Looking Forward to October and #15in31

Looking Forward to October and #15in31

Well I was looking forward to October. I received some bad news yesterday, so we’ll see what happens with the rest of the month.

September had its good moments. My oldest son, Oliver, decided (at the last minute) to go back to public school. That means that days before the first day of school, I was running around trying to buy what’s left of school uniforms and registering him for his school of choice. He didn’t get in, but he’s pretty content with the school he was transferred to. I’m content with him being at school. It’s one less kid to worry about or have to make lesson plans for. Avram, my youngest son, hates that his brother is gone during the day, but is getting used to the whole idea.

I didn’t read as much as I wanted to last month. I was in a heck of a reading rut, but the few books I read were pretty good. The month’s best books were:


Jackaby by William Ritter (supernatural mystery)
Beastly Bones by William Ritter (supernatural mystery)
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown (graphic nonfiction)
The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown (graphic nonfiction)

If you haven’t read the last two books, please put them on your library holds list now. You won’t regret it.


Andi (Estella’s Revenge) came up with a fantastic idea. She’s hosting a challenge called #15in31, where she tries to read 15 books during the 31 days of October. I’m still weeding books from my bookshelves, so I decided to join Andi. At least then I can say that I read some of the books I got rid of. I doubt I’ll get anywhere close to reading 15 books this month, but I want to try. Some of the books on my stack includes:



The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and The Ocean at The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman . After reading both books, I was sure I liked them but not sure if I loved them. I’m hoping with a reread, I’ll figure out if I want to keep them or not. I may squeeze in my favorite Gaiman of all, American Gods.

The Night Circus is a book that I’ve been meaning to read to my daughter for ages. Now is the perfect time with it being fall. As anyone listened to it on audio? How is it?

New Books

Marvels by Brain Selznick. I loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret and enjoyed Wonderstruck. Selnick has a wonderful imagination and reading his stories and looking at his illustrations is always a good way to spend a few hours.

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. This retelling of Arabian Nights has been receiving so many positive reviews. I can’t wait to start reading.

March Vol. 2 by John Lewis. If you haven’t read the first volume of March, you need to start soon. My only complaint about the first volume is that it’s too short. March is a powerful trilogy about Lewis’s rise in the Civil Rights Movement.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This book has been on my tbr shelf for too long.

So that’s just a few of the books I’m reading this month. What are you looking forward to in October?

Sunday Salon: What’s Your Story?

Sunday Salon: What’s Your Story?

sunday salon

Time: // 7: 37 a.m.

The scene: // ALL of my kids are up right now. It’s Sunday and they act as though it’s a school day! I was hoping to get some work done this morning. It’s going to be harder to do now, but still doable. The kids and I have been passing a cold back and forth to each other for over a week. Now it’s my turn again and I’m hoping not to give it to the baby. There’s nothing more stressful or sadder than a sick newborn.

Eating and drinking: // keeping with Sunday tradition, I’m making stacks of pancakes later. For now, I’m drinking my second cup of coffee.

Reading: // I finished Beastly Bones, the second Jackaby book. I enjoyed it more than the first book. The series is just what I needed to get out of a reading funk. Now I have to try and patiently wait for the next book.

Thinking about: // stories again. A few months ago, I read an interesting New York Times article about the narratives we tell ourselves about our lives. The stories we internalize about ourselves is so important and shows just which events we include and exclude about the past.

My daughter, along with many of the teens in our neighbor, had a few mishaps this summer. One of her recent assignments was to write an autobiographical narrative. The story she wrote excludes a lot of her accomplishments – almost all of them – and includes the recent failures and mistakes she’s made. The narrative that’s going through her head is one in which she’s more of a villain. We’ve been talking about the story she’s telling herself and how to change it.

It made me think about my own narrative. I know bits and pieces of my story, but I’ve never stopped to think about what I’m saying to myself. It’s something I plan to explore in depth more.

Now I’m wondering: // what’s your story?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s been too long since my last post. I’ve missed you all so much! The baby’s sleep, so let’s see if I can write and post this before she wakes up.

PicMonkey Collage
I actually read a book last week! It’s such an amazing feeling when you finish a book after such a long period of doing everything but reading. Last week, I received a copy of William Ritter’s Jackaby and his newest book, Beastly Bones. I dove into Jackaby and finished it in a day. The book has been described as “Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and it kind of fits. I just started Beastly Bones and I plan on finishing it soon.

Now that I’m reading again, I want to be ambitious and make a reading list for the week. Up next, I hope to read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander with Shannon (River City Reading). If I’m lucky (I probably won’t be), I’m including Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman and X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz.

What are you reading this week?


Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salon

Time and scene: // It’s 7:53 am and already it’s 73 degrees. It feels hotter than that. Fall needs to come already. I’m ready for pumpkin muffins, stews, and El Niño.

Most of the house is asleep, so I’m taking this quiet time to write my first post in weeks. It’s been so long since I’ve had a new baby that I’m relearning certain things all over again. One of them is that there’s never enough time in a day. Between homeschooling and taking care of Gigi, along with regular household duties, there’s always a huge list of things that don’t get done. I’m finally becoming more okay with that. It drives me crazy that my house can be a mess or that I’m not reading much, but for now, it’s the norm.

Reading: // nothing! Sadly, I haven’t read anything in over a week. I went to the library and checked out a ton of books so maybe something will catch my eye. If I can, I’ll post my library loot in a few days.

Thankful for: // all the birthday wishes and congratulations! My birthday was celebrated with cake and being taken out for dinner.

