Friday Reads & a Lil’ Chat…

Happy Friday Readers!!! It’s been a hot minute since I posted a #Fridayreads & I thought today would be a good day to bring that back here on the blog. I’m typically reading (devouring) books & reviewing but lately I have been feeling a bit slumpish. I’m still reading & keeping up with reviews cuz ya girl doesn’t cope well with letting people down lol, I’m just not doing as much as I was before my move. This got me thinking…what is hindering me from enjoying these amazing arcs? it’s not a shortage of books, ya’ll know your girl has a book buying problem…then what is it? Whelp before I get into that, this is a Friday Reads post so lets start with what i’m currently reading…

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence is my 1st Adult Fantasy book in YEARS! I’m a newb to Mark Lawrence, this being my 1st book of his but LOOK ^^^ uhh, he re-tweeted me getting ready to sit on the top staircase at work & read his book…what I didn’t expect were the Seagulls that landed on the roof & proceeded to give me a full on orchestra of cries. I do not lie…ask Gretchen @Chicnerdreads who has a voice note of said evil Gulls making a liar out of my tweet cuz no reading got done once they got startedπŸ˜‚anyways, Red Sister is EPIC bad assery @ its finest. It’s a pretty big book but I don’t mind cuz not one bit drags & I keep finding things to love. Think Arya Stark/X-23 aka Wolverine’s protΓ©gΓ© on her 1st day at Hogwarts…less magic…more fight training yet similar concepts. If like me, you are looking for more books with female friendships then this will check that box off for ya πŸ˜‰ I am reading a ton slower than usual but its not for lack of enjoyment. I’m actually wondering what I’m going to do with myself once I finish reading Red Sister…maybe buy all of Mark’s (yea 1st name basis after you re-tweet me lol) previous books? most likely smh *covers face* 

I recently sat down to update my arc spreadsheet, something I found has helped me immensely with staying on top of publication dates. Now as much as it has helped with my anxiety…it has also contributed to it if that makes any sense? πŸ˜‚ I’d like to think i’m a pretty nice person…responsible @ least & so its been my thing to post reviews 1-2 weeks prior to pub date with all of my arcs. With the exception of two that I posted a few days after, I’ve been successful on this front…but what happens when life gets in the way? few know me well but those that do, know I’m not one to delve too deep into my personal life. I’m a listener & not much of a talker but I thought it time to share a little bit about myself with you, my faithful book blogging buddies/readers…

Most of you know I’m a “young” mom of 2 tiny humans & that I married my very 1st bookworm buddy over a shared love for Harry Potter smh LOL! (8 years strong). I also have a full time J-O-B in what can sometimes seem like a stuffy office (accounting for ya *sobs*). About a year ago I decided to start this blog as a way to connect with other readers (non-husbands) over one of my biggest passions…BOOKS! I also felt the need to create something of my own, my own little corner of the internet where I could retreat to after hours.  See, about 2 years ago I was diagnosed as Diabetic. Something I knew was a real possibility after 2 complicated pregnancies & a family history with diabetes. I was NOT however, prepared to accept that diagnosis. I was under the care of a nutritionist & had lost 18lbs. all on my own but in the end my genetics won that battle. I thought after losing my father to the disease, that I knew enough…I was wrong. I decided to educate myself, get under medical treatment, joined the gym, and changed my diet. When I say change diet I mean I followed docs orders & started eating more smaller meals to wake up a dead metabolism. Plenty think that all diabetics have an over eating problem…whelp here’s one diabetic that can’t seem to work up an appetite to eat more than 2 meals (if that) per day & is still not thin by any means. Diabetes is frustrating in that it contradicts itself at every turn. Eat too much = elevated sugar/eat too little = elevated sugar. Finding the perfect balance is something I still work hard for every hour of the day. Exhaustion comes at any hour of the day as an indicator that my sugar may be too low or too high. Often times, you will feel as if you are experiencing a bad hangover if not controlled. I work super hard to stay on top of my #’s but I am human & will sometimes falter. I power walk whenever possible & as much as possible, having a 3 train commute to & from work helps keep me active. Also, my new place has a gym in the lobby that is currently being set up with all of the amenities you’d find at a sportsclub! *eeeK* …However, there are days where it’s completely out of my control & I wake up with a high base just because overnight my hormones interfered with my glucose levels. It sometimes feels like a losing battle & that’s when depression kicks in, one of the well known symptoms of this disease. I have a ton to be happy for especially with finally getting a place I can call safe to live in. Yet there are days where the dark clouds take over & a book is the last thing on my mind…

I’m sharing this with you all because this has become my home away from home on some of my darkest days. I don’t like being moody with my loved ones when I’m feeling unwell & so take to distracting myself by reading all of your posts. I may not post as frequently but you will always see me hanging around your blogs, twitter, Instagram, & Goodreads. Some of the friendships I’ve made through blogging have really been a source of joy for me. Reading your comments & interacting with some of you on a more personal level has kept me company on days where I felt I made poor company for those physically around me. I have a loving husband & 2 tiny humans that I dote over even when I’m at work (yea I stalk the teacher lol), I love them to the moon & back…sometimes I do need ME time & that’s when I come to you, my second family. This blog has helped keep my anxiety low & my depression at bay on more days than I can count & for that I am thankful to be in this amazing community. Thank you to those that reach out with kind words, comments, GIFS, likes, loves, anything really lol, it means so much to me.

