2020 Year of Discovery

2020 is having perfect vision, seeing clearly, and having perfect hindsight. Okay, that was cheesy, but looking back on 2019 I am really hoping to have better focus this year. We spend a lot of time as a culture looking back on our past or forward on our future. When we look at the now, oftentimes it’s without any kind of wisdom or clarity. We focus on what feels good in the moment instead of what will actually bring us true joy. So for 2020, my plan is to discover novels that truly captivate my attention and discover or rediscovering hobbies that I have enjoyed in the past.

A few years ago, Mollie Reads hosted an event called the “DoAThon”. This event motivated me a lot and helped push me to do more in my house and just adjust my focus in general. My hope for this year is to be more intentional. I want treat the entire year with a “DoAThon” type attitude but with the twist of discovering the joy in creativity and self-care.

What do you plan to do?

Well, first off…TBR pile is a mile long. My hope is to read more books I truly enjoy. My husband and I are trying to declutter our lives a bit more and books are not something I plan to just get rid of unless they are ones know I don’t like. I’m sure many of you have seen or read Marie Kondo’s book or seen her show on Netflix. I read her book a while back and it was truly helpful to me. I’m not sure I agree with her book limit, but the point is, I want to try and get that TBR pile down and keep what I truly love and “unhaul” it if I don’t like it. There is always someone who will enjoy them more than I do.

Second, there are so many things I want to do, that I never make time for. Painting, reading, journaling, studying the Bible, playing with the dogs more often, puzzles, coffee with friends, photography…I could go on and on. I want to make more time for the little fun things in life. Those things are important and often get forgotten in the mix of all the business of life.

My question for you guys is this. Are you being intentional next year? Are you taking care of yourself and giving your mind the rest it needs or the push it needs to discover new things? What things do you want to discover? What new books are you getting rid of? What are your favorites that you know you will read again and again? Are you learning anything new for yourself? Are you seeking spiritual growth? Are you running a 5k? Are you planning on spending every Saturday with your family and friends? Are you planting a garden? Are you investing your time in something good for you?

Let me know what your discovery plans are!

Food for thought.
~mk

 

2020 Is Here!

Hello, lovelies! Happy New Year! 2020 Is finally here and with it, there are so many new books to read and new adventures to be had. I am incredibly excited!

So with the New Year looming before us, I am hoping to read a bunch of new books that I

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didn’t get to last year. I’m also hoping to accomplish several goals that I honestly don’t know that I would have had the time to complete last year.

  1. I want to set my reading goal back up to 30 books. I’m not sure if that will be realistic or not, but we will see.
  2. Decluttering — I desperately need to do this in my house. I’ve already done some of it but I need to do it again, badly.
  3. Schedule in my reading time. I feel like so much happens with life that often I don’t have time to read as often as I would like to. So, that said, I think I’m going to literally add it to my schedule. Block out a day where I don’t have to do as much so that I can make time for reading…or any other forms of fun that I need to allow time for. (Yes, this includes naps.)
  4. Focus on the fun! So much has happened in the last few years that I think I’ve allowed way too much busyness in. Time to fix that!
  5. Get in shape. I know round is a shape, but for me, I have never been this out of shape. I used to be able to walk farther and more often without feeling completely winded. So that said, my plan is to try and be a little more conscious of my health and fitness this year. I started working towards this goal as soon as I began to really feel the need for it. I have been making a conscious effort to work out 3 times a week for an hour or so and I am already feeling the impact it has had on my life. So I am planning to stick with this as much as possible.

So what are your biggest goals for 2020? These are just some of mine. I may have more that come about as the first few months go by. Let me know your thoughts!

Enjoy the new year!

~mk

2019 Christmas Reading Recommendations

Happy Christmas everyone! I hope your holiday season is going well. I have been looking for Holiday reading recommendations to share and new holiday reads for myself as well. Although I have read a few of these, several are new recommendations to me too from my amazing sister! So without further ado, Let’s look at the books!!

  1. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray. This is the second book in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy and I do recommend reading the first one first, this second book takes place during the Christmas season!
  2. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. This is a cute contemporary Christmas romance story and I very much enjoyed it. Dash and Lily are very cute and have an enjoyable adventure together. I would definitely recommend checking it out for a quick Christmas read!
  3. Hunted by Megan Spooner. This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling but when I initially read the novel, it gave me such winter vibes, I thought it would be a fun one to read around the Christmas season. I do plan on doing a Winter Reads list, so maybe it’s more appropriate to list there, but sometimes I enjoy a good Beauty and the Beast novel around Christmas.

