Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | January 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Well, here I am to share my first monthly wrap up of 2019. It seems like this month has gone slow, but also thrown by for me. I saw my first snow fall of the season, started playing around with programming and painting once again. I feel refreshed as well as have a drive I have not had in some time. I am not sure why the new year sparked this in me, but it has and I am happy about it.

So, as before, some of these books have been previously shown in Middle Mark | January 2019, but I wanted to post a comprehensive wrap-up. If you wish to skip over the books I already talked about I have no problem with that, but I have quite a few more books I read because I ended up reading 11 books.

DividerBooks 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: REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan. 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).

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars

5stars

I wrote an entire review of this book, but I will sum it up here. I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel. (Originally found here REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls)

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

3stars

Overall, this was a really good short eerie short story. I can see why it is a classic that people talk about time and time again. But, it also did not wow me like other eerie stories  I have read in the past.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

5stars

This was an amazing read, I am kinda mad at myself for putting it off so the last few months. I really loved the conversation that book brings to the forefront. How it shows a different perspective that I really appreciate being shared with me. I also loved how I could relate tot the it me period this book takes place in. I remember the walkmans, start of the iPods and I really relate to the high prices text messages and minuets used to be. I feel like the mixture of highly relatable aspects as well as seeing a new perspective really  made this such a wonderful book. I highly suggest you picking this up. I feel like I am not articulating myself quite right, but I loved this book.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies: Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them

4stars

I really enjoyed the fact that this book had so many voices and talked on so many topics. There was a mixture of playlists, lists, essays, poetry, interviews and more. It was a wonderful read that allowed me to read the thoughts of some people I know, but also expose me to others I will now be looking into their work.

Another thing I loved was the continued reading section where books are recommended and also a section to workout your own thoughts on feminism. This book doesn’t just talk at you, it starts a conversation. (Originally found here).

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

4stars

I really loved how this seemed to be more of an anthropological look at death as apposed to her other book. I really enjoyed how she explored how cultures within the US and around the world pay respect to their loved ones with no judgement. It really is eye opening how we are all the same species, but we have our own ways we pay respect to those we love. It is comforting that we can all find a way to honor those who came before us. I hope to see more writings by her because I have enjoyed both of her books immensely. (Originally found here).

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

5stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took. (Originally found here).

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

4stars

This book is such an adventure, it starts with a young boy, age 11. Sadly, he is a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados run by two brothers. The author wrote a beautiful book that shows the ugly that is slavery. It talks about awful psychological games played by owners and the bad treatment many had to endure unfairly. I also like how the author showed abolitionists and aspects of the underground railroad. The dangers of faced by those who escaped and freed those who did not belong to them. I also really enjoyed the science, art, and almost steampunk elements. I am honestly not doing this book justice, but I will say it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is well deserved. I also have to agree with the quote on the front of my book calling it a masterpiece.  (Originally found here).

DividerWhat is the last book you have read?

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Lists & Recommendations

#Blogoween | 10 Characters, Hexed & Cursed

Blogoween

Prompt:

Wednesday 17th: Hexes & Curses
What 10 character would you curse, and why?

1. Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling

Image result for Dolores Umbridge

Dolores Umbridge has to be one of the most vile villians I have ever read. The main reason being is she looks so sweet. As you can seen in the picture above she loves pink and all things girly. She does not have the traditional look of evil, but she is so evil. She tortures students and is just rotten. She does whatever she needs to for what she THINKS is right. Dolores should be cursed for her actions against the students of Hogwarts.

2. Agatha Trunchbull from Matilda by Roald Dahl

Image result for Agatha Trunchbull

I first met Ms. Trunchbull when I was very young and I went to go see the movie. The first time I saw her she looked like the picture above. She looked like she was in a military uniform and she was very unfriendly. The total opposite of what a principal should be. Then came what she did to her students. I still shivery when I think about the Choke-e, not really sure how you would spell it. Anyway, she really scared me I cried so much I needed to leave the theater. She is awful and should be hexed.

3. Count Dracula from Dracula by Bram Stoker

Image result for Count Dracula

While he doesn’t look totally evil in this picture, our caped villian, killer is evil and I think he would do well to get hexed. Tricking people, drinking their blood, and all manner of being sneaky and a monster. While he looks suave and well dressed, it is important to point out his fangs and inability to see himself in a mirror. While some see him as cursed as is, I think he should be hexed as well for the things he has done.

4. Professor Moriarty from The Final Problem by Arthur Conan Doyle

Image result for Professor Moriarty

Moriarty has had a bit of a modern renaissance, but the original was an older professor as you see above. He was severe and cold looking and it really matched his interior as best as it could. He was a criminal mastermind and evil. He often pulled the string and made a lot of other people do his dirty work for him. In addition to this, he also protected others who broke the law and hurt other people. He should be hexed.

