Mini Book Reviews !

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

This is such a haunting novel. It follows a white family as they begin their vacation at an Airbnb, when suddenly the owners of the house show up—an elderly Black couple. The book is about family, trust, and humanity, in a way.

I went into this novel pretty blind, knowing only that it was gaining a lot of momentum in the book community.

The beginning is wonderfully done and had sucked me in immediately. The world opens up slowly, and the plot unravels piece by piece. It is truly chilling. It is a dark and atmospheric book, but the thrilling elements to it added another dimension. But more than that, it is uncanny. It felt familiar in a strange way, almost like déjà vu. I had goosebumps at times because I didn’t know what was going to happen next.

The book also has very timely discussions surrounding race and class, which alone are worth reading the book for.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

This book was such a treat! I had no expectations going into it, I was just on the lookout for some new historical fiction books to read. I am so glad I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this (in audiobook format, thank you Netgalley).

This dual timeline novel was so atmospheric. The trick to these stories is that both plotlines need to be interesting—and they were! I adored reading about Nella & Eliza as much as Caroline.

It reminded me a bit of The Witches of New York by Ami McKay. Not only do we have a hidden, women-run shop in both stories, we also have the arrival of a newcomer who asks for a job! If you enjoyed McKay’s book, this one will be right up your alley. The plot similarities end there, though because Penner’s novel was very unique; I don’t think I’ve read anything like it before.

I was definitely at the edge of my seat as the novel began to unfold. The storytelling was wonderful, and Penner will be on my radar for sure!

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

This book absolutely broke me. Like, I sobbed. A lot. But it was so beautifully written, everyone needs to read it.

This book made me feel so many emotions: anger, frustration, sadness, and love. It brings to light so many important issues surrounding child abuse and neglect, and as someone who is working in this industry right now, it breaks my heart.

It’s definitely really hard to read at times, so be aware (many trigger warnings in this one as well—child abuse, slut shaming, homophobia, death, murder, PTSD, and more).

I read it in a matter of days because of how fast-paced it was, and it had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

I’ve already placed holds on Allegedly and Grown, also by Jackson, because I need to read even more by her!

I loved these books, but I’d love to know what your thoughts were if you read them! Did you feel the same way as me?

Spring 2021 TBR

I am proud to say that I completed my Winter TBR, which is something that in the past I was not always great at. I think seasonal TBRs with only a few books on them are key to my success! The Spring starts in a couple of weeks, and I’m really looking forward to the warmer weather. I think covid-19 really turned me into an outdoorsy person, so I miss spending time in the sun. This season, I chose a few books that I really want to get to, but also ones that I keep putting off for different reasons.

Without further ado, let me share my next TBR list with you!

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

I got this book towards the end of 2020, and it’s one that I keep staring at on my bookshelf. But it’s a really long read, and that terrifies me a little bit, which is why I’ve been putting it off. I think putting it on this list will really force me to pick it up as soon as possible!

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales

This is another one that I am looking forward to reading, and I have an ARC of it, too! It comes out today actually, but I wasn’t able to get to it last month like I had hoped. I want to give it the attention that it deserves, and possibly even share a review if I enjoy it.

Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein

I also have an ARC of this book that comes out in April! I want to read it sometime before it is released, which is another reason why I am adding it to this list. It has one of the most gorgeous covers ever, and it is being published by one of my favorite imprints- Wednesday Books! They’ve published tons of cute YA contemporaries that I’ve loved, so I have high hopes for this one.

Four Hundred Souls edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

This is nonfiction book that tells the history of Black American history, written by 90 authors. I know that this is going to be a phenomenal and informative read. I have heard nothing but great things about it, and I have the audiobook, which I’m probably going to pick up next!

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Another book that I’ve heard only rave reviews for. I’m adding it to this TBR because I am on hold to get it from Libby right now, so I know that I will need to get to it once I have it!

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments!

February 2021 Wrap Up

I’m happy to say I had another really amazing reading month! I read 8 books, which is the same as last month. This month was another one where I focused on audiobooks, so I really want to prioritize physical reads in March. But I’m happy with all of the books I did read!

A Promised Land by Barack Obama— ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I really enjoyed reading Barack Obama’s memoir! It was really long, and I do think it could have been edited down a little bit, but overall it was very informative. I was only 8 years old when Obama first went into office, so I didn’t know much about his early career. It was nice to get to learn about all that he’s done, and I will definitely be picking up volume two when it is out!