Christmas Recommendations I haven’t read yet:

So as I said, some of these are new discoveries for myself this year. Although I cannot give an opinion on whether or not these books are any good myself. I will state if they were recommended to me or if they are ones I am just hoping to check out. You may even find that they were some of the same ones listed on my December TBR post:

  1. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie. This is a recommendation from my wonderful sister who loves Agatha Christie’s novels. I can’t give an opinion on it yet myself but I know she loves it and has excellent taste in classics.
  2. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie. Another recommendation from my lovely sister.
  3. What Light by Jay Asher. I have heard mixed things about this one. I hope it ends up being one that I enjoy but I am not sure. We will see.
  4. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins. I have heard some great things about this book and the stories it holds. Hopefully, I enjoy it when I get to it.

So hopefully I have some good recommendations for you here and for me as well. If and when I get a chance to check these out (the ones on my TBR for this year at least) I will hopefully get a chance to review them and let you know what my thoughts are.

If you have read any of these and found that you liked them or didn’t, let me know! I’d love to get your thoughts and opinions on these novels!

Merry Christmas everyone!!
~mk

 

 

Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down

Hello, again lovelies! I hope you are having a wonderful week!

I believe I said in the past that I would be reviewing Turtles All The Way Down. I read it quite some time ago, back in 2018 if I remember correctly, but I didn’t remember doing a review on it. It was one of my favorite reads of the year, so I thought now would be a great time to go back and do that. So I know this is a long time coming but here we go!

This is my first John Green novel. I have heard so many mixed things about his works. Some people absolutely love them and others don’t. I have two of his other novels, Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars. I haven’t read either of them. I think it’s probably crazy that I haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars, but I’m hoping to remedy that soon. Anyway…on to the review!

John Green has an amazing writing style. I’m not sure really how to describe it but it seems to me, at least with this book, that you would know if you were reading one of his novels. I follow John Green youtube channel and it seems that he just has a wonderful way with words in general. The writing was stunning the story was stunning, and it was just a very needed book in my opinion. Aza deals with such feelings and thoughts running through her mind that I just can’t fathom experiencing that on a daily basis. She’s one of those characters that you can’t forget. I don’t want to give away much of the story because I feel this is one of those stories you kind of want to go into without any expectations. I will say be warned that there are some major mental health themes in this story, so if you do decide to read it, you may want to do some research if you are sensitive to that type of thing in any way. I believe this is an “Own Voices” novel as well, meaning that some of these issues Mr. Green may deal with himself. I am not completely positive on that but I have heard that from other people who I know have read and enjoyed the novel.

I gave Turtles All The Way Down 5 out of 5 stars. It’s beautifully written and it’s a stunning novel overall. I highly recommend it!

That’s all I have for you guys. Have a wonderful week!

~mk

 

Series Review: The Cruel Prince & The Wicked King

Hello, lovelies! I hope you are having a fantastic day!

I promised I would review The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, so in honor of Holly Black’s upcoming release of Queen of Nothing, I thought I’d do a mashup review of the first two books!

   

Also, this will be a spoiler-free review!

I should probably state off the bat that despite owning several of Holly Black’s novels, I had never read any of them. I know that’s crazy! I think so too. Sometimes I think I drive my husband crazy with the number of unread books I have…and then I go buy more.

First of all, If you haven’t read the series, it’s about a girl named Jude and her sisters who are stolen away as children to live in the land of faerie after seeing their parents murdered. Without giving away too much, Jude does not like Faerie. As with many faerie stories, the faeries are tricksters and they love games. Jude is trying to fit in as a mortal, knowing that she lives in a very dangerous place. It’s especially difficult for her because of her mistrust and dislike for the faerie prince. Cardan is cruel and seems to have a special dislike for Jude. When the game of faerie politics changes, Jude gets wrapped up in the game, with Cardan, in ways she might never have imagined playing.

