Challenges · Uncategorized

Challenge Update: The Goodreads Challenge and My Favorites of 2019

This year I vowed to log every single book I read on Goodreads. I know that this sounds silly – what is the alternative? Well, what I did pre-2019 was to only log the books I was proud to read or ones that I reviewed. Which is just silly because every single book is a labor of love from the author and deserving of a place on my GR list. So, for 2019, I wanted to log them all. And I did!

I wanted to read 100 books and I managed to read 124. The number of books is pretty consistent from year to year but the fact that I wrote them all down is a wonder to me. In case you haven’t been reading – my other challenges all suffered from a sheer lack of data. I need to change this in 2020. I need data to be my friend.

I was going to do a best of list but, honestly, this is the first year that I feel like every book added something to my life all year long. It was a wonderful year of reading and I cannot wait for 2020’s reading to begin!


Tell me, please!

How was your 2019 Reading?


 

Challenges

2019 Challenge Updates: My Struggles

After this, I only have one more challenge to address; my Goodreads challenge. But it would be remiss of me to not take the time to talk about the straight up messes I have made of my reading and reviewing this year. This is where I lay down the shameful double whammy of bad habits that sabotages my reading and reviewing every year.

Bad Habit #1: Mood Reading


There really isn’t anything wrong with mood reading. Except, you know, if you have ARCs piling up, shelves overflowing, and you can’t seem to stick to any kind of plan. After several of my resolutions in 2018 sort of crashed and burned I decided to only pick challenges that would give me the flexibility that mood reading brings to the table. So, no more “When Are You Reading?” or special categories for reading. Everything would be general and intended to clear my Massive TBR. I did have two specific challenges: The Harry Potter Read Through and the Learn Something New challenge. Both of these challenges required me to read specific books and this had me avoiding doing either.

Bad Habit #2: Not Keeping Track of My Reading


2019LibraryLoveChallenge-400x400-angelsgpOne of my favorite challenges that was new in 2019 was the Library Love Challenge hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures blog. I did a fantastic job keeping track of the books I borrowed from the library in January. Part of February and piece of March were also written down. And, even the small amount of data I kept has shown me that using my library saves me somewhere between $500-$1000 a year and that doesn’t include the DVDs I borrow. Can you imagine how cool it would have been if I had tracked it all year? Here you can see the gradual failure….

Here are the things I borrowed from my local library in 2019


You are a Badass, How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero ($15.00)

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley ($14.00)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Matt Haddon ($15.00)

China Rich Girl by Kevin Kwan ($13.00)

Atomic Habits ($27.00)

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan ($12.00)

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan ($12.00)

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz ($15.00)

Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margaret Fox ($15.00)

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Library by Robin Sloan ($15.00)

January total money saved = $138.00

Simpsons Confidential by Mike Reiss ($15.00)

In Praise of Wasting Time by Alan Lightman ($16.99)

Drawn Together by Minh Le ($17.99)

The Wicked King by Holly Black ($15.00)

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian ($15.00)

Reading Art ($35.00)

The Con Artist by Fred Van Lethe ($14.99)

The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl #2) by Eoin Colfer ($15.00)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson ($15.00)

A New Hope – The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken ($15.00)

Daughter of a Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller ($9.99)

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson ($12.00)

Savings for February and March $196.96

Truly Deviously by Maureen Johnson ($15.00)

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Phillippe ($12.90)

Fantastic Beasts and How to Find Them, J.K. Rowling ($15.99)

Meet Cute, Helena Hoang ($8.99)

Hello Universe, Erin Entrada Kelly

The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Fish in a Tree

Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina, Illuminae Files #2 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Obsidio, Illuminae Files #3 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Black Count by Tom Reiss

Betty WhileIf You Ask Me by Betty White


Can you imagine how successful my reading would have felt if only I had stuck to my plans and kept track of what I had done? If I look back at my September Series Challenge or my November NonFiction Reading Challenge I see a strong start only to run out of steam towards the end. Did I really run out of steam or did I just not track them?

Because the reality is that the lack of data truly affected all of my other challenges in one way or another. The only place I really tracked every single book was in my Goodreads challenge. But, I then failed to take that data and use it for my other challenges. All I had to do was transfer the information and I didn’t.

But I can finish things. And that is where I am especially disappointed with myself. I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year and I finished. I even have a printed certificate to prove it. Why did I finish this but not some of my other challenges?

What I need to do is ponder this before I come up with my 2020 Reading Challenges.


Tell me, please!

