Winter Magical Readathon | Wrap Up & Walk Through

Winter Magical Readathon | Wrap Up & Walk Through

Hey everyone! I am Andrea, welcome to my channel. Today we are going to be going over all of the books that I read in December and a little bit into January for the Winter Magical Readathon. If you are not familiar with the Magical Readathon as a readathon entity, this is a semi-annual readathon that’s Harry Potter themed. In Harry Potter, they have certain tests that they have to take. They take the O.W.L.s and they take the N.E.W.T.s and this readathon is as if you’re taking those tests for, you know, furthering your career within Harry Potter, like the Hogwarts world or whatever. So in the Winter Magical Readathon, this is kind of separate from those two readathons that have been happening. This was a kind of choose-your-own-adventure kind of readathon so I did not know what I was going to read until I got my prompts. Different chapters went out different weeks and then throughout the entire month you figure out what books you’re reading so I didn’t have a TBR for this. I’m going to go through and walk you through all the different choices that I made throughout the story and what kind of books I picked up, what I thought of them. So let’s go. So chapter one we started at Privet Drive you aren’t particularly Harry. You’re not choosing things you think Harry is going to choose so you’re choosing for yourself, but you’re at the Dursleys’ house. They have some guests coming over and Dobby shows up. So Dobby is making a bunch of noise, he’s trying to tell you not to go back to Hogwarts, and your two choices for the first part are: Do you falsely promise that you won’t go back to Hogwarts so Dobby leaves or do you make no promises and continue to try to talk him out of it? I chose not to make any promises and to continue to try to talk him out of it so that brings us to Harry is grounded. He has bars on his window because Dobby levitated a cake over the guests and dropped it. So the Dursleys don’t want him to go back to Hogwarts. You pretty much know this story. So Ron and the twins show up, they bust him out in the little flying car, and you grab Hedwig and fly away. So we show up at the Burrow. And of course the Weasleys are upset. You have time to do one more thing before you go to bed, so your choices are: “help Ron to de-gnome the garden as his punishment for stealing the car,” “stay up chatting about Muggle nit bits with Mr. Weasley (he’s so charmed by it all),” or “you’re not done with flying, grab a snack and meet the Weasleys in the field to play some Quidditch.” I am a kind soul, or so I like to believe so I chose to go ahead and help Ron de-gnome the garden as his punishment for stealing the car. This is where my first reading prompt comes in. It says, “Let the de-gnoming begin. Pick a read from your existing TBR” “that is longer than 500 pages.” “Thinning the not-read pile one book at a time.” So The book that I chose for this that is over 500 pages is a book that I’ve been meaning to read for a really long time. I’ve been talking about this book a lot on my channel. It was one book that I thought that I really wanted to read before the end of the year. So it’s over 500 pages, I was like I’m gonna go ahead and do it and that is Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. Seanan Mcguire has quickly become one of my favorite authors this year from her pen name Mira Grant I read Into the Drowning Deep. I also read her Wayward Children series and loved it, So I’ve been really enjoying Seanan McGuire. This book follows two twins, Roger and Dodger, who were created by alchemists who basically wanted to take over the world. These alchemists are kind of trying to create the perfect human, but in order to create the perfect human you have to kind of have two that have different characteristics that complete each other and then in order to kind of dominate the world those two twins have to ascend to godhood using each other and kind of bouncing off of each other. They have certain magical qualities, they’re prodigies in their own respective, I don’t know, subjects, I guess – like school subjects. One of them’s really good at math. One of them’s really good with words. And so we’re just following these two twins as they are figuring out what’s going on and they don’t want to help the alchemists so they’re trying to kind of get away from that, get away from that fate and just a whole bunch of crazy stuff happens. I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t a perfect book for me. I want to say – I think I gave this 4.5 stars. It was very, very good. The writing was phenomenal. It was very confusing which is one thing that I really love in a book. I love it when I’m confused and just along for the ride and that’s very much how this book was but that’s also something that I think you should keep in mind if you’re interested in reading this book but I love the magical elements. I loved that the relationship at the core of this story was a brother-sister relationship. It wasn’t a romantic relationship. I just really loved this book. So I gave this four and a half stars and That was my first book for the Magical Readathon. I do want to say: I was slumping. You