Ooo, we're getting into my favorite subject matter in nonfiction---artsy farsty stuff. LOVE it. I'll read anything with art theft, art forgery, and art history. Endless fascinated. I took a lot of classes in art history and humanities in college (way back when), so this book wasn't filled with all new information for me. I loved re-exploring it though.
Alexander Lee focuses on the Renaissance period and touches on the money and power that moved the art to its greatest zenith for the time. Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and Raphael were just a few of the artists that were patronized by the wealthy and powerful (like the Popes, the Medicis, the royal families of Europe, etc.) that were in constant power struggles with each other and within their own ranks. It's truly fascinating...even if you don't like art.
Postmark'd May 2021
Oh gosh. May 2021? The Pandemic really wrecked me didn't it?
Well, I mean it did. I stayed on my couch for most of it and binged true crime shows. Uuuggghhh....
Postmark'd is a card subscription service that I desperately need. I don't really have a nice shop for that stuff where I live. It's a bit of a bummer. Lots of monogram places...but my monogram isn't thrilling. Anyways, May 2021 had a lovely spring theme.
Samantha Irby has a really eye-catching cover design for her books. I picked up another one because there was a cat on the cover (it was bright yellow I think?).
She's an award-winning essayist that really knows how to land a story. I tend to remember and think about her stories way after I've shut the book. I mean, they aren't all deep and serious, but I wasn't expecting to really have them stay with me like they have. Plus, there's a lot of funny moments.
The PaperGang Box : Box No. 59
Isn't this stunning? Papergang has been doing a lot of geomatic themes, but they went back to a more romantic theme with this month. It's lovely. I really enjoyed No. 59, which I'm guessing might be February 2021...oh gosh. That's way behind on my end. A whole year. Surely not. Am I that behind?? I'm going to go with I just missed this one. Yup. Sure.
The desktop or mobile background is here on their blog. I don't download all their backgrounds, but I did with this one. I love the romantic aspect of the work.
Papergang site: This is for sale in their online shop if you just want this box. It's called the Blushed Blossom Box and is about $26. It includes all that's in the box below:
Yearbook by Seth rogan
I read this through my library. I've become a bit overcome with their digital options and I have a huge wish list. I think I really create more digital clutter (is this the right term) than I should. I'm a big library fan regardless...I've tried a bunch of authors I wouldn't have normally, and I've found a few new favorites that I enjoy.
I'm not sure I'm 100% getting all of Rogan's comedy but I like some of his stuff. I like more of his later projects. Seth doesn't care about that of course; he's doing just fine without my wishy-washy movie watching habit. I figured I'd get on the hold list for his book at the library, and it finally hit my number.
Please excuse my photos. I took them from my kindle...to send to a friend because we talked about one of his stories in here for about a day...and then I realized I still had them, so I put them here. I should have made an effort to get better photos but eh.
March 2021 Postmark'd Unboxing
Am I behind? Perpetually! But I'll get there. Eventually. Maybe...
This was one of my favorites from Postmark'd. I ended up getting more stationery from one brand and framing the card from another. Yup!! I write a lot of letters, so I love this subscription box. It's dead useful!
2021 reading in Review
Goodreads has THREE different totals for me across the site. I've gone through all my books, but I can't find any recording error on my end. Anyways, I've actually read 312 books in 2021. Quite a lot for the year! It was over my intended goal of 240 books. For 2022, I've kept a similar goal of around 240 (it might be as high as 260) but we shall see.
I read so much because of Covid. I'm still being quite careful. I don't have children or dependents, so it's easier for me to stay inside. I've been too antsy to sit down and watch most new television shows. So reading has been my entertainment for the past few years.
The initial "Year in Books" page on Goodreads lists me at 307 books, with 92,043 pages read. Even with the additional five books added, it won't make such a huge change in page numbers. Most likely less that 95,000 pages total for the year (probably around 93,000).
You can see an additional number below. I reached my initial goal of 240 in the early fall period.
I actually read my shortest and longest in the beginning of 2021. Kill the Clutter is a cleaning guidebook. I enjoy watching CleanTok/CleanGram, so I picked up a few books. I still prefer the Konmari approach to cleaning and decluttering, but I thought Heather Lane's book was a nice and quick guide.
My longest book was Bulfinch's Mythology. I picked this up a while ago, but it's been on my TBR shelf for a long time. It is quite long but easy to read in chunks. I'm familiar with most of the myths listed within as I took many Classics classes for my degree. My second longest book was most surely Jane Austen's Emma. It's around 800 pages in length.
I had finished Jane Austen's Emma and Pride and Prejudice in the same year. They're both annotated versions with one side of the page being the original story and the other side being notes and images that enhance reading. I think it was good for me as I had never picked up Austen until after university! I thought it would be nice to have a guided reading so I would understand some hidden aspects (hidden to me).
Amanda Gorman's poem was quite beautiful! I did watch it live and appreciated the oration but reading it was a huge treat. I think I prefer poems in written form more than spoken. I have no poetic talent, but I do like reading poetry! Gorman has a few other pieces being published soon that I'll probably pick up. I liked the way she formed verse. This is just the poem, so it's a fast read. Great for a tea break!
The extent of Goodread's public stats is just a list of the books you read. I took a few screenshots to show what it looks like. Also, I can talk about some of the books I read that were excellent!
