To 2023 | Happy New Year 🥂📖

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine.
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

Auld Lang Syne; Verse III

Well, it’s once again been another year. Goodbye 2022: you were a pretty good one (at least for the second half). Here’s to 2023 being much better, for all of us.

I’ve got some goals and a bookish New Year’s resolution for this year. I’m very excited about all of it. Here it is.

2023 Resolution

Last year (wow, it’s still so weird to say that!) I finally really started putting effort into this blog. I’d kind of had it for around a year already, but I never did anything with it and it was empty. But a few months ago I really started doing stuff with it, and I’ve never felt so satisfied. I love reading and writing, and having a place to really gab about it has been amazing.

But this year, I want to do more with it. This has pretty much been a book blog, and it’s definitely gonna stay a book blog – I just want to post on it more consistently, and just more in general. I was doing very well for the first six or seven weeks I was doing it, but it kind of fell on the wayside at the end of the year. I want to rectify that. I want to get back that passion and consistency that I had for the first while.

I also want to read more books this year. And meet my reading goal. Last year, my reading goal on Goodreads was originally 20 books, because I was very busy at the beginning of the year, and was under an ungodly amount of stress and anxiety. But then, after everything settled down a bit, I got overconfident and bumped it up to 30 books when I started reading a lot in the second quarter of 2022.

(I shouldn’t have done that. Lol.)

I ended up falling just a few books short of my goal for last year. That’s not gonna happen this time. So, this year, I’m once again going to set my reading goal to 30 books on Goodreads and I’m going to meet it – even go beyond it, hopefully. And that means more blog posts about books I’ve read!

So, my official New Year’s resolution for 2023 is to read 30+ books and post on the blog more (consistently). Oh, and also, publish my first novel. So, I have two resolutions this year!

List of Goals for 2023

📚 Read 30+ books and review them on the blog (part of my first resolution)

📚 Post more (consistently) on the blog (part of my first resolution)

📚 Try to read out of my comfort zone (I’ve honestly already started doing that some, but it can’t hurt to try even more kinds of books!)

📚 Really started writing and then editing my first novel (I have a lot of ideas dispersed between a several page Word document for my older stuff, and several Google Docs files for the newer stuff. It’s time I actually did stuff with it.)

📚 Publish my first novel in 2023 (I know, very ambitious, since I haven’t really even started writing it yet) (my second resolution)

📚 Take better care of Myself emotionally (I’ve gotten much better at this during this past year, but I still feel that I could improve even further)

…Annnd, that’s all I can really think of for now. The resolutions are set and will not change, but I can always add to and adjust my other goals. I hope – No, I’m going to be more proactive with this blog this year. So, see you guys on the flip side for the next (bookish) post. Happy New Year everybody!! Cheers to a fantastic 2023!! 🥂🎇

Molly Moon Series | Bookish Christmas Gifts (Christmas Special)

So, like Thanksgiving, I wanted to do something a little special for the holiday. For Christmas, I’ve decided to post about books that I’ve received as gifts, particularly from different Christmases (though, once I run out of Christmas books, I’ll have to branch out to Books I Got As Gifts Just In General, haha).

For the first Christmas post, I wanted to share a series of books that I unwrapped under the tree… I want to say Christmas 2005? I’m pretty sure that’s it, yeah. This series was the first three books in Georgia Byng’s Molly Moon series.

This series was seriously special to me. I actually first read the first installment, Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism before Christmas of that year. It was in our school library, and I remember seeing someone reading it in like October 2005. I asked if I could borrow it for a sec to read the front flap (it was a hardcover edition), and then decided to read it after she finished it and returned it to the library.

And then I read it, loved it, reread my favorite scenes, and then checked it out again like six weeks later to do the same thing again. My parents – sorry, “Santa” – could see how much that I enjoyed the book, and got me a copy of my own for Christmas that year.

As well as the two sequels that had been released.

And I proceeded to devour both of them during the rest of winter break that year.

So yeah, I really liked this series. Even though, looking back, Molly Moon (the character) was totally “not like other girls,” very overpowered, and even a little Mary Sue-esque; the plot was fun, the writing was engaging, and I liked the setting and magic system (before it started getting ridiculous in like book four or five, but this is really only about the first three books, so we’re going to ignore the rest of the series).

