#MakeMeRead Wrap Up, Reading Update, & Blog Plans

Hey! 

About two days ago I finally finished reading Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, the only book I managed to pick up during the #MakeMeRead It Read-a-thon last week on account of completely forgetting what week it started on. I still completely plan to read Persuasion by Jane Austen, the second highest book on my poll, in the near future. I just didn’t feel a rush to jump into it right after Sense & Sensibility, as unlike that book or Pride & Prejudice, I have not seen a movie adaptation of this one and I worry if that’ll make it more challenging a read.

Currently Reading

I instead decided to reach for another book that has been on my TBR for over a year now, Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi. I read Boy, Snow, Bird and The Icarus Girl by the same author in 2015 and was enthralled by them, particularly the former. So I’m leisurely trying to make my way through Oyeyemi’s colorful collection of works. Of Mr. Fox, I will say that it hasn’t been exactly what I was expecting, but I’m fully on board now, although it was intitially disorienting.

What I read next this month is still uncertain. I’m currently mood reading right now, with a mind still on catching up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’m perpetually about 6–7 books behind.

I have secured a part-time job finally and while it’s nothing too exciting, I suspect it will mean I’m reading a bit more on my iPhone, whether on breaks or in bed when I’m too tired after shifts to hold up a book. Earlier this year I decided to purchase Amazon Prime for the first time with my student discount and I just learned that with the membership you can access certain eBooks for free! I’ve downloaded five and I’m eager to get to them.

Blog Plans

I want to start posting more on here, but I’ve also realized I’m no good at scheduling blog posts. I’ve found that it doesn’t allow me flexibility to do what I want to do when I want to do it, and all too often I’ve forgotten when I haven’t put finishing touches on a post before it goes up.

As I mentioned above, I just got a part-time job. At the moment I’m not sure what my schedule will look like other than I will be working around 30 hours a week. Also, it is my hope that I can find a full-time job by the end of the year that better suits me and my life goals.

With these realizations in mind, a blog schedule will most likely not suit me at this time. However, I do want to continue to work on this blog by recording my reading and writing journey as well as my other creative pursuits as they come and go.

In the next couple of weeks I know I want to work on my graphic design skills, update all my pages, and start doing more formal book reviews, so you can expect all that right now at the very least!

Writing Update

I don’t have much to share on the writing front, but in case you were wondering or find these updates useful (maybe for commiserating in failure?) I thought I’d share instead of just neglecting my problems. I’m still in the outlining phase of this book. I have no trouble envisioning any number of novel beginnings, but it’s the middles and ends I struggle with. I think right now, my problem is I don’t know what my character wants and I don’t know if that’s a problem of not fully knowing her or not knowing the world. Maybe it’s both.

I had hoped I’d be writing by this time this month, but I’m not sure when anymore. Part of me is like “I need to start this NOW” and the other is like “I should just shoot to be ready by NaNoWriMo.”

I could wax on about this a while longer, but better I get going so I can work on this problem tonight. I don’t know what life after tomorrow is going to look like.

End Note

Thanks for sticking with me and this blog! On my very first blog Books o’ the Wisp, I used to do this feature called Letter from the Blogger. I did it at the beginning of each season to talk about myself and my plans for the coming months. I may try to do one of these again soon, as in this weekend. Amongst the other things you might be able to expect soon, I’ve got a book haul to share and I want to do a book review of Mr. Fox because it’s a lesser known book and I think I want to dedicate do more to shine a light on the under-hyped books on my blog.

Thank you for reading!
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In Which I Did Not Forget This Week Was #MakeMeRead | TBR

Oops!

In my head, for some reason, the #MakeMeRead It Read-a-thon started next Sunday and not this past one! Luckily I think I should be able to make it through my top two reads voted for last month: Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion, both by Jane Austen.

I own both of these books in an large leather-bound anthology of Jane Austen’s work so that’s going to be interesting to read from again. I first read Pride & Prejudice from that tome, so I’m wondering if it will bring back any sense memories. At any rate, I look forward to finding movie adaptations to watch after I finish these books to see how they compare.

I’m just excited to beat this reading slump I accidentally fell into when I started The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. I’m about halfway through it, but I moved it to the put-down-for-now shelf on Goodreads as I’m rarely in the mood in sit down and listen to it. I hope to one day find it in a physical format, as it was getting really exciting the last time I listened to it. My life at the moment just does not suit audiobooks.

