As stated in my previous post, I have decided to re read all of the Harry Potter books to finsih my Goodreads reading challenge of 75 books for the year. Here is the second book. Even though I have read this book just earlier this year (February) I still forget how this book is slightly different from the movies every time I read it. I am actually excited to read again and setting aside time to do so. I'm not trying to avoid it and I am enjoying myself. It is relaxing and I am happy. I have a feeling I will finish the whole series before the end of Thanksgiving break, giving me the desire to read other books and maybe read more for my other challenge at least. I have already starting setting aside books I own for next year's reading challenge. Anyways, see you with the Prisoner of Azkaban. This will be the true test as I read this book and the next just a couple of months ago.
Yes I know, I have already read this book this year but guess what? I re read it again. Why? Because I am in a reading slum and I know this book will keep me interested. Don't be surprised if you see all 7 books by the end of the year. I don't know why but no other book right now is really keeping my attention. It isn't the book's fault, I think, but more mine. I am just not focused enough to really give the book a try. So instead of trying to read book after book I have in my library and not liking them in the first few chapters and tossing them aside, I am going to re read one of my favorite series and be happy to continue reading. I despreately want to finish my reading challenges this year but I fear the only one I will be able to meet is my Goodreads challenge of 75 books for the year. I had to change it because I had failed to get close to 100 the two years previously. So instead of not reading and failing at both of my challenges, I am going to re read Harry Potter and end the year with a movie marathon of all the movie. Actually I am going to watch the movie as I go lol. I am hoping next year, when I turn 30, I will be able to go the Harry Potter World for my birthday. So far, things are looking in my favor, the only thing that is unsure is if my husband will be able to get off work for it. His job is demanding and time off is hard to get. We are lucky to get the holidays off as it is. So for the next couple of post, it will be Harry Potter. (Just FYI James Rollins, another favorite author of mine, is releasing a new book at the beginning of December but I think I am going to wait and read it at the beginning of the year and start 2018 off right)
Book 66 is a classic murder mystery by Agatha Christie, the Murder on the Orient Express. Yes, I know it’s been a long time since I have posted. I have reached a reading slum and had to push through this really good book. I just haven’t had to motivation to read as much as before. I went from being 4 books ahead of my reading challenge to be right on track.
So the reason I decided to read Murder on the Orient Express is because of the up coming movie. I like to read the books that movies are based on before I watch them. Since the movie looked good, I wanted to read the book first. Plus, I have never read an Agatha Christie book before and I have heard she is a great author. This book was really good. I loved how she wrote the book. She laid a perfect foundation and then was really clever on how she presented all the evidence for the reader. I didn’t figure out who it was until the very end, which isn’t normal. I usually am able to figure out who the bad guy is before the big reveal but on this one, didn’t get it until the protagonist did. That is different for me.
I also loved how the protagonist was able to think things through but you didn’t hear his thoughts, you knew only as much as everyone else who talked with the inspector. It was interesting reading a third person objective book. It’s hard to find. Usually they are limited or omniscient. So the reader is truly using evidence to figure out who the bad guy is.
Well, I know that I don’t have much to say for this book. It felt shorter than it actually was and I took almost a week to read through it so there are many thoughts and feelings that I have forgotten about. When I usually read, I read through the books so fast, my thoughts and feelings are still fresh, not so much with this one. Well here is to hoping this reading slum is gone. I got through a book after a little over 2 weeks of not finishing anything (I tried to read like 2 books, neither could keep my interest. I’m sorry but if I don’t have the motivation to finish the book after getting a third through, then I won’t want to finish it at all). Well see you next book. Hopefully it wont be in another 2 weeks.
Book 65 is a book called Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather. She wrote another book called How to Hang a Witch, which I read last year. Mather is connected to Salem, MA and the famous Witch Trials. This was her inspiration for her first book. From her author’s notes, Mather explains that she is also connected to the Titanic, which seems to be how she came up with this new story. And something that is interesting is that I am finding a similarity to this book series and a TV series that loved watching while I was in high school. Many of you probably have heard of it, it’s called Ghost Whisper. Mather’s books are starting to remind me a little Ghost Whisper because the main character, Sam, can see and talk to ghosts and the past two books have something to do with Sam solving something to do with ghosts.