The Listening Path by Julia Cameron— ⭐️⭐️⭐️

My first two reads of the month were nonfiction, which is pretty surprising! This one was all about listening—whether to yourself or to the world around you. There were a couple of concepts I liked, but a lot of it just felt repetitive and didn’t really align with me. If you want to learn more about listening to yourself, I think it’s a worthwhile read.

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam— ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow this was a phenomenal read. It was so eerie and almost uncanny. The plot of this thriller unraveled very slowly, but in the best way possible. It was so interesting to listen to this, I felt like I was there with all of the characters. I honestly had goosebumps the majority of the time. Definitely one of my favorites of the month!

Kelroy by Rebecca Rush— ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is a book I read for school. Honestly it’s already a blur in my mind, so I don’t think it’s worth talking about too much. If you want to read an underrated 19th century novel written by a novel, maybe this one will be for you!

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner— ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was so surprised by this book in the best way possible! I honestly did not know anything about it before going in. It caught my eye on Netgalley one day, which is how I was able to listen to it. It was phenomenal!!

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert— ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the second book of a family romance trilogy (though you can read them in any order or as stand-alones), and I loved it as much as the first! Talia Hibbert writes really amazing characters, and this book is no exception. I really loved the different topics this book touched on, from toxic masculinity and anxiety rep to an independent bisexual woman! It all just came together so well. I can’t wait to read about Eve Brown next!

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson— ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book has been on my radar for a really long time, so I’m really happy that I finally picked it up. I read it in a matter of days, but it was so difficult to put down. I would have finished even faster if I didn’t have other responsibilities! If you don’t know what this book is about, I think that’s the best way to go into it. It’s a YA mystery that will leave you heartbroken, but the writing was beautiful.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë— ⭐️⭐️⭐️

It took me over 2 weeks and 2 tries to read this book. Classics always take me a while, but this one was especially difficult for me to read, I’m not really sure why. It wasn’t horrible once I got into it, but I found it confusing because of how many characters there were. It was definitely a bit difficult to keep up with, but I might watch some sort of adaptation of it which I think will help me get everything straight.

I hope you found a new book to add to your TBR and that you had a good reading month, too! What was your favorite book of the month?

My Beginner’s Guide to Journaling

Have you ever decided you wanted to start journaling, so you picked up a new notebook, wrote down the events of your day, and then never picked up that journal again?

I’ve been there.

I think the reason that a lot of people give up journaling after a few days is because they have a lot of expectations going into it, and those expectations aren’t met from the start. That was certainly the case for me a few years ago. I kept hearing so many successful people talking about how journaling was life changing for them, but I wasn’t seeing those same results. At least not at first.

I finally became much more consistent with my journaling habit over the last year, and I can now see that it is a really powerful tool. But before you begin, you have to let go of all of our thoughts and expectations about it. Just go in with a clear and open mind.

What do you need to get started?

Any notebook will do. My recommendation? Get something that you like, but that isn’t too expensive. You want to be excited to go back and write everyday, so a notebook that is pleasing to you is important. However, you don’t want to feel any pressure when you start, or feel afraid to mess it up.

Of course, you’ll also need a writing instrument. Over the years, I have tried many different pens, pencils, markers—you name it. I like to stick to plain black ink using my favorite pen (I use Paper Mate InkJoy gel pens), but it really is up to you decide what you like!

Now what?

Now you write! I know you may be thinking, but what do I write about? That’s the beauty of journaling. There really is no right answer.

Some days, I finish watching a really interesting movie or reading a book that made me think about life in a new perspective, so I write out those thoughts.

Other days, something happens in the news that shakes me to my core, so I write down my opinions on it.

Or, I had a really great day, so I simply recount the events that happened, and explain how I felt.

Some days I create lists of things I want to try, habits I want to form, goals I have for the next month!

If you’re really struggling to think of something to write one day, don’t force it! Some people like to use prompts to get their writing going, but I’m not usually a huge fan of using prompts because I feel like journaling should be very organic and you should write what’s on your mind. Usually that will tell you more about what’s going on in your head in my opinion! BUT– if you like them & they work for you, by all means go for it! If I have nothing to write about, I just won’t write that day.

I think the thing that trips people up is that they believe they have to write everyday in order for journaling to be effective.

The real secret is consistency over the long term.

