WEEKLY READS #6 | I finished a book!!

A white background. In teal text is Weekly Reads. Below it is a stack of books in various colors (red, green, and blue).

Hello, y’all, and welcome back for another Weekly Reads from yours truly. Regarding my reading, it was actually pretty good! I feel like I’ve been reading the same three books for the last month, but ya know what? I’m trying, lol.

[book emoji] “stats” in all capital letters, spaced out. [book emoji]

finished books: 1

DNF’d books: 0

books started/continued: 2

pages read: 329

The titles are bolded, while the numbers are not. All the text is in white.

Below that are three covers, from left to right: Critical Multicultural Analysis of Children’s Literature; Still Life; and Fire Becomes Her.

Everything lays on a teal background.

I actually finished a book this week! Still Life by Louise Penny was a joy to read/listen to, which is kind of weird to say considering it’s a murder mystery, but still. The characters were amazing to read, and I was happy to read from their different perspectives. Armand Gamache was amazing, if only because his character seems to flip around the sort of “murder mystery detective” main character archetype there seems to be, where the detective protagonist is, like, rugged and and asshole and probably has a drinking problem and/or troubles with his wife who is fed up with him.

Armand Gamache is basically the exact opposite! He has this quiet courage and leadership quality that makes him personable and likable. Sometimes it may make others assume he’s a pushover when he isn’t, but it overall makes him a joy to read. On top of that, I loved seeing the (very few) scenes where he’s interacting with his wife because he actually enjoys being with her and supports, and I love it?? The reader also gets to see him vulnerable in a few different scenes as well, which I really enjoyed reading — again, he just seems so different than the other popular detective protagonists out there (regardless of media type).

Along with that, I also just…really enjoyed the plot? Which is weird in of itself because, as y’all know, I am not normally a mystery reader. But I was invested in the characters, which made me simultaneously invested in the plot! I wanted to see who the killer was, and as someone who is very bad at figuring things out — ya know, any sort of brain teaser — I had zero expectations going in, lol. It was a lot of fun!

I will say, though, that there was these couple instances of fatphobia that just seemed…out of place? in the sense that I didn’t understand why the characters in question made these fatphobic comments, since they are otherwise so careful with their words. I’ve only been with these characters for a book, but I felt like those instances were OOC, even from my perspective. It did put a damper on my enjoyment of the book a bit (and why it’s a 4/4.5 star read and not a 5 star), but not enough that it would deter me from reading the rest of the series. Anyway, all of this rambling to say that I am definitely going on with the series, and I can’t wait to see what it will bring!

Fire Becomes Her is getting to be a lot of fun! I got the bulk of my reading done when I took a break from Twitter one night last week, when I was overwhelmed and noticed I was doomscrolling, and I’m around halfway done with it. I’m enjoying myself a lot! In a world where magic is a fire-like commodity known as flare, Ingrid is clawing herself from the bottom to the top in order to obtain it. Because with flare comes power, and Ingrid craves power. If she has to date a senator’s son and go undercover to scope out the senator’s opponents during the presidential election then so be it.

But what I’m loving about this books is that the more Ingrid spends with the “opposition”, the more her perception shifts. It’s slow-going, it’s like a trickle more so than a waterfall, but seeing this slow-burn change is making me fly through the book. It’s also really interesting seeing her think about her attraction towards others — especially Linden, the senator’s son — and how she struggles to define it for herself. I really hope I can finish it this upcoming week because, not gonna lie, it kinda has me by the throat.

I’m gonna be honest, Critical Multicultural Analysis… is barely on here just from a technicality, lol. I only read about five pages of it for the whole week — it’s pretty dense, and I don’t want to force myself. If I can get through Fire Becomes Her, I’m looking to see if I can get through at least another chapter of this one! Nothing much to say about it so far, but we’ll see what happens.

[book emoji] “reading plans” in all capital letters, spaced out [book emoji]

Three book covers form a triangle of sorts: Multicultural Analysis of Children’s Literature is on top with two asterisks next to it, the bottom left is Still Life, and the bottom right is Fire Becomes Her. Below the book covers is an asterisk with a note “if I’m feeling ambitious, lol”. All is on a teal background, and any text is in white.

In a perfect world, I’d be able to finish Fire Becomes Her and Tarnished are the Stars and make some more headway into the textbook this week, but seeing that we don’t actually live in a perfect world, I’ll be happy with just finishing Fire Becomes Her, lol.

I’ve been reading Tarnished since last year, though, and I’m really hoping I can finish it up soon. Not that I’m hating it — on the contrary, I’m really enjoying the world-building and the characters! — but I really want to get started on some other books, especially others that are on my shelves at home!

