TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual Assault

A year ago Black Friday I went shopping to Barnes and Noble, as per usual, but I went with a plan. I gathered my family members with their 30% off coupons and we went store-to-store buying me all the books I wanted. It was fun, getting all these hardcover books that ordinarily I would never get. And, I met one of my first YA Fantasy writers through my Black Friday post: Taran Matharu. It was his first book, The Novice, that helped me out of a tight spot and this year I needed that again, but for a different reason.

The circumstances leading up to this Black Friday were unique. It wasn’t a normal reading slump; the fear and anxiety I was experiencing was so great that I didn’t want to do anything that may make me think.

In July I was assaulted by a man I thought I could trust. From that time on until Black Friday I was a shut-in. I spent my free time studying for my court hearing so I could go up alone against him and his lawyer. However, five months of not reading physical books took it’s toll. I was glued to the television. Not because I didn’t want to read, but because I needed the loud noise and action going on, overpowering everything in my apartment so I wouldn’t have to think.

On Black Friday of ’17 I hopped out of bed, ready to do one of the most exciting things in this life: a big-ass sale at Barnes and Noble. I didn’t expect to come home and read. I wanted to read, I wanted to for five months, but I didn’t think I’d actually be able to finally do it.

Much like The Novice got me out of my reading slump, Diary of a Haunting:Book of Shadows by M. Verano did too. It was an easier read, BoS, because it was tense, things were moving quickly, and it was the kind of book that made me want to lock my bedroom door all night and not venture out to take care of everyone. I jumped from Diary to Royal Bastards with hardly a second thought.

I’m so thankful for books and for Barnes and Noble gift cards and coupons. I needed books, I knew I needed them, but I couldn’t get back into them. But I’m different now. I know what makes me happy and when the appropriate time is.

Recap & What’s to Come

So I got a whole bunch of no-reading done last week. I had emergency oral surgery and to celebrate the infected tooth being removed from my mouth I vowed to read as many books as I could. Whelp, Codine had other plans for me. I got absolutely no reading done, but much sleeping and healing.

I have a reading journal that I’m just dying to write in this January but I haven’t finished a book yet so I can’t add anything, which is driving me crazy.

Being on Codine has def slowed down my thinker so it’s no surprise it’s slow going…

I went to see Pierce Brown speak at Books Inc. but got there WAY too late. I didn’t get a seat and my bad back threw a bitch-fit and so I had to leave early. I didn’t get a signature, or a picture, but I got to see his and Andy Weir’s awesome humor which made the travel worth it.

I honestly don’t know how much reading I’m going to get done. In a perfect world, I’d read 2 to 3 books every week b/c I’m most happy when I’m reading. Realistically, being hopped up on painkillers makes it hard to read.

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Ten books that are on my TBR list since like, ever

This one is a whopper and would be better executed when looking at my bookshelves but I’ve gotta work with what I have.

  1. City of Bones series by Cassandra Clare: I’ve read the first five (books 1-2 of The Mortal Instruments, and the Infernal Devices trilogy) but I have yet to finish it. I enjoyed the books that I’ve read in the series so far but it wasn’t one I could marathon; thus, it’s being pushed back again and again.256683
  2. A Torch Against the Night  by Sabaa Tahir: I read An Ember in the Ashes on a whim. I went to BN with no intention of buying a book (lololol) and I saw her first book in the series and bought it. And loved it. Then lost it. Then someone gifted me a BN gift card and told me to buy her book again so I could finish it because I was soooooo close to finishing it. GAH. But I did, it was great, so I bought ATATN and read about 1/4 of it and put it down. I haven’t picked it up since. Largly in part because I don’t remember the first book very well and it’s really a series where you need to remember what happened in book #1 in order to follow ATATN.25558608
  3. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: A book I probably won’t end up reading. It didn’t get the best reviews and I tried to start it on Netgalley and failed. It’s on this list simply because it was on my TBR list for so long. It’s a DNF and I’m not sure I’m going to try again, even though it’ll bring my Netgalley score down.30095464
  4. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: I LOVED the first book, Illuminae, but I tried to read the second book, Gemina, and failed at it. This is a book I know I’ll love, so why the fudge am I not picking it up yet?? The third book comes out very soon and I’m hoping to meet the authors so I need to hop on this to get myself all ready for the third book.29236299
  5. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff: I’ve hear great things about this book and the cover is dope (I’m talking like the kids do, lololol). It got nearly 5 stars out of 11k reviews so I am excited to read it. And buy it. A lot of the books on this list are books I already own but this is an exception. I don’t own this, but I should. Something that deterred me from buying this book is the fact that it’s more expensive than a hardcover book and it’s paperback. 26114463
  6.  50 Shades Darker by E. L. James: The first book sucked and misrepresented the leather community. I don’t doubt that this book will suck as well, it’s just something I feel like I should read. I’ll probably put it down in disgust, but I’m at least going to give it a good; especially considering I own the whole series, Grey included. 11857408
  7. This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab: I’ve heard great things about it, I follow Victoria Schwab, and I’ve almost owned it a few times but I just haven’t bought it, nor read it. If I find it at a library book sale, I will hop and that and make it miiiinnnneeee.31706495
  8. The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores by Danielle Vega: I listened to the first on audiobook in 2015 or something insane like that, as I drove to and from school. It wasn’t the greatest book, but it was entertaining and I’m anxious to continue the series. 27209488

