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8 Reasons to (Re)Read Harry Potter this December

I love Harry Potter (who doesn't?) and I need to finish my reread of the series. I have three books left to read. I thought I would give y'all some reasons to join me (and others!) in reading/rereading a favorite series this joyous month!

1. #HarryXMasToYou

There is a giant community of book bloggers and booktubers (and just your average Seamus that loves Harry Potter) that participate in this annual event where you can try (or succeed in) reading/rereading all seven Harry Potter books in the month of December. (Also there are house points and other very exciting things.) 

2. Celebrate Finishing School!

For those of you in school, you get all of this time off of school. You've just finished finals, and you're out of school for - if you're like me - an entire month and a half. Look at all of the free time. It's amazing. Why not reread a favorite series, or just pick your favorite of the series to read? Or you could read it for the first time!

3. You've Got Time!

You've got a whole month! With all of that free time, you can really devote yourself to reading them. All you have to do is Christmas shopping . . . and you can always just listen to the amazing audiobooks while you do that. 

4. The Illustrated Edition

You can experience the first book in a new way with the new illustrated edition. I personally don't have a copy of it, but it's on my Christmas wishlist big time.

5. Don't Forget About the Movies!

It's basically a given that all eight Harry Potter movies will be on ABC family . . . at least twice. So, you can read and watch the movies together.


6. Do Forget About Your Dysfunctional Family

There are nowhere near all about Christmas, but the scenes in the books around Christmas time are always a favorite. So, if your family is a little crazy (like mine), you can live vicariously through the Weasleys.


7. Finish the Reread You Started

It's the perfect time to finish that reread you thought you would do throughout the year (AKA: me).

8. Oh, the Nostalgia!

Passing on the nostalgia. You've have a great experience with the Harry Potter series, and with all the children that are constantly around, you can read them the first book storybook-style.

Are you going to join #HarryXMasToYou? (Honestly, so excited, if you couldn't tell.) Tell me down in the comments!


Stacking the Shelves [34]: #BookOutletHaul + More!

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and it's all about sharing the books that have come into your possession throughout the week, whether it books added to your collection, ebooks, library books, etc. Sunday post is a weekly meme  hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer where bloggers can recap their week, showcase books, and share news.

The Stack 

  • ROOM: This one was an impulse buy off Amazon. I've heard vague, very good things about this book (definitely my favorite way to go into a book), and I am super excited to read this.
  • AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, CHAINS: One thing that BookOutlet is great for is getting books that you think you might have read at one point in time so that you can read them for sure.
  • TEN TINY BREATHS, STARRY NIGHT: Another thing BookOutlet is great for is getting books you've heard no one talk about before. A few of my friends on Goodreads have read and loved Ten Tiny Breaths and loved it. I want to read it soon (as my first real NA!).
  • THE FORTUNE HUNTER, THE MINIATURIST: The other thing that I have found BookOutlet very useful for is buying expensive adult books very cheaply. I have wanted to read The Miniaturist since it came out, and all I know about The Fortune Hunter is that it is historical fiction.
  • BLACK WIDOW: FOREVER RED: I won another giveaway! I have heard pretty meh things about this one due to a sense of false advertising. And while I am very sad that this isn't actually the origin story of Natasha, I might try to read it between studying for finals. 
  • CITY OF BONES, CITY OF ASHES, CITY OF GLASS: My library's Overdrive had these avaliable for immediate check-out, and I needed to check-out of studying for my finals/writing papers. These are so immersive and essential to my current mental state.

What I Read This Week

So. Hooked. (As you can tell because I got the first three in the trilogy.) Also, I might be shipping Alec/Magnus. Will/Magnus is the ultimate ship though, don't get me wrong.

When I Wasn't Reading

I was watching Mockingjay Part 2 . . . twice. (The second time was definitely necessary and made me appreciate it much, much more than I did the first did.)

Also I was stressin' because the semester is almost over and I have finals next week. No prob . . . it's okay (actually, I am internally dying).

