Writing and More

Bullet Journal | July 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to my July bullet journal post. This month I changed a few things, but mainly kept things the same. But, I really enjoy the vibe I created for the month by adding a few pictures from a stock photo site and marker colors. I have really started to enjoy photographs in my spreads to set a mood as of late instead of doodles. Anyway, here is what I put together for July!


Items Used

Archer & Olive A5 Garden Sliter Dot Grid notebook

Tombow Dual Brush Pens 312

Tombow Dual Brush Pens 946

Sakura Pigma Micron Pens 01 and 05


On the left I placed my monthly calendar, I really loved highlighting the color green and orange in the picture of the cafe on the right hand page. I feel like it really pulled these two pages together. I picked the cafe because it looked so calming and relaxing with the color scheme of the various shades of green and pop of orange and tan. I also added The Reading Rush to my bujo because I am planning on taking part this year. I am so excited about the challenges this year, they are so fun in my opinion.

The next two pages house four different things. On the left I have my TBR for the month of July listed and a space to write my monthly goals. I also added a mini calendar for reference for the page on the right. On the right I have a vertical calendar were I will mark the days I read and on the right I am going to be adding my blog posts. I carried over the orange and green color by highlighting the titles and lines on the page.

These next two pages are a bit more plain. On the left I picked my oracle card for the month and I left the area around it blank so I have room to reelect upon it. This months card says “I Line in Truth”. On the accompanying page I added a picture of a brown doorway with a ton of plants because it goes well with the oracle card and the cafe picture I previously mentioned. Due to the fact that orange and brown are used a lot I decided to just add highlights with the green marker.

Now, this page on the left is my Books Read that I started using last month. In this spread I doodled a few bookshelves where I will then glue in the covers of the books I finish reading. I will share a picture of it competed below. On the right I added a picture of a window in a greenhouse while it is raining. It matches the green and orange theme perfectly and it is relaxing and a place I would love to read. I love plants and I would love to have a green house at some times in the future and I would love to sit inside during a rain storm and read.

Here is a picture from my bullet journal from last month (June 2020). On the left is a completed Books Read spread where I pasted pictures of the book covers. I really loved this so much more than the lists I was doing in the future. I ended up reading I’m Judging You, The Glass Hotel, Quichotte, Untamed, Prodigal Son, Full Dark No Stars, Twelfth Night, Anansi Boys, and A Darker Shade of Magic at the time of taking this picture.

Here is a picture f my weekly spread I started using last month and it worked so well. On the left I kept is mostly blank so I can add all the good things that happened that week, the only thing I added was a mini calendar and I highlighted the current week the spread is for. On the right I have six boxes each week day has its own and the weekend shares one. I decided to highlight the day of the week and date with the green I have used throughout this month.


What theme are you using this month?

What do you have planned for June?

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TBR

To Be Read | July 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my monthly TBR, where I name some books and chances are I wiill end up reading others ones because I am a total mood reader. Anyway, there are two that I must read for a few challenges, but the other three that are listed here I really want to read. But, as I said I am a mood reader, so let’s see what happens. Here are the books I plan on reading!


The Books

The Tempest by William Shakespeare, this play is my July pick for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I really have no idea what it is about, so I don’t have an opinion on how I am going to feel or a prediction.

March by Geraldine Brooks, I picked this up on vacation in December and lately I have really wanted to read it. I have high hopes because it is Little Women inspired, it is meant to be following the father of that story during the Civil War. Plus, I feel like it will remind me of my vacation and I really miss traveling at this point, even day trips.

The Five by Halle Rubenhold, this was a gift from Reg for my birthday and I am really excited to learn about Jack the Rippers victims because I honestly have no idea who they were, but I know a lot about the crime.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, this was picked for me to read for my Someone Picks My Books series on my blog. I have read books by this author in the past, but I have not read her last one or two. So, we shall see how this one fairs!


What are you planning to reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my June wrap up, wow it feels so weird typing that. Already halfway through 2020. This month was quite an improvement reading wise for me, I actually did some reading. I am not quite sure what happened in May and what put me out of the mood to read, but thankfully it has passed and I ended up reading quite a bit. Here are the books I read, my backlist checkin and my monthly stats!


