Tag Archive | #DWJMarch

Wrapup: #MarchMagics 2022!

Time got away from me (clearly! XD), but it’s time to look back at the Diana Wynne Jones and Pratchett related goodness I got up to in March — and, actually, April as well!

I didn’t manage to finish up my March Magics goals during the month since I got crazy busy, so I carried on a bit of the reading in April, which was rather nice, actually. And now that I’m trying to ease back into blogging, I shall recap.

Diana Wynne Jones

  • Samantha’s Diary by Diana Wynne Jones (short story in Stories: All-New Tales, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio) — I didn’t expect much from this but ended up finding it to be a total blast! I found the book on Scribd, which was handy as I have a subscription there (referral link if anyone’s interested), and it was neat to be able to just pull up the ebook and read that one story. I don’t want to spoil anything because part of the fun is discovering what’s going on as you read through it (and my favorite quotes from it that I want to share are definitely spoilers), but it’s a Christmas story set in futuristic London and it’s hilarious. XD Recommend!

  • Everard’s Ride collection by Diana Wynne Jones
    • The True State of Affairs (novella in Everard’s Ride and also in Minor Arcana) — I was nervous about this one (and with good reason) after seeing mixed reviews on it. It was gripping and unique and far more intriguing than a story about someone trapped in a tower reasonably ought to be. But most of the characters were difficult to like, the content was far more adult than DWJ usually wrote, and I was not a fan of the ending at all! So I’m torn, because it was fascinating and extremely vivid, and a clever idea, but a lot of it just felt very bleak and then the ending sort of ruined any of the fun I had. I found out, after reading it, that DWJ wrote about the story in the introduction to the other anthology it was collected in (Minor Arcana; Everard’s Ride’s collection which I read it in, had a lovely introduction by Patricia C. Wrede!). And that in that introduction, DWJ explains the story came from an idea she had to explore another angle of an actual historical event with actual people, which actually gives away the rather meh ending right there in the introduction. So I can’t decide whether I’m glad I experienced the story without knowing the ending, or whether I would’ve braced myself for it better if I’d read that introduction before. In any case, I don’t exactly recommend it, unless one is a total completionist, but I’m glad that I did at last read it, and it was definitely fascinating and I liked aspects of it, it was just…darker and more adult than I’d like, and with a lot of unlikeable characters and a depressing ending. But now I know! XD And at least Samantha’s Diary was a fun read, so those were my last two short stories by DWJ that I had on my list to read.
    • other short stories in the collection — These were rereads, and like I thought I remembered, they are hit or miss like many short stories are for me, but definitely all vivid and gripping. My favorites are definitely No One (what an enjoyable sci-fi tale about a robot butler! And the bit about the clothes-washer with the laundry and the socks! Pure hilarious brilliance! XD) and Dragon Reserve, Home Eight which was intriguing if a little grim at times.
    • I did not actually re-read Everard’s Ride, the novella itself, as I ran out of time, but I remember enjoying it the first time, years ago, and hope to revisit it sometime.

  • The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones — (If the following wall of text is too daunting, skip to the small review at the end of this bullet list. XD) It was SO NICE rediscovering reading for fun after a long reading slump (helped by this series), and experiencing the world of Dalemark all over again. I seem to read this series every 4.5 years (not planned. XD) and I’m still all :O about a lot of the twists which still surprise me on my third read. Only Diana Wynne Jones can do that to me. XD Especially loved reading The Crown of Dalemark, which is my favorite and really ties the whole series together and is mind-blowing and brilliant! *flailing* This series is worth reading just for that book because the way it weaves together the threads of the three previously not-very connected books, and all in a mind-bending timey-wimey way? SHEER GENIUS. Not going to do super book-specific thoughts on it, so just a few general things, but the world of Dalemark is unique and I love how it combines medieval-type fantasy with beginnings of muskets and industrial revolution, while also having a prehistoric-type prequel, and then all the way to their own modern times — modern-day fantasy world is something that is tragically underused, as is time-travel in a fantasy world, and that was just incredible. Plus, following different characters and also traveling so much in each of the books (by cart, by ship at sea, by boat on river, by horse on the Green Roads). The result is this wide-ranging epic that gives a glimpse at hundreds of years of history of many different locales, while still being the story of specific people and how their stories intertwine and echo through history. The muskets and time-travel, woven in with fantasy elements of clever, subtle magic, and the occasional immortal character, was all masterfully interwoven. And the characters are all so vivid and I love so many of them so fiercely! Even ones I didn’t know I’d like at first! Mitt and Navis have to be my top favorites, I think, but Kialan and Moril and others are also fabulous. I just love them so much! There’s a slight wistfulness to the series that’s a little hard to explain — not tragic, really, though there are a few darker moments than in many of her later works, but just this almost melancholy strain of time and immortality and mortality and very real struggles of peoples and earldoms — and yet there are rolicking fun times and banter and tight-knit friendships even in spite of former enmity at times. And all with the vivid ALIVENESS that DWJ’s books often bring of characters who will throw themselves wholeheartedly into things. The ending still absolutely GETS me and leaves me jittery with OH MY GOODNESS feelings and delights and also makes me want another several chapters if not another book. As DWJ books often do. XD Anyway, it was a sheer delight returning to this series, and although it’s not one that every reader will enjoy, I’m certainly one of the readers who does, immensely. ❀ (I left a few more thoughts on the series later in the post under the Dalemark pic I posted down there.)
    • Cart and Cwidder
    • Drowned Ammet
    • The Spellcoats
    • The Crown of Dalemark
    • The small review I left on Goodreads upon finishing: I love this series a lot. It’s odd and not for everyone I suppose, but definitely a favorite of mine, particularly several of the characters, the depth of history/world, and the way each book is so different than the others but all come together masterfully in the fourth one. Flaming Ammet but it’s majestic! Three reads and I’m still catching so many new, deeper meanings and connections. It’s so complex and layered, woven together with so many threads. I’m delighted to have this collection with what I consider to be the definitive cover. *hugs book* Each time I read this series I find myself wandering around a bit dreamy like Moril, during and after reading it, lost still on Dalemark’s Green Roads of the Undying (or maybe the Wind’s Road… or the River…), following Mitt, Navis, Kialan, Wend, Moril, Tanaqui, Maewen, and the others. “Who will ride the King’s Way, the King’s Way? Who will ride the royal road and follow with the King?”

