Category Archives: Planning

July TBR 

Okay. Where did the weekend go? I swear it was here just a minute ago! Summer needs to slow down and stop rushing through the weekend!.

That’s when I realized I hadn’t posted my July TBR! 😅 The Emperor’s Blades, The Sun is also a Star, and Lord of Shadows are from June that I’m hoping to finish this month. All the rest are buddy reads! I knowww. I usually only do two buddy reads, three if I’m daring each month, but this month, I somehow agreed to seven. 😅 Maybe it was the allure of summer reading and the promise of more free time (I’m donkey laughing at myself for being so naive) that had me saying yes to all the buddy reads this month, but I love buddy reads and I’m enjoying these so far! (And just to clarify, these buddy reads are not happening all at the same time.) Featured is my reading tracker in bullet journal to help me track my reading. Scroll down to see a close up or check out the tag #jennfscurrentreadstracker on Instagram to see more. 

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What’s on your TBR this month? What has been your favorite summer read so far?

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My son’s 5th birthday is on Tuesday but we’ve been doing all the celebrating this weekend. Today we’re surprising the family to a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. My five year old and three year old have never been and have seen the commercials (Well played, Chuck E. Cheese. Well played.) What are your plans for today?

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June TBR 

Jumping in real quick to share my June TBR! Better late than never right? 😆.

I’ve actually gotten through The Hate U Give, Tell Me Three Things, Thick as Thieves and The Song of Achilles. I’m making great progress on the others! 

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Featured also is my reading tracker. I want to read diversely but also consistently on a daily basis. Having it tracked like this helps with seeing my progress for the month and also which books I gravitate toward. I also included a close-up of my layout, if you’d like a better look. Or you can check out my tag #jennfscurrentreadstracker!

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It’s the last day of school! Yaaas! But I also realized my kids will be home and so I need to take pictures!! 😆

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Do you have any favorite reads for this month so far? Do you have vacation plans for the summer? 

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May Wrap-up 

A bit late, but here’s my May wrap-up. I had a fantastic reading month and June is shaping up to be just as good. .

I can’t pick a favorite because I really enjoyed them all. One of my reading goals is to read outside my comfort genre which is YA Fantasy and I managed to read three YA Contemporaries (Words Deep in Blue isn’t pictured), a graphic novel, and an adult fantasy. I did pretty well and I’m hoping in June to fit in non-fiction and middle grade books. 

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I created this Genre tracker to help keep track of the books I read and which genre they’re from. You can see a close-up of it in the next picture. 

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Do you guys set up reading goals? Have you read any of these books? What did you think? 

Bullet Journal: Current Reads Tracker

Thursday has me like 😵. I’m ready for the weekend! .

For #squeakybookishlibrary Monica Gellar, I thought it would be a good time to share my reading tracker in my bullet journal. Monica is known for her competitive and obsessive nature with a touch of exuberance that some may view as over zealous but I see it as being full of awesome (Remember Ross and Monica’s dance routine?💃🏾🕺🏻 Pure awesome.)

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I like to set goals for reading and writing and I track my progress in my bullet journal. For reading, I set a goal for at least 30 minutes of reading a day and to finish 2 or more books a month. I set a goal of reading 50 books for the year and I’m already more than halfway toward my goal. 💪🏽🙌🏽 (I purposely set it at a low number, for me, because I’m trying to finish my draft.) 

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Any planner addicts and/or bujo junkies out there? Do you track what you read?

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Bullet Journal Challenge: Hi! 

Besides being an avid reader, I’m a notebook and bullet journal enthusiast. I use bullet journaling for different parts of my personality: reader, writer, and mommy. Featured here are the notebook systems that help me stay organized and reach my goals. .

