The Goodreads Challenge | What I’m Doing For 2023

Hello my friends!

It is time for a brand-new Goodreads Reading Challenge post. Want to learn what I wanted to accomplish with my reading plans for each year? Here are my 2020, 2021, and 2022 posts.

This is my fourth year giving you an insight of what I would like to accomplish for 2023. I actually enjoy doing these types of posts, as it gives all of us (you and me) a chance to write out my intentions for the next 356 days, but let’s get real. there’s no way I will be reading everyday this year. It’s cool for when it happens in a whole month, but after a while it kind of loses its luster.

What is my annual goal?

Just before Christmas, I had a family friend ask me about what my goal would be, and I’m sure everyone wants to know as well. I’ve kept a fairly hush-hush about it; last year I wasn’t totally 100% certain I would actually make it to 40 books, mainly because I tend to forget to factor in the holiday festivities in November and December. They tend to take a lot of my energy and the last thing I usually want to do is read a whole book.

However, I made it well passed 40, I ended up with 54 books. I find it a good thing to not only show myself that I can get it done, but I can surpass the initial goal too. You always hope it can happen, but life can throw you a curveball here and there and everything can take a backseat.

So, for 2023, I am hoping to get through 50 books, but also not discriminating towards its size. I think that’s another thing to keep in mind, the term “book” doesn’t mean you have to read something that’s over 300+ pages. I count any format, whether it’s a novel, short story or audiobook.

What about other certain challenges?

In a way to see if I could handle some pressure in 2022, I decided I wanted to do two challenges. My overall goal was to hit 40 books, mainly having two equal sides of twenty books; I had 20 books of normal titles and 20 more that were focused on classics or had become a film or TV adaption. For the most part, being able to do this was easy, my only real issue was time. I flew passed the first 20 books, but I only managed to reach 19 books on the other list.

For my first time doing something like this, I am very pleased with myself. I figured I would only get to five books, so this was really cool to see at the end of the year. It was fun and interesting to see how much I would enjoy out of these classics, because I tried to stay in and around classics like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I wasn’t a bookworm as a child, reading wasn’t fun for me in school so to be able to rediscover some of these books really opened my eyes on certain parts of literature.

And with that being said, I will continue with this challenge, and I will definitely put each book into my blue journal where I have the others listed with their mini reviews. This time though, I’m not giving myself a limit on a number, I just want to focus on children’s books, middle grade and other classics for that specific goal.

What do I hope to discover this year?

I want to read more or less the same of the books I’ve been into lately, but I would like to include more of children’s books, mainly fairy tales. I’ve already crossed off three of them; two were written by Hans Christian Anderson, The Snow Queen and Thumbelina and my first story by one of the Grimm brothers: Cinderella by Wilhelm Grimm.

I would love to get out of the historical fiction books sometime, although I’m in no rush to make this happen. I’ve just completed my first of the year, which the review will hopefully come out on Friday, and I’d finish my second if I knew it wouldn’t possibly ruin what could be featured in Melanie Karsak’s final book in The Shadows of Valhalla series. I recently just found a sleuth of Viking Sagas on Kindle Unlimited, and it’s been interesting to see the “origins” of both Hervor of The Road to Valhalla series and Ervie’s section. So, at the moment, I am holding off on it until I can get my toes on the Gambit of Swords this spring.

Speaking of Melanie’s books, I think this might be the year I decide to dive into William Speakeare’s Macbeth as it was part of the original story behind her Celtic Blood series. I know it may not exactly discuss Lady Macbeth as much as Highland Vengeance and Highland Queen, but I might understand the character Macbeth a bit more, at least that is my hope for it. I am prepared for the poetry part of the story, the Viking Sagas are mostly written in verse anyways, so I should be fine on that end, but I am thinking of listening to the audiobook instead of actually reading it.

For Christmas, I did get a large clutch of books – ones bought by family and others I got myself, so I am really going to try to dive into those books, especially the physical as I tend to ignore those unless I am at my mom’s work apparently…

Other than that, I am pretty much open to everything else. If you want to keep up with my overall goal or the books I read this year, you can find me on Goodreads, click here.

