The Goodreads Challenge | Hopes for 2022

Hello!

This year I am doing something completely different on my Goodreads Challenge. If you don’t know what this is, Goodreads is an app that allows you to find books. You can make up lists or shelves as they call them to categorize all of the books, like fiction and nonfiction. At the start of a new year, they give you a spot to choose a number of books you want to read in the 12 months. I’ve tried to make one in the last five years I’ve had it. Since 2019, I’ve been trying to up the number of the previous year, and even though I did get to 40 books in December, I decided to go for it in 2022.

I like the Goodreads Challenge a lot. I’m not one to make any big goals for the year anyways, so being able to set a somewhat large number of books for one year can be thrilling as a whole. I am always so pumped to start on a new one, but this time I decided to change it up a bit. I had the though back in September of splitting it up to focus on books that have been turned into movies. I love movies, and last year I learned how much I missed making time for them so I thought I could connect the two and hope I could make room for both loves. At the moment, I’ve only done one but I have been very distracted lately so I hope I can up my game a bit as the year goes on.

There is one drawback about this. I am not sharing my thoughts about these books and their film adaptions on my blog. I actually have a separate idea for that, but don’t worry I have two books that I am getting ready to publish–one might be coming out this Friday! I couldn’t just stop creating my book reviews though. I like being able to talk about thoughts on certain books and it just seemed silly to quit on all fronts, so I will continue doing those posts every month.


Now you’re probably wondering I am doing with the books on my other list. I do have something really cool to share with you today.

Around the same time, I came up with first idea, I was watching a lot of videos on YouTube about these reading journals. I was puzzled by them at first, but then I started watching like 10 a week and I knew I was hooked on the idea of creating a different space away from my blog to talk about my books. I was a bit hesitant at first, but I am always looking for something to be more creative and I thought this would be pretty cool to try out.

I ended up talking about it a lot with my mom and she agreed that it would be a good idea to try something new. Once I found out about monthly trackers, I was pretty much sealed on the deal and basically asked for a brand-new journal, calligraphy markers and pens, and more books that were being turned into movies this year on my Christmas list. I did receive the dotted notebook I asked for and it’s been a learning curve for me so far! I have the markers and pens as well, but I haven’t really used them that much. And out of all the books on my Christmas list, I got one book and it was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

In the videos I’ve seen of these reading journals, everyone comes up with a different theme and I decided on Harry Potter, and I hoped to capture a bit of the Wizarding World and place it throughout the different spreads, but I’ve had a rough time just making simple banners, so it is a bit plain in some areas, but I am getting better at it. I also have the standard bookshelves but I totally forgot to include the House colors for the various types of reading, because I want to explore them as well, so, gray is for Kindle while pink is for Audiobook and Print is in the color turquoise. I don’t include the titles on the spines because I write too large to do that and I just want to see which way wins.

One thing I have learned in the past two years is that I am obsessed with words. Every time I found one that seemed unique, or it was used in another way than we normally say it, I wanted to collect it for later, so when I got my journal, I decided I would make a section just for my words and it’s been a fun thing to keep track of, and even my parents have enjoyed them too!

Here were the words I was obsessed with in January, and I have to apologize if any of the words are misspelled as well.

Words included are: synapes. candytuff, cur, filgree, ells, hewed, crux, tedium, signews, skein, bishopric, morose, trounced, brocade, whetstones, alight, coffer, chignon, commencement, gythia, truncated, primsigned, saccade, demesne, vehemence, daub, architaves, granary, manses, crux, hinterland, and picaresque

The last spread I made in my green journal was my end-of-the-month-stats. I want to keep track of everything like how many books, days, pages, and words I would make it to every month. I have these long rectangles going vertically on two pages (I actually have three because I made the boxes too big to include November and December!) and I assign different colors for each one and it’s easily my second favorite thing in the journal.

After hearing me complain about it in the beginning, my mom found a little book called “My Reading Life” by Anne Bogel on one of the people she follows on Instagram and we looked at it because despite my best efforts, I knew I needed some help, so I got it around the second week of January, and the main thing I use in it is the monthly tracker. I really love those pages, because it is so easy, but you have to be really careful because you only get little diamond shapes in each block, and you can feel lost once you get into the thick of a month.

