21 February 2024

8 Reasons to Start Using a Reading Journal

Reading journals in three styles

So you’re considering getting a reading journal but aren’t sure if it’s worth the time? Now if you can’t guess by the title, I’m here to convince you how fun reading journals are! I started using mine last year, and I’m in love with it. I feel that I can recollect better what books I read and what I thought of them than before when I didn’t use one.

Here are 8 reasons why you should start using a reading journal – and ideas for the spreads you may want to include in yours if you choose to make one yourself. If that sounds too time-consuming to you, you can always buy a journal designed for readers.

16 February 2024

Fixing the Pacing in Project Prehistory (Writing Vlog #2)

 


Join me as I'm trying to figure out how to fix the chapters that have a slow pacing. Featuring scene analysis sheets, resistance to change, post-it note color coding, and breakthroughs!

14 February 2024

Book Review: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

 

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Book Title: Lessons in Chemistry
Author: Bonnie Garmus
Genre: Historical fiction
Published: March 31, 2022
390 pages
My rating: 5/5

 “Whenever you start doubting yourself,” she said, turning back to the audience, “whenever you feel afraid, just remember that Courage is the root of change – and change is what we’re chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back.

 Elizabeth Zott has one goal and one goal only: to work as a chemist. The all-male team at Hastings Research Institute where she works, however, has other ideas: she should make coffee, act as an assistant, and behave like any other woman. Only one person respects her for her accomplishments: the brilliant scientist Calvin Evans. Their unconventional relationship raises not a few eyebrows at the Institute. When Elizabeth is forced to resign due to her unwed pregnancy, she accepts a job as the host of the TV show Supper at Six. Her scientific approach to cooking glues women in front of the TV five days a week, while her revolutionary social commentary challenges the viewers to change the status quo.

09 February 2024

How I Prepare for Edits (Writing Vlog #1)

 

Join me as I read through the third draft of my current work in progress, Project Prehistory. My goal in 2024 is to write the fourth draft, but before I can do that, I have to read the manuscript to see what I want to change and how I can improve the story.

What to Include in a Book Bingo

 

Reading journal spreads with book bingo

What better way to challenge yourself to read more books than a book bingo? Last year was the first time I tried to fill out one, and I did really well. The only square I didn’t fill was a graphic novel, but hopefully I’ll read one this year – at least I’ve added it on my book bingo card (see more in the set-up of my 2024 reading journal).

Here are some ideas for what to include in a book bingo. All of my reading journals come with a book bingo, but you can get a free book bingo template (as well as a few other reading journal spreads) here.

02 February 2024

January wrap-up and February goals

 

January reads

January wrap-up

  • Finished: 5
  • Started but not finished: 3
  • Total pages read: 1,995
  • Average rating: 4.5
  • Books bought: 2

This was a great start to the year! Closer to two thousand pages read is always a great month, and I also finished a lot of books (which means that they were shorter reads, but anyway). Three books I will continue reading next month, so I won’t say more about them at the moment.

Two of the books I finished were modern fiction, Claire North’s Ithaca (4/5 stars) and Sunyi Dean’s The Book Eaters (3.5/5 stars). Click the links to read more on what I thought about those books. The other three were part of my ancient texts project (more on that below). When it comes to ratings, I wish I could have given my modern reads higher ratings, but at least the rest of the books I could give five stars to. Speaking of my other reads…

 

31 January 2024

Book Review: The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean


Book title: The Book Eaters
Author: Sunyi Dean
Genre: Modern fantasy
Published: August 18, 2022 by HarperVoyager
298 pages
My rating: 3.5/5

“For here was the thing that no fairy tale would ever admit, but that she understood in that moment: love was not inherently good.

Hidden across England and Scotland live six families of book eaters. Devon Fairweather grows up thinking that she’s a princess like the princesses in the fairytales she eats. But life doesn’t always have a happy ending and love can be destructive, as Devon learns when her son is born with a darker kind of hunger – he doesn’t eat books, but minds.

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