Do you have any tips or tricks I can use to help stay on track this year?


Challenges

2019 Reading Challenge Update: Audiobooks

2018 might have been the year I discovered the power of audiobooks but 2019 is definitely the year that I made audiobooks work for me. And, I owe it all to Hot Listens and Caffeinated Reviewer’s audiobook challenge!

In this challenge, you are encouraged to listen to audiobooks and they make being successful so easy. Here are the rules:

Challenge Details

  • Runs January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2019 than you did in 2018.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.

And, success comes in all different levels. Here is how they define each level:

Levels

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

In 2018 I was surprised to find that I listened to 13 which put me at the Stenographer level. This year I just wanted to match that level but I managed to listen to a whopping 21 books! This makes me a Binge Listener! It is also the reason that I dramatically increased my rowing distance since I listen while I row. Bonus points!

My 2019 Audiobooks



You Are a Badass, How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and State Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Matt Haddon

Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

A New Hope- The Princess, The Scoundrel and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken

Truly, Deviously by Maureen Johnson

Magnus Chase II, Rick Riordan

The Arctic Incident (Artemis fowl #2)

The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl #3)

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Fish in a Tree

Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina, Illuminae Files #2 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Obsidio, Illuminae Files #3 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Black Count by Tom Reiss

Betty WhileIf You Ask Me by Betty White


As with all my other challenges, I did better in 2019 than in 2018 in logging my books. In 2020 I want to vastly increase the consistency with which I review the audiobooks I enjoyed. If you are even remotely interested in audiobooks, I highly recommend this challenge!


Tell me, please!

Do you listen to audiobooks? If not, what is holding you back?


 

Challenges

2019 Reading Challenges: Beat the Backlist

This is the second year that I have pledged to participate in Novel Knight’s Beat the Backlist Challenge and this is the second year that I have fallen short of the goal line. This year I read the books (same as 2018), I even kept track of them (one better than 2018!) but I still managed to forget to submit the books I read (whomp whomp).

novelknight

If you have never been to Novel Knight’s site, it is amazing and I would highly recommend checking it out. My big regret from this year is that I didn’t check the site more frequently because I could have participated on a deeper level. I think that I would have had a lot more fun with my TBR pile and I would have gotten a lot more accomplished than I did this year. Also, generally, Novel Knight has some amazing reviews.

As it stands, these are the books I read off my TBR for 2019.


Beat the Backlist Challenge

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal….by Tom Reiss

A Glorious Freedom by Lisa Congdon

Snacks by Janis Thiessen

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

Frankestein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Here be Monsters by Alan Snow

A Man Called Ove

The Queen of the Tearling

The Invasion of the Tearling

The Fate of the Tearling

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

The Raven King

Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Fish in a Tree Lynda Hunt Mullaly

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

The Wonderling by Mira Bartok


I don’t know what is worse, how few of these wonderful books I reviewed or the fact that as I look through my Goodreads list I am seeing more and more books that I read that I didn’t write down for this challenge. So, I failed to keep track even for myself!

Still, I count this challenge as a reading success because some of the books I read on this list I have had for years. So, thank you Novel Knight for hosting this challenge again next year! In 2020 I resolve to not just read books off my TBR but also actually participate fully in the challenge.


Tell me, please!

Did you participate in this challenge? Any tips on how to keep track of things better?


 

Challenges · SeriousSeries

My 2019 Challenge Update: Serious Series Challenge

I took up six reading Challenges in 2019 as well as the Goodreads challenge. Of these seven, five were successes. The two failures were the Totally Harry Potter Re-Read through and the Learn Something New Challenge. Both these challenges I will discuss later. But first, the successes!

The Series Books I Finished in 2019


For this challenge I wanted to finish off the series books that were already on my physical shelf and in my electronic to-be-read pile and, for the most part, I did. Also, in September with the help of Meeghan’s September Series Challenge I focused on just series books. This was wonderful except I found it nearly impossible to review the series books without including major spoilers. So, I defaulted to not reviewing anything at all. Because I am ridiculous.

Besides old series wrap ups I also found new series books to love. Here are the series books I read in 2019!


Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan,

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan,

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

The Wicked King by Holly Black

Magnus Chase II, Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase III, Rick Riordan

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Dragonwatch #1 by Brandon Mull

Dragonwatch #2 by Brandon Mull

Tunnel of Bones Victoria Schwab

Illuminae Kaufman and Kristoff

Obsidio Kaufman and Kristoff

Gemina Kaufman and Kristoff

Beard Necessities by Penny Reid


Beyond not reviewing because I didn’t want to print any spoilers (and finding that I often defaulted to the old ‘it was awesome, trust me!’ review), I had one other problem with series books: There really seems to be a pace for reading them.