Read 2

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

View all my reviews


UntamedUntamed by Glennon Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very interesting collection of stories to make up the author’s memoir. I found the stories shared to be heart warming and raw. The author really sharers herself with her readers, but also gives them something to reflect on.

View all my reviews


Twelfth NightTwelfth Night by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to come!

View all my reviews


Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this novel has a lot of potential, it was dark, twisted and let’s face it inspired by one of the most popular horror novels of all time. I really enjoyed a lot about this book, but what lost me was the characters actions. Sometimes I just felt like, wow, they are meant to be detectives? Their actions just were not believable. That aside, I did enjoy parts of it and I am curious enough to be thinking about continuing this series. That is a big deal for me, because I tend to hate series.

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Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1922-5/5 psychological and dark real world horror

Big Driver-2/5 the assault is r*ape.

Fair Extension-3/5 – interesting, but I wasn’t really feeling it.

A Good Marriage-5/5 Just when you thought you knew someone completely, another story were man is the true monster.

View all my reviews


Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really interesting story sett in the same world as American Gods. It was a twisting tale and as always Gaiman has a way with words. As always the writing was done very well and the story was imaginative to say the least. The reason I took a few stars off it because there were a few parts I became bored with, but over all I really did enjoy it. If you liked American Gods, I think you will like this as well.

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Before the Coffee Gets ColdBefore the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this and I really want to read more from this author. I really liked how the author mixed the magical with the mundane to create such a heart warming story.

View all my reviews


Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 6


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

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Goals

Reflection | 2020 Goals, 6 Month Checkin

Reflection

Hello everyone and welcome to my 6 month 2020 goals check in. I cannot believe that wee are halfway through 2020 already. Anyway, I am going to keep this short and sweet and just get into the goal. The thing is I wanted to give you a bit of a heads up. I am writing this blog post in advance so my numbers might be a tad bit higher in real time.


The List

  1. Read a shortlist: Man Booker 2019
    • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, Not really excited about this one…
    • ✔️Ducks, Newburyport  by Lucy Ellmann
    • ✔️Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
    • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
    • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie Owned
    • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak Owned
  2. Read 50 books, 55 books read. 
  3. Read all backlisted books, 46 books in all. Down to 10.
  4. Read 30,000 pages. Read 20,068 pages so far. 
  5. Read 16 nonfiction books. Read 8 so far. 
  6. Read 16 books from the library. Read 7 so far. 
  7. Read a book from each continent
    • ✔️North America: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
    • South America
    • ✔️ Europe: Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • Asia
    • Australia
    • ✔️Antarctica: The Magicians by Lev Grossman 
    • Africa
  8. Read a book recommended by Joe Hill or Stephen King
    • The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
    • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Purchased 
    • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
    • Frankenstorm by Ray Garton
  9. Read a Shakespeare play a month, you can join the fun by going to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.
    • January: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    • February: Othello
    • March: Hamlet
    • April: Macbeth
    • May: The Taming of the Shrew
    • June: Twelfth Night
    • July:
    • August:
    • September:
    • October:
    • November:
    • December:

Reflection

  1.  I read two of these books and did a review here:Reflection | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1. I picked up two more I am veery excited to get to. Two I still need to buy or get from the library. One I am really not looking forward to it The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I read the first book and I did not like it at all. I am technically a little behind on this one, but I am not too far behind.
  2. Did it!!
  3. I only have 10 more books to go, so I am very excited about that, I thought I was going to have a lot more left on my TBR.
  4. I am more than halfway to my page goal, yay! This is always the goal I am more worried about since I can’t just read short books, manga, or graphic novels to just pump up my numbers. I need to put in the reading work for this one.
  5. I am exactly at the halfway mark for reading 16 non-fictions books. I am really happy to be on track for this one. I have been really in the mood to learn lately and I feel like I will have this goal done very soon.
  6. With everything going on with a pandemic, my library was closed for a very long time so I was not able to borrow from them too much. I could request ebooks, but the ebook waits have sky rocketed since that is the only option for many people. I am not too worried about this goal though since I am not too far off.
  7. I am halfway through this one so I am very much on track. I also have the 3 books in mind I am going to be reading. So, I think this is another “win”.
  8. I picked the book I am going to read and purchased it, I just need to get my butt in gear and actually read it.
  9. As for this year long challenge I am very much on track. I was kinda worried I would have given it up at this point.

