Bullet Journal, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | 2021 Reading Bujo Set Up

Hello and welcome to a post where I share some of my spreads from my new reading bullet journal for 2021. In the past I had my life and reading in one place, but this year I decided to use a planner for my life, but I wanted to continue to use a bullet journal for my reading. I really find it a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see what books I will be adding to it this year!


The Spreads

This time around I wanted my year long or bullet journal long pages to be pretty neutral for the most part so I used a black pen, torn up tan paper, and a few blank tags and cut outs to decorate the pages. I also wanted to tie all the pages together so I decided to put a black boarder on every page. The first page on the left is 10 books I want to read in 2021. I putt bullet points to add the books later on. On the right I put a place for random book recommendations I might get. I decided to add a little bee because these books will most likely have some buzz around them.

On this pages I continued to use the tan paper and boarder to just have some type of continuity. On the left I have a space for a favorite book of each month. I need to measure so I can properly print the covers as the months pass. On the right side I decided to list the three series I want to read in 2021. I want to read The Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Traders Trilogy and The Hobbit and Lord of the Ring Series. I just listed the books under their series title and I can put a check when I have read them.

Continuing with the same theme I made a page to track more of my 2021 reading goals. On the left I listed my use the library monthly goal and placed 12 circles to color in, twelve non-fictions with 12 circles as well and lastly for this page read 50 books and I added 50 circles to color in. On the right I made 6 rectangles for each book of the International Booker Prize where I have the title listed and I can add my rating and date read later on. I also added a ticket that was mostly blank and put the title on that.

I wanted to continue to track quite a few stats that I tracked last year so I made a single place for all of them on this page called monthly stats. I am going to track number of books, number of pages, fiction/nonfiction, library/owned, DNFs, 5 star reads, hard cover and soft cover. I left the page on the right empty incase I end up wanting to add more or I end up needing more room.

This year I really want to keep my TBR in check, last year I actually got my TBR down to 0 at one point and I really want to keep it reasonable from now on. I decided each month I am going to keep track of the books I have at the start of the month that are unread, how many I hauled, how many unhauled, and then what I have at the end of the month. Somewhat similar to the series Balancing the Books by Drinking By My Shelf on youtube. Each month has a rectangle and then within that each stat has their own box.

Last and one of my favorites is my Someone Picks My Books spread. Last year I just kept a simple list, but since I love this series I have been doing over a year now so much I wanted to give it a really awesome spread. I decided that I would make a bookshelf for each month and doodle a book on each of those shelves and then label the book spine with the book I am reading that month. I also drew some doodle arrows from the month and name of the person who picked my books to the book. I have the first half of the year already set, huge thank you to those who helped me! I will probably look into getting more help around may of this year.


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Bullet Journal, 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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Bullet Journal, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | December 2020

Hello and welcome! Today I am going to be sharing my very limited layouts for December. I decided not to add my weeklies to this post since they have no changed at all, but I wanted to share all of my other items. Also, this being the last month of the year. I also started to get ready for January so I was really focused on that. Oops, sorry December. I am also changing quite a few things for next year so that should be a fun post come January.


Supplies

  • Random Wrapping Paper
  • Cutouts from Michael’s craft store – No longer available
  • Sharpie Pen
  • A5 Garden Slither Dot Grid Notebook from Olive and Archer
  • Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller
  • The Sacred Self-Care Oracle
  • Craft paper giftag

This first page I really consolidated this month. I have the title page of sorts right next to my monthly oracle card. On the title page I glued down some wrapping paper with trees and deer that were muted colors. I then added a craft paper tag and stamped December 2020 on it. I felt it fit the theme of the month. This months card is family and has two women hugging one another. I felt like family is something I am really missing this time of year. I then added a drawing of a lady and a green tag to kind of pull the tag in from the other page.

My second picture here at the forefront has my TBR and goals on the left page. I have kept this the same, I just decided to add some of the muted tree and deer wrapping paper to the top part of the page to add a it of texture and pull the theme together. On the right page I added books read, also stamped like all of the titles this month, at the top and doodled shelves to glue pictures of the books I read during the month.