Now, admittedly, I haven’t read any of these books in years – though I do remember a lot about them. But because of this, I can’t really say if this series is nearly as interesting or engaging for older teens or adults (probably not). I’m mostly just reminiscing about my favorite bookish Christmas gift(s) ever. Because this series definitely was that. There’s a few reasons why I still remember this Christmas so vividly, even after all of these years, and the Molly Moon series is definitely one of them. So even though I can’t tell you how it compares to modern middle-grade/younger YA, I do recommend it, based on how much I enjoyed and reread it, to tween-age girls.

So, to close off this post, I’m going to end it with the info and synopsis of the first book. What books are your guys’ favorites that you’ve gotten for Christmas? Did you read the Molly Moon books growing up? Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everybody!!

Title & Author: Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng

Series: Molly Moon [Book #1]

Length: 384 pages

Genre: Supernatural

Release Date: 2002

Book Description

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hypnotism

Molly Moon is no ordinary orphan. When she finds a mysterious old book on hypnotism, she discovers she can make people do whatever she wants. But a sinister stranger is watching her every move and he’ll do anything to steal her hypnotic secret…

Books I’m Thankful For: Magic Treehouse

It’s a day late, technically, (unless you’re one of those individuals that does Thanksgiving on Black Friday) but I wanted to start a series where, every year on, or very close to, Thanksgiving, I do a post thanking a book from my past.

So today, I’m gonna talk about the one that started it all: the book that got me into reading. If I’m being perfectly honest, though, it’s actually a series. Anyway, I’m gonna sing the praises of the Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne.

The first four books in the Magic Treehouse series, in chronological order from left to right.

About the Magic Treehouse

First Book’s Title: Dinosaurs Before Dark

First Book’s Publication Date: July 28, 1992

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Myth, Children’s Fiction

Length of First Book: 80 pages

Book Description for Dinosaurs Before Dark

Read the #1 bestselling chapter book that started it all! Magic. Mystery. Time-travel. Get whisked back in time in the magic tree house with Jack and Annie!

Where did the tree house come from?

Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark…or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner?

The Magic Tree House series has been a beloved favorite for over 25 years and is sure to inspire a love of reading—and adventure—in every child who joins Jack and Annie!

Why I’m So Thankful for This Book (Series)

These books are very, very special to me. I hold them extremely close to my heart, despite the fact that I haven’t even spared any of them a passing glance in years. But I’ve never forgotten what this series has done for me as a writer, and most especially, as a reader.

The Magic Treehouse series not only ignited my passion for reading at a young age, but it also defined my favorite genre to read. Fantasy. I’m pretty sure these novels are considered “gateway” novels, as in, they are stories that get people into reading, and I completely agree.

I’m gonna tell you a little secret. Before I read Magic Treehouse, I actually hated reading. In like first grade, when my teacher made us do those reading exercises during free time after a test or something, or if we just had time allotted to it during that particular day, I would cheat. I would pretend to read the little booklets and then pretend to answer the questions that came with it (they were never collected or graded by the teacher). I would also frequently avoid reading most books if I could help it. They just weren’t engaging to me for some reason.

But then, everything changed when one day, on a whim, I picked up the first installment of the Magic Treehouse books, Dinosaurs Before Dark. And I’m not exaggerating at all when I say this book, and beyond it, this entire series, changed my life entirely. Mary Pope Osborne’s (very child friendly) prose enraptured my mind completely.

I was stunned. Before this, I had thought reading to be a chore; I didn’t find it fun in any sense of the word. But Magic Treehouse taught me that reading could be fun. It gave me hope that perhaps other books could invoke the same excitement and interest as this one. Books were no longer boring to me. Now, they were my favorite activity. I was soon reading every chance I had. And eventually, inspired by my newfound, lifelong love for books, I acquired the strong desire to craft things with my own words. And I owe all of this to this series.

So thank you, Mary Pope Osborne, for creating such fantastic stories. For encouraging me, and thousands of other young readers, to give reading a shot. For showing us how absolutely wonderful reading could be. Thank you, so very much. I would not be the person that I am today without your stories. And I hope they remain as accessible as they were for me, for a very long time. So that new generations of young children, who are uninterested in reading, to pick up a book and dive into an adventure.

My Top 3 Cookbooks | Thanksgiving Day Special

Sooo… for Thanksgiving, I decided to do something a little different. Instead of a book review or a post about book covers or something, I’m going to be listing my favorite cookbooks. My top three specifically (in no particular order).

See, this is something y’all might not have realized about me (mostly because I’ve never mentioned it before, ever), but I love to cook and bake stuff. And what better way to celebrate today’s post? Ya know, since it’s a holiday about food and all. Anyway, here we go!