What about y’all, what have you been reading? Or, if not reading, then whatcha been up to? Let me know!

Until next week, friends ✨

Kait [heart] sixcrowsbooks

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WEEKLY READS #5 | Thank goodness for audiobooks!

Weekly Reads is centered in a blocky, teal font. Underneath it are stacks of books.

Hello again to another week of reads for me! I hope you all had a good week — relatively, mine was pretty good, but I sure am glad I had the day off today regardless.

But anyways, here’s all that I’ve been up to reading-wise this week!

[book emoji] “stats” in all capital letters, spaced out. [book emoji]

finished books: 0

DNF’d books: 0

books started/continued: 3

pages read: 295

The titles are bolded, while the numbers are not. All the text is in white.

Below that are three covers, from left to right: Critical Multicultural Analysis of Children’s Literature; Still Life; and Fire Becomes Her.

Everything lays on a teal background.

So I didn’t finish anything this week, but I did make a bit of headway into both Critical Multicultural Analysis and Fire Becomes Her! The first is a textbook, so I’m pretty happy with being able to get almost 40 pages in this week (onto chapter three!), and I got about 50 pages into Fire Becomes Her, which is nice, considering I only opened it a total of, like, two times, lol.

The textbook is, ya know, still a textbook. It’s a bit dry, but the topic is really interesting. I read about different ways to interpret a text (with an example), and I found it to be fascinating — I haven’t really taken a course before that delved into literary analysis, so this was a nice primer.

Fire Becomes Her is so far making to be an exciting story! We’re following Ingrid, a teen girl who is currently dating the son of a prominent politician. Unbeknownst to him, however, Ingrid is only doing so to gain what she truly yearns for: power and flare, the magic commonly used by the ruling class. The beginning started with a bang (literally, lol), and I am…intrigued…to see where it leads.

However — and this is gonna shock everyone because I know it shocked me, and I’m the one reading the darn things — I think if MVPs were a thing in Weekly Reads, I’d probably have to give the honor to Still Life this week. I’ve been listening to the audiobook via Libby, and I’m enjoying myself immensely! It’s the first book of a long-ass series that follows Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he and his team of detectives solve murders in the quiet town of Three Pines.

I rarely (if ever?) read murder mysteries, but I saw the newest book in this series when we got it at my library, and I immediately fell in love with the cover. After learning that it’s part of a series, I took a chance and snagged the audiobook of Still Life from Libby. I’m pleasantly surprised — not only is the book very much character-focused and delving into all sorts of relationships, we actually have a police detective main character who is compassionate and kind (and loves his wife!!!) while still having this soft sort of courage. Of course, there’s still periods of copaganda, but it’s a murder mystery centering a police detective, that’s expected. I got up to around 67%, and I’m super excited to listen to the rest of it! I love Armand Gamache as a protagonist, and I want to see where the plot ends up going, too.

[book emoji] “reading plans” in all capital letters, spaced out [book emoji]

Three book covers form a triangle of sorts: Multicultural Analysis of Children’s Literature is on top with two asterisks next to it, the bottom left is Still Life, and the bottom right is Fire Becomes Her. Below the book covers is an asterisk with a note “if I’m feeling ambitious, lol”. All is on a teal background, and any text is in white.

On to what I’m hoping to finish up or continue this week! I’m pretty certain I’ll be finishing Still Life quickly (hopefully the day this post goes up, or the day after!).

After that, I think I can speed through Fire Becomes Her, especially if the rest of the book is just like the first 50 pages! I’m hoping to finish that one towards the weekend, hopefully by Friday or Saturday so I can start something else for the weekend.

As for Critical Multicultural Analysis of Children’s Literature…if I can get to the halfway point by the end of the week, I’d be happy! It’s a slow read, just because it literally is a textbook, but I’m enjoying myself so far, so I’m sure it won’t take too long!

And that’s how last week’s reading went! Have you read any of these? What books have you read recently? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Until next time, friends ✨

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Readathon Sign-Up: Pondathon II

Pondathon II: The Quiet Pond’s Story-Driven Readathon. A small spade and watering can are crossed with vines wrapped around it frame the words Pondathon II. Three little forest sprites - one with a leaf on its head, another with twigs on its head like antlers, and a mushroom on the other’s head - sit on the words ‘Pondathon’.

What is the Pondathon?

Pondathon II is a story-driven and gardening-themed readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the Pondathon II readathon is to read books to earn plants and decorate your own little garden so that we can restore the forest together. More information about the readathon can be found here.

