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

Book Tag: Aesthetically Pleasing Books

Happy Saturday, friends! What are your plans this weekend? I’ve got a planning session with my girl Belinda @bookstorm later today 🖊📒 and lunch at a new to us ramen 🍜 place with friends tomorrow.

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Jumping in to get these tags done!

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Day 27 of the #grimdragon challenge, The Way We Was: If you all don’t know, Jane Austen is one of my all-time favorite authors and Pride and Prejudice got me through a really rough part of my life. Also, Darcy and Elizabeth are my first OTP.💕

I was tagged by the lovely Nils @nils.reviewsit for the #aestheticallypleasingbooktag. Please check her out her profile! She does fantastic reviews on fantasy books!

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📚Best color combo: I’ve really been drawn to covers with gold or silver foil details/accents on a dark background like City of Brass and The Last Namsara.

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📚Best font on a book cover: Simple but bold.

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📚Best simple cover: The movie tie-in edition of IT. I have the one with the black ground but that red ballon and yellow rain coat is 😧😳.

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📚Best bookish map: You can’t make me choose! I do love the map in AnEmber in the Ashes and the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne.

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📚Best chapter headings: The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan! Haikus by a teenage Greek god? 😂

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📚Best illustrations: I love Charlie Bowater (her illustrations inspired the covers for the ACOTAR series) and Richard Anderson (covers for the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne).

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📚Favorite spine: The Waking Land, A Madness So Discreet, and Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. Bet you want to look under those book jackets now.😏

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📚Favorite color on bookshelf: Dark green or burgundy! But it’s very rare to see.

Book Challenge: An author I don’t see often on bookstagram

Anyone else feel like today (Friday) was hard won? Like you just talked down Smaug from burning you dead because you weren’t going to steal his gold? 🐲 No? Just me then?😜

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One of my goals last year was to read more graphic novels and Montress was high on my list. I’ve only read the first two volumes but I really enjoyed them! It was a little jarring at first because you’re thrown into the world of the story and you hit the ground running with the action, but once you hit your stride in the story, it’s a really fantastic read. (Did I just make a running reference? Go me! I am so not a runner.)🏃🏽‍♀️ Also, the art in this series is just incredible—rich in detail and conveys so much of the mood. Definitely worth checking out.

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Alternate matriarchal 1900s Asia with a deco-inspired steam punk style? Teenage girl surviving a war, but discovering she’s got a psychic link with a powerful monster? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

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For day 26 of the #grimdragon challenge: An author you don’t see often on bookstagram—Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu!

Current Buddy Read: The Girl with All the Gifts by MR Carey

Are you guys ready for February? Not me! I feel like I’m just starting to sort myself out and now a new month is approaching!

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I’m currently buddy reading this with my #booktwin Amy @ladyofthelibrary and we are loving it so far. I haven’t read that many zombie books (Does Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies count?), but I think I might have to reconsider my position on it.

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The main character Melanie was a child and became something else—a Hungry, but she’s unlike the other Hungries and you can’t help rooting for her.

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This book has been highly recommended by so many people on bookstagram. Have you read it? No spoilers please.☺️

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It’s Wednesday which means volunteering in my kid’s kindergarten class. It’s so rewarding but exhausting too. Keep your eyes on my Story for another example of how I’m awkward around the other moms. 🙈😅

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January Reading Progress

How’s your reading progress going this month? Can you believe we’re more than halfway through January? 😳 My reading progress is at it’s slowest ever. By now, I’d have at least finished 3-5 books. I haven’t finished any! I might finish Warcross this weekend though!

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I’m a little concerned but I did anticipate my reading progress to slow down since I’m trying to focus more on revising my draft. It’s actually really hard not picking up where I left off on my audiobook (all my current reads are so good) during the day and continue reading my books in the evening. Instead I’ve been journaling and working on writing. My goal is to start querying this year, so it’s good that I’m not reading as much, right? RIGHT?! 😳

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Also, any other notebook addicts out there? How do you use them? If you saw my stories, I picked up some new ones from Daiso. 😁

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Hope you’re weekend is going well! We’re celebrating my son’s 11th birthday today. He decided he wanted to invite a few friends and hang out. Also, how has eleven years gone by since I had him? I’m not crying. You’re crying!

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Book Recommendation: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The conversation reminded me of something Doc asked me a few days ago: all the work I’m doing to try and get ahead in life, who am I doing it for?

Better yet, what am I doing it for? To prove myself? Gain some respect? Be able to shove it in the faces of people like Jared?

I don’t even know anymore, Martin.

🖊📔

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The quote above from Dear Martin by Nic Stone is from one of Justyce McAllister’s entries from his journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Justyce is on track to go to an Ivy League school, but he starts this journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after an incident where he was handcuffed and treated like a criminal.

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It’s easy to become invested in Justyce’s character—he’s hardworking, motivated, thoughtful and kind. When he’s taken in handcuffs, it’s absolutely heartbreaking because he was just being himself by helping a friend get home. Justyce tries to hold on to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but it becomes increasingly difficult when he’s faced with balancing between being the person he is and being treated the way people think he is. I highly recommend this in understanding what it’s like to have a dual identity in America.

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Featured with Dear Martin are other books that I’ve read (Angie Thomas and Nnedi Okorafor are amazing) and will read (I will rectify my situation with Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Octavia Butler this year) not just about being being black in America (or in another world or dystopian setting), but also empathizing with other people’s experiences, feeling compassion when we witness injustices committed against other people, and having the courage to point it out when we see it.

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This post was in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday on January 15th in the US.

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What are some thought provoking books you’ve read? How is your week going so far?