Good Readance 2020 sign up

Today I am announcing my intent to participate in Shealea’s event, Good Readance 2020, aka Spring cleaning in September for your books. I am very excited about this event, because I have been wanting to attend to all sorts of bookish related organizing and need to get my bookish sh*t together.

Throughout the month of September, I hope to accomplish the following goals:

unhauling

I have posted on Twitter a lot lately that I really want to unhaul most of my books. I have two shelves currently, one of read books and one of unread books. The unread books shelf has three full shelves and I want to really try to pare that down. I have books and ARCs from years ago that I know I’m never going to read, but I’ve been afraid to get rid of for various reasons. It is now time.

I also want to cull my books read shelf. Ideally, this shelf would only be reserved for collections and absolute favorites. If I have the book as an ebook, I will also consider getting rid of the physical copy. If I could halve my read books shelf, that would be fantastic. This may seem extreme, but as the time for my partner and I to move approaches, I am getting increasingly concerned about transporting so many books and it’s just not practical. Also, I want my shelves to start reflecting my bookish interests now, not from when I was a kid.

goodreads

There are multiple things on GR I want to do. Here is a list:

  • Remove tags by year. I have tried keeping track of books by tagging by year, but in addition to already being able to search that way without year by year shelves, I also grouped everything by “YA-year” which doesn’t include a lot of what I read now.
  • Update my ratings. I have always rated books really harshly, so I do want to go back on past reads and update my ratings
  • Make a professional GR account? I do want to keep track of the children’s books and picture books I read/want to read, but I don’t want that to be intermixed with my personal reading because I likely won’t review those on this blog. Having 2 separate accounts will make finding the books I want easier and not mess up my stats for the GR challenge since I don’t count my picture books.
  • Delete my eARCs shelves. These are also by year, but honestly that has proven not to be helpful. I think I’d rather have one shelf for NetGalley and one shelf for Edelweiss, or just one eARCs shelf.
  • Remove titles I’m no longer interested in. I would LOVE to cull my TBR to 100-200 books. It’s currently at 398, after a lot of previous deleting of titles. If I haven’t read the book 4 years later, it is probably not going to get read.

cataloguing

  • Create catalog/database of eARCs. My eARC situation is always out of control, and I want to do a better job at keeping up with them. I find I don’t actually use my eARC shelves on GR, so I want to try to come up with an updatable spreadsheet and/or bullet journal spread for my eARCs.

eARCs

Like I just said, my eARC situation is out of control. I have books from 2014 that I haven’t read. I have been hanging on to the ecopies for a long time because I always *think* I’m going to read them, but obviously I never am. Plus, if these books are available from the library or to buy, I don’t really need to hang on to them. I want to delete all eARCs from before 2019 on my Kindle, and keep a rule not to keep eARCs past a full year after their release date. If I really want to read the books after they’re released, I can buy it or check it out. I also want to delete eARCs from my Kindle that I can’t remember the author or title. Unfortunately, there are a few of these.

reconnecting with witchcraft

In my goals post for September, I wrote briefly about feeling disconnected from witchcraft since the start of the pandemic, and today I want to talk a little more about that and how I’m planning to try reconnecting to witchcraft in the upcoming month.

Before the pandemic, I did something witchy almost every day. I browsed witchblrs a lot, and also drew a daily tarot card to tell me what to expect for the day and carried a crystal or two for protection and positivity. Since the pandemic started, I have really lost touch with what I love about witchcraft and have lost a lot of the magic I had been putting into my life with these small daily rituals. I’m back at work now, but since the library is doing sidewalk service things are very different and my past daily rituals feel somewhat pointless.

I had also been interested in researching more about deities, specifically Hellenic deities, prior to the pandemic. I am still very much finding what my religious beliefs might be, but I have always felt a strong connection to stories of the Greek gods, and they play an important role in the witchcraft practice for many pagans. When everything happened, my research kind of lost steam, and now I’m finding it hard to know if I can even still call myself a witch, which makes me very sad, because I’ve felt connected to witchcraft for a long time.

