• Bookish Life

    November 2018 Book Chat

    *This post contains my current reads for November 2018. I post these Current Reads articles around the middle of every month and they are inspired by Anne Bogel @ modernmrsdarcy.com I hope you all have had a great reading month so far. If not, we still have half of November left!

    November 2018 Book Chat

    Here are the great books I’ve read recently. 

    current reads, november 2018

    The first book I finished this month is The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin. 

    I loved this book so so much. It was the perfect ending for this trilogy. My reader heart is very satisfied with this one. Justin is a master of description. This book wasn’t boring. It was beautiful. I was engrossed in the story from the first page. 

    The second book I completed was Think Learn Succeed by Dr. Caroline Leaf.

    This is a non-fiction science/mental health book. I really really enjoyed reading this book. I actually love all of her books even though they are very sciency. My mind was blown consistently throughout. The one thing I can say is not to take a month long break before you finish the book. I now have to read it again, but I’m ok with that. I actually want to read it again!

    current reads, november 2018

    The third book I read this month was A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.

    I am in love with Rhysand. That is all. Goodbye.

    But really, I loved this book so very very much. If anything happens to Rhysand I will die and Sarah J. Maas will be guilty of murder. 💔

    current reads, november 2018

    The fourth book I have (kinda) read so far this month is Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith.

    This book is a beautiful and practical guide to making your home minimal but without the industrial starkness of “traditional” minimalism. Hence the title Cozy Minimalist Home. I love me a cozy house, but I also love me a home with no clutter. 


    That’s my current reads list for November 2018 so far.

    I’m not very good at talking about books. I don’t like “reviewing” them because I don’t feel that it’s my job to put my opinion of a book in a reader’s head. I want them to experience it for themselves and then they can make a decision on whether they liked it or not. I can let you know if I liked it or not though. And I can let you look it up on Goodreads or Amazon if you so desire. 

    Also, I do not recommend reading reviews of a book after you just finished it. Especially if you LOVED it. Someone out there will be dragging it through the dirt and it will make you feel like maybe you aren’t a good reader, and how could you be so gullible to the writer’s whims, and maybe the book isn’t as good as you thought. Just save yourself the heartache and DON’T read the reviews.

    Because none of the stuff that the reviewer said about your FAVORITE book is true about you. You read the book and it was your experience that matters. Not that psycho reviewer on Goodreads whom you now want to stab in their sleep. I personally never read reviews. I don’t watch them on booktube either. I don’t like reading a synopsis of a book either. I want to go in totally blind. It’s the best that way. 

    Don’t let the evil book reviewers get you down!

    Sorry, that turned into a crazy rant. I’ve been thinking about this whole “reviewers dragging books though the mud” thing all morning. I think I might just have to write a post about it. Something like the Readers Bill of Rights. Here’s what we want as readers and don’t any of you evil readers take these rights away from us! LOL. I am being a little extra. But maybe not, you know?

    What do you think? Should I create a Reader’s Bill of Rights? If you don’t care I’m still going to do it. Actually if you don’t care that just means you are one of those readers who thinks your word is scripture and you want to shove all of your book opinions down people’s throats. 

    Oops. Went ranting again. Sorry.

    Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely day. American Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and then it’s basically Christmas!

    Can you tell I’m excited?

    Happy reading,


    P.S. I am sorry about the rant. I’m going to take that info and turn it into a blog post real soon. 😄

    P.P.S. Here is the link to my full November 2018 TBR.

  • The TBR

    November 2018 TBR

    *Today is the first day of November! All you book lovers know what that means. New TBRs! I have just a few books on my list this month. With the holidays just around the corner I’ll be surprised if I get more than what’s on my TBR finished. 

    November 2018 Book Recommendations

    My November Reading List

    Although my book list is small it’s filled with some quite hefty books. I am really excited to read all of them, but the top of the list is A Court of Mist and Fury. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses last month for the #charmsextracredit. I loved it! I read it in about a day which is impressive for me considering I have two littles 5 and under. Let’s just say the interruptions are non-stop. 

    Anyway, you don’t want to know that. You want to see what my tbr looks like for the month of November 2018.

