books and bees

The Book Nook: What I Read In August 2019

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Well August…my birthday month was the first month to defeat me in my book reading goal. I’m one book short. Okay that’s not the end of the world but still I’m more than a little annoyed with myself for not hitting my 13 book goal. But you win some you lose some and I read 12 amazing books this month! Read below what i got into this past month:

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan: I am still reading these books and I am so pumped to have started off August with this one. I thought the Dark Prophecy wasn’t quite as easy to follow as the first book but it was still really good. Obviously there is a prophecy..and it’s not ideal. More trials and things but most importantly we get reunited with some of my favorite characters from Camp Jupiter! I love that the universe is so intertwined and that everyone comes back! This book wasn’t on my TBR but I was already reading it and I had to finish it so bonus book for me! I am probably gonnWell a start up the 3rd book in this series soon and I can not wait!

Cozy by Isabel Gilles: I was so excited when I saw this book in Barnes and Noble because I am deep into the world of minimalism and creating a cozy space for myself this year. This book was such a disappointment. I don't think I went into it thinking that I was going to see a lot of minimalist thoughts in it- it is not a book about minimalism. What makes me sad about it is that almost every tip is steeped in wealth and access that the majority of people do not have. I am glad that Ms. Gilles lives in NYC where she can ride a train (and I believe she lives in the nicer areas so the trains she rides not only WORK, but they are in good shape). Even the "easy" part of the book--the recipes--has recipes for expensive seafood options. Perhaps I hoped I would find another good book that offered options for creating a cozy life that don't require you to break the bank--but this book definitely wasn't it. It really felt like more of a "look at how much access I have, and fail to acknowledge how my entire "cozy" experience is informed by that access". Overall this is on you could skip, there are better options with more realistic tips for your everyday person.

A Hot Glue Gun Mess by Mr. Kate: I've been watching Mr. Kate videos for over a year now, and I jumped at the chance to read a book by Kate in hopes of getting some fun DIY tips and learning a little bit more about her. This book provided both- I learned a lot about her background (her dad was CEO of HBO for a hot minute who knew) and she added in some really fun DIYs (I want to try the watercolor curtains one day). The book starts off with a disclaimer letting you know from jump that it's not your standard DIY book and it's definitely not. I enjoyed it, it's a fun read. It's not the greatest book I've ever read but it was still a fun book by one of my favorite youtubers :)

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan: When I started this book I thought it was the last in the series. So as the story progressed and things weren't wrapping up I was super confused. This one...this was a rough read but not because the writing was bad but because of what happened. There were some terrible losses in this book- especially if you've read the majority of the other books in the series. But what I love is the evolution of Apollo/Lester. Getting to watch a God experience humanity has been really cool. I think one of the things I love about Greek God literary interpretations is when authors give them humanity and I feel like in this series that's exactly what we we are getting. I really enjoyed this book and I have already but the new book on hold at my local library. Now to impatiently wait for it to release so I can have it!

The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage: This was a fun read, which is really amusing because it's about finances and adulting. I liked this book because it's written by a person that is closer to my age, that's been through a lot of the same challenges financially I have. I'm working on learning investing and I can't say this book helped me understand it (I legit just don't get it)--but the book overall was really helpful. I think it's an awesome starter book for real and pretend (me) grown-ups. It's a short read (I was slow lol) but overall it's a cute fun book to help you get your life together.

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo: The book was so much more than anything I could’ve asked for. This is my first read by Elizabeth Acevedo and I am in love with her writing. The story told in the book is a tale of love, heartbreak, loss and all interwoven with the gift of food. I just…I loved it so much. Following Emoni Santiago through her senior year all while balancing friendship and being a single mom was extraordinary. I loved the perspectives offered in the book and the points made about gentrification, opportunity, race, and there was even a Cardi B reference. I can not tell you how much I loved this book. Once I finished this one I immediately picked up The Poet X because I have to read more by Elizabeth Acevedo. It took 4 tries to get to read the book (library due dates) and I will definitely be adding this one to my personal collection.

