November Wrap Up! ’20

Well hi!

Today’s post is a little (a lot) late – I’m not even sure if WordPress will count it as ‘being posted Nov 30th’ because their servers are 5 hours ahead of me. But know this is going up around 9pm on Nov 30, my time. I haven’t messed up Blogmas yet.

So November wrap up! I gotta warn ya: Nanowrimo was this month, so I barely read. So this should be short and sweet:

Books

Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko – Honestly this is probably my favorite book of the year so far. It’s just so weird. It follows a young girl as she’s whisked off to a school that teaches… something. It’s not really clear what, and for the majority of the book, I was totally confused. I finished the book and I’m still not sure I understand what I read.

But it was awesome. 5 stars.

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie – This was an audio book for me this month, though I do physically own a copy. This was also my first Agatha Christie book! I realized in retrospect it was one of a series but luckily they’re standalone enough that I was able to perfectly follow. I did like this – it was charming.

4 stars.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Unfortunately I didn’t quite like this. I didn’t really dislike it either tho. It was very meh? I feel like I read this book ten years too late. I have the box set of the three but honestly I don’t know if I want to continue. If you’ve read this series – lemme know, does it get better? Worse? Stay the same?

2.75 stars.

Other Stuff

  • I won Nanowrimo!

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 164/100
  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule
    January – Fail
    February – Pass
    March – Pass
    April – Pass
    May – Pass
    June – Pass
    July – Pass
    August – Pass
    September – Pass
    October – Pass
    November – Pass
  • Keep track of reading statistics – In progress
  • Reduce physical TBR to 200 – 209 – close!

And that’s it! I’ll see you tomorrow!

It’s the best time of the year! | November Favorites ’20

It’s the end of the month again! During my favorite time of the year, I do favorites posts. This is the second one, check out the first if you’re interested!

Food & Drink

 

Eight O’Clock’s decaf has been a life saver – I can’t do a lot of caffeine anymore because reasons, and this is the best tasting decaf I’ve found. It’s lovely. Also, peppermint schnapps in hot chocolate. It’s. baller.

Media

I’ve been watching a lot of Dragon Ball recently. My husband has never seen it, so we’ve been making our way through the original series. At this point, we have under twenty episodes left, and then he’ll pick up Dragon Ball Z!

Nightwish’s live concerts are awesome. Above is their concert from Wacken in 2013. In addition to that one, I’ve been listening to their Wembly and Tampere concerts as well!

This ‘Epic Instrumental’ playlist has been great this past month. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I did Nanowrimo all month and this is one of the music playlists I had playing almost constantly. It’s just a good vibe for fantasy novels!

