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”

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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!

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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.

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

Books

Book 564: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) – J.K. Rowling

I finally caved and bought digital copies for my kindle. It’s good because it’ll allow me to read them when I travel if I have nothing else to read. And it’s also good because it means I’ll get rid of my “reading” copies bringing my total number owned down by seven, which I know Tim will appreciate 🙂

I’ve read this countless times and have already posted one response to this back in July 2012. I don’t recall loving this one when I first read it, but I also didn’t have that strong of an antipathy for it either. It carries the story forward in a way that works and I appreciate that. What I do notice more and more the older I get and the more-often I read the books is I find so many hints that Rowling dropped for the later novels.

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Books

Book 562: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) – J.K. Rowling

I think the strangest part about re-reading this is what I notice now as a 33-year-old. The things I notice now are vastly different from when I read it last in my twenties, almost exactly six years ago, and any time I read it prior to that.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read this book or this series. Low-balling it I know for a fact I’ve read this particular book at least 10 times. I read it each time a new book in the series was released and I’ve read it at least three times since I’ve lived in Boston. And one of those was in Spanish!

There were two things that really got me when I read the book this time. There was a third one that caught me off guard when I read it and may completely change my re-read of the series this time through the lens it brought into focus.

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Books

Book 539: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) – Mackenzie Lee

After seeing this over and over being the darling of the book blogosphere and reading the rave reviews of it I figured I should check it out. I read a lot of LGBT literature, a lot of young adult literature, and quite a bit of adventure literature so I thought why not. And although I wasn’t completely disappointed, I was genuinely underwhelmed and for once it wasn’t the mood I was in. I’ll start with the not-so-great and finish with what I enjoyed.

I’m a finicky reader at best and have curated a pretty good system of choosing the books I read, including taking into account books that fellow bloggers who have similar tastes to me read, but this one just didn’t click for me quite like others have. I kept to my usual style of not reading anything about the author or the book after I decided I want to read it. [Generally I get excited about a book/author and purchase/reserve something by them and then I let it sit for a while so that I can clear my palate.]

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Books

Book 533: Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

This is one of those books that has been on my metal list to look into since it came out. For some reason though, I had lumped it into the same sort of release period as Ender’s Game and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and boy was I surprised when I realized it was written and released in 2011. I knew I would get to the book some day, but the movie release in the next few months, preview embedded at the end of the post, my desire to read the book increased dramatically.

I didn’t read it quite as fast as I read some of the recent Jane Austen fan-fiction, but I did get through this one pretty quickly. I found the writing simple enough to breeze through and my vague familiarity with a lot of the 1980s pop culture helped (even if I did have to google quite a few). The strengths, for me at least, were the realistic vision of where we could easily end up as a society within the next few decades if something similar to OASIS actually becomes reality. The OASIS or, “The Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation was a big place.” (48), is in essence an internet/game type situation that could include full or partial body immersion. Cline isn’t the first, nor will he be the last to write something like this. It’s a dystopian vs. utopian, good vs. evil, privacy vs. corporate consumerism story for the ages.

Continue reading “Book 533: Ready Player One – Ernest Cline”