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.

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SupermarketSupermarket by Bobby Hall

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

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

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

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

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

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Everything UnderEverything Under by Daisy Johnson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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

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

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

TW: suicide

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Needful ThingsNeedful Things by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

TW: suicide

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What is your favorite book so far this month?

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

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Revisiting

Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist 2019

revisiting

Hello everyone today I wanted to share my progress with one of my 2019 goals/challenges. We are in the 5th month of the year, I can’t hardly believe it. I thought it was time to do more of a in-depth look at this goal because it is a bit more than a checklist type goal to me. I see it more as an experience or an experiment of sorts. I personally have never much been one to follow book awards and let them dictate my reading or sway my reading choices. This year I kinda wanted to see if I had been missing out because of this. If you want to see my reasoning for why I picked this reading award, you can see that in my original post; Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist.

Without more of a delay here are my reviews and my reflection on this experience so far!

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-Reviews-

Washington Black

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

View all my reviews


MilkmanMilkman by Anna Burns

I wont give this book a star rating because I could not finish it, it was not for me in the slightest. I picked it up and I was bored nearly right away. I can see how other might enjoy this book, but I did not.

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The Mars RoomThe Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

I can’t give this book a star review, because I did not finish reading the book.

I had such high hopes for this book for a few reasons. The first being the description sounded amazing and it seemed like something I would normally gravitate towards. The second reason being is that it was short listed for the man booker prize as well as other noted literary awards.

The main reason this fell short for me was that it didn’t really capture my attention. That is not to say it was not dramatic, because it very much was, but it just was not something I wanted to pick up again after putting it down.

Don’t get me wrong, this book had a lot going for it and I was rooting for it. It had a great concept of critiquing society and how economics have such an impact on individuals lives. I also felt horrible for the main character because no one should have to go through what she and some of the other women went through. I am glad light was shed on a lot of issues in this book. But, a main character that doesn’t really seem in the story, a plot that jumps around too much, and it all left me looking to do something else.

View all my reviews

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-Reflection-

So far my reading has been mixed with this experiment 1 book has been a win and one has not been a win. I am sitting at 1:2 or 33% success rate. Not the best of scores. I am hoping that it will rise higher the more I read. At this time I have 3 more books to go so there are a lot of chances for me to get a good reading experience.

I am expecting it to go up not just because I have more  books to read, but also because I am fairy interested in 1 of them and I already picked it up. So I am hoping since I own that one I like it. I feel like if I do not like this next one I am going to abandon this goal for 2019. I seem to not really like the types of books that they picked for their winner or their shortlist at this point. Fingers crossed this next one is a winner!

-Remaining Books-

The Long Take by Robin Robertson

The Overstory by Richard Powers – Owned

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? How do you think this experiment will go?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Megan Mullally Book Recommendations

ListsSince I was young I have been a fan go Megan Mullally. I remember sitting up late at night and watching her on Will and Grace and loving her funny character. I have seen many interviews of her throughout the years but since the release of her book with her husband Nick Offerman I have been seeing a lot more. One I saw in particular made me adore her even more.

She was on USA Today and did a book specific talk with Nick. You can find the video online here.  I watched the entire interview and I did not realize that she was an avid reader and kept a list of books she adored on her phone. As a book nerd I can relate to having one of those.

In the interview she was asked what books would you recommend and she pulled out her phone and read off a list that she loved and Nick even commented on enjoying quite a few of them. I thought it would be fun to share the ones from her list that I am interested in reading.

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Stoner by John Williams

Stoner

I found this one interesting because this seems like a wonderfully heart breaking book. I feel like it would be beautifully written and I would be very connected to the main character. I would feel empathy for him and want only his happiness while his like takes some turns.

Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman

I feel like this book would be an interesting read that looks into gossip and how it could be dangerous. I also want to know what happens with the milkman because the description just tells you the main character just has a “encounter”.

We Begin Our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed

We Begin Our Ascent

This books seems like it is about a couple with a bright future that take a turn that no one expected. For some reason I enjoy reading these types of stories not because I want to see successful people fail, but to remind myself that anything is possible and things don’t always look as they appear. I find myself thinking that this book could represent that from the description.

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Flights

I have found that over the years I have not read a lot of translated books, and while this list is filled with them, this one sounded really amazing. I find it hard to put into words what this book is about. It seems almost mythological and whimsical, but also has a deep story to tell.

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While this is not the complete list of books that she recommends, please go watch the interview, it is a great list of books to try. I find that reading books that people I admire read helps me find gems that I would not have found on my own. I am hoping that this idea translates well from my friends and family members, but also to those I have watched as a fan for some time.

Have you ever read a favorite book of a celebrity?

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