    The first book on my list is The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin.

    This book was on my tbr for last month but I just didn’t get to it. It’s the third and final book in The Passage series. I’ve never read this one so I’m very excited to dig into this one. I have high expectations for this book and I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.

    Next up is A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.

    I know everyone is all in a rage over Kingdom of Ash. I’ve yet to dig into that series so I’m not really sure what all the fuss is about. Please don’t hate me for not reading it yet. 

    Third on my list is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

    I have been wanting to read this book for a few month now. I have no idea what this book is about and I like to keep it that way. I’m so bad about this. Like I don’t even want to know the names of the characters. Just tell me if you liked the book or not and I’ll give it a go. No need to spoil everything for me. 

    Fourth on my list is A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab.

    I was lucky enough to pick up the special edition of this book from bookoutlet.com for cheap. It’s beautiful and I so can’t wait to read this one!

    The last book on my list is a non-fiction book.

    The Read-Aloud Family is written by Sarah McKenzie. In it she goes over how to start a culture of reading in your family no matter what age your kids are. And it’s full of lists of age appropriate books that you can read aloud with your kids. Since my boys are 5 and 2 I felt like there’s never a better time to start than now.

    Happy Reading Friends!

    That’s it for my November TBR. I’m trying to keep it low key this month and I picked all new reads because I know I’ll be able to get through them all. I love to re-read my favorite stories but I don’t go through them as fast because I already know what happens. The hunt for the conclusion isn’t as strong with re-reads. Unless, you know, it’s been a decade since I last read it. 

    Thanks for reading,

    P.S. What’s on the top of your TBR for November? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram!

    P.P.S. Check out my October Wrap Up and Book Haul here!

  • Bookish Life

    How to Keep a Book Journal

    Have you ever wanted to start a book journal? I’ve always thought the idea was intriguing and I did keep one once upon a time. After starting book journaling a few weeks ago, I’ve decided that it’s probably the best thing ever! Well, next to Harry Potter. Anyway, if you’ve ever been interested or you are ready to take the plunge into this rabbit hole, I hope this post about my reading journal sparks some inspiration in you.

    Disclaimer: This post is completely bookish and nerdy. If neither of those things appeals to you, then feel free to skip this read. Book lovers, read on!

    What is a book journal?

    reading journal quote

    Short answer: a notebook you keep a record of all the books you’ve read. Long answer: continue reading this post and get all the details on what a book journal is or can be for you.

    I started my book journal because it’s a bit nostalgic for me and I also like to keep track of what books I’ve started and finished or ones that I’ve abandoned. In middle school and high school I kept a “book journal”. I used quotes there because it wasn’t too fancy. A spiral bound school notebook did the trick for me. But somewhere along the way, I figured I didn’t need it anymore so I trashed it! Ugh! It would be so interesting to see what my 12 to 16-year-old self was reading. I kinda remember what I was into, but not really. I’m sure all the info is stashed on some library account somewhere because let’s face it, free books. But I have no idea how to track that down or if they would still have my info on file.

    I thought that now would be a really good time to start the habit back up again. Mostly because I need proof for my 35-year-old self that I did read books when my boys were 5 and under. I’ve also been really intrigued by the notion that you should track what you don’t finish. I never thought of that before but it’s almost more interesting to me than what I did read. It gives me a better picture of what I really enjoy reading. And I just like to be sassy and hate a book that everyone else is talking about and loves.

    Why don’t I just use Goodreads?

    Because I hate it. It’s clunky and ugly, and I can’t figure out the interface. I would rather spend hours writing out my TBR with a pen and notebook than spend hours searching (and getting distracted, because, internet) on Goodreads. On a more important note, what if Goodreads got shut down and you lost your TBR forever??? A tragedy I tell you. Keeping my reading records in my book journal is way more accessible than Goodreads. No internet connection required!

    Here’s a peek inside my reading journal:

    reading journal cover

    Here’s a short list of the things I keep track of in my book journal.

