Friends with my sofa and some books

The cows have no relation to the post, I just remember taking this 3 years ago. They’re cute.

So this post is somewhat impromptu. I’ve been working on posts to a schedule I drafted up and so far so good. However I’m stuck in my house in a lot of pain and this is one of the only things I can do without exerting too much energy.

In short, I’m pretty much dipped health wise. I had an operation last night so I’m just wallowing on my sofa right now. Day time television has fried my brain and I’ve taken to counting ceiling spots.

Let’s not talk about it too much before I start overthinking it again. So I thought I would tell you about a few of the books I’m reading or will be reading this month.

First on the block is Choke by Chuck Palahniuk. I’m about a quarter of the way through and I can easily say it’s an interesting book but not one for everyone. I received this book from Blind Date With a Book and the hints on the cover confused me greatly whilst trying to decipher what it could be – normally I have an idea on what book it is but I stood there for a solid 10 minutes like eh? This might be one I can squeeze a review from but I’ll see how I’ve taken to it by the end.

After that I’ll probably try to crack on with The Muse by Jessie Burton. This is a recommendation from my grandma again and if it follows suit from the last book she gave me to read, I look to be very impressed. I know this is going to sound sappy but I’m glad I found a common ground with my grandparents because up until this point we don’t really share any hobbies or opinions. Dinners and days with them would always be a smidge awkward because I would try to engage in conversation but end up clueless eventually on the topic.

3rd book for the month will be Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. Considering I’ve had this series of books for about 3 years now, I’ve only completed the first novel. It’s not because I didn’t like the first book, far from it, it’s just I get distracted very easily. Like I mentioned in my 2019 resolutions, I have the attention span of a goldfish, so I’m always buying new things and forgetting what I already have. My dad has completed the series and said it’s very good so here’s hoping I can crack this.

The 4th book I hope to get through this January is Home by Matt Dunn. I went through a binge of his books last year and read four in a row around March time but never got round to reading this one. I found his other books very sweet and easy going to read.

And the last book I’m going to hopefully read is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Like wise with the above I went on a complete reading spree of the series but stopped after the 4th one. I needed a bit of a break and to try something different so I momentarily paused my run through, but never did pick it back up. With three books left in the series, notably the longer ones, I’m hoping to get through these throughout the year.

I did some maths when it came to trying to complete my reading goal this year and feel 5 books a month is a good target. I read every morning and evening on my journey to a from work, I read in the evenings before dinner and I read over the weekend if I have no plans. And 5 is the kind of number where you can read more quite easily so let’s hope I stay on track.

As I mentioned at the beginning, because I’m not very well right now so reading and knitting are my only vices.

I’ll probably do another update next month with my reads for then and let you know if I managed to get through this lot.

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Let’s just be honest for a second – I think I’m addicted to spending

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

I initially started writing this post January last year with the fact that I am addicted to spending money. I will find ways to buy things that I don’t need, or I will bulk by things unnecessarily. I have at least 100 books idling around the house that I am yet to read, notebooks upon notebooks completely blank, clothes I don’t even think could fit me when I bought them, card games I’ve never played, video games still in the wrapping – I think you’ve got the jist.

So one of the things I wanted to work on this year as mentioned in my 2019 thing’s to accomplish, was to ‘Be in less debt’. I’m not saying money is magically going to appear in my account, clearing all my debt, nor am I suggesting I become a sugar baby. But I did work up a finance plan with the help of a good friend, in how to cut my debt down substantially within the year. I realised that for my age I have way to much personal debt, this isn’t even student debt like most others.

I literally trawled through hundreds of YouTube videos, Pinterest pages and blogs to find the solution for me. I was up until 2am a couple of months ago and I finally settled on a plan that I think, well more hope, I will stick to. It’s like the love child of David Ramsey’s Debt Snowball with a mix of different trackers and budgeting. I won’t complete the whole programme David created, only because I have methods of saving I intend to use once this is sorted.  

Folders, upon folders, upon folders; organisation is key!

