august tbr

I stopped doing monthly TBR posts a while ago because I literally never followed them. I would always just put a bunch of new releases for the month that I wasn’t sure if I was really in the mood for or not and then never read any of them. So I’m doing a TBR post again with a mix of new releases I want to read and stuff I’m just in the mood for, and I guess we’ll see how it goes.

 

books listed on my goals post

  • Spin the Dawn | Elizabeth Lim – I’ve been wanting to read this book, which was comped to Mulan x Project Runway, since the deal was announced, and definitely since I got my eARC of it forever ago that is still sitting on my Kindle…unread. I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book, plus I’m super behind on YARC, so this is one I NEED to read.
  • Wicked Fox | Kat Cho – This is one I wasn’t sure if I would read because I didn’t get an eARC or physical ARC, but I bit the bullet and decided to buy it because I read inside it and it just looked too good to miss. I want to make sure I read my eBook of this ASAP because I always forget I have a book when I buy it for Kindle.
  • Wilder Girls | Rory Power – I’m so embarrassed that I haven’t read this book yet. I’ve had an ARC for forever and I have been dying to read it…though maybe not since I haven’t managed to read it yet? It’s HORROR and SAPPHIC and just…how can that go wrong???

 

other books

I bought both TEETH IN THE MIST and THE WEDDING DATE in July, so I want to make sure I read them before too many months pass by. I loved Dawn Kurtagich’s first book, THE DEAD HOUSE and keep meaning to read more by her, so I’m hoping TEETH IN THE MIST lives up to my expectations. I’ve been really enjoying romance this year, so I’m hoping THE WEDDING DATE fills that interest for me as well.

 

august releases

  • House of Salt and Sorrows | Erin A. Craig – This book appears to be part of a genre I have dubbed Ocean Gothic, and is a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling set in a mysterious manor by the sea. I’ve been excited for this one for a while so I hope it lives up to my expectations.
  • As Many Nows as I Can Get | Shana Youngdahl – This one sounds like a typical contemporary YA romance in the vein of John Green, who is overrated, but for some reason I get good vibes from this book so I’m definitely going to read it.
  • Sea Witch Rising | Sarah Henning – AKA THE SEQUEL TO THE BEST BOOK, SEA WITCH!!!!! I’m so psyched for this one and was so sad there were no ARCs but I will just buy it like a normal person because I have to have it on my shelves next to my mini SEA WITCH collection. If you haven’t read SEA WITCH yet, do yourself a favor and GO DO IT!!
  • A Dress for the Wicked | Autumn Krause – I vaguely remember this one also being comped to Project Runway, so obviously I have to read it because I will read literally all the Project Runway comps.
Continue Reading

august goals

I couldn’t think of any end of old month/beginning of new month puns, so woohoo, you are all saved from my bad jokes/sense of humor. It’s also not quite a new month yet, but as I mentioned in my wrap-up post, I’m doing my monthly posts a little early because I’m starting my new job and probably wont’ have time to write them during the actual week. So here we are with the monthly goals post. Does anyone enjoy these or do I write them just for myself? The world may never know.

 

july goals

  • Read 5 novels.       X        I did not do this. I also intended to read 5 YA prose novels specifically, but 2 were MG, 1 was a graphic novel, and 1 was a poetry collection.
  • Read 2 July releases.            XX        I did not do this. Oops.
  • Watch one movie per weekend.            X!         I honestly can’t remember if I did this. I did it for three weekends at least. I may have to repeat this goal again.
  • Reduce my Diet Coke intake again.                  XX         Ummmmm, I EPICALLY failed at this goal. I actually increased my Diet Coke intake.
  • Have 4 bottles of water 5 days out of the week.         XX       Did not do this either.
  • Work on my WIP ideas once a week.          XX      Lol. lolololol. I did not do this even once. I forgot this goal existed. I blocked it out of my mind so I wouldn’t have to do it. Bad Mel.