  • Films inspired by books by Diana Wynne Jones
    • Archer’s Goon — This was a super old BBC mini-series from the ’90s that I discovered a few years back and it is rather cheesy but otherwise a lot of fun just to see a neat book (Archer’s Goon — the book is better but still!) come to life on the screen in some way, remarkably true to the book in many ways. And they’re so terribly British and it’s fantastic. XD I also ended up liking Quentin’s character more on the screen than in the book, oddly. This was a fun re-watch.
    • Howl’s Moving Castle — Of course I had to re-watch this one. πŸ˜‰ I still noticed things I hadn’t caught before, even after watching it so many times! The book is still my favorite but the movie is just so relaxing and cozy and it makes me happy in its own separate way! It was a treat to revisit during March Magics. ^_^ And the music and scenery! And Howl. And just all of it!

Terry Pratchett

  • Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett — This was quite unique and I enjoyed listening to the audiobook! I still think the first Tiffany Aching book (The Wee Free Men) is my favorite in this Discworld subseries, but I did like this one more than the second one I think. The concept was fascinating, at least. But mostly, I’m here for the Feegles and their hilarious dialogue and delightful Scottish accents. XD I feel like there was a bit more of them in the first which may be why I loved that more, but this was a fun time and, like I said, unique, with sentient winter and so on. ALSO THIS IS RANDOM BUT I ADORED THE MUSIC FOR THE SECTION BREAKS IN THE AUDIOBOOK VERSION. *cries* The music was just so lovely and whimsical and enchanting and SNOW LIKE and I adored it despite how brief those clips were and could’ve listened to it forever. Ahem. Carry on. This wasn’t, by the way, on my original list of things I wanted to read in March! But I ended up needing an audiobook to listen to and picked this one on Scribd and had a blast. πŸ™‚
  • The Color of Magic (film) — This TV movie was a blast! I enjoy the fact that there are a few Discworld film adaptions out there and this one was a lot of fun. I haven’t actually read the books it’s based on (The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic) yet (I know! I’m a bad bookworm!) but I wanted something new to watch for March Magics and this one was a nice one to try. I’m also fairly certain there was a Po-ta-toes reference since it has Sean Astin in it. XD It was…odd — unsurprisingly, because Discworld — but a lot of fun and I definitely enjoyed myself. πŸ™‚ Still prefer Going Postal, but still!
  • I did not actually manage to read a City Watch book! I can’t believe I did this AGAIN where I planned to and got distracted with a different series, but apparently Pratchetts are just unexpected. XD I will definitely work on the City Watch series again at some point, but I enjoyed Wintersmith and it was just a more convenient format (audiobook) since my physical reading was very focused on Dalemark. I’m sure Sam Vimes will wait patiently until I can get to his next book, hopefully sooner rather than later.


I wanted to collect some favorite quotes as I read, but I’m afraid the only ones I did it for before being too absorbed in the stories to actually try, was Cart and Cwidder, The Spellcoats, and Samantha’s Diary. The latter of which, the quotes are spoilers. XD

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones.

