Wrap Up: N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon | 2019

The N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon is done.

Well, not exactly. Today is the last day to participate in it, but I consider my exam complete because I’m done reading. I NEED a day of rest from reading so intensely… not that I read intensely for the readathon, but, gosh damn! I read a whole lot.

Anyway, in case you know nothing about this readthon, here are some quick facts:

  • It was created by in Book Roast, a booktuber, and is inspired by the Harry Potter books.
  • You get to choose a wizarding career to pursue. My career: aurologist — a person who studies auras.
  • The first part, the O.W.L. (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) Magical Readathon, was held in April. I smashed it! I passed everything! —Well, except for DADA. 😦
  • The second part, the N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests) Magical Readathon, was held in August. I smashed it too! See below for how well I did!
  • You can only do NEWTs for the OWL subjects you passed, and you have to acquire the indicated NEWT grades to be considered for the career you chose.
  • There are other activities, but I don’t know details about them because I didn’t intend to participate in them.

So, with the rules and such reviewed and out the way, quickly, here are the requirements for my career:

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Friday Face-Off: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

Friday Face-Off is one of my favorite bookish memes. It focuses on book covers, more specifically different versions of a book cover, to judge which one is best. It was created by Books by Proxy and is now continued by Lynn’s Book Blog. So shout out to Lynn for continuing it! For a while now I wanted to jump back in but kept forgetting to. But this time, Friday will not pass by without me publishing a Friday Face-Off post!

This week’s theme:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud”

A cover that is predominantly yellow

My thoughts immediately went to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I saw this topic because the 20th anniversary editions were released in the house colors and although I consider myself a Ravenclaw, my favorite of the bunch was the yellow covers for Hufflepuff because the publisher used a brilliant yellow for those books. But I talk (and think) about the Harry Potter books too much, so I instead decided to feature Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings, which appears in such a yellow.

Although James is one of my favorite authors, I’ve yet to read this book (or any of his others except the one I read) and haven’t even cracked open his debut fantasy novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which I was beyond excited to see published earlier this year, smh. A Brief History of Seven Killings is a historical fiction novel about the attempted assassination of the popular Jamaican singer Bob Marley in the late 1970s. Let’s first look at the cover I have verses the one I want.

FACE OFF!

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Book Haul #55: No Library Books This Time

I haven’t posted a book haul since July. I’d sworn off acquiring more books because of the huge pile of them I got at the ALA conference that surpassed the available space on my shelves, so they’re still in bags on the floor waiting for a home. That made me feel bad, so I told myself “No More Books!” But, of course, I didn’t listen to myself. So here’s what I got:

Hold up.

Before I show the books, I just need to say that for someone who ran out of shelf space, I’m surprised that I acquired no library books and just one e-book. Not even lack of space is a deterrent for me buying more books. Smh. I will get a handle on this soon though.

Purchases

Illustrated children’s books

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Top Ten Tuesday #42: I Read Them, Now I Want to Buy Them

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

Books I’ve Read That I’d Like in My Personal Library

I decided to participate in TTT this week because I like the topic. (It was submitted by Annemieke at A Dance with Books.) I even have a “Get It Soon” Goodreads shelf for books I borrowed, read, and liked. The most recent addition to this shelf was…

Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend

The second in the Nevermoor series, a middle-grade fantasy series about a girl who everyone thinks is cursed. I liked the first book, Nevermoor, because it eased my wistfulness for more Harry Potter stories, but I loved this second book because it’s here that the story really becomes it’s own thing. The world it’s set in is so odd, silly, dangerous, and intriguing that it easily cemented me as a fan. I’d like to get a copy of Wundersmith and Nevermoor, but I’m waiting for the paperback version (while hoping for different covers because I’m not a fan of the art).

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Top 5 Tuesday #14: I Hardly Ever Mention These

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm.

This week’s topic:

Top 5 books I don’t talk about enough

The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

A nonfiction book by psychologist Meg Jay about navigating one’s twenties or early adulthood. A friend recommended this book to me shortly after I graduated college, and I read it and loved it. Jay offers some great advice, many of which I already knew and was employing at the time but it was good to be reassured that I was on the right track. Jay draws from her experience treating clients who’re in their twenties to offer advice in this book. I recommend it for recent grads.