If you want to know what my weekly spreads look like you can see them on my post called, Bullet Journal | November 2020.

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | November 2020

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up, can you believe that the 11th month of the year is already behind us? I sure can’t I feel like November went very quickly this time around and we are already getting reading for the last month of 2020. This past month I didn’t do as well reading wise as previous months, but still feel like I read some great books and found a few new favorites.


Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A SelectionDecisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Selection by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful collection of RBG’s ideas and thoughts on major topics such as equal rights and womens rights.

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Venus in the Blind SpotVenus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again Junji Ito has made a wonderful collection of short manga horror tales. As always the art is great, the tales eerie and horrific and I read them quickly. I will continue to pick up more from him.

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Cemetery BoysCemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was just a wonderful read. I laughed, I cried, and a bunch of emotions in-between. I really loved Yadriel, Maritza and Julian as individual characters, but also how they interacted with one another. It really focused on acceptance, love, and family, blood or otherwise. It really was such an emotional read in the perfect way.

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The Nickel BoysThe Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Colson Whitehead has done it again, he has written another amazing book. He is certainly turning into one of my auto buy authors. This story was dark, raw, and emotional, but it was also beautifully told. Sadly, this story is based off of real events and many have had these experiences. I certainly is thought provoking and will be a book I think about in the future.

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What was your favorite or least favorite read of October?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | November 2020

Hello and welcome to my mid month reading check in! I cannot believe there is only a month and half left of 2020. This year has gone both very slow, but also very fast. I am glad to share that I have read a decent amount of books already and I am hoping that this continues the rest of the month and beyond. Any who, here are the books!


The Night is Darkening Round MeThe Night is Darkening Round Me by Emily Brontë
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting collection of poetry. While it was good, it is not my favorite collection.

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Envelope PoemsEnvelope Poems by Emily Dickinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really loved this collection of poems for two reasons. The first being the fact that this book includes scans of the original writing on the envelopes and also a typed version that is in the same format. It really makes her work feel more tangible and keep its authenticity. The second reason I loved this was because the poems themselves. I have never read her poetry before, but I can see why she is so popular now.

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Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the CaféBefore the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I never thought I could like a sequel as much as I loved this collection of stories. Toshikazu Kawaguchi is such a talented writer, being able to add so much atmosphere and elicit emotions so quickly is a true gift and talent.

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Transcendent KingdomTranscendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a lovely written book that deals with loss and an individuals journey to find answers and make sense of the world around her. This book talked about quite a few large topics, addiction, religion, and mental illness. I don’t want to say too much, but this author is very talented and I feel like this book will be one I think about from time to time and now just fade away.

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Clap When You LandClap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am currently having a hard time putting into words how great this book is. It explore the complexities of relationships and people, on top of that explore the life of two half sisters that have no idea they experience until a tragedy. More in depth review to come in my Someone Picks My Book series.

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The House in the Cerulean SeaThe House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved the setting, the plot, and the relationships within this story. The author did an amazing job in creating distinct and unique characters and giving them such great personalities. I felt like I was reading about actual people and not just characters. I have a feeling that this book is going to be at the top of the list for my favorite reads of 2020.

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I am currently reading Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. As I am writing this I am 20% into thee Cemetery Boys and I am already getting emotionally tied to the main character of this story. I am really looking forward to see what will happen. As for The Nickel Boys, I plan on starting it the day this post goes live. I really enjoyed The Underground Railroad a few years ago so I feel like I will enjoy this as well.


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

How are your reading month coming along? 

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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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Reading Challenges

Reflection | 2020 Goals, 9 Month Check In

Reflection

Hello and welcome to a post where I check in with my 2020 reading goals. I cannot believe that we are already in the final quarter of the year so it really is go time to get these goals finished. So, I am really hoping I have done a good job keeping up and getting some things done!