Information about Joining the Pondathon

  • You can sign-up to the Pondathon II readathon here. The readathon started on January 10th 2022 and ends on December 11th 2022; sign-ups are open across the duration of the readathon.
  • You also get to create your own Pond animal character for the Pondathon, and create your own character card!
  • If you’d like, create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with ‘#PondathonII’ in the title or your tweet. Share the character you have created and your character card!
  • Link back to this post so that new friends can find the readathon and join in as well.

My Pond Character

Introducing Merlin, the curmudgeon neighborhood tortoise. They’re a grumpy green tortoise wearing a yellow apron lined with red, red boots, and a red scarf. The red scarf holds their two ace and non-binary Pride pins. They’re also holding a sickle. Merlin wears a straw hat and glasses.

Below them states the person participating (Kait), their Twitter username (@sixcrowsbooks), and their blog (sixcrowsbooks.wordpress.com).

At the bottom of the card are 12 blank circles.

Merlin sits in between a gardening shovel to their left and a watering can to their right, both intertwined with vines. Yellow stars glitter across the card.

Everyone say hello to Merlin (or better yet, don’t say anything and go back to whatever else you were doing)! They’re a grumpy ol’ tortoise who would rather be left alone, thank you very much, but since Xiaolong and her friends need help, he supposes that he can try and help them. They use both they and he sets of pronouns, and he’s fine with either. He likes to use both interchangeably for themself, though, so try to keep up because he won’t be repeating himself if you get confused!

Merlin, bless their heart, is a fashion disaster — something he knows but couldn’t care less about because, frankly, it’s no one’s business but his what he decides to wear. So he wears a red scarf with a grubby yellow and red apron, a yellow and red hat, and a pair of red boots — who cares? What’re you gonna do, call the fashion police on him? No thanks, bootlicker!

Anyway, yes, he agreed to help Xiaolong and her merry group of friends, now there’s some gardening to get done, blah blah blah. You know the rest. They have their sickle, but where did they put their hammer…?

My Pondathon TBR

…Is it too little to say any of my owned books or ARCs/review copies? Seriously, I don’t really have anything concrete in mind! But if I must, here’s a short list of five or so books I’m hoping to get to before the end of this year!

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy — Stephanie Kelton

So I don’t actually own a copy of this — technically, the copy I have right now is my fiancé’s and he’s just letting me borrow it. But seeing as we’re planning on marrying each other, it’s basically mine, right? Right.

Anyway, The Deficit Myth is about the federal budget in the United States and how, like the title says, the seemingly all-powerful deficit is basically a myth, considering the United States is in control of its own currency. Very excited to get into it! (And I’m sure my fiancé wants his copy back, lol)

The Poppy War — R.F. Kuang

Like I’ve said in a tweet, I’ve owned this book for quite some time, and I still haven’t read it. To say I’m nervous is…probably an understatement, lol. It’s been a hot second since I’ve read a high fantasy, let alone an adult high fantasy. Apart from that, I’ve seen all y’all’s reactions to this damn series. Am I ready to be emotionally destroyed? Absolutely not. Am I still going to read it? Oh yeah. (Besides, Jonah double dog dared me, so I can’t say no now)

Apart from the emotional devastation and the dark themes a lot of us have already heard about, I don’t actually know much about The Poppy War! I know it’s more of a military/political fantasy that takes place at a military academy, but I’m essentially going in ignorant apart from that. But if anyone has specific chapter trigger warnings, feel free to let me know! I know there’s at least one particularly rough chapter, but I forgot which one. 😅

And They Lived… — Steven Salvatore

I received an ARC of this one a while ago, and it’s definitely high on my list of books to get to this year! (So is Steven’s other book, Can’t Take That Away, but I digress) I love when contemporary romances delve into important/serious topics, such as mental illness and self-worth, and so I’m pretty pumped for this one.

As far as I can tell, And They Lived… is a YA book about a college student struggling through his first year away at college. He has to deal with his recovery from an eating disorder, body dysmorphia, gender, and more, and it all gets even more complicated when he and another classmate start talking. I’m pretty pumped to see where this goes, and I hope it’s as messy as it sounds — we need more messy queer YA!

Fire Becomes Her — Rosiee Thor

Literally anyone who knows me knows that I love any book (fantasy or otherwise) that involves anything surrounding eating the rich, and oh, does this book have that. I was able to snag an eARC and while I didn’t…exactly…get to it before it was released, I still really really want to.

Fire Becomes Her is a Jazz Age-inspired fantasy following a teen girl who is currently in a romantic relationship with a powerful politician’s son. She doesn’t necessarily care about him, though — instead, she’s working on gaining power, on gaining access to the magic known in this world as flare. And she’ll do anything to get there.