5. Johnathan “Black Jack” Randall from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Image result for Blackjack Randall

Black Jack is just a monster in my eyes even though when you look at this character he is just a Captain in the British military who was stationed in Scotland. Someone who normally gets to this esteemed rank is usually a noble individual and has earned his uniform and rank. Contrary to his image, he is a horrible individual. He is violent, often goes to extreme measures and is very violent against women and men. HE IS SCUM. He gets his kicks by hurting others physically and emotionally. He should be cursed without a doubt in my mind.

6. The White Witch from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Image result for The White Witch

The image above shows someone who is cure of themselves, strong, and noble. While externally she is beautiful, until she eats the apple to gain immortality and transforms into the White Witch. She is cruel and full of herself, hence wanting to be immortal. She is evil toward her family and others who live in Narnia. She should be hexed for the things she has done.

7. Bellatrix Lestrange from multiple book in the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

Image result for Bellatrix Lestrange

Bellatrix Lestrange was from a noble family and was first described as well kept and an aristocrat. As you can see by the Harry Potter adaptation her evil is more in your face and apparent. Her hair is all over, she wears all black, and her wand is bent at a sever angle. She is a Death Eater and kills people without any remorse. She not only kills strangers, muggles, but she turns against some of her own family. She deserves to be cursed for the things she has done.

8. Charles Talent Manx from NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Image result for Charles Talent Manx

This graphic novel adaptation of Manx is a perfect visual representation. He is a very old man who has lived much longer than he should have. He goes after children and in my eyes that is true evil. Who goes after a damned child? Not only does he go after the children he tricked others into helping him, he is a manipulator. He is evil and should be hexed for the things he has done.

9. Annie Wilkes from Misery by Stephen King

Image result for Annie Wilkes

Annie Wilkes is a woman who dresses in simple dresses and takes good care of her self. She appears to be a normal woman, even in this picture. Until you see what is in her hands. She has no problem hurting others and controlling them when it is what she wants. When King wrote this character he made her his addiction that controlled him. She is controlling, not good for anyone, and hurts people, but she comes off as harmless. That is the farthest thing from the truth and deserved to be hexed.

10. Oliver Ryan from Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Image result for Oliver Ryan from Unraveling Oliver

While right off that bat you know that Oliver is evil, the more you read the more you end up hating this man. You learn about the manipulation, the stealing, and lying. In addition to those things he does so much more, but I don’t want to spoil this novel to much. Just know that he deserved to be cursed.

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What fictional character would you Hex or Curse?

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TBR

JULY TBR | 2017

TBR

The Sign of Four by Sir Arther Conan Doyle
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I have been slowly reading through all of the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories and I have started The Sign of Four and I really, really want to finish it this month.

A dense yellow miasma swirls in the streets of London as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson accompany a beautiful young woman to a sinister assignation.

For Mary Morstan has received several large pearls – one a year for the last six years – and now a mystery letter telling her she is a wronged woman. If she would seek justice she is to meet her unknown benefactor, bringing with her two companions.

Goodreads.com

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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I have a little bit of a funny story for this book. I was in the bookstore looking at new releases. Someone who worked there walked up to me and was so excited I had this book in my hands. She went on for about five minuets about  how much she liked it. While the premise of the book pulled me in this girls excitement sold me completely.

On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very night, shattered by grief, Abraham Lincoln arrives at the cemetery under cover of darkness and visits the crypt, alone, to spend time with his son’s body.

Goodreads.com

Joyland by Stephen King

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Once again I plan on reading a Stephen King novel. My aunt recommended this one to me and I already owned it so I decided to pick this one up next. What could go wrong in a theme park? Oh wait, Stephen King wrote it…everything. I am excited to pick this book up as well.

College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and dark truths about life—and what comes after—that would change his world forever.

Goodreads.com

Sign Off


What are you reading this month?

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Wrap Up

March & April 2017 | WRAP UP

While the last two months I have not read a great deal, but a majority of the books I did manage to finish were very enjoyable. Although, I will say I DNF’ed two books. But, I still read some great books I am excited about!


Five Stars

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

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In March I finally got to another Jennifer Niven book. I read Holding Up The Universe, which did not let me down. I surprisingly wrote up a review for this, I say surprisingly because I rarely write reviews. I only write them if I get a review copy or if I feel like I need to share something with the world. P.S. This was not a review copy!

Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

 

 

 


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

30555488This was one of the books I was most looking forward to reading this year. I was a bit worried when I saw some reviews saying the language/writing was difficult to get through so I put it off a little. But, I finally picked it up. I just have to say Colson Whitehead did a great job with this historical fiction novel. He took what every kid things of when they first here the term “The Underground Railroad” and mixes in the true horrors that many people faced. I found it interesting that he would take such a “childish” way of thinking of the underground railroad and telling such a serious and heart wrenching story. I personally did not find any fault with the writing style and I actually read this rather quickly.


The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkle 

30687200I loved this non-fiction account of the “Last True Hermit”. I loved how Finkel approached this story both interviewing Christopher Knight as well as research. I don’t really want to say much because this is such a short book, I don’t want spoil anything. Even though this book was so short it was very interesting. I was absorbed in the story within pages. I do talk a bit more about this book in my post entitled The Cake Book Tag. Take a look if you want to hear a little more of my thoughts.

 

 

 


Four Stars

The Radium Girls by Kate Moor

31409135This is a nonfiction book that I received from Netgalley for an honest review. I will link the full review below,  but I will say I did enjoy this story. Kate Moore did an excellent job talking about how Radium was used, how these women were exposed to it, and the aftermath. She made something that seems so distant come to life from the pages.

 

 

REVIEW: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

 

 


A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

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A wonderful classic, I really don’t know why it took me so long to start reading these stories. While these are classics they are very easy to read and didn’t seem to be work. I know for me some classics can feel like work when I read them so I was very happy.

 

 

 

 

 


The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

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All I can say is I am already waiting for the next book! This is the third installment in the
Bone Season series. I find it very enjoyable, fast face filled with interesting abilities, political chaos at times…it keeps me on my toes when I read. I feel like anything is possible.

 

 

 


Euphoria by Lily King

18467802I found this gem in my local used bookstore and read the description on the back and was intrigued. When I finally got around to reading it I soared through it. It is BASED upon the lives for three anthropologists who form a bit of a love triangle while out in the field. While I don’t usually love, love triangle (you see what I did there?) I enjoyed this book anyway. Now as I said earlier it is based upon a true story, but it is not a historical account. Which, for me only intrigues me more, what really happened? I talked about this book a bit in my The Cake Book Tag, if you are interested check it out.

The Cake Book Tag


Three Stars

none.


Two Stars

none.


One Star

none.


What was your favorite read in the last two months? What are your thoughts on the books I have read?

 

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TBR

April TBR: 2017

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Aprils TBR is going to be a short one, mainly because it is going to be a very busy month and I do not want to overwhelm myself. But, the four books I have picked I am very much looking forward to. In fact, I am going to pick up The Radium Girls as soon as I finish writing this post!

Both The Radium Girl by Kate Moore and A Short History of the Russian Revolution by Groffrey Swain are books I received from Netgalley to review. Both are historical, nonfiction. The Radium Girls follows the stories of various women who painted clock faces with the element radium to make them illuminate before the heath risks were truly know. It explores their stories and the effect their work had on them as the years passed. I have started reading this one already and it is historical, but also personable. It does not take away the humanity of these women with endless facts and figures.

A Short History of the Russian Revolution is something I studied while at school and I continue to be interested in.  So, when I saw this on Netgalley I submitted a request right away and was thrilled to get approved.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle I have gotten myself. Both are books I have very much wanted to get to. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses when it first came out and enjoyed it, but sadly I have not gotten to the second book in the series, I plan to correct that before the next book comes out. Fingers crossed I succeed!

On a more classic note I recently have been on a Sherlock Holmes binge and I am reading all of the stories and short stories in publication order and The Sign of Four is next in line. I have to say I was expecting the writing to be dull and difficult, but it read very modern. I have been devouring the stories.


What are you reading this month?

 

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Wrap Up

February2017 | Wrap Up

Five Star Books:

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Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter was the only 5 star read I had this month. I loved it and you can find my review of this book here.


Four Star Books:

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This month I had 4 books I rated 4 stars. Maybe it was meant to be? You decide. 🙂 Anyway, you can find the reviews for Z and A Gentleman in Moscow here. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams  was wonderful. It reminded me of how much I love short stories. I liked all of the stories aside from one, which I think is great for a collection.. Most of the time I find myself only liking about half or a little more.  The Doctor Who box set was also a collection of short stories. Each book was roughly 40 pages or so. Each one was a retelling of a popular fairy tale with a Doctor Who twist. Sonic screwdriver and aliens included.


Three Star Books:

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These two books were overall enjoyable, but had a few faults. You can find a detailed review of these books here.


Two Star Books:

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After Alice was my lowest rated read of the month. I found it hard to get into and just fell flat. The reason I gave it two stars instead of one is because I can see why other people may enjoy it more so than I did. If you enjoy Alice in Wonderland look into other reviews, you may like it.


What was your favorite read this month?

 

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