  9. Strange the Dreamer  by Lani Taylor: I see this book like every time I walk into a bookstore and I have yet to pick it up. It’s one of those books that I see so often it’s almost like I already own it and don’t feel the need to actually get it. I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and struggled through it but she is an amazing author, no matter how tedious the book was to get through. 28449207
  10. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth: O. M. G. People are throwing the biggest fuss about this book. I wanted to read it, now I’m conflicted. Do I read it for pleasure, because I want to, or do I boycott it to make the other readers happy? She’s been accused of able-ism and something-or-other that I can’t remember. If we’re going to take issue with something about every author, then books will never be read. 30117284

TBR Thursday

I have a huge TBR list. Well, actually it’s books on books scattered all around my house, and I keep adding more. To combat the endless stream of books coming into my life, I’m going to resolve to read a book I buy every month, to put those purchases to good use. Here’s what I’m planning on reading in the next week, while I heal from my outpatient .tooth extraction to combat the raging infection.

  1. Unearthed: My mother bought this for me yesterday so that I would stress out less about my upcoming surgery. Not looking forward to being cut open, but I am excited to open this book! I got it from the campus bookstore at 30% off because it’s a bestseller–WIN.

amie kaufman, meagan spooner, illuminae, gemina

  1. Once Upon a Time: Regina Rising: I bought Red’s Tale in this series and read it a few years ago during Black Friday. LOVED IT. While it wasn’t a work of art, it was entertaining and well worth the read. I’m going to read this book. Once Upon A Time: Regina Rising, Toliver Wendy, fairytale retelling, fairy tail retelling, snow white
  2. Otherworld: A book I bought during Black Friday (the best time of the flilppin’ year) by judging it by its cover. Here’s to hoping it’s as good as it looks!

Otherworld, Jason Segel, science fiction, scifi, YA, young adult scifi

 

Bookish Resolutions 2018

2018, woo hoo! Hopefully this year will be better than the last two. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is “Bookish Goals/Resolution” which I am psyched about. I try to do these every year but I didn’t do it yet so when I saw this subject I was SO excited. Following are my bookish Goals/Resolutions for 2018″ in no particular order.

  1. Meet my (realistic) Goodreads goal of 50 books read this year. Follow my progress on the right sidebar. I’ve met my goal a few years and when I shot for 75 books in 2016 I realized that there are just times when that won’t do.
  2. I’m going to read as many books that have been on my shelf for a long time, as the ones that I buy this year. I collect books faster than I can read them but this is the year that I’ll read the books I already have.
  3. Go to all the author events that I can manage this year @ Kepler’s, BN, Books Inc., and Hicklebees. Oh, and get them books signed. Can’t forget that. While I can’t get each authors book each time, I do have enough books already that I can dig up something of theirs for the signing.
  4. Read more than I watch TV. This is a hard one. While I cook I watch TV; when I relax after work, I watch TV; while I clean my room, the house, and the reptiles tanks, I watch TV. Watching that much TV actually does affect my health. Instead, I’m going to listen to the multitude of audiobooks I have from audible and the library on my Amazon Echo. Gotta put Alexa to work!
  5. Learn how better to booktalk. A librarian friend of mine is going to teach me how to do that properly. I don’t know if I still want to be a librarian but I’m on my fifth library, probably not my last, so I need to learn to do that. Especially since I talk to people in the teen section of Barnes and Noble and give unsolicited recommendations.
  6. I won’t buy more than one book every two months at full price. Coupons? Sure. Gift Card? Yep, acceptable. Used Bookstores? Def ideal but library book sales are the way to go.
  7. Listen to one audiobook every month; ones that I own or ones that I’ve collected through the library
  8. Find a way to channel my bookish energy; especially when I have the overwhelming urge to buy a book full price. Make bookmarks or some other bookish craft, blog or just read and write reviews here, Goodreads, and Amazon; Booktubing is also a fun thing to do.
  9. Read and review my books for review as well as Tarot cards.
  10. Bring my Netgalley score up to 80% and keep it there.
  11. Booktube!
  12. Read print books as well as Kindle books.
  13. Rebuild Twitter following.
  14. Gain more bookish friends.
  15. Join a book club.

