Decluttering

Down the TBR Hole | #1

declutterHello everyone, welcome to another post. So, I went on to goodreads the other day and noticed that my goodreads TBR is kinda out of control for me personally, 159 books. I decided I would take a page from Lia  from Lost in a Story and slowly go through my TBR and delete the books I no longer feel interested in.

-The Rules-

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  •  Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

-The Books-

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Added on October 1st, 2017. I feel like I added this book because of a youtuber, but I can;t remember why or who. This book sounds like it is a biblical battle over knowledge fought by a single adopted girl. I am not really feeling it honestly. So, I am tossing it.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Added on November 3rd, 2017. This has been on my radar for years and to this day I keep almost picking it up. I love a goof book with magic, so I don’t know why I have no picked it up already. After reading the description, I still want to read it one day so I am going to keep it.

Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko

Added on November 19th, 2017. This book talks about the political and social atmosphere in Nigeria with a focus on women. At this time, I don’t think I would personally be able to handle the content if I am reading into the description correctly. I feel like in the future I may want to come back to it because it seems like a powerful read, but I can’t currently. I am going to toss this off of my TBR for now.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Added on November 19th, 2017. This book also has to do with women and the social atmosphere. I am really intrigued how this author sees the world if women were given a power to inflict pain. It sounds both dark and thought provoking. I am going to be keeping this on my TBR.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Added on November 23, 2017. This novel seems like it is an emotional one, it might give me a good cry. It also seems like it might have a little twist to it since some people have it listed as fantasy. I think I am going to keep this one because sometimes I am in the mood for a good sad story.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy Edited by Kelly Jensen

Added on November 25, 2017. This anthology allows those with mental illness to share how they live and how they feel about the label and stigmas placed upon them. For me, this looks like a very important read. I actually added it to my TBR because my aunt was diagnosed with mental illness and while she is no longer with us, I still want to read it and understand as much as I can. I am going to keep this.

The Collector by John Fowles

Added on December 17, 2017. This book has a very straightforward description and I wish more books did. It seems like the main character likes to collect butterflies, but then one day decides he was to also collect a woman he thinks he loves. I am very interested in this 1960s thriller, I am going to keep it.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Added on December 17, 2017. This is another thriller that deals with memory loss. I also have to say, this is written by Margaret Atwood, so I feel like it will be an amazing read just because of that. Since the description and author are both wonderful, I am going to keep it.

The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

Added on December 17, 2017. This thriller seems like a plot I have heard before, at least troupe wise. I don’t see myself ever reading this so I am going to be tossing it.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Added on December 18, 2017. So, this one I am torn about. I didn’t love the last book in the series too much, but this one is just a novella… Gah! I think I am going to toss it because if I am honest with myself I don’t really want to.


-Outcome-

Keep: 6

Toss: 4

Total: 155


Have you read any of these books?

Were there any you would have kept that I tossed?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | September 2019

Middle Mark

Hello again and welcome to my Middle Mark post where I give mini reviews of the books I have read in the first half of the month. This one is actually going to include a book I finished on the last day of August as well since I didn’t finish it in time for my wrap up post. Anyway, here are the books I have read so far in September!


Read 2

The Turn of the KeyThe Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*

This is my parcial overall review, if you want to see all of my thoughts please see my post: REVIEW | The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Overall, I think this is a fantastic thriller. It has the atmosphere, the setting, an unreliable narrator, and wonderful characters in addition to a wonderful plot. If you enjoy thrillers or any of the things I mentioned in this post, I really think you should give it a try. I will also add, that I liked it so much I bought a final copy of this book so I can tell more people about it.

View all my reviews


Tin ManTin Man by Sarah Winman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tin Man was a story I kept walking away from and coming back to. I unhauled it thinking it couldn’t live up to its description only to buy it again a year later and actually reading it within the month after purchasing it. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this story. It is a mixture of heart breaking and heart warming. I really liked how the author touched on some pretty hard topics and it had a bit of a historical fiction feel to it and gave me a look into society only a few decades ago. I have to say, this book gave me the bug to view more of van Gogh’s work as well.

I feel like if you like the description, this book will not disappoint you.

