Wrap Up

#NEWTsReadathon | Wrap Up | August 2019

NEWTS 2019

Hello everyone, the time has come! The NEWTs are officially complete. I am happy to say that I was able to pass all of the exams that were requirement of me with the needed scores. You are not reading a post written by a Herbologist! Anyway, below you will find mini reviews and my overall scores on my NEWTs and what I read for each prompt. I did got a bit above and beyond.


-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!: The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

Care of Magical Creatures

  • A: Book that stars with A: The Alienist by Caleb Carr
  • E: Book under 300 pages: Ghosts of Acadia  by Marcus LiBrizzi (Bonus Letter)
  • O: Read a book with a bird on the cover: The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost (Owl & Bonus Letter)

-Bonus-

Arithmancy

  • A: Ends in an even number: Needful Things by Stephen King
  • E: Standalone: Endless Night by Agatha Christie
  • O: A Book Longer that 350 pages: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 

Charms

  • A: Beautiful Cover: Smashed by Junji Ito
  • E: Read a book under 150 pages: The Inner Room by Robert Aickman 

-Current NEWT Scores-

  • Herbology: O
  • Potion: E
  • Care of Magical Creatures: O
  • Charms: E
  • Arithmancy: O

-Reviews-

Endless NightEndless Night by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Agatha Christie is such a wonderful writer, her imagination is outstanding and I always kick myself for not reading more of her works. The pacing was wonderful and you can see the attention to detail within this book.

I don’t want to say more, but this is a standalone mystery and I don’t want to spoil anything. Only know, that this is a wonderful and I highly recommend.

View all my reviews


The Colorado KidThe Colorado Kid by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say this work is very different from what King normally writes, but I enjoyed it so much. I think it was a combination of where I read this book and just the way it was presented. I feel like I will be thinking about The Colorado Kid trying to picture Stephenie today. Anyway, I am glad King look at those news clippings and thought of this story. It really is interesting and makes you think.

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Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my second read through of this novel. For me personally I enjoyed it more the second time around. I don’t want to say much since it is the 4th book in a series, but if you liked the pervious books you will enjoy this one as well.

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The Inner Room: Faber StoriesThe Inner Room: Faber Stories by Robert Aickman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short horror story was just the right amount of spooky that I needed. Even though it is such a short tale, it really was atmospheric and gave me The Haunting of Hill House vibes. If you want a quick little scare that will leave you a bit uneasy, I recommend.

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Ghosts of Acadia PBGhosts of Acadia PB by Marcus LiBrizzi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting collection of ghost stories of this small island in Maine, which I am very familiar with. I really enjoyed hearing about stories from long ago and the sightings seen by many. The one thing I wish this book did was add more personal accounts, sometimes the stories were so vague and had little detail or real story to them. Overall, I enjoyed.

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The Secret History of Twin PeaksThe Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am giving this book 2.5 stars. I found this tale to be interesting, but at times I found the font to be a real pain in the butt to read (hand written notes in script and sometimes really messy handwriting). I also found that the description misled me a little bit, I thought it was going to focus mainly on one thing, but jumped around a bit. I will say I enjoyed the mixing of fiction and facts to create this story, it really added to the feeling of this book.

If you enjoy reading novels that are made up of a bunch of documents, alien stories, or stories following research I think you will like this.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 33

Backlist TBR: 1

When traveling, I always adventure to new bookstores. oops.


What was your favorite book you read this month?

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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.

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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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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | August 2019

Recs

Hello everyone! Today I am going to give you a peek inside of my August bullet journal. Like the past few months I am really inspired by plantbasedbride’s theme. This month I took from her watercolor ocean  vibe. I am really feeling the deep blues and greens, not sure why because blue is not my most favorite color, but I am going with it. I also changed up my weeklies for the first time in the last few months, I hope it works out well. Anyway, here is my bullet journal!


The image on the left I fell in love with. I did some googling and came across Let’s Make Art  she has an entire kit you can buy or you can use her print out and paint along with her if you have paints already. It is so cute and I loved how she shared her talent. As normal I have a mini calendar on the other page so I can have a quick reference for the month.

I really have been loving this new social media calendar I have been using. It really is great to be able to see everything in one place and visual see when I past because lists of dates don’t really work for me. I added a little quote with my stamp set on top of a water color water image I came across.

Here is my favorite spread of the month, my NEWTs page. I wanted to take a bit of inspiration from Book Roast and her first OWLs bullet journal tracking page. I loved the look of used roughed up parchment. On the left I printed out my desired career and put it down as a little bit of inspiration and motivation and on the right I placed the NEWTs grade I need. I didn’t write in my books from my TBR, which you can find here:___. The reason is because sometimes I don’t stick to a TBR, so I decided I would write in the book title when I read a book that meets the NEWTs requirements. I had a lot of fun doodling the castle and the fancy HP font for NEWTS.

This page is just like I have every month. It works really well for me so I don’t want to change it. I did add a bit of color to tie in the water / ocean theme. On the right I draw a physical representation in the form of spares or rectangles for the days I read a particular book. These books are color coded based upon the color that is assigned to them on the key page.

