Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | April 2022

Hey all and welcome to a bit of a review of the previous month! Spring has officially sprung bringing with it a ton of rain and pollen. While I did really enjoy falling asleep to the steady rain this past month, I am not too thrilled with the pollen that is making me sneeze left and right. But, I will say overall this month has kept me busy in a really good way!

Reading

The first book I read this month was The War of the Poor by Èric Vuillard. I originally picked this book up because I read a book by the author in the past. While I really enjoyed the writing style of this book, I was not too keen on there not being footnotes or endnotes to support their nonfiction book. I will be honest though, I am not sure if the intention of this book was meant to be nonfiction as well so I decided to do a little digging. The reason I had the expectations of this book being nonfiction is due to it’s tags on goodreads; History, Nonfiction, French History, but on the publishers site is quoted as saying, “A dazzling piece of historical re-imaginingPan Macmillan. So, I feel like individuals are mislabeling this historical fiction novella as nonfiction, which is unfortunate. Obviously, this is no fault of the author by any means, but it does change how I see this novella. The writing was engaging to say the least. This was a topic I studied a lot during my time in University, but it was really interesting seeing it portrayed in this manner. Even though I read about this time in history I was not bored or felt like I was experiencing Déjà vu. I read it in two sittings and I only put it down the first time because I needed to get to sleep. Overall, I ended up giving the book 3 stars!

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

I completed two large projects this month, the first being a Ranunculus, my first wearable and I am actually quite proud of it. I ended up wearing it the day after I finished it! I can see why so many people love this pattern, it was a project I never hesitated to pick up and it worked up quite quickly. It had some new things I needed to learn, but I am always open to learn something new.

Ranunculus Sweater – Short Sleeves

The second big project I finished was my Saraya Shawl, which I plan on wearing to a friends wedding later this Spring. This pattern was written by Saysha Greene and was published in Worsted. It was a really fun knit that challenged me, but didn’t leave me burnt out.

Saraya Shawl

Life

This month I did a lot of fun things, especially since the weather started to warm up. I had a really lovely date with my boyfriend to celebrate our anniversary where we got to have a really delicious meal while enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors. Then we adventured to our favorite ice cream shop and enjoyed them while hanging out on a bench talking and people watching.

I also went on a few adventures with my friends. I went to the movies for the first time in YEARS, which was nice because no one else was there really. So the two of us were not holding back our reactions to the movie in the slight, it was funny because the few other people watching the movie did the same thing. Then, with another friend of mine we went yarn shop hopping, I ended up picking up yarn for a few projects I want to make this year. We ended up going to about 8 shops, the discounts were so good I could not resist. I would have bought this yarn anyway, just for later down the line. We also ended up getting takeout after all that shopping and the food was just AMAZING!

This month was really great, mainly because I was able to hangout and create some great memories with others. I really hope to have a few picnics with some of my other friends I need to catch up with in the upcoming months.

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Sign off, thanks for reading!

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | April 2022

Hello and welcome to a new month! Last month I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging and take some times to get some other things done, but I am excited to be back and jump right in with a monthly intent post!

Reading Plans

This month I am really going to be mood reading, I want to read Overlord Vol. 3. I am reading the light novels slowly and they are wild and all over the place and I am enjoying them a lot. I also would love to start and finish
Berserk Deluxe Vol. 1 as well. Other than that I really am just embracing my mood reading and picking things up as I feel like it.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month I would really love to get two projects off of my needles. The first would be the Saraya Shawl by Saysha Greene I only have one repeat of the cables and the edging to do, so I should be able to knock this out by the middle of the month. I am really loving this project so far and the designer, Saysha, is just amazing! The second project I would love to finish this month would be a short sleeve Ranunculus by Midori Hirose. This is my first sweater so I am doing a lot of new things so I will be thrilled if I finish it by the end of the month.

Outside of those two huge projects, I really want to finish my rainbow socks. I got some beautiful rainbow striped yarn in late February and I have been waiting to finish a pair of socks for a friend before casting these on for myself. I just finished those socks so I really want to get my socks made!