guys know I’ve been something for a while now and it took me like three weeks to read this book so I crammed the rest of the books for this entire readathon in like a week and a half so let’s start going. So continuing on with chapter one of the readathon, not much left after de-gnoming the garden. We’re happy, we sit down with some hot chocolate, and that’s the end of chapter one. So we are at the Burrow, cozy, sipping our hot chocolate. For chapter two we start off on September 1st. We are either at the Burrow, which is where I ended up or we are taking… taking breakfast? Eating breakfast downstairs at the Leaky Cauldron. So I chose the Burrow. We are on our way to Kings Cross station. We’re heading toward the platform. We see Hermione. She’s waving at us. Ron’s looking around at all of the crazy clothing that all of these muggles are wearing and he trips over Ginny’s suitcase and knocks everything over. Her suitcase pops open and all of her stuff starts pouring out. Mrs. Weasley ushers you away. She says, “no, we’ve got this. Go ahead, line up. We’re right behind you” so the choices are: “after double-checking that they don’t need more hands you head over to Hermione to go through,” or “stay with the Weasleys, you want to stick with Ron.” I would feel really bad just leaving them if they’re all hurrying up to grab all of Ginny’s stuff so I didn’t want to abandon them. I chose to stay with the Weasleys and to stick with Ron. It says we put all the stuff in to Ginny’s suitcase, we sprint toward the barrier, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley go through with Ginny and we’re right behind and we crash into the brick wall. It says, “all you can feel is a sharp pain in your ribs, and all you can see is…the color orange?” “Ron’s hair is in your face.” So the next prompt is to read a book with an orange cover because of Ron’s hair and for that book I chose Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This is a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a really long time. It’s very, very popular on booktube. Unfortunately, this book was not for me. I gave this book two stars? Two and a half stars, maybe. So this book is a compilation of IMs and surveillance footage analysis and stuff like that following a planet that is attacked and people from this planet are refugees going on to different spaceships. Our main character Kady and her love interest Ezra broke up the day that their planet was attacked and they get whisked away onto different spaceships. Kady is really good at hacking computers Ezra ends up joining the military and they start communicating after Kady hacks the system and starts kind of trying to figure out some kind of sketchy things surrounding the attack and so she starts communicating with Ezra. Their relationship starts kind of blossoming and they are together trying to figure out what’s going on surrounding the attack, surrounding attacks on their spaceships that happen afterward. This book I feel could have been really good if I could get past how unprofessional these documents are. That was honestly my biggest pet peeve while I was reading this was knowing that these are supposed to be like military correspondence, military documents, and it was just so not what these documents would be. It wasn’t realistic, the language they were using, the descriptors that they were using, it just didn’t really sit right with me. on top of that there is a relationship that kind of springs up halfway through the book, near the end of the book that was just so contrived and just very not believable, very forced, and I just – this book was really getting on my nerves. I didn’t like how the relationships were kind of laid out I didn’t like how the characters were interacting with each other and I thought that it was just kind of like… I don’t know. I just didn’t like it. So I gave this book two and a half stars. Not the best but I did really get hung up. I got hung up on some really specific stuff. So if that’s not something that would bother you then maybe you would have liked this. I don’t know. I just didn’t like it. So that was Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. All right, so we have just failed to enter the platform to get on the Hogwarts Express so Ron says, “hey, what about the car?” So the next two choices that we have are: you can say, “the car! Yes, yes, let’s go to the car!” or you can say, “Ron what? No, stop it, Ron. Let’s wait for your parents!” I chose to wait for the parents because it has always bothered me in these books, in the Chamber of Secrets how they just took the car and like… what did Mr. and Mrs. Weasley do? Like they’re just stranded? So I chose “let’s just wait for your parents.” That would make a whole lot more sense. So it only took about 15 minutes for Mr. and Mrs. Weasley to come back. They were relieved you were both there. They were worried that they didn’t see you boarding the train. Mr. Weasley sends out a correspondence to arrange a way for you guys to get to Hogwarts. So you go with Mr. Weasley, you talk about color printers and scanners, and you walk past a comic book store. Your reading prompt for this one is to “read a comic book, manga, picture book, or graphic novel.” So for this one