View all my reviews


The Tea Dragon SocietyThe Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute graphic novel with a very sweet message to it. On top of the wonderfully cute story, the illustration style was beautiful and just perfect for this story. If you enjoy happy feeling, cute, and wholesome stories I feel like you would really enjoy this graphic novel. The only downside was I think it was kinda rushed and I would have loved to know more about the lessons and the society.

View all my reviews


The Salt PathThe Salt Path by Raynor Winn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up last month and read it already, I don’t know who I am anymore. Anyway, the main reason I read it so quickly is due to the fact that this was such an interesting sounding memoir. I have to say I really enjoyed learning about Raynor and Moth and their journey and following along with the hard time and the victories.

While I did like this book and I feel like it is a beautiful memoir and I am glad I read it. I just felt that the last 4th for some reason dragged for me. It might be the pacing or my mood changed in general, but I did enjoy this book and if you like nature, adventure, and want to read a memoir I suggest it.

View all my reviews


Coffey's HandsCoffey’s Hands by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This 3rd one was emotional as hell. I was sad, horrified and completely irate at times. Since this is the 3rd one, that is all I am going to say. Well, maybe I will tell you to read this.

View all my reviews


Aquicorn CoveAquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very cute graphic novel with a very good message. Also, when I call it cute I am referring to both the illustrations, but also the story. While it does have a dark element I found myself thinking or saying awe. Wonderful graphic novel.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Coffey on the MileCoffey on the Mile (The Green Mile #6) by Stephen King. I am currently working my way through my serialized editions of The Green Mile. I am really enjoying my experience so far, but this is the last one so I am really excited to finish because I am curious about how the ending will go. 

Also, can I just point out that this is cute mouse on the cover, if you have read any of this you will know the significance of this adorable critter.


What has been your favorite read so far this month?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | My First Month Using Scribd

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So, I finally decided to give the service Scribd another try. I think back in the day when it first started I did a free trial and canceled it within a day. At the time they did not have the books I was trying or enjoying so at the time it was not worth paying for. As of late I have been seeing more and more of it and I thought a great deal of time has passed it might be worth giving it another try. On top of seeing it talked about a lot I also was motived by the NEWTs Readathon taking place and I was going out of town for a few weeks. Traveling with huge books is not really fun or easy to do so I thought that giving this digital service a try might help.

I will say I did have reservation mixed with my hope of the improvement of the choices from this service. I continue to hear stories of people being limited without really being told why they were being limited. They make it kinda clear that you can have unlimited listening or reading, but then why are there limits? When do you hit these limits? There is no real answer that anyone has come across. I was just kinda worried I would be on vacation then all of a sudden in the middle of a book, I loose access to it. I was also worried that this service still didn’t really carry the books that I am currently reading and I would not be using it after a month because none of my current TBR are on there or the same availability as my library that I can use for free. Anyway, worries aside I gave it a try and here is my experience after using the service for one month.


-My Experience-

So, during this experiment of sorts I accessed both audiobook and ebooks. I enjoy both of these formats and they are great for traveling and being on the go. I am going to discuss my experience by talking about each format on their own.

First, let’s talk about the audiobooks. I first used Scribd mainly on my desktop computer I wanted to save the app and room on my phone for when I was traveling. Anyway, I really liked the interface for the audiobook on desktop. It was set up pretty cleanly and everything was clear without being walked through it, at least for me. Another major thing I was the look out for was the speed I would be able to access the audiobook at. I tend to listen to audiobooks at 2x or 3x speed, it depends on the narrator and pace of the reading to begin with. I also took advantage of the sleep timer a few times when I was listening at night incase I were to drift to bed.

The only thing I think that could make this interface better would be if there was a preview or label that popped up if you hovered over a control. I learned by playing along with a book I didn’t really care to much about keeping my place, but if I was in the middle of a book and hit the go back to start of chapter button when I really only wanted to go back 15 seconds or 30 seconds. Also, labeling how many seconds it jumps back or forward, it would be wonderful. So, I guess I would say there are two things that can be improved upon.

-The App-

On top of using the desktop interface, I also used the ISO app. I have to say, there were a few things that I liked and some things that I didn’t like.

I will start with the things I liked, first and foremost of which is that I can download an audiobook for on the go and not have to worry about data usage or being in a low service area interrupting my listening.  For me personally, it is a must if I am going to be listening to the book on go. Another notable thing I enjoy is the bookmark aspect, incase I lost my spot by hitting a button on accident. I am notorious for doing this, so whenever I pause or put an audiobook down, I always mark my spot.

