O.W.L.s Readathon 2020: TBR

Last year I loved to participate in the Magical Readathon organized by G from Book Roast on YouTube! This readathon consists of two parts: the O.W.L.s and the N.E.W.T.s. Hogwarts students in Harry Potter take the O.W.L.s in their fifth year and the N.E.W.T.s in their sixth year. We take the O.W.L.s in April and the N.E.W.T.s in August. I was immediately excited when I saw the announcement for this year. Of course there are new reading prompts. Just like last year you can choose a career. There are also new careers available! This time I would like to become

Librarian  OR  Trader of Magical Tomes

Librarion - Magical Readahton Trader of Magical Tomes - Magical Readathon
Click on the images to read the whole Wizarding Careers Guide made by G from Book Roast.

Which career I am going to choose depends on how many books I will be able to read. To become a Librarian I have to get five O.W.L.s, but to become a Trader of Magical Tomes I need only four O.W.L.s. I am going to try to read books for all subjects. So I can still choose what suits me best when I take the N.E.W.T.s in August. Here are the books I want to read in April for each prompt:

O.W.L.s Readathon 2020 TBR part 1

Ancient Runes – Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title: Tash Heart Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
After buying it a few months ago, this book is still on my TBR-pile. This prompt is the perfect opportunity to finally read it. It’s about Natasha, “Tash”, who is a huge fan of Anna Karenina. She made a modern adaptation of the story. After a shout-out from a popular vlogger, her show goes viral. Next to this pressure, Tash also has to figure out how to tell her crush that she is asexual.

Charms – Lumos Maxima: white cover: In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende
The Dutch edition fits the prompt with its white cover. This is the ninth book by Isabel Allende I will read. She writes beautiful and I always like her stories. I try to read at least one of her books every year.

History of Magic – Witch hunts: book featuring witches/wizards: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I read this book four years ago and really loved it. I wanted to read the sequel, but still haven’t. By now I don’t remember a lot about the first part and I don’t even know if I still love it. So it’s time for a re-read! I actually love to re-read books, but there are so many new books to read that it’s hard to find time for it.

O.W.L.s Readathon 2020 TBR part 2

Transfiguration – Animagus lecture: books/series that include shapeshifting: Soulless by Gail Carriger
I would like to read more steampunk, because I love the fact that steampunk is basically a mix of my favourite genres: fantasy, science fiction and historical fiction. I put this book on my TBR-list in SciFiMonth, and now I finally ordered it. According to the description one of the characters is a werewolf, so it suits the prompt. I really hope I will love it!

Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: balance/opposites – read something outside your favourite genre: Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
Since fantasy and science-fiction are my favourite genres, I choose a contemporary novel for this prompt. I am currently reading The Testaments by the same author. She writes well, so I’d like to read more of her books.

Defence Against the Dark Arts – Grindylows: book set at the sea/coast: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
The main character of this book is violinist who turns out to be a time traveller. When done well, I think time travelling in books can be really interesting. At least a part of this book is set at sea, so it also fits the prompt.

Another plan for this spring will be to participate in Wyrd & Wonder in May. More about this in a few weeks! Because this post is a spring TBR, I tag along with Top Ten Tuesday. This weekly meme is managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. What are your spring reading plans? Tell me in the comments!

Pondathon wrap-up

In February I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Pondathon! This amazing readathon was organized by The Quiet Pond. I read five books and took part in a couple of side quests to help protect the Pond. With Bastet, my own Pondathon character, I managed to get two quest rewards. The first one is the Mark of the Brave for protecting Xialong. I achieved Recipe for Compassion by helping Cuddle.

Character card Bastet with quest rewards - Pondathon

As expected, I deviated a little from my Pondathon TBR-list. From the five books I read, three were on my TBR. I still want to read The Bear and the Nightingale and Tash Hearts Tolstoy. Mabye I will get to them in March. Here are my thoughts about the books I read for the Pondathon.

