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text 2019-01-04 14:16
Updates, goals, and other ramblings

Hello my book loving friends. It has been entirely too long since I have enjoyed your company and I hope to remedy that in the near(ish) future. So much has gone on this past year it's hard to quantify in a short update but I will try to keep it short. 

 

So, on the lighter side of things, my days are very busy chasing my 2 toddlers around. Peanut started preschool last fall and Batman will be 2 in April. My how time flies! As you can imagine, wrangling a one and three year old keeps me busy. Cooking, cleaning, play dates, school events, shopping... it's exhausting and fun and everything in between. Unfortunately by the end of my day (or sometimes even the middle of it) I am left with little energy for myself and the things I enjoy. I know, I know, self care is important. I do try to get out regularly without the kiddos and my husband is supportive with all that. Mostly I just struggle with focusing on a book. Putting on a mindless movie or a tv show I love is just easier mentally most days. I'm hoping to improve on that in 2019. Now that Batman is sleeping though the night semi regularly and my sleep schedule is getting more regular I'm hoping my energy levels improve and I can enjoy reading again. 

 

On the harder side of things 2018 was rough. My husband was in 2 serious car accidents that totaled our cars (he's fine, thank goodness) and 2 minor accidents that involved repairs on the car. In addition to the paperwork/insurance nonsense there was a lot of  stress involved. The last part of the year just felt unbearable as I was dealing with one thing after another. Everyday I felt anxiety about what would happen next, and it sent me into a spiraling depression. There was a lot of little stuff that kept stressing me out too, but I don't want bore you with all the details. Then my grandfather died. I suffer from depression regularly, but this situational depression hit me harder than most and it's taken me a few months to get back to feeling okay. And I mean okay, not great or happy, but okay enough that I'm not in constant fear of the next proverbial shoe dropping. As you can imagine reading was not a high priority during this time. It took all of my patience just to get through the day. 

 

I'm happy to report that things are getting better. Now that the holidays/traveling/car situations are over I'm looking forward to settling into our routine again. Toddlers will still be toddlers but I'm feeling more and more like myself every day. Which works out because Bout of Books is starting this weekend and I think it'll be a great way to jump back into the reading game. 

 

I guess the point of this is to say that if you're struggling and reading isn't your thing right now, that's okay. Books will be there when you come back. Mental health is important and there's no pressure. I felt bad that I wasn't contributing to the book blog with my partner and it just added to the stress I was under. Luckily my partner is super awesome and supportive and never ever made me feel bad about my lack of reading. So there it is. Your insight for the new year, YOU DO YOU. 

 

Also, I'd really like to meet my reading goal this year. Life may get in the way but when I do make time to read I always feel better after. So yes, more reading less stress. Cheers to 2019!

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text 2019-01-03 03:09
2019 Reading Goals

Didn't quite meet the goal in 2018, but that's never stopped me from trying again.  Same goal as last year, 52 books.  With my buying ban, once again, firmly in place, I plan to [attempt] to read books that I currently own or library books.  As always, I make no promises to myself, or anyone else.

reading rainbow small

Reading Rainbow is an old show from my childhood.  Although not all of them are as old, these books have been on my TBR List for entirely too long.  I hope to rectify that in 2019.

 

  1. Apocalypse Cow
  2. Brisingr
  3. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
  4. The Cat Who Came Home For Christmas
  5. The Chronicles of Narnia
  6. To Kill A Mockingbird
  7. Little Women
  8. The Princess Bride
  9. Tuck Everlasting
  10. Watchers

Stand UP-badge 2

Censorship sucks, so as always I will attempt to show my distaste for it by participating in Banned Books Week.  And I plan to read the wonderful works of art that small-minded people are trying to supress throughout the year.

 

  1. The Bluest Eye
  2. The Handmaiden's Tale
  3. The Hate U Give
  4. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
  5. Nineteen Minutes
  6. Two Boys KissingTBR

And of course I have a standard list of books that I really want to "try" to get to this year.  It's supposed to be a more flexible than the other two lists, but let's be real; I read what the book goddess deems me in the mood to read.  It's still nice to have a plan though.

