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Books I Took On Vacation and Did I finish Them?

Hello and welcome to a short post talking about the books I recently took with me when going out of state for the first time since everything went haywire in 2020. My household and I stayed in the middle of the woods, it was great to see different scenery and be in the middle of nature. Something I have not been able to do for a long time. Anyway, here is a list of the books I bought with me to read in the woods!

What I Took

Later by Stephen King

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella

What I Read

Later by Stephen King, finished, paperback, pictured

This is the first book I finished on vacation. I have a tradition of reading a King novel whenever I go away and this short one was perfect and did not disappoint. It was a great of traditional monsters in Kings writing. This book took it a bit further and sadly showed the monsters that humans can be as well. I read it within two days and I could not put it down once it really got going. I also really liked them POV that was used for this novel. I think it really lent itself to what King was going for.

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami, finished, ebook, not pictured

I don’t want to say too much about this novel because I am going to do a whole separate post about it soon. I will say that I really enjoyed reading this collection of short stories and was great to bring with me when I went on a walk or just sat outside for a bit.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald J. Robertson, started , paperback, pictured

As the heading says, I only started to read this book, but I will say I am really enjoying it. I decided that I wanted to take my time with this one and not rush too much because I think I could take a lot from this and I don’t want to miss out on anything. I am about 88 pages into it and looking forward to reading more soon.

What book has been your favorite vacation read?

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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.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | July 2021

Hello and welcome to “new” kind of post here on my blog. In the past I just did monthly TBRs and didn’t really talk about my goals outside of this or share the things I wanted to try to get to during the month. Well, I decided to change that and post a monthly intent post to share what I intend to do over the course of the month book wise and beyond!

Reading Plans

This upcoming month I really want to read a few books, but the two I want to prioritize this month are How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson and Later by Stephen King. When it comes to How to Think Like a Roman Emperor I am curious to continue looking into philosophy. I took a class when I was in school and really enjoyed it, but I have not really explored it more since. I am really hoping to chance that. As for King’s book, I really loved the last two books he wrote for hard case crime, so I am hoping that this is another great mystery penned by King.

Crochet Plans

This month I want to finally tackle a project I have been putting off. I have all the yarn for the project and everything, I just have been so intimidated by it that I keep picking up other projects first. The pattern in question is the Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. It is a beautiful sweater/poncho that I really want to have done for the fall months so I can wear it out and about. I have been dabaling in creating wearables this year outside of scarfs and hats and I already notice an improvement in my abilities. I am hoping I have gotten good enough to create this beautiful pattern. I ended up picking up Brava Bulky Weight Yarn in the color Sienna.

Random Goals

Something different I would love to do this month is create a room spray. I normally just buy some from the store and call it a day, but I think it would be a ton of fun to try and make one myself and really tailor it to my tastes. This is not to say that the store bought ones or bad, I tend to like most of the ones I have picked up. I just think it would be fun to mix my own or follow a guide to create a scent I really adore.

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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!

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To Be Read

To Be Read | June 2021 | Trying TBRvatar

Hello and welcome to my TBR post for the month of June. I feel like June was snuck up on me all of a sudden, but I am really excited about the warmer weather. This month I decided to try something new and play a game created by a booktuber. This month I decided to try the TBRvatar created by Book Roast. She was kind enough to share the cards with all of her followers so we can okay along so I printed them and laminated them, sorry for the glare, I wanted them to hold up over time. Anyway, on to the TBR!


The Books

The first card I picked was Flopsy: Read a book that you find intimidating. I picked the book Assassin’s Quest, the final book in the Farseer Trilogy. I am intimidated due to the size, but also because it is the final book in this trilogy, I have really enjoyed it so far and I hate to see it end.

The second card I pulled is Desna and Eska: Read a Book About Siblings. This was actually a difficult one to find on my shelves, I am not going to lie. I went through a ton of books and finally found this one, where in the description it says, “a sister mourns her brother”. While it is very sad sounding just with that line, the overall description sounds really interesting and I think it is the only book that mentions siblings I have currently on my shelves.

My last pick for the month was the cards entitled, Music Night: Read something that’s between 330-370 pages whilst listening to music. I decided to go with People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, which was gifted to me for my birthday in May by Reg, which was so thoughtful and kind of her.

I really enjoyed pulling a card and going through my TBR to see if I can find a book to go with it. It was really great way to get more familiar with the books that have been on my shelve for a bit and slipped to the back a bit. I actually also ended up unhauling about 10 books while I was doing this, so I am all set to donate those soon as well.


What do you plan on reading this month?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | Basically 24 Hour Readathon May 2021

Hello and welcome to a quick little post sharing my TBR for the upcoming Basically Readathon hosted by @BrittAlsemgeest on twitter, you can find the readathons twitter account at @BasicallyReadtn. This round as all the rounds goal is to read or start some books that have been on your TBR the longest. Below I will copy the details directly from the announcement video for your convivence as well, but I encourage you to watch it here. I personally follow Britt’s time zone since that is 6am to 6am my time, it just works better, but I love that you can be flexible with this readathon.

