Thought Collective #5- How I Feel About Social Media

It’s not secret that I have been trying to spend more time away from my phone for the last few months. I even wrote a whole post about going off the grid (sort of) for a week, and that experiment was really eye opening for me.

Since then, I have really been paying attention to the way I use social media and how much of my time I spend on it.

Before I get into the darker side of the internet, I want to acknowledge some of the good that is has brought me! Social media is a wonderful tool, one that I am so grateful for.

Because of it, I…

  • found a community of like-minded readers
  • made amazing friendships
  • discovered new passions
  • became informed on topics that I otherwise would not have ever heard of

I would not take back any of these things that social media has given me.

However, I think it’s also equally as important to talk about the bad, too. We all know that social media affects us tremendously. It has been the cause of anxiety and depression for me, given me FOMO, triggered unhealthy perceptions of my body, and overall just helps me waste time.

I think that what I’ve realized about social media is that you need to remember that it is a tool. You are supposed to be in control of it, not the other way around.

I am much more conscious of how I use social media now. I use it for interaction with friends and fellow readers. I use it to share parts of my day that I think others will be interested in. I use it to stay informed and to inform others. I use it for inspiration. And that’s it.

I don’t use it for mindless entertainment the way I used to. I don’t use it to compare myself to others. I don’t use it to follow petty drama.

And I have truly seen a huge improvement in my mood.

I thought that I would share some things that I did that really helped me break my social media addiction of mindless scrolling.

  1. Don’t be afraid to unfollow: I know that it may seem harsh to unfollow someone, but I think if you are not benefitting from their content, you don’t enjoy their content, or you’re just not interested in it, you should not feel guilty for unfollowing. You are allowed to curate your space for yourself! I regularly go through my following lists on various social media sites and unfollow accounts that don’t align with my values. When I do scroll through my feeds, I only see content that I am genuinely interested in!
  2. Set limits: When I first began shortening my time online, I found it super helpful to implement the downtime feature on my iPhone. From 9:30 pm to 8:00 am, I set a control that blocked all of my apps! I no longer use it now, but I conditioned myself not to go on my phone for the first hour after waking up, and I try to get off of it at least 30 minutes before I go to bed. There are other ways to set limits, too. You can allow yourself to go on social media for one hour a day. Or you can delete the apps on your phone and only check it on your desktop. Or you can schedule specific times throughout your day that you will check it. Figure out what works best for you!
  3. Decide what you want to use and figure out your why: Having a ‘why’ for spending less time on social media is really effective. What can you accomplish in the 5 hours that you don’t spend on your phone? Maybe you can pick up a new hobby. Maybe you can improve a skill or learn something new. Maybe you can use that time for self care or to spend time with your family! You don’t realize just how much time you are spending on social media if you don’t pay active attention to it. It also helps to know which apps you actually want to use. For instance, I spend much more time on Instagram than Twitter now, and I deleted TikTok entirely a few months ago. I only use Snapchat for sending videos/photos to friends, but I otherwise don’t go on it. Again, decide what works for you!

How do you feel about social media? It’s definitely one of those things that’s in the gray area. It’s neither good nor bad. Again, I think it all depends on how you use it!

I hope this post was helpful, though, and that you took something away from it! I would love to know what you think.

October Wrap Up 2020

Before we start the post, I want to acknowledge that today is election day, and I know that this day is stressful. Please take care of yourself. I hope that this post can provide some distraction from the events of the day.


Another month has gone by, just like that. And we are slowly coming to the end of 2020 (thank god, right?).

In terms of reading, this has been another one of those slower months for me. I read 7 books, which is one more than last month, and I read some really good books! So, let’s take a look at them :)

5 stars

  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: My first read of spooky season was definitely a successful one! This book was so eerie and it reminded me a lot of The Yellow Wallpaper and The Fall of the House of Usher. If you like gothic literature, this is definitely the book for you!