When looking at the app as a whole instead of just at the listening screen, it looks like you have access to pretty much everything. You can look at recommended books, explore, and search for your next read. You can easily find your saved list with the bottom navigation and a nifty thing I noticed is that you can hit a button and only see the books on your saved list that you already downloaded to streamline listening.

With all things, there were some negatives with this app. The first and honestly the most annoying was the fact that it randomly paused multiple times. At first I thought it had to do with it being a new chapter and maybe it was a way to make sure the reader didn’t fall asleep or space out while listening. Sadly, this was not the case. It just stoped on me in the middle of  chapters. It was very annoying and I had to keep putting aside what I was doing to get my phone, open the app all the way and hit play again. This happened 3 times within the first chapter of American Gods… a book I had downloaded on my phones. So it was not due to lack of service or anything like that. The second thing that annoyed me was that on the app the max speed you can listen at is 2x speed… on the desktop you can listen at 3x speed, which is a speed I utilize often.  While I can make due with 2x speed, I am just confused as to why on one interface the max speed is different than the other.


-Items “Taken Out”-

Thunderhead ebook

Supermarket Audiobook

American Gods Audiobook

Endless Night Audiobook


-Final Thoughts-

At this point in time, I can easily see the value in a service like this. If someones library is not well stocked with the types of literature someones likes or if their library has a fee that is maybe more than this service it is a wonderful resource. Also, if owning audiobooks is not something you are interested in, this is a very good alternative to other popular audiobook sites, such as audible. The main thing you need to make sure of it that this service has the audiobooks you are interested in. Otherwise it is not worth it in the slightest.

While this service can make some improvements, some of which I stated in this post, for me at this point in time it is worth continuing to give it a go, but I still have questions/concerns. Mainly with what the true limits are on the accounts that some people run into. I have done some research and I have found that users can run into problems if they are signed into too many browsers or devices. I was kind of concerned to be signed into the app and desktop, but I have not run into any problems at this time.

I also don’t have a firm understanding of what saved is. Does that mean I “checked them out” or just for future reference? Does that mean I have access and it is reserved in a way? I have heard stories of other users saving ebooks or audiobooks, then go to listen to them and are told they are not available. So, it is kind of confusing.

Long post short, I am going to continue to give this service a try and see if it is a good alternative for me and my reading habits when supplementing my all of a sudden limited library digital resources.


Do you use Scribd? What do you love about it? Have you run into any problems using this service?

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Reviews

REVIEW | The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

BookReview12:17

* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*  

The Turn of the Key
Description:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is. –goodreads


What I Liked

Ruth Ware for me has been one of my favorite thriller writers. She has mastered the art of building a world and atmosphere that the reader is just pulled into. In fact, I was so enthralled with this novel, I read it in a single day. It kept me from the first page till the last.

The main part that pulled me in, apart from the atmosphere, was the characters she created. I really was interested in the people she wrote into being.  I always felt like they were hiding something, there was just something I couldn’t understand, even though their character was very distinct and in a lot of cases had a lot of interaction with one another so you have a good handle on their voices. Especially for the main character, I had to say I really loved how Ware decided to tell this story. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think the method really added to it. Not only did I feel like these flushed out characters feel like there was something just under the surface, the way they interacted with one another was interesting.

On top of the development of the characters and the great atmosphere, I have to say the location of the novel I thought was just a wonderful choice, I don’t want to say more because I think others will really enjoy it coming to life as you read.

As for the plot there were a few things I saw coming and a few things I did not see coming. For me that is a true sign of a good thriller. While, I read a lot of thrillers I can say with some confidence that I have gotten quite good at being able to predict what is going to happen. So, if it can surprise me not once, but multiple times, the author has done a very good job.

Also, I must add, this is one of the best unreliable narrators I have seen in some time.


What I Didn’t Like

Uh, nothing. I honestly loved it from front cover to back cover. Ruth Ware truly has a talent and I feel like with every one of her book she continue to get better and better.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I think this is a fantastic thriller. It has the atmosphere, the setting, an unreliable narrator, and wonderful characters in addition to a wonderful plot. If you enjoy thrillers or any of the things I mentioned in this post, I really think you should give it a try. I will also add, that I liked it so much I bought a final copy of this book so I can tell more people about it.