Random Goals

This month I just want to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather that is starting to finally start up! I would love to eat outdoors this month and enjoy some good food with friends or loved ones while we all enjoy the beautiful Spring weather before Summer shows up and melts us all.

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | April 2021

Hello and welcome to my mid month reading check in for April! It seems I am still in a reading slump, probably one of the worst in years. I think stress and such in my day to day life is just leaving me so drained I am not really in the mood to pick up a book. I find myself coming home, watching something and crocheting. I am hoping the second half of the month I can beat this slump!


Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & MuJunji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a cute and funny piece from a person I never knew could be so humorous. Normally, this author writes horror manga, which I normally love. I happened to see this in the bookstore and picked it up because it was something different from him. I ended up really enjoying it and reading it on the ride home.

View all my reviews

What have you read so far this month or what are you currently reading?

Any suggestions to get out of this reading slump?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark |April | #OWLsReathaon2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my Middle Mark post for the OWLs Reeadathon! First I am going to be doing what I normally do in these posts, I am going to share my mini reviews of each of the books I read. Following that I will go through the OWLs that I have made progress on. Then, I will share what books I am in the middle of as of writing this post. I hope you enjoy the mini reviews and looking at my OWLs Reathon progress. I am actually quite proud of my progress.


Read 2

Full ThrottleFull Throttle by Joe Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Joe Hill continues to impress me with his writing. But, like any story collection there were some I loved, some I liked, some that were okay and one I ended up skipping.

Overall, this was a really good collection of creepy and disturbing stories. If you enjoy his other works you should enjoy this as well.

View all my reviews


The Girls of GettysburgThe Girls of Gettysburg by Bobbi Miller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really well created fictional novel that interwoven the tales of three different girls that all end up at Gettysburg. I really liked how the author told the experiences of many within these three characters. The writing was donee very well and it was an enjoyable read. I recommend to anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

View all my reviews


They Will Drown in Their Mothers' TearsThey Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am not really sure how to rate or review this book. I feel like something might have gotten lost in translation. But, from what I did read it was very intense sense and the beginning. Plus, reading it was a bit disorienting, but I think that was the point.

Overall, I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t really enjoy reading it either.

View all my reviews


Macbeth Macbeth by William Shakespeare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review to come shortly! I am saving this review for when I do my Shakespeare challenge post later this month, keep an eye out!

View all my review


Norse MythologyNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great collection of Norse Myths. Neil Gaiman is a talented writer and his style and strong voice is present in this collection. It mainly focuses on Thor, Loki and Oden with other Gods thrown in. The selection that Gaiman choose were a good introduction to Norse Myths, but also a good recap as well. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys mythology.

View all my reviews


The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)The Magician King by Lev Grossman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series continues to be vey interesting and engaging. It truly is a great second book to a series. In my eyes a great book in a series continues to demonstrate which I enjoyed about the first one and doesn’t seem like just a filler to get from book one to book three. This book continued to grow the world(s) of this series and maintained its appeal. I don’t want to say much, because it is the second book in a series, but the story has become more complicated and intense.

View all my reviews


Heart-Shaped BoxHeart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have had this book sitting on my shelf for almost a year and I am mad that it took my this long to get to it. This is a true ghost story, but the worst kind of one. It is brutal, but is perfect for a horror read. It has a monster, gore, and an interesting plot that kept me reading.

View all my reviews


Magical Readathon Update

Seer Profession

Ancient Runes – Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title

Astronomy – Night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside

Divination – Third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use random number generator

Animagus Training 

Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside your favorite genre

Potions – Shrinking Solution: book under 150 pages

Transfigurations – Animagus lecture: book/series that includes shape shifting

Magical Shop Management 

Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside your favorite genre

Bonus OWLs

History of Magic – Book that features witches/wizards 

  • The Magicians King by Lev Grossman

Graphics created by @ladette_M on Twitter!

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Currently Reading 2

I am currerntly 74% through Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I am liking this book a lot more than I originally thought I would. I have not been into this type of book for some time and I really only picked it up because I am buddy reading it, but I am so glad that that pushed me into reading it. I only have about a forth of the book to go, so we shall see what my feelings are later on. I am hoping they are good.