You Might Have Missed


8 Reasons to Read / Reread Harry Potter
City of Bones Review
My Month in Tomes | November 2015
Fall Favorites
Top Books to Finish in 2015

WOW. That was long. Did it seem a little long to you? Sorry for the blog absence, but school is so much more stressful than I ever anticipated. 

What books have you gotten this week? Have you read any of the books I've gotten?

I need to go on a book-buying ban . . . I'm going on a book-buying ban.


Bookstore Exploration | McKay's Used Books

Bookstore Explorations is a post that manifested out of my own excitement to visit my very first independent bookstore.

So this 'un has more of a story with it than the last.

You know how people say "road trips are fun" well I am here to attest to the fact that while fun, they can also be horrific. I got high key lost looking for this god-forsaken bookstore. I drove into the wrong town and somehow Google Maps took me to a dance studio.

(Probably the universe's way of telling me to exercise more and sit around less, but who listens to the universe?)

And unlike most bookstores, this place was thriving. I struggled to find a parking spot in my anxious state, and I have honestly never seen so many people at a bookstore on a Friday night in my entire life.

It made me so happy.

What didn't make me happy was my phone's decision to die whilst I was in the store, hence the three very horrible photos. However, I think you might still be able to see just how many books there are in this store in these two pictures:

I picked up ten amazing books while I was there, but honestly there were so many more that I had to put back on the shelves.

There were entire columns of cubbies dedicated to Divergent, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Percy Jackson, Vampire Academy, and The Mortal Instruments (I may have spent most of my time in the young adult aisle).

They had an amazing selection (however there was an astounding lack of Diana Gabaldon and Sophie Kinsella and Colleen Hoover), and I will definitely go back. Once my bank account recovers from the blow it took that Friday night.

Also, they had an amazing CD/DVD/Vinyl/Comics section that I didn't even touch. (Possible round 2?)

Are there any stores like this in your town? Tell me about them down below!


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | I Almost Died

The first sentence in this book is: "This is the file that almost killed me."

I feel as though that accurately describes how I felt upon finishing this book. It hits a point (just under halfway through) where I could not/would not put it down. It's insane, it's crazy intense, and I really fell into this story.

It's been a while since a story has really drawn me into it, and though Illuminae took about a 200 pages to get to the crazy-intense-ness, I was drawn into the story from the very beginning.

Even though it's been about a week and a half since I finished this book, it's still hard for me to gather my thoughts on it. It was a masterpiece, and honestly I would suggest going into this book knowing just these things:

1) There are three ships. The Hypatia, The Alexander, and The Lincoln.

2) The ships have passenger-refugees on it from a planet that was recently destroyed.

3) It's five intense.

4) Descriptions of characters are sparse because of the way the story is told. However, that doesn't take away from the feeling of knowing the characters in the least.

5) I loved every single character.

6) I was scared to death quite a few times in this book.

7) If you tweet about Illuminae, Jay Kristoff will find it.

Content: PG-13
Language: Technically not there (it's blacked out, but you can tell what it is)
Violence: Mild-Medium

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (The Illuinae Files #1)
Published: 20 October 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format - Pages: Hardcover - 599
Source: Amazon
Genre: Young Adult Science-Fiction
Goodreads - My Goodreads Rating
Buy it! - Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
 HAVE YOU READ THIS YET? YOU NEED TO BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME. Please read it and then come find me so we can discuss.


Stacking the Shelves [33]: The One Without Self-Control

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and it's all about sharing the books that have come into your possession throughout the week, whether it books added to your collection, ebooks, library books, etc. Sunday post is a weekly meme  hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer where bloggers can recap their week, showcase books, and share news.
I would like to preface this haul with the statement that most of these books were picked up through a lack of self control. However, I regret zero of these purchases because used books are hecka cheap. 

The Stack(s)

  • A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY: There is so much love for Libba Bray. She writes like twelve different genres and is apparently amazing at all of them, so naturally I had to pick up this book (it was less than $2, so don't judge me).
  • SHATTER ME & UNITE ME: Let me say this: If you haven't read the Shatter Me trilogy, please, please, please go and pick it up. I was 5 excited when I saw these sitting next to each other. Now all I need to complete my trilogy is Unravel Me.
  • JUST ONE DAY: Everyone who has read this book absolutely loves it. Also I don't have enough contemporaries on my shelves.  
  • MORE THAN THIS: Literally everyone says to go into this book blind. So I will.

