Welcome to the end of another month and another monthly wrap-up!
August was a weird month that basically went past in the time that it took me to blink. The strangest thing about it is that it’s the first time in my memory that I’m not going back to school in the fall. Weird…
This month, I participated in the N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon, hosted by Book Roast on Youtube! I go more into it in my TBR post from last month, but basically the goal was to read books to fulfill prompts and pass N.E.W.T. exams that will let me pursue a wizarding career. My goal career was magical librarian, which meant I had to read seven books…and I succeeded! (Shocking, I know, considering the title of this post.)
I may not have read every single book on my original TBR, but in the end, I read a total of ten books that filled ten prompts and earned six N.E.W.T.s. My average rating for the month was 3.4 stars – a bit lower than usual. Let’s get into the books that I read!
Books I Read
If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker ⭐️⭐️/5
This retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma was….not fantastic. I didn’t feel like the author captured the spirit of the original story at all. More thoughts in an upcoming mini-review.
Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne ⭐️⭐️.5/5
Another retelling, another disappointment. This is a sci-fi retelling of Jane Eyre, and while it was creative in the ways it transferred the story, I overall didn’t love reading it. More thoughts here.
Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison ⭐️⭐️.5/5
Branched outside of my comfort zone with a Western! Sadly, I don’t think this book was for me – very slow-moving and not something that captured my emotions much at all. More thoughts in an upcoming mini-review.
The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
release date: Sept. 3
This historical fantasy adventure had a fun mystery and a unique setting, despite not being the most memorable or exciting for me. My full review is here!
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
A well-loved, award-winning historical fiction WW2 book that…I apparently didn’t love as much as everyone else. *hides my face* It was absolutely beautifully written, though! More thoughts in an upcoming mini-review.
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clarke ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
A steampunk fantasy novella involving sky pirates, smugglers, and storm goddesses?? Yes please! More thoughts here.
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
release date: Sept. 10
I had so much fun with this book! A science fantasy with necromancers, swordswomen, and creepy fortresses! And now I’m impatiently waiting for the second book. I should have a full review coming later this week!
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (reread) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Oh, how I love this book! I decided to revisit this book before its sequel, Wayward Son, comes out in September (*high pitched screaming*), and I couldn’t be happier that I did. I love Simon and Baz SO MUCH, and I love how this book plays with tropes! I’ll have more thoughts in an upcoming mini-review, which will probably mostly be gushing.
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. You must go read it. I cried my eyes out. My full review is here.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (reread)
And with that, we come to the conclusion of my 2019 Harry Potter reread.
What can I say about this book/series that I haven’t said a million times and in a million ways? I just love it. There will never be anything like it. Finishing the series, no matter how many times I do it, is always emotional – not only because it means I have to say goodbye to the characters again, but because it truly is an epic and satisfying conclusion. I still gasp out loud during the final showdown, I still blink back tears when favorite characters die, I still have to stare at the ceiling and contemplate my existence when the greatest chapter of all time, “The Forest Again,” comes along. Harry Potter simply holds a place in my heart that can never be replaced.
N.E.W.T.s Readathon Results
As I mentioned before, I managed to fill ten prompts and complete six N.E.W.T.s! Which means I am OFFICIALLY on the path to becoming a magical librarian. I can’t wait!
O in Ancient Runes
🦎 A: Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (book recommended by a friend)
🦎 E: The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett (book written in past tense)
🦎 O: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (book that has been on your TBR for ages)
E in Defense Against the Dark Arts
🦎 A: Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne (book that’s black under the dust jacket)
🦎 E: Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison (Gilderoy’s memory charm: first book that you remembered just now from your TBR)
E in History of Magic
🦎 A: The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clarke (a fantasy book)
🦎 E: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (a book that includes a map)
A in Transfiguration
🦎 A: If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker (book with LQBTQA+ representation)
A in Charms
🦎 A: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (book that you think has a gorgeous cover)
A in Herbology
🦎 A: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Mandrake: listen to an audiobook)
August blog posts
🌼 Abi @ Scribbles & Stories had a really interesting discussion about whether it’s okay to dislike a diverse book!
🌼 Caro @ bookcheshirecat provided some amazing resources and advice about making writing a priority and developing routines!
🌼 Caitlin Althea had a fantastic and hard-hitting discussion about interaction and commenting in the book blogging community.
🌼 Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks gave some amazing advice about giving your blog posts an extra spark!
🌼 Kelly Brigid @ Another Book in the Wall gave a compelling argument for why more books should be adapted as animated series, and I FULLY agree.
🌼 Vicky Who Reads gave book recommendations based on hilarious emoji mashups, which was so creative and fun to read!
🌼 The Orangutan Librarian recommended some gateway science fiction books, which all look incredible!
🌼 Taasia @ Librae Paints Pages talked about why she doesn’t do bookstagram, and as someone who also doesn’t do bookstagram, I found it very relatable!
This month, I proved that the answer to that age-old question of “is it possible to watch all five seasons of a TV show in less than a week?” is a resounding YES. So yeah, for about a week of August, I did absolutely nothing but watch Schitt’s Creek. At first, I was only watching because it was funny and stupid and entertaining, BUT THEN I got WAY too attached to all of the characters. *”Oops I Did It Again” plays in the background* All of them have such great character development and I love them even though they’re all idiots!!! David and Patrick invented love!!!! But now I’m genuinely upset that I have to wait months for the sixth and final season. I guess I did this to myself.
Six (the musical)
YOU GUYS, I found another musical to be obsessed with! *clown shoes squeaking* Yeah, I don’t know why I do this to myself. This is a pop musical based on the six wives of King Henry VIII and it could not be more ridiculous and fun. I’ve basically had it on repeat all August. My one complaint is that it’s only nine songs long! My favorites are definitely “Don’t Lose Ur Head” and “Get Down,” but to be honest I love all of them. Go give it a listen!
I’m an IndieBound affiliate!
Thought I’d give it an official mention here! If you want to help support me and also independent bookstores across the US, feel free to use my affiliate link, or add ?aff=MargaretH to any url when buying from IndieBound. I love indie bookstores (since, well, I work at one) so I’m really excited to be helping to promote them through my blog!
I don’t have huge reading plans for September. There are tons of new releases this month and I have lots of holds at the library and basically want to read whatever comes my way. That said, here are a few of the books that I definitely want to get to this month!
- The Star Shepherd by Dan Haring & MarcyKate Connolly (eARC; release date Sept. 10)
- The Obelisk Gate & The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
- The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (reread)
- Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell (release date Sept. 24)
Did you participate in the N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon? How was your reading in August? Did you find any new favorites?