My social distancing April has now started and with it the entertaining OWLs Magical Readathon created by Book Roast
So I thought, why not? My days are now more busy than when schools were open, since at the moment I’m replacing the teachers of my two boys (and this makes me think that teachers deserve our eternal gratitude and respect), but, at the same time, this only makes reading fiction even more important for me right now, as a way of relaxing and escaping the new reality for an hour every night.
All that said, in this Readathon you can choose different careers in the magical world. The two careers I would go for would be Journalist/Writer, Rita Skeeter being my heroine 😉 or Seer, due to the snazzy robes they get to wear, crystal balls being also such cool decoration objects too.
If I decide to be a Journalist/Writer, My OWLs would be:
History of Magic
Book featuring witches and wizards: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (The Physick Book #1) by Katherine Howe.
Contemporary: Midnight in Austenland (Austenland #2) by Shannon Hale
1 other subject of your picking:
Which could be Care of Magical Creatures– Hippogriffs: a creature with a beak (e.g. birds) on the cover – This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar (Goodreads Author), Max Gladstone
Or Herbology – Mimbulus Mimbletonia: title starts with an M- Mirage(Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud
Or, if I decide to be a Seer, my OWLs would be:
Heart Rune: Heart on the cover or in the title
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Night Class: read a majority of a book when it’s dark outside
Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan
Third Eye: pick a book randomly from your TBR
I will be reading a book chosen by #bookspin on Litsy. In the second of April, the Litsy user @TheAromaofBooks makes a draw of a number between 1 and 20 and the book number chosen on my 1-20 list gets to be ‘The Chosen One’. Since this looks like something that Professor Trewlaney would do, I’m all for it.
Regardless of my career path I will try to make an
Animagus Training, OWLs:
Read a Book Outside of Your Favorite Genre- I’ll be reading Historical Fantasy for this prompt: Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle #2) by Libba Bray
Books Under 150 Pages- I’ll be hearing one of the Novellas of the Tor.com Collection: Season 1, that I have as an Audiobook.
Book/Series that has Shapeshifting
Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa
Are you participating in the Magical or any other Readathons this month? If yes, leave your link below.
#StartOnYourShelfathon is a 2020 star-themed readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of #StartOnYourShelfathon is to read as many unread books on your bookshelf as you can between December 13th 2019 and December 31st 2020.
#StartOnYourShelfathon isn’t an ordinary readathon too! The mascot of #StartOnYourShelfathon is Castor the Star Collector who is also a sloth friend of The Quiet Pond, who has lost all the stars he has collected over the years and needs your help to find them again.
I now present you with Lady NightSky (My Star Collector’s Name) 😉 who has, for the moment, the down-to-Earth goal of reading 20 physical fiction books, 10 Netgalley Arcs, 5 Audiobooks, 5 Library Books and 20 e-books.
It could happen that Lady surpasses this goal, but she doesn’t like being in a hurry while reading.
(And now let’s stop with the weird third-person writing.)
I will for now list only my physical book’s TBR here, otherwise this blog post would become way too long and I probably would only finish writing this in February.
When I read each of the planned books I will add one star to the map below and in December I’ll do a wrap-up for this challenge alone. I’m curious to see my own reaction to the books I buy myself, because if the way I’m choosing books isn’t working so well for me, then I will have to rethink my buying decisions in the future.
I think most of my TBR books will be a four star read for me, but let’s see, surprises do happen more often than not.
Many times I heard about the books for the first time on Youtube, aka Booktube, and I apologize if I forgot in some cases where specifically I heard about each book for the first time. I will add the Channel whenever I do remember tough.
Since this is the internet I have to write the disclaimer “My personal opinions on the following books/YouTube channels below are solely my personal opinions and they are not meant to be offensive to any YouTube Content Creator/Author/Reader or Writing Genre.”
My #StartOnYourShelfathon TBR
1. The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve Cogman
I have been hearing about this series for awhile now, so let’s start it.
2.The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
I have been interested in reading more by this author, so when I heard about this historical fiction at Kalanadi’s Youtube Channel it seemed like a good place to start.
