Wrap Up

Middle Mark | December 2018

Middle MarkSo, the last few months I have been doing weekly checkins with my reading. I don’t think I am going to be doing that anymore. It took me a bit of thinking to come to this conclusion. The first reason I am doing this is because it put a lot of pressure on me to read at least one book a week or more. While, I normally don’t feel bothered by it I just didn’t feel right about posting the same blog post pretty much with only different dates. So I would wish through a book and a few I may have not really remembered as much as I should have because of it. The second reason is because I want to start doing more reviews on here. So moving into 2019, Sunday will be review day.

So from now on I am going to be doing a check in on the 15th of the month to name some of the books I have read and the books I am in the middle of and where I see my reading going for the second half. On the 30th or whatever the last day of the month ends up being will have a full revisit of the books I have read with links to the full reviews I have written. So without more of my ramblings here are the books I have read the first half of the month.

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Books I Finished

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry

4stars

The first book I read this month was Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Overall I really liked this book more than I thought I would. If you want a more detailed review you can find that here: Let’s Talk |Fall Book Recommendation Test & Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs Review

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Faithful

4stars

Alice Hoffman has never disappointed me.I have previously read Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic by her this year and I loved the books. This book was no different, her focus was on family, but in a different way this time around. I was really invested in this story, so much in fact I read this in a single day. It was great breaking at times and other times I smiled as I read. It really was a beautiful emotional rollercoaster.

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story

I have to admit I did not fully read this book. I ended up DNFing this about 20% through. It was not a bad book, it just was one I was not really feeling so I did not want to push myself all the way through it. It was an interesting story set up and such. I ended up passing this book on to my friends daughter who is getting into horror.

A Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood

A Meeting by the River2stars

This is the 4th Christopher Isherwood book I have read over the years and this one was eh. While, it is not my favorite of his works, my favorite is Christopher and His Kind, I still enjoyed the writing and the ride he puts you on. If you have ever read one of his books you will know that his writing style is unique. You feel like you are drifting along on a ride watching the main character.

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I am Still Reading

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains

I am reading this with a few of my friends, Amy, Jenna, and Reg. So we are reading it in chunks. The plan is to be done with this book by the end of the year. This book is often compared to the Secret History, which I really enjoyed, so this should be really interesting. As of right now I am enjoying the story. I am not that far into it so I can’t really say too much.

Down There on a Visit by Christopher Isherwood

Down There on a Visit

I am very close to the start of this book as well. So I don’t have many thoughts on it, but I am enjoying his writing as I always do. I think this book is going to be a tad bit more emotional than the one I read earlier this month. This book is told in parts that are based off of significant points in the characters life so I am very much looking forward to see what those significant points end up being.

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What is the last book you have read?

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TBR

Christmas at Hogwarts | TBR

 

So, this past year they have been very many different Hogwarts themed readathons boasted by bookroast on youtube. There have been the OWLS, NEWTS, and a few extra credit ones as well. Now it is time for Christmas at Hogwarts and our goal is to make it to the Christmas Feast. If you want a lot of details about the readathon I suggest looking at her video, which you can find here.

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  • December 17th- December 26th
  • Follow the foot prints to the feast
  • Complete 6 challenges that are connected by footprints.

DividerFinish your coursework – finish your current read

  • This will honestly depend on where I am with my books on Monday. I am currently reading a few books so this one I can’t quite say just yet.

Have a snowball fight with the Weasley twins – a book you think will be humorous

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks

Visit 3 Broomsticks for muller pixie wine – a read that should only take you a day/evening

  • Fresh Ink: An Anthology by Lamar Giles, I have had this since bookcon 2018 and it is about time I read this small anthology!

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Attend a Yule Ball – book you’ve been preparing yourself for

  • The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I picked this book up when I was on vacation where the House of the Seven Gables is, even though that is technically fake. It was inspired by a house then it was turned I into the house. It was all rather weird honestly. But, I have been putting this off because I hated The Scarlet Letter and this is by the same author. I am hoping I like this one more.

The House of the Seven Gables

Use your Invisibility Cloak to get to the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library – read a banned book

  • The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson, I am really looking forward to reading  more of Shirley Jackson’s books.  I have really fallen in love with her writing over the past year and I thought this would be a good way to end the year.