I’m not going to stop with these eleven. I want to improve my bookish life and will be adding to this collection of resolutions.

Happy reading!

I Love You, Black Friday

Since Black Friday I’ve kinda been going book crazy. Nothing new about that except that I’m buying new books….from a new book-bookstore: Barnes and Noble. Duh, only the best bookstore to ever exist.

I’ve never bought so many new books before but the coupons

I have haven’t given me a choice not to buy these books. I’m going to attempt to BookTube again (I totally FAILED last time I tried) so that I can do a book haul. Now, I have two more coupons left which means I may acquire a 14th and 15th book since Black Friday. Oops. I’ve also been frequenting library book sales and have several hardcover books in MINT condition.

The following is a working list of the books I’ve gathered so far:

  1. The Book of Dust
  2. The Fallen Kingdom
  3. Otherworld
  4. Warcross
  5. This Mortal Coil
  6. Diary of a Haunting: Book of Shadows
  7. Royal Bastards
  8. Dividing Eden 
  9. The Siren
  10. School of Good and Evil
  11. Dazzling Heights
  12. The Empress
  13. Renegades
  14. All the Crooked Saints  (Cheating a bit with this one, I bought it a while ago at Kepler’s at an author’s signing.)
  15. Wonder Woman

Whew! That’s a lot of books to acquire when I already have so many books that I cannot fit them all in my house (a bookcase in my garage houses all my comic books and some odd books that I’m no longer interested in).

My Body Hates Me

In the past four months I was diagnosed with the most severe case of TMJ Dysfunction that my dentist has ever dealt with and Spondylolisthesis; both of which cause extreme pain at times and leaves me in a perpetual state of discomfort. I found out that I have growths on both of my optic nerves, a possible retinal detachment and there is fluid leaking in the back of my eye. And, currently, I have a tooth infection that is visible from the outside.

I found out all of this shortly after my neighbor sexually assaulted me b/c the stress from the sexual assault aggravated the symptoms I’d already had.

I can’t tell you guys how difficult it is to stay positive now. My body is failing this 26-year-old self of mine but there are three things that have kept me going:

  • Animals
  • Books
  • Tea

I go through phases where I want to give up, but I don’t know what that would look like. I’m tired all the time but not in a sleepy-way. I’m just exhausted by life. But I keep going. I make lists of all the books I want to read, have collected in 2017, ones that I got on Black Friday the past two years; I make lists of things that make me happy and lists of ways to make myself happy when I’m feeling down.

Those three things have keep me going.

Although I’m swamped with medical bills and I will always have them flying at me, I still buy the occasional new book, which is ill-advised, it just makes me so happy. I love touching books and browsing; feeling the covers and flipping through the pages, imagining the world within. I get a thrill out of purchasing a book but eventually I’ll feel the effect it took of my paycheck. It’s a way to help me feel happy. It’s something to look forward to, a book every few weekends, but I can’t keep this up, I know.

I still volunteer with the senior German Shepard’s that desperately need my help and I snuggle my Beardie and play with my turtles. I found out that I qualify for a service dog. I absolutely plan on getting one one day when I’m more financially stable.

On the weekend, I reward myself with 2 oz of loose-leaf tea from Teavana to celebrate the two drinks from Starbucks I did not buy. I love tea that just doesn’t make sense (margarita tea? Lavender white chocolate?) or, as my friend calls them, “white people tea.” Yes, I am that white.

I’ve found ways to keep myself going through all of this. It’s just scary not knowing what’s going to be next or how these illnesses will progress. For now, though, I have my animals, books, and tea.

In the meantime, I’ll be right over there, reading.