The Snow Child - Eowyn IveyThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey3,5 stars
Jack and Mabel’s dream of having a child never came true. Living in Alaska is also not what they hoped for. Both feel lonely and disappointed in their life. After hundred pages I didn’t know if I wanted to continue such a sad book. But the appearance of the snow child is a little light in the dark and cold winter nights. From that point onwards the story is more hopeful, but still made me feel a bit gloomy. Jack and Mabel and their relationship made this book worth reading. First I mainly pitied them. The couple is in a different life phase than I am and initially I couldn’t really connect with them. Yet I came to care about Jack and Mabel. It was interesting to read how their relationship develops. I did hope the story would have more magic. It’s limited to a few moments and in strong contrast with the hard reality found in the rest of the book.

Lilac Girls - Martha Hall KellyLilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly3 stars
My mother’s boyfriend lent me this book and praised the story. It’s always interesting to read stories set during the Second World War. Most of them are based on real persons and events. Lilac girls too. The book has three main characters: the American Caroline who works at the French consulate, the Polish teenager Kasia and the German doctor Herta. Ravensbrück, a concentration camp for women, is what connects the characters. Kassia was my favourite character. I could easily sympathize with her and I was shocked by the things she went through in Ravensbrück. Herta’s chapters were interesting to read. Although I wouldn’t have missed them if the writer had left them out. Initially Caroline’s story was a bit boring. I didn’t understand why it was relevant. It took a long time before the three story lines finally came together. Usually I like books with multiple perspectives. In this case I wasn’t sure if all the perspectives were really necessary. I think Lilac Girls has a good story, but it could have been better told.

This Cruel Design - Emily SuvadaThis Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil, #2) by Emily Suvada4 stars
This sequel is exactly what I hoped for after reading the first part! It is just as fast-paced and thrilling as the previous book. So much is at stake in this story. Not just a couple of characters, but the whole world. It’s amazing that the plot still kept surprising me. Things we learned in the first book appear to be very different… We see unexpected sides of the characters and are introduced to some new ones. Most interesting is the character development of Catarina. Next to saving the world and fighting to stay alive, she is struggling with her identity. And that ending! I really don’t know how this will end for the characters. The third part was published last month. I can’t wait till I can borrow it at the library!

A Mercy - Toni MorrisonA Mercy by Toni Morrison3 stars
For black history month I wanted to read a book by this famous writer. Since she died last year Toni Morrison was on my TBR-list. It’s said that she writes beautiful and she was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature. This story indeed reads like poetry. Which also means that it sometimes is a bit incoherent. Each chapter is told from a different perspective. The story starts when the Dutch trader Jacob Vaark takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner. Next to Florens, we also read about the other women in Jacob’s house: an older servant, another girl and Jacob’s wife. The book was interesting to read, because each character tells their own part of the story. The different perspectives did make it a little hard to connect to the characters. Despite not giving it more stars, I do think it was a good book. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped.

The Shadow Sister - Lucinda RileyThe Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters, #3) by Lucinda Riley4 stars
This third part is about Star. She has always been a quiet girl who let her sister CeCe speak for her. Just like her sisters, things also change for Star after Pa Salt dies. Her father’s clues lead her to an old bookshop with a curious owner. Of course I loved this bookshop just as much as Star! Her past has something to do with the English Flora who lived hundred years ago. She was an independent girl with a passion for nature and drawing. Flora’s quiet life at the countryside came to an end when she had to move to London. I could easily connect with both characters. Just like Star I am introvert and I share her love for books. Similar to Flora I love animals and I appreciated the fact that she is a vegetarian, just like me. The Shadow Sister is my favourite part of the series (so far). I already have The Pearl Sister at home, so that will be the next book I am going to read!

Pondathon: sign-up & TBR

The Quiet Pond is an amazing book blog with the most beautiful art, good book recommendations and multiple readathons! From January 24th to March 7th 2020 they organize the Pondathon. I totally encourage you to read the whole story set at the Pond: Something’s Wrong… & It’s Time to Protect and Fight.

I love how original and creative this readathon is! In short you can collect points by reading books in order to help the characters from the story. All the participants work together, but you must join one of the five teams: Team Xiaolong, Team Varian, Team Gen, Team Sprout or Team Cuddle. Each team has a different way to earn points. I am going to join Team Varian!