4.5 stars

  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: This book was PHENOMENAL! I really enjoyed this, and I have a whole review up on the blog, so I won’t go into detail now. But it was a really great read, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out!
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang: I am completely in awe of the fact that R.F. Kuang wrote a book this complex when she was 19?!?! That is phenomenal. This was a really great read, though it was a longer book, but I am so looking forward to picking up the next one!

3.5 stars

  • The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman: This was an enjoyable read! I found the story really interesting, but I was hoping for some more character development. It was a creepy book for sure, and I am definitely going to check out the next book.

2 stars

  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee: Some of you who have been following me for a while know how much To Kill a Mockingbird means to me. It is no longer one of my favorite books, but it still holds a special place in my life. I have been putting off the sequel to it for many years, mainly because my junior year English teacher told me I should wait until I’m a little older. I finally read it, and I understand why he wanted me to wait. I also wish he had just told me not to read it at all. It was a really disappointing read for me. It did not have the same impact that TKAM had at all, and it left me angry at the characters. I really wanted more from it, and I’m sad at how the story played out in it.
  • Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer: This was a whole 600+ pages of nothing. I honestly don’t know what I was expecting from this, but I really didn’t end up enjoying it. I was bored throughout most of it because it felt like I was just re-reading Twilight, but it was much slower. When I first started it, I really considered DNF’ing the book, but I got myself to power through solely because I had preordered it, and I felt like it would have been a waste of my money if I didn’t finish it.

1 star

  • Instructions for a Funeral by David Means: This was a short story collection that I was actually looking forward to reading, but it was really disappointing. The stories felt so disjointed, and I could not see the point to any of them. The author seemed to be going for those “slice of life” type of stories, but the actual writing did not work at all for me.

That’s all for my wrap up! I read some really good books and a couple of not so good books, but overall I’m happy with my reading! How many books did you read this month?

A Look Inside My Notion Pages!

I know that everyone has been talking about Notion lately, but I still wanted to share how my pages are setup because I’ve been using Notion for nearly a year now and have figured out a system that works really well for me!

I want to start out by saying I don’t use Notion for daily planning, or even weekly/monthly for that matter. I do track a few things weekly/monthly, but my daily schedules and to-do lists are done physically in my planner!

Alright, let’s get into it!

Home

First up is my home base! I keep track of some weekly and monthly goals that I want to accomplish, usually related to school or blogging. I also have a spot for ongoing tasks- it’s a place for me to brain dump things I want to get done that don’t have a specific due date.

Underneath that, I have a list of mantras. This is just nice to see every day. It’s a good reminder to stay present and mindful during my day. I’ll change these out every few weeks or so.

Finally, I have a list of daily habits and my ideal morning routine. This is not something I always stick to, but seeing it laid out makes it easier to remember.

Overall, this page is just a grounding page to keep my head clear!

Mind Space

The next page I have is called ‘mind space.’ Here is where the majority of my actual notes are! I use Thomas Frank’s template, which basically consists of three parts:

  1. Notebooks: This is where all of your actual notes live! You can create as many as you want. I have four, and I’ll go into each in more detail later!
  2. Status Dashboard: This is a database of all of the notes in each of your notebooks! It allows you to see all of your notes at a glance, which can be very helpful at times. I personally don’t make too much use out of it, but you can use it to assign a status to each note (open, urgent, or archived), as well as assign a category for each note as well. If you want to use Notion to keep track of projects for school or work, this feature would be perfect for that!
  3. Inbox: The inbox is basically a quick note! If you are trying to quickly create a grocery list, you can just click the “new” button, write your list, and then when you have a chance, you can just drag it into the notebook it belongs in!

The first notebook I have is for all of my life stuff, and it’s the notebook I use the most! Some of my pages include my workout routine, my monthly budgets, a wish list, and a grocery list. Basically, I just keep a lot of lists here!

Then, I have a page for school stuff, but this is more so just school planning- I have a page for all of my Thesis notes and sources. I also have a page for me schedule & requirements for the rest of my time in undergrad, and I have a list of potential grad schools! I don’t keep actual class notes on Notion- I do those on Word!

