Posted in Uncategorized

2020 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Okay, so I’m a little late to the party on this Tag, but in all fairness what even IS time in 2020?? I sure as hell don’t know! πŸ˜› I saw this wonderful post from Lair of Books and decided that I, too, wished to join in on the fun. Better stylishly late than never, right? πŸ˜‰

1.) Best book you’ve read so far this year?

Probably the same book I’m about to give as the answer for the following question, too. πŸ˜›

2.) Best sequel you’ve read so far this year?

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Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo. Loved this book. Great characters, great twists and turns, and great worldbuilding.

3.) New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

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Even though I’m still not finished reading Dread Nation (not the book’s fault, but mine) I went ahead and bought the book’s sequel Deathless Divide, by Justina Ireland that was released earlier this year.Β  Definitely looking forward to reading more of Dread Nation and then diving into this one.

4.) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

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I didn’t have anything that instantly sprang to mind (mostly due to my own lack of research of new releases) but upon a little digging I discovered that we can, in fact, have SOME nice things in 2020. As it turns out, the fifth (and apparently final) volume of Monstress is coming out in October! πŸ˜€

5.) Biggest disappointment?

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Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest, and I will explain why in the next question because it really does apply to both.

6.) Biggest surprise?

Probably how much I was disappointed by Boneshaker (pictured above). Zombie Steampunk shenanigans should have been my jam, but I just could not get into the characters, especially the main 2 characters. I was so sick of reading how “smart” the son was when he pretty much gave me zero evidence of that himself. And the mom just felt so flat. Like, we knew who she was married to, we know she wants to find her son, but other than that, there isn’t much I can say about her, unfortunately. And as much as I adore worldbuilding, I think they went a bit too heavy with setting the atmosphere compared to the actual plot and character development. I really had high hopes for this one but it just was not my cup of tea, sadly. πŸ˜₯

7.) Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)?

Ilona Andrews. New to me, and such a treat. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to checking out more of her books, especially in the Innkeeper Chronicles series.

8.) Newest fictional crush?

Ya know, I hate to be boring on this answer, but I don’t have one from the books I read. Unless you want to count Henry Cavill’s portayal of Geralt in The Witcher. I mean, it started as a book series (that I have yet to read) but who can deny how pretty this dude is wielding a sword, kicking all sorts of monster ass and brooding all over the place??

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Though, by that logic, I could make a similar argument for Charlize Theron in The Old Guard, based off a graphic novel series I *also* have yet to read. Fierce. Badass. Warrior. QUEEN. ❀

9.) Newest favorite character?

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Zoya Nazyalensky. She may not be a new character to me since I read the original Grisha Trilogy back in the day, but it was new to me just how much I enjoyed her character in Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars. Really good character development.

10.) Book that made you cry?

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A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. SO. MANY. FEELINGS. This book is so dark and beautifully done. Grief is such an ugly and complicated emotion and this book captures it perfectly.

11.) Book that made you happy?

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Giant Days is always such a feel-good and fun slice-of-life style comic. Sometimes there are sad parts, but overall it’s a comfort read for sure. ❀

12.) Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?

I don’t know . . . I really couldn’t pick one right now, sorry! D:

13.) What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

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Definitely sooner than before the end of the year, but I need to finish my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes for Gideon the Ninth! Enjoying it so far, just have a lot going on right now and an attention span in tatters.

How has your year in reading been so far? πŸ™‚ Let’s talk books! ❀

 

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July 2020 Wrap-Up: A Month in Photos

Whoops! Meant to do this post at the end of July but better late than never, right? πŸ˜‰ After doing one of these photo-based monthly wrap-up posts for June, I thought it would be fun to carry on and make this a regular sort of installment here on my blog. πŸ™‚ I hope everyone had a fun and safe July. Obviously with the coronavirus still running rampant this year’s 4th of July festivities were MUCH more low key, but Mr. Moth and I still had a great time.

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BAKING: I made these S’mores cookies on the 4th of July. They were quite good, and I’m not even a S’mores person normally. πŸ™‚ Another fun part of the 4th of July is that my very own little corner of the blogosphere celebrated it’s 4th Blog Birthday. Woo! πŸ˜€

OUTDOORS: It’s been far too hot for me to want to do much of anything outside this month, so I mostly just admired and watered our plants and then scuttled back inside.

We also recently had the pleasant surprise of discovering baby pumpkins! Can’t wait to have homegrown pumpkins this Halloween! That will certainly be a first. πŸ™‚

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BOOKS: In reading news, I’ve mostly been on a DC Comics binge this month. I recently joined the DC Universe streaming service and now that I have quite the catalog of DC titles at my fingertips I’m taking full advantage of it. πŸ™‚ As for actual novels, I finished the third novel of the Innkeeper Chronicles and also fed my Leigh Bardugo addiction by finally reading King of Scars. Now that I’ve read all of the books in the “Grishaverse” that are currently out my wait begins for the follow-up to KoS. Luckily I still have her Wonder Woman novel and Ninth House to keep me going until then. πŸ˜›

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DRAWING: Aside from my Weird and Wild Animal Drawings, I did find time to do some other drawings. πŸ™‚ Near the end of the month I decided it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone and start drawing more dynamic poses. Then I kind of lurched to a halt on the drawing front. I’ll be back at it soon, though! I’ve had a lot of house and research projects keeping me busy.

