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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


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

View all my reviews


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

View all my reviews


What is your favorite book so far this month?

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

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TBR

NEWTs Readathon 2019| August TBR

NEWTS 2019.jpg

I am so excited that it is finally August and the Magical Readathons continue once again! This is my second year doing these readathons and I have to say Book Roast does an amazing job. Earlier this year I participated in the Owls, you can find those posts here: Wrap Up | #OWLsReadathon2019 , Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update and April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019. This year I decided to go for Herbology since I have been loving gardening and flowers this year on top of the fact that I am a proud Hufflepuff. I plan on continuing this journey to becoming a herbologist with these exams. Without more ramblings, here are my exams and the books I am planning on reading. Divider 2

-Mandatory-

Herbology

  • A: Audiobook: Emma by Jane Austen 
  • 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


-Bonus-

Arithmancy

  • A: Ends in an even number: Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Just like last year, my most up to date NEWTs News will be over on twitter, but I will be updating half way through the month of August via my Middle Mark post. The readathon will be using the hashtag I know that the readathons official tag is #NEWTsReadathon2019 and the readathon also has a twitter of their own, you can find that here: is @MagicalReadthn.

Best of luck on your exams everyone!

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What NEWTs are you taking? Which profession are you trying to become qualified in? Any fun books you picked to read?

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TBR

June TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello everyone and happy June, the halfway mark in the year. So weird saying that, but it seems to be true we are officially halfway through 2019. This month is shaping up to be the month of rereads. Half of my tbr is rereading two of my favorite series and the other half are standalone novels from two new to me authors. I think I am going to really enjoy myself this month!


-The Books

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • This is one of my rereads, I read this 4 or 5 years ago for the first time and with Tolkien the movie coming out it has really made me want to reread and jump into his world.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

  • This was my Book of the Month pick, I was pulled toward it because it is based off of the life of Varian Fry who tried to save the lives of Jews during WWII.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

  • Do I really need to explain myself with this one? I miss the magic and I want to go back to Hogwarts!

The Women in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

  • This is the June buddy read for Amy, Jenna, Reg and myself. I am very excited to jump into this haunting thriller I happened to come across in the bookstore a week and and half ago.

-TBR Jar Pick-

This month I actually had my boyfriend pick my TBR jar pick and he did not disappoint! He picked The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, which I already talked about above. I am really excited to jump into this tome and I think it is going to give me some hope in humanity and I feel like it might also be an emotional roller coaster. He picked very well indeed.


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

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Tags

Tag | The Liebster Award Vol. 5

TagTimel12:17I was tagged by Kim over at Bookish Kimberly, her blog is a lot of fun to read. She is very kind and her reading taste is wonderful and her reviews are done very well. I highly suggest you checking her blog out.

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Previous installments: The Liebster Award | 2018, TAG|The Liebster Award #2, Tag | The Liebster Award #3, and Liebster Award | Vol. 4.

Rules

  • Answer the 11 questions you’ve been asked
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions
  • Let them know you’ve nominated them

Questions

  1. What is your Top 3 book category and genre?
    • My top three currently would be non-fiction, horror, and thriller
  2. Who is your favorite fictional love team?
    • Hum, this is hard I normally don’t pay too much attention to this, but if I had to pick Jo March and Professor Bhaer because they are so supportive of one another and help each other follow their dreams.
  3. What is your all-time favorite fiction book?
    • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  4. Which quote (from a book) you like best?
    • I think the etsy shop BookQuoteDecor did a wonderful job embodying my favorite quote. Image result for I;d rather have tea than compliments
  5. Which book character would you like to meet and why?
    • I feel like I would love to meet Molly Weasley. She is a very smart witch and I feel like she would have some great advice and would be very kind.
  6. Are there any book series that you REALLY want to read and finish this year? What are those?
    • I would love to reread the Lord of the Rings series this year. I bought the first book a month or so ago to get my butt going.
  7. Which book character reminds you of a living person in your life and why?
    • I honestly have no idea I don’t really ever come across a character that made me think “This is just like so and so”
  8. What is your favorite nonfiction book?
    • My favorite non-fiction read would have to be The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T. J. Stiles. It is a very interesting look into early American politics, business, and also a look at one of the most important men when it comes to industry. While this books focus is on a man, it dives into a lot of the culture and the surrounding world. The First Tycoon - Cornelius Vanderbilt (book cover).jpg
  9. Which book is your least favorite among the mainstream/popular books?
    • I think one of the most “main stream” books I did not enjoy was the Shatter Me series? I read half of the first book and I just could not do it anymore.
  10. If you had to swap places with any book character, who would you choose? Why?
    • I don’t think I would ever do this, you never know what is outside the scope of the story.
  11. Which book would you like to recommend the most and why?
    • The book I recommend the most kinda of changes depending on who I am talking to, but my go to books are; Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Haunting of Kill House of Shirley Jackson, 11/22/64 by Stephen King, The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware, Strange Weather by Joe Hill and Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent.

