books, personal

a series of updates, book reviews, and advice

In regards to the current books in my life:

I am out of my reading slump! It’s a fucking miracle! I did not read, like, all summer. I read casually, like short blurbs of non-fiction or magazines. I don’t have any idea why my brain decided that it loved reading again. I woke up a few days ago and was like Fuck, I miss books. I felt so uncomfortable with myself the entire time I was in that slump. It was a constant war of “I want to read, I need to read, I can’t read”. I’d start a chapter of something and my attention span would direct me elsewhere. It felt so unhealthy. Books are one of the best forms of therapeutic activity for me, other than listening to music and getting tattooed.  Not to mention, I could feel my fucking brain cells dying a little every day. Honestly? I think it was the pre-wedding stress that was making me way more attention-deficit. Weddings are stressful as shit and one of my main anxiety symptoms is restlessness so if I had to use the logical side of my brain, I would guess that a solid portion of my reading slump was stress-based. I don’t know if I talked about this before but I’m an over-analyzer who deals with every hypothesis and conclusion on the right side of my brain. So, I use logic and sound reasoning a lot more than I like to admit, but the emotive side usually does the talking for me. Due to the fact that I’m either a ball of rage or annoyed, I think my emotions usually present themselves in a way that’s more of a warning, less of an invitation. Anyway, let’s talk about books, baby.

I just finished the Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault today. It was an easy read for me and very compelling so I kind of flew through it. I liked the main character and I felt like the other characters were really complex and layered, which is great since I feel like so many side characters are allowed to have three defining traits that determine the entirety of their purpose. The premise is extremely interesting and has actually prompted me to take an interest in learning how to read tea leaves in my downtime. (This means that fuckweasel is going to be dragged to a pottery painting workspace so that I can make a tasseography cup! Yay, fuckweasel!) The ending was the only part of the story that I didn’t like. I felt like I should have been expecting something way more sinister and it kind of fell more on the meh spectrum than I had hoped for. I was very close to figuring out the mystery but eventually decided not to care, since I was going to find out at some point. I also hated Matt with a passion, so that dampened the story a bit.

Solid 3/5 stars.

I am listening (thanks to the lovely folks at Audible) to All the Crooked Saints by The Stiefvs. This book is gorgeous. I love all the characters, especially Beatrice and Pete. I read in an interview of hers that Beatrice was modeled after the Myers-Briggs type, INTJ, which is what I am! I can also be an INFJ, depending on the day, but my scale usually tips to the Thinking side. Anyway, the story is beautifully crafted in classic Stiefvater style and just like all her other stories, it’s completely unique and authentically creative. I’m a little over halfway through and I am more emotionally invested than I ever wanted to be. Speaking of our lord and savior, Maggie S., she’s also teasing us with snippets from the Dreamer trilogy, aka the continuation of my male-counter part’s story with the love of my life, Adam Parrish. Although, I still miss Kavinsky. More than I should at this point in my life but hey, there are way worse destructive behaviors I could indulge myself with (not that I don’t already but moderation is key, kids).

I picked up An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson today. I have been waiting to read this book F O R E V E R.

Here’s the synopsis:

 

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Doesn’t that just sound like some shit I’d be into? I am so fucking excited to read this book. Plus the title? Ravens are my shit, man.

10/10 will keep you posted.

Lastly, I’ve been thumbing through Witch by Lisa Lister. It’s a pseudo-spellbook with a heavy sense of female empowerment. I have been highlighting passages like crazy and it will probably end up being my manifesto for a while. The author cusses a lot and I really appreciate that on a deep, spiritual level. I strongly recommend it for people who are newly discovering witchcraft or are trying to rediscover their own which brings me to the topic of…

In regards to my witchcraft practices: 

Firstly, I have an appointment to get a very witchcraft related tattoo tomorrow. I just wanted to tell you that because tattoos are always exciting. I also have another tattoo appointment to get Johnny Cash quotes with my godmother (who also practices). I did a lot of tarot readings in a short amount of time and apparently, I attract the Magician card. I am not fucking with you, it showed up in every reading; whether it was a card in the spread or it fell out into my lap, it was there. It pissed me off. For those of you who don’t know, the Magician “is a master of all trades, resilient to what the world throws at him, a reminder that your power is larger than your physical body”. It’s basically someone who has mastered their magic, their emotions, their logic, and their work. I am not a balanced person so I’m sure most people would have seen that and been like “Get your shit together” but I saw it and was like “Fuck, I need to get back into doing some serious witchcraft and also, I should get a tattoo of this card.”