Sometimes, series books give you that recap at the beginning. Middle grade books are great for this so Magnus Chase didn’t need an independent re-read because the whole first section of the book is a nice review. Similarly, any Stephanie Plum book includes a refresher so you could really pick up any book after any length of time and read them.

But, YA and adult books, especially those that involve deep world building ask different things of their readers. I had a huge gap between staring and finishing The Raven Cycle and, honestly, it took its toll on the series. I struggled to remember what was happening between books two and three and it cost me the deeper enjoyment of the total series. This is completely my fault and after that I vowed to either re-read or keep a series together. The author deserves at least that much!

So, since I couldn’t remember at all what the set up was in Queen of the Tearling I took the time to re-read it. Re-reading is always quicker and I refreshed my recollection and moved on in the series very quickly. This made the series feel complete and I found myself fully immersed in the world. I did the same thing with The Illuminae Files, consuming them book after book until there were no more.

So, for 2020, I am going to continue reading series books but actually think about how they are meant to be read and take into consideration honestly how much I remember about previous books. (I’m looking at you Toll). Also, I am going to find a way to review them that will bring you the feel of the series without major plot point spoilers.


Tell me, please!

In a series review, what are you looking for?

For my fellow bloggers, how do you handle the spoilers?


 

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: December 18, 2019

If last week seemed to drag by, this week is passing at lightening speed. Christmas is next week! I have almost everything ready to celebrate the holidays (this is a total lie but just go with me please).

No matter how much I want to slow the season down, it is already Wednesday and that means it is time to check in with the WWW Wednesday gang. Hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, this the meme that keeps me organized. You too can participate by just answering the following three W questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Make sure and pop over to Sam’s site and check out all of the participants. This is the meme that is sure to fill your to-be-read list forever.

A note: This nerd can’t help but listing the books in chronological order.


What Did I Recently Finish Reading?

I could not put down The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons. I only regret that this book sat on my shelf for this long! Described as a mix between Pretty Little Liars and Oceans Eleven, this book features Brynn a streetwise character who has just been admitted to Vale Hall, a school for con artists. You can read my full review here.

I am also working through my ARCs. I finally figured out how to access the non-PDF, non-Kindle format of these two graphic novels / comic books. It was….easy, but I was being obtuse. Update your apps everyone!

How I Broke Up With My Colon is from the Akward Yeti, Nick Seluk. I am a big fan of these comics and I consumed this new book in one sitting and immediately went back to laugh at the highlights. This book comes out March 24, 2020.

I also read the cute Alien Nate by Dave Whamond. This is an emerging reader graphic novel perfect for any kid obsessed with aliens. Or pizza. This book will be available April 7, 2020.


What am I Currently Reading?

I am feeling (decently) organized in my reading. I have been enjoying the illustrated Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire over coffee in the morning. This book is huge and unwieldy but so worth it. The illustrations bring the story to life in a whole new way for me.

I have two kindle books running right now. Christmas Australis and Don’t Panic, Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyChristmas Australis might not be something I would normally pick up but a book blogger I follow, Emily Wrayburn, wrote one of the short stories. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you’re a book blogger and you write a book I will read your book.

Finally, I needed something fun to listen to while I wrapped presents and Look Alive Twenty-Five was immediately available. I had grown a little tired of Stephanie Plum’s adventures a few years back but the break was exactly what I needed to make these stories feel fresh and fun again.


What do I Think I Will Read Next?

These are the next books up on my list. I’m still thinking I might not finish my Harry Potter read through but I won’t give up! Meanwhile, The Toll is staring at me just begging to be read. And, I have an ARC copy of Snoopy First Beagle in Space that I would like to read soon.


Tell me, please!

What’s on Your WWW?


 

YA

The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons

thedeceiversAm I finishing off my reading goals for 2019? Nope. This weekend I caught a nasty cold and used the down time to read but, as usual, I read totally without purpose. I really need to work on this for 2020!

Still, my wandering brought me to a book on my own massive physical TBR shelf: The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons. Billed as a cross between Pretty Little Liars and Ocean’s Eleven I wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially since I had never seen Pretty Little Liars.

 

Welcome to Vale Hall, the school for aspiring con artists.

