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Unique Pages in My #BuJo

2017 was the year I decided I need to get my life organized. Every month from December 2016 I would set monthly goals, as well as a two page spread for year goals. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I began to get a little more inspired and adventurous in my journal. I have no real artistic talent, but I am learning to be okay with how I create pages and constantly learning in the process. Today I thought I’d share some of the pages in my bullet journal and a little explanation why these pages exist.

This page is a map I’ve been slowly creating regarding breweries that I’ve been visiting in 2018. My husband and I love craft beer and craft brewing, and we decided to see how many we could hit throughout the year. So far, we’ve hit four (though Rogue River we go over at least once every two weeks to pick up the latest brews). I tried to draw different objects that represent each brewery and where in Ontario the brewery resides. Again, I have child-like drawing skillz, and yet I have been having so much fun expanding this page. Come summer, I feel like it will be fuller!

This is my page of movies I’d like to check out throughout the year. The coloured in triangles are movies I’ve already watched and knocked out for the year. I haven’t decided what I am going to do with the blank space at the bottom, but I am sure I will come up with an idea. There’s a mix of 2018 films, as well as older titles I meant to check out forever ago. I feel like this will for sure be filled by the end of the year.

This is my March tracker page. I’ve never done a tracker before and since I don’t use a dot-matrix style journal, it was a little harder to create boxes for filling in. Also, I decided I’d be a bit more creative and make doodles instead. I am tracking painting my mum’s house (since we are doing it ourselves), decluttering, water intake (because I noticed during the winter that fell off the map), blogging/writing (which I am trying to get back into and be more consistent about) and exercise. When this photo was taken it was the beginning of the month. We shall see what the end of the month will look like!

The last page I am going to show you is my decluttering list. I made a page with every room I need to declutter in the house and I am checking off what rooms are successfully completed. Pretty self-explanatory.

And there you have it! Here’s just a few unique pages in my journal. They aren’t anything special but I really do find them super helpful just to think about different aspects of my life and goals I want to achieve. Perhaps I’ll do a check-in post and maybe share what kinds of writing tools I use while I make my pages. We shall see!



Book Chat: Finding Time to Read When You Are Prepping to Move

As you may have noticed, the posts on this blog have been a bit lax lately. This is mostly due to the fact that my husband and I are prepping to sell my mother’s house starting in April. We’re doing all the painting and repairs ourselves (with a few exceptions of course) and we are trying to make sure that everything is ready to rock and roll by the first week of April. It is a lot of work and I know it’s definitely cut into my reading time.

The majority of my books are packed and what I have done for the time being is I’ve made myself a bag of books. It’s a bag that sits in my room filled with titles that I am interested in reading. I’ve been trying to cut back checking out items from work because I have this fear that I am going to lose the items in the process of moving. I even made a page in my bullet journal to give you an idea of what I am hoping to read while I am going through this process.

So what I have done is I drew a bag in my journal and then listed every book that is in my bag. At the bottom I created a star rating key, and effectively my goal is to color in each section based on the star rating that I have given the novel. As you can see, I haven’t coloured much in yet, and if I am being honest, it’s because my reading has definitely slowed down since we got into hardcore preparation mode. I am hoping once we move to put the Shelf of Shame (aka TBR Shelf) back up to give you an idea of how much I purged book-wise. I have been having strong urges since going through my mother’s stuff and my own that massive downsizing needs to happen.

Mainly, I’ve been listening to audiobooks, particularly on my way to and from work. Right now I am listening to The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, which is a YA classic. It has definitely been interesting so far. I’ve also just been trying to make an hour a day to read, and some days that has worked and some days it hasn’t. Part of it is when I sit down to read or game, my mind feels guilty and I feel like I should be working on packing up the house. I recognize though that taking breaks is important and I am going to keep at it.

