Christmas at Hogwarts | Sign Up & TBR

Hi witches and wizards, welcome to my sign-up and TBR post for yet another iteration of the Magical Readathon! The Magical Readathon is hosted by Gi of the Book Roast and she has been delighting us all with fun readathons since the first OWLs Readathon back in early 2018. This round we’re getting in the seasonal spirit because this one is all about Christmas at Hogwarts! I’m so happy to see another round of the readathon and take part in this one which is happening from 17th until 26th December – I’m sure it will really get me in the wintry spirit!

Gi has come up with a fantastic ‘choose your own adventure’ sort of set of challenges as you’ll see from the image below and the whole aim is to follow along the path, making your choice of festive activity as suits you (and your TBR), before everyone joins in for the Christmas Feast in the Great Hall. Super fun, right? If you want more info on what each of the challenge prompts mean, check out Gi’s readathon announcement and/or TBR video.

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Readathon Challenges & My TBR

Finish your coursework – finish your current read
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig / If We’re Not Married by Thirty by Anna Bell / Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (audiobook) by J.K. Rowling / whatever I’m reading come next Monday when the readathon starts!

Have a snowball fight with the Weasley twins – a book you think will be humorous
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

Visit 3 Broomsticks for mulled pixie wine – a read that should only take you a day/evening
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Attend a Yule Ball – book you’ve been preparing yourself for
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Bring a festive treat to Hedwig at the Owlery – animal on the cover/title/series name
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik (dragon on cover!)

Attend the Christmas Feast – watch a Harry Potter movie
Well, that’s pretty much a given over the festive period. If ITV aren’t showing them like they ordinarily do, I can easily bust the ol’ DVD collection out and enjoy one (or seven).

So there we have it magical beings, there’s my TBR for the upcoming Magical Readathon round Christmas at Hogwarts. As always, I’ll likely be updating my progress throughout the readathon with a good old fashioned Twitter thread which I will link here once it’s up and running. Are you participating in this readathon or have you participated in the previous rounds? Or maybe you’re taking part in a different festive-themed readathon? Let me know in the comments and we can cheer each other on!


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December TBR

If you read my post yesterday, you’ve probably gathered that December tends to be a stressful reading month if I let it be because I try so desperately to finish up the remaining challenges in my yearly reading goals. Since I passed my 52 books Goodreads goal some weeks ago, that one’s not an issue, but I’m still yet to finish all the prompts for Around the Year in 52 Books challenge. Though I know I probably won’t finish everything for that challenge, I still would quite like to knock off a few of the remaining prompts if it won’t be too much hassle for me in the remaining days of 2018.

With all that in mind, I’ve put together a rather ambitious December TBR, featuring many books I probably should have read already by now, so let’s no waste no more time and see what they are…

December TBR

1. Temeraire by Naomi Novik (rollover from November) ✓
I tried and failed to read this one a while back. It should be right up my street – dragons, Regency setting, fantasy… everything fits. I think I was just too distracted when I read it so I found the pacing seemed really slow. Hopefully I’ll get along with it better this time around, especially since there are many other books in the series so they could keep me going for quite a while.

2. If We’re Not Married by Thirty by Anna Bell
If I’m honest, this entire book just seems fluffy and tropey but I think it would be nice to occasionally read a few books of that sort, especially as it comes to the end of the year and I just want some entertaining reads mixed in with the slightly heavier stuff. Plus, I got this as an eARC on NetGalley and my review ratio is becoming terrible so I really should try to sort it out – this would be a start.

3. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
I LOVED the first book in this series, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, and I have no doubt that this sequel, focusing on Monty’s sister Felicity, is going to be AMAZING too. Although I bought the hardcover of this, I’ve heard fantastic things about the audiobook so I’ll likely read this one on audio, as I did with the first book. I can’t wait to get reading about Felicity’s own adventures.

4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (AtY 2)
This book has been on my TBR list for YEARS at this point and I still don’t know anymore about it than when I first added it to that list. It’s one of those books that people tell me “you have to read” and Liz has read it and said it was ok and a pretty good audiobook so that’s likely the format in which I will give this a go. It also helps that it fits for the reading challenge prompt “book from the first 10 books added to your To Be Read list”.

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (AtY 5)
This is yet another of those “must read” books that is being praised the world over. You’d have to be blind not to have noticed this book – it’s been EVERYWHERE and the topic is so relevant and what with the film being released (although clearly not to as wide a release as it should have been), it’s been difficult to avoid reading this one. Yet, somehow, I have. Is it time to correct that? Given it also fits for the prompt “read a book about/inspired by real events”, it seems like now could be a good time.

6. Melmoth by Sarah Perry (AtY 7)
I adored Sarah Perry’s previous book The Essex Serpent and I’m really hoping this one will be in a similar vein. The cover is equally gorgeous and that shouldn’t stand in its favour but it really does. This one seems a lot creepier and more Gothic but I kind of love that so I’m purposely trying not to read any reviews of this book so I can go into it relatively uninformed. Plus it fits for the prompt to “read a Gothic novel” so happy days.

7. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (AtY 9)
Again, you’d have to be blind not to have noticed this one doing the rounds in the book community (can you sense a theme here on this TBR?), but somehow I’ve still not managed to get around to this one myself. Considering how short it is – it’s more of a novella really – and that it’s available on audiobook, I really should get to this one this month, I don’t have any excuses left. Handily, it also fulfils the “book with a body part in the title” reading prompt.

8. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (AtY 12)
You’d have to be blind not to… you know where this one is going, don’t you? Seriously though: as a YA fantasy reader, I’m not sure how I haven’t got to this one yet. There has been massive hype surrounding it and I’ve pretty much heard amazing things about the book from most people who have read it. I’ll be surprised if I manage to get to the end of 2018 having not picked this one up, but I still haven’t read the likes of The Raven King despite saying similar things about that one for months so… who knows. I’m told that this novel is also heavily based on West African mythology so it can fit for the reading prompt to read “a book set in Africa or South America”, right?

9. Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig (AtY 27) ✓
I adored Matt Haig’s other non-fiction work, Reasons to Stay Alive, so I was thrilled when this one was released. Apparently not thrilled enough to get right to it though. I did read the first few pages of this some months back but I was in a weirdly emotional place and it hit me a little bit too much so I had to set it aside for then. I think I’m ready to properly pick it back up though, and it helps that it kind of fulfils the prompt to read something “about surviving a hardship (war, famine, major disasters, serious illness, etc)”. I’d say struggling with anxiety and panic attacks is pretty damn hard.

10. The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (AtY 28)
I read the first book in this duology The Girl From Everywhere and really loved it so I’ve been meaning to pick up this sequel ever since then. Heidi Heilig has become someone I really enjoy following on Twitter so every time I see her name pop up there I get a reminder that I want to get to this book sooner rather than later. Assuming it follows much of the pattern of the first book, this sequel will also work perfectly for the “4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #3 Water” prompt.

11. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (AtY 32)
I started this book whilst I was waiting in a very long queue for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Disney World last world. It was one of the few books I had downloaded in the Kindle app on my phone and I thought ‘why not?’. As you can imagine, once I got closer to the front of the queue I was distracted by other things (namely shooting bad aliens with a blaster gun to help Buzz defeat Zorg) so this book fell to the wayside… which is a shame because the concept of an AU steampunk World War I is really intriguing and promised to be one hell of a fun ride. Hopefully I’ll get back to it this month, especially since it can count for the “alternate history book” reading challenge.

12. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (AtY 44)
I’m trying to make it a ritual that I read this every Christmas, so I need to actually put it on my monthly TBR so I don’t forget and end up having to speed read it in its entirety at 10pm on Christmas Eve. Whilst that would be perfect timing for the narrative of the story itself, I’d like to start it a little earlier this year and enjoy reliving the story again. It also definitely counts as reading a “ghost story” so that’s yet another potential crossing-off of a reading challenge prompt.

What books are you hoping to read in December? Let me know what you’re reading at the moment in the comments below and let’s chat books!


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Tome Topple 7 | Sign Up & TBR

Welcome one and all to, you guessed it from the title, a sign-up post for Tome Topple. The seventh round of Tome Topple is taking place from the stroke of midnight on 16th November and runs through until 11:59 pm on 29th November.

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 Thoughts on Tomes and she now has a whole gang of co-hosts to help run the readathon and keep us all enthused and reading. For extra info, check out the readathon’s Twitter account or the Goodreads group.

If you’ve been a reader of the blog for a while, you may have seen that I’ve participated in previous Tome Topple rounds, to varying degrees of “success”, but I’ve always gave it my best shot. This round will prove to be no exception since I’ll be away from home for a few days at the start of the readathon so I’m not sure how my reading will be affected by that. This does mean I’ll be sitting on a couple of train journeys though so maybe the travel will turn out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise for Tome Topple? We shall see!

As ever, there are the reading challenges to help shape your TBR. I’m not sure whether I’ll focus on these but in the interests of having a bit of structure to the whole thing, I’ve picked out a couple of them to try to fulfil with my reading.

Reading Challenges

  1. Read more than 1 tome
  2. Read a graphic novel (still over 500 pages!) – I won’t be doing this one, I never do!
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series
  4. Buddy read a tome
  5. Read an adult novel

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Challenges: 1/4/5
This one was on my Disney holiday TBR but Disney World proved to be far too distracting and I ended up only just almost finishing one book which was decidedly not this one. Therefore, it was on my mind to pick it up anyway, and now that Tome Topple is here and this book definitely counts as a tome, it seems almost fortuitous. I’ve heard that this is a book you really need to focus on so it would probably be a good idea to only be reading one book at a time when I read this – I tend to try to do that during Tome Topple so this is the perfect time to give it a go.

The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

Challenges: 1/3
I absolutely loved the first book in the series, The Dark Days Club, because it’s basically a Jane Austen-esque Regency society story but with added demons. The heroine, Lady Helen, is basically a demon hunter and that’s all kinds of MY JAM so I adore this series. The author, Alison Goodman, was also super lovely on Twitter when I gushed about the book so I’m automatically even more endeared to this series. I really need to pick up this second book as its sequel aka the third in the trilogy (?), comes out in November.

So, that’s it, that’s my Tome Topple TBR. I’m trying to keep it relatively simple and manageable (for once). Are you taking part in the readathon? What are you planning to read? Let me know and we can cheer each other on!


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Try a Chapter | Choosing My Disney Holiday TBR

You might have seen my previous go at Try a Chapter for my Barcelona holiday back at the start of September, and it worked so well helping me choose which books to take with me on holiday… whether I read all of them is another issue but shhhhh. And, much like with my previous holiday TBR, I’m not sure how much reading time I’ll actually get on account of the fact I’ll probably be too distracted by the magical world of Disney but I’m willing to try anyway.

There’s a good chance that I’ll be quite tired – ok, mainly my feet will be tired – at the end of most days of this holiday, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to take a few moments to read, so let us see which books I’m fancying reading, shall we? These are what I have to choose from:

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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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