O.W.L.s Readathon

HP Crest

It’s that time of the year again when the O.W.L.s Readathon commences. So gather around Potterheads and let’s start the readathon strong! As usual, the readathon will start from the beginning of April (which two days away) and it will run to the end of April. You have the whole month to complete the career that you have chosen.

The format of the readathon is the same, pick a career from her career guidebook which can be found in her new site, here. Everything you will need will be explained in her site. So definitely check it out! After you have chosen your desired path in your wizarding life, which the O.W.L.s guidelines to see the ‘subjects’ that you will have to pass for that career. This year she added a lot more careers in her booklet, so definitely check the site I provided or even her Youtube Video.

Last year the career that I chose was an Auror. I was able to pass all my O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s and was pleasantly pleased with myself. This year I’m choosing a more fitting career which is similar to my muggle career. readathon

Once you have picked your career, as I have, look for the classes that you will have to pass for your O.W.L.s (don’t worry about the N.E.W.T.s because that will be for the next readathon). For each ‘class’ in your career, there will be a prompt/theme that you will have to follow with the books that you will read. Here are the prompts that the host created in order to keep things as simple as possible. Mind you, she changes them yearly.

OWL prompts 2 2020 (1)

Amazingly enough, I thought the O.W.L.s for my career will be a lot shorter, but lo and behold, the classes that I will have to pass are eight! That’s ok, I like a challenge. I will have to pass Arithmancy, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, History of Magic, Muggle Studies, Potions and Transfiguration. I’m hoping that once I finish this career of mine, I’ll try to find another career to pass or read the other prompts that are not part of my career, which is what I did last year.

I believe she has a new system in place for this year that will help those who want to go extra and beyond. You will find this at the end of the booklet of Wizarding Career Guide 2020, basically, it’s training courses that will allow you to licensed for a specific course. I don’t know if I’m explaining that very well, but p[lease just check her site and her Youtube video for clarifications. I myself am thinking of doing the Anumagus Training, but I will think more about that once my main has been finished.

Anyways, here are the eight books that I will be reading to pass my O.W.L.s for 2020. Mind you, as most of you will know, I’m very finicky with my TBR, so this is just the rough draft of my TBR. I might find books on my shelves that will be a lot more fitting to my taste later on.

Arithmancy

Magical qualities of number 2: balance/opposites-read something outside of your favorite genre.

renegades

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Ok, so I’m cheating on this one because technically this is a sub-genre that I’m not fond of. Yes, I do enjoy fantasy, but I never really got attached to the superhero sub-genre of the Fantasy world. I’m not 100% sure if I’m just reading the wrong books, but I’ve never enjoyed the books I’ve read in this culture.

Charms

Lumos Maxima: White Cover

mist and fury

 A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I don’t know if I’m cheating on this one too. Technically it has white on the cover, but it’s not predominantly white. Since it wasn’t explicitly said, I’m going with this book. It’s been on my TBR forever and it has white on it.

Defense Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A)

Gryndylows: A Book set at the sea/coast

A Caribbean Mystery

A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

This is definitely set on the sea. So I’m safe with this. Plus, I’ve been reading a ton of Miss Marple lately.

Herbology

Mimbulus Mimbletonia: Title Starts with an M

Mrs. Jeffries Stands Corrected

Mrs. Jeffries Stands Corrected by Emily Brightwell

I was tempted to pick another Miss Marple, but since her name is technically part of the title, I just decided to pick a Mrs. Jeffries book. I’ve been enjoying this series, so I can’t wait to get to it.

History of Magic

Witch Hunts: Book featuring witches/wizards

Akata Witch

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Yes, I know what you’re all thinking, this is best suited for the white cover. However, this is the only book I have that suits the Witch aspect of the prompt.

Muggle Studies

Book from a perspective  of a muggle (contemporary)

Death of a Gigolo

Death of a Gigolo by Laura Levine

This is definitely one of the most contemporary books I have on my TBR. So obviously I would pick it up. It’s sad that I’m down to the last book in this series and now I will have to wait for her new book to be released again.

Potions

Shrinking Solutions: Book under 150 pages

Real Murders

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

I’ve never read anything from this series or author. I know her Sookie Stackhouse series is very popular, but it’s just not my cup of tea. I decided to just check this out and read it.