I’ve recently moved all my collections into a TUL disc bound notebook and I’m loving it. My collections are divided up into five sections: reading, writing, buddy reads, manga/anime/drama, and notes. It’s so nice not having to worry about how a collection will be and where to find it. To the right is my sexy Foxy Fix @thefoxyfix Traveler’s Notebook. I have separate notebook inserts to help me organize my mommy and family life: real life bullet journal, book and nerd gear budget tracker, menu planner, and running lists of home/family supplies. Below is my Midori MD A5 squared notebook in a lovely notebook cover by @lunabluebags. I use this for personal journaling, but for this year I’ve set goals for personal care and I’m using it to track my progress. To the left of my journal is my Leuchtturm 1917 @leuchtturm1917 squared pages in an Anthracite cover. This is my favorite notebook for bullet journaling, but the Midori MD notebook is a close second. I use my LT1917 for my reading and writing life. I use it to set goals for writing my novel and reading. I also keep my current reads tracker and my dailies in there. 

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Seems like a lot, but this suits my personality so well. Different parts of me need different spaces, so I love having different notebooks that suit those parts of me. 

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Wooden bookmark from @riddlesteashoppe.

To do planner stickers from @paperkumaco.

Tap the rest for details!

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I’ve had some interest expressed in a flip through for my TUL disc bound to see the sections. Would that be something you’d all like to see on my InstaStory? Who else is a notebook/bullet journal addict?

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#planwithmechallenge Hi! 🙋🏽 

Reading Habits 

Okay. So when I took this picture I kind of didn’t realize that I should’ve posted it sooner rather then later because WHOA it’s February already! Where has the time gone? .

If you check my previous post, you’ll see that This Savage Song was part of my January Wrap-up. You can see mini-reviews of other books I finished in January by scrolling down to the previous post. 

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So let’s talk about what kind of reader you are. One of my daily habits I want to keep up is to read for at least 20 minutes a day. To help me stay on track, I’ve created this current reads tracker. It’s helped me so much by helping me see my reading progress on my books. I also update my Goodreads status to also keep me accountable. Also, since I read multiple books at a time, I can see which ones have grabbed my attention and which ones need more of it. 

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How do you guys track your reading? What are some reading goals you’ve set for yourself?

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I stayed up way too late watching a Korean drama Playful Kiss and then accidentally finished reading Son of Neptune. I’m listening to SON with my kids, but I wanted to see how much we had left and accidentally read the rest of it. 😅 How’s your Wednesday going so far? 

Book Challenge: January Wrap-Up 

For #planwithmechallenge Sections and lessons, I decided to try the TUL discbound notebook for my collections. This meant slicing pages out of my Leuchtturm 1917 to put into my TUL. I actually had been on the fence for weeks about it because taking pages out was a scary thought! With my Christmas money, I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did! Featured here in my TUL is the reading section that contains my Genre Tracker. Lesson learned: You won’t know if you like something until you try! .

For #bookishfriendsJanuary17 Favorite read of January–I can’t decide! I can honestly say I enjoyed each and everyone of these books. From following Demi-gods on a quest to following a young girl who can sense gold to gold rush California, I enjoyed every minute of it! 

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For #squeakybookishlibrary Favorite New Author, he’s not new, but he’s new to me: Joe Abercrombie!

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For #livelaughbooksjanuary and #watermelanerdsjanuary January Wrap-Up–In addition to these novels, I also completed several graphic novels: Ms. Marvel volumes 2 and 3; A Silent Voice (manga); and Through the Woods. For my mini-reviews, please scroll down. ⬇️

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Phew! Six novels and four graphic book collections for January! Is it just me? Or has this month flown by so fast?! What were some of your favorites this month? Did you reach your reading goal?