Team Varian banner - Pondathon

In this team we are challenged to read books of different genres. I will get 35 points for every book I read that is a different genre to the last book I read. Every time I read three books of a different genre in a row I get 20 extra points.

On The Quiet Pond you can also find all the resources to make your own Pond character. Of course mine is a cat! She is named after a goddess of ancient Egyptian religion that was often depicted as a cat. Meet Bastet:

Character card Bastet for the Pondathon

Pondathon TBR

I hope to read at least five books for the Pondathon. It wasn’t hard to find books of different genres. I always like to alternate between genres. As usual, this TBR is not fixed. It’s totally possible I will find other books along the way.

Pondathon TBR

This Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil, #2) by Emily Suvada (science-fiction)
This trilogy is set in a future when people are able to recode their DNA and change their bodies. It’s an interesting idea that was well executed. The first part ended with a huge cliff-hanger, so I am looking forward to reading the sequel!

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (magical realism)
This is a perfect read for the winter. The story is set in Alaska during 1920. The childless couple Jack and Mabel are drifting apart. During the first snowfall they are in a whimsical mood and make a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone, but they do glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

A Mercy by Toni Morrison (historical fiction)
February is black history month in the United States. I don’t live there, but I do want to read more historical fiction by writers of colour. Toni Morrison is famous for her beautiful writing style. I’d love to read one of her books next month!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (fantasy)
This book is described as a fairy-tale for adults set in medieval Russia.  Just like The Snow Child it seems like a good book to read when it’s cold.

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee (contemporary)
I found this book last year in a second-hand bookshop. It’s seems an interseting book after reading Anna Karenina myself. Natasha, “Tash”, is a big fan of the book and made a modern adaptation of the story. After a shout-out from a popular vlogger, her show goes viral. Next to this pressure, Tash also has to figure out how to tell her crush that she is asexual.

Hogwarts House Battle readathon – wrap-up

This month I participated in the Hogwarts House Battle. This readathon was organized by Katie from BookMarked. I managed to read a lot: 8 books with a total of 3067 pages! With 400 points for the class challenges I ended the month with 3467 points for Hufflepuff. Not bad! Here are my thoughts about the books I read.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. RowlingHerbology – Caring: Read a book that means a lot to you
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling – reread
After rereading Order of the Phoenix I couldn’t resist the temptation to continue with Harry Potter! What I admire about the last three parts is that they are quite dark, but still have a lot of funny moments. During this reread I also noticed that the focus of the books is slowly shifting. In the fifth part the lessons still have a prominent place in the story. But in the Half-Blood Prince they are more in the background. Instead Voldemort and the relationships between the characters are most important.

The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan DoyleCare of Magical Creatures – The Beasts: Read a book with an animal on the cover
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle – 3,5 stars
A man visits 221B Bakerstreet to ask for advice. He tells a legend about a fearsome hound. Than he explains the possible connection between this legend and the death of Sir Charles Baskerville. This is the start of an interesting mystery. While reading it’s obvious that the book was published more than hundred years ago. The language is a bit archaic and the pacing is slower than most modern mysteries. I still enjoyed reading how Sherlock Holmes and Watson solve the mystery. I do have to admit that I prefer the modern Sherlock from TV. In the series Watson has more personality and Sherlock is even more iconic than in the book.

I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy NelsonApparation – Teleportation: Only read this book in public
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – 4 stars
The chapters of this book alternate between twins. Noah tells the reader about his life when he and his sister are thirteen and later fourteen years old. Jude’s story is set three years later. While reading the book I was not sure what to think about the characters. But the beautiful writing style kept me going. It’s a bit “artistic” and full of metaphors. The writing style fits with an important theme in both story lines: art. It also reflects in a wonderful way how the characters look at the world. In the end I came to understand Noah and Jude and they really grew on me.

