Charms Extra Credit | Sign Up & TBR

Have you heard, Hogwarts students? Professor Flitwick will be accepting extra course work for Charms between the 8th and the 14th October. This means getting a little extra credit and a helping hand towards the Charms examinations coming up later in the academic year. Doesn’t that sound sensible to put in a little work now?

For those who have zero idea what I’m going on about (and possibly think I’ve gone a little barmy), Gi of the Book Roast has decided to run a week-long readathon to accompany her (hopefully annual) OWLs readathon and NEWTs readathon, both of which I took part in (with varying degrees of success) earlier this year. You can watch her extra credit announcement video to find out more about the readathon and its challenges, or check out Professor Flitwick’s announcement, or just take a look at my TBR below to get a sneak peek of what I’m planning to read in order to hopefully score some (much needed) extra credit.

The Challenges & my TBR

Alohomora: read a book that’s first in a series
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, and Brooke Allen

Accio: book that’s top of your TBR
Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Incendio: words ‘fire’ or ‘flame’ in the title/series name, or flame picture on the cover
Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray

Rictusempra: book that ‘tickles you the right way’ (exciting trope/theme/genre)
Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince, Issue 1 by V.E. Schwab, Enrica Eren Angiolini and Andrea Olimpieri

Lumos: book with a light cover
Captain Marvel, Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez

 

I’ve kind of not really cheated a little bit by making sure that these books are principally graphic novels/comic bind-ups, to make things easier on myself, but hey I am doing Victober throughout the month of October so I have to make sure that this readathon doesn’t jeopardise that readathon either. It’s a hard life being a reader, isn’t it? Still, I have included one “proper book”, as you might say, on this TBR so I’m hoping that trying to read that next week won’t distract me too much from Victober reading. Let’s see…

Are you taking part in the Charms Extra Credit – what are you planning to read for it? Or have you taken part (or want to take part) in the OWLs or NEWTs readathons? Let me know in the comments below!


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September TBR

You all know I don’t consistently post TBR lists, but this month I feel like I need to, because it’s already 12 days into September and I haven’t made enough progress on my hastily scribbled TBR list. I actually always draw up a monthly TBR in my bujo at the end of the previous month, but I rarely share it here, unless it happens to coincide with a readathon I’m doing, but this month should be an exception otherwise I won’t get anything read at this rate. Accountability and all that jazz.

If you saw my recent Choosing My Holiday TBR post you might have a little inkling already of some of the books I want to knock out of the park this month, but let’s look at the rest, shall we?

Books to Finish This Month

  1. The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    I started this during the NEWTs Readathon but unfortunately didn’t finish it, despite it being quite short, beautifully packaged, and a children’s book. I didn’t get too far into the story, all I know so far is that a young girl has gone missing on the island. That’s it. I need to get back to this, it’s been on my shelf for MONTHS.
  2. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
    This is due back to the library any day now and I’m only little over halfway through it. Honestly? I’m not loving it. I don’t really feel connected to the characters at all. I feel like I’m definitely missing something key because everyone else I’ve seen reviews from seems to love this… I just don’t seem to be one of them?? Even so, I feel like I need to keep giving this a chance and finish it. Wish me luck? If you’ve struggled with this book too, can you let me know in the comments if you pushed through, and if it was worth it?
  3. Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
    I’m a broken record but I started this for NEWTs but didn’t manage to finish the audiobook before August ended. I’m finding the story a little hard to follow but I think that might be because I listened to a large portion of it on audiobook at work when I was multitasking – I’m sure if I give it my full attention, I’ll get more into the story.
  4. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
    After finishing the NEWTs  at the end of August I realised I rather randomly felt like re-reading The Bone Season so I foolhardily picked it up, knowing fine well I was going on holiday for a week at the start of the month and wouldn’t be able to take it with me as it’s a hardcover. So I still need to finish this re-read soon because I LOVE this book series.

Books to Read This Month

  1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    This was one of the successful choices in the Try a Chapter post I did to choose my holiday TBR for Barcelona and I cannot WAIT to get started on this one. I’ve heard so many great things about this and I am here for it.
  2. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
    This book is a risky choice for holiday because I want to love it SO badly. It’s frequently described as The Secret History but with Shakespeare students and I’m like… that’s me in a book, I want it, I need it, let me love it. But I’m also ever so slightly worried in case I don’t end up loving it because it will be SUCH a disappoint. Is that likely? Yikes, let’s see…
  3. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
    Everyone and their mother has read this… apart from me. Let’s change that in September, shall we? People told me it’s complicated but I read the opening chapter and it… seems ok? Promising! I’ll report back in October (hopefully).
  4. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
    If you’re at all a V.E. Schwab fan, you’ve probably read this by now. am a V.E. Schwab fan so I should have read this by now, especially as I follow her on social media and the past months have been full of watching her revise and get ready to publish the long-awaited and anticipated sequel, Vengeful. So I need to jump on this bandwagon before the second book is released and FINALLY read Vicious.
  5. City of Ghosts by V.E. Schwab
    This is Schwab’s latest release and this, along with Vengeful, has filled her social media. It sounds SO good and is set in Edinburgh which I adore, and I know V does too, so I’m sure her love for the city will come through in this story.

I think we should leave it at that, shouldn’t we? Because, let’s face it, 9 books is quite enough to be getting along with!

What are you hoping to read this month? Do you line up books in a TBR or do you prefer to completely mood read? Let me know what you’re reading at the moment in the comments below and let’s chat books!


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Try a Chapter | Choosing My Holiday TBR

Folks, I’m (what feels like) finally heading off for a little bit of a summer holiday. I’ll be heading to Barcelona, somewhere I’ve somehow never visited before now despite holidaying in Spain with my family since I was 18 months old (!), and I cannot wait, it’s going to be so much fun! We don’t have too much planned – the only thing we’ve booked in advance is the tickets for La Sagrada Familia so we’re mainly planning to take it easy and wander about, soaking up (hopefully) some sun and all Barcelona has to offer. As I type this, I am deep in the midst of packing, but I’ve taken time away from my suitcase to address something very important in the packing process for a bookworm: deciding which books to take with me.

I don’t know how much reading time I’m going to get, but I do know I am holidaying with people who understand wanting to read, regardless of where you happen to be in the world. So, I need to pick out my holiday TBR. As we only have hand luggage, I’m trying to limit my book selection, and rationalise the fact that we’re only away for 5 days so I don’t actually need to take more than 2 books. I saw Ashleigh from A Frolic Through Fiction do a “try a chapter” challenge in order to pick her holiday TBR, and I thought it was a brilliant idea to pick out what books you’re actually in the mood for, rather than the ones you just think you’re in the mood for. So, with that in mind, here are the contenders that I’m going to try out…

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NEWTs Readathon | Progress Report #3

I know, I know, it’s late, this post is probably late, and my blogging game on the whole has been seriously lacking these past couple of weeks. I could make up plenty of excuses but what it comes down to is that I’ve just lacked motivation. All that being said, I have been reading so I’m definitely still trying to complete some of my NEWTs with semi-good grades!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it might be best to pop over to my TBR postmy first progress report, or my second progress report, but tl;dr version is that the NEWTs Readathon is happening in August. It’s a month-long readathon based around the NEWT examinations in the Harry Potter series, and it’s hosted by Gintare from the Book Roast – check out the announcement video, or head over to the readathon hashtag on Twitter for more details. I’ve been sort of keeping up to date with my reading progress on my usual readathon Twitter thread, but I also like to keep myself accountable with more overarching progress reports such as this one you’re reading right now. So let’s see how I’m doing, shall we?

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Bout of Books 23 | Sign Up & TBR

Hola all, coming at you today with a sign up and TBR post for yet another readathon. I am obviously still participating in the month-long NEWTs Readathon, but it just so happens that the next round of Bout of Books is this week and it would be rude to neglect one in favour of the other, so I guess this TBR also functions as an idea of the books I hope to read this week for my NEWTs!

For those unaware of the delight that is the Bout of Books readathon, the organisers have a handy blurb available to clue you in:

bob23The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 20th and runs through Sunday, August 26th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 23 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I don’t have much planned for this week and though I’m very sure work will be quite busy, my social engagements are next to non-existent, which makes for good quality reading time. If nothing else, Bout of Books is well and truly low-key and low pressure and I like that kind of readathon, I can get onboard with that. So let’s take a look at my TBR, shall we?