What about you, what kind of books do you hope to get into for 2023? And of course, what is your ultimate goal for the new year?


Blogmas | How Do I Read? w/ TILISMA


I had meant for this post to go out a lot sooner than this, but I never felt it was right to publish until Christmas was around the corner, so, this is a two-in-one kind of blog post as I answer a question you’ve probably had on your mind since the start of the year, how do I read? The other is going to be about a brilliant company that makes these cute and smart gift ideas for readers and students!

Back in August, I published a new installment of “Photo Diary” based around on how life was going and of course, I included lots of pictures of our nine cats. I mentioned that I was loving to read outside with them, but most importantly it gave you an insight of how I actually read where the book is propped on top of something, for me to use comfortably. The interesting part is, this is just one way, I actually have a total of four different positions to read in my spare time. Besides the use of the bench I take outside, I find myself using any flat surface to help me do things mainly because its easier to control when everything is at an even ground.

I’ve been known to surprise many people when they come around while I am enjoying a book, because of the distance between the pages and my eyes, it has never been an issue for me because honestly I’ve learned to make it work; like with everything else, I adapt to my surroundings! However, the thing that is harder to master is keeping the pages open easily. It wasn’t until July that I might’ve found a solution to this insecurity.

I follow and love a great deal of BookTubers (people on YouTube who mostly discuss bookish things.) and I was on Chelsea Palmer’s channel, watching yet another haul but she started off the video with introducing her audience to these neat products, by the name of TILISMA and the only description worth explaining on how they look is imagine Batman’s bat knifes he throws at crooks on the run and the sharp edges would pin the person up against the wall. If you have no idea of what I am talking about, this is what they generally look like.

Chelsea was gifted with all of their products, and in the video she showed everyone how to use them. The objective was simple: the holders would be placed in one hand and one hand only. They were designed this way, so that the reader inserts their thumb inside a hole that is measured to the average size and while your thumb is there, you could hold down the pages with as much pressure as you want to keep them separate while the rest of your hand on the other side basically holds the book to your desired advantage point.

I thought these were super cool! I do struggle with holding a book open on my own, and apparently it doesn’t matter what kind of idea I attempt to help conquer this, I haven’t been able to find the perfect way to enjoy a book without worrying I am going to lose my spot or worse tear a page because I can’t move fast enough! The thing that stood out in my mind was that I didn’t just think an average person could benefit from this kind of product, but I thought people with disabilities could enjoy them as well!

I ended up spending a greater part of my summer trying to get in touch with the company to explain how much this would help others with physical disabilities, who have limited movement in their hands (or in my case, feet), but we continue to depend on somebody else or find heavy but small objects to keep the pages open. So, after explaining my thoughts about their revolutionary products (or “hooks” as I like to call them) to the TILISMA team, I was asked to have a member of my family measure out the size of my toe to see if they could figure something out for me.

Unfortunately, it took forever to them to come in, thanks to the drama about the mailing system! It wasn’t until early September that I received three medium sized packages; I had array of holders in their individual packages at my disposal and they were even cuter up close and personal as they did in Chelsea’s video three months earlier!

So, I was gifted with the standard Hazelnut holder that has little curves that make a slight “S” shape and it is gorgeous! Every item is unique in their own ways, but mine has both a darker brown color but it also has this thick stripe of beige like when you cut into a piece of wood and you see the white flesh of the inside, the difference here is that the product is completely smooth. You can’t tell that it was homemade or real for that matter either!

Recently, my cousin gave me all seven books of the Harry Potter series and at the time I wrote this post, I was using this hook to help me keep the pages open. The one thing I had an issue was not necessarily the hook because I had grown to enjoy the width of the actual hook-like wings on the sides, for they made the opening more stable for me. I didn’t feel like I was giving it too much pressure, but since the books had belonged to someone else, the spine’s collapsing on itself and you really have to be careful with how you handle each one, so I’m glad I had something like this to keep reading easy on me. 