  • You had to stand up and come straight out with it. β€œThis is true,” you had to say. β€œThis is the truth. And, though I may not get it over very well, it just is.” And it was horribly difficult to do.
  • The thing about Kialan, he thought as he raced for the cart, was that he had brains.
  • That kind of dream was not true. There were true dreams, but they had to be part of life as well, just as life, to be good, had to embody dreams, or a good song had to have an idea to it.
  • If you stood up and told the truth in the wrong way, it was not true any longer, though it might be as powerful as ever.
  • When he sang, you forgot it was Hestefan singing and thought only of the song. Moril was impressed. Then Hestefan told a story. It was one Moril did not know. And while Hestefan was telling it, he found he forgot who was telling it and simply lived in the story. Moril realized he still had a lot to learn.
  • Everyone had to do things their own way.

And from The Spellcoats:

“These,” Hern said, “are the bodies of two kings. They were killed in senseless hatred, when both had lost nearly all they had. Someone is coming up the River who knows of this, and it pleases him very much. This will make it easy for him to suck out our souls, and the soul of this land, and rule us as his slaves.”

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones

β€œAnd you call yourself a god!”
Tanamil fetched himself up onto one elbow and said, very earnestly, a very strange thing. “I never called myself that,” he said. “Neither I nor any of the Undying ever made that claim. It is a claim men made for us, and that is how we came to be bound.”

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones

β€œMallard, can you make nets?”
“I made the best nets in Shelling,” Duck said. Nothing will ever make Duck modest, but he does make good nets.

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones

And from The Crown of Dalemark, because I had to. XD (This was a quote that was so vivid, it rattled around in my brain for years after reading it but I’d forgotten where it was from so when I re-discovered it on a re-read it was like a massive lightbulb moment of OH THAT’S WHERE THAT QUOTE WAS FROM!)

“All these years I thought [*massive spoiler*]”
“Of all the idiots!” Mitt answered. “There were several hundred people you could have asked!”

The Crown of Dalemark

Pics and Posts

  • I had posted a few #MarchMagics pics on Instagram during the month, a couple of which were also in my March Magics plans blog post.
  • It was my 11-year anniversary of reading Howl’s Moving Castle for the first time and I celebrated with this photo of my HMC editions!

  • And this photo went up in April when I was still reading The Crown of Dalemark. This is one of my favorite books I own! Look at that purple! The sword! The cup! It’s a UK edition I found at Half Price Books once and it’s gorgeous. The Dalemark Quartet anthology with all four books in it, also in the photo, is the definitive version for me though. I love that it has the four main characters from the four books on the cover and it’s so THEM! (Moril with his cwidder, Tanaqui with her bushy hair and rug-coat, Mitt looking slightly shifty/sulky. XD And Maewen with her horse.) Also, the fact that the books are all in one volume like that and I can flip to the end to reference the awesome Guide to Dalemark which has names and places and extra tidbits of history and current/future events. It’s so cool!

And that’s it on my March Magics adventures, extending into April as well. So, so grateful to Kristen M. at We Be Reading for hosting this last hurrah and for creating this celebration in the first place! It’s been a lovely, lovely time.

Even if there aren’t official March Magics in the future (unless somebody else takes over hosting!), I may still revisit DWJ and/or Pratchett in future Marches… we’ll see.

Meantime, this one was an absolutely lovely time and was a highlight of my spring. ^_^

Whew! A virtual cupcake for anyone who read that!

Thanks for reading my wrapup! And let me know in a comment if you’ve read/watched any of these, or any Pratchett or Diana Wynne Jones books recently!


March Magics 2023

I love March. It’s the beginning of spring . . . it’s my birthday month . . . and for the last several years it’s been March Magics, a celebration of the works of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett.

DWJ being one of my top-favorite authors (alongside J.R.R. Tolkien), of course this brings me great joy, and I enjoy indulging in a Pratchett from time to time as well.

So March has long been a great excuse to hang out in some whimsical and wacky books filled with humor and imaginative fantasy.

This March is the last March Magics to be hosted by Kristen M. @ We Be Reading, who started this delightful event first as DWJ March and later as March Magics, and I’m sooo grateful for the delight this event has brought me over the years. Looking forward to one last hurrah. (And if someone else carries on the torch, I certainly wouldn’t complain . . .)


My March-ish plans.