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NEWTs Readathon | Progress Report #2

Howdy folks. It’s been a little while hasn’t it? I dropped off the face of the blogging world for a week or so because last weekend I went home and did… pretty much nothing, just hung out a little bit with family and that was it. As nice as that was, it meant I didn’t have much motivation to blog towards the end of last week and, as I took Monday and Tuesday off work, come Wednesday I was trying frantically to catch up with stuff at work to the point where I’ve found it quite tiring by the time I get home on an evening. Add onto the fact I managed to get an annoying cold on Wednesday and that hasn’t particularly left me in the right head-space to blog. Still, I have been reading a little bit, which is good because that’s the subject of this post… I come to you today with the second of my progress reports for the NEWTs Readathon.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it might be best to pop over to my TBR post or even my first progress report, but tl;dr version is that the NEWTs Readathon is happening in August. It’s a month-long readathon based around the NEWT examinations in the Harry Potter series, and it’s hosted by Gintare from the Book Roast – check out the announcement video, or head over to the readathon hashtag on Twitter for more details. I’ve been sort of keeping up to date with my reading progress on my usual readathon Twitter thread, but I also like to keep myself accountable with more overarching progress reports such as this one you’re reading right now. So let’s see how I’m doing, shall we?

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NEWTs Readathon | Progress Report #1

As you may be aware if you saw my TBR post a few weeks ago, the entire month of August for me is taken up by those dreaded Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests aka NEWTs examinations! For the entire month of August, Gintare from the Book Roast is hosting a readathon based around the examinations at Hogwarts. Pretty cool, isn’t it? If you need more info, definitely check out Gintare’s announcement video, or head over to the readathon hashtag on Twitter.

As well as my usual readathon Twitter thread, I thought I would do progress reports every so often throughout the month, mainly to keep myself accountable, but also to take stock every once in a while amidst all the fun of the readathon (*cough* I mean er- amidst all the intense studying *cough*) and to see how I’m doing on my grades for my exams.

For those not familiar with (or who need a little reminder of) the NEWTs examinations, the pass grades are A (Acceptable), E (Exceeds Expectations), and O (Outstanding). I’m an overachiever so obviously I’d love to get Os in all of my exams, but we’ll see if that’s even probable given my progress after one week…

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NEWTs Readathon | Sign Up & TBR

Back in April I sat my O.W.Ls (as you may remember from my Twitter updates thread and my mid-way progress report), and I ended up passing Ancient Runes, Astronomy, Charms, Muggle Studies, Potions, Transfiguration. Well, friends, August has now rolled around which means it’s time to sit those dreaded N.E.W.Ts! For the entire month of August, Gintare from the Book Roast has once again decided to host such a fun themed readathon based around the examinations at Hogwarts, and I’m super excited to take part again, and (hopefully) pass all my exams! If you need more info, definitely check out Gintare’s announcement video, or head over to the readathon hashtag on Twitter.

Which N.E.W.Ts you sit depends entirely on which O.W.L qualifications you were able to get in the previous readathon, and this exam period/readathon works on a level-up system so you need to read a book each to earn your ‘Acceptable’ ‘Exceeds Expectations’ and ‘Outstanding’ grades in those subjects – it is nastily exhausting, isn’t it?

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at which books I’ll be reading in order to sit my N.E.W.T examinations!

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Tome Topple 6 | Sign Up & TBR

If you’ve been around the blog for any length of time, you will have discerned that I’m quite a fan of a readathon and I’m even more so a fan of Tome Topple as it ditches the frenzied nature of many readathons to instead focus on the longer, weightier books on your TBR. The last Tome Topple round I participated in was back in August 2017 and it has been very much missed by me so I was delighted to see Sam was bringing it back for the end of June.

For those who don’t know, Tome Topple is fortnight-long readathon in which the goal is to focus on reading “tomes”, i.e. books of 500 pages (or so) in length. It was created by Sam from the brilliant Thoughts on Tomes but she now has a whole gang of co-hosts to help run the readathon and keep us all enthused and reading. This round, round 6, will be taking place from 12:00am in your timezone on 29th June until 11:59pm on 12th July. There are also some reading challenges which you can use to help shape your TBR but I’ve mostly ignored these for this round… you’ll see why soon so I don’t think it’s too much of a problem. For even more info, you can check out the readathon’s Twitter page or see Sam’s announcement video. Otherwise, let’s take a look at what I plan to read…

