Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Using a Commonplace Book

Let's TalkHello and welcome to my post where I am sharing my reading notebook and I would love to hear your thoughts! So, a few months ago I came across the idea of a commonplace book while researching different note taking methods on youtube. I came across Amy Landino’s video, which I will link to below and went from there. As someone who loves note taking, notebooks, and the link I am honestly surprised that I have not heard about this sooner. A commonplace book is defined as…

Commonplace Book  – source: Lexico powered by Oxford

NOUN

  • A book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.


What is a Commonplace Book and What Method I am Using?

Now, there are many ways to organized a commonplace book, some people use notecards and a series of boxes or dividers, digitally create one, or use an old fashioned notebook. I feel like the method you use really comes down to your personality and why you are using it. From the light research I have done, I see a lot of authors using the notecard system, if you want to check that version out, I suggest starting out with Amy Landino video called My Box of Inspiration! How to Create a Commonplace Book. I have not watched any other videos by her or anything, but I felt like she did a wonderful job explaining her version of a commonplace book. Now, as for myself personally, I went for using an actual notebook.

There are a few reasons why I went with an actual notebook. The first being it is the most historically accurate and pays a bit of homage to the history of a commonplace book. This is not to say the other methods are less, I am just a huge history nerd. See, commonplace notebooks have actually be around for a very long time, they were very prominent during the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods (source, source) and a lot of them were almost like scrap books of information.  Just like actual scrap books, they really varied from person to person depending on their lives and interests. It is even featured in some literary works ranging by Virginia Woolf and can even apparently be found in A Series of Unfortunate Events.  (source). As someone who like historical stuff, I am used this in historical context of everything including the kitchen sink. A lot of people who use them now organize them based upon theme and honestly me organizing my months and such is more effective for me. I do not want to create sections in a notebook. Although if I ever do I feel like a travelers notebook would work wonders for that.

Now, that I rambled about the first reason, to be fair the biggest reason for me personally, here are the other two. I have a ton of notebooks. I love stationary so I have it laying around, but it brings me true joy when I actually use them. On top of that I feel like I absorb more when I physically write and then put things into my own words. I feel like this is something I personally can only accomplish with the notebook style. While a notecard system would have me writing, I wouldn’t really have room to reflect or put it into my own words. So, that is how I decided what method I was going to use and now onto the notebook itself and my experience.


My  Commonplace Notebook

Dark brown notebook with tan inserts, one is labeled common place book. Notebook is placed open on a color striped blanket.

So above is a picture of the notebook I will be using as my commonplace notebook. It is a A5 side travelers notebook with a beautiful brown fake leather cover. Inside I have a few dot grid inserts so I am free to format as I please. As some of you might know I am someone who loves bullet journaling and I have fallen in love with dot grid paper.


My Thoughts and Outcome

So, I have really enjoyed using a commonplace notebook. It has been great to keep all the random things such as quotes, ideas, and little tidbits. I have been using it on and off for about a month and half and I feel like it is really beneficial to have an outlet. While I have a bullet journal, I am more worried about keeping it neat and tidy. The coommonplace notebook I am free and happy to doodle, write, and more without having to worry.


Bonus: a bit ago another blogger I follow posted on the topic as well WHAT IS A COMMONPLACE BOOK & HOW TO USE IT

Do you have a way to organize your notes?

Do you use a commonplace book, maybe even without knowing it?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | August

Hello and welcome another check in for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you would like to learn more you can look at my initial post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. This month I read The Comedy of Errors and errors there where!


This book is just a mixture of mess ups and miscommunication. It kinda reminded me of the exaggerated outcome of the telephone game, if you are familiar with that. The main aspect of this play is mistaken identity, which has been present in quite a few of his other plays that I have read this year. In this play in particular it it comes from not one, but two sets of twins and their loved ones having no idea who is who and let the mayhem begin.

