Book Haul #80: Birthday Haul

My birthday was a few weeks ago, so some of these books were bought around that time as gifts to myself. I’ve been actually trying to buy less and read more of what I already own, so hopefully my hauls will be less and further apart this year.



These three are all novels. I read the first few lines of How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe and was so tickled that I bought it. The Abercrombie book was bought to continue my buddy-read with Emily at Embuhleelist, and I’ve been curious about A Marvellous Light since reading Tammy’s review of it. Plus, I like the cover. (I got it for half off!!)

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

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Top 5 Tuesday #71: Scavenger Hunt!

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic:

Well… the theme for this month’s topic is scavenger hunt, so every week participants had to find books that contain the week’s object on the cover or in the title. I… didn’t participate because life, so I’ve decided to do all the month’s topics in this post.

I’ll start with the topic for this week.

Find a…

…book with a book on the cover

Book Love by Debbie Tung (illus.)

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Mini Magical Readathon | 2022 — Prep for Orilium Wrap-Up

Hey! 😀 I managed to complete the mini readathon within the time frame I gave myself! I’m so happy!

This mini readathon was just to get us excited and prepared for the longer one taking place next month (April), where we actually begin classes at Orilium Academy. If you’re confused about what I’m taking about, check out G’s video (or my previous post on this). She’s the creator of this readathon that allows us to created characters and get as creative with them as we want.

This mini readathon took place March 14–20 but because of my busy schedule these days, I extended it for myself to March 15–28 and mostly read picture books and comics. It was wonderful, and that’s the thing with this readathon: We can make it as intense or chill as we want it to be. It’s totally up to you.

During the mini readathon, we read to determine what conduit (an object that helps the character  direct their magic) and legacy (a skill, ability, or pact unique to each guild) our character will achieve before beginning studies at Orilium. I also used the time to complete my characters’ backgrounds. Here’s what I’ve got:

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Six for Sunday: For the Love of Nature

Six for Sunday is a bookish meme created and hosted by Steph at A Little But a Lot.

This Sunday’s topic:

Books with nature themes

I’ve selected 6 books below that discuss some aspect of nature. The bunch here is composed of graphic novels and picture books, some for adults and some for kids. I’ve read all except two. (I’ll like the titles to my reviews.)

The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht (illus.)

This is one of the books I haven’t read yet, but I’m looking forward to it. From the bits I’ve quickly read, I get that this one will be hilarious. It’s a field guide that does contain true facts about the illustrated birds, but it’s all done in a snarky tone. I’d say it’s for older teens and adults.

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Thoughts on the MinaLima Editions of the First Two Harry Potter Books

And finally, I’m discussing the last books I read last year — the MinaLima illustrated editions of the first and second Harry Potter books.

The Harry Potter series is catnip for me. If a new edition is published, I’ll most likely get it, so yea, I’m looking forward to the upcoming Jim Dale illustrated version of the fifth book, which I think is coming out this year in October, and am hoping MinaLima will do illustrated versions of all the books and that a third one is forthcoming.

Since the Harry Potter books are so popular and I’ve discussed the story several times on here, this won’t be a typical review because I won’t discuss the story — plot, characters, and all that. Instead, I’ll just focus on the illustrations and structure of the physical book and how those things affected my reading experience.

My thoughts

The short of it — I LOVE the MinaLima editions of the Harry Potter series. They are exactly what I expect when I see “illustrated edition” tagged to a title. The illustrations are bright, colorful, quirky, and interactive, and I think they fit the playful tone of the story, especially for the first books.

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“There Will Come a Darkness” by Katy Rose Pool

Here’s another book I read last year and am FINALLY getting around to reviewing. I learned of There Will Come a Darkness from Mary at Mary and the Words. She did a wonderful post on religion in books that piqued my interest as soon as I saw the title.

In addition to the “chosen one” trope, religion is another element I LOVE in my fantasy, so I was glad for the fantasy books Mary mentioned in her post. Of course, There Will Come a Darkness was one of the books and what Mary said about the characters’ relationship with their religion really appealed to me as it seems there would be some complexities there to untangle (and there are). I also liked that she mentions religion is woven into the cultures of the world, which is another thing that greatly interested me making me quickly check to see if a copy was available at my library.

