Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | May 2020 | Book Haul

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my May Read 5, Buy 1 challenge recap and haul. Earlier this month was my birthday and I did a seprate haul, which you can read here: Haul | Birthday 2020 . I am not counting these books towards by challenge because, well I didn’t buy them. Pretty amazing people were kind enough to buy them for me. But, that does not mean I didn’t buy anything for myself. I can never go a month without adding to my TBR myself! Now, on to the breakdown.


The Breakdown

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

  • The Book of Longing by Sue Monk Kidd

 

 


Extra Books

After I posted my birthday haul I actually got another book as a present and I was very pleasantly surprised. It was The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold thanks to Reg!  I have been interested in this story for as long as it has been out it seems like. Thank you!

So, did break my Read 5, Buy 1, but only by one book. I ended up picking up A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. The reason being is that with this series I always buy the next book in the series when I start reading one. So, I just ordered it without really thinking about it oops.


 Overall, I think I did pretty darn good! I only bought one extra book this month for myself and my owned TBR is down to 26 books, which is a great amount and it heading downwards still.

What does your TBR look like?

What books did you recently haul from the library or bookstore?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to this months reading wrap up! This month has been a stand out for me for this year and not for the best reasons. This year I have managed to read double digits every single month before this month, this month I struggled to read what I did read. I am not really sure what the reason was, I was not in a reading slump. I think I was just tired, I am not really sure how to explain it. I tried to turn it around in the later part of the month by doing a challenge, you can read about that in my post called, Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed. This was nice because it kind of restarted my habit of reading, I am thankful I gave it a go. Well, even though this was not the best reading month, I still managed to read a few books and here they are!


Read 2

The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since this is the fifth book in the series, I don’t want to say so much. But, I will say that this is a wonderful continuation of the series. As always the writing is wonderful, the research put in is apparent, and the characters are still written amazingly.

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The Taming of the Shrew (Barnes  Noble Shakespeare)The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, this was a pretty alright read. There were parts that I really disliked about this play. First how t8765423533523242e “shrew” is treated really kinda pissed me off to no end. I might have annotated this with a few “WTF!” throughout. I did like the other aspects such as the “pretending”, I wont say more than this because I don’t want to ruin this play for others. Honestly, part of me wants to rate this lower than I have as more time passes. Might come back and do that.

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MooncakesMooncakes by Suzanne Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a wonderful graphic novel. I loved the relationship characters, a plot through and through.

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MiddlegameMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually wrote up a whole review on this book for a my series called, Someone Picks My Books. If you want to hear all of my thoughts and why I enjoyed it so much please check out my review here: Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

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The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3)The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fantastic end to the series and it took some surprising turns and new characters. I felt like a lot of growth happened between book 2 and 3 for quite a few characters as well. I really liked how a lot was resolved, but also the ending leaves a lot open as well to let you think of what might have happened.

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Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really loved the use of novels and story telling throughout this novel and how it impacted the main characters imagination. This was a very good novel and I enjoyed reading it immensely. I might even like this more than Pride and Prejudice.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 10


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

How did you do in your OWLs? 

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Hauls

Haul | Birthday 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to my birthday haul! This past week was my birthday, which was so weird since. could not do what. normally do. But, wow my friends came through with birthday messages, videos, and zoom chats. Once of my friends even was sweet enough to drop me off some delicious food! I am truly lucky when it comes to friends. I just wanted to take the time to share the books and such I got this year for my birthday.


So, if you follow me on twitter you know. I have a switch lite and play some animal crossing. But, what you might not know is I love classic Nintendo games. I have always had a Nintendo gaming system since I was younger. So, my family chipped in together to get my a carrying case for my switch lite, a set of joycons, and Super Mario Party. I am so thankful, it is comforting to go back and play an updated version of an old favorite!


Next up is the books! I will be honest,  I bought The Glass Hotel as a birthday present to myself since it was signed and I really wanted to support my local indie bookstore. Next is Mooncakes, which was gifted by Jenna and Celtic Mythology, which was gifted by  Ariel. Both are such sweet people! I also found out I have a delivery waiting for me from Reg, who is also amazing! The last two books were bought by my parents, Color Therapy and Korean Cooking Favorites. I am so excited to get into that cook book!


My grandmother was also very kind in gifting me a 3 month subscription to The Sill, so I will be getting 3 deliveries over the next three months of beautiful plants. A gift that keeps on giving!


