Category Archives: books

January Owlcrate Unboxing: Fearsome Fairytales

What’s one of your anticipated reads this year?

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black @blackholly was one of the most hyped books last year for 2018 so of course I was curious and eager to read it! Imagine my surprise and joy when it turned out to be the book for the @owlcrate January “Fearsome Fairytales” box! I’m so excited to buddy read this with my girl Anna @fairravens! I’ve already read the first few chapters and so far I’m enjoying the world building and the characters.

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Included were several goodies: a Sleeping Beauty inspired pillowcase by @stellabookishart, a wax burner designed by Owlcrate accompanied by Hansel and Gretal wax melts by @spireside, a Rapunzel inspired charm bracelet by @authoradornment, a monthly postcard with collectible Owlcrate pin by @spykles, and my favorite piece—a stunning rendition art print of Little Red Riding Hood by @annelambelet. Swipe to the next slide to see a close-up!

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Thank you so much Korrina and Team Owlcrate for always anticipating my bookish needs! I can’t wait for February’s theme “Hidden Worlds”!

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Anyone else running like Dr. Ellie Sattler through the week toward the weekend like it’s the perfect hideout from velociraptors? 🏃🏽‍♀️🦖😊

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February Reads

What book are you enjoying so far from your February TBR?

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I’m really enjoying The Alienist by Caleb Carr. The TNT show is based on this book and I wanted to read it before I watched it. I’ve purposely avoided any specific details about the show so I don’t know how close it is to the book but I can say that the book is really good! I’ll have a more detailed review once I’m done, but if you enjoy historical fiction with a dash of true crime, you’ll enjoy this.

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The other books featured here are books I hope to get to this month and books I didn’t get to finish in January. I’m winding down on It by Stephen King and the feels are too real. I don’t want the Losers Club to die!😢 I’m thoroughly enjoying the Arabic inspired fantasy City of Brass—such gorgeous writing and the folkloric details are my jam! I’m enjoying The Night Circus, but I’m not loving it as much as other people. I don’t think circus stories are for me (I wasn’t a fan of Caraval either), but I’m enjoying the story enough to see how it ends.

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I’m really eager to read the rest! I’ve got a huge stack of graphic novels from the library I need to catch up on.

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We had a three day weekend and we have another one coming up. It’s a short week but it feels like it’s taking so long for it to end!

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Reread of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

When you reread a book, do your feelings change toward it?

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This week my kids and I finally started listening/reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (We listen to books on the way to school and home). It has been years since I’ve read the series but I enjoyed it and was looking forward to reading it with my kids someday. Someday arrived and it’s been such a fantastic experience so far. We’re only at the beginning but even though I know what happens, it’s like reading it for the first time because my kids are so enthralled with Harry’s world and enjoy discovering new things like he does. I also highly recommend the audiobook which is narrated by Jim Dale. He does a fantastic Hagrid!

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If you’re curious as to where we are in the story (SPOILERS), Hagrid has taken Harry to the Leaky Cauldron for the first time and everyone is like 🤩 towards Harry.

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Would you guys be interested in reviews for audiobooks for picture books, middle grade, and young adult books? Or is there anything you’d like to know about audiobooks?

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Happy Friday, friends! I hope you’ve had a great week and have fantastic plans for the weekend. We have a three day weekend. Monday is a holiday in observance of Lincoln’s birthday. I’m SO glad! This has been a rough week and I need the rest!

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The Golden Trio print was from the August 2017 @owlcrate.

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January Wrap-Up

It’s only February, but how’s your reading progress going for the year?

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These are the books I read in January and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in myself. I usually average 5-7 books a month. I thought about why I hadn’t read as much and realized several things: I focused more on self care—reading is a form of coping for me and I needed to balance it with getting more activity and eating better. (Too many instances of sitting and reading while snacking!) I also needed to focus more on revising my draft. My goal is to start querying by summer and I have a lot to do!

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So, instead of thinking, “I didn’t read enough books,” I’m switching my attitude to “Wow! You managed to read four books while taking care of yourself and your family!” A bit Pollyanna? Maybe. But I’ll take it! We all could be kinder to ourselves and allow ourselves small victories.