The next one is again a standard holder, but could be work easier with heavy, thick books as the design itself is without dips unlike the one above. For me, I think of it like an eye, the circular shape of a cat’s eye is actually the perfect way to describe it because where the hole is would be where the iris sits. I like the fact that it is this deep and rich brown, almost like a brownie hue, and it is pretty sturdy as well. I don’t feel like it could snap whenever I apply a strong act of pressure in the spine of the book.

One of their cuter items is this heard shaped holder. This was my mom’s favorite because it was a nice surprise to the whole thing! By the way, my mom was the only one I had shown what their products looked like, in order to gain advice on my idea several months ago, but I left this one out of the talk, because I wasn’t sure if I would receive one or not.

It is basically an outline of a heart in the wood with a hole in the middle to insert your finger through to keep your place. As much as I loved the design of this, I cannot use it myself because for me it’s too bulky, which I found to be odd, but so far I haven’t found a book where I can sit it comfortably so that part sucks; for now though, it is part of my decoration on my bookshelf.

Do you remember when I said in the beginning about how I had to have someone measure my toe? Well, there was a smaller version of the first standard hook stuffed inside a little box – but the big difference to the others is that it fits over my toe!!

I must have a really small toe considering how big the hole they carved out takes up a lot space of the design. I am still shocked on two things: the first is being the material being strong enough to withstand the large gap in the middle, and next, is it was as soft as the others and slides off so nicely! I love it so much that I tend to forget to put it away after I’ve stopped reading, and I literally just wear it around my family. Don’t worry, I try to hide it from my nephew because we don’t want him damaging it nor getting his fingers stuck either!

I wanted to say something special for the team of TILISMA before I go. Thank you so much for creating these little things. They are clever and so easy to use! I know you probably never thought someone such as myself would message you out of the blue like I did, but thank you for not only being patient but also working with me to (hopefully) reach a even bigger audience for you in the future!

If you would like to purchase any of the products featured above, click here to be redirected to their Amazon page. The reason why I did not link each one with the holder is because you might need a different size so I figured it would be much easier for you, to search through the various hooks and find the size you need on your own.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I think if you are buying these for someone else, they will feel very appreciated that you thought of them. Here are some of my other photos I (and my dad too!) took of them so you can have a better idea of what they look like in real life.

If you decide to try out any of their products, please let me know because I would love to hear your thoughts about them as well. And if you have used any of the products, what were some of your first impression of them? Do you believe others that stuffer with limitations in their hands/fingers, could use them with ease? Why or why not?


“Mini” Birthday Book Wishlist



I became a reader in a very different way than maybe other kids. I’ve talked in my other blog posts that in school, I basically hated reading because we were never taught to read to ourselves, we were always reading out loud. And I was one out of like six people in the class that was a slow reader and stumbled on my words. In elementary, we were taken out of class to be read with a teacher aide or my aide in general. They would either read the story or we would do it, but sometimes we wouldn’t finish it at the same time as the rest of our class would and have to continue reading it the next day. The moral of the story, reading sucked! However when we entered our freshman year of high school it was pretty hilarious for us slow readers to hear our peers mess up just as bad when our teacher brought us the Shakespeare stories! Romeo and Juliet was a blessing in disguise! It was a bitch to read for every single one of us. I was happy that I only had to read that book once.

Speaking of freshman year, ironically enough the class that we would be reading Shakespeare and other classics throughout the whole year. It was also the class that got me interested in reading for once in my life. Our teacher told us during our first day of class. On Friday it would be our reading day. We had to find a book to read for the whole period. He explained in the past some of his students have fallen asleep in his class and he’d done almost everything he could without getting himself in a lot of trouble. The one story that scared me apparently was when kids did fall asleep in his class, that he’d grab a book from another student’s desk and slap it on that student’s desk or drop it hard on the floor so the blast was loud.  At this time, I had the same teacher for two periods at the beginning of the day back-to-back. So you can imagine the horror I faced if I never brought a book to read in his classes. It took me a couple of weeks to figure what I would like, because before I only rented books that had very little paragraphs and a lot of pictures in them. I think after a month I started to read nonfiction books like it was nobody’s business!