The List

  1. Read a shortlist: Man Booker 2019 (4/6)
          • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
          • ✔️Ducks, Newburyport  by Lucy Ellmann
          • ✔️Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
          • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma (Owned)
          • ✔️Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
          • ✔️10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
  2. ✔️Read 50 books, 91 books read. 
  3. ✔️Read all backlisted books, 46 books in all.
  4. ✔️ Read 30,000 pages.
  5. ✔️ Read 16 nonfiction books.
  6. Read 16 books from the library. Read 9 so far. 
  7. ✔️  Read a book from each continent 
          • ✔️North America: The Dutch Houseby Ann Patchett
          • ✔️South America Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
          • ✔️ Europe: Crime And Punishmentby Fyodor Dostoyevsky
          • ✔️Asia Before the Coffee Gets Coldby Toshikazu Kawaguchi
          • ✔️ Australia: The Secret River by Kate Grenville
          • ✔️Antarctica: The Magicians by Lev Grossman 
          • ✔️Africa Don’t Touch My Hair byEmma Dabiri
  8. ✔️Read a book recommended by Joe Hill or Stephen King
          • ✔️Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  9. Read a Shakespeare play a month, (9/12)
          • January: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
          • February: Othello
          • March: Hamlet
          • April: Macbeth
          • May: The Taming of the Shrew
          • June: Twelfth Night
          • July: The Tempest
          • August: A Comedy of Errors
          • September: Much Ado About Nothing
          • October: Julius Caesar
          • November: The Merchant of Venice
          • December: King Lear

Reflection

Overall, I am doing pretty well with the goals. I am a bit worried about my reading a shortlist one because I really do not want to read The Testaments, but I am still on the fence about doing it because I set out to finish the shortlist. We shall see what happens! Another goal I am a little iffy about is reading books from the library. My library is still limited when it comes to browsing and such and I have holds for digital stuff, but since everyone is using the digital resources currently I have not gotten a ton in. This one might be out of my hands, but I am still going to try.

As for all of the other goals I have already achieved or I am well on my way. I am surprised that I have kept up with my Shakespeare challenge this year that there are only 3 more plays left.


How are your goals going?

Have you decided to change any of yours or introduce new ones?

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Bullet Journal, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | October 2020

Hello and welcome to my monthly post where I share my bullet journal spreads for the month. This month I changed up things a bit because how I use my bujo is changing a bit with everything going on in the world. But, I am so happy with what I created this time around.


Items Used

  • Alphabet stamps
  • Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller
  • Mechanical Pencil
  • Micron 01 in Black
  • Royalty Free Stock Photo: Pixabay
  • A5 Garden Slither Dot Grid Notebook from Olive and Archer
  • Amenti Oracle by Jennifer Sodini

On the left I printed a few diagrams of human hearts on tan paper and on the right I added a misspelt October on a piece of the same brown paper. I added a few lines to add a little bit of detail. Yes, I did redo the October after taking these pictures. This is what happens when I work on this late at night.

This month I decided to make the monthly overview as large as I could and added a print out of a bone on the brown paper you will see throughout this month to add a pop of color.

On the left you will see my monthly oracle card, I scanned it and added it on brown paper. This month is Ground Yourself. On the other side printed a skull and some more line art to add some details again and keep it from looking dull and boring.

On the left of these next pages I listed my monthly TBR and goals I have for myself. On the right I have my “shelves” to glue down the book covers of the books I read throughout the month. I also have a print out of a rib cage to keep with the anatomical theme.

This month I decided to put an entire weekly spread on one page instead of using two pages. I made boxes for each day, and a mini cal and space to add all the good memories. On the extra page I had I added a printout of a skeleton and added even more line art.

Lastly, in October I want to spend less money. So I am doing a no spend, this just means not spending on things that you don’t need. I added the a picture of a ribcage again and a circle for each day of the month. The day I don’t spend money on non-needed things I can color in.


