January 2018 Wrap Up!

January just zipped by, but luckily it turned out to be a fantastic reading month. I read a grand total of 13 books this month…yeah, 13 books! That is the most books I have read it what feels like forever, and now all I want to do is read, read, read. Sadly I can’t just read, read, read due to school and other responsibilities, but 13 books is pretty damn good. Anyways, here are the books I managed to read in the month of January!:

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

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I felt like starting off the new year with a book all about being a #GIRLBOSS and taking control of your life, which in my opinion, is the perfect way because it fuels your motivation to start the year strong. This book is all about how Sophia Amoruso went from selling vintage clothes on eBay to being the founder of the massive online clothing store, Nasty Gal, and it is incredibly inspring and motivating to all creative people like myself! 3.5/5 stars

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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When Dimple Met Rishi was such a cute read that I really enjoyed, and now I cannot wait to read more Sandhya Menon! This book follows Dimple, a stubborn, independent girl who doesn’t want the “ideal Indian husband” like her mother wants for her, but to build a career and life for herself by going to a summer program for young web developers. But when Rishi, a hopeless romantic whose parents want to set him up with Dimple, attends the same program in hopes of meeting Dimple, things don’t go exactly as planned. A fun, adorable read that did make me a little frustrated at times, but overall I really enjoyed it. 4/5 stars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Oh my…can we just talk about how this is the first book in such a long time that actually made me stay up into the depths of the night to finish it? Granted, it is a short book, but I was glued to the thing until I finished it and got that shocking ending. This book follows a “perfect” family who spends their summers on their grandparents private island. However, our main character, Candence cannot remember parts of her fifteenth summer due to an accident which resulted in her unconscious and face down in the water. We follow her as she tries to uncover what happens, and all the secrets that unfold along the way. I really enjoyed this gripping and suspenseful book, and gave it a solid 4/5 stars!

The Selection, The Elite, and The One by Kiera Cass

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I didn’t plan on re reading this trilogy, but I was in desperate need of a fun, easy read and just blew through these in a matter of days. The Selection is basically a combination of The Bachelor and The Hunger Games, and if that doesn’t call you I don’t know what will. I love this series despite some of the flaws (and there are quite a few), and was so happy to give them a re read! The Selection: 4.5/5 stars, The Elite: 4.5/5 stars, The One: 4.5/5 stars

Learn to Manage Your Time by Lucy MacDonald

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I saw this while browsing in the library and decided to pick it up since I really, really do need to learn to manage my time. Lately I have been overwhelmed and I feel like this book definitely gave me some valuable tips and tricks when it comes to managing and prioritizing my time. It has exercises and pictures, and was a nice, quick read! 3/5 stars

Peter Pan by James M Barrie

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This might have been the first book I listened to in audiobook format, and it just brought so much life to the story that I don’t regret that choice. Peter Pan is the well known story that follows three young children, Wendy, John, and Michael who follow Peter Pan, a boy who refuses to grow up, to Neverland and together they embark on adventures on the magical island. The book is magical and whimsical and I am glad I finally got the chance to read it! 4/5 stars

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

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This was another book I listened to as an audiobook and another I really, really enjoyed! I have read this book a few times before, so it was a lot easier to immerse myself in the story and understand what was going on, which is something that really helps people who easily get distracted…like me! Saint Anything follows a girl named Sydney who is used to being invisible with a brother who is always in the spotlight, but when her brother gets in trouble with the law, her entire family is suddenly thrust in the spotlight. We follow Sydney as she moves schools, meets a quirky, new group of friends and also, a potential love interest. 4/5 stars

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

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Yep, January was the month where I was obsessed with audiobooks so this was another book I listened to! This is the fourth book in the Percy Jackson series, which follows a boy named Percy Jackson who discovers he is the son of a Greek God. One of my favourite series because these books are just a bundle of fun, and I really loved jumping back into the series! 4.5/5 stars

London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton

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Honestly, I am NOT a picky reader whatsoever. Most of the time I love or really like whatever book is placed in front of me, however I found a lot of things I didn’t really like in this book, writing, character, development, etc wise. This book follows a girl named Alex who moves to London to follow her dreams of being a scriptwriter. There is some girl on girl hate which is kinda poorly executed, however I did enjoy following a main character who wanted to pursue a creative passion. Overall this book was a light hearted read, but I don’t think I will be continuing on with the series or duology or whatever this book is a part of.  3/5 stars

