The Ultimate Harry Potter Tag and Link Up

Harry Potter books giphy

Since I was recently tagged by Alice @ The Geeky Burrow, in place of a discussion post specific to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, this month is about all things Harry Potter.  Do you have a Harry Potter related post?  Be sure to join the linky below!  Every month I’ll feature at least one.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Favorite book?

3

My favorite book of the series is the one that started it all, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  Not only does Harry find out he’s a wizard, but he’s got the wonderful opportunity to go to Hogwarts, and that means getting away from the Dursleys for most of the year.  I also love when Harry meets Hagrid for the first time, the scene when he learns to fly and then uses his newfound skill to stop Draco, and when he and Ron go to save Hermione from the troll.

 

 

Your least favorite book?

Chamber

That’s an excellent question.  I don’t know the answer.  While I remember most of the first book, even before I started my re-reading adventure, I have difficulty remembering what happened when and what was changed in the movies.  It’s been over a decade since I first read the series, and I’ve only just finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  So, for right now, out of the four I’ve re-read, my least favorite is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  However, that’s only because I question how realistic Harry’s character is in this book, having come from an abusive and neglectful family.

Favorite movie?

HP movie 1

The first movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”.  I love it for the same reasons that I love the first book, but it’s also my favorite because it was my introduction to Harry Potter.  When it came out, I had no idea it was based on a famous book series (I was in my 20s at the time).  I didn’t know anything about it at all, but I saw a lot of kids running around wearing robes and carrying wands and I (a lover of all things Fantasy) was curious.  I saw the trailer and HAD to see the movie.  When I found out about the books, I immediately bought the first one, and I’ve been hooked on all things Harry Potter ever since.

 

Least favorite movie?

Deathly Hallows 1 Deathly Hallows 2

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” Part 1 and 2, but only because it was a LONG time before I got the chance to see them and by then I had forgotten most of what had happened in the book.  I’ll be doing a marathon at some point after I finish the books, so this answer will probably change.

Favorite quote?

“When in doubt, go to the library.” – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

HP library

I did a post all about my favorite Harry Potter quotes.

Favorite Weasley?

Fred and George

Fred and George.  Yes, I know, that’s two Weasleys, and I’m sure twins hate it when they’re lumped together like they’re the same person, but there’s no way either of them would have been the people they were without the other.

Favorite female character?

Hermione.  Duh.

Hermione

Favorite villain?

Bellatrix Lestrange.  I love her name, her craziness, and her complete lack of morality.  I’ve always loved villains that fit the Chaotic Evil alignment, though.

Bellatrix

Favorite male character?

Hagrid.  Who wouldn’t love to raise a baby dragon?!

Hagrid

Favorite professor?

Professor McGonagall.  She is not a woman to be trifled with, but she is always fair, and she can transfigure into a cat.

McGonagall

WOULD YOU RATHER?

A. Wash Snape’s hair or B. Spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself.

B.  There’s no way I’m getting anywhere near that hair.  With Lockhart, I can let my mind wander and think about other stuff while he’s rambling on about all his “achievements.”

Duel A. An elated Bellatrix, or B. An angry Molly

A.  I’d fight crazy over a pissed off redhead any day.

Travel to Hogwarts via A. Hogwarts Express or B. Flying car

A.  I’ve never been on a long-distance train, and I’d much rather sit and enjoy some magical treats and a book on my way to school than make that long drive/flight.

A. Kiss Voldemort or B. Give Umbridge a bubble bath

A. I’m going to assume I can just give him a quick peck on the cheek, and there’s no way to unsee a naked Umbridge. *shiver-cringe*

A. Ride a Hippogriff or B. Ride a Firebolt

B. Animals can sometimes be predictable.  I’d much rather be in control of a flying broom and be to blame for my own injuries than at the mercy of a Hippogriff while in the air.

BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION QUESTIONS

Is there a character who you felt differently about in the movies VS books?

No, not from any of the books and movies that I actually remember.  Perhaps that will change as I re-read and rewatch the movies.

Is there a movie you preferred instead of the book?

No.  Though the movies are fantastic and exceptionally well done in comparison to most book to movie adaptations, the books are still better.

Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?

Richard Harris.  R.I.P.

Your top thing (person or event) which wasn’t included in the movie that annoyed you most?

I have no idea because I don’t remember.

If you could remake any of the Potter movies, which would it be?

Again, I have no idea.  I need to rewatch them.