The next notebook I have is for blog stuff! I mainly just use it to keep track of some book notes, post ideas, and my favorites for my quarterly favorites post!

Finally, I have an Inspiration page! Here, I keep track of my quarterly goals and I have an “impossible list,” as well as a five year plan. This is one of my newer notebooks, so there isn’t much in it yet, but I plan on keeping track of my favorite quotes in here, creating vision boards, and saving anything interesting I find!

Archive

The final page I have is just an archive of past notebooks that I no longer use, but that I don’t want to lose completely. For instance, I have some notes from a PR course I took over the summer that I may want to look back on in a few months, so I have them stored here.

Do you use Notion? What are some ways you organize your pages?

What other organizational tools do you use?

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo // Review

I finally read it. After owning a copy of the book since release week (roughly a year ago from now), I finally picked up the book and read it!

And I’m so glad I did.

Ninth House was everything I was looking for. I know that it’s gotten many mixed reviews, and it’s definitely not a book for everyone, but I thought it was phenomenal.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

My Review:

Where do I even begin? First off, I went in with very few expectations for this book. I didn’t know much about it going into it, so it was really a pleasant surprise all the way through.

The book starts off very slow, and for the most part, it continued on with a slow pace for the majority of the story. That’s not to say that it was boring or lacking action, though. Quite the opposite actually. This book was full of mystery, murder, and morally grey characters. The entire time I was trying to figure out what was going to happen alongside our main character Galaxy “Alex” Stern.

Speaking of Alex, she is not a warm and kind character in the slightest. From the start, she is portrayed as cold and calculating, but I loved that about her. She had her guard up a lot, but once we found out why, you really start to feel for her.

Another character I loved was Pammie, or Dawes. We see her more towards the second half of the book, but she made a huge impression on me. She is quite the opposite of Alex, but the two made a great pair!

I also really loved learning more about Darlington. Although we do not see too much of him, he is central to the story.

The storyline was also so compelling. I didn’t want to put the book down, but at the same time, I needed to process certain scenes. Reading about the magic and the secret societies was really fascinating to me. I do wish we got to learn a little bit more about them and see more of the characters outside of Lethe. I’m hoping this gets fleshed out more in the next book!

The writing was also incredible. I loved the way we switched between timelines. It worked really well for this story, and it aided in many of the plot twists and shocking surprises we see.

Just a fair warning, this book is dark. Very dark. That is part of what drew me to it, but I know that not everyone is able to read books like this. It is gory and graphic, so proceed with caution.

TW: drug use, overdose, addiction, detailed rape (not romanticized, but pretty graphic), murder, gore, sexual assault, racism, and more that I may have forgotten.

All in all, I think this was a really solid adult debut from Bardugo. I am so excited to see where the second book goes!

I have now read all of Bardugo’s books (aside from her novella), and she is easily one of my favorite authors. The funny part is, it took me so long to finally pick up her books—it wasn’t until last year that I read Shadow and Bone, and I just finished SoC & CK this year!

That being said, she has pulled me in time and time again, and I will forever be reading her books.

If you’ve read this book, let me know what your thoughts were on it!

The Book Blogger Oldie Tag

Hello everyone! Today I am excited to be sharing another tag with you all. This is one that I saw Holly do based off of the Booktube Oldie Tag created by Monica Kim!

I have been blogging for quite a while now, so I would definitely consider myself an oldie. I knew I wanted to eventually getting around to doing this tag, and here I am, finally getting to it!

1. How long have you been part of the book blogging community?

As of September, I have been blogging on this site for 5 whole years! I still can’t believe that. You can read my 5 year thank you post here :)

2. What was your biggest misconception before starting a book blog?

Truthfully, I didn’t have any misconceptions because I sort of started book blogging…by accident? I began my blog as a lifestyle/beauty blog, and then slowly started making more reading-related content. Eventually, all of my content became centered around books, which is what got me here today! Basically, I just started writing about books and was already in the book blogging community before I even realized it.

