Wrap Up

Middle Mark | January 2019

Middle Mark

I don’t know about you, but I am still have a really hard time writing 2019 and we are a full 15 days in. I feel like I am going to be writing 2018 for the next few weeks too. Anyway, I am happy to say that I am really enjoying my reading progress this month. I have surprised myself by being able to track somethings with my 2019 goals, but also I feel like the quality has been good so far as well. For me that is the ideal way to start off a year. Without more of me rambling, here is an update on my reading so far this month.

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Books I Finished

Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

This is a beautiful book, it details so much of the history of magic that influenced Harry Potter’s world as well as a peek into early drafts, edits, and early doodles of the book. Even though I went to the exhibit I still read through this book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. (Originally found here).

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

I absolutely loved this book, I was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking. If you are looking to read a memoir I highly suggest you pick it up. The writing is amazing, there is something about this book that just appalls you, but also inspires you due to the life that Tara Westover has lived. (Originally found here).

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

Best for beginners and those who are not happy with their current bullet journals. If you already have a bullet journal you are happy with you can pass on this book.

For those who are beginners this is a great way to learn about the process and find out what a bujo actually is. It is well organized and I like the take what works for you and leave the rest mentality of the book. (Originally found here).

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

I have read and reread quite a few Sherlock stories. I will admit at this point some stories I will continue to rereading, but others I will never pick up again for one reason or another. Mainly because I did not enjoy the  the thrill of the story. It is a wonderful collection to have. (Originally found here).

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle 

4stars

I recently wrote an entire review of this book, you can find that here: _______________________. But, I will say overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you. (Originally found here).

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The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

So far I am reading enjoying this buddy read with Jenna, Reg, and Amy. I have quite a few post-it notes throughout the 94 pages of this book. I really love the feel and atmosphere about this book. I also really enjoy how it is organized. I am looking forward to continuing on with this read.

War and Peace

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

If you have read my post, Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019, you will know it is one of my goals to read this book in 2019. So I am happy to report that I am enjoying the read very much, especially the nods to class specific behaviors of fads during this time frame in history. I also really like the time frame that Tolstoy wrote this book in, full of history and historical figures. I wont be adding updates to this book every middle mark, but I will give an update during my monthly wrap-ups.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this little reading check in!

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What is the last book you read?

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Wrap Up

Year in Review | 2018

Year in Review!

This year has been  a really amazing reading year for me. I found a few new favorite authors, read some books I have been dreaming of reading for years, and I met most off my reading goals, you  can learn more about that here: Reading Goals | 2018 Recap. Anyway, I have already posted a few blog posts talking about my favorite books, Lists | Best Books of 2018 , my least favorite, Lists | Worst Books of 2018, but I wanted to share more about my actual over all reading stats.

If you want to see all of these in detail, where all of my books are listed you can visit that here.

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How did your reading year go?

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Reviews

REVIEW | The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

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The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4)* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg returns to the enchanting world of The Paper Magician.

Alvie Brechenmacher has arrived in London to begin her training in Polymaking—the magical discipline of bespelling plastic. Polymaking is the newest form of magic, and in a field where there is so much left to learn, every Polymaker dreams of making the next big discovery.

Even though she is only an apprentice, Alvie is an inventor at heart, and she is determined to make as many discoveries—in as short a time frame—as she can. Luckily for her, she’s studying under the world-renowned magician Marion Praff, who is just as dedicated as Alvie is.

Alvie’s enthusiasm reinvigorates her mentor’s work, and together they create a device that could forever change Polymaking—and the world. But when a rival learns of their plans, he conspires to steal their invention and take the credit for it himself.

To thwart him, Alvie will need to think one step ahead. For in the high-stakes world of magical discovery, not everyone plays fair… -goodreads.com

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this review I would like to point out that this book is a spin-off of another series. The series is called The Paper Magician Series. Since it is a spin off you can read it without reading the others, but you might miss out on a few things.

What I Liked

This book was enthralling, I could not put it down. I remember very vividly that when I first picked this book up I read for a few hours without even trying. For some reason reading for hours on end is starting to become difficult, I am not sure why. Anyway, I was very much pulled into this world. Charlie N. Holmberg does a wonderful job of creating and sculpting this world and her characters. While the world is well established in her previous books, this spin off does not leave you in a spot where you don’t understand the world around the characters, another bonus. Her world and her magic are refreshing and different.