I've done far too many "I'm catching up with work/It's been slammed" but uh...I've been slammed with work.
I finished my book goal for 2021 early and kept reading. I ended up with over 300 books again. Goodreads has been annoying me. I use it just for logging my books, but it really struggles. I have three different numbers for year-end totals. It's probably my fault but I find it annoying. So, I'm trying a new app, called Story Graph, that breaks down my reading more like an excel spreadsheet. It also has trigger warnings for readers. Which I think might be a nice thing if you need them (re: war, rape, abuse, etc.) Like, if you're spouse just died of Covid or a car accident, you probably don't want to escape into a book only to discover that's a huge plot issue.
For 2022, I've planned on about 240 books. My big classic book might be Russian literature, but I haven't even picked one up yet. I try to read a big classic a year (last year was an Annotated version of Emma) but I've been reading shorter classics as my library uploaded a bunch of eBooks as options. Perhaps I should just decide on 20ish smaller classics? Maybe get a reading guide to Dostoevsky? I've not read Russian literature at this level as my college level readings was more on ancient Chinese texts or ancient Greek texts. So, I'll need some help. Plus, it's been a few years since school.
Anyways, I've read almost 20 books in January of this month. I'm on track.
I need to edit and upload photos. I need to gather thoughts on books I've read. I need to clear off my desk and reorder my time to sit down and write about books. It should happen soon. I took more time off after the winter holidays since I could.
Ohh Deer: Colorful Tropics
I have no idea what month this is. (Google says: June?) I get my box late since it's shipping from overseas. I'm not worried about that, but this is at least a summer box. As always, Papergang has online goodies for the box. This is the wallpaper fort the month.
I believe the box is still available for purchase on the Ohh Deer website. It's $26 U.S. Dollars.
There are five item categories included. There's a notepad, greeting cards, stamps, gel pens, and sticker sheets.
With work catch up, I got behind on my blogging.
So I'm going to spend this week catching up on everything (like laundry, ugh) and cleaning all the piles of work out of my office. It's a good week for it!
I reached my reading goal much earlier than I anticipated. I haven't even filled in all the books I've read! I think I'm going to end up around 260 books when I'm done logging things in.
Such is life!
The Book Drop: June 2021
I'm still behind on reading the books I get when I receive them. June's book is up on my TBR, so I'll be able to get to this one soon. I think this is the first of the unread Book Drop books. So, I'm a few months behind here.
I switched to a mix of romance/friendships and fantasy. June is the romance/friendship...but I'm assuming it's straight romance from the cover.
October 04th, 2021
I have such a book hangover (is this the right term?) over the last book I read. I basically just need a little bread to recover. The book that did me in was Madame Fourcade's Secret War about one of the leaders of the French Resistance. She survived the war, but many of her comrades did not. It was very, very good but it was absolutely a gut punch of read for me.
I'm going to work on some re-readings and see if I can get back to it. Maybe a lot of happy endings only romance type books? Or maybe some comic books? I own two of Mindy Kaling's books.
Papergang #61 (April)
I'm pretty sure this is April...at least, that's what I wrote on the booklet. One of the Papergang boxes is held up in the UK (shipping issues). I always get these late being as I live on the other side of the pond, so I wasn't totally panicked about it. I'm 95% positive this is April's box.
This box is from stationery company Ohh Deer. We've had a few straight months of geometric designs, I wonder if they're "in" artistically. I'm not really en vogue with the contemporary art market. Anyways, I do love stationery and other office supply type things, so this box makes me happy usually. Sometimes...if I don't love items, I send them as a gift to my penpals. Does that make me look good or bad? Hmm...
I have not read any part of this series (the Phryne Fisher series) in order. I have some on my kindle (with the 1920s illustration type covers), some paperback (with the TV tie in covers, which I actually like) and one audiobook.
I'll be honest, some of the books I like quite well and some I don't love as much. I suppose it's because I started the TV series first so I'm quite in love with the actors portrayals. The books are different with the characterization and storylines. For instance, the romances that Miss Fisher has are vastly different and Dot's whole personality is different. The mysteries are much more fleshed out in the books, which can be thrilling. This particular book has some interesting sub-plots that don't make it into the TV show.
Also of note, Greenwood has done so much research into food, clothing, and lifestyle. At times, it veers into the cozy-extra detailed that I despise but overall, I enjoy Greenwood's writing and style.
This book takes place in Queenscliff, while Miss Fisher is on vacation with her family. There's a murder, missing gold, a movie shoot plagued with problems, a hair snatcher, and a group of surrealists.
Am I catching up? Sorta! I need to charge my camera to take more photos (of books and boxes) but I need to clean my kitchen more. There are shades of importance!
Luckily, I'm home for the next few weeks (working from) since there's a bit of a Covid-19 outbreak in town. It comes in waves and I'm just trying to stay away from it all. Usually when I wake up with a migraine, my first thought is: "Oh god...it's the 'rona!" It's always a migraine.
Anyways, this month's box is called "Expert's Choice" and is meant to be the 'crème de la crème.' I thought the choices were quite lovely and I kept all of them. There was not a bag this month, but there was a "beauty item" included.
There is usually a $5 or $10 off the next beauty purchase. This one was $10 off the next $40+ beauty purchase between 5/28 and 7/30.