Miscellaneous

Finally, my Thanksgiving decorations! I think I did a particularly good job this year, especially considering I had 0 decorations to start with and had to find them all. Tell me what you think!

~~~

And that’s it! These are my favorite things for the month! Tomorrow, Christmas movies to-be-watched!

Top 5 topaz colored manga

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

Happy Wednesday! This week’s official topic is ‘Latin Lit’ but after going through all my books I realized I don’t have enough books to fill the post! That I’ll have to fix, so if you have any books written by Latinx authors, do let me know!

So today I’m doing the Alternate Topic that was supplied: Topaz. Because it’s November and topaz is the birthstone of November, the topic is to show books with topaz colors! Topaz I know can be many colors but one of the most common ones is yellow-y, so I’m doing yellow-y manga! Specifically yellow-y spines.

This is what I’ve chosen! (There are more than five, hush, I know):

The ones shown are:

Now, most of these I’ve read, but there are a few I haven’t. I’ll get there though, I’ll get there!

If you’ve read any of the above, do let me know! Happy reading!

Top 5 nonfiction books on my tbr

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

Happy Wednesday! Today’s topic revolves around Nonfiction November, and is a bit open-ended as far as what to actually write about. So I’ve chosen to do the top five nonfiction books I want to read out of all the unread ones that I own.

I don’t talk too much about nonfiction, as I rarely read it. When I do read it though, I tend to enjoy it. I just have to be in the mood. In my house there are about one and a half book cases worth of nonfiction books. Most of them are my husband’s, but I have a chunk of them too. According to my Goodreads shelf, I own twenty-two nonfiction books that I have yet to read. Looking through those, these are the five that most grab my attention, in no particular order:

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – I picked this up a few months ago after the author gave a presentation for my work. I’ve seen the movie and loved it, so I wanted to give the book a try as well.

The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku – If I’m being honest I basically wanna read all of Kaku’s books, but this is the one I own. My first college degree was in psychology, so this subject in particular is fascinating to me. This book I believe deals with speculative projections of what could possibly happen to human consciousness in the future as technology continues to advance.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – This is a memoir, and from what I’ve heard, a really powerful one. My sociology professor recommended this to me back in 2009 or so I think. I have it, haven’t read it yet because I’m scared it’s gonna break my heart.

The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone – I picked this book up a few years ago when I went to Chicago and saw Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! recorded live. Paula Poundstone wasn’t on that particular episode so that was a bummer, but I really like her sense of humor and her opinions on a lot of things. So I picked up her book at the merch tables they had!

DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman, M.D. – I picked this book up years ago when I was studying for my psychology degree as a bit of side reading, but never got to for one reason or another. Despite me working as a software engineer now, I still really do have a love for psychology (and would have stuck with it professionally if it paid the bills). So I am still very interested in this book. DMT is a chemical that is made by the human brain during near death experiences, and those who take it synthetically report to have spiritual experiences. So the whole thing is rather fascinating to me, as this molecule can both be seen through a scientific and spiritual lens, and I wanna know more about it.

And that’s it! There are a bunch of other books on my nonfiction tbr as well so if you’re at all curious, you can check out the shelf of them I made here.

Happy reading!

November Currently Reading!

Happy November! I’m currently 17k words into Nanowrimo, so my reading has taken a bit of a dip as a result. But, I am reading a few books between writing!

 

Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw – This is my current audio book, and it’s by the guy who does the Zero Punctuation videos if you’ve heard of them. He also narrates his own book so it’s that same deadpan delivery, and I think it really fits.

This is a book about a student at a magic school who gets killed right at the beginning of the book, and then is revived as undead and is pissed about it. It’s hilarious and so far I’m really enjoying it.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – In fairness I haven’t touched this in a couple weeks, and I probably won’t until Nanowrimo is over. Out of the three books I’m reading, it’s the lowest priority for sure.

But so far, it’s not bad. I’ve heard mixed things about it, so we’ll see how it goes.

Renegade’s Magic by Robin Hobb – This is the last Hobb novel I have left, and after this I’m going to need to find something to fill the void. Like with the majority of all the other Hobb novels, I’m buddy reading this with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks.

So far, I have no idea where this plot is going, but I also felt that way in the second book and ended up loving it, so I really hope this one ends well. I tend to like Hobb’s endings, so my hopes are high.

And that’s it! Like I said, my reading is currently a bit slow. It’ll pick up at the end of November – I’m ahead in Nano, so hopefully I stay that way and can finish early.

Lemme know if you’ve read any of the above! Happy reading!

I won Nanowrimo!

Blogmas 2019

Happy December and happy End of Nanowrimo!

This year, I won! I hit 50,000 words back on November 23rd, so this last week I’ve been coasting, pre-writing blogmas posts, etc. It’s been a nice relaxer.

Is my draft any good? No! It’s awful! But it exists, and that’s the important part.

Here are my stats:

Obviously for the last week I just chilled. Once I hit the 50k, I went ‘this is heinous’ and stopped. When I start up again, I’m actually going to dive right into draft two instead of finishing draft one because man, it’s really bad.

Otherwise, you’ll see spikes in daily word count – those are weekends, mostly. My buddy Ashley and I had write-ins every weekend, it wasn’t unusual for me to get out 5 or 6k during once session. It was really helpful (and she ended up winning too, for the first time!)