  • FINDING AUDREY: I WAS SO SURPRISED TO SEE THIS AT THE USED BOOKSTORE because it came out not too long ago. I was scouring for some of Sophie Kinsella's adult books, and this was the only one that I could find. I haven't heard the best things, but I want to read it for myself.
  • MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE: Okay, this is another that I know not a lot about. It has a pretty cover, and a lot of people own it, and it's about a bookstore. That's all I need.
  • MAGONIA: Everyone seems to not really like this book, but those kinds of books really intrigue me. I may not end up liking it, but I'm going in with zero expectations so maybe I will be okay.
  • LEGACY OF KINGS: Okay, this was another that I was just so shocked to see there that I couldn't leave it there. I have heard amazing things about this, and I am so excited to pick it up.
  • ABOUT GRACE: As I was wandering around the bookstore, I saw All the Light We Cannot See. If you've followed me for a while, you know that I read that in January and absolutely love it. So I went to admire the books as well as see if they had his short story collection (The Shell Collector). They didn't, but I saw this and literally none of the people I am friends with or follow on Goodreads have even added this to their shelves. So, I was intrigued (it was also it was only $1.25).

Elsewhere on the Internet

IT'S HERE. WHAT? IT'S HAPPENING. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY. (I have a review here that you can read if you want to know more about the book.)

What I Read This Week

I am currently trying to review put a review together for this book, and it's so difficult because I loved it so much. Also it was amazing. Please pick it up, no matter how scared you are.

When I Wasn't Reading

I was stressing because so many things (sorry for the absence on the blog this past month) are due all at once plus working on weekends leaves zero time to do anything other than schoolwork.


Illuminae Review
Bookstore Exploration
8 Reasons to Read/Re-Read Harry Potter this Christmas

What has been happening in your life this month? What have you been reading or buying? Tell me down in the comments!


The One Where I Contemplate "Outdated" Series | The Mortal Instruments

Put down your pitchforks, I am not saying that The Mortal Instruments is outdated.

This is a post where I ask you your opinions on the question of "Is it too late for me to read this book?"

One of my favorite aspects of book blogging is being part of this bigger community. When I read the books that everyone is reading (or people start to pick up the books that I recommend) I can feel the community wrapping around me and supporting me. I mean, look at the giant series and books that we can conquer together!

But what about the series that you might have "missed out" on? Do you think can miss out on a series?

Present Day Example: The Mortal Instruments Series

I am eighteen years old, a freshman in college, and I have never read the original series by Cassie Clare. Swiftly approaching it's ninth book birthday, City of Bones seems like a book that pretty much everyone in the book community has read. I constantly feel isolated from the book community because Jase, Clary (?), and Simon are just names to me. I've read the first two books in the Infernal Devices trilogy, and I am eagerly anticipating Lady Midnight's release in 2016; however, I feel like my opinions on her new release would be discarded because I'm not a "true fan" because I never read the absurdly large six book long series.

Since I first heard about it, I discarded the series as one I would probably never read. Then I read the Infernal Devices, and now there's a television show coming out that everyone and their book buddies are talking about. All within the course of a week, I have wanted to reach for City of Bones, and I am wondering whether it is of my own accord or if the pressure of the community is getting to me.

There are two main fears that I have if I do decide to read this series, both of which are lurking in corners, ready to pop out and destroy me:

  1. What happens if I don't like it? - Then I am still the outsider, and I still feel excluded and apart from the community. Best case scenario of not liking it: I at least know that I don't like it (the not knowing is kind of killing me.)
  2. What about my TBR? - I have so many other books on my TBR. SO MANY OTHER BOOKS that are crying out for me to read them. If I read these, then the other books are just sitting on my shelves, unloved, while I devour a freakin' gigantic six book series.
What do I do? Do I read this series or no? Is it outdated? Has it lived past it's prime? Please impart your wisdom down in the comments!


