Harry Potter Month Schedule

Harry potter month

So, as you’ve probably seen and heard on the blog, July is Harry Potter Month here at StudentSpyglass.  What this basically means is that myself and a few other bloggers will be sharing our love of Harry Potter!

If you’d like to join in feel free to send me your links to anything (however loosely!) HP related posted throughout July, and I’ll link you up.  Feel free to check out this intro post for ideas and this post for how to take part in the House Cup!

Read the full post »

Harry Potter MotW: Most Inspirational Moment/ Passage

Harry potter month

[This is a response to Leah’s Harry Potter moment of the week. If you’d like to join in, head on over to Uncorked Thoughts for the full schedule of upcoming themes!

The theme of this week’s Harry Potter Moment of the Week is the “Most Inspirational Moment/ Passage“.

Okay, let’s be honest , this week Leah’s Harry Potter Moment of the Week is pretty much impossible.  The books are absolutely FULL of inspiring moments and quotes – from Slughorn returning to Hogwarts, and then staying to fight, despite his terror, to Hermione wiping her paren’t memories, to Harry knowingly going to his death…

SO I’m cheating ;) I’ve picked one inspirational moment….and an inspiring quote (or in some cases two) from each of the books, because hey, how is a girl supposed to choose?!

The moment:

I went back and forth on which moment to choose for ages, but in the end, I kept coming back to Snape (I tried not to, honest).  I eventually decided that the most inspirational moment, for me, is when Snape decides to watch over Harry after Lily’s death.  I think it would have been so easy at that point, heartbroken and angry, to give up.  To go back to being a Death Eater, or to try and get revenge for Lily’s death, or to say screw this and hide off somewhere far away from the wizarding world.

To deliberately look after her son – who Snape has no bond with at all – means seeing constant reminders of Lily who is gone.  Reminders of James who he hated, and of course above all, a reminder of their love for each other, of the fact that James Potter got the girl….That would be so painful and yet Snape does it.  Not to impress Lily (who is, after all dead) or for any sort of recognition…

The quotes:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

- One of my favourite quotes in the whole series!

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.

(Or perhaps better yet, animals!)

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew – and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents – that there was all the difference in the world.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


“He must have known I’d want to leave you.”
“No, he must have known you would always want to come back.”

Which do you think are the most inspiring moments/passages?

ARC August & Beat the Heat Readathon: Sign up & Goals


ARC August takes place (as you might have guessed!) in August, and the aim is to work your way through some of those ARCs you’ve got sitting around.  I’ll be using it mostly to work on improving my Netgalley ratio.

The Beat the Heat Readathon conveniently takes place for the last three weeks of ARC August, so it just makes sense to take part in both doesn’t it? ;)


My life in August

Well, I had planned to have all of August off (woohoo!) but my contract at work has now been extended so I’ll have a lot less free time than I had thought! Matt will also be coming home from his project (finally!) so I’ll be spending some time with him too.  Despite that, I want to try and make some progress on NetGalley – and to a lesser extent – Edelweiss so I’ll be reading as much as I can around those things.

Some of the titles I’ll hopefully be choosing from (in order of publication)

My goals:

Read 5 ARCs +
I’m trying to set a realistic goal because else I get disheartened about how behind I am and that’s when I get tempted to say “Forget it, I’m too behind now anyways” etc etc.  I think 5 is a reasonable goal, though I hope to get through more.  If I go up to visit Matt at some point (depending on getting time off work and how his dissertation is going) that’d be a big help in terms of reading because I’d have the train there/back and plenty of time during the day when he’s writing up.  BUT since my plans aren’t set at all yet, I’m going with a – hopefully reasonable – goal of 5 ARCs (but ideally more).

Write 7 reviews (this would push me over that 60% hurdle I have yet to break!)
So, as you know Rinn and I have been spurring each other on to get out NetGalley ratios above 80%.  I’ve made huge progress from about 17% (yes honestly) to in the 50s…but I’ve been between 50 and 55% forever.  If I could get 7 NetGalley reviews done that’d push me over the 60% mark at last!

I am absolutely terrible at updating during readathons so I’m determined to do better during ARC August/Beat the Heat.  I never know how often to update though – I love reading daily updates, but with readathons this long my post would end up enormous!  How often do you update?!

