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

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.

white teddy bear with opened book photo

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

October TBR 2019

Hello lovelies, I hope you are having a fantastic week. I have been beyond busy lately reading books both planned and unplanned. That said, I am so excited for my reads this month. Some of them have been a long time coming and some of them are books that recently came out. I’m not sure that I will get through all of these since I will be taking a class starting this month but I really hope to get through them.

  • Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks. (Graphic Novel) I’m sure I will get through this one pretty quickly. It looks short and sweet and is perfect for this time of year.
  • An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. I have had so many people tell me they loved Margaret Rogerson’s writing and I have been looking forward to this one for a while. Fall seems like the perfect time of year to check it out!
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I attempted this one a while ago but I didn’t get very far since I was at a very busy time of my life. I was very interested to continue at the time but I couldn’t. I can’t wait to give it another go.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. As I said it’s been a long time coming…I have never finished the Harry Potter series and part of that is because I don’t want it to end, even though I’ve seen all the films, I’ve always taken my time with the books ever since I got my hands on them. So I figured…it’s time.
  • Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I cannot wait to start this one. I have been slowly making my way through the Throne of Glass series. I can’t wait to continue Aelin’s story!

Maybe Reads — So I have a few other books that I want to read or listen to. I’m not sure I will get to them all but I thought I’d share them here as well:

  • The Falconer by Elizabeth May.
  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power.
  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I may get to this one next month but I’m not sure. I definitely want to take my time with this one.

What are you guys reading this month? Do you have any books you cannot wait to get to? Do you have any suggestions for me? Let me know!

~mk

September 2019 TBR

woman reading a book

Hello everyone, I hope you are doing well. I am so excited to share with you the books I plan to read in September. So far I have been doing pretty well with catching up on the reads that I have been trying to get to for… way too long. Some of the books, I started ages ago, put down, and then restarted so I had to guestimate the actual real start date of the books I read on Goodreads. Do any of you do this? It’s a terrible habit I have.  Anyway, that said, I have been able to get through several books and because of this, I was able to add new books to my TBR for this month! So, let’s dive in!

So here are the books I’ve added to my September TBR:

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
  • After You by Jojo Moyes

Now if you are anything like me, you have a pile of books that you are reading. If you are a slower reader, like me, some of them you finish in a couple of days because you are really into that book and some you finish over months because you hit a spot in the book that is a slow spot…or maybe you misplace the book. (*cough* all. the. time. *cough*) Anyway, these books are the top ones I’m reading BUT…I am also reading the books mentioned in my last post. So if you take a look back at that one it’s not as bad as it could be. Sometimes I start so many books at once I have to completely stop half of them just to read one.

So what are you reading in September? Are you a mood reader like me and plan to read things that help to bring on the Autumn vibes? Let me know!

~mk

2019 Reading Challenge

Hello again, lovelies! Wow, two posts in a month!  I’m so proud of myself.

So I know it’s September and the year is almost over, but since I hadn’t shared my reading goal for 2019, I thought I’d share it. Because of how insane 2018 was and the fact that I did not touch this blog AT ALL the entire time. When I decided to set my 2019 reading goal, I set it a little bit lower than my 2018 goal. In 2018 I set my goal to read 15 books and because life happens, I just barely made that goal.  Now in I set my goal lower to 10 books.

I’ve already read 16. And here they are:

  • Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • Crossed by Ally Condie
  • Reached by Ally Condie
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (I plan to review this one for you guys)
  • Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (reread)
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber (reread)
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black (I plan to review this one too)
  • Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Frankenstein by Mary W. Shelley

So there they are, those are my 16 books so far.  I know for some of you, reading 16 books might be a huge accomplishment. For others of you, reading 16 books, you did it in a month. That is wonderful! I’m incredibly happy for you! For me, however, I have bad reading habits.  I told myself back in 2018 that I wouldn’t read multiple books at once, but honestly….that wasn’t realistic of me. For me, that’s the only way I get half of my reading done. So I know for some people, reading multiple books at once isn’t a bad habit. For me, it can be because even though I don’t typically mix the stories up, and I do usually lean on one book more than the others and it slows me down quite a bit. That said, I have sometimes I have so many books that I’m reading at once that some of them I end up completely restarting. Hence why it’s a bad habit for me. So my new plan is to read all the books I’ve started, and then try to keep only a few going at a time. I tend to have TONS going at once. What are your reading habits? Do you have any methods that might be useful for keeping only a few going at once? Are you a one at a time bookworm? Let me know!

~mk

 

Life Update and Zombieland

Hey there everyone, I hope you are doing well. Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been on here. 2018 ended up being pretty brutal and 2019 has been insanely busy. Shortly after my last post, I had a series of events in my personal life that required everything to go on hold. Things just kept happening back to back and it felt almost impossible to get ahead. It was an insane time in my life and to be honest, I’m still recovering, but despite the busy and insane things that life can throw at us, I am incredibly thankful to God for everything.

Because of all this busyness, for the past year or so, one of the things that have really been a huge help to me as far as my reading life is concerned would be using my Audible and Libby accounts. I made it through and completed my 2018 reading challenge…If you remember I only challenged myself to read 15 books. Maybe I knew the craziness was coming? Who knows, but anyway, I just barely made it through the challenge. I don’t know that I would have been able to do it without

I’ve always loved Audible, I’ve had it for ages and for the record this is NOT sponsored in any way. But having the ability to listen to my audiobooks while I’m working or in the car or doing other tasks has been a huge stress reliever. I also have found books that I know I would never read on my own, that having someone read them to me, actually helps me to pick up the book.

For example:

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

I love all things Alice in Wonderland, but this series was not one that I had planned on reading. That said, I bought the audiobook pretty skeptical. A lot of people on Goodreads seem to love it and a lot seem to hate it. But, I decided to check it out anyway. If I didn’t enjoy it, I could always trade it back in for a different book. Despite being fairly cheesy and not related to Alice in Wonderland much at all, I really enjoyed it. I still doubt I’d be able to pick up the physical book and read it the whole way through, the audiobook was good and fun. The narrator brought the characters to life for me so much so that this is one of my current audiobook series that I’m working through.

Audible has also been great for homework help. Have you ever had to read a novel for a course your taking and you just know you’re going to have trouble reading it because it’s required? Even if it’s on your TBR list? That’s me almost every time. So I’ve read along with the audiobook. It’s been a huge help. Especially when the language is a bit convoluted.

Another resource I mentioned is Libby. You download the app, connect it to your library card, and if it’s in your area you have access to books that you can download to your e-reader or audiobooks you can play in the app. This was great if there was a book I wasn’t willing to waste an audible credit on that I wasn’t sure I would ever listen to again.  It’s also great for books that I physically own, or have previously read, but I need to reread for whatever the reason. It’s also great just because I don’t want to spend the money!

Anywho, just wanted to check in and hopefully, I’ll be back to at least a once a month post.

~mk