Cloud Atlas - David MitchellDivination – The Future: Read a predicted 5-star Read
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell –  4 stars
This book is made up of six stories. Although my expectations were a bit too high, I liked most of them. After reading the first one I was quite disappointed. But I kept reading and the stories became more and more interesting. Each of them is set in a different moment in time and about other characters. As reader you can discover connections between the stories. Each time I found a reference to another story, it felt like a small reward. There are also themes that play a role in each story. If you want to read this book, I would recommend to start it without knowing a lot about it. I think Cloud Atlas is best to discover by yourself.

Eva Luna - Isabel AllendeHistory of Magic – Historical: Read a book from another generation
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende – 3,5 stars
Just like most other books from Isabel Allende, this was a beautiful character-driven story. Eva Luna is an extraordinary woman that tells the reader about her life. Some parts are a bit weird, but overall I enjoyed the story. It was easy to read and I liked the writing style. Next to Eva, the book also has a couple of other interesting characters like a found grandma that sleeps in a coffin and a famous trans actress.

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret AtwoodStudy of Ancient Runes – Ancients: Read a classic novel
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – 4 stars
This book is set in a terrible, dystopian version of the United States. As a Handmaid, the protagonist has only one function: to breed. For other women life isn’t much better in this society. From the first page onward the story is grim, but captivating. The word-building is done incredibly well. We can only see the world through the eyes of the narrator. What’s going on and how this situation came to be is slowly revealed. And for once I didn’t mind the open ending. It actually fits the story and probably made it even more powerful.

Want - Cindy PonFlying – Fly High: Read your most anticipated book
Want by Cindy Pon – 5 stars
I expected to enjoy this book and I was entirely right! It has an interesting world, great characters and an amazing story. The world attracted my attention since I heard about Want. The book is set in a future where the air is seriously polluted. The rich wear special suits that protect them from getting ill, the rest is doomed to die young. Our narrator, Jason Zhou, and his friends want this to change. This exciting story is not only enjoyable, it’s also very relevant right now. There are lots of similarities between the book and the world we live in.

The Last Namsara - Kristen CiccarelliCharms – Something New and Unexpected: Read a new-to-you book
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli – 3 stars
Main character of this book is the most feared dragon slayer of the country. Despite her powers, Asha must mary a cruel man. Her one chance to escape this arranged marriage is to kill the most powerful dragon. I did enjoy reading this story, but I wasn’t really feeling it. The idea was interesting, but I think the writer could have developed the plot better. The characters were okay, but none of them really came alive for for me.  It’s a shame that I didn’t like the book more, because I do understand why many people are enthusiastic about it.

Magical Readathon – N.E.W.T.s 2019: The results

First, I want to thank G from Book Roast for organizing the Magical Readathon! I enjoyed participating in both the O.W.Ls and the N.E.W.T.s. At the start of August I shared my TBR-list for the N.E.W.T.s. I intended to read four books. I did and even read an extra one! Here are my thoughts about the books I read:

Muggle Studies

A – Cover that includes an actual photo element
The Throwaway Children - Diney CosteloeThe Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe – 4 stars
Just after the Second World War Rita and her little sister Rosa are left with their widowed mother Mavis. She marries again with a terrible man. He pressures Mavis to send the children to an orphanage. It is meant to be a temporary solution. But the papers that were signed, tell something else. Mavis doesn’t realize that she actually gave her children away. What follows is a heart-breaking story. Many times I felt really sad for these two children! Partly because this story may be fiction, but things like this actually have happened. The book does a wonderful job in telling this story.

Transfiguration

Timekeeper - Tara Sim

A – Read a book with LGBTQIA+ representation
Timekeeper by Tara Sim – 3,5 stars
This book is set in a version of London in 1875 where a damaged clock can fracture time. If a clock isn’t repaired on time, the time in a town just stops working. So a mechanic like Danny is literally a timekeeper. The premise of this book is so original! I enjoyed reading it. I do think the pacing could be better. The book dragged at some points. Especially the middle was a little boring.

History of Magic

A – Read a fantasy book
The Bone Witch - Rin ChupecoThe Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – 4 stars
Tea never intended to raise her brother from his grave. She also never expected to be a bone witch. After this revelation Tea has to leave her home to train and control her magic. As reader I learned just as much about the magic and her world as Tea herself. The world building in this book is amazing! This did slow down the story. At some points the book was a bit too descriptive. But overall I didn’t mind the slow pacing. The writing style also totally made up for it. This book is the first part of a trilogy, I hope to read the other books at some point.