One things I really liked about the main character was that she was not impulsive or quick to action. I felt like the character thought about what she did. For me, I love that in books. I often find myself put off by characters who just mindlessly jump into action and only seem to pull off things due to luck. So this was a very refreshing thing to have thoughtfulness as a trait in a lead character.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing that got me was that I want not really surprised by anything in this book. While I did very much enjoy the story and characters I never had the moment where I said to myself, “NO WAY!” It was predictable. But, this can also be a plus for some. Some people why don’t like surprises or enjoy when they are right when predicting an outcomes to a book or a plot twist. This is very much a readers preference and does not make the story itself less enjoyable. Even though I was able to predict a few things it did not in anyway make me not enjoy the ride. In fact, I really enjoyed it regardless.

Overall Thoughts

I would say that this book is unique, it has a great with a magic system that for me was very different from books I have previously read. It was a fun book filled with adventure, relationships, magic and bonus had a great main character that I felt like I could relate to on some level. I would say that if you find the description or any of the things I said interesting you should give this book a read.

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Author Links

Charlie N. Holmberg

hhttp://www.CharlieNHolmberg.com

Twitter: @CNHolmberg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cnholmberg/

Instagram: cnholmberg

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Book Information

Publisher: 47North

Publication Date: May 15th 2018

List Price: $14.95

ISBN: 9781542047913

Pages: 236 pages

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* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. SignOff12:17

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Reviews

REVIEW | Don’t Forget Me by Victoria Stevens

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Don't Forget Me* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Description

Seventeen-year-old Hazel Clarke is no stranger to heartbreaks, and being sent to live with a father she’s never met is the latest in a string of them. Even the beauty of eastern Australia isn’t enough to take her mind off her mother and the life she had to leave behind in England. But when Hazel meets the friendly, kindhearted Red and his elusive twin, Luca, she begins the slow process of piecing together a new life—and realizes she isn’t the only one struggling with loss. As friendships deepen and love finds its way in, Hazel also learns that when you truly love someone, they are always in your heart.

This sparkling debut novel is a touching testament to coming of age, falling in love, and finding home in unexpected places.

What I Liked

Nearly from the beginning I felt connected to the characters. I wanted everything to work out perfectly for all of them. For me, if a book causes me to have this type of connection it has well written characters. I recently read a book and I felt nearly nothing for the characters and it made reading it dull and boring even with all the excitement happening with the plot. Another thing that I truly loved about this book was not only how I connected with the characters, but how they connected with one another. Both friendship wise and family wise I enjoyed reading about their relationships, they seemed real and they never felt like they were forced.

I have to say another positive for me was that it took place in Australia. I rarely have seen a book that takes place here and it truly was refreshing. I found that this was maybe an unintentional thing, or I may be making a connection out of no where. But, Australia is such a beautiful and natural place. In my mind it is a place of sunshine and full of life. Britain from what I understand is a place where it can be rainy for a good amount of the place, even though it is beautiful. Having the main character  move from a  place that is known to be rainy and dreary to a place that I have perceived as bright and lively kinda mirrors the growth of Hazel.

What I Didn’t Like

There really wasn’t anything I can pinpoint that I did not like about this book. At times it dragged, but not for a noticeable amount of time.

Overall Thoughts

Overall this was an enjoyable read. I throughly enjoyed reading it and like I said earlier I was invented in Hazel’s story as well as her friends. If you see anything in the description I think you will enjoy this read as well. It is well written and has genuine relationships and growth.

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Book Information

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

Publication Date: February 13th 2018

List Price: $17.99

ISBN: 9780374305604

Pages: 360 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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Lets Talk

Lets Talk | Reading Formats

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Hello everyone, I wanted to start something a little new on my blog this year. I was thinking that maybe once a month I would introduce a bookish topic we could discuss. The first topic I want to talk about is reading formats. I have to admit, this is a topic I am always a but nosy about. I always like to find out what reading format someone prefers. I always want to know why they like one and don’t like another.

Paperback:

I can see the benefit of paperbacks, they are usually cheaper, smaller, and easy to get your hands on when a book has been out for a bit of time. They also make a nice sound if they are particularly floppy.

Hardbacks:

I can also see the benefit in loving a hard back. They usually have a dust jacket for protection, they hold up a bit better in a bag, and the spine does not break as a paperback.

Audiobook:

Audiobooks have a few benefits as well. You can listen while you are driving, cleaning, or  you are participating in another hobby like knitting, coloring, or embroidery. Another important benefit is the fact it is an assistive technology that allows the sight impaired to read.