I’m also thankful for the fact that I found a new place! I’ve been searching a long time for a decent place that’s bigger and in my price range. Now I’m waiting for a unit to become available which can take months. I’m so eager to move that I’ve already started packing. I’ve lived in the same place for ten years now, but it’s time to go. As I type this, my next door neighbor is currently blaring The Bee Gees. Did I mention that he’s singing along at the top of his lungs?

Waiting for: // Carl’s R.I.P. Challenge to start! I don’t have a list yet, but the kids and I are planning on participating.

Now: // I’m off to start my day.

What have you been up to? What are you currently reading?

Back to Basics

Back to Basics

sunday salon

It was exactly a month ago that I gave birth to Gigi. Life is taking on a new normal as my family adjusts to Gigi and she adjusts to the world around her. I feel so grateful to my mom and kids. They’ve been a big help. Right now, most of the family is asleep and I’ve already inhaled a cup of coffee. The writing bug seem to have hit me lately, so here I am typing away instead of staying in bed.

Thinking about: // my birthday that’s coming up this Thursday. In the past, it felt like too much to celebrate since one of my sons have a birthday two days before mine. This year I feel differently. I want to celebrate my birthday in a simple way. I also want to reflect on my life so far.

Bryan (Still Unfinished) has this wonderful tradition in which he picks books to read and reflect on during his birthday month. I thought about doing that, so I may finally read Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar in the World. I bought it years ago when it was first published, read snippets of it, but never finished it. I also feel like I need to reread Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit  for inspiration. It’s self-help for creative types, but I think almost anyone can benefit from reading it.

Now that I’m turning 33, I’ve been thinking about an old passion. When I was younger, I used to write and create art in my art journal every single day. Even with kids, even while homeless, even when life was hard and dark and hopeless, I would write or paint. My journal wasn’t just a journal; it was my commonplace book, my diary, my sketch book, my prayer book. Anything that I wanted to say went into my journal.

Some of my old journals.

A few years ago, my older kids’ dad stole the journal I was working on at the time and ripped it to shreds with his bare hands. It was a journal thick with paint and words, two hundred pages at least. I was so devastated. And since then, I rarely use a journal. I buy them every now and then, but can never conjure up the enthusiasm I once had.

That’s going to change.

It’s time for me to start creating again. The world has been pretty dim without my constant paper companion. I’m going to fake enthusiasm until the day comes when I don’t have to. This won’t be easy, but of course, not everything is.

She’s Here!

She’s Here!

photo(1)Time: // 9:03 a.m., Sunday morning

The scene: // I’m sitting at my desk, holding my newest arrival. Ms. Gwendolyn a.k.a. Gigi was born a few days after my last post. After 19 hours of labor, she was in my arms. The past week and a half has been surreal. I feel like I’m in a dream and keep wanting to pinch myself, it’s so good. The kids love Gigi and fight over who gets to hold up. I’m so blessed.

Feeling: // pretty good though my daughter insists on being up throughout the night.

Currently reading: // I haven’t been able to read since giving birth, but I plan on trying to again. Two weeks ago, I started reading Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam. It’s about how the American Dream has become harder for young people to acquire and why that is. Putnam writes about the economy our grandparents and parents were born and thrived in compared to the present economy. He also discusses how familial makeup, the way we parent our children, education, and community play a huge role in whether or not people are able to have the opportunities needed to fulfill their dreams. A lot of what Putnam writes about is not new, but it does remind people why things are the way they are.

Thank you for: // all the well wishes on Instagram and Facebook. It’s easier to post pictures than it is to write a full blog post.

Now: // I’m keeping this short but sweet since Gigi is asleep.

What have you been up to?

Sunday Salon: My favorite books of June

Sunday Salon: My favorite books of June

Time: // 2:05 p.m.

The scene: // For the first time ever, I am days past my due date. I’m calm about it, while the rest of my family are on eggshells waiting for the new arrival. She’ll come when she comes. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my time and just read and do any last minute things.

June: // was an okay month for reading. I don’t what happened. I checked out many books from the library and even read books from Scribd, but there just wasn’t enough “yes!” books. You know the type of book where you want to grab the nearest person and make them read it? Those. Some standouts from last month includes:


Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices edited by Lisa Charleyboy. I spoke about this anthology last week. It’s good to see current work by indigenous people, especially young people. We need more books like this one.

lynchThe Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton and Don Tate. I’m always on the lookout for good nonfiction to share with my kids. Plus, nonfiction picture books are a great way of learning about people and events that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise. John Roy Lynch spent most of his childhood a slave until about the age of fifteen. After that, he took on a number of jobs before becoming a portrait photographer, then a justice of the peace, and finally elected into Congress in a matter of a decade. Lynch’s life was pretty inspirational.


Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle. This was another inspirational nonfiction picture book. Decades ago, Cuba had this taboo against women playing the drums or becoming a drummer. As a young girl, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga wanted nothing more than to play the drums. It was her passion. Finally, her father relented and got her a teacher who believed that Millo was one of the best drummers he met. The young girl took off and even started an all-girl band with her older sisters, becoming world famous.


Blueprint Homeschooling: How to Plan a Year of Home Education That Fits the Reality of Your Life by Amy Knepper. With school starting in a little bit over a month, Blueprint Homeschooling was just the book I needed to help me plan the upcoming year. Knepper takes readers step-by-step through planning a whole school year in a matter of weeks. I found the book to be so helpful and it makes things less overwhelming. It was also refreshing to see her mention resources that beginner and veteran homeschoolers can use.


Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. The basics: a kick-ass young girl who loves to kill and is the sidekick to a local villain. Plus, she’s a shapeshifter. If you haven’t read this book already, you should. It’s much more than it seems. Noelle Stevenson can’t produce things fast enough for me.