The Valley of Horses - Jean M. AuelE – Read a book that includes a map
The Valley of Horses (Earth’s Children, #2) by Jean M. Auel – 4 stars
Apparently most of the books I have read this month have a slow pacing. This story too, it’s entirely character-driven. The chapters alternate between Ayla and Jondalar. I knew for sure that these two characters would meet each other. This happened only 150 pages from the end. So some parts of the book really felt like waiting. But I kept reading, because it was interesting to read how the characters lived 35.000 years ago. Especially Ayla’s story was fascinating.

O – Tom Riddle’s diary: Fond memory — reread a favorite (or read a classic)
Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) by J.K. Rowling – reread
I have read Harry Potter many times. When I was younger I reread the whole series at least twice. After that I chose to reread some of the books separately. So this is probably the fifth time I read Order of the Phoenix. This part has always been my favourite. It’s darker than the earlier books. Harry has to deal with the aftermath of what happened at the end of part four. What he experienced is already upsetting. In addition to this, half of the wizarding population doesn’t believe him. All these circumstances cause Harry to really grow as a character.

Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test Results

Pass grades:
Outstanding (O)
Exceeds Expectations (E)
Acceptable (A)

Anouk has achieved:

History of Magic: O
Muggle Studies: A
Transfiguration: A

The requirements for the career I chose are:

Wizarding career - Journalist or writer

In July I got six O.W.L.s including one for History of Magic and for Muggle Studies. Now I succefully passed the N.E.W.T.s in three subjects. This means I fulfilled all the requirements to call myself a journalist/writer!

Hogwarts House Battle readathon – TBR

Before participating in the Magical Reathon I thought readathons weren’t my thing. But I really came to love them! Especially if they are Harry Potter-themed! So I decided to take part in another readathon in September: The Hogwarts House Battle. It is created by Katie of BookMarked. Everything is explained in the video and on this twitter page. The idea of the readathon is that you can get a house point for every page you read. You get 50 extra house points for every class challenge you complete. There is also a group assignment and special weekly tasks to earn even more house points.

Hufflepuff badger - from Pottermore
I belong to Hufflepuff!

There’s a reading prompt for every class, fifteen in total. I won’t be able to read so many books in a month, but I did make an extensive TBR for the class challenges. In this way I can choose what books I want to read during the month.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky ChambersAlchemy – New Forms: Read a recommendation (from a friend)

It wasn’t exactly recommended by a friend, but this book is specifically recommended for Hufflepuffs by multiple bloggers. That makes it a great choice for this readathon. I’m talking about The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. The story is described as feel-good science fiction and the diverse cast of characters is often praised. The book has 404 pages.

Apparation – Teleportation: Only read this book in public

This is a fitting prompt for me, because I usually read a book while traveling to and from work. So for this class I could choose any book. I’m going for one I recently borrowed from the library: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. The Dutch edition has 364 pages.

Arithmancy – Numbers: Read a book with a number in the title

Since I found out that Gabriel García Márquez was a big source of inspiration for Isabel Allende, I want to read one of his books. For this prompt I have chosen One Hundred Years of Solitude. I am probably going to read the Dutch edition with 491 pages.

Astronomy – Reading Under the Stars: Only read this book at night

Sometimes I read before I go to bed, but not always. So usually there aren’t any books I only read at night. For this challenge I am choosing a small book: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald. The book has 163 pages, so I can easily read it on a Friday evening.

The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle

Care of Magical Creatures – The Beasts: Read a book with an animal on the cover

Years ago, before watching Sherlock, I read A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. I liked the book, but I wasn’t very fond of it. This year I found The Hound of the Baskervilles on a library sale. I am curious if I will like the Sherlock Holmes books more now. I did enjoy the episode in Sherlock based on this story. The book has 214 pages.

