Ah, a readathon of epic fantasy proportions. The premise is to choose a Harry Potter-related career and read books based on the testing requirements to enter that career. How fun is that? The creator goes through an incredible amount of work to set up the O.W.L.s readathon (April 2020) and, in a few months, the N.E.W.T.s readathon. I participated in both last year (trying to become a Curse Breaker) and had a blast. Full information about the readathons can be found at the Magical Readathon Twitter account.
Since I bought plants for the first time this year & haven’t managed to kill them yet, I’m feeling confident enough to pursue the Herbologist career. Below are the O.W.L.s I’ll need to achieve and optional seminar requirements, along with their reading prompts and the books I chose.
Herbologist Career O.W.L.s
Care of Magical Creatures
Hippogriffs: creature with a beak on the cover
The Linnet’s Tale by Dale C. Willard
Goodreads summary: Share the romance, drama, and adventure of small-town life among the mice of Tottensea Burrows — as told by a very entertaining bird In the garden of an English cottage live the lovable, highly literate field mice of Tottensea Burrows — Peebles Carryforth the Mayor; Opportune Baggs, the inventor; the Fieldpea family with their three beautiful daughters, Grenadine, Almandine, and Incarnadine; the widow Proserpine Pockets and her young son Farnaby; and Merchanty Swift, the bold mouse who becomes the hero of “The Linnet’s Tale.”
Brokenhearted when his beloved Pleasings Tatterstraw runs away with a charming French mouse, Merchanty, a daring trader, goes on to become a mouse of means. But when Tottensea Burrows is threatened, he risks everything to rescue his friends and neighbors. In the midst of danger, will he find love again?
Mimbulus mimbletonia: title starts with an M
Meat Cute by Gail Carriger
Goodreads summary: Alexia Tarabotti attends what appears to be a very dull London party, until the new werewolf Alpha turns up, is unconscionably rude to her, and sits on a hedgehog.
Shrinking solution: book under 150 pages
Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box by Mira Grant
Goodreads summary: Every week five friends get together to play a game– a game they call the Apocalypse Game. It’s a fun time with chips and beer and plotting the end of the world. Except this time, one of them is missing and the stakes are higher than ever before.
Courses, Seminars, and Training
(because who doesn’t want to shapeshift?)
magical qualities of number 2: balance/opposites – read something outside your favorite genre
Always by Nicola Griffith
Goodreads summary: Aud Torvingen is back — contemporary fiction’s toughest, most emotionally complicated noir hero returns to teach a new round of lessons in hard-hitting justice, and to confront new adversaries: her own vulnerability and desire.
The steely shell of Nicola Griffith’s seemingly indomitable protagonist Aud Torvingen appears to be cracking. The six-foot-tall fury (who proved in The Blue Place and Stay that she can kill you as easily as look at you) is shaken by the shocking consequences of the self-defense class she’s been teaching, and her investigation of what seems to be run-of-the-mill real-estate fraud is turning out to be more than she bargained for.
Potions (covered in O.W.L.s above)
Animagus lecture: book/series that includes shapeshifting
Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger
Goodreads summary: Biffy, newly minted Alpha of the London Pack, is not having a good Christmas. His Beta abandoned him, his werewolves object to his curtain choices, and someone keeps leaving babies on his doorstep.
Professor Randolph Lyall returns home to London after twenty years abroad, afraid of what he might find. With his pack in chaos and his Alpha in crisis, it will take all his Beta efficiency to set everything to rights. Perhaps, in the process, he may even determine how to mend his own heart.
Magical Shop Management
(in case I want to open an herb shop later in my career)
Arithmancy (covered in Animagus Training above)
(to aid in obtaining underwater plant specimens and learning new ways of using them from merpeople)
Herbology (covered in O.W.L.s above)
(not required for my career, but better to be prepared in case herbology doesn’t work out)
Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title
Two Hearts by Peter S. Beagle
Goodreads summary: Coda to The Last Unicorn – a novelette
Night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside
The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn’t by Gail Carriger
Goodreads summary: Alessandro Tarabotti and his valet, Floote, are on a mission in Egypt when they encounter visiting tourists and things go all pie shaped. What is his real mission and will his Aunt Archangelica approve of his treatment of her cat?
Lumos Maxima: white cover
Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
Goodreads summary: In his prime, Edward Bloom was an extraordinary man. Or at least that’s what he told his son. Faced with the prospect of his father’s death, William Bloom sets about to discover who the man really is. Daniel Wallace’s magical first novel, Big Fish, is told as a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts that William knows. Through these tall tales-hilarious and wrenching, tender and outrageous-William begins to understand his elusive father’s great feats and great failings.
Defence Against the Dark Arts
Grindylows: book set at the sea/coast
Sons from Afar by Cynthia Voigt
Goodreads summary: James and Sammy Tillerman are as different as two brothers can be. But when Jimmy seeks out their missing father, Sammy joins in. As they ask questions, and move closer to their quest, it is Sammy who grows more interested–until the questions lead the brothers to a seedy waterfront bar where violence erupts….
Third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read
Tales from Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Goodreads summary: Five stories of Ursula K. Le Guin’s world-renowned realm of Earthsea are collected in one volume. Featuring two classic stories, two original tales, and a brand-new novella, as well as new maps and a special essay on Earthsea’s history, languages, literature, and magic.
History of Magic
Witch hunts: book featuring witches/wizards
Witch Crafting by Phyllis Curott
Goodreads summary: Far from being just another mechanical spell book, Witch Crafting is the first book to offer readers not only the how-to of Witchcraft, but also the why-to, explaining the profound spiritual tenets behind Wiccan techniques. Filled with both traditional and innovative shamanic practices, Phyllis also provides an empowering new definition of magic and reexamines the ethics under which Witchcraft is practiced, offering a groundbreaking alternative to the Threefold Law. With enchanting stories from Curott’s own experiences, Witch Crafting will also teach you how to:
• Master the secret arts of effective spellcasting
• Create sacred space and personal rituals
• Perform divinations for spiritual insight and earthly success
• Tap into the power of altered states, such as dreaming, meditation, prayer, and trance
• Keep a magical journal and create your own Book of Shadows
Book from a perspective of a muggle (contemporary)
Seventeen Against the Dealer by Cynthia Voigt
Goodreads summary: Dicey Tillerman has big dreams. She’s started a boatbuilding business, and she’s determined to prove she can succeed on her own. So at first she resists the offer of help from Cisco, the mysterious stranger who turns up at her shop.
But running a business doesn’t leave much time for the people Dicey treasures– her grandmother, her younger siblings, and her boyfriend. When the trust Dicey puts in Cisco turns out to be misplaced, it seems as if Dicey could lose everything — has she discovered too late what really matters to her?
And that’s everything I plan to read for the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon! What magical career would you choose?