Writing Update

I thought I’d sneak in a cheeky writing update to fill you all in on what I’ve been doing aside from reading (and to buff up this post since I don’t really like doing the odd short posts). Around last week I decided to commit myself to writing again as I missed it and have felt more motivated. I’ve been watching a lot of writing videos on YouTube ranging from author interviews to creative writing students sharing their writing journeys. It’s been really inspiring.

I’m currently in the planning phase of my novel. I’m using Scrivener to organize all my notes and the story has already changed a lot from its original inception. I feel like I’m in a visual headspace right now with envisioning settings, but per usual I’m stuck on what needs to happen in the story. In the past, I would probably just started writing and figure it out as I go. But I can’t shake the fact that the story will be much stronger if I know where I need to end up.

I have a list of things I was planning to work on today before I realized #MakeMeRead was this week, but an idea I had as I was preparing lunch was that maybe writing is the most important thing to do right now. I want to work on my craft without procrastinating because I don’t have a plot, so I’m thinking I might start writing a well-known story. Then I can begin practicing writing and take my time on my own novel…

I don’t know! I’ll fill you in on what happens later. I’m thinking about how I can bring back writing updates without killing my motivation to actually write. That reminds me, I still want to do a post about why I stopped blogging about writing…

End Note

I will definitely be back this weekend with a wrap up for this read-a-thon. I’m thinking it will be possible to read more than two books this week, but I don’t think I’m willing to read the rest of the options I presented in the poll. I might instead pick up some other books I’ve been wanting to read/reread.

It’s not fall yet, but it’s been rainy where I live and I’ve had fun pretending it is fall as it’s the time of year I feel most inspired. I’ve also been re-watching American Horror Story season one about the murder house and it’s reminding me of my first semester of college because my roommate and I would rush home every week to catch it when it aired. It was the best.

Thank you for reading!
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Summer Biannual Bibliothon Wrap Up!

Hi!

It’s Saturday evening and I’ve made peace with the fact I’m not going to get much more reading done tonight before bed so I want to share my wrap up for the week of reading. In case you want to see the lofty goals I had for myself this time last week, here’s my TBR.

I started off really strong on Sunday and managed to finish two books this read-a-thon in a relatively quick amount of time. I started with The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, as it was my least anticipated read on my TBR. I had tried to read it a few years ago and was not able to get into so I gave up. Little did I know this book takes the protagonist Bod all the way to young adulthood, so I was happy to find it wasn’t just a children’s book.

I loved the hauntingly beautiful atmosphere of the book and the episodic way in which the novel was written. Now I see what the hype is all about and would love to recommend this as a bedtime read for any parents out there who read to their youngsters. It’s so good.

The next book I picked up was The Catcher in the Rye. I really enjoyed rereading it for the first time since high school. I still remembered a lot of the stuff we talked about in high school and felt a little nostalgic about it for some reason. I was a little scared going into this book again that I would not like it as much as I did before, but my worry was needless as I find myself as compelled by Holden’s story as much as I was 17.

I didn’t read at all between Wednesday and Friday, despite listing Never Let Me Go as my next read. I had to do some work on my research paper that was time-sensitive and am happy to report I finally finished it today! The literature review anyway. I mean, I know it could still use some work, but I decided to push my luck and see how little I can get away with right now. I’ve had a motivational problem lately about my research, related to issues I’m not quite ready to talk about.

Last night I started the audiobook for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I’m somewhat liking it, but think I would enjoy it more if I was able to read it and see the words on the page. For one thing, I could go faster if I just had the physical book, but also because my favorite thing about the book so far is the witty banter and I wish I could linger on some passages longer.

End Note

The main thing I’m happy about having accomplished is ending my reading slump and getting a bit closer caught up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I have a feeling I’ll be all caught up by the end of August with the #MakeMeRead It read-a-thon running August 6–13 (please vote, if you haven’t already).

I’ve been getting into bullet journaling a little bit, which I’ve found is inspiring me to be more productive so hopefully I’ll be a little more active on this blog soon. I also want to work on my blog design next month, so that’ll be fun!

Thank you for reading!
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Book Blogger Tag | #SummerBibib

Hi!

If you saw my post that went up yesterday, you’ll know that I decided to do the Biannual Bibliothon, which runs this week starting today and ending on Saturday at 11:59 p.m. In addition to reading and video challenges, there are also blogging challenges which I have decided to participate in, starting with the Book Blogger Tag, curtesy of host 4TeenLiars.

1. What are you planning to read for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon?

The Graveyard Book, The Catcher in the Rye, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Never Let Me Go, Flame to the Mist, The Buried Giant.

