This has been a little bit of a spontaneous, spur of the moment write up, so today’s post is a bit of a deviation away from the average book talk that i’ve grown accustomed to providing over on this here blog! Admittedly, I never wanted to set myself any rules on here, not really. It’s about posting what i’m comfortable with, and whatever springs to mind. So far, that’s fallen into book-territory, and that suits me perfectly well, huge book-lover that I am! However, there are no rules, and if a post works, it works, and if it doesn’t, well – too late! Regardless, I want to be open and talk about whatever springs to mind, and that won’t always be a fun, literary tag, or a fresh review, or anything vaguely within those margins. No, instead, today I’ll be talking about mental health.

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When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.”

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On a hot summer night in the late 1980s, in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury, a twelve-year-old African-American girl was sitting on a mailbox talking with her friends when she became the innocent victim of gang-related gunfire. Amid public outcry, an immediate manhunt was on to catch the murderer, and a young African-American man was quickly apprehended, charged, and — wrongly — convicted of the crime. Dick Lehr, a former reporter for the Boston Globe’s famous Spotlight Team who worked on this story, brings the case to light once more with Trell, a page-turning novel about the daughter of an imprisoned man who persuades a reporter and a lawyer to help her prove her father’s innocence. What pieces of evidence might have been overlooked? Can they manage to get to the truth before a dangerous character from the neighborhood gets to them?”

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I’ve been using this blog sporadically over the past month, and I know how it must look. Like all I do is post challenges, but when do I ever actually read? I’ve read three books over the past month, and while my fourth is enjoyable, i’m in a teensy bit of a slump right now due to life and general stress. All the same, I do read, and these challenges are just meant as a fun way of putting a spin on the way I go about taking down my TBR pile this year!

So, below, I’ll be talking everyone through two of the challenges I’ve decided to take a crack at this year: F/F FEBRUARY and BEAT THE BLACKLIST!

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BOOK HAUL, BOOK HAUL, BOOK HAUL!!!! Okay, okay, I’ll calm down. Today, I thought I’d throw up a quick January Book Haul post, as a little nod towards the lovely Becca’s more recent one! I’m a little forgetful, so hopefully I cover every basis, but I thought it would be a little bit of fun to share some of the books I’ve accumulated this past month! That said, from what I can remember (and feel free to call me out as a lying liar if you know this to be untrue!), I was fairly well behaved this past month as far as book-buying goes! Some of the books that won’t be mentioned were gifts for others, so those don’t count – at least, not anywhere else other than the gaping hole in my bank balance – but I think I did well in that I managed to get a fair few late Christmas gifts throughout January, as well as some deals, bargains, and discounts (thanks to damaged books, Jenny’s discount, and gift cards!). Overall, I don’t think I did too badly as far as spending went last month.

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Okay, so, admittedly we’ve already reached the very end of the first month of 2019, but is it ever too late for some resolutions? Now, at the end of 2018, and at the start of 2019, my friends and I were contemplating which books we’d like to get around to in the new year, and any challenges we’d like to set ourselves within our reading. Naturally, one of the most consistent issues that came up is that we all agreed we’d like to be a little more diverse in our choices. While I’ve definitely tried to broaden my horizons by way of genre over the past few years, I think that anybody with a little sense can see that all forms of media – be it literature, television, movies, etc – are severely lacking by way of good representation. Last year I was lucky enough to read some really excellent books featuring an array of different LGBT+ characters, as well as some seriously gorgeous pieces like Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, which not only featured a black leading lady, but also tackled some incredibly important issues such as racism, police brutality, and so on.

**full disclaimer** i’m deeply sorry for the length of this blog post. I absolutely had no intention of blathering on for so long, but here we are!

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