So as you can see from the above, I have organised my shit to a T! I’m quite proud, although I did spend money on all the things you see in the above – except the sticky notes and plastic sheet things! I had a binge of buying them a while ago, so they have finally come into play. Well done Rachel from 7 months ago, you did good. I have three folders; Work related things, All documents relating to accounts I have (past and present), and my Debt trackers. I know it seems a bit excessive but my brain works in the same patterns; filing things away, sectioning them and then sub sectioning again.

I think my main focus is to work off the credit card debt first, and once that is sorted, move onto saving to pay off my loan – the loan is a weird one, I’d rather chuck a bulk amount at it then figure out how to pay more every month haha.

What I will do, is write up a run down every three to four months to show my progress. As you can see I didn’t include any figures, only because its borderline embarrassing and at this present moment I’m in the most comfy position on my bed to get my folder.

Catch you guys soon, hopefully with less debt on my name XD

2019 – The year of development

“My New Year’s resolution is to stop lying to myself about making lifestyle changes”

It’s that time of year again when we all lie to ourselves about the amazing things we are going to change when the new year rolls round. I know my list last year had a lot of things I haven’t even touched the surface of. I think the best plan of action, before I even consider informing the world about my ‘Grand Plans’, is to dissect what I wanted to accomplish last year and see what went wrong.

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Book Review: Pachinko – Min Jin Lee

I know I mentioned in my post New Reads, that I was going to complete a book review for The Vegetarian by Han Kang, but my grandma recommended a book for me to read when we popped over for dinner the other week. I was sceptical at first – Her bookshelves are filled with numerous classics and biographies, whilst mine is filled with thrillers, sci-fi and the occasional romance book. So to say our tastes vary is a slight understatement. But I went into reading this with an open mind and damn, did this book surpass my expectations and has easily wedged its way to one of my favourites. I’ll try not to include spoilers.

Synopsis

Pachinko follows a Korean family from father Hoonie in the late 19th century, to his great grandchildren, throughout the 20th century. The story covers life before both wars, life in Asia during, and the post war events in great detail.

Thoughts 

I’ve read a lot of reviews on Goodreads about this book and I find the majority of what was disliked (if any) are things I actually enjoyed. I loved the fact that you followed a family from the onset to the end. We could see how certain circumstances, maybe death or the birth of another, affected character development. We tracked how each character grew and could see their individual struggles.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is that depending on where you are born deciphers what strand of history you learn; being born and raised in the UK, we learnt more about the European aspects of the wars, with only a 2 minutes discussion about other continents involved. I know if you take history as further education, you may cover this but it’s not something everyone is exposed to unless you study this in your own time. For me it was eye opening, learning about events that happened within the same timeline of something I have studied on countless occasions just reminds you how big the world actually is.

I know there was a 50/50 split regarding the time jumps after chapters to cover the story across the period selected, but I can understand why this was done. We know, from personal experiences, that grief in the immediate space after something has happened is difficult for many. But it’s about the lasting consequences as well; how has someone’s personality changed 5 years, maybe 10 years after an event; how has it changed them.

One of the notable things that I disliked about the book, although I can see why it was done, was the ending. I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but it gave me Sopranos vibes. That is if a book could cut to black mid scene.

Favourite character

Although I do like most of the characters in the book for various reasons, I’d have to say my favourite is Mosazu. There was just something about him that I really enjoyed. I love the fact he wasn’t blinded by a dream that was unattainable; he was very much a down to earth character and had a big heart. I feel like I resembled him a lot when he was younger – dropping out of school and finding a job that he really enjoyed and was good at.

Least favourite character

This wasn’t a tough choice, but my least favourite was Noa. I won’t say much as I feel his story was a main thread throughout the book and should be explored by everyone with fresh eyes, but some of the thoughts his character would have, some of the things he said and did were quite toxic. I know there is probably a consensus on other characters we are subconsciously drawn to dislike, through plot and description, and Noa probably isn’t one of them but for me every time I’d try to connect with his character and explore his perspective, he would do something that left me feeling more frustrated with him rather than sympathetic.

Would I recommend

I would definitely recommend this book to any one interested in broadening their genre pool and anyone interested history based novels. I really enjoyed this book and have told many people already to give it a try and let me know what they think.

