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Kells

Kell's Reading Realm

Life is short, read fast! 

Reading progress update: I've read 198 out of 448 pages.

American Royals - Katharine McGee

24 Festive Tasks: The Eight Final Holidays

Reblogged from Themis-Athena's Garden of Books:

 

The calendar's eight final holidays and associated book tasks are:

 

Door 17: Dec. 21 – Winter Solstice (Yule / Yaldā Night / Dongzhi / Soyal)

Book: Read a book that takes place in December, with ice or snow on the cover, where all events take place in a single day or night, that revolves around the solstice, set in Persia / Iran, China or the American Southwest or prominently featuring Persian / Iranian, Chinese or Native American characters, or a collection of poetry.

 

Door 18: Dec. 22 – Hanukkah

Book: Read a book about light, miracles, featuring Jewish characters, set in Israel, that is the second book in a series, with the word “two” in the title, or with a light on the cover.

 

Door 19: Dec. 23 – Festivus

Book: Read any comedy, parody, or satire.

 

Door 20: Dec. 25 – Christmas

Book: Read a Christmas book.

 

Door 21: Dec. 26 – Kwanzaa

Book: Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author, with a green, red, or black cover, or with crops of the earth or a native African animal on the cover (lion, giraffe, cheetah, etc.).

 

Door 22: Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day

Book: Read a book about an ending or a new start, where things go BOOM, with fireworks on the cover, set in medieval times, about the papacy, or where miracles of any sort are performed.

 

Door 23: Dec. 32 – Hogswatch

Book: Any- and everything Terry Pratchett.

For the members of the Discworld group: This of course includes the Discworld December read, Guards! Guards!, as well as some group members' favorite seasonal reread, Hogfather.

 

Door 24: Jan. 6 – Twelfth Night / Epiphany

Book: Read a book featuring three main characters, about traveling on a journey to a faraway place, a book that’s part of a trilogy, with a star on the cover, with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title, or concerning kings or spices.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 448 pages.

American Royals - Katharine McGee

Book: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, a book whose plot involves costumes / fancy dress, or that has masks on the cover, or that is self-published.

24 Festive Tasks Door 1 - Book

Dark Chocolate Demise - Jenn McKinlay

This is the seventh book in A Cupcake Bakery Mystery. Mel, Angie, Tate, Oz and Marty from Fairy Tale Cupcakes are participating in a zombie walk. During the zombie walk, it is no surprise that there ends up being a dead body in a casket the crew is using for photo opportunities near their cupcake truck. It is during this time that Joe DeLaura is participating in a high profile case and everyone is on high alert thinking it was really Angie that was the target. 

 

Although I love Mel with Joe, I do enjoy the triangle with the handsome detective Manny. There is a very nice scene where Manny is telling Mel about his childhood and how he and his family would celebrate Dia De Los Muertos. That made it perfect for this task. 

 

I still love the relationships between all the major and minor characters. There are some dumb-witted moments that Mel and Angie get themselves into, but for the sake of the story those moments work and I don't think too much into them. It's such great fun listening to these audio books. The ending leads into the next book, as do all the other books, so I can't wait to read the next one!

A most enjoyable read!

 

Using this for the book for the First Door! 

 

 

 

 

I think with that I am going to close this door! 

Festive Tasks: Door 3 - Melbourne Cup Day

Festive Tasks: Door 3 - Melbourne Cup Day
 

Task 3: Aussies shorten everything, so Melbourne Cup Day is just called “Cup Day” – post a picture of your favorite cup or mug for your daily fix of coffee, tea or chocolate.

 

 

I keep my favorite cups at work because that is where I really need a tea break. This is my favorite one that stays on my desk. It's Scottish thistle and is from England. 

 

 

My other favorite mug is also at work but I don't drink from it. It's way too cute. I got this from the wonderful Obsidian Blue as my prize in last year's Halloween Bingo! Everyone at work loves it. I hate having to take it down... so it's staying for another week or so. :D

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 71%.

Dark Chocolate Demise - Jenn McKinlay

Reading progress update: I've listened 225 out of 450 minutes.

Dark Chocolate Demise - Jenn McKinlay

24 Festive Tasks Door 1 - Tasks 1, 3 and current book

Door 1:  Dia de Los Muertos

Task 1: Compose a limerick or short poem in honor of a favorite book character.

 

Please be warned! I don't have a creative bone in my body but I am going to take a stab at this. HA! At the moment my favorite book character is Joe DeLaura from The Cupcake Bakery Mystery series. I see him as one of my favorite actors, Lucas Bryant. 

