Happy 2018 & December 2017 Reading Wrap Up

Happy New Year! As per usual, I’m writing about what I read in December 2017, finishing 3 books.

I decided to read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne after some recommendations from Booktubers. I thought since it’s a romantic contemporary, it’ll help me get out of the reading slump I was in. It’s about two co-workers who hate each other and find themselves competing for the same position. I thought the characters were well developed but the writing style left much to be desired. In the last few chapters, I found myself speed reading/skimming just to finish because of slow pacing.

Next, I read Blessings by Anna Quindlen, which I bought from a used bookstore for no other reasons except that I recognized the author. I had read her non-fiction book A Short Guide to a Happy Life a few years ago. I read this for the Readers Crossing reading challenge. Blessings is about a man fresh out of jail who gets a job as groundskeeper for an old lady who lives and owns Blessings, an estate. One morning he finds a newborn baby in a box on the doorstep of the house and the story goes on from there. I really liked the writing style and the characters. I really enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it.

Lastly, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, which I also read for the Readers Crossing challenge and I also purchased from the used bookstore at random. It’s a very amusing book about a geeky professor who is trying to find the perfect wife using a questionnaire he created. Sometimes the writing style was a little confusing and it takes a bit to get used to. Otherwise, I thought the characters were well developed especially the protagonist. I recommend this one.

Even though I read 76 books in 2017, my reading goal was to finish 50 books. Take a look at my favorite books of 2017. In 2018, I want to finish at least 50 books as well. I’m thinking of doing this 50 DIY Reading Challenges.

What is your reading goal form 2018?

Thanks for visiting my blog,
Nora

My Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Favorite Books of 2017

The end of the year is here again and time to look back at my year in books, specifically my favorite books of 2017. I chose these books based on if I would read from the author again and of course, how much I liked the book and how often I think about them. In no particular order, here are my top ten favorite books that I read in 2017.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Shelter by Jung Yun
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Shopgirl by Steve Martin
Room by Emma Donoghue
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

If you are a stats nerd, here are some of my stats of my reading year.

The number of books read in 2017 (as of writing this post): 75 books. My most read books in one year ever! Having said that, I think in 2018 I would like to read less books and read each book slower.

The number of pages read: 17,787 pages

Year most read from: 2014

Oldest book read: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling, first published in 1894.

Most read genre: Adult Fiction

Least books read in a month: May. I read only one book, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Most books read in a month: August & October. Thirteen books read in each month.

Longest book read: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Shorted book read: The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco

What were some of your favorite books of 2017?

Thank you for visiting my blog and Merry Christmas!
Nora

Post photo by Freepik.

#ReadersCrossing Reading Challenge

#ReadersCrossing

Disclaimer: Nintendo owns Animal Crossing, this is a non-profit reading challenge organized by Aentee. This post is not sponsored.

#ReadersCrossing is a reading challenge created by Aentee, based on the newly released game by Nintendo called Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. It will take place from December 10 to 31 so we have three whole weeks to complete the challenges. Take a look at Aentee’s post for more info and to sign up.

My favorite theme in the game is Natural so I will be reading five across. Here is my TBR for #ReadersCrossing: 

  • Blessings by Anna Quindlen (set in your country)
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (yellow cover)
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker (classic)
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (animal on the cover)
  • The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale (wilderness setting)
 
If you would like to more info on the game, here’s mini-review (not sponsored):

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a mobile simulation game where you complete the requests of cute animals, craft items and decorate your campsite as well as visit other player campsites. It’s a pretty addicting game and I’ve been playing it for more than a week now. I used to play Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the DS but not anymore. I like this game better because, first of all, you can be play it on a mobile phone, the animals are in rotation so there are new cute animals to meet frequently. In New Leaf, you are given a town with a few animals that don’t come and go. Unless you go to friends towns. In Pocket Camp, you see other players in different areas and can make friends with them. I’m really enjoying this game so far!

Here’s is my info if you want to be friends in-game:

Readers Crossing

I will be updating my progress and experience earned for #ReadersCrossing on my Twitter and Instagram, so follow me there to keep up to date!

Thank you for visiting my blog,
Nora

How I Journal

Journaling - By Jcomb

Another activity that I love doing besides reading is writing in a journal. In recent years, I’ve done collage and bullet journaling but straight up writing in a journal is something that I’ve done since 13 years old. Of course, it can be hard to start with a blank page staring up at you. It’s frustrating not being able to think of what to write. Trust me, I’ve been through that and still go through that often. So I’m here to share my experience with journaling using the concepts of morning pages.

This past Sunday (November 12) I finished a 248-page journal (I numbered the pages).  It made me really proud and satisfied that I did. I love finishing things and knowing I’m not wasting money buying a stack of journals and actually using them.

How did I fill up that journal? Morning pages. Morning pages is a concept thought up by Julia Cameron where you write 3 pages longhand in an 8.5 x 11-inch notebook first thing every morning. She suggests this to everyone, not only creatives or authors. I’m usually a skeptic but I really want to write. Whenever I would sit to write, I’d just sit there and stare at the blank paper. I still do that often, even after finishing a 248-page journal filled with morning pages.