 

august goals

  • Read 5 novels. Trying this goal again.
  • Read SPIN THE DAWN, WILDER GIRLS, and WICKED FOX. I sometimes make a TBR for myself for the month but never stick to it. But I do really want to make sure I read these three books, so I’m making reading them an official goal for the month.
  • Finish THE RAVEN BOYS and DAISY JONES AND THE SIX. Maybe I should make a monthly TBR post for this month. But I am determined to finally finish these books even though it’s taking me forever and a half.
  • Reduce my diet coke intake. Preferably one can per day, two max.
  • Try one new recipe per week. I’ve been getting very bored of the food I’ve been having, probably because I tend to make the same foods until I get tired of them. So I want to try one new recipe that I did not make the week previously every week.
  • Start research/outlining/planning of my WIP ideas. I guess I can’t really call them WIPs because they are not IP yet. But I want them to be! So I want to start doing research and planning to write them. No set number of times this month.
  • Start working towards my daily step goal again. I seriously fell off the wagon in terms of my 10,000 step daily goal in July, so I want to try to do that again in August because getting my steps does make me feel better and reduces my anxiety. Plus it wakes me up in the morning. So I want to start doing this again, at least 4 times per week.
Continue Reading

july rewind \\ change is in the air

I’m doing my monthly rewind a couple days early this month because by the time this post goes up I’ll be starting my new job (!!) and will likely be too busy to blog. So I am wrapping up July a couple of days early as a result.

 

things that happened

  • I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!!!! (ish). The (ish) is because it’s at my same library system, but it’s at a new branch, and it’s a CHILDREN’S job instead of teen. Back in December I realized that children’s librarianship might be a better choice for me, and mid-July I got a call asking if I still wanted to do that, and then I was transferred. I have a lot of emotions about leaving because I do really like my coworkers and my kids, but I think in general working at a smaller branch in the children’s department will be a good change for me and fit my personality and skills and interests better. Plus, most people I’ve talked to about it think the branch I’m going to will be a good fit for me and my former manager said she thinks I’ll be a “great” children’s librarian, which is very affirming and gives me more confidence that I’ll love and be better at this job than I am with teens.
  • I saw a friend! It really is newsworthy when I see friends in my not-working time because it happens so infrequently, lol. This particular friend and I tend to see each other on an every six months basis for some reason even though we live not an unreasonable distance away. I don’t know why this happens because he is always enthusiastic about getting together and we enjoy our talks about music and life but then don’t see each other for another six months. I hope I can fix that though.
  • We had another annoying neighbor incident. I don’t know what it is about this apartment, but my boyfriend and I keep getting stuck next to people who have no sense of basic human consideration and decency. This month, he had a screaming fight with a neighbor because she refused to turn down her super loud music that I could hear in the bedroom with my hearing aid turned off and played it every night for a week from 8-11pm. I honestly don’t understand why people think it’s okay to play music so loudly that it bothers all their neighbors. Even our upstairs neighbor was bothered and banged on our floor because he was annoyed and thought it was us. Anyway, it all sorted itself out once my boyfriend called management. I can’t wait until we can afford a house and not have to deal with annoying apartment neighbors. I can’t tell anymore if I hate this particular apartment or hate living in apartments in general. Ugh. Anyway.
  • I started a kidlit recommendation Instagram. Kind of. I’m still not very consistent with it because Instagram is not really my thing, but I have a new Insta at @urlibrarymom that focuses on kid’s books. My thought is that it would help hold me accountable for reading more picture books and kidlit in general on my journey to becoming a children’s librarian.

 

what i read

I really…dropped the ball on reading this month. I meant to read 5 YA novels, and I only read one. I did have a variety of reading, but I only read 4 books in total, which is not as much as I would like. My favorite book was definitely THE GRAVITY OF US by Phil Stamper, which was spacey and queer.

I also liked Megan Boyle’s collection of blog posts, which was apparently marketed as a poetry collection even though it’s not strictly poetry, which is interesting. I found a couple of the posts a little triggering, but the writing was interesting and I would be curious to read LIVEBLOG by her, which is a collection of all her blog posts. She started a liveblog of minute to minute posts about her life in the hopes of becoming a better person if she had an audience to judge her thoughts and actions, which apparently caused a major public breakdown a while ago, but still, the writing and concept are interesting.