Now you know my favorites books of June. What were yours?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salon
Time: // 5:13 a.m.

The scene: // I’m sitting in bed as the house sleeps. Insomnia has hit me pretty hard in the last few weeks, so as usual, I’ve been up for several hours.
Drinking: // water.

Reading: // I read several books last week, mainly children’s books. One that stood out was Dreaming in Indian, an anthology of poetry, essays, and short stories by indigenous youth. The latest volume of the Fables series stood out, but not for the best reasons. I found the sudden turn of events and drastic personality makeovers from the main characters to be disappointing, which is sad since there’s only one volume left in the series.

With my due date fast approaching this week, I really want to read as much as possible. After my daughter’s birth, I know I won’t have the time or energy for much. On my reading stack are:

  • Between the World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (nonfiction)
  • Find the Good by Heather Lende (nonfiction)
  • Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (middle grade/YA)
  • Rat Queens Vol. 2 –Kurtis J. Wiebe (a reread)
  • Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam (nonfiction)
  • Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper (middle grade)
  • The Martian by Andy Weir (fiction). I’m probably one of the few people who haven’t read this yet. Luckily, The Socratic Salon is having an upcoming read-along for it.

Looking at my list, I notice some adult fiction is missing. I need to change that.

The past few weeks: // have been so emotional for this country. First, there was the Charleston massacre, which is such a horrendous thing. Then, there was the latest Supreme Court rulings. I had no faith in the SCOTUS, but found myself amazed and thankful that the Affordable Care Act was left alone. Then for SCOTUS to decide that marriage equality is now the law of the land?! Omg! Love. Love wins. Love should always win.

Now I’m off: // to have a sip of coffee and read a bit before the kids wake up.

What are your plans for today?

Sunday Salon: On Recovery

Sunday Salon: On Recovery

sunday salonTime: // 5: 23 a.m.

The scene: // The house is quiet as I listen to the birds chirp outside. I’m sitting here with my thoughts and there’s so much to try and process.

I named this post “On Recovery” because right now I’m recovering physically from being really sick early in the week and emotionally from all that’s happening in the United States. Nine people were gunned down on Wednesday at Emmanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina during Bible Study. Nine people who were murdered because they’re black. They were parents and grandparents, coaches and college students, librarians and pillars in their community. They were loved. They were human beings.

As a black person, I don’t often mention things about race on my blog. Often, like now, I feel like it’s so hard to put my thoughts and feelings into a coherent post. But being silent about things that matter like race and privilege and being so talkative about things that don’t like book giveaways or whatnot is part of the problem that’s going on in this world. Book blogs try to stay focused on the subject, but as people, we are not one-dimensional. Things happen and they affect us. So why not speak about it?

As I pray for the victims’ families, I’m hurt, angry, and shock. People often act as though our society is post-racial though it’s anything but.

It’s a world that’s filled with hatred and acts of violence based on skin color, religion, and gender.

It’s a world that’s filled with love and forgiveness as we’ve seen with the families of the dead.

It’s a world that’s filled with courage as Joy and her friends stand every weekend to point out that “black lives matter” and Jill posts about a diverse and important number of subjects about the world.

It’s also a world that’s filled with hope as people come together to pray and openly talk.

You may not know how to contribute to the conversation. Listen to what others are saying. Speak up even if it means offending or losing the support of family or friends. It may be hard, but isn’t it harder living in a world where horrific things of this nature happen? Acts of hatred and terrorism cannot be fought by being silent or on the defense. That’s not how the world is going to change.

Emily Perper at LongReads compiled a small list of online reading about the massacre.

Thanks to Evelyn for pointing out #CharlestonSyllabus, a list of selected readings that educators have gathered to talk about race and race relations in the U.S.

Speak up.

Short review: The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Short review: The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste


The Jumbies
Tracey Baptiste
240 pages
Published in April 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Public Library

The other kids in Corrine La Mer’s small Caribbean village may believe in jumbies, but she doesn’t. Who would really believe in fairy-like creatures that can shed their skin and put it back on or snatch kids into the forest? Life in her village is pretty quiet until a mysterious woman named Severine suddenly appears. The young girl knows trouble is brewing when she finds Severine at her house, trying to get close to Corrine’s father. After the stranger’s jumbie nature and plan to take over the island is exposed, every human is in danger. It will take all of Corrine’s courage, her misfit friends, and belief in magic to fight Severine. Can she help save everyone in time?

I picked up The Jumbies after seeing its creepy cover online. A young brown girl in a dark forest with glowing yellow eyes watching her? Count me in. Plus, the book takes place in the Caribbean and it’s based on Caribbean fairy tales?! Yes and yes.

I’m used to mostly European fairy tales like “Cinderella” and “Little Red”, so to find the rare book that deals with Caribbean fairy tales is something not to miss. Author Tracey Baptiste takes the fairy tales from her childhood and gives readers an engaging story that makes us want more books that feature fairy tales from non-European cultures. Publishers, are you listening?!

Think of jumbies as fairies in various forms. Baptiste does a fantastic job of bringing these creatures and their surroundings to life without making things confusing or explaining every single detail. That’s something I’ve noticed in a few children’s books lately when it comes to cultural aspects that a mainstream audience may not know about.

While the elements of fantasy were interesting, this isn’t a perfect book. At times I wanted more from the writing, but the plot did keep my attention. I thought it was strange that the protagonist was friendless at first in such a small village. I also wanted to know more about the local witch whose back story was suddenly included at the end without much support.

