N.E.W.T Readathon TBR

So back in May I did the O.W.L read-a-thon based on the Harry Potter wizarding tests to pursue a professional wizarding career based on prompts for each of the Hogwarts subjects. August is the next level of tests called the N.E.W.Ts (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests) all the details of which can be found here. The Wizarding career I am going for is Healer, so I need to achieve an E in Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, Potions, and Transfiguration. Normally I would try for O (outstanding) in these subjects, but its gonna be a pretty crazy month so 10 books is more than enough. For every subject I have to read the Acceptable (A) before I can start the Exceeds Expectations (E) challenge.

Charms A (Read a book with a gorgeous cover) – Heartless by Marissa Meyer, our book club pick for August.

Heartless

Charms E (Read a comic or graphic novel) – Magic Within Vol. 4 by Tania del Rio

the magic within vol 4

Defense Against the Dark Arts A (Book that is black under the dust jacket) – Black Bird of the Gallow by Meg Kassel

black bird at the gallows

Defense Against the Dark Arts E (Memory Charm: first book on your TBR that comes to mind) – Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

mansfield park

Herbology A (Mandrake: book with a green cover) – Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley, one of my all time favorites which I haven’t reread in far too long.

spindles en

Herbology E (Read a book between 350 and 390 pages) – From Unseen Fire by Cass Morgan which comes in at exactly 390 pages. Possibly my most anticipated read a Roman fantasy with 9 types of elemental magic and a power stuggle. I AM SO EXCITED!

from unseen fire

Potions A (Polyjuice Potion: Read a friend’s favorite book) – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Techinically this is one of my mom’s favorite books/authors but we are friends so it’s cool.

murder on the orient express

Potions E (House Ingredient: book with house colors) – I am a proud Gryffindor and will be reading  Chimera’s Curse by Julia Golding which has both crimson and gold on the cover.

Chimera's Curse

Transfiguration A (Read a book with LGBTQIA representation) – The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The color purple

Transfiguration E (Read a book that’s not the first in a series) – Intheritance by Christopher Paolini

inheritance

Wish me luck completing all these challenges in the next 31 days and passing my NEWTS!

Favorite Summer Reads

So I like summer because typically I have more downtime to read, either on vacation or on break from school. This summer there is no break but I am going on vacation in a month and hopefully will get some extra reading done. For me I like to go back to some of my favorites. I frequently re-read Harry Potter over the summer. Here are some other excellent books to read over the summer.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares -This 4 books series follows every summer as 4 best friends grow-up between their sophomore years of high school and college. It’s a very sweet series that gives each character individuality and focuses on all relationships and growth versus just the romantic.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Every love letter Lara Jean has ever written was mailed to them, without her knowing. It was a really sweet story that dealt with a lot of the male tropes, the player and the nice-guy wanna-be player. I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. This summer is the perfect time to read it because the move comes out on Netflix in August!

Codex Alera by Jim Butcher – This adult military fantasy combines the magic systems of Avatar the last Airbender and the Golden Compass. In other words, it is AWESOME! If you need a large mass market paperback to bring to the beach or on a flight this is the book for you! Plus over the summer you’ll have more time to commit.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan – As most know this series happens at Summer camp! though for some it is year-round. It is a camp for demi-gods or humans with a godly parent. I’m pretty sure everything else is known if not what are you doing with yourself

Pern by Ann McCaffery – Pern is not a series but a world. This world has lots of series and standalones with in it to jump around with as you will. It’s a wonderful world of dragons and firelizards and young people who have to make serious decisions. Plus the northern continent is pretty much all desert so you can relate to the heat the characters are facing.  (I recommend starting with the Harper Hall trilogy but do as you will)

 

 

Monthly Recommendations: Books I am thankful for

November (yes I know I am a little late)’s recommendation topic is books I am thankful for. There are lots of ways that one can be thankful for a book: made me the reader I am, connected to a happy memory, got you through a hard time, etc.

  • Harry Potter by JK Rowling: I think this is an obvious one for most people. It sparked my love of magic and obsessive love of Harry Potter. This is also the book my dad brought home when we adopted my baby brother.
  • The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: So this is a series that came to me at the right point in time. I was going through such a hard time and it made me feel there was where people like me and who cared about me. I read this series with my friend who became my best friend.
  • She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb: Once again a book that showed me that you can be fine no matter what else is happening. This is also the book I was reading when a real professional author, of this book, told me to keep writing and that I had talent. So grateful for both.
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: This was a book that I read with my 2 best friends in high school and we made a hilarious book report with it (it was on a pumpkin). I really just had such a great time reading it and it made me much less afraid of classical literature.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I read this book my freshman year of college and it just got me out of reading slump and my stress of school and it was such just a bright fun read.
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown: This is the first book series I read with my boyfriend and we still talk about it all the time and it’s so much at the root of our friendship.

Monthly Recommendations: Required Reading

This is a Goodread’s group that gives book recommendations based on a different topic every month. This month is centered around the books that you believe that everyone should read. This was really hard for me so I decided to split it up by age-range and we will see how this works.

Children:

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster- I refer to this book frequently as though everyone had it… so everyone should. It’s wonderful and smart and made me feel less bad about liking school more than my classmates.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein – I am pretty sure everyone has had to read this for school or has been read this by some teacher figure. However, everyone needs to learn that they always have something to give BUT don’t anyone all of themselves.

Middle-grade:

Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling- You know you have to read this. There shouldn’t be a lot of discussion.       You will like it I pinky swear.

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg – The traditional children running away from home. Claudia and Jamie don’t know why they just want to run away as all children should and they go to hide in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Young Adult:

Monster by Walter Dean Myers – Please read this. It’s the story of a young African-American man on trial in association for a crime he knew nothing about. As he studies film he writes his diary of the trial as a script. If you care about, race, or law, or film (everyone should care about all three) you need to read this.

The Harper Hall Trilogy by Anne McCaffery – This is one of my favorite series of all time . Dragons. Music. Found family. Being able to choose a home where you are safe and wanted. I think that everyone would enjoy at least some aspect of this series and I love it, so everyone should read it.

Adult:

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman ( I know it says Stetson here but she got divorced for reasons obvious once you read the story) – It is a short horror story that is an iconic feminist and mental health tale. That everyone must read at at least one point in their life.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot – The only non-fiction book I am recommending because it is the best. It is the true story of an English country veterinarian and his truly bizarre adventure. It’s so interesting to learn about the medicine and culture. Also everyone I know likes it.

All the Kings Men by Robert Penn Warren – This was required reading for me and became one of my favorite books of all time. The best written book most people will ever read. It follows Jack Burden who works for a corrupt southern governor in the 1930s. It is both profound and hilarious, someone being compared to a drunkards poodle hilarious.