Leuchtturm Notebooks and Etsy Mini Haul

Getting my writing notebooks ready for 2021. This year, I felt a bit all over the place so I’m hoping these notebooks will help me get my writing groove back.

Earlier in the year, I purchased an A5 Chic Sparrow Traveler’s Notebook to house the A5 notebooks. Initially, I bought some cheap notebooks from Amazon but they were on the smaller side and didn’t fill up the TN the way I’d like them to. The Leuchtturms are a little more expensive but they do the job. I also like that they have an index and numbered pages. I’ve been using one for a year and a half now and really like everything about it.

Decided to order some fun things off Etsy.com. I mainly wanted a new date stamp since the one I currently have is coming to a close. The last year on it is 2021. This new one goes all the way up to 2031.

I ordered from WaWa Stationary. They have some really pretty washi tapes that I’ve been eying. I also wanted some vintage looking labels for my junk journaling hobby. And then the girl stickers was just too adorable. They were so sweet and included a few freebies.

Here’s a close-up of the stamp. I love how it came with a stand.

Book Review: An American Story

Title: An American Story
Author: Mark Lages
Genre: Fiction, Literary, Memoir
Year Published: 2020

An American Story by Mark Lages is a fictional memoir about a man named Huey Baker. Huey tells us stories and experiences from his life and within it, he includes some satire, war stories, alcohol abuse stories, family dynamics, and many other facets of his life. It is a story that some might find relatable, interesting—even amusing, maybe depressing, and possibly enlightening.

Huey Baker is your ordinary American, and his life is…pretty ordinary. However, there are things in life that he can’t control. Even the demons within himself are hard to keep at bay. Huey seems a bit rough on the outside, mostly in the way he thinks and in what he believes, but on a deeper level, he’s got a good heart. Huey also likes to tell stories so not everything in the book is about him. He shares quite a few life experiences from observation or from hearing it from someone else.

Lages writes with ease and flow and the story just spills out so smoothly that it’s easy to feel as though you are listening to a friend talk. The style is like comedy. If you listen to good comedy, you’ll find that the comedian will deviate from the main story and return to it here and there, finishing it off with the main point of the story. Speaking of comedy, there were some really funny stuff that had me laughing. I’d have to say, the joke about the names of the sons had me for a bit, but I did figure it out and it was an LOL moment. There were also a lot of sad stuff that broke my heart, like the kid and the toy. An American Story is the true essence of what it’s like to be an American, and the title fits it perfectly.

I enjoyed the read. It’s one of those stories that makes you think and wonder about life and being human. It’s made me more aware that we’re not perfect and that we should do our best to be kind and forgiving.

NOTE: This book was given to me to read and review, but the opinion is purely my own.

Book Review: The Dawn Chorus

Title: The Dawn Chorus
Author: Samantha Shannon
Genre: Sci-fi, Paranormal, New Adult
Year Published: 2020

The Dawn Chorus is a novella between The Song Rising (the 3rd book in the Bone Season series), and the upcoming 4th book, The Mask Falling. The novella doesn’t give anything away from the main story. It basically delves into Paige’s pain and suffering from the last book. It also gives us a glimpse more into Paige and Warden’s relationship.

It’s been awhile since I read The Song Rising so I really don’t remember exactly what happened. I do remember that Paige escaped to Paris and that she wasn’t doing well. If you are interested in how Paige heals and how she gains the strength to fight back, then give this novella a go, otherwise, it’s totally fine to just wait for The Mask Falling.

August’s Playlist

Hoping for a gentler and kinder September. Here’s the top three from my August playlist:

I’ve revisited this song because of what’s gone on in my life last month. “Legacy” by Lustral.

Earlier in August, I was remembering those college days in the 90’s and Tori Amos was one of my favorite musicians to listen to. “1,000 Oceans” came later but it still gave me those college days vibes.

“Radishes and Flowers” by Jesse Blake Rundle was a song I heard on a Youtube compilation. The guitars from 2:30 to the end really hit me.

Chic Sparrow Carroll Leather in Duchess and Unboxing Video

I’ve had this Duchess B6 for a couple of weeks now. It’s a really nice sturdy leather even though it’s quite thin. The color is a pinkish mauve. The photo is almost true to color. There is really no way to capture the true color of this leather, but it’s truly gorgeous.

Here’s the unboxing video.

Book Review: Jesus and Magdalene

Title: Jesus and Magdalene
Author: João Cerqueira
Genre: Fiction, Literary, Satire, Contemporary
Year Published: 2015, 2016

Jesus and Magdalene by João Cerqueira is a contemporary fiction with satire and thought-provoking points. The story follows Jesus and Mary Magdalene as they try to figure out how to stop environmental damage, greed, and racism.

In the story, Magdalene is an environmental activist working for a group known as Green Are the Fields. This group consists of the apostles and Jesus’s mother, Mary. Judas is the leader of the group and while everyone goes along with his plans, Magdalene somewhat begins to listen to Jesus on a different approach. Jesus isn’t part of the group. He comes into the picture a little later, appearing from thin air. Magdalene brings him along to where the group was camping near the farm where genetically modified (GM) corn was being grown. They were planning to destroy the crops, but Jesus told them it was better to teach the farmer about the effects of GM rather than destroy his property.

The story jumps from GM crops to a town where a resort was going up. The labor and services provided from the resort would in turn provide money to the townspeople and boost their economy. However, greed from the engineers led to a terribly built hotel and thus nothing came of that town.

Then, the story jumps to a future Europe where gypsies, blacks, and whites live among each other. Things were peaceful until one group began blaming the other and things ended badly for everyone, including Jesus and Magdalene.

This was a very interesting story. I found myself enjoying it. I’d have to agree that in our world today, if Jesus suddenly appeared, he would actually be like the Jesus described in the book. However, if he was born and raised from birth in our world today, I believe he would have found a way to do what he could to make the world a better place. It’s not that he wasn’t trying in the book, he just wasn’t given the momentum as he was given in the New Testament. With that said, what if Jesus is actually in our world today and doing just that (making a difference) and we just don’t realize it like the characters in the book?

There were a couple things I found lacking. One was that the three chapters had no real ending or resolution. The third chapter also ended very quickly with little explanation. And two, none of the chapters came together to form one cohesive story. That aside, I didn’t find either of these points to impede the message and the sarcasm of it all.

The book is a great conversation starter and worth the read. I didn’t get the feel that the author was forcing anything onto me. It was satire at its finest. If you are faithfully religious, I’d recommend reading it with an open mind.

NOTE: This book was given to me to read and review, but the opinion is purely my own.

July’s Playlist

This playlist is unique in that it’s mostly freestyle from the 80’s. My top three most listened to were:

“Fantasy Girl” by Johnny O

“Together Forever” by Lisette Melendez

“Show Me” by The Cover Girls

The lead singer of The Cover Girls reminds me so much of the lead singer of the Sneaker Pimps. They both are tiny with cute voices and personality. Especially in this song:

I was seriously on a freestyle kick last month. Other songs that made it on July’s playlist were:

“Promise Me” by The Cover Girls

“If Wishes Came True” by Sweet Sensation

“In My Fantasy” by Gina T.

“Shelter” by Dash Berlin

“Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac (The Glee version sung by Santana)

“Poppiholla (5am Mix)” by Chicane

“Beyond Time” by Blank & Jones