OWLs Magical Readathon 2020 TBR

Yay, it’s that time of year again! I was so excited to see this year’s OWLs Magical Readathon announcement video appear on Book Roast‘s channel – I think it’s safe to say that this year, more than ever, I’m feeling the desire to virtually escape to Hogwarts with the bookish community for the entirety of April.

Once again, G (aka Book Roast) has pulled out all the stops – there are new careers, new challenges, and some very interesting reading prompts!

If you’re wondering what on earth a magical readathon is, you can watch the announcement video which explains everything in more detail. But for now, let’s get into my tentative TBR for the readathon.

 

Career Choice

So this year I’m leaning towards becoming a Hogwarts Professor – mainly because it offers a lot of flexibility with subject choice, which is great for me because I tend to be a mood reader!

This career requires 7 OWLs, including: Defence Against the Dark Arts, the subject I want to become a professor of, and 5 free choices. Currently I’m leaning towards either History of Magic or Potions as my chosen subject, but that may change.

 

TBR

I’m only setting out my TBR for the 7 OWLs I definitely want to pass. I might end up reading more, which would be great – but here are my current plans.

 

Ancient Runes

Prompt: Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title

My choice: It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

 

 

Astronomy

Prompt: Night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside

My choice: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

 

 

Defence Against the Dark Arts

Prompt: Grindylows: book set at the sea/coast

My choice: A Little Love Song by Michelle Magorian

 

 

Divination

Prompt: Third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read

My choice: The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord

 

 

History of Magic

Prompt: Witch hunt: book featuring witches/wizards

My choice: The Familiars by Stacey Halls

 

 

Muggle Studies

Prompt: Book from a perspective of a Muggle (contemporary)

My choice: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

 

 

Potions

Prompt: Shrinking solution: book under 150 pages

My choice: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson

 

I’m terrible at sticking to TBRs, so it’ll be interesting to see how many of these books I actually read during April!

Are you going to be joining the OWLs readathon this April? Which career are you going for? Let me know with a comment below – in the meantime, I’ll be busy placing an order at Flourish and Blotts and getting to work on my spell practice 🙂

 

OWLs Readathon Wrap-Up

Throughout the month of April, I was taking part in the OWLs Magical Readathon hosted by G over at Book Roast. In my OWLs Readathon TBR post I briefly discussed how the readathon works, so check it out if you’re wondering what on earth a Magical Readathon is!

To pursue my magical career of choice (Astronomer), I was required to pass 3 OWLs: Arithmancy, Astronomy and History of Magic. I successfully completed those exams, and also managed to pass another 3 to bring my total to 6 exams passed. I therefore ended this exam season with a grade of Exceeded Expectations, which was my initial aim at the beginning of the month!

I am atrocious at making and sticking to TBRs, so unsurprisingly I did deviate slightly from the list I set myself back when I wrote my TBR post. Here are the books I actually did end up reading, and some brief thoughts on each of them:

Arithmancy

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Prompt: Work written by more than one author

My choice: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Rating: *****

Thoughts: An absolute delight! Such a heartwarming WWII tale about how books can help you through the toughest times.

 

Astronomy

The Start of Me and You

 The Prompt: Star in the title

My choice: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Rating: ****

Thoughts: This was the closest book on my TBR to fitting the prompt, so I decided to stretch the rules a little. I’m glad I did, too – this was such a fun and adorable YA contemporary.

 

History of Magic

Black Sheep

The Prompt: Published at least 10 years ago

My choice: Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer

Rating: **

Thoughts: Definitely NOT Heyer’s best. Unlikable characters, boring plot, and a very unsatisfying conclusion. Would recommend giving this one a miss.

 

Herbology

The Western WindThe prompt: Plant on the cover

My choice: The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey

Rating: ****

Thoughts: A clever, twisty (and occasionally historically inaccurate) medieval thriller with a completely enthralling ending. Read my full review here.

 

Defence Against the Dark Arts

Radio Silence

The Prompt: Reducto: title starts with an “R”

My choice: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Rating: *****

Thoughts: My first Alice Oseman novel – but certainly not my last! Her characterisation is second to none, and I still think about this book constantly even though I finished it weeks ago.

 

Potions

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)

The Prompt: Next ingredient: sequel

My choice: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

Rating: ****

Thoughts: Well, THAT was intense. I’m pretty sure my heart barely stopped pounding the whole way through! Simultaneously excited/terrified to read book 3.

 

So that’s it for the Magical Readathon until the NEWTs in August! I had so much fun taking part in it – huge thanks to G for all her incredible hard work in putting this amazing event together and making it such a great experience for everyone ❤

 

 

 

 

 

OWLs Readathon TBR

While I mainly talk about historical fiction on this blog, my other main bookish passion is the Harry Potter series. Like many people, it was the book series that properly got me into reading, and I still listen to the audiobooks to fall asleep to at night.

