My 2016 BookTubeAThon Wrap Up

I didn’t manage to read 7 books this year but I really didn’t think I was going to read 7 in the first place. If you want to see what I originally planned on reading check out my BookTubeAThon TBR. In the end I managed to read:

The Road To Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
The Girl On The Road by Monica Byrne
On Bowie by Rob Sheffield

I originally read Bill Bryson’s books years ago at school and I forgot how much I enjoyed them. I wouldn’t say this was my favourite but it was okay. After reading it I actually went on to watch the movie adaptation of A Walk In The Woods which is my favourite Bryson book (the movie is currently on Amazon Prime btw). The movie is a little strange though because it’s a non-fiction book so you have Robert Redford playing the real life Bill Bryson.

I really did try to read The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, I had actually planned on reviewing it this week for the Monster Goddess book club but I just couldn’t get into it. I think I expected it to be similar to Cloud Atlas which it wasn’t.

I picked The Girl On The Road for the ‘read a book with yellow on the cover’ challenge. I thought this was an appropriate book to choose since I originally bought this book because I liked the cover (and yes it does have yellow on it). I’m very pleased to say this is one of those rare occasions when the book is just as good as it’s cover.

This was the point I started getting bored of my TBR (which is the reason why I don’t make TBRs). I started The Martian and though I really like it, it hasn’t been long enough since I last read it so I kind of knew what was going to happen and I wasn’t enjoying it. One thing I did realise however is what a good job the filmmakers did at casting the movie. All the actors are the exact sort of person you would expect in that role. Does that even make sense?

I also started Starmaker and I was enjoying it, someone on Twitter actually asked me to review it because apparently it’s a underrated classic sci-fi. But it just wasn’t what I wanted to read at that particular time. Basically I gave up on BookTubeAThon on the Friday after reading On Bowie by Rob Sheffield. This was a book I had requested from bookbridgr and was very excited to read. I was even happier when I managed to read and review it all in a single day!

So yeah I only read 3 books this year, which was fine. It was fun. Maybe next year I will join in on all the stuff happening on YouTube.

Thanks for reading.
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My Updated Bullet Journal Method

Last year I wrote a post about how I was using Ryder Carroll’s bullet journal system to keep my blog organised. I thought I would do a little update since how I use it has changed quite a lot in the last 12 months.

My Updated Bullet Journal Method | bluchickenninja.com

I think the biggest change is the notebook I use for my bullet journal. Last year I had been using a lined notebook and I was never truly happy with it. A few months ago I bought a gridded Moleskine (which I would not recommend as Moleskine has changed to much lower quality paper) and I’ve found that the grid paper makes it much easier to lay my bullet journal out in a neat and organised way. A lot of people will tell you you don’t need a specific type of notebook for a bullet journal but personally I would recommend one with some sort of grid or dot grid paper.

I also use a number of different pens now. I have a mechanical pencil for writing in my monthly calendar as it’s easier to change things if my plans change. I’ve also started using a fine line sharpie. I’m not even sure why I use it, normally I prefer a much finer nib, but this is the pen I’m liking most just now. I use a combination of Tombow Brush Pens and Staedtler Fineliners to add a bit of colour. And of course I have a selection of washi tapes to hide any mistakes I make (which happens quite a lot).

My Updated Bullet Journal Method | bluchickenninja.com

I think Ryder Carroll updated the key recently from boxes designating a task to just a simple dot. It took me a while to get used to this new way but I really like it. Makes everything look much neater. I should also note that I don’t use the event, urgent or research bullets at all. Most are usually just written under a note.

I’m not massively happy with my index pages but they work. I think this out of all this is what makes me most want to try a Leuchtturm after I finish the Moleskine (the Leuchtturms come with numbered pages and an index already laid out for you).

My Updated Bullet Journal Method | bluchickenninja.com

My review list hasn’t changed much in the last year. All I’ve done is add a column so I can see what month a book is being released in. My Read3Buy1 page doesn’t need to be so neat but I like it that way (also it really helps, I haven’t bought a book in 3 weeks!). You may also note the washi tape on the edge of the page, this is where I messed up so bad I have to remove a page and start again.

My Updated Bullet Journal Method | bluchickenninja.com

I was really unhappy with my old monthly pages, I think a big part of that was because I couldn’t tell where the weeks were. That problem was solved by a person on youtube who suggested just drawing a line to differentiate the weeks. It’s so simple I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it myself. I use pen on the tasks page but on the actual monthly calendar I only use pencil, it’s easier that way if something changes.

My Updated Bullet Journal Method | bluchickenninja.com

My post schedule is very similar to the calendar page, for a while I actually just wrote my blog posts on the calendar page but I needed more room for tracking if a post had been written/ edited/ scheduled ect. I also have space on my tracker to show if my reviews have been shared to Goodreads/ BookBridgr/ Netgalley ect as I have to manually do these and forget about it quite often.

I had space on the very right hand side of the page so fit in a little calendar for the next month so I could forward plan blog posts. You also may not be able to see it in the photos but on the dates I’ve highlighted my posting days so it’s just a little easier to schedule my posts out.

My Updated Bullet Journal Method | bluchickenninja.com

I have seen many variations of a weekly layout and I’ve instead ended up using a 3 days to a page layout. This does mean I can’t see a full week on a spread but that really doesn’t matter much to me as I don’t do any forward planning in my dailies. I lay my dailies out in advance so I don’t have to spend time on it every morning. That means all I need to do is write out a to-do list for the day. If anything happens during the day I will note it down vertically on the left hand side of the page so I can keep it seperate.