Transfiguration

Animagus Lecture: Boo/series that includes shapeshifting

Soulless

Soulless by Gail Carriger

I don’t know if this series has shapeshifting, but it does have werewolves. I’m hoping that they’re the kind that actually transforms and not the perpetual man wolves.

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So that is my very lengthy TBR for my O.W.L.s I’m hoping that I will be able to finish all these books plus more. As you notice I did use a different book for each prompt, this is because in order to pass the classes you have to use one book for each prompt. I’m always excited to do this readathon, hopefully everyone will join us this year and let Ravenclaw win in 2020!

 

 

 

Short Books to Read During Social Distancing

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Usually, when I’m stuck at home I enjoy reading really quick reads so that I feel accomplished for the day. Now that thousands of people are in their homes, I would like to recommend some books to occupy your time. These books range in genre so that it would appeal to a lot of readers and non-readers out there.

Please note, these books are books that I did enjoy reading and I think most people would as well. Most of them I read in a span of one day and other I finished within two to three days. I understand that different people have different reading paces, so I’m just recommending short books that I myself read in a span of one-two days. This does not mean that people should finish it in a day or two, but stay at your own pace and just immerse yourself in the read. Some of them will be YA and others will be ‘adult’ novels as well. If anything, I might post another one later in the month if people are still stuck at home.

ABC Murders

The A.B.C Murder by Agatha Christie

To those who’s been on my blogs before, this book really doesn’t come as a surprise. Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors and her Hercule Poirot series is one of my favorites. Last year I decided to read all her books in her Poirot series and came across to this one. This particular book is actually one of my favorites because it was so well written and to be honest, it had me guessing who the killer is. It is one of Christie’s novels that had multiple murders and one with calculating malicious intentions. Yes, I understand that all murders are malicious, but this one was so well planned out that you can’t help but feel creeped out as Poirot dissect the person’s intentions.

graffiti moon

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

I was very hesitant to pick up this book and read it. A lot of my reader friends recommended it to me and claimed that I would love it. I’m not much of a romance reader so I pushed it down in my TBR list year by year. Finally, I picked it up one “rainy day” and read it front to back in a matter of hours. There was just something about the way the author wrote the love story between the main characters and the development that all of them went through in a span of one night was amazing. So even if this book was set in a 24hour timeline, I think the author did such an amazing job captivating her readers in the story between each individual character.

heist

Heist Society by Ally Carter

If you enjoy heist novels, then this is the book for you. Katrina is part of a special family, and when I say special, I mean one of those families that James Bond likes to track down. The one thing I would say about this novel is that is a fast pace. From beginning to end, it just won’t let you breathe and you’re on the edge of your seat at all times. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if this novel was a bit longer, with more historical details, but other than that its a good read, especially during dull moments liked these past few days.

172 Hours

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

If you’re more into the scary books on your shelves, then this one is for you. I admit it’s not heavily terrifying, but it’s scary enough for the average reader. I’m a chicken when it comes to anything scary, I’m the type of person who will hide under the blanket or cover their eyes when the scary parts come on, but at the same time, I’m also addicted to scary movies/books. This is actually one of those few YA novels that did scare me. Not over the moon scary, but scared enough that I’m still thinking about it every time I’m alone in a public bathroom. It’s a short book and definitely one that you can read and keep you busy for a few hours.

the martian

The Martian by Andy Weir

I think a lot of people have watched The Martian movie starring Matt Damon. Well, this is the book version of that movie, and need I say, the original. So if you enjoyed that movie, well you will definitely enjoy the book and if you didn’t enjoy the movie, well you will definitely enjoy the book because it’s different from the movie. I don’t know, for me, there’s always something better when reading the book rather than watching the movie. The movies always miss something crucial and important in the novel, so they twist the movie in order for the whole plot to make sense. So definitely give this one a go, I’m not really into survival novels, but this one is pretty well written.

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So that’s it for my short book recommendations. Hopefully, this list is helpful for those who are looking for quick reads during this craziness that’s happening out there. So as I’ve said before stay safe everyone and happy reading!

 

 

Library Lover’s Mystery: Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay

word to the wise

It’s funny that you lose track of time even though you’re in your home 24 hours 7 days a week. You would think that your mind will be a lot more in tune with what’s going on and know the days that are passing by. Anyways, this was supposed to be posted yesterday, but like I said the days are starting to merge together. Hopefully, everyone is staying indoors and keeping themselves safe. As for those in the frontline, thank you for your service, keeping us safe and attending to the sick.

Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay

Series: Library Lover’s Mystery #10

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Synopsis: Lindsey Norris is finally getting married to the man of her dreams–but it’s not all roses for Briar Creek’s beloved library director, as gardening enthusiast and town newcomer Aaron Grady gives the term “book lover” a whole new meaning. Inappropriate looks and unwelcome late-night visits to Lindsey’s house have everyone from the crafternooners to Lindsey’s fiancé, Sully, on edge.

When Grady’s dead body is found staged outside the library and all the clues point to Sully, Lindsey knows it’s up to her to dig through the hidden chapters of Grady’s previous life to find the real culprit and clear Sully’s name. But becoming a thorn in the killer’s side is not without its consequences, and the closer Lindsey gets to the truth, the more determined the murderer is to make her just a footnote.

Review: This week I finished a couple of cozies that I wanted to get into, especially this latest installment of Jenn McKinlay’s Library Lover’s Mystery series. As many of you know I’m a fan of McKinlay’s series and have read most of them. This one, however, is my favorite in all of her three cozies. I’m very much a character-driven reader, so you know that this is top-notch when it comes to character developments. I love the main character, the minor characters and even those that are only present in that certain book.

Also, the way she writes the relationships in her books is amazing. You get romantic relationships, friendship relationships, and even new relationships. I just love how she gives a sense of community and togetherness in her books. This series, I feel, has all these aspects and she writes it so well. I especially love how the community protects itself and how everyone is genuinely loving. This is especially evident in this novel, when our heroine, Lindsey, finds herself being admired and pursued by an overzealous man. However, this is taken to a whole new level and the group gathers together to protect her. I love how Sully is overprotective of her and yet he still gives her her space to breathe independently. This was a cringe-worthy read, only because as a woman I can see this happening to a lot of women, and most of them do not have the same support to turn to. It was also pertinent to add a few doubters out there, and McKinlay made her cozy realistic. I think this very well written and the author made the victim’s voice loud and I think she handled the topic appropriately.

However, as much as I enjoyed getting back to the atmosphere of Briar Creek, I was disappointed with the mystery part of the novel. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the sleuthing and investigation part of the novel, I was just unhappy with the outcome and the culprit. I found that it was too predictable and from the start, you just knew who it was going to be. The one thing that was interesting is the twist on one of the characters. I actually didn’t expect that and it was a good addition to something that was so cliche. That being said, I can’t wait to read the next novel. Maybe this one, the two will be able to finally tie the knot.

TBR Challenge 2020 #3: Season

TBRChallenge

Yule be DeadYule be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett

Rating: 3/4

Why? This month’s theme is Season, since there really isn’t a guide as to what ‘season’ is I decided to go with Holiday Season. So I’m picking this one up because it’s set during the Christmas season.

Goodreads Synopsis: It’s Christmastime, but not everyone is jolly–especially not Vonne Barnett. Her dead body has been found in Victoria Square. Katie Bonner, the manager of Artisan’s Alley, happens to be at the tea shop Vonne’s mother, Francine, owns when the news is delivered.

Vonne left a trail of men behind her so the suspects are many–but the clues are few. A broken teacup leads Katie to one of the suspects, but before she can investigate, she’s attacked. Katie may be closing in on a murderer, but time is ticking because the murderer is definitely closing in on her.

Review: This is technically the fifth book in the series, but it’s not difficult to separate each book because they really don’t relate to each other. Besides the relationships, the mystery is totally different from one to the other.

However, to be honest this is my least favorite series in all the cozies that I’ve started recently. This is actually the same author as the one who writes the Booktown Mystery Lover series, with this one I at least love the minor characters, even though I do hate the main character. The Victoria Square Mystery, I just hate all the characters they’re so aggravating, but I do enjoy the mystery, which is important. I was hoping that as the series progress they characters will get better, but I’m almost at the end of the released books, and they still haven’t gotten better. The main character in this novel is just as annoying as the book in the Booktown Mystery Series. I have problems with her main characters, they are very whiny and very indecisive of themselves, which takes away from the reading experience.