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

I have an embarrassing confession: I was actually reading War and Peace during the last Tome Topple (see my Tome Topple #4 TBR for the shameful evidence), and yet I still haven’t finished it months later. At the time, I was taking part in Laura from Reading In Bed‘s summer readalong called the War and Peace Newbies Readalong (I did a whole series of summary posts of what I did read, for anyone curious) but I fell off the wagon when I went on holiday near the end so I never finished the book. And then I lost all momentum I gained by reading it along with other people. And here we are now, practically a year later, and I still haven’t managed to finish this bloody thing. I have something like 300ish pages of it left (out of 1500!) but I think we can all agree that Tome Topple would be the perfect time to finally finish off this tome, especially since I want to join in with Laura’s big summer readalong this year too.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Remember that big summer readalong I said Laura was doing? Yeah, The Count of Monte Cristo is the book she chose for this year, and I’m actually really excited to join in and pick it up, as it would have otherwise taken me years to do so off my own back. The readalong starts on 2nd July, so that crosses over with quite a large portion of Tome Topple as well. I know next to nothing about this book – something about a wrongfully imprisoned man who gets out of jail and comes into money and then sets about to get revenge on those who accused him? (That sounds like the start of Les Misérables so is this just something that French authors like writing about? I mean, admittedly Valjean goes on more of the redemption arc than the revenge arc but…) Digression aside, I’m really excited to take part in another chunky book readalong (I posted my sign-up post last night, if you missed it) and I hope to keep up with fun weekly posts summarising what I’ve read, like I did for War and Peace, but maybe this time I’ll actually finish the book?

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

I know what you’re thinking, Emma, two books is definitely enough. However, since neither of these books will be consumed in their entirety in Tome Topple, I’d feel deceitful if I didn’t include on this TBR a tome I was intending to read cover-to-cover during the course of the readathon itself. So here we are, and here I am thinking rather optimistically that I’m going to read A Reaper at the Gates, the third book in the Ember Quartet, by Sabaa Tahir. I’ve recently re-read An Ember in the Ashes, and am in the midst of finally getting around to A Torch Against the Night. Providing I finish that second book by the time Tome Topple starts, I would like to then maintain that momentum with this series and move straight onto the newly released third book. I’m slightly fudging the rules since it’s not quite 500 pages but what’s 10-20 pages here and there between friends? I’ll probably be listening to this on audiobook too so I’m not going to worry myself over that, the book is going to be dramatic and heart-wrenching enough, I’d imagine.

So, that’s it, that’s my (sort of) Tome Topple TBR. As you can see, I’ve paid little attention to the challenges or even to the rules of the readathon (they’re more guidelines than actual rules, to paraphrase Captain Barbossa), but I’m going to take part and read some tomes all the same. Are you taking part in the readathon? What are you planning to read? Let me know below and we can cheer each other on during Tome Topple!


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Marvel-A-Thon | Sign Up & TBR

I know what you’re thinking – Emma, didn’t you just post a monthly June TBR? Why yes, astute reader, I did… but then I learnt from Kelly that the Marvel-A-Thon readathon was a Thing that was happening, and pretty much any TBR plans I had were kicked to the kerb because I love the MCU. I decided it would be pretty poor form to bypass the opportunity to take part in a Marvel-themed reading challenge… so here we are with another TBR post in the space of a few days. But it’s ok, everyone loves a TBR, right? Right!

If you haven’t heard about the Marvel-A-Thon, let me explain: it’s run by Jamieson of Jamishelves and you should pop over to her blog to see the official announcement post with all the relevant details. Put simply, it runs from midnight on 1st June until midnight of 1st July and there are 21 MCU-based reading prompts to try to read books for. These challenges are split into the Phases of the MCU and you must complete a phase before moving onto the next. You’re allowed two skips per phase, and you can carry over any skips you didn’t use in a previous phase. Also, if you buddy read something with a reading pal then you can also ‘give’ one of your reads to your buddy, and vice versa. E.g. if you buddy read something for ‘Hulk’ you can give your buddy the ‘Thor’ challenge, and get the ‘Avengers’ challenge read from them – which is what myself and my buddy are probably going to do!

Sound fun? You in? Well, Avengers Assemble and let’s look at the challenges and what I’ll be reading for them:

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