Hello Moonlings! I hope you are all well, and 2020 is treating you kindly. I had some inspiration to make a YouTube video talking about 3 books I read in 2019 that really challenged me.
The first one I had read before, but many aeons ago when I had only started university. The second I had wanted to read one of that nature but hadn’t yet. Finally “Dirt to Soil” was a wonderfully accurate gift from Le’Boo last Christmas. He is excellent at surprising me with books.
I hope you enjoy the video and let me know if you read certain books to challenge yourself! I am on GoodReads so feel free to join me over there.
“The Forest People.” – Colin Turnbull
“Against Empathy.” – Paul Bloom
I have not reviewed this on my GoodReads. I did only give it 4/5 stars, but I explain that in the video.
“Dirt to Soil.” – Gabe Brown
“Everyone needs to read this book. Not just farmers, or ranchers but every human. We all eat, and our choices on which food we buy may mean the life or death of our Earth.” – My GoodReads review
Hello, fellow bookworms! I see you there! You’re the people who bring books with them wherever they go. (They’re like having a friend with you). The ones whose TBR pile is getting out of hand. The ones who could have a tidy house if it wasn’t for all your books!
Last year I managed to read 49 non-academic books. So this year I stuck my challenge at 60 because I think that’s plausible.
I decided that I wanted 12 of those books will to be a self-help / inspiring / science / sustainability-related. These are all things I’m interested in but I’m less likely to pick up these books than say, a Stephen King novel.
Come join me on Goodreads and set yourself a goal, even if it’s 3 books. Tell me just one book you want to read this year, or more if you have ideas! Without further ado, here are my 12 must-reads for 2020.
“No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference.” – Greta Thunberg.
Starting off the year with something short, sweet and to the point. Greta Thunberg might only be 16 years old but she is inspirational. To all those hating on her, you are sheep. You have not opened your mind to her reality. She is fighting for all of our lives, and learning takes place in the world. Not just in school.
As I write this, this book is not yet in my possession. I had to pre-order this book because it was not out until January this year. Madeleine is one of my favourite YouTubers, I’ve learned so much from her on my sustainability journey.
When she told us she was writing a book I genuinely felt relieved. Here is a guide that I can hold in my hand to simplify my life.
Also, Madeleine and Alex just got engaged. She’ll never read this but I just wanted to wish them congratulations and all the best in their journey. They are a gorgeous couple and deserve all the happiness. I hope Roxie is at the wedding!!!
“A Mind of Your Own.” – Kelly Brogan, MD. Another gift from the glorious Booblé Bear. It’s basically a book about depression in regards to women, and how it affects them differently. I.E hormones, period, social challenges.
“On Writing Well.” – William Zinsser. In case you didn’t know, I am writing my PhD thesis this year… did you know that? Haha well anyway, this is a book about writing non-fiction well so I think it’s time to read it. Another gift from Le’Boo. He knows me so well.
“Women who Changed the World.” – Various Contributors. My Mama got me this for Christmas. She wrote a beautiful inscription inside it, and I will cherish it forever. I love her so much, thank you, Mama.
“Other Minds: The Octopus & The Evolution of Intelligent Life.” – Peter Godfrey-Smith. This was a gift, (a trend eh?) from one of my besties Jes. She got me this for my birthday last year, and I actually want to get around to reading it! She knows me so well and I trust her judgement when it comes to books. Also OCTOPUS!
“Clifford Geertz by His Colleagues.” – Edited by Richard A. Shweder & Bryan Good. This is a book I’ve wanted to read for a while. Clifford Geertz is my favourite anthropologist, he has a wonderful sense of humour that I cannot get over. This is a book about him both as an anthropologist and a human. So really looking forward to this one.
“A Life Less Throwaway.” – Tara Button. I meant to finish reading this like in March… of last year… so I really need to finish it. I enjoyed what I did manage to read of it and hopefully, it will inspire my 2021 sustainability goals.
“You are a Badass.” – Jen Sincero. This was a Christmas gift from Le’Boo and I really think he’s trying to tell me something. Also, I love yellow book covers.
“The Kybalion.” – The Three Initiates. I’ve read this before technically, as I’ve listened to it on audiobook, however, I wanted to absorb it with my eyeballs!
“The Emerging Mind.” – Vilayanur Ramachandran. Le’Boo brought this home from work, a likely story… However, it piqued my interest. Look a monkey!
“A Room of Ones Own.” – Virginia Wolff. I read this many a moon ago when I was a young idealistic person. I would very much like to read it again as I have totally forgotten it except for the very famous bit. “For a woman to write, really write. She must have a room of one’s own.” This is also nicely tied in with the book gave me at Christmas, “A Mind of Your Own.” Also, look at my manky old copy of it!