As I’ve said before, the mystery on this series is quiet good. This one is no exception. I enjoy the way the mystery progress and how we learn different aspects of the victim involved.

I was actually debating on continuing on with this series, but since I’m almost close to finish reading the books released, I might as well continue on with the last book.

Book Date Monday #2

its-monday-what-are-you-reading

I’ve been MIA for a few days and I’m so sorry about that. Life has gotten in the way an I wasn’t able to post anything for a couple of days. With all these things that are going on in the world, I’m hoping everyone is staying safe and sane. At least this hiatus will allow us to read more books.

Last Week:

I’ve been reading a lot of cozy mysteries lately and this month is no different. Last week I was able to finish these two books and they were pretty interesting reads. I’m really enjoying the Cat Latimer Mystery series because of all the different characters they get in their bed and breakfast. The Blue RidgeLibrary Mystery is an ok read, but it’s better than some cozies that I’ve read in the past.

This Week:

Yea, so you’ll see a recurring theme for me this month considering I’ve been addicted to cozies lately, I’m just sticking to what my blood needs. I’ve decided to stick to cozies for the month of March because in April I’ll be participating in a readathon where my TBR will predominantly YA books.

Next Week:

Before the month is over I do want to get through to these three books. I’ve been enjoying the Mrs. Jeffries series by Emily Brightwell and of course, I want to get my hand on the Library Lover’s Series by Jenn McKinlay. She’s definitely becoming one of my favorite cozies author to read. I also want to pick up and try the Potting Shed Mystery by Marty Wingate.

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So as you can see I have a few books to keep me occupied for a while. Hopefully, everything will slow down soon. Please take care of your health everyone.

 

 

To Be Continued Readathon Wrap-up

tbc

Last month I decided to participate in a month-long readathon. For 2020 I really wanted to get as many series finished, so I thought this was fitting for me. I wanted to at least get to read three books for this readathon, but I guess the short month just caught up to me. I read 2 of the three books.

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

I actually wrote a review for this book and it can be found here.

As I wrote on my review, I really don’t think I’m going to be picking up the third book anytime soon. I still want to know what happens in the end so I’m not 100% sure if I will quit the series.

Anyways, I enjoyed reading this book and really love the relationships that are formed in this book and I love the character development in this novel. I think the author did such a great job in developing in her characters and that’s very important in a second book. I love the representation of friendships in her first book and I love it even more in this second book. Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s very rare to find a good bond of friendships in novels these days and I’m glad that Grey focuses her attention on this detail. Also, her representation of strong female characters. I really enjoyed it in this book more than the first because I felt that she stepped up her game, even the weakest female she created, bloomed to be someone that took charge.

This is definitely one of those books that I’m on the fence about continuing. I did enjoy my reading experience, but I just have my reservations on the third book that makes me now want to pick it up.

The Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

I’ve loved this series since I read the first book. The last book has been released this year and so I’m finally going to find out what will happen to all our Diviner friends.

I really enjoyed this book, I won’t get into too much details since it is the third book in the series, but everything is jake! As usual, I think Bray, did an awesome job in her setting of the roaring twenties. From the speakeasy bars to the lingo that she uses, everything transports you back to the 20’s. I love it! This book is making me want to read more of the same era. Anyways, as per the actual story, it was really good. I was hoping that they used the asylum a lot more, it was still fairly well done.

I can’t wait to read the last book in this series because I want to know what happens to all the Diviners. I just love how she wrote all her characters, Evie still grates me, but the rest are amazing. I’m not a fan of love triangles, but I think Bray does such a great job in making the love interests second to the story that you even forget about it.

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So that’s it for me, this readathon was actually fun and I might do it again next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring 2020 TBR

Spring text flat design composition

So every since I started my blog I always did a quarterly TBR, just for fun. Its technically not Spring yet here in Canada, I’m just getting my mind prepped up for all the none mystery I’m going to be reading. So this TBR will be running from the first day of Spring, which is March 19 until the end of it, June 20. Half of this I’ll actually be on holiday so I think I’ll be able to get around to it.

I want to focus on books that are not mystery or even the sub-genre of it. So I’m focusing my attention on science-fiction and fantasy novels. These are books that I’ve been meaning to get into and since I’ve been pushing it further back in my TBR year by year, and now I think it’s time to get to them. So here they are on my Spring TBR list.