So, I have this problem. I’ve been reading tons and tons of books and feeling very guilty about not writing reviews on all of them. After all, what is the point of book blogging if I read and don’t blog?? However, I’ve been on a major reading binge ever since school got out and the idea of sitting down to write reviews on all the amazing (and some not so amazing) books that I’ve been reading, just seemed like a bit much. Also, when I read this way I get a huge backlog of book reviews. So I’m going to try posting things that I’ve read from week to week on Mondays. If I feel like a book needs a lengthy review, I’ll write it but most books are going to get a few sentences. For the purposes of this format, we are going to go to a simple five-star rating system (regular reviews will still use the regular blog system).
The week started with a reread of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I used to reread all the time. I love the thrill of going back to something familiar. It’s like visiting an old friend from college. You rehash the same stories with a joyful air knowing exactly what will happen. You catch greater nuance and discover things you never knew but it still has a comfort level that a new book simply misses. This time through the books, the complexity of the relationship between Harry and his muggle family stood out to me most. Petunia and Dudley in particular. I do wish that we had seen Dudley standing on platform 9 and ¾s during the epilogue. It would have been poetic justice. I love going back to visit this world and will always wish that Rowling would go back to her magical world. While I’m excited to read her latest, nothing will ever quite compare to Harry Potter. Rating – ★★★★★
I had a bit of book hangover after reading that series. I couldn’t seem to pick up anything for a couple of days. Finally I settled down and dove into VIII by H.M. Castor. A fictional retelling of the life of Henry the VIII which was exactly the kind of thing I needed to get through my Harry Potter book hangover. So often historical fiction about his reign comes form the point of view of one of his many wives. It was interesting as the author strove to get inside his brain. I think what I found most interesting was all of the politics that went on with his first marriage. This book would be a great starting point to create interest about Henry the VIII. Rating – ★★★★
I have a love/hate relationship with Charles de Lint. I love some of his stuff and simply can’t get through other things he writes. I think it’s largely me. I’ve picked up some of his Newford stuff and loved it. However I tried to get through Dreams Underfoot, the first book and I simply couldn’t do it. Sadly this one went back in my library bag, mostly unread. I might return to it at some point. I think I just picked it up at the wrong time. I hesitate to rate it right now but I rate everything so… Rating – ★
I’m not a judge a book by it’s cover kind of girl, but this one is lovely.
I’m not quite done with The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White but should finish in the next hour or so. I have a feeling I know exactly where this book is going and I think I’m going to enjoy getting there. I love the idea of looking at Egypt’s mythology as the focus. So far the main character is very enjoyable to read and the author captures the idea of not fitting in anywhere in a somewhat simplistic but sincere manner. While it is definitely light reading, it is entertaining. Rating – ★★★
Book: The Gates
Author: John Connolly
Recommend: This one is not for everyone… but it might be for you.
Alright, warning everyone now, this is not a book for everyone. This deals with demons and hell in a way that not everyone will appreciate. I would liken this book a combination of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dante’s Inferno, The Screwtape Letters with tons of sarcasm and snark thrown in. It reads a bit like Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams and J.K. Rowling sat down and decided to write a book together.
I thought it was absolutely hilarious. I’ve read The Book of Lost Things and I think I liked this one even better, although many who are fans of that one, have said just the opposite. I was planning on putting this one off for a bit longer. I actually own this one but I picked up the second book in the series by accident at the library and figured that now was as good a time as any to get into it.
A bit of a note, this one might be extremely offensive to some because they might feel that it treats hell in a less than respectful manner and there are demons as main character and not all of them are clearly the bad guys.
I hurt my ribs today and let me tell you, this book is NOT one to read when laughing hurts.
Get it used…
Okay, I know she’s a children’s book character. I am aware that some people have issues with the Harry Potter series. I know that she is not the main character in any way, shape or form. Despite all of that, Hermione is hands down one of the best characters I have ever read.
Yep – the know-it-all in action 😉
For those few people who read this post that have not picked up a Harry Potter book, Hermione Granger is one of the most annoying girls at Hogwarts. She is one of Harry’s two best friends. Hermione’s biggest fault is that she is an insufferable know-it-all. She feels the need to get every answer right and correct anyone that needs correcting. As a somewhat reformed insufferable know-it-all, I find Hermione’s struggles with her desire to be right verses her desire to have friends hilarious and very familiar.
Hermione is one of the biggest collectors of random facts from books that I have ever read. I swear, in a life where fiction and reality coexist, we are long-lost sisters. Hermione always has the answer for everything and is devastated when she gets something wrong (although that rarely happens).
I think what makes me love her though is that underneath the obsessive reader and annoying over-sharing, she is very sensitive and cares deeply for those around her. Who else would start an organization for house elves? Who else would save her new friends from detention? Who would stay with her friend when the boy she loves leaves because it is the right thing to do? Hermione may be awkward and strange but underneath, her heart is beautiful.
I think for me the fact that the girl who should have ended up an outcast becomes one of the most important people in their world really is affirming for kids who are on the fringe because they don’t quite fit the mold. I was one. I know many others. Hermione is one of our champions. A girl who doesn’t quite fit in and yet has a powerful impact while gaining friends who appreciate her unique abilities.
I even love that she ends up with Ron. Although part of me was really hoping for Victor Krum 😉
I would love to see Rowling write a book from her perspective. My dream eighth Harry Potter book would be about the early days of Hermione being married to Ron. Can you imagine?