I have to admit, that this is one of the better plays when it comes to mistaken identity. There were a few times where I giggled to myself while reading this, which is great because not a lot of his comedies have actually made me laugh or feel humor. Maybe I am finally getting Shakespeare’s sense of humor? Either way, without giving away too much, there is a lot of misunderstandings, surprises, and puns galore!

This review isn’t that long due to the fact that I feel like a lot of the humor would be removed from this play if it is really discussed as much as I normally do. I would rather you read it for yourself and truly get the laugh out of it than being ruined by my review. But, overall I think this is one of the better comedies as I said earlier. I think it is worth checking out if you like his other plays or even has not read any of his comedies before.


Next month I am reading another comedy by William Shakespeare called Much Ado About Nothing, I have heard a great deal about this one so I am excited!

What are your thoughts on this play?

What is your favorite play by Shakespeare?

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Goals

Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed

challenges

So, the first half of may has been a reading mess. I only read 22 pages on May first and it is now May 10th and another page has not been read. Then I came across an old video of Ariel Bissett’s called “i tried reading before every day for a week’ and I was inspired to give it a go and maybe jumpstart my reading again.


The Video


Reading Journal May 10th-May 16th, 2020

5/10: 25 pages of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

5/11: 344 pages of Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

5/12: 41 pages of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

5/13: 30 pages of Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

5/14: 20 pages of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

5/15: 15 pages of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

5/16: 22 pages of mystery book


Reflection

So,  there are a few things I noticed throughout this process. First, I got back into the habit of reading and enjoying it. The main point of this was to help with me get back into reading. Like I said in the intro, this challenge came into being because I went a long time without reading that was not the cause of a slump. Well, I am happy to report I am reading constantly again. Plus, I wasn’t even feeling forced or pushed into reading, which I was a bit worried about if I am honest.

The second thing I noticed is I found I wanted to read at other points of the day as the challenge continued. At the start I didn’t have the urge to read throughout the day. But, since I was getting back into the habit and as I got closer to the end of this challenge, I would want to read in the afternoon and had to hold off. I feel like scheduling time to read or restricting when I can read, doesn’t fully work for me. Apparently my mood reading isn’t just restricted to what I want to read.

I think I am going to continue to make reading part of my nighttime routine. I enjoyed how relaxing and calming it was. Overall, I really had fun giving this a go. I love reading challenges and I would like to do more in the future. But, I think this one will have a bit of a lasting impression on me. I just need to make sure my nighttime reading is away from a screen and not read too late into the night.


Do you have a consistent reading habit?

Do you normally read a particular time of day

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | April 2020 Haul

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to another check in for my Read 5, Buy 1 challenge. I am happy to report I did a lot better with my challenge this time around! The OWLs Readathon really pushed my reading, which was just wonderful plus a lot of fun. Without further delay, here is my progress of my challenge for April!


The Breakdown

They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

HausMagick: Transform Your Home with Witchcraft by Erica Feldmann

  • The Goddess Year by Skye Alexander

 

How to Read Literature by Terry Eagleton

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Beach Read by Emily Henry

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

  • The Spendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

 

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas 

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

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

 


Extra Books

The Canary Keeper by Clare Carson, which was gifted by Adrianna from Romance Book Binge. I was so surprised to see this in my mailbox and was even more excited that I can now read this book. I have heard such great things and the description just sounds promising for me.


Overall, I did very well this month. I read quite a bit more than I usually do and being gifted a book and not buying too much really aided in my getting my TBR this month. This was a huge help because my birthday is in May and well,  always end up getting a few books so my TBR goes up without me doing any buying.


Are any of these books on your TBR?

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | January & February 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to a post that is a mixture of a bookhaul and a challenge update. This time I will be diving a bit into my Read 5, Buy 1 that has been going on so far this year. I will admit, this will not seem like much of a success, but I think it is.


