f The Geeky Burrow


Month at a Glance | May

Another month is gone and I'm always excited by all the bookish posts and books I managed to do and read during the last 30 days, I even decided to start a reading journal and I'm planning to write more about it very soon in a separate blog post.

I didn't read as many books as I did in April, but, still, I was surprised by myself, because I had classes through the whole month and I was afraid of not being able to finish a single book. Another thing I'm very happy about is my new part-time voluntary work at a local library! Still not having a real job, but I'm doing something to expand my résumé that makes me happy, also I'm lucky enough to flip through pages of art/history/ancient books!
Follow me on Instagram @thegeekyburrow for more bookish photos!

January: Connecting with Your Core, Big Magic (My Review)

February: Radical Self-Love (My Review)

March: The Fringe Hours (My Review)365 Journal Writing Ideas

April: La Battaglia di Qadesh, The Silmarillion, Fangirl (My Review), Nimona, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

May: Getting Things Done by David Allen (My Review), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
As always, you can take a look at my reading challenges page.

January: Red's Untold Tale (My review), Big Magic (My review), And Then There Were None, A Scandal in Bohemia (from The Complete Sherlock Holmes)

February: N/A

March: The Adventure of the Red-Headed League (from The Complete Sherlock Holmes), A Case of Identity (from The Complete Sherlock Holmes)

April: The Boscombe Valley Mystery (from The Complete Sherlock Holmes)

May: The Five Orange Pips (from The Complete Sherlock Holmes)

January: N/A

February: N/A

March: currently reading The Silmarillion

April: The Silmarillion, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

May: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

January: N/A

February: N/A

March: currently reading The Silmarillion

April: The Silmarillion, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

May: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Captain America: Civil War: it looked like an Avengers movie to me than one about Captain America, so I loved it even more! #TeamIronMan :)

Alice Through the Looking Glass: I really enjoyed this movie, but not as much as the first one. There were some slow moments here and there, but Sacha Baron Coen as the Time Lord was amazing and Johnny Depp was creepy as usual.

  • Lost
  • Arrow
  • The Flash
  • Once Upon A Time
  • Supergirl
  • Outlander: less sex scenes and absence of perversity so far, so I continue watching it.

What was your month friends? Any news?


Exploring My Bookshelves | Fantastic Party

Exploring My Bookshelves is a weekly meme created by Addlepates and Book Nerds and For the Love of Words.

A book with a fantastic party

I couldn't help myself but choosing The Hobbit for this week's topic. I mean, it's even the name of the chapter "An Unexpected Party"!
I was very pleased by the movie adaptation of this scene at Bag End, in fact it's probably my favorite one from the whole trilogy! I always wondered how the Dwarves managed to travel with the instruments, like it's described in the book, they might be heavy, haha.

"Chip the glasses, crack the plates!
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates,
So carefully, carefully with the plates!

Blunt the knives and bend the forks!
Smash the bottles, burn the corks!
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates,
So carefully, carefully with the plates!"

- That's What Bilbo Baggins Hates

What's your favorite party from a book you've read?


My Thoughts on Book Blogging Three Months Later

When I decided I wanted give book blogging a chance last February, I didn't read many blogs in this niche yet, so I did what I always do: blogged two/three times a week, left comments to my favorite posts and tweet-promoted my posts. I quickly realized that this niche is a bit different from the lifestyle/geek I come from.

Aside from a bunch of awesome people I've met (and that are part of the reason why I decided to join this world), I didn't feel myself like inside a big family in this community. First of all, only few bloggers reply back to the comments you leave and this, honestly, is a bit discouraging for me. I know that if you receive 40/50 comments per post, you have to review three ARCs and other five books by the end of the month, post two/three times a day on Instagram, you have a family and a day job or university/college, a huge Goodreads goal, things can get super busy and you will find yourself not having time to reply to comments. But it was frustrating for me at the beginning. I joined some blog memes and I spent many time going blog to blog from the linkup leaving thoughtful comments (not just "nice list!" ones), saving those links on Pocket to be able to check them later and finding out, after a week, that only a small percentage of bloggers replied me. Coming from a different side of the internet, I was used to have many conversations with my readers or the people I read. Community and engagement are the best part of blogging for me.

In addition to all this, I noticed book bloggers usually publish posts five days a week, mostly reviews of books they JUST finished. So I see people reading 10+ books per months, still having a job and a family, receiving tons of books to review, and managing to run their blogs full-time. How can they do that?! That's not me, that's not why I started book blogging. I like the way you can fangirl about a book you read or have read and have conversations with your friends about it, but I have a very busy university life, so I usually read two books per month and I don't accept any book for free to review, because I want to tackle my TBR pile first.

I hope this post won't sound too polemic, I just wanted to list the things I noticed as a newbie, coming from another niche. :) I'm going to continue writing about books, because it makes me happy and I didn't want my blog to become a personal diary because of my lack of motivation/time for writing useful contents. I'll keep doing it my own way though, joining memes when I want to and publishing blog posts when my schedule will allow me to. One of the promises I made to myself when I started transitioning to this world has been to not let myself feeling guilty for reading less books than the other people online and for not having the most perfect and beautiful bookstagram account. It's me, I have to do it my own way to actually enjoying the journey.

Did you ever experience something similar? Like changing a niche (or main blogging topic) and feeling a little bit lost at first?


Getting Things Done + My May Action Step

Title: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Author: David Allen
Pages: 294
Published: March 17th 2015 by Penguin Books

Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with important perspectives on the new workplace, and adding material that will make the book fresh and relevant for years to come. This new edition of Getting Things Done will be welcomed not only by its hundreds of thousands of existing fans but also by a whole new generation eager to adopt its proven principles.

It's no secret that I love all things productivity and organization, I even wrote a couple of blog posts here about that, sharing my tips and tools to maintain a tidy and smooth online experience. I've been this way like my whole life, my parents give me documents and important papers to keep all the time, they even did it when I was only a child! Because they were (and still are) extremely unorganized and I was like the little secretary of the house.

So, when I read Kara's post about Getting Things Done by David Allen I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. I gave myself about twenty days to savor every single word of this book and after finishing it I was so satisfied and happy that I couldn't wait to put things on paper and create lists. Like many people who read this book and reviewed it, I already knew most of the principles, but I wasn't kind of aware of them. Reading that my Weekly Reviews were part of a five steps workflow (Capture, Clarify, Organize, Reflect, Engage) made me realize that what I really needed were directions and Allen's reassuring voice to tell me "you're doing it right!". Another thing I was already doing were brain dumps, but I didn't know that you should do them just once in a while and the rest of the time you should be able to categorize all the stuff that comes up during the day without any problem.

The biggest discovery for me has been Contexts. I used to create endless lists on my bullet journal and sometimes color coding my study tasks, but the truth is that when the day was over, I left many of them incomplete or I ended up being confused about what I could do if I only had like 10/20 minutes of times (so I did nothing, I just procrastinated). While Allen recommends to immediately write day/time-specific actions in your calendar, so you won't forget about them, he also recommends to create different lists about contexts. The most common ones are: Agendas, Anywhere, Calls, Computer, Errands, Home, Office. If you have to do many calls for work, well, it would be useful to have a list with all the phone calls you have to do, or all the groceries you have to buy, things you can do only at home, and so on. I modified the system a little bit, because I'm a student and I don't have a job, I also live in the country and when there are thunder storms or a big amount of snow we usually lose electricity, so it was logic for me to create an Offline list for all the actions I can take when I don't have electricity, like keep up with my daily journaling, clean my desk, read that pdf I downloaded weeks ago, and so on.

Finally, another core concept of Getting Things Done is realizing that many of the tasks you wrote in your to-do lists are actually projects and need a proper section. David Allen's definition of project: Any outcome that requires more than one next action step to complete and can be completed within one year. Any commitment within that time frame needs to be reviewed at least weekly.

That said, "organize the closet" was originally a task in my general list of things I wanted to do, but it's actually a project, because it requires several different actions to get it done, so I moved to the Projects section of my organizer.

I won't spend tons of words talking about this book, because I think you should totally read it, if it's a topic that might interest you. Speaking of action steps, for my One Little Word this month I want to try to get this system running and actually trust it, like Allen recommends, I'll try to improve it and create new habits to be able to have LESS in my mind and more on paper.


Alice in Bookland: Salone del Libro 2016

Living in Italy and being a bookworm and a geek girl isn't very pleasant, since there aren't any cool conventions to attend like those I see abroad, but we do have a special bookish event every year (and it's even in my hometown!). It's callend Salone Internazionale del Libro and it's basically a five-day book exhibition, with conferences, booths and more.

My mom and I went there every year, since I started university and my schedule was more flexible, because it's easier to visit it on weekdays instead of the weekend. I never find authors or lectures that actually interest me, due to my geeky tastes, but it's always amazing being surrounded by books and seeing your favorite editions in person instead of on a computer screen!

I have a little list of favorite publishers I always want to visit every year. One is Salani, that publishes all the Harry Potter books. I really wanted to purchase the illustrated edition of the Philosopher's Stone but, since there aren't any special discounts at the event (that's a major downside for me), I decided to wait and buy it from Amazon, where the price is lower!
One thing that I noticed is that they started calling "young adults" the genre that was called "libri per ragazzi" (lit. "books for teenagers") until a couple of years ago. This is one of my favorite sections to see in every publisher's booth.
It was awesome being able to see so many Funko POP! figures in person for the first time ever! Too bad there weren't the Harry Potter and LOTR/The Hobbit characters (those I care about the most).

Even if I don't read many classics, it's always nice spotting the newest editions every year. I loved the illustrated one of Alice in Wonderland!
This year there was a big booth for Peanuts! I couldn't help but snapping some photos there. :)
I'm not a religious person, but the Vatican publishing library always has the prettiest set-up!
Finally, a beautiful quote: "Books are everything. Books are life".
The biggest disappointment for me this year has been the complete lack of Tolkien books. While last year I managed to purchase three of them and I saw an entire wall dedicated to them, this year there was no sign of Middle-earth.

Here is my little bookish haul.
I purchased a calendar for 2017, because it's a little tradition of mine since there is this publisher who doesn't sell things online and I can only see their booth at this exhibition every year. Then I purchased two sheets about German grammar & verbs (useful when I'll start learning it again) and two art history books by Alberto Angela. This guy is a well known scientific popularizer who works in TV since I was a child, he made me love archaeology and ancient history and I've been so lucky to meet him at a book con few years ago. #fangirlmoment

Here is my little bookish adventure, hope you enjoyed my ramblings and photos! :)
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