This is my new weekly spread. I decided that I did not need an hourly breakdown for the upcoming month and I didn’t want to have wasted space and waste my time making something I don’t need. I put all of the days on the left hand side and on the right I left open for notes and reminders. I did put a mini calendar on the top corner and highlight the week I am currently in. It gives me a good visual perspective as to where I am during the month.

This month I also decided to redo my blog kanban board. I found that I needed to redo the order of the steps. I find that it is best for me to write my posts first and then take the pictures. I also gave myself a little more room the blocks are larger and I left a page blank.  On the left side I decided to leave it blank to hold the tabs for the days I need to brain storm topic idea. It is a nice visual for me to see empty tabs with dates waiting for my attention.


What Bujo spread is the most used by you?

Do you track your reading outside of goodreads?

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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!

Divider 2

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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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | #NEWTsReadathon2018

NEWTs

The NEWTs Examinations are complete! What happened to the month of August? I feel like it flew by. I sat for so many exams and read as much as I could. I have to admit I did not read all of my TBR, which you can find here TBR| N.E.W.T.s Readathon 2018, but I did read quite a lot so that is a win in my book.

Overall I loved this readathon and would not hesitate to participate in it again in the future. It was a lot of fun and was challenging at the same time. I give a lot of credit to Book Roast who came up with the OWLs and NEWTs readathons. You can tell she put in a lot of time and effort into creating them and making them fun for all. Anyway, here are the details and my wrap up for the NEWTs!

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NEWTs I Was Eligible to Take

Potions – Attempted – Grade: O

Charms – Attempted – Grade: E

Arithmancy – Not Attempted

Herbology – Attempted – Grade: E

Muggle Studies – Attempted – Grade: ODivider

Requirements Check List

  • Must have O in one subject – DONE!
  • Must pass at least 2 examinations – DONE!

Divider

Books I Read

 

The Missing Girl by Shirley Jackson

5stars

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

2stars

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

2stars

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

5stars

Night Shift by Stephen King

3stars

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

3stars

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

4stars

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Tess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood

My full review:REVIEW |Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Edited by Tess Sharpe & Jessica Spotswood

5stars

The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer

3stars

Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel

4stars

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Did you participate in the NEWTs? How did you do?

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Wrap Up

#NEWTsReadathon2018 | August 13th – August 19th

NEWTs

Books I Finished

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

I can finally say I read Strange the Dreamer! I feel like I have been wanting to read this book for so long, I am glad I did. I really ended up enjoying myself while reading it and I plan on getting the next book from the library as soon as it comes out and I can put it on hold. Reading this allowed me to get an O in Potions. Also, can I say, WOW that ending?!

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

So, this book I was not meant to actually finish this week, but I am a bad reading buddy and I was loving the book so much I ended up reading and finishing it a bit too early. I know that my reading buddies do not mind and are really enjoying it too. If you like magical realism type books I recommend this. It is a lovely book, it was cute and had great characters. Finishing this allowed me to get an A in Herbology.

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NEWTs Progress

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I am Still ReadingToil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Edited by Tess Sharpe

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

So I am currently reading Toil and Trouble and I am LOVING these short stories. Right now I am about 60% through and they are all so varied and unique from one another. When I finish this collection it will earn me an A in charms. When I am done I will share a full review with all of you.

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NEXT BOOK

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)

I have been wanting to pick up this book so much for the past month so I am going to be picking this up sometime this week. Doesn’t that cover just look magical? I think it is perfect for this readathon. When I finish this one it will give me an A in Arithmancy 

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

This upcoming week I want to pick up Fresh Ink, I think it will be perfect to pick up at the end of the day and read one or two short stories. This will work for an E in Charms. 

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What are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

#NEWTsReadathon2018 | August 6th – August 12th

NEWTs

Books I Finished

Night Shift by Stephen King

Night Shift

This is a short story collection by Stephen King, I read this to complete an E in potions. Some of the stories I loved, and some were just okay, but over all I really enjoyed it. Even though Stephen King is known for writing monstrously long books, I do find he does very well with short stories and I find them a good way to get a good sampling of this work.

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NEWTs TBR Updates

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I am Still Reading

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Edited by Tess Sharpe

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Since I am horrible about sticking to my TBR, I have decided to read this eArc to fulfill my requirement to read a book with magic in it to achieve an A in charms. I at this point in time I have read 6 of the short stories and I loved each of them even though they were so different from one another.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

If you read my recent post, Lists | Un-listened to Audiobooks, you will know that I have quite a few audiobooks I need to get through. Strange the Dreamer is once of them. So I decided to listen to it so I can get an O in Potions. At this point I am a little over an hour into it, not too far, but I am enjoying it.

Divider

NEXT BOOK

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Next I want to pick up Fresh Ink, I am so excited to read these short stories since there are quite a few authors in here that I truly enjoy their work. This will work for an E in Charms. 

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What are you currently reading?

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