2. What is your favorite genre to read in Summer?

Action-packed fantasy and cosy literary fiction

3. Where is your favorite place to read in the summer?

Year round, I find my bed super comfortable. But in the summer I also enjoy reading in my houndstooth IKEA chair by the window during the day.

4. What is your favorite challenge done in the Summer Biannual Bibliothon?

LGBTQIA+, as I don’t really feel pulled to read from this genre on the regular and I appreciate the challenge incentive to read more diversely.

5. What fictional character would you hang out with in the summer if you could?

Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle.

6. What are your plans for summer?

I’m really boring and appreciate the ability to be home, having the time to experiment with cooking, and reading more with less of the stress from the school year.

7. Do you have summer reading playlist, if not what would be on it?

I don’t like to read with music on, as I find it too distracting. If I had music on, it would be to drown out other sounds so I guess it’d be soothing classical music.

8.What is your favorite summer movie?

I’m a fan of blockbuster Marvel superhero movies in the summer. Captain America and Iron Man ones are my favs.

9.What book do you read every summer, if not what thing do you do every summer?

I used to read The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood every summer, but I haven’t yet this year and am not sure if I will. Every summer since I started going to college I’ve enjoying having full access to a big and stocked kitchen so I generally try out new plant-based baking recipes every summer.

10.What other book tags are you planning to do this summer?

I don’t know! If I’m tagged in something and find out about it, I’ll likely do those. I might see if there’s any tag I can do for August.

End Note

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me in this post. I’ll be back tomorrow with my second blog challenge, which I believe is to write a book review. I may do one for either The Graveyard Book, House of Many Ways, or The Perilous Gard, all of which I’ve most recently read!

Thank you for reading!
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Summer Goals ˁ̡̡̡∗★ ̫★ˀ̡̡̡

Hiya!

I didn’t mean to go another whole week without posting again, but it’s taken me a while to decide what I wanted to post next. I decided the most logical place to start is with a summer goals for myself and this blog. But before I get into it, I want to first thank you all for your best wishes on my job search. My interview this week went great, and I got some good feedback. Unfortunately I think the job went to someone who they knew.

I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to set summer goals for myself, but I feel like without a steady structure I won’t get as much done as I’d like. When I first started this post, I only envisioned stating my summer goals, but by the end I realized it might be a good time to think about what I want to accomplish long-term as well. So I’ve listed some of my wildest goals to achieve by the end of the year as well.

➴ Summer Goals

READING

This summer I want to read at least 20 books in order to be all caught up with my Goodreads Reading Challenge by September. On Thursday I’ll be posting my TBR and participation in the 20 Books of Summer challenge so stay tuned for that (& see the blog post from Rattle the Stars that inspired me ^_^)! My own post is already written, I just need to put on some finishing touches.

➴ BLOGGING

This may be ambitious, but I’m feeling really tempted to jump back into blogging in a major way by committing to posting at least every other day without fail as long as I have ideas. Right now I feel like I have a lot of ideas for things I’d both like to share and also think others would really benefit from. Some weeks I may be really busy or feel like I got nothing. I’m hoping to get through those weeks by planning ahead and actively updating a Google doc of ideas so I don’t forget them.

WRITING

I recently said that I’ve not been in the best of writing moods lately and while I still don’t want to commit to writing a novel this summer, I’m thinking about setting myself a more modest goal of writing an interactive short story. I have some past drafts of ideas that I may be interested in developing further, or I may start completely from scratch. We’ll see how that goes! I think it will also be fun to update you all on this process!

➴ Year End Goals

  1. Have a job I really like
  2. Have successfully completed NaNoWriMo for the first time since November 2014
  3. Have a modestly successful Etsy shop
  4. Have 500 blog followers between WordPress and Bloglovin’

End Note

I think it’s great to have goals for yourself throughout your life in order to continue to grow, even if you’re done with school and happy with your life. I encourage you to think of some seasonal goals and long-term goals in order to access how you might best go about achieving them. At the end of the summer/year I want to evaluate how successful I was at attaining these goals and decide what my next moves will be.

Do you enjoy setting goals? Why or why not?

What are your wildest of creative goals? How are you working on achieving them? 

Thank you for reading!
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May ’17 TBR // Agenda

Welcome back to Betwined Reads,

April was an incredibly busy month and, fortunately for me, things will be looking up very soon as the end of the semester is in clear sight. I will likely be unable to post anything new next week, but I wanted to make sure to do this post as I want it to become routine as these are my favorite blog posts to read!

The following includes an update on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, my May ’17 TBR, and my blog goals for the month.