  • Diana Wynne Jones short story/stories — After figuring I’d read all of DWJ’s stuff (aside from her impossible-to-find first novel and misc. plays/poetry/essays that I can’t really track down), I was delighted to find (while combing through the handy list of her works on Wikipedia) a short story or two that I’d yet to read. And I was even more delighted to track ’em down. One’s in an anthology with some other authors so…I’ll just check out DWJ’s entry. The other is in (I believe) just two anthologies of DWJ stories, namely Minor Arcana (which I don’t have, but have the rest of the stories in a different anthology) and Everard’s Ride. I tracked down a copy of Everard’s Ride (thank you, Ebay!) and I’m so excited. It has the titular novella (which I have read before) and some short stories, as well as a long short story or short novella called The True State of Affairs which is said story I haven’t read. SO. All that long backstory to say I intend to read that and another short story and I’m excited to read these new-to-me DWJ stories (even if her short stories can sometimes be hit or miss…but I’m certainly curious to try!). I may just go ahead and read the entire Everard’s Ride collection because it’s so pretty . . .
  • The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones (re-read) — I’ve been meaning to reread this series for AGES so I’m super excited to have it planned as my main DWJ read this month. Consisting of Cart and Cwidder, Drowned Ammet, The Spellcoats, and The Crown of Dalemark, I have a lovely edition collecting all of them together and I’m sooo looking forward to diving in.
  • Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett (City Watch #3) — I’ve been working on various sub-series of the Discworld books, and since last year I read (er…listened to) the Moist von Lipwig books, and had finished the Death series before that, it’s now time to get back to the City Watch series which is special because, I mean, it has Commander Vimes in it, and also because Guards! Guards! was my very first Pratchett (read for my very first March Magics!).


A couple of short stories, the Dalemark series, and one Pratchett book are my official TBR, because I need to have something concrete.

I also know that I’m usually wayyyy too overambitious with my March Magics lists and I just don’t always read very much in general, especially when life is busy. (*sighs at Life* Rude…)


I wanted to make a secondary list because I couldn’t resist the idea of stacking more pretties and having possible continuing options to pick and choose from, depending on my mood at the time, if I manage to finish the above “official” TBR.

  • Chrestomanci series (Diana Wynne Jones) — I have been craving a re-read of this series for AGES now, but wasn’t quite ambitious enough to aim for all of them this month. But I would love to pick up one or two if I have the time. Because Chrestomanci! And I put considerable effort into collecting these gorgeous editions so they are patiently awaiting whenever I find time for a re-read. I’m excited.
  • City Watch continued (Terry Pratchett) — If I read Feet of Clay, I’d love to make more progress on this series! I don’t want to be too ambitious because I likely won’t have much reading time, but I’d love to read more Vimes books if I can.
  • Pratchett audiobooks — This is entirely dependent on circumstances and if I have time/opportunity, but I’m eyeing a few Pratchett audiobooks on Scribd, and I may pick one up if I can manage the time to listen! It would either be the next Tiffany Aching or maybe a standalone. (I keep almost trying some DWJ audiobooks on Scribd but I just . . . haven’t been able to make myself do it. I have specific “voices” for all the characters from having read the books and I just don’t feel like listening to an audio version that wouldn’t match up. The one exception I made was for HMC for the novelty of it.)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle or others in the series (Diana Wynne Jones) — I re-read HMC most years so I wouldn’t be mad if I picked it up for another re-read, but I also know that I’ll likely pick it up later in the year if I don’t get to it now. But I’ve definitely been in the mood for this series lately and it would be lovely to try out the pretty hardcovers of HMC and House of Many Ways that I picked up — again, thank you Ebay deals. Maybe one of these days I’ll get my hands on a Castle in the Air hardcover Folio Society edition . . . One day . . . *dreams*


  • I’d like to check out another Pratchett film since those have been interesting in past years, so I’m planning on The Color of Magic.
  • I mean . . . I often re-watch Howl’s Moving Castle so I may do that. We shall see. XD


I couldn’t resist including this photo I snapped while prepping this post that looks like my cat cackling. XD She’s named Callette, after a griffin from Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones, so she feels like an appropriate addition to this post. Just imagine me cackling gleefully like that at the thought of all the March Magics things! XD

  • I have an idea for a Howl’s-Moving-Castle related blog post and I haven’t managed to post that any of the previous years soooo here’s hoping I can finally do it. XD (It may end up posting on my other blog, due to the topic, though.) It would coincide nicely with my 11-year anniversary of reading HMC for the first time . . . The fact I was going to post it for my 8th anniversary of HMC says something about a trait I sadly share with Howl, a.k.a. being a slitherer-outer. πŸ˜›
  • I’m planning a giveaway for a neat Howl-themed sticker by Beth Wangler Art, so stay tuned for that!
  • I also was going to post a handful of pics on my Instagram, hopefully, but as one of them is to be a DWJ “shelfie” pic of my collection, I figured I’d post that here today!

