Book Haul – 4 to 10 September 2020

I finally finished the report I was working on for the past couple of weeks so I was able to begin my reward book yesterday! It’s my Bookish Highlight of the Week. Knowing I had something I was really looking forward to waiting for me at the end of an emotionally intensive experience was much more helpful than I anticipated. I have another icky report to work on during the next couple of weeks. Because it worked so well the first time I’m going to motivate myself with a bookish reward again. I just need to decide what it’s going to be.

I saw about half a dozen whales when I went to the beach last weekend. They were really close to the shore so it was easy to see them. I looked again today when I went for a walk but it was quite windy so there were too many white horses to spot any whales.

This morning I glanced across the road and saw a duck and six teensy ducklings. They all wandered down a driveway before deciding that wasn’t where they wanted to go. After walking back up the driveway they went down the next driveway instead. I’m not sure if they were heading for the swimming pool in the back yard or the bushland behind the home. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for them. They were so adorable!

We’ve also had a new visitor to our front yard this week – a raven. It’s quite timid but is gradually coming closer to me and getting used to me talking to it. I took this photo of a raven in our back yard a couple of years ago so it’s probably not the same one. Hopefully I’ll get close enough for a photo of my new feathered friend soon.

Word of the Week: grit – “courage and determination despite difficulty” (from Cambridge Dictionary)

Bookish Highlight of the Week: I’ve started reading Alix Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches. Their debut, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, was my favourite read of 2019. I’m absolutely loving this one too!

This week I read:

Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

When you can’t trust your mind, trust your heart.

Adam is a pretty regular teen, except he’s navigating high school life while living with paranoid schizophrenia. His hallucinations include a cast of characters that range from the good (beautiful Rebecca) to the bad (angry Mob Boss) to the just plain weird (polite naked guy). An experimental drug promises to help him hide his illness from the world. When Adam meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the normal, great guy that she thinks he is. But as the miracle drug begins to fail, how long can he keep this secret from the girl of his dreams?

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road. The little boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the little boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the little boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the little boy’s secret and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day – and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.


Mila is used to being alone. Maybe that’s why she said yes to the opportunity: living in this remote place, among the flowers and the fog and the crash of waves far below.

But she hadn’t known about the ghosts.

Newly graduated from high school, Mila has aged out of the foster care system. So when she’s offered a job and a place to stay at a farm on an isolated part of the Northern California Coast, she immediately accepts. Maybe she will finally find a new home, a real home. The farm is a refuge, but also haunted by the past traumas its young residents have come to escape. And Mila’s own terrible memories are starting to rise to the surface.

The Phantom of the Opera, the iconic gothic romance, is retold with all the spectacle its legend demands in this devoted graphic novel adaptation that marries stunning artwork with Gaston Leroux’s haunting prose.

Everyone has heard the whispered tales of the phantom who lives beneath the opera house, the mysterious trickster behind all the little mishaps and lost things. But no one has ever seen the monster … until now. When the promise of blossoming love lures him out from his intricately constructed hideaways in the labyrinthine building’s walls and cellars, a hideously disfigured artist trains the lovely Christine to be the opera’s next star for a steep price. Does she choose her newfound success or her beloved Count Raoul? This doomed love triangle threatens to combust when a tragic death, a series of betrayals, and increasingly dangerous accidents cast the players of The Palais Garnier into a heart-wrenching horror story that will echo through the ages. 

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