OWLs Magical Readathon TBR: April 2020

Hello! Welcome to my April TBR 😊

April is the magical time we have all been waiting for – the time for another round of OWLs! G @ The Book Roast organises magical readathons like the OWLs, which is based on ordinary wizarding levels in Hogwarts, multiple times every year! These readathons are always over-the-top kind of amazing because not only should you read a lot, you can complete prompts to gain your own magical career that you can select from G’s career guide! So if you have ever wanted to be a dragon tamer or a defence against the dark arts -teacher, now is your time!

Below is the introduction video by G, check it out for all the deeds on OWLs.

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NEWTs TBR

If you know me, then you know that I get extremely excited about readathons. Especially G @ Book Roast’s Magical Readathons are amazing and I’m always squealing from joy whenever a new announcement comes up.

In August it’s time to dive into NEWTs, or the Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests, that Hogwarts students complete on their seventh year of study to reach their preferred career. Book Roast has made it possible for us bookaholics to do the tests by reading! NEWTs is an extension of OWLs that happened in April (but you can still take part if you didn’t participate in OWLs). G gives you all of the details in her announcement video:

I am pursuing the career of a Metal Charmer, a mysterious profession of risky and careful work to produce intricate metallic objects with magical properties. Things like the time turner, the golden snitch, and much more!

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As the profession of a metal charmer is exclusive, reaching the career is very difficult. That’s why I need to read 12 books in August 😱 that’s about 5 books more than I usually take up and I have already lost 10 days of the month for moving house! I’m panicked, hyperventilating and still kind of exhilarated.

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Am I ready to give up all of my free time to reach this career? Yes. Am I ready to let my body decay while I stay in the same spot reading until I am a metal charmer? Yes. Will I procrastinate university work to reach my metal charmer magical career? Hell to the yes. Will I stop watching Netflix? NNnngggh, I don’t know man.

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April Wrap-up: Tome Topple and OWLs Magical Readathon

April, the Queen-Month of Readathons, has come to an end. I took part in two readathons: Tome Topple Round 8 in which the goal is to read tomes with more than 500 pages and the OWLs Magical Readathon which is a month-long readathon inspired by the magical exams that Hogwarts students take in their fifth year. Let’s see how the month of reading went!

An accurate representation of me wanting to continue reading books for the readathons even though the month has ended
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OWLs Magical Readathon Update & Tome Topple TBR

We’re almost halfway through April and in the middle of OWLs Magical Readathon. If you haven’t the faintest about what I’m talking about you can check out Book Roast’s announcement video here, or my TBR with info on the readathon here.

While I’m super focused on doing the best I can with OWLs, I simply could not ignore Samantha @ Thoughts on Tomes announcement of Tome Topple Readathon Round 8!! Tome Topple is one of all time favorite readathons, and the point is to read those big, intimidating tomes over 500 pages on your TBR. Tome Topple also hosts the most fabulous reading sprints I have ever seen so I simply have to take part (check their Twitter here for the sprints). But we have a problem: OWLs are about reading a crazy amount of books to reach a wizarding career while Tome Topple wants me to read a few humongous books. I’m here today to shuffle up my OWLs TBR to make room for Tome Topple!

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OWLs Magical Readathon TBR – April 2019

April is soon here, and do you know what that means??

It’s time for another round of OWLs Magical Readathon!!

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Hosted by the fabulous Book Roast for the second year in a row, this readathon is my absolute favourite. OWLs are the exams that Hogwarts students in Hp take in their fifth year. G @ Book Roast has worked really hard and done an amazing job of bringing the OWLs to us in bookish form! This year we can take exams by reading book prompts but also work towards a wizarding career and participate in house cups and quidditch!

OWLs are not about reading Harry Potter (even though you definitely can!) and you don’t have to be a Hp fan to take part! The readathon runs for the entire month of April and maybe even a bit more than that if you took part in Charms Extra Credit Readathon last year.

Information

Everything you need to know is in G’s announcement video:

She has created a catalogue of wizarding careers (!!) and it is beautiful.

Some OWLs rules: only one book per subject, no cross overs or doubling up (a book fulfills one challenge only), all books that count need to be started and finished within the readathon time scale. No cheating!

