Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | October 2022

Hello and welcome to another Monthly Intent post where I share my reading plans and other goals I have for the month ahead. We are now officially in fall and I have already had my experiences with chilly mornings. Due to this I am in the mood for horror, knitting sweaters, and other fall activities to keep warm and get in the spirit of the season. Without some more ramblings, here are my plans for the month of October!

Reading Plans

One book I for sure want to read in October is Sundial by Catriona Ward. I am reading this with my friend Reg specifically because it is a creepy psychological horror book and it is finally the spookiest month of the year. I have a feeling it will be the perfect book to read to get in the Halloween spirit this month. Other than that I really would like to read 2 more books, but I am going to leave it up to my mood. I recently took a good look at my owned TBR books, turns out I only have about 7 remaining on my shelf, Owned TBR Shelf. Which is really exciting because I really want to get to a point where I finish a book and then pick up my next book from the library or the store.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

Color work body completed of a knitted sweater hanging on a ladder. Has zig zags near collar and bumps throughout.

Finishing Alpenglow I by Andrea Mowry. I know I really wanted to finish this last month, but turned out I did not have the 9 inch curricular in the correct size to work on the sleeves once I got to to them and was held up a few days. I am not halfway through one sleeve and only have a sleeve and a half to go! After this I would really like to finish my halloween socks, which is a yarn called Zombie Frap by Desert Vista Dye Works and I am using the pattern, Heel Toe Do Si Do by Crazy Sock Lady Designs.

Random Goals

As for random goals, I want enjoy some of this fall weather and activities before it gets too cold outside. I would really love to go apple picking this month, it is something I have been doing for years and it really is a ton of fun and afterwords I get to make apple pie! I would also really love it if I got the chance to carve a pumpkin, but this month my schedule might not allow it. One last thing I would really love to do this month is have a bonfire in the backyard with the chill in the air.

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | August 2022

Hello and welcome to a monthly recap post that takes a look at my reading, crafting, and random things I did this month. This month was a ton of fun and relaxing at the same time. I was able to spend a lot of time outside enjoying the summer weather, but also enjoyed some time cooling off indoors with a good book. Anyway, here are some of the things I was up to this past month!

Reading

Finished The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager, I read this with my friends Jenna and Reg earlier this month. I was slow to get into it, but once I did it went pretty quickly. I think what made it hard to get into was the fact I was not a huge fan of the main character. To be fair they are a untrustworthy narrator because of their drinking very frequent, so I think this was the authors point. Personally, I am kind of sick of this in thrillers. Apart from that I really enjoyed the lake setting, it really lent itself to the story. I was able to clearly picture the scenes from the pages and felt that each person we met had their own personality. I did really enjoy the use of lore in this story, it was interesting and really engaged me in the story.

I am currently in the middle of Maledictions: A Horror Anthology by Cassandra Khaw and I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. I am really enjoying both of them for completely different reasons. Maledictions is a wonderful collection of horror short stories that is great for when I don’t have a ton of time to sit and read. On the other hand I’m Glad My Mom Died is a nonfiction book written by a now grown child actress sharing her story. With this book, I really enjoy being able to dedicate time to reading it.

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

Textured socks on sock blockers with contrasting heels and toes.


This month I ended up finishing a complete pair of knitted socks! I decided to follow a pattern this time around instead of doing a plain sock, I ended up using Picnic Blanket Socks by Helen Stewart. All her patterns are just wonderfully broken down line by line with stitch counts and % progress shown. They are really great patterns for when you are trying as new technique and want more than just the section ending count. These were a ton of fun to make, the texture was super easy and I can’t wait to wear them this winter.

Gray cropped tank top with bows on the straps


The second item I completed this month is the Georges Top by Johanna Gehrisch. I have some mixed feelings about this pattern. While I was making it I came across some things that I would change if I were to make this again. I would complete the bottom section on the round then pick up stiches to do the shaping. I also had to do ribbing around the bottom so the bottom did not curl, if done again, I would do a folded hem, the only reason I did not this time was because I didn’t know if I would have enough yarn. When finishing this pattern, at the time of making it, there was not a lot of guidance, did not tell me how far up to stich the halves together. I ended up guessing the the section I would do in the round in the future, well turns out I needed to do it higher for this items to sit correctly. Some guidance would have been helpful in that regard. Do I like this item? Yes, I do. Would I make it again. No, idea. I really loved the pattern, but having the lack in support towards the end was a bit of a turn off. If I did make it again I would remove the bows and make it longer as well as the changes I mentioned above.

