Reading Rush TBR

Happy Monday and also, day one of the Reading Rush!

It’s been two days since the last readathon I participated in, but I am already SO ready for the Reading Rush! I’m looking forward to yet another whole week dedicated to reading as much as possible because like I’ve mentioned before, I am trying to read a lot before I head off into my first year of university.

WHAT IS THE READING RUSH?

The Reading Rush was formally known as the BookTubeAThon and takes place from July 22 @ 12am – July 28 @ 11:59pm. It is an entire week dedicated to reading as much as you can, and is filled with video, reading, and Instagram challenges!

Anyways, here is what I plan on reading for this Reading Rush!

Read a Book with Purple on the Cover

Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

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This has a liiitle purple on the cover so it counts! I mostly just really wanted to find a way to incorporate the last two books in the Raven Cycle into my Reading Rush TBR because I am LOVING my re-read of these books. Blue Lily Lily Blue is the third book out of four and I haven’t read it for a while so I kind of forget what happens, making me even more eager to jump into this book.

Read a Book in the Same Place Every Time

Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part Two by Gene Luen Yang

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For the Biannual Bibliothon, I picked up the first installment in this graphic novel series following the events of season three of the TV show, Avatar the Last Airbender. While it wasn’t EXACTLY what I expected, I did enjoy my time reading it and definitely need another short book for the readathon so this is perfect. Especially if I have to stay in the same place to read it, which I have decided will be outside on my deck.

Read a Book You Meant to Read Last Year

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

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Recognize this from my Biannual Bibliothon TBR? Well, you’re right because I never got around to it the first time! This is a book I’ve been thinking about for the past year or so because I have heard NON-STOP, great things about it. So, I decided this month it is definitely time to give it a read. It is a bit longer (over 500 pages!), but I am hoping that because it is apparently so good, I won’t want to stop reading it.

Read an Author’s First Book

We Hunt the Flame by Hasaf Faizal

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I follow this author on Twitter and honestly, her book promotion REALLY worked on me. Not only is the cover for this book beautiful, but the premise is really intriguing and something I am currently in the mood for. It has to do with a female hunter disguising herself as a man and being badass which I am ALL here for. I cannot wait to see if this book is worth the hype but honestly, I am sure it is. Even if it is the author’s debut!

Read a Book Featuring a Non-Human Character

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

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Okay so TECHNICALLY, Ronan is NOT completely human. He is a greywaren, a magician of sorts, which is NOT HUMAN. This counts because of all of that. This is the fourth and final book in the Raven Cycle which is sad, but I feel like during my first time reading this book, I didn’t really appreciate it for all it was. I sped through it and despite being in a readathon, I really don’t want to do that this time.

Pick a Book That Has More Than Five Words in the Title 

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Stevenson 

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Not only am I trying to read more classics making this book a great pick, but Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella so it is SUPER short. I have an edition where most of the book is short stories and the actual story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is like, 70 pages. Hopefully, the story is interesting and I can fly through those 70 pages in an hour or so! I haven’t dived into the world of gothic literature really, so I am looking forward to exploring this area of literature.

Read and Watch a Book-to-Movie Adaptation 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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At first, I was going to combine this challenge with the first and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but honestly, I am not really in the mood for a cozy, atmospheric story. SO, instead, I am going to read and watch City of Bones! It’s been a hot minute since I visited the world of the Mortal Instruments except for when I did my audiobook listen of (most) of the books a year or so ago. I am very excited though because I have such a special place in my heart for this book and even the movie!

 

That is all for my Reading Rush TBR and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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The Final Biannual Bibliothon – How Did It Go?

Happy Saturday!

Sorry for not posting on Thursday, but I just did not have the creativity or mindset to sit down and write a blog post that would be satisfactory for you all. Lately, my mind has been a cluttered mess of positivity and negativity, and I am only realizing just now that maybe I should try to work on fixing that.

Anyways, I DID want to make a post talking about how my Biannual Bibliothon went and what exactly I managed to read so I hope you enjoy!

TBR RECAP

  1. Read the Group Book – Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
    1. SUBSTITUTE – Free Choice – Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi
  2. Read a Host’s 5-star Read – Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
  3. Read a Book Based Off of the Cover – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  4. Read an Adult Genre Book – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  5. Free Choice – The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  6. Read a Book From an Author You’ve Never Read From – The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
  7. Read a Graphic Novel – Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part One by Gene Luen Yang
  8. Read a Book You Were Excited For but then Never Picked Up – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  9. Read a Predicted 5-star Read – Vicious by V.E. Schwab

How Did I Do?

