The Fiction Fox
N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon TBR
During the month of July, I “officially” participated for the first time in a readathon, since starting this blog. I had for my own fun matched my reading to the challenges of a readathon before, but I had never posted about it, nor had I ever strictly kept to that TBR in any way shape or form. In that regard, July was a bit of an experiment, and a successful one at that.
I’ve been in a bit of a weird headspace lately. I’ve been extremely busy, a lot has been happening, and time seems to fly by faster than I can keep up with. As a result, I’ve been less motivated to read lately. Having a structured TBR, and a “goal” to work towards (even if it’s a artificial, self-imposed goal) has actually helped me pick up and enjoy a lot more books than I otherwise would have. That being said, I decided to join in on another readathon for the month of August. One that I’ve followed for a few years already, but never got around to joining: the N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon, hosted by one of my favorite booktubers Bookroast. You can find her announcement video, where she explains the readathon in detail by clicking the link here.
Because the N.E.W.T.s readathon is a follow-up readathon to the O.W.L.s, which were held back in April, I technically had to complete those challenges before being able to join in. Luckily for me, I was able to match a lot of titles from the Book Junkie Trials Readathon up with the prompts for the O.W.L.s, so I completed the required challenges in the month of July.
Like last month, I’m going to have a very busy schedule, as medical school/internships don’t adhere to the regular summer breaks. I have no idea how many books I’ll be able to complete this month, but I just picked the career that suited me best, and will see how far I come. If I don’t complete every book in time, I’ll just allow myself three turns on the Time Turner (a.k.a. continuing in the first week of September) to help me out. If McGonagall enabled Hermione for being an over-achiever, she probably would extend me the same curtesy for doing Magical Med-School and Muggle Med-school at the same time… Yes, I’ll of course be taking the one logical career-path for me: becoming a Magical Healer. Enough intro for now: let’s get into the prompts, and therefore my August TBR.
1. Ancient Runes: Read a retelling And the Ocean was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
2. Astronomy: a book with the word “star” in the cover Stardust by Neil Gaiman
3. Care of Magical Creatures: a book with a land animal on the cover Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
4. Charms: an adult book The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick
5. Defence Against the Dark Arts: Reducto, a book title that starts with R. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
6. Herbology: a book with a plant on the cover I could give many answers for this one...: Petra’s Ghost, Adaptively Radiant, Freshwater… They all have plants on their covers.
7. Muggle Studies: a contemporary Mona in Three Acts by Griet Op de Beeck
8. Potions: the next ingredient, a sequel The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
9. Transfigurations: a book with sprayed edges Nocturna by Maya Montayne
N.E.W.T.s TBR (Magical Healer career)
Charms: A: a book that has a gorgeous cover 10 minutes, 38 seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak
Since it’s the first of August as I’m writing this, I’ve technically already started this novel. Although I knew little to nothing about it, it was the premise as well as the beautiful cover that drew me to it in the first place. In this recently released literary fiction that I’ve heard nothing but great things about, we follow a woman during the 10 minutes and 38 seconds that her brain remains active after her body has died, in which she revisits key-memories of her life. With this very interesting premise comes a story of coming of age, immigration, desperation and hope. This promises to be a hard-hitting, but beautiful novel, and I hope it delivers on that.
E: a book under 150 pages Binti by Nnedi Okorafor I feel like Binti barely needs an introduction at this point, as it has gained some sort of cult-following in the book community over the last years. And I still haven’t read it… With only 92 pages, this sci-fi novella seemed the perfect fit for this prompt.
Defense against the Dark Arts A: a book that is black under the dustjacket Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
The book of this TBR (and possibly the entire year sofar) I’m most excited about is Middlegame. Even though I know barely anything about it, other than it’s a dark fantasy that features alchemy and mystery by Seanan Mcguire, I have heard nothing but great things sofar, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in this one. I truly hope that it doesn’t disappoint. E: Gilderoy’s memory charm: the first book that comes to mind On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong or When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore Both these books come to mind, as I said I wanted to read both of them during summer, but still haven’t. I’ll let my mood at the time decide which one of the two I pick up.
Herbology: A: listen to an audiobook A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry This was the only audiobook that had vaguely botanical vibes, focusing on a cursed girl with seemingly magical plant-based powers, so it seemed appropriate enough. There’s a chance I might change this book out for any other audiobook I currently have on my library app, depending on my mood, allowing myself a little wiggle room in this TBR.
E: a book that has between 350 and 390 pages Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett It’s sinful how long this “lighthearted imagining of the apocalypse” by Gaiman and Pratchett has been on my TBR now (at least since 2015), and it’s high time that I finally get to it. Luckily for me, my library has the tall paperback edition that has 384 pages, allowing me to perfectly fit it for this prompt.
Potions: A: a friends favorite book The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
I’ve tried to read this series before once, and couldn’t get into it then. However, since it is the favorite of one of my best friends in real life, I’ve decided I wanted to give it a retry. If I’m (again) unable to get through it, I’ll switch this one out for a reread of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because what favorite fits a HP-themed readathon better than that?! E: a book with your house color on the cover House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin Craig
As a Ravenclaw, my house colors are blue and bronze. The closest cover I could find to match that is House of Salt and Sorrow, which combines some of my favorite tropes like seaside settings, family bonds, grief and a possible family curse. It’s one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, coming out this month, so I hope to get my hands on it in time. If not, my back up book will be The Storm Keepers by Catherine Doyle, which lacks the bronze, but makes up for it in having a lot of blue on the cover.
Transfigurations: A: a book with LGBTQ+ representation Summer of Salt by Katherine Leno I had a lot of options to choose from for this prompt, but I ultimately went with one that I felt would be perfect for summer. Again: some of my favorite tropes are present here: magical island/sea-side setting, magic passed through generations, magical realism and from what I’ve heard some amazingly written atmosphere… this can’t go wrong!
E: a book that is not the first in a series Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
During July, I started a reread of the entire Raven Cycle, which I plan to continue this month with Blue Lily, Lily Blue. I remember this being my favorite one of the series the first time around, so I’m hoping to have the same experience with it now.
That concludes my TBR for the N.E.W.T. Magical Readathon, and the month of August. I’d love to hear from you: are you participating in this readathon? If so, what was the career path you’ve chosen? You can follow my progress throughout the month on Goodreads. Otherwise, I wish you all happy reading, and hope to see you again in my next post!