I forgot to post in December about the 2016 Reading Challenge. I had a bit of a conflict in November and didn’t end up reading a book for that month’s category either. The categories for November and December were “a book you’ve already read at least once” and “a book published this year” respectively. For November, I signed up for a reading challenge with my local used book store called the Books Are Better November 5k READ. For that challenge, I had to read 16 books in November (the idea is 16 books averaging 300 pages each adds up to about 5k pages). After the challenge started, I realized the rules said I couldn’t count books I’ve already read before. So, I didn’t end up reading a book for this challenge in November. I did end up completing the 5k READ challenge, though.

fantasticFor December, I ended up reading J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay. I get sick in movie theaters, so I couldn’t see the film when it came out in November. Luckily, my local library had the screenplay available for me to read during my trip to visit my in-laws last week. For those of you unfamiliar with the premise of the movie, here is the synopsis on Amazon:

“When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…”

I enjoyed this book much more than the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play I read earlier in the year. Since Fantastic Beasts was actually written by Rowling, it felt like it fit in the Harry Potter universe better than the Cursed Child (which just felt like fan fiction to me). Since I got to see several clips and theatrical trailers for Fantastic Beasts, it was also easier for me to picture what was going on in the book.

I enjoyed learning more about magic in the United States from this book. Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the North American school for magic, was mentioned. I also got a peek inside the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), which is the governing body of magical society in the US. From the screenplay, I learned MACUSA’s main goal during the 1920s was to prevent no-maj (muggle) detection of magic. The Second Salem Society in New York tries to expose witches and wizards and wants to persecute them.

This book was a quick, fun read. I look forward to when the movie comes out so I can see the magical creatures described in the book. In the mean time, I appreciate having the screenplay available for a peek into this new era of the wizarding world.

Other books published in 2016 my friends read include:

  • The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
  • Swan Knight’s Sword (Moth and Cobweb book 3) by John C. Wright

My friends and I plan on doing Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2017 Reading Challenge. We will probably do a combination of the fun and growth lists.

Check out my other reading challenge posts for the year: January, February, March, April, May and June, July, August, September, and October.