Despite the nine days I had to read nine books, I only FINISHED four which is definitely not bad, but I was really wanting to challenge myself for this final Biannual Bibliothon. However, as I mentioned, my head’s been a little full lately, and it’s been hard to focus on a book when there are so many other things occupying my mind.

The books I did read though, were ones I really enjoyed my time with.

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi – 3.5/5 stars

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I flew through this book mostly because this is the fifth book in the series so I already know the characters and the world. However, I kind of forgot about what happened in Restore Me, so it took a little bit for me to clue into what was going on, but once I did it was smooth sailing. It wasn’t AMAZING, but it does have me curious about what will happen next. 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – 4.5/5 stars

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As always, I love reading these books and being in this world. While they aren’t perfect, after giving this book a re-read, I definitely think The Raven Cycle is in my top 5 favourite series. Just everything from the characters to the world to the story is so rich and immersive that I can’t help but be sucked in. 

Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part One – 3/5 stars

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First off, I was a little confused when I started reading this graphic novel because I thought it was the graphic novel interpretation of the TV series, but it is actually what takes place AFTER the events of the TV show. Not that I don’t want to know about that, but it just wasn’t exactly what I was expected. Also, Katara’s and Aang’s RELATIONSHIP in this was just…strange and forced in my opinion. It kept popping up everywhere and annoying me. I always thought I shipped them, but recently, I have been aboard the Katara x Zuko ship so…

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – 5/5 stars

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This book was SO well done and amazing, that I could not help but it give it 5 stars. I guess TECHNICALLY, this could for the challenge of reading an adult genre book as well because this book was not YA, but I am only going to count this for the challenge I originally associated it with. I loved the grey characters and grey world and superhero/villain aspect of it all because it made for a very interesting story. Now, I cannot WAIT to pick up Vengeful next!

While I only FINISHED four books, I am halfway through two others on this list. They are Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, which I was listening to the audiobook version of for the readathon but lately, I have NOT been in the audiobook mood so I only got halfway through. I am going to try and finish this book because I really like the story, but I think I will pick up the physical copy and try to finish it that way. If I can’t, oh well.

The other book I am halfway through and 100% will finish before Monday (which is when the Reading Rush begins!) is The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. Currently, I am 250 pages in so either I will finish today or tomorrow. I am not going to try and fit in any other books though because I definitely want to relax before the next readathon and also get some writing done for Camp NaNoWriMo which I may or may not have been neglecting recently…

 

That is all I got done for the FINAL Biannual Bibliothon and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you participated and what exactly you got done because I would love to know. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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How to: Get Out of a Reading Slump 2.0

Happy Thursday!

There are a lot of readathons happening in July so I thought it would be a good idea to share my tips and tricks on how to successfully free yourself from a reading slump.

  1. Pick Up an Old Favourite – My go-to remedy for a reading slump is to pick up an old favourite of mine that yes, I’ve read about 100 times, but love even more every time. For me, this is any Cassandra Clare book, Eliza and Her Monsters or Fangirl. I can read these books countless times and by the time I flip to the last page, they always have me wanting to consume more books.
  2. Don’t Force Yourself to Read – A lot of the time we fall into a reading slump because we are forcing ourselves to read when we don’t want to, or when it is a story we don’t want to read. NEVER force yourself to read (unless it’s for school because then you should probably just try to do it) because that only leads to getting no reading done at all.
  3. Let Yourself Be a Mood Reader – While I make TBRs for most months, they are created from books I really feel like reading at that moment. Luckily for me, if I feel like reading a book at the beginning of the month, I usually still will by mid-month but of course, this is not always the case. So, if you are in a slump or are edging towards one, take a look at your shelf and choose what you feel like reading. Forget your current read and your TBR. Just pick a book you want and read it.
  4. Watch Reading Vlogs – Whether I need some motivation to read or write or be productive, I love turning to vlogs for this. The act of watching someone else do what I want and need to do just fuels me with this sudden motivation to tackle whatever it is. Sometimes I have to watch the entire vlog, and sometimes another (but don’t get sucked into the vicious cycle of only watching these vlogs…try to limit yourself to 3 videos). Other times, I only need to watch the first few minutes and then I am good to go. Here is one of my favourites!
  5. Take a Trip to the Library or Book Store – I go to the library a LOT because it is only a 5-minute walk from my house. Even if I don’t pick out a book, sometimes it is helpful to just be surrounded by books. About 90% of the time, this makes me desperately want to pick up a book and spend the day indoors, absorbed in a new (or old) story.