ACE: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex — Angela Chen

I bought this sometime last year, when my fiancé and I went on our very first Barnes and Noble trip together! (And when we consequently learned we can’t do that very often because we would very easily spend $100 each if we had the means) I never actually read anything academic about asexuality, whether it was any sort of queer theory text, feminist articles, whatever. But I’m very excited to see what Angela Chen has to say, and I can’t wait to start it sometime this year!

Like the title describes, ACE is a book about asexuality. However, it’s also about how we as a society treat sex and the meanings we prescribe to it. It’ll be really interesting to see what Chen touches on in this book!

And there you have it, y’all, what I plan on reading for Pondathon II, a truly comfy and cozy readathon. I can’t wait to see what kind of plants I can grow and what my terrarium will look like come December!

Let me know in the comments below: are you taking part in Pondathon? If so, link your tweet threads/blog posts/videos/etc.! I’d love to check them out. Also, feel free to let me know what you’re reading, or what your terrariums are looking like!

Until next time, friends ✨

Kait [heart emoji] sixcrowsbooks

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Weekly Reads #4 | Will my will to read ever return from the war?

Oof, it’s been quite a while since I posted something, let alone a weekly reading wrap-up! Sorry about that, y’all, but I’ve just been super busy with work and class and prioritizing my own self-care. On top of that, I’ve gotten into a pretty bad slump, so…here we are, a month and a half into the year with only one book read.

But that’s okay! I’m not going to try and force it, but I am trying to move my schedule around a bit in order to prioritize reading more. For instance, my evening routine now involves reading for thirty minutes, and as long as I actually do my evening routine, I have no problem fitting that in. And it’s going great! I actually finished my first book of the year this way, and it felt great! So, here are some stats for the week:

The book that I both started and finished this week was a book I saw on our new releases shelf while I was working — Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon! It’s a romance book about these two co-workers, a meteorologist and sports news reporter who work at the same news station. Their workplace has a horrible and toxic environment, no thanks to their two bosses who had a horrible divorce and are constantly at each others’ throats and forcing their employees to pick sides. The main character and love interest team up in order to get them back together in order to help out their workplace environment, and in the meantime, they fall in love themselves. I thought it was a really cute romance, delving into the characters’ relationship and their own development, and I had a really fun time reading it. Definitely recommend it!

As for any reading plans for this week, I really want to get into the pick I had from my owned TBR jar, Critical Multicultural Analysis of Children’s Literature. And wow, is that a mouthful, lol. I don’t want to be too ambitious, but if I’m feeling it, I’d also love to make some more headway into Tarnished are the Stars — I haven’t read any of it since the middle of last month sometime, and I want to get back into it. On top of that, I also want to read more of Rosiee’s other book that literally just came out this past week, Fire Becomes Her, which I have an eARC for! But like I said, both of Rosiee’s books are if I’m feeling ambitious, and I guess we’ll see what happens next week, lol.

But that’s it for my reading week. What about y’all? Have you read anything good (or not so good) this past week — or even just recently! — that you’d like to share? Let me know!

Until next time, friends ✨

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MUSIC MONDAY #3 | Sober — Tool

Happy Monday, everyone! And happy holidays — I know both Christmas and the start of Kwanza were this past weekend, and other holidays have been going on the past few weeks. I hope that the holidays are kind to you, however you decide to celebrate them (or not)!

Since it’s another start of the week, I figured I would do another Music Monday. The creator of Music Monday is a weekly post created by The Tattooed Book Geek where you share post about a song you enjoy.

This week’s song is…

Sober by TOOL

There’s a shadow just behind me,
Shrouding every step I take,
Making every promise empty,
Pointing every finger at me.
Waiting like a stalking butler
Who upon the finger rests.
Murder now the path of “must we”
Just because the son has come.

Jesus, won’t you fucking whistle
Something but the past is done?
Jesus, won’t you fucking whistle
Something but the past is done?

Why can’t we not be sober?
I just want to start this over.
Why can’t we drink forever?
I just want to start this over.

I am just a worthless liar.
I am just an imbecile.
I will only complicate you.
Trust in me and fall as well.
I will find a center in you.
I will chew it up and leave,
I will work to elevate you
Just enough to bring you down.

Mother Mary, won’t you whisper
Something but the past is done?
Mother Mary, won’t you whisper
Something but the past is done?

Why can’t we not be sober?
I just want to start this over.
Why can’t we sleep forever?
I just want to start this over.

I am just a worthless liar.
I am just an imbecile.
I will only complicate you.
Trust in me and fall as well.
I will find a center in you.
I will chew it up and leave,
Trust me [5x]

Why can’t we not be sober?
I just want to start things over.
Why can’t we sleep forever?
I just want to start this over.

