Book Find!

Small or large, a book haul is a book haul.

I have had this book on my wishlist since last January when I read Mindy’s other book: Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

I had to stop into the mall to grab a dress for a party that night and I decided to stop in and look at the sale rack ( I just can’t resist!) .

I had to get this when I seen it was on sale, I mean in the long run I’m saving money right?

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November TBR

I am so sorry for my unexpected hiatus, I traveled to Jamaica and then to New Brunswick, and on top of all of this I am in the process of moving apartments. I hope to be back on schedule now!


I am currently reading The Shining and am loving it. My TBR this month is a little different than my usual because I have included a couple books I need to have read in order to gift them for Christmas, a collection of poems to help me get through some tough times, and self-help books to help me arrange my new years resolutions!

I am aiming to have these all read for December, but with school and final exams approaching I may have to extend my TBR.

November TBR

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The Shining – Stephen King

Whiskey Words and a Shovel II – r.h.Sin

The Shack – William Paul Young

The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

St.John’s Taxi Chronicles – Joe White

Nice is Just a Place in France – The Betches


Have you read any of these?

National Novel Writing Month is Only a Week Away!

It is one week until the start of National Novel Writing Month, there is still time to get involved! Check it out here!

Writing Affirmation

So leading up to the beginning of Nonmember there are a lot of opportunities to ask questions and get your thoughts flowing. One of the opportunities is to write your writing affirmation.

This is basically a couple sentences that you can pull out anytime to remind you why you’re participating in NaNoWriMo and to help motivate you when times get tough. I will refer back to this whenever I am feeling discouraged in order to help me stick to my commitment of writing a novel in November.

After careful consideration, and some edits, here is mine:

"Remind yourself how proud you will be that you chose not to give up at 
this very moment."

Planners, Planning, and More Planners!

Sorry for being late! I actually graduated this week so it has been a little hectic! 

Planners and Planning

Since 2015 I have committed to using a planner and honestly it has been life-changing for the better.

I usually keep a planner for strictly life and I color code it to more easily communicate tasks associated with school, work, appointments, chores, gym, etc. I will definitely show you my color coding in a future post.

Since I started to run thebayreads I began to use a notebook to keep track of dates and tasks associated with my blog. I definitely needed to upgrade and actually use a more structured notebook or planner.

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I invested in a 2017-2018 17 Month Rifle Paper Co. Planner – Floral Foil by Rifle Paper Co. because I have been slack with my other planner and want to start before the new year. I will need to retrace the past couple months and fill it in to catch up in order to get back on track.

For my planner associated with thebayreads I purchased a 2018 12 Month Coptic Planner – Ebony Garden by Studio Oh! this one does not begin until January of 2018.

Everything I Never Told You (2014) by Celeste Ng

★★★★☆ 4/5

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.
So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. 
A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another. – Goodreads


Fiction / Can be read in a few days / Emotional 

This was definitely a different read for me this year, I had started out with some emotional reads, but since summer I have almost entirely committed my TBR to books that have some horror or fantasy aspect. Although there was a hint of mystery in this book it was generally focusing on emotions and relationships which is not usually my interest.

I found this book at a huge book fair and the cover drew me in so I said I would take a chance on it and I am glad I did. It is a beautiful, but dramatic story of a family who loses their daughter/sister. It explores the identities of each family member, their own issues, and their own speculation on what may have happened to Lydia.

Growing up has shown me Lydia’s perspective where she feels pressured to make her parents proud, but it has also opened my eyes to a huge theme in this read. When you are young you see your parents as just that – parents. What we soon discover as we mature and begin to think more is that our parents are people too, they have a history, they have a future, and they are not strictly just our parents. There is so much more to a life than we know, and a tragedy such as this has opened old wounds and prompted self discovery of the family.

Although it was not a high action novel, there were still times of suspense and mystery and I loved learning about the different lives and reactions of the members of the family. It is nice to be reminded that everyone has a story.

I cannot wait to read Little Fires Everywhere!

 

"Suddenly she felt drowned in the incredible wrongness of this moment,"

Reading and Cardio

Another Monday and another busy week ahead of me. I have been consumed by life and homework lately that I have been finding it hard to read as much as I would like, however I have figured out a way to get a nice reading session in each day!

