I’m going to start my new job this month and realistically probably won’t have much time to read, and yet… here we are.
I’m letting the OWLs Magical Readathon guide my physical TBR this month. If you don’t know about the OWLs readathon hosted by G from Book Roast on YouTube. You can watch the video with the information for it here!
I’ve decided to attempt the career paths, and so this time I’m deciding to try out the Metal Charmer path which requires 7 O.W.Ls, 5 of which are mandatory and 2 of choice. I chose metal charmer because it reminded me of undergrad when I worked in a materials science research lab that studied metal thin films.
From the Booklet: Metal Charmer Stats
Key Traits: Logic, precision, vigilance, originality
OWLs: Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, + 2 more of your choice
NEWTs: O in Arithmancy, O in Charms, O in Transfiguration, E in Ancient Runes, A in Defence Against the Dark Arts
The NEWTs magical readathon takes place in the late summer and how you perform on the OWLs affects what you can do for your NEWTs. G’s video linked above explains all that.
I don’t anticipate getting to all of these, but IF (a really big if) I do manage to finish the 7 mandatory ones, I want to try for the achievement of getting Outstanding on the O.W.Ls which is to read books for at least 9 of the prompts.
Also I know Sam (ThoughtsOnTomes) is hosting a Tome Topple this month which I hope to participate in as well, so two of these books I’ve chosen are over 500 pages.
Mandatory Subjects for Metal Charmer OWLs
Ancient Runes — A Retelling
Circe by Madeline Miller
I’ve been meaning to get around to this one since like last summer and finally got myself a copy this past month, so I’m really looking forward to reading it.
Circe is a sorceress from Greek mythology who appears in such works as Homer’s The Odyssey.
I just really love mythology retellings and so I’m really excited to finally have kind of an excuse to read this one. I’m not sure if this counts as like a ‘proper’ retelling, but it’s one of it’s genres on Goodreads, so I’m counting it.
Arithmancy — A Book Written by More Than One Author
Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven by Marjorie M. Liu (story), Sana Takeda (illustration)
So, I’m cheating a little bit here and counting this one as a book by multiple authors because I do think that with graphic novels/comics, the illustrations are just as if not more important than the writing itself.
Also, there aren’t any books on my overall TBR— physically or on Goodreads— written by more than one author? I guess it’s not just a trend in most of the books that I read. So, this is just going to have to be good enough for it. I do plan on re-reading volumes 1 & 2 before picking up this volume, but i’m excited to finally get around to it.
Charms — Age Line: Read an Adult Work
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
This prompt really makes me feel like the odd one out since all the books I’ve chosen are for adult audiences, but I guess that’s the beauty of these readathons really, is that there’s a mix of stuff you really want to read and stuff you might otherwise not get to.
Anyway, I’ve been meaning for ages to read this book. I watched season 1 of the show and loved it, and I haven’t gotten around to catching up on season 2 yet, but I do want to, and I think the fact that that’s currently running makes it the perfect time for me to read this book.
I really love Neil Gaiman as an author, I’ve never rated anything I’ve read from him as under 3-stars so I’m hoping this book is going to be really good. This book is also over 500 pages so when the time comes for Tome Topple is probably when I’ll pick this one up.
Defence Against the Dark Arts — Reducto: Title that Starts with an ‘R’
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
I don’t have any physical copies of the books I want to read that start with the letter ‘R’? And there were only about 2 on Goodreads. I decided to go with this one because the other option was a YA contemporary book, and I just really have to be in a very particular mood to reach for those kind of books.
This book caught my eye recently since the final book in the trilogy was recently nominated in the BookTube SFF Awards.
I know this book is a fantasy series and I believe it’s about? Assassin nuns? I might be entirely wrong but I’m fairly sure going into it that that’s what this is.
Transfiguration — Sprayed Edges or Red Cover
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
I’ve been meaning to read something by V.E. Schwab for ages and ages now, and this just gave me the perfect excuse to go ahead and do it.
I really like the premise of a story told from a villain’s perspective and I’ve heard mostly good things about this duology, so I’m excited to give it a chance.
I’ve been torn about whether I wanted to read this series first or wait until after I got around to reading the Darker Shade of Magic series, but I’m almost kind of happy I have an excuse to read this first because it is more appealing to me.