Harry Potter Nail Varnish [Amortentia - Franken]

Harry potter month

Today, I have something completely different to share as part of Harry Potter month, a bit of an experiment if you like! Feel free to let me know whether you love it, hate it, like it or couldn’t care less! Also, fair warning, I am absolutely NOT a nail blogger, so apologies for the photo quality!

Here’s a thing you probably don’t know about me – I’m nail varnish obsessed. Like, I have over 100 bottles…BUT, I’m so lazy and impatient I rarely use them!  I happily get lost in blogs like The Nailasaurus, but I actually attempt nail art maybe three or four times a year, and I only paint them once a month or so.  I get fed up when it takes more than 2 coats, or when a nail varnish comes out streaky, or when I attempt nail art and get a mess…

But the one thing I do love – finding a new colour.  Coming home with that new exciting colour and testing it out.  So, that led to my experiments with making my own colours.  There’s two main methods – frankening (mixing polishes you already own) or making polishes from scratch.  I play around with both methods, and I’ve made a Harry Potter inspired varnish both ways this month!

I figured Harry Potter Month was a perfect excuse to share my first Harry Potter inspired franken polish!


Now, I usually don’t wear pink … well, anything to be honest, but Amortentia was just such a fun inspiration I couldn’t resist! Things I was aiming for with my polish:

  • Pink or purple colour – I didn’t want anything too ‘in your face’ because hey, the person you’re dosing with Amortentia shouldn’t be suspicious ;)
  • Mother of pearl sheen – I knew this would be hard but I wanted to try anyway!
  • GLITTER – Fun fact, in nail varnish (though virtually nothing else) I’m a sucker for glitter. I wanted lots of tiny glitter with a few larger pieces, just to make it slightly complex, but only at second glance (back to that not too in your face thing)
  • Scent

Here are the polishes I pulled out as potentials:

IMG_0656[1] IMG_0655[1]IMG_0658[1]

I know this is a huge number of polishes, but I wanted them all laid out so I could see my inspiration before I started!  To get an estimate of how much I used – these photos were taken after I made the polish, and each of these bottles was full before I started.

The mixture is made up of:
  • Pretty much equal amounts (to about 2/3 of the bottle)
    • Barry M – A limited edition pink glitter my sister bought me for Christmas one year, (5th from the left)
    • Maybelline – Love Lilac (far right)
    • Rimmel Metal Rush – Pearly Queen (3rd from right)
  • A generous helping of Maybelline – Sugar Crystals (4th from right)
  • A small part of the three polishes on the far left,
    • George glitter Champagne,
    • Rimmel Space dust – Aurora
    • Unnamed Claire’s glitter polish which is dark red and black.
  • A tiny bit of essential oil (vanilla)

The final result:


The finished bottle | Blurry photo to show the glitter/colour flashes more clearly

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  It didn’t really end up with that pearly sheen I wanted (no matter how much of the Rimmel Pearly Queen I added) but I like the effect.  It’s a discreet enough colour that I can wear it at work, but up close the glitter really gives it that extra layer, and the colour changes in different lights really give it that complex ‘hidden things’ look I was going for! The scent is pretty much lost in the polish, but I didn’t want to add too much and run the risk of screwing up the mixture, so something for future experimentation I think.

All in all, not bad for my first Harry Potter inspired franken!

As I said before, this is the first time I’ve posted a bookish inspired polish, and I’d love to know whether you’d like more of these posts/would rather watch paint dry/couldn’t care less either way, so please let me know!

Top Ten Tuesday (#57): Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers. This week’s topic is “Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From”.

David Eddings
Number of books: 19
Favourite series: Belgariad/Mallorean

No surprise that David Eddings tops the list – his Belgariad series were the books that got me into reading as a kid!



Robin Hobb
Number of books: 15
Favourite series: Honestly, I love them all, but it makes sense to start with the Farseer trilogy, where everything begins.

Again, absolutely no surprise that Robin Hobb is so high on my list, I’ve absolutely loved all of the Realm of the Elderlings books, and I’m about 60% of the way through the first of her next series (out next month) and absolutely loving it.


Charlaine Harris
Number of books: 13

Honestly, I’m surprised Charlaine Harris was so high on my list.  I only own one series (The Southern Vampire Mysteries).  I picked up the first 8 or so for £10 on a deal in WHSmith because the box they were in was damaged, and then I kept reading because I had to know what happened in the end.  Honestly though, I thought the first few were the best by far, and towards the end I thought the series had gone downhill.