So, for today’s post, I want to share some of my ideas and suggestions I’ve gotten from others on ways to reconnect to witchcraft while the pandemic is still happening:

  • Cleanse my tarot and oracle decks. Whenever I planned activities for a sabbat, I always used to promise myself to do a full cleanse of my various tarot decks. I have learned that when the deck is giving odd or hostile readings, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the deck, but with my energy when I use the deck and I have honestly found that to be true. My energy lately is definitely off, so I want to treat my decks with care and give them my full attention and reconnect with them.
  • Start a new grimoire. I’ve been struggling with what kind of notebook to use for a grimoire for a while, and also my cats destroyed one of them, so that probably indicates that was not for me. I have saved so many tips and witchcraft posts that I want to add information from into my notebooks, so I really need to get around to choosing a new grimoire.
  • Weekly oracle card draw. Someone suggested using oracle cards, which are different from tarot cards, as a way to ask “what should I pay attention to.” Since oracle decks are more “general” in nature than tarot decks at times, I think using my Spirit Cats oracle deck for a weekly card drawing makes sense.
  • Research correspondences for items I already own. When I first became a witch, I felt overwhelmed by all the spells and spell jars that had loads of ingredients I didn’t have easily available. However, even “common” herbs that you use in the kitchen can be used in spells based on their corresponding meaning. I also want to research color correspondences more because it’s easy to find an item or colored paper to use in spells as well.
  • Do more home-related magic. I’ve also gotten the suggestion of putting protective wards around the home as an easy witchy thing to incorporate into your life (along with, of course, locking doors and drawing blinds). When I first started getting into witchcraft, I was fascinated by cottage or kitchen witches because their magic revolves around home and food, which are easy and subtle ways to use magic in your every day life.
  • Add witchy events to my planner. I always manage to forget when sabbats and other events from the Wheel of the Year are taking place and never know when astrological events like Mercury retrograde are happening or when the moon is in what phase, so I think using my Happy Planner to mark those events would be helpful.
  • Learn about sigils. I’ve always been fascinated by sigils, which are kind of like written spells based on a word or phrase that is then taken apart and recreated into a special sign. Sigils are really useful because you can use them easily and on the go even if you don’t have something to write with by just tracing the shape.

Writing this list has actually been super helpful since now I have a good handle on a bunch of things I can do this month to reach my goal of reconnecting with my practice. I think the main thing I want to impress upon myself is that witchcraft is adaptable, and it is what you make of it no matter what is going on in the world. After writing this post, I’m really looking forward to getting back into witchcraft and hope I’ll find my witchy way again.

september goals

Another month, another goals post. Let’s start by recapping my August goals:

august goals

  • Read 5 novels. XX I read 4 books, but I liked them all so I count this as a win.
  • Read 2 Book of the Month books. XX I think I’m actually kind of falling out of love with BOTM. I’ve only read a couple of the books I’ve bought from it, and am in the middle of 3 others I’m debating DNFing because they’re just not for me.
  • Participate in ARC August. X! I read ARCs, but completely forgot about participating in ARC August.
  • Don’t spend money on anything non-essential. X! This was another month where I overspent but can’t remember what I spent money on so did not do.
  • Eat out less. XX lolololol let’s not even talk about this
  • Drink more water. XX ….or this…
  • Stay up past 10 at least one night. !!!! YAY! This one I did do, and honestly, it really improved my overall mood and schedule. Will definitely do again.

september goals

  • Read 4-5 September releases. Looking at my Goodreads TBR list was a BAD idea because I am so behind on eARCs, as per usual, but this year seems extra bad. I haven’t been reading as much because of pandemic feelings, but I am v ashamed of myself. However, I hope to get back on track by making a TBR, putting it in my planner, and sticking with it.
  • Drink less Diet Coke. I have made this goal so many times and not succeeded, so we will see how this goes.
  • Try to reconnect with witchcraft. I have felt very disconnected from witchcraft since the pandemic started and haven’t really been practicing or researching at all.
  • Celebrate Mabon. Mabon is an autumnal celebration in mid-September for witches and pagans, and since I actually have it off, I want to use the day to work on my grimoire for once, watch witchy shows and movies, and generally reconnect with my practice.

september tbr

I just went on Goodreads and…I have a problem. The pandemic has completely messed with my usually expert knowledge of when books are being released, and, as a result, I have way too many 2020 books I was supposed to read from previous months, and more from upcoming months that I need to get to. Fortunately, Fall/Winter tends to be pretty quiet in publishing following the month of September, so maybe that will give me a chance to catch up on all these reads.

My hope for September is to only read September releases and catch up on my TBR a little bit and read at least 5 books from this list. I am already reading CHARMING AS A VERB, so hopefully this will be an achievable goal.

