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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews


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.

View all my reviews
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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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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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Writing and More

#Blogoween | Book Spine Spells!

Blogoween

Prompt:

Thursday 11th: Spell List
We’re all familiar with Book Spine Poetry by now. No? Stack up your books in an order that allow the titles to create a poem. For this prompt we’re using horror or Halloween themed books only to line up and create Book Spine Spells!

Oh goodness, this was a hard one for me. I was never good at poetry. The only time I enjoy writing poetry is when it is blackout poetry. So this one was a prompt I was kind of dreading, but over all it didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would be. So without further delay here is my spooky book spine poetry!

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the witches

in the darkest part of the forest

carry on

The wolf wilder

in the days of rain

carry on

 

from here to eternity

misery

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What is your favorite poem or poet?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2018

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We are officially more than halfway through the year, I am in awe of how fast time is going. This month I am happy to say I read or started books I have been putting off for some time. My reading was very much all over the place ranging from children’s classics to horror. Each book I wrote a little tiny blurb about my feelings, some have more written than others, but none left me unhappy and I did not DNF one book this month. Without any more delay, here is what I read in the month of June!

Books I Finished

Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill

Your Soul is a River
This was one of the best poetry collections I have ever read, it was wonderful and the imagery used was outstanding.

The Universe Has Your Backby Gabrielle Bernstein

The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith
This was not bad at all, but it was an average self help book. I didn’t really take anything much away from it, but I can see this being good for individuals who have never read a self help book.

Perdy Volume 1 by Kickliy

Perdy Volume 1

This graphic novel is very crude, mature audiences only. I found myself laughing throughout.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess

Very adorable story, at times it was heart breaking. I will admit the writing style was not my favorite, but I enjoyed the plot.

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

Lying in Wait

I loved this thriller! If you want to see all of my thoughts, you can check out my full review: REVIEW | Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent.

In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult by Rebecca Stott

In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult

This was such a wonderful story to hear. I loved how this novel didn’t just tell the story of one, but the story of a family and their collective story. If you are looking for a non-fiction biography/memoir you should look into this book.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth

I finally did it, I finished this novel! I ended up very much enjoying it, the characters felt so real and I found myself really connected to them. I will warn you this historical fiction novel is very realistic to the point where many crimes that were sadly very common back during this time period are depicted such as rape, assault, and more. If this is not a problem for you I highly suggest picking this up.

 

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I am Still Reading

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2

I am currently reading this book with ___________. So far I am enjoying this novel so much more than I originally though I would. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

I am slowly making my way through this classic, I am very much enjoying it. It reads a lot easier than I have previously anticipate and the story line, at least so far, see like one that it timeless. I am so happy I finally got to reading this classic.

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What was the best book you read this month?

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Reviews

REVIEW | Women of Resistance by Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan

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Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description 

A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality.

Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new authority. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets—to be released as a handbound chapbook—has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with a portion of proceeds supporting Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker. –goodreads.com 

What I Liked

One of the main thing I like about this collection of poems is the fact that you can tell it is written by a wide array of women. You can tell they all have different life experiences and circumstances. For me, that is a sign of a well rounded collection. Due to this the poems are very different from one another, but they all share that single thread with one another. Feminism, strong women. This also led to there being so many different voices and I found myself really enjoying the scope of styles and stories that these individuals wrote.

Another thing I liked about this was the fact that this was a collection labeled as feminist and was truly feminist. It talked about equality of all. There were poems that dealt with race, violence, and of course gender issues. It was a nice seeing a collection and a book labeled as feminist saying “All. All. All!” instead of “Us. Us. Us!”

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not like, which is more me being unprepared than any fault of the book itself. Some of the poems were difficult, which I think they need to be to be true to themselves. But, this being unexpected made some of the reading difficult. But, as soon as I knew what some of the poems might be exploring I was fine. It was just the initial surprise. So just a warning, some of these poems explore very difficult situations.

Overall Thoughts

I would have to say I enjoyed this poetry collection. It explored the voices of an array of writings giving it a distinct feeling of authenticity. It also gives a voice to those who have gone through difficult experiences. It really makes you think outside of your own bubble and forces you to face it. If you enjoy feminist literature and poetry I would say you should pick this collection up. It was wonderful.