 

writing updates

I don’t know why I’m including this again when I have approximately zero writing updates to give this month. I had been feeling super inspired by two particular ideas, but then life happened and got in the way and I lost motivation. But I still kind of want to start doing some serious outlining/planning/research for my two ideas.

I still am interested in writing a loose, Southern Gothic sapphic Jane Eyre retelling where Helen Burns (Jane’s best friend at Lowood) doesn’t die. There will still be a Rochester, but he will be creepy and possibly a serial killer. Also ghosts and possession and horror elements that I have yet to decide upon.

I also got interested in doing a Harriet the Spy (aka one of my favorite things as a child) retelling, but in this one, Harriet is a college student who has anxiety and has trouble making friends, so she writes an RPF (real-person fanfic) blog about kids at her school that goes viral even as she makes friends in real life. It will also be queer and the love interest will be nonbinary. I have already decided this even though I have no other plans for it. I will definitely have to read fanfiction, especially real-people fanfiction, which may be creepy, but it’s RESEARCH.

 

around the blogosphere

I didn’t do much blog hopping this month so this will be a very short section. Oops.

  • May wrote about things you shouldn’t feel guilty about as a book blogger
  • Paulina asked if she is a seasonal reader

 

blogging life

This month I reached 458 blog followers! Thank you all so much for sticking with me. Caro also nominated me for best adult book blogger for the 2019 book blogger awards. I was so super flattered to get the nomination because I haven’t been on this blog for that long and I really admire Caro’s blog as well and always enjoy talking with her in the comments, so that was a major highlight.

I also started writing a lot more witchy-themed posts. When I switched over to self-hosting and Cotton Candy Book Witch back in January, I intended to do this, but for the most part have stuck to my usual bookish-only posts. I’ve been really liking making the change to more witchy posts and feel that fits my brand and what I want to do with this blog. One thing I would like to do is incorporate my cats into the blog more, since I had graphics made of them when I first started this blog, introduced them as my familiars, and then never got around to doing posts with them. I just haven’t figured out a clever way to incorporate my kitties into my blog.

I’d also like to make my bookstagram more witchy and feature the cats more. My boyfriend and I had a cat instagram with book recs a while ago, but he wants me to make a new catsagram so people can’t find it through his information. I’d love do do an instagram that incorporates bookish and personal tarot readings as well as cat book recs, but as I’ve discussed numerous times, I’m dreadful at picking an aesthetic.

Continue Reading

the sunday post // 7-28-19

weekly happenings

  • I had my last week at my current job. I continued preparing to be a children’s librarian and said goodbye to some of my kids. It was admittedly slightly gratifying that most of the ones I told were sad that I’m leaving. Also one of the new staff who hasn’t been here long made a point to say goodbye to me which made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I’m a little sad to be leaving some people there, but ultimately I’m excited about my new position and think it will be a really good thing for me.
  • Nothing else really happened.

 

last week on the blog

 

next week on the blog

*subject to change

  • July Rewind
  • August Goals
  • August TBR

 

books read

I did not finish any books this week.

 

currently reading

I cannot wait for the week in which I get to say I have finished these books. They are taking me forever and a half.

Continue Reading

tarot reading: the raven boys

Okay, so I am having a total tarot field day with THE RAVEN BOYS. There’s actual tarot in the book that plays a role in the story, so obviously I had to do my own tarot reading for one of the characters. I was especially intrigued by Whelk’s tarot reading scene where he got the Blue card (aka Page of Cups), so I decided to do my own for him using my Kawaii tarot app, based on the Kawaii tarot deck that is the most accurate deck I have, and DAMN…things got WEIRD.

***also, please note I am currently reading the first Raven Cycle book so please no spoilers in the comments. Probably don’t need to say that but just in case***

Okay, so.

The question I asked was whether the character Barrington Whelk, the vaguely creepy Latin teacher at Aglionby, will find Glendower (I think I’m spelling that relatively correctly), the Welsh king that Gansey and Co. want to find, with a three card reading. The three cards represent Whelk’s past, present, and future.