5stars


Author Links

Ruth Ware

Website: ruthware.com
Facebook: @ruthwarewriter
Instagram: @ruthwarewriter

Book Information

Publication Date: August 6th 2019

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

List Price: $27.99

ISBN: 9781501188770

Pages: 337 pages

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | July 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Another month, more books read! I have to say I read a lot more this month than I thought I was going to. I think the main reason for this was the #24in48 readathon I took part in. I had such a blast spending two days just dedicated to reading and relaxing. I ended up reading a total of 10 books this month. I have not read that much in a while,  so I am super excited. Following the #24in48 I took reading a little slower due to the fact I did not want to put myself into a slump right before #NEWTsReadathon2019! Anyway, here are the books that I have read this month and a few mini reviews.


Read 2

Don QuixoteDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is quite long, but I laughed a ton. I had no idea how funny and goofy this story was before reading it. I wish someone told me this sooner because I would have read it a long time ago. I will say the audiobook really saved this book for me. While I did enjoy the story and the adventure reading it physically was a bit slower and blah. When I downloaded the audiobook from my library and followed along it really came to life. I am also surprised at how this book held up, I really was expecting it to be more of a relic and distant.

View all my reviews


Red, White & Royal BlueRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book made me laugh, tear up, grunt in frustration, and even sing some Panic at the Disco. This was a really enjoyable novel that is in fantasy land, but also showcases the hard discussions that people sometimes have to make. I was rooting the entire time for our main characters and for reelection.

View all my reviews


The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6)The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so excited to have finally starting reading The Chronicles of Narnia series in its entirely. This is a great place to start and to see the birth of this magical world and story. The writing flows and I love that it is to the point and not dragged on. I am very much going to continue reading.

View all my reviews


Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a CityDeath in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City by Kate Winkler Dawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very interesting account of both a serial killer and the great London Smog. Both of which, were killers. This was a very sad time for London and I think the author handled this topic very well. It gave equal attention to the effects of the fog on the health, safety, and the political climate. It also went into great detail of a serial killer who was targeting women at the same time. The book covered the crimes as well as the court cases, which I think she did a great job with.

Another thing I really liked was that the author really summed up the book. She noted how things changed after the fog and the murders. She followed how things changed decades later as a direct result on the families, political thought, and energy resources.

View all my reviews


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is really interesting how I have forgotten so much of the story since the last time I read this book, but it felt like I was going home to an adventure. It was great great fun to annotate my feelings this time around being in my 20s and being so many years after publication. While there were parts I can for sure see the time period very clearly in this book, I still very much enjoyed the adventure.

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The Mouse on the Mile (The Green Mile #2)The Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, I have to say that I have enjoyed this second part of The Green Mile. I can also say that this book truly ends the build up and world building. At the very end things truly start to happen and I can’t wait to jump into part 3 to see what is going to happen on E-Block.

View all my reviews


Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 38

Backlist TBR: 2


What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | July 2019

Recs

Hello again! Welcome to my monthly peek into my bullet journal. This month, much like last month I took a lot of inspiration from Plant Based Bride over on youtube and her blog, http://plantbasedbride.com. I took her theme and quote and then added in my own style to it and my spreads that work from me. If you have never seen her stuff before, I suggest taking a look. She is very talented.


First off I loved her use of peaches for July, I know I am eating a ton of fruit this time of year so I loved this. I drew her images on my into page and then used my stamps for the month. I also decided to keep my spreads mainly monotone, but with a splash of peach. Which, you can see on my calendar overview.

I absolutely loved this quote that she used this month, so I decided to add it to mine as well. If I am not mistaken it is a quote from Dita Von Teese. I changed the font to just my hand writing and added in a little pop of color instead of going all out with the coloring. In the past I have noticed when I add color I tend to ruin my spreads by over doing it. I really loved this new social media calendar that I tried last month so I added it again. I wish I had used this spread sooner to track by blog and insta posts.

Next is my much loved book tracker. I have used this tracker through two different bullet journals and I am going to keep it for a long while I think. It is just really satisfying to see how long it takes to read a book and how often I actually read.