When Brynn Hilder is recruited to Vale, it seems like the elite academy is her chance to start over, away from her mom’s loser boyfriend and her rundown neighborhood. But she soon learns that Vale chooses students not so much for their scholastic talent as for their extracurricular activities, such as her time spent conning rich North Shore kids out of their extravagant allowances.

At first, Brynn jumps at the chance to help the school in its mission to rid the city of corrupt officials―because what could be better than giving entitled jerks what they deserve? But that’s before she meets her mark―a senator’s son―and before she discovers the school’s headmaster has secrets he’ll stop at nothing to protect. As the lines between right and wrong blur, Brynn begins to realize she’s in way over head. Kristen Simmon’s Website.

I’m not sure who wrote the blurb for this book but this is what I would have written instead:


Meet Brynn Hilder. Brynn knows that the only way out of dead end neighborhood is college. And the only way to pay for college is to con for money. Certainly her night cleaning job at the museum isn’t going to pay for classes.

But when her Mom’s drug dealing low-life boyfriend finds her stash of cash for college and demands she start dealing to earn back his trust, Brynn is out of options. A sudden offer to join the elite academy called Vale Hall seems too good to be true. A safe place to sleep, a plush room full of clothes, classes that challenge her intellect and real friends? It’s a dream come true. But when it becomes clear that the director of Vale Hall is keeping his own secrets, Brynn will have to figure out what is true and gain control of her future once again.


Either way, the storyline took a backseat for my love of the main character. Right from the beginning I was invested in Brynn. I think this is the magic of YA books, there is no build up or slow simmer. Instead, the attachment to the characters is immediate and the action follows swiftly. It was my interest in Brynn that really carried me through the book because, diving in, what you think you’ll get out of this book is completely different than where you finish.

I did have two small (tiny really) issues with the story. First, very little of the story takes place at Vale Hall. I’m actually going to start a petition for another book to be added to this series because I really want to see more of the day to day of Vale Hall. And I want details on all of the cons the kids were practicing! I mean, what is a pigeon drop?

Second, there were a lot of characters whose backstories we just had to assume or accept with little to no detail. I want to know why one of the students doesn’t sleep well at night! And what was up with the weird backstabbing girl? I need answers!

Neither of these things bothered me enough to effect my enjoyment of the book. Actually, the author could resolve the second problem with another book (hint hint). But, I know I am a fairly forgiving consumer. For example, plot holes in Marvel movies are something I notice but I just don’t care. But, if these things bother you, it might detract from the story.

This book did what all excellent books do. It kept my interest and attention (I could not put it down!) and still managed to leave me wanting more.


Tell me, please!

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?


 

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: December 11, 2019

This has already been a long week! Not a bad week, just one of those where you do so much that the days seem unnaturally long. But now it is Wednesday! That means it is time for WWW Wednesday. This is my “clean slate” day where I gather up all the books that have wandered around the home and see what is going on in my reading life. It is also the day I say thank you to Sam @ Taking on a World of Words for hosting the meme that keeps me organized and to all the participants who keep my TBR overflowing.

If you want to participate, just answer these three questions.

What are you currently reading?

What did you just finish reading?

What will you read next? 

And, if you are a history nerd (like me), you can answer them in chronological order!


What Did I Just Finish Reading?

I finished The Black Count, Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss and it was as wonderful as I hoped it would be. Sadly, between finishing that and finishing NaNoWriMo, I fell into a bit of a funk. I still need to write the review.

This funk led me to insomnia (cue ugly cycle) and had me reading romance through the wee hours of the morning. I started with one of the new books written in the Penny Reid universe, Weight Expectations, and it was cute cute cute!!! That led me (as Kindle recommendations do) to Meghan Quinn’s My Best Friend’s Ex, which was equally good but a shade naughtier. Then, I landed on In The Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen which was not to my taste.

So, I put romance aside and tried to find a different genre to keep me company at night. You can see my fun finds below.

Similarly, after several failed audiobook attempts I stumbled across Betty White’s absolutely delightful If You Ask Me. If you find yourself in a funk, get yourself a Betty White book!


What Am I Currently Reading?

The Art and Science of Hand Reading is still a work in progress! And, I refuse to give up on trying to finish the Harry Potter series for my 2019 goals.

Christmas Australis is a collection of scary Christmas stories from Australia. This is not usually my style by one of the writers is book blogger Emily Wrayburn from A Keyboard and an Open Mind. I love Emily’s blog and so when she announced she had contributed I pre-ordered the book. Because, if you are a book blogger and you write a book I will read your book.

