Monday, August 1, 2016

A Writerly (and expensive) Week + It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #4

This has been a great week, despite being crazy busy and me spending way too much money. Some of you might remember from last week that I was going to the Northwestern University Summer Writer's Conference from Thursday to Saturday. You know how they say doctors make the worst patients? I'm wondering if that applies to teachers being students as well, because I found it so hard to sit still for such a long period. I also realized that as much as I chide my students for not speaking up or participating enough, I will almost NEVER volunteer to speak. Do as I say, not as I do.

I am also terrible at networking, making almost zero connections, though I did become somewhat friendly with a girl there. We exchanged emails, so let's see how that goes. 

Despite my lack of social skills, I had a lot of fun and most of the workshops were really helpful. More than the workshops, what I really enjoyed were the keynote speakers that would come speak to us while we awkwardly munched on our sandwiches. 

My favorite speaker was Nnedi Okorafor, a Nigerian-American author who writes YA and adult African-influenced sci-fi and fantasy books. Her amazing life story, her energy, and the fact that she's bringing something new and diverse to a traditionally white male-dominated genre is fascinating and refreshing. She's given me some great new ideas for a series I've been thinking about, and I can't wait to read her books. I might have been a little overenthusiastic though...

She was so cool and charming!

I gravitated more towards her fantasy stuff, but will definitely check out her sci-fi soon. Expect reviews!
Since I had spent the last few days doing nothing but intensely writing and learning and (sorta) socializing, I decided to spend Sunday in a more relaxing fashion. I hit up downtown Forest Park to check out their sidewalk sale and also found an awesome garage sale on the way back. Retail therapy!

20% off at my local comic book store!

50% off! I <3 scarves

$10 each at a local garage sale
I cannot resist a good bargain; it's just not in me. Seriously though, how adorable are those Funko Pops? And how gorgeous are those scarves? I'm not particularly fashionable, but a great scarf will fancy up any outfit.

And speaking of fancy, check out those tea sets! Can you believe they were only $10 each? The ceramic teapot alone would go for $35 in stores. Also, I'm not sure if the silver set is meant for tea or coffee, but it's gorgeous and that's what counts.

Hosted @ The Book Date

It's Monday! What Are YOU Reading? is a weekly meme where I get to chat about what I was/am/will be reading.

What I Read Last Week:

Review here
Review here
Review this week

As you can see, I was extra productive this week! Ok yes, it was a graphic novel and a bunch of cozies, nothing particularly taxing or time-consuming, but still. After a super busy week, I didn't want to take on anything too heavy.

What I Am Currently Reading:

July/August pick for Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group
Cozy Mystery Corner August Serial Reader Challenge


As you can see, I have a bit of a full plate at the moment, but hopefully I can get through it all and post a bunch of reviews.

What's Up Next:



So how was your week? What books are you most looking forward to?


  1. How cool that you met Nnedi Okorafor!

    I need to read more Agatha Christie. I've really enjoyed the few that I've read. I can't believe I haven't read more of them.

    1. She was awesome! I love when I find new authors to follow ^^

      I went through a period where I read a bunch of her Hercule Poirot books, but I've never read any of her Miss Marple stuff. Guess it's time to fix that.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I'm not much of a socializer or networker either. I'm glad you enjoyed your writing conference anyway. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. It's so hard! I think most writers are introverts (at least I am), but networking is so important in this field :(

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love conferences. I don’t get to attend many because they’re expensive. I also have 0 social skills, so I never network. I just go to conferences to listen and learn.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. This was my first conference. I got lucky, because I won the MWA Helen McCloy scholarship, which paid for the majority of it. There's no way I could've afforded it on my own.

  4. Sounds like you had a great conference experience. I'm dangerous at any book-related event, because I always spend way too much on books. Speaking of which, I just purchased the new Harry Potter on release day.

    So many of your featured books look appealing. The one calling out to me the loudest is A Useful Woman.

    1. Haha, I know what you mean. I dropped $50+ the first day of the conference. After listening to Nnedi Okorafor speak, I just HAD to buy her books. The next day, I went to a book fair after the conference and dropped even more money, and later that weekend bought the new Harry Potter book. It was bad.

      Just finished A Useful Woman and loved it! I'm a sucker for anything Jane Austen-inspired <3

  5. It is humbling as a teacher to find that when turned into a student you can have similar faults! I know, been there!

  6. Sounds like a great event! Glad you had fun and brought home some goodies. Enjoy! Thanks for visiting my blog.