I want what I want [4x]

I like this song for a few reasons, the first being that it’s my fiancé’s favorite song. I remember when we first started dating and he played it for me in the car after we dropped his brother off for a hiking thing or something, and I just really liked watching him listen to a song he loved.

The other reason is what actually got me thinking about the meaning of Sober as a song was when I watched this reaction video of a vocal coach/opera singer watching a live recording of it being performed. I loved seeing her reactions and analysis of the song and how it was performed. This video really made me see the song in a different light (and it was also the first time I saw Tool in any sort of live setting, so that was really interesting, too!).

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the song, or Tool as a band in a comment below! Have a wonderful day! ☺️

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Weekly Reads #3 | Look, Mom, I Finished Something!

Another week, another post on what I read! Let’s get into it, huh?

For this past week (6 December-12 December), I:

  • finished two books
  • DNF’d zero books
  • started/continued three books
  • read a total of 577 pages

I’m…honestly kinda surprised. I didn’t think I read that much, but seeing that I finished two novels and read the page amount of a chunky boi book really helps put everything into perspective!

The two books I finished were also two that I started in the same week: The Game by Linsey Miller and I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver. They were both relatively short novels — The Game being less than 300 and IWYATB being a lil over 300 — but I was happy nonetheless that I finished them! Whether I was happy with the actual stories, well…lol.

I will say that I really enjoyed The Game, but I adore literally everything Linsey Miller writes, so that really isn’t a surprise. I just thought it was cool that I actually liked a thriller/mystery for once! It’s hard for me to get into the genre just because the genre itself lends itself more to plot development than that of characters (or at least, the amount of character development I personally like), but I think Linsey does a great job in bridging that gap with an interesting plot and awesome exploration of her characters.

As for I Wish You All the Best, um… To put it simply, I really wish it could’ve been better. It had potential! But it fell so, so flat for me. I’ll go more in-depth in my review when it’s published, but in short: the choppy writing led to an under-developed plot and even more under-developed characters that made for a not-so-fun reading experience for me.

Also, I kinda lied about the started/continued books…more specifically the “continued” part. See, technically I’ve been reading White Malice by Susan Williams and The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin since last month, but this week I didn’t really read anything from them. Like, at all, lol. But I’m still counting them because I didn’t DNF them, and I intend on finishing them…sometime!

A book I actually did start and read from this week, though, is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The first (and only) time I read this book was back in high school in AP Literature and Composition, and I remember really enjoying it. I got a pretty one with a pink “leather” cover (not sure if it’s actual leather or not) from the store a couple years ago, and I figured it’d be a great time for a re-read! I’m only about 30 pages in, but I hope to get further into it this upcoming week.

That’s what I’ve been up to reading-wise for the past week! Not sure what I’ll get to this week, but I hope you come back and see. ☺️ Let me know what you’ve read recently and/or your thoughts on the books I’ve talked about in the comments below!

Until next time, y’all ✨

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WEEKLY READS #2 | Wherein I Read Nothing, and Then Try to Read Everything

Hi there, everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful day whenever you’re reading this! I’m back again with another Weekly Reads, but this time it’s more of a…Bi-Weekly Reads? Because I didn’t post one last week, but that was because that whole week was a clusterfuck of class and work and 10-page research papers that I didn’t start until two days before they were due. But I actually didn’t read a thing that week, so does that really count to make bi-weekly? Meh, whatever, we’re keeping with Weekly Reads, lmao.

Anyway, like I said. It’s been a couple weeks. Now I’m back. So. Let’s get this rolling, lol.

First! Stats! This past week, up until I’m writing this (approximately 6:30pm on Sunday):

  • I finished four books
  • I DNF’d zero books
  • I started/continued two books
  • In total, I read a total of 649 pages

Okay, I lied in the intro, apparently I did read the week prior, but it was only one day, and I can’t tell to see what book it even was, so it doesn’t count. Moving on to this past week…I didn’t actually read until Thursday. All other days, I was too busy. But when I read, damn y’all, I read.

First, I was super excited to finally finish How Not to Die by Michael Gregor. I have been chugging along at this book since May, y’all. Six months of my life I have been trying to read this book, and it’s finally! Done! Overall, it’s a good book that goes into the science behind lots of different illnesses and how a plant-based whole food diet could help to prevent them. There is so much information, though, and that’s part of the reason why it took me so long — I took a lot of notes!

For the next three books, it may be helpful to read through my reading blog from Saturday, since I go into a bit more detail! I read the rest of Here There Be Gerblins by the McElroy family and Carey Pietsch and eventually finished it on Saturday. I had a great time with it, and can’t wait to get my hands on the other graphic novel adaptations of the next two campaigns!