Charms – Something New and Unexpected: Read a new-to-you book

For this class I want to read The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. The main character of this story is a female dragon slayer. It sounds like a story I will love. The Dutch edition of the book has 379 pages.

Defence Against the Dark Arts – Can’t Last: Read a book you previously put down

I’m not entirely sure if I am going to do this prompt. But there’s one book I DNF’d a while ago that deserves another try. It’s a Dutch book called Het Levende Laybrint, written by Natalie Koch. This is the second part of a trilogy. I loved the first part, De Erfenis van Richard Grenville. The sequel bored me, so I put it down and never finished it. This definitively had something to do with the length of the book, it has 663 pages.

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

Divination – The Future: Read a predicted 5-star read

For this prompt I want to read Cloud Atlas from David Mitchell. I never read anything from this writer, but I am very curious. The book has six stories that are in some way linked to each other. It is said that the book has an unusual narrative structure. Just like some of my favourite books. So this could be a new 5-star read! The Dutch edition of the book has 551 pages.

Flying – Fly High: Read your most anticipated book

Since the start of the year I want to read Want by Cindy Pon. And I still haven’t read it… The book sounds so interesting. It’s set in a future where the place Taipei is plagued by pollution. Rich people can wear special suits, but the rest gets sick and dies early. The main character, Jason Zhou, will do everything to change this. The book has 328 pages.

Herbology – Caring: Read a book that means a lot to you

This seems like a great opportunity to re-read an old favourite! It will be hard to choose, but I would love to read Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor again. Another posibility is one of the Harry Potter books.

History of Magic – Historical: Read a book from another generation

I struggled a bit with this prompt. But I decided to go for a book from Isabel Allende. She is definitively from another generation than I am. And the book I am going to read, Eva Luna, was first published in 1987. The Dutch edition I have at home has 305 pages.

Muggle Studies – Blending In: Read a hyped book

It seems like everyone has read The Raven Boys. I did read other books written by Maggie Stiefvater, but never this one. By now I want to find out if the story is worth the hype. The book has 409 pages.

The Swarm - Frank SchätzingPotions – Mixing: Read a genre you wouldn’t usually pick up

I don’t read a lot of thrillers. The books I did read in this genre weren’t that memorable. This is probably because I like character-driven books more than plot-driven books.  But The Swarm by Frank Schätzing sounds like a thriller I might enjoy. It’s an apocalyptic thriller with all kinds of natural disasters. I enjoy watching disaster movies, so chances are I also will like this book. The Dutch edition has 704 pages.

Study of Ancient Runes – Ancients: Read a classic novel

For this class I want to read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The book is set in a dystopia. That already raised my interest. The story is also said to be powerful and thought-provoking. I’m curious what I will think of this book. It has 324 pages.

Transfigurations – Change: Read the last book you bought

I already read the last book I bought, but I may buy a new book later in September.

Magical Readathon – N.E.W.T.s 2019

In August the second part of the Magical Readathon takes place! This reading challenge is organised by the amazing Book Roast on youtube. She also came up with prompts for the N.E.W.T.s, but they work slightly different than the O.W.L.s. For the N.E.W.T.s you can get different grades for each subject: Acceptable (A), Exceeds Expectations (E), and Outstanding (O). For every grade you have to read a certain kind of book. Watch Book Roast’s video to get a detailed explanation.

To become a journalist/writer I need an E for History of Magic, an A for Muggle Studies and an A in an subject of my own picking. I chose Transfiguration. In total I have to read four books this month.

History of Magic

A – Read a fantasy book: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
E – Read a book that includes a map: The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco  The Valley of Horses - Jean M. Auel

Muggle Studies

A – Cover that includes an actual photo element: The Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe

The Throwaway Children - Diney Costeloe

Transfiguration

A – Read a book with LGBTQIA+ representation: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Timekeeper - Tara Sim

This August I am going to work as recreation worker. I may not have time to write blog posts, but I hope to find some spare time!

Magical Readathon – O.W.L.s 2019: The results

This Magical Readathon is organised by Book Roast on youtube. At the start of this month I shared my TBR-list for the O.W.L.s. I read six books and managed to get all the O.W.L.s I hoped for! Here are the results.