The Poet X By Elizabeth Acevedo” I loved this book. Like I truly loved it. The story itself is sad to me- reading about how destructive religion can be in a family, how cruel X's mother is to her, how poetry was her only escape. But this book reminded me the power of words, the power of writing, how sometimes having the power of the page can be a life saver. How a teacher that cares can make such a tremendous difference in the life of a child. It was such a beautifully written book. I cried more than once. I want a sequel to find out how Twin and Xiomara are doing. I want to know if she and her mother ever have an honest conversation about how unacceptable her behavior was. I just I want more. I truly loved this book.

I Could Pee On This by Francesco Marciliano: Is this the most brilliant poetry I've ever read? No. Is this poetry an accurate depiction of my life as a cat mom? YES. I Could Pee On This, is a series of poems written by "cats" and almost all of them *minus the tree climbing one my cats don't go outside like that* I felt SPIRITUALLY! This book is such a cute and funny read, especially if you like cats or have cats. There are even a couple poems about dogs- and they aren't mean either. Some cats and dogs are best friends (that's my dream my cats to be besties with the dog I eventually get). Overall this book gave me a good chuckle and I laughed for a good long while and for that I'm thankful. If you like cats and need a laugh---definitely check this out.

I Can’t Date Jesus by Michel Arceneaux: I picked this book based on the title. It's been on my TBR since it came out and after a failed attempt to read it last year, I'm back and I've actually finished it this time. I'm so glad I made it back to this book- it was such a wonderful read. I am not super familiar with Michael Arceneaux's work--but the things I've heard about him have been positive. Getting to know his story through this book was a gift. His writing is so much entertaining. Even in the saddest parts of his story (He's been through it truly) the book was smooth. I felt for him, he offered some very real commentary about the church and millennials. It was such an enjoyable book and I definitely recommend it.

Skin Cleanse By Adina Grigore: I LOVE reading books about skin care, especially natural skin care because I'm interested in more natural products to go along with what I already use. This book was kind of perfect for that because it's full of DIY's and such. The issue I take with this book and books like this--is that it doesn't account for access to these "natural" products or the cost. It's easy to say that by making your own you'll save money--but I've looked at pricing for a lot of oils and they're not only not cheap, but they're not always easily accessible. Additionally....this is for me specifically-- I don't have a lot of spare time to make all this stuff. What I do like about this is that there are some fun mask ideas and I think doing those is reasonable--but switching all your products...that's a bit too much for me. Overall it's a good read for ideas you can pull from if you're interested in more natural product routines.

The Capsule Wardrobe By Wendy Mak: It's taken my 500 years to read this. For the record the book isn't very long, it just took a long time for me to get to it and of course my library check out is about to end but I MADE IT! I really love this book! I've been on a minimalism journey for most of the year and my wardrobe is one of the areas I'm really trying to streamline. This adventure has been a lot harder than I thought, because before this year I didn't really have a defined style. I wouldn't say that I for sure have a definitive set style, but I'm a lot closer than I was. With some weight changes and fit changes I've been trying to figure out what I feel good in and what is the most flattering. I like this book because it breaks down a capsule wardrobe and the writer suggests 30 pieces of clothing. I...don't know now after reading this book if a capsule collection is for me (I'm a dress girl so I don't really get much with mix and match pieces) but this book helped me figure that out! If you're looking for some solid info on capsule wardrobes this is definitely a good read for that.

Th Curated Closet by Anushka Rees: Obviously I'm deep in style books because I'm really working on finding my niche. I loved this book. I checked it out from the library but this is a book I might actually purchase. The book has a lot of really spectacular information and graphics which as a visual learner I really appreciate. More than that it has guiding quizzes that help you skip different portions of the book (I didn't skip any) but they also help you really get to down the nitty gritty of defining your style. Like other style books I've read the key to figuring out your wardrobe is understanding your style (not just choosing things you like with no rhyme or reason like I do haha). The other plus of this book is that it offers an update schedule which I rarely see in style books. The fact that this focuses on establishing and maintaining your closet is great. I definitely recommend this book if you're a style novice like me!

12 books isn’t anything to sneeze at, and some of the books I read taught me some really important lessons I needed. September is gonna be a great reading month I think and I’ll hit my goal- I’m determined.