Wrap Up

Wrap Up | November 2019

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So, this month was really a bad reading month, not because I read bad books, but I barely read. I have no idea what has happened to me, but I have not been interested in a lot of the books on my shelf and more interested in other things I have been putting off for a long time. While I am very happy with exploring those parts of me, I miss reading and the adventurers. Anyway, here are the very limited books I read this month and my thoughts with a bonus of what I am currently reading.


Read 2
It Would Be Night in CaracasIt Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from BookCon 2019 for free from the publisher.

This was such a powerful read. It was raw, it was powerful, and it told a very important story. It is filled with heart breaking content, it was an emotional roller coaster. I was sad, angry, and outraged so many times while reading this. The story is really one that needs to be shared because so many people around the world live in these conditions, whether it would be one aspects of the story or all.

The writing goes back and forth through a timeline of a young girl living in Venezuela during very uneasy times. She is faced with that seems like impossible circumstances. I read this book in a single day because I needed to know how Adelaida’s story ended. I will say that this is not for every reader if you find human suffering, violence, and tense situations unbearable to read about.

View all my reviews


Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #0.5)Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Book given for review by Wunderkind PR*

View full review here: Book Review | Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

“Overall, I really have to say I enjoyed this book. I really like the twist on the fairytale of declined marriage proposal where someone turns into a monster. I also really like the writing style and the main character and her protrayed as an ogre. I feel like the author did an amazing job merging the idea of the ogre with such a dedicated, self assured character. In my eyes if you read and were interested by the description you should give this book a try. It is an interesting story in a really interesting world created by a talented writer.”

View all my reviews


The Long TakeThe Long Take by Robin Robertson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say that this is one of the better books shortlisted for the Man Book Prize in 2018. I really enjoyed the format being utilized, it really set the feeling of the story for me. This book really talks about a very difficult topic that many have to deal with PTSD and having known someone who suffered with it first hand, I feel like the author did a great job portraying how it can affect some people. PTSD affects many, but can affect each person differently.

This book really had a feel to it that I think sticks to a reader, I feel like I will bee thinking about it for sometime. It is encompassing and consuming in a way. I also like how the author portrays the internal feelings struggles of the main character to the external society/city. It was veery interesting to read. There are many dark topics in this novel/poem, so if PTSD, drug use, and other dark themes are something that can bother you, I would stay away. If that is not the case it is a powerful read for sure.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore, so far I am really enjoying this historical fiction cute love story. I am currently at 43% and I can see this being a 4 or 5 stars at this point. I can see that the author knows about the time period and the writing style is wonderful.

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, since this is the 5th book in the series I am not going to say too much, but I am enjoying how I am just dropped right back into the world without missing a beat or too long of a reintroduction. I am only one chapter in, but since I have read this far, you can see that I enjoy the writing, even though it can be graphic at times. 

Bury What We Cannot Take by Kirstin Chen, this I am not far in at all, 6% total, so I don’t have much of an option either way. I will say that I am excited to continue so that is a good sign. I will also say that I think this story is going to get dark, but I feel like it will be really powerful as well. 

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb, I am only 4% into this one. This is an ebook of mine so I wont be making my way through it too quickly, but from what I have read so far the author has really made an impression on me. The writing is beautiful and I am already kinda attached to the main character


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 34

Backlist TBR: 0


What was your favorite book you read this past month?

Did anything you read surprise you?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | New Bujo & November Set Up

Recs

Hello and welcome to my new bullet journal! I am so excited to be sharing with you how I decided to see it up and the spreads I migrated over. It is really interesting how over time the spreads you need change, that is just the most wonderful thing about bullet journals, they change with you. Anyway, I don’t want to write a huge introduction because I have a ton of pictures to share!


This time around I decided to stick with an Archer and Olive A5 notebook. The main reason being the page quality and I really enjoy the fact that the pages are crispy white as well. I personally do not use an index so not having page numbers is not a big deal. What I need is good quality paper, good binding, a pen loop, and roughly enough pages to get me through 4-6 months. This note book has all of that for me, a nice bonus is the beautiful cover. I found a Tombow marker in the shade 837 that matched the cover pretty darn well and I am using that during the set up as well as November.

I am not a big number person, but I love to celebrate milestone. I had this page in my previous bullet journal and I updated it normally towards the end of the month. As you can see I already needed to update a few since creating this spread. I do have an instagram, but quite frankly instagram normally just stays the same and it is more for me than anything.