How are your goals going?

Have you decided to change any of yours or introduce new ones?

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TBR

My Owned TBR | June 2020

Owned TBRHello and welcome to my little post about my owned TBR. Last June I shared a post called My Owned TBR | June 2019, I figured it would be fun to look back and see how my list has changed over the last year. I am also going to be doing something a little new, so please let me know if you like it!


2019 Owned TBR

Here is my Owned TBR from last year. At this point in time I only had 44 books on my my shelf that needed to be read. Looking back at this list I can see that I read or unhauled every single one of these books and that kind of blows my mind.


My Current Owned TBR

  • Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman – A wonderful gift from Ariel!
  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore
  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore
  • House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas – suggested reading
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore

I hope you liked this type of writing and comment on my book stacks. I figured I have Procreate, I might as well use it now and again for my blog. Anyway, that is my owned TBR list. I have a total of 33 books, less than I had this time last year I feel like that is a win for two reasons. The first being my TBR is going down and second I want to get my TBR to around 5 by the end of the year. I decided to give To Be Read Time by Read it Forward to see how long it would actually take me to get my TBR to 0. According to this and if I keep up my reading pace of finishing a book every 3-4 days I will finish my TBR by October of this year. I am tempted to give this a shot so I might be posting more about owned TBR list.

What books are on your TBR?

Are any of these books on your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | June 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid-month reading check in! This month is already off to a wonderful reading start. Last month I read so little I didn’t even post a Middle Mark post, but today I can happily say I read enough to warrant a post. At this point my reading has spanned both non-fiction and fiction as I make efforts to better educate myself and continue to grow. Now, on to the books!


Read 2

I'm Judging You: The Do-Better ManualI’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As the descriptions says this book talks about “all of the topics your mama told you never to bring up at polite dinner parties.” There were a wide range of topics in this book from social media sharing to race. But, they were all important ones that needed to be addressed. The author does a really great job of writing no-nonsense and felt like a friend was talking to you. I realized a lot while reading this book and I highlighted so much that I want to go back on and reflect some more.

View all my reviews


 

The Glass HotelThe Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The major theme of this book is moral and moral compromise. Throughout this story many characters are faced with making a decision and coming to terms with their own morality or lack there of. This could be getting into a relationship with a wealthily man not for love, overlooking how greedy they really are. This was an interesting read for sure, but I thought it would not be so focused on the 2008 economic disaster. I thought it would have been more balanced between the three settings put forth in the description. Regardless of this, as I said, this was an interesting read and I did not regret it at all.

View all my reviews


 

QuichotteQuichotte by Salman Rushdie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I really liked this book it addressed a lot of issues in our society when it comes to both race and mental illness. I recommended this to quote a few people after reading this retelling of sorts of Don Quixote. But, it is more than a retelling, as I mentioned it address quite a few topics, but does so as a magical realism novel mixed with a couple other genres.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

I am currently reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I am enjoying it a ton and I should be finishing it today at some point.  I am sitting at around 60% and that chunk I read in one sitting, soo you can see why I am so confident it is going to be finished today. After I finish this I am going to be jumping into my buddy read with Jenna and Reg, we are reading Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz, I have never read a book by this author so I am really intrigued.


What was the last book you read, did you like it?

How are your reading month coming along? 

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | May 2020 | Book Haul

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my May Read 5, Buy 1 challenge recap and haul. Earlier this month was my birthday and I did a seprate haul, which you can read here: Haul | Birthday 2020 . I am not counting these books towards by challenge because, well I didn’t buy them. Pretty amazing people were kind enough to buy them for me. But, that does not mean I didn’t buy anything for myself. I can never go a month without adding to my TBR myself! Now, on to the breakdown.


