily.

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Celtic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and HeroesCeltic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes by Philip Freeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I never thought that some Celtic Myths would make Greek Mythology seem boring. This was a really well done collection of myths that cover a good deal of time and area. I felt that the author framed them very well with giving some historical context as well as organized them well. I enjoyed reading these tails and chances are I will read them again in the future.

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The Night Country (The Hazel Wood, #2)The Night Country by Melissa Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great story by Melissa Albert. This was a really enjoyable continuation in this series. A lot was going on and it still held the same magic for me as the first one did. The only downside was there were a few pacing issues for me personally. I am excited to see what happens in the next book!

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Don't Touch My HairDon’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished reading Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, it is a nonfiction that discusses racism and prejudice against blanks historically. The main vein that this particular book follows is based upon hair. I found it to be really interesting and it was a general history of racism touching on three different continents (North America, Europe, and Africa), but it was also a memoir of the author as well. I really annotated this book, I wrote on nearly every page.

The blurb said it best, ” intellectual investigation into black women and the very serious business of our hair, as it pertains to race, gender, social codes, tradition, culture, cosmology, maths, politics, philosophy and history”

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Teen Titans: RavenTeen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really great graphic novel, I really enjoyed seeing this side of Raven. The plot was great, the art work and color scheme was wonderful. I am really glad that the author is adding to this series in September with Beast Boy!

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FirestarterFirestarter by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first I was not into this story in the slightest, but I decided to try for a little bit longer. I am glad I stayed with it because I ended up enjoying this quite a bit. It is almost like a different version of The Institute or a precursor to it. It is very different, but has a similar vibe to it if that makes sense. Charlie was a great character and her dad is amazing.

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Home Before DarkHome Before Dark by Riley Sager

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting thriller and ghost story. There was a real eerie feeling to this novel, which a horror lover like myself really enjoyed. On top of that the writing was great, you can tell the author really planned this novel out. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future

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The Girl from Widow HillsThe Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such an amazing thriller, I could not put it down once I picked it up. The writing is top notch, they methods used to tell the story and build the world were wonderful. I recommend anyone who enjoys thrillers.

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The Tale of Mrs WestawayThe Tale of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wild ride of a short story, it was really interesting to learn more about Mrs. Westaway.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 2


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my June wrap up, wow it feels so weird typing that. Already halfway through 2020. This month was quite an improvement reading wise for me, I actually did some reading. I am not quite sure what happened in May and what put me out of the mood to read, but thankfully it has passed and I ended up reading quite a bit. Here are the books I read, my backlist checkin and my monthly stats!


Read 2

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

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UntamedUntamed by Glennon Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very interesting collection of stories to make up the author’s memoir. I found the stories shared to be heart warming and raw. The author really sharers herself with her readers, but also gives them something to reflect on.

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Twelfth NightTwelfth Night by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to come!

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Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this novel has a lot of potential, it was dark, twisted and let’s face it inspired by one of the most popular horror novels of all time. I really enjoyed a lot about this book, but what lost me was the characters actions. Sometimes I just felt like, wow, they are meant to be detectives? Their actions just were not believable. That aside, I did enjoy parts of it and I am curious enough to be thinking about continuing this series. That is a big deal for me, because I tend to hate series.

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Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1922-5/5 psychological and dark real world horror

Big Driver-2/5 the assault is r*ape.

Fair Extension-3/5 – interesting, but I wasn’t really feeling it.

A Good Marriage-5/5 Just when you thought you knew someone completely, another story were man is the true monster.

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Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really interesting story sett in the same world as American Gods. It was a twisting tale and as always Gaiman has a way with words. As always the writing was done very well and the story was imaginative to say the least. The reason I took a few stars off it because there were a few parts I became bored with, but over all I really did enjoy it. If you liked American Gods, I think you will like this as well.

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Before the Coffee Gets ColdBefore the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this and I really want to read more from this author. I really liked how the author mixed the magical with the mundane to create such a heart warming story.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 6


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | BOTM May 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Book of the Month! This month was exciting because I have been a member long enough to get a free book for my birthday! I love this little bonus they have for its members after a certain period of time. It is a really nice was to give back I feel like, plus who can say no to a free book?! Anyway, on to my two picks for May!


The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd Description

“In her fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.” – goodreads.com 

Untamed by Glennon Doyle Description 

“This is how you find yourself.

There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful. We hide our simmering discontent—even from ourselves. Until we reach our boiling point.

Four years ago, Glennon Doyle—bestselling Oprah-endorsed author, renowned activist and humanitarian, wife and mother of three—was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. Soon she realized that they came to her from within.”- goodreads.com


Why These Books

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, as you can see from the above description, is very different. I really think this take on such a propionate figure is very intriguing and that is the main reason I picked it up, I really just needed too see what it was all about. I have read one other book by Kidd and I did enjoy it, so I think I will like the writing style, but we will see about the content. I really just have no idea what to think! As for Untamed by Glennon Doyle, it sounds like a very uplifting memoir about finding your true self and your inner voice. I know for me I have been doing a lot of self searching as of late so this was appealing to me in this regard. On top of that I have not read a memoir in such a long time and I am kind of craving one, plus I have been hearing such wonderful things about it. Between those reasons I could not say no to it.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Do either of these books interest you?

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