 

1. Army of Darkness: Omnibus 2
2. Brooklyn Brujas:
     a. Labyrinth Lost
     b. Bruja Born
4. Empress
5. Hail To The Chin
6. Inheritance Trilogy:
     a. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
     b. The Broken Kingdoms
     c. The Kingdom of the Gods
9. Shades of Magic Series:
     a. A Darker Shade of Magic
     b. A Gathering of Shadows
     c. A Conjuring of Light
12. Uprooted
13. Vorrh

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text 2019-01-03 02:04
2018 Read List

I came in short of my actual reading goal; however, I made a pretty good showing in 2018:

 

  1. Under a Prairie Moon by Madeline Baker
  2. Savage Autumn by Constance O'Banyon
  3. Savage Winter by Constance O'Banyon
  4. Lamb by Christopher Moore
  5. The Lightning-Struck Heart By T. J. Klune
  6. Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet
  7. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
  8. Saga, Vol. 2 by Brian Vaughn
  9. Saga, Vol. 3 by Brian Vaughn
  10. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
  11. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera
  12. Saga, Vol. 4 by Brian Vaughn
  13. Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian Vaughn
  14. Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian Vaughn
  15. Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks by Max Brooks
  16. Army of Darkness: Omnibus 1 by Various
  17. The Evil Dead by Mark Verheiden
  18. Haven't You Heard? I'm Sokamoto by Nami Sano
  19. What The Hell Did I Just Read by David Wong
  20. Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
  21. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  22. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  23. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  24. Jaws by Peter Benchley
  25. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
  26. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  27. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
  28. Slade House by David Mitchell
  29. An Eye For An Eye: The Doll by John Saul
  30. Twist Of Fate: The Locket by John Saul
  31. Ashes To Ashes: The Dragon's Flame by John Saul
  32. In The Shadow Of Evil: The Handkerchief by John Saul
  33. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  34. Day of Reckoning: The Stereoscope by John Saul
  35. Asylum by John Saul
  36. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  37. Hounded by Kevin Hearne
  38. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  39. Day By Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile by J. L. Bourne
  40. The Child Thief by Brom
  41. Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan
  42. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  43. Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry
  44. Master And Commander by Patrick O'Brian
  45. A Ruin of Shadows by L. D. Lewis
  46. Saga, Vol. 7 by Brian Vaughn
  47. Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian Vaughn
  48. Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian Vaughn
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text 2019-01-02 07:49
My New Year Goals!
These are goals to start the year off with, not New Year Resolutions because if I don’t do them… IT. IS. FINE!! No beating myself up. Mostly reading related, of course, but also some health stuff.
 
It isn't all fun and games; I have chronic pain, with mobility issues (can't walk or stand very long), depression, social & general anxiety. Because of these, it is so easy for goals to go out the window.
 
I don't have a "workout" plan, or a "diet" or any goals like that. It is all about getting my mental health in a better place and doing small baby steps to gain some mobility back. I just want to be able to move and not be in such pain. If you don't have depression or chronic pain, you might never understand how hard it is to crawl out from the darkness or to push beyond the pain to do a thing that gives you more pain in the moment. It is a vicious cycle and not an excuse or laziness!
 
The things below are goals, things I wish to keep up with, but I am going in realistically, knowing I'm going to fall and stand back up many times. Depression even makes things like reading and writing hard to do sometimes and not feel fun. No beating myself up when I fall down!
 
Daily Creative Brain Goals:
 
Read or write for at least 20 minutes when you wake up, before getting online and at least 20 minutes before bed (Replace with meditation when needed
 
Daily Healthy Brain Goals:
 
Meditate:
Monday - 5 Minutes
Tuesday - 10 Minutes
Wednesday - 15 Minutes
Thursday - 5 Minutes
Friday - 10 Minutes
Saturday - 15 Minutes
Sunday - Any length or off
 
Music:
All the music!!!
Find and listen to a new song/artist
Music is life!
Sing along, hum, chair dance, or wave your arms like you are a conductor
 
Love:
Think of 1 thing you are thankful for before going to bed, no matter how small, big, silly or weird
Say "I'm worth living, I matter, I'm meant to be here!" whenever death is on your mind
Every time you think something negative about yourself, imagine you going back in time and saying it to yourself as a child; you wouldn't, so why say it now?
 