You can miss a day or two, but I would avoid missing more than two days. Try writing every other day, or fitting it into your schedule 4 days a week. And keep up with it for more than a week or two! Try to commit to a whole month to really let it become a habit.

I don’t even think about it anymore, journaling has just become part of my routine.

I’ve also started to think about things I want to write about during the day. If a thought pops up that I’d like to explore, I usually jot it down on a post it note or on my phone so that I can remember to write about it when I go to journal!

Final Thoughts

This is obviously not a very comprehensive guide. It’s simply the basics. But I really want to emphasize that there are no rules when it comes to journaling. You can make it whatever you’d like, just find what works for you.

You are officially ready to go off and explore your own mind! Good luck on your journey, you got this!

Do you journal already? Have you ever journaled before? What are your thoughts on it?

The Cake Flavored Book Tag, Yum!

A few months ago (we all know how bad I am at doing tags in a timely manner), I was tagged by Erin to do the cake flavored book tag! I love cake and I obviously love books, so this will be a fun tag to do…and it might make me a little hungry.

CHOCOLATE — a dark book that you loved

Wilder Girls by Rory Power: I wouldn’t say this is the darkest book I’ve read, but it definitely has some dark—and gruesome—elements to it. I adore Rory Power and her writing so much because of those elements, though. They are woven into the story in such a beautiful way. If you like Rory Power (or are interested in her books), I did an interview with her for my podcast last month that you can listen to here.

VANILLA —  favorite light read

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson: This is one of the most recent YA contemporaries that I read and loved! It has a few more serious elements to it, but overall it was such a great, light-hearted, funny read. I will be adding all of Leah Johnson’s future books to my TBR!

RED VELVET — a book that gave you mixed emotions

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson: I thought a 3 star read was the perfect choice for this prompt. This was a really good read that contained a lot of elements I love in books: mixed media, mystery, messy characters. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a favorite read. I’m still excited to read the rest of the series, though!

CHEESECAKE — a book that you’d recommend to everyone

Talking As Fast As You Can by Lauren Graham: I’m currently deep into a Gilmore Girls rewatch (something that I have playing in the background on my tv almost at all times), so this book came to mind. It’s a memoir by Lauren Graham who plays Lorelai in the show. This is just an overall great read. Lauren talks about the beginnings of her acting career, and it was really funny. I loved listening to the audiobook because it’s narrated by Lauren herself!

COFFEE — a book that you started but never finished.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: This doesn’t really count because it’s a book I just started earlier this month but put down to finish a different read. I still plan on reading it this month, I just wanted to prioritize the other book first! In fact I’m hoping to finish it this week!

CARROT — a book with great writing

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay: I just read this one last month and I’ve talked about it quite a few times on my various platforms. I adored this book, though, and I will continue to shout about it to the world. The book was so beautifully written, and I think more people need to know about it!

What’s your favorite type of cake? Mine’s definitely cheesecake!

The Morning Routine that Changed My Life

Okay, I know that title is a little dramatic. But it’s true. I finally figured out a morning routine that has stuck with me for more than a few weeks. In fact, I’ve been following this routine for about 6 months now, and I love it!

What I’ve struggled with in the past was I tried to fit so much into my morning and make it as productive as possible. I found that I could only stick with it for a couple of weeks, or even days. It would quickly get overwhelming or I’d just be too tired to do it.

Now I’ve found the perfect balance between being productive and also easing into my day slowly! So, let me show you what it is!

7:00

I start my day off by waking up at 7. I begin my work around 9 for my internship or 10 on days I have classes! Waking up at 7 is the perfect amount of time to wake up and have some “me time” before I get started on my day.

7:00-7:15

In the first fifteen minutes of waking up, I go to the bathroom, wash my face, and drink some water. The time it takes obviously varies a little day by day, but about 15 minutes is the average.

7:15-7:45

Then, I crawl back into bed and spend about 30 minutes reading! The reason I love this routine so much is because I feel productive for starting my day with reading, but it’s slow and relaxing. It doesn’t require too much mental energy, and it makes me feel good!

7:45-8:10

After that, I go to make my breakfast! I usually make oatmeal or the occasional avocado toast, which takes me about 15 minutes to make. The time that I get up to do this varies depending on how hungry I am. I tend to get hungry pretty early because I eat my dinner early the night before, so it’s been at least 12 hours since I last ate.

8:10-8:30

Finally, I get dressed, do my skincare routine, and make my bed! Now I’m ready to begin my day.