3.A Winter’s Promise (La Passe-Miroir #1) by Christelle Dabos, Hildegarde Serle (Translator)
I heard divided opinions about this book on Booktube, so I decided to check it out and make up my mind. The cover of this book is beautiful too, so this is a #covercrush case.
4.The Power by Naomi Alderman
I have been interested in reading this since it won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, so let’s make this happen.
5.Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White
This is one of my new favorite authors and the premise caught my attention for sure.
6.Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1) by Brian McClellan
7. The Cloud Roads (The Books of the Raksura #1) by Martha Wells
Since I started reading the Murderbot Diaries series I have been interested in reading more by this author, so this fantasy series book is in my TBR.
8.The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3) by Samantha Shannon
This is one of my favorite series, which I plan to continue this year.
9. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Another book by this author I plan to read. This is 804 pages long, so it’s like planning to read a trilogy.
10. Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron #1) by Ashley Poston
I felt like reading this since I heard about it on Booktube a long time ago, and it has pirates in space, so I’m sold 🙂
11. Mage’s Blood (Moontide Quartet #1) by David Hair
I heard about this epic fantasy series for the first time at the Youtube Channel of Kitty G
12. The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renée Ahdieh
I got this book and its sequel, The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) as gifts last Christmas, so let’s read them.
13. The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi
This book was very hyped on Booktube, and later that seemed to cool down considerably. I will wait next time to see if a new hyped book is a solid recommendation or if it’s only going through a wave of hype euphoria followed by wrap-ups where the book is rated three stars and the Booktuber says something like “I thought this was going to be five stars but it was meh”. I think I’ll enjoy it even though, but you never know.
14.The Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)by Emily A. Duncan
This was the same case of hype followed by three star reviews. The premise seemed interesting, so I got it. I will read it, make up my mind, and wait a couple of months before I buy a hyped book in the future.
15.The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1) by Melissa Albert
The premise has “a menacing, mesmerizing world of dark fairy tales and hidden doors”. Ok, I’m sold! 🙂
16. Slow River by Nicola Griffith
This book was recommended in the Youtube Channel of Kalanadi, one of my favorite Booktubers, so I basically had to check it out.
17. The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
Last year I read and enjoyed “The Stars My Destination” by the same author, so I’m reading this in 2020.
18. Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1) by Scott Reintgen
I confess I bought this book without knowing much about it, except that the premise seemed interesting. Let’s see if I strike gold.
19.The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (The Physick Book #1) by Katherine Howe
This is historical fiction with witches, so it seemed interesting enough.
20. The “Wildcard” Book
This isn’t a book called Wildcard, but an empty space I’ll reserve to one of the last six physical books I didn’t mention in this list so far and which have equal chances of being read this year.
These books are:
Red Mars (Mars Trilogy #1) by Kim Stanley Robinson
To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel #2) by Connie Willis
Cyteen (Cyteen #1-3) by C.J. Cherryh
The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1) by Katharine McGee
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch
Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff
Any suggestions on what I should read first? Let me know in the comments.
What I reckon from writing this blog post is that I bought way too many Young Adult books the last couple of years. I do enjoy Young Adult books too, but I think that the actual ratio of Young Adult/Adult books is right now unbalanced when related to my reading taste.
One of my Goals for this year is to buy less books, so I’ll try a 95% book- buying ban on Young Adult and Paranormal Fantasy books, with the exception of the few series I want to finish.
I’ll start to ask myself if the new shiny book I want to buy is Adult Fantasy or Adult Science Fiction, and if not I’ll keep it in a list for future consideration. Let’s see how this new buying habit translates into my future TBR. Considerations apart, I’m happy about the TBR I set up for this year.
The magic of unread books in your shelf is that one day you’ll find your way to them, in the same way Alice followed a white rabbit down the hole into a unknown new world. According to the story she fell down at seven and a half years old, which is the same age most start reading…
These last months I was participating in diverse Read-a-thons and reading a lot of books. In May I was participating in the Bookémon Badgathon, in July in The Reading Rush, and finally in September I participated in Space Opera September.
I enjoyed many of the books I choose for my TBRs while discovering new favorite authors. At the same time I did not like or finish a couple of others too. Today tough I’ll be talking only about the books I did enjoy and that got at least a 4 stars rating from me.