Stacking the Shelves [32]: Full Price Books

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and it's all about sharing the books that have come into your possession throughout the week, whether it books added to your collection, ebooks, library books, etc. Sunday post is a weekly meme  hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer where bloggers can recap their week, showcase books, and share news.

The Stack

  • THE INTERESTINGSInitially, I wanted to read this book for the Popsugar challenge of "Read a book by an author with your same initials" but I've decided that I will probably not read it until next year (thinking about reusing the popsugar challenge for 2016) because I want to just read what I want to read for the rest of the year. Right now, this just isn't what I want to read. STILL REALLY EXCITED TO READ IT THOUGH.
  • THE BRONZE HORSEMAN: Speaking of reading what I want to read, Shannon @ Leaning Lights and her bookclub are reading this book starting 12/7 and I have been looking for a reason to read and pick up this book, so here it is! YAY!

When I Wasn't Reading

I DID MY FIRST ADULTY THING TODAY (besides buying groceries because lets be real my groceries consist of tea, chocolate, and ramen). I got my headlight replaced by myself! I found the tire place and everything . . . all on my own. 

I also ventured to a used bookstore (see next week's stacking the shelves) and came out with a hefty haul. Excited to right another "Bookstore Explorations" post. 

You Might Have Missed


Etsy Spotlight
Top 5 Hunger Games Moments
"Outdated Series" Discussion | TMI

Have you read either of these books? Tell me your thoughts if you have! Also, tell me if you want to read any of the books I mentioned.


#FridayReads - 13 November 2015

This isn't a requested feature on my blog, but I do enjoy doing it. It's a personal TBR for the day (because heaven knows I never follow my monthly ones) where I can give y'all an insight into what I'm currently reading.

While my sidebar says I am currently reading Magnus Chase, I am actually currently reading Illuminae. I'm only about 20 pages in, but it's so interesting already.

I am going to (forcibly) break up reading Illuminae by finishing two of the books I needed to have finished for school a couple of weeks ago: The Stranger and Beloved. Finals are coming up, and I only have the last fifty pages or so in each of these, and tonight is the perfect night to knock them out.

What are you reading this Friday? Tell me down in the comments!


(Baby) Blogger's First Independent Bookstore Visit | Starline Books

Sit down, kids, it's story time.

Am I ever going to Barnes and Noble again? No. (Not while I am in college at least.) If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I work at Panera. Naturally (because I am a naturally difficult person to deal with) I don't work at the one five minutes away from my dorm, I work at the one that requires interstate access.

So, one day as I was sitting at a red light on the edge of downtown, I saw this beside me:

then the red light turns green, and I get whiplash trying to figure out which street I am on because I need to get back to this spot. I think I just spotted an independent bookstore.

Fast-forward a week or so, and I have my first Friday night off in what seems like forever. As a bookworm, I had planned to spend the night in while everyone else on my hall went to a party to get turnt. (Is that what the kids call it these days? I wouldn't know because I am a 90 year old stuffed into an 18 year old's body.) Then I remembered that sign Come and Be Literated (A++ to whoever came up with that slogan) and begin madly searching google maps and facebook pages for companies until I found it: Starline Books.

Just look at those shelves. Look at 'em.

The picture on the left is the entrance floor (1st floor), and it houses pretty much all of the literary and contemporary fiction. There is also a small cubbie of graphic novels and comics.* This was the main wall of books, and while they don't have absolutely everything, they will order books in for you! Also, students and educators get a 10% discount at checkout!

*Side note: There is also a cubbie for local authors, one of which is the beloved Victoria Schwab (one of her homes is good old Nashville). 

The picture on the right is the ground floor, where the majority of the children's, MG, and YA books are kept. The boat bookcase houses some outdoors guides and the little island of cubbies in the middle houses MG on one side and non-fiction on the other. And again, while they didn't have everything, the YA and MG shelves were stocked with new releases.

I ended up picking up The Goldfinch by Donna Tart, which came highly recommended to me by the shop owner (currently hitting myself over the head because I can't remember her name) along with Tart's first novel A Secret History.

I am so glad that I found this bookstore, and I will definitely be going back.

Have you visited a local, independent bookstore? If so, tell me all about your experience in the comments below!