I even took two separate reading classes as an electives later on! I loved my Novels class, it was a nice smallish class and our teacher was amazing. I actually had another English teacher than the one I always had which was weird at first, but it was cool. In this class, we read a lot of classics like Frankenstein and Silas Manor. My favorite though was Night by Elie Wiesel. My second class was called Short Stories and I was back with my favorite English teacher but we had a large class. Honestly, I liked Novels better. I read a lot in school! I even read at home whenever I had a really good book. I was a bit surprised that when I graduated from high school I actually kept up with my reading, even getting into more mature book genres like erotica, which tends to scare everybody sometimes, but it’s understandable! I’ve almost completed my first ever series and I’m starting to get like favorite authors and I honestly didn’t think I would. I don’t think anybody in my family thought that either!

Now that I’ve said this, I’m sad to say that I haven’t been in a big reading mood lately. The last time I read a book was probably in June when I finally finished The Fault In Our Stars I think I only finished it so I could watch the film. Although I haven’t been reading, it doesn’t mean I didn’t stop looking for more books. Sometimes I wish I did, it would be a lot better for me! I decided to write up a wishlist because since I can’t get like iTunes cards at the moment, I would rather be given Barnes & Noble gift cards instead for either my birthday or Christmas.


Before I get started on explaining all these books pictured above, I wanted to say that I have left out a couple of series. In the past, I’ve started the Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Evermore by Alyson Noel, and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead series but I’ve never finished them but I have been wanting to get back into all three of them. I’ve even deleted the film adaptions of VA from my DVR and forcing me to stay away until I’ve actually finished the first book. I need book two for both HP and Evermore, but I’d like to reread both first books before starting on the rest of them. Something that is kind of interesting to me is that i don’t like a lot of sci-fi/fantasy novels, but I’ve found quite a few lately that I’m willing to take a chance on some like Fallen by Katie Barber, The Scarlet Deep by Elizabeth Hunter, and Throne Of Glass by Sarah A. Maas. Getting through all of these books that I’ve mentioned in this paragraph alone would be an accomplishment.

While I was forced to read in my 9th grade English courses, I found a genre in the nonfiction that seemed to work a lot better than anything else. I love books about royalty, whether it was of real people or not, the concept of the lives of royals just made the happiest person ever! I have a real weakness of The Tudors and Romanovs eras, so The Rival Queens by Nancy Goldstone and Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie just kind of collided with me. I would like to read the Marie Antoinette series by Juliet Grey someday since I’m also a lover of that time as well! Three other books that talk about royalty even though the characters are made up, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Queen Of The Tearling by Erika Johansen and The Kiss Of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. Since we’re basically discussing about history in a way. There are a couple of books that are about historical people or things that happened in the world. Like, The Astronaut Wives Club by Libby Kebbel. I never got to see the last episode of the show based off this book. I had already planned on reading this book when I watched the first episode! The others are The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grisson, A Girl Aboard The Titanic by Eva Hart, Dear Abigail by Diane Jacobs, and Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood.

The rest of these are my “electives” if you will. I have a problem with finding a book and if it’s too expensive I’ll find another book to replace it and I think that’s why I’m including this next batch of books because I figured quite a few of these it’ll take me some time and money to actually get, so with that being said they are: Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse, Outlander by Diana Galabdon, The Rabbi’s Daughter by Reva Mann, My Soon-To-Be Sex Life by Judith Tewes, Never Have I Ever by Katie Heaney, Matched by Ally Condie, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, Annie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenburg, and .The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler. Now onto my last bit of electives in the erotica category: Tell Me When by Kaylee Ryan, Nobody’s Hero by Kallyspo Masters, Tempted by Megan Hart, and lastly Conviction by Nicole Edwards

I think I’m finally finished listing all of the books I’d like to get some time soon… I think I’m going to trying to wish on a flying star! So much for a “mini” wishlist! My bad.