3. How do you think book blogging has changed since you first started?

It is a lot more inclusive now, for sure. Back when I first started, I remember mainly seeing posts about super hyped books (John Green, Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas, etc). Obviously, many books that are talked about now are still ones that are hyped many times, but I’ve also seen the community grow to more niche-based bloggers who post books outside of the traditional YA sphere.

Publishing as a whole has become much more diverse (though there is still a long way to go), but many people have now made an effort to include more representation in their reading (myself included).

4. What is your favorite book blogging memory?

My favorite memories have to be any time that I met a blogger friend in real life! The fact that I’ve been able to make such genuine connections online and then translate them to the real world is incredible to me! I wish more of my blogger friends lived near me so I could see them more often.

5. What are some books that you were introduced to because of book blogging?

Oh wow, there are so many. Prior to book blogging, I honestly didn’t really pay much attention to new releases. I would go into Barnes and Noble or the library and just pick a book that caught my eye based on the cover and synopsis. I miss those days a little bit, but I’ve also found so many incredible books because of bloggers.

Some that immediately come to mind:

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

6. What is something that frustrates you about book blogging?

It’s frustrating that we are still not treated with the same respect as the rest of the book community. I understand that blogging may not be as popular as Booktube anymore, but book bloggers are truly the foundation of the book community. I just wish that more people would recognize it as a valid and genuine platform because it has such a huge impact on a lot of people.

7. What is your hope for the future of book blogging?

I hope that it will continue to be more inclusive and diverse, that people will be friendlier and more welcoming, and that it will continue to improve every single day!

That is it for this tag! I had so much fun writing these answers, and I hope that some of you will join in and do the tag yourself!

See you next week :)

Thought Collective #4- On Becoming a Minimalist

I first heard of minimalism back in high school, and I was immediately drawn to it. I watched the Minimalism documentary, and I thought this is what I want my life to look like.

So I decluttered my space, but then carried on about my life. Weeks went by, then months and years. Every now and then I would go through the process of cleaning, organizing, throwing away.

It was a cycle that I kept going back into, but the habits of minimalism never really stuck.

It wasn’t until recently, though, I started listening to a few different podcasts, watching youtube videos, and had a huge mindset shift that I finally started to see the benefits.

Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps you simplify your life—this includes your mental and emotional life, too—in order to live a more meaningful and intentional life. I realized that I don’t care about shopping, I don’t need to own a lot of things, I am happy when I’m doing rather than buying.

I thought that I would take you through my 4-step process/journey of transitioning into this lifestyle, and maybe some of these tips will be useful for you, too!

  1. Prioritize: The first thing I did was made a list of my priorities. For me, this was school, writing, family/friends, paying off student debt, and health. Obviously everyone’s priorities are different, but make a list of 3-5 priorities in your life, and try to keep these in mind with everything else you do. You don’t want to have too many priorities because that will just make things overwhelming and you won’t be able to dedicate the same amount of time to all. The minimalists talk a lot about their 5 core values, and that might be a helpful place to start!
  2. Declutter: Obviously, a big part of minimalism is getting rid of that excess stuff you have lying around your house. Take your time with this process, and really think about what you’re keeping and what you’re not. I even recommend doing a second or third sweep of your stuff. Sometimes you come back to something and realize you don’t actually need it, you were just keeping it around for sentimentality. Aside from your physical space, there are also other things that you may want to declutter in your life- your relationships (cut out the toxic ones), your digital space (clear out your files, unfollow people on social media who don’t add value to your life), and your mind (I’ve incorporated meditation into my life, which has helped me stay in the present moment. It really keeps me grounded and my mind uncluttered).
  3. Change your Habits: Decluttering is important, but it doesn’t mean anything if you keep buying more stuff, keep creating more waste. Therefore, once you have started with a fresh, clear space, work on your habits so that you don’t go back to how you were living before. For example, I have been creating a budget for myself every month, and I try to stick to it as closely as possible. I just started this a couple of months ago, so there was quite a bit of trial and error involved in determining how much I spend in the beginning. Now, though, I’m pretty good at sticking to it! Also, before I buy anything new, I write it down in a wishlist I keep on my phone. I wait at least 2 days (if it’s a big purchase, I give it a week or more) before deciding if I really need it or not. This has stopped me from impulse buying a LOT.
  4. Put It to Action: Now that you’ve given yourself this blank slate, use it to your advantage! Go back to your priorities and start centering your days around them! For instance, I like to write. All I need for that is my laptop or a pen and paper. Now that I’m devoting less time to cleaning and organizing my stuff (because there’s less of it), I have more time to write! I also have more time to spend with my friends, and I’m focusing on the things that really bring me joy. I’ve honestly found a freedom in owning less and not wanting to buy more. I feel like a lot of weight has been lifted off of me.