SEPTEMBER 1

  • Fable – Adrienne Young
  • Cemetery Boys – Aidan Thomas
  • Punching the Air – Ibi Zoboi (not shown)

SEPTEMBER 8

  • These Vengeful Hearts – Katherine Laurin
  • The Summer of Everything – Julian Winters
  • Charming as a Verb – Ben Philippe (current read!)

SEPTEMBER 15

  • Horrid – Katrina Leno
  • Who I Was With Her – Nita Tyndall
  • Surrender Your Sons – Adam Sass

are any of these on your september tbr? which one should i read first?

september readathon round up

Because there were so many readathons taking place in August, I did a readathon round up highlighting a few of them. I wasn’t originally planning on making this a monthly feature, but I did really enjoy researching all the upcoming events and getting hyped for them, so I am at least going to do it for another month.

So, here we have some of the readathons happening in September! If I miss one you’d like to see included, you are more than welcome to let me know in the comments and I can edit them in later on 🙂

short readathons

queer lit readathon–9/26-27

This readathon is hosted by @shan_no_nosays and @kathytrithardt. It is a weekend-long readathon with the goal of reading intersectional queer lit. Queer Lit Readathon is also hosted several times a year, so if you can’t make this one, never fear! Another event will be just around the corner.

sapphic saturday–9/12-13

Arin from Tomes of our Lives is hosting this sapphic (wlw) readathon in mid-September! You can check out her announcement post here. Sapphic Saturday (&Sunday) is a low-key readathon focused on consuming whatever sapphic media your heart desires. You can also check out this readathon on Twitter at  sapphicsaturday and post about it using #sapphicsaturdays!

nancy drew readathon–9/27-10/10

Nancy Drew Readathon is, you guessed it, a Nancy Drew themed readathon with prompts and task lists based on different Nancy Drew books/cases. It is hosted by @backinbookshelf. There are a lot of fun prompts, with about 4 “tasks” to complete for each case.

latinx readathon–9/15-24

Latinx Readathon is focusing on reading Latinx-authored literature! There are 5 prompts to help inspire your reading, which you can find here.

longer readathons

latinx book bingo–9/15-10/15

This is another Latinx Heritage Month inspired readathon hosted from mid-September into October! This readathon uses a bingo board for book prompts to inspire your reading. You can find more information on Twitter.

not safe for workathon–9/1-30

NSFWathon uses prompts based on some very fun but very not safe for work themes. You can find the prompts here. I’m also pretty pumped about the group book, which I’ve seen around on book Twitter a lot.

stranger things readathon

I just discovered this readathon and am highly considering adding it to my ambitious readathon schedule because I love ST (even though I never finished season 3). For this readathon, you pick a team and read books based on the prompts for that team. You can find more info here.

here & queerathon–ALL YEAR

Hello, shameless plug for my own readathon, the Here & Queerathon, which runs until December 31, 2020! The goal is to read books by queer authors and/or featuring queer rep. You can find more info on the Here & Queerathon tab on my main menu.

a touch of whimsy

A Touch of Whimsy is an Alice in Wonderland-inspired readathon that you can find more info about here. The prompts are all based on different elements of the Alice in Wonderland story for this round. A Touch of Whimsy is a middle grade book club.

august 2020 \\ wrap up

August felt like it went by in a flash, which is probably the only time a month has felt like that in all of 2020 so far. Hopefully that means things are picking up and feeling normal-ish and not as scary. Maybe.

what happened

This month went really fast for some reason and I can’t figure out why, though I guess maybe it was a bit busier than normal. I was also eagerly anticipating my trip home for my birthday, which I celebrated last week. I spent a long trip with my parents, which was nice and relaxing and a good change of pace from being stuck at home half the time.

I also feel like I’ve gotten used to sidewalk service at the library, and even though things are slow, I actually kind of like doing phone service because I feel a lot more confident about it now. I also finally got approval to change my name on my email and have it announced to people at work so I don’t keep getting deadnamed in emails, so that’s good. I also was invited to work on a project creating a training on how to be more LGBT friendly toward coworkers and customers that I am both excited and nervous for.

what i read

  1. kingdom of the wicked – kerri maniscalco
  2. two dark reigns – kendare blake
  3. now that i’ve found you – kristina forest
  4. grown – tiffany jackson

I did not read much this month even though my goal was reading 5 novels. My favorite book was definitely GROWN, even though pretty much everything I read this month was really good. NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU was my most disappointing read because the romance really fell flat for me and there wasn’t enough of a character arc, but it was still a 3 star read for me.

