TOME TOPPLE | ROUND 8

Hi Booklovers,

My favorite read-a-thon is back with it’s first round of 2019! I’m so excited! I can’t believe it’s already up to Round 8!

I’m sure most of you already know what Tome Topple is but if you don’t, it’s a two-week-long read-a-thon where the focus is on reading books over 500 pages. It was created by Sam from ThoughtsonTomes.

This round is scheduled to take place beginning at midnight on April 13th until 11:59pm on April 26th, 2018 (times are based on your timezone)

There are challenges you can do for this read-a-thon. They include:

  1. Read an adult novel
  2. Read a tome that has been on your TBR the longest
  3. Read a tome from a genre you don’t usually read
  4. Read a tome that’s part of a series
  5. Read more than one tome

I will link  Sam’s Official Announcement Video for anyone interested in learning more about them.

I typically like to focus on 2 books during this read-a-thon, but I also like to keep my options open, which is why I have picked out 4 books this round. I know which book I’m going to start out with but my second one is a toss up. And in the off-chance that I finish my first 2 tomes, I will just keep working my way through this TBR 🙂 !

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon I’m planning on this one being my first read. I honestly don’t know much about this one but I’ve heard so many great things about it. I’m interested to see how it plays out as it is a standalone Adult Fantasy!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr This was on my very first TomeTopple TBR but I never got around to picking it up. It’s been sitting on my shelf unread for the longest time. And with the new challenge this round, it seems like the perfect time to finally pick it up!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness I watched the TV adaptation earlier this year. I really enjoyed it, but I felt as though I was missing something important and have been wanting to pick this up ever since to try to better understand the history of the world.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling  I read Order of the Phoenix during a round of TomeTopple last year and I thought now would be the perfect time to continue with my reread of the series!

So that’s all I have for this post! Anyone else planning on participating? What are you going to read?

Thanks for reading!

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MAGICAL READ-A-THON | CHRISTMAS AT HOGWARTS TBR

Hi Booklovers!

I’m talking about another read-a-thon today. I’m a bit late getting this up as it actually starts today, but I saw Sam from ThoughtsonTomes TBR video and decided to join in.

This read-a-thon was created by Book Roast over on Youtube. We use the map full of Harry Potter-inspired Christmas activities to create our TBRs.

Christmas at Hogwarts readathon

(Each activity has its own prompt assigned to it–which you can find in the description of Book Roast’s video linked above).

As previously mentioned the read-a-thon begins today and goes until December 26th, 2018.

If you have been following my blog recently, you would have seen that I posted my TBR for SMUT-A-THON just last week, but unfortunately I did not finish a single book I wanted to read. However, some of them actually work for these prompts so you might see a few overlaps!

Now I don’t think I’m going to be able to read all of these books as a couple are quite big, but I’m gonna try 🙂

Finish Your Coursework

finish your current read

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Help Hagrid Decorate the Trees

book with a golden detail

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Visit 3 Broomsticks for Mulled Pixie Wine

a read that should only take you one day/night

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Attend a Yule Ball

a book you’ve been preparing yourself for

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Bring a Festive Treat to Hedwig at the Owlery

a book with an animal on the cover/title/series name

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The last challenge “ATTEND THE CHRISTMAS FEAST” does not actually include reading a book, but watching a Harry Potter movie and I might do my own movie marathon of the whole series on the 26th if I’m able to complete all 5 of the books by then 🙂

That’s it for this post! Are you participating? What books are you hoping to read?

Thanks for reading!

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SMUT-A-THON ROUND 2 TBR

Hi Booklovers!

Today’s post is to share my TBR for another read-a-thon I’m participating in. SMUT-A-THON was created by Riley from Riley Marie and Lainey from Gingerreadslainey over on Youtube, where the goal is to read as many adult romances as possible.

I’m very excited to be participating this time as I was not able to during the first round. This read-a-thon is taking place from midnight on December 10, 2018 (today) until 11:59pm on December 16, 2018. (I meant to have this up last week, but I was sick and didn’t do much writing or reading 😦 ) .

There are 7 challenges based on popular romance tropes to help you determine your TBR. I have not read many romance books (aside from Nicholas Sparks) so almost all of these books came from a combination of Riley’s and Lainey’s recommendation videos (which I have linked above).

Now, onto the challenges/books:

SLOW BURN

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FORBIDDEN

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ENEMIES TO LOVERS

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FRIENDS TO LOVERS

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FAKE RELATIONSHIPS

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DIFFERENT WORLDS

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ONE NIGHT STAND

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So that’s my TBR for SMUT-A-THON ROUND 2. Are you participating? What are some books you’re planning to read?

Thanks for reading!

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I Created a Digital Bullet Journal for 2019!

Hi Booklovers!

Today I’m going to be talking about my new Digital Bullet Journal for 2019!