I only have one book written in there already, and it was Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I like to start a new year with disability themes. I just like to get them out of the way honestly! I found this book featured on Kindle Unlimited and it was a great read but I’m so thankful I’ve only watched the film once since it came out in like 2016. There were some changes made throughout, I really like Julienne Moore and Kristen Stewart for both Alice and her daughter Lydia. My second book will be 12 Years A Slave for Black History Month and I have always wanted to watch the film and luckily HBOMAX played it all month long, so I have that to look forward once I’m finished. And yes, I have decided on my March read but I’m keeping it a secret for now.

I am reading rather slowly, and I don’t know why I’m doing this because I’ve always read multiple books with opposite genres at once, but I think it has something to do with the fact I hadn’t published this post out for January and I wasn’t able to relax in between the two areas, so let’s hope I zip right through the incoming books and their respectful movies too!

How many books do you hope to read in 2022? Do you have an app to help you keep track of your books like Goodreads or are you one to use a reading (bullet) journal instead?

snowflake

Blogmas: Gift Ideas for Readers

Hello!

For this year, I will be discussing for the reader(s) in your life, because we can be somewhat tricky to buy for on Christmas. I hope to give you some ideas below and this week on Got Meghan’s Blog is full of festive vibes, so I also hope you enjoy what I have for you because I had a lot of fun creating them!

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post discussing interesting topics for my fellow disabled and chronic illness bloggers out there. I thought it would be a great idea to create one of my own and there was awesome feedback from people with and without disabilities! Anyways, I still adore the way I set up that post and wanted to do it again to hopefully give you some ideas into what a reader would REALLY love under their Christmas tree or stocking this year!


Before we get too into this, I need to make a point and say, if you decide to do any of the ideas below, you should know the person treasures the most. Despite the fact I included Harry Potter, it doesn’t mean EVERYONE enjoys that series! There are thousands of fandoms and products out there so hopefully you’ll be able to find something they love, but also be honest with yourself as well. If you can’t get something because you can’t afford it at this moment, find something else and hopefully they will understand your struggle and move on from it.

Speaking of money, I arranged everything below into their own category as far as price goes, so we have a somewhat cheaper collection of items that don’t go over $25. The middle will have a selection that could change depending on the various qualities and websites; I’d say they might start at $30 and stop around $60 and then the final box is everything I feel can go into the $100+ and those would be things that you would expect in that range too.

Easy on the Budget

Bookmarks
Stickers
Candles
Fairy lights
Coffee Mugs
Teabags/Instant Coffee Cups
Cat Inspired Gifts (or any other animal!)
Earbuds/Headphones

The Prices Can Change

Book Ends
Throw Blankets
Journals
Calendars
Bluetooth Speakers
Harry Potter Items
E-Readers (like NOOK, Kindle, and Audible)

Get Your Checkbooks Out

Book Subscription Boxes (like Book Of The Month, OwlCrate, etc.)
Limited Edition Books
Boxed Sets
Childhood Favorites
Bookshelves

Last summer, I was able to work with a company that specialty is making unique bookmarks and holders, and they are TILIMSA and I really love their products. They are reasonably priced since all of the items are handmade. I’m still so happy they were nice enough to work with someone like me who doesn’t exactly hold a book in the way everybody else does, so they customized their regular items to fit my needs, however, I’m not sure if everyone will be able to get the same treatment. If you are trying to find something for someone with a disability who loves to read, you could try to get into contact with them but again, I’m not sure if it will happen, so please keep this possibility in mind beforehand.

Are there any other ‘bookish’ products I should add to this post? Comment below with your suggestions, plus which money category I need to list it too!

Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling

Hello!

Well, this one took me forever to get through–mainly because for a while I was just casually reading this because of its sheer size! I seriously did not think I would be able to finish it this year, but I’m here now and we have much to discuss!

WARNING: If you have not read the books yet and want to sometime in the future, there are spoilers mentioned below so I figured I’d give you a heads up beforehand!


6

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age.

Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards.

And in his case, different can be deadly.

taken from Goodreads.

After reading the previous books, I knew going into this that I would be introduced to other things that were clearly missing from the film, but I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around everything! Honestly, there was one thing that annoyed me and it was like it just dragged on with certain sections. Other than that, I didn’t have much to complain about and considering it is 734 pages long, I feel like it was a success!