So, Nano is done. I’m going to give myself a bit more of a break, then I’ll pick it up and try fixing it to be like… a comprehensive narrative.

Winner 2019- Twitter Banner

And that’s it! Until tomorrow!

November Wrap Up | ’19

Blogmas 2019

Happy December! Well, almost December. Happy end of November! This is what I read this month:

Books

Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3)

Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb – I finished it. I finished Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series and man it tore me apart. I buddy read this with Zezee and I’m pretty sure both our reactions at the end were just AUAUUGHAHSHHGHGH. This book was absolutely fantastic, and I feel like it tied up enough of the plot that it was a satisfying ending, yet it kept just enough open that if Hobb would decide to write another book in that world, that she could pull it off rather easily. – 5 stars

Sightwitch (The Witchlands, #0.5)

Sightwitch by Susan Dennard – This was a novella I picked up on audio that takes place between books two and three of the Truthwitch series. It was neat, and I liked it, but otherwise it didn’t leave much of an impression on me. – 3 stars

Noragami: Stray God, Vol. 2 (Noragami, #2)

Noragami vol 2 by Adachitoka – I picked up this series originally last month and thought it had a solid beginning. This second volume expanded on that, and I’m definitely invested now. – 3.5 stars

Land of the Lustrous, Vol. 7

Land of the Lustrous vols 7 and 8 by Haruko Ichikawa – This series is getting more and more interesting with each volume. I have so many questions now, augh! – 4 and 3.5 stars respectively

You

You by Caroline Kepnes – I’m still not sure what I read, but I liked it. Man, this book was so unsettling, and it made me feel so many mixed emotions. But wow, was it compelling. I read this so fast, maybe within two or three days. Do I ever want to reread it? No. But it was definitely a ride. – 4 stars

Food Wars!, Vol. 1

Food Wars vol 1 by Yuto Tsukuda – I’ve been following the anime of this for a while and when I saw vol 1 sitting on the shelf, I figured I’d pick it up. This follows the main character on the front as he goes to culinary school. It’s absolutely out of it’s mind and all over the place, but it’s also hilarious, so I liked it. – 3.5 stars


Other things

  • I participated in Nanowrimo! Results will be posted tomorrow.
  • I put up my Christmas tree yesterday! There will also be a post about that.

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 115/50 – Complete!
  • Finish the 10 in 2019 list – 8/10
  • Keep book purchases around 4-5 books per month
    • J – 5 | F – 6 | M – 7 | A – 0 | M – 0 | J – 3 | J – 5 | A – 5 | S – 4| O -2 | N – 5 | D
  • Go on a 2 to 3 month buying ban – Complete!
  • Reduce physical TBR to 250 books – Currently 249 – Complete (now maintaining)
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019 – Complete!
  • Post monthly book hauls
    • J | F | M | A (on ban) | M(on ban) | J | JA | S | O | N(scheduled) | D
  • Maintain a S-W-S posting schedule
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Keep track of statistics
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D

That’s it! I hope your November was lovely! Happy reading!

Seasonal Favorites aka the best time of the year | #2

fall post.png

Hello! Today is part two of a three part series I’m going to do. Basically ‘monthly favorites’ but focusing on fall, because, as the title says, it’s the best time of the year. Fight me on it.

You can find part one here, if you’re interested.

This is what I liked this month!

Food

They are all Thanksgiving-related items, does this shock you. Does it.

The first item is the Gobblerito, a seasonal special of Mad Mex, which is a Pittsburgh-based restaurant (these… will all be from Pittsburgh-based things, come to think of it). But basically it’s a burrito as big as your head, filled with turkey, corn, black beans, stuffing, and then coated with turkey gravy and served with a bit of cranberry. Heaven on a plate, I’ve never been able to finish one in one sitting. (Photo credit of madmex.com)

The next right below it is the pilgrim sub, a seasonal special of Get Go, which is actually a gas station similar to a Sheetz or Wawa or whatever you have near you, owned by the local grocery store Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh. It’s turkey, cheese and cranberry all loaded up into stuffing bread, and it’s delicious. (Photo credit of GetGo’s twitter account)

The final picture is the coveted Smoked Turkey Waffle, available seasonally by Pig Iron Public House, which, you guessed it, as Pittsburgh based. The waffle itself is made of stuffing, and then on top there’s smoked turkey, gravy, and friend mashed potato-and-cranberry balls. It. Is. Delicious. (Photo credit to ME. I TOOK THE PICTURE)

There’s one more Thanksgiving item I haven’t gotten to yet, called the Gobble Gobble burger, sold by the Pittsburgh burger joint BRGR… if I get to it in the next month, I’ll mention it in the next faves post. 😛

Games

Just a flash game this month. I’ve been hooked on it: Blendoku, which I know is at least available on the android app store, maybe the apple one as well? Who knows.

It’s a game kinda like a mix between sudoku and a crossword puzzle, but instead of placing numbers of letters, you place colors in a way that they blend into each other well. It’s fun!

Television

Honestly, the two I mentioned last month, Food Wars and My Hero Academia are still up there. Otherwise:

Supernatural. Man, I’ve been watching this show from the beginning. It’s just started it’s final season – the 15th one – and it’s all comin’ together. Note, do not watch the above trailer unless you’re caught up or you don’t mind spoilers that you’ll have no context for until you actually watch the show. If you don’t mind the no-context spoilers, it gives a really good vibe about what the whole show is about. Honestly when I found it I watched it twice and let my feels be feels.

Queer Eye. This is a Netflix show that I picked up maybe two weeks ago… and have since binged all four seasons plus their four-episode Japan special. I’m obsessed. Everyone is so wholesome and kind and loving and wonderful and augh ❤ Season 5 is coming out soon and I’m pumped for it.

Music

Lately, I’ve been using a playlist on spotify for my Nanowrimo projects, called ‘Epic Instrumental’ where it’s just what it sounds like. This is it!

Also, this song’s been pretty good lately:

