Wrap Up

Middle Mark | June 2019

Middle Mark

I have to say that June is off to a wonderful start. I was a little bit worried on how my reading would go because at the end of May I powered through The Stand. I really feared it was going to put me into a slump, but that was not the case! So far, I have not done such a great job at sticking to me June TBR, which you can view here:June TBR | 2019, but I am really enjoying the books I picked up. I even found a new favorite and might just end up in my top books of 2019. Only time will tell. Anyway, here are the books I have read so far this month!

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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had read this sooner. The characters were fun, the story thought provoking in a way, and all around a great read I read within 3 days. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the works of the two authors, but also someone looking for an end of the world story with some interesting characters.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

re-read May 29th-June 8th/Spoilers Ahead

Just as intense as the first time I read it, things are starting to get very real and dangerous. The one thing that really stands out to me in this book is how each character reacts to the news at the end of the book. How The Order just jumps back into their ways so seamlessly. I also love that Harry gave the twins that money to start their shop, seriously heart warming after all the bad that has happened.

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The House of the Seven GablesThe House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit, I did not have very high hopes for this book. The main reason being I read The Scarlet Letter and hated it. I thought it was the writing style. Turns out it was just the story itself. I felt like this was very well written and I really enjoyed a bit of a peek into life during this time period, but also a look into a family and their home with a bit of a mystery at some points and a curse thrown in for good measure.

View all my reviews

Currently Reading 2

The Woman in the DarkSo I just started reading The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage, which is my buddy read this month. I am really excited to see how dark this thriller/mystery gets. I feel like it has the potential to be a psychological thriller, but maybe also a ghost story of sorts? I am really looking forward to read more of it. Also, can I just say. I know we are not meant to judge a book by its cover, but that cover just makes me want to know what in the world is going on in this house!

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What are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

This month has been a really interesting reading month for me. I feel like my reading was all over the place, but at the same time not. I have read a lot of non-fiction or very large books the past few weeks, with only a sprinkling of thrillers from a buddy read and a novel from one of my 2019 reading challenges.

I am not quite sure why I tended to read a lot about Russian history or Russian influenced books, but I think I was really craving non-fiction and historical fiction. As to the big books, I think I have been in a mood to just pick up a book and just dedicate myself to reading it and really absorbing it, not just reading something and flying through it. Either way, I am really happy with the books I have read this month, without more of my ramblings and reflection, here are the books I read!

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Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana AlliluyevaStalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wonderfully written non-fiction account of the daughter of one of the worlds most notorious men. It was really enlightening to read about her relationship with her father for a few reasons. The first being it really gave insight into Soviet Russian elite, which to me seemed to not be so different with how the elite lived under the tsars, and how Stalin was as a husband and a father.

I also liked how this novel tracked her life following the death of her father and beyond. I think it was a very good nod to her because it seemed like she tried hard to be seen as her own person and this novel really does just that.

As I said earlier, this is well written. The style of writing is story like with a great deal of information, I think this is great for those who want to read more non-fiction but are intimidated by books being to “academic”. In addition to this, the organization and execution of this biography is wonderful. The flow was very natural and I never felt like I was jumping around in her story, even though we cover an entire lifetime in a single book.

This book also inspired me to look into Svetlana’s own books about her story and also read more from this author.

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BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her story in her own words. If you have any interest, I highly recommend.

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Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very thought out thriller and I can really appreciate that. I just wish one aspect of the story was more explored throughout the novel. While this was a well planned thriller, it is by no means bad, but it also isn’t one of my top ones.

The story will keep you on your toes and just like the dust jacket says, if you think you can guess the ending. I think your guess most likely will be wrong.

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The StandThe Stand by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am still surprised I was able to finish this book in a single month, but I am so happy that I read it. While it was long, I was not once bored and I never wanted to skip a particular part.

Overall, I really liked the wide array of characters in this novel. I was expecting to get them all confused and turned around, but they are so distinct and their motives for their actions are always true to them so I did not have a problem keeping them all straight. There were characters in here that I cried for and I cheered for. There were those I did not care for in the slightest. It really is interesting to see all the different ways humans deal with something like this.