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook by Rosanna Pansino

I have to make a confession. I haven’t made as much stuff from this book as I would’ve liked. And that’s on me. I’m a bit of a novice at baking certain stuff, particularly some of the pastry chef level stuff in here, so I’ve shied away from some of the more complex recipes.

But the ones that I have tried are delicious, and they’re some of the most ingeniously nerdy things I’ve ever seen. I love this cookbook.

Cookbook Description

The first cookbook from the creator and host of the internet’s most popular baking show, Nerdy Nummies: a collection of Rosanna Pansino’s all-time favorite geeky recipes as well as sensational new recipes exclusive to this book.

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook is quirky, charming, and fun, featuring the recipes behind Rosanna Pansino’s celebrated, one-of-a-kind creations, as well as beautiful, mouthwatering photographs throughout. It is the perfect companion that you’ll turn to whenever you want to whip up a delicious treat and be entertained all at once. And best of all, these treats are as simple as they are fun to make! No need for costly tools or baking classes to create these marvelous delights yourself.

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook combines two things Rosanna loves: geek culture and baking. Her fondness for video games, science fiction, math, comics, and lots of other things considered “nerdy” have inspired every recipe in this book. You’ll find the recipes for many beloved fan favorites from the show, such as Apple Pi Pie, the Chocolate Chip Smart Cookie, and Volcano Cake; as well as many new geeky recipes, such as Dinosaur Fossil Cake, Moon Phase Macarons, and the Periodic Table of Cupcakes. The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook showcases Rosanna’s most original and popular creations, and each recipe includes easy-to-follow photo instructions and a stunning shot of the finished treat in all its geeky glory: a delicious confection sure to please the geek in all of us!

Betty Crocker Cookbook [12th Edition] by Betty Crocker

Now this one is a classic. It’s a cookbook that almost everyone uses, and if they don’t own a copy of one of the editions, then they probably use some of the Betty Crocker recipes that are online. And hey, there’s a reason for that: these recipes work. Really well. (For me at least. I’ve never had a problem.)

Everything that I’ve made from these cookbooks has been delicious, and these recipes have been used by my family for generations. But why wouldn’t they? After all, these recipes are dependable and delicious.

Cookbook Description

Now available in a comb-bound format, the 12th edition of a trusted favorite, with everything the home cook needs to cook confidently, fully updated for a newer generation.

This is the book home cooks have come to trust; the 12th edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, with updated recipes, new photography, plus expanded and new chapters to meet the needs of today’s home cooks. With 1,500 recipes and variations, and more than 1,000 photos, this colorful new edition packs a punch. How-to step-by-step photos show rather than simply tell how to get great results. The new Technique features explain fully the concepts behind techniques such as braising, deglazing, and hot water–bath canning. A Make-Ahead feature shows how to make a batch of one item and use it various ways. And a Global Flavors ingredient ID introduces new ingredients by region. Now available in a convenient comb-bound edition, this classic is destined to be the most-used book in the kitchen.

Tasty Dessert: All the Sweet You Can Eat by Tasty

This one is one of my newer acquisitions, but it’s just as good as the others. Filled with simple and more complex dessert recipes alike, this is a decent baking book for most cooks out there. The desserts are gorgeous and delicious, and if that’s not a reason to absolutely love this book, then I don’t know what is.

Cookbook Description

75 sweet treats from Tasty to inspire, delight, and satisfy any level of home baker.

Ready to rise from baking newbie to MVP? Tasty Dessert gives you the lowdown on baking basics, from building a fuss-free pantry to mastering easy-as-pie twists on old favorites. You’ll stuff, layer, frost, and meringue your way to the cherry on top of pretty much every meal. If Confetti Birthday Soufflé, No-Bake 16-Layer S’mores Cake, and Sour Cherry Fritters don’t float your boat (are you feeling ok?), here are 75 recipes for any hankering, mood, or occasion, whether you’re jonesing for a sugar adventure with friends or having a late-night dessert emergency. Just don’t forget to save a piece of it for yourself.

So yeah, these are my favorite cookbooks. You’re probably noticing a bit of a theme already with just these three, but I like baking. And I’m a nerd. I haven’t included a star rating for all of these, not because they’re cookbooks, and this is different from what I usually review. No, it’s because they all get five perfect stars from me, and I felt it would be a little redundant.

I definitely recommend these for those who like cooking or baking, or if you’re a geek. They’re must-haves for your kitchen library.

Do you own any of these? Is the one you own the Betty Crocker? What do you think of their recipes? Thanks, as always, for reading with me, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you’re in America. Happy Holidays!