I chose to read The Tea Dragon Society by Kate… Katie O’Neill. This is a book that I got on my Kindle and read on my Kindle – or not my Kindle but my iPad and it was so cute. So this is about a girl who’s learning to be a blacksmith and she is going around town, she’s kind of like not really that interested in being a blacksmith, and she’s going around town and she finds this little tea dragon, which is essentially just like a dragon but, you know, dog or cat sized and it is being attacked by some dogs. She rescues it. She finds who the owner is, returns the tea dragon to the owner and the owner says “Hey, do you want to join our society of tea drinking tea dragon lovers?” and she’s like “sure!” There are different tea dragons for like different types of tea so there’s a jasmine one, there’s a chamomile one. There’s a bunch of different ones. They’re all so cute. It’s such a little heartwarming story about just friendship and loss and grief and it hits on so many different things in just such a short span. The artwork is so cute, it’s so vivid with its colors, it’s so sweet, and I just really, really love this. My boyfriend and I have decided that if I was a tea dragon I would be a chamomile tea dragon because they sleep for like 18 hours in the day. Which I can’t complain but gosh that was such – it was just the perfect little short cute sweet heartwarming book and I really, really enjoyed this. So it was The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill. After walking around London with Mr. Weasley eventually the arrangements are ready for you to go to Hogwarts So you go ahead and travel to Hogwarts and that’s the end of the chapter. So at the start of chapter 3 you have made it to Hogwarts. It’s the first day of classes and you’re on your way to the Great Hall in order to get some breakfast and then go to class You have a bunch of options for what you want to eat: You can have “warm cinnamon and honey porridge.” You can have “buttered toast, eggs, sausages, and bacon.” I chose that one. You can have “cornflakes and warm toast with jam,” or you can have “pumpkin and carrot cake (dessert for breakfast!)” I chose, of course, toast, eggs, bacon. That is my favorite way to start the day. So we head off to our first class, which is herbology. After herbology, you find out about several different things that are happening. So there is a dueling club that’s meeting tonight, Nearly Headless Nick also has his 500th Deathday Party that’s happening and he invites you to that, there is also Quidditch practice that’s happening. Oliver Wood is really wanting to make the team practice a whole lot in order to have the best season yet. So our three choices are: do we go to the dueling club meeting, do we go to Quidditch practice, or do we go to Nearly Headless Nick’s 500th Deathday Party? I chose to go to the dueling club meeting. When we get to the dueling club meeting there are a lot of beautiful decorations, tapestries cover the platform, plenty of lilac decorations. So the reading prompt is to read a book with a pink or purple cover. For this prompt, I read Girls of Paper and Fire and it’s really pretty. It has blue and purple and pink. So purple and pink both. This is about a girl who is living in this kind of kingdom that have three different castes of people. Whatever caste you’re in dictates what you’re – if you’re a middle class or lower class or part of the nobility. Our main character Lei is part of the lower class or caste. It’s the paper caste, and it’s really interesting how these castes kind of get their distinguishing features. So the paper caste is completely human, the next caste up, I don’t remember what it’s called, steel or something, They are a mixture of human characteristics and animal characteristics so they might have a human body and antlers or something and then the moon caste which is the nobility, they are essentially animals, but they walk around like humans. Our main character Lei is completely human. In this universe, there are girls called paper girls who are chosen by the king and they are always from the paper caste and they’re chosen to live in the castle and kind of have this life of luxury, but they are forced to be sex workers for the king essentially. There are nine of them, and they are, like I said, chosen by the king he invites them to his room and kind of has his way with them and they have no choice. They are paper girls. They’re all from the paper caste and they can’t fight back. Lei is chosen to be one of these paper girls and she goes to live in the castle and she wants a whole lot more than to be a sex slave, essentially, to the king and she starts trying to kind of find ways to fight back. This book was not graphic, and that’s one thing I think is important to note because I was anticipating certain scenes to happen and I was getting really nauseous and really anxious about what this book was going to show us on the page and it is not graphic. You do know what happens. You do kind of get thoughts after but it is not graphic. That is one thing that I was really nervous about. But this book was really difficult to read for me personally it was… it was a little bit of a struggle in some points just because of the anxiety that this