Author's Note

Februwitchy Final Check-In

It’s the end of February already! Here’s a quick round up of the few Februwitchy books I did manage to get to. If you need a reminder of what was on my original TBR, that’s here, and my halfway check-in is here.

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My #Februwitchy TBR

February is here and with it comes the start of #Februwitchy! This is my second year running this very casual witchy readathon, and I’m really excited to show you my TBR – if you need more details about the readathon itself, you can find the introductory post here.

I’ve picked out thirteen books that meet the witchy requirements – this is a dual-purpose TBR that works for both #Februwitchy and my general monthly TBR challenge, so let’s see what’s on the cards this month!

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The Return of #Februwitchy!

Way back in February 2020, I ran a month-long readathon called #Februwitchy, focusing on witchy books and fun. I always intended this to be a yearly event, but the start of 2021 was not a great time for me (or for most people), so running a long event was the last thing on my mind. But this year, I’m delighted to say, the witches are back!

The aim of this readathon is really simple:

Read witchy books!

That’s it, just read books about witches in February. We’ll start on the 1st and finish on the 28th, and just make our way through as many witchy books as we can!

I’ve made a few changes this time around to make things even more flexible. Here’s what will count for the readathon:

  • A book with ‘witch’, ‘spell’, or ‘potion’ in the title
  • A fictional book with a witch as one of the main characters
  • A non-fiction book about witchcraft or the history of witches

The other big change this year is that there’s no sign up, Twitter sprints, or tracking – if you’d like to take part, please just join in at your own pace! There’s a graphic below for you to use to select your TBR, if you’d like to, and I’d love to see what you’re planning to read.

Please do tag me on Twitter or leave me a link in the comments here if you post about #Februwitchy – I’m looking forward to reading your posts! My TBR will be up at the start of February, and I have some great things on it!

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My Hallowreadathon TBR

I can’t believe how quickly Hallowreadathon’s come around! In case you missed it, you can find my announcement post here – Imogen and I would love to have you join in with us this weekend – the readathon lasts from today until Sunday night. If you need some inspiration, here are my picks for each of our prompts:

The first prompt is ‘Trick or Treat‘ – flip a coin to decide if you’ll be reading your newest acquisition, or the oldest book on your TBR. I got tails, so I’ll be reading Sorcerer’s Son by Phyllis Eisenstein, which has been lurking in the #1 spot of my TBR for a long time. When I put the list together for the first time, the first 50 or so books were just in the order I grabbed them off the shelves, so this might not technically be the oldest, but you have to start somewhere. I picked this up after seeing Elizabeth Bear list it as one of her significant writing influences, so I’m hoping it’s enjoyable as a read, as well as a reference!

The second prompt is to read a book with a white cover, and I’ve chosen The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow. I’ve been saving this for a rainy day for the longest time, but when better to read about witches than Halloween? I adored Alix’s first book, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, and the blurb of this one sounds like it’s going to be even more my cup of tea.

The third prompt is simply to read two books, so whether I get through both of these or go off-piste, I think I should manage that!

Will you be joining us? I would love to see your TBR posts if you want to link them below, or you can join us on Twitter at @hallowreadathon!

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Announcing #Hallowreadathon 2021

I can’t believe this is my third year helping Imogen to host the Hallowreadathon! This casual weekend readathon is a fun way to get some Halloween reading done – it’s my favourite time of year and I love having a way to celebrate the season with some great books. Whether you’re after cosy witchy vibes like me or prefer to get into the scary side of Halloween, we’ve put together some optional prompts to get you started!

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Author's Note

#SweepUpYourSmols TBR!

Two TBRs in a week?! I know, it’s unheard of! But this weekend is the third round of #SweepUpYourSmols, my mini-readathon where the goal is to read as many books under 300 pages as you can. So, do you want to see the books I’m choosing from? There’s no way I’ll get to all of these, but I’ve got a nice selection!

I actually found myself really having to search for small books to include! I think I’ve been picking them off and leaving the longer chonks to wait, which is not ideal… Still, there’s an eclectic mix of things so I feel like I’ll be fine for some mood reading.

The Game by Diana Wynne Jones

I’m working my way through the few books on Diana Wynne Jones’s backlist that I didn’t read as a child, and this sounds like an interesting one – I’m in the perfect mood for one of her magical, fun stories.

Beauty and the Beast stories edited by Maria Tatar

This is a collection of different animal spouse fairytales from around the world – Maria Tatar’s name on it makes me sure it’s going to be interesting, and I always love adding new variations of fairytales to my repertoire!