Assassin's Quest - Robin Hobb

History of Magic – Published at least 10 years ago
Assassin’s Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3) by Robin Hobb – 3 stars
This is probably one of the biggest books I ever read, the Dutch edition has 911 pages! The best thing about this book is definitively the relation between Fitz and Nighteyes. These parts are very well-written and made the story worth reading. But I think the book didn’t need to have so many pages. I also was a bit disappointed with the ending.

Dear Martin - Nic Stone

Muggle Studies – Contemporary
Dear Martin by Nic Stone – 4 stars
A powerful and very relevant story about being black in the United States. We follow Justyce, who was put in handcuffs for helping a drunk friend. To make sense of this incident, he starts to write letters to Martin Luther King. The book does a great job in discussing racism and its consequences.

Defence Against the Dark Arts – Reducto: Title starts with an “R”
Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn HamiltonRebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – 3 stars
This action-packed story starts in a town in the middle of the dessert. Amani is desperate to leave it. She grabs her chance when a mysterious foreigner appears. Personally I think the story went a bit too fast. Action scenes quickly succeeded each other. I would have liked more space to get to know the characters. Because I didn’t really care about the characters, I lost interest in the story. This was a pity, because I liked the setting. It’s a fantasy world inspired by the Middle East with Western elements.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David LevithanArithmancy – Work written by more than one author
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan – 4 stars
I did need some time to get used to the characters. After that I loved the two Will Graysons. They are well-written and realistic. I never mixed them up, even though the characters have the same name. Most things that happened to them, never happened to me at that age. But the vibes felt familiar. I also loved the ending!

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. MaasTransfiguration – Sprayed edges or red cover
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – 4 stars
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but with more magic and an amazing plot. I actually didn’t expect to like this book so much. The first half of the book was okay, but not very exciting. I knew what was going to happen and I felt quite indifferent about it. But at a certain point the story started to make more sense. Feyre also grew on me. She is a strong and admirable character. I came to like her and the story too.

Circe - Madeline MillerAncient Runes – Retelling
Circe by Madeline Miller – 4 stars
This is a retelling about the witch Circe. It was interesting to learn more about Greek myths! I already knew some of them, but I never looked into it. The thing with myths is that they are usually about fundamental events and actions of the gods. In this book the focus is on the character development of Circe.  I liked that we really get to understand her. The story is also beautifully told.

In August I will start with the N.E.W.T.s. Look out for my TBR!

Magical Readathon – O.W.L.s 2019

Back in April I came across the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon 2019, organised by Book Roast on youtube. The O.W.L.s are tests Hogwarts students in Harry Potter have to take in their fifth year. For this readathon there is a book prompt for every subject. There’s also a beautiful booklet with wizarding careers. For every career you have to get O.W.L.s in certain subjects. Unfortunately, I was too late to participate in this event. But yesterday the N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon 2019 was announced on Book Roast. This is part 2 of the readathon. It takes place in August. I would love to join! You can participate without doing your O.W.L.s, but I think it’s more fun to do both “exams”.

Although the official event has ended on April 30th, I decided to do my O.W.L.s in July. Then I can join the others with the N.E.W.T.s in August. I have chosen to become a

– Journalist / Writer –

For this career I need three O.W.L.s: for History of Magic, Muggle Studies and one O.W.L. in a subject of my own picking. I will attempt to get some extra O.W.L.s, and hope to read six books. Because I am not very good at sticking to TBR-lists, I have picked multiple books for each subject. In this way I am able to change my mind if I want.

History of Magic – Published at least 10 years ago

Assassin's Quest - Robin Hobb   One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez

Muggle Studies – Contemporary

Before I let go - Marieke Nijkamp   Dear Martin - Nic Stone

Ancient Runes – Retelling

Circe - Madeline Miller  Heartless - Marissa Meyer

Arithmancy – Work written by more than one author

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David Levithan  Blue Monday - Nicci French

Defence Against the Dark Arts – Reducto: Title starts with an “R”

Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton  The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

Transfiguration – Sprayed edges or red cover

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion  A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas