5 Must Reads for 2016

Hey everyone! I’m Cait from Cait’s Cozy Corner. I’m a Mom, Wife, Career Woman and what some people may not know, a librarian! That’s right! Although currently I don’t work in a library, I still find my share to read some fascinating novels! If you’re a bookworm like me, I encourage you to join Caits Cozy Book Club where we vote on a book each month to read and then share our review towards the end of the month. We’re currently reading Party Girl by Rachel Hollis and it’s such a fun, light read to get you in the mood for spring.

Speaking of some great reads, I’ve come up with 5 Must Reads for 2016. These of course are all personal ideas of mine but I’d love to hear what you’re reading too! You can stop by my GoodReads page or check me out on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook!

1. Girl Through Glass. It was the summer of 1977 and 11 year old Maria is an inspiring ballerina. While her home holds her parent’s ugly divorce, Maria finds escape in ballet, where he relationship with her much-older mentor intensifies an darkens. In the present day, another dance instructor also becomes entangled in a risky relationship with a student. Weaving together past and present, Girl Through Glass is a complex coming-of-age debut. 



2.Where We BelongHoda not only chats on the Today Show but she also writes novels! In this collection of stories, she writes about various individuals who realize their path was veering off in a direction or unsure of where they truly belonged in the world. By sharing their new passions and what was truly in their heart, they learn how to fulfill a life that we are all striving to have. 

3. Imagine Me Gone. This fast pace novel is a heartbreaking but hilarious chronicle of a family who struggles to love one another amid anxiety and depression. The book helps give us the power to change how we view the most important people in our lives.

4. Pretty Girls. Twenty years ago, Julia vanished without a trace. Claire and Lydia, Julie’as sisters have not spoken since and now their lives could not be more different than one another. Claire is a trophy wife in Atlanta and Lydia is a single mother who struggles to meet ends meet. The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man bring them together. The sisters look to the past to find secrets that could destroy their family and uncover redemption and revenge where they least expect them to be.

5. The Gene. A biography weaving science, history and a narrative to share his story of one of the most conceptual breakthroughs of modern times. Siddhartha’s quest to understand human heredity and the impact and influence it has on our fate, choice, personality and overall lives.

What are some novels you’re excited to read this year?

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Writing Wednesday: The Beginning of the End

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Have you ever felt pain so crippling that it ate at you slowly, piece by piece? Pain that intense can make you crazy. It can make you do things you’d never think of doing before.
I stood on my balcony, looking over at the city of London.
London was beautiful at night and this night was no exception.
I felt a twinge of regret for what I was about to do. I would be spoiling the beauty of London with my act.
But it needed to be done. I could no longer live an existence of pain.
I gripped the railing tightly before climbing over.
I heard a scream from below.
“Somebody is going to jump!”
I was running out of time.
“Mummy’s coming, sweetheart,” I promised my daughter.
And with those words, I pushed myself forward, eager to reunite with my child.
The last thing I felt was the icy air as the ground rose to meet me.

Amazing Android Apps: Book Catalogue

Recently it has come to my attention that I have no idea which books in a series I own or have simply borrowed from somewhere and read. I knew I needed some way to keep track of my books but how?
So I went the one place I believe you can find anything and everything- the Google Play store. I found the Book Catalogue app which allows you to sort out which books you’ve read, owned and want to buy. The app itself looks like a bookshelf.

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It also syncs with your Goodreads account so you can keep track of your Goodreads books too. You can also record what format the book is in (paperback, hardback or ebook) as well as whether or not it’s signed. This book is a must for all book-worms.

College Tips for Commuters

For some reason, the majority of college blog posts are targeted to those who live on campus. In fact, until my cousin went to college (which was when I was when I was sixteen), I had assumed that everyone lived at college. No one told me about commuters. As a commuter, your college experience is pretty different. Your have different expenses and different issues (instead of stressing over chores, you get to spend time stuck on campus in between classes). Here are my tips if you’re a commuter student:

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1) Budget for YOUR expenses– As a commuter you may have pay for gas or public transportation to get to campus. Depending on how many hours you spend on campus, you may also have to budget for food and snacks. I had days where I would take my three meals at campus instead of my house but there were also days when I ate all the food I brought with me and had to go buy something from one of our food stalls.