  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Dutch House
  • Widow Weed and Weeping Veils
  • The Morrigan
  • Mythos
    • Quichotte
  • Farmhand 1
  • Farmhand 2
  • The Wicked King
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Bonhoffer
    • The Magicians Trilogy
  • Where the Crawdad’s Sing
  • God Country
  • The Langoliers
  • Ducks, Newburyport
  • The Unhoneymooners
    • Prodigal Son
  • No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
  • Little Children
  • The Starless Sea
  • Othello
  • Cujo
    • Blood of Elves

-All Books Added-

  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert – PreOrder before challenge started.
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz – Buy 1
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • One Voice, Two Lives: From Auschwitz Prisoner to Airborne Trooper by David Wisnia – Bought before challenge started
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie, Buy 1

  • The Magicians Trilogy – Buy 1
  • Imaginary Friend – Broke Challenge for signed copy

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd – BOTM

The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James – BOTM

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski – Buy 1

How to Read Literature by Terry Eagleton – Gift

They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru – Gift

A Matter of Interpretation by Elizabeth  – Won in a giveaway


So, I would have to say overall I am doing pretty darn good. I only broke by Read 5, Buy 1 only once since my BOTM does not count or at least I am not counting it. I decided early on that I am only going to get one book box now, since I limited it to only one book I decided that my BOTM would be a pass. As for my gifts and won giveaway, I can’t really count that because I did not buy the books. Also, I am aware I am cheating a bit when I count a trilogy as one, but it was a single purchase and I am buddy reading the entire series with Reg and Jenna. I can’t not have the books.

As I said, overall I am feeling pretty well about this challenge, I have not been perfect about it, but I feel like my buying has certainly gone down and I am saving money and my owned and unread books are getting a bit more love and attention. If you want to see a list of all my owned and unread books, you can find that here: Bookish Luna’s Owned TBR Shelf.


Anyway, Out of all of these books, which one do you think I should read first?

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the second month of 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. The first month went so well, I ended up really loving I also have a goodreads group going if you want to join in on the challenge, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


The Book

This months book was Othello, chosen via a poll on my twitter account. This play is thought to be written around 1603. I will say, this is one of the play I am more nervous about this book because I have read this before and I did not enjoy it very much. Going into this I was really hoping that my view on it has changed.


My Review

So, coming into this month I felt both better and a bit worried about reading Othello. I felt a bit more at ease because I really enjoyed a Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I remember reading Othello and really disliking it. So, I really saw things going either way.

I have to say, the start of this book kind of made me feel like The Count of Monte Cristo. It starts off with a man feeling wronged by not being promoted and is newly married. Very much sounded very familiar, which for Othello is a good thing because I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. Another work I made a connection to is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The father in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was so upset and would not accept his daughter marrying for love and was so dramatic about it. The same happened in this story pretty much, which was kind of annoying. Only two books into this challenge and already recycling characters in a way.

But, with that aside I will say I did enjoy this one more so than I remembered the first time I read it years ago. What I did like about this was how it was organized and how it created such a villain. Even at only about 40 pages in I already hated a character and I wanted him to get lost at sea or something. The fact that I felt so much in that way saved this play in my eyes. If I didn’t dislike that person so much I would have rated it a lot lower honestly. Also, the ending is just so tragic and I felt so horrible for the jerks wife, she knew she was doing wrong, but not as wrong as she actually did. She most likely felt sole responsible for what occurred.


Next months play is going to be Hamlet as voted on by my wonderful twitter followers! If you want to join in with me please do by jumping into the conversation here or over on the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


What did you think of this play?

What play do you think I should add to the poll for April? 

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Goals

Year in Review | 2019 Final Check-In

Year in Review!

Hello and welcome to my little review of 2019. I love these types of posts, being able to reflect and look back on what you have accomplished. This post will be broken down into two parts, the first being reviewing my goals and the second will be my yearly stats, which will be taken from the data given on December 29th. So, with all of that information being packed into this post, lets jump right into it.


