Wrap Up

Wrap Up | August 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up for August!  This month I had a little bit of time off of work and I took full advantage by spending quite a few days sitting in bed reading, which I have not done in a while. As a result I read all these books and found a few I absolutely love! Also, a bit of a side note, this is my first post using wordpress’ new format and I have a feeling I might have messed up the formatting, it is really hard to tell. 


Read 2

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American SlaveNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

His well chosen and powerful words speak for themself.

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The HungerThe Hunger by Alma Katsu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a very intriguing, imaginative and haunting horror. Not only was this horror atmospheric, but it mixed “real world” horror and monster based horror. This mixed with history only made it just seem even more real. The writing was well done, the pacing, characters, and relationships were all done so well. I will be trying more books from this author in the future.

View all my reviews

American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSIAmerican Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my second book by this author and I am pleased that I still enjoy their voice. This was a very interesting look into not only an individual, but also the early field of forensics in the US. This was well researched and also commented on methods used in the past, but also today. It gave a wonderful broad picture of crime science, but it really put into perspective historical true crime that I have previously read. It dd this by going over key cases in Heinrich’s career. If you enjoy true crime, I think you will enjoy.

View all my reviews MarchMarch by Geraldine Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting read that follows the father in Little Women through his young years where he meets Marmee and his time during the Civil War. I really loved this imagined way the enlightened parents met, combined in education, emancipation, and ideals.

They way the author explored Mr. March’s life was very interesting and explored the time period more so than Little Women could at the time. Not only did the book explore slavery and its affects, the underground railroad, survivors guilt, it explored the background to a book I didn’t know I wanted. The author is a talented writer and I will be looking into their other works.

View all my reviews Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness (A New Edition of the Tarot Classic)Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness by Rachel Pollack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the best if not thee best tarot book I have read. It explains the symbolism within the cards as well as relates the meanings of the cards to stories and tales. I think this is a great book for someone starting or someone who have read for a while and wants a very detailed and well done review of the cards meanings and history.

View all my reviews Assassination Classroom, Vol. 01Assassination Classroom, Vol. 01 by Yūsei Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not really sure how to review this because I watched the anime first so I already have a connection to the characters, but I still really enjoy the illustrations and sense of humor while reading it as a manga.

View all my reviews Assassination Classroom, Vol. 02: Time for Grown-UpsAssassination Classroom, Vol. 02: Time for Grown-Ups by Yūsei Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Continues to have a good sense of humor, good plot, and good characters.

View all my reviews

 


Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 0


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

Mine was The Hunger by Alma Katsu or Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. 

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To Be Read

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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Hauls & Unboxings

Read 5, Buy 1 | March 2020 Haul

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to another check in for my Read 5, Buy 1 challenge. I don’t know about you, but I have really had the itch to buy as of late and I will admit it, I went a bit above my Buy 1, but thankfully not by much! The ones I did go and buy that were not covered by my Read 5, Buy 1 were all Shakespeare plays for my Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. So, they were books I would have had to buy anyway. Anyway, here are the books I read and the books I bought in March!


The Breakdown

Alexande Hamolton by Ron Chernow

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepety

Bought: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silvere

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley HarpA Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

Queen’s Gambit by Bradley Harper

Journey to Jo’burg by Beverley Naidoo

Angel Mage by Garth Nix

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Bought: The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Full Thottle by Joe Hill

The Girls of Gettysburg by Bobbi Miller

Bought: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas


Extra Books – Shakespeare 2020 Challenge

King Lear by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare


Overall, I don’t think I did too badly with this challenge. I read 15 books, but I only added 9 books so my Owned TBR as a whole has gone down this month. A win in my book! I am hoping with the OWLs in April I will be doing even more reading, but so far I have done a bit of ebook buying this month. So, we shall see how this social distancing affects my book buying and my TBR.


Are any of these books on your TBR?

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | March 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up for March. This month I was very happy with the amount of books I read, I am keeping up with my pattern of double digits! I don’t want to make a huge introduction because I am not really in the mood to write currently, but here are the books I read this month!


Read 2

Journey to Jo'burg: A South African StoryJourney to Jo’burg: A South African Story by Beverley Naidoo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*Book given by the publisher via aWunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review*

If you are looking into a read that would help expose your children to this part of history, I would say that I think this is a good option to explore further. It was a quick read, the plot was well done and I felt like it handled the explanation of this part of history well for the intended audience. Full Review: Book Review | Journey to Jo’Burg by Beverley Naidoo

View all my reviews


 

Angel MageAngel Mage by Garth Nix

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved the Sabriel series and his writing. Even in this book I enjoyed the writing a ton, but I just couldn’t really get into the story and I am having a hard time pin pointing why. It was a unique and unlike anything I have read so I wasn’t bored by the predictability or anything like that.

