Let's Talk · Lists & Recommendations · To Be Read

Books I Took With Me On Vacation

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today I am going to take a moment to share some of the books I took with my on vacation! I don’t know about you, but I love reading on vacation. The new environment is just a wonderful place to get lost in a book. This summer I decided to only take a select few, even though I wanted to fill my suitcase with only books. Anyway, here are the books I decided to take with me!

Picture of Lapvona hardcover and I’m Glad My Mom Died on eReader

Lapvona: A Novel by Ottessa Moshfegh, I recently picked this book up when visiting a local bookstore that is a mixture of new and used books. I picked this up because of the unusual cover and read the description and it sounded very interesting. It seems like this books is going to be a mixture of fiction and fantastical, but also a little bit of horror.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, I enjoyed watching her on tv when I was younger and honestly I saw she was coming out with a book a while ago and knew I wanted to read it before really knowing how dark the topics within the book were going to be. From my understanding, her mother and her did not have a great relationship (I mean read that title!) and was taken advantage of. I am glad that she has written her story and I look forward to learning more about her personal life in her own words.

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Current Reads and WIPs

Current WIPs and Reads | August 2022

Hello and welcome to a midmonth check-in! This month has truly flown by, I feel like the year always speeds up the further along we are. While I have finished a few projects and finished a few more books, I am just going to take a moment to share what I am currently reading and working on. But, don’t worry, in my monthly digest post I will share all my reads and projects! Anyway, here is what I am currently focusing on.

My Current Reads

Maledictions: A Horror Anthology by Cassandra Khaw (Contributor), this is an anthology in a very expansive universe called Warhammer 40k. I have never read anything from this universe before, honestly I was very overwhelmed because this science fiction is honestly a phenomenon in my eyes. There is just SO MUCH. But, I finally decided to see if there was some horror within and lo and behold there is some horror, a lot actually. So, I picked it up. I am about 30% in this collection of short stories and honestly I think it is a great introduction to this very large universe that is so rich with lore and history. It gives small peaks into that, so I feel like I am only dipping my toe in before really jumping in. The writing is honestly just wonderful. All of the stories I have read so far have been done so well, I have been utterly freaked out, which is perfect since it is horror. While this is me just dipping in my toes for now, not knowing everything or much about Warhammer 40k I feel like these stories explain what is needed and I think is a good foundation/starting point, even though it is not a traditional starting point. I am really excited to continue to read this.

My Current WIPs

Cuff and part of a leg of a sock on flexiflips with a shark progress keeper

The first project I am working on is a pair of socks, this time I am following a pattern called Picnic Blanket Socks (ravelry) by Helen Stewart. It has been a fun and easy knit so far and this yarn has been a dream to work with, nice and squishy. I am looking forward to wearing them when the weather gets a bit chillier.

Collar and short row shaping on a started sweater with fluffy mohair, wool in 2 colors, and 2 skeins of multicolored yarn

The second project I am currently working on is a bit more of an undertaking and I feel like I am going to be working on for a bit. It is the Alpenglow I (ravelry\non-ravelry) sweater pattern by Andrea Mowry. It will be my first time doing color work, I am both excited and scared out of my mind. I have completed just up to the start of the color work. I decided to put it aside until I do a bit more research on color dominance and then picking it back up to continue. I feel like I will have done that by the time this goes live.

What are you currently reading or working on?

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | September 2021

Hello and welcome to my monthly intent post for the month of September! It is so strange to think about that fact that we are moving into the last 3rd of 2021 already. I feel like the year has just started, but is also ending so soon. Time, what a weird thing sometimes. Anyway, here are the things I hope to read, do, and maybe even experience over the next month!

Reading Plans

This month I really want to reread The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. I am not sure why, but The Hobbit and Lord of the Ring Trilogy just screams fall and early winter to me. I feel like September is the perfect time to start since the weather generally starts to shift a little chillier throughout the month. The second book I really hope to finish would be to finish my current read The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil: or, BeBop’s Miscellany by Bill Sprouse. Nothing like reading some folklore of your own state! I grew up knowing about the Jersey Devil and such, but I thought this would be a fun look at this cryptid.

Crochet & Knitting Plans

Since I took up knitting socks last month I want to finish the other sock and make it a pair. I also started working on a cowl to use this winter I would love to have completed before it is needed. Other than that I don’t really have any goal projects I feel like I MUST work on. I think I am going to be a mood crocheter when I pick up a new project from my stash.

Random Goals

I think this month I would really love to go apple picking. I am always eating apples year round, but I think it would be really nice to grab a few myself. Other than that I am hoping I am able to relax a bit and maybe get to sit by the fire pit a few more times before it gets too cold at night. I love being outside so much and I really want to milk this weather for as long as I can because once it is cold I am locking myself inside. I do not do well with the cold.