Other Stuff

JonTron. A youtuber that’s been around for ages. He does comedy videos, and while I’ve liked him for a while, one of his latest videos, the goop video above, cracked me up. So he’s a favorite this month.

My Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. I don’t get super festive for both of these holidays, despite the fact that I love them both, haha. On the left is my one candle – Caramel Pecan, and a box of leaves. On the right is my jackolantern this year.


And that’s it! One more of these posts mid-to-late next month, and that’ll be it. It’ll be back to the boring times this month.

Happy falling and wintering!

November Wrap Up | ’18

Blogmas 2018

Hello, happy December! Most of my month was taken up with Nanowrimo, so I didn’t read all too much. I am however in the middle of a lot of books, which will be talked about more in my December Currently Reading post tomorrow.


Books

Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb

Dragon Haven (The Rain Wild Chronicles, #2)It says a lot about this month that I was surprised that this book was on November’s list. I swear I finished it in October. This is what my brain is doing, baw. I buddy-read this book with Zezee, and we both really enjoyed it.

This book is the second in Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles quartet, and while I liked the first book, I really really liked this one. The characters take on a wider range of personality traits, the plot develops very nicely, and there’s more complexity developed in everyone’s motivations. Some of the characters I disliked at the end of last book I now have gray feelings towards, namely Sedric. I don’t like him but I feel for him at the same time, it’s very strange. Robin Hobb’s best strength I think is her characterization. She is a master at making you question a character’s morals but at the same time kinda sympathize with their plight.

I’ll be picking up the third book soon here, and I’m hoping it’s as good if not better than this one.

4.25/5 stars

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #1)This was a reread for me, and really, it just made me fall in love with it all the more. There is so much I missed the first time through, that I was able to pick up thanks to knowing the ending ahead of time. Ugh. I’m in the middle of the second book now and I feel like this series is going fall into my top five favorites if not my all-time favorite, period. I’ve never had a ‘favorite’ before, but this series might make that claim.

5/5 stars

 

 

 

 

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku volume 3 by Fujita

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku 3This was the other book that was exempt from my buying ban (the first one being the second Baru book) and I picked it up two days after it came out on the 27th and read it immediately. Just like its predecessors, it was easily a five star read. I absolutely love this series. I wrote a spoiler-free review on the first two volumes, should you be interested. I’m so excited for the next one. I just need an announcement date! D:

5/5 stars

 

 

Other Things

  • As stated above, I participated in Nanowrimo and I won! I’m so happy. I literally did nothing else worth mentioning this month, haaaaaaaa

Reading Goals

  • Complete my Goodreads Challenge of 40 books: 77/40
  • Complete my 10 in 2018 list of books: 3/10
  • Keep book buying low (6-8 books/season)
    • January-March purchases: 9
    • April-June purchases: 12
    • July-September purchases: I don’t wanna talk about it
    • October-December purchases: 3
  • Get my physical TBR down to 270 books: 283
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019

Fantasy Bingo 2018

I can’t put anything on the grid this month – already used a graphic novel, a reread, and Robin Hobb. Only one reread, graphic novel, and one book per author! Augh!


And that’s it! I’m hoping to get back into my reading more this December, with the writing taking the backburner. Happy reading!

November Currently Reading |’18

Currently Reading

Hello, welcome to November! Today is my last day in Florida, and right after writing this, I’ll be packing up to get on a plane. I’m due to walk back into my home around 9 or 9:30pm tonight, between checking out of the hotel by 11am, waiting for the shuttle to the airport, waiting at the airport, the flight home, and the drive home after that. So… long day full of waiting ahead of me. Hopefully I’ll be able to use the time to read and get ahead on my Nano project.

Anyways, this is what I’m currently reading:

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #1)This is a reread for me, and I had planned on having it done by now, but with Nano and vacation, it kinda didn’t happen. The sequel, The Monster Baru Cormorant, came out this past Tuesday. I’ll go buy it as soon as I finish this one. I want the instant gratification of finishing this and going ‘oh hey I’m gonna go buy the sequel right now’. Loving it just as much as I did the last time.

 

 

 

 

Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb

Dragon Haven (The Rain Wild Chronicles, #2)Another buddy read with Zezee, I’m rather adoring this book. Aaaand it was another one I was to have done by this weekend, which still may or may not happen depending on how nano goes today at the airport, hehe. If possible I’ll buzz through the ending tomorrow. But buh, I love this series, man. The whole thing, it’s great.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)I picked this up as part of Spookathon but didn’t finish it. I’m enjoying it so far, but it’ll likely end up being a back-burner book for me this month, considering everything. I’ll get to it though! One day! Wah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P Beaulieu

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (The Song of the Shattered Sands #1)This is a buddy read I’m currently reading with Amanda. At this point I feel it should be categorized as a back-burner book, but who knows. Amanda! When are we reading more! When!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan

The Gray HouseThis book I am reading as part of the r/Fantasy book of the month read-along.Teeechnically it ended up the end of October so I’m very behind, but I’ll finish it eventually. It’s just so slow going, I’m having a hard time really getting into it. It’ll pick up for parts and then slow down again.

 

 

 

 

 

Back-burner books

Same ones as last month. I’ve started a bunch of new books but haven’t like.. finished any. Haha.

What are you reading? Have you read any of the above?