The Breakdown

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

  • The Book of Longing by Sue Monk Kidd

 

 


Extra Books

After I posted my birthday haul I actually got another book as a present and I was very pleasantly surprised. It was The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold thanks to Reg!  I have been interested in this story for as long as it has been out it seems like. Thank you!

So, did break my Read 5, Buy 1, but only by one book. I ended up picking up A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. The reason being is that with this series I always buy the next book in the series when I start reading one. So, I just ordered it without really thinking about it oops.


 Overall, I think I did pretty darn good! I only bought one extra book this month for myself and my owned TBR is down to 26 books, which is a great amount and it heading downwards still.

What does your TBR look like?

What books did you recently haul from the library or bookstore?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | June 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to another look into my bullet journal. The past month has been fun breaking in my new one. The pages are starting to fill in nicely and it isn’t looking so pristine anymore. This month, like last month, I wanted to try a new weekly layout and a few new spreads I felt like they layouts I had worked well in theory and in some cases, but some of them were just not as practical. So, without further delay, here is what I did for the month of June! Wow, June already.


Items Used

Archer & Olive A5 Garden Sliter Dot Grid notebook

SAKURA Pigma Micron Pen Set  01

Kraft paper

Unknown orange – label rubbed off.


Here is my dashboard page, this month I decided to to a more horizontal layout to my calendar. Last month I tried a vertical layout and while it looked cool, but it wasn’t really practical for what I needed it to do. So, I changed it up to this. I also am using art that is from Plant Based Bride, who I have been following for some time. Her stuff is just amazing. I decided to print it on kraft colored printer paper this month to warm up my bujo a bit.

Th8is month I decided to take about my pages a day spread, I did like no reading in May, well a lot less than I have been so far this year. I just didn’t like how it looked without being so filled in. I kept my TBR list about the same and then added monthly goals. On the right side I added a social media planner of sorts just to keep track of it a bit better. In May I forgot to write a few posts on time and they were a bit late and I was not too please with myself. I also decided to try this reading tracker and just mark the days I read, almost like a habit tracker.

This month I decided to take a book out of Books with Chloe reading journal and track my reading for the monthly by printing out little pictures of book covers and gluing them in my bujo. I doodled a few shelves for them and hopefully there will be a few here. I also put another piece of art from the same author above. I really loved the feel of these pieces it gives me a roman feel.

On the right is another piece from Plant Based Bride, I wanted to keep this spread pretty blank. On the right is going to be a picture of this months oracle card for my to reflect upon. I did not pick it yet so I left it blank. I am just going to scan it and print it out and then doodle my thoughts around it as them come throughout the month.

Now, here is the weekly layout I am giving a try this month. This spread is taken from Shayda Campbell. I really liked how this weekly spread focused on a reflecting on ones week. In her adaptation she put a place for a good memory, miles or km run I think, and really structured the reflection more than I personally wanted to. So, I took her idea and just left it open for myself to just do as I pleased. I also noticed at this point in time I don’t need a box for each day of the weekend and I can just join them together.

Also, this month I decided I wanted to take part in a low key readathon and I really saw a ton of great ones, huge thanks to those who let me know over on twitter! I ended up picking the FeelGoodathon. I liked that you could either follow reading prompts or self care prompts for this readathon and the fact it is two weeks. If you want more information you can check out their twitter here: @feelgoodathon. I decided since it was a readathon I wanted to track my pages a bit at this point or maybe just the books read each day. I figured I would put both here and not pressure myself to write both if I didn’t feel like it, which I feel like goes well with this readathon.


What theme are you using this month?

What do you have planned for June?

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TBR

To Be Read | June 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my June TBR! I am actually excited for the month of June for a few reasons. We are officially in the last month of the first half of the year, which is a bit mind blowing. On top of that I feel like it will be a nice fresh start for my reading since it was a bit subpar last month and I am actually not forgetting about my ebooks for once! I don’t want to ramble this month, but I really feel like it is going to be a great month. On to the books!