I discovered bullet journals at the beginning of this year, but have been unsuccessful at starting/maintaining my own. I’ve tried multiple times to set up a physical bullet journal as that was my preferred method to plan, but it was a lot of work. And it didn’t help that my hands hurt a lot by the time I finished setting up just one spread because of the repetitive motion of using a ruler (due to my disability).

Even when I did manage to successfully set it up, I never went back in to actually use it though I really wanted to (and if I did, I would go days without updating it). I think it was because I spent so much time and energy creating it that by the time I finished, I needed a break from it 😆 .

I had just come to terms with the fact that bullet journaling was not for me when I discovered that it could also be done digitally. I was on a Youtube-binge when I first discovered a video by Michele Christensen where she does a step-by-step tutorial for creating a bullet journal in OneNote.

I followed her tips and tricks and set up my journal in about 5 hours (I had never used OneNote before and was learning as I went…I’m also a bit of a perfectionist 😆 )

So I had it all set and started using it when I discovered another video by Denise Vajak where she shows how to use PowerPoint to make Bullet Journal backgrounds for OneNote. I liked how realistic it made the bullet journal feel so I created one for my own journal. It took a long time to get it perfect because I couldn’t just copy/paste my old bullet journal layouts into the new background because formatting was thrown off. I basically had to start all over from scratch 😦 but I can’t complain as I really love the final result 🙂 !

MY BULLET JOURNAL

I got all my photos from pixabay.com

The binder rings I got off Etsy from MyCutieStore 

(they are used in the Denise Vajak video linked above)

Books List Blocked

I started my bullet journal with the books I read in 2019 section (including December 2018).  I thought it would be easier to break it down by months and will add more pages as I go. I thought about including an INDEX but found it unnecessary as I can easily click through without it. I still might add a FUTURE LOG, but that would only be for 2020 as I can easily get to the 2019 months.

December Monthly Blocked

Here is my December 2018 monthly spread. I must say I’m very proud of how it turned out because I had to create it myself using PowerPoint. After creating the bullet journal background, it was rather easy. I haven’t created any of the other monthly views yet, because it took quite a while but I think they will go a lot faster now that I know what I’m doing 😆

expenses blocked

I’m on a very tight budget at the moment so I want to have a place to keep track of just how much I’m spending and what I’m spending on. I also like to see how much I’m actually able to save for a particular month.

blog blocked

This year has been hit or miss with my blog. I keep going months without posting a single thing which is something I want to change. I have bigger plans in 2019 (which I will talk about in a later post) but for December I really want to get at least 2 posts a week up. Then I have my stats for my social media pages. I don’t really care too much about numbers. However, I do think keeping track of the number of followers I have will make it easier to see if/how much I grow over time.

writing blocked

I really want to make writing more of a priority. As you probably know, I ended up quitting NANO halfway through and as I said it was because of the word count pressure (link to that post here) but I also didn’t have much of a writing routine going into it. So I figured that if I set my own small daily goals and stick to them, I might have a better chance of creating a writing routine.

reading blocked

Much like with my writing I want to make reading more of a priority. I find myself going days at a time without picking up a book, and its not because I don’t have the time–its that I choose to spend my time when I could be reading scrolling through my phone instead, especially right before bed. I have my goal at 100 pages a day. I know I won’t always make my goal, but its good to have that number in mind.

weekly blocked

And finally, I have my weekly spreads. I don’t have the numbers for any of the other weeks just yet, though I plan on finishing that soon, but the layout is the same. On the left is just for my daily breakdowns where I will list everything I need to do or places I need to go. On the right are my trackers. Making sure I do my daily routines and creating new habits–like waking up at 8am and no phone before bed. The other is just to log how much water I’m drinking everyday as I don’t always drink enough.

That’s all I have for this post. Do you bullet journal? Do you use a physical journal or a digital one? Which do you prefer?

Thanks for reading!

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Writing Update | I’m Quitting NANOWRIMO

Hi Booklovers!

I meant to have this post up last Friday to include in Writer’s Break Friday but did not have the chance to finish the post in time.

The title already tells you what I’m going to be talking about today: I’m quitting NANOWRIMO.

It’s true. I have decided (with only 11 days left in the month) to quit the writing challenge to write 50,000 words in just one month.

I’ve come to realize that while I really like what NANOWRIMO tries to do, it just is not something that works for me. I used to think that the reason why I failed was simply because I was not preparing enough in October. But it wasn’t the lack of a fully-detailed outline holding me back.

It was the pressure of hitting the daily word count. I’ve realized this month that while I can hit word counts on occasion, more days than not I may only be able to get a few hundred words written in a day. And that’s after spending hours in front of the computer.

My story idea changed a few days into NANO so my daily word count increased to make up for the days I wasted on the old story (though I only managed 1,300 words on it before the new idea came up). I was already way behind to begin with.