I hope at the end of the month to share if more of these quadrants have been coloured in or not. I’ll keep you updated. ūüôā

Book Chat: KonMaring My TBR Shelves & Letting Go of Books

This was a long time coming, but I have reached the stage where I am frustrated by the amount of books I own. As my husband and I prepare to move and paint the house we are currently living in, we have been going through all of our stuff and trying to figure out what is staying and what is going. It’s been taxing, emotionally draining, but it needs to be done.

Going through my books has been an eye-opening experience. I am starting to see how much my reading tastes have changed and more over, how I have less of a desire to keep most of the books I own anymore. The reality I am facing is that I don’t do a lot of rereading, and I tend to simply keep books that have left an emotional impression on me or something I know I want to loan to friends. I used to be a huge fantasy reader, and as I’ve aged, I’ve become more of a contemporary reader now. I still love fantasy and I still read it, but it used to be 80% of what I would read for the longest time.

I used to feel this need to keep every book I received over the years, only to realize that it wasn’t viable. Space for books is always at capacity and sometimes finding space for more book shelves isn’t exactly an option. It also doesn’t help that my husband is as much a book hoarder as I am.

Story of our lives.

Frankly, I am realizing I have less desire to own books unless I like them. I’d rather get a book from the library I work at and if I truly love it after reading it, then at least I can go and buy a copy after the fact. The more I work for the library system I am in, the more I realize how much stuff we have and how accessible a lot of the stuff I want to read is. So I’ve been going through books I “kinda want to read” (the ones that still make me curious) and seeing if my work has them. If we do, I put it on my “For Later Shelf” and get rid of the physical copy, and if we don’t, I keep it in case that inkling is there.

Supporting the library has become more important to me as I’ve gotten older because circulation numbers matter and taking stuff out from the local library and showing the demand means a better chance for a budget increase, and frankly it just means that the books I am borrowing are “vacationing” at my house and are not staying with me indefinitely. When I teach books that way, I have less of a desire to hoard them and more of a desire to have less, which is my ultimate goal here.

Having a lot of stuff has become an exhausting thing. I want to just keep having less if I can keep at it. Once we move, I am going to take a picture of my Shelf of Shame for you all again to give you an idea of how much was purged/read. I’m excited to see if I’ll have actual space on shelves that will be less for TBR and more for other things. We shall see!

Book Riot‚Äôs Read Harder 2018 Challenge ‚Äď January Reads & Challenge Wrap Up

New year, new challenge! I LOVE doing the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, and January… man I am off to a good start. Of the twenty challenges, I’ve knocked out seven. Here’s what I read, what challenge it completed and some quick thoughts.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Completes Challenge #1: Read a book published posthumously.

Thoughts:¬†This book was such an emotional and difficult read for me. Part of it is being I could relate to a lot of what the author’s wife was describing in the Afterword of the book. Read about someone’s life as they are dying is an eye-open and uncomfortable experience, and this one definitely stuck with me even long after I completed it.


Tam Lin by Pamela Dean

Completes Challenge #3: Read a classic of genre fiction.

Thoughts:¬†This was a book I borrowed from my bestie forever ago, and I told myself that this would be the month I tackled it (it was even on my monthly goal list). This was all right, though at times for a fantasy novel I felt like it dragged on a bit too long. I wasn’t entirely fond of the characters either. One point though in it’s favour is I really found the abortion discussion really interesting, especially given this book was written in the early 90’s. Good, but definitely something I wouldn’t have picked up without a bit of a push.

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Completes Challenge #4: Read a comic written and illustrated by the same person.

Thoughts: This was such a magically little book that explores a family’s immigration story through a magic pashmina. This graphic novel was so heartwarming and comfortable, and while I am not Indian and have not had what happen to Priyanka’s family, the author does an amazing job of getting the read to empathize with the experiences in the story. The art was adorable and vibrant as well. Definitely worth checking out if you love graphic novels.

Crash Override by Zoe Quinn

Completes Challenge #14: Read a book of social science.