kind of causes, but I did really enjoy this book. I gave it four stars. I thought Lei was a very believable character. I will say, there’s another one of these paper girls. That becomes like a major player in this book and I kind of wish that the whole book had been from her perspective because she was really interesting and I really wish that we had gotten this book from her perspective, but that is just kind of like an aside from me. I did really enjoy this book. I thought Lei was strong, but also had reasonable weaknesses and She was a fighter for sure. So that is Girls of Paper and Fire for my pink and purple book. So dueling club starts, we are ready to cast our first spells, and then the options for what spell you cast are: to cast expelliarmus, to do protego, or to do rictumsempra. I did expelliarmus because that’s what Harry would have done. I get lots of praise for all of my wonderful work at the dueling club and we make our way to the Great Hall for a dinner. I think if you had chosen one of the other things that you would have gotten a separate prompt depending on the spell that you cast but I did not get one. So it says, “Hold up! In chapter 2, did you get detention?” and I definitely did not because I did not steal that car. So I’m walking through the halls and I hear some voices “Rip… tear… kill…” and my only option is to look up because something is shining on the wall ahead. and it says, “the Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir beware.” And that is the end of chapter 3. Alright, so it’s the beginning of chapter 4. We have just looked up and seen “enemies of the heir beware” and everybody’s like “What does that mean? What’s going on?” So it says, “have you already read a little bit about the Chamber of Secrets?” And then in parentheses, “in chapter 1, did you select to join the book club with Hermione?” I did not get the chance to become part of the book club. So I said “no, I did not join the book club.” So my reading prompt was to read a book that starts with the letter S for Slytherin. For this prompt, I chose to read Slade House by David Mitchell. This is a book that I meant to read in October, I think I talked about this one back in October. It’s called Slade House. It starts with an S. This is a book that’s short, first of all, because remember I’m reading all of the rest of the books after Middlegame in like a week and a half. This book takes place over several different years It takes place at Slade House, which is a house that’s very easy to walk by and miss. Every nine years the gates to Slade House open and let one person in and things happen after they enter that are mysterious and possibly magical. Every nine years someone is let into Slade House and they are greeted by some kind of strange people strange things start happening, and we take off from there. This book was so good. It was so good. I was not expecting to like this as much as I did just because it’s kind of like a slice of life every nine years and it follows different characters but, man, the stuff that they go through once they go into this weird house and things start happening that are making them question what they, you know, their sanity and there are strange people in the house and this book just blew my mind. It was so good. The different stories build on each other since they’re happening every nine years, what happened one year might affect what happens the next year and there are people who are starting to grow suspicious because some people don’t show up after going into Slade House and there’s a mystery surrounding what happened to them and this book is again, the perfect, perfect kind of example of a book where you have no idea what the hell is going on and you’re just mind blown, full of dread, full of suspense this book was so, so good. So I gave this book five stars. Alright, so now moving on with our readathon prompts… [to dog] Hello. I’m busy. We’ve read a little bit about the Chamber of Secrets and Hermione wants some answers about who the heir of Slytherin is so she wants to make a polyjuice potion. So your options are: “okay, let’s use the polyjuice potion,” or “no, there must be another way.” Of course, I chose the polyjuice potion. So the polyjuice potion is almost complete. All we need are some missing herbs, to stir the cauldron for another hour, and to get some hairs from Crabbe and Goyle. I think grabbing hair from Crabbe and Goyle is disgusting but I also don’t want to just sit there and stir the pot for an hour, so I chose to go grab some missing herbs. The prompt for choosing to go gather the missing herbs is to read a book with plants on the cover. That can be anything from “a tree to a flower to an acorn.” For this prompt, I chose Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. This is a horror graphic novel that has several different short stories within it, all horror. I really enjoyed this book, but I thought that it could be scarier. So we’re following four different storylines and it’s a pretty short book. So the, you know, the stories themselves were really short and I felt like they didn’t have quite as much development, or I just didn’t feel that scared when I was reading them. I thought the art style was fantastic. I really