Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ~ JK Rowling

20140118_174610I have pretty much failed at my attempt to read all the Harry Potter books in one month. I blame January for this. So far 2014 sucks. A lot. Like a proper lot. Yesterday at the suckiest point, however, I kind of decided “fuck it – I’m taking a reading day” which is the only reason I actually managed to get through the fourth book at all. If I have a “worst” of the Harry Potter novels it’s this one. Perhaps because I am hardly one for organized sport? And perhaps because this one is a little long. Of course the “worst” of the Potter novels still surpasses the best of many others, so it is hardly a complaint when I call it so. What I did particularly like about this one is that life-angst kind of starts to come through on a very real level. Relatable humanity if you can call it that. All three of our young heroes start to experience the real frustrations of growing up. The dynamics between the two sexes start to shift. The agony of self consciousness. Jealousy. Self doubt. All those things which plague us as children and then intensify as we grow up. Hermione starts to become concerned with the livelihood of house elves – a concern that no one seems to share. This is where Hermione can truly be admired as a heroine worth looking up to. She holds on to her convictions despite not only the indifference of her closest friends but often despite their active annoyance. She is not only clever in a book-smart sort of way but she is wise as well.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ~JK Rowling

20140118_145702-1Time travel stresses me out. This is ridiculous I know, but it always has. It is one of those things that I have never felt capable of grasping. Funny enough, Doctor Who has recently become my All Time  favourite thing, but for some reason The Doctor doesn’t mess with my head quite like most time travel stuff does. I think after reading this book and watching the movie again I am starting to feel more confident about it. That whole “the present makes room for time travel” thing kind of fits for me now (maybe Doctor Who helped?) although I am sure I couldn’t explain it to my grandmother….which according to Einstein means I don’t really understand it enough.  But yeah whatever.  I devoured this book ages ago and am only getting around to reviewing it now. A grave mistake on my part because all I can remember from the experience is the whole time travel clicking thing. I did, once again, find myself thinking that despite my unending adoration for Emma Thompson, she was badly cast as Professor Trelawney (excuse the spelling if it is incorrect, I can’t be bothered to check right now but I am almost positive that it’s right). Usually I am not bothered by things such as casting. That is someone else’s job. But when it comes to the divinations teacher I cannot get my own picture of her out of my head. She never arrives in my mind as the frizzy haired Ms. Thompson. She is more understated. Barmy, of course. But not ridiculous. I feel exactly the same way about Mad-Eye Moody in The Goblet of Fire. Perhaps I take all of this a little too seriously?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Book vs The Movie

20140118_123757Hmmm feeling a little daft right now because I am already halfway through the 4th Harry Potter book and I no longer feel confident to review this one. Typical perhaps. Well obviously it is wonderful, I just can’t remember any of the particular observations I made while I was reading it anymore. Oh well…

I can say that weirdly enough I take the books very seriously. They strike me as serious books. I read on the back of one of our tatty paperback copies of The Philosopher’s Stone that some big newspaper compared Rowling’s humour to Dahl and I couldn’t agree less. I know there are fun and amusing parts in the books, but I never ever ever received them as silly or ridiculous…which is possibly why I thought that Trelawny and Moody were portrayed, not badly, but certainly not in a way that I expected them to be – I sort of feel like the movies made fun of them which doesn’t seem right to me…anyway I digress. What was I saying? Oh yes… I take the Harry Potter series seriously, and while there is obviously a lot of “ridiculousness” that goes on I never ever feel that the books themselves are ridiculous when I am reading them. I find them very “true”. In fact the only time that I have every felt “oh don’t be ridiculous” is in the first book where Hermione talks a load of rubbish about how the boys tried to stop her from going after the troll. Why did she do that? The truth was far more acceptable than the lie was… It was weird….


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Book vs the Movie

Photo on 2014-01-15 at 6.53 PMAfter an annoying day of getting nowhere with work or school for the kids, I decided “screw life, I’m going to Hogwarts”. Why? Because I can… Or at least I’m trying to convince myself that I can. I will regret it later in the week when I have to catch up on work I should have been doing already…

I’m not sure why I chose to start re-reading the Potter series again. I have done so three times already I think. I suppose it is just something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and so i finally sort of got around to it.

I do, however, think it’s quite funny how many more inconsistencies I discovered while reading the book this time. Now, I must say that I am not one of those who blindly states that all books are better than their movies. For one – the first Hunger Games movie sucked significantly less than the book did. And The Notebook movie was better. Shoot me if you must, but it does happen.

I rather believe that books and movies are different, and therefore it is no big thing for a movie to be tweaked in whichever way necessary to make it more viewable than the story would be if you just blindly copied everything word for word. I am quite ok with story changes and like to judge each on their own merit.

I am rambling.

Anyway – I was a little bit disappointed to discover that my two favourite lines from the first Harry Potter movie were not actually in the book. The first being when Hermione says “What an idiot!” in that glorious way of hers (when Harry goes after Malfoy on his broom to get Neville’s remembral back) and the second being when Ron goes “She needs to sort out her priorities!” after Hermione suggests that getting expelled would be worse than getting killed.

I think I might go and watch the first movie again now. I started it the other day and fell asleep…


Harry New Year

CYMERA_20131007_151824The start of a new year always inspires the “ooh books!” in me and this year is no different. Once again I am going to spend this year attempting to read 100 books. I have failed at this goal twice, but I am determined to do it this year. At first I thought I might dive into all the crime fiction books that I have been collecting but neglecting to read lately (crime fiction was pretty much my default genre for a long time but I have branched out into all sorts of different genres in my “adulthood” which has been going on for a lot longer than I keep thinking that it has) but instead I have decided to slip back into something that saved my life…

Harry Potter…

Now yes, I am being a little melodramatic. I discovered Harry Potter, not when I was a kid, but when I was 18 years old. I was au pairing in New Jersey at the time and I was terrified and homesick and for the first (and only) time in my life I had literally no friends – rather unsettling when you are an over-social teen. I devoured the first four Harry Potters in about two weeks and even though I was already a pretty avid reader, this silly little magic boy turned and already-loved pastime into something beyond incredible. I imagine that Harry did to me what drugs have done to others. To this day I still find myself hoping for that same feeling to surface in ever book I open. Lev Grossman’s The Magicians came close, so did Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus but few others have managed to get the scale to move let alone tip it. I am like a drug addict, in search of the feeling of my first fix, with a sinking feeling in my heart that it will never come, but continuing to try and try and try again regardless.

Oh chatting to a friend about TV series today I admitted that I am busy rewatching Doctor Who because I can trust the Doctor to make me happy (even though I will most likely shed a thousand tears while experiencing said happiness) and I suddenly thought “Oh yes, that’s what I should do. I should reread  Harry Potter!” And now I just feel like I’ve had the best idea ever. Because I do love Harry so very much, and even though I know that by the time I get to the end of book seven I will have once again shed an extraordinary amount of tears for friends who do not technically exist, every exquisitely agonizing moment of it will be worth it.

So that’s my reading January planned. I am going to lose myself in that I have thought about every single day for the last twelve years. And when I’m done, I’m going to think about them and love them for another twelve years…

I know a New Year is supposed to be about new things, but right now I cannot think of anything better than losing myself in something old.

Happy New Year book lovers! I wish for you a year of magical world and alternate realities that turn your actual reality into an even more multi-dimentional canvass of excitement and beauty.