Those are my 5 tips on how to wriggle free of a reading slump and I hope they were helpful! This month, I am participating in 2 readathons and in the next few days, I will have my TBRs up for them. Also, I will now be posting on Saturdays as well so look out for those new blog posts! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel – Book Review

Happy Monday!

Today I will be giving my honest, non-spoiler thoughts on Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel which was kindly sent to me from his publicist as an ebook in exchange for this review. All of these thoughts are what I truly felt while reading the book!

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In this adult science fiction, dystopian novel, Jared Cartwright is adventuring across the wasteland of his world that was destroyed in a nuclear war. Sealed off from the last remaining flickers of human life and society, Jared has to level up beyond normal human limitations using nanites in order to survive the cruel realities of this world. On his quest of survival, Jared comes to learn that dragons really do exist when he accidentally steals a dragon egg, facing companionship of it rather than punishment by its mother. Together, Jared and his new dragon, Scarlet, tackle a new task: finding the lost dragons and restoring them to their former glory. 

Firstly, I am not a huge sci-fi fan or even dystopian for that matter. However, I did think this book was a fun step outside of my usual reading taste. I think it is good to explore, or in this case, re-explore other genres apart from the ones you constantly read. While reading this, I did remember that I don’t usually pick up sci-fi because of the science aspect of the novel. Sometimes, it is hard for me to grasp if it is poorly explained and other times, I just don’t want to read something heavily influenced by science. That is just my preference though.

The wasted world we are taken into was interesting to explore, and despite my lack of adoration for science in novels, I found the whole using nanites to survive intriguing and easy enough to grasp. Along with the “levelling up” aspect of the novel. At first, I was worried that Jared levelling up would mean he became closer to being invincible, but luckily, the author did not take that route. Instead, Jared had to rest after each level up and learn how to harness his newfound abilities. However, he could still be beaten. I hate when characters are seemingly invincible in books because that is unrealistic and completely throws me from the story. In Radioactive Evolution though, Jared is anything but invincible and while he needs a reminder from Scarlet sometimes, he realizes that too.

As for Jared and Scarlet, the two main characters in this story, I couldn’t find a way to connect to either of them. Scarlet is a dragon who often, didn’t even seem like a dragon to me. Yes, she was slowly growing at the beginning of the book, but I often found myself having to remember that she was in fact, a dragon. I did enjoy her sassy and witty personality though, and how she always called Jared out when he was acting too tough. Jared, on the other hand, just did not leap off the page enough for me so I could not feel as if I knew him. Instead, I felt disconnected from him throughout the entire novel even as we dove into his backstory.

Before I get into my overall thoughts for the actual plot in the book, I wanted to talk about the writing in this book. I thought Richard Hummel had a very simple, yet effective style of writing that allowed me to visualize each situation pretty well. It was polished and professional which is obviously, what every reader expects when they pick up a novel. This made for a quick and easy read because I was not re-reading sentences trying to figure out what was going on. However, there were quite a few formatting errors throughout this book that definitely, because of the amount, threw me out of the story. There were several times when Scarlet’s dialogue wasn’t big or bold like it usually was, and it took me a while to realize it was her speaking. There were also times when Jared’s internal thoughts that he was communicating to Scarlet were not italicized and once again, confusion pulled me from the story. Other than those simple flaws, the writing was clean and crisp.

Now for the plot.

In the beginning, I felt as if we were not getting anywhere within the story. We were wandering around, following Jared and Scarlett as they met some low-risk obstacles. However, it did pick up as expected as the story continued on. Most of the obstacles and problems our characters ran into along the way didn’t pose too much of a high-stress threat to me. My experience reading this book was easy going and rarely did I find myself worrying about what would happen next plot-wise as well as to our characters. That isn’t to say the plot wasn’t interesting though. It moved at a medium pace and while learning about the world, the plot enticed me to learn more about this post-apocalyptic world. It just didn’t bring me to the edge of my seat.

Overall, I thought this was a good adult, sci-fi story about a man and his dragon trying to survive in this wasteland and save dragons as a species as well as humankind. The story was developed well and the writing was easy to get through. While it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat if you are a fan of sci-fi I would definitely give this book a read. 3.5/5 stars

If you want to check out the book, here is a link to its Goodreads page 🙂 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42514577-radioactive-evolution

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Reading + Writing Update!

Hellooo. I swear it has been 84 years since I have done a reading + writing update and I almost forgot to do one before the night was done but then while watching a reading vlog on YouTube I was like “YOU ALMOST FORGOT AGAIN!”. So, here I am, lying on my bed with my laptop in front of me, ready to update you all on what I read and wrote this past week. And spoiler alert, it was a pretty productive week.