For anyone who does their cardio on a machine or would like to start and have a hard time getting through a good cardio session should definitely test this out!

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I always bring something to read during cardio, it not only makes the cardio easier or more tolerable, but it also helps get a good reading session in.

I usually bring my kobo since it is more convenient and can use it on almost all cardio machines, however since A Little Life is a large and detailed read I have been sticking to the stairclimber so that I can read this book during.

My trick is to read a full chapter and then check the time, if they are short chapters then read two!

STORY TIME: When I was reading The Girl on the Train I was on the bike 
machines planning on doing a 20 minute session. The book was that good 
that I ended up sitting down and doing over an hour of cardio. Time well 
spent having a good cardio session and finishing a good book.

Let me know if you try it!

Poets,Artists,Lovers: A Novel (2017) by Mira Tudor

★★★ 3.5/5

IMG_3820PAL is a fast-paced yet poignant character-driven novel riding waves of romanticism, drama, and wit in a manner reminiscent of David Nicholls’s books (One Day)—and set in the exciting world of several vibrant Romanian artists and musicians. Henriette, an accomplished sculptor, seems to find more joy in her feminist-inspired work and her piano playing than in the people who care about her.
Ela, a piano teacher turned book reviewer, hopes to discover the key to happiness and a more meaningful life through studying the workings of the mind and crafting poems about emotions she trusts will lead her to a better place. Joining them in beauty and blindness is Pamfil, a violinist who dabbles as a singer and lives mostly for the moment and his monthly parties. As they follow their passions, they find themselves on treacherous journeys to love and happiness, and are slow to figure out how to best tackle their predicaments. Fortunately, their lovers and friends are there to help . . . but then a newcomer complicates things. – Goodreads


Fiction/Contemporary/Women’s Fiction – can be read in a few good reading sessions

This read consists of characters that are artists in many different possible forms; sculptors, violinists, poets, and more. Somehow all their paths cross through a man named Pamfil whose charm makes them question what type of passion they seek in life.

Pamfil stimulates the discussion of what is lust, and what is love. Each lover endures different personal struggle identifying with what they feel for Pamfil and what it means for their relationship with their current/past partner.

I really enjoyed Mira’s writing style, there was so much insight and emotion in the writing I always caught myself writing down favorite quotes. The flow and beauty in the writing made the story so much more pleasurable to read.

The discussion of lust,love, and relationships is important in life and if you can relate at all then this read will definitely get you thinking about the kind of passion and stability you seek in your own life. Seeing Pamfil through the eyes of Henriette, Ela, and Anca and reading about the impacts he had on their lives provides us with different perspectives on the love/lust conversation and emphasizes that the impact of such a relationship is different depending on who you are and what you value.

My only problem with this read is that there was not enough action for me. Towards the middle it seemed to be very slow with a lot more discussion about weight than necessary. I would of enjoyed more events that caused interaction between all our poets,artists, and lovers. The beginning and ending were very well done and strong, however I did have a hard time staying engaged in the middle.

I definitely hope to read more from this author.

You can get her book here

"There is no routine with a loved one. Lovers are supposed to change each 
other all the time."
"He had only one heart and couldn't trust a woman, any woman, with it."
"'At twenty-four you should be looking resolutely ahead,' Pamfil said, 
'and not into the past. There will be enough time for that later on.'"
"And life wasn't only music and sunshine."

October’s TBR!

A Little Life is definitely going to take me some time to finish, and I am also trying to get through an ebook so September’s TBR is slowing me down

HOWEVER, after careful consideration of your suggestions I have picked some spooky halloween reads for this month!

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The Shining by Stephen King – I have been dying to read this book, but I wanted to save it for October!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – I am a little embarrassed to say I have never read this yet, but it fits right into my Halloween theme!

The Shack by William Paul Young – I have chosen this read for now (mostly because I need to finish it so my mom can have it), but it doesn’t exactly fit with my theme so I may change my mind when I get around to it.

Because I still have some September reads to clue up I have chosen only three books besides for my TBR – hopefully I get to read more.


Have you read any of these?