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

Yearly Reading Stats

Books Read: 106

Pages Read: 38, 421

Nonfiction: 17

Fiction: 89

Money Saved Using Library:

Average Rating: 4.0

Shortest Book: Quidditch Through the Ages

Longest Book: Death Note All-in-One

Most Popular:Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Least Popular: Independence Haul and the Liberty Bell

Highest Rated on Goodreads: Good Omens

If you would like to see all of the books I read in 2019, you can find all that information over on goodreads here: Bookish Luna’s Year in Review.


Yearly Blog Stats

Views: 13,872

Comments:1,226

Followers: 783

Likes: 3,724

Posts: 148

 


How did you do with your 2019 goals?

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Goals

Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge

Reading Goals NEW

Hello and welcome to a little my little chat about one of my goals for 2020. In the past I have been adamant about hating Shakespeare. I never enjoyed any of his plays that I read, I found them dull and just boring honestly. But, the last time I read one of his works, any of this works honestly, I was always told to read them.

Now, I don’t know about you, but even though I am a book lover and avid reader, the fastest way to not get me to read a book is to make it required. I hate being told what to read. In fact, I didn’t read this much until I went to college, high school made me hate reading because they were never anything that interested me. Now, that is an entire other discussion I can get into another time. For now, let’s get back to Shakespeare.

So, I am not sure why, but I want to give Ol’ Shakespeare  another go and see if my tastes have either changed or simply not making his work required changed me view.

While going to my local indie bookstore I was looking at the classics, my go to there for some reason and I saw a bunch of Shakespeare’s plays. For some reason the idea for this challenge hit me. Currently, I think this is a wonderful idea. In the future, past me might be a huge jerk. Only time will tell. So, this is my plan, every month I will read 1 Shakespeare and review it. Nice and simple right? Wrong, I honestly have no idea what plays might be interesting. I picked up the ones pictured above because A Midsummers Night Dream was one I was able to tolerate reading all those moons ago and the second, Twelfth Night I have never even heard of and I thought I would give it a go.

So, there is my year long classics challenge for myself. If you have a favorite play or work by him please comment below the name and why you liked it. I could really use the help!

Also, I will be starting off with reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, thanks to those who voted for the first month! Also, please feel free to join me in this challenge. It would be a ton of fun to read along with you! In fact, I created a goodreads group so we can all connect and you can see which plays are coming up, you can find that group here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.


Which one of Shakespeare works did you enjoy reading?

Which one did you detest?

Have you read any of his works?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Top 5 Books I Want to Read Before 2020

Lists

Hello everyone, today I wanted to take a moment to talk about the top 5 books I want to read before the end of 2019. We are officially into the last quarter of the year, which always goes by super quickly. It is a time to focus to meet my goals if I have not already. On top of that, there is one Beat my Backlist book that still needs to be read and I will have read all the books I bought before 2019. Anyway, on to the books!


The one I think I am most excited to get to would be The Institute by Stephen King. It is no secret that I really enjoy creepy/horror reads and I really enjoy King’s works. I am really excited to have my hands on his most recent release and I want to read it before the year is through. 

Next in line would be It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo & Translator Elizabeth Bryer. I am really excited to be reading a book set in South America. I don’t know about you, but it is not a setting I come across often in books and I would honestly like to read more. 

Now, The Overstory by Richard Powers is one I need to read for my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist 2019 challenge so I really need to get my butt in gear. I have two books left to go and for some reason this one is the one I have owned the longest, but have not felt the need or want to read. So, I am hoping putting it on this list will really put my butt in gear. At this one I have the other from the library and plan on starting it within the week. *Update* I have read this since prewriting this post, I am updating this to the final book on this list I need to read, The Long Take by Robin Robertson. This is what happens when I prewrite posts too darn early.

Then, we have Middlemarch by George Eliot. I picked up this classic it sounds so interesting. I decided that I would read it over the summer when I  was enjoying the weather outside… well. Summer is now over and I still have not read it. I would say that now my goal is to just read it before the year is finished. I feel like Classics are really good cold weather reads anyway. 