This week, I finished two books and started another. That is pretty good for my reading habits lately, but considering I ended up having to go to school ONLY on Thursday (we got 3 snow days and already had Friday off…), I could have gotten a LOT more done. The first book I finished reading was one I started last Saturday I think, and that is Notes From a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life by Erin Wunker. This is a creative non-fiction book that is essentially a collection of essays about being a feminist in this patriarchal world we live in. There were three main chunks in it though, one focusing on rape culture, the other on friendship as feminists, and lastly, being a mother and feminist. I read this for my creative non-fiction assignment in my writing class, and found it really interesting and refreshing! I enjoyed it, but there was something that just kept me from really loving it though. Still, I liked it. Next, I finally, FINALLY finished reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and I am so proud of myself. I’ve been reading this book for a month, but yesterday, I finally read the last 50 pages. It’s not that I didn’t like this book, in fact, I really liked it, but it is so different from what I usually read, and much more dense that it took me a while to pick through. I’m glad I can finally check this classic off my list though, and I am even more excited to continue exploring Austen’s work. Next stop is Northanger Abbey! So, those are the 2 books I finished reading this week, but then I also decided to reward myself with one of my favourite books; To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was, and am since I’m still reading it, just in desperate need of a fun and warm-hearted contemporary so of course, I turned to my fave. Since I am already 150 pages into it, I’m sure I’ll be able to finish it in the next day or two! While I’m not 100% sure what I am reading next, I did pick up A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro randomly from the library, so maybe I will dive into that next.

As for writing, I was surprisingly productive. Since I had quite a few days off this week, I woke up earlier and fit in at least 1,000 words before my workout. It felt so good. According to my sticker method tracker in my planner, I wrote about 7,500 words which is so great since I haven’t been doing a lot of writing lately. I did fall off the waking up early and writing thing these last few days, but I’m hoping to try and make it a routine this coming week. However, I do get Monday off as well, and then once school comes back in full swing, I will see how easy it is to keep to this routine of waking up early and writing before the rest of the day. If I try, I think I can keep it up though.

Anyways, that is all for this reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

P.S. I have something coming tomorrow that is a liiitle bit different than what I usually post. It’s not really part of my whole re-defining a blog thing…or actually, maybe it is. It just wasn’t what I had in mind but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it!

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Reading + Writing Update!

This week was definitely a slower week, reading, writing, and really everything wise. It was a long and hard week and I can easily say I am happy it is over. However, I obviously got some reading and writing done so here is my quick update!

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Earlier this week I decided I needed a break from fantasy and was in desperate need of a fun, light hearted contemporary read. So, like always, I turned to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han! No surprise there. I am actually about 30 pages away from finishing so I might even be done by the time this goes up…if that is the case, I will probably pick up American Panda by Gloria Chao next because who actually sticks to their TBR? Not me, that’s for sure. Like I said, contemporaries just sound really appealing right now so why not?

As for writing, I am still ahead! Although, not as much. I am about a day or two ahead because I ended up taking another day off. Like I said, it was a hard week but I am hoping to get back into the swing of things this coming week. If all goes as plan, and if I manage to push through the current scene I am writing which is a) unplanned and b) difficult, I should reach my 40,000 word goal by Wednesday. But does the writing stop there? Of course not! That puts me at maybe halfway through draft one so there is still a long road ahead. Anyways, enough rambling! Here is my daily word counts from the past week:

Sunday: 1,551

Monday: 2,770

Tuesday: 1,732

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: 1,281

Friday: 0

Saturday: 2,490

Weekly Word Count: 7,642 words

That is all for this reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out the blog posts linked below, as well as my social media accounts. I have been super active on Instagram and Twitter so definitely follow those 🙂

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Popular Books I Haven’t Read

Up until this year I had been pretty caught up with all the hyped up new releases, but since the school year started I have fallen so far behind it may take YEARS for me to catch up which is why I am making this list to remind myself to actually pick these up eventually. If any of the books I list are amazing, let me know so I can get to them sooner!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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I cannot tell you how much I want to read this book, especially sine the movie will be out in the near future. This is book has seemed to be read by everyone and their sister, and has received amazing reviews so it only makes me want to read it more. Honestly, I have no good excuse to why I haven’t picked this book up, other than the fact that I have been trying to read the books on my shelf first!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adyemi 