All Other Prompts / If I Have Time
I’m not choosing exactly which two are definitely going to be read because I do want to leave myself a little flexibility for what mood I’m in when I get around to some of these, but I need to read at least two of them to meet the “career guidelines” for metal charmer, and at least four to get the Outstanding goal.
Astronomy — “Star” in the Title
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
I don’t read a lot of YA contemporary, but I haven’t heard a single bad thing about this book since it came out last year, so I’d be willing to give it a try for this challenge. Also it’s the only thing on my entire Goodreads TBR that has the word “Star” in the title so this is kind of a “by default” one. I’d probably get this from the library just because I don’t have a lot of shelf space where I’m currently living and I do prefer to keep adult books on my shelves since I tend to be more likely to like those, but if I end up getting around to and really loving this I might buy a copy anyway, we’ll see.
Care of Magical Creatures — Land Animal on the Cover
Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden
I’ve been going back and forth with how much of the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist I wanted to read and prior to deciding to do this readathon my entire TBR was going to be comprised of literary fiction from that list, but I’m glad I’ve sort of decided not to go that route because I do go through phases where I read a lot of literary fiction at once and then burn myself out for too long so I’ve decided to pick one literary fiction book for the month of April and this is one that I’m really excited about.
This is set in West Africa and follows the story of a girl whose family gives her to a life in religious servitude, and it follows her story after she’s eventually rescued from that life, and I’m really looking forward to the story in this one. I think it’ll be very educational and very poignant, and I’m just really looking forward to it.
Divination — Set in the Future
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
I read the original Red Rising trilogy all in the span of about a week a couple summers back, but I haven’t gotten around to reading this one yet. This is one that, if I choose to read it, would also qualify for Tome Topple. All the “set in the future” books I have on my complete TBR are space operas and those tend to be on the longer side.
This is one I’m on the fence about as I don’t own the book and I’m already planning on buying a couple things for this readathon I really don’t need to be buying anymore, and yet…
Herbology — Plant on the Cover
The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink
I specifically bought the U.K. paperback for this book because I liked it a lot better than the U.S. paperback cover and I’m suddenly so glad I made that choice because trees! Trees are plants!
I believe this book is also considered literary fiction? But it’s also very short.
My friend who is currently in a creative writing MFA program told to read it saying that it’s weird but good.
All I know going into this is that it’s about a young American couple that moves to Europe. Also my friend sent me snippets of the smut scenes for us to make fun of together because published fiction is so notoriously bad at smut and, God, I plan on straight skimming those scenes rather than sitting through the cringe, so that should make a short book even shorter.
History of Magic — Published More than 10 Years Ago
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
I bought a copy of this book used, and it’s been sitting on my shelf collecting dust since. It was published in 1999, so double qualifies for this prompt.
It’s a story about a girl who grows up in a religious household to become a missionary, but she eventually realizes that she loves women and decides to leave the church and her family.
Books that deal with characters figuring out their place in religion and their sexuality are very important to me and hit very close to home so this is a book that I should have already read, to be honest.
It’s also pretty short so if I do have time to get to it, it hopefully shouldn’t take me that long to read.
Muggle Studies — A Contemporary
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
I actually just bought the paperback of this book on a whim a couple weeks ago while at Barnes & Noble because it was partially on sale and I was at Barnes & Noble anyway to pick up a few sequels of series that I needed.
This book is about a family, and I’m really looking forward to reading about it because I love family dynamics in books. I’ve also been making an effort to read more diversely and this book takes place during an Indian wedding. I have decently high hopes for this book. It is around 400 pages, so I’m not sure whether I’ll get to it with other longer books already on the list I have a feeling I’m going to be reading short books.
Potions — Next Ingredient: Sequel
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
This is going to be a challenge for me because it did take me quite a while to get through the first two books in the series and with the amount that I have to read for this challenge, picking up something I know is probably going to take me over a week to read may not be the smartest idea. Yet here we are.
I was slightly disappointed with The Well of Ascension but what it laid out for this book was something that excited me so I’m hoping that this one doesn’t disappoint me.
Also, like American Gods and Iron Gold this book is over 500 pages so it qualifies for Tome Topple.
That’s all the books! Make sure to follow my Twitter if you’re interested in following my progress throughout the month.