Wrap Up

Wrap Up | #OWLsReadathon2019

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The OWLS are complete! I am both very happy and very bummed out. I truly had a wonderful time reading for this readathon, G did a wonderful job creating it. I am happy because I am very happy with the OWLs that I have passed. In total I passed 7, which I did not expect to happen in the slightest because the last few months I have not been reading like I normally do. It seems like this readathon was the kick in the butt I needed.


-My Results-

OWLs Passed: 7

Required OWLs:

  • Potions: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
  • Herbology: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Care of Magical Creatures: Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill

Bonus OWLs:

  • Muggle Studies: Elevation by Stephen King
  • Charms: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Transfiguration: The Things I Would Tell You edited by Sabrina Mahfouz
  • Arithmancy: Classic Penguin

Final Score: Exceeded Expectations


Read 2
Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This being the third book in a series I adore, I was expecting to finally hit a point where the story was going a little blah. I finally found that point in the series. I am not saying that this is a bad book, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. I just found it very different from the others and not in a good way. I would rather explore a single world specifically not see a glimpse of a few without really seeing anything.

The timeline used was interesting and I was happy about what happened to a particular character. Thew writing like the others was very poetic and the story was fast paced as the others. I just kinda found myself not as invested because we were jumping around so much.

Like I said, still a good reads, but so far is a “low” point in the series.

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Classic Penguin: Cover to CoverClassic Penguin: Cover to Cover by Paul Buckley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very lovely look at all of the editions penguins has come out with for the classics. Not only did I enjoy looking at all of the artwork, but I also really enjoyed hearing the backstory behind design elements and the creators thoughts in some cases.

I think my favorite section was a look behind Penguin Threads. I loved seeing what the other side of the cover was in the original needle point/embroidery.

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The Priory of the Orange TreeThe Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I did enjoy reading this book, I was very neutral about it. I am having a hard time pinpointing why I am so neutral about it. The plot was fun, I enjoyed the characters, and while it is large it is not slow paced.

Maybe it is just because I am not in a fantasy mood like I thought I was?

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Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to see my reviews in full, please see the post, Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update. On that post I detailed the books I read in the first half of the month. 


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 30 books

Current Backlist TBR: 11 books


What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update

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So I have been blown away at my progress with the OWLs Readathon so far. I am not complaining in anyway, but I had no idea I would have read so much already. I think taking part in the Magical All Nighter really helped me make a lot of progress as well. Anyway, I am going to hurry and tell you the OWLs I have passed, ones I am working on, and the ones I still need for my profession of choice. Then, underneath will be my mini reviews. Also, if you have no idea what I am talking about, you can read about the readathon and my goals here: April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019.

-Passed-

  • Charms
  • Herbology
  • Care of Magical Creatures
  • Muggle Studies
  • Transfiguration

-In Progress-

  • Potions

-Magical All Nighter-

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Read 2

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the wide array of perspectives that were present in this book. Not did the editor bring together a wonderful collection of writings, the writings were created by an assortment of women of different ages as well. I felt like that created a very interesting dynamic in the writing, but also illustrated that deep feelings can be felt at any age. I felt passion and many deep emotions while reading this book. All the writers are very talented. I think my favorite, if I had to pick, would be Islamic Tinder by Triska Hamid.

On top of the quality of writing, I also enjoyed that there were different forms of writing present; short stories, poetry, and plays as well.

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Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your SoulFierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second collection I am reading from this author, I am happy to say that I still love her work. Her theme throughout this book was wonderfully represented, but I also liked how the classic fairytales were shifted to tell a unique story as well. The illustrations throughout were very complimentary as well. If the description interests you or you want to try a collection of poems and stories I highly recommend.

My favorites were Lost Boy, The Step Mothers Tale, Shoemakers Son.

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The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the title you can tell that this book deals with the very difficult topic of suicide. If any discussion of this topic is a trigger for you, I do not recommend you picking it up. If this is not a triggering topic, I highly suggest you read it.

Having personally dealt with a family member who has gone through this, I went into this book a bit worried that it would handle the topic badly. I was very pleasantly surprised that it handled not only the girls well, but also those left behind very well. I don’t really want to say much about the story itself, but I thought the writing was well done, the characters done well, and I was very much enthralled by the plot.

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My Sister, the Serial KillerMy Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a page turner with twists I did not expect. I read this in one sitting and I will be looking out to read more from this author in the future. If you want a fast paced family centric thriller I highly suggest this one.

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ElevationElevation by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really wonderful science fiction novella. I will openly admit I teared up at the end, which surprised me because I did not expect to become attached to any of the characters in the slightest. The novella is so short I expected it to be a good story, but not one that made me feel. This was a very interesting idea and done very well. But, please know this is not a horror, it is science fiction.