 

There was a delicious prosecutor with dark eyes

Who insisted on telling his fiancé lies

He wanted to protect her

She was a restauranteur 

On his part, it wasn't very wise. 

 

Oy so bad!! hahaha

 

 

Task 3: Write an epitaph for the book you most disliked this year. The worst book I read this year was Navy Grooms by Debbie Macomber. This too is groan worthy. LOL

 

 

Here lies Navy Grooms

I gave up the Ship. 

 

Book: Reread a favorite book by a deceased author or from a finished series, or read a book set in Mexico or a book that either has a primarily black and white cover or all the colors (ROYGBIV) on the cover, or a book featuring zombies.

 

Currently reading: 

 

I had one book in mind for this with a black and white cover but I am also currently listening to Dark Chocolate Demise where Scottsdale's Old Town is holding it first annual Zombie Walk and everybody at Fairy Tale Cupcakes is getting into the spirit by dressing up as zombies. When Manny, a secondary character tells Mel about his childhood and celebrating Dia de Los Muertos, I thought it was the perfect book for this task. :) 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 142 out of 501 pages.

In Pieces. A Memoir: Sally Field - Sally Field
Door 1: Task 4
Door 1: Task 4

Task 4: Do you have any traditions or mementos of happy memories of a loved one that you feel like sharing?

 

This is my beautiful Grandma, Helen. We lost her in 2017 at the age of 93. A light went out in our family that year. Toward the end of her life she lived about 2 hours away from me and we would get her at Christmas every year to stay with us for two or three weeks. Everyone in our house looked forward to it, even our pets. Here she is during one of the last Christmas' she spent with us. Our dog Bandit is experiencing the bliss we all felt when we curled up next to her. She loved popping bubble wrap so we'd give her all the bubble wrap we could find and she'd be so content cuddling, popping her bubbles and watching Texas Walker Ranger. :D 

 

She left a hole in my heart that will never be filled. 

24 Festive Tasks: Tracking Post

 

 

I am marking the ones that I have "completed" with a candle. Since this is my first festive tasks game, my goal is to get at least one point per day! 

 

Door 1:  Dia de Los Muertos - Closed

Task 1 Completed: Compose a limerick or short poem in honor of a favorite book character.

Task 3 Completed: Write an epitaph for the book you most disliked this year.

Task 4 Completed: Do you have any traditions or mementos of happy memories of a loved one that you feel like sharing?

Book Completed:  Reread a favorite book by a deceased author or from a finished series, or read a book set in Mexico or a book that either has a primarily black and white cover or all the colors (ROYGBIV) on the cover, or a book featuring zombies. - Read Dark Chocolate Demise by Jenn McKinlay

Total Points = 4

 

 

 

Door 2:  Japanese Culture Day - Closed

Task 4 Completed: If you like Japanese food, treat yourself to a favorite dish.

Book Completed: Read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting. Read: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Total Points = 2

 

 

 

Door 3:  Melbourne Cup Day - Closed 

Task 1 Completed: Pick your ponies.*  

Task 3 Completed: Aussies shorten everything, so Melbourne Cup Day is just called “Cup Day” – post a picture of your favorite cup or mug for your daily fix of coffee, tea or chocolate. 

Total Points = 2 

 

 

Door 4:  Guy Fawkes Night  - Closed

Task 1 Completed: Make a list of the top 3 treasonous crimes against books that an author can commit.

Task 2 Completed: Start a revolution: What one thing would you change about the book reading world? (Be it publishing, distribution, editing, cover art, bookstores – anything having to do with books.)

Task 4 Completed: How do you order the books on your shelves?

Book Completed: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, a book whose plot involves costumes / fancy dress, or that has masks on the cover, or that is self-published. Read: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Total Points = 4

 

 

Door 5:  Bon Om Touk

Task 3: Dragons and dragon-like serpents (imugi) are important to Korean mythology (as they are to that of other Asian peoples). So – which are your favorite literary dragons (fictional, mythological, whatever)?

Book: Read a book by a Korean author or set in Korea, that takes place at sea or on a river, where the plot involves a festival, where the moon or rain plays a pivotal role in the plot, or with rain, water or the moon on the cover.

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 6:  Veterans / Armistice Day - Closed

Task 2 Completed: In keeping with the minute of silence, tell us about the authors who have passed this year that you will miss the most.

Total Points = 1

 

Door 7:  International Day for Tolerance - Closed 

Book Completed: Read a book about tolerance, or outside your comfort zone, or set in Paris (seat of UNESCO). A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets by James Bowen

Total Points = 1

 

 

 

Door 8:  International Children’s Day - Closed

Task 1 Completed:  What was your favorite children’s book growing up? Your favorite middle grade book?