2) Do homework during campus hours– Travelling to and from campus is exhausting and when you get home, you probably just want to sleep. Save your precious nap-time by doing most or all of your work on campus. This ensures that your time away from campus can be spent doing something that isn’t related to campus. Like binge-watching Riverdale. I did this and I never had to pull an all-nighter.

3) Pack snacks– This is very important. Whether it’s because you miss breakfast due to your early commute or you simply spend a really long day at college, pack snacks to ensure you don’t get hungry. Bringing snacks from home also means you don’t have to spend money every time you need a nibble. Trust me on this. My first month of college, I spent around R800 on food.

4) Make friends in your classes or through your commute– When your time is divided between campus, commuting and home, making friends can be difficult. Introduce yourself to the person next to you in class or the girl who takes the same bus as you. You guys will already have one thing in common (The long commute or the long class).

5) Download ebooks– Whether it’s recreational reading or your college textbooks, try as much as possible to buy ebooks. They take up less space and won’t hurt your back. As a commuter you don’t have the luxury of being able to pick up textbooks from your dorm room so this solution works great! I also have a few tips on how you can avoid buying textbooks here

6) Be prepared… For anything– there’s no predicting the weather so carry a jacket with you at all times as well as closed shoes. It’s always amusing to me when people walk in heels and are then attacked by rain. (I’m not a bad person, I swear! They just make for a really funny sight. Also, why are you wearing heels when you’re going to have to walk to class?) This leads me to my next point:

7) Wear comfortable shoes– Can you imagine the horror of wearing shoes you can’t walk in and then having to suffer the entire day? I can (because I’ve done it before) and it is not fun. Be sure that your shoes are durable and comfy. You’ll probably be in them a while.

Are you a commuter? What are your tips for surviving college? I’d love to know.

How to Get Things Done (even when you really don’t want to)

Adulting sucks. There’s decisions to be made, budgets you need to follow and errands to run. I thought being at college meant putting these things off for a while but I was so wrong! College is just adulting on a minor scale (Sorta like Adulting 101 instead of Adulting 301). Here are the tips and tricks I use to help me get everything done.

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1) Invest in a planner of some sort- I prefer using a school diary but your cellphone works just as well. The trick here is to actually use whatever item you choose to keep you organised. If it’s your phone, enter in deadlines and important dates. The same applies to planners.

2) Write down everything- I mean every single thing. You need to buy your mum a gift? Write it down. Accounts needing to be paid? Write it down. You don’t want anything slipping by you so write it down. You’ll be able to see everything that needs your attention.

3) Get it done!- I use Any.Do to keep a daily to-do list. It allows you to divide items into categories as well as decide when you are going to do it (today, tomorrow or eventually). The great thing about Any.Do is that it sends out a reminder daily for you to update your to-do list. You’ll never forget an errand ever again.

4) Don’t Overdo It- There is only so much you can do (before your TV shows start calling) so make sure that you don’t tire yourself out. Start with doing three items on your to-do list per day. If you feel up to tackle more then you can. Be sure to list items in order of importance so you can the most relevant things done first.

5) Say No- Sometimes our lives are busier than they need to be. Sometimes you just need to say no to things. Last year I was falling behind on my class, my blog and my role as a community moderator and beta tester for Her Campus. It hurt me but I had to drop out as a community moderator and slow down my blogging in order to focus on my schoolwork. The decision hurt me at first but it made focusing so much easier.

What are your tips for getting things done? What apps do YOU rely on? I’d love to hear from you below!