I always adore when Harry and Hermione go to The Burrow at the end of the summer holidays to spend time with Ron’s family. They may not have much, but you can always feel the love in that house, and with this book we get to meet Bill and Charlie! So, it was incredibly crowded and I can imagine Mrs. Weasley’s mind going to explode with all of those people under one “small” roof–especially with the crazy antics of Fred and George! I think James and Lily Potter would be pleased with how much love that Molly and Arthur care for their son and obvious well-being! I do have to mention that seeing Mrs. Weasley and Bill before the third task was so sweet! I totally cried during this scene because for one, you’re not expecting it to happen and if Harry ever thought he didn’t have supporters outside of Hogwarts in the games, he definitely knew at that moment.

We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.

Another element that isn’t mentioned in the films very much is we get to know more about house elves. What are house elves you ask? Well, they are these strange looking characters that work for the elite families in the Wizardry world. In the second book, “The Chamber of Secrets” we meet Dobby, who has the awful job for caring for the Malfoys. Dobby explained to Harry that elves are not allowed to leave unless they are given a piece of clothing, if their master gives them clothes, they are freed. Well, Harry freed Dobby by masking one of his socks as being from Mr. Malfoy. We get to see Dobby again in this book, and we get to know who exactly creates the daily feasts in the Great Hall. Unfortunately, we get to meet a very caring but heartbroken elf named Winky once we head into the Quidditch World Cup, which by the way, I FINALLY get to know who wins that damn game! I’ve hold it off knowing the truth in case I ever decided to read the series and it was awesome!

Now I will say, I wasn’t a blabbering mess after Cedric’s death like I thought I would; the only thing I could understand it was because I knew it happens and yes, as heartbreaking it is for everyone in the book and the Potter fans, I cried more when Mrs. Weasley surprises Harry than anything else. I do know, there would have been no way in hell I’d be able to replay everything in my mind minutes after witnessing Lord Voldemort coming back and everything that is mentioned in that chapter to retell it all to Dumbledore and Sirius. I mean, that is a lot for a person but given Harry is what? Thirteen in this book? Nobody needs to see that but unfortunately it happens and we have to heal and move on. The only thing that got me through this book was a little voice telling me, “we get to meet Luna Lovegood in the next one!”

I am very proud of myself for being able to finish reading this book. So far, this one is the one trying to come out of its spine! There is a good chunk that is now loose but it tucked back together with its dust jacket in the bookshelf. The next seems to be in better shape but we’ll see towards the middle on how much my cousin loved it! I’m not mad at him on the condition, these are first edition hardbacks, so I’m not terribly upset about their rips and tears, as they remind me that somebody before me definitely enjoyed them multiple times and I am perfectly fine with it!

Have you read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling yet? If you have, what were your favorite parts of the story? For those who watched the film before reading the series, how did you handle the death of Cedric Diggory?

Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling

Hello!

When I published my review of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children last month, I mentioned that there had only been one other book I have had issues with in the past and taken multiple tries to complete, and it was Prisoner of Azkaban. Well, I can officially cross it off my TBR as I gave it one more chance this fall and I am so unbelievably proud of myself to have read both of these books in the same year!

I originally started reading this book in 2016, and only got to the fourth chapter because my mind was so busy comparing the scenes I was reading with the film. If you didn’t know, Prisoner of Azkaban is actually my favorite film out of the entire collection, so I knew I would be very hard on myself there, so I stopped completely. I remember I had even asked my cousin Taylor, how much would I miss, if I just skipped it? His reaction told me a lot, so I waited and waited, until that’s all I really wanted to read in October.

We were already going up north to visit with family anyways, and so I asked Taylor, if I could borrow this book again. What I didn’t expect was that he decided to donate the whole series to me. So, I came home after three days with a whole stack of books! I am thrilled to have these books on my bookshelf but even more excited to get back into the wizardry world of Harry Potter too!

WARNING: If you have not read and/or watch the films, but would like to in the near future, be cautious as there are a lot of spoilers below. You may want to skip this post today!


Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry’s success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. A cute fourth-year student catches his eye. And he becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series.

taken from Goodreads.

Now that I have finished reading, I am glad I didn’t skip it because it answered a lot of questions for me that I thought the film never answered for me, like the origin story of Professor Lupin and The Marauder’s Map, I feel like those explanations were heavily missed in the film, and as someone who only knew the series from the movies, I felt very puzzled by each section, but I think it was the driving force to want to read the books after all of these years too!