What are you planning on doing this month?

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Let's Talk

Let’s Talk | Worst Books of 2020

Hello and welcome to a bit of a round of post for the year 2020. I wanted to take a moment and share a few of my most disappointing reads of the year. In a few days I will have a bit more of a positive post where I will be sharing my best reads of the year. Until then, here is a collection of books that just didn’t do it for me for one reason or another. Sometimes books just aren’t for me.


Ducks, NewburyportDucks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This is a book I would have never tried to read if it was not on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize. Saying that, you can most likely see I ended up giving this book 1 star. While the idea of this book did sound very appealing as soon as I started to read it a red flag for my personal reading tastes went up. The first few pages was just a never ending list with commas, never a period. The book was being told by someone who is just rambling on and on, which I can see is most likely a choice to get the feel for how thee narrator is feeling about life.

For me, this was so stress inducing for a few reasons. I felt like I was reading the equivalent to Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder movie) taking the winners down the chocolate river through a tunnel. It was just getting more and more intense because I was reading faster and faster just trying to find a period. I. just wanted a natural stopping point to put the book down. The second being, I personally dislike stream of consciousness writing.

Mainly due to the formatting and how the author choose to write this book, I did not like it. But, thesee are mainly personal reasons and if any of these don’t bother you I say give it a go. Like I said the idea of this book is great, it was just ruined for me based upon the formatting.

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Imaginary FriendImaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so much enjoying this book for the first 400 pages or so. Then it just started to feel like there was a. huge ending coming, but there were 100s of pages left. I feel like this book went on for way too long and the pacing was just all messed up. I liked it less and less as it went on and it is a shame because I really was loving this book at the start.

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The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner's Guide to Getting Good with MoneyThe Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a VERY basic finance book that seems to be only for women. If you know anything about basic budgeting you can skip this. But, this could be good for someone who just graduated and is just starting out.

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Midnight Sun (Twilight, #5)Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got very bored halfway though. The main selling point of this book is seeing more of the Cullens. That is how this book got 2 stars. The rest, really didn’t really keep me engaged and was not really interesting.

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The Order of the DayThe Order of the Day by Éric Vuillard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While the content and the writing overall easily warrants 4 or 5 stars I cannot give it this rating. The main reason being there are no footnotes or end notes to share any sources. Quotes that are in the text have no mention of where it is from, which is very disappointing. This is not acceptable for a nonfiction book.

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House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am going to be honest, I really went into this book thinking I was going to enjoy it quite a bit. The idea sounded interesting and the world created sounded very interesting, but I was kind of bored reading this… okay very bored. The weird thing is, things were happening, some pretty intense stuff. So, I am not sure how or why I was bored, but I was. I might go back in the future and give this book another go, I might not have been in the right mood for it. (Update, no I will not).

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | My favorite Spread of 2020

Hello and welcome to a little post where I am going to share a few of my favorite bujo spread from the past year. I am not going to do much of an introduction other than I am basing this off of how practical and how they helped me throughout the year, not necessarily how pretty they are. Anyway, here are the spreads!


Monthly Books Read

One of my favorite spreads of this year, well it really happened every month, was my monthly read books spread. At the start of the month I would draw four shelves and then throughout the month print out pictures of the book covers for each book I finished. It was a really fun and visual way to see all the books I was reading without just keeping track of a number.

Oracle Card of the Month

I think the last half of the year I started adding an oracle card of the month to my bullet journal, which I loved because I used a selfcare oracle which had a journal prompt, actives, and more to help take care of yourself. I really loved this because 2020 has been a really interesting year to say the least, but I really loved these prompts because some of them I would never have tried otherwise. The one pictured focusing on the moon cycle and it focuses on mindfulness throughout every phase.

Get to 0 Books on TBR

I am not 100% sure if I ever shared this spread, or table actually, where I listed weeks from June 2020-October 2020 and my goal for my TBR and actually where I ended up at the end of the week. Well, this is not a picture of it competed, but I did get to 0 this year, which was so awesome. I really didn’t think it would have happened. Anyway, I loved checking in with this spread because it really kept me motivated from week to week.


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Wrap Up

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Recap | October 2020

Hello and welcome to my second post of the day. Yesterday I took part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readahon and I wanted to share my experience and my reading progress. Throughout the day I updated on twitter and instagram, but I did not share anything on here. I thought a recap post would be best.

If you would like to know more about the readathon, you can visit their website, they have been around for a long time, their first readathon was in 2007! They host a readathon 2 times a year, generally in April and October. I have taken part in a few over the years and I have always enjoyed between the mini challenges, games, and reading sprints.


Updates

Starting off hour 1 of #deweys24hourreadathon with an audiobook.

screen shot of Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me audiobook.
screen shot of Between the World and Me audiobook screen

Decided to take part a mini challenge for the #readathon.
Hers is my name in books! Now, back to the reading! P.S. I decided to just make this one big thread for the day.

