Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month Unboxing | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing post. This month I landed on a single book, but was able to pick a free book since I have been a member for so long. Since I am a BFF I am able to pick one of the finalists for book of the year, so you will also see what I picked for that. Funny enough, I was going to pick up this book regardless, but to get it for free was a wonderful bonus.


The Books

The Removed by Brandon Hobson, according to the description this novel deals with grief a family feels after a loss of a child to a police shooting. This story itself does not happen right after the events, but years later and gos over how the parents and siblings deal with the grief as well as what life has thrown at them since. It also pulls from Cherokee folklore from my understanding.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, I have been hearing about this book all over the place and it has won 2020 Book of the Year from BOTM. I have read a previous book by the author and I enjoyed it as well so I am looking forward to hearing the story of two twin sisters whose lives end up radically different and how their families progress as the generations pass. Also, from my current understanding the story will also discuss white privilege from the families stories as well. I am really curious to see where Bennett story takes the reader.


Have you read either of these books or heard of them? Did you pick a different book from BOTMs picks?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | December 2020

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing. This month I ended up choosing two books instead of the standard one book. They really are starting to make it harder and harder to just pick one book because their choices have improved dramatically from when I first subscribed. Anyway, on to the books I picked!

The Books

The Office of Historical Corracerections by Danielle Evans

Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters’ lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief—all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history—about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight. –goodreads.com

This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing on the side of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.

Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. But what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not the only one who needs healing — and she’s not the only one with secrets. –goodreads.com


Why I Picked These Books

The main reason I decided to pick The Office of Historical Corrections was due to the focus on relationships. As of late I have really been enjoying books that seemed to focus on relationships between characters to tells a larger story that is larger than the characters as well as the readers. I feel like it is more impactful and I make more connections between the story and other moments in my life, whether that be to another story or something in my own life.

As for This Close to Okay, the same is particular the reason. The main characters seem like they are going to make a strong connection to one another which will lead to very impactful dialog. I also have been in the mood to read a book where a single moment is a turning point for a character.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Do these books sound interesting to you?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | Tombow VIP Club November 2020

Hello and welcome to a little unboxing post of he most recent Tombow VIP Club box. This box pops up from time to time on their site and often is a great deal to try out new items. This box is currently listed for $30 on tombowusa.com and had free shipping when I ordered within the US.


Image of opening the box. Card on top of items with logo.

I really loved the color scheme of this box, bright yellows, muted pinks and earthy greens. As soon as you open the box you are met with a card that on the front has the logo of the box that is usually decorated in art using the colors in the box. On the other side they detail the items and their worth.

Image of items in the box, detailed below.

First you have tthe ABT PRO Alcohol-Based Marker 5-pack, which comes with the colors P817 Mauve, P993 Chrome Orange, P249 Hunter Green, P761 Carnation, and PN75 Cool Gray 3. This 5 pack combination ended up being an exclusive to the box. Following this are three of their famous Dual Brush Pens in he colors 312 Holly Green, 879 Brown, 942 Tan. Next is a single MONO Sand Eraser, which is said to erase pens, I cannot wait to give that a try. Lastly, a new to me product the Irojiten Colored Pencils in the colors D-04 Maple Sugar, DL-06 Hummingbird, D-20 Indigo, D-14 Bamboo, D-12 Maroon.

I am really excited to give these items a try. I think I am most excited about the eraser and the ABT PRO Alcohol-Based Markers. I really want to see how they compare to the Dual Brush Pens. This box ended up being a value of $54.50. So, it is certainly worth the money spent and is a fun little box in my eyes. This is the third on I hav gotten and I plan on getting more in the future.


What is your favorite art supply?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | November 2020

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing, I am not going to do a huge introduction to this post today, but I am excited to share what I picked this month. This month I added an add on book, which is great because you get to add a hardcover to your order for about $10, don’t quote me on that because I don’t remember the exact amount. But, I. ended. up getting aa horror and a contemporary romance that takes place in Italy. Since traveling this year is not a thing, maybe I can through a book! Anyway, on to he unboxing!


Books pictured on top of piece of wood

The Books

The Whisper Man by Alex North

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window… –goodreads.com

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman

A trio of second-born daughters set out to break the family curse that says they’ll never find love on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed—secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse. -goodreads.com


Why I Picked These Books

The Whisper Man was mainly added to my TBR because I felt like I should read it before I read The Shadows by the same author. While you don’t need to read the other first, I have heard that there are some nods and I wanted to make sure I got the most out of my reading experience. On top of that I have heard really good things about this book so it can’t hurt to give it a go.

As for my other pick, Star-Crossed Sisters in Tuscany, the blurb said family curse and I was sold. There are a few phases that make a book an insta pick or buy for me and that is one of them. I am really curious to see where this book and plot take these sisters. I have never read a book by this author as well, so it will be fun to give their work a go, especially since their other books have been given pretty decent ratings.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Does this book sound interesting to you?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | OwlCrate Edition of The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

Open box with enamel pin and card explaining this is the owlcrate special edition box.