Hello Moonlings, maith an lá, how are you all? Normally this post would come earlier in January however my life was stupid crazy coming up to Christmas. Also, I had to move it to suit my impromptu post of last week.
I’ve made some wonderful changes already like using bamboo toothbrushes and reusable coffee cups. I find spacing out the changes make them easier to handle.
So in case you are interested in previous sustainability posts they can be found here. Otherwise, let’s jump right into it!
So last January I gave up beef forever. I had a few mishaps in November / December. No excuse I was just ill and needed/wanted beef. However, I’m back to that again. Then in February I only ate meat on weekends, which I mostly stuck too. Except for again November / December. Ya girl was sick ok?!
Anyways to narrow it down, even more, I am only allowed to eat meat once a month! So it will be a treat that I have to choose carefully, like if it’s a day I’m going to a nice restaurant or Christmas day for example!
Books. I love them so much. They are my friends, my distraction, and my portal to other worlds. However, I could be better with my hoarding of them. Firstly, buying second-hand. Secondly getting it from a library or borrowing from a friend. Thirdly If I need to buy new for whatever reason buy on kindle or audiobook. Secondly, reading the actual mountain of books I actually already own!!!
Still working through my plastic razors, but I would very much let to finally get a reusable, metal razor. The kind my grandfather would have used. I will get around to this. Eventually.
When the spring hits, the fashion world pulls in the winter colours and throws so many pastels at us. Greens, pinks, blues, they are so beautiful. Do we really need them though?
For April I will be doing another Jeffree Star Lipstick inspired lookbook, using all my own clothes. No new clothes for April whatsoever.
Now I only buy from sustainable companies or second hand, but what is more sustainable than not buying at all!? I will begin at the top of the sustainable list. REFUSE!
This is the month where I finally learn how to recycle properly. Ireland is pretty awful in fairness. In some countries, you get money back for recycling like Germany. No. Here we need to pay for certain items to be recycled. Especially certain plastics. Now we do have
I’m pretty ok in general with recycling. I try to refuse first, so I make my own sparkling water now. Which reduces the need for buying it in plastic bottles, which yes can be recycled, but less is always better.
Reuse, I have a reusable coffee cup, water bottle and cutlery (for eating in places like Boojum).
However recycling is something that still needs to happen, and I need to really learn how. There are a lot of plastics in Ireland that people throw in their recycle bin that can’t actually be recycled.
Ok so April was to do with Fashion and clothing and June will be the same. I will be going through all my clothes and sell on depop and donating what I don’t wear to charity. I do this about 2 times a year anyway so it doesn’t get out of hand.
I want to only keep what I actually wear, maybe try the Marie Kondo method. I am a bit of a divil for keeping clothes I don’t wear because they’re uncomfortable but are so cute, or they are too small and I’ll lose weight.
I am not losing weight unless it’s a result of eating healthy and my yoga routine. I’m not overweight the internet and society just like to tell me I am.
Plant a tree! My lovely Sister-in-law bought me a tree for Christmas from Grown Together. You get the location (which is Lacakamore in Co. Clare), the coordinates (!) and the certificate number. See their mantra below!
However, I would love to actually volunteer and plant a tree, or donate to a plant a tree place, or plant a tree at my home! Ok, maybe not a tree, but a plant. I love the trees!!! They are our friends, and they give us our oxygen.
Stop buying beauty products that are sold to us but really have no purpose. For example micellar water. My make up is mostly vegan and skin-friendly, which means it’s easy to wash off with warm water.
This will give me time to use up everything I have that is store-bought as I am writing this in January.
Toners and moisturisers, they can be made with natural products. I’m hoping Madeleine Olivia can help me out there. I got her new book in January also… Yes, here she is!
Ok now for the single-use items, they are everywhere! Cotton pads, baby wipes, cotton buds, paper towels. Why do we do it, our parents got through life just fine reusing things.
Like paper towels in the kitchen. Every time I use a piece I feel guilty, so no more. A dishcloth is just fine, and you can wash them!!!
Also my darling sister-in-law Nicole also got me reusable cotton pads for Christmas. Here is a picture.
Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without her, she keeps me grounded. She is the zero waste sustainability queen. Perhaps she would come on my channel?
Y’all know how much ya girl loves Halloween. It’s my Christmas, it spooky, and horrific! Love it so much. What I don’t love is the plastic, single-use decorations. Honestly, I’ve been prey to them myself, I won’t lie, but it’s time to invest in ones that I’ll have my whole life.
Like this beautiful ‘snow-globe’ with a crow and tiny bats from, yes, you guessed it, NICOLE!