I really enjoy this type of story from king, it is a mixture of ghosts, monsters, but also human nature and what it could be. Making is just enough real to make you uneasy. Also, whenever anyone sneezed I got anxious. I had to laugh at myself a bit, but according to the Stephen King subreddit, I am not the only one who this happened to.

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Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to read my review of the following books, please see my post; Middle Mark | May 2019.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 38

Current Backlist TBR: 9Divider 2

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | May 2019

Middle Mark

So, this month I am reading big books, but also reading some smaller books in-between to keep up my momentum. I always need to pause a big book and finish a quick read or I end up getting bogged down, am I the only one who feels this way from time to time?

Anyway, this Middle Mark is mainly going to be a few of the small books, hopfully my monthly wrap up will have some of the larger books. Fingers crossed.

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Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday TroublesAsk Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles by Taisia Kitaiskaia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very adorable and helpful book. This advice centered book is a mixture of fun, thoughtfulness, and folklore. I plan on reading more from this author because the writing was lyrical, but not annoying. The advice was useful, but not full of itself.

I see myself picking it up again from time to time.

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Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women WritersLiterary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers by Taisia Kitaiskaia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute and quick read. I really enjoyed how each section was set up. A little story create by the author, a little non-fiction blurb about the “literary witch” and then recommenced reading for each one. This truly is a wonderful celebration of women writers from a wide array of backgrounds and time.

This little blurb and short little story really gets you in the mood to explore these women and it is so wonderful that she gives you 3 or more recommendations. On top of that the illustrator, Katy Horon, has a wonderful style and you can see how individualized and meaningful each of the pieces are.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

I picked up this novel while at my local indie bookstore. I am ashamed to say and admit I never knew Stalin has a daughter. I honestly just through he was so evil that I cannot fathom that he could be a father. I am currently about 74 pages into the book and I think is he is a horrible husband, horrible person, and I think he was a messed up dad already. Mainly because of foreshadowing and some comments here and there, but I am interested in seeing just how low he goes in his personal life.


The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand

I have finally started this huge book, I am not too far into it, but I can already see why it is a beloved book of his. It has a very interesting start and I normally don’t like apocalyptic  dystopian writings, mainly because YA was/is just pushed them way to much for me, but I will say that this one seems very different and I am curious to see how he pictures a world after our world collapses.

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What are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | #OWLsReadathon2019

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The OWLS are complete! I am both very happy and very bummed out. I truly had a wonderful time reading for this readathon, G did a wonderful job creating it. I am happy because I am very happy with the OWLs that I have passed. In total I passed 7, which I did not expect to happen in the slightest because the last few months I have not been reading like I normally do. It seems like this readathon was the kick in the butt I needed.


-My Results-

OWLs Passed: 7

Required OWLs:

  • Potions: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
  • Herbology: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Care of Magical Creatures: Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill

Bonus OWLs:

  • Muggle Studies: Elevation by Stephen King
  • Charms: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Transfiguration: The Things I Would Tell You edited by Sabrina Mahfouz
  • Arithmancy: Classic Penguin

Final Score: Exceeded Expectations


Read 2
Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This being the third book in a series I adore, I was expecting to finally hit a point where the story was going a little blah. I finally found that point in the series. I am not saying that this is a bad book, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. I just found it very different from the others and not in a good way. I would rather explore a single world specifically not see a glimpse of a few without really seeing anything.

The timeline used was interesting and I was happy about what happened to a particular character. Thew writing like the others was very poetic and the story was fast paced as the others. I just kinda found myself not as invested because we were jumping around so much.

Like I said, still a good reads, but so far is a “low” point in the series.

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Classic Penguin: Cover to CoverClassic Penguin: Cover to Cover by Paul Buckley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very lovely look at all of the editions penguins has come out with for the classics. Not only did I enjoy looking at all of the artwork, but I also really enjoyed hearing the backstory behind design elements and the creators thoughts in some cases.

I think my favorite section was a look behind Penguin Threads. I loved seeing what the other side of the cover was in the original needle point/embroidery.