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My January 2017 Reading Wrap-Up
📚Ms. Marvel Volumes 3 and 4–4.5/5 stars. I really enjoy this series because Kamala is so easy to identify with. Between keeping true to her cultural heritage and living in the Bronx and dealing with her super hero powers, she’s got her hands full but it’s entertaining and poignant at times too. 
📚A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ooima (manga)–3.5/5 stars. The premise is about a boy Shoya who bullied a deaf female student Shoka in elementary school. Shoka transfers out because the bullying gets out of hand, but then Shoya’s classmates turn on him, putting all the blame on him. Years later, scared from the experience, he enters high school and is a loner and prepares to kill himself. On the day he’s supposed to do it, he encounters Shoka, the girl he bullied in elementary, and tries to make amends for his wrong doing. Overall, I thought the story was compelling and the characters’ emotions were raw from the hurt and betrayal, but I wasn’t satisfied with the ending. It was the type that left it slightly open ended which I’m okay with if it’s done well. I needed a little more reassurance that things would get better and in some ways it looked like it would. These characters went through a lot, so I had hoped for an ending that was a little more definitive. 
📚 Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is a collection of illustrated Gothic short stories. I initially checked this book out for Halloween but finally read it for the New Year. It’s definitely a book perfect for the Halloween season or if you enjoy Gothic stories. The stores are very much like Edgar Alan Poe’s–haunting with a twisted lesson. The illustrations went so well with the stories and were nicely detailed. 5/5 stars
📚Tales from the Shadow Hunter Academy by Cassandra Clare–5/5 stars. I didn’t know if I’d enjoy this collection because Simon Lewis was a good character, but I didn’t think I’d enjoy reading short stories about him. I checked it out if the library as a safe way to read them without commuting to buying it, in case I didn’t enjoy them. I’m so glad I gave these stories a try! I enjoyed not only reading Simon’s journey toward becoming a shadow hunter, but I also enjoyed the backstories of the minor characters from The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices. It was so neat learning about what happened to the characters and also how they were connected to the present characters. My favorites were The White Chapel Fiend, Nothing but Shadows, Born to Endless Night, and Angels Twice Descending. I highly recommend this if you’re a big fan of the shadow hunter series. 
📚Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson– 5/5 stars. Rae Carson is an auto-buy author for me. I loved her series Girl of Fire and Thorns and was thrilled to see she started a new series. It’s so different from her previous one–set in the gold rush era, but still retained a fantasy element. The main character Lee Westfall can sense gold. Lee is from Georgia and after a set of tragic events, she flees to California disguised as a girl, in hopes of finding gold and her best friend Jefferson McCaully. Sounds amazing already, right?! What I also loved about this story was how subtle Rae Carson touched on themes of diversity–mixed race identity and being a freed slave during a post civil war era; what being a confirmed bachelor of that time meant; and the restrictions on women’s roles based on society’s expectations. It’s so skillfully weaved into the story that it’s seamless. Highly recommend it! 
📚The Blade Itself by Joe Ambercrombie– 5/5 stars. I’m new to high/epic fantasy. My point of references are Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, so Joe Ambercrombie was different from what I had read. His writing is a lot more physically descriptive. The opening of the book shows a character falling off a cliff. There’s also a roughness to his characters that become endearing later–Im looking at you San Dan Glokta. I really enjoyed this and my only hang-up was not having the next book when I finished the first! 5/5 stars
📚The Lost Hero: Book 1 of the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan–5/5 stars. If you enjoyed the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series, you’ll love this. This was actually a reread with my older boys. It’s had been such a long time since I read it that it was almost new to me. I love the introduction of the new characters Leo, Piper, and Jason. I can’t wait to see how they all come together in the rest of the series. 
📚The Novice by Taran Matharu–4/5 stars. This was a fun fantasy read. The main character Fletcher was likeable and I also like his friends Othello (dwarf) and Syre (elf). The story was a great adventure story and enjoyable. Although I didn’t find any problems with it, I also wasn’t attached to the characters as I usually get. It could be because I had to stop for long periods of time to read it because I was buddy reading it, but I am curious to see how the story turns out, so will probably read the next one. 
📚This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab–5/5 stars. I’m already a big fan of her Darker Shade of Magic series so I was excited to read this one. I loved it so much! It’s an urban fantasy where monsters are real. They come into being through violence and tragedy–a kind of evolution of negative human emotions. Even though this is a YA book, Victoria Schwab still delivers! I loved her characters August Flynn and Kate Harker. I also enjoyed the history behind how the monsters are created–so unique but also cleverly done. I can’t wait until Our Dark Duet comes out this summer!