Ok for real this time, I would like an electric car. Now I know they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, I mean the electricity doesn’t come from politicians farts. Hopefully, I will be finished my PhD and have an actual job where I get paid consistently again.
We decided this Christmas that Christmas crackers from shops are cancelled in our house. They are awfully wasteful with nothing good in them. We are going to make our own Christmas Crackers this year. Nicole from Mullen Crafts will have to be the creative director but I will happily write the jokes!
I’m also leaving wrapping paper that isn’t environmentally friendly in 2019. It’s
I would like to make a disclaimer here that I was given a reviewers copy in order to review the book. My views are my own, if I like a book I say so, if I dislike it, I say so. All my opinions below are my own, they do not reflect anything the author has said.
There are few YA books which address violence quite so elegantly as Villimey Mist’s ‘Nocturnal Blood.’ The protagonist Leia bursts onto the scene, not in traditional ass-kicking style, but violence of the all too ordinary kind. Bullying. Leia is dealing with some mental health issues that we’ve all heard of, but often fail to understand. Leia’s OCD ruled her life as a teenager, and her quirks caused her callous classmates to torment her.
This is violence that’s all too common to those of us that struggle with mental health issues. Yet OCD is a very common condition, characterised by certain irrational practices. It is debilitating enough on its own without your peers troubling you. So when Sophie Gardner attempts to befriend Leia, her years of pain cause initial distrust. When Leia realises that Sophie is actually serious she lets her guard down. Sadly life deals Leia another blow as Sophie’s mother and step-father move them to Canada. Leia slowly loses her only friend as letters slow, and then cease.
What follows is an exhilarating story which rarely takes a pitstop, always surprises and truly disturbs. When I say I read this book in one day, I couldn’t help myself. Sophie Gardner reminds me of Sophie Amundsen from Sophie’s world, grappling with moral philosophical issues, while simply being a human animal. She drags poor Leia along for the ride, and Leia soon discovers that there is a brave princess buried in her somewhere. Her name right soon becomes her authentic self as she breaks out of her shell in an attempt to save her only friend, Sophie, from the laws governing a parallel world. The world of vampires.
You don’t want to miss out on this book. You can see the influence that Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse has had on this generation of writers, as they deal with vampires as beings of duality rather than simply monsters. Vampires must feed to survive, but they have a code of conduct which must be followed and is reflected by the humanity we see in Kenji Yamasaki. The friendship between Leia and Sophie is harrowing while Leia comes to terms with what Sophie has become, and Sophie struggles to remember her humanity, which Leia represents to her.
This book leaves us wanting more which is excellent because a little birdie told me book two is on the way.
Thank you firstly to Megan from A Geeky Gal for the nomination. I adore Harry Potter and it’s the perfect time of year for a Potter-inspired tag! This tag originally came from Michelle from A Geek Girl’s Guide FYI.
I have been a fan of Potter since I was 12 when I read The Chamber of Secrets. The first book was already checked out in my school library, and I couldn’t wait to see what all the fuss was about so I took out book 2. I have been hooked since.
You have to go shopping in Diagon Alley! What store do you go to first?
Oh, man straight to Eeylops Owl Emporium!!! I adore birds in general but there is something particularly human about owls with their forward-facing eyes. If I could have an owl I would be happy forever and ever!
You’re on the Hogwarts Express! What snack are you getting from the trolley?
I’m not really into sweets, however I would totally be into collecting the Chocolate Frog cards. I’d just give Ron my frog to eat!
It’s time for the welcome feast! Which table are you at?
I have been sorted into Ravenclaw officially, and that’s the house I most relate to. However, I have been known to relate to certain Hufflepuff traits, but I think it just means I would get on well with my Hufflepuff classmates.
You get an elective this year? What will it be?
When Hermione was running around in The Prisoner of Azkaban taking extra classes with her time turner, I always wanted to hear more about her class Study of Ancient Runes.
You’ve got a break between classes! What will you be doing?
Reading in the library, or doing homework. Yes, I’m a nerd, I am in no way ashamed of it.
You get to go to Hogsmeade this year! Where do you go to first?
I would go straight to The Three Broomsticks to try a Butterbeer. I would probably hate the taste of it because it sounds incredibly sweet, but still.
You’re meeting up with friends to hang out! Where in the castle are you going to chill?
What up my spooky Moonlings! I filmed a video for my YouTube channel Thinking Moon where I answer questions from the Halloween Tag.
I also tag my friend and fellow YouTuber Megan from A Geeky Gal. I am so looking forward to your answers Megan. You can make it on YouTube or your blog. Don’t feel obliged I just thought of you when I made it!
Here are the questions and I tag any of my darling followers who want to answer them. Make your own blog post, video or podcast episode. Whichever you like. Or even answer the questions down in the comments below.