HOGWARTS QUESTIONS

Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart

Which house were you sorted into on Pottermore (or another sorting quiz)?

Gryffindor 🙂

Which class would be your favorite?

Transfiguration.

Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?

“Accio,” so when I’m doing research or looking for a particular book, I can just summon the title I want.

Which character at Hogwarts do you think would be your instant best friend?

Hermione, of course.

MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS

If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be?

The Cloak of Invisibility.

Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change? This can be a character, an event, anything.

I want to say no, but I really wish Sirius hadn’t been killed.  That’s a scene I’ll never forget.  I had to stop reading and cry out the feels.

Favorite Marauder?

Remus Lupin, a.k.a. “Moony.”

remus

If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?

Sirius.  See above question about what I would change.

Hallows or Horcruxes?

Hallows.

I hereby tag:

This month’s featured post is from Brenda @ The Daily Mayo.  She did a comparison of the book and movie versions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Do you have a Harry Potter related post?  Add it to the linky!

 

 

DNF Review: The Magic Shop

Magic Shop

  • Author: Justin Swapp
  • Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I tried to get through this book.  It started out alright, but it wasn’t long until I was forcing myself through a chapter, then putting it down to read something else until I picked it back up the next day and tried again.  I suffered through three chapters like that, attempting to put myself in a frame of mind the average Middle-Grade reader might have.  I thought my adult mindset was the problem.  I talked it over with the Boyfriend and came to the conclusion that it’s not me and my adult brain.  It’s the story.

More to the point, it’s the main character, Marcus.  There are likeable characters I can’t stand (Captain America), and there are unlikeable characters I love (Lestat).  Then there are characters like Marcus.  He’s a spoiled brat.  He’s rude not only to his teacher but also to his grandparents, who are more than forgiving of his bad behavior.  He doesn’t break rules for the sake of morality or because he thinks it’s the only way to solve a problem.  He just breaks them, refuses to listen to other’s advice and his conscience telling him he shouldn’t do whatever it is he’s doing, and then gets angry when he gets into trouble or has to face the consequences.  I don’t expect all Middle-Grade characters to be copies of Harry Potter, and I’ve even questioned whether or not H.P.’s character is realistic.  While I think Marcus is a realistic character, he’s exactly the type of kid I hated while I was growing up.  On top of that, his bad behavior and poor decisions are what drive the plot.  Every horrible thing that occurs up to the point that I quit reading was a result of Marcus’ actions.  That’s just plain poor writing, and it doesn’t make for an enjoyable story.  My most constant feeling was one of frustration.

I would love to say that I think the story would have eventually gotten better, but I read a quarter of the book (according to my Kindle), which is over 500 pages long.  A story that hasn’t improved after 125+ pages (when I usually only give a book 50 pages to grab me) leaves me with no doubt that my decision to stop reading was a good one.  It also makes me question all the four-star ratings The Magic Shop received on Amazon and Goodreads and the comparison to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson in the synopsis.  While I’m not going to assume that Middle-Grade readers won’t enjoy this book or be able to relate to Marcus, I didn’t and couldn’t.

 

#FitReaders Check-In #43

Geeky Bloggers Book Blog
  • This check-in is for October 19th – 25th.
  • Ugh, research papers 😦
  • If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Yoga Workouts: 0/5
  • Steps: 39,772/63,000
  • Miles: 16.34/21
  • Flights of stairs: 125/70
  • Active Minutes: 184/210
  • Total Money Donated: $30.74/$50.00

Monday’s Minutes #43

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – for the HP re-read.
  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
  • The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Goblet Witching Halloween Coraline

Finished: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, which I reviewed on Saturday.  I also finished Bird Box by Josh Malerman.  I’ll try to get the review for it posted before the end of the month.

Joy Bird Box

Challenges:

S&S Bingo2update13

Total pages read: 778

Total # of books for the year: 75.  Halloween approaches!  The Boyfriend and I have been watching “Penny Dreadful” and we have plans to finish the 2nd season before Halloween so we can spend the night watching “Hocus Pocus” and other favorites while drinking red wine and eating garlic cheese bombs, popcorn, candy corn, and chocolate frosted pumpkin muffins.  I’ve already got my books picked out for November, but I will be reading them purely for enjoyment whenever I have time outside of schoolwork and job hunting.  Even though I’ve been posting something nearly every day, I already feel like a weight has been lifted.  We’ll see how long that lasts as I move into next month and face down three exams.

What are you reading this week?