On Writing by Stephen King

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I have been slowly making my way through this book, soaking up all the valuable information that Stephen King has offered us, and I think this might have been one of my favourite reads of the month. I actually just finished it last night (January 31), right on time for my wrap up! On Writing starts off by Stephen King sharing his writing journey, like how he got started and what he did to get to the point he is now. And then in the second part, we get to more of the technical aspect of writing which was just as interesting as the first half! I love books on writing and highly, highly recommend this one. 4.5/5 stars

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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I was out of audiobooks to listen to so I decided to download Fangirl and see how much I liked it in this format…SPOILER ALERT, I loved it! I loved the audiobook just as much as the physical book, and am already itching to listen to it again. Fangirl follows Cath, a freshman in college who writes fanfic for her favourite series, Simon Snow. We follow Cath as she struggles to make friends, work through her fiction writing class, as well as conclude her fanfic series of Simon Snow. This book has amazing characters and a fun, cozy story line that I always adore. Highly recommend if you for some odd reason haven’t given this book a shot yet. 4.5/5 stars

Wow, that was long, sorry for boring you to death! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and definitely share what books you managed to read this past month. Was it a good or bad reading month, what was your favourite read? Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post: February 2018 Talk!

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2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 6: Reading Update!

I know for a fact that what I will be taking away from this readathon, is my newfound love for audiobooks. Especially ones of books I have read previously, thus making it easier to follow the story. Throughout this readathon I have listened to a current total of just over 2 audiobooks, and enjoyed them both! Audiobooks are great for readathons because there is so much time during the day where you can’t physically read a book, but a lot of those times you can spend listing to a book instead.

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Anyways, now for what I read today. This is quite random, but I decided to listen to the audiobook for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan, the 4th book in the Percy Jackson series. So far I am 4 hours and 30 minutes into it (163 pages) into it, and just decided to start listening to it because I enjoyed the books so much, that I was sure the audiobook would be another amazing experience. So far I am really enjoying it, but no surprise there. I also started London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton, and I am liking it so far. The writing is a little weak in my opinion, but I am having fun following the main character as she follows her dreams in London. I am only on page 43 but I’m just so exhausted that I can’t bring myself to read anymore. Hopefully I will be able to power through it tomorrow since it is under 400 pages!

Day 6 Reading Count:

Books Finished: 0

Pages Read: 206

That is all for my day 6 reading update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 6: Favourite/Most Memorable Book of 2017!

Biannual Bibliothon Info:

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2018 Biannual Biblothon TBR!

Despite January being a busy school month, and the month I am jumping back into writing, I am determined to not pass up a perfectly good readathon, especially since I have an overall reading goal of 75 books this year…anyways, if you don’t know what the Biannual Bibliothon is, it is a week long readathon hosted by some amazing BookTubers, where readers from around the world participate in reading, video, blogging and social media challenges twice a year. The readathon will take place on Saturday, January 20th to Friday, January 26th and will be a lot of fun! There are seven reading challenges to choose books for, and here are all the books I plan on reading.

#1: Read the Group Book

The group book is a book that you can read if you want, and if you do you can participate in their live show held after the end of the readathon. I will not be reading the group book this year, but if you are interested they will be reading Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller. I have no idea what it is about but I am sure it will be good!

#2: Read a Sequel

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At first I was going to read Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare, but then I realized I was kidding myself thinking I could read this massive book (no matter how much I love it) during the few days of the readathon. Instead I decided to go with a shorter book that I haven’t read in a while, and that is The Elite by Kiera Cass. This is the second book The Selection series which is described as “The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games” which are two things I love so of course I am excited to re read the second book. 336 pages

#3: Read a Book You Never Heard of Before

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I have heard of this book before, but I don’t really have any idea of what it is about so I decided it fits the guidelines enough, and that book is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I have heard this book is amazing so hopefully I can zip through it and I will love it just as much as everyone else does. 531 pages

#4: Read a Book About Mental Illness

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My TBR was in desperate need of a contemporary to make this readathon a smoother process, and considering I read this book the first time in just a few hours, I think it is fitting to add to my TBR. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen is a fun and easy to read contemporary that does involve mental illness when the main character’s sister is diagnosed with an eating disorder. We watch at how this impacts the family and the main character, Annabelle, and how this affects her life. 371 pages

#5: Read a Book That Was Mentioned in Another Book/Movie/TV Show, etc

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The trick to a readathon is picking short and quick books and that however, is something I haven’t really been doing…so I thought it would be smart and good for myself to choose a really short book and that is Peter Pan by James M Barrie. I have not read many classics, and since this is a short one I am hoping I will be able to get through it easily and then get encouraged to read more and more. I am really excited to read this book and I should be able to get through it in an hour or so! 176 pages

#6: Read a Book Under 200 Pages

Doubling up on challenges is also a smart thing to do with readathons, so I will also be reading Peter Pan for this challenge. It is a total of 176 pages which is obviously under 200 and I cannot wait to dive right into it!