Daily Healthy Body Goals:
 
Stretching:
5-10 before yoga
 
Yoga:
Monday - 5 Minutes
Tuesday - 10 Minutes
Wednesday - 15 Minutes
Thursday - 5 Minutes
Friday - 10 Minutes
Saturday - 15 Minutes
Sunday - Any length or off
 
Cardio:
5-10 after yoga
 
-------------------------
 
Monthly Creative Brain Goals:
 
Read at least 1 physical book I own
Read at least 1 Kindle book I own
Read at least 1 library book (Support the library!!)
Read at least 1 thing you can not track on Goodreads! Be free, you don't have to track everything! (Fan work, an interesting article...etc.)
 
Write at least 1 short story
Write at least 1 poem
Write a few times a week in a journal
 
Monthly Healthy Brain Goals:
Research & learn about something new
Read about interesting people
Play trivia games or take quizzes on a variety of subjects
 
-------------------------
 
Overall bookish goals:
 
Read more diversely, read more “new to me” authors, more authors with different backgrounds than the one I have, read more translated work
 
The Read Harder Challenge is great, but I won't stress it and think I have to hit every challenge in the year. Reading should not be stressful!
 
Here are the challenges: (If you have any book suggestions, let me know!)
 
Read:
1. An epistolary novel or collection of letters
2. An alternate history novel
3. A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018
4. A humor book
5. A book by a journalist or about journalism
6. A book by an AOC set in or about space
7. An own voices book set in Mexico or Central America
8. An own voices book set in Oceania
9. A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads
10. A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman
11. A book of manga
12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse
14. A cozy mystery
15. A book of mythology or folklore
16. A historical romance by an AOC
17. A business book
18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author
19. A book of nonviolent true crime
20. A book written in prison
21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator
22.A children’s or middle-grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009
23. A self-published book
24. A collection of poetry published since 2014
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text 2019-01-01 18:31
A new approch to my reading resolutions for the year

While writing my last post about my reading achievements in 2018 I came across my reading resolutions for the year. Reviewing them engendered a little disappointment, not so much because I didn't make them (although admittedly that was part of it) but because I had forgotten that I made them in the first place.

 

Upon reflection, I think the problem is that I forget they exist as they gradually descend down my blog feed. Because of this, I was inspired by a review of my feed to try it differently: rather than make an overarching set of reading resolutions for 2019 I'm going to subdivide them into thirds. This plays into something that I already do, which is set summer and fall reading goals depending upon where I am at that moment. This may cost me a little in terms of my broader reading development, but it will help in terms of ensuring that I don't forget what I'm hoping to achieve in the months ahead.

 

So, what are my reading resolutions/goals for the next four months? Three stand out at the moment:

1. Rein in my podcasting and its related reading requirements. This is a carry-over from my 2018 reading resolutions. While I did moderate my requests to authors, this was offset somewhat by an increase in the number of books proposed to me by the site editor. This reduced my rate of reduction, but I think it points to a direction in terms of my podcasting output that I can continue to fine-tune so as to free up my reading time for:

 

2. Reading books about England! Our upcoming summer trip to England (assuming England survives or escapes the Brexit omnishambles in May, of course) has wetted my appetite for reading more about English history, particularly history related to London and the Cotswolds. Currently in addition to the books I mentioned in a previous post I'm planning to read Jerry White's trilogy about modern London, the England-related books on my TBR list, and possibly a biography of Edward Elgar, though the latter two might be sacrificed to the exigencies of time.

 

3. Read poetry! This was the 2018 resolution that totally got away from me last year. Again, I'll try to harness National Poetry Month to inspire myself to pull down a volume of Yeats or Auden to enjoy.

 

I'll revisit these when I set my summer reading goals in May to see if my new approach works. Fingers crossed!

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