Lori’s Goodreads Reading Challenge

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May ’17 TBR

In April I read a grand total of three books, which I briefly summarize in my April ’17 Wrap Up, and this month I hope not only to match that goal but exceed it to finally catch up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. However, realistically speaking I’m only certain at this point of four books that I definitely know I will aim to read this month. Two books will help me tie up loose ends from this semester, one is a reread, and one is a new May release.

Hobbies by Steven M. Gelber | I was required to read a PDF chapter from this book about constructing a collector’s market for my ATEC class and I was so fascinated by the professor’s elaboration upon Gelber’s work that I decided to actually buy the book! The first five chapters, including the introduction, seem like they will really well inform the critical theory research paper I am writing for this particular class so I will likely get into this book very quickly this weekend. However, I already know I will be excited to finish the rest once the semester is over so this may be one of the first books I complete this month.

Identity is the New Money by David Birch | This may be one of the last books I finish this month as the main reason I feel motivated to complete it is that it is so short and I want to relieve my buyer’s remorse. It’s not related to my research focus right now in the slightest, but I still see a value to reading it as I am getting more interested in issues surrounding immaterial labor.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | I was able to pick up this book at the library on Wednesday! I have no business leisure reading until I finish all my papers, but since this is a book I’ve already read once before I’m hoping it doesn’t too badly distract me from my studies if I read a little here and there. I have no designs to try and finish it really quickly. I just know I want to be able to start the next book as soon as possible once the semester is complete!

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas | This is the last book I’m confident I want to complete this month. I’m not sure how long it will take me, since if memory serves correct it took me about two weeks last May to finish ACOMAF. Nevertheless, I’m pumped. This book will be my reward to myself after everything school-related is out of the way.

Blog Goals

It’s been a while since I tried to plan ahead for the blog, but I have a few blog posts that have been sitting on the back burner for over a month now and want to motivate myself to complete and finally share them with you, including a tag and writing update. Additionally, I’d like to write a few posts concerning my studies, including a post summarizing this semester, a post wrapping up my experience at UT Dallas as a whole, and a post about my plans for future studies.

End Note

This weekend I will begin moving out of my apartment and this coming Monday two of may final papers are due, so I will not likely be that active on the blog beyond responding to your lovely comments whenever I can. By next Saturday all my loose ends should be tied up nicely and I look forward to rededicating my efforts to reading, writing, and this blog.

In case you missed them, I had a few posts go up earlier this week, including:

April ’17 Wrap Up

A Very Fantastical Book Birthday to…

My YA Book Blogger Survey

Thank you for reading!
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Weekend Reads | Their Fractured Light, I Hate the Internet, etc.

Hiya!

I currently have been in the midst of reading three separate books and there’s another one that I have added to my reading list this weekend for this weekend, so I’ve decided to challenge myself to finish all the ones that have been stuck on my Goodreads Currently Reading list for the past few weeks.

First, I want to finish Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I’ve been trying to finish this book since mid-March. I’ve enjoyed it for the most part, but I am annoyed by the turn it took before I set it down this week so I’m hoping it ends the series on a high note.

Next, I want to finish I Hate the Internet by Jarett Kobek. I was skeptical entering this book how much I would like it, because obviously I love the Internet. But the book’s turned out to be pretty funny and enlightening with all the history it provides. It’s also a really easy read because it has really short chapters and paragraphs that keep your attention, much like the Internet.

On my lowest level of priority is Identity is the New Money by David Birch. I started this book weeks ago for one of my undergraduate classes and I just never managed to finish it. It’s pretty short and I’m actually a good deal through it at this point. Also, it’s on my iPhone so I can read it anywhere. The main reason I would like to finish it this weekend is to just make up for all the books I’ve started this semester and didn’t manage to finish and, therefore, set down indefinitely.

The final book I need to get to this weekend is the one we will talk about in class next Tuesday: My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft by Bonnie Nardi. I’ve not properly started it yet so I have no idea how much I’m going to like it yet. Also, I’ve not ever played War of Warcraft, so I don’t have much motivation to read this book beyond the fact that it’s required for class. But it’s one I intend to finish nevertheless, even if I don’t finish it in its entirety by class time…

End Note

I’m really excited to get some good reading done this week. Before I go I did want to apologize for not posting in a little while! Not a day has gone by that I’ve not had a weird post idea that I’ve debated making a reality. I do have some new posts in the pipeline that should be going up next week if everything goes according to plan, including a book talk and a reading tag. Not to forget the wrap up for this weekend TBR!

What are you reading this weekend?

Do you have books that have been sitting on your TBR far too long?

Thank you for reading!
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