Rating

4/5 stars

And finished! For my first ever book review that wasn’t for educational purposes, and one that I have actually completed, I’m proud of myself. I will try my hand again at some point – It’s in my To-Do schedule drawn up. Thank you for reading 🙂

New Reads

So following my recent post about trying to start or join a book club, I ended up joining Blind Date With A Book. It’s a simple concept. You go on their website and have the choice on genres or having them completely random – then for six months they send you one book a month to read. So far I have no complaints on the choices that have been sent to me – I did my order to come ASAP, so at the start of the month I received two of my six.

The company themselves are genuinely lovely people. You get a note with each book and a few bookmarks in the inserts. The note says effectively that if you have already met your ‘date’ to drop them an email and they will try to sort it out for you. Knowing my luck the first book I received was one I have already. One I have the whole series for. I dropped them a quick email to explain the situation and they were so sweet about getting it sorted. They sent me a new book first class and I received it the next evening. Also the person who dealt with me made me giggle over email because they were just sweet. They told me they were worried the same would happen, and if that was the case they would go on a mission to find me something niche.

Enough of my rambling and let’s get back on subject; New reads I have.

So it’s not a long list because I find when you make the list excessively long, it doesn’t get done.

  • The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

 

the_eyre_affair

When I received this book I was unsure what it would be about – The clues given to me about the book were as follows: Pet Dodos, Adventure, Mystery, Fantasy and Funny. I do love fantasy books that have humour. And who doesn’t love Dodos. My dad says it’s a good read and thinks I’ll enjoy it. So I will keep you updated on how that goes.

 

  • Night At The Circus – Angela Carter

Night at the circus

Having read Angela Carter during my college classes, I am no stranger to her works! I love her writing style and the creativity she brought to her stories. The Bloody Chamber, although a staple read for my exams, was super interesting and something I have considered picking up again. Let’s see how this one goes!

  •  What If This Were Enough – Heather Havrilesky

what if this were enough (2)

I bought this book at 2am whilst listening to a podcast that I binge religiously. They were speaking about this book and I just had to buy it! Although it’s not a fiction book with plot, I glanced through the index of essay titles and I am super interested in starting this.

I know this post is long by my standards but I will end it on one thing. So I’m ‘supposed’ to be paying off my credit cards and saving some money for a new tattoo but I was cheeky and I bought myself something. If my cousin is reading this, I may have skipped this purchase out of our honestly conversation earlier. Sorry, still love you! But I bought myself a Moleskine passion journal for books I have read. I know some people will say, ‘why not use a normal notebook?’ or ‘why specifically Moleskine?’ But let me tell you it is just an aesthetically pleasing journal. The information you can record. The organisation of the whole thing. I think I’m having a moment. There may be a tear in my eye.

I’ll stop being silly now and go back to reading fan fiction. Because I set myself up to procrastinate.

P.S. this isn’t a sponsored post. My sorry excuse of a blogger doesn’t have enough dedication and reach for that kind of thing. I just really like the company haha. Please check them out! https://blinddatewithabook.com/

Being sick

The feature photo is sponsored by My Window Sill. Full of plants you can forget about and a layer of dust more stable than my future.

Being sick sucks. My chest hurts. My past time of smoking has been cut to 1 pull and I’m done. I can’t breathe without sounding like I’ve run a marathon. And my body aches like I’ve done 7 rounds at the gym.

But being sick has it’s pros:

  • I made a plan of how the blog will run on a monthly basis
  • I am binge watching Insecure on sky box sets – the soundtrack is amazing
  • I finished 3 books taking me to 24 – I know 50 was my goal but I feel like I can still make it
  • I’ve created a Rachel sized mold in my bed which is quite cozy

I’m trying to make the best of laying here.

Let’s hope I get well soon

Book Club?

I’ve been toying for a while making or joining a book club. I’m currently reading The Vegetarian: A Novel by Han Kang and I’m really enjoying it, even if it is quite a dark book and not for the light-hearted.

I think having a group of people to just discuss the books with will motivate me more to read – and enjoy reading at that.

It’s just a thought. We shall see.

I’m going to type up my book reviews now and see if we can salvage anything from it.

Ciao