These spreads I feel like are going to be used and reference a lot over the next few weeks. I decided to put my buddy read picks and order for Jenna, Amy, Reg and myself because if I don’t write them down I never remember. It is also a fun memory. Underneath this I have decided to start to watch the Outlander series instead of just reading it. I decided to put a little progress tracker because I don’t watch a ton of TV so I tend to forget my progress in shows if they aren’t on netflix or prime since those services keep track for me. On the right I just redid my 2019 goals spread that was in my previous bujo.

I decided to also keep my grid spacing page as well as my period tracker. I did not add the 1/2 and 1/4 points because it was a lot of work that I never really references because my spreads were never broken up like that. Having the number of boxes across and down is more useful for me.

Next and one of my more important spreads is my TBR. I have a box on the left of each title which tracks whether I have started, read, or unhauled/DNFed a book. On the right of the book title there are four boxes with checkmarks. These are codes for audiobooks since all of these books are already owned via print or ebook. A means it is available on audible, S means it is available on Scribed, * means I own it, L means my library has it. This is all for reference so I can decide which books to listen to on my commute to and from work.

I have added a new Read 5, Buy 1 to this bujo, but I am putting this on hold until the new year because I tend to get books for the holidays and it would throw this off a bit. But, I love being prepared so I added it now.

Now we are on to November, I was one again influenced by Plant Based Bride over on youtube. She shared this printable on the left and I just loved the cozy feel and on the right I used more of her doodles to decorate a shelf above the monthly calendar.

Next I have my habit tracker, which is a layout I have been loving over the past few months. This month I decided to track sleeping 7 hours or more, meditation, reading, vitamins, tidying, and nature time. On the right I have a social media tracker to track when I am meant to post on my blog, but I will also mark when I upload to instagram. On the bottom you can see my blog post tracker. On the left is the date, PWS is from my previous bujo, which means pictures, write, schedule. Just so I can track my progress and stay on top of my posts. I really loved doing this last month so I am looking forward to using this again.

So this month I am going back to my old book tracker, I have realized I don’t really care how many pages a day I read, but more so how long it is taking me to read a book. So, if you have not seen this spread before. On the left I will use a color that represents a book and I will color in the blocks next to the days I read that particular book. You can see this filled out in my post called Bullet Journal | May 2019. On the right I used another one of Plant Based Bride print, I thought it was a nice reminder to do things that make you happy and feel good inside.

Next up is my TBR, which I talked about in my TBR post, TBR | November 2019. If you have not noticed already I decided to use the N from the first page of the month as a guide to decorate the titles of each page. I thought it would help tie everything together.

Those are my weekly spreads. I decided to try something new again. I was watching Plant Based Brides November set up and I thought it looked so functional and simple and for me that is the best when setting up my weeklies as of late so I can focus on the items on the page instead of the fluff.

Anyway, this is my new bujo and my November set up! I hope you enjoyed this little peak!


What theme are you using this month?

What do you track on your habit tracker?

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TBR

November TBR | Non-Fiction November 2018

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I have been really looking forward to the month of November for some time thanks to Amy over at Tomes with Tea telling me she is only reading non-fiction in November. Well, if you know me you know I love reading non-fiction. It is one of my top genres to read, it seems more so since leaving university. Since hearing about this I have actually had to hold myself back from reading some of these books because I wanted to save them for this months theme of sorts. Here are the non-fiction books I will be reading this month. Divider

In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown by Nathaniel Philbrick

In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

So this non-fiction focuses on US history during the American Revolution. I have previously learned about the events at Yorktown, but I just feel like I don’t really know enough if that makes any sense. Anyway, I picked it right away as soon as I saw it was a BOTM pick because I know that for this victory to have happened a lot of things needed to line up.

A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials by Frances Hill and Karen Armstrong

A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials

A Delusion of Satan is a non-fiction account of the Salem Witch Trails this is not the first book I have picked up on the trials. In fact one of my favorite books, The Witches, is on this topic. But, when I went to Salem this summer I picked up this book and as soon as I read the first few pages in the cute little bookstore next to the hotel I knew I needed it. Also, can I just say that the cover is very striking.