Even with the problems I had with this book, I can’t wait to read it with my kids. The Jumbies is a unique middle grade story that kids and adults will enjoy. My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.



Time: // 5: 43 a.m. Tuesday morning. Everyone is asleep and the house is so quiet. It’s such a rare thing to experience.

The scene: // I’ve been trying for the past two days to write a post, but to no avail. Two of the kids have been sick with various things, I had a killer migraine, and there were countless errands and chores to do around the house. Now that all of that is out the way, I can sit here quietly and gather my thoughts.

This weekend: // my city had their first annual Beach Streets event, where they closed down a major street to cars and opened it up to bikes, pedestrians, skateboards. . . almost anything that moved. I took my kids and sisters to this fun event that lasted most of the day. It’s funny how the idea of closing down a street to let people walk and ride could be so much fun. It was one of the best events my city has ever hosted.

Last week I read: // a ton of children’s books and Syllabus by Lynda Barry. The thing I’ve come to understand about Barry is that in each work of hers, there’s always a question that she needs to explore. In Syllabus she brings together several questions that she’s had about art and images, but also how can keeping a daily notebook help us transfer the things we think about, that are inside us to something more solid on paper and to others.

The book’s form is so unique. It’s like a composition notebook with so much color and images on each page. There’s also a lot of inspiration to be found. I don’t think I’m going to buy a copy of Syllabus, but I can see why so many people want to. My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Next up is: // a ton of books! There’s so much that I want to read. My boys are reluctant readers, so I’m trying to find fantastic middle grade books that I can share with the two of them this summer. This week I’m trying to read and finish:

Monday Collage

Monday Collage2

  • Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger
  • The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. It has such a creepy cover and it has to do with creatures from Carribean fairy tales.
    How often can a reader say that?
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. I’m probably one of the few people who haven’t read this book yet. If you haven’t picked up the Lumberjanes yet, you need to change that.
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.

I’m looking forward to reading all five books this week. Most of them have already been named a favorite book of the year by various sources I follow. And it’s only June!

Thinking about: // The Worst Kind of Groundhog Day: Let’s Talk (Again) About Diversity in Publishing by Roxanne Gay. Just.Read.It.

Now I’m off to: // enjoy my coffee.

How’s your Tuesday morning going? What are you looking forward to today?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salon

Time: // 8:04 a.m.

The scene: // As usual, I’m sitting at my desk in the living room. I spend a lot of time at this spot, doing research, reading, or just watching my kids play outside.

Drinking: // coffee.


Reading: // Syllabus by Lynda Barry. I started it earlier in the week and though it’s a short book, I’m taking my time reading it. Barry has been a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a few years now and Syllabus is about some of her past classes. The book includes syllabi, assignments, and is done in that typical Barry style: composition book-like pages and filled with images. I can see why Joy enjoyed this book so much.

Thinking about: // the power of storytelling. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Avid readers love stories and there are some themes we gravitate to, while ignoring others. Stories have the power to change us and give us words to experiences that we ourselves couldn’t voice.

With my daughter starting high school next year, I have the opportunity to create her English class. Previous classes offered for homeschooled high schoolers have been pretty bland, filled exclusively with busywork, books that were written at least forty years ago, and all the authors are white. Nope. That’s not for us.

So I’m starting from scratch: going over standards while figuring out what we should explore from themes to books, documentaries to podcasts. It’s scary, yet exciting at the same time. It also means that I have a ton of reading ahead like old favorites such as To Kill a Mockingbird, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Persepolis, American Born Chinese, and more. I have my work cut out for me.

Enjoying: // my last few weeks of pregnancy! I have four weeks left and it’s exciting, though I hope time flies by. I can’t wait to meet my baby girl.

Now I’m off to: // figure out what’s for breakfast. These kids aren’t going to feed themselves (though they’re old enough to).

What are you up to today?

Sunday Salon: It’s finally summer!

Sunday Salon: It’s finally summer!

sunday salonTime: // 8:28 a.m.

The scene: // It’s a cold and cloudy Sunday morning, not your typical setting when you think of summer but it feels good.

The last day of school was Friday, so I’m spending the weekend packing up old textbooks, correcting tests, writing my last learning record of the year, and decluttering our homeschooling space. It feels good to have the school year done with. I plan on writing down what went right (and wrong) about this school year, and any new changes I’m thinking about implementing. Lesson planning will start in a few days.

Reading: // I’m currently diving into the middle grade class, Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo with the kids. It’s a fantastic read aloud and I can see why it’s won so many awards.

Participating in: // The 7th Annual #bookaday challenge. The challenge started a little more than a week ago and I decided to join in this summer. I’m hoping to read a ton of books. Well, at least before the baby arrives in early July. You can find the challenge on Instagram and Twitter.

Now I’m off: // to read blog posts.

What are you up to today?

#BoutofBooks 13 Master Post and Goals

#BoutofBooks 13 Master Post and Goals


I’m usually not someone who dislikes Mondays, but today is starting off a bit rough. Insomnia kicked in last night and I didn’t get much sleep. One of the best things about today is that it’s the first day of the Bout of Books read-a-thon, a week-long reading event where participants read as much or as little as they want.

I don’t often participate in this event, but I haven’t finished a book since Dewey’s Read-a-thon. It’s time for me to get my butt into gear and read instead of playing Candy Crush Saga.

I plan on picking my reading pile as I go, but three books that I definitely plan on getting to this week are:

PicMonkey Collage

March Book Two by John Lewis and Nate Powell (Thanks for the reminder, Sarah!)
Rat Queens Vol. 2 by Kurtis I. Wiebe
No Matter the Wreckage: Poems by Sarah Kay (A leftover from Dewey’s read-a-thon)

My goal is to read for at least one hour every day and to stay offline when I can. We’ll see how it goes.