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
The Hunger by Alma Katzu
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy 
All stacked and pictured surrounded by flowers.
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent, The Hunger by Alma Katsu, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

#readathon update, I finished my first book. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rating: 5 stars.

Picture of Between the World and Me with 5 stars.

Quick #readathon update for #deweys24hourreadathon. I am 38% through my current read, which is Amityville Horror by Jay Anson.

Holding book open to Chapter 12 with text overlay describing current progress to 38%
picture of the heading of chapter 12 to show progress.

I finished my second book of the #readathon, now I need to figure out what to read next.

I decided my next read of the #readathon will be continuing Cemetery Boys, I am starting at page 41. Let's see how far I get before falling asleep. 😂 I am making more progress than I thought I would during Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.

Picture of Cemetery yBoys and a green pen on covers.

Originally tweeted by bookishluna (@BookishLuna) on October 24, 2020.

Not pictured is a 8:30 run to go get some caffeine, I started getting really sleepy and my BF and myself took a reading break and went out in search of coffee and tea. Once back I came back and met my main goal of finishing Amityville Horror.


Wrap Up

I ended up finishing two books and 20% of another. The two books I finished were Between the World and Me, which was amazing, and The Amityville Horror. Both I really enjoyed both of these books for very different reasons, but I am really glad I picked them up.

  • Books Read: 2
  • Books Started: 1
  • Pages Read: 478

I had such a blast dedicating the day to reading, especially with all of the stuff going on in my life right now. At this point I plan on participating again in April!


What is your favorite readathon?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | October 2020

Hello and welcome to my mid month check in for October! So far I am overjoyed with the books I have read. I cannot believe that we are already halfway through the month, but I am still really happy with the four books I have managed to read. One was a tome too and another was nonfiction!


Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: And Other Questions About Dead BodiesWill My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: And Other Questions About Dead Bodies by Caitlin Doughty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, Caitlin Doughty has written a very interesting and morbid book. This is much different than her previous two that I have read. It is set up as someone asks a question about death or death adjacent and she answers the question. Throughout the book she uses science, personal experience, and history to answer the questions which I enjoyed. Her voice is very similar to how she presents herself in her videos, which is great that her personality carries over so well.

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Strange Weather in TokyoStrange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not expecting to be so pulled into their companionship, but the writing and structure of their story was beautifully done. I really enjoyed seeing them find each other over and over again.

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A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great installment of this historical fiction series. I don’t want to stay too much since this is book 6 in a series, but this one did not disappoint and it holds its own within this saga.

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If It BleedsIf It Bleeds by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another good collection of short stories by King. It was really nice to see Holly again from the Mr. Mercedes series. I think she is now no of my favorite King characters or at least in the top 3 easily. This collection has 4 stories, three I really liked, the second one I didn’t like too much.

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I am currently reading two books at this point in time. I am reading Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, I am really loving this book so much and I am so glad I am able to read it. At this time I am only 12% into it and I can tell it will be a contender for a top book of 2020. The second book I am reading is Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. I am about 8% into this and I am enjoying finally reading this classic horror.


What was the last book you read, did you like it?

How are your reading month coming along? 

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Heidi – This is My Book Shelf Blog | The Test by Sylvain Neuval

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! This month I had the extremely kind and amazing Heidi pick my book, you can find her over at This is My Book Shelf Blog. As the title states, Heidi picked The Test by Sylvain Neuvel. Thank you so much for helping me out and picking this book for me!


One Sentence Review

A very intense book that messes with your mind and really makes you think about human psychology.

Description

Britain, the not-too-distant future.
Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test.
He wants his family to belong.

Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress.

When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death.
How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice? –goodread.com


What I Liked

First and foremost, this book is nothing short of intense. It really pulls you in at the start being calm and you think you know what you are getting into, but you really don’t. Everything in a moment got turned upside down and I don’t want to say more than that.

This book is nothing short of amazing for a few reasons, but yes this is going to be a gush review. Sorry, not sorry. This really makes you think about human resilience, human psychology, and what society wants from its citizens. I am writing this review a few days after reading it and I keep thinking about things that characters say and do. Everything in this short novella has a point to it and it is really written to make you think. Even in this short story it has so much to it, it does not fee3l like the author was cutting corners or rushing the reader in the slightest.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, I can’t think of a thing I disliked about it personally, but I can see some readers having a difficult time reading this story (spoilers ahead) so here are some trigger warning; murder, brutal violence, terrorism, and racism. I am not the end all be all for trigger warnings, look more into them from other readers before reading this book because they might have picked up on other triggers that I have personally missed.

Overall

Overall, this was a very impactful book to me because it really makes you think about human nature, society, and a laundry list of other things such as prejudices and racism that are ingrained in society. I feel like this little story really packs so much into it that it shows the talent of the author. This will be a story I reread again I feel like and it will have a place on my bookshelf for the years to come.