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This was a book that I had no idea about until about a month before its release date and I immediately became obsessed. I want to read it soooo badly and everyone seems to love it so I am hoping to get my hands on it soon! I do know that it is a massive, fantasy book though so maybe I will wait till the summer so I can devote a solid three days to reading it.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black 

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The Cruel Prince is actually a book I own, so I could read it whenever and knock it off the TBR. However, my current TBR is sky high and sadly The Cruel Prince is somewhere close to the bottom…that isn’t to say I don’t want to read, because I really do! I adore books about faeries and lots of people I know have loved this book, so I am looking forward to diving into it when I get the chance.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Okay, technically I have read this book, but even after finishing it I could not remember a single thing I had just read. Why? I have no idea. The parts I very faintly remember, I do remember enjoying though. I really want to re read this book and then jump into the sequel, because I own both and also because I feel really bad saying this because I know it is a lot of people’s favourite book!

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 

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I really enjoyed the TV show adaptation of this book, but yes, I haven’t read the book yet. I know, I know, I am ashamed as well! However, there are quite a few mixed reviews on this book but since it does cover an important topic, I do hope that I will eventually get to it. Let me know if it is worth giving a read, or if I should just stick to the TV show!

Those are a few of the many popular books I haven’t read yet, and don’t forget to let me know which ones I need to read ASAP! Also, make sure you check out the blog posts linked below for more bookish/writing related content 🙂

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How To: Read More

Lately I have been covering a lot of writing related topics, like how to write everyday and how to develop healthy writing habits, but it has been a while since I did a sort of “reading tips” post so here I am! I thought it would be helpful to give my personal reading tips on how to read more and quicker too and I hope they help.

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  • Audiobooks, Audiobooks, Audiobooks – Honestly, audiobooks are the best things ever, and while I realize they aren’t for everyone, I do recommend listening to them especially when you are falling behind in your reading. Lately I have only been listening to them when I walk to school and back, or just walking somewhere in general, but even those few minutes each day helps a LOT. I just started my re-read for Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier two days ago and am already about 120ish pages in (which is pretty good for me during the school week). I recommend listening to audiobooks you have physically read before if you have a hard time paying attention to them in general.
  • Read In Short Sprints – Like writing, reading in short sprints throughout the day will amount to more than you think. Maybe you are really busy during the day so try reading for a few minutes when you wake up, on your lunch break or any other break, and then another few minutes in the evening. Even if it isn’t a lot, it will be more than if you didn’t read at all.
  • DNF That Book You Can’t Seem to Finish – Maybe the reason you aren’t reading a lot is because you are reading a book that is just dragging you down and wasting your precious reading minutes. You don’t have to love every book, and don’t force to read something you don’t want to read.
  • Read Multiple Books At Once – Like the audiobook one, this one might not be your cup of tea. However, reading multiple books at once is a lot less daunting than it seems. I tend to read two or sometimes even more books at once (usually not planned) and I make sure I devote time to each time. Sometimes I will read one book in the morning and work through the other one later that day. Sometimes I will even devote entire days to different books. Try it out and if it doesn’t work, oh well!

Those are a few of my personal tips on how you can read more and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out the links below to more of my blog posts! Thanks 🙂

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Reading/Writing Update!

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Merry Christmas Eve! This is the second last reading/writing update before the new year which is crazy. I cannot believe we are only a week away from 2018, I am hands down ready for 2017 to be over though, so I cannot wait. Anyways, this week hasn’t been an amazing reading week. I prefer to read right before bed but this last week I have been falling asleep as soon as I touch my bed…meaning I haven’t gotten a lot of reading done. Yesterday was my first day off school so I spent it lounging around and being lazy, but hopefully I have gotten that out of system and am going to make these next two weeks productive reading and writing wise…fingers crossed I can fight the laziness and procrastination. However, I did finish Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert this week, and I absolutely adored it! I will talk about my feelings om it more in my December 2017 Wrap Up which will be coming in a week or so, but for now, all you need to know is that it is definitely worth the read! I have also been re reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling, and am about 170 pages in. I am hoping I can finish it pretty soon because there are so many other books I want to get to but I also don’t want to rush it!

Lately I have been planning a creative non-fiction piece I am working on for a local writing contest. The deadline isn’t until March so I got plenty of time, but lately I have been leaving things to the last minute and while I do think so of my best work is produced that way, I don’t want to get in that habit. So I have slowly been mapping out my ideas and what the goal of my piece is, and I am really enjoying it! I am really glad I have decided to write more than just fiction, because while fiction will always be my favourite to write, I do really enjoy writing essays and creative non-fiction pieces!

That is all for my reading/writing update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: January 2017 TBR!