Last, but not least is a new Kitchen Aid hand mixer from my boyfriend. He knows how much I enjoy to cook and such and wanted to get me a good one. I used it for the first time last night to make bread, IT CAME WITH BREAD HOOKS! It worked so wonderfully. I did not take a picture of it because I was way too excited to use it.


I know I am so fortunate to have received these things from such wonderful people.

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | May 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to my May bullet journal post! This is an exciting one, I started a brand new notebook this month so I have more to share than just my monthly spreads. This is going to bit of a long one, so I am going to just get into it!


Items Used

Archer & Olive A5 Garden Sliter Dot Grid notebook

SAKURA Pigma Micron Pen Set  01


So, here is my new bullet journal. This time around I went for basic black and this one has a snake on the cover. One thing I love about these notebooks is the fact they have simple decoration on the cover. To me it gives off a classic and elegant vibe.

The first page of my notebook s always a general dot grid spread. I have used this n my last three bullet journals, it is really helpful when setting up new and old spreads. I always forget how many spaces go across my page and the halfway mark so this is very helpful.

This time around I decided to add a movie tracker. This spread is inspired by cyrus.serendipity14. All I need to do now is to add all the movies I need to watch. On the second page I added a TV tracker.  This tracker is inspired by @birdybujo on Instagram. I like how simple it is, at this point Outlander is the only show added. Also, you will notice I doodled herbs and plants on each page, this will continue throughout. I thought it would be a good way to tie everything together. On these pages I have rosemary and basil.

This time around I am trying to be more away of my spending and ordering online. I have a few goals this year for myself so I want to get everything in order. This wishlist and waiting on is inspired by  bulletjournal.com. Just like the previous pages, I really want to keep everything simple with these spreads because a lot will be added later on. On these pages I added lavender and sage.

Now these two spreads are a little more involved. On the left I am adding a health centered spread to track measurements and weight. This is inspired by @bulletjournalnoob. I need to still add some gray to differentiate the lines, but I am still searching for my gray highlighter. On the right I decided I am going to draw a book for all the books on my owned tbr shelf, this is inspired by @bujoandbee. I added a few plants that are a zz plant, monstera, and thyme.

On the lefthand side I wanted a way to keep track of all of my crochet projects. I decided to make a tag for each one. On each will be the start and end date, pattern, who it is for, and yarn used. On the right I put a monthly spread layout  from emerald lotus divination. I am planning on doing this spread every month so I wanted to keep it on hand to make things a bit easier. On these pages I doodled a string of pearls and oregano. 

This is a bill tracker I used in my previous bullet journal. It is really helpful when you pay your bills you can just mark it and you don’t need to worry if you forgot. I also add what date it is due and what I pay it with. On this page I attempted to draw mint, not sure how I feel about it, but I am still glad I tried.

I have had a tracker for my followers for this blog and my twitter for the past two bullet journals, but I changed the layout this time around, I was inspired by @penspapersplanner. I just do it for every five new followers, nothing fancy. I am not much of a numbers person, but I like marking it. On these spreads I drew chives.

I will be completely honest, I took the easy way out on this spread. I just photo copied  from previous bujo because I loved how well it came out the first time I didn’t want to mess it up.

On the left I migrated by temperature blanket tracker, I have very much behind and I really need to get back to it. Maybe you will see it in my next crochet update, my latest update you can find here: Crochet Talk | April 2020. On the right I photocopied a moon doodle from the book Muse with the Moon by Jo Cauldrick. It is the perfect reference I needed to keep track of the moon and the phases in order. On this page I doodled cilantro.

I love buddy reads and I love keeping track of them. I decided to continue with a buddy reads tracker and I also just migrated my top reads of 2020 spread. I left it blank when I took this picture so you all can be surprised at the end of the year. On this page I added basil.

Now onto the monthly spreads. This spread was taken by @littleolivebujo. I really loved how simple and organized this monthly introduction was. I loved the idea of monthly goals and a place for bigger events and the such. On this page I doodled some thyme.

Now, you mostly likely know I am studying Korean if you have been reading my blog regularly. I ended up taking this study spread from @jeannestudies. On the right I am keeping track to random expenses that come up. I kept these simple because they are going to be very full of information soon enough. I added rosemary and chamomile to these spreads.

