Reading Challenges

2021 Mid-Year Check-In

Hello lovely people and welcome to my 2021 mid-year check in for my goals. If you would like to see my origional post you can find that here, Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals. I went kind of easy on myself this year, but to be honest the 2020 was a bit hectic in quite a few ways. I wanted to really tailor my goals to what I truly wanted and not try to compete with anyone.

Use Library Monthly

So far I have stuck to this goal very well. Even if I owned a book I used my local library to read the book digitally when on the go or used the library as my only copy of a book. I am still not comfortable going to borrow a physical copy of books just yet, so I am using their digital services at this point of the year,

Twelve Non-fiction Books

I am actually ahead on this goal, which thrills me honestly. I have read a total of 9 non-fiction books at this point. The books I have read that meet this goal are; A Promised Land by Barack Obama, Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi by Richard Grant, White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer, The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary by Catherine Gray, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein and Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde.

Read 50 Books

I am excited to say I am also ahead on this goal as well, at the time of writing this I have read a total of 42 books! If you want the most up to date read count for the year you can check out my goodreads challenge page.

This is where my goals kind of take a turn. The past few ones I have been pretty on top of, but from here on out I have made progress in almost each of the goals, but have not quite on track. Ooops.

Read International Booker Prize Shortlist 2020

The good news is I have read two books from this list, you can see a more detailed post talking about Hurricane Season and The Memory Police here: Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1 Update. The bad news is I have 4 more to read. I will say, I am glad I have 6 months to read 4 books, that is very doable and I plan on continuing to work towards achieving this goal.

Read The Farseer Trilogy & Liveship Traders Trilogy

Once again, I have read two books towards this goal. I have read the first two books of The Farseer Trilogy, which I really enjoyed so I cannot wait to continue. I do have all the books either physically or digitally to meet this goal and I plan on doing just that.

Reread The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilology

This is where I start to hang my head in shame. I have not attempted to pick up these books at all so far this year. I love them so much, but the mood has not hit me at all the first half of the year. I am hoping that this changes very soon.

Keep TBR under 10 Books

Last year I got my TBR down to 0 books. I wanted to keep my owned TBR under 10 books going forward, but I am at about 30 books as of writing this. I am not totally happy with it being this high, but I am really happy that it is not as high as it once was. This is what happens when you have some holidays, birthdays, and sales.

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | June 2021

Hello and welcome to a run down of my past month. If you follow me over on twitter you will have seen that I want to share a bit more than just reading books with everyone so my monthly wrap ups are going to be sharing, of course, books, but also a few more things as well. Each month what I share might be different, but I want to share something that sticks out as a propionate memory or just some random things that sparked my interest. I hope you enjoy!

Reading

Current TBR Count is at 33 books.

Crochet & Crafting

This past month has been fun for crafting and crocheting. I completed my first granny square sweater without a pattern! I never really made anything before without a pattern and I actually really loved how it came out. On top of that I made quite a few market bags and made a huge chunk of progress in my ally blanket. I am hoping to finish that in the near future, I have never done a graphgan before and it takes a lot more time than I thought it would, but I am really liking how it is coming out.

On top of that I figured out how to transfer images to wood using Mod Podge, I feel like I am going to be using that in quite a few things in the future. I tested it out by making myself my own rune plate on a piece of cut wood. It came out fabulous! If I bought the same thing it would have been easily $35, I made it myself for about $12. This is one of the reasons why I love DIY so much!

Life

This past month I have been doing a lot of deep cleaning. I don’t know if it is because I am doing Summer cleaning instead of Spring cleaning, but I have been feeling the itch to purge a bunch of stuff I have not used in a while and clothing that isn’t really my style anymore. I have really been trying to acquire clothing and things I like and are truly my style. I think being at home so much over the past year I have kind of figured out what I really enjoy and want in my space. I think this month was just the month where I really started to follow through on it.