I tried to set my own word count goal to make up for the days lost, but it was close to 3,000 words a day. No matter how much I tried, the words just didn’t flow that fast, and I didn’t just want to write words for the sake of reaching my goal if they didn’t help with the story I was trying to tell.

So my daily goal kept increasing, to a point that was making me not even want to write anymore, so that’s when I realized NANOWRIMO just does not work for me. I have every intention to continue the story I’m writing but my new goal for the month is to get 10,000 words written. Right now my project stands at 2,635 words so I need to write 736 words everyday starting tomorrow in order to reach that goal and I know that’s something I can do.

While I don’t think I’ll participate in anymore NANOWRIMOs in the future, I’ll continue to participate in the Camps that are held in April in July as I really like the more laid back feel to it.

How do you feel about NANOWRIMO? Does the pressure help you? Or are you like me where the pressure gets to be too much?

Thanks for reading!

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TomeTopple TBR | Round 7

Hi Booklovers,

Another round of my favorite read-a-thon is upon us! I’m so excited! I can’t believe it’s already up to Round 7!

I’m sure most of you already know what Tome Topple is but if you don’t, it’s a two-week-long read-a-thon where the focus is on reading books over 500 pages. It was created by Sam from ThoughtsonTomes.

This round is scheduled to take place beginning at midnight on November 16th until 11:59pm on November 29th, 2018 (times are based on your timezone)

There are challenges you can do for this read-a-thon. They include:

  1. Read more than 1 tome
  2. Read a graphic novel (must be over 500 pages–can include bindups)
  3. Read a tome that’s part of a series
  4. Buddy read a tome
  5. Read an adult novel

I will link  Sam’s Official Announcement Video for anyone interested in learning more about them.

I usually try to keep my limit at 2 books, but this time I’ve decided on 3 books that I really want to read. It’s should be interesting, but I have a feeling I’m ready to up my goal this round!

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling  I read Order of the Phoenix last round and I thought now would be the perfect time to continue with my reread of the series!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr This was on my very first TomeTopple TBR but I never got around to picking it up. It’s been sitting on my shelf unread for the longest time. But I’ve been in the mood to read it lately and this seems like the perfect opportunity to do that 🙂 .

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi I had put this on my TBR for last round but never got to pick it up. Though I’m very excited to read this as I will be buddy reading it 🙂 ! It will be my very first time doing a buddy read during this read-a-thon and I can’t wait!

**If you’re interested to know what challenges my TBR fills, the only challenge that I will NOT be doing is reading a graphic novel.**

So that’s all I have for this post! Anyone else planning on participating? What are you going to read?

Thanks for reading!

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Review | Changing Tides

1976506Author: Catherine Hapka

Publisher: Disney Press

Publication Date: November 6th, 2007

Series: A Gates Family Mystery #1

Source: Library Copy

Read: October 14, 2018–October 29th, 2018

Goodreads Summary: Samuel Gates has always been drawn to tale of brave explorers and far off lands. But stories are not enough to live on when, in 1612, the Gates family loses everything. To help restore their reputation and seek a new fortune, Samuel, along with his brother William, must leave the familiar streets of London for an uncertain world – the Americas.

As he crosses the Atlantic, Samuel meets a man who speaks of a hidden treasure somewhere in the Jamestown colony. However, before Samuel can decipher his garbled message, the man mysteriously dies. Now, with only a letter and a few cryptic clues to go on, Samuel finds himself caught up in a hunt that goes back to the very beginnings of the New World – to Roanoke and a vanished colony. (Goodreads Page)

***

I didn’t even know these books existed until recently. I’m a big fan of the National Treasure movies so when I discovered them, I knew I had to read them. This series is basically the origin story of the Gates family in the United States starting in 1612, when the ancestor’s of Benjamin Franklin Gates (the main character in the movies) first came to America.

I really enjoyed this first installment. This is a children’s series, but while reading it, I frequently forgot that I was, in fact reading, a children’s book. The character’s were great, though sometimes I found them a little annoying, especially Elizabeth and her interactions with her brother. But the main character Samuel, was really fleshed out.

I definitely felt like this was more of a plot-driven story but that didn’t bother me, although there were some characters I would have liked to get to know more about. However, there were multiple times in the story where I wished the author had slowed down a little and explored a bit more. (These books are all under 300 pages so I think this is definitely going to be something that’s going to continue to come up as I read the rest of the series 😆 ) .

The historical aspects of this book were really good. I enjoyed reading about the history of the colony and getting to see certain characters appear in a way other then how they’re depicted in other Disney movies.

All in all, I enjoyed this and can’t wait to finish the rest of the series! (I’m currently reading the second book and I’m already liking it more then the first 🙂 ).

Thanks for reading!

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