Book Completed: Read a children’s or YA book or a book where children or teenagers play a significant role, or written by an author who was under the age of 18 at the time of publication. Read: I am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness, by Susan Verde, Peter H. Reynolds. 

Total Points = 2

 

 

Door 9:  World Philosophy Day

Book: Read a book about philosophy or a philosopher, or a how-to book about changing your life in a significant way or suggesting a particular lifestyle (Hygge, Marie Kobo, etc.).

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 10:  Russian Mothers' Day

 

 

Book: Read a book set in Russia, by a Russian author, featuring a story within a story (like a Russian “matryoshka” doll), or featuring a character who is a mother.

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 11:  Thanksgiving Day

Task 1:  If you have kids or pets, tell us about something “bad” they did that was so funny you couldn’t help but forgive (“pardon”) them. If you have neither kids nor pets, was there such an event in your own childhood – or with kids or pets in your family or circle of friends?

Task 2: Tell us: Of the books that you read this year, which are you most thankful for, OR was there one that turned out to be full of “stuffing”? Alternatively, which (one) book that you read anytime at all changed your life for the better?”

Task 3: Share your favorite turkey or pie recipe.

Task 4: Send a friend you’re thankful for having a postcard (in the mail!). Snap a picture of the postcard image (not the message) and share it with us.

Book: Read a book with an autumnal cover, set in New England, where a turkey shows up in the story, with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover, or with the theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.

Total Points = 

 

 

 

Door 12:  St. Andrew's Day

Task 1:  Tell us: Who is your favorite Scottish (or Scots-born / -descendant) writer?

Task 3: St. Andrew was a fisherman by trade: Which book(s) from your TBR that you read this year turned out to be the year's greatest "catch"?

Task 4: If you could create your personal tartan, what would it look like? Or if you have a favorite existing tartan, which one is it?

Book: Read a book set in Scotland.

Total Points = 

 

Door 13:  Advent

 

Book: Read a pastiche, a book authorized by a deceased author’s estate, the 4th book in a series, a book with the word “four” in the title, a book featuring four siblings, or a book with a wreath, pines or fir trees on the cover.

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 14:  St. Nicholas’ Day

Task 1: Write a book wish list to St. Nick / Santa Claus for books that you’ve been eyeing but can’t justify the expense of purchasing. (E.g., art books? Collector’s editions? Boxed sets?) 

Book: Read a book with an orange or red cover, set in the Netherlands or Germany, by a Dutch or German author, or with nuts, chocolate, coins, canals or beer on the cover.

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 15:  International Human Rights Day

Book: Read a book featuring a strong female character (or characters), by an author from any minority group, a story about a minority overcoming their oppressors, or revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused, a book set in New York City, or a book originally written in a language other than English and / or your mother tongue or by anyone not Anglo-Saxon.

Total Points = 

 

 

 

Door 16:  St. Lucia's Day

Book:  Read a book set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, by a Northern European / Nordic author, with a predominantly white cover (or white with red lettering), newly released in November or December of this year, or set in the candle-lit world (i.e., before the discovery of electricity – roughly, that is, before the late 19th century).

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 17: Dec. 21 – Winter Solstice (Yule / Yaldā Night / Dongzhi / Soyal)

Task 2: Yaldā Night task (Persia / Iran): Stay up all night reading a good book (or at least stay up past your usual bedtime).

 

Book:  Read a book that takes place in December, with ice or snow on the cover, where all events take place in a single day or night, that revolves around the solstice, set in Persia / Iran, China or the American Southwest or prominently featuring Persian / Iranian, Chinese or Native American characters, or a collection of poetry.

 

Total Points = 

 

 

 

Door 18: Dec. 22 – Hanukkah

Task 1: Spin the dreidel to determine which book is going to be the first one you’ll be reading in the new year. Find a virtual dreidel here:
https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/make-a-dreidel
http://www.jewfaq.org/dreidel/play.htm
http://www.torahtots.com/holidays/chanuka/dreidel.htm

Book: Read a book about light, miracles, featuring Jewish characters, set in Israel, that is the second book in a series, with the word “two” in the title, or with a light on the cover.

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 19: Dec. 23 – Festivus

Book: Read any comedy, parody, or satire.

Total Points = 

 

 

 

 

Door 20: Dec. 25 – Christmas

Book: Read a Christmas book.

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 21: Dec. 26 – Kwanzaa

 

 

Book: Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author, with a green, red, or black cover, or with crops of the earth or a native African animal on the cover (Lion, giraffe, cheetah, etc.).

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 22: Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day

 

Task 1: Tell us: What are your reading goals for the coming year?