 

past

IMG_4502

So, the thing I don’t like about the Kawaii tarot app is that it doesn’t do reversed card meanings. I haven’t decided yet if I want to use reversed meanings in my own readings, but I do feel it brings more nuance to tarot readings. This card would also make more sense with Whelk’s story if it were reversed. Upright, it means that you’re working hard and though it might not bring monetary gain, you are taking yourself to a higher place in your career. If it were reversed, I would take it to mean that Whelk feels stagnant in his career and probably add in something about the monetary gain being what he desires most.

That would definitely fit with Whelk’s background story more because he teaches at Aglionby but hates it because it reminds him of everything he has lost. I could have also drawn this card because honestly I feel the Kawaii deck tends to err on the side of positivity, so it probably just wants Whelk to be happy even though he is a deeply unhappy, dissatisfied person.

 

present

IMG_4503.png

The Wheel of Fortune represents the cycles of our lives and how our luck can go up or down. The interpretation of this card really depends on how you personally view luck and chance, and can also depend on the other cards present in the reading. Since I chose to interpret the Eight of Pentacles as reversed and negative, I see this card as indicating that Whelk’s fortunes are about to change, so the answer to my original query about whether he will find the sleeping king might be that he is on the path to find him.

 

now, this is where it gets freaky.

I have no control over which cards I draw. When I do a physical reading with actual cards, I guess I could have somewhat more control. But this reading I did with the app, which chooses cards automatically. This is the card that it chose for Whelk’s future:

future

IMG_4504.png

What’s freaky about this, is that if you know this series really well, you know that Maura, Blue’s mother, believes that Blue is represented in the tarot deck by the Page of Cups card. When Maura and her friends Calla and Persephone participated in Whelk’s reading in the book, they all drew the Page of Cups card as the final card in their readings, which caused Maura to stop the reading because she didn’t want Blue to be involved and saw something that disturbed her.

I also drew the Page of Cups for Whelk.

My Kawaii tarot deck is often freakishly accurate, but I have never had something quite so uncannily accurate happen yet.

Anyway.

This card implies that Blue is inextricably linked to Whelk’s future. Because of her unintentional skills in amplifying supernatural powers, abilities, and general happenings, I can only guess that Whelk will try to use blue in another ritual to find the ley line, like he did in the ritual that killed his friend Czerny (BUT DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE THAT THOUGH???) Whether she likes it or not, Blue will be a part of Whelk’s journey to find the sleeping Welsh king.

 

thumbnail

^behold the freakishly accurate reading

(isn’t that creepy though)

Continue Reading

www wednesday // 7-24-19

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

 

just finished

34324434._SX318_

In preparation for starting my career as a children’s librarian next week, I have been trying to get started on reading some picture books and some chapter books and middle grade books. The first chapter book I decided to give a try was Mariko Tamaki’s novelization of the LUMBERJANES graphic novels. It was cute and I definitely would have liked them when I was a kid. I wish Lumberjanes had been around when I was entering middle school. It has strong messages about friendship and I hope I get to recommend this one a lot at my new job.

 

currently reading

Still reading:

  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Just started:

  • Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn

The next middle grade adventure I’m having is reading Connie Glynn’s UNDERCOVER PRINCESS. I only know about this one because I follow Glynn on Instagram and so far this book is just as whimsical and pastel vibes as her Instagram feed. It’s about a princess who wants to be a normal girl and a normal girl who wants to be a princess, so when they cross paths at a boarding school, they switch places. I have only met the princess so far. I’m liking Glynn’s writing style a lot for the little I’ve read of the book.

 

reading next

42133479._SX318_

I’m debating between reading a bunch of different books next but I just bought WICKED FOX on Kindle so I should probably read that one before I forget I have it like I generally do for all my Kindle books that I buy. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

 

 

Continue Reading

how i use tarot

I was having a conversation with my mom a couple weeks ago about my blog, and specifically, witchy tarot posts on my blog. I commented that even though I enjoy doing them and often get comments from people saying they love that kind of post, that is not reflected in the views I get. She made an interesting observation that my tarot reading posts aren’t actually predicting the future. My immediate reaction was “well, that’s not what I use tarot for.” This made me start thinking about what I do use tarot for and how it plays into my life. So today, I’m sharing how I use tarot so maybe people will understand more what it is and can be:

how i use tarot

  • Clarity in a situation. Tarot is a really good way to gain clarity in a particular situation. Even though I am generally very articulate about how I feel about things, sometimes I can still feel a little lost about a particular situation, and drawing a tarot card or two can help me figure out and reflect upon how I’m actually feeling about what’s happening.
  • Making a decision. I am extremely bad at making decisions because of my anxiety and general indecisiveness, so drawing cards that represent two options in a decision can help me discover how a certain path in whatever decision I’m making might make me feel. Of course, tarot cards like to play tricks sometimes and occasionally when I’m drawing cards because the path is unclear in a decision, I will draw a card that basically says the path is unclear.
  • Daily tarot draw. Sometimes I’ll draw one or two cards during the day to center myself and collect my thoughts about whatever is happening that day. I find drawing a tarot card without asking any particular question and just reflecting on the day a very grounding practice that helps me gain focus and clarity on a more general, daily level.
  • Reflecting on the past, present, and future. One of my favorite tarot spreads is a simple three card spread with one card to represent the past, present, and future. Often, this helps me clarify how the past is influencing my present, and what could happen in the future because of my past and present. I am not very good at staying in the moment, so the present card usually helps me figure out where I am in the moment a lot.
  • Reflecting on my emotions. Though I am usually good at knowing how I’m feeling, tarot helps open me to the possibility of what I could think about a situation and opens me up to new perspectives on whatever I’m doing a reading for.
  • Taking stock of my mental health. Obviously reflecting on my emotions bleeds into how I’m doing mental health-wise, and I have done quite a few readings that exactly describe the state of my mental health.

 

In short, I use tarot mostly to take stock of my emotions and offer insight into what I’m feeling and sometimes what others might be feeling, though that is often unclear from the cards I draw. Tarot is a useful tool to tap into your emotional intuition, and I personally feel tarot is more about interpreting what’s already there than predicting the future. Tarot certainly can be used for that and I believe that may be its original purpose, but it’s not personally what I use it for, which I imagine leaks over into how I do readings about books with tarot.

Tarot can be used in a variety of ways, and I have by no means outlined all of them here, but these are the type of things that I find helpful when doing a tarot reading and what I usually read for. The way you use tarot or someone else uses tarot might be very different from how I use tarot, and tarot interpretations can be a very personal thing for each person, so someone else might very well tell you different things about how tarot is used.

Tarot is definitely my favorite part of witchcraft that I’ve studied so far, and I’m really hoping if I keep at it I can get good at it and eventually memorize all the cards. I’m definitely a beginning tarot reader but it’s very fun and I highly recommend giving it a shot if you want to try something simple but witchy.

Continue Reading

my most popular posts

Recently, I’ve been doing a little research into my stats to see what kind of posts have been most popular on my blog in the past year. The main reason I did this is to see if my witchy posts do well and if people like them or if they’re just something I like to write but nobody likes to read. So, today, I’ll be sharing my top 10 viewed posts to see if there’s any rhyme or reason to what people like to read on the blog.

 

  • Wickedly Boring // Wicked Saints – Weirdly, my most popular post of all time is my DNF review of WICKED SAINTS. I’m very shocked by this because any blogger will tell you that reviews are some of the least viewed posts on book blogs. I don’t know why my review of WICKED SAINTS was so popular, maybe because it is the most hyped book I’ve reviewed on the blog so far.
  • How to Be a Literary Witch – I was super pleased to see this post make the list, because it is one of my favorite witchy posts. I wrote about witch paths and specifically how to be a literary witch.
  • Easter Readathon TBR – This one seems a little random and is just a challenge TBR post.
  • How My Mental Health Affects My Reading – I wrote about how my reading habits are affected by my anxiety and depression. I’m glad to see this one got a lot of traffic because I put a lot of time into it and was worried people wouldn’t be interested to know something so personal.
  • January Reads – If I remember correctly, I wrote this post because I had few ideas for other posts, so I’m surprised this one got a lot of traffic. It was just a list of some books I’d read during January.
  • February Goals – Just a monthly goals post.
  • Adult Romances I want to Read – Apparently more general reading posts get a lot of traffic on my blog?? This was a TBR-ish post about adult romance novels I wanted to try.
  • March Goals – Yet another goals post. Good to know people actually read these!
  • Upcoming HarperCollins Books that I NEED – Another TBR post
  • If I Could Bookstagram – This was a discussion post about what I would bookstagram about if I was good at bookish photography.