Are you participating in Bout of Books 13? Do you have any tips for a newbie like me?

Monday update

It’s only 6 p.m., but I’m going to write an update now because I’m exhausted!

Read: Rat Queens Vol. 2, “The Six Swans” and “The Almond Tree” by the Brothers Grimm.

Thoughts: The short stories were creepy and Rat Queens was pretty good.

Pages read: 143

Tuesday Update

Allergies have been kicking our asses over here, so the only reading I was able to get done was children’s books with my youngest, Avram. My poor baby boy. He’s absolutely miserable, but it seems like reading to him calms him somewhat. That and Benadryl. We read:

  • Blue on Blue by Dianne White
  • The Bear’s Sea Escape by Benjamin Chaud
  • The Iridescence of Birds: A Book about Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan
  • The Backwards Birthday Party by Tom Chapin
  • In Mary’s Garden by Tina Kugler

Blue on Blue and The Backwards Birthday Party were our favorites.

Next up: I’m not sure. We left the house briefly to go to the library and returned with a ton of books, including YA and anime for my daughter and graphic novels and picture books for the rest of us.

How are you guys doing? Read anything interesting?

Bout of Books 13

Bout of Books 13


I did pretty well with Dewey’s Readathon and now I’ve decided to participate in Bout of Books, the week-long readathon. Hopefully, it’ll help me get through May’s tbr pile. Want to know more about the event?

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Are you going to sign up?

Looking forward to May

Looking forward to May

Usually, I’m the type of person who changes the calendar on days before the month ends, always eager for a new start. Nowadays, all the months look the same as I count down until my July due date. For May, I’m celebrating my mom’s birthday and the end of the homeschooling year. I’m also steadily trying to shrink my physical tbr (to be read) stack.

Surprisingly, I’ve read a ton of books last month. 21 books to be exact. My favorites were:

Lumberjanes Vols. 1-9 by Noelle Stevenson (comics)
A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson (nonfiction)
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex (middle grade)
Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why by Willow G. Wilson (comics)

Now that May’s here, I scoured my tbr shelves and found the following books to tackle:


Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (for next week’s Socratic Salon discussion)
Where Women Are Kings by Christie Watson (fiction)
The Best American Essays 2011 by Edwidge Danticat (I started this collection years ago and never finished it.)
When The Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka (fiction)
The Voice of the River by Melanie Rae Thon (fiction)
For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu (fiction)
Economix: How Our Economy Works (And Doesn’t Work) by Michael Goodwin (graphic nonfiction)
Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (nonfiction)
The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission by Jim Bell (nonfiction)
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (fiction)

Some of these reads are pretty heavy, but I’m hoping that I can get through them all by the end of the month. I’m already in the middle of Economix and Citizen and both are really good reads with post-its sticking out.

What are you looking forward to reading in May? Do you make a monthly tbr list?

National Poetry Month: Poem in Your Pocket Day

National Poetry Month: Poem in Your Pocket Day

Love Poem #137

I will wake you up early
even though I know you like to stay through the credits.

I will leave pennies in your pockets,
postage stamps of superheroes
in between the pages of your books,
sugar packets on your kitchen counter.
I will Hansel and Gretel you home.

I talk through movies.
Even ones I have never seen before.

I will love you with too many commas,
but never any asterisks.

There will be more sweat than you are used to.
More skin.
More words than are necessary.

My hair in the shower drain,
my smell on your sweaters,
bobby pins all over the window sills.

I make the best sandwiches you’ve ever tasted.
You’ll be in charge of napkins.

I can’t do a pull-up.
But I’m great at excuses.

I count broken umbrellas after every thunderstorm,
and I fall asleep repeating the words thank you,

I will wake you up early
with my heavy heartbeat.
You will say, Can’t we just sleep in, and I will say,
No, trust me. You don’t want to miss a thing.

by Sarah Kay, from No Matter The Wreckage


Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

Time: // 9:26 a.m., four hours after the readathon ended.

I didn’t stay up reading the whole time. I’m too pregnant to do that! I stayed up until hour 18, woke up around hour 22, read a bit more, then went back to bed. No readathon hangover for me thanks. As someone who has been going through a reading rut for such a long time, it felt good to get through book after book. I feel like maybe I’m getting my reading groove back.

Eating: // homemade waffles that Oliver, my 11 year-old made.

Drinking: // water

This week’s tbr (to-be read) list includes:

  • Citizen by Claudia Rankine for an upcoming Socratic Salon chat.
    Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 edited by Mary Roach
    Where We Were Kings by Christie Watson

Today: // I wish I could take it easy, but I can’t! I need to clean up around the house and do some homeschooling prep work for the week among other things. I am looking forward to dinner, which will be carne asada nachos. They’re my sister’s idea and I can’t wait to try them.

It’s time for me: // to start my day.

What have you been up to this past week? How are you spending your Sunday?

Rah Rah #Readathon

Rah Rah #Readathon

dewey1-1024x1024It’s here! Dewey’s Annual 24 Hour Readathon!

If you don’t know, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon* has been going on for eight years now. A dear friend, Dewey, was the original host of the event before passing away. She was a sweet, generous, thoughtful, caring friend and blogger. There are so many people, (including myself,) that write about books because of her. There are authors (Neil Gaiman) and genres (fantasy/science fiction/graphic novels) that would probably still be at the bottom of my tbr list if it weren’t for Dewey.