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Author Links

Danielle Barnhart

Danielle Barnhart

Twitter: @dani_barnhart

Iris Mahan

Image result for Iris Mahan editor

Website for both: villageofcrickets

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Book Information

Publisher: OR Books

Publication Date: March 13th 2018

List Price: $14.95

ISBN: 9781944869793

Pages: 204 pages

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I want to note that I received this book from Netgalley for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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Reviews

Review | Honeybee by Trista Mateer

Book Review

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*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Description

You will meet people in your lifetime who demand to have poems written about them. It’s not something they say. It’s something about their hands, the shape of their mouths, the way they look walking away from you. Honeybee is an honest take on walking away and still feeling like you were walked away from. It’s about cutting love loose like a kite string and praying the wind has the decency to carry it away from you. It’s an ode to the back and forth, the process of letting something go but not knowing where to put it down. Honeybee is putting it down. It’s small town girls and plane tickets, a taste of tenderness and honey, the bandage on the bee sting. It’s a reminder that you are not defined by the people you walk away from or the people who walk away from you. Consider Honeybee a memoir in verse, or at the very least, a story written by one of today’s most confessional poets.

What I Liked

This poetry collection is filled to the brim with emotion. Every poem you can see that Trista Mateer is writing from her heart and it is beautiful. Even though her words are beautiful and they are both filled with pure joy and deep sadness. You can feel the ebb and flow of her emotions even when the poem is a mere line or two. For me this is a must when I am reading a poetry collection. Another must for me is that I am forced to stop and think. A poem needs to invoke reflection and some type of thought. This could be internal or just thinking about what the author who penned the work truly went through. Honeybee achieved this as well.
Another thing I liked was the fact that this collection had a story to tell. It wasn’t a bunch of one off poems thrown together and sold as a book. Each poem has it’s well deserved placed in this book. Each one is essential in telling Mateers story and I am so happy that she told the story that she did.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not enjoy was the fact that at times I felt so disconnected from the author. Now stay with me I know this sounds weird. Even though I was able to feel her emotions and I really empathized with her. I have had heartbreak in my life and do love someone very much. I just never myself have felt hear break this deep and this emotional. So I personally had a heard time connecting a hundred percent. But that in no way means that this is a bad collection or to say that you wont connect with her a hundred percent. This is something that is personal. That is what I love about poetry, it is so personal of an experience and each person will experience it differently.

Overall Thoughts

Honeybee is a wonderful collection. I felt rage, sadness, and happiness within the short 160 pages. That is something difficult to do, but it has been done here. The words are beautiful and are accompanied by cute illustrations and little tidbits that increase the enjoyment tremendously. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading poetry dealing with relationships, intense emotion, and loves to hear a heart-wrenching story.


Book Information

Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing

Publication Date: May 1st 2018

List Price: $12.95

ISBN: 9781771681360

Pages: 160


*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

BOOKSTORE TRAVELS

Blog

Hello Everyone, I just wanted to share my most recent trip to the bookstore. So for this bookstore adventure I decided to stick a little closer to home and go to The Strand in NYC.

Here is a little show on my walk over to the store. Looking at the traffic makes me happy I am a walker. I have always preferred to walk to places if I can, I feel like I get to see more and I have an opportunity to take a side trip if something catches my eye.

Here is the outside of The Strand, if you have not heard about this bookstore it has the tagline “18 miles of books”. It has new, used, and out of print books so there is something for everyone.

Here is a picture I took in a one of the bookstore nooks. I did not take many pictures because it was very busy that day and I wanted to respect the privacy of others. I did end up spending about an hour and a half in the store. Most of that time I was just scanning the shelves to find something that caught my eye.

Book Haul:

EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY POCKET POETS: EMERSON

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Lately I have been getting into poetry and this pretty little edition caught my eye so I decided to take it home with me.

MISERY BY STEPHEN KING

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I am a very avid Stephen King reader. I easily read a Stephen King book a month. This edition has been one I have kept my eye out for so when I saw it I added it to my pile.