Jodi Picoult
Number of books: 12
Favourite books: The Pact & Nineteen minutes

Ah, a non fantasy author! I do love a standalone every now and then and Jodi Picoult’s are great because they have complex characters and every one is based on a question that really makes you think.


J. K. Rowling
Number of books: 9
Favourite book: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

No explanation required for this one really is there?! I’ve got the seven Harry Potter books, Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch through the Ages.



Maria V. Snyder
Number of books: 9
Favourite series: the Study trilogy

I picked up Poison Study out of curiosity more than anything and ended up really enjoying it.  I’ve since gone on to read the rest of the series, the Glass series and the Healer series (and my mum and sister have picked up every book after me!)


George R.R. Martin
Number of books: 7

Favourite book: A Storm of Swords or A Dance with Dragons

My dad bought me A Game of Thrones for Christmas years ago but I couldn’t get into it.  I put it down, stepped away and came back to it later – once I did, I got hooked! I’ve since read all of the books that are out so far, and started watching the TV show mostly just to keep getting my Game of Thrones fix while I wait for Winds of Winter.


Kelley Armstrong
Number of books: 8
Favourite book: Bitten

I really enjoyed the first few of the Women of The Otherworld series, but so far I’ve not got around to picking up the rest of the series.  I’ve got the first 6 on the shelf, plus Sea of Shadows (which I really enjoyed) and The Summoning which I’ve not yet read.


Conn Iggulden
Number of books: 8
Favourite series: Conqueror

Wolf of the Plains, the first in Conn Iggulden’s Conqueror series, follows a young Temujin, the future Genghis Khan.  I didn’t particularly expect to enjoy it but I ended up loving it! The first two books in the series were definitely the best, and I’ve still got book five to read.  I’ve also got the first three of his Emperor series which I picked up second hand for 50p each and haven’t started yet.


Scott Westerfeld
Number of books: 6
Favurite series: Uglies

Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series was probably the first dystopian I read and I loved it! I’ve got all four of that series and two of his steampunk series too, and I’ll definitely be ordering myself a copy of Afterworlds when that comes out.


Which authors take up the most space on your shelves?

Harry Potter bookmarks [Slytherin & Ravenclaw]

Harry potter month

Ravenclaw example


Today’s post is the follow up to last week’s Gryffindor and Hufflepuff bookmarks.  Not much to say really, hopefully it’s all pretty self explanatory! Again, there’s four bookmarks for each house, one blank, one traits, and two quotes.  You can see an example of one of the quotes ones on the left ;)

You can download them as a word document from the link below, then it’s just a case of printing them (ideally on card or heavy paper), cutting them out and picking one to stick in your latest read!

That’s it from me really, hope you enjoy!

Slytherin & Ravenclaw bookmarks

The Weekly Recap (#27)

This week on the blog


Just one book for me this week.  We were liars is 99p on Kindle so I thought I might as well give it a go since I’ve heard such great things about it!

Total spend: £0.99

My Week

This week has been busy but great.  I was at work during the week obviously, but Tuesday night I went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 with a couple of friends (because we’re cool like that), I went for dinner with my family Wednesday, to a friend’s house for board games and food Thursday and then for cocktails and dinner with my family last night.  So a busy but good week.

I also got both good and bad news this week – my contract at work has been extended.  Obviously this is great news in terms of helping pay towards my MSc, but I had envisioned 8 weeks off for reading/blogging/visiting Matt and I’ll now have about a week, so that’s not quite so fun.  I’m definitely going to have to adjust my reading goals for the year, as I was planning to get a lot done in that time off!

Other than that nothing exciting to report really.  My new laptop arrived but we’re not getting on well – Windows updated itself and now everytime I log in I get ‘Please wait’…indefinitely.  I’ve tried various solutions, and I’ve got a pain in the ass temporary workaround so I can get in but if you’ve got a solution I would LOVE to hear it!


Finished: Fool’s Assassin (Robin Hobb), The Jewel (Amy Ewing)

Up Next: Absolutely no idea! Probably something off my shelves before joining in with ARC August next week (sign up post to come!)

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Faith has
read 34 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Challenge Progress

  • Seriously Series:
    • Series Started in 2014: 14/18
    • Series Started before 2014: 10/18
  • Library Books challenge: 9/36
  • LGBTQ: 1/3
  • TBR Pile Reading challenge: 9/31
  • Review Pile Reading Challenge: 15/31


How was your week?