My Questions

  1. What book is your go to recommendation?
  2. What was the last 5 star book you read?
  3. Goodreads challenge/reading goal for this year?
  4. Where do you do most of your reading?
  5. How often do you use the library?
  6. What genre do you read the most of?
  7. What genre do you read the least of?
  8. Do you dog ear pages?
  9. Do you drink tea or coffee?
  10. What was the last book you you acquired?
  11. What book do you dislike that everyone seems to love?

I Tag

Kathy @  booksandmunches.com

Victoria @ lattenightsreviews.com

Steffy Jay @ littlebooknooksite.wordpress.com

Liz @ travelinretrospect.com

Lara @ https://naijabookbae.com

Emma @ https://twitter.com/askirmishofwit

JJ Crafts @ https://everthecrafter.wordpress.com

Adrianna @ https://romancebookbinge.com

Zo•E @ http://nuggetstumpblog.com

And as always anyone else who wants to answer these questions!

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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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Writing and 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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TBR

April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019

20191.jpg

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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Tags

Tag Time | Unpopular Bookish Opinions

TagTimel12:17

I was so happy when I was tagged by Lexie to complete this tag. I always love reading these types of blog posts and booktube videos. I don’t know what it is about these types of posts that I love, but I think it might be because from time to time someone else has the same unpopular opinions as I do and I finally feel like I am not the only one who feels that way.

Anyway, I was ecstatic to be tagged and I hope you enjoy reading my unpopular opinions!

Divider 2-Tag Questions-

  1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like
    • The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. I tried reading this series, I read about half of the first book and I did not like it at all. I found it annoying. I am happy to say I read and LOVED her most recent book, A Very Large Expanse of Sea.
  2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.
    • I will openly admit I loved the Twilight Series and I am not ashamed of it. I devoured those books, reading one a day. Would I feel the same now? Who knows, but I absolutely loved it.
  3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with  OR an OTP that you don’t like.
    • The book series that stands out to me the most is To All the Boys I’v Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was soooooo mad and after the 2nd book I refused to continue with it. At least I think it was the 2nd one.
  4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.
    • I am not really interested in science fiction, I feel like everyone loves science fiction and fantasy. While I can get into fantasy, science fiction is a lot harder for me.
  5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like
    • Hum, this one is really hard for me to figure out. I don’t think there is a character I flat out dislike, but I do have a problem with Albus Dumbledore because I feel like he was really manipulative.
  6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into
    • This is a hard one, I think if I had to name one I would pick VE Schwab. I just don’t really get excited by the descriptions of her books so I never picked up her books.
  7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing
    • I am really tired of seeing girl in a bad situation and all of a sudden has everything and is super powerful out of luck and never saw it coming. I find it really annoying and if someone is going to become powerful it will be through hard work, not random or an ability randomly found out decade(s) into your life.
  8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading. 
    • The Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard, I tried reading it on an airplane ride when it first came out when everyone was all over it. I gave up after 35 pages or so. I was so bored the rest of the flight.
  9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?
    • I really liked the adaptation of Death Note, not the Netflix one,  more than the actual manga.

      -I Tag-

      JaneKatie, Allison

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Do you agree with my answers? What unpopular opinion do you have?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | January 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

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

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

DividerBooks I Finished

Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

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

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

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

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

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

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

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

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

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

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

4stars

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

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars

5stars

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

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

3stars

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

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

5stars

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

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

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

4stars

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

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

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

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

4stars

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

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

5stars

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

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

4stars

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

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | January 2019

Middle Mark

I don’t know about you, but I am still have a really hard time writing 2019 and we are a full 15 days in. I feel like I am going to be writing 2018 for the next few weeks too. Anyway, I am happy to say that I am really enjoying my reading progress this month. I have surprised myself by being able to track somethings with my 2019 goals, but also I feel like the quality has been good so far as well. For me that is the ideal way to start off a year. Without more of me rambling, here is an update on my reading so far this month.

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Books I Finished

Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

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

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

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

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

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

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

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

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

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

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

4stars

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

DividerI am Still Reading

The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

So far I am reading enjoying this buddy read with Jenna, Reg, and Amy. I have quite a few post-it notes throughout the 94 pages of this book. I really love the feel and atmosphere about this book. I also really enjoy how it is organized. I am looking forward to continuing on with this read.

War and Peace

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

If you have read my post, Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019, you will know it is one of my goals to read this book in 2019. So I am happy to report that I am enjoying the read very much, especially the nods to class specific behaviors of fads during this time frame in history. I also really like the time frame that Tolstoy wrote this book in, full of history and historical figures. I wont be adding updates to this book every middle mark, but I will give an update during my monthly wrap-ups.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this little reading check in!

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What is the last book you read?

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