 

It seems that for the most part, there is not very much rhyme or reason to what gets the most traffic on my blog. General reading posts either about what I’m reading or especially TBR posts do seem to do well, and I guess monthly goals posts do all right also. I haven’t done many witchy posts all along on the blog until more recently, so it’s hard to tell yet whether they do well. I will say I’ve noticed my views have gone up in the past couple of weeks since starting to do more witchy posts and I do get a lot of positive comments and requests about them.

I guess in general I shouldn’t let what I post be dictated by stats, and since my top post topics seem to be all over the place, I suppose I don’t really need to worry which posts get the most traffic because it varies so much. This is somewhat freeing because I don’t feel pressured to write a specific type of post more often than others. So, based on this post, there probably won’t be any changes in the types of posts I write.

Continue Reading

the sunday post \\ 7-21-19

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news about the past week, reading recaps, hauls, and more.

 

weekly happenings

  • I prepared to become a children’s librarian. That is mostly what happened. This is going to be my last week in my current job before I switch branches and departments. I am very excited but also nervous about leaving my current branch because now I’m used to it even though there are a lot of things I don’t like about it. But I’m just really ready to leave and get going at my new job and learn new things and try things out.
  • I actually grocery shopped. Instead of having my groceries delivered, which is more convenient but also really expensive. I’ve been doing it because grocery shopping causes me a ton of anxiety. This time, I was a little anxious because I haven’t actually gone to the grocery store for weekly groceries in a while, but I was mostly fine. This may seem like a little thing to most people, but for me it felt like a big deal and a sign that my anxiety is getting better.

 

last week on the blog

 

next week on the blog

Um…posts for next week? I’m supposed to have that??? I somehow have no posts scheduled or planned for next week. I have no post ideas. Help me. Seriously though, if you have any post ideas for me, feel free to write some in the comments. I need help.

 

books read

34324434._SX318_

The only book I finished this week was the LUMBERJANES novelization by Mariko Tamaki. This is a novelized version of the LUMBERJANES graphic novel. It’s about magical creatures and even more magical friendship. Seriously, the Lumberjanes are friendship goals. And lots of them are queer.

 

currently reading

Still reading these. I am being slow. Plus I’ve been reading 3 books at once. So that might have something to do with it.

Continue Reading

24in48 readathon sign up!!

Red alert! Red alert! This never happens! This is unprecedented! I have AN ENTIRE TWO DAYS OFF IN A ROW during a 24-hr readathon! Okay, so this one is actually 48 hours, but the goal is still to read for 24 hours out of the 48 hour time span, ergo the 24in48 Readathon!! I have been wanting to try binge reading again because I haven’t been able to do it in so long so this seems like the perfect opportunity to relax and get my reading on.

If you want to sign up, use the sign up google form here.

but now for the important part

aka what i am reading for the readathon:

(aka a super ambitious reading list that I definitely will not complete because I am already still reading three books that I have to finish)

 

  • Wicked Fox | Kat Cho – I squealed and scared the new librarian at my branch when I saw we had gotten this one. I tried to get an ARC but apparently there were very few of them available, and I was sad. Even though my library had a copy that I could check out, I prefer ebooks so I ended up buying WICKED FOX earlier in the week and I’m so excited to read it; the first paragraph is the best first paragraph I’ve read in a long time, so my hopes are HIGH, Y’ALL.
  • Love from A to Z | S. K. Ali – I keep saying I’ll read this one next and don’t do it. So maybe this weekend.
  • We Set the Dark on Fire | Tehlor Kay Mejia – I also keep saying I’ll read this one next. I need my queer revolution book. Maybe this weekend?
  • Spin the Dawn | Elizabeth Lim – I’ve been wanting to read this Mulan x Project Runway comped book since the deal was announced and am embarrassed that I still haven’t read my eARC of it.

 

 

Continue Reading