#7: Read a Backlist Title

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For this challenge, you are supposed to read a book that was published before 2017 and I am thankful for this challenge because it doesn’t allow me to pick up a new release when I have so many unread books that have been sitting on my shelf since the beginning of time. Anyways, for this challenge, I will be reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak! I am really excited and fingers crossed I actually read it, because I know I will love it like everyone else does. 552 pages

So those are all the books I plan to read for the 2018 Biannual Bibliothon and if you are looking for anymore info on it click the words “2018 Biannual Bibliothon” because they are linked to their YouTube channel! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post “Readathon Recommedations” if you are in need of some smart and entertaining book recommendations 🙂

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Reading/Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

I am currently working my way through Stephen King’s “On Writing” and continuously thinking why I haven’t read this sooner. A year ago I took it out from the library but never got around to actually read it, and then this last month I put my name on the waiting list for it, got it again and decided to give it a try. Surprise! I am loving it. I am just over half way through and if all goes to plan I will finish it before the day is done because it is that good! The next book I really want to read is Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare…it would be a re read but I just really, really want to dive back into the world of Shadowhunters and also want to see the amazing characters in this book. Hopefully I will be able to finish Lady Midnight before the 20th, because I have decided to take part in the 2018 Biannual Bibliothon! I will have my TBR up soon as well as more info on this week long readathon, but I cannot wait for it to begin.

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Lately I have been writing so, so much which is amazing and I love it, however I do think last night I overworked myself. The past three days I have been writing at all hours of they day possible, but today I think I will just write later in the evening and try and resort back to my usual writing routine because sadly, I do have other things to get done…like my school work!

That is all for my reading/writing routine and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: My Writing Routine!

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My Writing Routine!

I made a blog post about my writing routine sometime in 2017, but it has changed a lot in the last month so I decided to make a revamped version so you guys can see what my process of writing looks like! I hope you enjoy and make sure to comment what your writing routine looks like.

6:00pm

Lately I have been writing at this coffee shop like three minutes from my house. It’s big, quiet and has lots of cute writing nooks. Since I go there to write multiple times a week, I usually just order a green tea so I don’t run out of money by next week. Once I have my tea, I open Spotify on my phone and listen to Spotify’s “Productive Morning” playlist because it is a massive playlist of calm music. I cannot write easily to music with lyrics, which is why I like this playlist so much, so if you are in search of a playlist like that then check it out!

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6:15pm

By now I have my music playing, my tea, and my Word document open on my computer so I dive into writing. I try not to write with any particular goal in mind, because I have realized that it is a lot harder for me to write with the pressure of reaching a goal of say 1000 words. Despite that, it is unusual for me to leave the coffee shop with at least 1000 words done.

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7:00-7:15pm

This is the time I usually finish writing for the night unless I am so distracted by my writing that I end up staying an extra thirty minutes or so. Sometimes this happens but I am usually too tired to stay any longer. As long as I get 1000 words down, I feel accomplished though!

That is all for my writing routine and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 5 Resources for Writers!

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5 Resources for Writers!

The internet has created an insane amount of resources for writers, but here are 5 of my personal favourites to help narrow down the picking. I hope you enjoy!

Writing Exercises

Feeling stumped? Check out this website for writers where they have an endless supply of generators to get your creative juices flowing like random first line, character, plot generator, and a “what if” scenario. I could spend hours just playing with the generators, so this is definitely one of my go to websites when I have absolutely no idea what to write.

Pinterest 

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I could not make a writing resource post and not include Pinterest, because it is the holy grail when it comes to visualizing your story. Not only can you create boards of your story setting and characters, you can also scroll through their endless amount of creative writing prompts. When I really need to picture a setting or character of mine, I automatically go to Pinterest, and also if I want some writing prompts! Check out my Pinterest linked below because I have a board with a lot of writing prompts I have found over the past year.

WritersDigest

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If you are a writer, you have definitely checked out the WritersDigest website because it is amazing and so helpful. Not only do they have writing contests and classes, but they also have free writing downloads that are really interesting and helpful when it comes to striving to pursue writing. Some of my personal favourites of the free downloads are “How Do I Write and Sell Short Ficition” and “Selling Your Work Online”.

The Write Life

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I follow them on Twitter and I always look forward to the bits of information they give out, because it has really made me aware of things I wasn’t before, like the fact that you have to write a cover letter when submitting to literary magazines. What a life saver! On their website, you will find tips on freelancing, craft, blogging, marketing, and a few other things so definitely click their name and it will take you to their website!