I have yet to read this book, but I have heard both good things and more critical. Before I get into this unboxing I want to link one of the more critical reviews for your reference, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue Review by Read at Midnight. I preordered this book months ago and I am glad to finally have this in my hands, but when I read it, I will have this review in the back of my mind. Now, without more of an introduction here is the unboxing.


Here is a picture of the items I am really thrilled with, I will review from left to right. First we have the enamel pin that is a picture of an open book and a it says ” a story is an idea, as wild as a weed”. I already added this to my pin display. Next is a three year memory journal, the cover says, “What a luxury to tell ones story. To be read. Remembered.” from the book. It is well made and bound nicely, I have no doubt that it will last the three years. Next is the special edition book which is a card cover and just pictures the title on the front. Place on the book is a wooden ring page holder, which I used once and it seems very useful for me personally. It has vines and the words, “il ètait une fois once upon a time” engraved into it. Lastly is a candle that goes along with the story.

Here is a quick picture of the back of the book that have layered diamond shapes and a banner. It has the words, “Never pray to the gods that answer after dark” embossed in rose gold.

Here is a quick peak into the three year memory journal. I really liked the rose gold touch on the edges of this journal as well as the smoky effect on the pages. Each page gives 3 lines for three different years for two days, which I think is a fair amount to jot a quick memory at the end of the day.

Now, on to the things I am indifferent or disappointed with. Now, this water bottle is well made and has a really nice quote that says, “Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives – or to find strength in a very long one” in white text on the black bottle. just have so many traveling bottles that I can’t use as it is that adding one to my collection is not bad or good. But, I will say it is amazingly made and the printing is great.

Lastly, we have the one item I am actually really upset in the quality. This item is a wooden perpetual calendar, painted black with rose gold sides made of wire and the text is also in the rose gold color. The part that I am disappointed with mainly is the quality. I put the date of the unboxing and you can see all the scuff marks and chipped paint already. Even the base itself you can see the sloppy glue job to put it together. In addition to the bad craftsmanship, can you see the “beautiful” quote that is featured on this item? Me either, they placed it behind the blocks, which is pretty pointless in my opinion. Why even bother adding it?


Anyway, that was my unboxinig of the Owl Crate special edition box for The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab. As you can tell I am really happy with a few of the items in the box and others I am not happy with at all. But, I will say over all I am happy. Now, the question is will I be ordering one of these types of boxes again? I am honestly not sure. What do you think?


What are your thoughts on this book? Do you subscribe to OwlCrate?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | October 2020

Hello and welcome to another BOTM unboxing! I think this month was the first month where I saw a book title and added it as my BOTM without looking at the other books. The book I picked I have been looking forward to for month since it is connected to a movie I love and have sentimental attachments to. Now, let’s talk about the book!


Picture of Magic Lesson by Alice Hoffman with a bookmark that says “Get Lost (In a story, that is).” propped up on pillows.

Description

“Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.” – goodreads.com


Why This Book

I already hinted a bit as to why I picked this book. But, incase you did not know this book is the prequel to the book Practical Magic. Now, since I was young I watched the Practical Magic movie that is based off that book with my mom and we continue to watch it from time to time. We always had a great time and made wonderful memories surrounding it. So, you can see why I jumped at the chance to know more about the background of the family. It is just one of those tales for me that is ingrained in my memories and has been a part of my life for some time.

Who would have thought sentimental reasons would be the cause for me to pick a BOTM? I sure didn’t think that would ever happen, but here we are. I am hoping to read it before the month is through. October is a good time to read a story about a witch!


Are you interested in the prequel to Practical Magic?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | September 2020

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of my subscription of BOTM. This month I am happy to say I actually picked two books for my box and both just sound amazing! I honestly had a really hard time between all the awesome choices. One good things was they had Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson and if I had not bought it the day before I would have picked that one so I was able to pick another as well as a book from a previous month. Now, on to my picks and why I chose them!


Descriptions

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith, and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanain immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut. -goodreads

The Shadows by Alex North

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again… -goodreads


Why I Picked These Books

When it comes to Transcendant Kingdom, I picked it because I have been really enjoying hard hitting emotional reads as of late. This book really tells the story of a woman who is spending her life trying to find a way to help her family while they suffer from mental illness, addiction, and loss. I think it will also explore the pressure this puts on Gifty and her struggles that come from this. Not only does this book peak my interest, so does the author. I have heard such wonderful things about this authors outstanding gift when it comes to writings and I just felt like I needed to pick up a book by them.

The second book I picked, The Shadows, was added to my book because I have been into true crime and horror a lot lately and this seemed like a fictional combination of these. On top of that, I have heard promising things about this authors works and I have not read anything by them before.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Does this book sound interesting to you?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | New eReader!