blogging highlights

On this blog:

Around the blogosphere:

  • Tessi wrote about book piracy, price, and privilege
  • Arin introduced a new event, Sapphic Saturdays, that I am very pumped for
  • Mieke ranted and wrote an extremely awesome and detailed review of MIDNIGHT SUN
  • Marta announced her booktube channel!
  • Meg discussed adults reviewing YA
  • Clo celebrated her blogoversary
  • Emme took a week away from social media and talked about the results
  • Sofia announced Latinx Book Bingo
  • Kay wrote about reviewing #ownvoices books from a biracial perspective
  • Tracy recommended books based on book twitter drama
  • Cielo announced the Diverse Clan, an exciting new initiative

how was your August? what did you read? how are you all doing during these strange times?

bookish news is good news // 8/28/20

Hello, friends, and welcome to the first edition of my new feature, Bookish News is Good News! In case you missed my announcement post, BNIGN is a new, original feature on Cotton Candy Book Witch focusing on highlighting exciting news throughout the book and blogging communities.

Typically, this will be a bi-weekly feature, so it won’t feature news from as wide a date range as this post will, but I wanted a place to share all the good news I’ve gathered over the past few weeks with this first post!

one last stop cover reveal

Last week, EW revealed the cover for Casey McQuiston’s (author of RED, WHITE AND ROYAL BLUE) upcoming queer romcom, ONE LAST STOP. The book was pitched as “a queer spin on Kate & Leopold.”

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston CR: Little, Brown

alisha rai announces “first comes like”

Alisha Rai, author of the wonderful Modern Love series that began with THE RIGHT SWIPE and continued this year in GIRL GONE VIRAL, announced this week that the series is continuing, focusing on the character of Jia, in a new book coming February 2021 called FIRST COMES LIKE:

Preorder on Amazon

bookmarks by netflix

Netflix announced mid-August that they are going to be producing a new show called “Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices,” a show where each episode will feature a different Black children’s book author. Each book featured will be read aloud by a Black celebrity. The show comes out on September 1. We stan.

qamar blog tours

Qamar Blog Tours announced on Twitter that they have launched their website! Qamar is a book tour company featuring works by Muslim authors, focused on getting those books in the hands of #ownvoices Muslim reviewers. You can find out more information on becoming a host on this page. They welcome book bloggers, book tubers, and bookstagrammers! Congratulations, Qamar Blog Tours!

reese’s book club ya pick

Reese’s Book Club by actor Reese Witherspoon announced that she will be featuring a YA pick each month in addition to her usual adult choice. The first book she has chosen for her YA pick is 2020 debut author Leah Johnson’s YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN!! This book is about a sapphic Black girl who decides to run for prom queen when a scholarship falls through, but ends up falling for one of the girls she’s competing against. I am so excited this book is going to reach so many people through Reese’s book club.

surrender your sons launch event

Registration has opened for the launch event for debut author Adam Sass’ YA book, SURRENDER YOUR SONS. This is a dark YA story about a group of mlm boys trying to escape conversion therapy on a mysterious island. You can register for the event here.

www wednesday // 8-26-20

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?

what are you currently reading?

I am currently reading kind of two books. I started GIRL, SERPENT, THORN right before my vacation but haven’t read much of it yet. I also decided to start FIVE DARK FATES even though I just started GIRL, SERPENT, THORN because I just couldn’t wait to find out what happens to Mirabella, Katharine, and Arsinoe (okay, mostly Arsinoe and Katharine, because Mirabella is dry toast).

what are you reading next?

I keep meaning to read HORRID before it comes out, so I should probably get around to that one, though I also really want to read PLAIN BAD HEROINES by Emily Danforth soon.

what did you just finish?

I recently posted my review for NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU, which was one of my most anticipated reads for 2020. Sadly, it did not live up to my personal expectations, but I would still recommend it to people.

shiny new content plans!

Hello, bookish friends! Today, I’m going to be sharing some new content plans that I’ve been cooking up. I’ve been thinking about starting a few new features here on Cotton Candy Book Witch, and I would like to share them with you all.

bookish news is good news

This is going to be a news feature sharing good news in the book community. The current plan is to share information such as new features by book bloggers, exciting book deals, releases to keep an eye out for, upcoming readathons, virtual book events that are happening, and other book-related happy news that is announced. This feature was originally going to focus more on explaining what people were subtweeting about on book Twitter in a given week because half of my TL is people subtweeting and the other half is people asking what is going on, but I realized I really want to focus on bringing more positivity to the book community, at least on my blog. I still might do a kind of “ICYMI” Twitter account for that, but for now this feature is going to focus on good news in the book community.