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

So another one of my all time favorite books is Little Women and I was happy enough to visit the house in MA where it was written this summer. It was like a dream come true and you can really see the similarities in the book to the house it was written in. Anyway, when I was there I was in the shop and saw this book. It just came out the month I was there and the woman who worked there said she just read it and loved it. So I was sold right away. This book talked about the Alcott family and how the story of Little Women has impacted not only the author, but others as well. It is an interesting aspect of the book to write about.

Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World by John Man

Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World

So this book I happened to find browsing my local bookstore one day. I happened to go through the world history section and this caught my attention. I was always interesting in the Amazons. There are one of the few strong women groups that are talked about in history. As the quote goes “For most of history anonymous was a woman” I wish I knew who said this, but it is very true.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

So this is not the first time this book has been on my TBR, but I really want to read this since reading the first book she has written. This one is less on a memoir and more about death and how other cultures around the world have their own views and customs when dealing with death. I am curious to see how other cultures view death.

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What are you reading this month?

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Wrap Up

November 2017 | WRAP UP

Wrap Up

This month was busy, busy, busy. There was NaNoWriMo, holidays, and some bookstore adventures with my friends, but I somehow managed to read a good amount of books this month. I have to say that this month I read a wide range of genres, new authors and some well loved authors, and some good reads and a few not so great ones.

I READ:

Misery by Stephen King

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I ended up giving this 3 stars. While I did enjoy the story I have enjoyed other works by Stephen King a lot more.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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This was a very interesting twist on the death of Abraham Lincolns son. I found it heart wrenching and it caused me to do a bit of self reflection. I loved this book, I gave it a very strong 5 stars.

Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

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This was a wonderful story and I still cannot believe how brave Ona Judge was by sharing her story by giving interviews while she was still on the run. I have to say we are very lucky to have those interviews, she put herself in so much danger to tell her story and share what slaves truly went through. I very much enjoyed this book and learning about this brave and determined woman. I gave it 5 stars.

Origin byDan Brown

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Ah! I am still so torn about this book.  I love Dan Brown and Robert Langdon, but I felt that this book lost its spark somehow. While there was still an adventure and some clues dealing with art, there was a lot less and I felt myself getting board because not that much actually happens in the book action wise. I ended up finally settling on a 2 star rating.

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

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First, I have to say that this book shocked me a bit. When I think of Tom Hanks I think of a wholesome, family friendly individual. When I first started reading this book I was a little shocked by some of the phrases he wrote, but honestly the shock wore off very quickly. I enjoyed these short stories very much. All of them were very different from one another, but all seemed very thought out. I also enjoyed the touches of adding pictures and references to old type writers. I have always loved type writers and I have always had one since I was a little girl. I ended up giving this short story collection a 5 star rating.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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Now I do not want to say much about this book because I have typed up a whole review that is coming out in the next week or so. But, I will say that I truly enjoyed this book. It is one of the top books of 2017 for me. I gave it a 5 star rating.

Joyland by Stephen King

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Joyland has turned out to be one of my top Stephen King reads. It mixed real world horror and paranormal horror is such a way you are almost forced to see the possible evil of ordinary people. I ended up giving this book a 5 star rating.

Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King

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So I picked up this short little horror when I couldn’t sleep one night hoping I would be able to fall asleep or at least get sleepy about 20 pages in. Well, that did not happen. I ended up staying up even later and completely finished the book in one sitting. I gave this read a very solid 4 stars. It was just right amount of mystery and horror that I love.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

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So this beautiful book is a historical fiction/retelling/thriller. It deals with the horrific story of Lizzie Borden and what she may or may not done to her parents in 1892. I loved how the author told the story from multiple points of view. Each one was very distinct and I found interesting to read. Usually when I read a book that is in multiple points of view I tend to start skipping one, but not with this one. I ended up giving this book 4 stars.

I WROTE:

NaNoWriMo | My Survival Kit

OCTOBER 2017 | WRAP UP

NaNoWriMo | Update Week 1

Book Haul | November 2017

NaNoWriMo | What I Use to Write

TAG TUESDAY | The Entertainer Blogger Award

December TBR | 2017


What was your favorite read this month?

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Writing and More

NaNoWriMo | What I Use to Write

NaNoWriMo

Hi everyone! I just wanted to take a break from being sick and trying to write to share with you some of the things I use to help me write and stay on track.

