top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

O.W.L.s 2020 TBR

As mentioned in my recent update, these are uncertain times in which I can’t afford to plan too far ahead for this blog or my reading in general. Nonetheless, I really wanted to try to participate in my favourite readathon out there, if only to take my mind off things. That readathon is the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon hosted by Bookroast. I will link all information about the readathon at the bottom of this post, as it's quite an eleborate one and Bookroast does a better job explaining it than I ever could.

My “career” and April TBR: Last year I participated in the O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s, pursuing a career as a Magical Healer, as it matched best with what I’d be doing if I were to actually study at Hogwarts. I mentioned then that I would try for the Alchemist career next year to up the challenge for myself, and even though I still would love to, that would mean reading 12 books, which realistically isn’t going to be feasible under the current circumstances. Everything is a bit different and pretty stressful this year, and the last thing I want to be doing is add extra pressure to that. Therefore, I’m setting my TBR for the same career as last year (Healer), and see how far I come. Honestly, if that ends up being only a single book, I won’t blame myself.

To pass my O.W.L.s, I have to complete 8 books over the course of April. 5 of them have to fit the prompts for Herbology, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Potions and Transfigurations. The remaining 3 have to fit three subjects of my choice. Without further ado, let’s get into my subjects, and subsequent TBR:

- Charms: Lumos Maxima; a book with a white cover Like Water – Rebecca Podos This novel by the author of The Mystery of Hollow Places has been on my TBR for years, yet I often steered away from it because of its heavy subject matter. We follow the coming-of-age of a girl stuck in her hometown after graduation, navigating her identity, first love, family and the disillusion that the “real world” can be different from your childhood ideas. All the while, she does her best to take care of her father who’s suffering from Huntingon’s disease. Growing up with a mother with a degenerative neurological illness, I’m very interested to see how Rebecca Podos handles this subject. I’m also a bit terrified that this might hit a bit too close for comfort to me at this point… I’m hoping it does so in a good way…

- Defence Against the Dark Arts Grindylow: a book set near the sea or coast The Last True Poets of the Sea – Julia Drake The Last True Poets of the Sea seems like the type of book to have the ocean flowing throughout the entirety of its story. It’s a YA contemporary story, following a girl shipped off to stay with her uncle in a coastal town in Maine after a tragedy drives her family temporarily apart. With a stunningly written backflap and described as “A warm, wise, strange meditation on developing the strength to be vulnerable” by KirkusReviews, I’m hoping this might be a new favourite of mine.

- Herbology: Mumbulus Mimbletonia: a book which title starts with the letter M Midnight at the Electric – Jodi Lynn Anderson This prompt was surprisingly hard to fit a book to, as I’ve apparently read all the books that start with the letter M on my shelves already. Scrolling through my Goodreads TBR, I only found two books (out of the 160 or so), that fit this prompt: Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson and The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. I decided on the former. Midnight at the Electric combines sci-fi with historical fiction by following 3 separate timelines; two in the past and one in the future, all somehow linked together. I truly don’t know too much about this book, other than that I generally love stories like this and am excited to see how this pans out.

- Potions: Shrinking Solution: a book under 150 pages Build Yourself a Boat – Camonghne Felix I honestly know very little about this poetry collection, other than that it came highly recommended by reviewers I trust and that it has a lot of themes that speak to me. Described on the backflap as:

“This is about what grows through the wreckage. This is an anthem of survival and a look at what might come after. A view of what floats and what, ultimately, sustains. Build Yourself a Boat, an innovative debut by award-winning poet Camonghne Felix, interrogates generational trauma, the possibility of healing, and the messiness of survival. Build Yourself a Boat redefines the language of collective and individual trauma through lyric and memory.”

For some reason, that text drew me in so quick that I couldn’t pass it up. With 96 pages in length, I got a perfect excuse to fit this one into my TBR for this month.

- Transfigurations: Animagus Lecture: a book featuring shapeshifting The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman This was the hardest prompt to fit a book to, but I think I found a suitable one. Virtually everybody knows this book by now, so I don’t think it needs much introduction. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one of Neil Gaimans most beloved “children’s-books-for-adults” about a man returning to his childhood home, where he reminisces on the strange and frightening memories of his childhood. An ocean the size of a pond, a girl who may or may not be made out of magic, and a shapeshifting horror that invades his home…

- Arithmancy Balance and Opposites: a book outside your favourite genre The Boy, the Boat and the Beast – Samantha M. Clark My favourite genre is probably a tie between literary fiction and sci-fi/fantasy at the moment, although I’ve been branching out a lot more lately. A genre that I don’t read often (enough) however, is middle-grade fiction. For that reason; I picked The Boy, the Boat and the Beast about a boy who washes up on a mysterious uninhabited beach with no memory of how he got there.

- History of Magic: Witch Hunt: a book featuring witches or wizards The Price Guide to the Occult – Leslye Walton I’ve been on the fence on this book ever since it was released. It sounds very much up my alley, and I absolutely adored the authors previous work The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. However, this book has gotten very mixed reviews and has one of the lowest Goodreads ratings out of all the books on my TBR. I remain very intrigued by the idea of a witchy novel by the hand of this author however, and thanks to the free trial on Scribd (link below), I’ve finally been able to get my hands on it. I really hope I’m in the minority of people who ended up loving this.

- Care of Magical Creatures: A book with a beaked animal on the cover Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone – J.K. Rowling Yes, it’s become a bit of a tradition with these Harry Potter readathons that I reread a Harry Potter book for at least one of the prompts. For this month I’m starting all over with the most wholesome and comforting of them all: book 1. My edition has Hedwig on the cover, making it a perfect fit for this final subject.

Wish me luck on this months TBR. For more than one reason, I hope I have the time to get to all of them… Again, if you want any more information on this readathon, or wish to participate; please visit Bookroast on Youtube or her website. Even if the Magical Readathon isn’t your thing, she still has a lot of content worth checking out. Stay safe and healthy, good luck on your O.W.L.s , and happy reading!



bottom of page