I also finished two volumes of manga! They were the sixth and seventh volumes of Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto. I’m just chugging along on my re-read of Naruto, and I really enjoyed both of these! I forgot about the early-series villains, and it was nice to go back to that before it got, like, super confusing with the war stuff in Shippuden, lol.

And that’s pretty much it! There is still time left tonight to start another manga volume or another book entirely, but if I do, I’ll leave it for next week’s Weekly Reads.

And that’s a wrap for this week’s Weekly Reads! Let me know what y’all have been reading this week in the comments!

See y’all next week ✨

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READING BLOG #1 | 20 November 2021 | Another New Blog Series? Another New Blog Series!

Kait, you may be wondering, why are you creating another series on your blog when you already have so many and you only just started posting semi-regularly again?

And that’s a great question, dear reader!

The answer?

Because I want to.

Serious answer, though? Because I’ve recently gotten into reading vlogs (thanks, BookTube!) and I wanted to try one out, except, well. I don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera. So here’s the next best thing: a written reading vlog with pictures!

So…a reading blog. Yes, exactly, thank you for understanding.

Anyway! I wanted to blog a bit about my day (even more specifically, what I read) because I had my first day off in a while where I also wasn’t bogged down with any class work. Ergo, a perfect reading day!

I hope you all enjoy, and let me know what you think! ✨

Morning

Since today was the first day off I had in a while without class work to worry about, I decided to sleep in till around 9! I normally wake up around 6:30, but I just shut my alarm off and went back to bed, lol. I got a bit done before breakfast, mainly laundry — I’m horrendous for doing it and then keeping it shoved in the hamper for two weeks before forcing myself to put it away, lol.

And today was a comfy day, if I do say so myself. Got myself some joggers and a Ghost shirt. I also put on some slippers and a hoodie because it’s always below 70 degrees in my house 🥴

This is one of my fav Ghost shirts, not gonna lie. So colorful!

After that was all done, I got some breakfast! I love breakfast, but I wasn’t in the mood to actually make anything, so instead I had a glass of this almond milk peppermint mocha I bought from Aldi sometime last week and a banana. The mocha has a bit of a grainy texture, but it’s still very tasty! I also had some time to read. I had quite a bit left of Here There Be Gerblins from when I started it sometime last week, so that’s what I decided to get into.

So sad for the banana, but I actually didn’t decide to have it till after I took this, lol

Here There Be Gerblins is a graphic novel adaptation of the podcast The Adventure Zone, where three sons and their dad play DnD together, illustrated by Casey Pietsch. Each campaign has its own cute title (and it looks like, hopefully, its own graphic novel adaptation) and storyline. Most of the time, it’s just a goofy podcast that’s nice to relax to, but it can get pretty emotional sometimes, too.

I actually ended up finishing Here There Be Gerblins! I had a wonderful time with it — as a fan of the The Adventure Zone podcast (even though I haven’t listened to this particular campaign in more than a year), it was a ton of fun to see the characters come to life. I had a blast reading it, definitely laughing more than once the longer I sat and read. Casey Pietsch did a great job! If you want a funny graphic novel based off of Dungeons and Dragons, I say try it out! While there are a lot of Easter eggs from the podcast, I think even non-fans would get a kick out of it.

Afternoon/Early Evening

After I finished that, I had to go make up a quick list for the grocery run my mom and I had to go on. She did most of her weekly shopping yesterday with my sister, but she wanted to grab the produce for Thanksgiving today, and I still had to grab some stuff for it as well. I’ll tell you more when the day comes around, but I want to make this roasted veggie bowl for dinner, since the rest of my family is having meat. I’m pretty excited for it, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I got my groceries relatively quickly (and a duster because my bookshelves are…a mess), and since my mom was taking a bit to get through the line, I decided to read some more as I waited! This time it was the sixth volume of Naruto. I had it (along with the rest up through volume nine) out from the library for…quite a while, so I decided it was probably best to read it so I could return it, lol.

Don’t mind the glare…there’s no way to get good pics in a Kroger 😩

Naruto is one of the more popular mangas out there, but for those of you that don’t know, it’s a fantasy series by Masashi Kishimoto that follows a young boy, Naruto, as he sets out to become the greatest ninja in his village. In this particular volume, he and his teammates are in the middle of an…eclectic, shall we say…examination, where they have to survive in a creepy forest and try not to get killed by the other contestants.

I was able to get a chapter or so into it at the store, and then I finished it up when I got home. Overall, I’m still really liking my re-read of the series, but I can definitely tell that my perception of it has changed a bit over the years. Which makes sense — I was really young when I first started reading this series, and now I’m slightly less young at the age of 23.