I’m not sure how I first heard about morning pages but I first thought it had to be anytime before noon. When I read more about morning pages from Cameron’s book on it, I realized that I was supposed to do it as soon as I woke up. I didn’t follow everything she suggested or go out and buy a special 8.5 x 11-inch notebook when I had a whole stack of smaller journals. I also didn’t beat myself up if I couldn’t write one morning or wrote 3 pages later in the day. That is very important. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

According to Cameron, morning pages are supposed to be a stream of consciousness, you’re not supposed to stop and think what to write. This was hard for me and it’s something I’m still working on but if I can’t think of anything to write, I write exactly that, “I can’t think of anything to write.” or “What else should I write about?” Usually, I write what I did the day before or my thoughts on certain topics.

Another suggestion from Cameron is to stop writing at three pages. I like this concept as well because if you are motivated to keep going to a fourth page but stop, you can carry that motivation to the next days morning pages. It will be like you can’t wait until the next morning to continue writing. If you continue to keep writing to a fourth or fifth page, you’d have written everything and you’ll be all dried up. I think this is a good concept for fiction writing as well.

Probably the best part of journaling is buying cute journals and pens but it’s important. If you love what you’re writing with and what you’re writing on, it makes a big difference. I think it’s good motivation to keep writing and finish up a journal so you can buy yourself a new journal!

I hope I’ve inspired you to keep or start journaling!

Thank you for visiting my blog,
Nora

Post image by Jcomp

The Bluest Eye Book Review

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is a historical fiction novel, that switches POV between Pecola Breedlove and Claudia (and her sister, Frieda). However, it’s mainly about Pecola Breedlove. I think it is a beautifully written novel, with poetic language. It’s not your typical story that follows a plot but goes back and forth and takes some getting used to. The character development for The Breedlove’s was especially on point. Although Pecola’s story is not a happy one, heinous in fact, I do recommend reading it. A timeless novel by a gifted author.

Have you read The Bluest Eye? If so, what did you think?

Thank you for visiting my blog,
Nora

My 5 Favorite Bookish Computer Games

Bookish Computer Games

I love reading books (obviously) and I love video games so naturally, I fell in love with these point-and-click adventure games. These games are so well written that I prefer the game to the graphic novel that inspired them, especially so for the first two, The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead.

The Wolf Among Us By Telltale Games

The Wolf Among Us (Telltale Games) – This game is based off a comic book series called Fables where characters from all fairytales live in our world under disguise. I loved the 80’s vibe from the game and although there is a learning curve with the controls, it’s an awesome point-and-click game that got me invested.

The Walking Dead by Telltale Games

The Walking Dead – Season 1 (Telltale Games) – Originally a graphic novel series and then a television series, I never thought a video game could make me cry. I don’t cry easily but this game, this first season made me cry.

Skyrim by Bethesda

Skyrim (Bethesda) – I don’t know how I first found out about Skyrim but I’m so happy I did. I loved playing this and to my surprise, I finished the game. I didn’t complete 100% but I did finish it. There are sword fights and magic and dragons. The scenery and graphics are amazing and of course, chalk full of lore.

Fallout 4 by Bethesda

Fallout 4 (Bethesda) – After playing Skyrim and obsessing with it, I decided to try Fallout 4. I thought it would be fun using guns instead of swords like I did and was very much used to in Skyrim. For me, there was a learning curve with using guns but I had a lot of fun. I love the whole post-apocalyptic dystopian storyline. I love the retro feel and open world to explore as you want, collect as much junk as you want and sell it. It’s very similar to Skyrim in terms of gameplay so I go through phases of playing it.

The Sims 4 by Electronic Arts

The Sims 4 (Electronic Arts) – This is probably the most random from the other games but the reason I like and sometimes it’s hard to play, is that it’s so open-ended. You make anything you want, happen. You can make up your own stories and play them out. It’s also a great tool to write your own stories. You can use it to visualize what your characters look like and a little bit of their personalities.

What are some of your favorite plot-heavy video games?

Thanks for visiting my blog,
Nora

October 2017 Reading Wrap Up

Monthly Reading Wrap Up

Hello! In October I tried to read 14 books because I would like to read 100 books by the end of the year but I fell one short. But I’m 72 books into 100 books so I’m almost there but if I can’t do it, it’s okay. Here’s what I read in October:

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  2. Batman: The Complete Hush by Jeph Loeb
  3. Post Office by Charles Bukowski
  4. This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare by Gabourey Sidibe
  5. Saga, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
  6. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  7. A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena
  8. Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
  9. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  11. Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 2 by Hiromu Arakawa
  12. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  13. Push by Sapphire

What did you read in October?

Thanks for visiting my blog,
Nora

My Junk Art Collage Pieces

Junk Art Collage

Besides books, I’ve recently been into junk art collages. I collect pieces of paper that have interesting images or patterns and use those to make art collage pieces. This all started when I noticed the inside of envelopes which you’ll see in each piece. It’s sort of reusing/up-cycling. Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting my blog,
Nora