enjoyed how everything was kind of laid out and how the art was… done? Arted? So I did really, really like this book visually But I didn’t so much love the actual content, the actual stories. They were good, but they weren’t anything that really wowed me. So this book I gave just three stars. Not a bad rating, but it’s pretty average. So that is Through the Woods by Emily Carroll for my book with trees on the cover. There are some trees down here, trees up here. So now that we have gotten our missing herbs It is time to make the polyjuice potion and the only option we have is “bottoms up!” We go start talking to Draco, we’re trying to get him to talk about the heir of Slytherin, and it says “in chapter 2, did you speak with Mr. Weasley about the raids of Malfoy Manor?” I chose “no, I didn’t get a chance to talk to Mr. Weasley.” Malfoy is getting on to us. He thinks that maybe there’s something strange about how Crabbe and Goyle are acting and it says, “Dang! You need to think quickly!” “Speak in short sentences, frown a lot as if thinking really hard, maybe talk a bit about food?” It says, “Try mentioning something that you think Draco loves.” “It shouldn’t be hard guessing his favorite activities or things to moan about.” So the reading prompt for this is to read a friend’s recommended or favorite book. I think that’s so funny. That’s such a funny prompt to go with that. I did not personally have a friend recommend me a book specifically for this part of the readathon. I do, however, have a book that has been recommended to me by another booktuber. Jocelyn from yogi with a book was talking a whole lot about how this one book that I chose for this prompt was one of her favorite horror reads of the year and she told me about it back in October when I was talking about how my October wasn’t really going the way that I had wanted it to be going and she recommended this book as a horror pick, and that is Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall. This is a horror novel about a girl whose sister goes missing and there is this legend of a little girl who went missing years and years ago going down this road that shows up every Hey! This is kind of – it kind of sounds like Slade House – a road that shows up every year on this certain day and if you go down this road there are seven gates you have to pass through in order to get off of this road and there are certain rules that you have to abide by or else you will get got by whatever is on the road and this girl thinks that her sister was taken by the road, that she disappeared looking for this girl who was lost years and years ago and she gathers some friends and they go to try to find her sister on the road. This book, again, like Slade House, it… you just kind of have to go with it. There’s this feeling of dread the whole time you’re reading. You are very confused. There’s a lot of little things that happened that you’re like “wait” and I had to – I kept going back and re-reading chapters and being like, “am I… am I remembering this correctly? Are they remembering this correctly?” And it’s just – it was so confusing but you’re meant to be confused and you are just… there’s so many magical things that happen as they go through these gates, as people from their groups start disappearing, and there was just so much suspense, so much – I read this book in one afternoon. It was so, so, so good. So I’m really, really happy that Jocelyn introduced this book to me. Man, this book was just so magical but in the scary kind of way not in like the heartfelt, light kind of way. Like, I was terrified throughout this entire book and it was just so, so, so good. So that is Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall. I gave this book five stars. Alright. So we’ve talked to Malfoy. We know that he doesn’t know who the heir of Slytherin is and we head out of there because we’re turning back into ourselves and we turn the corner and we are met with Nearly Headless Nick’s ghost and a Hufflepuff boy who have both been petrified. We are asked “what do we do?” Do we approach the scene, or do you run before anybody sees you? I chose to go ahead and approach them. So I go ahead and approach them but as I’m approaching them Filch shows up. He says, “I knew it was you!” and makes you go to the Headmaster’s office. I get to the Headmaster’s office. I see Fawkes the Phoenix there. Fawkes bursts into flames, but Dumbledore lets you know that that’s normal and that is the end of this chapter. So at the start of chapter 5 nothing is really happening. Another month has passed by and you’re still trying to figure out what’s going on, but not a whole lot has been revealed. There’s a party in the dorm today, and the choices are: do you “dance to Weird Sisters,” do you “play a game of gobstones,” or do you “sneak in a butterbeer”? And I chose to sneak in a butterbeer. Alright, more time passes and you are walking again in the halls of Hogwarts. As you’re walking around in the halls, you overhear the professors talking about a new message being written on the walls and you find out that Ginny has been taken into the chamber of secrets. So it says, “in chapter 4, which of the following happened to you?” Did you “follow the spiders” or did