I’m really hoping to get out of this funk soon so that I can get back to reading ALL the books on my spreadsheet & hopefully from my own shelves lol. I mentioned to my twin Gretchen @Chicnerdreads that I was also experiencing a bit of a YA Fantasy burn-out due to my arc binge of the genre. I have no one to blame but myself for this LOL! I’m definitely done requesting for some months, I miss reading from my shelves a bit. The one great thing that has come from this reading slump is that discussion/chat I promised ya’ll in December as part of my New Years Goals! it’s coming πŸ˜‰

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Bahaaaa! this is totally me with my 2 tiny humans everyday, one is def more livelier than the other LOL!

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February Owlcrate & Book Of The Month Unboxing

In the midst of all the chaos that has been my February, two things remained pretty constant…Owlcrate & Book of the Month! they arrived in the middle of me moving to my brand spankin new apartment. In the middle of boxes, newspapers, and bubble wrap, I sat down & opened up my book mail cuz that’s the type of bookworm I am LOL smh. I was also in much need of normalcy cuz everything truly happened so fast (more of that to come in my wrap-up).

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Follow my gram @Lair_Of_Books for more snaps πŸ˜‰

πŸŽͺThe Night Circus inspired tote bag byΒ @eviebookishΒ πŸŽͺLe Cirque Des Reves inspired candle byΒ @frostbeardmplsΒ πŸŽͺmini doughnut lip balm byΒ @geekfirelabsΒ πŸŽͺdiamond card notepad byΒ @atticjournalsΒ πŸŽͺsticky page flags byΒ @girlofallworkΒ πŸŽͺsigned bookplate, bookmark, and sneak peak to the Caraval audiobook

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .Β 

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

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Follow my gram @Lair_of_books for more snaps πŸ˜‰

 

PachinkoΒ follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.

So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

What are yourΒ thoughts on February’s Owlcrate? Have any of my bookish peeps read Caraval? For my fellow BOTM subscribers, what were your selections for February?

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey & is now moderated by Sam from Thoughts On Tomes. Each week there’s a different bookish related topic (this varies & isn’t always strictly books) & you get to list your top 5 books or bookish answers related to the topic.
This week’s topic is Favorite Literary Fathers/Father Figures, chosen in celebration of Father’s Day. I seriously had a small pool to choose from and it’s because we don’t really see much positive representation of the “Parentals” as I like to call them, (include myself as a mommy of two) much less father figures. I count myself blessed for having an AMAZING relationship with my father & wish there were more positive father figures in our books, especially LGBTQ.Here are my top 5:

1- Mr. Mendoza (Aristotle & Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe)

It’s hinted that Mr. Menzoa suffered from PTSD after his time in Vietnam which affected his relationship with Ari. Mr. Mendoza however, realizes that Ari has an internal struggle going on & steps up to help him come out. Mr. Mendoza plays a key role in getting Ari to follow his heart & go after Dante. I loved seeing these two come together in the end & that Ari got the support he needed from his father.


2- Arthur Weasley aka Mr. Weasley (Harry Potter)

Although I also love Sirius Black because he always looked over Harry from afar & made sure he was never in need, I have a special place in my heart for Arthur Weasley. Mr. Weasley took Harry in as one of his own brood (a not so small one at that) & never treated him less than any of his sons. Seeing Mr. Weasley advise Harry & take care of Harry was heart warming. Even when Harry & Ron got him in trouble with his job for stealing his flying car to get to Hogwarts, Mr. Weasley did not come down hard on neither one of the boys.


3- Eddard Stark aka Ned Stark (Game Of Thrones)

I know i’m one out of a zillion who felt the loss of our beloved Ned Stark especially after he captured our hearts. Ned Stark loved all of his children including his “love child” (dislike the word “bastard”) Jon Snow equally. The many lessons in honor, loyalty, and leadership that he imparted on his children quickly made him a favorite of mine.


4-Haymitch Abernathy (The Hunger Games)

Ok, so he couldnt hold his liqour! so what! If I lived in their world i’d probably be staring at the bottom of a bottle often too LOL! all flaws aside, Haymitch really took care of Katniss & Peeta and made sure they survived. Haymitch served as a mentor to these kids & truly loved them.


5-Luke Graymark aka Lucian Garroway (Mortal Instruments)

My love for Luke goes back to his history with Jocelyn and how when she told him she was pregnant with another mans baby, he offered to marry her. She declined, but still his heart was in the right place. Afterwards, Jocelyn & Luke do enter a romantic relationship and he was an AMAZING father figure for Clary. How much cooler can it get than having a wolf for a step-dad?

Luke from the Shadowhunter tv series:

Luke from the Shadowhunter movie:

πŸ’­ This weeks topic has me now wanting to read more books with positive father figures so I will be on the hunt. If any of you have some suggestions, please let me know & I will def check them out.