#ShelfLove – Organizing the Shelves

showyourshelves_zps8f6e8b06-png320x480

This month, those of us participating in the #ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge are discussing how we organize our books.

2015-10-24 13.24.02 (2)
Dresden likes to keep one of his toy mice on top of the boxes for safe keeping.

I have too many books to keep in the apartment I share with the Boyfriend.  Because both of us have large personal libraries, but only so many walls to place bookshelves against, most of my books are in boxes in storage.  Only two of my book boxes are in the apartment instead of my storage unit.  They hold my Harry Potter books as well as all my books from Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles” and the “Lives of the Mayfair Witches.”  Since I’m re-reading all those, I decided to keep them at home rather than having to go to my storage unit every time I finish one of the books.  There are several other books in the boxes as well, but I simply don’t have space on my shelves.

2015-10-18 02.45.11
My overcrowded bookcase.

 

With a few exceptions, all the books on my shelves are books I’ve never read.  Also, I have them organized by height and from hardcover to mass market paperback.  The disadvantage to organizing them that way is that, whenever I get a new book, I have to rearrange the shelves.  You might think I would also have the problem of finding specific titles, but there is a large part of my brain dedicated to the books I have and where they are at any given time.

Even though we have four floor-to-ceiling bookcases, I only have the use of one of them.  That might seem unfair, but they’re his bookcases, and he made room for me when I moved in with him.  However, my books were creeping into other parts of the apartment, such as the table and floor next to my desk, which was in the living room until a couple of weeks ago.  Now that Summer is over, and Texas finally got the memo, I’ve moved my “office” into the dining room (the air conditioning never quite makes it there).  We aren’t planning on renewing our lease, so I decided to take over the room until we move into a place with three bedrooms.  I also have a shelf that contains all my French books, and I’ve loaned him several of my books so I can keep them on one of his shelves instead of mine.  Clever, huh? 😉

2015-10-24 13.25.08
One of the Boyfriend’s bookcases post-organization. Can you tell he likes ducks?

After our trial period of living under the same roof assured us that we could share living space without committing double homicide, I convinced him to let me organize his books.  The closest he got to being organized was having all of his Jim Butcher books on one shelf.  He culled books to go to the used bookstore while I began grouping the ones he decided to keep into genres, more or less.  I also kept any series together and in order, and then I organized by height whenever possible.  Since we’re both writers with decent sized collections of reference books, we decided to combine them on one shelf with a bookend in between.  We’re just not at the point in our relationship where we feel comfortable completely integrating our libraries.  Right now, it’s enough to know that we have similar tastes and many of the same books in our separate collections.

OWL_carrying_a_message

Classics Club: The Joy Luck Club

Joy

  • Author: Amy Tan

I bought The Joy Luck Club years ago at a used bookstore, but it took joining the Classics Club for me to finally get around to reading it.  Doing a read-along certainly didn’t hurt either.

I think this book is perfect for read-alongs, book clubs, and college courses because it should be read a little chunk at a time and discussed in detail.  There are so many emotions and ideas to process throughout the stories of the four mothers and daughters that I think trying to read the book quickly wouldn’t allow the time and space needed to dig in deep.  I also think anyone reading this book should be prepared to want to learn more about China’s history and culture.  What little I already knew was not enough, and The Joy Luck Club prodded me to go in search of that knowledge.

What makes this book one of the top pieces of literary fiction is even when you think Chinese culture is so very different that no one but the Chinese could possibly understand, the struggles that occur between mothers and daughters is relatable no matter where you come from in the world.  Am I an expert on Chinese familial relationships?  Not a chance.  Did I see my mother and myself in those pages?  All the time.  Amy Tan somehow combines uncomfortable unfamiliarity with the feeling of looking in a mirror.  She even has the characters experience this same interchange of emotions as they find themselves realizing how different and yet how similar they are to each other.  She also turns myth into reality and vice versa.  Somehow she manages all this within the structure of a mahjong game.  At the end of every chapter, I would pause for a moment to let what I had read sink in and allow myself to feel astounded.  For once, I can safely say that this is a book everyone should read.

The Classics Club: Frankenstein

Frankenstein

  • Author: Mary Shelley

I’ve meant to read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for years, and I’ve had the Barnes and Noble’s Classics ebook edition for nearly as long as I’ve owned my Nook.  The story is also included in a horror classics anthology I own, titled Penny Dreadfuls: Sensational Tales of Terror.  Since the Boyfriend and I are currently sharing my Nook, I shifted back and forth between the two editions.