Here is my TBR for the month of July. You may have seen my TBR post, if you have you will notice I added another book in there. Since I loved Good Omens so much when I read it last month I wanted to read more works by Terry Pratchett so on the guidance of quite a few people I decided to start with Mort.

Last, but the most useful to me on a daily basis would be my weekly spreads. At this time I have not added the hours in the little squares on the left side of the day because my schedule has recently changed and I need to find a new balance with that.


What Bujo spread is the most used by you?

Do you track your reading outside of goodreads?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2019

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June was a very crazy month for me, I am so I am very surprised at how much I ended up reading this month. I was expecting to read maybe only 4 books, but I ended up reading much more than that.

I will say this month I was very bad about sticking to my TBR, June TBR | 2019, I ended up only reading 1 book on that list until the 24th of the month. Then, I kinda tried to binge the rest of the list. The main reason I did not do to well with sticking my my TBR was my mood reading and the books that became available from my library. Library books always take precedence with me because I can’t keep them and I might not be able to extend my time with it if someone else is in line.

Anyway, I overall liked a lot of the books I read this month, but below is some more details about the books themselves and my thoughts.

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Read 2

The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked the time period this was set in and how it was true to that time period. It showed the hardships that African Americans faced and the horrible treatments that were thrust upon them. I enjoyed the writing style and the theme of bees throughout the story.

I think I have come to realize though, that I do not like stories about young girls who lose their mothers at a young age. I think it is because I have read it so many times or what, but I am just not in the mood or enjoy stories with that plot line.

View all my reviews


Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with MeLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have not read a lot of books or comics or anything in a while that dealt with HS aged people. But, I am very happy that I read this. I started reading this as a preview from the publisher on their website, when the preview ended I needed more and got it from my library that thankfully had it. I finished it in one sitting.

The story line was heart wrenching, but heart warming at others. I loved that the characters were raw at times, but the issues that were hinted at and full on explored are real issues that are dealt with every day. I really enjoyed reading this.

On top of the storyline/plot being amazing, the art work was beautiful. I enjoy the style that is used and the color pallet and use of color to highlight certain aspects of the story. You can clearly see a lot of time and hard work went into this graphic novel.

View all my reviews


Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started to read this I started to feel like I was mislead by the title of this book, but that quickly turned around for me when I was about 70 odd pages in. This story had me really engaged for a few reasons. The first being the time period, how can you not want to hear a story about a rock and roll group in the 1970? The second being the format of this novel.

I didn’t know that this was set up as an interview the entire book and I think it really lent itself to the story. I feel like the story would not have been as powerful and I would not have felt as much as I did if it was written another way. Also, if you are into audiobooks, I think this is one of the best I have ever listened to. They have an entire cast and it makes the voices so much more distinct, even through they would be without the audio.

This story talks about a lot of different struggles and it really is a roller coaster, but not the one you would expect from a rock group.

View all my reviews


The Woman in the DarkThe Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am kind of struggling to pin point why this book didn’t blow me out of the water. I think the main reason is because I was able to predict a lot of what happened from very early in the book. I think once I made an assumption and it started to be proven correct I was just kinda meh about it.

I think if you have not read a lot of thrillers this is a great place to start. It is shocking and has quite layers to it. The writing style itself is good and it flowed for sure. One thing I really liked is the fact that I was debating throughout that maybe this is actually happening or it isn’t happening at all. What is reality?

View all my reviews


Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I still don’t like Shakespeare, I am not sure why I keep trying at this point.

View all my reviews


The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great reread and adventure! Not really much to say other than I love this book and this story. It is filled with quirky wonderful characters and takes place in a very imaginative world.

View all my reviews


 

Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 45

Backlist TBR: 6

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What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Goals

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Mid-Year Check In

Reading Goals NEW

It is mind boggling to think that we are already halfway through 2019. It feels like it only just begun if you ask me. I almost totally forgot that I needed to do another check in on my year long goals. I felt like I had all the time in the world. Turns out, I only have another 6 months to meet all of these. If you want to see where I was. 3 months ago, you can see my previous check in here; Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In.

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-My Goals-

  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
  2. Read a book set in each of the 7 continents
  3. Read 50 books
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read at least one book per month from the library
  6. Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. Read a book recommended by someone I look up to
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    • My backlisted books are here.

