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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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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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!

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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.

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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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Wrap Up

#NEWTsReadathon2018 Week 1 | July 30th – August 5th

NEWTs

Books I Finished

Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3: The War Years and After, 1939-1962 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3: The War Years and After, 1939-1962

4stars

Sadly, this does not count towards the NEWTs because I finished it on the 30th. This is the third and the final installment in the trilogy written on former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Over all I felt like I enjoyed Volume 1 and 3 the most. I enjoyed all three, but there was something about reading about her early and late life where she seemed more herself then being a side player to events. If you are interested in this former first lady I would highly recommend this trilogy. They can be read out of order if you prefer a particular time period as well, a nice little bonus.

The Missing Girl by Shirley Jackson

The Missing Girl

5stars

This counts as an A for Muggle Studies because it is a book by one of my favorite authors. Once again Shirley Jackson has blown me away with this collection of short stories. Her writing is beautiful and very engaging. Her stories always end up being so much better and have so much more to them then you would originally think.

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of a Bookseller

2stars

This book meets the requirement for E score on Muggle Studies woohoo! So when I picked up this book I was sure it would be more along the lines of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jennifer Campbell, which I loved! This on the other hand was dull and mundane. It was more of  what the owned did and the daily workings of a bookshop and not really to much about the interactions with the customers. While I can see why some people would like this book, it was not what I expected at all and was left a bit disappointed. 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

2stars

Finishing this book counts as an O in Muggle Studies! Compared to the rest of the series, I felt like this was filled with too much drama for the sake of plot instead of drama happening because of the plot. It left me not really being invested or caring much about what happened to the characters because I kept saying to myself, “eh, this again it will workout for the most part”. I truly loved and enjoyed book 1 and 2 in this series so I am hoping this is just a dump in the road and I will be picking up the novella from the library at some point in the future.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper

5stars

This book counts as an A in Potions. I read this short story back in college and I loved it back then. This short story really makes you think and it holds up when reread. There is so much imagery in this short story, it is just beautiful and it also makes you super angry in all the right kind of way.Divider

NEWTs TBR Updates

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I am Still Reading

Night Shift by Stephen King

Night Shift

So far I am enjoying this collection of short stories. At this point I am nearly 100 pages in so I am happy with my progress. I am aiming to have this done by Tuesday of next week, fingers crossed!

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NEXT BOOK

Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley

Close Enough to Touch

This book I picked up on sale with never having heard about it before. The description had me right away with the words librarian, 10 years of solitude, and a touch could kill. Sounds like something that could be very interesting and enjoyable.

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What are you currently reading?

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TBR

TBR| N.E.W.T.s Readathon 2018

NEWTs

So a few months ago there was an amazing readathon that was organized by BookRoast on youtube that revolved around the OWL Examinations in Harry Potter. Well I am happy to say that I passed all of my OWLs that time around so I am able to take part in the NEWTs Readathon that is taking place the entire month of August. If you would like to see how I did during my OWLs here is the link to my wrap up. Wrap Up| Magical Readathon OWLs Exams

DividerNEWTs I am Eligible to Take

I am eligible to sit for the N.E.W.T examination in Charms, Potions, Arithmacy, Herbology and Muggle Studies. Since my goal is to be a potions master I need to get an O or outstanding on my NEWT for potions. To do that I must meet the following challenges.

Potions

A: Has a name of a color in the title
E: Read a book with a male lead character
O: Book over 350 pages long

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The Requirements

  • Must have O in one subject
  • Must pass at least 2 examinations
  • Can only sit for subjects that you passed the OWL level
  • You must go in order when working towards an outstanding (A prompt, E prompt, O prompt).
  • Any format is acceptable
  • One book one prompt

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Announcement Video

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My TBR

NEWT EXAMS.jpg

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Are you participating in this readathon? What prompt is your favorite?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | July 2018

RecsHello everyone! So this month I had a lot of fun with my bullet journal theme. This month I decided to bring in some lemons. My boyfriend and myself have an inside joke where we call each other lemons instead of evil. This stems from the Spongbob Squarepants episode where EVIL stands for Every Villain Is Lemons. We were having a bit to fun before I started working on my doodles that I needed to make it this months theme. In fact, my boyfriend gave me a prop to use as inspiration that I shared over on twitter. Well, here it is my July bullet journal spreads.

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Here you can see my July page, I will admit I had a hard time figuring out how to get the depth I wanted on the lemon slice due to my limited color choices, but I ended up liking how it turned out. It feels so positive, bright, and happy. I also loved these flowers so I needed to showcase them as well.


Here you can see how I set up my monthly overview plus a little sneak peak into two of the blog posts I already have scheduled. I never write my blog posts in order, but it works for me! I am debating if I want to reprint the images of the book stacks I used last month or not. I figured I have time to decide so I left it pretty much blank.


On the left hand side you can see my TBR pile image. I posted it on instagram so instead of rewriting everything I decided to just print it out and paste it in my bullet journal. A funny about The Invisible Man, I accidentally read the wrong one and I was so confused as to why it was not science fiction. I borrowed it from the library digitally and they did not display the author, but it was so funny when I finished The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison I enjoyed it, but I was so confused. But, I do plan on “fixing” this by reading the H.G. Wells novel by the same name soon.


I decided to try using squares instead of circles to mark my days read in July. I also tried to play with script writing by writing a cute phrase of some sort.


On the left hand side I cleaned up my Read 5 Buy 1 tracker, I like this cleaner set up a lot more. On the right hand side I updated my tracker to not only track how many times I go to the gym, but also if I study and drink the amount of water I need to drink. As you can see I do not strive to do it everyday. I never go well with changing my own patterns all in one go, so this is how I operate.


A few months ago I participated in the OWLs readathon I met all my requirements to become a potions master and I am eligible to take my NEWTs in August, but my friend Amy wanted to participate so I told her I would do it with her. So as you can see I completed 5 already, this month I am focusing on working on the exams I did not complete. For each I write the title of a book or short story that would work for each prompt. As you know, I never stick to a TBR so this should be interesting.

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What theme should I try in the future?

What is something you track in your bullet journal?

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