Category Archives: Lists

Happy 20th Anniversary to Harry Potter!!

harry potter


It’s beyond difficult to comprehend and wrap my head around this whole thing. This means that I read the first Harry Potter when I was roughly 7/8, which is beyond crazy to think about. I’ll truly never forget the memories of my mom bringing me home the next Harry Potter book, running up to my room and savoring every single word of the next beautifully written book. I have loved this series from the first read of the first book all the way to today…and I know that I will continue to love this series for many years to come. In order to commemorate this incredible series, I thought I would do something fun here and share the 20 lessons that Harry Potter taught me. Both in what the stories taught me and what being a real Potterhead has taught me over these past 20 years.

  1. Cherish your family always. While family may drive you crazy, when things really hit the fan…they are going to be the ones to be there to protect you no matter what.
  2. With that being said, there is also value and beauty in the family that we choose for ourselves.
  3. Be proud of who you are, no matter what other people may say about you. Hufflepuff pride!!
  4. Grief and heartbreak are inevitable and is so painful. But, letting yourself truly experience those feelings are the only way to not only get through it, but to also gain power back to your life.
  5. You are never too old for a fairytale.
  6. While our past may be filled with dark monsters and memories that we want to so badly escape, the only thing that we can do is hold onto those around us and together, move forward to a brighter future.
  7. People are always so much more than what meets the eye. They may surprise you, even in the best of ways.
  8. Best friends are truly irreplaceable and they will also get into trouble right alongside with you.
  9. Love always ALWAYS trumps hate. Like, always.
  10. No one outgrows magic.
  11. Never be afraid to ask for help.
  12. Being wealthy doesn’t necessarily mean having lots of money; it also means having a lot of love in your life.
  13. Sometimes, adult don’t always know what’s best. And sometimes, we need to let our children be our voices.
  14. With that being said, age truly does bring wisdom. Seek the wisdom of those who have done life before us.
  15. Hermione taught me that my education will be my greatest asset in life and that I shouldn’t let anyone take that away from me.
  16. Snape taught me that love is forever. Always and forever.
  17. Malfoy taught me that we should never judge people, as we never truly know what is going on in their lives.
  18. Luna taught me that weird and being different is wonderful and beautiful. My weirdness and awkwardness makes me beautiful.
  19. A “home” is a place that is filled with love and happiness, meaning a “home” can be more than just the house that you live in.
  20. Stories that you love will stay with you forever. Thank you, J.K. Rowling for this lesson.

The Harry Potter series has brought so much joy and happiness into my life over the past 20 years. As a young and anxious child, Harry Potter helped me to feel less alone and to feel like there was beauty in my anxiety. So thank you to J.K. Rowling for writing a story that has stayed with so many for so many years.

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24 Bookish Facts About ARMW

Hello readers! Happy Valentine’s Day! What could be better than to share our one true love with our readers! We thought it might be fun to share  a few bookish facts about ourselves, and why we LOVE books, and how nerdy we really are at heart. It doesn’t always have to be about the books, sometimes, we can brag about ourselves a little bit. Okay, okay, only if it related to books somehow! 🙂

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Val’s Top 5 of 2016

Yes, I am terribly late at this, and if you haven’t read many of my posts let me tell you… grad school is a B. For your pleasure, these are my top 5 of 2016:

  1. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – Classic murder mystery, told backwards day by day. Most amazing end of novel surprise I have read in a LONG time.
  2. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – Sooo… I love mysteries….this one tugged on my heart strings, real good.
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I accidentally turned on HBO and watched the movie one day and became completely obsessed with what the book must be like. Spoiler Alert: It didn’t disappoint.
  4. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
  5. Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht
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Val’s 2017 TBR

Hi all! I’m alive!

Reading in my spare time has been a challenge lately; spare time is kind of a joke when you work full time, go to graduate school, have a consulting internship, and volunteer on committees and panels for your workplace. HOWEVER, in the meantime I have become addicted to BookBub, and in the process have purchased several books I am excited to read. Don’t get me wrong, I basically purchase 1 e-book/day (although I still like real books better)

Here are some books newly on my Kindle that I am excited to read:

  1. The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht
  2. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
  3. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
  4. Room by Emma Donaghue
  5. Yes Please by Amy Pohler
  6. Losing Gemma by Kay Gardner
  7. The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer
  8. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  9. Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica
  10. The Woman Next Door by Cass Green
  11. I am Having So Much Fun Without You by Courtney Maum
  12. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
  13. The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight
  14. What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan
  15. Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

Let’s all hope I get through at least one of these this year 🙂

P.S. I cataloged all the book I own years ago, but that list died with my old laptop, however over break I finally started the process over again. I can’t wait to finally have that project completed again!