I’m also debating doing a bookstagram featuring this news. I really like the format of another bookish news related instagram, Bookish You Should Know, and I’d like to do something similar with Bookish News is Good News. I did start a Twitter account for Bookish News is Good News, @NewsBookish, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to maintain it because I’m focusing on growing my own Twitter following.

Please let me know in the comments if you would be more interested in a Bookish News IGN Twitter account or Instagram.

book blogger highlights

I’m not sure about the name of this feature yet (if you have ideas, feel free to share in the comments!) but I’ve really liked discovering new book blogs and blog hopping lately and want to give back to the community. This feature will spotlight new book blogs, other blogs I discover, posts I like, and cool blogger features.

weekly wrap

I had been doing the Sunday Post for a long while now as a weekly wrap up, but stopped doing it because I wasn’t sure if the host blog was even still active, didn’t see others still doing it, and didn’t like posting on Sundays. If I do another wrap up post every week, I’d prefer to do it on a Friday or Saturday, so I can include books read on a previous weekend and have that be my weekend post.

anticipated schedule

As for the first two features, Bookish News is Good News and Book Blogger Highlights, I want to make those biweekly features, so every other week I’ll do one of them. I could probably do Bookish News weekly, but I want to have room for other content and the posts would have more to feature if I used newsworthy items every two weeks, so that remains the current plan.

Anyway, those are some exciting new features to look forward to on Cotton Candy Book Witch! I am really excited to begin putting these together and am confident I have a lot of great content to share for both.

best books i’ve read out of my comfort zone

For the past couple of years, I’ve really made an effort to read books outside my usual comfort zone, which is typically YA contemporary and fantasies. Last year, I think a little over half the books I read were out of my comfort zone, and this year I’ve read 9 so far.

So, today I’ll be sharing some of my favorite books that I’ve read over the past couple of years that are outside my comfort zone:

the kiss quotient by helen hoang

THE KISS QUOTIENT was my first foray into romance, and I’m so glad I read this book on a whim. I didn’t even really know what it was about when I started, which turned out to be good, because I never would’ve thought I’d like a book where the love interest is an escort. I loved all the characters in this book and the romance was so swoony, and this book convinced me to try out more romances.

home before dark by riley sager

The first thriller for adults I read was Riley Sager’s other book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, which I enjoyed. I was definitely interested in reading HOME BEFORE DARK, his 2020 release about a woman whose father is famous for writing a memoir about their time in a supposedly haunted house. When he dies, he warns her to stay away from the house, which of course she doesn’t do when she discovers they never sold it, and goes back to find out why her parents have lied to her for her whole life.

This book was everything I wanted LOCK EVERY DOOR to be, with more of a horror bent but an equally shocking resolution. I haven’t been able to fully guess the outcome of a Riley Sager book so far and I hope that trend continues as I read his other books.

red, white, and royal blue by casey mcquiston

I tried to read this book 3 times before finally reading the whole thing. I think my main issue with this book was that I tried reading it while in reading slumps, which was challenging because the writing style is somewhat odd for a contemporary romance and my brain could not compute. I’m happy I stuck with this book, which is a romance between the first son of the US and a prince of England. This book is full of international shenanigans and squad goals characters and I seriously cannot wait to read more books by this author.

daisy jones and the six by taylor jenkins reid

Before I read this, I had seen TJR’s other popular book, THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO, hyped on book Twitter. I didn’t try that one because I still wasn’t sure about adult fiction, but when I read a bit of this one in the bookstore I instantly knew I had to buy it and am so glad I did because it is one of my favorite books of all time now. I loved the documentary/interview style and the amazingly complex cast of characters and all the music talk. This was such a Mel book and I still fully intend to read more by this author.

a dash of trouble (love sugar magic #1) by anna meriano

I actually really wanted to read this book when it came out a few years ago, but then I learned it was MG and at the time I wasn’t into reading MG. However, I ended up checking it out through OverDrive this year for a book talk video for work and I ADORED it. If you like your witches and magic with a side of sweet bakery treats on the side, I highly recommend this book. I am very much looking forward to reading the sequels.