Wrap Up

Middle Mark August | NEWTs Readathon 2019

NEWTS 2019

We are officially coming to the middle mark of the #NEWTsReadathon! I cannot believe it is already halfway through this fun adventure of a readathon. I have been having so much fun with my exams, I have been liking my reads more than I had anticipated. Now, I don’t want to make this introduction to long, but I am going to review the NEWTs I have passed, my current scores, and give some mini reviews of the books I have read. I hope you enjoy!

OWLs  Passed: Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Muggle Studies, Charms, Transfiguration, Arithmancy


-Mandatory-

Herbology

  • A: Audiobook: Supermarket by Bobby Hall
  • E: Between 350-390 pages: Bringing Down the Colonial by Patricia Miller
  • O: Flowers on the Cover: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson 

Potions

  • A: Friends Fav: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman *cough* Jenna, Reg *cough*
  • E: Yellow on the Cover, Yay Hufflepuff!: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 

Care of Magical Creatures

  • A: Book that stars with A: The Alienist by Caleb Carr
  • E: Under 300 Pages:

-Bonus-

Arithmancy

  • A: Ends in an even number: Needful Things by Stephen King
  • E: Standalone: Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Charms

  • A: Beautiful Cover: Smashed by Junji Ito
  • E: Read a Comic:

-Current NEWT Scores-

Herbology: O

Potion: A

Care of Magical Creatures: A

Charms: A

Arithmancy: A


-Reviews-

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t think I could say this about a series, but I liked this book better than the first. I am not a big romance in books lover unless I specifically pick up a book looking for that. I was happy to say that this book had a lot of action and a lot of stuff going on and love took a back seat. I don’t want to say too much, but the writing was good and I really enjoyed where the story went. I am looking forward to the next one coming out.

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The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1)The Alienist by Caleb Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not disappointed by this 1800s historical classic mystery. The length was perfect, I didn’t feel like there were parts that could have been cut. On top of that the pacing was also wonderful. The array of characters of our main group are great great chemistry, but also realistic.

There are some strong characters in here and some you don’t always feel like you can trust. I love when I find characters I adore, but there is just something a little unsettling. I find that leads me to question a lot more and read more intently to see if I can catch anything. I also loved the use of real historical figures and characters in this book, it really made this historical fiction feel like it was real. I have to say it is one of my favorite things when a historical fiction surrounds people who actually lived.

Overall, this was a great adventure and I am very, very happy that this is a series.I recommend it to anyone looking for a good on your toes mystery. I will warn there is some graphic treatment of children in this story. So if that bothers you this might not be for you.

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SupermarketSupermarket by Bobby Hall

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I hate to say this, but I did not enjoy this book really at all. The writing was almost childish and gave me Catcher in the Rye vibes, but not in the good way. At first I was enjoying this, but as I read more and more I became bored and kinda just stopped caring pretty early on. I only finished this because the blurb sounded interesting and I was hoping it would turn around and this would just be a lull in the writing.

It is jumbled at times and idk, I feel like it needed to be more flushed out before being published. It also needed a better editor.

I feel like Hall with some practice, studies writing, and has a good editor could write something good in the future, so I am not writing him off.

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Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “Powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this nonfiction account of the trial of Madeline Pollard vs Colonel W.C.P. Breckinridge, which took on the inequality in morality between men and women within US society. The author made this case accessible and I was interested throughout reading. I liked how the author described the history of moral judging through US history how it shifted from equal blame during colonial times, to mainly being a woman’s problem. The coverage of the court case was detailed and I also really liked how the author covered the holes and inconsistencies in both arguments. On top of that, I enjoyed how the author described the effects of the court case on women, Madeline, Breckinridge and the futures they lived.

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Everything UnderEverything Under by Daisy Johnson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is going to be a really weird review. I liked the story, but the way it was portrayed irritated me. There are no ” marks, “You” is used so much, the POV was personally aggravating to read. Now all of these are personal preference and does not in any way mean that the book is bad, but it was very much not for me. Also, why do chapters have the same names? I didn’t know these things mattered go much to me until now.

If you read the first chapter of this book or a sample I feel like you will know right away if this book is for you or not.

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Smashed: Junji Ito Story CollectionSmashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had found this sooner. It is just the right mixture of good imagery and scary plots to fly through. Each story stands out on its own, even the few that are related. I can say that I really enjoyed each of the short stories in this collection, which never happens for me. I normally hate or dislike at least one. Some of these are gory so if you don’t like seeing blood, I would not recommend. I will be picking up more of his work in the near future. I am so happy I found some horror manga.

TW: suicide

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Needful ThingsNeedful Things by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another wonderful novel by Stephen King. I really liked the slow build of this novel that intertwines the entire small town. It is very dark at times and can be quite gory from time to time, but physical horror is not all that is present in this novel. There is a psychological aspect to this that really makes you think about human nature and how easily some people can loose their values and morals especially when their hearts desires are on the line.