Thoughts:¬†This was such a valuable read regarding internet safety and combating online abuse. I learned so much from Quinn’s personal story, but also loved that she provided a variety of tools and resources regarding how to keep yourself safe, especially given how toxic social media has become in the last few years. She’s done some amazing work with her organization Crash Override and I am happy to hear she’s making video games again. If you’ve never played Depression Quest, please do — the message is so important

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

Completes Challenge #15: Read a book in one sitting.

Thoughts:¬†I loved the crap out of Katie O’Neill’s Princess Princess Ever After. Color me excited when I saw she had a new graphic novel out.¬†This such a sweet, calming graphic novel that takes place during different seasons. It’s a book about friendship, and written for loves of dragons and tea. I loved learning about tea and tea varieties at the end of the book as well! Plus the illustrations are gorgeous!


Voltron: Legendary Defender Vol 1. by Tim Hedrick

Completes Challenge #18:¬†Read a comic that isn’t published by DC/Marvel/Image.

Thoughts: My darling friend and fellow Voltron fanatic Nick gifted me this comic for Christmas in 2017 and OMG SO FUN. This is such a fun follow-up to the television series with little vignettes for stories. Seriously if you aren’t watching the new Netflix Voltron series, YOU NEED TO. I SHIP EVERYONE.



The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves

Completes Challenge #20: Read a book with a cover you hate.

Thoughts: I have made it clear I am not fond of the cover for this book, but OMG READ THIS BOOK. I want more people to check this one out because I feel like it completely went under a lot of people’s radars and it’s an amazing contemporary YA novel packed with some wonderful characters and a great story. Don’t believe me? Check out¬†my review and then get the book.

Winter Biannual Bibliothon 2018 – Jan.20th – 26th

It is time for the first round of the Biannual Bibliothon! The Winter 2018 challenges are up and I am determined I am going to be participating, even though I have a very busy work week ahead of me. The group book this time around is Otherworld¬†by Jason Segal and Kristin Miller, which I am debating on picking up. I put a hold on the audiobook so if it comes in, awesome, if it doesn’t I won’t stress about it. Truthfully, I think I’m going to just stick to the main six challenges and if I have time to do the group book, I will. Here’s a visual look at my TBR for the event!

The Challenges:

  1. Read a book you’ve never heard of: Heartwood Hotel: True Home by Kallie George
  2. Read a sequel: Heartwood Hotel: Great Gift by Kallie George
  3. Read a book about mental illness: A List of Cages by Robin Roe
  4. Read a book mention in another book/movie/tv show: Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (mentioned in Gilmore Girls!)
  5. Read a book under 200 pages. The Changeling by Sean Williams
  6. Read a backlist title: Palimpsest by C. M Valente (published in 2009)


Here’s hoping I can complete all of these by the 26th. Should be interesting. If you are participating in the Biannual Bibliothon, I’d love to know in the comments about what you are planning to read for the event.

18 Books to Read in 2018

I seem to like to make all the reading goals. It’s a problem I have at the beginning of every year because I tend to get super excited over all the books. Since I’m likely moving this year, my large focus is going towards books I own and have in my possession though there’s a few books on this list that I’ve had a hold on at my library that are coming to be expired, so I should probably read those soon. Let’s dig into the eighteen books that I need to read this year or consider unhauling! I am hoping to do a round up of thoughts at the end of the year, even if they are quick little one liners. Let me know if you’ve read any of these in the comments below.