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Rachel’s Reading Resolutions!

I loved reading Christina’s Reading Resolutions, so I wanted to create my own! I feel like it’s good motivation for me to kick the year off right 🙂 Enjoy!

  1. b3bd1ebfaef07ef4551e13f7e2749805_stack-of-books-images-clipart-pictures-of-stack-of-books_1000-1419An author that you’d like to read that you’ve never read before // I haven’t checked out Sarah J. Maas, so I want to check out A Court of Thorns and Roses or Throne of Glass.
  2. A book you’d like to read // General indeed. I’ll say A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir, because I’ve been meaning to get to it.
  3. A classic you’d like to read // I’ve been meaning to read another by F. Scott Fitzgerald, maybe Tender is the Night or the Beautiful and Damned.
  4. A book you’d like to reread // I used to love Madeline L’Engles books as a kid, so I want to pick up A Wrinkle in Time again.
  5. A book you’ve had for ages and would like to read // I can’t even remember when I bought Dune, it was so far back. I picked it up because I heard it was the sci-fi book, and I need to get to it already.
  6. A big book that you’d like to read // I’m a total broken record, but I want to finish Les Mis!
  7. An author that you’ve read from the past that you’d like to read more from this year // I’ve been meaning to pick up another one of Jack Kerouac’s books.
  8. A book that you got for Christmas that you’d like to read // I (thankfully!) didn’t get any. I kept dropping hints that I already own too many I haven’t gotten to!
  9. A series you want to read from start to finish // Man, I guess if I was feeling really ambitious, I would say Red Rising by Pierce Brown. A more likely one would be Madeline L’engle’s Time Quartet.
  10. A series that you’d like to finish that you’ve already started // The Half Bad Trilogy…wasn’t too crazy about the second, but want to read Half Lost to see it through tie the end.
  11. How many books do you plan to read in the year 2017 // My GoodReads goal is 30, but I’m including textbooks in that number. This semester already has a very heavy reading load, but I hope to have more time as the year goes on!
  12. Do you have any other reading goals // It’s a small one, but I honestly just want to make more time for leisure reading during the hectic semester, even if it’s just ten minutes here and there.

What are your reading resolutions this year? Let us know!

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Reading Resolutions 2017!!


Hello readers! As it is January, I know everyone is still thinking about, talking about and formulating their New Years resolutions for the year 2017!! Personally, though, I don’t set resolutions, rather I have done the #onewordxxxx where I pick a word to form my year around. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and I have really enjoyed what this does for my year. If you’re curious, my #oneword2017 is “intention” 🙂

Anyways, since I haven’t set resolutions, I thought that this Reading Resolutions Tag would be a fun way to think about my reading for the year! I initially saw this on JessetheReaders’ channel, which I highly (again) recommend checking out! 🙂 So without further ado, here we go with the Reading Resolutions Tag!