Life

Kindle on table and dog sitting by feet of the reader

This month I was able to get a new ereader, if you want some more detail you can see my post called; My New eReader. Overall, I am loving using this, I take it everywhere and I really feel like I get more reading done. Yes, even though I only finished one book. Also, because it is not a computer screen I feel a difference in my eyes, they don’t feel as fatigued after a longer reading session.

mentioned tweet and described four items, Saraya Shawl, Anker’s Summer Shirt, Kari Shawl, Socks.

A milestone I really wanted to celebrate is the fact that August marked one year of knitting. I did a post over on my twitter celebrating it as well. It is so hard to believe I have only been knitting for a month and have created things I never thought I would be able to and have fun challenging myself. Some of the more notable ones include a red textured and cabled shawl called the Saraya shawl, a textured brown shirt called Anker’s Summer Shirt, a gray shawl with eyelet details on the edge called the Kari Shawl and lastly some socks I am very proud of with contrasting heels and toes that I made from memory based on a vanilla sock pattern.

Rock beach next to the woods and water

One of the most relaxing things I did this month was taking walks outside and just enjoying nature. While there were some VERY hot days, it was great to just get out and walk on the days it wasn’t too bad or in the morning or evening. I took the above picture on one of my walks.

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Monthly Intent · To Be Read

Monthly Intent | August 2022

Reading Plans

I don’t have any specific books I plan on reading in August, but I do want to read 4 books in total. If I did have to choose two I most likely end up reading, I think it would have to be to finish The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager, I started read it halfway through July and I have been taking my time since I am reading it with Reg and Jenna. The second one I would have to say has a high chance of being read in August is Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enríquez, I read another work by this author and absolutely loved it so I am really looking forward to picking this one up.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

As for knitting plans I really want to start working on either Morning Rituals by Andrea Mowry/(Ralvery/Makers Website) or Soldotna Crop by Caitlin Hunter (Ralvery/LoveCrafts). Both are sweater patterns, but the first would be starting the transition to fall/sweaters with beautiful cables and the Soldotna is a short sleeve colorwork crop top. Both are beautiful. I am tempted to make one more Summer top before the weather changes, but to be fair I wont have a ton of time in the month of August to knit. Decisions, Decisions.

Random Goals

For the month of August I don’t have too many goals, I am really going to do my best to relax a bit since I will have some time to myself. I really want to go on another nature walk like I did in July, it was just a really fun adventure. I also want to go to the beach as least once if not more to relax near the waves and do some reading. Like I said, I just want to relax as much as possible.

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Current Reads and WIPs

Current WIPs and Reads | May 2022

Hello and welcome to a midmonth check-in! I just wanted to take a moment to share what I am currently reading and what I am currently working on craft wise as well. This month has already flown by, I have already finished a few books and projects that you will see in my Monthly Digest post for the month, but I am still reading and working away on other projects and books currently.

My Current Reads

Berserk Deluxe Edition Volume 1 by Kentaro Miura, Jason DeAngelis (Translator), I just started reading this so I am not too far into it , but the illustration style is great! It can be graphic though, so be warned! There is a lot going on so you just keep wanting to turn the pages and get sucked in for sure.

Other than this, I am planning on picking up The Baby is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite, who wrote My Sister, the Serial Killer, which I LOVED! So I am really looking forward to reading this because her thriller style is unique. Even if you know what you are picking up, she still manages to surprise you. For me, this is a HUGE plus. Even thrillers that don’t give away huge plot points I feel like I can easily predict since I read so many of them. Braithwaite on the other hand can tell you a ton about what is going to happen, but still takes me on a ride!

My Current WIPs

Body Language Cardigan by Knits N Knots, I am finally working on anther crochet project! I have not done crochet for a while, but I have missed it. I decided on this pattern because it looks nice and cozy, but also lets me practice some seaming since it is made in pieces. I am hoping to finish it before it gets too hot and I wont want to touch it and it will be ready for next fall. I am currently working on the back panel and the largest for this sweater. I feel like once I finish this panel the rest will fly!

Crochet project, showing the start of the back panel

My on the go project has been my Rainbow Vanilla Socks, no pattern followed for this. I am just knitting based off memory of knitting other socks. I am at the heel on both of the socks currently, I like to work both socks and keep them at the same sections so I finish them close together instead of getting with burn out when I have one totally complete sock an one not even started.

Rainbow knitted socks, in progress.

What are you currently reading or working on?

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Hauls & Unboxings

February Book Haul

Hello and welcome to the first book haul of 2022. Each year I have a list of books I really want to take the time to read throughout the year, most of which are from the International Booker Prize shortlist. Since my reading was so reduced in December I held off on picking any of them up. But, with my reading taking off in January with 9 books, I thought it was a good time to add these books to my tbr pile since I am activity reading a ton.

