May 5, 2020

April 2020 Wrap-Up

April was a decent reading month for me. I read 16 books in April. I'm not even sure how that happened. Since I was doing the O.W.L.s readathon in April, I'll start by talking about the books I read for that.

I chose the career of Librarian (obvi.) and for that I had to pass 5 O.W.L.s.

Ancient Runes: Heart Rune: Read a book with a heart on the cover or in the title.

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay - I really enjoyed this. It was about two sisters who had fallen out long ago and now the older one has breast cancer and needs her family. And I think you can clearly see the heart on this cover.

Arithmancy: Magical qualities of the number 2: Balance Opposites: Read a book outside your favorite genre.

Things to Do When You're Goth In the Country by Chavisa Woods - My favorite genre is fantasy. These short stories are solidly in the contemporary world. There is one story that gets a little weird, but it also centers around drug use, so it's hard to say if it's really fantasy. These stories are also pretty aggressively gay which was a surprise but ended up being pretty great by the end of the book.

Defence Against the Dark Arts: Grindylows: Read a book set at the sea or coast.

The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte - The majority of this book takes place on the ocean. It is set post-tidal-apocalypse so most of the world is water. In this book there is one island and a couple of platforms built on the water where people live. I really enjoyed this one. I hope more people read it.

History of Magic: Witch Hunts: Read a book featuring witches/wizards.

Spell Hacker by M.K. England - This isn't about witches and wizards as you would normally think about them. It takes place in the future where magic is a physical thing you can touch and manipulate. A couple of the characters in this book were called Spell Witch, so I'm counting it. The main character was kind of a brat, but they got better after they got over themselves a bit. I liked it.

Transfiguration: Animagus Lecture: Read a Book/Series that includes Shapeshifting

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - I wasn't going to use this book for this test, but then it just fit so perfectly, I just had to. Clary is our main character who suddenly finds out she can see things no one else can. Just when she finds out about this whole other world of demons and shadowhunters, her mother gets attacked in their apartment and everything turns upside down. There are vampires and werewolves and all the fun sort of paranormal folk as well as all new ones.

So those were the five books I had to finish to be eligible to take the N.E.W.T.S. in August to become a librarian. But you know, I read way more than 5 books in April. As it so happens, there were 12 O.W.L.s total, so I read 6 more books. There was only one O.W.L. I didn't pass. I ran out of time. But this means, if I decide to go a different route later, I am eligible to take a whole different set of N.E.W.T.s if I want to.

Astronomy: Night Class: Read the majority of this book while it is dark outside.

Lumberjanes Vol. 9 by Shannon Watters and Noelle Stevenson, et. al. - This is a graphic novel bind up of 3 issues of the comic. It's about a group of girls at summer camp. They always get mixed up in some paranormal happenings. This time it was Sasquatch and Yetis. It's so much fun.

Care of Magical Creatures: Hippogriffs: Read a book with a creature with a beak on the cover.

The Ravenmaster by Christopher Skaife - The life described in this book is just beyond comprehension. This man LIVES in the Tower of London. All the Yeoman Warders do. There are little apartments right there in the wall! I was shocked. And apparently he works pre-dawn to late at night every day? That's what it sounded like. He was an entertaining bloke, for sure. His descriptions of Raven rapscallionry were hilarious. They remind me of horses. Anyway, you can clearly see the raven and his beak there on the cover.

Charms: Lumos Maxima: Read a book with a white cover.

So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson - Back at the beginning of April (which now feels like months ago) I felt the need to reread a comfort book. This was it. I've read it a bunch. I know what's coming next before I even start the chapter. And you can see the white cover there.

Herbology: Mimbulus Mimbletonia: Read a book whose title starts with M.

My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris - This is a choose your own adventure romance book. You are the paid companion to a crotchety old woman. Her niece invites you to a house party. You meet 3 men and then you choose which paths to follow. There are at least 3 possible outcomes, possibly more. It was fun.

Muggle Studies: Read a book from the perspective of a muggle (i.e. a contemporary)

Only Mostly Devastate by Sophie Gonzales - Ollie is about to start his senior year of high school. He's spent the summer in North Carolina while his aunt is going through cancer treatment. His family is there to help hers. He spent a lot of time at the lake and had a relationship with a cute boy there. The last weekend of the summer, his mom springs on him that they need to stay and help. He would be spending his senior year in N.C. instead of CA. But hey! He ends up at the same high school as his summer paramore. Who suddenly doesn't want to know him. Turns out he's a super jock and he's firmly in the closet. This was fluffy. It had a good message about not letting people use you.

Potions: Shrinking Solutions: Read a book under 150 pages.

A Charmed Life by Francis Bridger - Bridger is an English cleric who is also a fan of Harry Potter. Well, the first 3 or 4 books, anyway. He wrote this before the rest of the series was published. This book basically just explains why Harry Potter isn't anti-christian.

Now you may remember that I also started a challenge that was to be spread over 12 weeks. April was the first 4 weeks. I managed to read 5 of those books.

The Newbie: Newest book on the shelf.

Don't Overthink It by Anne Bogel - It was the perfect time to read this. I am definitely going to have to read it again to really dig in. It was definitely the newest book on my shelf.

The Collector: Read an Anthology -

I read Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country for this one. We don't need another cover, do we?

Do Not Transcend Genre: Read a book in your favorite genre -

For this one, I read City of Bones.

Three's Company: Read a Trilogy

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - This was about an assassin who is brought out of prison to compete to be the King's Champion. She is smart alecky, whip smart, and steel spined. I loved her. I'm reading the next one now.

Face Reality: Read a non-fiction book

For this one, I read The Ravenmaster.

But wait! That's still not even all the books I read in April!

Iron to Iron by Maggie Stiefvater - I originally read this for the O.W.L.s prompt about a shapeshifter. This is a sequel novella to a book that definitely did feature a shapeshifter so I assumed this would have one too. Nope. It was great, but it was just a straightforward alternate history. No shapeshifting to be seen.

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung - I don't remember what site I was on when I ran across this one, but I went straight to the library website and we had it ebook! I slammed through it. It was relatable, but not quite as much fun as the other book by this author that I read in January, Book Love.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu - Wow. This was way darker than I expected. It follows Nannerl Mozart, Wolfgang's older sister. She was just as talented as him, but she was held back because of her sex. In this story, she meets a fairy who will grant her wish to never be forgotten if she will do some things for her in fairy land (Back). It was really beautiful.

Ok. I think that truly wraps up everything I read in April. Does anything here sound interesting?