December 2019 Wrap Up

I don’t know if any one else is like this but around Christmas and holidays I just don’t read very much. I want to spend time with family and there is so much going on that when I do have free time I need up watching Youtube videos or TV shows that I don’t have to think about like those really bad made for TV Syfy channel movies.

I did read four books in December, three were the first three volumes of a manga series and one historical non fiction.

The first books I read were Saiyuki volumes one through three. Saiyuki is manga series by Kazuya Minekura that is loosely based on the Chinese story Journey to the West. Genjyo Sanzo, a monk, is tasked to travel to Indian with three companions Son Goku, Sha Gojyo, and Cho Hakkai to stop the resurrection of the demon Gyumaoh. A long their journey they must fight those who want Gyumaoh’s return and learn more information to try and keep the peace between humans and demons. Saiyuki is a manga series that I loved when I was younger and recently decided to pick back up. I don’t love it as much as I did but it is still a great story and a good but mature series for those interested in different manga series.

24819449._SY475_The last book that I read in December was The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem by Stacy Schiff. This is a nonfiction book about the Salem witch trials and how the witch trials came to be. The author not only dicusses the actual witch trials but also the life of a Puritan adolescent and how the life style could lead to the events that took place. Not the best nonfiction book I’ve read because while the information is interesting sometimes the writing and how that information is given can be boring. Though it is a good resource for anyone interested in the Salem witch trials and those looking into the time period.

Shelflove Crate Christmas Advent Box

To celebrate the Christmas season Shelflove Crate created a Christmas Advent box. There were two different boxes a 12 day box and a 25 day box. Because of the quality of the Darkdawn box I decided that I want to order the 25 day box as a gift to myself. The post about the Advent box said that it would include bookish fandoms, Christmas fandoms and general bookish goodies. Below there will be a list of the items with pictures and then I will go into my feelings about the box. 


Day 1: Hallmark Christmas Movie socks

Day 2:  A pop socket

Day 3: An Iron on for a shirt or bag

Day 4: A wooden mixing spoon with a cookie recipe

Day 5: A Christmas Candle

Day 6: A Miracle on 34th Street note pad

Day 7: An oven mitt

Day 8: A set of Christmas Cards

Day 9: A set of four wooden ornaments

Day 10: A book sleeve

Day 11: A snowflake necklace

Day 12: A set of A Christmas Story coasters

Day 13: A 52 card reading challenge set

Day 14: A Harry Potter book wallet

Day 15: A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree enamel pin

Day 16: A Polar Express paper ticket bookmark

Day 17: A Christmas stocking

Day 18: An ACOTAR star shaped stress ball

Day 19: A large art print of a Christmas scene with multiple characters

Day 20: A Harry Potter Mug

Day 21: A snowflake marshmallow

Day 22: A Hat

Day 23: A Elsa art print

Day 24: A copy of A Christmas Carol

Day 25:  A large blanket

Boxes were stated to ship in mid to late November to arrive before December 1st and the 25 day boxes were even split into two boxes so there wouldn’t be any delays but that did not happen. The first box of the 25 days didn’t arrive until the 4 and did not include day 11. The second box as also late. Given the cost of the box I expect much more high quality item and fewer paper items. Also there was no card included to find out more information about each item, I don’t even know which artist are connected to each item. I ended up damaging the iron on in an attempt to figure out what the item was and it is completely unacceptable to include food items with out any information attached to them. The marshmallow I thew away after photographing as I didn’t trust where it came from with no information.

At this point with all the issues this box had and the fact that the owners of Shelflove Crate only had excuses about what was going on with no apologies I have no intention of ever buying from Shelflove Crate again.


December 2019 Owl Crate

Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as decor or for a pin/builtin board. December’s theme is Tales of Trickery.IMG_1177

Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books. This month bookish items include a hand warmer, a wood wick candle inspired by Grace and Fury, ear muffs, a Sorcery of Thorns book sleeve, a coloring book with the art from the years enamel pins and a set of color pencils. The candle smells like cinnamon.

Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. The book this month is The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White. In this version of the tales of King Arthur, Guinevere is sent to marry and protect Arthur but she is not all that she seems.IMG_1178

January’s theme is Vengeance Will Be Mine.

November 2019 Wrap Up

In November I read four books. During the holidays it seems that I end up reading less as I’m spending more time with family and just doing other things.

91477The first book I read was on audio. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher is the second book in the Dresden Files series. When I started the Dresden Files I didn’t plan on continuing with the series. The first book wasn’t bad but I didn’t love it. However, there is something about these books that I haven figured out yet that makes me keep thinking about the characters and the world. I found parts of the book very good but other part kind of boring though I do plan to continue with the series at this point. In this book Harry is investigating several murders that look like they could have been commited by a type of werewolf.