I gave The Cruel Prince 5 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed the story, the writing style, the characters and the world that Holly Black created. Jude was refreshing, she didn’t have powers, she was so utterly human and taking on the world and its politics and training herself to do the things she does but in such a human way was amazing to read.

The Wicked King I gave 4 out of 5 stars only because I wanted just a little bit more from the story than I got. Cardan and Jude grow so much as characters in this story it was amazing to read.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I cannot wait for The Queen of Nothing to be released!! If you haven’t read this series I highly recommend it. In the meantime, I’m going to look into some of Holly Black’s other novels!

Enjoy lovelies!

~mk

The Anne of Green Gables Book Tag (Original)

Hey Carrots: Name a book you couldn’t wait to meet.

As someone who started reading Harry Potter a little later than most people in her generation, I would have to say Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I started reading these in High School/College, not in Elementary School like most of my friends. I could not wait to get started, especially since I had seen the first movie before I had ever gotten a chance to get my hands on the book.

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Kindred spirits: Name a book that you love and that touched your soul.

Is it cheating to use the title book when you are the creator of a tag? Whatever, I’m doing it anyway, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. It’s one of my favorites, I love the older television miniseries with Megan Follows (I haven’t gotten around to checking out the Netflix series) but it’s one of my favorite classics…If you haven’t read it and you enjoy sweet coming of age stories, please, PLEASE go read it!

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I guess it’s a dramatic way to go for a mouse. Name a book that ended so dramatically that you didn’t expect it.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth…not saying any more than that. Just…still not happy.

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Puff Sleeves and 25 lbs of brown sugar. Name a book that took you several tries to read but you fell in love once you did.

Hunted by Megan Spooner…I cannot tell you how many times I started this book and stopped it. I think it was because I was in the mood for a “Beauty and the Beast” retelling but it was still too soon for me in reading it after the A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) trilogy by Sarah J. Maas. Once I finally got into it I really enjoyed it, and it was far different from ACOTAR and much more like Beauty and the Beast.

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The Lake of Shining waters. Name a character, who like Anne, has a flair for the dramatic and for the “Romantic”.

Aelin Galathynius from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I wouldn’t say she is like Anne at all, but I think Aelin would appreciate Anne’s play-acting and intelligence.

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Gilbert Blythe. Name a male character who always pushes his counterpart forward in an effort to help them grow and come into their own.

I think I can come up with several of these: Rowan from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth, Rysand from ACOTAR…I’m sure there are many others I haven’t thought of.

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I hope you like this tag. I tag PeaceLoveRach88Priyasha, Grace @bookgrace11, and Noriko if you are interested in doing this tag. I would love to see it!! 

~mk

Middle of the Month TBR Changes

Do you ever have one of those moments where you start to read something or listen to an audiobook and suddenly if grabs you in ways it didn’t in the past?

Welcome to my middle of the month TBR changes!

Okay, so that might be a bit extreme. I don’t know that I am going to finish the TBR I had to begin with. I started another class so reading may end up on the back burner for the next few weeks since I’ll be doing a LOT of homework related reading.

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Some books might carry over to next month anyway. That said, here’s what decided to grab my mood instead of the picks I already had:

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

As you may or may not know, Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors. I loved the Shiver trilogy when I read it years ago. I’m not sure how I would feel about it now but I also loved reading The Scorpio Races as well as her to Faerie books (sorry the name of them escapes me at the moment…Lament is the title of one of them, I believe.) That said, I never got around to reading the Raven Cycle when it first came out.

It took me a long time before I ever picked the first one up. When I did, I read the first one, which was a while ago, I enjoyed it but I think I wasn’t in the mood for that type of story.

A few months ago I decided I’d listen to it on audible and several months after that I find myself picking up series again suddenly desperate for more of the story. I listed out books 2-3 since those are the ones I read this month and haven’t been able to put down.

Also, in addition to reading the Raven Cycle, I’ve been reading some of the books I planned to read with the addition of these books. As I said, some are ones that I planned to read but also some are not.

Since October is almost over, and I just started my class, I will probably have to move some of the planned books further down the TBR pile. You will probably not see another TBR pile from me until after January, but hopefully, I will be able to share my thoughts on some of the books I’ve promised to review and some that I have been hoping to review as well. 

Let me know what your reading and if you’ve had changes to your TBR pile that came out of nowhere!

~mk