My top 2017 books

paper trail diary best books 2017

As we all breathe out a sigh of relief that 2017 is over, but breathe in a hesitant breath of oh-god-what-if-2018-is-worse-but-for-now-I’ll-look-forward-to-it, whether we want to or not, it’s a time of reflection. So today, I’m coming in at the very end of the year to share my favourite books of the year, to your great luck and enjoyment!

It’s been tough figuring out this year’s list due to being indecisive on specific placements and sitting around trying to recall how I felt after reading each book, and an important part: how much I remember about them months later. If I can remember names and details still, to me, that’s huge :p I must say that my top three were rock solid in there, though. I more than loved those books, I felt them with my being. They’re the ones I haven’t stopped talking about, the ones that hit me to my core, the ones that were incredibly beautiful to me. While I do love all ten on this list for their own reasons, these three are just ingrained onto my heart.

So, my top ten 2017-published reads! *drumroll*:

Continue reading →

This entry was posted in Books.

Join the Book Lover Postcard Swap – 2017 holiday edition!

book lover postcard swap holiday 2017

The Book Lover Postcard Swap is back again for our holiday round – this time the challenge is to send your partner a bookish postcard about what book(s) are on your wish list!

See the instructions on the form below. Looking forward to this!

And make sure if you’re posting about it to use #bookloverpostcardswap! This time we’re stepping it up with a giveaway – by the end of the month we’ll choose a winner out of every public post with the hashtag to receive a package of holiday stationery 😉

Etsy updates!

I opened up a Paper Trail Diary Etsy shop a while ago, but didn’t put that much work into it. Now I’ve refreshed it for a 2.0 soft launch, and I want to show you what I’ve got!

So far, I have some zines and scrap paper packs available. Eventually I will add bunting, word banners, letter sets, and more. I’m open to suggestions of what you’d like to see there, too.

There are my 100g scrap paper packs:

paper trail diary scrap paper packsMost of the paper is scrapbook paper, and packages are chosen at random to mail.

My two issues of the Chain Letter Short Story Project zine:

paper trail diary chain letter short story project zine 1paper trail diary chain letter short story project zine 2The Chain Letter Short Story Project is something I started a few years ago, in which I start writing a short story, and send it to volunteers around the globe like a chain letter to keep adding on to the story, and then I finish it. I wanted to share the fun way the stories develop and so I also got the contributors to do illustrations, and put them together as zines! These both took about a year to go around the world each. I plan on starting #3 in the new year!

My Pillars of The Paper Trail Diary mini-zine collection (one on each of my blog’s four subjects!):

pillars of the paper trail diary zinesThese were sooo fun to make. They’re just my reasonings as to why each category is the bestest.

And the latest, my This is What It’s Like to be a Huge Stationery Nerd zine!:

paper trail diary stationery nerd zine

This was also super fun to do, and I did it in a night, which is unheard of for me! I think most of my readers will understand the pain I shared in these pages :p I named it the first in a Paper Trail Diary series so it’s something I’d like to keep going with, though I’m not sure with what yet! Each zine will likely be a different kind of topic. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see in a Paper Trail Diary zine!

These are all up on the shop to purchase now! 😉

Stationery Spotlight: the Well Inked subscription box

well inked box via paper trail diary

As we know, I’m a huge fan of notebooks and pens. So I was delighted to find out that one of the participants in my recent Notebook & Pen Swap was one of the organizers of the Well Inked Box — a Canadian-run subscription box for just those things! They run quarterly, and include a notebook and 3-5 other items like pens, pencils, highlighters, etc.

Here’s what their website has to say:

We are a quarterly subscription box which features creative supplies delivered to your door. Our goal is to encourage creators in various disciplines to step out of the digital realm, put pen to paper, and develop their creative vision. We want to provide you with the basics like you’ve never seen them before; notebooks, pens, pencils and more that will leave you asking why didn’t I know this was out there?”

Whether you’re a designer, an artist, a writer, or someone who simply likes to experiment, our goal is to curate a box that will allow you to try your hand at a variety of creative practices and encourage you to use supplies in new ways.

I was lucky to receive a box and you can too! Check out what I got, and then enter our contest to win one yourself.

well inked box via paper trail diary well inked box via paper trail diary

I was excited to see what I got — I thought the mini list notebooks were handy, and it was nice getting three because I could give one to my partner. And I like using the Uniball pen – I haven’t found a Uniball pen I’ve liked maybe ever! Since I have Muji here in Toronto, getting one of their pens wasn’t as thrilling as if I lived somewhere that didn’t have a Muji. But guys, Muji pens are the best. I also do love a good Tombow brush pen. I rarely use highlighters, but it is good to know of ones that last longer than most. I think this box would do well for those who live in areas that don’t have a lot of paper supplies around, or for the kind of people who are more spontaneous with what they use. I spend too much time in supply stores 😉 I appreciated the note they included in the box that gave some more context and ideas for each items, too!

Want to win this box? Comment below about what you like to use notebooks and pens for, and I will pick a winner at random on Wednesday, November 1.

Reading Round-Up: What I’ve read in the last few months

It’s a known catch among book bloggers: we read faster than we review. Recently I’ve found my books waiting to be reviewed in a giant pile, and rather than bog down the blog with big reviews for all of them, and stress about it, I decided I wanted to just come here and share them with you and share my thoughts. That’s what we’re here for anyway. So here are a whole bunch of books I’ve read in the last couple months!

Continue reading →

This entry was posted in Books.

Join the Halloween Book Lover Postcard Swap!

book lover postcard swap halloween

Can you believe Barb and I have been running the Book Lover Postcard Swap for a year now?! Me neither! We’ve had so much fun with this project, and love seeing how people get into it.

This time around, we’re focusing on spoooooky reads, in time for the Halloween ~moods~. You’ll write on a bookish/Halloweenish postcard about a book that’s given you chills, witchy vibes, and/or nightmares. Muahaha.

To sign up, check out the form below. You must sign up by Saturday, October 7th!

Book Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

moxie the paper trail diary

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, via Roaring Brook Press, out now.

It’s been fascinating watching what kinds of YA books are coming out now in tandem to the world’s current political climate. I think this is where we can see change in lit, starting with young people who are fired up or need something to fire them up. We’ve seen this with Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give most specifically this year. And when we get onto talking about history repeating itself, it’s good to talk about the positive things that are bubbling up, too, like how we can show people how tools like zines and music and power in numbers can pack a punch.

I am the last person to say that ‘zines are dead,’ but I do think that they mostly exist within certain subcultures and that they ebb and flow through decades. The riot grrrls of the ’90s are now moms, people! I hadn’t thought much about how they’re being made by teens these days, or if they could fit into YA books, until it happened (so I’m glad someone else was thinking about it). When I heard about Jennifer Mathieu’s book Moxie, I practically fell out of my seat. This was the book I didn’t know I’d been so desperately waiting for.

I’m so happy Moxie is now out in the world, because this book means SO MUCH to me.

Continue reading →