In this post I listed the favorites for each Read-a-thon, also with the prompt I read them for, so here they are:
My favorite for this Readathon was “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart. I read this Thriller for “The Chiller Badge- Read a book that is in the Crime / Thriller / Mystery / Suspense Genre”.
I rarely read mystery and even more rarely contemporary and young adult thrillers, but even though I could not stop reading this well written book. It took me a day to read it entirely. The end is… Quite surprising, and I like that in books, I won’t say more not to spoil it, only that it has a lot of ‘feels’. I almost never have tears for stories, but this was an exception.
For “The Fantastical Badge – Read a book that is in the Fantasy Genre”, I read “Children of the Nameless (Magic: The Gathering #72)” by Brandon Sanderson. This Novella can be found for free on the Magic: The Gathering internet page. It is extremely well written and interesting and Brandon Sanderson is a new favorite author.
I was reading three books for this week long challenge, but of these I can only recommend “Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)” by Alwyn Hamilton, which I read for the “Read a book with purple on the cover” challenge prompt.
This is the second book on this awesome YA trilogy with desert setting and Arabic mythology. It reminds me of City of Brass, but imo this is even better.
The writing style, the story world and the characters, everything is masterly written in a page-turner, edge of your seat way, until the very last phrase. If I could give this book more than five stars, I would. 😉
One of the prompts of this very interesting Readathon was to read a space opera novella. For this, I read “Killing Gravity (Voidwitch Saga #1)” by Corey J. White and enjoyed the first book so much that I went on and read the next two books of the Voidwitch Saga; “Void Black Shadow” and “Static Ruin”. I hope this series is not yet finished because I’m looking forward to more books in this amazing space opera series!
I also went on reading the whole eight book series that started with “Star Nomad (Fallen Empire #1)” by Lindsay Buroker. The spicy humor and funny situations made the page-turner series the perfect summer beach read for me.
For the prompt of “Read a space opera 500 pages or longer” I read “Empire of Silence (Sun Eater #1)” by Christopher Ruocchio. This was extremely well written. It seemed to me more epic fantasy with space opera elements than the other way around, but what matters is that once I started reading it, I wasn’t able to put it down. The only thing I didn’t like was the blurb, because it gives away too much and it doesn’t, at least in this first book, have much to do with the actual story, so I would recommend not to read it before diving into this awesome book.
Two Last Notes:
The picture on this blog post is by me. It’s sci-fiye and weird, therefore it fits. 😉
Now in October I’ll concentrate on the Gothic or Horror eerie books that are still lurking in the dark corners of my e-reader otherworldly dimension.
This is my wrap-up of the second round of The One Readathon, a fantasy Readathon that happened from November 17 to December 1. The original announcement video from Don’t Have a Degree in Reading with all challenges and rules is linked here. And if you want to see, this is my previous TBR for this Round 2
I took a bit longer through the “Route 4” which was “Nomadic Traveler”. In which, as it says in the original video, “you may pick as many (or as little) of the challenges from below as you want. You are in charge of this route but remember…you must get the Ring to Mordor!”
I did most of the challenges without using any book for more than one challenge, so it took me a while to go through my long TBR pile. I was gladly taking my time because I consider two weeks way too short for so many awesome challenges. I think that “The One Readathon” would fit really well in a three months reading challenge, so I went someplace in between and took a whole month.
I also decided to choose other books for a couple of challenges along the way. Therefore, the books from my previously planned list that are yet unread will be postponed to 2019.
Fortunately, most books I picked were 5 star reads for me. I am lately enjoying young adult books very often when I’m looking for a lighter read after a long day. And many of the books, for example, The Tearling Trilogy, that I initially considered young adult went far beyond that genre to plunge into an original fantasy, dystopia and science fiction blend that I really cherished and became one of my favorite reads of this year.
As it always happens when you read a bunch of books, a couple of the books I chose were not really for me, not due to them being essentially bad, but because I considered their writing style tiring or they weren’t what I expected when I started reading them. I’m often too tired to go on reading a book that can’t hold my interest, so I didn’t finish or skipped pages of three of the books in this list.