So when I heard that there’s going to be a Magical Readathon going on in April, of course I needed no convincing to join in!

What is the Magical Readathon?

Hosted by G at Book Roast, the Magical Readathon is essentially a Harry Potter themed readathon focusing on completing reading challenges to pass the various Hogwarts wizarding exams. The OWLs will take place in April, while the NEWTs will take place in August – and the end goal of it all is to get the qualifications needed for your dream magical career!

If that isn’t enough to spark your interest, you can watch the announcement video over on Book Roast, and read the OWL reading prompts and career guide. After perusing the prompts and career guide myself, I have decided to become an Astronomer (I did a physics degree and specialised in Astrophysics, so this is 100% the career I’d be destined for in the Wizarding World!), which means I’ll have to complete my Arithmancy, Astronomy and History of Magic OWLs next month.

So if all goes to plan, here are the books I’ll be reading to complete the required OWL prompts:

Arithmancy – Work written by more than one author

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

 

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 10th July 2008
Pages: 248

 

 

Astronomy – “Star” in the title

Stardust: Being a Romance within the Realms of Faerie

 

Title: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 1st October 1998
Pages: 212

 

 

History of Magic – Published at least 10 years ago

Black Sheep

 

Title: Black Sheep
Author: Georgette Heyer
Publisher: Arrow
Publication Date: 1966
Pages: 252

 

 

So there we have the books I’ll be reading to tick off all the OWLs I need for the Astronomer career! If I do manage to get through those before the end of the month, I’ll take a look at some of the other OWL prompts and see if I can complete any additional ones.

Are you taking part in the OWLs readathon this April? If so, which career path did you choose? Let me know with a comment below, because I would love to hear from other participants!

Victober 2018 TBR

I’m so excited for the start of October, as it means the beginning of Victober, which is my absolute favourite readathon to participate in!

What is Victober?

Victoberis a month-long Victorian literature readathon run by hosts Katie (Books and Things), Kate (Kate Howe), Ange (Beyond the Pages) and Lucy (lucythereader).

Last year was my first time participating, and it led to the discovery of a new all-time favourite book for me in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – so naturally I have pretty high hopes for this year!

Each of the hosts sets a different challenge, and this year I think all four hosts have done an amazing job at coming up with a really diverse range which offer lots of scope when picking a TBR.

The Challenges

Taken from the Victober 2018 Goodreads group.

1. Ange’s challenge: Read a book by one of the hosts’ favourite Victorian authors (Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell or Thomas Hardy).

2. Kate’s challenge: Read a Victorian book with a proper noun (i.e., a place name or person’s name) in the title.

3. Katie’s challenge: Read a book from the first ten years of the Victorian period and/or a book from the last ten years of the Victorian period (i.e., 1837-1847 or 1891-1901).

4. Lucy’s challenge: Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or under a pseudonym.

5. General challenge: Read a Victorian book and watch a screen adaptation of it.

Now I’m not typically a huge classics reader, so I’m not going to push myself too hard to the point that Victober becomes a chore rather than fun! Last year I managed two books (Wuthering Heights and Vanity Fair), and this year I’m going to try and complete three.

So without further ado, here’s my Victober TBR for 2018!

My TBR

1. Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë (challenges 2&3)Agnes Grey

After falling in love with Wuthering Heights last Victober, I recently read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and loved that too. Anne is now the only Bronte sister I haven’t read anything by – and since Agnes Grey was published in 1847, just within the first 10 years of the Victorian period, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to give it a go!

 

 

2. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (challenge 4)The Mill on the Floss

I’ve wanted to read some George Eliot (real name Mary Anne Evans) for ages, and I’m so glad to have a reason to do so! Plus, my mum recommended this to me, and she always gives the best book recommendations so I’m definitely excited for this one!

 

 

 

North and South

3. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (challenges 1&5)

I’ve been tempted to watch this on Netflix so many times, but I’m someone who always likes to read the book first – and now I have an excuse to do so! I’m also drawn to North and South because its setting is based on Manchester, which is pretty close to where I grew up, so I’m expecting some good old northern grit, Victorian style.

 

 

So there we have my Victober 2018 TBR! I’m really pleased with the books I’ve chosen – I think they will challenge me without feeling too overwhelming!

If you’re taking part in Victober this year, let me know in the comments what you’re thinking of reading 🙂

And if you’re not yet taking part but think it might sound like fun, check out the Goodreads group. There’s still a week left to choose a TBR, or you can even just wing it like I did last year and potentially end up discovering a new favourite book!