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-My Updates-

  1. I recently did an update post on this goal in particular, Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist. To summarize I have read/DNFed 3 books out of the 6 on the list. If you want to see my reasonings and such, please look at that post I go into a lot of detail.
  2. At this point in the year I have read a books that take place on 4 of the 7 continents. I am still working on South America, Asia (already have a book picked), and Australia. If you have any reconditions from these continents please share!
  3. As of writing this June 10th, I have read a total of 38 books, I am very close to reaching this goal.
  4. At this point in time I have read 16851, so I am once again in pretty good shape and on track to hit my goal!
  5. So far I have read a book from the library for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, and Jun! So I am sticking to this one for sure!
  6. I am happy to report that I am ahead of schedule on this goal, I have read a total of 11 non-fiction books this year. So, more than 25% of my read books are non-fiction. It is my most read genre.
  7. So, this goal I am a little on the fence about, I tried to read a book reccoemnded by Megan Mullally, Milkman, but I ended up DNFing it. So, I kinda did and kinda didn’t meet this goal? I am going to maybe try one more from this list since I only need to read one.
  8. So, reading War and Peace is progressing slowly, but surly I am currently on Book 7 out of 17 sections. I am a little behind, but I plan on catching up over the summer when I will have more time outside taking care of my plants.
  9. So, beat the backlist I have been keeping track of in my monthly wrap ups, As of writing this I only have 9 books still to read from 2018. I stared with 34, so not to shabby.

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-Bujo Spreads-

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How are your goals progressing so far?

Have you changed any of your goals?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Why Reading Only Digital Books is Harder Than it Seems

LetsTalk12:17

Hi everyone, it has been some time before I have done a full Let’s Talk post. I haven’t really had anything I wanted to talk about until today, I am writing this May 22nd. I was walking around the bookstore looking for a book to peak my interest. Which, if you read my post Decluttering | Switching to Ebooks, is most likely VERY confusing and pretty much hypocritical.

In this post I talked about why I wanted to switch to ebooks, how I didn’t have room on my shelves and how I wanted to carry all of my books around with me on my kindle. I made the very bold statement of switching to ebooks and committing myself to it. That was before really researching it and realizing how difficult it could really be.

Now, for some there are medical reasons why this is not viable, there is also the price of the device, and a few other issues with this. But, in this post I really want to focus on one aspect that I found difficult/annoying and derailed me from my goal.

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So, like I said earlier in this post I was walking around a bookstore looking for a book to inspire me to pick it up. I received some great news and I wanted to treat myself in celebration. Now, I didn’t have a ton of money in my budget so I was looking strictly in the discount section of the store. I ended up finding a book I was really interested in called The Secret History of Twin Peaks, it appears to be a thriller/mystery told through documents and interviews. It kind of has a House of Leaves interview type feel, thankfully the pages aren’t as all over the place.

As you can see from the picture I posted earlier today, The book was under $7, I actually for it for under $5 because I have a membership. Now, as you know I was making the switch to ebooks so when I find a book I am interesting I look up the ebook cost, this is where once again I ran into my problem/issue.

When I first looked it up on amazon, where I get my ebooks for my kindle, at first I was excited to see what the hardback copy was going for.

I knew right off the bat that I was getting a very good deal. I then clicked on the book and then switched to kindle edition and was not as happy. 

The ebook was more expensive than the hardback edition in person as well as online. It was a whole $10 more… How can I justify spending $10 more on a book? I can buy a lot of food and other necessities with this money. How is it that something that is digital is more than something made of actual matter? This is the issue I have found myself running into time and time again. The digital editions of books costing more than physical and not by a few dollars.

Now I know, I can spend $0 on a book by using the library via ebook or even physical. While, I am lucky my library generally has books I am looking for. But, recently they have broken from the company they were working with and the choices have gone down. So, where I was able to get ebooks and audiobooks for nearly all of the books I wanted that is sadly, no longer the case.

So, I am left with spending the least amount of money. That means I am picking up a physical book. Thus, my ebook commitment has kinda gone out the window. On top of that, I have the problem of not wanting to keep my credit card bill high and less and less stores are carrying gift cards for amazon. So, there is another issue that is kinda related.

So, thanks for listening to my rant/possible discussion about ebooks.

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Have you ever run into this issue?

Do you know any other sites I can buy ebooks for my kindle?

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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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews

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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