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The Priory of the Orange TreeThe Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I did enjoy reading this book, I was very neutral about it. I am having a hard time pinpointing why I am so neutral about it. The plot was fun, I enjoyed the characters, and while it is large it is not slow paced.

Maybe it is just because I am not in a fantasy mood like I thought I was?

View all my reviews


Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to see my reviews in full, please see the post, Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update. On that post I detailed the books I read in the first half of the month. 


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 30 books

Current Backlist TBR: 11 books


What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update

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So I have been blown away at my progress with the OWLs Readathon so far. I am not complaining in anyway, but I had no idea I would have read so much already. I think taking part in the Magical All Nighter really helped me make a lot of progress as well. Anyway, I am going to hurry and tell you the OWLs I have passed, ones I am working on, and the ones I still need for my profession of choice. Then, underneath will be my mini reviews. Also, if you have no idea what I am talking about, you can read about the readathon and my goals here: April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019.

-Passed-

  • Charms
  • Herbology
  • Care of Magical Creatures
  • Muggle Studies
  • Transfiguration

-In Progress-

  • Potions

-Magical All Nighter-

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The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women WriteThe Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write by Sabrina Mahfouz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the wide array of perspectives that were present in this book. Not did the editor bring together a wonderful collection of writings, the writings were created by an assortment of women of different ages as well. I felt like that created a very interesting dynamic in the writing, but also illustrated that deep feelings can be felt at any age. I felt passion and many deep emotions while reading this book. All the writers are very talented. I think my favorite, if I had to pick, would be Islamic Tinder by Triska Hamid.

On top of the quality of writing, I also enjoyed that there were different forms of writing present; short stories, poetry, and plays as well.

View all my reviews


Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your SoulFierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second collection I am reading from this author, I am happy to say that I still love her work. Her theme throughout this book was wonderfully represented, but I also liked how the classic fairytales were shifted to tell a unique story as well. The illustrations throughout were very complimentary as well. If the description interests you or you want to try a collection of poems and stories I highly recommend.

My favorites were Lost Boy, The Step Mothers Tale, Shoemakers Son.

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The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the title you can tell that this book deals with the very difficult topic of suicide. If any discussion of this topic is a trigger for you, I do not recommend you picking it up. If this is not a triggering topic, I highly suggest you read it.

Having personally dealt with a family member who has gone through this, I went into this book a bit worried that it would handle the topic badly. I was very pleasantly surprised that it handled not only the girls well, but also those left behind very well. I don’t really want to say much about the story itself, but I thought the writing was well done, the characters done well, and I was very much enthralled by the plot.

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My Sister, the Serial KillerMy Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a page turner with twists I did not expect. I read this in one sitting and I will be looking out to read more from this author in the future. If you want a fast paced family centric thriller I highly suggest this one.

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ElevationElevation by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really wonderful science fiction novella. I will openly admit I teared up at the end, which surprised me because I did not expect to become attached to any of the characters in the slightest. The novella is so short I expected it to be a good story, but not one that made me feel. This was a very interesting idea and done very well. But, please know this is not a horror, it is science fiction.

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The Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious ObjectsThe Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects by John Tingey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a well written and feel good fun story of a man who wanted to test the mail system. He ended up being known for this hobby and being one of the “fathers” of mail. The story was fun to read and I found it very interesting and fast paced. The images thorugh the book were beautifully copied added and great detail could be seen.

If you like reading about “oddities” and want a fast paced and interesting non-fiction to read, I highly suggest.

I will say I was drawn to this at first because I collect postcards from around the world, but I feel like anyone would enjoy reading this. It truly is about a man following his hobby and having fun.

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Currently Reading 2

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)

I just started reading the third book in the Wayward Children series, I don’t want to say too much for fear I will spoil something, but I am excited to continue with this series and see what world we are taken to next. The book will cover the requirement for Potions, my last required OWL for Herbology.

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What are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | March 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

The second half of this reading month was a bit slower than the first half. The main reason is I was super tired and had no down time until the last week of the month. Since then I have picked up some new yarns to crochet and listened to a few audiobooks.

This month, even though the second half was a bit much, I read more than I have in February, where I read only 4 books. This month I was able to read 5 books, yay progress! Plus, one of them was The Count of Monte Cristo, so I feel like I read A LOT, especially if I look at it page wise. Now, on to the books!