Book Completed: Read a book about an ending or a new start, where things go BOOM, with fireworks on the cover, set in medieval times, about the papacy, or where miracles of any sort are performed.Vanilla Beaned by Jenn McKinlay (finished 11-13-19)

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 23: Dec. 32 – Hogswatch

Task 4:  In Terry Pratchett's and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens, who do you root more for: Aziraphale or Crowley? Or another character? (And in each case: why?)

Book: Any- and everything Terry Pratchett.

Favorite re-read:  Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Total Points = 

 

 

Door 24: Jan. 6 – Twelfth Night / Epiphany

Book: Read a book featuring three main characters, about traveling on a journey to a faraway place, a book that’s part of a trilogy, with a star on the cover, with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title, or concerning kings or spices.

Book Completed: Caramel Crush by Jenn McKinlay. 

Total Points = 

 

 

 

Grand Total = 

Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 501 pages.

In Pieces. A Memoir: Sally Field - Sally Field

EDIT!! Not reading this for Dia De Los Muertos anymore because the other book I'm reading at the same time fits better! Still reading it though! 

 

 

24 Festive Tasks, Door 2: November 3rd Japanese Culture Day

Reblogged from Abandoned by user:


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This is my first game host post!! And to top that, this is a BRAND NEW holiday added to this year's game. No pressure or anything....*takes a few deep breaths*

 

So if you are like me, growing up in the 1980s, Japan and it's culture had a real renaissance here in the US. From manga to video games to cuisine, Japan was leading the younger generation in terms of culture and art, much like the Korean Cool phenomenon that happened a few years ago. 

 
Japanese Culture Day

Door 2:  Japanese Culture Day

 

Task 1: Tell us about a cultural festival or event in the area where you live.

 

Task 2: Try a flavor of Kit Kat other than chocolate and report back if you liked it.

 

Task 3: Try your hand at folding a paper crane. Instructions: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Paper-Crane-1/

 

Task 4: If you like Japanese food, treat yourself to a favorite dish.

 

Book: Read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting.

 

 

NEW: Once you've completed a task or tasks, please use the handy form, located in the spoiler tags (to keep things tidy) to let us know. This will make tracking points MUCH easier for the 24 Tasks Team.

* Required

 


 


 


 


 


Book
T1
T2
T3
T4
BONUS

 


space

(show spoiler)

 

Previous door's tasks are "beneath the fold"

read more »

Dia De Los Muertos

Reblogged from Abandoned by user:


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Dia de los Muertos

Door 1:  Dia de Los Muertos

 

Task 1: Compose a limerick or short poem in honor of a favorite book character.

 

Task 2:  If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to a favorite dish – and / or make yourself a margarita – and share a photo.

 

Task 3: Write an epitaph for the book you most disliked this year.

 

Task 4: Do you have any traditions or mementos of happy memories of a loved one that you feel like sharing?

 

Book: Reread a favorite book by a deceased author or from a finished series, or read a book set in Mexico or a book that either has a primarily black and white cover or all the colors (ROYGBIV) on the cover, or a book featuring zombies.

 

 

NEW: Once you've completed a task or tasks, please use the handy form, located in the spoiler tags (to keep things tidy) to let us know. This will make tracking points MUCH easier for the 24 Tasks Team.

* Required

 


 


 


 


 


Book
T1
T2
T3
T4
BONUS

 


(show spoiler)

24 Festive Tasks: The Card and the Rules

Reblogged from Themis-Athena's Garden of Books:

The King is dead -- long live the King!  Halloween Bingo may be over, but the fun and games on BookLikes sure aren't.  Get ready for the reading year's grand finale:

 

The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season!

 

THE CARD

 

THE GAME HOSTS

This year, the game is brought to you by Moonlight Reader, MurderByDeath, Themis-Athena, and new host Tea-Stitch-Read (aka Mrs. Claus' Tea House).  A big welcome and round of applause to our new team member and co-host, who has brought some phantastic ideas to the table!

 

 

THE RULES

The rules of the game are essentially the same as last year -- with one major twist, however, concerning the reporting of completed tasks.

 

Game Period

As in previous years, the game lasts from November 1 through December 31.

 

 

Holidays, Tasks, and Points

Like an Advent calendar, our festive calendar has 24 ”doors“, behind each of which hides the square for one particular holiday falling (with one exception) into the game period.  Most of these holidays you’ll recognize from last year’s game, some are new -- and one has gotten a bit of an extra twist.

 

With each of the 24 holidays included in the festive calendar, one book reading task (typically, coming with several alternative choices) and four non-book tasks are associated: Completing either the book task (in any of its alternative incarnations) or any of the non-book tasks suffices to complete that particular square / door.