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The OWLs prompts:

My OWLs TBR

My OWLs will start on the 28th of March because I managed to receive 4 days from the Charms Extra Credit Readathon last year! That means that I can start my Charms read on the 28th and all other books on the 1st of April.

After a couple weeks of serious contemplation I finally managed to decide my wizarding career!

After having taken both NEWTs (a follow up readathon in August) and OWLs I will hopefully graduate to become a Metal Charmer!

This image is from Book Roast’s Wizarding Careers Catalogue

Metal Charmer is a mysterious and demanding profession in the wizarding world. It is a profession that is illegal without the supervision from the Ministry of Magic because a lot of Metal Charmer’s work is highly valuable and used in important places such as Gringotts Bank or Azkaban!

Being a metal charmer requires a great deal of precision, eye to details, passion and patience!

For some reason, the profession of a Metal Charmer calls to me. It sounds important with a lot of responsibilities but still the freedom to work at my own pace and in my own peace. And I’m more than fascinated by the end result!

Metal Charmers invent and produce things like the Golden Snitch or the Time Turner. These artefacts are mysterious in their workings and almost seem to have their own mind.

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To reach the Metal Charmer position, I will be taking Ancient Runes, Artihmancy, Charms, Defence against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration. My two subjects of choice are Muggle Studies and History of Magic. However, because I like to over-do things I would also love to read the prompts for Herbology and Potions to reach the 9 subjects to receive an Outstanding overall in my OWLs!

I am terrible at making TBRs and sticking to them which is why I have decided to give myself a lot of different choices. Please let me know which ones you would recommend that I prioritise reading, I’m excited for all of them!

Here is my TBR:

I am having some trouble deciding what to read for Transfiguration, and here are my options. What do you think I should read?

I am SO EXCITED for this readathon. I feel like I have been looking forward to the OWLs for a year and now it is finally here! I will also take part in Zoe’s 24hr Readathon on the 30th of March to kick off my Charms read and to finish all books I happen to be in the middle of before OWLs properly start.

Are you taking part in OWLs? What is your TBR like? Which career did you pick?? I would love to hear what you’re up to!

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Go get your Hogwarts letter, let’s do this!!

Also please help me select some books from my TBR! I’m equally excited to read all of these!

Thank you so much for reading!

-Pauliina

Magical Readathon: Christmas at Hogwarts TBR!

Sorry for my abrupt semi-hiatus! University suddenly took over my life and I have only just now emerged behind the mountain of assignments.

I survived and conquered that mountain and now I’m switching to vacation mode! Tomorrow I’ll fly from the cold and windy Scotland to (hopefully sunny) Alicante 🎊 🎉 We’ll celebrate my 24th birthday in Spain and on Tuesday we’ll set off to Finland for Christmas!

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Me, packing for this vacation

This year my birthday isn’t only blessed by a much-needed vacay but also a Magical Readathon 😱 The Readathon begins on the 17th (my bday YAY) and runs till the 26th of December. This time the Magical Readathon is Christmas themed! I’m certain it will be a lot of fun 🎄 I’m ready to turn up my reading game!

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Charms Extra Credit Readathon: A Week of Reading

Pre-readathon intro:

I love the Magical Readathons hosted by Book Roast and for the week of 8th to 14th of October we are given a special treat: the Charms Extra Credit readathon! I listed my readathon TBR in my October TBR post where I also hinted that I might be doing a week-long live blog for this readathon. So here we are! I’m really excited to get started, I have done these live blogs earlier for an independent 24 in 48 readathon and a 24 hour readathon, but doing it for a whole week is something brand new for me.

The challenges are:

🐶 Accio: Read a book at the top of your TBR

🔥 Incendio: Read a book with flames/fire in title or cover

✨ Lumos: Read a book with a light/white cover

🗝 Alohomora: Read a book that is first in a series

🦋 Rictumsempra: Read a book that gives you butterflies

You can check out this video for more info on the readathon. My goal is to finish at least two challenges during the following week and have loads of fun.

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October TBR + Magical Readathon Extra Credit TBR

October is the coziest reading month and I’m already excited for reading on evenings wrapped up in blankets and drinking hot chocolate while the rain drums the windows.

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October also includes some fun bookish stuff! I have loads of ARCs to review and I’m also taking part in the Magical Readathon: Extra Credit for Charms.