The Lottery and Other Stories

Attend the Christmas Feast – watch a Harry Potter movie

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I have been meaning to watch this movie again. For some reason this is the movie I always stop right before when I rewatch the movies.

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Are you taking part in the readathon?

What prompt are you most looking forward to?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Megan Mullally Book Recommendations

ListsSince I was young I have been a fan go Megan Mullally. I remember sitting up late at night and watching her on Will and Grace and loving her funny character. I have seen many interviews of her throughout the years but since the release of her book with her husband Nick Offerman I have been seeing a lot more. One I saw in particular made me adore her even more.

She was on USA Today and did a book specific talk with Nick. You can find the video online here.  I watched the entire interview and I did not realize that she was an avid reader and kept a list of books she adored on her phone. As a book nerd I can relate to having one of those.

In the interview she was asked what books would you recommend and she pulled out her phone and read off a list that she loved and Nick even commented on enjoying quite a few of them. I thought it would be fun to share the ones from her list that I am interested in reading.

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Stoner by John Williams

Stoner

I found this one interesting because this seems like a wonderfully heart breaking book. I feel like it would be beautifully written and I would be very connected to the main character. I would feel empathy for him and want only his happiness while his like takes some turns.

Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman

I feel like this book would be an interesting read that looks into gossip and how it could be dangerous. I also want to know what happens with the milkman because the description just tells you the main character just has a “encounter”.

We Begin Our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed

We Begin Our Ascent

This books seems like it is about a couple with a bright future that take a turn that no one expected. For some reason I enjoy reading these types of stories not because I want to see successful people fail, but to remind myself that anything is possible and things don’t always look as they appear. I find myself thinking that this book could represent that from the description.

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Flights

I have found that over the years I have not read a lot of translated books, and while this list is filled with them, this one sounded really amazing. I find it hard to put into words what this book is about. It seems almost mythological and whimsical, but also has a deep story to tell.

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While this is not the complete list of books that she recommends, please go watch the interview, it is a great list of books to try. I find that reading books that people I admire read helps me find gems that I would not have found on my own. I am hoping that this idea translates well from my friends and family members, but also to those I have watched as a fan for some time.

Have you ever read a favorite book of a celebrity?

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Hauls

Unboxing Boho Berry | December 2018

Unboxing

So I finally caved and signed up for a bullet journal subscription box and after looking at a bunch of blog posts, instagram pictures, and youtube unboxing I decided on trying Boho Berry. Years ago I watched her youtube channel and really enjoyed her content, but at that time I was not really ready to invest in notebooks or related objects. Then she turned to digital planning and I unsubscribed. Well, upon my most recent research I am happy to say not only did I order her box, I resubscribed to her channel since she is doing more physical planning again.

What really drew me to this box over the other ones was the fact that it was consistently delivering quality items to their subscribers. There were a few that I was excited about only to realize that a lot of the time their boxes were misses and a few winners mixed in. I work hard for my money so when I spend it I want consistency. Another point that draw me in was the fact that she designed certain things just for her box, such as stickers. I thought this was fun, interesting and something different.

So, now that I ordered my first box, here is what I got inside!

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The box that it is shipped in is so beautiful, but it also more importantly held up very well while shipping. There was no dents or damage to it.

The attention to detail in this box is really wonderful, a cover to protect the information card was adorable.

Upon first opening the box you can see that it is stuffed with goodies. Stickers for decoration and some that are very practical.

Here are ones I am the most curious about. The first is a December tracker, I normally don’t use these. I think the main reason is I am to lazy to actually make the layout myself. The second one is a great sticker that helps you reflect upon the year which I really appreciate. Never hurts to be a little more mindful and reflective to better yourself and grow.

These are the other stickers that are present in the box. There is a beautifully illustrated quote that is black and yellow. Then the second sheet is a mixture of preactical stickers I am very much looking forward to using my in bullet journal soon. I will say since I already had my December layout done, Bullet Journal | December 2018, so I don’t be using the December stickers this month. The great news is that they are undated so I am already prepared for next year! The last sticker sheet is beautiful and I think are perfect for adding a little something to spreads that just need a little uplifting.

