book report: november 2018 + O.W.L. reading challenge update

I officially finished my annual reading goal of fifty books! I’m excited that I managed to do it a month early this year, which means I’ll have to increase it next year. Maybe I’ll aim for 55 or 60 books next year? The new goal will depend on how much I manage to read by the end of December.

This month, I added an extra element by simultaneously doing a themed reading challenge I found on YouTube. I really enjoyed doing it, so I’m doing a holiday themed one next month and might continue doing these if I keep finding fun ones!

Total Progress: 51/50

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
I had this on my TBR when my friend mentioned that she had read it all in one day recently because it was so gripping. I, too, read it in less than 24 hours because I just couldn’t put this one down. It’s about a mom whose daughter goes missing as a teenager, then years later she begins dating a man whose young daughter reminds her of her own daughter who went missing and the mystery that ensues. This book wasn’t what I was expecting going into it, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. I definitely want to read more by this author.

Everybody, Always by Bob Goff
This. book. Everyone needs to read it. I love Bob Goff and his positive philosophy on life and enjoyed reading his first book “Love Does”. But this one is so timely in that it’s all about how to love, well, everyone always, especially the people who are most difficult to love. He really shows what it means to love in action instead of proselytizing. It’s really, really good. There are several chapters about his work in Uganda with witch doctors that are super interesting, too.

A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
This was the seventh in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, which I love so much. This one was about an art critic who is found murdered at the after party of a gallery open for one of the main characters in the book. As always, this series is so cozy and is always comforting to read no matter the plot or season.

O.W.L Reading Challenge

I mentioned earlier this month that I had found a Harry Potter O.W.L. themed reading challenge on YouTube and wanted to incorporate it into my reading for the month. The goal was to read five and I got three done here which, according to the challenge rules, means that I passed my O.W.L.s with the grade ‘Exceeded Expectations’.

Next month, I’m going to try the new Christmas at Hogwarts Challenge! But, here’s what I read this month for the O.W.L. challenge.

HERBOLOGY | Read a book with a nature related word in the title
The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
I loved this book so much! It was a little hard to get into for the first few chapters, but then it started to remind me of Jane Eyre which is one of my favorite books. The love interest is like a nicer Mr. Rochester, which is very dreamy and the plot has everything from haunted estates and witches to sibling rivalry and romance. This is such a good book for fall and winter!

MUGGLE STUDIES | Read a muggle non-fiction book
Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton
The reviews I’ve seen of this book were mixed and I’d have to say I agree. The book is broken into seven sections, covering seven different events or portions of the art world. The first few sections were more interesting than the last sections, but I have to say reading this took me forever because it felt really slow and that’s coming from someone who studied Art History in college.

TRANSFIGURATION | Read a book that deals with transfiguration/shapeshifting or a book with a cat on the cover.
The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
Oh my god. I wept. If you have a cat or have ever loved a cat, you have to read this but be prepared to cry. I don’t want to say anymore than that!