Some resources that helped me:

  • The Minimalists: They have a podcast, a documentary, and a website that are all full of great information! I am currently going through their podcast, starting from their first episode, and I’m loving it!
  • Millennial Minimalists Podcast: I recommended this podcast in my last favorites post, but I just wanted to include it again because I’m really enjoying it!
  • Ashlynne Eaton: This Youtube channel is so cozy and nice to watch! Ashlynne also gives some really great advice, so if you are someone who prefers visuals, this is the place for you!

There’s obviously so much more I could say on this topic, and I really only covered the bare minimum here, but I think it’s a good, simplified place to start!

What are your thoughts on living a more minimalistic lifestyle? Have you tried it?

Books I Don’t Recommend Enough!

I read a pretty large amount of books every year- between 50-100+ books. Obviously, I do not give all of them the same amount of love. Some books I rave about for months and months, and others I only briefly mention in a wrap up and move on from.

So, I thought I would highlight a few books that I really enjoyed, but I don’t talk too much about on here. These are not necessarily under-hyped books, though, (I’m sure you’ll recognize quite a few of them) they are just under-hyped by me!

Young Adult

By Your Side by Kasie West: I read this book a couple of years ago now, but I do remember enjoying it quite a lot! It was a really cute story, and I definitely want to read more from Kasie West in the future. Her books are ones that I’ve been meaning to pick up for quite a while now, as I’ve only read this one, but I’ve heard great things about her other ones.

Adult

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan: This book completely took me by surprise. I was expecting a fun romance that takes place in London (what better thing to read about?) and while it definitely was that, it was so much more. It was such a complex and heartbreaking story, and I loved it so so much. I would highly recommend giving this a try if you want to read a romance with a lot of depth.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert: Speaking of romances, I absolutely ADORED this book by Talia Hibbert. It was just so well written, and I can not wait to continue on with the series (hopefully I will get to it ASAP).

Poetry

Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer: I haven’t been sharing a lot of poetry with you all recently because I just truthfully haven’t been reading as much of it. So, I definitely wanted to make sure I included some on this list, starting with an amazing collection that I read last year. It was really beautifully written, and it left me feeling so inspired. I need to read all of Trista’s other work because this collection was incredible. Also, their Instagram feed is SO amazing, so go check that out as well!

What We Buried by Caitlyn Siehl: This is one of the best collections I’ve ever read because it was exactly how I’ve always wanted to write. Caitlyn wrote such beautiful lines, had such amazing imagery, and packed in a lot into a short book. It is such a fast read, so I definitely think it’s worth giving a try, especially if you want to get more into poetry.

I hope you all enjoyed this post! What are some books you’ve read and loved but don’t talk about often? I’d love to get some recs!

College Day in My Life // Online Junior Year Edition

I can’t believe I’m already a junior in college. Not only that, but I’ll be graduating two semesters from now*. Absurd.

I thought that I would give you a look at one of my days while taking classes online! Obviously everyday is a bit different, but this is what my day looked like yesterday.