The only challenges I didn’t have time to complete were the Shire, Moria, and Lorien, but this was all right since you didn’t have to do all the challenges for the readathon and I managed to complete the rest of them.
So, without further considerations, here are the challenges I completed and the books I’ve read:
Read a fantasy book set in a non-European influenced setting.
I decided to read The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty for this challenge.
Review – 5 Stars!
Awesome story world with Ifrits, Ghouls, Marids, Peri, Djinn and multi-layered characters. I’m following this series for sure.
Read a fantasy book with magical/supernatural creatures
For this I read The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories by Mahvesh Murad (Editor), Jared Shurin & others
Review – No rating, because I set this anthology aside for now, after reading around five stories, mainly because I expected a fantasy anthology when I started reading this and, true, all stories have fantastic elements, but apart from this they are a mixture of genres. Therefore, I’ll read this when I feel like reading literary, slice-of-life, or magical realism short stories.
Read a fantasy book with LGBTQIA+ rep (author/MC/POV)
I changed my mind an picked Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill, for this challenge.
Review – 5 Stars! This graphic novel has a heart warming story with cute illustrations and an environmental message. It deals with so many important themes; loss, sustainable use of natural resources, different ways of being feminine and strong… All in a way a child can understand and relate with. Light, lovely and powerful.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Oni Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Read a fantasy book with a villain MC/POV (morally grey MC/POV is acceptable!).
The villain MC/POV book I chose was Grendel by John Gardner.
Review – 2 stars. This is original and well-written, therefore the two stars. Subjectively, I considered the monologue quite long, and skipped some pages in between, but the tragic character had an interesting voice.
Read a fantasy book that is a standalone.
I read The Goblin Emperor (The Goblin Emperor #1) by Katherine Addison
Review: 1 star. This is so hyped but I really can’t see what’s that all about… The story reminded me faintly of “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen. However, the stakes and the tension of the previously mentioned book were not present at all. The main character had way too long time to think, meditate and especially complain about life, to a point that I stopped caring completely. After reading 110 pages without much happening I read the end only to see that few concrete things had really happened and the story would continue on a next book.
Apart from this, the writing style with the pronouns and the words exclusive to the story were extremely jarring.
Read a fantasy book w/ a female MC.
I decided to finish a young adult fantasy series, by hearing the audiobook of A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire #3) by Jessica Cluess (Author), Fiona Hardingham (Narrator).
Review: 5 Stars!
This series isn’t nearly as much hyped as it should be. It is an awesome series, with multi-layered characters that are unique and has so many awesome plot twists.
It is also original and many levels above most YA series I’ve read. It has a rich fantasy and historical world and one of the best heroines I’ve found since… Ever. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes fantasy with a strong female character and complex side characters as well.
I heard this whole series as Audiobooks and the performance from Fiona Hardingham was awesome too.
Read a fantasy book w/ POC rep (author/MC/POV)
I changed my mind and, instead of the book I had chosen before, I decided to read two graphic novels with POC characters for this challenge:
1) Afar by Leila del Duca, Kit Seaton (Illustrator)
Review – 5 Stars!
Very interesting, a graphic novel with astral travelling? I’m all for it!
2) Sleepless, Vol. 1 (Sleepless #1-6) by Sarah Vaughn, Leila del Duca (Artist), Alissa Sallah (Colorist), Deron Bennett (Letterer)
Review – 4 Stars.
*Spoiler Alert* This was very interesting even if a bit slow-paced, you will probably get answers only in the next books, but this happens often in graphic novel series. On a personal note, the whole sleepless thing didn’t make much sense for me, if the sleepless defenders would get some magical abilities for all the lack of sleep, it would have made sense, but as it was it looked only like a silly idea (perhaps I just didn’t understand it well enough). In any case I’ll be following this series further on.
Read a fantasy book
I picked Sapphire Blue “Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie #2)” by Kerstin Gier for this challenge.
Review – 5 Stars! Kerstin Gier is my new favorite young adult author even if I don’t read her books in their original language, German. I may try it though sometime with “Die Mütter-Mafia” books.
The story is told in a light and humorous way that makes it a real treat for a relaxing afternoon. I also like the tension created by the time-travel plot and multi-layered characters.