Salvage (Salvage #1)
by Alexandra Duncan (Released: April 1st 2014 by Greenwillow Books)
This was a book that back in 2015 my co-blogger, Molly, was completely over the moon for. Space adventures are usually more her jam compared to mine, but I do love books that take place in space and show the discomfort of the unknown. My friend, Melissa, gifted both and the sequel, Sound to me, and both books have been calling my name.
False Hearts by Laura Lam (Released: June 14th 2016 by Tor Books)
This was a book recommended to me by my friend, Katherine, who raves about Laura Lam’s works. I’ve read Pantomime and the sequel (but have somehow missed out on the third book, I suck at keeping up with series). This one is pitched as Orphan Black meets Inception — sounds engrossing!
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
by Jill Lepore (Released: October 28th 2014 by Knopf)
This book was recommended to me by my best friend years ago. It examines the origins of Wonder Woman’s inception and the¬†polyamorous relationships that creator¬†William Moulton Marston had. Could be intriguing, and it’s one of the few non-fiction titles on my list.
The Devil You Know
by Trish Doller (Released: June 2nd 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens)
Recommended to me by my librarian friend, Liz, this is one of those books that I meant to get to when I had gotten it in the mail. I am a sucker for road trip stories, and this one may be a road trip filled with regrets. Should be fun fun fun times! (Or terrifying, which ever!)
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
by Stephanie Oakes (Released: June 9th 2015 by Dial Books)
I won this book in a giveaway back in 2015 and on the high of reading Jennifer Mathieu’s Devoted, picking this book up should have been a no-brainer. There is religious cults, murder, and intrigue. A thriller that I know once I do read, I’ll likely get sucked into without trouble.
Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles #8)
by Kevin Hearne (Released: January 26th 2016 by Del Rey)
I am trash for this series. I am also behind. I have work to do.
As Brave As You
by Jason Reynolds (Released: May 9th 2017 by Atheneum)
Hell, my name is Sam, and I am a Jason Reynolds fangirl. My goal is read every one of his books that has been released, and I don’t actually have many left. My colleague read this one and she said it made her feel so emotional. So yeah,a¬† typical Jason Reynolds book.
Sunny (Track #3)
by Jason Reynolds (Expected publication: April 10th 2018 by Atheneum)
See above. The Track series is amazing and you need to read it. RIGHT NOW.
Everything All at Once
by Katrina Leno (Released: July 25th 2017 by HarperTeen)
Katrina Leno is one of Molly’s favourite authors and since she has published three books, I have read zero of them. The worst part is I know I will adore them, though I have been warned that a lot of her writing might hit too close to home for me which is why I have avoided this one for awhile. However, this is the one I own, and this is the one I’m reading. I am hoping I love it.
Eliza and Her Monsters
by Francesca Zappia (May 30th 2017 by Greenwillow Books)
This book was gifted to me at the last #FrenzyPresents event. It also looks like a book I would be head over heels in love with as it focuses on fandom, mental illness, and a lot of subjects that are near and dear to my heart. I’ve only heard positive things about this one and I am looking forward to giving it a read in 2018.
Far from the Tree
by Robin Benway (Released: October 3rd 2017 by HarperTeen)
It’s a new Robin Benway book, and I forgot it existed! I only remembered because it won the¬†National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2017. I am made of fail, especially give my love of YA contemporary.
Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve #2)
by Marissa Meyer (Expected publication: January 30th 2018 by Feiwel & Friends)
I needed this sequel the moment I finished the first volume. It’s hard not to love the Lunar Chronicles universe, and I adore this cast. It’s also so wonderful to Iko to have her own story and this is just so well done. I hope I love volume two as much as the first.
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
by Ashley Herring Blake (Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie, gimmie more LBGTQIA+ middle grade fiction PLEASE. This one focuses on friendship, blossoming sexuality, and artwork. Between this and Herring Blake’s other release Girl Made of Stars, I really just need both right now.
Tess of the Road
by Rachel Hartman (Expected publication: February 27th 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers)
Hellllllllllloooooo new Rachel Hartman book with dragons. I LOVE Rachel Hartman’s fantasy novels, and Tess of the Road looks like it’s going to be quite the epic adventure. I need it now.
Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)
by Seanan McGuire (Released: January 9th, 2018)
2018 is the year I want to catch up on my Seanan McGuire books. I am behind on October Daye by two books, I’ve just caught up on InCrypid for the moment (then March will be another book and I will be behind again) and then there is this beauty, book three in the Wayward Children series. I can at least have that one completed this year, right? RIGHT?
Leah on the Offbeat
by Becky Albertalli (Expected Release: April 24th 2018 by HarperCollins)
Leah was one of my favorite characters in Simon vs the Homo-sapiens Agenda. I am interested to see what her story has in store. I can only hope it will be as fun and upbeat as Becky Albertalli’s other books.
Past Tense
by Star Spider (Expected Release Date: April 10th 2018 by HarperCollins)
I know nothing about this book other than it’s an LGBTQIA+ YA release. One of my wonderful publishing contacts thought that this would be a book I would enjoy, and I really hope she is right. It comes out in April, so I suppose I should get to this one soon.
In Search Of Us
by Ava Dellaira (Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
I enjoyed Love Letters to the Dead when it released, though I admit, I can’t entirely remember what it was about. This new release seems like it’s going to be very heartfelt, given it’s a mother/daughter story. I don’t know if I am emotionally ready for that, but I am going to try my best to not weep into a ball of goo.
Annnnnd these are my picks! I think this is overly ambitious, but this is me were talking about and I like to over extend because yay goals! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these, because I’d love to know which ones to prioritize. I think if I get through all the ones I own physically, my Shelf of Shame will thank me.