Lastly, we have Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. I am really interested in this series, but I always out it off because it is digital. While I do enjoy reading on my kindle, I always find myself only really using it for library books not for my owned TBR books. I need to change this ASAP and read this. Also, it is the oldest owned book on my owned TBR. So, it is really time to get my butt into gear. 


What 5 books do you want to read before the year is up?

Which one do you think I should read first?

Who things I will actually read all of these before the year is up? 😂

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Goals

Challenges | Reading 64 Pages a Day

challenges

Hello everyone! Today I wanted to share a little challenge with you that I came across when I fell down the booktube hole instead of being a good bookworm and reading. I started reading Books and Lala’s video where she read the same number of pages each day, based upon her average for the previous month or so. If you would like to watch her video, you can find that here: reading 116 pages every day for a month. If you don’t know her channel, you are missing out she is one of the most creative youtubers I know of. Anyway, I really loved the idea and wanted to give it a try and see if this helps to keep my stress levels down while my life gets more chaotic.

Anyway, I did not want to just steal her number of pages a day, so I decided to do what she did. I looked at the previous month at the time of planning this, July 2019, and saw that I read a total of 1984 pages (hello George Orwell!) then divided it by 31 days, the number of days in that particular month. This simple little equation gave me 64 pages a day. So, I am planning on reading 64 pages a day for the first half of September! I am happy with this number, it is neither too much or too little.


-Reading/Page Log-

♣ = Completed on time,  > = Read more,  =Read Less

  • ♣1: 1-64 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman
  • ♣2: 65-128 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman
  • ♣3:129-192 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman
  • ♣4: 192-224 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman, 1-32 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣5: 33-96 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣6: 1-64 of The Tea Dragon Society byKatie O’Neill 
  • ♣7: 97- 160 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣8: 161- 224 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣9: 225-270 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, 1-18 of Coffey’s Hands (The Green Mile #3) by Stephen King 
  • ♣10: 19-82 Coffey’s Hands (Green Mile Part 3) by Stephen King 
  • ♣11:83-90 Coffey’s Hands (Green Mile Part 3) by Stephen King, 1-56 of The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix (The Green Mile #4) by Stephen King
  • >12: 1-96…oops I went over my 64 pages a day limit gah! Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill
  • 13:(34) 57- 90 of The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix (The Green Mile #4) by Stephen King, (30) 1-30 of Night Journey(The Green Mile #5) by Stephen King
  • 14: (60) 31-90 Night Journey(The Green Mile #5) by Stephen King,  (4) 1-4 of Coffey on the Mile (The Green Mile #6) by Stephen King
  • 15: (64) 5-68 of Coffey on the Mile (The Green Mile #6) by Stephen King

-Reflection- 

Okay, even though I only did this challenge for half of the month, I feel like I have some interesting things I realized. Some of these were more of an impact than others, but they all were notable things. Some had to do with my sleep, productivity, and readalongs/buddyreads.

The first one was, some nights I had things I needed to get done so reading had to take a back seat. Sadly, this meant I ended up staying up late to do my required reading and I was not happy when I had to wake up early the next morning.  Sometimes I don’t read for a day or so because life gets in the way and even though 64 pages isn’t a ton it feels like it when you start reading at 10 at night.

The second thing that this really affected was my buddy reads. I really had a hard time planning my reading ahead of time so I could read what I wanted to read, but also make sure I was prepared for my discussions and such. So, I kinda got stressed I was not going to be able to fit everything in, but also not read it to far in advance where I would forget everything.

Lastly, I would say it made me feel very productive. It was nice to check something off my check list all day that was a challenge, but kinda easy and very enjoyable at the same time.

I don’t think I would ever read like this again, but it was really interesting to see how I would do with reading my average every day.


Do you ever take part in a reading challenge?

What youtuber or book blogger inspires you?

Would you try a challenge like this?

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