Susan Dennard

Susan Dennard is the author of a few different YA books, one of the being the bestselling book “Truthwitch” and on her website is the motherload of writing advice. If you sign up to her newsletter, you will also occasionally receive newsletters on writing in your email (not very often though so don’t worry). Honestly, you could spend hours on her website soaking up every bit of information she has shared with us aspiring writers and I really encourage you to check it out!

Those are my 5 favourite writing resources that I always turn to when I need ideas or advice, and hopefully you found them helpful! If you have any writing resources you use, comment them below because I’m always looking for more. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Balancing Writing with a Writing Life

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Twitter: @zoermathers

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25 Inspiring Writing Prompts!

Who doesn’t love a few writing prompts to get their story gears moving and whirling in their brain? I love using writing prompts to get story ideas, or just use them to freewrite and get out of a writing rut. So here are a few to inspire and motivate you to get writing!

(By the way…these are all prompts taken from Pinterest so I do NOT take credit for them!)

  1. No one expected an angel to set the world on fire.
  2. Write a myth explaining lightning or thunder.
  3. The princess had many charms, but looks had never been one of them.
  4. The human mind is truly the scariest thing of all.
  5. A damsel in distress who is really the villain of the story.
  6. The prophecy was written in sharpie on the wall of a gas station bathroom.
  7. “I accept dollars, euros, sterling silver, broken hearts, and secrets.”
  8. She added a charm to her bracelet for every life she took.
  9. Can you kill a monster without becoming one?
  10. Use the lyrics of your favourite song to write a story.
  11. Write a story without letting the reader know if the main character is the “good guy” or the “bad guy”.
  12. Write a myth about what an eclipse means.
  13. He found the journal on the train.
  14. You are a “dream bender”, a psychic who can change people’s dreams.
  15. Mirrors are doors to other dimensions.
  16. “It’s hard to have a heart when you have stopped so many others.”
  17. “Who were you? – before they broke your heart?”
  18. In my free time, I sank ships.
  19. He could see her face in his dreams but he couldn’t remember meeting her.
  20. It can take a very long time to realize you are immortal.
  21. Magic isn’t a cure…it’s a curse.
  22. An ancient spell book has been stolen.
  23. Hell isn’t a place. It’s a state of mind.
  24. Sunburns are painful, but moonburns are worse.
  25. The evil queens are princesses that were never saved…

Those are a few writing prompts and hopefully this will also help you fuel some ideas for NaNoWriMo which is right around the corner! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: NaNoWriMo!

Favourite Reading Snacks

I love reading and I love food so when you put the two together it creates something magical. Anyways…here are a few of my favourite snacks/drinks along with the recipes! Hope you enjoy 🙂 (P.S. All these recipes were found on Pinterest and the websites they were taken from will be mentioned below)

Pineapple Paradise Green Smoothie:

1 avocado, medium ripe

2 cups of pineapple chunks, fresh or thawed

2 cups of spinach

1/2 cup of ice cubes

3/4 cup of water

This is just a really refreshing and healthy drink that satisfies my empty stomach while reading! Found on culinaryhill.com

Banana Split Bites:

3 bananas

1/4 lb cored pineapple

6 strawberries

1 cup of dipping chocolate (melted chocolate/chocolate chips)

1/4 cup of peanuts (or anything else to coat the bottom like coconut shavings, sunflower seeds, etc)

12 popsicle sticks or wooden skewers

Directions:

Cut strawberries in half and for each strawberry half cut an equal piece of banana and pineapple. Place pineapple on skewer first the banana and THEN the strawberry. Place into the freezer for 10 minutes, and while it is in the freezer, line a tray with wax paper or parchment paper. Put nuts or seeds on a small plate for dipping. Dip cold fruit into chocolate dipping and then into nuts and then place on prepared tray.

This just tastes so good and you can always substitute different fruits for this recipe if you think it will work! Found on lifeloveliz.com

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Cups:

2 cups of old fashioned oats

1 tsp of baking powder

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 cup of milk

1 egg

1/2 cup of mashed banana (about 1 1/2 medium bananas)

1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced

Directions:

Preheat oven right away to 375 degrees Celsius. In a large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, lt and cinnamon. Add the milk, egg and mashed banana and mix until combined. Stir in apple. Grease a muffin tin and fill each cup with the mixture all the way to the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

This is a really great recipe for on the go situations as well as reading. I like to have these ready for breakfast when I go to school because they are easy, quick and taste amazing! Found on happyhealthymama.com

I hope you enjoyed all of these delicious recipes and hopefully you will try at least one of them out!