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Lets 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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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | August 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my Middle Mark post for August! This month has started off on a great note. I have read quite a bit and I hit a few of my year long goals as well. I finally hit 30,000 pages for the year as well as finished up reading a book from every continent. Now, to continue to chip away at the others! Any-who, here are the books I have read so far in August.


Read 2

Fever DreamFever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just the perfect eerie book I wanted to read. I actually got quite a few chills reading this horror and I am glad I happened to find it. The whole book felt heavy and it continued to get heavier as I read it. It is one of those rare books that really pulls you into the story and you almost feel like you are in it yourself.

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The DeepThe Deep by Rivers Solomon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As many other reviewers have said, this is a very unique read. It was imaginative, creative, but also painful. I say painful because it deals with a grotesque history of slavery and does not sugar coat it or hide some of the more horrendous actions. In addition, the main character battles with their peoples history, I don’t want to say too much because spoilers. I very rarely say this, but I feel like I would have enjoyed this story more if there was more of it. I wanted to explore this community in more detail and learn more about many of the characters. I feel like this was done on purpose though and when you read it that statement will make a bit more sense if it doesn’t now. But, I will say this, I am going to be looking into other works by this author.

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The Secret RiverThe Secret River by Kate Grenville

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is very apparent that this author knows a lot of about the history of Australia the movement of deportation of those not wanted in England. This book deals with social hierarchy, laws, exploration, as well as the stealing of lands of its native people. While this book as a lot of academic value, even though it is historical fiction and not non-fiction, it was difficult to get into. I felt like the authors writing style was just blah for me personally. It read more like a textbook than an actual textbook, I had to really push myself. For me, this is a bit out of the ordinary because I love reading non-fiction and rarely have to push myself to read them.

I will say, this book is best read with someone else, this book brings up quite a few topics that are best explored and discussed. As said, it has great academic value and I feel like it show cases society in London/England as well as the early settlement of convict in Australia and the impact on the indigenous inhabitants.

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Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and IllusionsSmoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good and wide ranging collection of short stories. They are just a bit out there and at times a bit of a horror feel. I felt that every time I finished one I just wanted to read another one. I always find it hard to review a collection as a whole, but overall I enjoyed a majority of these tales.

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You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-AcceptanceYou Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance by Chani Nicholas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don’t feel like this is a beginner book, it does have a good amount of information, but if you are using this book just for yourself, most of the information is not usable/applicable. If you are going to do a chart for everyone and their mom, much more useful. Also, bring a protractor.

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The Comedy of ErrorsThe Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here is a little preview of my review. Overall, this was an average play. I didn’t see anything that really stood out and I can already feel the details of this one slipping away. There is quite a few mistaken identities, which we have seen a bunch of times already from his works time and time again, just with another bow.

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Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & YouGmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shel Silverstein esc type pep talks that I just adored! I will be picking this up from time to time, I can see it.

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After the QuakeAfter the Quake by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy Murakami’s writing style, the short stories were varied, but tied together nicely. Some I liked more than others, but there was not one I disliked. I normally don’t enjoy short story collections, but there is something about hims writing that I enjoy very much.

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Currently Reading 2

As of writing this, August 12th, I am currently reading quite a few books. I was doing so well with reading one book at a time, for some reason this month I am having trouble doing that.

I just started reading me eArc of One by One by Ruth Ware that I received via netgalley. I am really enjoying it so far, I mean I expected to since she is one of my auto buy authors!

I am also 44% through Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer the newest addition to the Twilight books. Honestly, so far I am enjoying learning more about the Cullens and their family dynamics.

Last, but certainly not least I am currently reading Conjure Women by Afia Atakora. I am about 13% into this book. Conjure Women is a magical realism and historical fiction novel balled up into one. It follows a young girl from a young age until she is older, whose mother can do magic and she follows in her foot steps and acts as a healer for her community. The time frame and location are in the south during slavery and following after it. So, we get a story that not only of a family that is separated by slavery, but also a look into the practice of slavery. The author holds nothing back in their magical story telling and I appreciate that.