Pinterest

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I use this site as a vision board. I pin people that might look like my characters or places I see them in. I may even tag some clothing I think my characters might wear. I am a very visual person so having a place to organize it all is very helpful for me.

Scrivener

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This writing program always has a free trial during NaNoWriMo and I use it each time. I find it to be very organize and I can easily navigate through my novel. It is very helpful  when I need to reference a detail or I am fuzzy on what I wrote a few nights ago at 2 in the morning.

Notebook

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I did not take this picture, if you know who did please let me know so I can credit them.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my writing ideas don’t always hit me when I am near my computer. That is why I always carry around a notebook. I am currently using a Moleskine Harry Potter Marauder’s Map notebook and I am loving it. This round of NaNoWriMo I have filled about a quarter of this notebook.

Google play

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A good playlist always puts me in a good mood or a bad mood. It all depends on what is happening in my story. Music really helps me get into the mindset to set an appropriate tone. If I am writing an epic fight scene or a scene where one of my characters are being self reflective I am not going to be playing the same type of music. Having music set for a particular part or mood really helps me focus on my story.


What do you use to help you write?

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Lists & Recommendations

November 2017 | BOOKS I AM EXCITED ABOUT

Blog

Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom by Russell Shorto

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Release Date: November 7th 2017

In his epic new book, Russell Shorto takes us back to the founding of the American nation, drawing on diaries, letters and autobiographies to flesh out six lives that cast the era in a fresh new light. They include an African man who freed himself and his family from slavery, a rebellious young woman who abandoned her abusive husband to chart her own course and a certain Mr. Washington, who was admired for his social graces but harshly criticized for his often-disastrous military strategy.

Through these lives we understand that the revolution was fought over the meaning of individual freedom, a philosophical idea that became a force for violent change. A powerful narrative and a brilliant defense of American values, Revolution Songmakes the compelling case that the American Revolution is still being fought today and that its ideals are worth defending.

A Tangled Mercy by Joy Jordan-Lake

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Release Date: November 1st 2017

After the sudden death of her troubled mother, struggling Harvard grad student Kate Drayton walks out on her lecture—and her entire New England life. Haunted by unanswered questions and her own uncertain future, she flees to Charleston, South Carolina, the place where her parents met, convinced it holds the key to understanding her fractured family and saving her career in academia. Kate is determined to unearth groundbreaking information on a failed 1822 slave revolt—the subject of her mother’s own research.

Nearly two centuries earlier, Tom Russell, a gifted blacksmith and slave, grappled with a terrible choice: arm the uprising spearheaded by members of the fiercely independent African Methodist Episcopal Church or keep his own neck out of the noose and protect the woman he loves.

Kate’s attempts to discover what drove her mother’s dangerous obsession with Charleston’s tumultuous history are derailed by a horrific massacre in the very same landmark church. In the unimaginable aftermath, Kate discovers a family she never knew existed as the city unites with a powerful message of hope and forgiveness for the world.

The Art of Harry Potter by Marc Sumerak

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Release Date: November 21, 2017 – only at Barns & Nobel

Since the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Harry Potter film series has become one of the most popular and successful in the world. Beautifully crafted and presented in a deluxe, large format with lavish production values, these pages present a visual chronicle of the work by artists and filmmakers to bring the wizarding world to life onscreen.
Bursting with hundreds of rare and unpublished works of art, including production paintings, concept sketches, storyboards, blueprints, and more, this collectible book is the definitive tome on the visual legacy of the Harry

 

Writing and More

NaNoWriMo | 2017

NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone, happy (almost) November! I wanted to let all of you know that this month my blog posts are going to be a little bit different. I am going to be taking part in NaNoWriMo for the 4th time. So my blog posts for this month are going to be revolving around this. While NaNoWriMo is still dealing with books. My posts are going to be focusing on my writing process and my experience in this month long challenge.

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

https://nanowrimo.org/about

Yep, so the goal is to write a 50,000 DRAFT of a novel. It is not about writing well it is about writing and getting the amazing story that has been in your head finally down on paper. Another way to look at this is that you need to write  1,667 words a day. You can write in any order, you can jump around, all you need to do it write.

For More Information:

If you would like to learn more about NaNoWriMo or sign-up for the challenge you can visit https://nanowrimo.org/. Here you can get inspiration, support, and keep track of your stats.


I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts and if there is anything you would like me to talk about please let me know!

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