Wood Angel by Erin Bow

I’ve seen lots of warnings that this is a pretty grim book for middle grade, violent and quite sad, but I was still tempted into it by its talking cat and witchy vibes, so I’ll give it a go, and if I’m not feeling the darker side of it, I’ll DNF.

Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman

More witchy middle grade! This sounds like the kind of charming adventure I really love, with a girl out to stop a curse and rescue her mother. I think this would make a good bath read.

A True Princess by Diane Zahler

Diane Zahler’s fairy tale retellings are always great – a little dark, but really beautiful takes on their original stories. I’ve actually just finished writing my own take on The Princess and the Pea, so this might be a good time to read A True Princess!

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B Larson

These next three were in my TBR during the last round of Sweep Up Your Smols – maybe this is the right time to get to this YA retelling of Swan Lake?

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

I don’t know too much about this one other than that it has a fantastic cover and queer female pirates, which honestly was enough to sell me on it!

Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

This actually popped up in my TBR Spotlight a few weeks ago, so head there for more of my thoughts on it!

Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw

This Arthurian retelling has been on my shelf for longer than I can remember. I’m actually a lot pickier now with Arthurian stories than I used to be, so I’m not sure if I’ll get on with this one, but it’s a high priority for me to at least try it and see if it’s a keeper, or if I can have some more space!

As You Wish by Cary Elwes

I love The Princess Bride movie – who doesn’t? And I also love love love behind the scenes books, so I’m really looking forward to this look back at its filming, from the horse’s mouth. I read the introduction when I got this book and decided to save it for a rainy day, as it was just so charming.

Will you be joining in with #SweepUpYourSmols? I’d love to see your short book picks!

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Announcing the #Hallowreadathon!

As autumn approaches, so too does Halloween – one of my favourite times of the year! And even though we probably won’t be able to get out and party in person, Imogen’s Typewriter and I have got you covered for a fun bookish time with the seventh annual Hallowreadathon, running from 30th October – 1st November! This is my second year helping the lovely Imogen host her brilliant readathon, and I’m so excited to show you the prompts we’ve cooked up for you in our cauldrons, so read on to find out what’s on the cards for this year…

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Author's Note

#Februwitchy Readathon

In case you missed it over on Twitter, I’m hosting a readathon for the first time! Introducing… #Februwitchy – because why should October get all the witchy fun?

februwitchy

Read witchy books!

The aim is super simple: read books about witches for all of February. There are no prompts, but any books with ‘witch’ in the title, or where the main character is a witch, will count – and to be specific, that’s where the main character is explicitly referred to as a witch on page, not just a book with a magical heroine. Non-fiction about witches is also welcome!

To clarify:

  • The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol would be perfect – it both has a ‘witch’ title and a witch main character!
  • The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton doesn’t have ‘witch’ in the title, but is a witch, so it counts!
  • Witchmark by CL Polk doesn’t refer to its magic-doers explicitly as witches, but it does have ‘witch’ in the title, so it’s in!
  • BUT Harry Potter books would not count – there’s no witches in the titles, and he is explicitly referred to as a wizard, not a witch. See what I mean?

We’ll have reading sprints!

Reading sprints will be held over on Twitter on Wednesday nights from 7pm-8pm (GMT). Follow me @cat_book_tea, and join in with some chunks of reading time and some fun games about what we’re reading. I may award extra broomsticks during these sprints!

There’s also… a prize!

While you take part in #Februwitchy, you can earn broomsticks, and the person who has the most broomsticks at the end will win a book of their choice (up to £10). This is open anywhere the Book Depository ships.

To earn broomsticks:

  • Post a witchy TBR with the hashtag (only once!)
  • Finish an eligible book
  • Participate in a reading sprint (there may be extra broomsticks available during these)
Sign up!
Does this sound like your cup of tea? You can sign up in this Google Doc and add your TBR and finished books! Please don’t alter the ‘broomsticks’ column – I’ll take care of that!
You can take part anywhere you like – your blog, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere you talk about books – but bear in mind I am only on Twitter and WordPress, so if you want me to see it, you need to tweet me, comment here, or put your posts in the spreadsheet. You can take part as much or as little as you like – not all of your February reads have to be witchy, just as many as you like! And you don’t have to play for broomsticks, they’re only if you want to be in with a shot at the prize – you can read witchy-ish but non-eligible books alongside, I’m still interested to see those even if they don’t earn broomsticks!
And let me know if you have any questions!
I hope you feel like taking part – I’d love to see your TBRs and chat about your favourite witches! We start February 1st 2020 and run until February 29th 2020!