What’s on Your Nightstand: October 2018

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.


What happened in October? I can’t remember exactly, so I’ll just wrap up stuff up to this moment, November 11. I ended September having regained my confidence after a trying August, but I messed up my phone in the process when I dropped it on concrete and cracked the screen. But good news: I was able to get it fixed after spending a whole week without it, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be (in retrospect), and lucky timing because stuff got super busy right after.

October was crazy and I barely had enough time to read, but I managed to complete two books. I squeezed them in between the many things I had to do as I prepped for a huge meeting, a work trip, and starting a part-time job at a bookstore. Of course, that last bit is the only awesome thing in the previous sentence. I was so excited when I got the bookstore position. I told everyone I knew. None of them were surprised, but they were all happy for me because FINALLY, I got my dream job. 😀

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What’s on Your Nightstand: September 2018

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.

September was a much better month than August, probably because I didn’t do much in it. But this was good for me. I wasn’t as stressed, and I was able to relax and find confidence again in things I’m great at. So September was a great month for regaining my footing, my balance — though it ended with me fucking up my phone. GAH!!!


Books read:

I kicked off September with a series of quick, one-sitting reads, the first of which was Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell. It’s a humorous book of anecdotes recounted by booksellers around the world. The conversations overheard and scenarios witnessed were sometimes too comical for me to believe.

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What’s on Your Nightstand: August 2018

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.

Things started to take a turn for the better in August after a stressful July. I won a copy of Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò in an IG giveaway that I was happy for and that set my month on a positive tone. I went to my first baseball game this month and was super excited about it though I didn’t understand shit about what was happening. The only thing I know is home run and that didn’t happen until after I left the game 😦 . But I’m glad to have participated in this quintessential American experience of attending a ball game and eating a hotdog there.

I also attended the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., but it wasn’t as great as I expected. I was glad to see Roxane Gay speak, though I haven’t read any of her books yet; and I really enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s session. She was very funny and made me want to immediately start reading her books (I’ve only read Shadow & Bone so far). I wanted to stick around to see Celeste Ng, but I was hungry and disappointed with the festival, so I left.

Reading-wise, it was a good month. I read six books, which I think shows how stressed I still was from July. I didn’t want to deal with the world, so I dunked my head in books to avoid it. I didn’t read as many articles as I wanted to though, but I’m slowly getting back into them. It’s been a weird summer overall and I hope that my year will get better and end on a positive note. So, reading is good but life is…unpredictable as always.

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Handwriting Challenge

I enjoy writing by hand because I admire my own handwriting, so this tag was perfect for me. I was tagged for it last year by Sara Letourneau and though I’ve considered doing it many times since then, it’s only now that I’ve found the time to sit and write out the answers.

The answers aren’t long, but these days I don’t write by hand as much as I used to. It’s much quicker to type something and either send or print it. I write notes by hand and other short trivial things that quickly come to mind, but otherwise everything is typed, especially if it’s something long. My thoughts race when I’m writing — whether a blog post, or story, or letter, — so it’s best that I type so I can keep up with them. My hands also grow tired less quickly when I type than write if what I’m working on something long.

But I still enjoy writing by hand and will sometimes recopy notes I initially typed by hand (which, I guess, is working backwards) so I can admire my handwriting while committing the notes to memory. I remember things better when I write instead of type them, and I see handwriting as a work of art. So yea, I was quite vain while doing this post. I admired myself while writing out my answers and even liked my attempts to cover up the mistakes I made.

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What’s on Your Nightstand: June 2018

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.

June. It had its ups and downs, but it wasn’t too bad overall. I was busy for a good bit of it and did some travelling for work, but I was also able to read a bunch of books (though not as many articles, unfortunately) and see a couple movies/TV shows. So far, summer seems to be hectic for me and I guess that will be my summer schedule for a while. But I’m hoping a week will come along that’ll be unhurried. Just a laid-back, totally chill week where I can take my time relishing the delights of all the things I love. That’s what I look forward to every summer and I need something like that before my favorite season ends.


Books read:

The beginning of June marked my completion of Robin Hobb’s Tawney Man trilogy with Fool’s Fate. Emily of Embuhlee liest and I blazed through this book. We were eager to see how the story would end and what would become of our beloved characters. I enjoyed the story and can’t wait to jump into the next series of this story. I just hope that I’ll be able to read from my favorite character’s perspective again because the end of this book made me think that probably won’t happen.

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Weekend Reads #79: Should We Stop Binge Reading?

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Weekend Reads post, but a recent article I read in The Atlantic made me want to return to the meme to discuss a topic relevant to us readers.

(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.)

The article, “Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read: and the Movies and TV Shows We Watch” by Julie Beck, posits that our overconsumption of media and culture makes it harder for us to recall what we consume. I think most of us bloggers can relate to what Beck is saying here. Not many of us can remember the content of all the books we read in 2015, or even last year. Some of us forget the books we read shortly after completing them, which happened to me recently when I read Ursula K. Le Guin’s book of essays No Time to Spare.

According to the article, “people often shove more into their brains than they can possibly hold,” which is certainly true for me. I binge read sometimes, mostly read multiple books at once, and also read lots of articles and blog posts and text messages and status updates throughout the day, not to mention the reading I do at work. It’s as if I’m constantly reading. No wonder I forget some of these things throughout the year.

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“Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” by David Bayles and Ted Orland

This isn’t the book I went to Barnes & Noble to buy.

I visited the store after the rush of Thanksgiving break to use a couple coupons Barnes & Noble tempted me with so I could buy Kassia St. Clair’s The Secret Lives of Color. I’d always wanted a book specifically about color and because the cover of St. Clair’s book appealed to me, I decided to get it. But while searching for that book, I found Art & Fear.

Art & Fear is a book I’ve often seen on lists recommending books to writers and artists. I recall making a mental note to read it back in college, but promptly forgot about it as soon as the note was made. However, that memory came back to me when I saw the book sitting on the shelf. I was pulled toward it. I had no intention of purchasing any additional book to St. Clair’s, yet I found myself leaving the store with Art & Fear in my bag.

I immediately began to read it.

That doesn’t happen often. Usually a book would languish on my shelves for a couple months before I get to them, but it was hard to ignore Art & Fear. I felt a need to read it, and as I read, I realized it was a book I should have read long ago. Art & Fear is a necessary read for all artists and creators no matter what their field or medium or skill or expertise. All levels of artists and creators can benefit from reading this book.

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