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Instead of using a rating system for my wrap-ups, I use categories! Should be easy to do since there’s only four books! 😆

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📚Warcross by Marie Lu—Book with a unique setting and exciting pace! I’ll also add an honorary category for best book boyfriend with a dark past to Hideo Tanaka!

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📚Princeless: The Pirate Princess Volume 3 by Jeremy Whitley—Series that’s not only highly entertaining but it also teaches subversive lessons in how take down gender stereotypes.

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📚Binti: Home, Book 2 by Nnedi Okorafor—Character who is a bad ass because of her brains (Hermione Granger and Annabeth Chase have been previous recipients).

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📚The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey—Book most likely to make you reconsider your stance on the zombie apocalypse (maybe zombies are beings who just want to live their own life) and other life choices, i.e. leave the cell phone behind and take all the medicines! Honorary category for pretty much getting you to cheer for a little girl who likes to eat people.

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Are these categories helpful? Or do you prefer the rating system?

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Book sleeves made by me! 💁🏽‍♀️

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A book that surprised me!

“Like I wasn’t lazy lazy…but I still felt like the world was turning a bit too fast and I had to sit down a lot and get my bearings. Anyone relate? Or was that just me?”—from @sydneystrand, my writing role model who also happens to be my planner boss lady inspiration @the.adhd.planner.

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The weekend was full of family plans and it all caught up with me on Monday. Susan expressed my feelings exactly—had to sit one out Monday by resting and finding my bearings! I’m fine now, but favoring a more easy going pace this week than last week’s frenzied dash. (Really trying to put self care first! #imtrying)

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This book here is by an author I read for the first time last year. I read this book as part of a read along (that I didn’t finish in time to participate in the discussions but still finished nonetheless!) I was quite pleased at how much I enjoyed this story! It involves tragedy, a bit of mystery, and electricity! I also enjoyed this writer’s style—nostalgic at times, well-placed poignant moments, and a fine balance of mystery and terror. This author is often called the master of horror, but I wouldn’t call this story horror—mystery, thriller with really cool electricity?😏 Any guesses for the book and/author? (See the answer below in the tags.)

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*sips tea* How is your week going? Tell me about a book that surprised you!

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#revival #stephenking

Self-care and February reading

What’s something you do for self care? (Reading and binging shows is not what I meant!😉) January was about reflection and coming up with a plan for self care because I’m really bad at it. 🤦🏽‍♀️ My goal in February is to put my plan in action and try out what works and what doesn’t.

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One thing that I really enjoy is taking long walks at our local nature center. If you saw my stories this morning, I shared glimpses of what it’s like. As I mentioned before I really enjoy going on these walks, but I also am very good at making up excuses not to go! No more of that! If I can’t make it out, then I’ll find another self care activity that I enjoy. No more making excuses! This year will be more of looking for opportunities! 💪🏽

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And yes I brought some books with me on my walk. 💁🏽‍♀️ Featured here are just a couple of my February reads! I’ll do a January wrap-up and a more comprehensive February TBR in another post, but I wanted to share a couple books that I’m really excited for! The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag @molly_ostertag and Binti the Night Masquerade (Book 3) by Nnedi Okorafor @nnediokorafor have been on my TBR for a while now. I’m a few pages into Witch Boy and I’m in love! I finished Binti 2 earlier this week and I’m so glad Binti 3 came out last month because that cliffhanger had me like 😯😧😩!

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What’s on your February TBR?

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Book tag: Map Mondays

How’d your Monday go? It got up to the 90s in SoCal today and it’s was like 😨. Good bye, Winter! 😢

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Ha! I’ve had this shot for a while and was waiting for the right time to post and finally remembered #mapmonday! This is from a book that I absolutely enjoyed!

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It’s an adult fantasy about a group of friends who, in their glory days, were known for being the fiercest and wildest band of mercenaries. They retired, but several years later, one of them tries to get the band back together to save his daughter. They’re old and out of shape, but you can’t help rooting for these guys. I highly recommend it for readers who love an adventure and wily characters. I can’t wait for the next book. If you’re curious about the title, answer is in the tags below!

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For the day 29 #grimdragon challenge, the prompt is Meh. This book is far from it! Quite the opposite in fact! So I will say this weather we’re having is meh. Don’t get me wrong, I love sunny weather, but it’s January and I’m not ready for this summer-like weather. 🙅🏽‍♀️

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#kingsofthewyld #nicholaseames