In September I used a new TBR format: TBR clouds. I wanted to set up challenges for myself instead of a list of pre-selected books to read. The clouds ended up working really well and I will definitely return to that format, but this month will need a set list of books because of the readathon and a whole bunch of review copies I have.

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NEWTs 2018 Wrap-up: What I Read in August with Mini-reviews

August was the month of NEWTs, Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests! The reading challenge was hosted by Book Roast and the goal was to read books that fit prompts and achieve grades in different wizarding school subjects.

In the beginning of August, I constructed a TBR for the NEWTs and I pledged to achieve an Outstanding grade in one subject and at least an Acceptable grade in another. Well at least one thing did not go according to plan: I didn’t follow the TBR AT ALL. My mood drove my reading choices but I did manage to pick only books that fit the challenge prompts even though I wasn’t planning to read the books that I ended up reading.

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I’m awful, I know 😂 I can’t even follow my own plans 😂

As I did my OWLs in Arithmancy, Charms, Herbology, Potions and Transfiguration, these are the subjects I was also working on in NEWTs.

(If you haven’t got the faintest what I’m talking about you can watch this, or you’re good just by knowing that A=Acceptable, E=Exceeds Expectations, and O=Outstanding)

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Books I finished

Arithmancy

A: Book of at least 300 pages

Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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I wasn’t really in the mood for historical fiction when I picked up this book about two sisters from a WW2 tormented France. Nevertheless, the Nightingale turned out to be so engaging and easy to read that I was immersed although my mood demanded fantasy. This is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story, and I loved how different the sisters were from each other. It didn’t take the spot of my favourite WW2 historical fiction from All the Light We Cannot See because I found the Nightingale somewhat predictable and I expected it to emotionally destroy me when I was only somewhat emotionally damaged by it.

E: Ends on an even-numbered page

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

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The Last Magician is a deliciously twisted timetravel story about a world where magic is despised. To control the power of magicians, a border has been installed around New York that forces the magicians to stay in the city. In case they try to cross the border, their skill is sucked away leaving the individuals disarrayed, mad or dead.
Esta is a talented thief partly due to her ability to grasp time and bend it to her will. Due to her unique skill, she will be tasked to go back in time to 1902 to steal a book of magic that might reveal how to destroy the border.

I really enjoyed this book and especially the characters in it but I had this strange feeling that something was missing. At times I was confused about what was happening and sometimes I found it difficult to grasp the point of some characters and their actions. I’m still excited for the sequel!

Charms

A: A book with magic

Abhorsen by Garth Nix

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I listened to the Abhorsen as an audio-book. Although I think I should rather say that I devoured it as an audio-book. This is the third installment in the Abhorsen series and hands down my favourite so far! I loved the characters and how everything came together. I started to feel at home in this terrible terrible world. The disreputable dog is my absolute favourite.

 

E: A book with a cover that charmed you

State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

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I read State of Sorrow during the magical allnighter, and gosh did I love it!! I made a full review because I was so giddy with its greatness.

Basically State of Sorrow is an amazing fantasy including relatable, intelligent characters, twisted politics and beautiful, atmospheric writing. And look at that cover?! I could frame this book! (but I cannot because I want to reread it).

O: A book you think will leave a mark

Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism

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Women of Resistance is a feminsit poetry collection by various poets and I was certain that it would be one of those books I keep coming back to. Unfortunately, it was not. I have a full review of it here, but basically only very few of the poems made me feel much anything. There were about 100 poems in the collection but I only fell in love with 9 of them. Nevertheless, it is a diverse collection from people from various cultures, sexualities and genders so you could try it out to see if it works better for you.

Herbology

A: A book with a green cover

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

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Hatred is a fire only a man feels. He does not hate the beast that comes in the night. Mankind fears it, fights it, drives it off, but he does not hate it. No one hates the bear, the wolf. They don’t hate the wind or the snow. They don’t hate the death.
They hate each other. 

Like many other books in this list, I wasn’t planning to read Hunted. But I’m so glad I did! It was the beauty and beast retelling I have been craving to hear. It was so beautiful!

E: A book with illustrations

Language of thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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We were not made to please princes.

