Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Books Lately

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! Hope everyone is doing well, staying safe and healthy. And reading a ton - or not at all. Whatever works. Right now, I vacillate between books being my comfort zone vs not being able to focus at all. When that happens, I don't push it and just watch something mindless on TV or waste time on the internet. 

Normal People - Sally Rooney
follows a girl and a guy over the years
This book was so weird. I loved something about it and really, really, really disliked something about it. It stayed in my head a long time and I was both unsurprised and pissed off over the ending. I am curious to watch the show on Hulu.
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J Maas
fantasy beauty and the beast-ish
I have wanted to read this series for ages but I started Throne of Glass first so natually had to finish it before starting this one, and by the time I finished ToG, I was damn tuckered out with her writing (not a bad thing, I'm just not an author-binge-reader unless it's a series, I needed some space before starting a new one) Finally got into this one and read it in one sitting. I was really really liking it but then it seemed to go somewhere I didn't want it to go and I got cranky. But, since finishing the first one, I've had several people tell me the rest of the series does not go in that direction (highlight for spoiler: love triangle, blergh). I loved the story, the world, the characters, really need to get to the second one.
A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman
grumpy guts ove 
oh, Ove. I enjoyed this one but it was also super sad and depressing. It took me a bit to get into and fall in love with, but overall I did really like it. I loved the cat, didn't love how Ove treated him a few times, but shall move on from that. Makes me think that Backman doesn't have/has never had cats though.
The Nothing Girl - Jodi Taylor
woman has imaginary talking horse, overprotective family & accidental husband
This is definitely an acquired taste kind of book but I found it delightful. It was so funny and silly and one of those books that didn't quite grab me but then at some point in time it wormed its way into my heart and I didn't even notice it happening. It was kind of confusing at first with how her family treated her, I wasn't sure if there was something actually 'wrong' with her or if it was a different world (what with the imaginary talking horse and all) so it took me a second to get my bearings. Overall it was really, really cute. I gave up on this author's other series but this reminded me of what I did like about her writing and quirky humour so I might give it another go.
Where the Forest Meets the Stars - Glendy Vanderah
mysterious child shows up claiming to be from the stars
I really liked this one. It's kind of unassuming in a sneaks-up-on-you kind of way. It was written beautifully, I adored the characters, I loved the story. Felt a teensy tiny bit choppy in parts, and yeah there are a few holes and a couple of troublesome moments when it comes to one character handling another's mental illness.... so not perfect, but really good. I enjoyed it and would recommend it and it gave me happy feelings whilst reading. What more could you want. I'd definitely read more from this author.
Watching You - Lisa Jewell
everybody is watching everybody
This is my second Lisa Jewell and after hardcore loving Then She Was Gone, I was kind of disappointed in this one. I liked it, I liked the story and how everything unfolded, but I didn't necessarily feel that way whilst actually reading it. It was fine and good and I had no idea how it was going to end... but, meh. It took me a long time to read it.
Tell Me Three Things - Julie Buxbaum
young adult, grief, fitting in
I really don't read YA much anymore but Heather gifted this to me quite some time ago and I've been meaning to read it ever since. It was super adorable and I thought the stuff about grief was really well done and realistic. Sometimes YA annoys me but this was the perfect balance of young without being insufferable. It was a great 'get lost in and finish in one sitting' kind of book. Delightful.
The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
woman does a 12 month happiness project
Yeah, I'm a few years behind on this one. I enjoyed parts of this and really disliked others. She definitely addresses that everyone is different and the idea is to be inspired by her project, not to copy it exactly. The problem is, I really struggled to take her seriously when she so obviously has so much. I know you're not magically happy if you're wealthy, married with kids, friends and a loving family, but I struggled to find what she was unhappy with. She seems to have everything, just wants to be happier? But has no actual issues or struggles that make her unhappy? Anyway. I did like the idea of this one and focusing on certain things each month, but the author herself annoyed me.
How to be Fine - Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer
everything they've learned from their podcast on following self help books
I don't know how this book even got on my radar but I'm glad it did. It was probably a suggestion after THP and it was available on Scribd, I think, so I figured why not. I haven't listened to their podcast but now I want to. I love a good self help book and I found their take on them fascinating and entertaining. I also felt vindicated that they agreed with me on a few of the self help books I really didn't like. I loved their overall tips, what they took from all the books and I love that they agreed with me on things that didn't work/you don't 'have' to do. Of course everyone is different so there were definitely things they didn't like that I did or vice versa. It was just super entertaining and the audio was truly fabulous - probably because of them being podcast people. 
Born a Crime - Trevor Noah
Before starting this, I knew nothing about Trevor Noah except that he had this book and lots of people loved it. Also, I've seen gifs of him online but that's it. It took me a bit to get into but by the end I really liked it. He's funny and entertaining. I love his mother.
The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg
science behind habits
I liked some parts of this, found them fascinating. Others droned on and were not fascinating at all. Overall, it's definitely more about the why behind habits and then the impact habits have on our lives, with lots of cases and examples. Not really one you'd pick up if you want to change your own habits and are looking for tips to go about that. But I knew that going in, so I found most of it interesting.