This last group of goodies I am very excited about. The first item on the left are beautiful paper clips. One side is a star and the other is a moon, which with a name like Luna I really appreciate. I am already using these. The second item is a mechanic pencil called Tombow Mono Graph Mechanical Pencil. I love using pencils to add in dates and stuff incase things have to get shifted around so I am really curious to see if I like the feel of this one. The next is a Tombow Dual Brush Pen in Light Orange. I already have this color, but I am passing it along to someone who needs it. I really love these pens so this was a great thing to get in this box. The last thing in this was a Moon Desk Dish, which I LOVE. I already have it on my desk with my paperclips inside

I absolutely loved my first Boho Berry Box and I am looking forward to see what is coming in my next one.

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What is your go to bullet journal tool?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2018 Recap

Reading Goals NEW

I cannot believe this year is coming to a close soon and it is time to reflect on the goals I set for myself back in December 2017. It feels like so long ago, but at the same time this year felt like it flew by. A few times this year I checked in with my goals, but I have not done so since the first half a the year. I honestly kinda lost track of my goals because one large one I realized was not going to happen. I will get more into that later in this post.

Earlier Posts

Reading Goals | 2018Reading Goals | 2018 | 1st Quarter Review, and Reading Goals | 2018 | 2nd Quarter Review.

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  1. Update my blog post headers
    • I loved designing so I want to introduce a few new headers and give myself that time to be creative.
  2. Read 50 books
    • Every year I set my reading goal at 50. It is an average of a book in little over a week and I tend to not stress out about it.
  3. Read 30,000 pages
    • I though this page goal would be fun.
  4. Try new things
    • This year I want to experiment a little outside of what I normally post, spice things up a little bit.
  5. Complete the 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge

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My Reflection

  1. I did this as soon as the year started and I am very happy with the graphics I created. I also like the fact that I made them in a way where I can change the background images if I ever feel like it and it would not be too much work.
  2. I am happy to say that I read more than 50 books this year, in fact I read 105 as of 12/9.
  3. Once again I can say that I read more than 30,000 page throughout the year. I ended up reading a grand total of 36,985 pages as of 12/9.
  4. This year I felt like I tried some new things on my blog such as posting about My life, DIYs, and Cooking as well as doing a few fun series such as _____ Picks my books, Annotating my Bookshelf , and introducing discussion posts. All of which I had a ton of fun doing. I know in the new year I want to do another round of Annotating my Bookshelf.
  5. This one is where the problem came in. While I love the idea of the pop sugar challenge, it really is not a good challenge for me. There are a 52 prompts and while I did do a majority of them. I am a book reader and I honestly have no interest in reading nordic noir currently. While my goal was to read 50 books, why would I pick a challenge that would assign me 52 books. On top of that a majority of the books on this challenge I did not own and this year I really wanted to read some of the books I had on my shelf the longest. Which I did and now the longest a book has been on myself has been 19 months, less than two years. So I was happy to give up on this goal because it did not line up with my other goals, which were a priority to me.

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Overall, I am very happy with how I did with my 2018 Reading and Blog goals. I achieve the ones that were the most important to me and I am proud of myself for putting aside one that really did not benefit me in reaching my other goals. Goals should be realistic and reachable. While I come up with my 2019 goals, this is going to be in my mind.

How did you do with your 2018 goals?

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Reviews · Lets Talk

Let’s Talk |Fall Book Recommendation Test & Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs Review

LetsTalk12:17

So, I don’t know about you, but I always see quizzes where they ask you to answer a bunch of questions and then will recommend you a book. I don’t do many of them, but I decided to do the following one that was created by bookish.com. This one asked a bunch of questions and then in theory would recommend me a book I would love to read this fall.

So I answered a bunch of questions, some you can see how they would relate to a book recommendation, others not so much. There was a question about the type of Halloween candy I liked most and I still cannot understand what the connection between a book and a candy. Not to mention they didn’t even have the candy I liked the most.

That is one thing that has made me skeptical in the past about these quizzes, sometimes the answers don’t really apply to myself. I wish there was a Other option for some of them, but I can see how they would not be an option so I just pick the closest thing. When I was done with the quiz I was given Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Now I was curious to see if they actually recommended me a book I would enjoy reading or not.