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Neverworld WakeNeverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before I started to read this book, I love the idea of this book. Now that I have read it I can happily say the execution of this story was wonderful. The author is a very talented writer and did a great job with this novel. The authors were interesting and their personalities were interesting. The shenanigans the characters went through were sometimes so out of this world, which for the idea of this book, that makes a lot of sense.

I really enjoyed the mixture of thriller and science fiction. The intertwining of these two generous was done masterfully in my option. Her writing had me hooked on this book, I needed to know what happened next.

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The Thing Around Your NeckThe Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second work I have read by Chimamanda and I really enjoyed this collection of stories. Each story revolves around a women that is forced to face unfortunate situations in both Africa and the United States. The theme of family, identity, and culture intertwines each of them.

Her writing is beautiful, the struggles broke my heart, and the internal and eternal struggle these women had to face were eye opening.

I will be reading more from her in the future.

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Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to read about the books I read in the first half of March in more detail, you can find those here: Middle Mark | March 2019.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, 5 stars

If, Then by Kate Hope Day, 4 stars – received from publisher

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, 4 stars

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Currently Reading 2

The Things I Would Tell You: British Mu…

The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write Edited by Sabrina Mahfouz 

I am currently about 22% through this book as of writing this late on the 30th of March. I picked this up on a whim at my local bookstore because I had a coupon and gift card. I previously have heard about it. The title alone sounds like these are short stories and poems that are meant to truly share their experiences, their feelings, hopes and dream, but also their fears. As of right now each ones of the poems and stories are powerful in their own way and I cannot wait to read more after I finish typing this up.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 41

Current Backlist TBR: 18

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What book did you read and love this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | March 2019

Middle Mark

So far my reading month has been really good. I have read a lot more than I thought I would after only reading about 4 books in February. Another bonus is all the books I have read so far have been 5 or 4 stars, I have really been enjoying the books I have decided to pick up. I was thinking I was going to be entering a book slump since I have been reading slower than usual, but it seems that I have been able to avoid it for now. Anyway, here are the books I finished so far this month.

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Read 2Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the second installment of this series. It was wonderful to see more of the worlds beyond the doors and learning more about Jack and Jill. I have already told quite a few people to start this series. It is a fun retelling and reimagining of our beloved fairytales with a gruesome and interesting twist.

The writing is beautiful, the characters are unique, and overall I just loved this book as much as the first.

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If, ThenIf, Then by Kate Hope Day

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to start off by saying I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. Also, if you want to know about the specifics on what I liked and did not like, please check out my post, REVIEW | If, Then by Kate Hope Day. I did a whole explanation of my rating and I would love it if you checked it out.

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The Count of Monte CristoThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I ended up enjoying this novel a lot more than I thought I would. For it’s size it was very fast paces and things were happening constantly. There was love, betrayal, deceit, revenge, adventures, and travels. There were pirates, princes, and many other works of life. When I sat down to read this book I would fly through it. I really enjoyed seeing parallels through some of the characters as well as seeing people struggle with right and wrong, and trying to define justice. This was most definitely an adventure pushed by a mans need for revenge.

The one thing I did not like was at times it was hard to keep track of who is who. I ended up going onto spark notes and printing out the character list and it really helped. When/if you read this you will see why I needed to a little bit of help to keep track of this.

There are some dark themes in this book, so be warned. There is some gruesome stuff, stories of past wrongs that were a little detailed as well, and some talk of self harm. I do not have difficulty with reading about these themes, but I know that others might so I thought I would mention.

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Currently Reading 2

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Hours (Black Death, #1)

I am slowly reading this historical fiction while I am on my lunch break at work. It surround the time of the onset of the black plague. I am really liking how this book is showing how confused, closed minded, and scared it is portraying those who saw the devastation. I also like how it gives a peak into life during this time for a majority of the peasants who were tied to the land. I am currently 61 pages in.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree

Sadly, I have only gotten to read about 35 pages of this book due to this month getting very, very busy. I look forward to diving into this fun fantasy novel as soon as I have more free time.