The Witness - Nora Roberts
My first Nora Roberts! If you don't count the JD Robb books of course. This was good, but slow. Their romance is nice and sweet with very little angst, not a lot of back and forth once they get going. Not a complaint, it made their relationship believable, but... slow. I think I expected the suspense part to become bigger or take a different turn and it didn't really. Again, not a complaint, just not what I expected. I think it's because of how slowly it moved. I really did like the end and how everything worked out though.
It's In His Kiss - Julia Quinn
A Bridgerton is always a solid read but this was just absolutely fantastic. One of my favourites, for sure, and I can actually see myself re-reading it unlike a couple of others in the series. I don't know why I expected to not like it? Maybe because Hyacinth is so young in the others it's hard to imagine her getting her own book, but this was so delightful. I related to Gareth so much. Loved it. Only one left, so sad.
The Honey Don't List - Christina Lauren
Hmm. Do we think CL are writing books they think will be come movies or TV shows? That just popped in my head, because this one was great when it comes to the main couple, but spent way too much time on other stuff - police interviews, the Chip and Joanna-esque couple they worked for. I loved everything about the main couple and their story, but there was just too much other crap weighing it down. But now I wonder, because... yeah, it would make a good TV show or something.

Decided now was a great time to re-read Kate Daniels and I'm tearing through it. Up to book #9. Gosh it's fantastic and comfy being back in this world.

Linking up with Steph & Jana

Life According to Steph

TL;DR - I recommend.... anything that catches your eye.

Read anything decent lately? Or watched anything fun and kind of mindless? 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

March 2020 Recap - What's New With You Link Up

Hello all, time for another what's new with you link up! Thanks again if you join me, I always appreciate it. You don't have to display the button if you don't want to, but don't forget to mention it somewhere in your post and check out some of the other posts! I'll be doing a monthly recap... not that there is much to recap!

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Goodness gracious, what a month. It started off nice and slow, quiet and easy because February was a bit of a whirlwind. Then things started getting cancelled and now we are all staying home - as we should be!

The two most exciting things were getting my hair done (at the very beginning of the month) and getting my braces off (I was their last appointment before they closed for 2 weeks, woo!).

Did lots of yoga with Heather (and cats)- and a movie date watching one of my favourites!

Other virtual dates - book club, work coffee (tea) chats, girls nights... these kinds of hangouts have been vital to my sanity, seriously.

Working from home, thankfully. It's a bit of a tight fit with all my crap plus Millie and I am unable to play sims unless I download it on my work computer lol. Most days I have to put some birds on youtube on the tv so the cats will leave me alone (but then they are so cute and funny I can't help but watch).

Spending as much time outside as the weather allows... cannot wait for it to get warmer.

And the usual cats and books - lots of reading time lately, which, lets be real, isn't that different.

I've also been watching a lot of tv when my brain can't focus on books. Carole totally killed her husband, right?? 

Anywho. So that was my March and honestly will probably be my April too. I am okay with it - staying inside and keeping yourself and others healthy is where it's at.

If you'd like to link up, please do so below:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

So, what's new with you?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April Goals

It's finally April!

Touching base quickly on March goals - I did okay!

1. No spend month. I would say 90%  - only made like 3 frivolous purchases towards the end of the month.
2. Only read books I already own. I did! Ran out of steam a bit towards the end of the month, but I still knocked a lot out.
3. Make 2 appointments. LOL I made so many appointments you guys. Then I had to cancel them all.
4. Figure out what I want my morning and evening routines to be. I totally forgot about this goal.
5. Journal + gratitude journal 20 times each. Nope. I did about 15 times each. However, I'm actually happy with that because I did it without really thinking about it and I feel like it's a formed habit now.
6. Get back into yoga at home. Yes! It helps that Heather and I have been doing yoga 'together' quite consistently.
7. Close all 3 rings on the apple watch every single day. I did it! This goal probably kept me sane in March as it forced me to go for a walk or do some yoga to get those active minutes.
8. Track my habits. I did fantastically for about half the month and then gave up.
9. One diet coke with dinner. I did so well with this that most nights I don't even have a diet coke anymore.
10. Do something nice for myself each day.  Started out strong, fizzled out about halfway. A lot of my ideas fell through so I just kind of forgot about it.

In case you missed the Millie spam the other day on Instagram, here she is living her best life on my balcony. 

Now for April goals! I'm still aiming for 10 each month, so:

1. No spend. I am hoping a big purchase goes on sale and if it does, I'm gonna buy it, but nothing else.
2. Stay home.
3. Eat what I have and don't go to the store unless really necessary.
4. Get dressed every work day (and yes, I am one of the people wearing jeans though we'll see how long that lasts).
5. Yoga every day with Heather.
6. Get outside every day if weather allows.
7. Close all my apple rings. I upped my calories but you can't change exercise or stand, boo. Going to try for the April challenge of 20,300 calories too.
8. Read 10 books I already own.
9. Put stuff away. I have things here and there around my apartment that I haven't found a spot for or just keep saying 'I'll put it away tomorrow'. So telling myself they need to be put away or gotten rid of by the end of the month.
10. Get rid of 30 things. I'm actually ahead of my get rid of one thing per day yearly goal but I haven't gotten rid of anything on purpose since February, so.

And here is Penny absolutely completely content never going outside.

Also just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up - tomorrow is the next What's New With You link up if you want to join me! 

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Like most people, I barely know what day it is so sorry for the late reminder. Hope everyone is staying home and staying healthy.