Books

Book 574: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) – J.K. Rowling

I wish I knew what took me over a month to write my response to this book. I’ve read it at least 10 times, if not more. I’m 95% certain not writing my response is non-book related and totally real world/job/life related, but there’s still that little bit that every time I re-read this series (and blog about it twice now) it could be the last time I read it. I didn’t realize it had been SIX years since my last read. It doesn’t feel that long!

Similar to all of my other re-reads of the series, I found myself focusing on different things. For some reason I got super stuck on the history of magic and how Hogwarts was founded in 990 A.D. and is somewhere in on a loch in Scotland and yet Scotland and England were basically at war (Wikipedia) from the mid-900s to the late-1500s give or take a few years and a few quiet periods and even today are jostling for independence! How did the magical communities work around this, were they impervious to it?

Continue reading “Book 574: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) – J.K. Rowling”

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Books

Book 573: The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories – Susanna Clarke

Susanna Clarke is one of those others where readers have to ask what in the hell is she doing that she can’t publish another wonderful book like her masterpiece Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell? She’s in the same line of George R.R. Martin (for pretty much the whole world) and Jamie O’Neill for me. Each of these authors have written works that have profound affects on individuals/societies and then sort of wander off and do other things or seem to disappear completely in O’Neill’s case.

Continue reading “Book 573: The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories – Susanna Clarke”

Books

Book 569: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) – J.K. Rowling

This book more than the first four has changed more than any of the others re-reading it this time. I’m not sure what it is that clicked for me, but it wasn’t as much of a slog and I wasn’t as annoyed with Harry as I was every other time I read this book. I did find that the books have merged more and more into one continuous story now and as I re-read them it jogs my memory back into place but everything after the book I’m reading is a bit mixed up.

For some reason it took just until this re-read that I realized that a good portion of why Harry is so angry is not just his teenage angst, but also probably Voldemort’s anger coming through Harry. I mean Harry thwarted Voldermort’s plans of returning completely in secret and there wasn’t a lot going right for Voldemort in the four years prior to this. So Harry’s teenage angst plus Voldemort’s anger equals whiny little git.

Continue reading “Book 569: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) – J.K. Rowling”

Books

Book 568: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) – J.K. Rowling

The primary reason I will always advocate this book series over the films is the amount of detail Rowling includes to flesh out her characters and her stories. From the minor characters that aren’t even mentioned in the films to the side adventures Harry, Ron and Hermione take somewhat regularly you’re missing out on so much if you’ve never read the books.

And the text books and books Hermione reads! OMG, so many are just throw away lines and titles but what I wouldn’t give to read An Appraisal of Magical Education in Europe or Hogwarts: A History or any of the others that are mentioned! I actually got super excited that she’d released Hogwarts: A History, but it’s actually Harry Potter: A History of Magic (Pottermore link). I guess I can’t really be mad, but fingers crossed it’s next!

Continue reading “Book 568: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) – J.K. Rowling”

Books

Book 567: Mary B – Katherine Chen

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this one. I’m always open for a bit of Austen fan-fiction so when someone from the publisher reached out to me about this one I figured why not?*

I’m not one of those who is obsessed with any particular character of Jane Austen’s like the author. I love the broad strokes of her stories and the general caricatures and stereotypes she works in across all her work. So when the fan-fiction gets super specific, like this one, I’m never quite sure what will come out of it. Will I enjoy this authors take on the character? Will they stay true to not only Austen’s works but the generally accepted views of the character? Will it be enjoyable and readable?

Continue reading “Book 567: Mary B – Katherine Chen”

Books

Book 566: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) – J.K. Rowling

This re-read, like each one before it, is about what I noticed more this time than I did the other times I’ve read the books. The older I get the more my perspective changes and the more I’m like oh yeah that makes sense from an adult perspective but then I’m also like OMG WHY IS NO ONE PROTECTING THESE CHILDREN? That and of course how young Harry, Ron, and Hermione (who are 13ish in this book, and all the other teenagers that end up fighting Voldemort)! It’s crazy.

Even more than those two things above, the thing that got me reading this book was how lackadaisical the wizarding parents seemed in this book. Sure it gets worse in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

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Updates

July Recap 2018

We are done traveling (long haul at least) for the summer! I know most people would not be as excited about this as I am, but it is exhausting.

I put a photo recap down below under books and bookish things because most everything we saw was connected to books, except for my friend’s wedding. We drove over 24 hours in total while we were visiting and it was awesome because we saw parts of the country I’ve never seen except by train or plane. The above photo is our full trip with a photo of our northern post point Ben A’an and our southern most point Brighton.

We did so many bookish things that I’ll just include a slide show below and put a caption explaining what they are rather than write them all out. We didn’t even set out to do that many it just happened (mostly because Tim told me this was our last trip to the UK for some time). Continue reading “July Recap 2018”