DWJ Collection Shelfie

Top Shelf: Dark Lord of Derkholm, Year of the Griffin, Fire and Hemlock, The Homeward Bounders, The Merlin Conspiracy, Reflections, Howl’s Moving Castle, House of Many Ways, Stopping for a Spell, Witch’s Business, The Ogre Downstairs, Aunt Maria, Archer’s Goon, Howl’s Moving Castle (2), Castle in the Air, House of Many Ways (2), Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Witch Week, The Magicians of Caprona, Conrad’s Fate, The Pinhoe Egg, Mixed Magics, Howl’s Moving Castle (3), The Crown of Dalemark, Charmed Life (2), Howl’s Moving Castle (4; yes, I have 4 editions of HMC. XD)
Bottom shelf: “Yes, Dear”, Everard’s Ride, The Islands of Chaldea, Deep Secret (2 copies), The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, A Tale of Time City, Eight Days of Luke, Power of Three, Enchanted Glass, Wild Robert, The Skiver’s Guide, Puss in Boots, The Game, Earwig and the Witch, A Sudden Wild Magic, Unexpected Magic, Hexwood, Dogsbody, The Time of the Ghost.
Stack (all extras): The Crown of Dalemark, The Pinhoe Egg, House of Many Ways, The Spellcoats, Castle in the Air, The Merlin Conspiracy, Mixed Magics (x2), Charmed Life (x3).

I’ve been collecting DWJ books for quite awhile now and I’m quite fond of my li’l collection! ^_^ I have pretty much all her books and have been tracking down some specific editions. (The little stack in the lower right corner of the shelfie collection are extra editions that I’ve ended up with that I don’t intend to keep, long-term, and may end up selling. [In fact, if one of the books in that stack interests you, let me know. :)])

There we are!

And we’ve made it to the end of the post. Huzzah!

Are there any DWJ or Pratchett fans among the audience? *peers at readers* Are you doing anything for March Magics? Any thoughts about my hopeful plans? Let me know in the comments!

Wrapup: #MarchMagics 2022

March has wended its way to the end so it’s time to see how my #MarchMagics went . . .

It was an excellent one! Books were read, re-read, and listened to, a film was watched, pictures were taken, and I even had a Howl’s-Moving-Castle-ish birthday!

(Thanks as always to Kristen at WeBeReading for hosting March Magics, a celebration of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett!)


(Yes, my new adorable otter stamps had to feature in this pic because of Going Postal.)

In my March Magics post with my TBR for the month I mentioned what I hoped to read, so . . . how did it go?

Fairly well, I’d say!

The themes for my reading this month turned out to be Moist von Lipwig for the Pratchett books, and the Magids for Diana Wynne Jones books. Two of each!

  • Going Postal (Terry Pratchett) — This was SO MUCH FUN and I will never look at stamps the same way again. Moist von Lipwig is a delightful con-artist of a hero and I really enjoyed his POV. His parts facing off against Lord Vetinari are the BEST. Their back-and-forth of wits is excellent. XD I generally had a blast with this one and I’m so glad I finally read it! Definitely a new favorite Discworld book.
  • Making Money (Terry Pratchett) — I had planned to read a different Pratchett but instead dived straight into this sequel to Going Postal because it was on audio and I wasn’t ready to leave Moist behind yet. It wasn’t quite as fun as the first one but was still mostly enjoyable, and again, all the Moist and Vetinari parts were gold, no pun intended. XD
  • Deep Secret (Diana Wynne Jones) — This was a reread which I THOROUGHLY enjoyed! It was back in 2016 that I first read this one, and it was delightful to rediscover! Multiple worlds, centaurs, a fantasy convention, and several delightful characters. I loved it so much and it was my first “for-fun” read (not counting audiobooks) in quite awhile and I just SO enjoyed getting to curl up with a wonderful book and look forward to each night of reading. ^_^ (Yes, it’s a pretty dark one in several respects, but aside from that it’s excellent!)
  • The Merlin Conspiracy (Diana Wynne Jones) — So I’m not quite sure if I’m allowed to list this one, but I’m about a third done my re-read so I guess I’ll include it. πŸ˜‰ I had no idea I’d forgotten so much of this one from my first read several years back, so I’m having a blast re-discovering it! Different worlds and Nick and Roddy and all the things. I’m looking forward to finishing this re-read soon (especially to get to the elephant and more of Romanov!!), but I did make a fair bit of progress on it!

I listened to Going Postal and Making Money in audiobook format on Scribd and had a blast! (If you’re interested, you can sign up for two free months on this audiobook subscription site through my link which gets me a free month as well.)


I haven’t FINISHED The Merlin Conspiracy but I’ll do that soon. A re-read of the two Magid books (Deep Secret and The Merlin Conspiracy) has been something I’ve been meaning to do for years so I’m so pleased to have finally gotten to (most of) it!)

I also did not manage to read Feet of Clay, sadly, which was on my TBR, but I did read two Pratchett books which was my goal (even if one of them wasn’t planned) so I’ll just have to read this one another time! I do really want to read more Vimes books, for sure, but I guess this month was a Moist von Lipwig month. XD (I also need to get my hands on the third Moist book at some point.)


Going Postal (2010) — After I read Going Postal, I had a blast watching this TV adaption of it. (Just two 90-minute episodes which I watched on IMDB TV/my Amazon for free.) At first it seemed like a pretty good adaption, but still felt rather different than the book in tone and some of the characters/plot ended up a bit different, plus it was less funny… I definitely preferred the book BUT it was still still very well done and enjoyable, and such fun just to see it brought to life on the screen!


I posted a few pics related to March Magics over on my Instagram this last month. Here are some.

I posted about House of Many Ways and a book that reminds me of it because of Twinkle. XD
My Diana Wynne Jones collection!

I think I’ve finally collected all of DWJ’s books (with the exception of some short stories, plays, her first basically-unattainable novel Changeover, none of which I’ve read, and the picture book Yes, Dear, which I HAVE read from a library but haven’t collected yet).

The top shelf and beginning of the second shelf are the main collection, and the rest of the books (after the facing-out Howl book) are other editions/copies.

You can see close-ups for the titles in my Instagram post here, and you can also see a video I posted of said shelf tour here!

A Very Howl Birthday

(An English Cream Cake my sister made me for my birthday)

My sister made me a Howl-themed birthday celebration during March! Bacon (“I hope your bacon burns!” XD) and eggs for breakfast. An amazing homemade English Cream Cake because of the cream cake from Cesari’s in the book. She said the chocolate I received could stand for logs for Calcifer. It wasn’t part of the theme on purpose, but a green shamrock shake which was minty and delicious could have been for green slime (in a good way)! XD I even had a minor cold for my actual birthday (and celebrated later) so that was a very Howl thing, the parts in the book where he’s “having a head cold like a drama queen,” as his author said, being some of my favorite parts. XD So of course I had to re-read those bits for my birthday in solidarity. πŸ˜‰

Isn’t this Howl’s Moving Castle “I think we ought to live happily ever after” sticker by Beth Wangler Art amazing? I think it’s adorable! (You can find prints and stickers of this art in her shop or her Etsy!)

All in all, this March Magics was a delight and I thoroughly enjoyed the reading, listening, watching, photographing, cake-ing, and celebrating that I did for Diana Wynne Jones-y and Pratchett-y things! ^_^

In that respect, and for me at least, March was, indeed, Magical. ❀

#MarchMagics 2022 TBR

Happy March! (Well, tomorrow . . .)

Every year since discovering it, I love joining the blog event #MarchMagics (hosted by Kristen at We Be Reading) to celebrate the works of Diana Wynne Jones (one of my favorite authors!) and of Terry Pratchett.

I have a whole DWJ page here on my blog, so . . . yeah. πŸ˜‰

This March is particularly special for me, since it will mark ten years since I read my very first Diana Wynne Jones novel, Howl’s Moving Castle. Reading it specifically in March was a coincidence, too, since I wasn’t even blogging at the time, but I do find it to be excessively fitting.

Anyway, if I find the time, perhaps I shall do a Howl-type post later this month to commemorate a decade of being a Diana Wynne Jones fan. πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile! The point of this post. My TBR for March Magics this year.

Last year, I finished my final new-to-me DWJ books (aside from some possible short stories, plays, and her first book which isn’t children’s fantasy and is virtually impossible to find; ANYWAY), an accomplished but bittersweet feeling, which leaves me with just re-reads for her books. But re-reads are always a DELIGHT with her books!

So here we are in March and my TBR is . . .

  • Deep SecretRe-read. One of DWJ’s darker, more adult novels, this one was nevertheless a fascinating read and it’s one I’ve been meaning to re-read for awhile, particularly because of the world-hopping aspects. (Call it “research” for one of my own WIPs.) So I’m looking forward to this one! And I at last have a gorgeous copy of my own, so. Also, centaurs!
  • The Merlin Conspiracy Re-read. The companion novel to Deep Secret, this is the second of the “Magids” books but is extremely different than the first book. I remember finding it great fun, and loving the elephant and Romanov the enchanter and so forth. I can’t wait. *grin*
  • Feet of Clay — I’m working on Pratchett’s City Watch sub-series of the Discworld series, so this one is the next. Because I need more Vimes. XD Guards! Guards! was the first book I read of Pratchett’s, for my very first March Magics, and I read the second book last March, so this third one feels quite fitting.
  • Going Postal — Along with Guards! Guards!, I remember this one being recommended to me by Sarah Pennington (check out her fabulous blogs here and here), and I’ve been determined to read it ever since. It sounds like a blast. So I’m hoping this is the year! I actually hope to listen to it on audiobook, since Scribd has this one available!*

*Scribd is an audiobook (and ebook) subscription site which I ADORE because audiobooks let me read while getting other stuff done, and the monthly cost isn’t terrible.

If you enjoy audiobooks and haven’t checked out Scribd, you can get two free months by using my link and I’d get a free month too.

So! That’s my official March Magics TBR.

Two DWJ re-reads. Two Pratchett new reads.

Four books.

If I can get through those, I might pick up another audiobook or two on Scribd if I have more time . . . And I’ve been itching to re-read the Dalemark Quartet and the last two Chrestomanci books, so . . . those are possible followups. But I do seem to overestimate how much I’ll be able to read, so I’m keeping the official list to four, for my own sanity. *nervous laughter*

I’m QUITE excited for these two new-to-me Pratchetts and this Diana Wynne Jones double re-read. Hurrah for March Magics!

I’m also hoping to post a bit for #MarchMagics on my Instagram but haven’t planned my month out yet so here’s hoping . . .

Let me know in a comment if you’ve read any of these! And if you’re participating by reading any Diana Wynne Jones or Pratchett books this month! πŸ™‚

#MarchMagics Wrapup 2021

Just a quick wrapup post, revisiting the Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett adventures I got up to this last month for March Magics! (Hosted by WeBeReading)


  • A re-watch of Howl’s Moving Castle (because why not!) — The book is still my favorite, but the film is so cozy and fun and I love it too. It makes me smile, and this time was no exception. It’s also interesting watching it again now that I’ve been watching some other Ghibli films, which was not the case last year!
  • Witch’s Business (a.k.a. Wilkin’s Tooth) by Diana Wynne Jones — I guess this was her earliest children’s book? It kind of shows and was a little different but I enjoyed it, particularly the shenanigans about halfway through when I started getting used to the adventure (as usually happens. XD), and the nods to Puss in Boots which must have been a favorite of hers, since she once wrote a retelling of it and also referenced it for the finale. *grin, grin* Don’t start a revenge business — it won’t go well. XD (Particularly when there’s a mean witch trying to stop you.) Anyway, it has the signature DWJ twistiness and shenanigans and was a bit of a shorter read but I enjoyed it. Reminded me a little of Eight Days of Luke.
  • The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones — This was my last DWJ to read that I’d never read before, so it was a bittersweet moment… Some of it was creepier than I prefer, and knowing some things about her childhood made other parts rather disturbing (as I suspected they would) but the mystery was sooo interesting and I was on the edge of my seat wanting to find out what was going on. There were so many fascinating twists, which I adored discovering. The title, like I vaguely suspected, is slightly misleading. Bwahaha. And I was delighted by certain time-related things! Anyway, certainly darker than many of her books, and I can’t say I particularly recommend it (unless, like me, you’ve read pretty much all her books and are used to the strangeness and want to give it a shot), but I’m glad I finally read it. (PLUS, what was with that barrow bit near the end, which I vaguely feel was a Hexwood or Arthurian reference or something??) Some things reminded me of Fire and Hemlock, too.
  • Men At Arms by Terry Pratchett — Since Guards! Guards! was my very first Discworld novel, it was delightful to come back to this Night Watch subseries. I usually find that in Pratchetts there’s a subplot or character that I just don’t care much about, and this was no exception (plus, there was a death I didn’t see coming and like…I was a little annoyed), BUT aside from a couple of things I disliked and threads I didn’t care about, I did really enjoy this one! Vimes is amazing and Carrot and Vetinari are certainly iiinteresting and there were some fascinating goings-on! There were clever bits and hilarious bits and surprisingly epic bits, and I for some reason wasn’t expecting much so overall I had a blast. Not one to start on, but anyway. I think I missed the Night Watch! Here’s hoping I continue the series. (VIMES, though! All of the Vimes parts were gold.)

I’d say these were two of my less-favorite Diana Wynne Jones books, but I expected that as I’ve been reading the ones that interested me more, so naturally the last two I picked up would be less-favorites. But I always find things to like in a DWJ, even the scarier ones. XD

I’ve finally finished reading all her books, so I feel somewhat accomplished! (Her adult novel Changeover is practically impossible to find, and I may have missed a scattering of little things like short stories. But otherwise, I’ve read all her books now at last.)

And March is always my Pratchett month, and I was happy to get back to the Night Watch, even if it wasn’t my favorite aside from Vimes and Certain Epic Things.

And I’ll take any excuse to re-watch Howl’s Moving Castle — or to re-read the book (though I’m saving that for sometime when I need a comfort read, since I do tend to read it every year).

But look at me, complaining! *smacks self* These were all minor complaints and I did really enjoy getting the chance to read some Jones and Pratchett and overall had a blast! So yes, it was a good March Magics, overall, I’d say!


Other March Magics posts I made this month:


I also posted a shelfie pic of my DWJ collection over on Instagram. My current collection!


I did not find the time, in my busy March, to re-read the Magid duology (Deep Secret and The Merlin Conspiracy), which I’m sliiightly disappointed about.

Nor did I find time to finish reading Wintersmith, which I did, however, manage to at least start.