TW: suicide

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What is your favorite book so far this month?

How are your NEWTs going? Which exam are you taking now?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | July 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Another month, more books read! I have to say I read a lot more this month than I thought I was going to. I think the main reason for this was the #24in48 readathon I took part in. I had such a blast spending two days just dedicated to reading and relaxing. I ended up reading a total of 10 books this month. I have not read that much in a while,  so I am super excited. Following the #24in48 I took reading a little slower due to the fact I did not want to put myself into a slump right before #NEWTsReadathon2019! Anyway, here are the books that I have read this month and a few mini reviews.


Read 2

Don QuixoteDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is quite long, but I laughed a ton. I had no idea how funny and goofy this story was before reading it. I wish someone told me this sooner because I would have read it a long time ago. I will say the audiobook really saved this book for me. While I did enjoy the story and the adventure reading it physically was a bit slower and blah. When I downloaded the audiobook from my library and followed along it really came to life. I am also surprised at how this book held up, I really was expecting it to be more of a relic and distant.

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Red, White & Royal BlueRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book made me laugh, tear up, grunt in frustration, and even sing some Panic at the Disco. This was a really enjoyable novel that is in fantasy land, but also showcases the hard discussions that people sometimes have to make. I was rooting the entire time for our main characters and for reelection.

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The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6)The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so excited to have finally starting reading The Chronicles of Narnia series in its entirely. This is a great place to start and to see the birth of this magical world and story. The writing flows and I love that it is to the point and not dragged on. I am very much going to continue reading.

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Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a CityDeath in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City by Kate Winkler Dawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very interesting account of both a serial killer and the great London Smog. Both of which, were killers. This was a very sad time for London and I think the author handled this topic very well. It gave equal attention to the effects of the fog on the health, safety, and the political climate. It also went into great detail of a serial killer who was targeting women at the same time. The book covered the crimes as well as the court cases, which I think she did a great job with.

Another thing I really liked was that the author really summed up the book. She noted how things changed after the fog and the murders. She followed how things changed decades later as a direct result on the families, political thought, and energy resources.

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is really interesting how I have forgotten so much of the story since the last time I read this book, but it felt like I was going home to an adventure. It was great great fun to annotate my feelings this time around being in my 20s and being so many years after publication. While there were parts I can for sure see the time period very clearly in this book, I still very much enjoyed the adventure.

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The Mouse on the Mile (The Green Mile #2)The Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, I have to say that I have enjoyed this second part of The Green Mile. I can also say that this book truly ends the build up and world building. At the very end things truly start to happen and I can’t wait to jump into part 3 to see what is going to happen on E-Block.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 38

Backlist TBR: 2


What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | July 2019

Middle Mark

I feel like my reading was dragging so much this first half of the month. I had a lot going on and I was pretty stressed out that I didn’t really want to read, which says a lot since that is normal what I do when I want to destress. Anyway, I did manage to read some and I found myself kicking myself for not reading some of them sooner. Also, I am doing better in the stress department so the rest of the month will hopefully will be better reading wise. Here are the books I have read the first half of the month.


Read 2

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This held true to the little blurb on the cover, “Grisly World of Victorian Medicine”. This book goes into great detail into what victorian medicine was, so if medical talk and such bother you, stay away from the book. If you would love to learn more about the progression of science and medicine, please read this.

Lindsay Fitzharris I think does a great job turning this non-fiction topic into a narrative. It read very nicely and flows. I never felt bogged down by fact and stats, even though I learned a ton. The way she broke the novel into chapters also made a lot of sense and were natural breaking points, not that I stopped I read this in one sitting.

I also appreciated that the end notes were organized by not just in order, but labeled by chapter as well. The only thing I wished was that were labeled by a number or letter and not just by the page number since there can be three or more from a single page and I had to flip back and forth from the chapter to the end note to make sure I was looking at the correct source.

Overall, I recommend this book if medicine, history, victorian era and science are something you are interested in, I actually already have this going to a friend of mine.

View all my reviews


War and PeaceWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am finally getting to this review, thanks for waiting!

I have to say, this novel is long, but It not one that can be read slowly. If you take your time details will begin to fall away and it may leave you lost and confused. It is helpful while reading to have a list of characters, I know I needed mine.

I have previously read works by this author, such as Anna Karenina, and loved it more and more as time passed. I found myself thinking about the characters and empathizing and realizing more and more. I really don’t think that will be the case with War and Peace. While I did enjoy reading this and I do not regret it in the slightest, I just feel like I wont think about this book again. I could very well be wrong.

