I understand why some Harry Potter fans are distancing themselves from the fandom. It saddens me because I Harry Potter so much.

I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

I’ve said the following many times. I’ve posted it on Instagram and previous iterations of my blog. It’s very rare I don’t think about Harry Potter around July 31.  I don’t always say anything, except maybe in passing, but usually I think about the books that changed my life. I normally say Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT got me reading and that’s true only to a point. TWILIGHT got me reading voraciously; I wouldn’t have read TWILIGHT if Harry Potter hadn’t opened my mind to the possibility that reading could be fun. Harry Potter paved the way.

It’s because of Harry Potter I joined the Twilight Lexicon and met an awesome group of friends, some of whom I’ll be friends with my entire life. It’s because of Harry Potter I have this blog and I’ve met all my blogger friends. It’s because of Harry Potter I’m part of my IRL book club. It’s because of Harry Potter I’m friends with some of my favorite people. It’s because of Harry Potter I’ve met some of the most awesome authors around the world. And, it’s because of Harry Potter I can pick up a book and immerse myself in its story.

Happy birthday tomorrow, Harry!

What book or series catapulted your love of reading?

P.S. I know some may not agree with my viewpoint. I’m sorry if my posts about Harry Potter trigger you. It’s not my intention AND if you prefer to stop following my blog, I understand.

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.


Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I first heard about Six in Six over on Jessica’s blog (The Bookworm Chronicles). I thought it sounded like fun so I decided to join in.

Six in Six is hosted by Jo (The Book Jotter). She’s been doing this since 2012, making this year the 10th anniversary of her first post. Six in Six is about sharing the books we’ve read during the first half of the year, between January and June. In fact, we share 6 books in 6 categories. I’ve decided on the following categories:

  • six books I’ve enjoyed the most,
  • six new authors I’ve discovered in 2022,
  • six favorite places to read,
  • six covers I love,
  • six physical books I’ve read, and
  • six books set in a country other than the US.

As I mentioned in my 2022 Reading Goals Check-In post, I read 23 books by the end of June. My ratings distribution is:

  • 3 books with
  • 2 books with
  • 10 books with
  • 5 books with
  • 3 books with

I’ll mostly be sharing books with at least a four-star rating in this post. You can click each of the covers to go to my review if you’re interested in reading it.

Six Books I’ve Enjoyed the Most
Six New Authors I’ve Discovered in 2022
  • Matt Haig
  • Fredrik Backman
  • Lia Louis
  • Ali Hazelwood
  • Rebecca Ross
  • Fiona Davis
Six Favorite Places to Read
  • Lounging in my armchair in my library
  • In bed
  • On my sailboat
  • In the bathtub
  • With my friends during a readathon
  • At school
Six Covers I Love
Six Physical Books I’ve Read
Six Books Set in a Country Other than the US

What about you? What are some books, authors, or places that would be on your lists?

Now that the year is halfway over (can you believe it?), I thought I’d check-in on my progress with my 2022 reading goals. My reading goals for 2022 are:

  • Read at least 24 books.
  • Read at least 50% of my IRL book club books.
  • Read a book for 50% of the monthly tags hosted by my Goodreads group: Play Book Tag (PBT).
  • Read every Book of the Month book I select before the end of the year.

I’m also participating in two challenges:

  • The Unofficial Trim Challenge hosted by PBT.
  • The Narniathon hosted by Chris (Calmgrove).

I’ve been keeping track of my progress on my 2022 Reads page.

Yearly Goal

My goal for the year was to read 24 books and I’ve read 23. I only need to read one more book! I guess I’ve kind of annihilated that goal. I’m not going to officially change my goal; I’m now seeing if I can read 52 books by the end of the year, which will be the most books I’ve ever read in one year.

So far, my favorite books I’ve read this year are:

  1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  2. Anxious People by Frederik Backman
  3. Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis
  4. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
  5. Every Summer After by Carley Fortune (no review yet)
  6. A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross
  7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  8. The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis
IRL Book Club

I made a goal to read at least 50% of my IRL book club books this year. I’ve currently read 5 out of 6. I didn’t get a chance to read May’s book because I was really stressed that month, and when I’m stressed or sick my reading goes first. Here are the books I read:

To reach my goal, I only need to read one more book. I plan to read more, though, as we have some great books scheduled for the last half of the year.