*I’m graduating a semester early woohoo!

6:30 am

I wake up between 5:15 and 6:30 every single day because I have to be up by 5:30 for work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I try to keep my sleeping schedule as consistent as possible on the rest of the days.

I actually wanted to sleep in until 7 today, but my body woke me up at 6:30, and I just stayed in bed for a bit.

After going to the bathroom, washing my face, and stretching a little, I read a few chapters of The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang.

8:00 am

Around 8 is usually when I’ll go make myself breakfast! Today I made a bowl of oatmeal topped with bananas, blueberries, and chopped pecans. I ate it in bed (because my housemates were still asleep and I didn’t want to be loud), while I looked over some of my assignments.

Then, I did some more reading of The Poppy War because I really want to finish it over the next couple of days. I normally would do some kind of workout in the morning, but it was a stormy day and I just wasn’t feeling it, so I let myself take a rest day!

Then, I eventually got dressed, made my bed, and listened to a podcast for a bit.

11:00 am

My sister Facetimed me around 11 while I went to make an iced coffee for myself before class. I honestly talk to my sister or my parents on the phone a few times throughout the day.

11:40 am

Then, I had class my first and only class of the day at 11:40: Foundations of British Literature. It was a pretty easy class because we were starting a new unit, so we basically just went over some of the historical context of the time period.

1:00 pm

The class ended at 1, at which time I went to make myself some lunch. I made a spinach & berry smoothie with some avocado toast. It was phenomenal.

2:00 pm

At 2, I got started on my thesis, which is what I spent the majority of my day working on.

I am currently in the development stage of my thesis, which basically means this semester I focus more on research, while next semester I’ll be doing the actual execution/writing of the thesis. But I still need to submit a proposal this semester which is going to be around 15-20 pages long (possibly longer??). On top of this, I’m taking 5 other classes, so it’s overwhelming at times!

I’m somehow powering through, though, and I know it’ll all be worth it in the end!

My housemates all joined me in the dining room while I worked, and it was nice to get some social interaction for the day (considering we’re taking our classes online, and, you know, COVID means I don’t see too many other people).

5:00 pm

At 5, I made myself some dinner which was a turkey wrap and some steamed veggies on the side! I continued working while I ate. I actually got a lot done during this day of working, so I was feeling great.

6:00 pm

I stopped working on it at 6 because I was exhausted at this point. I made myself a little yogurt bowl for dessert and ate that while talking to my dad for a bit.

7:00 pm

At 7, I took my (minimal) makeup off, washed my face, and changed into pajamas because that honestly is the best feeling ever.

I then started writing this blog post!

8:00 pm

At 8, I did some reading for the class I had today just to get it out of the way, and then I watched an episode of The Haunting of Bly Manor (which I will share my full thoughts on soon!).

10:00 pm

Finally, I read a bit more of The Poppy War to just prepare myself for bed, and then I went to sleep around 10:30. I usually try to go to sleep by 10:30/11 because I do wake up so early and sleep is important!

That’s it for my day! If you guys want to see a more detailed morning or night routine, I would definitely be able to do that soon!

Are your days structured or do you have a more loose schedule everyday?

Spooky Book Recommendations (Pt. 2)

Hello! Last year around this time, I shared a list of thriller recommendations with you all. Over the last year, I feel like I’ve read quite a few new ones, so I want to share them with you (and the ones I didn’t mention in the last post).

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This is my most recent gothic/horror read, and it was phenomenal! This book was so atmospheric—it takes place in Mexico in a small, rural town in a mansion called High Place. It had such stunning prose, and the plot was unpredictable (exactly what I’m looking for in a book like this). I highly recommend checking it out!

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

I read this book recently as well, and it completely took me by surprise. I had seen a lot of people talking about this novel, so I was really interested in reading it. I was able to get the audiobook from Libro.fm, and I listened to it in a matter of days. The beginning was a bit slower paced, as we learned about characters and the backstory. But the last 50-75 pages were a RIDE, and it went in directions I never would have guessed. It’s definitely not your typical mystery, but it is good!