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Weekend Reads #96: Week 3 — NEWTs Progress Report

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend. However instead of a topic, I’ll instead share my progress on my N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests). 

Oh man! I’ve been reading so much, I’m surprised my eyes haven’t popped out yet.

Astronomy

All done. Yeahie me! 😀

Divination

All done. Yeahie me! 😀

Additional

Reading The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair. I’m nearing the end, y’all! I’m almost there. I can see the light!

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Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar, narr. by Harsh Nayyar, Annapurna Sriram, Bernard White, Nick Choksi, Rita Wolf

I get some of my audio books through Audible, mostly Harry Potter, Wheel of Time, and other audios of books I’ve already read. My plan was to get all the Harry Potter ones and then cancel my account, but sometimes when I want something to listen to, it has a long wait list at the library, so for now I still have my Audible account and with it the Originals — I get 2 Audible Original productions per month for free.

Until I listened to Evil Eye, I’d avoided the Originals. I didn’t know what they were and didn’t care, but Evil Eye convinced me otherwise.

Genre:

Thriller; Supernatural

Series:

N/A

Pubbed:

May 2019

Goodreads summary:

Pallavi is an aspiring writer living in California. Her mother, Usha, is thousands of miles away in Delhi – and obsessed with finding her daughter a husband.

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“The Last Olympian” by Rick Riordan

Back in 2016, I decided to take my time rereading Riordan’s Percy Jackson books. I’d enjoyed them when I first read them and was curious to know if I still would. I first read the books when I was in college. I wanted something light but similar to Harry Potter to read to break up the heavy texts I had to read for class. I was skeptical of the Percy Jackson books thinking they might be a rip off of Harry Potter and was pleasantly surprised to find that they weren’t.

I enjoyed the books back then and I still enjoy them now. However, I was worried at first because I read Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief by audio book and had such a horrible experience with it in that format that I wondered if the story had soured for me. It hadn’t. It was just that the narrator had done a horrible job. When I switched to the physical book to read the third book, Titan’s Curse, I quickly got swept up in the fun and adventure.

It took me almost three years to complete my reread because I took my time with it. There was no rush. I’d just pick up one of the books whenever I felt for something light and fun. I did so again in June this year after completing The Devourers by Indra Das, Tweak by Nic Sheff, and Becoming by Michelle Obama, all heavier, more serious reads. I needed something simple and light to cleanse my palate and The Last Olympian was just the thing.

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“Becoming” by Michelle Obama

By the time Michelle Obama’s book was published in November 2018, I’d gotten a part-time position at my dream job: I was FINALLY working as a bookseller in a bookstore. A few weeks had passed since I’d started, so I was still getting familiar with the process for books we weren’t allowed to sell before a specified date although customers would visit and call the store often asking “Is it there yet? Can I come by for a copy? Do you have it?”

It was the same with Obama’s book. There was a buildup of great excitement and expectation for her autobiography. People couldn’t wait to get it in their hands, and on the day it was released, we were sold out in minutes. Whenever we received another stack of books, they’d be gone in moments, sometimes before they even got on the shelves. It was even worse around Christmas time as people bought copies for themselves, friends, and family and would place five or 10 copies on hold at a time — all Christmas gifts, everyone in the family getting a copy. I also bought more than one copy. I bought one for myself and gave another to my aunt.

As usual, I didn’t immediately begin reading Obama’s autobiography when I got it. I don’t read many biographies, autobiographies, or even memoirs, and when I do, they’re never about political figures. I’m not a fan of politics, and I always mistrust political figures. But I liked the Obamas and really admired Michelle Obama. I loved her personality. What convinced me to finally purchase her autobiography was an interview she did with Oprah where she spoke about her book, growing up in Chicago, and her time as First Lady. I got curious. I wanted to know more. Furthermore, I loved how relatable Obama was in the interview. She seemed to just “tell it like it is” even when she was trying to be tactful or hold back a bit on some things, she came across as honest. I thought to myself, “I need to read her book.” And I’m glad I did.

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Weekend Reads #95: Week 2 — NEWTs Progress Report

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend. However instead of a topic, I’ll instead share my progress on my N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests). 

I spent a couple days last week not reading anything, so I’m a little behind but still making decent progress… I think. 🙂

Astronomy

I exceeded my own expectations with this one and earned an Outstanding.
Books read: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF by Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder, illus. by Natacha Bustos; In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey; Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clark

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