Stack of hauled physical books.

Physical Books

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann, I read another book by Kelmann last year called Tyll and I loved how out there it was. Knowing this one of my friends off line picked this book for me to pick this year for my 12 in 12 challenge. This short story is a horror novel that follows a family that spends 7 days in a rented house. From the description I am getting Jack vibes from The Shining by Stephen King for the main character. Which, for me works because I love The Shining. I am curious how this short story is going to turn out because his other works were wild and out there, but also mesmerizing and I couldn’t put it down.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, this is a science fiction novel. This too was on the shortlist for the International Booker Prize, but I am intrigued due to the fact that in the description it mentions it follows those who were born and other who were created. That really piqued my interest.

Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, I have read about 2 other works by this author and this one has been on my list for a bit. I finally decided to pick up a physical copy. This book takes a look at being a modern day woman in Japan. The story itself is fiction, but it touches on the experience of the author and others. At least that is my current understanding.

When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins, this one I added to my TBR because it was picked by Little Miss Booklover 87 for my 12 in 12 challenge I placed on twitter where I asked people to pick a book for me to read this year. All I know about this book at this point is that it is a thriller that takes place many years after a double murder. Where someone finally decides to break their silence. I have not read a ton of thrillers over the past few months so I though this would be a good time to read it.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut, this is a nonfiction novel, but seems to have some fiction as well, that takes a look at science, discovery and those who make these breakthroughs. It appears that this book touches on Albert Einstein, Alexander Grothendieck, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, this is a collection of short horror stories that was also placed on the International Booker Prize shortlist. I love horror and it is refreshing to have some short stories on my shelf to grab when I don’t feel like reading an entire novel.

The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, is a horror novel that was placed in the shortlist for the International Booker Prize. It deals with inequality and takes place during 16th century in Europe. With the combination of horror and history I feel like this book will be a win for me personally.

Digital Books

Immune by Philipp Dettmer, I picked this up because I heard it mentioned on a twitch stream with Bob, Wade and Mark. I thought it would be a really interesting read and I do love myself a good nonfiction here and there.

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Reviews

Book Review | Trading Secrets by Rachael Eckles

*Book given by BOOK PUBLICITY SERVICES in exchange for an honest review*

Trading Secrets

Description:

William Anson is done with relationships, thanks. He’s starting the second year of his medicine degree single, focused, and ready to mingle with purely platonic intentions.

Celeste Donovan, a high-powered finance executive, seems to have it all–the penthouse apartment, the supermodel physique with a mathematician mind, and a trail of beautiful men she has loved and left behind.

But when her boyfriend Theodore is killed in a mysterious accident, she discovers Omar, her abusive ex she had hoped would never resurface, is behind his death.

Now she’s caught in a game of cat and mouse, trying to anticipate Omar’s next move, as she realizes he will stop at nothing to get to her. She sets out alone on a whirlwind journey to entrap him, determined to put an end to Omar’s destruction.

Soon Celeste is thrust in the middle of the largest financial scandal in decades. This time, however, powerful government officials are in bed with some of the world’s most dangerous men.

When she discovers that those she thought she knew best are involved in a secret society warring with Omar and his coconspirators, she must decide how far she will go to avenge Theodore’s death and whether she is willing to risk her own life to save everyone she loves.


What I Liked

One of the most prominent aspect of this novel was how fast paced it was. There was one thing after another and this can be a good thing for a novel because it keeps you as a reader engaged. There was no lull feeling in the middle of the book that many novels seem to suffer from. While this novel had a lot going on it wasn’t all just fluff and filler. It was all meaningful to the plot and moved the story along.

Another thing I took note of was the fact the author was not afraid to talk about graphic things, so just to give fair warning about some of those difficult topics, this book includes rape and abuse. A topic that is very much a tough topic that has unfortunately touched the lives of too many. The author left in these details to really get you to understand the feelings of the main character and understand their motives for their actions. I feel like without that Celeste might have come across as a very different character.


What I Didn’t Like

While I really liked the fast paced aspect of this book, I did feel that it was a tad bit over the top from time to time. It felt very unrealistic. For me this took me out of the story from time to time, but not for long. To be honest this might not be an issue for others. I think this dislike it a personal taste issue more than an issue with the book itself.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I thought this roller-coaster of a book was enjoyable. I read it quickly, never hit a lull in the story telling, and I found myself engaged in the plot and characters more than I thought I would. I feel like if this book is something that you are intrigued by after reading the description and the difficult and graphic content is not something that will bother you, I suggest giving this book a chance.