View all my reviews


 

Nothing to See HereNothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just could not get into this book, it was a very interesting idea though. It just did not pull me in and I had to kind of trudge on instead of reading fully because I was enjoying it.

View all my reviews


 

The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)The Magicians by Lev Grossman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I was really expecting to not like this book so much because it is always said to be the “adult harry potter”. I mean a lot of people say a lot of books are like harry potter and I have always been disappointed. So, my expectations weren’t very high.

Well, I ended up really loving this book, that description was very accurate. I was surprised by how many years were in this book and how unlikable some of the characters ended up being, but I really enjoyed the ride. I also loved the nods to Terry Pratchett and Narnia. This really was a magical book and I am excited that I have the boxset waiting for me and that I am buddy reading the rest of the series.

View all my reviews


 

Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so glad I bought book 2 of this series. I will be honest the netflix adaptation didn’t really pull me in, but I really liked the idea so I gave the book series a shot. Well, I loved it so much more. The flow was a lot bette and I was able to track things.

Also, the writing is just wonderful and so imaginative. I feel like if I keep writing this review I will just keep blabbing on about how much I loved it.

View all my reviews


 

HamletHamlet by William Shakespeare

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Overall, I don’t regret reading this play. Did I love it? No. Was it my favorite? No. Did I absolutely hate it? No again. I did enjoy the creepiness and the exploration  such deep feelings, even if they were exaggerated for the sake of the play. This was very average in my book. Full Review: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | March

View all my reviews


Middle Mark Books 2

Queen’s Gambit by Bradley Harper, my rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper, my rating: 4 of 5 stars

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, my rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, my rating: 3 of 5 stars

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky, my rating: 2 of 5 stars

Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar, my rating: 4 of 5 stars


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 22


Reading Stats

  • Number of Books: 12
  • Number of Pages: 4,296
  • Fiction: 12
  • Nonfiction: 0
  • DNF’ed: 0
  • Ebook: 0
  • Audiobook: 0
  • Paperback: 7
  • Hardcover: 6
  • Library: 1
  • Owned: 11
  • 5 Stars: 1
  • 4 Stars: 6
  • 3 Stars: 2
  • 2 Stars: 3
  • 1 Star: 0

What was your favorite read of the month?

What was the last book you read in March?

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Bullet Journal, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | March 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to another month and another look into my bullet journal! I am very excited about this months spreads because they are all inspired by my new adventure I am starting this month. I go into a bit of detail in my post Let’s Talk| A New Language Adventure. So, I wanted to really inspire myself because I feel like it takes a month to make a habit, so I wanted to make sure I stayed inspired and reminded to take even a few moments a day to study. Now, here are the spreads I am using this month!

So, this month I really wanted to create a calendar to refer back to because I feel like I was missing it mainly because when I needed to make appointments and such it was a bit of a pain flipping through a bunch fo pages. This way, I can quickly look at one page and have all of the information I need and I can add it to my weekly spreads later. I decided I wanted to add some Korean to my monthly spread, so I labeled the month and days in Korean. Since I am just starting to learn I added the pronunciation at the bottom oof each day. I am really in love with how it came out.

I once again am adding my tried and true reading log and tbr page I have been using for months and I absolutely adore. So, since I use it every month I am going to keep it. I am going too put a picture of a completed spread below.

Here is a completed version of my book/reading tracking tbr page.

I decided to add my blog notes and posts into my bullet journal. I still have a separate planner for it, but sometimes I just like to have everything in once place instead of just spread around when I am writing on the go. I feel like that is why I have been “behind” on my blogging this month. So, this is my way of trying to fix it. I also decided to put a picture from Korea on the right hand side.

So, I decided to mix up my weekly spreads this month. On the left I decided to make my spread two columns instead of just one. I feel like I just wanted to change it up a bit and I wanted to add a bit of color. I decided on this color because it was a matches the color in the picture on the previous page.

So, this is the last new page of my bullet journal this month. I decided to have a bit of a tracker for my. Korean study. Since I am using the Talk to Me in Korean series I wanted to make sure I marked my progress and everything like that. I know I am personally motivated by seeing this type of progress.

So, there is my bullet journal for the month of March. I am really excited to use it.


What theme are you using in your bujo this month?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | March 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to another TBR post! This month I am keeping my TBR nice and small so I can have some random picks as the month goes on and also not put too much pressure on myself because as many of you know I am starting to study a new language. But, I still want to keep reading and I am really excited about the books on my list!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman, I am buddy reading this with reading this with Reg and Jenna this month. This has to be a series I have been interested in this series for what feels like years. I am expecting to love this book so much I actually bought the series bundle.

Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo, I have been reading this book on and off since January. The main reason I have been reading this book for so long is because I thought I lost this book, turns out it was in my trunk. When I was reading it, I was really enjoying it so I am happy to have found it.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, this is my March Shakespeare of the month for my Shakespeare challenge, if you want to know more about this, check out my most recent installment, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February. I am a bit worried about this one, I feel like the tragedy were my most disliked. plays when I read them in high school, but this is one of the most popular one of them all. So, I am hoping that this one wont be as bad as I think it is, fingers crossed.



What books are you planning on reading this month?

What book are starting the month with?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | Last One of 2019

BookHaul12:17

Welcome to my last haul of 2019, I still cannot believe I am writing that. Anyway, before the year finished up I wanted to post my book haul from the second half of December, I went a little over board with my holiday money and used my gift cards well. From this point on I am officially back on my Read 5, Buy 1, which if you want to learn anything about, you can do so here: Read 5, Buy 1 Series. Anyway, here are the books I added to my owned TBR! 


American Dirt was a hand me down from a friend, I am so thankful for! I have been seeing so many people saying great things.  Girl Woman, Other is a book I am very excited to get to, I feel like it is going to be heart wrenching and powerful, it was also awarded The Man Booker Prize 2019. Civil War Wives is a non-fiction I am excited to jump into, it was an area that was much overlooked in my education and I wish to explore it further. Were the Crawdads Sing has been recommended to me so many times I lost count. Some of these you will be seeing in upcoming series, so keep an eye out!

The Girls of Gettysburg is along the same line as Civil War Wives, I really want to dive into the lives of women who witnessed or partook in the Civil War. It really was overlooked and I know there is a lot to explore. Agatha Christie collection was from my Coffee and a Classic Box, sadly the last one I will be getting. I loved the box, but I needed to make some cuts and save some more money. I will miss it greatly. I will say, I am happy to end with this box because Agatha Christie is one of my favorite mystery writers. Last in this picture is Mythos, I have been on a huge myth swing as of late so I needed to add another one to my TBR.

Here is a Celestial Atlas I picked up and I am in love with. It is so beautiful with stories about all the constellations. Next is a very short book no mourning in the 1800s, I have always been intrigued with how society deals with this topic and how it has evolved so when I saw this I added it to my pile. It also gives me Caitlin Doughty vibes and I just love her books and her youtube channel called Ask a Mortician.

Here are a few more Shakespeare plays I am adding to my collection and for the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, which I went on about in my post Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you want to join in on the fun I created a goodreads group or you can just follow along on my blog. In January I will be reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


What books did you acquire during the month of December?

Have you read any of these books? Do you think I will like them?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | March 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

The second half of this reading month was a bit slower than the first half. The main reason is I was super tired and had no down time until the last week of the month. Since then I have picked up some new yarns to crochet and listened to a few audiobooks.

This month, even though the second half was a bit much, I read more than I have in February, where I read only 4 books. This month I was able to read 5 books, yay progress! Plus, one of them was The Count of Monte Cristo, so I feel like I read A LOT, especially if I look at it page wise. Now, on to the books!

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Read 2

Neverworld WakeNeverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before I started to read this book, I love the idea of this book. Now that I have read it I can happily say the execution of this story was wonderful. The author is a very talented writer and did a great job with this novel. The authors were interesting and their personalities were interesting. The shenanigans the characters went through were sometimes so out of this world, which for the idea of this book, that makes a lot of sense.

I really enjoyed the mixture of thriller and science fiction. The intertwining of these two generous was done masterfully in my option. Her writing had me hooked on this book, I needed to know what happened next.

View all my reviews


The Thing Around Your NeckThe Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second work I have read by Chimamanda and I really enjoyed this collection of stories. Each story revolves around a women that is forced to face unfortunate situations in both Africa and the United States. The theme of family, identity, and culture intertwines each of them.

Her writing is beautiful, the struggles broke my heart, and the internal and eternal struggle these women had to face were eye opening.

I will be reading more from her in the future.

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Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to read about the books I read in the first half of March in more detail, you can find those here: Middle Mark | March 2019.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, 5 stars

If, Then by Kate Hope Day, 4 stars – received from publisher

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, 4 stars

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Currently Reading 2

The Things I Would Tell You: British Mu…

The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write Edited by Sabrina Mahfouz 

I am currently about 22% through this book as of writing this late on the 30th of March. I picked this up on a whim at my local bookstore because I had a coupon and gift card. I previously have heard about it. The title alone sounds like these are short stories and poems that are meant to truly share their experiences, their feelings, hopes and dream, but also their fears. As of right now each ones of the poems and stories are powerful in their own way and I cannot wait to read more after I finish typing this up.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 41

Current Backlist TBR: 18

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What book did you read and love this month?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | March 2019