It’s still a good series, but I cringe at how the female characters (especially Ino and Sakura) act in the early parts of the series. I mean, I know that, for the most part, I think we see a bunch of character development later on throughout the series, and I’m excited to see that. But I’m coming for Masashi Kishimoto for having these 12-year-olds try to act ~sexy~. My guy, they aren’t even teenagers, please stop this instant. I’ll still read on, though, for the fun of it!

Evening

After that, I wanted to take a break from reading, so I actually started the prep for this post (does that count as breaking the fourth wall, or…?). I wrote up a quick outline, organized my notes, and made a new post pic for it. And then…dinner!

I originally got the bread and butter for my soup, but then my family had biscuits for their dinner, so I snagged one. Love me some carbs 😋

I had a can of vegan chicken noodle soup from Gardein that was surprisingly good? It tasted similar to what I remember chicken noodle soup tasting like, and the “chicken” was a similar texture, too! I won’t have it very often — I’m trying my best to keep to more whole foods as I can, and regardless of that, it’s like $3 a can — but it sure is a tasty meal every once in a while.

After that, I wanted to get super comfy-cozy (and write up this post real fast), so…initiate super cozy time!

I love this candle — I think I got it last year from Michael’s, and it’s the perfect fall scent! I know it’s hard to see, but it’s called Smoked Pumpkin Apple. I can’t smell the pumpkin at all, but the apple really shines through, and it gets me right into a fall mood 😌

Also…it’s hard to see because I turned off my ceiling light and turned on my Christmas twinkle lights as well as some other red and green lights. It gets me into a cozy/winter/holiday mood, and it was nice to finally do so again knowing we’re getting closer to winter holidays!

And this is where I’ve been sitting since, lol — working on this post and enjoying my candle. After this I may start the next volume of Naruto, or I may continue on with something else. Or maybe I’ll forego reading entirely to play some video games…I’m not sure!

So to recap my bookish adventures real quick:

  • I finished Here There Be Gerblins
  • I started and finished Naruto, vol. 6
  • I may or may not start something else before going to bed, who knows

But that’s basically it for my reading blog today, y’all! I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it! It was a ton of fun to take pics and keep track of my day like this — I hope to do more of it, especially with more time off coming up for the holidays.

Please let me know your thoughts, especially if you want to see more of these type of posts! I’ll see everyone next time ✨

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Weekly Reads #1 | The Start of the (Readathon) Season!

Yes, hi, hello! I decided to start (yet another) weekly post to practically force myself to post on a semi-regular basis, lol. This time it’s what I like to call Weekly Reads: basically a weekly update on what I’ve been reading (and, in the process, hopefully a lil update on what y’all have been reading, too!). Without further ado, let’s get into it!

It’s the first week of November and, for me, the start of two seasons: the holiday season and the readathon season! I normally don’t do readathons: they stress me out too much because many of them are only a week or two but people still somehow read, like, 5 books?? I dunno, man, I just have a lot going on in my life’s — add that to being a slow-ish reader compared to others in the community, and I feel overwhelmed by most readathons.

HOWEVER! I decided to try my hand at a couple of them for the last couple months of the year: ClearUrShit and PokemonAthon. What initially drew me to ClearUrShit was the fact that it lasted over a month (gave me some wriggle room!) and the fact that it focused on the books you own (or any library books you have checked out — basically any books in your possession that you haven’t read yet). PokemonAthon, on the other hand, only lasts 18 days, but it’s Pokémon-themed and it’s a fun way to read a ton before the new Pokémon Diamond/Pearl remake comes out later this month! Many of the books I chose doubled up on prompts, in both readathons. I’m excited to get back to reading, but, ya know, I’m also still very limited in how much I can actually read.

But yeah, this week was the first one for both, and I’m very happy with how it turned out! Here’s some fun lil stats for y’all:

  • I finished 1 book
  • I DNF’d 1 book
  • I otherwise started/continued 3 books
  • In total, I read 546 pages

The week started off on both a good and bad note. A good note because I was able to get through over 200 pages in one day throughout the three books I was reading, but a bad one because I ended up DNFing another book. It was The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I didn’t get all that far into it (maybe around 8%) before I decided to ditch it — even within such a small amount of time spent with the protagonist, I couldn’t stand him. And then the whole world-jumping happened between one sentence and the next, and it threw me right out of the story. And like I said, I’m a busy person — I don’t have the time to spend on books I don’t like, especially books that were an impulsive check out on Libby.