Read the conclusion to a fantasy series (standalones count) or the most recent installment of a series.
For this final challenge, I read the last book of the Queen of the Tearling series, The Fate of the Tearling (The Tearling Trilogy) by Erika Johansen
Review – 5 Stars! This was original and awesome fantasy/sci-fi!
I recommend this book if you like books with amazing plot twists, well-written POVs (you end up caring so much for secondary characters like a jailer with a disability and a gate guard!), and multi-layered characters. The whole trilogy was awesome and Erika Johansen is an author I’ll keep in my radar for sure!
This is my wrap-up, a month late since I was without time to write a blog post when the Readathon finished. Better late than never, so here are my reviews:
My Traveling Itinerary
I was leaving Earth with Ship D reading a new to me Author
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers.
This was a different kind of science-fiction, quite enjoyable and focused on the characters and human interactions. Rating: 4 Stars
On the Asteroid Belt I was reading a Space Opera
Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey. Even if the premise and world were interesting, I set it aside after forty pages because I was bored with its slow pace and new character introductions. I’ll perhaps pick this one later again, right now I’m in doubt if I want to commit to such a long series. Rating: No Rating since I DNF it.
In Saturn I was reading A Book With Circles On The Cover
The Grey Moon by Timothy P. Callahan. The story was quite centered in the characters and their relationship, almost in a slice-of-life sort of story. I would have liked if it would have been less focused on the relationship details and more on the science fiction itself, or if the pace would have been a bit faster. I found the kind of relationship depicted interesting though, it is seldom that you read a story where the effects of one of the partners working too much is talked about, therefore Rating: 3 stars.
Uranus, Hahaha – Reading A Book Featuring Some Comic Relief
Armada, by Ernest Cline. I liked this even if I still prefer “Ready Player One”. I would love a next book where Zack Lightman would meet the aliens and try to find out what they are plotting, LOL. Rating: 4 Stars
Neptune, Reading A Science Fiction W/ Fantasy Themes Or Vice Versa
I read the Innkeeper Chronicles series, which now has three books and liked it a lot. It’s a mixture of Paranormal Fantasy and Science Fiction. Here are my reviews of the three books:
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)
There ain’t no real vacations without an Ilona Andrews book… 🙂
I liked this book, just missed a bit more description and focus on the main character herself, especially when all side characters, even the dead dogs, got good descriptions.
The sci-fi and fantasy story world felt a bit rushed at times too, but I hope to get to know more about it in the next books of this series that I’ll be following for sure. Rating: 4 Stars
Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles #2)
This was awesome, an entertaining series in any case. Rating: 5 Stars
One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3)
When it’s the next book in the series here? Rating: 5 Stars
And finally I’ll arrive in my new home planet,
Pluto, where the goal was to Read A Vintage Science Fiction Book (25+ Years Old)
The Inheritors of Earth by Gordon Eklund, Poul Anderson.
This was vintage original sci-fi at it’s best. Rating: 5 Stars
And after setting camp in Pluto, I decided to go on reading…
Other Sci-fi books I would recommend
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
This book was very interesting, romantic and a real page-turner. I recommend this for anyone who likes their sci-fi with a lot of action and unpredictable quantum physics twists. Rating: 5 Stars
Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This book is not standard new-adult science fiction, but a well-written, and touching story in a, quite possible to happen, dystopian future.
Amelia is a heart-warming, relatable and real heroine. The theme of a woman giving her best and even tough being taken for granted is shown in detail (I found the symbolism with the rat very clever) and the heroine arc is lovely.
I hope there are more books with Amelia’s life on Mars and will be checking out future books by this author.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Innsmouth Free Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Rating: 5 Stars.
China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh
This was very well written, a literary, slice-of-life, dystopia. At the beginning I thought Zhang aloof and could not relate to him, but as the story progressed I understood that it isn’t easy to survive in a world that condemns most things about you. I considered the chapters with the other characters really great too and loved the story set in Mars.
A beautiful book, to be read without hurry, as the awesome food-for-thought about human condition that it is. Rating: 5 Stars.
And you? Have you read any great sci-fi or any other book you would recommend?