Titanic: First Accounts edited by Tim Maltin is exactly what it sounds like. It is a collection of first account by the survivors of the Titanic sinking. Great information for anyone wanting to know more about the Titanic or reading about it however there are section that I found kind of boring to read.



23308488._SY475_Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a graphic novel series following a young woman named Sabrina and her growing up as a witch. This is the series the Netflix show is based on and from what I’ve seen of the show I thought I would like the graphic novel but I just didn’t. I didn’t have any problem with the story but overall I found it a bit boring and a little more graphic than I was expecting. I don’t want to spoil anything but the implication at the end of the book with what Sabrina did to try and help Harvey I really had issues with. I don’t intend to continue with this series.

10574457Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box by Mira Grant is a short story about five friends that play the Apocalypse Game with each other. In this game each person creates a scenario where the world is going to end and the others decided what they would do and how they would survive. However, this time one of the friends is missing but still finds a way to play but this time the stakes might just be the world. I very good short story in line with Mira Grants other work. I do wish it was longer as I would love to know what all the characters decided at the end.

November 2019 Fae Crate

Fae Crate is a young adult book subscription box that focuses on fantasy and science fiction. Unlike some book boxes Fae Crate has three options to choose from: a shirt only box (Solitary Crate), a book and goodies box (Unseelie Crate), and a box that includes the shirt, book, and all the bookish goodies (Seelie Crate). For my box I choose the Unseelie Crate without the shirt.IMG_1119

The bookish goodies included are a pen inspired by My Lady Jane, a hanging organizer, a magnetic bookmark, a note pad inspired by the Raven Cycle, a Lifelike Polaroid, and the monthly collectible coin. This box also included a pocket edition of Peter Pan which makes the box worth a little bit more. Considering how amazing Fae Crate’s specialty boxes are the monthly boxes that I have gotten feel a little cheep given the price.

The book is The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White which is a King Arthur retelling. Fae Crate also included a exclusive cover, a letter from the author and a sign book plate. In this book Guinevere has come to Camelot to marry and protect Arthur but how can she trust herself when everything she is, is a lie?IMG_1122

Fae Crate does seem to include books that are not the most hyped so if your trying to find new books people might not be talking about this might be the box for you. Also Fae Crate does include a eBook download in each months box which adds more value when the items might not be the best. This months eBook was Hook and Crown by Nicole Knapp.

For those interested Fae Crate does special book “hangover” recovery boxes for some popular and highly anticipated books throughout the year as well as monthly boxes.

November 2019 Shelflove Crate

This month I decided to try out several different monthly book box subscriptions. Shelflove Crate is a fantasy and science fiction subscription box that includes a new hardcover book and bookish items each month. November’s theme is Reading the Restricted Section.IMG_1185

The bookish items included are a storage box shaped like a book, a fabric bin printed with commonly banned books, a bookmark, a grocery bag inspired by the Handmaid’s Tale, and a pocket mirror inspired by Twilight. In 2019 Shelflove Crate was doing collectible chess pieces in each box, this months are Lazlo and Sarai from Strange the Dreamer. Some of these items are practical but its still a let down, as of right now I don’t think I will buy another Shelflove box.

The book included is Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao. The start of a new series about a princess who is hiding a secret and a con man she has to trust to clear her name in the aftermath of her father’s murder. Shelflove also includes a letter from the author and a signed book plate.IMG_1186

Shelflove Crate didn’t do a box for December 2019.

As this post is going up late I feel like I should mention that Shelflove Crate had shipping issues and delays at the end of 2019. Now their boxes are not sent in actual boxes but bubble mailers.

November 2019 Illumicrate

Sometimes I order more than one book subscription box to see what other companies are doing and if there are any boxes that I want to continue getting. Illumicrate is a UK based fantasy and science fiction book box that has monthly boxes or just a monthly book only subscription. Each box also includes a selection of bookish goodies some more practical, others more decorative set around a monthly theme. September’s theme is In Search of Doors.IMG_1127

The items included in this box are a Hogwarts book sleeve, a Night Circus Ticket key ring, a key necklace from The Archived, a wardrobe wooden pin inspired by Narnia, a ceramic book pot (planter shaped like a book), a Starless Sea bookmark and the collectible coin that features Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer.

Illumicrate, like other book boxes, include a new hard cover each month and has a letter from the author. This months book is The Starless Sea by Erin Morgernstern. The book follows Zachary who discovers a hidden book that has a story from his own childhood that could never be in this book. When he finds three clues that led him to multiple places including an ancient underground library he must learn more about this place. As their are those who want to protect and those who want to destroy this library.IMG_1128

I have purchased Illumicrate boxes in the past and for me their specialty boxes are amazing and well worth the cost and shipping but the monthly boxes can be very hit or miss. However, I can see myself purchasing boxes in the future.

December’s theme is Secrets and Schemes.

November 2019 Owl Crate

Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as decor or for a pin/builtin board. Novembers theme is Through the Enchanted Forest.DSCN1367

Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books. This month bookish items include a wonderful throw blanket inspired by The Cruel Prince, a metal tassel bookmark inspired by Uprooted, a wooden ornament inspired by the Raven Boys, the yearly reading planner and planner stickers.DSCN1371

If you want to know my full thoughts about the reading planner please check last Novembers Owl Crate post. I have a very specific way I like my planners set up and I only used dated planners so, once again I doubt I will use this planner for anything. But I have been getting more in to planner stickers and the rest of the items are great.

DSCN1369Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. The book this month is Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw. The story is about a small town in the middle of a snowstorm, a missing boy, and a possibly haunted wood at the edge of town. When our main character Nora discover Oliver hidden in the woods nearly dead and with no memory Nora much learn the truth as to why he is there.

December’s theme is Tales of Trickery.

October 2019 Wrap Up

Anyone reading or following this blog will have noticed that the posts going up lately are not really current. The last several months of 2019 got busy for me and I just didn’t have much time or energy to devote to this blog but I was still coming up with ideas and things to post. So at the start of 2020, my goal for the blog is to catch up on these older posts and then get to a point where I can post more current things.

In October I read a total of eight books, three which were graphic novels and one audio book.

29496076Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann is a historical nonfiction book about the murders in the Osage Indian Nation in the 1920s and the creation of the FBI. During this time multiple members of the Osage tribe where being killed without many people noticing or caring. When the death toll reached a certain point the newly created FBI got involved in the case that became their first major homicide investigation. These murders where carried out many people of the community in an attempt to gain access to the oil head rights owned by the tribe. The book contains information both on the events happening in Oklahoma with the tribes and the general creation of the FBI but puts more focus on what was happening in Oklahoma and the investigation here. A fairly quick read but is probably more interesting to those who already study this history or want to know more. 

18659623Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is a graphic novel of creepy and scary short stories. None of the stories are incredibly scary but are very atmospheric and its a great read for October around Halloween. The illustrations are beautiful and the stories stick with you as they invoke images and stories from childhood.



8181494The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller is a young adult historical fiction novel following the life of the Russian royal family the Romanov’s. The book is written from the perspective of the four daughters of the Tsar: Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. The book starts when their lives are great during their childhoods and progresses through World War I and the Russian Revolution. Though it is written for a young adult audience the book does not shy away from the tragedy that befell this family. Well written and researched for the right audience.. As an adult there where parts that felt a little too young and bored me at times.

42286257._SX318_Sadie by Courtney Summer is a young adult mystery novel about a girl named Sadie who disappeared after her sisters death. Sadie is attempting to bring her sisters killer to justice by finding him and killing him herself. When radio host West McCray hears about Sadie, he starts a podcast retracing Sadie’s steps to find out what happen and maybe find her. I read this as an audio book which is amazing. The story is incredibly gripping and makes you want to finish it but the topics the story handles makes it hard to read. As you see what Sadie did to try to protect her sister Mattie from a man who just wanted to hurt them. About two hours to the end of the audio book was the hardest part to finish, I wanted to know what would happen but I was worried about Sadie and I just wanted her to be okay. If you can, try the audio book as it is very well done.


Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant is a horror novella about a research vessel going out and trying to find mermaids. This was a reread for me on my phone while waiting for an appointment. I have a full review posted already but its still as good as it was the first time I read it.



3496352629237221Saga vol 8 and vol 9 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples are the last two currently published graphic novels of the Saga series. I don’t want to post spoilers here and I do plan to have a full series review with spoilers so I don’t want to say much. These volumes where very good but hard to get through given some of the topics mentioned and who lives and dies. I do love that these characters that have been forced into this situation are slowly becoming a family that cares about each other.  

21434924The last book that I read this month was Doctor Who: The Secret Lives of Monsters by Justin Richards. This is a coffee table type book with information and pictures about the monsters in Doctor Who and how they were created. Its written in a way that both acts like these monsters are real but also talks about how they were created for the show with behind the scenes information. Good book for anyone who is a major fan of Doctor Who.