Last year I did weekly updates to check in on my progress throughout the N.E.W.Ts Readathon, and this year I’ve decided to do the same! Knowing I had an update to write up each week was yet another source of motivation for me throughout the month, and as I’m aiming for all 12 O.W.Ls this year I need all the motivation I can get!
Ancient Runes: Read a retellingMiranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett
- Arithmancy: Read a book by more than one author
Astronomy: Read a book with “star” in the titleThe Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj
- Care of Magical Creatures: Read a book with a land animal on the cover
- Charms: Read an adult book
- Defence Against the Dark Arts: Read a book beginning with an ‘R’
- Divination: Read a book set in the future
- Herbology: Read a book with a plant on the cover
- History of Magic: Read a book published at least 10 years ago
Muggle Studies: Read a contemporary bookOnce Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole
- Potions: Read a sequel
- Transfiguration: Read a book with sprayed edges or red on the cover
I’m sure it surprises absolutely no one that I’ve already strayed from my TBR. Ironically, after being sure Astronomy would be the subject I wouldn’t be able to find a book for, it was the first subject I crossed off this year!
I completely forgot I’d bought a copy of The Stars Change on my Kindle and, as it’s a novella and it’s written by a woman of colour, I couldn’t miss this opportunity to cross it off my TBR. I’m still reading The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, but I want to be good and not count books I was already a fair way through when the readathon began.
I enjoyed The Stars Change, though not quite as much as I’d hoped to, and it whet my appetite for more novellas. I’ve been meaning to try Alyssa Cole for a while now, having heard her Reluctant Royals series is really fun, and when I discovered her F/F Romance novella Once Ghosted, Twice Shy could be read without having read the other books in the series, I couldn’t resist picking a copy up. It was so much fun, and so sweet, and with it I achieved my O.W.L in Muggle Studies!
By far my favourite novella I read this week, though, was Katharine Duckett’s debut, Miranda in Milan. I had every intention of reading Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls for Ancient Runes – I’m going to see Pat Barker at the Hay Festival this year, so I really want to read it soon! – but my pre-order of Miranda in Milan came through near the end of March and I was in the mood for another novella. This sequel to Shakespeare’s The Tempest was fantastic; it’s one of my favourite reads of 2019 so far which, alongside Spinning Silver and Circe, makes me think 2019 is going to be the year of brilliant retellings for me.
I also finished listening to the audiobook of In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan and narrated by Kate Reading, the fourth book in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series. This series continues to get better and better with each book and now I only have one book left and I don’t want to say goodbye to Isabella.
If you’ve seen me talking about this series then you’ll know I struggled with the first book when I tried to read it back in around 2014, then last year I gave the audiobook a try and fell in love with Kate Reading’s narration. I’m sure you can imagine my heartbreak, then, that, having listened to the first four books in this series, I’ve been unable to find the audiobook of the final book, Within the Sanctuary of Wings, as anything but a £40 CD.
I’m going to miss Kate Reading’s narration terribly, but the Kindle edition of the final book wasn’t very expensive so I decided to pick a copy up. I was already around 30% of the way through In the Labyrinth of Drakes before the O.W.Ls Readathon started so I’m not counting it towards any of the challenges, but now that I can move straight into Within the Sanctuary of Wings – and hopefully enjoy it not in an audio format! – I think I’m going to count it towards Care of Magical Creatures.
I mean certain species of dragon are land animals within this universe, so it still counts, right? Nowhere in the rules did it say it couldn’t be a mythical land animal…
That does mean I need another audiobook on the go, though! I especially like listening to them in the car during my commute. Another book I’ve struggled to get into several times now is Mark Lawrence’s Red Sister, but I’ve heard great things about the audiobook so I think I’m going to aim to listen to that one this month and count it towards Defence Against the Dark Arts. I need it under my belt so I can read Grey Sister for the Booktube SFF Awards, and a series about assassin nuns is everything I should love.
This is another one I technically already started listening to before April, narrated by Helen Duff who I’m liking so far, but it’s barely started so I’m going to ahead and let myself count this one towards the readathon!
I’ve also made a start on The Wicked King for Potions which I’m hoping I might be able to finish tonight. I have some life admin to attend to today, but once that’s over and done with I’ll be back into my reading funk. This time next week, I’ll hopefully have Potions and Care of Magical Creatures under my belt – Defence Against the Dark Arts may take a little longer because the audiobook of Red Sister is fairly lengthy and I mostly listen to audiobooks in the car – and I’m hoping I’ll have made a start on History of Magic, too, being the history nerd that I am!