It is time for one of the best readathon’s of the year! I participated in the Magical Readathon OWLs back in April and absolutely loved it. For those who don’t know, the Magical Readathon, hosted by G from Book Roast, are based on the Harry Potter universe exam systems – OWLs (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) and NEWTs (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests). For each subject you can study at Hogwarts, there are reading prompts. At NEWTs level, each subject has three prompts, one for each ‘grade’: A – Acceptable; E – Exceeds Expectations; O – Outstanding. It’s quite a complicated system, so to find out more, you can watch the announcement video here.
To further add to the awesomeness, there is a complete careers guide to wizarding careers including a description of the profession alongside required OWL and NEWT subjects and grades required to qualify. And if you’re following the rules and playing both the OWLs and NEWTs, you can only sit NEWTs in subjects which you sat at OWLs.
Back in April, I decided to go for the Librarian career path (mainly because it seemed do-able and I was visiting home for most of April and wouldn’t have much time, but also because books). That required OWLs in Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, Defence Against the Dark Arts, History of Magic and Transfigurations. I also completed the Potions OWL as well. This means I have six subjects I can sit for my NEWTs. To qualify as a Librarian, I need an Outstanding in Ancient Runes and an E in History of Magic and Defence Against the Dark Arts – meaning I need to read at least 7 books to qualify! Totally achievable! But as I am a perfectionist, I will of course be going for O’s in all exams I sit (so aiming for 9 books in August).
So without further ado, here’s my TBR for the NEWTs readathon.
Acceptable: Ehwaz (partnership) – a read recommended by a friend
The Afterward by E.K Johnston
This book was recommended to me by Dahlia at LGBTQReads, and was actually the first book I chose in their patreon subscription service I signed up for whereby Dahlia helps me pick a book each month. High fantasy, female knights, quests, I am totally sold on this book and am very excited to read it!
Exceeds Expectations: Book written in past tense
We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra
This book is told via letters written between Jonathon and Adam, as they complete a penpal assignment for their English class. Dealing with topics like bullying and homophobia, the two boys become friends and more. This sounded like such a cool concept with the letter-format so I’m really excited to see how it plays out!
Outstanding: Book that has been on your TBR for ages
How to be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters
How to be Remy Cameron is one of my most anticipated books publishing in the later half of 2019 and I somehow was lucky enough to be approved for an eARC on NetGalley (still don’t know how this happened!!) All about labels and identity, this book sounds like it will be a perfect YA coming-of-age novel.
History of Magic
Acceptable: Read a fantasy
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
I eagerly awaited arrival of this book for almost 2 months after I first ordered it with my bookshop, but it FINALLY arrived last week and I can’t wait to read it – set in a world where happy ever after isn’t just a dream, it’s enforced, this book sounds super creepy and dark and I can’t wait to read it!
Exceeds expectations: Read a book that contains a map
Descendent of the Crane by Joan He
This is a book I’ve had since it released back in April but I haven’t managed to read it yet. It has such a gorgeous cover and also includes a detailed map so of course I had to pick it for this prompt!
Outstanding: Tom Riddle’s diary: fond memory – reread a favourite
The Song of Achilles – Madeleine Miller
I have been meaning to reread The Song of Achilles since I finished it the first time. I always feel a little weird rereading books, especially when my TBR has so many unread books on it, which it has definitely has had the past few months. So I was extremely happy to see this prompt because it gives me a chance to break my heart again rereading The Song of Achilles.
Defence Against the Dark Arts
Acceptable: Book that’s black under the dust jacket
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I was casually wandering a bookshop for a completely unrelated to me reason (present buying) and I came across this GORGEOUS collector’s edition copy of The Hate U Give with a stunning black cover, edges and under the dust jacket. I’ve been meaning to read this book for forever, so of course when I saw this goddess of a book in the shop, I had to buy it.
Exceeds expectations: Gilderoy’s memory charm – first book you remember from your TBR
Reverie by Ryan La Sala
This was such a funny prompt, the first time I saw it during the NEWTs announcement video, I immediately blanked on every single book that was on my TBR. Second time I read it, when actually preparing my TBR for this readathon, I was more successful and thought of Reverie by Ryan La Sala. This book has been at the forefront of my mind since I heard about it, I’m sure partly due to Ryan’s incredible tweets which make me laugh several times a week. This book is just so so so gay and I cannot wait.
Outstanding: Cornish pixie! Swat it away with a book from an English author or set in England.
A Girl Called Shameless by Laura Steven
This was actually the prompt I struggled most to find one for, who knew I had so few books on my shelf by English authors or set in England. However, I very recently finished The Exact Opposite of Okay and it became one of my all-time favourite books, so I ordered the sequel straight away. I have all my fingers crossed that the book arrives before the end of August because I don’t know what I’ll read if it doesn’t! This book looks to be a continuation of the amazing, feminist, hilarity that was The Exact Opposite of Okay.
That’s it for what I’ll call my achievable TBR. Despite having no faith in my ability, I have also prepared a TBR for the other three exams I can sit if I end up having time to do so. I won’t go into as much detail for each of these books, but here’s the rest of the the exams, prompts and books I might read during August.
Acceptable: Book that ends on an even page number – Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
Exceeds Expectations: Read a standalone – The Outside by Ada Hoffman
Outstanding: Book that’s longer than 350pp – The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
Acceptable: Polyjuice potion: read your friend’s favourite book – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Exceeds expectations: House ingrediant: book with a cover in your Hogwarts house colour – Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford
Outstanding: Book that starts with a Prologue – The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
Acceptable: Read a book with LGBTIQA+ rep – Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
Exceeds expectations: Read a book that’s not a first in the series – The Kingdom of Copper by S.K Chakraborty
Outstanding: McGonagall does not mess around. Read a book over 500 pages – The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Link me below to all your TBRs for what sounds like an absolutely amazing readathon! I can’t wait to see what you’re reading in August.
Rach + Draco