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to a bit of unboxing of my newest eReader. In the past I have used Nook when they first came out, then I transitioned to Kindle years later. Well, I decided I did not want to have a kindle because they are WAY over priced for what they are and I am not throwing my money away at Amazon. Due to this I started to look around for other options. There were a few things I was looking for specifically; a larger screen, backlight, physical buttons, work with my library. That is the thing about eReaders, they need to be fit for the user and you need to do your own research before purchasing to make sure it is right for you.


I ended up looking back at nook since I have used them in the past. To be honest I was not sure why I left, it was so long ago. I looked at their options and I was looking at the model called the NOOK GlowLight Plus and it was $200.00, which I found too much and didn’t even have the physical buttons I wanted.

I then decided to do a general search for eReader and came across Kobo. I decided to take a closer look and came across Kobo Libra H2O. It checked all the boxes for me personally, it had an internal light, had built in OverDrive(library), and had physical buttons and a larger screen than my kindle. The bonus on top of that it was cheaper then the Nook I came across. I decided to purchase this model for myself and waited for it to arrive.

When my eReader arrived I was so excited, it came in a simple box and I opened it right away to get it all set up and ready to go.


The packaging was simple, but it was more than sufficient to keep it safe. I was just as happy when I opened it and it seemed to be exactly what I needed and wanted. When I did take it out it was a good weight, not too heavy, but not too light that it felt fragile. The buttons felt sturdy and were not loose, which is something that always bothered me. I really dislike when a button wiggles.


My Kobo was really easy to set up, I was fairly surprised. When I switched from Nook to Kindle ecosystem there was a bit of a learning curve, with this it was very intuitive for myself personally. I added my library right away and I was surprised and delighted that I could see my holds and how long they thought it would take my to get them. I could also request books from from my Kobo without having to go on another device like with my Kindle. I will be honest, I don’t buy a ton of ebooks, I mainly use the library so this is a huge deal for me.

I also was able to also add my pocket account, which I was also excited about. I always find blog posts and articles I want to read later on and I have used pocket for a while. Well, turns out these are now automatically sent to my ereader now too! I am really thrilled with what this Kobo can do and I will continue to play with it and I am thinking I might do an update post later to share how I feel after a few weeks or months of use.


Do you have an eReader? If so, which one?

What are your musts when it comes to an eReader?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | BOTM May 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Book of the Month! This month was exciting because I have been a member long enough to get a free book for my birthday! I love this little bonus they have for its members after a certain period of time. It is a really nice was to give back I feel like, plus who can say no to a free book?! Anyway, on to my two picks for May!


The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd Description

“In her fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.” – goodreads.com 

Untamed by Glennon Doyle Description 

“This is how you find yourself.

There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful. We hide our simmering discontent—even from ourselves. Until we reach our boiling point.

Four years ago, Glennon Doyle—bestselling Oprah-endorsed author, renowned activist and humanitarian, wife and mother of three—was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. Soon she realized that they came to her from within.”- goodreads.com


Why These Books

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, as you can see from the above description, is very different. I really think this take on such a propionate figure is very intriguing and that is the main reason I picked it up, I really just needed too see what it was all about. I have read one other book by Kidd and I did enjoy it, so I think I will like the writing style, but we will see about the content. I really just have no idea what to think! As for Untamed by Glennon Doyle, it sounds like a very uplifting memoir about finding your true self and your inner voice. I know for me I have been doing a lot of self searching as of late so this was appealing to me in this regard. On top of that I have not read a memoir in such a long time and I am kind of craving one, plus I have been hearing such wonderful things about it. Between those reasons I could not say no to it.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Do either of these books interest you?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | BOTM April 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Book of the Month. This month I decided I was going to treat myshelf, see that pun there? I ended up picking two book this month. The first was a book that was actually from March 2020, but didn’t pick it and I have been thinking about it ever since. The other is a pick from April 2020. I don’t know about you, but the past three weeks I have been doing a ton of reading, so I figured the extra book was alright.


Beach Read Description

“Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.” –goodreads.com

 

The Splendid and the Vile Description 

On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments. –goodreads.com


Why These Books

As I said in the into, one of these books I have been thinking about for a month and regret not picking. That book would be The Splendid and the Vile. I love history and reading nonfiction so this book was meant to be in that way. The reason I initially held off was because I never read a book by this author, but doing more research and I see that they author is received well for their nonfiction. So, between to good topic and a well liked author, I am giving it a go!

The second book Beach Read was mainly picked because it seemed like a light hearted read and I have been craving that a bit as of late. Also, I am a fool when it comes to hate to love romances. I always end up loving them so much. So, this was an automatic yes, but on top of that it is about writers! I love this as well, it is always fun to see things you love and enjoy in books.

I am really looking forward to both of these books for very different reasons, but that is the joy of my reading taste…it is all over the place. I really hope to pick this up sooner rather than later.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Do either of these books interest you?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads