Posted in Recommendations

Hogwarts House Recommendations: Slytherin

” The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.”

First line in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

I’m back with the final post in the series of recommending books based on Hogwarts houses and we’ve made it to Slytherin. In case you missed the first three here are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.

In case you’ve never read Harry Potter and don’t know anything about those houses with weird names, here are a few characteristics of a typical Slytherin:

  • Ambitious
  • Cunning
  • Leadership
  • Resourcefulness
  • Self-preservation
  • Ends justify the means
  • Power hungry

The Diviners by Libba Bray

A historical fiction series with a paranormal twist. I’m recommending this for Slytherins specifically because of the main character in the first book, Evie O’Neill. She’s so ambitious. She knows what she wants and she’s doing (almost) whatever is necessary to get it. That ends justify her means is also a very prevalent theme for her, so I think other Slytherins will love her as a main character.

Half Bad by Sally Green

An urban fantasy story in which we follow Nathan who is what I would call morally gray. It’s the type of story you would expect the heroic Gryffindor to lead, so I really like that Nathan is so flawed. Throughout the book he displays a high level of self-preservation and doesn’t really care about people that aren’t close to him (and that’s very few). He just wants to live his life in peace and not waste his time saving the world.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Now that we are on the topic of morally gray characters, is there anyone grayer than Kaz Brekker? He’s leaning heavily towards black in my mind but that is also his charm. In general, this duology screams Slytherin. Our group of characters has to perform the most impossible heist, and they all have different reasons for wanting to partake. Very few of those reasons are honorable but instead serve the characters’ own ambitions. Through this heist we also see some impressive leadership skills from Kaz, so he really is a true Slytherin.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

This might seem like an odd choice but hear me out. The Mistborn trilogy is a fantasy series that takes place in a world where the villain won and now everyone is miserable. A group of highly peculiar individuals are trying to overthrow him, and it is this particular group that I think Slytherins will love. They are very resourceful, and when they eventually hit a bump in the road, they use their intelligence to solve the problem. The level of ambition within the group is also astounding considering they are trying to overthrow a ruler who has held this position for a thousand years. And yes, he is also immortal. No big deal.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

A very well-known character-focused story taking place in the fantastical land of Westeros. If you want morally gray characters, this is a series for you. There are very few truly ‘good guys’ in Martin’s world because so many of them are driven by their ambitions and their need to look out for themselves first. They use every resource in their disposal to get what they want. If they aren’t resourceful, they’ll make sure to change that. If you enjoyed reading about unlikeable characters, you need to pick up A Song of Ice and Fire. I know that I found myself loving to hate these amazingly well thought out characters.

Posted in Recommendations

Hogwarts House Recommendations: Ravenclaw

“It was nearing midnight and the Prime Minister was sitting along in his office, reading a long memo that was slipping through his brain without leaving the slightest trace of meaning behind “

First line in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

I’m back with the third post in this series of Hogwarts House Recommendations. This one is about Ravenclaw. I’ve previously done posts about Gryffindor and Hufflepuff.

In case you’ve never read Harry Potter and don’t know anything about those houses with weird names, here are a few characteristics of a typical Ravenclaw:

  • Intelligent
  • Creative
  • Learning
  • Wit
  • Self-sufficient
  • Arrogant

I’ve picked out 5 books in which the main characters exhibit some of those traits. In that sense, this is a list of recommendations if you want to read books about Ravenclaws. You don’t need to be a Ravenclaw yourself. As I see it, one’s personality and one’s reading tastes don’t necessarily match in that way. But let’s get onto the books. 

