The Great TBR Purge: Revenge of the TBR (Part 1)

Most book bloggers like to start off the year with lists of books they want to read in the coming months. But not on Maggie’s Musings. Nope, here we talk about all of the books I don’t want to read in the new year.

I’ve sort of accidentally made a tradition of doing a purge of my “to-be-read” (TBR) books every two years – I did it for the first time in 2017 (read Part 1 and Part 2) and then again in 2019 (Part 1 and Part 2), and now it’s 2021, so I guess it’s time to dust off the old TBR list again.

But before I begin, I did want to mention three books that got kicked out automatically because they already survived one round of this and I still didn’t read them: Nerve by Jeanne Ryan (2017 Part 1), Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (2017 Part 2), and Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (2019 Part 1). A few other old ones are still around, but they’re on thin ice.

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Why I’m Not Blogging About My Goals This Year

Almost since the time I first started blogging, I’ve made a habit of kicking off each new year with a post about goals. I would look at how I did in meeting or making progress towards my goals for the previous year, and then I would look ahead and set some goals for the new year.

I’m not doing that this year.

You see, the past year (and the last few months in particular) have given me a lot of time to think about goals. And I think I’ve come to the conclusion that not just setting them, but also sharing them and assessing myself publicly is a recipe for disaster for me.

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2020: Year In Review

Well friends, here we are.

I know the new year doesn’t really mean anything – changing the year from 2020 to 2021 won’t magically make all of our problems go away. I gotta say though, it is nice to hang up a new calendar on the wall, to start a new bullet journal, and at least symbolically put the last year behind us.

I don’t want to diminish the hardships and tragedies that everyone endured this past year, of course, but I think there’s something to be said for the good things that happened this year. We can all grieve and still remember the moments that made us smile, too.

So, as is tradition, here is my Year in Review for 2020!

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October 2020 | Month In Review

You know, I’ve been writing these “life update” posts for quite a while now, and I think I’m starting to run out of interesting things to say at the beginning of them. Maybe I should start sharing fun facts instead? I don’t have anything this time, but stay tuned for next month and maybe I’ll have something interesting to share.

Anyways, I wrote two blog posts this month, so make sure you check those out if you missed them!

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September 2020 | Month In Review

It’s fall. It’s cold. It’s dark. You know the drill. But hey, at least you have my blog posts to keep you company!

I know it’s October as I write this, but here’s my September wrap up, starting with what I blogged about:

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NaNoWriMo and Starting Fresh | Writer’s Life

2020 has been one of my most sporadic years for blogging and writing, despite the fact that I had some pretty big dreams when the year began. With my college graduation on the horizon, I was looking forward to having more time to dive into many of the projects I’d started over the years.

As you may have noticed, things didn’t quite go as planned.

I’ve talked before about breaking my own rules when it comes to blogging and the need to take a break from writing sometimes, so I won’t rehash it here. Long story short: deadlines and goals are good, but giving yourself grace is important too. (And who hasn’t needed some grace in 2020?)

I’ve gotten to the point where I can usually tell when I’m getting burned out – I get bored. Projects and hobbies that, at first, felt exciting and new to me lose their shininess. As I’ve said before, sometimes you have to push through – in other words, dig deep and rediscover what made you fall in love with that project or hobby in the first place. Sometimes you need to step away entirely until you can look at it with fresh eyes.

Other times, though, you need to find a middle ground.

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Small Adventures

Hello. I’ve been taking some time away from the internet and my computer in general lately, so I haven’t been around to write very much.

I’ve been spending my weekends going on “small adventures” in my area while the weather’s still nice, so here are some photos in lieu of words.

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8 Online Learning Tips From Someone Who’s Done It Before

It’s September 2020. There are a lot of… Things happening in the world, and as a result, school looks different for a lot of students. Some are completing all of their education virtually for the first time, while others are doing a “hybrid” of online and in-person classes. Even for those who are learning face-to-face have to make accommodations for classmates who aren’t able to do the same.

It’s a very different world. Being in school was already stressful enough, and now we’ve got to deal with this too? I don’t blame you if you’re nervous. And for those who had a challenging adjustment from in-person to online classes last spring, you’re probably wondering how on earth you’re going to manage another semester like this.

I have good news though: It is possible to be a successful student in cyberspace. I’m no expert, but I did attend an online school from when I was six years old until I graduated high school at eighteen, and I think I turned out okay (though my parents may beg to differ). I picked up on a few tricks along the way, and in light of this new and very unique school year starting up, I thought I’d share some of them.

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Book Blurb Wishlist

Do you ever just look at stuff that you wrote years ago and think, “Wow, what on earth was I talking about?”

I have that experience pretty often. I’ve had this blog for almost five years, you know. But this post isn’t about how cringeworthy I might have been when I first started this blog – in fact, it’s actually about one of my favorite posts I wrote in the early days of Maggie’s Musings.

Even as a high school student, I had a bone to pick with story tropes. Not much has changed in that regard, at least. I wrote a post about my “Book Blurb Blacklist,” 15 things that would immediately turn me off from reading a book. It was a delightfully snarky post, and looking back now, I still agree with pretty much all of it.

However, there’s a question that has gone unanswered for far too long: What are the things – tropes, phrases, whatever – that make me actually want to read a book?

I aim to answer that today.

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July & August 2020 | Month(s) In Review

I did many, many things these past two months. And no, I wasn’t just playing Animal Crossing all the time. It was things like service trips, dogsitting, moving, starting new jobs…

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

July and August were sort of scattered months for blogging (I mean, I did miss my July Month in Review post…), but here’s what I wrote about:

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