This year, I FINALLY got to participate in the Magical Readathon (the timing has just not worked out in the past), and I was so excited! I forgot to put it in my original reading list post, but I participated as a Ravenclaw (no one is surprised) and set out on the track to be an alchemist. Which meant I had to complete every single OWL (that’s twelve books, in case you’re counting). And… I did it! We will see if I can continue this path when it comes to NEWTs later this year, but at least I have a lot of options with all the OWLs under my belt.
Keep reading to see what I read for each OWL and what I thought of these books!
Ancient Runes | heart rune, heart on the cover or in the title
For this OWL, I went with Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, which has a heart on the cover. And I really enjoyed it! I am definitely a fan of fun, dark reads, and this fit the bill perfectly. Bonus that there was some magic in there as well.
Arithmancy | Magical qualities of number 2: balance/opposites – read something outside your favorite genre
I decided to go with romance for this one, since it’s definitely not something I would say is my favorite genre, though I do enjoy reading it. So I read Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson, which I was excited about because it involves knitting and romance. I ended up not liking it, but I still read it and got my OWL, so it whatever. (I’ll have a review up next month, if you’re curious.)
Astronomy | night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside
I couldn’t just pick any book for this prompt, so I thought I’d go with something night-time appropriate and read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It was definitely an interesting read, and I learned a lot. Honestly, great bedtime reading, too because it both put me to sleep (which the author said was encouraged) AND convinced me to adopt better sleep habits.
Care of Magical Creatures | hippogriffs: creature with a beak on the cover
One of the books I was most excited for ended up fitting into this challenge perfectly, so I read The King of Crows by Libba Bray. This was such a bittersweet ending to the series. I’m still a little bit mad about a few of the things that happened (even though I knew there was no way the characters were going to get out of this unscathed). Overall, this was a great book. The Diviners is still my favorite – I just really loved that story – but I thought this was a great addition to the series.
Charms | lumos maxima: white cover
This was honestly the easiest book choice for my TBR, because it’s been sitting on my shelves and everyone has been talking about it nonstop. And that book is Sadie by Courtney Summers. You were all absolutely right, I loved this! I am learning to love audiobooks with multiple narrators, and this was the absolute perfect format for that.
Defense Against the Dark Arts | grindylows: book set at the sea/coast
I had to go with the book that popped into my head first and is most definitely set at sea: The Odyssey by Homer. I read the recent translation by Emily Wilson and really enjoyed it. Just a really great translation, and a great reading experience. I actually listened to the audiobook (narrated by Claire Danes) and am so glad I went that route, because it’s clear that’s the way the Odyssey was meant to be experienced.
Divination | third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read
Google’s random number generator worked in my favor, because out of all the books on my Goodreads TBR, it chose the one ARC I actually had to read this month. I read Katheryn Howard: The Scandalous Queen by Alison Weir. Like the rest of the Six Tudor Queens series, this was really good. It’s difficult not to feel for all of Henry VIII’s wives, because each one of them was a victim of living as a woman during that time. Katheryn was a bit unique because she did actually do the things she was executed for, but this book did a really great job at portraying her as young and trapped in her family’s ambition. I would definitely recommend this series, and am looking forward to reading the last book.
Herbology | mimbulus mimbletonia: title stars with an M
This was the last OWL I finished (at 8pm last night) and it was a great end to this readathon. For this one, I read Middlegame by Seanan McGuire and absolutely loved it. I put this on my five-star predictions list a while back, and I was definitely right about this one. I’ve only ever read Seanan McGuire’s shorter fiction, but she seriously packed a punch with this longer book.
History of Magic | witch hunts: book featuring witches/wizards
For this OWL, I went with a recommendation from fellow participants and read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I started with the audiobook and ended up switching to the physical book – I’m so glad I did because this went from a three-star to a four-star book for me (see, audiobooks don’t always make everything better).
Muggle Studies | book from the perspective of a muggle (contemporary)
I decided to go with a contemporary memoir for this one, because this just felt like a nonfiction-appropriate prompt to me. So I read with Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance. It wasn’t my favorite Appalachia-specific memoir (for some reason, I keep reading those – I think this is my fourth), but it was pretty good.
Potions | shrinking solution: book under 150 pages
I am so glad I decided to read Lumberjane Vol. 2 for this (it’s been a while since I started the series), because it was SO GOOD! If it wasn’t fun enough, this volume had both dinosaurs and mythology. It’s like it was made for me.
Transfiguration | animagus lecture: book/series that includes shapeshifting
For this one, my mind immediately went to Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore. She’s an author I hadn’t read before, but I am so glad this readathon gave me the incentive to finally read one of her books, because I loved it (check out my review). It was just really beautiful, and it was a great reminder of how much I love magical realism.
That’s it for the OWL Magical Readathon! I am so glad I got to participate in this round, because it gave me a reason to read some really great books I probably wouldn’t have picked up anytime soon. I’m glad I completed my chosen track, and I’m excited to participate in the NEWTs this next round.
Did you participate in the readathon this month? What career path did you choose?
(And if you think this spoiled my entire monthly wrap up, just know I somehow read more books than just these this month – so check back tomorrow.)