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The Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious ObjectsThe Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects by John Tingey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a well written and feel good fun story of a man who wanted to test the mail system. He ended up being known for this hobby and being one of the “fathers” of mail. The story was fun to read and I found it very interesting and fast paced. The images thorugh the book were beautifully copied added and great detail could be seen.

If you like reading about “oddities” and want a fast paced and interesting non-fiction to read, I highly suggest.

I will say I was drawn to this at first because I collect postcards from around the world, but I feel like anyone would enjoy reading this. It truly is about a man following his hobby and having fun.

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Currently Reading 2

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)

I just started reading the third book in the Wayward Children series, I don’t want to say too much for fear I will spoil something, but I am excited to continue with this series and see what world we are taken to next. The book will cover the requirement for Potions, my last required OWL for Herbology.

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What are you currently reading?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | April 2019

Recs

This month I decided to theme my bullet journal around my career goal for this years OWLs and NEWTs Readathon. The first readthon, OWLs, is happening this month and I have settled on Herbology for my career. If you want to see more about that and what books I am reading, you can find that here: April TBR | 2019 OWLs Magical Readathon.

Anyway, like I said I am going for Herbology so I wanted a botanical/magical theme. I am honestly not too happy with the first few pages, but I am going to share them anyway. I just feel like my theme wasn’t planned out to well when I got started so things are kinda all over the place. Anyway, on to my spreads!

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I started off my adding some doodles to my main page for the month. I decided to add a slug, it reminded me of Ron, lavender, and a wand. I also had a dew gold foil flower stickers I added throughout as well.

These two spreads are staying the same, the left is for planned blog posts and the right I will add my full TBR for the OWLs required reading and beyond. I am planning to read the books that are required first then fill in a few more as I go.

My book tracker page is where I make a bar graph type chart of what books I read and when. It is a great visual representation of my reading and I love seeing it. Would you be interesting in seeing a fill out one in the future?

Divider 2On to the OWLs spreads. I kinda left the first one open ended and ready for me to add to as the month progresses.

The left side I glued in all of the OWL challenges. This way if i go beyond my required reads for herbology I can continue to read books that will meet more OWLs. On the right is my habit tracker. I have not really planned what I want to track quite yet, but I usually only track about 5 max other wise I get over whelmed.

This is my main spread for my OWLs, I have my “program” for the year on the top left hand side surrounded by herbology items and specimens. I thought it would be a fun touch to add to my layout. I also like that I can add to it as the month goes on. On the right hand side I have a herbology illustration, which I wish I knew the illustrator because I would add them here. If you know, please tell me so I can add them. I also added the three required OWLs and the books I plan on reading to achieve these. Each square under the title is equal to 10% reading progress. I really enjoy seeing my progress visually so I added the trackers here as well.

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Are you participating in the OWLs readathon? Which books do you plan on reading in April?

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TBR

April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019

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It is the wonderful time of year once again, it is time for the OWLs Readathon hosted and created by Book Roast on Youtube. This year she made it even more exciting by create guides for quote a few wizarding professions. I really loved this addition and after a few days of thinking it over I decided to try for Herbology. I thought it would be a good complement to my potion focus reading from last year, TBR | Magical Readathon OWLs Exams, which were built off of her tweet for potioneer last year.

Key Traits as described in the guide, “Gentleness, Patience, Green Thumb, and Intuition”, since I am know to others to be gentle, kind, and very patience and I personally aspire to have a green thumb I thought this would be a good pick for me. In addition, I am a proud Hufflepuff and the Herbology professor is the head of my house! So, between all of those things, I think it would be a good fit. Now, on to the books!

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Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill

Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul

This was a great suggestion by Amy, from Tomes With Tea, I don’t know why I never thought of this book because last year I read another one of the authors collections, Your Soul is a River, and loved it. So I am really excited to have this on my TBR for Care of Magical Creatures. In total there are 3 land creatures that stand out to me.

Herbology- Plant on the Cover

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

This book has been one I have been reading to read for months. I picked it up for my year long goal to read a shortlist. This was on the shortlist for The Man Booker prize. It seems like it is going to be a memorizing and enchanting.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides

This is a secondary choice I am giving myself for this month. Incase I am not in the mood to read The Overstory for one reason or another. This book has been a classic that is much talked about and discussed and I am curious to see what I will think about it.

Potions-sequel

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)

Oddly enough, I looked through my entire owned TBR and this was the only sequel I had. I really have stepped away from series, but I did not think I stepped away from them so much. But, I am happy to get to this book in April. I read the second book in the series in the first part of March and I don’t know why I waited so long to continue. So, I am going to make sure I get to this one sooner rather than later.

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Chances are I will be updating the most frequently on my progress with this readathon over on twitter. I know that the readathons official  hashtag is I plan on hopping onto that to jump in on the fun. From my understanding she is going to have trivia, matches, and a few reading sprints. Anyway, if you are participating study hard and pass your exams!

What Profession are you aiming for? Which books did you pick?

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Hauls

Book Haul | March 2019

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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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