While it’s not the same without Dewey here, (and it will never be,) I am so glad that Heather  and Andi  take on the gigantic task TWICE a year of hosting this event. You guys, along with your co-hosts, rock!

*For some people, this event means reading as much as they can for 24 hours straight. For others like myself, it means carving out 24 hours to enjoy doing something I love and engaging with fellow bookworms. How you choose to do the event is up to you, just remember to enjoy yourself and make new friends.

Here’s my game plan for the big day:

Where Women Are Kings by Christie Watson
No Matter The Wreckage: Poems by Sarah Kay
Citizen by Claudia Rankine
Blue Horses by Mary Oliver
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger

Graphic Novels
The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
The Wicked + the Divine Vol.1 (re-read)
Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson (re-read)
Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson
Plus a crapload of books on Scribd

Middle Grade
The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. I’m listening to this on audio and reading it in print.


Opening Meme
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Southern California
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? All of them!
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? This might sound crazy, but I’m looking forward to eating a Sloppy Joe.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’ve been blogging for eight years now, since the first read-a-thon. I’m currently seven months pregnant with my fourth child, a little girl. We’re homeschoolers which means I’m surrounded by projects, cookbooks, and tons of paperwork!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I’ll actually participate. I have no idea what happened during the last ‘thon, but I barely read or cheerlead. Today, I’m doing both.
Happy reading!

1st Update

It’s the 4th hour of the readathon. So far:

  • I’ve finished one book, Ms. Marvel Vol. 2. I’m going to push this on my daughter. It’s so good.
  • I’ve had a small breakfast of sausages and eggs with coffee.
  • I’ve left comments on 23 blogs and several pictures on Instagram. I’ve also cheered a little on Twitter.

Next up: I have no idea. I do know that I owe my youngest a round of Uno and he wants me to build something with him using Legos. We’ll see what happens.

Hour 9 Update

Here’s what I’m currently reading on Scribd:

photo 3

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 edited by Mary Roach. I heard this was a fantastic collection of essays.

Currently eating: a firecracker popsicle. It’s probably better than putting my face in a plate of fudge brownies. Nom nom.


Hour 17 Update

I’m still reading! Can you believe it?! I got off of social media and started reading several hours ago. I just finished The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, my third book. I really enjoyed it. Next up? I have no idea. We’ll see.

How are you guys doing?

End of Event Meme:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? None. I just took everything in stride.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Graphic novels like Lumberjanes and The Wicked + The Divine are always great picks.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Not at all! I had a blast.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything. I have no complaints.
5. How many books did you read? I actually finished three books: The Wicked + The Divine (a re-read), The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, and Ms. Marvel Vol. 2. I started The Best American Science and Nature Writing edited by Mary Roach.
6. What were the names of the books you read? See above.
7. Which book did you enjoy most? I enjoyed them all.
8. Which did you enjoy least? The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple. I started reading it and decided to DNF it. I wasn’t in the mood for it.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn’t an official cheerleader, but I cheered about thirty blogs on and left comments on Instagram and Twitter. I don’t have any advice. Just have fun. Surprisingly, cheerleading can become pretty addictive.
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I’ve been participating in Dewey’s Readathon since the beginning, so I’m not going anywhere. As usual, I’ll probably be a reader and cheerleader once again.

Sunday Salon: Happy Easter!

Sunday Salon: Happy Easter!

sunday salon

Time: // 9:00 a.m.

The scene: // It’s a cold Easter morning as I sit at my desk, regretting the fact that I didn’t start cooking Easter dinner yesterday. I’m a big believer in cooking the day before, so I can just eat on a holiday. Now I have hours to go before the ham and everything else is done, which means I have to buy takeout.

Reading: // After talking to Memory, Chris, and Sarah, I finally started a free trial with the reading app, Scribd. The app has a crapload of comics that my library doesn’t have and I didn’t necessarily want to pay for since I’ve never read them. Since the start of my trial a few days ago, I have been reading up a storm! I read the first seven issues of The Lumberjanes series and Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh, a graphic novel. The app doesn’t feature the newest books, but I can use it to hit my reading goal of reading more diversely, trying out new comic series, and reading older books from my tbr list/pile. If you want to get a free two-month trial from Scribd, here’s the link: https://www.scribd.com/g/7271v

Celebrating: // The fact that it’s Spring Break. For the next seven days I can do pretty much what I want to do, which means I am reading from the stack of books above and taking the kids to various places like the beach and local museums. I’m also going to relax and enjoy the start of my third trimester.

Now I’m off to: // relax and do some reading.

What are you up to today?

Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

22318578The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Marie Kondo
Translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano
213 pages
Published in 2014 by Ten Speed Press
Source: I bought it

English artist William Morris once famously said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Marie Kondo’s book on decluttering has rewritten that quote stating that everything in your house should bring you joy and be useful. Emphasis on joy.

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, author Marie Kondo, swears that if you follow her method on decluttering and tidying, you will never have to declutter your house again. Based on that claim alone, you can see why so many people have added this book to their to-be read lists. It’s why I decided to buy this book instead of waiting for my hold (number 151!) to come through at the library.

After years of helping clients declutter and clean their home, Kondo has developed a method, called The KonMari Method, which she gives in detail to readers. According to the author, there’s an order to decluttering: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany), and things of sentimental value. The whole time you declutter, she wants you to ask yourself if the item makes you happy. I agree. Pretty much every item of clothing I own makes me feel good when I wear it. If it doesn’t, it goes. Life is too short to wear clothes I feel self-conscious in.

I had a few problems with this book. First, it could be pretty repetitive. The author tells readers over and over again how not one client has rebounded yet after accepting her help. That’s great but I don’t need to read that fact in so many sections.