you “meet Fawkes,” or did Dobby send a bludger after me? I want to know what happened with Dobby. But I met Fawkes, so I’m choosing that one. So I’m panicking about Ginny being taken into the Chamber of Secrets. I think, “what do I do?” So I end up running all the way up the tower to where the Headmaster’s office is. For this choice, I am given the reading prompt to read a book from the topmost shelf of your own shelf or at the library and coincidentally enough, my top shelves… So I have my books rainbowed right now, but my top shelf is all of my series and, of course, on one of my two bookcases, one entire top shelf is just Harry Potter. So I thought it would only be fitting to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This was actually the next book in the progression of the series. I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the illustrated edition – this is also the illustrated edition – a couple of months ago and then I meant to read this one I think back in September or something like that? I had this on my TBR and I never actually got around to it. So we’re in a readathon that’s about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and I needed to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. So I did. Obviously, everybody knows what this book is about. I have been loving these illustrated editions. The illustrations are so, so perfect and beautiful and well done, and I’ve been really enjoying reading these illustrated editions. I’ve really been enjoying going back and reading these books as an adult and I was really happy to get this one off of my TBR and be able to move forward with this series. So this is the book that I chose as the book from the top of my shelf. That was such like a perfect little coincidental thing that happened. So that’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Obviously I gave this book 5 stars. So I make it up to the Headmaster’s office and Dumbledore is not there. So I’m trying to think quickly of what I’m going to be doing and I remember that Moaning Myrtle died in the bathroom. So I go to Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom on the off chance that maybe she was the person who died 50 years ago. So I have some more options here. It says, “in chapter 3, Did you choose to cheer Moaning Myrtle up during Nick’s deathday party?” I did not attend the deathday party because I was at the dueling club meeting. So I said no. So Moaning Myrtle tells me the story of how she died and you realize that this bathroom is the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. Spoiler alert. My next prompt is, “in chapter 3, did I discover that I could speak parseltongue?” And the answer is no. It says, “you have this on odd sensation inside of you.” “It reminds you of another time when you were at the zoo” “before you even knew of the true world you belong to” “then, too, you had an odd feeling of sameness, of familiarity.” ‘You don’t know what’s making you think that you should just ask this to open up” ‘but you trust your instincts” and the reading prompt for this is to read the first book you think about. Now. In this readathon I had been reading, again, all of these books in like a week and a half and it was a lot of fantasy, a lot of heavy stuff, and I didn’t think immediately of a book. I thought immediately of a different experience that I had I think it was during the last magical readathon round where I read a book by Shari Lapena and – I don’t know how to say her name – but I read A Stranger in the House as kind of a palate cleanser in the middle of the readathon and it really helped me go forward with the rest of my books, so I more so thought of an author than a book but I went to the library and tried to find another Shari Lapena book and I ended up with An Unwanted Guest and this book is about a group of people who are snowed into a hotel and people start dying in the hotel. The first person who dies, everybody thinks that it was an accident and then another person ends up dead and everyone is kind of like, “oh.” “This… this we think is a murderer.” This book had very, very much so Agatha Christie vibes of And Then There Were None. It does mention Agatha Christie several times and it’s very atmospheric. I will say: this book didn’t quite give me the same feelings as A Stranger in the House did. It kind of slogged a little bit and I think that’s because there were so many characters that you had to keep up with and it kept changing – you get every single character’s perspective and there’s a lot of them and it kind of ended up being a little bit distracting to me. The reveal at the end was very good. I did like the reveal at the end. But overall, this book didn’t do anything super special for me and I ended up giving this book three stars. Just an average rating. Alright, we are nearing the end of the readathon. We speak in Parseltongue. We enter the chamber of secrets. We’re going through the pipes and we come to a fork in the pipes and the choices are: do you left, or do you go right? I chose to go right. While I’m walking through the right pathway, a bunch of cornish pixies appear and they’re flying all over me and I cast the immobulus charm and that gets rid of them. So I’ve made