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

How are your OWLs coming along? 

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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | BOTM April 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Book of the Month. This month I decided I was going to treat myshelf, see that pun there? I ended up picking two book this month. The first was a book that was actually from March 2020, but didn’t pick it and I have been thinking about it ever since. The other is a pick from April 2020. I don’t know about you, but the past three weeks I have been doing a ton of reading, so I figured the extra book was alright.


Beach Read Description

“Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.” –goodreads.com

 

The Splendid and the Vile Description 

On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments. –goodreads.com


Why These Books

As I said in the into, one of these books I have been thinking about for a month and regret not picking. That book would be The Splendid and the Vile. I love history and reading nonfiction so this book was meant to be in that way. The reason I initially held off was because I never read a book by this author, but doing more research and I see that they author is received well for their nonfiction. So, between to good topic and a well liked author, I am giving it a go!

The second book Beach Read was mainly picked because it seemed like a light hearted read and I have been craving that a bit as of late. Also, I am a fool when it comes to hate to love romances. I always end up loving them so much. So, this was an automatic yes, but on top of that it is about writers! I love this as well, it is always fun to see things you love and enjoy in books.

I am really looking forward to both of these books for very different reasons, but that is the joy of my reading taste…it is all over the place. I really hope to pick this up sooner rather than later.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Do either of these books interest you?

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | April 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to my April Bujo post! This month is actually my last month in this notebook, which is a little sad since there are so many memories attached to it. But, I am kind of execited about my new notebook as well. It feels like a refreshing new start and I kind of wanted to pull that into this month’s spreads. My new notebook has a snake on the front so I wanted to bring the snakes to April as well. Now, without further ado, here is my bujo spreads for April.


Items Used

Archer & Olive Bujo

Tombow MONO drawingpen 05

Inspiration 

thebujophase on instagram


This is my magical readathon spread this time around. I left another page blank if I want to make a progress spread, but I have not made up my mind if I I want to or not. I did want to make a spread with the information for my career and optional training I am trying for. If you want to see the books I picked for this years OWLs, you can see that in my post,  To Be Read | April | #OWLsReathaon2020.

This is my monthly spread for the month. I am giving this new spread a try, using a method called Dutch Door. I decided to have my daily page count present on the peek through. I figured with the OWLs it would be fun.

On the other side of the Dutch Door I put my Blog Notes and my TBR list and a little print out of a snake. I am looking forward to using this during April, it is always fun to try something new.

This month I made my weekly layout a bit different this month. I wanted to give each day its space and its own to do list space. With working from home I really felt the need to keep everything in one place, I am hoping this spread and and cute snake can help me with that.


Do you enjoy snakes?

Are you participating in the OWLs? What are you reading for the OWLs? 

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | April & May 2019

BookHaul12:17

Hello everyone, it has been some time since I posted a bookhaul. I didn’t realize it has been two months until I ran out of room on my cart where I put the books I need to haul officially. Then, I realized I put some on my shelves without actually hauling them… oops. It turns out I acquired more books that I thought I did between treating myself and my birthday this month. The good news is I already read some of the books I hauled and some are replacement copies. So my overall TBR isn’t being completely bogged down.

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-The Books-

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, birthday gift and read.

You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman, unread.

If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley, unread.

Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides, unread.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston, Thank-you Reg! Unread.

Blaze by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King, unread.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien, replacement copy and gift

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, replacement copy and gift.

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick, unread.

Peace and Turmoil by Elliot Brooks, unread.

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan, gift and unread.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, unread.

Classic Penguin by various editors, read.

The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects by John Tingey, read.

The Things I Would Tell You edited by Sabrina Mahfouz, read.

Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill, read.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, birthday gift and read.

Divider 2So over the past two months I acquired 17 books, not to bad for a birthday month and for such a long period of time. Plus, I already read 8 of them already.

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Have you read any of these books? Which one should I read first?

What book have you acquired or borrowed this month?