Are you a morning or a night person? What are some of your morning habits? Tell me all about it in the comments below :)

January 2021 Wrap Up

The first month of the year is over, and so far 2021 has been going well. I’ve gotten a lot done & started a new semester of school!

Reading

I read 8 books this month, which is more than I was expecting to! My only real goal for the year is to slow down with reading and take my time with each book. So far that’s going really well! I’m also trying to prioritize the books I already own (and I can only read other books if they’re from the library).

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab– ⭐️⭐️⭐️

As my first read of the year, this was an enjoyable one! It’s definitely not my favorite Schwab read so far, but I still enjoyed it.

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a book about a small secluded town where a stranger shows up one day, and children start disappearing at night. The townspeople believe that these kidnappings are caused by the stranger, but our main character, Lexi, believes he is innocent.

There were things I loved (the witches, the premise), and some things I didn’t like as much (the romance, the character development), but overall, it was good!

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth– ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I picked up this audiobook from Libro.fm because I was seeing it everywhere. I really enjoyed it, and now I want to pick up a physical copy so that I can see the illustrations in the book.

This book follows two different timelines. One is in the past at a boarding school where a couple of girls form a club inspired by a popular memoir. One day, two of the girls are killed by a swarm of yellow jackets, and then a few weeks later, another girl dies holding the memoir. The present timeline follows an author who wrote a book about the boarding school. The book is being turned into a movie, so we also learn about the two actresses playing the leading roles in the film.

It was a spooky book full of twists and turns, and I really enjoyed it!

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker– ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I feel like I’ve talked about this book so much already, but I really, really liked it! I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about reading a book about illness during a pandemic, but I’m actually very glad that I did. It was comforting in a way, and I could really relate to the characters.

The writing was beautiful, and I liked the pacing. We followed various characters through short chapters, so it felt like we were going scene to scene like a movie.

Kind of a Big Deal by Shannon Hale– ⭐️⭐️

Unfortunately, this next read was not so great. I honestly thought it was a contemporary novel, just based on the cover & synopsis. But in reality, it was masquerading as a fantasy. The main character drops out of high school to try and make it as a broadway star in New York City. When that doesn’t work, she follows the mom of the girl she is nannying to Montana to continue to work for them. One day, she enters a bookstore, gets a book, and then starts reading it. Suddenly, she gets transported to the book she’s reading.

The premise sounded okay, but the execution was so poor. The main character was so unlikeable. Actually, all of the characters in it were unlikeable. This book was just a mess in my opinion. It felt more like I was reading a middle grade novel than YA, but it didn’t make a lot of sense. The ending was the worst part—it was so random and not entirely explained.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston– ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The first time I read this classic was junior year of high school. When Libro.fm was offering the audiobook for free, I jumped on the chance to re-read it. I adored it even more on my second read than the first.

I also remember really enjoying the movie, so that is now on my list of things to re-watch soon!

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay– ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I don’t know where to even begin with this book. It was such a wonderful reading experience. I really took my time with it, and I fell in love with Ami McKay’s writing. This book contains everything that I love—NYC, witchcraft, murder, friendship, a mysterious crow, and more. There is a bit of a mixed media element to the book, too, which made it really interesting.

What I enjoyed most was the way the story unfurled and came together. These seemingly unrelated chapters all slowly weaved into each other. It was quite honestly a masterpiece.

This was a book I picked up from the bookstore on a total whim, and it is one that I am so happy to have in my collection. The characters and the atmosphere just feel like home to me. It’s going to be a comfort read for sure.

Gerald’s Game by Stephen King– ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I think I’ve just accepted the fact that King’s writing is not for me. This book started off okay, but then it seemed to drag on for longer than it needed to. I wasn’t particularly interested in the characters, so the plot just fell flat. It was also a little unrealistic for me. If it weren’t for the audiobook, I probably would have DNF’d. I don’t see myself reading anymore of his works in the future, either.

Laura by Leonora Sansay– ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I don’t have much to say about this story. I read it for my English class, and it was a very short read! It was an interesting story, but not something I would read again.

Links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission from purchases you make. Not sponsored.

What were some of your best reads of the month? Did you find any new favorites?

10 Things I Can’t Live Without

For the last few months, I have been adopting various minimalist habits in order to live a simpler, clutter-free life. The new documentary from The Minimalists was just released this month on Netflix, so I thought it was a good time to share 10 items that I CAN’T live without!