My reason for finally getting around to reading Frankenstein was my recent introduction to the show “Penny Dreadful.”  It’s full of characters and references from Gothic and Victorian Horror stories.  While it’s not necessary to enjoy the show, I wanted to be able to recognize and get a better understanding of all those seemingly minor but very important details as well as know where the original stories differ from how they’re portrayed in the show.  Since, the first season includes Dr. Frankenstein and his monster as part of the storyline, I thought it was about time to read one of the most well-known classic Gothic tales.  I’m glad I did.

As with much of Gothic Horror, Frankenstein is more about what it means to be human in a world where Science seems to be constantly redefining humanity.  While Shelley doesn’t go quite as far into the realm of Existentialism as Robert Louis Stevenson does in his story, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (written more than half a century later) the beginnings of the philosophy can be seen in her work.  It’s also obvious that Shelley was heavily influenced by the Romantics, my other favorite literary period, and concerned with the route that Science and Industry were taking in the name of “Progress.”  We’re still dealing with these questions and concerns today, almost 200 years later.  Just how relevant Frankenstein still is can be seen in the long list of adaptations and re-tellings of the story that exist, and I highly recommend reading it.

Review: Doll Bones

Doll Bones

  • Author: Holly Black
  • ISBN: 9781416963981
  • Genre: Middle-grade Horror

The above ISBN is for the hardcover edition, but I listened to the audiobook edition I checked out from the library.

One of the many things that creep me out is dolls.  So, when I read the synopsis of Doll Bones (click on the book cover to go to it on Goodreads), I thought this would be the perfect semi-scary story for me to read during my favorite spooky month.  While there were some creepy moments, the story was lacking something necessary for any horror story to scare me.  It lacked sense.

As an example, without any spoilers, there is a scene in which something horrible happens and the children think the doll, haunted by the spirit of a little girl, did it.  However, why would the doll be the culprit when the doll/spirit wants the kids to help her?  I kept waiting for a more plausible explanation.  Wouldn’t it make more sense if it had been someone or something trying to stop the kids from helping the doll?  I thought I was going to get that explanation when the kids come in contact with a woman later on in the story.  One of the kids, Zach, thinks there seems to be something a bit off about this woman, somehow.  However, nothing else happens with her and the story moves on to the next part.  That didn’t make any sense either.  Why bring it up, through Zach’s thoughts, and then not do anything with it?  I was confused enough to double check to make sure I wasn’t listening to an abridged version of the book.  I won’t go into detail about what I thought was going to happen or who the woman was because that would include spoilers, but suffice it to say I was a little disappointed.

My other reason for choosing Doll Bones is because I’ve only ever heard great things about the author, Holly Black.  As I said, the book does have its creepy moments, so it wasn’t a total dud, but I would have enjoyed it a lot more if those moments made sense in relation to the overall plot.  Perhaps the average Middle-grade reader wouldn’t notice the plot holes and would instead just enjoy a creepy “Goosebumps”-style story.  When it comes to getting kids to read more, this book is still worth a shot, especially if you can find a copy at the library.

#FitReaders Check-In #42

Geeky Bloggers Book Blog
  • This check-in is for October 12th – 18th.
  • I did about 2K fewer steps this week than last, but I know that’s due to my participation in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.
  • I’ve added a new goal.  I want to have raised at least $50 for Doctors Without Borders through Plus3 by the end of the year.  I’ve already raised over half that amount, so I think it’s doable.
  • If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Yoga Workouts: 0/5
  • Steps: 42,903/63,000
  • Miles: 17.62/21
  • Flights of stairs: 114/70
  • Active Minutes: 196/210
  • Total Money Donated: $29.70/$50.00

Monday’s Minutes #42

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan – for the read-along.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – for the HP re-read.
  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Joy Goblet Witching  Bird Box

Finished: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine, and The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood.

Eleanor and Park Sandman 1 Jekyll 0-545-03517-1 Wendigo

Challenges:

S&S Bingo2update13

Total pages read: 789

Total # of books for the year: 73.  I had a semi-meltdown after an exam last week.  The Boyfriend and Dewey’s Readathon allowed me to recover, but I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m trying to do too much.  After this month until at least mid-December, I’ll be stepping back a bit from the blog.  What that means is I won’t be writing any more monthly “features” except Thursday’s Things, and the only reviews I’ll be writing will be for the ARCs I’ve already agreed to read/review.  Everything else will stay mostly the same, but just that will be a bit of a breather and give me the chance to focus more on other things.

What are you reading this week?