Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, 1/7
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, MG, YA
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Release Date: June 26th, 1997

For the next seven weeks, I will be reviewing the Harry Potter series! I am so excited to review these classics of our time. If you have not yet read them, I highly encourage you to jump into this beloved series of friendship, adventure, and (of course) magic.

Harry Potter has lived with his horrible relatives ever since the death of his parents when he was a baby. Forced to sleep in a closet under the stairs, his life looks pretty bleak – that is, until a stranger arrives with the news that he is a wizard. He rescues Harry and delivers him to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he will learn how to be a wizard.

Harry quickly sees that he is special, and even famous in the wizarding world. He learns the truth of what happened to his parents, Lily and James Potter, and why he is known as “the boy who lived.” It turns out that he, Harry Potter, survived a killing curse from the most powerful wizard of all time, Lord Voldomort, who disappeared immediately afterwards.

In the midst of school and exams, there is danger at Hogwarts. The Sorcerer’s Stone, a magical artifact that contains the power to extend life, is hidden somewhere within the school’s walls. Harry, with the help of his new friends Ron and Hermione, races against an unimaginable evil to find the stone before it’s too late.

Join Harry and his friends on this, the first adventure of many, as they use their developing magical skills to fight their greatest enemy ever, “he who must not be named.”

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Redeeming Love

Title: Redeeming Love
Author: Francine Rivers
Genre: Christian, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Multnomah
Release Date: 1997

Note: I am straying from my typical Young Adult book reviews to review this book. This is not a book I would recommend to YA audiences, as it is deals with mature content for adult readers. 

Angel has only ever seen men as heartless and cruel. Sold into prostitution at a heartbreakingly young age, she has known intense betrayal and cruelty; used and abused countless times, she has long given up all hope in men. Which is why Michael Hosea rocks her world when he enters her life.

Michael believes that Angel, a high-priced prostitute in Pair-a-Dice, is the woman God has called him to marry. Confused, but obedient, he eventually convinces Angel to leave behind the only life she has ever known and be his wife. He offers her more than she bargained for: a home, security, and love. Instead of accepting Michael’s – and God’s – love, Angel is terrified of it, terrified that this sort of love would be her undoing. So she runs back to her old life, the life that feels safe, but is really dangerous and deceptive.

In this compelling retelling of the book of Hosea, we see Michael demonstrate a love for Angel that is too powerful to outrun. She is forced to face her dark past and accept love for the first time, ultimately, the love of a God who never stops pursuing the lost and redeeming the broken – no matter how lost or broken they are.

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book:

Over 100 book reviews!

Hello my faithful followers!

Thank you for your participation in Reads and Roses, whether it be a drop by when you have some free time, or a like, or a comment. I truly love hearing from my fellow book lovers.

I wanted to celebrate when I reached 100 reviews, but that time has come and gone, and I missed it! But hey, it’s still super fun to have over 100 book reviews on this blog, so it’s still worth celebrating and acknowledging.

So thanks again for your involvement in this blog! It means so much, really it does.

Top 5 picks: books on organization and minimalism

If you’ve stuck with me and my reviews for the past two months, I salute you. If you got any ideas or inspiration from my posts on organization or minimalism, I would love to hear from you!

Maybe you are interested in these kinds of self-help books, but don’t know where to begin – there are so many! And yes, some self-help books are more helpful than others. For this reason, I have put together my Top 5 Picks of the books I have recently read. (Included are links to my reviews of each book, as well as links to purchase them on Amazon.)

The Joy of Less


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


The More of Less


The Curated Closet


Simple Matters

Have you read any of these self-help books? Are you adding any of them to your list of books to read? Let me know if you liked them as much as I did!

It’s All Too Much

Title: It’s All Too Much: an easy plan for living a richer life with less stuff
Author: Peter Walsh
Genre: Lifestyle, Minimalism, Nonfiction, Self Help 
Publisher: Free Press
Release Date: January 1st, 2007

I think I would have devoured this book, had it been among the first few I had read on this subject. As it was, I still really enjoyed it, though I have read similar things in similar books (probably copying this author!)

Walsh has some great ideas in dealing with your stuff, and later organizing it. Part One of the book addresses The Clutter Problem, while Part Two deals with Putting Clutter in Its Place. He then tackles room by room, which I find helpful when dealing with clutter and organization.

This is definitely a book I would recommend if you are looking for a fresh start with your things and your home… I just might recommend reading some other books first!

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book:

L’art de la Simplicité

Title: L’art de la Simplicité: how to live more with less 
Author: Dominique Loreau
Genre: Lifestyle, Minimalism, Nonfiction, Self Help
Publisher: Trapeze
Release Date: January 12th, 2017

Let me begin by saying how much I wanted to love this book and read it in one sitting. I just didn’t. I wasn’t able to connect with it the way I’ve connected with others like it. Maybe it was the style of writing, as well as the content. It’s hard to say.

There was a lot to like about this book, a lot of wisdom shared, from eastern civilizations in particular. Many of the ideas found in this book will stick with me for a long time, so I am grateful to have read it. Ideas such as living lightly and eating lightly and overall quality of life. There were so many things I agreed with.

Some of the things that I didn’t necessarily agree with however, the author stated them as rather black and white subjects. To me, there are few things in life that are truly black and white, but we needn’t get into any of that here. It just came across a bit on the harsh side, and I doubt that was the author’s intention. It felt like this is right way, this is best way, when there might be other acceptable and good ways to approach lifestyle. (I won’t get into any specifics, as it was sprinkled throughout the book.)

The book was divided into three parts: Materialism and Minimalism, Body, and Mind. I did appreciate and take away a lot of ideas from each part. I just would have liked the book more if it had been a little more “here is what I think” and less “this is the only way to live.” But anyway, there you have it.

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book:

Real Life Organizing

Title: Real Life Organizing: clean and clutter-free in 15 minutes a day
Author: Cassandra Aarssen
Genre: Lifestyle, Nonfiction, Self Help
Publisher: Mango
Release Date: April 18th, 2017

This book begins by asking the questing: what kind of clutter bug are you? Haha. But really. The author states that every person deals with clutter differently, and falls under the category of butterfly, cricket, ladybug, or bee, or some kind of combination of these. This idea was actually interesting to me, as my husband and I seemed to have different ideas of what organized looked like.

“A butterfly is a very visual person and generally likes to see all their belongings for fear of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ They also can become easily distracted and can float like a butterfly from task to task without really completing any of the projects that they begin.” More is said about butterflies, but you get the idea.

“A cricket is a classic piler!” Image result for hand raised emoji “They are very neat and tidy piles, but piles nonetheless. Crickets like very detailed and logical organizing systems, which can sometimes take too much time to set up or require too much effort to use properly. Therefore, Crickets will stack neat piles until they have time to put them away properly…” Me, me, definitely me. Next.

Ladybugs are generally stressed out by surface clutter and strive to keep their living space clean and clutter-free. Without a micro-organizing system in place, the small stuff can get shoved here, there, and everywhere!” (Now, imagine a cricket and a ladybug living together. The cricket has neat, little piles that the ladybug likes to hide so that the surfaces are clear! #rantover)

“A bee is someone who always has a new project or hobby on the go! They almost always like to keep their tools, papers, and supplies out in plain sight until they have finished the job or hobby they are working on.”

There is (obviously) a lot more to the book than “clutterbugs”, but this idea was probably the most helpful thing I took away from the book, especially since it can reveal how you and your partner tend to look at clutter and how to deal with it. The author also includes many cute charts in the back of the book to help get you going with your decluttering and cleaning!

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book: