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”

2013 Challenges, Books

Book 167: Vernon God Little – DBC Pierre

Pierre, DBC - Vernon God LittleAlthough the year has changed, reading must continue 😀 For my first book of 2013 I used to pull one from my shelves and it was definitely an experience.

As usual after I purchased the book I put it out of my mind and then when I go to read it I just start without reading anything about the book and thus begin without preconceived notions. This works for and against me all the time, for this book it definitely worked for me because if I had read a synopsis I probably would not have read the book at this time (see paragraph 5).

For a Man Booker Prize winning novel it was relatively easy to read. (It also won the Whitbread Award for First Novel.) I haven’t read any others from the year, but Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (read 09/13) is of course on my list. Overall I think this book serves as a great conversation starter, but as I read it I had to wonder why it won the award.

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Book 128: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling

[To see an updated review of when I re-read this in July 2018 click here.]

How many times can I say ‘WOW’ to open a book response? Especially if I’ve read the book already? Apparently, every time because these books just make me so happy. Definitely considering abandoning all challenges next year and just reading whatever strikes my fancy, but I doubt I will.

When I first read this book, I wasn’t that impressed. For some reason it just didn’t mesh well with me, but unlike Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this book has definitely grown on me. Whereas Book 1 introduces us to the world of Harry Potter, Book 3 introduces us to some of the vitally important characters to the world and the series. How can you not be intrigued by Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew and want to find out even more about Severus Snape? You can’t! Rowling gives you just enough information to make you question what you know about all of the characters, but not enough to reveal who or what they really are or where they’re going or who they’ll be at the end of the series.

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Book 117: The Bird of Night – Susan Hill

I searched out this novel after reading Howard’s End is on the Landing and thoroughly enjoying Hill’s writing style. And after finishing The Bird of Night I’m even more convinced of her amazing writing style and ability, it’s no wonder the novel appeared on the Man-Booker shortlist in 1972 and won a Whitbread Novel Award (now called Costa Book Awards), and it’s definitely no surprise I found it stirring. I will definitely have to check out more of her work.

The Bird of Night is a story of love and madness. The narrator of the story, Harvey, looks back on his life and his time spent with Francis, the poet, and Francis’ rise to fame and coinciding decent into madness. There’s no way I can even begin to grasp everything in this compact novel, but I can definitely appreciate the beauty of the language and the intensity of the story. The quote below sort-of sums up the novel, or at least what I got out of the novel.

“And if he is mad, it is because one man’s brain cannot contain all the emotions and ideas and visions that are filling his without sometimes weakening and breaking down. But he will be perfectly well again, he is generally well. When he is not he is in despair and when he is fit he dreads the return of his illness. What can that be like to live with?” (149)

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