Fiction Friday- Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was hooked from the very beginning. I love the world building here. This book is well-written and impossible to put down. This is a futuristic retelling of the fairytale Cinderella…where Cinderella is a cyborg.
Cinder lives with her evil stepmother, one horrid stepsister and one nice stepsister. She works as a mechanic to help support them. When Cinder’s skills bring Kai to her, trouble begins. Cinder is about to discover more about her mysterious past and her real family. This book was impossible to put down. This entire series needs to be read all at once!

View all my reviews

A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

Dear Old Me

I miss you. I wish you were here. You’d be so pleased. I’m in my last year of college. I’m not majoring in Media and Management like you wanted me to though. Also, I know Management was your way of making mum happy because that’s what she wanted for you. Well, I don’t make people happy. No, instead I make them very very unhappy. I fight and argue with them all the time because I’m sick and tired of everyone else making decisions about my life. It’s MY life.
I wanted to choose Media and Management. Believe me, I really did! For some reason I was unable to choose that combination so I went with Media and English instead. I thought if journalism didn’t work out I would be a teacher instead and write a novel in my spare time. (Btw, speaking of novels, your second one was rejected too. You took it pretty well though. You didn’t cry).
Anyway, Media was a total bore. I wanted to suffer through it for your sake but like I said before, I don’t do things for other people. Not even you. Besides I was the one who would have to suffer through the classes. I deserved to study something I would enjoy.
So I chose Criminology. Except I’ve recently discovered that to be a Criminologist you need a PhD. I don’t understand why no one mentioned that before. Obviously I’m not going to be a criminologist now since I can neither afford nor do I want to study beyond my three years. English is pretty boring but I love it. It’s so great looking at a piece of literature that makes no sense and then slowly unravelling it piece by piece.
I don’t write as often as you do. I stopped to focus on school. I do however have a blog. I bet that thrills you. You always wanted a blog.
I review books and talk about life as a college student in general.
There’s something you need to know -those petty people you keep complaining about? Yeah the world is full of them. Sorry. So whether you become home-schooled or not you’re still going to have to face them eventually.
But that isn’t why I wrote this letter. I’m writing this letter to tell you how incredible you are. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes but it’s true.
At sixteen you were fearless. You wrote articles and submitted them to any email address you found. I can’t even pitch an idea to anyone because the mere thought terrifies me.
You were eager to get a job and be independent. I applied to three retail positions and cried when I didn’t get any. Yes I cried.
Here’s the thing though- I’ve been through so much shit. Life was easier for you. Your biggest problem was whether you should nap or log onto your social media. You have no idea how cruel the world is. And now I’m cruel too. I’m cynical and jaded. Just thinking of your ridiculous optimistim annoys me. I want to travel back in time and smack you on the head. But that would probably hurt me. Actually no, I think it would totally be worth it.
There’s one more thing you have that I want. You have my dog. You get to see her alive daily and you don’t even appreciate it. Now I’m going to start crying so I’m stopping here (you know she’s not going to be around forever but it doesn’t hurt any less when it is time for her to go).
All this is to say that I miss you, I’m jealous of you and I hate you. You’re annoyingly happy and so very naive. I wish you would have stayed that way. I wish the world hadn’t ruined you.

Sincerely
Me

Advice for Teen Writers

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As a teen I always wanted to share with others what I’ve learnt about writing. Now at twenty (excuse me a minute while I have a small freak-out about my age), I feel I’ve gain enough experience and maturity to offer advice to teen writers. So here I go:

1) A Writer is Someone Who Writes- For the past three years I haven’t written any complete novels. I have however written mediocre and excellent essays, blog posts and online articles. My point is this- you’re not a writer unless you write. You don’t even have to be published. As long as you write you are a writer. (Sorta like how if you kill someone you’re a murderer).

2) Write everything and anything- write whatever you can. Above all, write what makes you happy. This allows you to see what kind of writing you’re good at and what you enjoy. Maybe you’ve got the skills to be the next Enid Blyton. Maybe you’re the next horror movie director. Perhaps you’re just an ordinary teen who hates high school. Bam! You have a novel ready and waiting. Everyone hates high school.

