#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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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 Biannual Bibliothon 2017 TBR

I’m excited to announce that I’ve decided to participate in next week’s Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2017, which runs from Sunday, July 23 to Saturday, July 29, 2017.

Reading Challenges

1. Read the group book

This is The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. I am not usually swayed by group reads in read-a-thons, but I just happened to activate my free 30-day trial of Audible, which grants you two free audiobooks so I’ve decided to use my second freebie on this one!

2. Read from the host’s favorite genre (Options: Kassie – Magical Realism, Caz -Historical Fiction, Brittni – High/Epic Fantasy, Emma – Diverse Books, Kelly – Dystopian/SciFi, Red – Paranormal, Momo – Urban fantasy)

For this selection, I’ve decided to read The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I gather is some combination of magical realism and/or high/epic fantasy.

3. Read a book that has been or still is banned

I’m a big fan right now of reading classic YA literature and have decided to reread The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger for this challenge. It’s been a good many years since I’ve read it and it’s one that really resonated with me in high school that I look forward to experiencing again.

4. Throwback challenge

For this challenge you can look back at past read-a-thon challenges and choose whichever suits your fancy. I’ve decided to go with “A book you’ve been putting off picking up.” One of my biggest personal pet peeves is putting books down that I haven’t formed a strong opinion about one way or another. I don’t like to dump books until I’ve decided I 100% do not want to ever continue reading it.

I started The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman a couple of years ago now and figure now is as good a time as any to revisit it as the read-a-thon environment will encourage me to read rapidly and just get through it.

5. Book to movie adaptation – read & watch

For this challenge I’ve decided to have another reread, this time of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. The movie adaption came out when I was in high school and I’d love to rewatch it for this challenge.

6. Read a book you’ve seen somewhere other than BookTube

I’m doubling up this challenge with challenge no. 1: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ve not seen anyone I follow on BookTube ever talk about this book, probably because it isn’t YA.

7. LGBTQIA+ 

For this challenge I decided to utilize my free 30-day trial of Audible to listen to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, which features a gay (or bisexual) male protagonist. I recently discovered it from one of my favorite BookTuber’s recent read-a-thon vlogs and sounds like it will be a fun listen. Also, I’m really intrigued to give this a listen as I recognize the name of the narrator as the voice of the original Tom Riddle actor, Christian Coulson!

End Note

If you would like to participate in this read-a-thon, it is not too late. You may also be interested to know that there are also challenges on BookTube and #bookstagram if you find that appealing! I meant to film a video with all this information but it’s a little late to do now. Maybe tomorrow! I plan to participate in the blog challenges as much as possible too so look forward to me posting a bit more than normal this week ^_^

Thank you for reading!
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#MakeMeRead It Read-a-Thon Poll | Vote!

I wasn’t sure I was going to participate in the Make Me Read It Read-a-Thon this year as I’ve typically used this read-a-thon as an opportunity to read popular YA titles that I’ve been meaning to get to but the right time had just never come to pick them up (a.k.a. procrastination). Since I’ve burned through almost all my YA titles, I wasn’t sure it’d even be worth putting out a poll on the random literary fiction books high on my personal TBR these days. But, I’ve since had the idea I may use this challenge to knock some classics off my TBR, and therein lies my theme for this read-a-thon!

Read-a-Thon Info

The Make Me Read It Read-a-Thon is hosted by the lovely Ely @ Tea and Titles and Val @ The Innocent Smiley. The way this read-a-thon works is you choose a selection of books that you are willing and able to read this year between August 6–13, 2017, make a poll, and ask for your followers to vote to decide which books you will tackle during the week-long reading event. The theme of this read-a-thon is to force yourself to read books you just haven’t gotten around to yet. Maybe they’re overhyped online or a book that you were supposed to read for that one class…

After you’ve shared your post with the poll, search the tag #MakeMeRead on Twitter & Instagram to find others who need people to vote on their polls!

The Poll

Since I still want to participate as I’ve done very few read-a-thons in the past few months and definitely need to participate in more to catch up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, I decided to give myself more of a challenge by providing a collection of classics that are unofficially on my life bucket list TBR.  The thought of reading any of these books at the moment scares me, so it’s with a twisted sort of excitement that I look forward to seeing what books win!

Realistically speaking, I’ll likely only be able to read about two books during the read-a-thon, so make your vote count (And maybe only vote for about three books maximum)! Depending on how this experience goes, I may be turned  off of reading classics for at least another year 😉

End Note

I will announce the winners of this vote a day or two ahead of the read-a-thon’s start date in August with an official TBR. Meanwhile on this blog, you may soon find a TBR for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon, a read-a-thon which runs next week across BookTube, book blogs, and other bookish social media! I look forward to being more active on here and upping my reading game.

Thanks ahead of time for voting and please feel free to leave a link to your own poll if you’d like me to vote on it! I’m having fun blog hopping and voting wherever I can. 🙂

Thank you for reading!
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Writing Again // Introducing “The Log”

Sorry it has been a little while. Shortly after the excitement of the last post I had a crisis of self. Faced with so many things I wanted to do and needed to do, I wasn’t sure what to do and it was so easy to just do nothing. Does this happen to any of you?

Fortunately I’ve been taking care of myself and feel a bit more happy. I’ve been eating a plant-based diet and enjoying experimenting with new whole plant foods I can integrate into my daily diet. I’ve also made exercise a part of my daily routine that I enjoy and look forward to. These two lifestyle changes I credit for helping me feel more ambitious and motivated again to do even more with my day, including things that have always made me happy: reading and writing.

I decided to start this post because I wanted to announce my new writing project, but I figure I’ll also talk a bit about what I’ve read recently first.

Recently Read

So far this summer I’ve read four books. I reread A Court of Mist and Fury (★★★★★) and finally read A Court of Wings and Ruin (★★★★½), both by Sarah J. Maas. Love the final installment, although I can’t help but feel the ending was a bit rushed and too convenient. Then I decided to read something that was not fantasy, so I picked up The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (★★★★½) by Gabrielle Zevin, which was whimsical and easy to read. Then I decided to finally read Passenger (★★), which sounded really good. Unfortunately that book didn’t really click with me.

Currently Reading

I’m currently rereading The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. I’ve owned thisbook since middle school and one I had begun to think about since reading Sarah J. Maas’ work because it also includes fairies, although a very different kind. It’s a nice reminder that you can be inspired by the old and make it into something new that is your own.

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 9.20.00 PM

I may talk about this book in more depth in the future as I think it may be lesser known YA classic and something that young readers today might truly enjoy. If you’ve read it before, please let me know in the comments!

I’m planning on participating in the BookTube-A-Thon next week in order to jump start some more reading so I’ll likely share my TBR for that soon.

What I’m Writing 

I’m writing a fantasy novel set in world kind of like ours in 1930s, but with magic and magical creatures. I think it could be considered somewhat steampunk as I want there to be a lot of alternative forms of technology. My protagonist is a young girl and…I don’t know how much more I want to say!

I’m in the beginning stages here and still need to do some major plotting before I properly get writing, but I have a beginning and end fairly well set in stone so I’m excited to see where this may go. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know I have trouble finishing novel drafts. I’ve realized in addition to low confidence in my writing capabilities my biggest problem is probably getting lost by following plot bunnies.

I may soon try to set up a Pinterest mood board for the story and share if I do. From this point forward on my blog if I mention it, I’ll call this novel The Log.

End Note

That’s all I got for today. I don’t want to make any promises about what I’ll post next, but I’m feeling pretty confident right now that I’ll be doing more and thus have more to share that is hopefully of interest to you! Hope you’re doing well and see you soon!

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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