it to the Chamber of Secrets. I see Ginny. She’s there on the floor. I run towards her. Tom Riddle appears. He sets the basilisk out, and the question – the next question is, “who are you here with?” “Are you here with Dobby?” “Are you here with a rooster?” which, like, where’d that come from? Or “are you there by yourself?” I am there by myself. I’m running around trying to figure out what to do and Fawkes the Phoenix appears. Fawks blinds the basilisk, the creature shrieks, you grab your wand, the massive snake is coming toward you, and it says, “of all the spells you know, only one escapes your lips.” And the reading prompt here is to read a book that’s shorter than the one you finished before. Now, the previous book that I read was An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena and that book is like 290 pages so I needed a book was shorter than 290 pages and I was scouring my bookshelves and there was nothing that was jumping out at me that was short because 290 is pretty short for what I would usually get. So I went to Scribd and got a book that I’ve been meaning to read that is very short. It was like 130 pages. And that is Convenience Store Woman. This is a book that I’ve heard about on podcasts before I think from Book Riot following a woman who is not very socially conscious and she does a lot of stuff that’s not particularly seen as normal. She works in a convenience store in Japan and she’s been working at this convenience store for 18 years. She is totally happy where she is. She doesn’t want to be going on to a full-time job. She doesn’t want to be going on to bigger and better things as people are trying to convince her that she needs to do. She’s not concerned with getting married or having children. She just wants to work in this convenience store and That’s it. She loves the convenience store and that’s all she wants to do, but people are constantly bugging her about being married, getting married, having children, that kind of thing and she decides to listen to them but guys, Keiko the main character is just not very socially adept. She – a lot of the internal monologue that we get from her is her copying people’s speech patterns and being like well this person likes this so now I have to like this and I’ve read several things about her – People have kind of armchair diagnosed her as being on the autism spectrum, people have armchair diagnosed her as a sociopath and it all is stemming around not being very socially conscious. I don’t particularly think that she has any particular diagnosis. She doesn’t – there isn’t one mentioned in this book. She’s just not very socially aware. And it’s a very funny book. Again, I didn’t really love-love this book. I ended up giving it three stars, but I did think Keiko was a very quirky character. I did think that the, kind of, antics was very funny. This book has been described as competence porn because she is so, so good at her job and so competent and I really liked seeing that in a character. I enjoyed seeing a character that was very competent at her job and was very not concerned about getting married and having children. I loved to see that. And I kind of wish that she wasn’t seen or portrayed as such an oddball, but I did really enjoy this book. I just didn’t really think that it kind of gave me what I was looking for So I give this book three stars. Again, an average rating. I didn’t dislike it, but it also wasn’t amazing. So that was my last book of the readathon. I cast that first spell that comes to mind which is the book, you know, that was shorter than the previous one and that spell is reducio. The basilisk slithers away very quickly, disappears into one of the chamber’s crevices, it says. Ginny wakes up. You grab Fawkes’s tail and fly back to the castle. The readathon, of course, ends at the end of the year with the feast in the Great Hall and All is well. So that is my entire experience with the Winter Magical Readathon. I thought this was such a fun concept and normally I really like to have in my mind what books I’m going to be reading for the month and this was really refreshing to be able to kind of pick things as I go and edit where needed and I thought this was very, very fun. I got some really great five star reads like Slade House, Rules for Vanishing, I really enjoyed Middlegame. I really enjoyed Girls of Paper and Fire. So for cramming all of these books in a two week period pretty much I am very happy with how it went and I cannot wait for the next installment of the Magical Readathon which is I think happening this year in April. So until then, thank you so much for watching and I will see you again soon with another video. Bye! [music]

One thought on “Winter Magical Readathon | Wrap Up & Walk Through

  1. yet another great review of middlegame. i really need to get to that book soon before it becomes just too intimidating for me.
    AHH so glad you also loved rules for vanishing! i was sobbing at the end. i fully did not expect to be scared and also to cry but man that book wrecked me.
    i read convenience store woman a couple years ago and also enjoyed it. i think it would make a really fun film if anyone were to adapt it.

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