  • Date – Sat May 29 at noon to Sun May 30 at noon
  • Goal – Read a book that’s been on your tbr forever Timezone – Follow your own or mine! (Amsterdam/CEST time)
  • Use the #BasicallyReadathon

This round I am going to try to tackle one to two of the books of The Neapolitan Novels. I have two reasons why I am picking these books. The first being that my aunt gifted these to me in December for the holidays so I have been looking at this series for a while without picking them up. The second being I have the entire series of sorts ready to go through and I wont need to go out and pick up an other one if I end up wanting to jump right into the next. Actaully, I lied there is a third reason. I want to tell me aunt my thoughts on this series, but I have a feeling they will be good. My understanding of order of this series is My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and lastly The Story of the Lost Child. I will be honest, I know nothing about this series other than my aunt really liked it. We tend to like similar books, so I think this will be more than promising!


I am always a sucker for a 24 hour readathon so of course I wanted to take part in this one again. I hope some of you are able to join. Share your TBR in the comments if you are!

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To Be Read

To Be Read | May 2021

Hello and welcome to my May TBR! This month I am going to be keeping my TBR on the smaller size to hopefully give me the opportunity to do some mood reading, which really helped out the second half of April.


The Books

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, I have been reading The Discovery of Witches series on my ereader and really enjoying it. I ended up walking into my local indie bookshop and I was talking about really enjoying it and the seller recommended this book to me. It is a historical fiction, but all about sisters joining the suffragist movement with a twist of witchcraft from my understanding.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, I have heard nothing but great things about this book and I came across it being on sale on a recent trip to the bookstore, so I thought it was the best time to pick it up and give it a go. I am really interested in this because it is multigenerational from my understanding and is historical fiction.

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, I picked this book up on a total whim if I am being honest. I saw a youtuber I enjoy watching get this book and they were so excited about it I just couldn’t help myself. I have no idea what it is about, but I feel like that it is kinda fun and will make it all the more interesting when I read it this month.

The Agonist by Shastra Deo, not pictured, I am reading this book digitally. This is a collection of poems by an author who was born in Fiji. Reading the blurb and reviews I have come across say that it is beautifully written as well as being food for thought and conversation.

What do you plan on reading this month?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | April 2021

Hello and welcome to my April TBR, if you have read my March wrap up or have seen my on twitter, you will know that I didn’t really get through many books last month. So, due to this my TBR for this month will be to finish the books I am currently in the middle of, anything more will be a great bonus in my eyes.


The Books

I am currently in the middle of and enjoying both The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein and An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon. I have to say, I read the first four chapters of The Color of Law already all I can say is wow, I have annotated so much and a lot of it has been me writing at people of the past for being complete and utter racist morons if not worse. This nonfiction dives into the history of how housing policy set by the government segregated America following the end of Reconstruction. On the other hand An Echo in the Bone is a historical fiction fantasy book that is the 7th in a series, in this series the current time period is right before the American Revolution. I don’t want to say too much about it because it is in the middle of a series.

I do have two more books on my TBR that are not in the picture because they are an ebook and an audiobook. The first being A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, which I am currently reading with a friend from work. This is a modern day fantasy novel that is filled with witches, vampires, and daemons that revolves around a historian at Oxford. Just right up my alley honestly. The next is a Someone Picks My Book pick, so I don’t want to give that away just now, but keep your eyes open for what Tee picked for me!



What do you plan on reading this month?

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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.


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To Be Read

To Be Read | March 2021

Hello and welcome to my March TBR list! I cannot believe I am already planning my reading for March, I still feel like February just begun and I have a ton of time to keep reading my February TBR. Nope, not the case at all. I will have to move a few books from February to March since I just ran out of time…oops! Anyway, this month quite a few of the books I don’t quite have a physical copies for so they are not in the picture. Some are ebooks and another is a preorder I can’t wait to get my hands on.


The Books

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, ebook not pictured. This is a book for my read a shortlist challenge for 2021, if you want to see the details you can see that in my post called, Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021. I am excited to get to this one because it was awarded the International Booker Prize so I have high hopes especially since I have enjoyed the other books on this list so far.

The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary by Catherine Gray, audiobook not pictured. I am really excited to get to this book, I have not read a book quite like this one is described in some time and I think it will be very refreshing and uplifting.

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb, pre-ordered not pictured. This is the book I currently and waiting for release day, which is early on in March. This will be the third book I have read by Hobb this year and I am really enjoying her style of writing and the world she has created.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, pictured. I started this tome in February and I really want to continue and finish it up over the next month. As always I am curious as to what Clair and Jamie will be getting into. I am actually crocheting a few Outlander inspired things as I read this book, which has really added to the fun.

Dead Blonds and Bad Mothers by Sady Doyle, pictured. I have had this non-fiction on my shelf for a bit and I am really feeling the urge to read it now. The second part of this title is “Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power”, I mean that alone just draws me in.

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, pictured. I am reading this with Jenna this month so we can discuss it as we read, which I think will be really good and spark some very good discussions on systematic racism.


What do you plan on reading this month?

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