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What Happened

So I started reading this book in the middle of November, it was a perfect book to read during non-fiction November. So, at this point the quiz is in the positive.

This was a very honest book, which I was not sure if I was going to get. I thought it would not be as deep and show so much of the negative aspects of her relationship with her father. The main reason I thought this was because he has passed and people tend to get rose colored glasses when someone has passed. People focus on the good things, which I think is a great thing to do, don’t get me wrong. But, I really liked that she was honest about the downs as much as the ups in her relationship with her father.

Another thing I liked about this book is that it was really well laid out and the story of her life slows very well. I have read memoirs that read choppy and seemed to be disjointed at times. This one is quite the opposite. Also, I really enjoyed that she didn’t just talk about her father even though he is a very well known individual. I really enjoyed learning about her and her story. I liked hearing about her experience in college and as a child even though I had no idea who she was before reading this book, to me that says a lot.

I would say the only reason why I did not give this story a full five stars is because I didn’t really get anything that affected how I saw things in my own life. I know that can sound bad, but when I read a memoir about a person the only way I would give it a five is if it impacted how I lived my life or influenced how I saw a particular event or idea. I hope that make sense. I do highly suggest this book if you are looking to read a good memoir.

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Have you read a book that was recommended to you by a quiz?

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Tags

Tag Time |The Greek Gods Book Tag

TagTimel12:17This tag is way overdo and I apologies for that. I was tagged by the wonderful Zoë, go check her out. I was really excited about being tagged because I have always loved mythology and I have read many stories about the Greek Gods since I was little. I remember always going to the library and eyeing up the books always wanting to take the same one out.

The Rules

  • Pingback to Zuky here so she can read all your posts!
  • You can use her graphics if you like, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
  • Tag as many people as you want, but please share the love.

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Little Women

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott has been my favorite book for some time. I remember reading it for the first time when I was about 10, maybe even younger. But, I really

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Image result for Minerva McGonagall

I think one of the most strong badass female characters would have to be Professor Minerva McGonagall. She has no problem standing up to anyone and does not take anyones nonsense. She is smart, strong, and a you can tell she really cares about her students.

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The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood, #1)The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert was one of the best books I have read this year. It took few turns I didn’t expects and it was truly a roller coaster ride. I loved how the author incorporated the fairytale elements and blended them together very well. I read this book in a single day.

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The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles is my favorite nonfiction that I recommend to those who really love US History, History of Economics, or just a story of someone who was able to go against the status quo and build their lives up to something amazing. It is well written and throughout. I like how it talked about what was going on in the country and the world at the time to give his story more context.

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Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)

One book I always recommend to people is Jackaby by William Ritter. It is a wonderfully magical story filled with monsters, ghouls, and other creatures. Ritter entwines aspects of Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes to create a wonderful main character who is helped by a smart and strong woman who is extremely brave.

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The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, this book was pretentious and badly written. I even passed it on to someone else to see if it was just me. My friend read it as well and they couldn’t even manage to finish it.

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Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, it was one of the best books I have read. It is brutally honest in a way that I think a lot of people could benefit from reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

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Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is one of the most beautiful book covers I have on my shelf. The picture is a beautiful landscape and the colors used are a wonderful array of blues. It is almost calming even though this is a beautifully treat breaking story.

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Lying in Wait

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent is a book I devoured in a day. Liz Nugent is one of my favorite authors, her thrillers will leave you on the edge of your seat even though you know exactly where some of her story are going because she tells you right at the beginning. Not only are the plot twists great, but the entire story line has been amazing.

I Tag

Amy

Jenna

Reg

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Tags

Tag Time | The Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 7

TagTimel12:17I want to say a huge thank you to bookwormmuse for tagging me to complete this Q & A award. I always love answering the questions that others come up with. Where does your creativity come from? I am always at a loss when I need to create questions for others. Anyway, without more of a delay, here we go!