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

A contemporary romance novel might not seem like the most obvious choice for a Ravenclaw recommendation. However, I believe Ravenclaw will appreciate Don Tillman’s rational and logical way of solving problems. Everything in his life is categorized and researched to give him the ideal living conditions. This means that he of course has come up with the most efficient way to find the perfect woman: The Wife Project. That is a such a Ravenclaw thing to do.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This is a retelling of The Jungle Book with a horror twist. Bod grows up in a graveyard after his entire family is murdered. He miraculously escapes, and is brought up by the ghosts of the graveyard. Bod is curious about a lot of things and actively seeks out answers to his many questions. He’s not someone who will settle for half-truths, and this craving for knowledge makes him a Ravenclaw to me. Later in the book, he also uses creativity and quick thinking to get himself out of sticky situations.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

An urban fantasy novel in which a good part of the story takes place at a school. Yes, they are learning magic, and it’s highlighted how difficult this magic is. It’s not just saying a spell and waving a wand. The magic in The Magicians is more intellectual and complicated than that, and I think a Ravenclaw would appreciate this unique twist to a magic system. Several of the characters also exhibit a definite need to learn. There is no excuse for them not to do perfect magic and let’s just say that lesser magicians are beneath them. They might sound horrible when described like that, but it’s really just confidence in the best way.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

In Radio Silence, we follow Frances whose entire life revolves around academic achievement. She’s doing everything in her power to get into the best university because that is the ultimate goal in life, right? Frances is very smart but she is also so many other things (like Ravenclaws). In this book we see her struggle with the pressure from society to “do well in school” and what that has actually done to her life.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

A fantasy story with a Ravenclaw protagonist in Kvothe. In the book, Kvothe is telling his life story to a chronicler because apparently, Kvothe is a very famous and interesting person. We just don’t know why. Throughout his life, Kvothe is shown to have an immense craving for knowledge. There’s even a university involved which he is willing to fight himself into. He also has a bit of an arrogant streak to him but he’s still very capable and able to fend for himself.

Those were the 5 recommendations for Ravenclaw. The last one missing is Slytherin so look forward to that.

Posted in Recommendations

Hogwarts House Recommendations: Hufflepuff

“The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it ‘the Riddle House,’ even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there.”

First line in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

Last week I posted my recommendations for Gryffindor and as I’m doing this alphabetically, we’ve made it to Hufflepuff. I identify as a Hufflepuff myself so I was naturally very excited for this one. In case you’ve never read Harry Potter and don’t know anything about those houses with weird names, here are a few characteristics of a typical Hufflepuff:

  • Hard working
  • Patient
  • Loyal
  • Humble
  • Benevolent
  • Not competitive
  • Too trusting

I’ve picked out 5 books in which the main characters exhibit some of those traits. In that sense, this is a list of recommendations if you want to read books about Hufflepuffs. You don’t need to be a Hufflepuff yourself. As I see it, one’s personality and one’s reading tastes don’t necessarily match in that way. But let’s get onto the books. 

The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

If you ask me to name the series with the most loyal friendships, I will forever mention The Queen’s Thief. There are so many good friendships in this one and so many of the scenes makes me want to cry from the softness. They go to great lengths to help and support each other and that is the definition of a Hufflepuff to me. Not every character is a Hufflepuff but I still think that the feeling of these books will appeal to Hufflepuffs.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I think many Hufflepuffs are wallflowers (and I mean that in a very positive way). They are observants and don’t need to be at the center of attention, which is a trait you often see at the other houses. I also think The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a Hufflepuff book because it’s a very slow character-driven story about Charlie who’s not exactly the best at anything. He doesn’t strive to be but instead focuses on his relationship with his friends.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe is probably the biggest Hufflepuff I’ve ever read about and I love her. She wasn’t born to be the heroine of any story. She’s not powerful. She’s not beautiful so she is shunned because what is she actually good for? She’s the character that wasn’t born for greatness but had to work hard to get what she wants. Throughout the book she displays a great deal of other Hufflepuff characteristics but I really think you should read it and see for yourself.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

In this case, I wouldn’t say that the main characters are Hufflepuffs, but the atmosphere of the book just gives me Hufflepuff vibes. It’s about finding yourself (and Hufflepuffs are great finders lol) and accepting who you are. And it has a fantasy element relating to books! I won’t spoil it for you but it creates a very cool setting for the characters to maneuver in. I also believe that Hufflepuffs will find the relationships between these characters very endearing. I know I did at least.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On is the rewritten Harry Potter that you didn’t know you needed. I’ll almost say you have to have read Harry Potter before reading this although it’s not a requirement of course. You just won’t get all the hilarious references. I’ve included it on this list because I often see people describing this as “if Harry Potter was a Hufflepuff” and that is just too accurate.  Simon Snow is the Chosen One but he’s very bad at it. His wand doesn’t work and he’s all kinds of unlucky, but he’s still expected to beat the bad guy. As a true Hufflepuff, Simon isn’t the best at anything, but he cares deeply for his friends (and also someone who’s not his friend yet).