Ebooks:

Ebooks have a few advantages as well. They are durable, unless you drop them in water. You can highlight make notes without “ruining a book” or using a pen. Another bonus is you can have 100s of books if not more right in the palm of your hand.


Now, I love to focus on the positive aspects of each, mainly because that is my personality. But, I know that each of these also have their disadvantages. I am curious, what do you think the disadvantages of each are? Are there any positives I overlooked or didn’t realize? Which do you prefer? I can’t wait to read your answers.

Also, I am adding a bit of a poll at the end of this post. I thought it would be fun to add the result in my next discussion post. If you click into the embedded poll it will allow you to scroll down to hit submit.


I hoped your enjoyed this little discussion post, if you liked it please let me know. If you have any ideas for future discussion posts, suggestions are always welcomed.

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Tags

TAG | The Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 4

TagTimel12:17Thank you so much Claire from Cup Of Books for the nominations, I had such fun answering these questions! Also, any of you who enjoy doing tags please tell me in the comments. I never know who to tag because I know some people do not enjoy doing them. Without further delay, lets get to the post!

Previous Editions:

THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

TAG | The Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 2

TAG | Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 3

My Questions:

What do you love most about blogging?

I love that I can express my feelings about books and book related topics with others. Without this blog I wouldn’t have a lot of the great conversations I have had.

What’s your story behind your blog name?

My name plus bookish, nice and easy.

What’s one of your favourite quotes?

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now…” -Amy March/Louisa May Alcott

Which book/series makes you happy?

Little Women series, there are actually four novels. Many people don’t know that.

What distracts you most from reading?

Youtube videos always distract me from reading.

What five things are you grateful for?

I am grateful for my life, health, family, friends, and the education I have received.

Which author would you ask to write your biography?

Louisa May Alcott, she writes so beautifully.

What is your favourite sound?

I love to listen to ASMR rooms over on Youtube. Her videos are amazing, they are ASMR revolving around Hogwarts and other locations in the Harry Potter series. She also does ones dealing with LOTR and Game of Thrones. Below you will find the entire Hogwarts playlist. I personally love the common room ones.

 

Which (if any) book series have you DNF’d?

All of Cassandra Clare’s , I feel like I have out grown them personally. They just aren’t the type of books I am into anymore.

Are there any movie adaptations you prefer more than the book?

Christopher and His Kind, I enjoyed the book, but I felt the movie was better. Also, The Imitation Game had a better move than a book. The book was bogged down with to many facts and the narrative of his life was kinda lost.

If your life, as it is up to this point, was made into a film what song would be playing during the end credits?

Oh, gosh. I honestly have no idea.

 


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Decluttering

Decluttering | My Books

declutter

So this time around I did not take pictures of my declutter for two reasons, I had way to may books to fit in a single picture and the second was, I did not want to look back on some of my unread books and get mad at myself.

Now in the KonMari method you are instructed to get rid of all your unread books and only keep books you have read and spark joy. You are not allowed to read descriptions and you cannot open the book. You can only look at the cover and hold it in your hands. Now as a book worm running a bookblog I obviously love books. I love surrounding my self with them and often buy new ones even though I have some unread ones waiting for me at my house. This category was very difficult for me.

I decided to break this category down into two groups read and unread. I decided to tackle the read ones first then the unread ones, more on that later. I think the longest part was taking all the books off of my shelf. I counted all of my beloved books and it was nearly 200 books. Even though I am a book lover, for some reason this just felt like to much. I knew deep down I was never going to reread 200 books. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me.

When I finally conquered my read books I took all the unread books off of my shelf and placed them on the floor in front of me. Now, I broke a rule. I kept some of my unread books for a few reasons. The first was I just went on a short vacation with my mom and I bought a few books that I have already started to read so I knew I was going to read them and they filled me with joy. The second reason was even though they were unread they filled me with joy. Now the whole purpose of this method is to surround yourself with things that spark joy, well just because something is unread doesn’t mean it does not spark joy. Even though I broke this rule, I did end up admitting to myself that I was not going to read all the books on my TBR, so they went into the donation bin.

When I finished going through all of my books I went from nearly 200 down to 119. I donated nearly 80 books. Even though I have already done this and all the books have found a new home at my local library I cannot believe I had that many books. I am currently sitting looking at the books I have left and I cannot imagine where those 80 books fit.