Another problem I encountered is when I started reading the section on organizing books. As a homeschooler and a bookworm, I own at least 1,000 books. After years of paring down my collection, I know that almost every book in my home is needed. Those that aren’t, like a few ARCS, are ones that I’m trying to read before the baby’s arrival in July.

First, the author believes that books are mainly for conveying information. What?! Don’t tell a bookworm that!! Books are just more than that. They teach, give comfort, and can offer meaning to the situations we go through in life. They’re not just paper and ink. Do I believe that a person can have too many books? Yes, I do. But I also believe that it’s not a bad thing to own a few unread books. If you haven’t touched certain shelves in years, (I’m looking at my little sisters), you should look long and hard at what you own. Suggesting that books and bookcases can go in the closet reminds me of the time my ex-boyfriend said the same thing. He’s an ex for a reason.

While Kondo will likely offer new advice to some readers, she mostly reminded me of what I already knew. Here’ the gist of it:

• Surround yourself with things that give you joy.
• Declutter your home in one go, (if you can), then tidy up. That way you don’t get distracted and later discouraged.
• Everything should have a place.

While I didn’t love the book, I would still recommend it. My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Want your own copy? Leave a comment stating that you want this book and I’ll send you my copy. U.S. readers only.

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salonTime: // 4:16 p.m. – Saturday afternoon

The scene: // Since California has decided to skip winter AND spring, it’s a hot summer day. The kids are outside enjoying themselves while I’m sitting at my desk and feeling a little bleh. Emotionally, I don’t feel all that great. I don’t know what’s going on.

Eating: // Nothing. I just finished my crockpot dinner of stewed steak with rice.

Drinking: // Water.

Reading: // Can you believed that I’ve read three books this past week and I’m now on my fourth?! That’s crazy. I haven’t read this much in probably a year. I finished The Life-Changing of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. My review will go up tomorrow. Also finished are The Sculptor by Scott McCloud and Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Effiel Tower by Greg Pizzoli.

I’m currently reading Blue Horses: Poems by Mary Oliver. National Poetry Month is in a few days and I’m looking forward to diving into a few poetry collections. Also on my reading list for this week is The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple, a graphic novel, and Ironweed by William Kennedy. I was cleaning out my bookshelves when I came across Ironweed. I started reading it and the opening pages reeled me in.

Bloggiesta: // was a success. I didn’t participate in any of the chats or mini-challenges, but I was able to cross off pretty much everything on my to-do list.

Next up: // I think I’ll enjoy a brownie and a nice nap.

What are you up to?




Bloggiesta’s finally here! If you don’t know, Bloggiesta is a yearly blogging event where bloggers come up with a to-do list for improving their sites while having fun with mini-challenges and Twitter or Google chats. For the first time ever, the event lasts for an entire week, perfect for bloggers like me who need all the time they can get.

Here’s my to-do list:
Back-up blog. Done.
• Comment on 20-25 blogs this week including a few new-to-me ones. So far, I’ve left comments on at least 10 blogs.
Change blog’s theme. Done. That was easy.
Read two books. You can’t review a book if you haven’t read it. I’m halfway done! I just finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
• Write two non-Sunday Salon posts.
• Come up with a list of possible topics.

It’s a small but do-able list. Now I’m off to get to work.

Are you participating in Bloggiesta?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salon

Time: // 7:36 a.m.

The scene: // Sitting in my living room with my son as he watches Steven Universe. I was trying to get some alone time to just read, but that’s okay. I love spending time with my soon-to-be second youngest.

Drinking: // coffee. It’s so good today.

Eating: // I’m thinking about making some donuts this morning even though I just made some on Friday. They are so good and I cut down on the prep time by letting the donuts rise for an hour instead of two hours.

Reading: // I’m still reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I’ve had a few disagreements when it comes to the author’s de-cluttering philosophy and I can see myself writing a post about this book later on this week.

Looking forward to: // Bloggiesta. I still don’t have a list yet, but I know reading, writing, blog commenting, and giving my blog a new look is part of my plan. There’s some of my list!

What are you up to today? Are you joining Bloggiesta?

It’s spring. What I’m looking forward to reading. . .

It’s spring. What I’m looking forward to reading. . .

I’m a winter person, but for some reason I am happy that spring is here. The new season is bringing a sense of renewal and the belief that better things are on the horizon. At least, it certainly feels that way.
Earlier this week, so many of my favorite bloggers posted a list of their spring TBR and it reminded me to make my own. Since spring ends in late June, I have plenty of time (fingers crossed) to read my list.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

18964642The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E. Jensen. You guys, my girls are driving me nuts right now! I don’t know what’s going on. My sisters are 15 and my daughter is 13 and this sounds like a book that I need to read soon.

burnett new
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I can’t help but read this book every spring.

22522686Fables vol. 21: Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

18693655A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley. I’m already reading this one.


The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. Winner of this year’s Newbery Medal.


Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life by Joan Chittister. Someone blogged about this book lately and I had to put it on hold.


Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. A middle school graphic novel about roller derby?! Hell yes.

20613619Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry. This book has been on my tbr list for months, but is also out of print. Luckily, the book’s publisher, Drawn & Quarterly, says Syllabus will be back in stores at the end of the month.


So that’s my list. What are you reading this spring?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salon

Time: // 8:35 a.m.

The scene: // sitting at my kitchen table while being surrounded by books.

Drinking: // water and my first cup of coffee. I know that’s a little odd, but I wake up sometimes thirsty.

Eating: // nothing yet but I have a slice of carrot cake that I plan on finishing off.