I hope you found this interesting and maybe added something to your TBR. Let me know if you did or if you’ve already read some of them. The next house will be Ravenclaw so look forward to that.

Posted in Recommendations

Hogwarts House Recommendations: Gryffindor

“Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways.”

First line in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

As you probably know, this is in no way an original idea of mine. Recommending books based on people’s Hogwarts House is a very popular thing and as a true Potterhead, I need to do it. I’m starting with Gryffindor, and in case you’ve never read Harry Potter and don’t know anything about those houses with weird names, here are a few characteristics of a typical Gryffindor:

  • Bravery
  • Nerve
  • Arrogance
  • Recklessness
  • A strong urge to fight for what is right
  • Determination

I’ve picked out 5 books in which the main characters exhibit some of those traits. In that sense, this is a list of recommendations if you want to read books about Gryffindors. You don’t need to be a Gryffindor yourself. As I see it, one’s personality and one’s reading tastes don’t necessarily match in that way. But let’s get onto the books.  

All for the Game by Nora Sakavic

This is a very odd series that mixes a fictional sport called Exy with the mob. We follow Neil Josten as he joins an Exy team at Palmetto State University all while he’s on the run from some very scary people. The Exy team is really the main reason why I think this is a book fit for Gryffindor. They are willing to do whatever they can to win and that includes picking each other up and making the tough decisions. Something about the team just makes me think about the Gryffindor Quidditch team in book 3. Neil is also very protective of his teammates and is willing to sacrifice himself if he has to. That’s something a Gryffindor would do in my opinion.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

A very slow paced and atmospheric book about Vasilisa (Vasya) and her family. The story takes place in Russia in the 14th century but it’s a fantasy and therefore incorporates a lot of Russian folklore into the story. Vasya is very much a Gryffindor in my mind. She’s daring and adventurous which sometimes leads to recklessness but she manages to handle the situations. When her family is threatened, she doesn’t hesitate in her effort the save them.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea is a book about a group of refugees hoping to find safety during World War II. The group is a mix of people that didn’t know one another before the War but end up fighting together to survive bombs and difficult soldiers. There are so many Gryffindors in that group, and they portray all of the best qualities of that house. Especially one of the characters shows immense bravery to help a member of the group. It’s also a hard-hitting book with important themes and I can’t recommend it enough.

Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness

The main character of the Chaos Walking trilogy, Todd, is that perfect example of a Gryffindor who’s very brave and headstrong but seems to have left their brain at home. Well, you can’t have everything. One of the traits I really like in Todd is his determination to defend himself and not just turn the other cheek even when he should. He’s also very confident in himself which just signifies a true Gryffindor to me. The trilogy itself is one of my absolute favorites because it deals with some themes surrounding gender and also because it has the craziest villain.   

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Another book set during World War II although this is a quite popular one. We’re in Germany and follow Liesel who’s just moved in with her foster family. Throughout the book, Liesel shows many of the classic Gryffindor characteristics. She can be very determined and doesn’t back away from a challenge or a fight. Also, when her mind is set, she is willing to take risks to get what she wants. On top of that, she goes to great lengths to help her friends and family in any way she can. She’s really an amazing female protagonist.

This was actually kind of difficult. I feel like some of these books also work for other houses but I decided that Gryffindor was the best fit. I’d love to know if you agree or not if you’ve read any of them.

That was one down and three to go. I’ve decided to do these posts alphabetically so the next one will be about Hufflepuff (my own house!) so look forward to that.