 

However, completing more than one task per square / holiday will earn you a corresponding number of extra points.  You can earn up to five points per holiday / square (1 for the book-related task and 4 for the non-book-related tasks).

 

 

Task Reporting Form

MurderByDeath, our resident coding whiz, has tweaked a Google form to turn it into a handy task reporting form for our game, which is going to make it much easier than before to keep track of all tasks reported:

 

* Required

 


 


 


 


 


Book
T1
T2
T3
T4
BONUS

 


 

 

We will include the form in every holiday / "calendar door opening" post.

 

Two important notes:

 

(1) ONLY tasks reported using this form will be counted.

 

(2)  In this present post, (i.e., the main "Card and Rules" post) the drop-down menu to select the holiday for which you are reporting tasks will be updated as the game progresses.  Currently it only includes the holidays's we're revealing today (Nov. 1), with further holidays to be added as we're "opening" the respective calendar doors.  As stated above, each of those posts will, in turn, also contain an updated version of the form / drop-down menu, up to and including that day's holiday.

 

BUT we will not go back and update every single previously-posted "door opening" post every time a new "door opening" post goes up.

 

So, to find a version of the form that includes the holiday you want to report for, there are basically three methods:

(a) Bookmark this post here ("Card and Rules") and go back to it to report tasks completed; or

(b) Find the post for the holiday for which you're reporting a completed task; or

(c) Find the post revealing the most recent holiday, which should automatically include all previously-revealed holidays up to and including that holiday / square.

 

 

"Door Opening" / Holiday Posting Schedule

As a general rule, like last year, we will be “opening” the festive calendar’s doors on the dates on which the respective holidays occur.  “Opening” a door will reveal the holiday hiding behind that door and the associated book and non-book tasks.

 

Moonlight Reader will be revealing the game's first holiday and its associated tasks in a post of hers in a little while.

 

There are two exeptions from the basic schedule outlined above:

 

(1) Melbourne Cup Day: As our established horse racing guide from previous years, MbD, won't be home on this holiday this year, Darth Pedant (formerly known as Darth Pony) has graciously agreed to help out.  Our heartfelt thanks and a big round of applause to her as well!

 

DP will announce the horses in this year's running once that information has been made public (Nov. 3 or thereabouts), and she'll post the winners and the horses placed second and third after the race is over.

 

One of the game's other hosts will separately post the "full" set of Melbourne Cup Day tasks, i.e. including the book task and the other three non-book tasks.

 

(2) The eight final holidays: As our calendar matches the actual date of each holiday included in the game, this year we have eight holidays either directly before or after Christmas.  As -- like last year -- we don't want anybody to have to cram these into the year's final ten days, and into time you'll likely want to spend with friends and family, we'll be revealing these holidays and the associated tasks ahead of time:

 

* The names of the eight final holidays of the game and the corresponding book tasks will be revealed in a separate post today; and

* The non-book tasks for all eight final holidays will be revealed on December 1.

 

 

Book Joker

You have the option to replace up to two holiday-related tasks (for different holidays), either books or non-book tasks, by using the book joker card.  To use the book joker, read a book for any of the holidays on the card that are already unveiled at that time.

 

 

 

Charity Donation

Finally, like in previous years, we will be using the number of total points accumulated by all participants as a basis for the amount we’ll ultimately donate, on behalf of the BookLikes community, to one or several book-related charities.

 

We'll be reposting the rules in the Bingo group and open a "Questions" thread -- if you do have questions, please post them there.  Thanks in advance!

 

Let the games begin!!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you intend to use an image of the playing card in your own posts, you're going to have to copy and save the image at the top of this post here

 

Like in last year's game, the "door opening" technique involves some fancy coding (all courtesy of MbD, of course), which basically means that what is going to appear as one seamless card in our posts from now on is actually going to be a bunch of individual images all sitting snug right next to (and above and below) each other, so wherever you right-click on "copy", you're only going to be copying that particular fractional image.

 

The calendar image at the top of this post is actually larger than shown here; if you right-click on the image and select "show / display image", you can see and save it in its original glory.  (BL will automatically size it down to fit the post if you then include it in a post of your own.)

Hex Hall and a BLACKOUT!! Woot!!

Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

 

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

 

My take: This was a very fun and fast read. There were many times I laughed out loud. Ever since Harry Potter, I love magical books set in schools. I like the concept of all the magical misfits together and the surprising twist concerning Sophie.   It was quite entertaining and once I got into the book it only took me a few hours to read, which is great since it's my last bingo book!! Woot!!