Even though I removed 80 books from my collection I am very happy. All the books I have are sitting properly so their binding will not be damaged. I can see each book I own. All the books I have make me happy. As a bookworm it is like a dream come true. My books reflect me, they are well taken care of, and they aren’t crowded or hidden away.

Now that the hard category is finished, on to an easier one!

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Tags

TAG | The Awesome Blogger Award

Tag Tuesday

Reading Challenge

Thank you Charlotte for the TAG! Please go check out her blog it is wonderful.

Rules

1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Include the reason behind the award
3. Include the banner in your post
4. Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader
5. Answer the questions your nominator gave you
6. Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers
7. Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer
8. Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated

The Questions

What is your proudest achievement?

Graduating Uni, because there were people who said I would not be able to do it. Showed them. 🙂

What is your favourite blog post that you’ve written?

2017 Goals! I say this one because I have had this blog for over a year now, but I never really used it until this past January. It is in this post where I set my goals and finally decided I was going to do this, something I enjoy. I rarely give myself time to do things I enjoy, but this year is different and I am so much happier.

If you could spend a day in any city, where would it be?

I honestly have no idea, when traveling I don’t normally go to cities. I tend to go to more outdoor places.

What is your favourite tv show?

I would have to say that I enjoy That 70s Show, Friends, and Sherlock. I don’t watch TV that often though.

Do you have any pets? Share a photo if you want to.

I recently acquired a fish, he is currently so small I can’t really get the camera to focus on him. >.< He is so new that I have yet to settle on a name, if you have any ideas please share!

Do you prefer reading in first or third person? Present or past tense?

I honestly do not have a preference

What is your favourite time of the year?

I love Autumn, I love sweater weather and it isn’t way to cold just yet.

The best book you’ve read recently?

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles, it is a monster of a non-fiction but it was a wonderful read.

Your favourite item of clothing?

I have this Marauders Map dress that I just adore.

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What was your favourite movie to watch as a kid?

The Shining… yeah I watched scary movies possibly a little to young, but I loved them.

My Questions:

What was your favorite book as a child?

Do you use a library? If so, how often?

Do you keep a reading journal?

What books do you have the best memories associated with?

Have you ever borrowed a book from a friend and never returned it?

What movie have you watched the most?

If you could tell people to read 2 books, which two would you pick?

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Which book character do you think would be afraid of the dark?

How do you organize your books?

 

I TAG:

You are more than welcome to do the tag if you would like!


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TBR

August TBR | 2017

TBR

This month I am keeping my TBR short. Last month I did read quite a lot, but the last two weeks of July I did not pick up a book at all. I do no want to force myself to read, because I feel like it will make the situation worse.


The Whole Way Home by Sarah Creech

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Playing to packed houses while her hit song rushes up the charts, country singer and fiddler Jo Lover is poised to become a big Nashville star like her idols, Loretta, Reba, and Sheryl. To ensure her success, Jo has carefully crafted her image: a pretty, sassy, down-to-earth girl from small-town Virginia who pours her heart into her songs.

But the stage persona she’s built is threatened when her independent label merges with big-time Capitol Records, bringing Nashville heartthrob JD McCoy—her first love—back into her life. Long ago Jo played with JD’s band. Then something went wrong, they parted ways and took their own crooked roads to stardom. Now, Jo’s excited—and terrified—to see him again.

goodreads.com

I am currently buddy reading this novel with my amazing penpal Raven. You can find her on instagram @worldmadeofwords.


Call Me by Your Name: A Novel by Andre Aciman

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The psychological maneuvers that accompany attraction have seldom been more shrewdly captured than in André Aciman’s frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion. Call Me by Your Name is clear-eyed, bare-knuckled, and ultimately unforgettable.

goodreads.com

I picked this book up while I was on vacation and since I failed at the booktubeathon this year I want to make sure I read it this month.


Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 1: 1884-1933 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

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Eleanor Roosevelt was born into the privileges and prejudices of American aristocracy and into a family ravaged by alcoholism. She overcame debilitating roots: in her public life, fighting against racism and injustice and advancing the rights of women; and in her private life, forming lasting intimate friendships with some of the great men and women of her times.
This landmark biography provides a compelling new evaluation of one of the most inspiring women in American political history. Celebrated by feminists, historians, politicians, and reviewers everywhere, it presents an unprecedented portrait of a brave, fierce, passionate political lerader of our century.

goodreads.com

This is another vacation read I picked up and have not started yet. This book is the first of a trilogy about Eleanor Roosevelt, I plan on reading one book from this series a month.

 


What are you reading this month?

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