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Neverworld Wake

I am buddy reading this very interesting thriller with Reg, Amy, and Jenna this month and so far I am really, really loving it. It is very interesting idea and so far the execution is done really well. I will admit I am bouncing between the ebook and audiobook from my library, but I am flying through it. I am currently sitting at 34%.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 39

Current Backlist TBR: 20

Divider 2What was the last book you read?

What are you planning on reading next?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | February 2019

WrapUp12:17

After reading so many books in January I was bound to read less this month for two reasons. World became really, really busy and I was overwhelmed and the month is only 28 days long. Three more days I feel like I would have read more, but oh well there is always next month.

Even though I did not feel like I read a ton, I did manage to read 4 books, so a book a week is not bad at all. Three of those books were taken right off of my TBR while the fourth was one I reread. So, not to shabby over all. Without more rambling and me wishing I was able to read more, here are the books I read this month!

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In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at YorktownIn the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown by Nathaniel Philbrick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One thing I really liked about this was not only did it talk about Yorktown, it talked about what was going on right before and where the major players had their heads at. It explained things very well and had quite a few maps to help visually explain what was going on. This is a great addition if you ask me.

Being a history major I knew quite a bit of the information going into this book, but I did learn some new things and more details about the battle itself. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in the battle or in the revolution. Beginner and those who know a bit of the details.

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Save the DateSave the Date by Morgan Matson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed how over the top this book is. The main character was a little in a lala land and idealized everything and at times I found it really annoying from time to time. I feel like she needed some tough love sooner rather than later when it came to living her own life in the real world.

I loved that the setting was at a wedding, I thought it was a really good setting. I laughed at some of the events and can I just say I loved the puppy waffle. The comedic timing of the puppy was spot on as well as his mischievous time.

Overall, this was a really good contemporary that broke up the heavy reading I have been reading as of late. I read through it very quickly when I did pick it up.

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Middle Mark Books 2

I didn’t want to just rewrite my review, but if you want to know the details of my thoughts on these books please see my post, Middle Mark | February 2019. 

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Divider 2What is your favorite book you read this month? Have you read any of the books I have mentioned?What are you planning on reading next?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | February 2019

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid month check in! This month I feel like I have been doing a ton of reading between buddy reads with Jenna @JK I’m Exploring, Reg @Bookish In Bed, and Amy @ Tomes with Tea. The Co-hosting a Count of MOnte Cristo readalong on instagram with Jenna. All of which I have been LOVING. I had no idea I would love Monte so much! Anyway, between reading those I was able to read

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Read 2
The Clockmaker's DaughterThe Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say that the description for this book does not give it justice. There is so much more to this book, but I don’t want to give details and ruin the surprise. It was really magical and I loved the intertwining of fairy tales, history, and a thriller all mixed into one. The authors writing style is very flowery and enjoyable.

If you find the description interesting, I think you will like it even more than you think because there is so much more.
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Death Note (All-in-One Edition)Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall I thought this was a very unique and interesting series. The artwork was fantastic and I felt that it was the perfect match to the story line. For the size of this I felt that I read it fairly quickly, that was mainly because a lot of stuff happened for the first. 60-70% of this book. I felt like the thought process and mental games that were played in here were very well done. The main reason why I did not give this series more stars is because once a particular character died the quality seemed to go down with the mental games and I felt like at times there was something for the sake of events, but it seems kinda random and forced at times. I also felt that the story slowed down all of a sudden at a point and I felt like I had to push myself through because I came so far already.

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The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas-

The Count of Monte Cristo

I am currently page 298 at the time of posting this, but as I have said already in my into I am LOVING this book so much more than I thought I would. Due to its size I thought it would be slow, but I feel like so much happens each chapter. It is mind blowing. I highly recommend this classic.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy-

War and Peace

I am on page 154. Yes, I am making progress in my classic of the year while reading Monte as well. Since I am reading a book every 3 weeks, I have a lot of time to read others books. I have read one peace and one war section and so far I think I am enjoying the peace sections more. I think becasue I am seeing more class distinctions that I learned about when I was in college and I really love how the author made a point of adding those in there to showcase the class system in Russia, but also how they spoke more French than Russian.