October Goals

September was my first month of sharing goals and making a plan to meet them. It was successful and really helped me focus on reading related goals

This month I need to focus on the goals I didn’t reach from September and add some new goals to make October successful.

Reading Goals

  • Commit more time to reading and less to sleeping/netflix/phone – The main goal for this month’s reading is to spend less time on my phone/netflix and more time reading. Although I am reading at a decent pace I have noticed I have been wasting a lot of time with netflix or napping, so I would like to commit more of this time to reading instead.

Blog Goals 

  • Stick to my schedule – This month I really need to focus on reaching my planned schedule of posts, last month I was very late posting most of them. I realize now the time and effort I need to commit so hopefully this month I can get on track

Bookstagram Goals

  • Interact more – Stories and interaction is my biggest focus. I need to be more social on my instagram page by posting stories and interacting with others through their posts.
  • Improve photography – Putting more time and effort into my pictures is very important to me this month. Since I have been rushed or late to post I end up using mediocre pictures and I want to address this ASAP.

Journal Goals

  • Worry less, journal more – This month I am going to focus on just adding more to my bullet journal. I am always too concerned with how artistic and perfect a spread looks and I end up waiting and waiting until I have enough time to do it good – which means I never do it. SO this month I want to stop being a perfectionist and just embrace using my bullet journal for whatever I want, whenever I need.

Writing Goals

  • Write down your thoughts – I am having trouble finding time and my spark for writing. October is a very busy month school wise, therefore I am going to keep it light and commit to writing down thoughts and ideas in a notebook.

September Wrap Up

It has been a hard month adjusting to being back to school and sticking to my blogging schedule – and on top of all this I have been sick for the past 2 weeks !

However, even with some setbacks I still think I have had a pretty productive month. So, let’s see how well I handled my goals.

I have not yet viewed my goals/achievements until writing this right now so that my reactions to how I handled my monthly goals are sincere and unprepared.

Reading Goals

I DID IT! YES, first goal achieved. It was my easiest goal for sure, but I celebrate all achievements – even the smaller ones.

I wanted to read a few more books since August was strictly dedicated to reading IT.

This month I was able to read:
The Giver – Lois Lowry (review here)
Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom (review here)
Everything I Never Told You (review coming soon)
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara (in progress)
Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel – Mira Tudor (in progress)

Definitely conquered more than one book this month!

Blog Goals

YES ANOTHER GOAL ! This is going great so far.

Although I have often had to push dates of my scheduled posts because I have been sick or wrapped up in school, I have still managed to be more active on my blog. Now that I understand the time and effort I need to reach my deadlines for my scheduled posts I can apply that next month and increase my frequency and timing again!

Bookstagram Goals

@thebayreads

3 for 3 so far!! My first goal this month involving my bookstagram was to test out a theme and try to make a pattern when I take my pictures. I have chosen a soft, faded, and orange color filter for my photos which I felt was appropriate for autumn. In addition to that, if you have noticed I also began to try to have some consistency in how I take my pictures. I take my TBR pile held in my hand against a solid color wall, my book reviews are always stood up in front of my bookshelf, bookhauls are spread out on my mat, and the rest of my photos usually have a white background. I am not sure if this is exactly the theme I am always going to stick to, but it works for now.

Oh no.. first goal not achieved.. 

I intended to communicate more with my followers by using instagram stories more frequently. This is my own fault, I have had plenty of opportunities to do this I just have not went out of my way to do it. This will definitely be something I will improve on in October – you have my word!

Journal Goals

Okay I achieved it, but I would only say barely. 

I have definitely dedicated more time to my journals and planners, but most of this is because I am in school and absolutely need to. My more personal journals and planners have still been slightly neglected. I am making progress, however I need to focus more on this in October.

Writing Goals

My weak point for sure.

I neglected writing this month, big time. I have to make time for it if I ever want to make progress with my writing. I will not act like September has been all that horrible for my writing because I have been thinking more about types of writing I can do, and out for a walk the other day I felt inspired and even typed up a little something in my phone!

Overall

This month was successful, I definitely achieved some goals and made progress on others even if I didn’t reach the exact point I wanted to be. Balancing my time is one of my biggest issues and will definitely be my focus for October. Stay tuned for October’s monthly goals!