My TBR and pages read spread is the one I used last month, just migrated over. I figure if it works, why change it up? On the right is where I am going to take notes and record my monthly spread that I noted earlier. I left a lot of open room so I have a lot of room to reflect and revisit as the month goes on.

This month my weekly spreads are a bit different. I added a few trackers on the sides that include habit, weekly, hours sleep and weather. Unfortunately I pinned this a while ago on Pinterest, but the link is now broken. I don’t remember where it came from so if you know who did this please let me know! I want to give them credit. On this spread I added thyme and dill.


What theme are you using this month?

What do you have planned for May?

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TBR

To Be Read | May 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to another TBR post! This month my reading is going to be a bit more relaxed than it was last month with the #OWLsReathaon. I still cannot believe I read so much! Anyway, I just have a few books on my TBR I really wanted to get to. Without more of a delay, on to the books!


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire, picked by Evelyn over at evelynreads.com.  I am really excited to be giving this a go this month. I have read about 4 of their books already and I really enjoyed them. I know this one has met some mixed feelings so I am really excited to see if I end up loving it or not.

The Canary Keeper by Clare Carson, gifted by Adrianna over at romancebookbinge.com. I am so grateful to be able to read this in May. I have been wanting to read this book for months, maybe even over a year? May is the month to get it read!

The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman, buddy reading with Reg from bookishinbed and Jenna from jkimexploring. I cannot wait to see what the last book in this series is going to bring. This series could easily become one of my favorites, I am so glad that we ended up reading this together because I might not have ever read it. Also, with that ending in book 2, I need to know what happens next!

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, I picked this up at my local bookstore because it was given the title of ‘April 2020 Indie Next List #1 Great Read’ on indiebound.org. The description confused me quite a bit, but it said a few of my key words; ghost, hotel, and island. So, I bought it to support my local store.

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, what can I say? This is book 5 in the series and I am ready to get it read!

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, this is my May Shakespeare as voted by on my twitter account. I actually know nothing about this play at the time of writing this, but since I loved Macbeth I am more excited about reading his works than ever before.


What are you reading in May? Are there any releases you are looking forward to?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

This month has been a really interesting reading month for me. I feel like my reading was all over the place, but at the same time not. I have read a lot of non-fiction or very large books the past few weeks, with only a sprinkling of thrillers from a buddy read and a novel from one of my 2019 reading challenges.

I am not quite sure why I tended to read a lot about Russian history or Russian influenced books, but I think I was really craving non-fiction and historical fiction. As to the big books, I think I have been in a mood to just pick up a book and just dedicate myself to reading it and really absorbing it, not just reading something and flying through it. Either way, I am really happy with the books I have read this month, without more of my ramblings and reflection, here are the books I read!

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Read 2
Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana AlliluyevaStalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wonderfully written non-fiction account of the daughter of one of the worlds most notorious men. It was really enlightening to read about her relationship with her father for a few reasons. The first being it really gave insight into Soviet Russian elite, which to me seemed to not be so different with how the elite lived under the tsars, and how Stalin was as a husband and a father.

I also liked how this novel tracked her life following the death of her father and beyond. I think it was a very good nod to her because it seemed like she tried hard to be seen as her own person and this novel really does just that.

As I said earlier, this is well written. The style of writing is story like with a great deal of information, I think this is great for those who want to read more non-fiction but are intimidated by books being to “academic”. In addition to this, the organization and execution of this biography is wonderful. The flow was very natural and I never felt like I was jumping around in her story, even though we cover an entire lifetime in a single book.

This book also inspired me to look into Svetlana’s own books about her story and also read more from this author.

View all my reviews


BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her story in her own words. If you have any interest, I highly recommend.

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Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very thought out thriller and I can really appreciate that. I just wish one aspect of the story was more explored throughout the novel. While this was a well planned thriller, it is by no means bad, but it also isn’t one of my top ones.

The story will keep you on your toes and just like the dust jacket says, if you think you can guess the ending. I think your guess most likely will be wrong.

View all my reviews


The StandThe Stand by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am still surprised I was able to finish this book in a single month, but I am so happy that I read it. While it was long, I was not once bored and I never wanted to skip a particular part.

Overall, I really liked the wide array of characters in this novel. I was expecting to get them all confused and turned around, but they are so distinct and their motives for their actions are always true to them so I did not have a problem keeping them all straight. There were characters in here that I cried for and I cheered for. There were those I did not care for in the slightest. It really is interesting to see all the different ways humans deal with something like this.