BookHaul12:17

I will be the first to admit, I come into way to many books since my last haul, Book Haul | January & February 2019, which was two months combined. I am not sure what happened, but I think I am prone to stress buying. Anyway, this book haul with be a few books I picked up at the end of February and all of the books I have picked up up until this point in March. I did order another book for #OWLsReadathon2019 since I had none that met the requirements, so it wont be in the picture, but it will be mentioned.
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-The Books-

  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, I picked this up at my local independant bookstore because I was in the area. I try to help them out as much as I can.
  • Catapult by Emily Fridlund, this is the second book I picked up at the indie bookstore
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, this was a preorder I put in months and months ago. I think I preordered it as soon as you could honestly. I loved her Bone Season series and her writing style so I wanted to see how her adult fantasy was.
  • Where’d You go Bernadette by Maria Semple, I picked this up to help with my reading goals, you can find my most recent update here: Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In, this book covers Antartica if many lists on goodreads are to be trusted. lol.
  • The Butchering Art by Lindsay Fitzharris, this book about very early medicine and how they pretty much just butchered people in the earlier days has been on my radar for some time and with the BN sale earlier in the month I picked it up for 50% off.
  • Elevation by Stephen King – This was a very nice library find that I picked up for $1.00. I was very happy about this because this is a very tiny books, yes a tiny book by Stephen King, but I did not want to pay full price for it.
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This was my BOTM pick for March, you can find all my reasons for picking here: Book of the Month| March 2019.
  • Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop, I was went this book by the authors team. I read the description and I think it is really intriguing.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein, I have previously read this and owned this, but my old edition needed to be replaced before I can reread it.
  • The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, this book is a combination of my friend Amy, from Tomes With Tea  raving about it and it being on my radar for some time.
  • Skin Deep by Liz Nugent – Liz Nugent is one of auto buy authors, whom I just love. I will be buying a second copy of this when it comes out in the US so I can support her as much as I can.
  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, this I was able to get for free from a coworker and I have seen it for quite some time and it seems really interesting.
  • Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill, so I was in need for a book meet a requirement for Care of Magical Creatures-Land animal on the cover in this year I reached out to Amy, from Tomes With Tea,
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama, I have been wanting to read this, but the price was a bit too high for me. I was able to find it on sale and I jumped on the deal.

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So in total I added 14 books to my collection this month. Oops! 

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Are any of these on your TBR?

What book have you acquired or borrowed this month?

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Reading Challenges

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In

Reading Goals NEW

I cannot believe a quarter of the year is nearly already over, but you know that means it is time to check into my yearly goals to see my progress and see if I need to adjust myself to reach my goals. If you want to see the entire post explaining my 2019 goals, you can read that post here: Reading Goals | 2019 Edition. Anyway, I thought I would do a brief list of the goals and then I would do a but of commenting on them. I also want to share my updated yearly goals spread in my bullet journal. I am a very visual person so having that in my bullet journal really helps.

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-My Goals-

  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
  2. Read a book set in each of the 7 continents
  3. Read 50 books
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read at least one book per month from the library
  6. Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. Read a book recommended by someone I look up to
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    • My backlisted books are here.

Divider 2-My Updates-

1. At this time I have only read 1 of the 6 books from this shortlist.

Washington BlackWashington 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

2. At this time I have read 2 books for this goal. I have read for North America and Europe. I have picked up three more books for this challenge. Those being Africa, Antartica, and Asia. If you have any recommendations for South America, please share!

3. At this time I have read 19 books, I am 9 books ahead of schedule!

4. At this point in time I have read 9498 pages, so I am nearly a third of the way to my goal. So theory I should be finishing this before the year is out and I am on track.

5. So far I gave stuck to that, at minimum I have read a book a month from the library.

6. Looking at the 19 books I have read this year, a total of 6 books have been non-fiction. So, I am already 50% done with this goal.

7. At this time I have read 0 books for this goal, I did buy Milkman by Anna Burns, but with recent reviews I am a little afraid to pick it up. I have very similar taste in books to one of my friends and she did not enjoy it, I think she told me she DNFed it or struggled to read it.

8. At this time I have read 2 sections of the 17 I set up for the year. I am a bit behind because I focused on reading Monte Cristo with Jenna and put War and Peace on the back burner. I plan on picking it back up in April.

9. As of writing this I am going very well with my backlist. I have 20 books on my backlist, which I am very ecstatic about!

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-Bullet Journal Spread-

Overall, for only being a quarter into the year, I think I am doing very well for myself. I know with the OWLs Readathon coming up I will be getting though many more books as well. Plus, I do a lot of reading in the warmer months of the year and I have plenty of time.

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How are your goals progressing so far? What goals did you get for yourself in 2019?

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