Anything but Books Tag

It’s about to be a book tag-filled week.

I’m pretty busy and am not in the mood to do any of the reviews I have planned, so I’ll do something fun instead, which means inundating my blog with tags everyday this week.

Positive perks: I’ll get caught up on things I’m tagged for.

Negative perks: I’ll annoy someone with all these tags because I might repeat books in a few. Oh well.

I’ll kick off tag week with the Anything But Books Tag, which was created by booktuber ReadorRot. I was tagged by the awesome Emily at Embuhlee liest, my buddy-reader in all things Robin Hobb.

Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

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“Things We Lost in the Fire” by Mariana Enriquez

I sometimes get intimidated by book reviews I must write. This is one of those times.

The intimidation usually arises because I love the book and have a lot to say but don’t know how to articulate my thoughts, such as now. I had lots to say when I completed this book but didn’t know how to make it all coherent. But the short of it is that this book is great and I highly recommend it.

Quick summary and My thoughts:

Things We Lost in the Fire is a book of short stories by Argentine journalist Mariana Enriquez. It was translated by Megan McDowell and published in the U.S. earlier this year by Hogarth Press. It’s the first book of short stories I’ve ever read and I’m glad that I had such a positive experience with it, which I didn’t expect because I thought I would be unsatisfied with the length. I wasn’t, but I wouldn’t mind reading an expanded version of some of the stories to know what the characters do next.

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“Wintersong” by S. Jae-Jones

I read Wintersong in tandem with Who Thought This Was a Good Idea because both became available on my library’s Overdrive at the same time. We are only given 21 days to read books downloaded to our devices, so I sped through both books. Good thing they were both somewhat engrossing.

Goodreads summary:

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world. (Goodreads)

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“Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House” by Alyssa Mastromonaco

Lately, it’s been hard to keep up with my reviews or remember what I want to say in them. I was more organized last year because I would jot down my thoughts soon after completing a book in my spiral-bound notebook. But at the beginning of this year, I was so lethargic and sluggish when it came to reading and blogging that I stopped recording my impression of what I read immediately after completing the book.

Most times I’m able to write a decent review despite not having recorded my initial thoughts. I highlight so many passages as I read that once I reread them, I’m able to recall why I highlighted it, how that portion of the book made me feel, and what that particular passage made me think. So a notebook isn’t necessarily needed, but it is helpful in easing the load of thoughts I store in mind as I read more and more books without posting reviews of them.

Such a notebook comes in handy when I read library e-books that disappear after its due date without me having posted a review. That’s what happened with Alyssa Mastromonaco’s memoir Who Thought This Was a Good Idea, which is about how she became the youngest woman to serve as deputy chief of staff at the White House.

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What’s On Your Nightstand: May 2017

What’s on Your Nightstand, is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

May was such an eventful and busy month, but a great one as well. My reading is back on track and life is full of bustling fun. I am happy and am looking toward the future with high hopes about what I can accomplish.

In this month, I noticed an improvement in my driving skills (I’m learning how to drive), made new friends, saved some money, and took a leap of faith that turned out well at the beginning of June (I’m vague here, but I’ll mention it some more in my June wrap-up).

I also committed to a natural journey for my hair (though at this moment, as I’m typing this post, I’m tempted to book an appointment to relax my hair and throw in some purple highlights), but it’s hard to remain committed so we’ll see what happens by the end of June. Anyway, here’s what happened this month:

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Weekend Reads #72: Busy and Tired

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

This post was inspired by Sara Letourneau’s recent Thursday Thoughtfulness post, which asked:

What are your favorite ways of “recharging your batteries”? Do you think that rest, relaxation, and other forms of mindfulness are important parts of everyday life? Why or why not?

Good timing, Sara. This was exactly what I intended to talk about.

My blogging — posting and interacting with other bloggers — have been spotty lately because I’ve been busy and by the time I sit down to write, I’m either tired or not in the mood. Often, this means that I need to recharge. It means that I’m overtaxed in some way, either working too much at my job or socializing too much in my life, which is fun but leaves me drained afterward.

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