  1. An author that you’d like to read that you’ve never read before // I definitely want to read any of Brandon Sandersons’ works, specifically the Mistborn trilogy. I have heard nothing but good things of Brandon Sandersons’ works and as a lover of fantasy/high-fantasy, I am all about it. 
  2. A book you’d like to read // Well, this is pretty simple – I’d like to read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. My boyfriend is currently reading it as I got it for him for Christmas and he is raving about it.  
  3. A classic you’d like to read // I actually did recently pick up Sense and Sensibility and I definitely want to read this soon. I also would like to collect the rest of the “Classic Lines” classic books just cause they’re so pretty!!!  
  4. A book you’d like to reread // I definitely want to reread both To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You in anticipation for the upcoming final book in this now trilogy: Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I loved these first two books and I was so excited when I heard that Jenny Han would be writing a third book, so I want to be prepared in anticipation for this big release! Definitely one of my most anticipated releases of 2017!!  
  5. A book you’ve had for ages and would like to read // I want to read The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – I’ve had this book for forever!! I remember getting it for super cheap at a Half Price Books and I loved the sound of it. Now, it’s three books in and I am hearing fantastic reviews, so I want this to be the year that I finally read this!! 
  6. A big book that you’d like to read // I recently and finally bought Outlander by Diana Gabaldon with a birthday gift card that I got. I definitely have been wanting to read this for quite some time and so many people have told me that I’d definitely enjoy it, so this is the year!  
  7. An author that you’ve read from the past that you’d like to read more from this year // I loved the Archived duology by Victoria Schwab (V.E. Schwab) and I definitely want to read more from her! I just got This Savage Song, so I’m excited to get into that.  
  8. A book that you got for Christmas that you’d like to read // I only got Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo from my boyfriend and I am currently reading it and LOVING IT!! So, BOOM! One resolution already almost done!  
  9. A series you want to read from start to finish // Another set of books that I’ve owned for forever are the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness, consisting of: The Knife of Never Letting Go, Ask and the Answer and Monsters of MenAgain, I got these for pretty cheap at a local used bookstore and again, I’ve heard so many good reviews that I definitely want to get around to this trilogy this year. 
  10. A series that you’d like to finish that you’ve already started // I guess the only thing that I can come up with is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I still need to read Empire of Storms, and I know the series is ending this year so hopefully, I will be finishing this series this year.  
  11. How many books do you plan to read in the year 2017 // My GoodReads Reading Challenge is set at 48, which comes out to 4 books a month. I’d be happy if I could do that for the year. I am also working on completing the 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, which is 52 books. So, we’ll see? 
  12. Do you have any other reading goals // A big reading goal that I have this year is to read from more women of color, both fiction and nonfiction. As a woman of color in today’s social and political climate, the one way that I can feel empowered in myself is to immerse myself and surround myself with other strong women of color. I would love to not only read from authors that identify as women of color, but I would love to read more books with women of color protagonists. 

 Alright, so here are some of my reading resolutions! What are some of your reading resolutions? Any book in particular that you are excited to read? I hope you’ve all had a wonderful reading start!! 🙂


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Festive Christmas Book Tag


Hello readers!! I know that we’ve been a little…or a lot…MIA on our blog here. Life just gets hectic with two of us in grad school and the other who got beyond busy with work. Le sigh… We will definitely be making a bigger effort in the New Year to bring back the same content that you have come to love and enjoy in our little corner of the book blogging community! 🙂

That being said! I thought I’d do the Festive Christmas Book Tag that I’ve seen circulating around the BookTube!! How appropriate with the holidays coming up – I thought this was a fun little addition to our blog this month! I got these questions off of JesseTheReaders’ video and you should definitely check his (and his channel) out!! 🙂

  1. Fictional family that you’d like to have dinner with // I definitely have to say the Weasley family!! I mean, come on! Who doesn’t want dinner made by Mrs. Weasley, chat Ministry gossip with Mr. Weasley and banter around with all the Weasley children? 
  2. A bookish item that you’d like to receive as a gift // I would almost hate to bring up Harry Potter again, but who doesn’t want a Time Turner? Am I right?! 
  3. A fictional character that you think would make the perfect elf // For some reason, I thought of Cat from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell? I think this because Cat, to me, appears to be someone that enjoys making people happy, but doesn’t want the attention. She is happy with the behind the scenes business of it all. 
  4. Match a book to its perfect Christmas song // Since I’m reading it, a part of me wants to connect Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo to “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”…haha!! Only because it’s a band of convicts attempting to pull off an impossible heist. 
  5. A book or character that you’ve been disappointed in that deserves to be on the “Naughty List” // I’d have to go with Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski… I was so disappointed in this when I read this in October. The premise sets it up to be so eerie and creepy, but it ended up leaving me wanting more at the end. 
  6. A book or character that deserves that you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserves to be on the “Nice List” // Definitely, the Amulet graphic novel series! I’m still working my way through this, but I don’t think this series gets enough love. I think the artwork is phenomenal, the story is so much fun and the characters have such depth! 
  7. my-true-love-gave-to-meRed, gold, and green…a book cover that has a wonderfully Christmas feel to it // Is it too obvious to go with My True Love Gave To Me? 😉 
  8. A book or series that you love so much that you want everyone to find it under their tree this year // I’d have to go with the Lunar Chronicles!!! Love love love! And I want everyone else to love them too! 🙂 

Well, I hope you all enjoyed that fun little book tag! 🙂 I hope everyone is having a wonderful December and enjoying some great winter reads! 🙂

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