Harry Potter MotW: Best Ron Moment

Harry potter month

[This is a response to Leah’s Harry Potter moment of the week. If you’d like to join in, head on over to Uncorked Thoughts for the full schedule of upcoming themes!

The theme of this week’s Harry Potter Moment of the Week is the “best Ron moment”.

I’m not a huge Ron fan, but he’s undeniably a huge part of the books, and he’s got his fair share of awesome moments.  Although he grew a lot throughout the series, I think his best moment is really early on…

“The best played game of chess that Hogwarts has seen these many years”

I love some of Ron’s funny moments too, but this is probably his best moment for me – sacrificing himself, at age 11, to help Harry get through to the other side.  Not only was it bound to hurt (at least), he knew he was sending his two best friends on into unknown danger that he couldn’t help with, or be a part of…

Not to mention that of course it was Ron’s brains and logic that allowed him to identify the winning strategy in the first place.  Even though he can come across as silly or even stupid at times, he proves that he’s not.  He was simply brilliant in McGonagall’s chess chamber, and so for me, this is his best moment.

Which do you think is Ron’s best moment?

Harry Potter bookmarks [Hufflepuff & Gryffindor]

Harry potter month

Here’s a book crime I’m guilty of: never having a bookmark.  And when I do, they’re usually something strange like an empty chocolate bar wrapper (honestly) or a receipt.  For example, my current bookmark of choice is a Pokemon card (Pikachu if you’re curious).

So this weekend I thought I’d spend a little bit of time and design some bookmarks, mostly just for something fun to do.  Then I thought, hey, I could show some Slytherin love with my bookmark.  Once I thought abolut it a little longer, I decided to make a few for each house so I could share them as part of Harry Potter month too!  So, that’s exactly what I did.hufflepuff bookmark 3

They’re very simple (I’m definitely not an artistic or photoshop talented person), but I like them anyways ;) They’re all the same design – house coloured with the Pottermore logo – and for each house I’ve got one blank, and three with quotes or traits related to the House. (Partial logic for only using one design is that you could print them back to back if you wanted, which appeals to me more than having a white or mismatched reverse side)

Today I’m sharing the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff bookmarks.  I’d print them out and take a photo of them in use only my printer has decided it wants to print in black or white only, so that doesn’t work so well!  You should be able to download them from the link below and print them straight out.  Obviously if you want them to be a bit more durable you could print them onto card rather than paper, which is what I’d recommend.

Hufflepuff & Gryffindor bookmarks

The Gryffindor ones are a bit dark on my screen, but they’re clear when I print them out, even in greyscale, so I’m hoping they should work.  If not let me know and I’ll see if I can adapt them.

The Weekly Recap (#26)

This week on the blog


None! (Trying to be good after last week’s spend!)

Total spend: £0

My Week

Honestly, I haven’t really done much this week! One of the girls at work left, so we did lots of shopping for gifts etc, then went to the pub on Friday night after work. We’re having a barbecue tomorrow, but other than that I’ve just been working really.

I read The One this week, and despite last week saying I was trying to restrain myself, I’ve caved and started Fool’s Assassin (I tried to resist, really I did). My plans for the rest of the weekend and next week are trying to get some Bloggiesta tasks done, reading for the Wicked Wildfire readathon, scheduling some Harry Potter Month posts.


Finished: The One (Kiera Cass)

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Faith has
read 33 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Challenge Progress

  • Seriously Series:
    • Series Started in 2014: 12/18
    • Series Started before 2014: 10/18
  • Library Books challenge: 9/36
  • LGBTQ: 1/3
  • TBR Pile Reading challenge: 9/31
  • Review Pile Reading Challenge: 14/31


How was your week?

July Mini Bloggiesta

 So this weekend is a mini bloggiesta, and I’m definitely going to be taking part! I’m pretty busy Sunday, but I’m hoping to make some real reading progress reading then if nothing else.  (I know reading isn’t really a Bloggiesta task but I’m taking part in the Wicked Wildfire readathon and would like to make some progress!).

Bloggiesta goals
Cross-post past reviews
Update review archives
Schedule at least 3 posts
Update my reading challenge progress
Read at least 500 pages

Bloggiesta Progress
Cross-posted 10 past reviews
Scheduled Sunday’s STS
Scheduled HPMotw for next week
Read 145 pages
Left 8 comments

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