Monday, September 25, 2023

Everything I Read In August

  Holy moly I can’t believe that September is almost over! I figured I better talk about my August reads before it’s too late. I had a surprisingly great reading month. I read 10 books in August. 4 of those were novellas and 5 were eARCs either from NetGalley or Book Sirens. Let’s start with my lowest rated book which was an ARC from Book Sirens called The Fabulous Miss Fortune by Jessica Gleason. This is about a timid woman who is determined to become a popular attraction at the circus being a fortune teller. She decides to take her fortunes and predictions in her own hands and well, things get murderous. I just don’t love really sexually explicit books and thats on me it’s not that it wasn't needed in the book but it’s just not something I enjoy reading. The story wasn’t bad I just didn’t connect with it. 2 stars. Next up is A Flicker In The Dark by Stacy Willingham. This is about Chloe and when she was 12 girls started going missing in her town. Eventually her dad confessed to the crimes and went to prison. Now 20 years later Chloe is a psychologist who is planning her wedding. She’s finally starting to feel like she’s able to put the past behind her but then a girl goes missing in her town and then another. Is she being paranoid seeing parallels from the past? I enjoyed this, I didn’t love it. There were a few twists, one or two I figured out but not all of them. I didn’t love the main character, she just kind of bothered me. I do think it’s worth the read. 3.5 stars. Next up is Out There Screaming: An Anthology Of New Black Horror. This was an ARC from NetGalley. Jordan Peele was an editor on this and I was so hyped for it! Unfortunately this didn’t really work for me. I was so hyped for some great horror, some seriously spooky folklore and I was left unsatisfied. There were a few really great stories. It started out strong but I found so many of them to be too cryptic and confusing or just overall bad and not at all scary. Definitely check it out because everyone has different likes and dislikes but this was mediocre for me. 3-3.5 stars. Next up we have The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson. This is a novella I received from NetGalley. I really enjoyed this. It had great gothic Christmas vibes. I don’t want to give anything away but it was a fun twisty book about two college girls and the one girl invites the other to her manor for Christmas break. Strange things start to happen and I’ll leave it at that. I really enjoyed the writing style of this. A lot of it is written in diary form. 4 stars. Next up is The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa. What a sweet, charming book. I ended up enjoying this way more than I thought I would. This felt like a love letter to books and reading. This is about Rintaro who is grieving the loss of his guardian and best friend, his grandfather. He is a recluse who is doesn’t seem to care about anything since the loss of his grandfather. One day a cat shows up and tells him he needs a book lovers help to save books. I’ll leave it at that but I highly recommend for a quick uplifting read. Next we have Silent Key by Laurel Hightower. Another ARC from NetGalley. I don’t really know how to describe this book. The cover makes you think this all takes place underwater or something and it does not. Water is a big theme but I do think the cover is a bit misleading. This is a horror/thriller but also low key a romance which I actually enjoyed! It’s also a mystery/paranormal story that I do think went on a little too long and got a bit confusing but I really loved the hauntings and characters. The writing was great and I need to read her backlist. 4.5 stars. Next up is Red Rising by Pierce Brown. This is a series which I believe will have 7 books in it. It is scifi, dystopian, magical realism. It’s very Hunger Games-esque but on Mars and also Greek mythology thrown in. The writing is fantastic and I liked the world building going on. I’m still not sure if this genre or series is for me but I will at least read the second one and go from there. I would recommend it. 4.5 stars. Now for my 5 star books! First is The Only Safe Place Left Is The Dark by Warren Wagner. This wan an ARC from Book Sirens and its a novella. I absolutely loved this book! Finally a new take on a zombie apocalypse. Not just a new take but an interesting, heartbreaking take. Even the zombies themselves were a fresh take and they will break your heart! The parallels between the apocalypse and the HIV/AIDS epidemic was really clever and made for such a wonderful story. This will scare you and break your heart! 5 stars! Next up is The Quiet Tenant by Clémence Michallon. This is very dark, disturbing book about a serial killer, his 13 year old daughter and the woman he has spared. I absolutely loved the writing in this book. The chapters were quick but impactful. They read almost like a stream of consciousness which really made sense because the mind would be altered being held captive for so many years. This was a pulse-pounding psychological thriller and I highly recommend! 5 stars! Last but certainly not least we have Razorblade Tears by S.A Cosby. Wow what an amazing book! This is a hard read. It deals with a lot of tough subjects such as homophobia, racism etc. There are some really gruesome, graphic scenes as well. This is the story of a white father, a black father and their two murdered sons. The fathers are on a quest for vengeance after their sons are murdered. These two have nothing in common aside from being ex convicts and both being ashamed of their gay sons. This was hard hitting, heartbreaking and tackled so many important conversations. The writing was fantastic. I highly recommend this, it was one of my favorite reads this year. 5 stars! There you go! That is everything I read last month. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought. I hope you check some of these out and enjoy! Happy Reading!

Monday, September 4, 2023

Weight Loss Struggles


 Hey! I figured it was time for a bit of a weight loss update. I guess in this case a weight gain update. Although I am down weight since the beginning of the year for sure. It has just been so much harder to lose weight since going through menopause and dealing with all that comes with it. Weight just seems to cling on for dear life now. Ive lost about 3 pounds in the last 3 months, which I know is not great but I can tell that I am losing inches and getting stronger which makes me so happy!! I am able to fit into a few things I wasn’t able to a couple of months ago. Something that I have been trying to work on even more than just weight-loss is my relationship with food. I have had overeating/binging tendencies in the past and I have really been trying to work on that. Please note that I have not ever been diagnosed with any kind of disordered eating this is me expressing what kind of issues I have. I knew if I started restricting things I would fail. I knew that would put me into a bad head space. So, I have been letting myself eat whatever I want, within reason. I’m eating what I want but I’m eating normal amounts. I really feel like this has been helping me a lot and I do feel like my relationship with food is improving. I have also been documenting everything I eat over on the Lemon8 app. Everyday I post what I ate and if I got any movement in that day and how I felt. Honestly, I love it over there and it has been keeping me accountable. I know “what I eat in a day” type videos or posts can get a bad wrap but I don’t feel like I am promoting anything bad or dangerous and at the end of the day it’s just for fun and ultimately just for me. I have been doing Caroline Girvan’s Iron Series again for the 3rd? time. It is my favorite series of hers and she is coming out with another Iron Series next month! I can not wait! Also, I recently got my bike working again and I can not even tell you how much I’ve been loving it. I wish I would’ve been riding bike all Summer! It has really got me excited to move my body and it’s so freeing as silly as it sounds. Working out should not be a punishment. It should be something that makes you feel good and something you don’t dread. There will come a time where I will probably get more serious about my nutrition but for now working on my relationship with food is key and I’m really proud of where I’m at now. I will probably take my measurements soon-ish because I am curious if those have changed at all. I will add a picture of me from June and one from yesterday (August 22nd) I know it is kind of hard to tell but I do feel like my stomach has gotten less poofy and I do think I’m dropping some inches. I’m just going to keep on truckin on my health safari and take it day by day. Any tips or anything you want to share about your personal safari I would love to hear it. I call it a safari because I hate the word “journey” it is so cringe to me.Thanks for following along and I hope the next time I have an update I will be down more pounds and at an ever better place with food 😊