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What are you reading? Have you read any of the books I have read or am currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | January 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Well, here I am to share my first monthly wrap up of 2019. It seems like this month has gone slow, but also thrown by for me. I saw my first snow fall of the season, started playing around with programming and painting once again. I feel refreshed as well as have a drive I have not had in some time. I am not sure why the new year sparked this in me, but it has and I am happy about it.

So, as before, some of these books have been previously shown in Middle Mark | January 2019, but I wanted to post a comprehensive wrap-up. If you wish to skip over the books I already talked about I have no problem with that, but I have quite a few more books I read because I ended up reading 11 books.

DividerBooks I Finished

Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

This is a beautiful book, it details so much of the history of magic that influenced Harry Potter’s world as well as a peek into early drafts, edits, and early doodles of the book. Even though I went to the exhibit I still read through this book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. (Originally found here).

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

I absolutely loved this book, I was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking. If you are looking to read a memoir I highly suggest you pick it up. The writing is amazing, there is something about this book that just appalls you, but also inspires you due to the life that Tara Westover has lived. (Originally found here).

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

Best for beginners and those who are not happy with their current bullet journals. If you already have a bullet journal you are happy with you can pass on this book.

For those who are beginners this is a great way to learn about the process and find out what a bujo actually is. It is well organized and I like the take what works for you and leave the rest mentality of the book. (Originally found here).

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

I have read and reread quite a few Sherlock stories. I will admit at this point some stories I will continue to rereading, but others I will never pick up again for one reason or another. Mainly because I did not enjoy the  the thrill of the story. It is a wonderful collection to have. (Originally found here).

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle

4stars

I recently wrote an entire review of this book, you can find that here: REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan. But, I will say overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you. (Originally found here).

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars

5stars

I wrote an entire review of this book, but I will sum it up here. I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel. (Originally found here REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls)

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

3stars

Overall, this was a really good short eerie short story. I can see why it is a classic that people talk about time and time again. But, it also did not wow me like other eerie stories  I have read in the past.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

5stars

This was an amazing read, I am kinda mad at myself for putting it off so the last few months. I really loved the conversation that book brings to the forefront. How it shows a different perspective that I really appreciate being shared with me. I also loved how I could relate tot the it me period this book takes place in. I remember the walkmans, start of the iPods and I really relate to the high prices text messages and minuets used to be. I feel like the mixture of highly relatable aspects as well as seeing a new perspective really  made this such a wonderful book. I highly suggest you picking this up. I feel like I am not articulating myself quite right, but I loved this book.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies: Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them

4stars

I really enjoyed the fact that this book had so many voices and talked on so many topics. There was a mixture of playlists, lists, essays, poetry, interviews and more. It was a wonderful read that allowed me to read the thoughts of some people I know, but also expose me to others I will now be looking into their work.

Another thing I loved was the continued reading section where books are recommended and also a section to workout your own thoughts on feminism. This book doesn’t just talk at you, it starts a conversation. (Originally found here).

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

4stars

I really loved how this seemed to be more of an anthropological look at death as apposed to her other book. I really enjoyed how she explored how cultures within the US and around the world pay respect to their loved ones with no judgement. It really is eye opening how we are all the same species, but we have our own ways we pay respect to those we love. It is comforting that we can all find a way to honor those who came before us. I hope to see more writings by her because I have enjoyed both of her books immensely. (Originally found here).

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

5stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took. (Originally found here).

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

4stars

This book is such an adventure, it starts with a young boy, age 11. Sadly, he is a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados run by two brothers. The author wrote a beautiful book that shows the ugly that is slavery. It talks about awful psychological games played by owners and the bad treatment many had to endure unfairly. I also like how the author showed abolitionists and aspects of the underground railroad. The dangers of faced by those who escaped and freed those who did not belong to them. I also really enjoyed the science, art, and almost steampunk elements. I am honestly not doing this book justice, but I will say it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is well deserved. I also have to agree with the quote on the front of my book calling it a masterpiece.  (Originally found here).

DividerWhat is the last book you have read?

SignOff12:17

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