No one ever said I was of sound mind.

So, here we are in the middle of my favorite month and with the veil thinning more and more each day. You bet your ass that I’m working on making my craft a little stronger each day. I did have a regular customer ask me if I had a broom to go with my hair and choice of clothing. In addition, I had a quiz on the internet tell me that I’m a “wild shadow witch” so I guess you could say I’m doing okay with it.

Today, I made a french press and persimmon cookies to honor the dead. Honoring the dead is something that I have a particular skill in throughout the entirety of the year but when that veil is lifting, I basically throw parties. My Mimi and I shared October and coffee and persimmon cookies.

In regards to my marriage / personal life: 

Marriage isn’t any different. I don’t say that to be a dick, but we’ve been doing this for so long and with such intention to make it work that it’s not like anything actually changed. Fuckweasel has been working very long hours so I’ve been an extra crazy housewife, cleaning schedule and all. We were going to start looking at houses but he wants to hold off for a couple of years and I’m totally okay with that. I love our apartment (even though I’m fairly certain that we have a ghost now, it’s a long story) and I just want him to be happy and comfortable (fuck off, he’s my best friend). I haven’t legally changed my name yet because its such a big pain in the ass but I’m going to get that process started while I finish our thank-you notes. I’ve been cooking like a fucking lunatic. I’m working on getting the hang of our cast iron skillet and sometimes my chicken is a little overdone but I would rather NOT get salmonella, so its a fair trade. Here’s a list of my most recent cooking adventures:

  •  Chicken piccata
  • Quinoa and red pepper power bowls
  • Alfredo pasta with bacon and sauteed mushrooms
  • Creamy lemon salmon
  • Crushed potatoes with an herb and olive oil dressing
  • Orange and spice salmon
  • Creamy citrus chicken
  • Persimmon cookies
  • Parmesan cauliflower bites
  • Avocado fries

There’s more but I think you get the gist. I’ve been cooking a storm up in this bitch. I wouldn’t call myself a skilled chef by any means but I enjoy the cathartic aspect of cooking and its a really fantastic creative outlet.

In other news, photography class is my favorite thing ever, other than tattoos and motorcycles. Someday, I hope to take pictures of tattoed people riding motorcycles so maybe all my true loves will intersect in the future. I struggle hard with Photoshop but I don’t really plan on utilizing anything other than Lightroom, so it’s okay.

In regards to other aspects of my life that you may or may not give a fuck about: 

  • Found out my temperament is choleric, which further adds to the Slytherin / Capricorn dominant / INTJ / wild shadow witch thing that I’ve got going on.
  • I’m trying a new acne regimen. For those of you who read this and know me outside of the interwebs, I have struggled with adult acne for about 6 years now. Nothing has actually ever worked, including birth control and seeing a dermatologist. This regimen comes HIGHLY recommended for people with hormonal issues like me (PCOS and Endo are a bitch, guys) so wish me luck. I’ll be doing before/ after pictures and cataloging any improvements and setbacks.  Be prepared to see my dumb fucking face more often. I’m extremely self-conscious about my acne because I had perfect skin growing up and then my face was a spontaneous war zone. I’ve given up certain foods to make my acne better and that is some serious bull shit. Stay tuned.

 

Thank you to all of you fucks who still check this shit out even though there’s no designated posting schedule. Y’all are the real MVP and I look forward to gracing you with my shining personality every time that I start writing.

That’s all there is,

The Book Witch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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