3) Be prepared for rejection- this is very very important. Writers face rejection every day. We have our work rejected by publishers, magazines, etc. I’ve had two of my novels turned down. And while the first novel was horrible, both weren’t turned down because of my writing. They were turned down because there was no market for what I was writing.

4) Haters gonna hate- *sighs* there is no way I can say this without sounding like a conceited ass but I will try. People will discourage you. Be it because of the belief that “writers don’t make much money” (true but I’m assuming you’re writing because you enjoy it) or simply because of jealousy, you’re going to have to deal with people trying to stomp your dreams into pieces. Don’t let them. You do you! (Also if this happens and you need someone to talk to, email me! This is not a joke. I’ve had to put up with this for years. Sadly it doesn’t get better).

5) Write Online- The internet is your friend. It makes publishing super-easy. You can submit work to websites, publish ebooks or fanfiction and start a blog to display all your work. Starting a blog also allows you to have a collection of pieces to show off. Ta-da you’re a writer with published pieces. Good for you!

6) Write Often- I’m not going to say everyday because that’s going to be difficult. However it is incredibly important that you write regularly. I stopped writing during eleventh grade to focus on school. It took me two years to start again. So write. Write on napkins, on your phone, on the cover of your Maths book. Just write.

7) Live- this is very very important. Do not lock yourself up in your room to write 24/7. Yes it’s fun to escape into another world but you NEED the real world. How else would you gain experience and ideas for your stories? While I regret my two year hiatus from writing, some of my greatest memories and plotlines were drawn from that time.

Lastly and most importantly- okay equally important as living- be sure to have fun. Writing doesn’t have to be serious. In fact it’s better if it’s not. Trust me, college has enough serious writing waiting for you. Have fun with your writing. It’s an entire world that you created. It’s almost magical.

Dorm Room Organisation

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How many times have you struggled with your million pairs of shoes? Or tangled your necklaces because they all simply lay in a heap?
Today I will be talking about simple and easy way to store and organise stuff in a small room.
Most dorm rooms are small- as is my bedroom- and a small space for a shopaholic is torture. Nonetheless I’ve figured out a way to store all of my stuff and still have my room looking decent.

1) Box It Up
The easiest way to store something that isn’t currently in use is a box. Choose one in a cool pattern so it adds to the room. Boxes can be used to store shoes, bedding and anything else that you want to keep hidden out of sight.

2) Ottaman/Window Seat
Storage ottamans are amazing. Now I’m not sure if you can fit one in a dorm room(I definitely have no space for one in my room) but it’s always nice to have. It’s part seating-plan and part storage-facility. Super-useful and effective.
A window seat is pretty much the same but unlike a ottaman, cannot be moved.

3) Hooks
Hooks are great for hanging necklaces, hats, bags and belts. Put a few on the inside of your wardrobe for easy access to your accessories. It’s a quick and easy solution.

4) Jewellery Dresses
I love love love jewellery dresses! They have spaces for necklaces, rings, bracelets, etc. They also fit easily into your wardrobe if need be. They can also be hung from hooks attached to the wall.

5) Cupholder
This sounds insane but a cup holder is great for storing bangles. Cupholders are also larger than regular bangle-stands.

Do you have any useful storage tips of your own?

Book Review: Dolmarehn (The Otherworld Series #2) by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson

Dolmarehn (The Otherworld Series, #2)Dolmarehn by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m absolutely loving this series! Meghan has just discovered that she’s immortal and has a Goddess after her. What Meghan doesn’t know is who are her parents and precisely why a powerful Goddess wants her killed. Those questions are answered in this book. I love that this book shows a stronger, more confident side to Meghan. There is clearly character growth which I enjoyed seeing. I felt like I could relate more to Meghan in this book. I also liked how realistic the emotions between Cade and Meghan were.I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more. This book has cemented my love for this series. I’m hooked for life!

View all my reviews

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