It also helped solve several other mysteries for me as well, like how and why Snape knew where Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Forbidden Forest. The other one that has always bugged me was Harry’s Patronus, why was it a stag? And now that I think about it, I feel like it was answered in the movie but I never managed to understand everything about it, so it makes so much sense now.

Another thing that I thought was interesting, is how much Quidditch was featured and I have to say, I loved it!

Everytime I read about the various matches against the other houses, they sound exciting! Quidditch is like my basketball I guess, it seems very intense and despite the fact that it’s not just about one thing going on, you have the beaters, quaffle, chasers, and the snitch all happening at once whereas in basketball you are basically going after the ball, but you’re busy guarding the rival team members away from your basketball too. Honestly, Quidditch sounds more interesting, and as I found out through Jeopardy! a couple of months ago, it does exist but unfortunately there are no flying on broomsticks but I still think it sounds cool!

I think that’s all I have to talk about, I talked about everything that was driving me crazy before and after reading so that’s a plus!

So, now it is up to you, what were your favorite parts of the book and/or film? Are there certain areas where you thought were left out of the film and should have made aware of in the movies?

snowflake

Top 40 Halloween Baby Names!

Howdy!

It is finally October, so it is perfectly fine for me to talk about this subject out loud, but let’s be honest, I’ve been talking about fall since the beginning of summer! When it comes to this post in general, I’ve had to keep it hidden so people wouldn’t think I was that kook-y, but my family members knew its appearance was coming soon.

This will be in the same format as my post about the possible names of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex could name their little one. Unfortunately, I was somewhat wrong with my picks but I did get one part right, their baby boy is named after Prince Harry, just not with a name that I expected at the time, but now I really like it and everything fits well, as it’s both American and British worthy! Anyways, I will talk about eight different names from both sexes and explain why I believe each one could work for all seasons!

I think I might have went a little overzealous with this picture, but in my defense, I had a lot more names that I could have included but I decided that would be too much for me. A lot of these names are full-on Halloween themed, whereas some are not, and they are very subtle to the point where you can hide the meaning behind it. I wanted to respect everybody’s point of view with the ones I’ve selected.

Now, as I’ve successfully put this banner on here, and considering how careful I was on how everybody was straight from top to bottom, I have already found a mistake. If I hadn’t put four fairly large sections I would actually attempt to fix it, but there’s nothing I can do so if you spot it, please have a little laugh on me!

Here are the 16 names that I thought deserved a little loving, and maybe they’ll be an inspiration to you and your partner to give to your newly witch or goblin.

Abigail Rose – I think the name “Abigail” is a beautiful name. It is a very timeless, but if you are familiar with the account of the Salem Witch Trails in the 1600’s, then you might remember that one of the first people to accuse a person for being a witch was a young girl by the name of Abigail Williams. Whether or not you believe in witchcraft or if she was making it up, the name is a beautiful example of having a spooky disguise as it is still classy and elegant but there’s this little hint of history within it too.

Daphne Grace – You might not think of this as a Halloween-ish type of name, but I do. I grew up watching the Scooby-doo cartoons and out of all of the names featured on the show, this was my only favorite. I have never liked the nickname Freddie for Frederick so that is why I didn’t include it on the boys side either. Since the show was created in the late 1960’s, it still has that hippie flare that some people might enjoy.

Ingrid Alexandra – This one was inspired the character Ingrid from Witches Of East End and yes, that was one of the reasons why I also put Freya on there too, but there was a character on The Originals with that same name, but they were all witches on their shows. The other reason why I chose to use it here was because everytime I think or hear of the name Ingrid, I immediately think of the color green. I would love to read up on auras and what they mean, especially if they can appear on words or baby names, because this happens a lot and I’m always at a loss to explain the reasoning for it.

Marnie Olivia – I actually worked on the banner above back in spring, but I had switch it out purely because I forgot to put “Marnie” on the list! I think it is an important name to this post because nobody would know it was a Halloween inspired name unless they have all of the Halloweentown films growing up! I have added “Agatha” to the girl’s side too, but I think this is a quirky name to give a little girl for the witch-y vibes!