Next month I am reading a book picked by the wonderful Maggie from the blog Storme Read a Lot. They have wonderfully well written reviews and other awesome posts. Also, their twitter is just as wonderful!

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

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Let's Talk

Let’s Talk | How I Read 10+ Books a Month

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a little post where I list a few ways that help me personally read 10+ books a month. Now, this is just my personal experience, but I figured maybe sharing might give some ideas to those who might read this or even maybe get you into the reading mood!


First and foremost, audiobooks! I listen to audiobooks on a few platforms, the one I use the most is free through my library, I use libby. I use this to borrow audiobook (& ebooks), because honestly audiobooks are expensive and I can’t keep up financially with the amount I listen to each month. In second place is scribd, which is a small fee each month that give you access to audiobooks (& ebooks).  Lastly, is libro.fm which is an independent bookstore alternative to audible for a monthly fee. I listen to audiobooks when I am cleaning, crocheting, or when my hands are busy, but my mind is not really engaged.

The next thing that helps me is reading before bed each night. A few months ago I wrote a post called, Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed. Following this challenge, I actually ended up changing up my nighttime routine. I loved my experience so much I kept it as part of my nightly routine. It is really calming for me and helps me wind down after the stress of the day.

Now, this is a bit of an odd one to mention but, I stopped reading books just because of the hype. I realized a lot of the books I was reading I picked up because of the hype. Well, since I realized hyped books I am meh about tend to be  slow paced and have little enjoyment, I should just leave them behind. Now I just read books I am really interested in and feel drawn to picking up. Since this switch happened I have read more because I want to pick up my current read more often and for longer periods of time.

Lastly, I am a huge supporter of DNFing books. Now, this is something that I have really embraced over the last few years. I used to have serious feelings of FOMO when I was reading a book I was not liking. I was convinced that there would be a huge turning point and I would see why everyone was loving a book. Well, nine times out of ten, that turning point never really happened. Now, if I don’t like a book after 50-100 pages, depending on the length, I DNF it. For me personally, I have found there is no point in pushing myself to read something I am not enjoying. Not only does it slow down my reading, I could be reading something I am really enjoying.

Well, those are a few ways that help set me up to read 10+ books a month. 


What are ways you work reading into your day?

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Tags

Let’s Talk | The Prediction Book Tag

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a tag I should have done months ago, I am so sorry Whitney, but better late than never. At least I am hoping. I was so happy when Whitney tagged me back in March, this is such fun tag and I am glad I am able to be apart of it. Now on to the rules and prediction prompts!


Rules

  • ping back to the creator of the tag, @bookprincessreviews
  • tag the person who tagged you
  • find an answer to match each prompt
  • have fun!

Each Prompt is a Prediction for My

Next Read

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

As I said in my post, To Be Read | August 2020, I planned on reading this book in August. I did come across some excerpts I read when I was in school and they were all annotated. I didn’t read the annotations, but I am curious of how my annotating will vary this time as opposed to last time when I am done reading.

Next 5-Star Read

After the Quake by Haruki Mauakami

After the Quake

I am not quite sure this counts as cheating, but I am about 50% done with this book already and I am really enjoying it. As long as nothing unforeseen happens, I am probably going to be giving his book 5 stars. It is a great collections of short stories with a unifying thread. It is whimsical, magical, and thought provoking.

Next 1-Star Read

Color Therapy Plain Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need by Nina Ashby

Color Therapy Plain  Simple: The Only Book You'll Ever Need

I am going to be honest with this one. I don’t really think it is going to be a 1 star read, but I think it is going to be the lowest rated out of my current TBR. The reason being it has a 2.4 rating on goodreads… that is the lowest one I have. I do have hope though that maybe I will like it better than others.

Next Love Interest

Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and  Melissa de la Cruz

Jo & Laurie

This is the only book on my owned TBR that has a hint of romance to it. It is a historical fiction/retelling/continuation of sorts of he lives of Jo and Laurie from Little Women. Which, if you did not know is my all time favorite book and series. Yes, there are more Little Women books!

Next Book You’ll Be Buying

Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel by Lisa Unger

Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel

I think the next book I will be buying will actually be a pre-order of this book. It does not come out until October 6th, 2020. I went to a digital author book talk and the author recommended quite a few books, many I read, but this one stood out to me!

Next Book That Will Leave you With a Book Hangover

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon 

A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)

While I do enjoy this series I always have a book hangover of sorts when I finish ones of its tomes. I tend to read two per year because that is all I can handle. I am planning on reading this one at the end of August or in September. I still cannot believe I have made it to book 6 of this series.


I Tag

Erica

Ash

Celina

Jessica


What book do you think will your next 5 star read be?

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