All the same, it was a lovely March Magics! I enjoyed the adventures I was able to go on. ^_^

Did you read any Diana Wynne Jones or Terry Pratchett in March? Let me know in a comment! Thanks for reading!

March Magics 2020: Wrapup!

As the month comes to a close, so does another March Magics, and I had a lovely time celebrating Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett. ^_^ Thanks, as always, to We Be Reading for hosting!

Here’s a recap of my March Magics!

Books I Read

  • The Islands of Chaldea (Diana Wynne Jones + Ursula Jones) — This was one of the last of DWJ’s books that I’d been saving up to read . . . I only have a few left, which is sad, but I was happy that I finally read this! It was published posthumously, finished by her sister Ursula (I’m so curious where she picked up and where Diana left off!), and felt like a sort of tribute to the British Isles — in an alternate fantasy world, of course. πŸ˜‰ It was delightful and I loved all the islands and characters and creatures and magical shenanigans and the hot air balloon! So much fun. ^_^
  • Thief of Time (Terry Pratchett) — I had an absolute blast with this! I finally finished this arc of Discworld. I accidentally saw a HUGE spoiler in a review on Goodreads when I was about half done, so… I’m curious how I would have reacted to that if I hadn’t been spoiled, but… regardless, I just really enjoyed nearly everything about this besides the Auditors, but who likes them. XD Death wasn’t in it much, but still. Susan and Lobsang are my fave! And all the time stuff!
  • A Hat Full of Sky (Terry Pratchett) — The Nac Mac Feegles! XD They’re my absolute favorite thing in this. So many good moments! I wish they’d been in it more, and I still love The Wee Free Men more, but ’twas quite enjoyable. I wasn’t sure at first, but things turned out better than I thought, and despite the stress it was nice to see Tiffany Aching growing some, and like I said, it wrapped up well. Also, Rob Anybody attacking Death’s face. XD And when Rob refuses a drink and Jeannie thinks he’s dead. “He’s deid and still talkin’!” XD The Feegles! They’re just so hilarious!
  • Fire and Hemlock (Diana Wynne Jones) — This was my re-read for the month, and it was GLORIOUS! I’ve been meaning to re-read it ever since 2016 as soon as I finished it the first time, so I’m really happy I was able to, finally! I picked up on so many more things now that I knew most of what was going on, and rediscovered some things I’d forgotten too. I love all of it. Polly growing up, and TOM LYNN IS MY FAVE, and all the books and how they tie into things (genius), and Polly and Tom writing stories, and being heroes, and Tam Lin things, and all the subtle magic and mysteries and secrets creeping under the surface. Absolutely fascinating. I got the ending a bit better this time too. And Tom! Just fabulous. Definitely one of my favorite of DWJ’s! (You can still read my original review if you like — one of the first reviews I posted on this blog!)


  • Howl’s Moving Castle — I did re-watch the Studio Ghibli film and had a blast! It had been awhile since I’d seen it, and I’d sort of forgotten about a few parts, so that was extra fun. I still love the book best, but I find I can still enjoy the movie as a separate entity! I still find it hilarious how nice the characters are in the film, unlike in the book. XD Normally it’s the opposite. πŸ˜› But it’s still gorgeous and whimsical and strange and beautiful, and despite their book counterparts being my favorite, I do still have a soft spot for movie Howl, Sophie, Calcifer and Michael/Markle. And you have to love Howl being voiced by Batman. πŸ˜‰ It’s so strange how movie-Howl is SO NICE but I love him in his way. And the green slime scene is a bit more like his bookish self. XD Anyway, I had so much fun revisiting this movie. ^_^


(Just a glimpse at some of my #MarchMagics posts on Instagram!)

I posted about my entire current DWJ collection throughout the month, and a couple of Pratchetts too, and I had a BLAST.

If you’d like to check out my photos and thoughts about any of the books, you can do that here.

I posted every day in March on Instagram! A few pics weren’t for March Magics, buuut most of them were. πŸ˜‰

Giveaway Winner

Congrats to Sarah Pennington, the winner of my giveaway for Mixed Magics by Diana Wynne Jones! The winner has been contacted. Thanks to those who entered! ^_^


  • March Magics 2020 plans — Featuring my plans for the month. I did not get to one or two other posts I had in mind, or to re-reading Deep Secret, but everything else went off superbly, and I’m so happy with what managed to do!
  • My Diana Wynne Jones Journey (Part 2) — I finally posted a list of all the DWJ books I’ve read since my first DWJ Journey post four years ago! So happy that I got that one up. ^_^ It was a delight getting to look back at them and reminisce.

And that’s it! I had a smashing March Magics and I hope you guys enjoyed this little wrapup. ^_^

Did anyone else participate? Any DWJ or Pratchetts you particularly enjoyed — either this month, or just in general?

Thanks for reading!