    • TBR lists: I keep these separated by genre because I know what genres I tend to gravitate toward. If I’m looking for my next great read you’ll find me perusing my historical fiction list. I used the website alibris.com to categorize my books by genre. I tried Goodreads but it wasn’t specific enough. Technically most of my TBR is fiction so I needed to be a bit more specific. I may be switching to bookdepository.com because it’s prettier and faster. Alibris.com load times are awful and it’s not my internet speed.
    • Reading Challenges: I have participated in 2 reading challenges this year and I’m starting a third today (August 1, 2018). They are the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge, The O.W.L.s by Book Roast, and the N.E.W.T.s also by Book Roast. I’ll link all of these great resources down in the P.S. of this post.
    • Books Read: My 2016 and 2017 lists are incomplete because I know I didn’t write down everything I read. I also have a 2018 Books Read list that looks way more impressive than it actually is.
    • Books I’ve Bought: I don’t have anything listed because I haven’t felt like going through my shelves trying to remember what I’ve bought in the last 7 months. #lazy
    • Books I’ve Tossed:  I do occasionally go through my shelves and get rid of books I know I won’t read or that I won’t read again. I might not add this collection. It just depends if I toss any books the remainder of this year.
    • Quotes: I have written down some quotes from a good book I’ve been reading. I’m not sure I’m going to keep doing this because it’s not neat and tidy like a list. I may be the only one that this bothers but I don’t like big blocks of text in my dotted journals. It drives me crazy. It just looks messy and I have a hard time knowing what I’m supposed to be reading. It’s quite a traumatic experience. I don’t seem to have this problem with lined journals. I can write lines and lines of text in those. Does anyone else have this problem with dotted journals?

    Here’s a close up of my 2018 Book List.

    I wanted to show you the signifiers I use. I learned these from Anne Bogel of modernmrsdarcy.com. I’ll link the class below.

    book journal signifiers

    I use a bullet (•) to add a book to my list. This usually means that I’ve started it. Then I write the name of the book and place a comma. The author’s name goes next followed by parentheses with the date I started the book. I leave the parentheses open until I’ve finished the book. When I finish it I write the date, close the parentheses and that’s it.

    I occasionally mark whether the book was hardcover or paperback but I’m learning that this isn’t really useful information for me to write down. The stars (*) are for books I absolutely love. Typically these are books that I think about for several days or weeks after I’ve read them. If I didn’t finish a book I draw a circle next to the title. For instance, you can see that I didn’t finish Behold the Dreamers. This is a super simple way for me to keep track of the books I’ve been reading.

    Note: For anyone that Bullet Journals, the systems I use in my reading journal will look very similar to the Bullet Journal system.

    That’s all I’ve got so far. I just started this system in July and I’m adding to it as I go. The best thing I like about this way of book journaling is how customizable it is. Just like the Bullet Journal system I can tailor it to my life and the way I like to journal. The most exciting thing about this journal is all the things I’m going to learn about my reading life. Just as we are all different so will our reading lives be different from everyone else’s.

    Are you a reader who would like to keep track of all the bookish things your heart desires? This method of book journaling is an excellent way to do it! I found out that a simple “book journal” search on YouTube yielded a lot of great book journal videos. It shocked me how much in-depth people get with their book journals. Charts and graphs galore! Now that I think about it, YouTube gave me the best results for learning how to book journal. I didn’t have much luck on Pinterest.

    Happy Reading,



    If you want to learn exactly how I book journal you should check out Modern Mrs. Darcy’s one hour class on book journaling. I paid for it and immediately watched it twice in a row. It is worth all of the $15 I paid for it. I plan on watching it again soon so I get even more out of it. 

    On Instagram, you can search for these hashtags for inspiration: #bookstagram #bookjournal #bujoforbooklovers

    Here is the link for the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge.

    For more Bullet Journal help please check out this blog post from Modern Mrs. Darcy.

    This isn’t particularly book journal related, but if anyone is interested in the O.W.L.s or the N.E.W.T.s (insert Harry Potter fangirl here) you can get all the details from this video and this video. I also recommend finding @book_roast on Instagram and @MagicalReadthn on Twitter. I absolutely adore her and I love that she puts all this time and effort into something so nerdy!