These are all things that I brought to my life with intention, and that are purchases I am very happy to have made! Everyone’s list will obviously look different, but I thought this would be interested to create and read :) I hope you enjoy it!

My Kindle Paperwhite

The very first thing that popped into my head when I thought of this idea was my kindle. I obviously can’t put a bunch of books on this list, so my Kindle is the next best thing! It is one of the best purchases I made in 2020 (and just my life in general). I’ve gotten a lot of e-ARCs from publishers over the 5 years I’ve been blogging. How did I read all of them? On my phone. It was not a fun time. My eyes would always hurt and I would get distracted by notifications, and it was just uncomfortable.

Not only does my Kindle solve all of those issues, but it also means I don’t have to own as many books. I have been unhauling lots of books over the last few months because all I want in my collection is books I absolutely adore. If someone were to look at my shelves, I want them to see an accurate representation of my reading tastes, which means I no longer want to keep books I think are just mediocre. The Kindle allows me to read a lot of books while also making sure I don’t accumulate too many in my physical space.

Scrivener

As a writer, my greatest investment so far has been this program. Scrivener is an amazing tool that allows you to organize your novel into different files, allowing you to easily switch between chapters, notes, character outlines, and more. It really ensures that none of your writing gets lost, and everything is easy to locate when you need it.

There are tons of YouTube videos online about how it works, so if this interests you, I highly recommend looking into it. You can even get a discount if you win NaNoWriMo!

Spotify

I have to admit, I’m not a huge music fan. I have a few favorite artists who I play on repeat, and I listen to music in the shower and while doing work. But what I love about Spotify is just how much it offers! With my student plan, I get Spotify and Hulu every month for the equivalent of a cup of coffee from Starbucks.

Not only can I play music, I can also listen to podcasts and audiobooks from this one application! It is amazing. I also love that you can create playlists with friends. Sorry to any Apple Music users, Spotify is just the superior choice!

Macbook Pro

I’ve owned a Macbook since 2014. Before that, I used various Windows computers, but none of them even compared to this Apple product. That laptop lasted me SEVEN YEARS! Unfortunately, it finally died on my over the summer, and I had to purchase a new one. But that laptop survived iced-tea spills, a couple of falls, and hundreds of travels.

This computer has just never failed me, and I don’t see myself ever switching to another brand again.

Journal

I’m not too picky about this, but I can’t live without a journal of some kind. I need to have one with me almost at all times, and I usually have multiple ones for different things. As I began a minimalist lifestyle, I really narrowed down my collection of notebooks, but I still own more than an average human. I will never tire of pen and paper. I think it’s so great for getting your thoughts sorted out, and there’s something so comforting about writing in a journal.

Candles

I’m pretty surprised that this has made it onto my list, if I’m being honest. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I began really loving candles. I’ve always owned them, I’ve always used them, but it was more of a sporadic thing for me. But around October, I began lighting one every single day, and it became a soothing way to end my day. When I light a candle, it signals to my body that it’s time to rewind and get ready for bed. I’ll light one and then read a book or watch a movie for a couple of hours, and it makes me so happy.

Moisturizer

I have very oily skin, but moisturizer is still so so important. I can’t believe that I didn’t have a set skincare routine in high school, and then wondered why my skin was always really off balance. I can’t go a single day without doing my skincare routine, and the moisturizer is by far my favorite part. My skin is happy, and therefore I’m happy!

Carmex

This is the best chapstick I’ve ever used. I discovered it about 4 or 5 years ago, but since then, I’ve never used anything else. I’ve gone through at least 15 tubes of this thing because it’s just that good!

Bananas

I thought long and hard about what food I would not be able to live without, and I have finally come to the conclusion that I need bananas in my life more than any other fruit, vegetable, grain, or other food. I put bananas in my oatmeal, on my toast, in my smoothies and protein shakes. I make pancakes out of them, and the most phenomenal bread, and I eat them just as they are for a snack or pre-run meal.

I always have way too many bananas in my house, and I don’t see that ever changing.

Iced Coffee

The final item that I can’t live without is iced coffee. Are you surprised? This is an addiction that started surprisingly late for me. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I started drinking it, and even then it wasn’t regular for me until sophomore year. But now I have at least one cup a day, if not more. I don’t even drink it for the caffeine, I just really love the taste.

I’ve tried cutting back on my consumption quite a few times, but I always come back to it at the end of the day. It’s just so dang good.