Nercissa Louise – It was so difficult not to include a whole bunch of Harry Potter characters into this post, so I was very proud with the amount that ended up making it! I really love the name Nercissa, but I’m not really sure why though. A part of me thinks it’s because it feels like a classic but has this dark flare about it too.

Prudence Alice – Now when I went to include this one to my list, I figured people would think I put it on there because of my obsession with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but it’s not. I generally loved it as “Prue” on the original Charmed series. I always envied her power on the show too! This is another really old name too, it actually dates back to the 1600’s, around of the time of the Salem Witch Trails!

Selene Brooke – I’ve known about this name for a long time because before my dad brought home Oliver, we had a cat named Selene. She was originally my Aunt Laurie’s but somehow she gave her to us. Selene was mostly an outside cat. She was very shy and very pretty! I remember being bitten a couple of times after trying to get close to her. After a few months, we think she took off because we never saw her again. I think my mom tried to hold off a few days before making that announcement because she really loved her!

It would be a long time before I hear the name again, but for different circumstances; this time it came from the Underworld films! I still love the name as it sounds really dark and mysterious 

Wilhelmina Amalia – Now, you might not associate this one with fall or Halloween at first, but I found out late in 2018 that the name Wilhelmina was one of the characters in a little animation show on Boomerang called “Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz”. She is the Wicked Witch Of The East’s niece that basically wants to finish what her aunt started. The TV show is cute, but I think I loved the name better!

Now that we have the girl side done, we can move on to talk about the boy names that I have picked out for you. I had a lot more word names for this part because I just haven’t been inspired to use them for the girls yet. They all just sound masculine to me, but you could still use them for girls too, so don’t go with what I tell you because these are my opinions too.

Alchemy Paul – The boys were pretty easy as I have always loved adding a more spooky flare to their names compared to the girls. I wasn’t too keen on this one at first, but I think once I figured out it is apart of both the historical and science worlds, it makes me love it a lot more. It even reminds me of my papaw too!

Byron William – If you love Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and John William Polidori’s The Vampyre,you really need to take a closer look on what inspired both of these works. The story goes that Lord Byron brought a big group of novelists to stay in a villa and share stories. He even challenged to create the scariest story they could write and this is the beginning of history. So, if you enjoy the English name Byron but want to give it some spooky flare, here you go!

Harvest Roy – A lot of people are loving this name lately! However, the only way I’ve seen it used as a girl name. I have never loved it for a girl, everything about it makes me think of a guy! It might have something to do with football, tagliatelle parties, beer always coming into my head when I say it out, but I just love it this way. I would also only use it with smaller middle names too! 

Jasper Augustus – Out of all the Twilight names that I had in my original list, this was my ultimate favorite of the bunch! Jasper and Carlyle were my favorites on the movies, but I think Jasper is both classic and cool at the same time! 

Marius Bernhardt – When I went about creating this list, I wanted to make sure I represented all of the Halloween-y movies as I could so that I had a wide array of names to pull from, so thankfully I’ve been trying to watch the ones of Anne Rice’s books. There were plenty to use in this post, but one that I really liked the most was Marius. It is such a mysterious name but you could easily use “Mars” for a nickname though!

Poe Lafayette – There is no chance in hell am I leaving out the King of Halloween literature: Edgar Allen Poe. I thought his first and middle names were too common to be on here, but Poe is a great way to honor him. I would definitely use it as a first name, but I think it could work anywhere you want to put it. 

Wolf Travis – A part of me wanted to use “Wolfgang” for the list, but I thought it would be too much. Personally, I love that way but using “Wolf” as a nickname. I love older names compared some of the popular trends. Whatever way you prefer, I think it is a strong name for this time of the year. 

Viktor Campbell – I wasn’t going to use multiple names for the same book or movie, but the more I started picking out ones I wanted to talk about on this section, I quickly became aware that I wasn’t going to get by with it. This name is featured on the Underworld series with this spelling, but I like it with the original “Victor” for the creator of the monster on Frankenstein. It is a very serious name but I like it that way!

We are finally done with this post. This is my final baby names post for the year, or at least we’ll see! I might find another tag or talk about my favorite names of the year, but we’ll see what happens in the meantime!

How did you like all of the names above? If you were able to use any of them for a baby or maybe a pet, which one(s) would you use?