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

This is a retelling of The Turn of the Screw (see next rec), but in a modern setting: a smart home. It was super creepy, and it actually gave me goosebumps at times. I think it is such a phenomenal read, and I’m looking forward to reading more by Ruth Ware because I know I’ll enjoy her books!

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

So yes, I put a retelling of this story on this list as well as the original and that’s because I think they are both such good reads!! I read this book as part of a collection of other short stories by Henry James, but this one was one of the only ones I really enjoyed. It was so eerie and interesting. AND The Haunting of Bly Manor comes out on Netflix TOMORROW. If you don’t know, it is the second season of The Haunting of Hill House, but it’s basically a completely new story (sort of how each season of American Horror Story works). I am so so excited to watch!

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

This was my first Karin Slaughter and it did not disappoint! I listened to the audiobook, and it was really well done. It was an intricate story that focused a lot on the characters, which I appreciated. I definitely want to read more of Karin Slaughter’s books—if you have any favorites, let me know!

What are some of your favorite spooky reads? I have so many on my TBR that I’m dying to get to—I’d love to read your favorite!

Finally Fall Book Tag 2020!

Hello everyone! I know that fall started a little while ago, but I definitely want to take part in this tag! Fall is my absolute favorite season, and this tag is a great way to welcome these next 3 months.

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting

Wilder Girls by Rory Power: This book was full of descriptions of the island where the boarding school is located that these girls attend. I could picture it so vividly in my mind, and it played like a movie while I was reading the book.

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief

How To Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow: This is the perfect book for this list. It was such a beautifully written story, but it is also very heavy and dark. Proceed with caution with this one. It is one that I loved very dearly.

3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new

The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington: I read this book pretty recently, and it was so fascinating. I don’t think people understand the value of sleep. We live (at least in American) in a world that thrives on work and productivity—and I’ve been swept up in that, too. Many people praise pulling all-nighters and applaud others for working hard for weeks on end. But sleep is vital to our success, happiness, and health. Without it, you won’t be able to thrive! Highly recommend this one, it was so fascinating.

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of

The King of Crows by Libba Bray: I chose the last book in this series because I feel like here is where everyone is the closest and the friend group is really prominent. These characters all care about each other so much, and they are such a tight-knit group. I would love to be part of it!

5. The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines

Here is a very random stack of orange, yellow, and red books that I put together for this!

6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: This is the first book that popped into my mind. In case you don’t know, in this book, Evelyn Hugo is recounting her life to a journalist. This book is such a great fall read. It’s a slower paced book that is so beautifully written, and it is sure to put you in that cozy, autumnal mood.

7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: I just read this one a couple of days ago, and it was such a phenomenal read. It reminded me a lot of The Yellow Wallpaper and The Turn of the Screw, so if you like those creepy, haunted house vibes, you’ll enjoy this one a lot! It was really atmospheric, and I enjoyed it a lot.

8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo: This book isn’t necessarily really short, but it is definitely a fun, fast-paced contemporary! It gave me all the feels, and I really enjoyed it. I also really want to read more of Maurene Goo’s books because this one was so good!

9. Fall returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: I am in dire need of a re-read of this one! You guys already know it’s one of my favorite books of all time, and I read it right before it came out last year. I desperately want to re-read it, and as soon as I find the time, that is what I hope to do! I think it’ll be one of my last reads of 2020!

10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”

Candles and fuzzy socks: I wear fuzzy socks all year round, but especially during the fall and winter, they are THE BEST. A true necessity to comfort during this season. I also love burning a vanilla, pumpkin, or cinnamon-y candle. It really sets the mood, especially if you dim the lights and lay under a warm blanket. Wow, that sounds so nice I might go do it right now!

That’s all for the tag! If you want to do it, feel free to consider yourself tagged by me :)

Let me know what you thought of my answers to these questions.

See you on Thursday!