PBT

Each month we vote on a “tag” (a theme) and share, discuss, and review books that fit the tag. I wanted to read one book for at least 50% of the tags. I’ve currently read 5 out of 6 tags so I only need to read one more book to reach this goal. I plan to read more tags as long as they interest me. Here are the books I’ve read:

Book of the Month

I joined Book of the Month in January. I made a goal to read every book I get by the end of the year. I’ve read 3 out of 6 books so far.

It looks like I’m a little behind on this one. I might need to sacrifice some of the challenges so I can reach this one.

Unofficial Trim Challenge

Each of us created a list of 24 books that are on our TBR. Each month, a participating member randomly picks a remaining number between 1 through 24. Then, we read the book associated with that number on our list. Because there are 24 books, this challenge will last for two years. I’ve read 6 out of 6 books. (I read two as book club books; they still count because they’re not on my TBR anymore.) I didn’t get a chance to read May’s book, again, because I was stressed. I also didn’t get to June’s book because I was sick with COVID for a week and it threw off my groove for the month.

Narniathon

The Narniathon started in December 2021 and technically runs until next month so participants can read an extra book if they want. The seven books of the Narniad are enough for me. I’m behind on the last two books because of how May and June have treated me. I’m going to try to catch up in July.

Anyway, I’m really happy with my reading progress. I’ve read more than I obviously thought I would. It’s been fun and I’ve discovered so many great books and authors. I can’t wait to discover more during the last half of the year.

How are you doing on your goals this year?

P.S. I forgot this was posting today so some of the sections were incomplete and show as such in Feedly and Bloglovin’. Oops.

I posted my first post on this blog on June 23, 2007. It was about my excitement for the upcoming release of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. I laid out my predictions for that final installment. View Spoiler »

I can’t believe that was 15 years ago. Some years have been better than others, but I’ve really enjoyed my little corner of the internet. I debated whether I should say anything about my blogoversary since I haven’t blogged continuously the entire 15 years, and my blog now only shows posts from December 29, 2021 onward. (You can read about the whys if you’re interested.)

Blogging’s very cathartic for me. I love talking to people about the things I enjoy doing, especially reading and books. I love the creativity I get to express through blogging. And, I love all the friends I’ve made around the blogosphere. I actually met a lot of my IRL friends at different book events for bloggers in Utah. (There were a lot of us at one time. Now, I’m one of only a handful remaining.) I also have many online friends I’ve met through blogging, and I hope I can meet them IRL someday.

To celebrate my blogoversary, I’m hosting a giveaway for a book from The Book Depository (up to $15 value).  The giveaway will go until the end of June and I’ll announce the winner on July 4 (if my internet is up by then as I’m moving on July 1 and 2). The giveaway is open to any country The Book Depository ships.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How long have you been blogging?

I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

Review: The Midnight LibraryTitle: The Midnight Library
Author: Matt Haig
Genre(s): Fantasy
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
Steaminess: 0 Flames

Goodreads   Book Depository   Amazon

There's a trigger warning for this book. See Trigger Warning section at end of review for more details.
Goodreads Synopsis

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices... Would you have done anything different if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

My Thoughts

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY was my IRL book club’s pick for June. I was really excited to read it as I’ve heard a lot of great things. After reading it, I can tell you that I wasn’t disappointed and I hope I can do it justice with my spoiler-free review.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect while reading THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY. It ended up being one of the most profound reading experiences I’ve ever had. It spoke to me like no other book has. I felt seen as someone who has struggled with severe depression, suicidal ideation, and crippling regret for most of my adult life.

But there is no life where you can be in a state of sheer happiness for ever. And imagining there is just breeds more unhappiness in the life you’re in.

I understood Nora, all the emotions she felt, especially the loneliness and despair. I understood her suicidal ideation and urges. AND, even when she didn’t, I knew her depression and loneliness were lying to her–telling her she wasn’t needed, no one wanted her around, she let everyone down, or they’d all be better off without her.

I’m convinced that Nora’s journey through THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY was the only way she could’ve learned what and come to the conclusions she did. After all, one of the lessons the librarian wanted her to realize was, “The only way to learn is to live.”

Haig beautifully illustrates what Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) did in helping me want to build a life worth living. Its message that it’s not too late to start living life is one I think we all need to be reminded of once in a while.

Have you read THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY? If so, what did you think?

Trigger Warning

There is a trigger warning for suicide, suicidal ideation, and loss of a pet.