11/22/63 BY STEPHEN KING

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This is a book I have read already, but I borrowed it from the library. I enjoyed it so much I decided I wanted a copy of my own as long as it was not so much. I ended up finding this in the standard size for only $10.00, even though the same edition next to it was $20.00. So I added it to my heavy pile of books.


I hope you enjoyed my little bookstore adventure!

What book should I add to my lookout list?

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Wrap Up

Wrap UP | 7 in 7

Wrap Up

Wow, what a readathon! I have to say I am very impressed that I did so well with this readathon, especially since I failed the last one I attempted. Anyway, I figured I would share the books I read over this past week. If you want to know more about these books please go and visit my TBR post, TBR | 7 in 7.

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki

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Overall, I liked this graphic novel. The art was beautiful and the theme itself was a great fit. But, one downside I would have to say of this is that at times it can be slow and draggy. For me, I find it difficult to find a graphic novel slow because you have constant dialect and images to look at. So when I started to feel that way towards this it bummed me out a bit. Rating:3/5 Stars

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

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Awesome graphic novel, I have been hearing about it on and off for a while and it was always good so I picked it up from the library. It did not disappoint me at all. I loved the story and the art style. Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris

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I had such high hopes for this graphic novel. I have been hearing such good things, maybe the hype overpowered it for me? Not to sure. I found the art work to be cluttered and the writing to be difficult to read. I love the concept of this, so if I were you I would look into it and see if it is for you. Rating: 3/5 Stars

Poems Selected by Himself by Robert Graves

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During this readathon I headed to an independent bookstore. Lately, I have been reading more and more poetry and decided to pick up a collection. I am not sure where I heard of Robert Graves, but I had his name written down in my notes so I searched for his works. I was shocked when I was only able to find this collection from the 1960s. I hope to find more of his works in the future, because I think his writing is wonderful. If I were you I would look up his name and read a few of his poems. Rating: 5/5 Stars

And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone

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The one full novel I was able to read, I was given this title via netgalley and I have written a full review which you can find here:REVIEW | And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone. Rating: 4/5 Stars.


Well, there you have it my 7 in 7 wrap up. Overall, I think I did a good job. I read a total of 5 books and read 1,400 pages.

What have you read in the pas week?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up: January 2017

2

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5 star reads:

This book has a mixture of beautiful pictures and words that will leave you thinking about the world you live in.


4 star reads:

Volume two left me on the edge waiting for Vol 3, don’t want to share much because it is the 2nd volume, but there is a lot going on. All I have to say is if you like action and fun pick it up.

This book was just the right mixture of creepy and interesting. I read this book in a single day. If you like books that are creepy, eerie, or are a commentary on the human soul pick up this book!

This collection of poetry was enjoyable and I nearly loved every single one.

This was a fun sequel to The Rosie Project, I will say at times it seemed like the characters weren’t acting like themselves. Don’t let that stop you from picking up this short series, I throughly enjoyed it. I was connected to the characters throughout both books and was always cheering for them to get a happy ending because there were quite a few hiccups.

The Grownup is fun and fast paced, it really made me think. I have to say the ending to this book messed with my mind a bit. I highly recommend this thriller since it is short,”fun”, and under 100 pages.


3 star reads:

I picked this up mainly to learn more about Stephen King, it was a mixture of his life and writing advice. I personally did not pick it up for the writing advice, while it is very good, it broke up the story of his life for me.

This was a mixture of short letters in the last few days of WWII. Some of the letters were very enjoyable while others didn’t really tell me much about life at the end of the war. Some just happened to be written then, but did not discuss it.


2 star reads:

I have learned something about myself this month, I do not enjoy love poems. If you love…love poems it would be a nice little collection to add to your TBR. Side note, without the dust jacket it is gorgeous!


1 star reads:

The story was disjoined and just ridiculous. I did not enjoy at all.


 

Well, those are the books I read in January. I have to say I am proud of what I read especially since this month was very busy for me. I hope you all had a great reading month as well.


What did you  read this month and which was your favorite?

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