ANCESTRY SEARCH: One of the research projects I started in July was that of my very own lineage. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and what better time than while my place of work is still shut down? I’ve been able to trace 3 of my grandparents’ family histories back pretty damn far and there have been some really fascinating results that I want to do a lot more research on.

How was your July? Any exciting plans for August?? What with the pandemic and all I can’t say I have a lot planned for August, but one thing I look forward to are the Friday night video chats with my BFF Cupcakes & Machetes as well as our current buddy read as we take on Gideon the Ninth together. πŸ˜€ Not super far yet, but really enjoying the book already. Well, that’s it for now. Hope you guys are all staying safe and well. Have an amazing August! ❀ ❀ ❀

Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

2019 Reading Challenge: COMPLETE!

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Woo! A few days ago I officially completed my reading challenge for the year! πŸ˜€ And even though I still have six months to go, I plan on sticking pretty much to my original plan. I kept my reading goal low, slashing it in half from last year’s 50 down to an easily attainable 25. The reason I did this was to be able to shift my focus to some of my other goals, the main one being writing. Well, as previously stated, I intend to GET. SHIT. DONE. over the next six months, so I’m ready to pour my all into writing for the rest of the year. Still, I thought it’d be fun to discuss how the reading challenge went. πŸ™‚

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I started the year off on a dystopian/post apocalyptic streak with The Road and The Handmaid’s Tale.

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From there I ventured off into some lighter whimsical fantasy with Howl’s Moving Castle and a re-read / buddy read of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with Cupcakes & Machetes.

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I also squeezed in some good non-fiction with Remarkable Books: The World’s Most Beautiful and Historic Works and the morbid but very interesting The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery. (The latter of which I intend to do a special review of for blogging buddy and podcast extraordinaire, Imperial Rebel Ork for his and his buddy’s Fly on the Wall Podcast.)

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Eventually I found myself in a total Urban Fantasy binge, devouring two novellas and the third full-length novel of The Iron Druid Chronicles as well as the first installment of the Mercy Thompson novels.

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I’m sorry (not really) but I found this one while looking up memes and I couldn’t resist adding it. The struggle is REAL, I tell you!

Along with these titles were several graphic novels of various genres (horror, slice of life style comics, superhero, action, and comedy). I also read River of Teeth recently which was such a great story that I will probably end up reading its sequel sometime soon despite insisting I’ll not be reading much the next few months. πŸ˜‰

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Well, that’s it for me, but how has YOUR reading challenge been going this year? πŸ™‚ What was your reading goal? How’s it going? Let’s talk books! ❀

Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

Reading Stats For the Year Thus Far . . .

Wow, can you believe it’s June already? We’ve officially arrived at the sixth month of the year. Seems a good and proper time to discuss how 2019 has been going so far in the realm of books.

At the beginning of the year I knew I wanted to shift my focus to writing, and so I set my reading goal much lower than usual. The ultimate goal was to restrain my inner book worm this year and finish the year off at just 25 books/graphic novels. Well, with over half the year to go I’m already at 20, so ya see how well THAT plan’s going. πŸ˜‰

So, let’s talk about the books/comics I’ve enjoyed (definitely some more than others) so far in 2019.

I’d say my favorite books I’ve read this year so far go as follows:

Favorite (Fiction) Novel So Far: Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones

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I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars. I loved the whimsical and light feel to it, and although I don’t often re-read books, this is one I could see myself one day re-reading. I enjoyed the author’s writing style very much and the sass of the main character. Witches, wizards, fire demons, hat shops and more come together in this enchanting story about a girl who is forced out of her comfort zone by a witch’s curse.

Favorite (Nonfiction) Novel So Far: The Knife Man, by Wendy Moore

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I recently played hostess for the book club I’m in, so I brought a healthy dose of books about true crime, disturbing history and the like to the table to be voted on. The winning book was The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery and it was both informative and disgusting. You can definitely expect a review for this one in the near future. πŸ™‚

Favorite Graphic Novel So Far: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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I enjoyed volume 1 in the beginning of the year, but I just recently got to enjoy the collection of issues 6-8, “Monster-Sized” sort of mini-trade. (I guess there’s been some issues with getting the official second volume out according to my trusted comic book shop lady.) Expect an official review of it soon!

Books That Were Re-Reads: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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This one was a buddy re-read with Cupcakes and Machetes. Just as fun and enchanting the second time around. ❀

Some of my latest reading choices have come courtesy of recommendations by you guys, so I have to give some shout outs for great suggestions to the following blogging buddies:

Suggestion from Precinct1313:

The Coffin Hill series. Great recommendation! I heeded their advice and snagged all 3 volumes. It was a spooky good time with great artwork.