I’ve also pulled The Deceivers off my massive physical TBR and it is so enjoyable. I love the main character and I am looking forward to reading it today during my lunch.

Finally, after going too deep down the romance rabbit hole on my Kindle I found Don’t Panic, Douglas Adams and the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Neil Gaiman. It is funny and wonderful and filling me in on all the things I never knew about Adams and The Guide.


What Will I Read Next?

Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter!! I am ridiculously far behind on that goal but, somehow, I feel close enough to finish it. Plus, Harry Potter always feels right to me this time of year. That’s a lie. Harry Potter feels especially right to me this time of year. It is never a wrong time to read Harry Potter.

Top Five Tuesday

Top Five Tuesday: Surprising Reads of 2019

There is nothing I love more than a surprising read. You pick up a book not expecting much and you are sucked into a special relationship with the characters or the story and even when you finish, you just are so thankful that this book came into your life. Am I overplaying this? Hell no. Thanks to Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm I am inspired to share my Top Five Surprising Reads of 2019. Each one of them came out of nowhere and became so special to me.


Atomic Habits by James Clear was a book I picked up from the library on a whim. I think it was the “tiny changes, remarkable results,” that caught my eye. I did not expect this little book of nonfiction to dramatically alter the way I approach every habit in my life. The idea that all I needed to do was 1% better than yesterday has literally transformed my habits. I credit it with helping me learn to row long distances, play musical pieces I thought might be outside my abilities, and even for being a NaNoWriMo Winner this year. This was my most surprising nonfiction read of the year.

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson is not a book that I would normally pick up. I wanted to read more variety in 2019 and it was highly recommended by my Mom. This book…well, this book had me on the edge of my seat. In fact, my smart watch kept asking me if I was working out because my pulse was skyhigh! I was not surprised, I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this book.

Star Wars, The Princess, The Soundrel and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken was my most surprising audiobook of 2019. I love Star Wars. All Star Wars fans are just trying to make it through until we can see The Rise of Skywalker. I got the book to keep me company during my commute and found it to be the most beautiful retelling of A New Hope.

Yes Please, by Any Poehler, I must admit, makes me feel guilty. What is it about this actress that I ignored for so long? I love Tiny Fey. I adore Mindy Kahling. Why did I not notice Amy? I listened to this book after hearing people rave (ridiculously) about Parks and Rec and I got it, really, to provide myself with more reasons to not watch the show. Instead, I became a die-hard Poehler fan and obsessed with Parks and Rec. To say I was surprised by how much I liked the book, the actress, and the show is an understatement.

Illuminae has been floating around the edges of my reading and writing for some time now. People are always talking about it. So, I guess I expected it to be good but not live up to the hype. Oh man. I was wrong. This book (the whole trilogy really) raced right to the top of my favorite books of 2019 in such a fantastic way. I read it in October and I am still thinking about the stories and the characters. Whew!


dotjournaling

I’d like to give Dot Journaling, A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller, an honorable mention. It’s a really cute cover and a funny read but I was really struck by how much it changed my journaling. Now I am unafraid to just write in the darn bullet journal already. I really never thought I would be so free with it and that is, honestly, surprising to me everyday.


Tell me, please!

What are your most surprising reads of 2019?


 

not a review

November Wrap Up

Today is the first day of December! I always set aside November for NonFiction Reading and I was doing so well….until I wasn’t. I missed posting for both the 4th and 5th week of the NonFiction November but I plan to go back (hopefully later today) and look through all of the other participants posts. That way, my NonFiction shelves will be stuffed for the coming year!

The real question of what happened is that I decided to try NaNoWriMo this month. I’ve had a story in my head for years and years and with a break in a number of obligations I thought I would give it a try. At first, the more I wrote the more I blogged. Then I hit a wall and I had to put all of my energy into one or the other. I’m proud to say that I did finish NaNoWriMo even at the cost of my NonFiction November participation.

You guys, if you have ever though of participating….do it! It was a forced march through writing and my book is basically garbage. It was like the first time I made bread. I could see that the dough wasn’t going to rise but I had hope that it would at least be presentable in the end. It is decidedly not presentable. But, what a thrill to have tried it! And, I am excited to start again knowing now where the weak spots in my story are hiding.

Also, for all my super nerdy friends out there – if you finish, they give you are certificate you can print out. And a banner thing. Here it is. Total validation!

NaNo-2019-Winner-Twitter-Header


Tell me, please!

How did your November reading / writing go for you?