In the midst of a serious reading slump, this book was a ray of positivity. It was the only book I read in October last year, and I took the entire month to read it, but it was worth it. I had a wonderful time and if not for it, I probably wouldn’t have read anything.


YA Fantasy


Age of Darkness, book 1



From Goodreads

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

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Six for Sunday: Books to Get You Out of a Slump

Six for Sunday is a bookish meme created and hosted by Steph at A Little But a Lot.

This Sunday’s topic:

Books to get people out of reading slumps

We all suffer from reading slumps every now and then. Actually, I recently crawled out of one. It was the longest slump I’ve ever endured and a wicked one at that because it was both a reading and blogging slump. Although I managed to read and blog some during it, it wasn’t to the level of enjoyment and energy that I usually participate in those activities.

I think to determine what’s best to help you out of a slump, you first have to figure out what caused the slump. If it’s because you’ve been reading too much of one genre, then switching to a different genre could cure the slump. If it’s because you’ve been reading too much too fast (say, for a readathon), then switching to shorter, lighter reads and taking the time to fully take them in could help — or taking a break from reading. It’s the same, I think, if the slump is brought on by having a busy schedule that either leaves no time for reading or that makes you so tired that the thought of reading exhausts you (which was my case).

However, if a break from reading isn’t needed, I usually turn to these sorts of books to help me out of slumps.

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Mini Magical Readathon | 2022 — Prep for Orilium

The Magical Readathon continues!

If you’re not familiar with this readathon, here’s a quick rundown —

It was created by G, a booktuber who runs Book Roast. It was initially inspired by the Harry Potter books, but she switched it up by creating her own world as the basis for the readathon.

The first part of the revamped version took place in fall 2021, where participants journeyed to Orilium Academy, the magic school in G’s fantastical world. The reading prompts were based on the things we encountered on the journey to Orilium Academy. Once completed, we took a quick quiz to determine what guild we’ll join at the academy.

Now G is hosting a Mini Magical Readathon to help us get ready to begin our studies at Orilium Academy in April. It’s a short readathon, taking place March 14-20, with even shorter requirements (just two, actually). All you have to do for this readathon is choose a conduit and a guild legacy for your character.

There’s a reading prompt for each of the various conduits and guild legacies, but I’ll only list below the ones I’ve chosen for my characters. I got overexcited last year and created two characters for the readathon — the party lover, ZeZee (because I couldn’t be bothered to think of another name), and her introverted pal, Silverin.

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Last Couple Books Read in 2021

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review, and whenever this happens, I feel as if I’ve forgotten how to write them. That’s how I feel now. It’s partly due to not having written one in a while and also having forgotten some details about the books I read. But, since my plan with this blog is to chat about every book I read, I’d like to post something about the books I read during the last months of 2021.

Those last months were a very busy, very stressful time for me, which is why I’ve delayed chatting about the books until now. Things got so overwhelming that I didn’t blog as much as I usually did and had a bout of reading slumpiness that lasted until… a few weeks ago. It was probably my longest reading slump. But now that I really feel back to my old self, I’d like to catch up on the MANY blogging and reading things I wanted to do since the slump hit — starting with these reviews.

I read all of these back in September last year, so I’ve forgotten much.

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger


MG Fantasy


Keeper of the Lost Cities, book 1



Quick summary

In this middle grade fantasy, we meet Sophie Foster, a 12-year-old, telepathic girl who is often treated as an outcast — even by her own family. However, one day she sees a boy with very interesting blue eyes at the museum and he helps her to realize that she does not belong in the human world. He tells her that she’s an elf and must leave her family to protect them.

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Six for Sunday: Green Covers

Six for Sunday is a bookish meme created and hosted by Steph at A Little But a Lot.

This Sunday’s topic:

Books With Green Covers

Well, in my part of the world, green things are starting to hint at sprouting again, heralding the coming of spring… and my allergies. So here are some green books for my blog.

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