I really enjoy this type of story from king, it is a mixture of ghosts, monsters, but also human nature and what it could be. Making is just enough real to make you uneasy. Also, whenever anyone sneezed I got anxious. I had to laugh at myself a bit, but according to the Stephen King subreddit, I am not the only one who this happened to.

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Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to read my review of the following books, please see my post; Middle Mark | May 2019.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 38

Current Backlist TBR: 9Divider 2

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul | April & May 2019

BookHaul12:17

Hello everyone, it has been some time since I posted a bookhaul. I didn’t realize it has been two months until I ran out of room on my cart where I put the books I need to haul officially. Then, I realized I put some on my shelves without actually hauling them… oops. It turns out I acquired more books that I thought I did between treating myself and my birthday this month. The good news is I already read some of the books I hauled and some are replacement copies. So my overall TBR isn’t being completely bogged down.

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-The Books-

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, birthday gift and read.

You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman, unread.

If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley, unread.

Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides, unread.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston, Thank-you Reg! Unread.

Blaze by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King, unread.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien, replacement copy and gift

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, replacement copy and gift.

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick, unread.

Peace and Turmoil by Elliot Brooks, unread.

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan, gift and unread.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, unread.

Classic Penguin by various editors, read.

The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects by John Tingey, read.

The Things I Would Tell You edited by Sabrina Mahfouz, read.

Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill, read.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, birthday gift and read.

Divider 2So over the past two months I acquired 17 books, not to bad for a birthday month and for such a long period of time. Plus, I already read 8 of them already.

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Have you read any of these books? Which one should I read first?

What book have you acquired or borrowed this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | May 2019

Middle Mark

So, this month I am reading big books, but also reading some smaller books in-between to keep up my momentum. I always need to pause a big book and finish a quick read or I end up getting bogged down, am I the only one who feels this way from time to time?

Anyway, this Middle Mark is mainly going to be a few of the small books, hopfully my monthly wrap up will have some of the larger books. Fingers crossed.

Divider 2

Read 2

Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday TroublesAsk Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles by Taisia Kitaiskaia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very adorable and helpful book. This advice centered book is a mixture of fun, thoughtfulness, and folklore. I plan on reading more from this author because the writing was lyrical, but not annoying. The advice was useful, but not full of itself.

I see myself picking it up again from time to time.

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Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women WritersLiterary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers by Taisia Kitaiskaia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute and quick read. I really enjoyed how each section was set up. A little story create by the author, a little non-fiction blurb about the “literary witch” and then recommenced reading for each one. This truly is a wonderful celebration of women writers from a wide array of backgrounds and time.

This little blurb and short little story really gets you in the mood to explore these women and it is so wonderful that she gives you 3 or more recommendations. On top of that the illustrator, Katy Horon, has a wonderful style and you can see how individualized and meaningful each of the pieces are.

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Currently Reading 2

Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

I picked up this novel while at my local indie bookstore. I am ashamed to say and admit I never knew Stalin has a daughter. I honestly just through he was so evil that I cannot fathom that he could be a father. I am currently about 74 pages into the book and I think is he is a horrible husband, horrible person, and I think he was a messed up dad already. Mainly because of foreshadowing and some comments here and there, but I am interested in seeing just how low he goes in his personal life.


The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand

I have finally started this huge book, I am not too far into it, but I can already see why it is a beloved book of his. It has a very interesting start and I normally don’t like apocalyptic  dystopian writings, mainly because YA was/is just pushed them way to much for me, but I will say that this one seems very different and I am curious to see how he pictures a world after our world collapses.

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What are you currently reading?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | May 2019

Recs

Hello everyone! I am really excited about this months spreads. I am trying a few new ones and I am tracking something, or going to try and track something I have not tracked before. I also am going to throw in a few pictures of completed spreads from the previous month since some people were curious about seeing them filled in.

Also, I am really excited because like I said in my TBR, this is my birthday month. I am still a child at heart and I get really excited about my birthday because I get to spend time with those I love. Anyway, I am just really pumped about this month and now it is time for my rambling to end. Here is my bullet journal for May!

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Earlier in April I took a day trip with my boyfriend and found these adorable stickers and I really wanted to use them this month. I also wanted to tone it down on the colors used so I decided to only use black and gray for drawing and writing this month. I was starting to find the colors a little overwhelming. This mont I decided to highlight the weekend to break up the calendar a bit.