2018 Reading Goals!

I love making goals. In fact, I have a goals bullet journal that I use to keep myself on track. This journal encompasses all of my goals, which includes reading, of course! While I completed all of my main 2017 reading goals, any of the bookish events I did, I didn’t complete most of the time. However, I am perfectly okay with not having all my boxes checked. Maybe this year I’ll read some of those books I meant to… story of my life, right?

But in all fairness, I decided that this would be the year I tackle both my gaming and reading backlogs in a way that allows me to try and consume as much as I can. There’s going to be highs and lows, but that is the reality of having so much media to consume. I want to be able to pare down what I have and try to accumulate less if I can swing it. It’s going to be hard, but I know I can make a dent. This is why having the goals bullet journal is handy!

Anywho, here’s some of the goals I want to complete reading-wise in 2018.

  1. Read my own books –¬†Yeah, this is a no brainer. I have too many books and two TBR shelves and I really need to work on reading my own books. Working at the library it is so easy to get caught up in ALL THE BOOKS that I end up bringing home more stuff and neglecting what I currently own. I need to stop doing that. This month I will finish what I have out and then going on a library ban (minus movies and comics). If I can find audiobooks at work for some of the books I own, that I will consider to be okay. Here’s my “Shelves of Shame.” I am hoping by March to do an update and show you guys if I’ve made any real progress.

2. Read 10 Non-Fiction books –¬†As I have gotten older, I’ve been reaching for non-fiction more. I spent last year reading so many great non-fiction reads, so I want to continue exploring this genre further and see what else is in store for me.

3. Read 5 Books over 500+ pages – Also a doable goal. I am generally not huge on reading books over 500+ pages usually because I feel like they are pretty bloated. Still, I have series I have started with installments that are over the 500 page mark and need to be read. Again, totally doable goal.

4. Complete the 2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge – I LOVE the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. It is one of my favourite’s to do because it forces me to read a bit more diversely. I usually end up reading a lot of new favourites when I do this challenge. Since the year started, I’ve already knocked out two challenges. I’ll share my results at the end of the month with some thoughts!

5. Read 200 books.¬† – This is currently what my Goodreads goal is listed at. I finished almost close to 500 books (because I count comic trades) last year. I don’t think I’ll ever get that close again, but I sure as heck would like to try.

6. Unhaul books – If I am being honest regarding the shelves above, it is that I know I need to unhaul some items. Items I likely won’t read or have lost interest in. Frankly, I know I need to KonMari that shelf and see where it goes. I think it’s doable, especially since my husband and I are planning to move this year. I’ve been packing away stuff I know I am keeping, so I need to start looking at parting ways with stuff I may never read again or have no attachment towards.

7. Be content. – Reality is that reading is not a competition. It’s easy to get into that mindset. However, I read a lot because it’s just my passion. I love getting lost in a good book, and reading is a part of what I actually do for a living. If I don’t hit my goals, that is totally okay, If I do, even better. It’s trying to not be hard on myself if I don’t succeed and being content with whatever I actually manage.

Here’s to another successful year of reading!