It’s amazing to me how easy it can be sometimes to stop blogging. A lot has gone on since my last post. After recovering from the flu, I broke my tooth and spent almost a WEEK in excruciating pain before finally having it removed. Now that that’s over, life is pretty much back to normal. Thankfully.

Reading: // I’m actually reading books! For the past couple of months, there hasn’t been a lot of books I’ve completed. More often, I started a book and then stopped for no apparent reason. It’s becoming a habit that I’m trying to get out of. I’m currently reading A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science Even if You Flunked Algebra by Barbara Oakley. According to the reviews on Goodreads, the title is pretty misleading. It’s not a book about excelling at math and science, but learning how to learn any subject. It’s filled with tips based on cognitive psychology and neuroscience. There’s even a course on Coursera that people can take as they read the book. Being the lifelong student, I decided to take the course and see if I can get the full effect of the book.

I’m also reading Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta by Ina May Gaskin. I have three and a half months until my due date, but there’s no time like the present. It’s been years since I’ve last listened to an audiobook, but I’m actually listening to one now! The True Meaning of Smekday by Alex Rex has been on my TBR (to be read) list for years. Now that the movie adaptation, Home, is out in theaters, I decided to give the book a try. So far, I’m really enjoying the story of Gratuity Tuchi, a young girl who’s traveling to Florida after all Americans have been relocated there by an alien race. On the way there, she meets a rogue alien by the name of J. Lo and they start a strange friendship. Did I mention this is a middle school book? The wonderful Bahni Turpin is the narrator and as usual, she’s doing a fantastic job. My daughter and I are listening to it together which always feel good to do.


Today I plan to: // catch up on my blog reading, reorganize my bookshelves, read, and plant some flowers. We’re having summer weather in SoCal this week with temperatures in the 90s today. Strangely enough, it was just raining a few days ago.

What are you up to today?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salonTime: // 8:18 a.m.

The scene: // sitting at my kitchen table listening to my tea kettle. The boys are watching TV and my daughter is off to a sleepover. It’s a cold winter morning and for once, I’m wishing that summer was here.

February: // has been one hell of a month. The kids and I spent most of this month in bed with the flu. I haven’t had the flu in years and every time I get it, I end up losing a massive amount of weight. I like being a curvy girl and the fact that I’m pregnant means that I now need to gain the lost weight and then some. Gaining weight has always been an uphill battle, but I’m determined to have as much of a healthy pregnancy as I can.

Having the flu also means not being able to blog, homeschool, or read most of the time. Now I feel like I need to catch up on everything and everyone. Luckily, the thought of catching up on so much isn’t overwhelming.

Thankful for: // the fact that all of us are feeling much better.

Reading: // not one thing. Any suggestions?

Missing: // each and every one of you. What have you been up to? How’s February turning out for you? What are you looking forward to doing?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salon

Time: // 8:54 a.m.

The scene: // Cuddling with my family on the couch while watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. The older kids are in the kitchen washing dishes and making pancakes. Love.

This week: // has gone by in a flash! When I look back on it, the kids and I got a lot accomplished school-wise, but that’s about it. I guess I should be grateful for that.

Currently reading: // not much. My reading has drastically slowed down, but it’s my fault. I found myself doing things like being on Facebook and Instagram instead of reading. I plan on changing that this week and focusing on things I love and make me grow.

I started reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art: Break through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles for Joy’s New Year’s Resolutions Read-along. The author talks about feeling resistance whenever you have something positive you need to do but will take time. I’m feeling that when it comes to de-cluttering, reading, and even taking walks. I’m going to continue reading to see what the author suggests when it comes to pushing through resistance. If you want to join the read-along, there’s still time. The War of Art is a short book.

On my nightstand: // Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer. The graphic novel has been on many “best of 2014” lists last year. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin. Beyond Magenta tells the lives of transgendered teens in their own words. My daughter and Elisabeth read it and loved it, so it’s my turn to read it. Daphne’s Book by Mary Downing Hahn is a middle grade book I read in middle school and fell in love with. As an adult, I searched for an original copy of it and was lucky enough to find one. It’s the story of two girls, Daphne and Jessica, who have to come together for a school project. While Jessica’s life is pretty average, Daphne’s is anything but and she hides a serious secret. Readers who enjoyed Cynthia Voight’s The Tillerman Cycle will appreciate Daphne’s Book.

Promoting: // My Chunkster Challenge giveaway for Children of the Stone by Sandy Tolan. The giveaway is only open to Chunkster participants.

Now I’m off to: // eat pancakes then play Uno with the kids.

What are you up to today?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Time: // 8:08 a.m.

The scene: // It’s MLK Day, so the kids and I have the day off. That means I get to clean up the house, correct school work, celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday, and maybe buy some baby clothes for a little girl.

Even though it doesn’t feel like it, I’ve been on a reading roll lately thanks to my oldest. She started reading Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, which I’m now reading with her. I just started a few days ago and I’m now on the last book in the series.

Last week I read:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit
Days of Blood & Sunlight by Laini Taylor
Sketch!: The Non-Artist’s Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life by France Belleville-Van Stone
Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank by Paula Yoo

This week I’m reading:

Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Art is Fundamental: Teaching the Elements and Principles of Art in Elementary School by Eileen Prince
Minnie & Moo: Hooves of Fire by Denys Cazet (read-along with my youngest, If you have kids in the lower elementary grades, Minnie and Moo is a hilarious series to check out.)
Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon (continuing)
Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too by Mona Brookes (Belle told me about this book last week and I had to grab a copy. I’ve always been interested in learning to draw and Belle swears it’ll teach me.)

What are you reading this week?