Anyway, that has been a bit of an incite into my life over the past month. I didn’t really make notes throughout this month because I didn’t know the direction I wanted this blog to go in, but now that I have an idea I think in next months digest you will see the difference. I hope you had a wonderful June!

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Goodreads

Wrap Up

Middle Mark | March 2021

Hello and welcome to my middle of the month reading check in! This month my reading is kind of slumpy. I think because I have so much going on this month I am just so exhausted when I do have some down time. But, I have managed to make some progress in quite a few books. Anyway, here is what I read and what I am in the middle of.


This Little Dark PlaceThis Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A long winded dark tale told through letters that jumps around in time. I did a full review on this book as a separate post earlier this month. I was not a huge fan overall, but it had some good aspects to it.

View all my reviews

Royal Assassin: The Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb, I am currently at 22% through this book and I am still enjoying this series very much. I might even pick up the second book in the series right after I finish this one. It is a very interesting world and I really like the characters as well. I am truly invested in this trilogy!

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, this is the 7th book in the Outlander series and what a tome it is! I am currently 13% into it this one and I invested it this one as well. I keep switching between the two of my current reads. Since this is the 7th book, I don’t want to talk about what is happening, but this series really is a blast because it touches on so much history.


What have you read so far this month or what are you currently reading?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | March 2021

Hello and welcome to another post where I share a peak into my bullet journal. I have not posted about it last month, but that is because I wanted to try to share a completed month as well as a clean slate for the month ahead. If you wanted to see how I set up my bullet journal for the year, you can find that in my post called, Bullet Journal | 2021 Reading Bujo Set Up I hope that makes sense, I just think it would be great for you to see how my spreads function when they are all filled out as well. Anyway, onto the bullet journal!


Materials


Last Month – February 2021

I decided to make a dahsboard for the month on the left-hand side, I used my stamps to write out the month and year. On the right hand side I decided to put a reading tracker so I can track how much I read each day and as you may be able to tell. I am using 3 different colors because I am also tracking the books I read with the same color so I can see how long I have been reading a single book. I will be honest, I messed up on the tracking of this in February and I am debating adding a few new colors to make it a bit easier. I will update this if I decide to do so.

On the left-hand side I have my TBR for the month listed and on the right I have a list of all the books I hauled this past month. I wanted to really track the books leaving my shelves and coming onto my shelves, but also as you might be able to see in the picture. I crossed off a hauled book. I also wanted to try to read some of the books I added to my shelves this past month. So, I hauled 5, but I read 1. So it was only as net gain of 4 books onto my TBR.

I made a graphic for a buddy read I did this past month. I think for my next buddy read I am going to continue doing this, but I want to also use this blank page, so I might add quotes or thoughts to it.

This is my bujo spread for the #24in48 readathon. I did end up reading 24 hours, but I did not update the spread before taking this picture. i color coded each book so I can see which hours I read which book, tracked my total hours at the bottom. Tracked my TBR and my page stats and percentage as I read.

Here is a little peak into my completed reading journal section of my bullet journal. I glue down a picture of the book cover, I add the dates read, this happened to be my #24in28 books so I read them in a single day, then I add the star rating and then a mini review. This really helps me write reviews for my blog.

This Month – March 2021

In March, I really decided that I liked how clean the dashboard and tracking my reading. I used my alphabet stamps to add the month and year. There is quite a different look when this tracker is empty from when it is full. I am going to be adding 2 more colors, but I am not sure what those colors are going to be at this time.

Once again I have my TBR on the left and my book haul on the right. I had preordered a few books so I was able to add a few books already. I am just hoping I can read enough of these books this month to even out the haul.

This month I am buddy reading The Color of Law with Jenna. I added the reading schedule for us as a graphic and glued it into my bullet journal. I am planning on adding some notes to the page opposite, but I feel like I am going to also be annotating the book.


Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Bullet Journal Jottings, 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.


Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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.


Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Bullet Journal Jottings, 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.

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews



What was your favorite or least favorite read of October?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews


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? 

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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?

SignOff12:17

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads