2020 Reading Journal: Update #1

This year I decided to track my reading using a “creative” journal instead of just on Goodreads or a Google Doc. I wanted to experiment with some of the pages, giving notable books I read something more than just a few sentences on what I thought. I got a little behind, especially with being able to print pictures of the covers since I wasn’t able to go to work for a few months. But as of now, I’m caught up with June and wanted to share what I’ve done.

Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell was one of my most anticipated reads for the first half of the year. So I was glad when I read an early digital copy through NetGalley and absolutely loved it. I wanted to do something more so I sketched the Eiffel Tower—to match the book cover—for the center of the page. My original thought was to draw it in a metallic color, but at the time, I didn’t have any metallic markers or pens. I did buy a pack that included gold and silver so I colored it in later.

This page was an attempt to replicate the “blood magic” used in Wicked Saints and Ruthless Gods by Emily Duncan. The acrylic paint, however, isn’t the easiest thing to write over top, so it didn’t turn out quite how I wanted. It still looks kind of cool, though.

I can draw ships! Newton and Polly is a historical fiction novel about John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace. So I added in a few of the song lyrics around the ship. This came out so much better than I imagined, and I really like this spread and the book.

So this ended up being an interesting experiment. I wanted to pay homage to the cover for Seven Endless Forests, so I drew a sword and the trees. But I used markers that bled through onto the other side, which ruined that page. Except I happened to read another book with a sword on the cover, Dark Skies, so I just traced the image that bled through and added in some blue swirls to give the bottom of the page some embellishment. It came out better than I expected!

So when I reread Aurora Rising and finally had a chance to read Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, I knew I wanted to do something pretty epic for these books. I decided to create a galaxy backdrop using purple on one side and orange on the other to match the book covers. But once I did that, I couldn’t write over top the galaxy design. So I had to write my mini-review and other information on other pages and glue it over top. It does look cool, though, so I’m not mad!

I thought this one was cute, so I’m including it. I mimicked the book cover for The Unready Queen in tiny little sketches at the bottom of the page. Just ignore the weird dinosaur-thing that is supposed to be a bear. It definitely doesn’t look like bear. (Hey, I’m not an expert artist!)

I reread The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and decided to experiment with the galaxy watercolor backdrop again. This time I started with the words and painted lightly over top. It’s a bit messy and the paint makes it hard to see all the words, but it came out a lot better than the Aurora Cycle page, so once again, I can’t be mad.

This page just might be my most favorite and most ambitious. It’s probably hard to tell but the red and white “lines” branching off from the title, Splinters of Scarlet, in the center is actually thread! Yes, that’s right. I sewed this page. It came out so good. I added character names along the white thread in a light blue pen to match something from the book. I feel like I should do more with it because it has a lot of empty “white” space, but I didn’t want to ruin the page by going overboard (like I did with some of the other pages), so I’m keeping it as is for now.

These aren’t all the pages I’ve done since March, but these are the more noteworthy ones I’ve created. It’s been fun to track what I’ve read and also include something fun like doodles or paint or even thread!


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