However, my week got 100x better because a couple days after I DNF’d a book, I finished one! It was Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, and y’all, it stole my heart away. I started it on Monday the 1st, and it was so hard for me to switch over to my other two books to get their daily pages read, too. It had me totally enraptured! While the plot itself was fun, I thought the author really excelled at exploring the characters and their relationships with one another. Definitely a new favorite.

I started two other books: White Malice by Susan Williams and Here There Be Gerblins by the McElroy fam and Carey Pietsch. I didn’t finish either of them before the week was up, but I’m enjoying both! White Malice is a non-fiction book about the CIA’s involvement in Africa throughout the latter half of the 20th century and how it essentially helped to recolonize Africa. It’s incredibly dense (and over 500 pages!), but I’m learning lots. I’m only about 100 pages in, and I can’t wait to work my way through it!

Here There Be Gerblins is a graphic novel based on the first campaign of the podcast The Adventure Zone. I’m about 30 or so pages in, but I am having the time of my life. Carey Pietsch did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life, and while there are differences (in order to make it a cohesive adaptation from a podcast to a graphic novel), the base humor and storytelling that makes TAZ such a joy is ultimately still there. I want to simultaneously make it last and gobble it up, which is…a problem, lol.

I’ve also continued one book from before November — one that I have been meaning to get done for forever. It’s How Not to Die by Michael Greger. This book is a non-fiction book about how a plant-based diet (specifically a whole-food plant based diet) could help with common diseases, specifically in the United States. I have literally been reading this book since, like, May. It’s not even that big of a book (or badly written!). I’m just…taking forever, lol. Hoping to get it done soon, it really is an interesting read!

And that’s what I’ve been reading last week! What do you think? Have you read any of them? What have you been reading last week? Let me know!

I’ll see y’all next time — have a wonderful week! ✨

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MUSIC MONDAY #2 | The Chapeltown Rag — Slipknot

Welcome back to the second Music Monday on this blog! For those of you that don’t know, Music Monday is a weekly post that was started by The Tattooed Book Geek and I’ve started it as a way to get back into blogging while also showing all y’all what I like to listen to. This week’s Music Monday choice is…

The Chapeltown Rag by Slipknot

Read all about it if you want to know
Read all about what they want you to know

Everything is god online, and it’s as evil as it gets
This is not a fuckin’ trick, either follow or repent (No choice)
Get infected by a vertical event
Check the meter, check your watch
Are they ever gonna stop?
Runnin’ out of daylight, nighttime’s better
But we know how to handle the truth, motherfucker
Scandalous know-it-all, feedback chamber
Nobody wants the proof, they want a number

We don’t deny what is wrong with our lives
We can’t decide what is left of our right to silence our remains
Buried in the back and I’m sick and alive
Hollow as a breath, the further you dive

Oh, how I missed your honesty
You never miss with your intensity
You’re gonna need a new disguise
Vessels burst, veins release
Just slide into the nearest lie

(One, two, oh my god)
All the ligatures are getting tight, like a style
Murder another mouth before the trial
Scalpel and then you scalp ’em to fucking death
Kills for the other vampires and surrogates
It’s a ploy for attention and evidence
All your fucking monsters are flaws in your common sense
Do the dance while the shovels are breaking dirt
Everybody mind your fuckin’ business or you get hurt

We don’t deny what is wrong with our lives
We can’t decide what is left of our right to silence our remains
Buried in the back and I’m sick and alive
Hollow as a breath, the further you dive

Oh, how I missed your namaste
You never miss with your integrity
You’re gonna need a new disguise
Vessels burst, veins release
Just slide into the nearest lie

Read all about it if you want to know
(Everything is god online)
Read all about it if you want to know
(Everything is god online)
Read all about it if you want to know

Stoned like a beast on a chain lookin’ dead
Feelin’ strange, what the fuck
I’m material to sew into the stains
Like a catalogue of pain, like a martyr in restraints
I can kill with a will, and it’s stronger every day
I’m a knife, I’m a gun, I’m a slit, I’m a scar
I’m a scream, I’m a death, I’m a threat, I’m afraid
That you will never understand I’m not the same
You better call the triple 9, I want a face
That you can only recognize
I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid

When everything is god online, nothing is
When everything is god online, nothing is

I don’t think y’all understand how excited I am for new Slipknot. The last thing we’ve had was over two years ago, when their album We Are Not Your Kind came out in August 2019. So it was an extra special treat when my fiancé sent me the YouTube link early this past Friday morning. It’s giving me early Slipknot vibes, but still has a new sound to it, which is awesome. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the new album…whenever that’s coming out, lol.

But anyway, I really like how this song sounds, and if you gave it a listen, let me know! Love to talk about music with folks, especially when it’s something outside of your usual comfort zone.

Until next week ✨

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