What’s the number one item you can’t live without? Is there anything on my list that you would put on your list, too? I’d love to hear what it is!

Instagram Controls My Day

Social media is a huge part of most people’s everyday lives. It’s definitely a big part of mine. I have been thinking about my social media use a lot of the last 6 months or so, which I’ve talked about every now and then on here!

I thought it would be fun to let Instagram control my day as a bit of an experiment. I know this is not a new concept & many people have made Youtube videos about this before. It was a bit hard to translate into blog form, but I still hope you enjoy reading it!

Now, let’s see what my life looked like when Instagram controlled it!

To prep, the night before I asked what I should have for breakfast, as well as what book I should read in the morning! I always read as soon as I wake up, so I didn’t want to have to wait before getting my results.

I was very happy with the book that was chosen in the morning because I was already in the middle of reading it! But, I was really hoping that oatmeal would win for the breakfast! Don’t get me wrong, I love eggs and toast, but I’ve been having oatmeal for breakfast almost every day for months now. I actually thought that it would win, too, because I post about it so often! I guess everyone was getting sick of seeing me eat it ahaha!

Next I asked you to choose my nail polish color! This one was really close for a pretty long time—between 1 and 3! Ultimately, 1 was chosen as the winner!

Afterward, it was time for my daily coffee! This one was so close for a really long time, I wasn’t sure if you guys were going to vote for me to buy it or make it, but as soon as I saw that one was in the lead, I went with it!

I also asked if I should watch a movie or play chess when I got back, and chess was the winner! After spending about an hour doing that, I was hungry and wanted to move onto something else. You guys voted for me to have an apple with peanut butter, and to work on my novel!

Then, it was time for me to do a workout! You voted for me to do yoga, which I was hoping for! After that, I asked what book I should read when facetiming my friend Angela (I accidentally voted for one, but I didn’t count that into the vote). It was tied for a really long time, so when I was facetiming Angela, I just ended up choosing The Dreamers because no one was breaking the time.

Then, before bed, I always light a candle. The scent that won was marshmallow fireside, so I lit it while I did some more reading before bed. That was the end of my day!

Overall, this was a fun experiment to do. With almost each post, I had an idea in my mind of the answer I wanted to win, so it was fun to have another option win instead!

Winter TBR 2021

Happy New Year! I can’t say what the new year will bring. None of us really can, can we? But I do know that I am going to take every opportunity that comes my way, and I want to embrace as many new experiences as I can.

This year, I’m going to set seasonal TBRs because I want to have more flexibility with my reading!

I’m only going to be picking 5 books for each season, too, even though I know I will read much more than that in total! I just want to have room to pick up anything else I want.

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab

I asked you all to vote on my Instagram for which book should be my first read of 2021, and the winner was The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab! I have had this on my TBR for about 2 years now, so I am excited to finally get to it!

This is V.E. Schwab’s debut book that follows a mysterious town where children begin disappearing from their beds. A new boy to town becomes a suspect, but he and the protagonist Lexi work together to find them. It sounds right up my alley.

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

This is one of my most recent purchases, and I am really excited to read this book. It’s about three women who describe themselves as witches, who work at a tea shop together. It’s a historical fantasy, which isn’t something I would normally gravitate towards, but 2021 is all about trying new things and stepping outside of my comfort zone! I also think I’m really going to like it, just based off of the reviews I’ve seen.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth

I have always been a horror fan (gothic lit was always my favorite subject in my english classes), but I never actually read all that much of it. I have been slowly working my way through more horror in 2020, but I want to continue that trend this year, too. It is a book that takes place at a boarding school in England. That’s all I know about it, but that’s all I want to know—I want to go into it without any expectations. It’s also one of my 5 star predictions for 2021, so fingers crossed!

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Another genre I want to read more of in 2021 is memoirs! Barack Obama’s book has been a very popular read since its release a couple of months ago, and I finally secured an audiobook of it. I’m excited because it’s narrated by him, so I just know it’ll be a great time.

I adored listening to Michelle Obama’s book Becoming, which was also narrated by her, so I really think this will be a 5 star read for me!

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I really enjoy classic literature, but again, it’s a genre I don’t often pick up. I want to include at least one classic in all of my TBRs this month, but I hope I’ll read even more than that! Wuthering Heights has been on my radar for a really long time, and now that I finally own a copy of it, I need to pick it up!

If you’ve read any of these before, please feel free to share your thoughts on them! What are some books you’ll be reading this month or this quarter?