Physical Books

The first book is going to be a mystery one that was picked for me by Melinda from Basement Bookcase. It is a new to me author and something that is very outside my normal reading so I am excited to see how it works out.

The first book pictures is Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Last year I read my first book from him and I really fell in love with his writing style. Plus, one of my goal this year is to read a book recommended by one o my favorite authors and this was on Joe Hill’s list. So, I get to read a book by a great author and cross a 2020 goal off of my list.

Next I have Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King, which is the Stephen King book that I have had on my owned TBR the longest and I am in the mood for something scary so I am picking this up. I am not really sure what to expect because I completely forgot the description at this point. I just remember picking this up at The Strand in NYC at last years Bookcon.

Twelfth Night is my Shakespeare pick for June, I really don’t have a ton of thoughts on this just yet.

Lastly I am buddy reading Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz with Jenna and Reg this month. I have never read anything by Dean Koontz, but I know they are a popular author and I am always seeing their name everywhere so I am excited to give them a shot.


Digital Copies

I have really been neglecting my digital books as of late and I really need to get to them. So, this month I want to read three of these.

The first listed here is The Devil in the White City by by Erik Larson. This story shares some of what transpired around the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, including Americas first serial killer. It is a morbid one, but I really want to know more about the World Fair because I hear about it often, but also about this criminal history.

The second book is I’m Ju I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi. The tag line “Perfect for starting important and meaty discussions about all of the topics your mama told you never to bring up at polite dinner parties.” really sold me.

Lastly, we have Your Goddess Year: A Week-by-Week Guide to Invoking the Divine Feminine by Skye Alexander. I have always been interested in leaning about the gods and goddesses from a wide range of civilizations. I feel like a lot of them are not talked about a lot because they are not part of the major circles of gods we study in school so I am excited to learn about 52 new ones!

I just noticed that all my ebooks were nonfiction! This really excites me because I have been meaning to read more of it since I read none last month.


What are you planning to reading this month?

Have you read any of these books, did you like them?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to this months reading wrap up! This month has been a stand out for me for this year and not for the best reasons. This year I have managed to read double digits every single month before this month, this month I struggled to read what I did read. I am not really sure what the reason was, I was not in a reading slump. I think I was just tired, I am not really sure how to explain it. I tried to turn it around in the later part of the month by doing a challenge, you can read about that in my post called, Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed. This was nice because it kind of restarted my habit of reading, I am thankful I gave it a go. Well, even though this was not the best reading month, I still managed to read a few books and here they are!


Read 2

The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since this is the fifth book in the series, I don’t want to say so much. But, I will say that this is a wonderful continuation of the series. As always the writing is wonderful, the research put in is apparent, and the characters are still written amazingly.

View all my reviews


The Taming of the Shrew (Barnes  Noble Shakespeare)The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, this was a pretty alright read. There were parts that I really disliked about this play. First how t8765423533523242e “shrew” is treated really kinda pissed me off to no end. I might have annotated this with a few “WTF!” throughout. I did like the other aspects such as the “pretending”, I wont say more than this because I don’t want to ruin this play for others. Honestly, part of me wants to rate this lower than I have as more time passes. Might come back and do that.

View all my reviews


MooncakesMooncakes by Suzanne Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a wonderful graphic novel. I loved the relationship characters, a plot through and through.

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MiddlegameMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually wrote up a whole review on this book for a my series called, Someone Picks My Books. If you want to hear all of my thoughts and why I enjoyed it so much please check out my review here: Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

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The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3)The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fantastic end to the series and it took some surprising turns and new characters. I felt like a lot of growth happened between book 2 and 3 for quite a few characters as well. I really liked how a lot was resolved, but also the ending leaves a lot open as well to let you think of what might have happened.

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Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really loved the use of novels and story telling throughout this novel and how it impacted the main characters imagination. This was a very good novel and I enjoyed reading it immensely. I might even like this more than Pride and Prejudice.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 10


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

How did you do in your OWLs? 

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