Suggestion from Virtuanaut:

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Rick Remender’s Deadly Class was another solid recommendation. πŸ™‚ I had found a copy at a re-sale book shop after discussing it briefly with Virtuanaut a while back so I made sure to pick it up. I waited until after I watched season 1 of the show and then gave it a read. I enjoyed it and would absolutely like to continue reading the series! πŸ˜€

Suggestion from Cupcakes and Machetes:

Both Moon Called and The Iron Druid Chronicles series came as recommendations from my #1 book pusher, C&M. This girl knows what I like, so if she says read it, I fully intend to do just that (even if it sometimes takes me forever to get around to finally doing it!) πŸ˜‰

Well, that’s it for my 2019 (so far) Reading Stats post. How’s your year in reading been going so far? What has been your top read so far this year? πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Updates: Writing, Drawing, Reading, OH MY!

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Hi, guys!! ❀ Life has been a whirlwind the past couple weeks, so apologies for my unplanned absence so far this month. There’s been some pretty big ups and downs, so I just haven’t been able to sit down and sink my teeth into blogging during all of it. But, I’m back, and I figured I’d throw together a quick update post full of Blah Blah Blah’s to catch up a little bit.

BLAH #1: Instagram has really been a lot of fun so far! I know I was late to the party on that one, but better late than never, right? πŸ˜‰ I’ve mostly been posting drawings, photos of Bailey, bookstagram and breakfast posts so far. Due to a busy schedule it’s been a lot easier updating on there more frequently, but I still love the blogging life and all my blogging buddies, so it’s good to be back! ❀

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BLAH #2: I’ve been drawing more, just like I said I wanted to. For the new year I treated myself to a new sketchbook, so the un-official goal is to fill it up by the end of the year with new drawings. πŸ™‚ I’ve posted a couple WIP pieces on Instagram, but I’ll post some more here soon as well.

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BLAH #3: Writing has been going really well. Usually fall seems to be my big creative season, but this winter I feel like I’ve really hit my stride again with my writing. It feels great. I have been learning to navigate my way around Scrivener. (Thank goodness for Youtube tutorials!!) It has some pretty damn snazzy tools and features for writers and I feel like it’s been helping keep me focused and on track with my writing since I started using it. Big thanks again to the lovely Cupcakes and Machetes for gifting it to me for my birthday! ❀ I’m the sort of person who likes practical gifts and this was the perfect surprise. I’m using the hell out of it and it’s helping me a lot as I work on my story.

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BLAH #4: In reading news, I’m currently doing a Harry Potter re-read/buddy read with the previously mentioned C&M. Neither of us seem to re-read books very often since there’s just sooo much out there to be read, but I’ve greatly been enjoying re-reading this one. Most. Magical. Buddy. Read. EVER.

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Anywhoooo, that’s about it for me right now. How have you guys all been doing?? I’m so behind on everyone’s posts so it’ll take me a hot minute to try to catch up a bit, so feel free to fill me in on any exciting news of yours I may have missed. I hope everyone has been having a great February so far. Have a wonderful weekend! ❀

Posted in Baking/Cooking/Nomming, Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

Book Club, Buddy Reads, and Vegan Chocolate Mousse– OH, MY!

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This weekend has been a blast. We had some good friends over to the house for the first time, which was very exciting. I hosted this month’s book club get-together, and my boyfriend and Cupcakes and Machetes‘ husband went out to one of the nearby breweries so we ladies could have the whole place to ourselves. Which basically involved a lot of snacking, inappropriate conversation, a tour of the house (the reading nook and giant bean bag were both a hit!) and more snacking. Most of the girls in our book club are strictly vegan, so I made a variety of vegan dishes for everyone to nom on and everything turned out great. The chocolate mousse was definitely a success, so I’ll share the recipe at the bottom of this post in case any of you are interested. πŸ˜‰

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C&M and her hubby brought us an amazing bundle of goodies, which was so sweet and thoughtful. Aaaaand she and I decided to do a buddy read for Kevin Hearne’s A Plague of Giants in August, so there’s that to look forward to as well.

3 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe:

This recipe is SO EASY. You just need 3 ingredients:

  • 2 small boxes of Jello brand instant chocolate pudding mix
  • Chocolate almond milk
  • “So Delicious Dairy Free” coconut whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, whisk your pudding mix and chocolate almond milk together, adding enough almond milk so that it gets to a cake batter consistency. Then, using a rubber spatula, fold in the coconut whipped topping so that it is fully blended but not over-whipped. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

I served ours with graham crackers for dipping and it was seriously addicting. I think it would be great for dipping strawberries or sliced banana into, too, though. The great thing about this mousse, is how versatile the recipe can be. If you want to use vanilla or plain almond milk instead of chocolate, the pistachio, banana cream, vanilla, and lemon flavors of Jello instant pudding are also vegan-friendly, so you could make a mousse in any of those flavors just as easily. The mousse is also great for filling or topping cupcakes, or even just eating plain or parfait-style, so you can really do a lot of different things with it.

And, if you are not interested in making it vegan, just use regular milk and a tub of regular whipped topping instead, and you can use whatever flavor of instant pudding mix you want, so the possibilities are unlimited. Go crazy, this stuff is so easy and delicious.

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