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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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


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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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | April 2019

Recs

This month I decided to theme my bullet journal around my career goal for this years OWLs and NEWTs Readathon. The first readthon, OWLs, is happening this month and I have settled on Herbology for my career. If you want to see more about that and what books I am reading, you can find that here: April TBR | 2019 OWLs Magical Readathon.

Anyway, like I said I am going for Herbology so I wanted a botanical/magical theme. I am honestly not too happy with the first few pages, but I am going to share them anyway. I just feel like my theme wasn’t planned out to well when I got started so things are kinda all over the place. Anyway, on to my spreads!

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I started off my adding some doodles to my main page for the month. I decided to add a slug, it reminded me of Ron, lavender, and a wand. I also had a dew gold foil flower stickers I added throughout as well.

These two spreads are staying the same, the left is for planned blog posts and the right I will add my full TBR for the OWLs required reading and beyond. I am planning to read the books that are required first then fill in a few more as I go.

My book tracker page is where I make a bar graph type chart of what books I read and when. It is a great visual representation of my reading and I love seeing it. Would you be interesting in seeing a fill out one in the future?

Divider 2On to the OWLs spreads. I kinda left the first one open ended and ready for me to add to as the month progresses.

The left side I glued in all of the OWL challenges. This way if i go beyond my required reads for herbology I can continue to read books that will meet more OWLs. On the right is my habit tracker. I have not really planned what I want to track quite yet, but I usually only track about 5 max other wise I get over whelmed.

This is my main spread for my OWLs, I have my “program” for the year on the top left hand side surrounded by herbology items and specimens. I thought it would be a fun touch to add to my layout. I also like that I can add to it as the month goes on. On the right hand side I have a herbology illustration, which I wish I knew the illustrator because I would add them here. If you know, please tell me so I can add them. I also added the three required OWLs and the books I plan on reading to achieve these. Each square under the title is equal to 10% reading progress. I really enjoy seeing my progress visually so I added the trackers here as well.

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Are you participating in the OWLs readathon? Which books do you plan on reading in April?

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To Be Read

April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019

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It is the wonderful time of year once again, it is time for the OWLs Readathon hosted and created by Book Roast on Youtube. This year she made it even more exciting by create guides for quote a few wizarding professions. I really loved this addition and after a few days of thinking it over I decided to try for Herbology. I thought it would be a good complement to my potion focus reading from last year, TBR | Magical Readathon OWLs Exams, which were built off of her tweet for potioneer last year.

Key Traits as described in the guide, “Gentleness, Patience, Green Thumb, and Intuition”, since I am know to others to be gentle, kind, and very patience and I personally aspire to have a green thumb I thought this would be a good pick for me. In addition, I am a proud Hufflepuff and the Herbology professor is the head of my house! So, between all of those things, I think it would be a good fit. Now, on to the books!

Divider 2Care of Magical Creatures-Land animal on the cover

Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill

Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul

This was a great suggestion by Amy, from Tomes With Tea, I don’t know why I never thought of this book because last year I read another one of the authors collections, Your Soul is a River, and loved it. So I am really excited to have this on my TBR for Care of Magical Creatures. In total there are 3 land creatures that stand out to me.

Herbology- Plant on the Cover

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

This book has been one I have been reading to read for months. I picked it up for my year long goal to read a shortlist. This was on the shortlist for The Man Booker prize. It seems like it is going to be a memorizing and enchanting.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides

This is a secondary choice I am giving myself for this month. Incase I am not in the mood to read The Overstory for one reason or another. This book has been a classic that is much talked about and discussed and I am curious to see what I will think about it.

Potions-sequel

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)

Oddly enough, I looked through my entire owned TBR and this was the only sequel I had. I really have stepped away from series, but I did not think I stepped away from them so much. But, I am happy to get to this book in April. I read the second book in the series in the first part of March and I don’t know why I waited so long to continue. So, I am going to make sure I get to this one sooner rather than later.

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Chances are I will be updating the most frequently on my progress with this readathon over on twitter. I know that the readathons official  hashtag is I plan on hopping onto that to jump in on the fun. From my understanding she is going to have trivia, matches, and a few reading sprints. Anyway, if you are participating study hard and pass your exams!

What Profession are you aiming for? Which books did you pick?

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