At times I was bored and kept saying, “alright get on with it already” while other times I was laughing so hard at something or very really engrossed. This book was a bit all over the place in that sense for me, that is why I decided to give it 3 stars.

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Mort (Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am kind of mad it took me so long to read a book by Terry Pratchett. The sense of humor, characters, and world are so unique and fun. His take on the character of death is really interesting and I found that even though that this is a story about Death, I laughed a bunch. Mort is a really fun and interesting character as well, it is interesting to think about how a human would react to the situation and choices he was given. It really make you think. I really enjoyed this story and I will be continuing to read the death books within the Discworld series. I don’t really know what else to say because I loved this story and if you enjoy fantasy and a good laugh, I feel like you will really enjoy this.

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The Two Dead GirlsThe Two Dead Girls by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The feeling of this book is really haunting. Part one has really set the tone of this serial (6 parts). It depicts a pretty horrendous crime so you know what type of people our narrator is dealing with, but I am thankful that he has not shared more than he has needed to. I really am enjoying the narrators voice, it is oddly calm, but I can tell something big is going to be shown to me. I am going to be jumping into part 2 as soon as I can.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1)

I just started reading this book last night since I somehow managed to finish two books yesterday, woohoo! I have not started a new series in sometime so I am in a way excited to be reading this, but also not looking forward to the wait  for the next book.  So far I am enjoying the world that I have seen so far. Like I said, I started this book pretty late last night so I am not very far in, but so far so good and I don’t see that changing unless something ridiculous happens.

 


What are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2019

WrapUp12:17

June was a very crazy month for me, I am so I am very surprised at how much I ended up reading this month. I was expecting to read maybe only 4 books, but I ended up reading much more than that.

I will say this month I was very bad about sticking to my TBR, June TBR | 2019, I ended up only reading 1 book on that list until the 24th of the month. Then, I kinda tried to binge the rest of the list. The main reason I did not do to well with sticking my my TBR was my mood reading and the books that became available from my library. Library books always take precedence with me because I can’t keep them and I might not be able to extend my time with it if someone else is in line.

Anyway, I overall liked a lot of the books I read this month, but below is some more details about the books themselves and my thoughts.

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Read 2

The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked the time period this was set in and how it was true to that time period. It showed the hardships that African Americans faced and the horrible treatments that were thrust upon them. I enjoyed the writing style and the theme of bees throughout the story.

I think I have come to realize though, that I do not like stories about young girls who lose their mothers at a young age. I think it is because I have read it so many times or what, but I am just not in the mood or enjoy stories with that plot line.

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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with MeLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have not read a lot of books or comics or anything in a while that dealt with HS aged people. But, I am very happy that I read this. I started reading this as a preview from the publisher on their website, when the preview ended I needed more and got it from my library that thankfully had it. I finished it in one sitting.

The story line was heart wrenching, but heart warming at others. I loved that the characters were raw at times, but the issues that were hinted at and full on explored are real issues that are dealt with every day. I really enjoyed reading this.

On top of the storyline/plot being amazing, the art work was beautiful. I enjoy the style that is used and the color pallet and use of color to highlight certain aspects of the story. You can clearly see a lot of time and hard work went into this graphic novel.

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Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started to read this I started to feel like I was mislead by the title of this book, but that quickly turned around for me when I was about 70 odd pages in. This story had me really engaged for a few reasons. The first being the time period, how can you not want to hear a story about a rock and roll group in the 1970? The second being the format of this novel.

I didn’t know that this was set up as an interview the entire book and I think it really lent itself to the story. I feel like the story would not have been as powerful and I would not have felt as much as I did if it was written another way. Also, if you are into audiobooks, I think this is one of the best I have ever listened to. They have an entire cast and it makes the voices so much more distinct, even through they would be without the audio.

This story talks about a lot of different struggles and it really is a roller coaster, but not the one you would expect from a rock group.

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The Woman in the DarkThe Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am kind of struggling to pin point why this book didn’t blow me out of the water. I think the main reason is because I was able to predict a lot of what happened from very early in the book. I think once I made an assumption and it started to be proven correct I was just kinda meh about it.

I think if you have not read a lot of thrillers this is a great place to start. It is shocking and has quite layers to it. The writing style itself is good and it flowed for sure. One thing I really liked is the fact that I was debating throughout that maybe this is actually happening or it isn’t happening at all. What is reality?

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Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I still don’t like Shakespeare, I am not sure why I keep trying at this point.

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The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great reread and adventure! Not really much to say other than I love this book and this story. It is filled with quirky wonderful characters and takes place in a very imaginative world.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 45

Backlist TBR: 6

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What was your favorite book you read this month?

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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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Read 2

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.

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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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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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Read 2
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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Read 2

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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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | #OWLsReadathon2019

WrapUp12:17

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?

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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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Read 2

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.

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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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Read 2

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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