The time tracker is something I’ve only recently started doing so I can see the times where I want to sit down and get stuff done without being distracted. It sort of works… I’ve seen lots of people use the tracker to note down the times they wake up/ go to sleep but it’s something I don’t see the point in writing down. I have CFS you guys, my bedtime never changes.

bujoheader

I thought I would show how I do my headers since a number of people have pointed out that they look very complicated. I write out the date and then go back and make the vertical parts of the letter just a little wider than the rest. I then use the Tombow Marker to highlight the date just to add a little colour. They are actually really easy to do and just look complicated.

My Updated Bullet Journal Method | bluchickenninja.com

I try to post on my Instagram every day so I made a little calendar page so I can schedule posts out a few days in advanced. There are a number of apps that will do this for you but I’ve found them all to be too much hassle. Instead I just write down what I want to post on a specific day and if it changes it’s easy enough to fix on the page.

My brain dump page is where I write down any post ideas I have during the month. It’s still the start of the month so I haven’t written anything down yet. Though I do have a list of the books I want to get through this month (and before you say anything, no there is no chance of me reading all these this month).

My Updated Bullet Journal Method | bluchickenninja.com

I didn’t really need a 52 books list, I can just check Goodreads if I really want to see how I’m getting on. But I saw grangergrades on Tumblr had a page like this and I really liked it so I made one. Also yes I know it says the 52 book challenge but I didn’t like how the list ended in the middle of a page so 52 became 74.

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads.

*What did you guys think of the gif? It’s sort of going more towards the YouTube type stuff but still as a blog post. I think I’m going to try more like it.

Stiletto by Daniel o’Malley

Stiletto by Daniel o'Malley | bluchickenninja.com

Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Format: ebook
Published: 14th June 2016
Book Depository | Goodreads

Rook Myfanwy Thomas is trying to prevent all out supernatural war with the oldest enemy of the Checquy, but someone keeps trying to assassinate her (again).

What is needed is a precise strike that eliminates the problem cleanly and completely. And so these two ancient enemies each select an agent and task them to work together in secret to destroy this cabal working towards war…

Stiletto by Daniel o’Malley is the long awaited sequel to The Rook (which you should totally read if you haven’t already) and the only way I can really describe these books is it’s the british version of Men In Black but with more fantastical creatures and British humor. In fact I think the very very British humor in this was the thing that stood out the most to me. This book is very very silly, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and that makes for a very enjoyable read.

However that doesn’t necessarily make this a good read. I liked it but it wasn’t great. It seemed to drag on forever in parts. There was quite a lot of unnecessary exposition especially around the history of the Grafters. The Rook was written entirely from Myfanwy’s point of view so I was thrown off quite bad when I found this was written from a number of different pov’s. The end part takes place in Scotland and I couldn’t enjoy it because it seemed that o’Malley hadn’t consulted a map at all before writing distances. I realise there are parts of Scotland that are totally uninhabited for miles and miles but it would have taken all of 5 minutes for him to learn that everything is very close together in central Scotland. Okay mini rant over. But I have to say though it wasn’t very good, I still enjoyed it. Maybe even if you don’t read this give The Rook a try because it works very well as a standalone novel.

Buy Stiletto on Book Depository

Thanks for reading.
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*I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus in exchange for an honest review.

My July Book Haul

My July Book Haul | bluchickenninja.com

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

I’ve found I really enjoy books set in the art world, I’ve been seeing so many people talk about this particular one. It’s about a woman who finds a painting in a charity shop which turns out to be a lost masterpiece which is worth billions and billions of pounds. I’ve actually started reading this and I’m really enjoying it. You should probably also know that part of this story is told from the point of view of the painting, which is so silly it’s actually hilarious.

After Alice by Gregory Macguire

I read Wicked 8 years ago and I hated it. Like truly hated it. But I think part of the problem was I had seen the musical first and loved that so much the book seemed bad in comparison. But I really liked what Gregory Macguire had done with the story. Taken a classic tale and told it from another point of view. So I’m really excited to read this as I think this is the exact same idea but with Alice in Wonderland (I should also point out that I was sent a copy of this from Headline).

The Honourable Schoolboy by John Le Carre

This is the sequel to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and I actually started reading it a few days ago. However I decided to look up the name of a character mentioned in this since he was a minor character in Tinker, Tailor and accidentally came across a huge spoiler about how this book ends. So I’m now questioning whether I really want to read it.

The Fireman by Joe Hill

I got to see Joe Hill talk about this book at Gollanczfest back in November and it sounded really interesting. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where a spore infects people and causes them to spontaneously combust when they become stressed. Also the cover is really nice, but if I had known how long it was (800 pages) I probably would have got the ebook instead.

Thanks for reading.
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My BookTubeAThon TBR

I’m going to be taking part in BookTubeAThon over the next week. This is a reading challenge run by Ariel Bissett where you try and read 7 books in 7 days. It was originally created for booktubers but you don’t need a youtube channel to take part, there competitions, reading sprints and other fun things happening on Twitter and Instagram. If you’re reading this post the day it went up it’s not too late to join in.

My BookTubeAThon TBR | bluchickenninja.com

I seriously doubt I’m going to read all these books in the next week but I’m going to try and get through as many of them as possible.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
The Girl In The Road by Monica Byrne
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
The Road To Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
Star Maker by Olaf Stapleton
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

Are you taking part in BookTubeAThon? What are you reading?
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