RULES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and ask them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post/or on your blog

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Previous Editions

TAG | Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 6

TAG |The Sunshine Award Vol. 5

TAG | The Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 4

TAG | Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 3

TAG | The Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 2

THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

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  1. What do you think is your defining quality?
    •  I think it would have to be how eggar I am to help in anyway that I can
  2. What book changed your way of thinking? Or your overall outlook towards certain things.
    • This would have to be Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, I think because I read it so young it really taught be a lot about family, making though decisions, and more.
  3. What is more important for you, the plot or the characters? What can make you stick it out to the end if everything else is failing in a book?
    • this is so hard I really despise an annoying character, but if the entire plot is bad the book is bad in my eyes. so I would say plot is more important. Honestly if the book is really failing I will just stop reading it or skip to the end if I need to know what happens to a particular character.
  4. What do you do to get through a reading slump?
    • Listen to an audiobook or reread a favorite.
  5. Do you have book buying bans for yourself?
  6. What is the one thing that you can not stand in a book?
    • Romance where there doesn’t need to be any.
  7. What do you consider yourself, introvert or extrovert?
    • Introvert
  8. What is the one thing on your bucket list that you want to do more than anything?
    • Honestly, I have never created a bucket list so I have no idea. Anyone have any ideas?
  9. What do you wish there was more of in your life in general?
    • I wish there was more quality time with those that I love.
  10. Can you describe your style?
    • Classic and nerdy
  11. If you could, what would you change about your life?
    • Honestly, I would change nothing because that would probably change something else that I would want to keep the same.

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Tags

Tag Time | Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

TagTimel12:17

 I was tagged by Jenn to do this wonderful tag. If you have not checked out her blog before, you should. She is a very passionate blogger. This tag is such a fun idea to see if you will be getting a wonderful bookish goodie this time of the year or you will be visited by Krampus. Just, what I needed to get into the spirit of the holidays. Without more delay, here is the tag!

Rules

  • Tag & link the person who tagged you
  • Tag and link me/this post (if you would be so kind, I love reading your answers!)
  • Tick/cross off the ones you’ve done
  • Tag another 10 people!

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  • Received an ARC and not reviewed it  
  • Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley
  • Rated a book on goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)
  • Folded down the page of a book
  • Accidentially spilled on a book
  • DNF a book this year
  • Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it
  • Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)
  • Skim read a book
  • Completely missed your Goodreads goal
  • Borrowed a book and not returned it
  • Broke a book buying ban
  • Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about
  • Wrote in a book you were reading
  • Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads
  • Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend
  • Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book
  • Broke the spine of someone else’s book
  • Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged
  • Sat on a book accidentally

Score: 7/20

Woohoo, I am not as naughty as I thought I would be getting. So it seems I might be getting some bookish goodies in a few weeks!

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I Tag

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Wrap Up

Week in Review | November 25th- December 1st

a week in review

This week I did way more reading than I thought I was going to, it was a nice surprise after last week. I read some Harry Potter, non-fiction, and a thriller. In addition, I started reading a modern classic. I sadly did not keep track of my pages read and such, but I plan on doing better with it. Fingers crossed.

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Books I Finished

A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay

A Noise Downstairs

3stars

Overall, I ended up enjoying this book a lot more than I intended mainly because of the ending. It took me really by surprise. I will say the rest of the book was average for me, I can’t really pinpoint as to why, but the ending twist really elevated it.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

5stars

My reread of the Harry Potter series continues! I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and once again I loved it. I really enjoy remembering all the little differences between the books and movies and meeting some of my favorite characters in the series for the first time.

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry

4stars

This non-fiction was the last book I read for nonfiction November. It is written by the daughter of Steve Jobs and I have to say I enjoyed it more than I obviously thought. I liked how honest and critical she was of her father, but also not unfair. Sometimes when someone passes rose colored glasses come on. Lisa really told her story wonderfully and I was happy to read it.

DividerI am Still Reading

I just started reading A Meeting by the River, which I have had for some time and I am really excited about finally getting to it. I really enjoy his writing and I have not read one of his works in a while.

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Books Added

I was really excited to get this book in the mail this week. I am reading along side some awesome individuals and it has been one I have been seeing a lot lately. Mainly it being compared to The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I am curious to see if that holds true or not.

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Posts from the Week

Bullet Journal | December 2018

December TBR | 2018

REVIEW | Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach

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What was the last book you read?

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