Author Links

Rachael Eckles

Book Information

Publication Date: May 2, 2020

Publisher: APHRODITE BOOKS LLC

List Price: $17.00

ISBN: 978-1734901818

Pages: 318 pages


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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | April 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a haul from the month of April. I went on my first day trip this past month after getting fully vaccinated. It was my first time doing so in over a year and it felt so great! On this trip I went to a really awesome bookstore that was new to me and found some gems to bring home with me and picked up a few books from my local bookstore and sent one by a friend. Anyway, here are the books!


The Books

Record of A Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami and Ms. Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami I picked up on a day trip to a Japanese market. They have a really awesome bookstore there and I always find gems like this I would not have found otherwise. Record of A Night Too Brief caught my attention because it seemed to have so much packed into such a small package. Ms. Ice Sandwich caught my attention because of its talk of starting something new and possible love.

The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox, was a gift from the amazing Adrianna. I am really excited to get to this historical fiction novel with a possible paranormal twist to it.

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, I also picked up from the Japanese market. But, I have read this authors work quite a bit. He is a known horror manga writer. This book tells tales of his own life experiences as a dog person then owning two cats. It is quite funny and it was fun to read.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, this book has been on my radar for quite sometimes and I finally picked it up. I am really excited to get to it this month as well.

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella, I will be honest the cover of this book really pulled me in. The cover alone has such a great atmosphere for a thriller and sets the tone so clearly. Then, when I read the description I added it to my pile before checking out from the store. This books talks about a girl going to Harvard to try and figure out what led her brother to suicide. There also seems to be ghosts possibly present in this story as well.


What book have you recently added to your shelves from the library or the store?

What book have you recently read?

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Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1 Update

Hello and welcome to my first checkin for one of my largest reading challenges of the year where I read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Prize. If you would like a breakdown of my challenge you can do so by reading my post, Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals. Even though it is already February, I have already read 2 of the 6 books on this list so I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on these books before too much times has passed and the details begin to get fuzzy. Anway, on to the reviews!


The Books

The Memory PoliceThe Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels and have not been for a long time. I read this novel mainly because it was part of my challenge to read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Award. I have to say I am thrilled it was on this list because I loved it. It was a dystopian novel, but was more. It had elements of science fiction and fantasy as well. The writing was grand and I give huge credit to the translator because it seems a lot of the magic of this novel remained in the tale.

View all my reviews

Hurricane SeasonHurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting read. The murder of the witch is told through the POV of multiple people. With each perspective you learn more about the past and the murder itself. I liked how it also was a social commentary with a mixture of a thriller.

View all my reviews


Overall, I am feeling very good about the books on this list so far. I enjoyed both of these books and even enjoyed loving one of them. Starting off the list by finding a 5 star read is just phenomenal. Last year, I didn’t have the best start to this challenge so this is a great contrast. I have very high hopes for the rest of these books and I am loving that my enjoying percentage is 100%!

Liked: 2

Hated: 0



Have you read either of these books? Would you add either of these to your TBR?

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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.

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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?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | February 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a book haul for February. This month was really great for my book buying and I am thrilled about that. I love when I read more books than add to my TBR. But, because I picked up so few books, I am really, really happy about the ones I did decide to add to my shelves. Anyway, here are the books I decided to add!


The Last Negros at Harvard by Jeanna Ellsworth and Kent Garrett, I picked this up at my local bookstore, but I had heard about it on twitter and thought it was a very interesting story. I really want to know the experiences of these very brave and intelligent men who attended Harvard during a time described as “between integration and affirmative action” in the description.

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, this was my BOTM pick for February. It follow a very young family who have traveled from to the US from Bogotá and stay longer than their visa allows because they want what is best for their family. It follows them as they move from place to place and the stress and hardships that follow.

What Would Frida Do? by Arianna Davis, I am going to be honest here, I don’t know too much about Frida and I saw this on BOTM so I decided to add it to my box this month. This is a nonfiction book about the artist and I have heard that you can really read the passion the author has for this prominent figure. It seems to not just talk about her art, but her life as a whole.

Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom, I have had this book on my to buy list for a very long time and I finally came across it in the bookstore so I picked it up. This is a grim book, but I find it to be a very interesting topic. This book dives into the history of books bound in human skin. The author, who is a librarian, goes through the myths and legends and uses science to see if the books that are claimed to have been bound in human skin, really are.

This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch, I picked up this thriller for a series on my blog called, Someone Picks My Books. I don’t want to say too much, but I did post the review for this book already so you can find that here, Someone Picks My Books | Nicky from @cre8ive_nicky | This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch.


What book have you recently added to your shelves from the library or the store?

What book have you recently read?

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