Language of Thorns includes six fairytales from the Grishaverse. The stories are surrounded by breathtaking illustrations by Sara Kipin that live and change with the stories. The illustrations deserve 100000/5 stars. I liked all the stories but some more than others. Overall they were all eerie but still empowering.

 

Potions

A: A book with a name of colour in title

All systems red by Martha Wells

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Murderbot is a self-aware SecUnit that has been assigned to protect scientists on a dangerous planet. SecUnits are property, not living and feeling beins, but Murderbot has hacked its own governer modules making it an essentially free being. And it hates social interaction with humans, preferring to binge watch soap shows instead. All systems red is one of those rare short stories that doesn’t make you think ‘aw I just wish it was longer’. This one stands on its own. I really enjoyed it! Murderbot is a funny main character and the plot kept me positively terrified.

Transfiguration

A: A book with a grey colour

Down among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

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This is the sequel to Every Heart a Doorway but I enjoyed it a lot more than the first book in the series. In fact, DATSAB (lol this shortening) offered me the things that I missed from the first book, a deeper insight into a magical world and deeper understanding of the children who went through it all. I’m hoping to read the third part in the series soon!

 

 

E: A new author

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Vicious is a realistic fantasy about two ambitious friends who turn into rivals in their search for superpowers through near-death experiences. Vicious is completely, utterly entertaining. Time flew by at the airport when I read on an uncomfortable chair for hours. I even forgot the chair and my painfully squashed bottom. The only downside for me in Vicious was that it went by so quickly. I wanted more of these characters, more of the backstory and why the hate between Eli and Victor just kept on burning. I’m looking forward to the sequel, Vengeful. And I’ll definitely start reading loads more by V.E. Schwab.

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Books I did not finish

The above section gives the expression that I pretty much loved everything I read in August. However, I really struggled with two books and ended up DNF:ing them. I want to stay strict with the NEWTs reading challenge and I’m not counting these books towards any challenges.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken10576365

DNF @ 55% / page 270

In anticipation of the movie, I rushed to pick up the audio-book of the Darkest Minds but I simply struggled to get into the story. In my 24hr readathon, I live-blogged my struggle with this book and how I eventually decided to drop it. I felt like I just wasn’t interested in anything that was happening and continuing it might have driven me to a reading slump.

 

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton37795682

DNF @ 34% / page 200

By the 200 page-mark I had struggled with this book for what seemed like a long time. I found that I couldn’t stand to read this book for more than 15minutes at once or I would start nodding off. My biggest problem with it was the lack of plot and the excessive repetition of things. Basically nothing had happened yet and I was constantly given irrelevant and uninteresting flashbacks. In fact, as soon as the events started to get even a tiny bit interesting, the author decided to transport us back 11 years in the middle of an uninteresting scene instead. Such fun. But I might have enjoyed it more than I did if I had read King Lear by Shakespeare.

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Stats and Grades

august wrapup

Arithmancy: Exceeds Expectations

Charms: Outstanding

Herbology: Exceeds Expectations

Potions: Acceptable

Transfiguration: Exceeds Expectations

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I think I did very well! I’m happy with my progress and pretty proud that I managed to get that one Outstanding.

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If you missed this round of NEWTs, don’t worry! I hear that this (and the OWLs!) will be an annual thing so we get to do it again next year. YAY! In future, I’ll probably try and add some mid-challenge updates to keep myself on track.

Did you part in NEWTs? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above or are some in your TBR? How was August for you as a reading month? I would love to know!

Thank you so much for reading!

– Pauliina

 

NEWTs 2018 Readathon TBR

A Harry Potter inspired readathon? SIGN ME UP.

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NEWTs, Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests, is a new readathon hosted by the potterlicious Book Roast. NEWTs run for the entirety of August and the readathon is a follow up to OWLs (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) readathon that was organised in April 2018. If you did not take part in OWLs, worry not! You can still take part in NEWTs!

If you are interested, go check out the wonderful Book Roast’s NEWTs announcement video here for all the important bits.

I took part in OWLs (AND LOVED IT) last April. At that time I hadn’t yet discovered the deliciousness of book blogging and so there is no digital footprint of my OWL journey. Just to sum up, I finished 5 books and thus received an Outstanding for my efforts 🤩 I passed the following subjects: Arithmancy, Charms, Herbology, Potions and Transfiguration.

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