Since I canceled my subscription to Boho Berry Box since I was not really happy with last months and how they are kinda holding off on things for a few months, but charging the same. Don’t get me wrong I am glad the creator is completing a life goal and is really making a wonderful memory for themselves. I just don’t like when my money all of a sudden gets less. Anyway, I had to draw my own habit tracker and I think I did a pretty good job.


Above it my newest book tracker spread and below is a completed one. I can visual see how long I have spent on each book and see when I actually am reading. As you can see sometimes I just need to take a few days off of reading.


So this one I did not have a piece of paper to cover the spreads so I would like to introduce my arm. It is currently really warm in my favorite sweatshirt from Harvard. Anyway, I decided to make the spread on the left general social media instead of just my blog since I tend to forget about my instagram. Plus, I am only posting twice a week now so I have less I need to organize for that as well. On the right is my planned TBR, which I will hopefully fully read and then read some others.


So these are the new spreads I am adding to my bullet journal. I have been really good at saving money, I automatically put a % of my paycheck into savings as soon as I get paid. I am very lucky to be able to do this,  but I am really want to be even more watchful of where my spending is going. On top of that I want to be more mindful of realizing the difference between what I want and what I need. So I decided to add a bill tracker, how much is moving into my savings, credit card charges, and cash and checking spendings. I use cash for A LOT of the things I buy unless something comes up or I need groceries. I take out a particular amount each week and only spend that, but I am starting to find I am spending it faster than I used to and I want to see where it is going and such. Wish me luck!


Here is my new weekly spread I am trying out this month! I am so excited about it. I googled a bunch of vertical spreads and I kinda mashed a few together sadly, I really need to get better at writing down where I get inspiration from. If you know anyone who has created ones like this please comment their names below. I did this a few weeks ago and my history automatically clears itself.

Anyway, I added a little preview on the monthly calendar and highlighted the week that is being looked at. I added an hourly section to each day and a little note section at the bottom. I want to be more mindful of what I am spending my time on so I wanted to add that. I had some dead space so I added a Little Women quote to the top of every week as well. Each week has a different one.

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In the future I think I want to add try and add a crochet project tracker of sorts. I will be brain storming and googling for inspiration and I will do my best to try and write down names, I hate that I never think of it when I find them. Anyway, thank you for reading and I hope your May is awesome!

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TBR

May TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello and welcome to a new month! May is my favorite month of the year. The first being that the trees and flowers are finally fully alive, but pollen is no longer kicking my butt. The second is that it is my birthday month! I have always loved my birthday, it is a great excuse to have a fun experience with my friends and family. I love organizing fun things for us all to do, one year I planned a tour, another I planned a wonderful dinner. I just love spending time with those who are important to me. What is one thing you love doing on or for your birthday? Do you have a favorite birthday memory?

Anyway, with this month being my birthday month I am not quite sure how much reading I am going to actually be doing, but I know I want to get to a few reads for sure. Without more rambling, her is my TBR!


-The Books-

The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand

This is the book that has been on my phsyical TBR for the longest. I meant to read it a few months ago, but life became a bit crazy and I did not have the time to dedicate a great deal of time to this novel. It is 1327 pages, so this might take me some time. I am excited to read it though. I am also really interested to see how Stephen King handles a post apocalyptic world that dealt with an illness. I have read a few King books that had an apocalyptic theme and I am curious how different they are.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room

This is the next book I plan on reading for my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist. I am very interested in reading this novel. This fiction novel deals with the idea of women in prison and the hardships they face, both a physical and mental. I am very curious to find out what placed the main character in prison when she has a young child, said in description. I am also curious to see how this subject is handled. I am unsure of how graphic this read will be, but I am very much intrigued.


-TBR Jar Pick-

This month I want to bring back using my TBR Jar to pick at least one read a month like I have in the past. The past few months I have fallen away from it, but I miss the mini challenge of sorts.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

I added this book to my TBR in September of last year. It was my Book of the Month pick, I was really interested in this fictional novel that follows women on the sidelines of wars. It goes into detail of these important and often forgotten individuals who have to give up much, fight in their own way, and often be belittled and pushed to the side. I love history and I can tell you that one of my favorite quote is ” For most of history Anonymous was a woman”. I wish I knew who said it, but it is very true and I am excited to read this novel that give those anonymous women a voice and a story, even if it is historical fiction.


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of my choices?

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