But on to the book itself. The book starts 6 months after the whole thing of How to Hang a Witch. Sam’s father is back and doing well but Sam is suffering from guilt because she feels she had a part in her father’s suffering. She has distance herself from the Descendants and anything magic related. Elijah is still missing and Sam thinks he is gone for good. Suddenly Sam starts seeing a little girl spirit and then she starts having dreams about the Titanic and now everything at her school is Titanic related because of the new Spring Fling theme. This all seems so mysterious. So now Sam, with the help of the Descendants, must find out who is starting to cast spells on Sam, seemingly trying to trap her with the other spirits of the Titanic. Not only that, but Elijah is not gone like Sam thought, which also offers how that relationship is going to go. I like Elijah, he is super cool in my opinion but he is also supposed to be dead, so I don’t know how Sam and him will have a happy ending. Mather does leave with a hint that Sam may try to give him back his body with a spell that was attempted in the first book.
All in all, this was a quick read for me, same as the first book. Mostly because it has to deal with magic, ghosts, and a mystery. I did figure out who it was pretty early this time around, but didn’t know how it would connect and I wasn’t sure I was completely right in my thoughts so I had to know. I was right in the end and the only reason I figured it out was that Mather had placed two characters into scenes but Sam really mentions them in the mystery when they seemed to people I would be looking into if this had happened to me. I kept waiting for Sam and the others to notice these characters and look at them but they don’t so I was able to infer from that that these characters weren’t meant to be looked at because they were connected to the bad or were the bad guy. I love reading mysteries for that. I love mysteries that give information again and again before coming to a conclusion. Many mysteries I have read will have pages and pages of the main character going over the same information again and again without anything, which makes it boring and frustrating. Mather does a great job of keeping the reader interested and giving new pieces to the reader so they can try to figure out who and what is going on.
All in all, a great book in my opinion. Though it only took me a little under than 5 hours to read the whole book, doesn’t take away from the quality of the book. It was a great read, especially near Halloween and being a ghost story. Well see you next book.
Book 64 is a book called “Named of the Dragon” by Susanna Kearsley. Now I have read some of her books before and they are sweet to read. She adds a touch of history, to slice of life, and a dash of romance to make her books sweet and soothing to read. At least that is how I feel about them. There isn’t a rush to finish the book to find out what will happen but a small push to wonder as to where the characters will go. When reading this book, it felt like conversing with an old friend after a long time apart. When it ended, I was sad. And I hope that I don’t sound to crazy for saying that.
Anyways this book is something I really love because it has a sense of magic, history, and romance. The romance isn’t something that is to unbelievable and the characters aren’t made to appear as these sexy and hot people who find each other and fall instantly in love. It is a subtle romance, one that builds, and seems believable. The protagonist is Lyn, an agent for a publisher, who is asked by one of her authors to accompany her to Wales for Christmas break. The author is asked by her boyfriend, another author and someone Lyn wants to sign with her publisher, to come to his family house in a small village in Wales. So instead of going to the family vacation in Canada, Lyn goes to Wales. Now there is a sad part to this tale. Lyn had lost her only child in childbirth and has been suffering ever since. Her husband had died in a car crash before the birth, so Lyn was very much alone. Ever since, she had weird dreams of her failing to help her son. When she comes to Wales, the dreams change to someone else entrusting her with their son’s life. These dreams lead to myths and prophecies going back to King Arthur. The interesting thing is there is actually a child in danger in the village and Lyn is caught in the middle.
The book was a quick read. If I had sat down and actually set aside the time to read, it wouldn’t have taken me that long, maybe half a day, to read this book. It isn’t that it’s a bad book, but the plot and characters are simple to understand and there isn’t very small details and such to try to follow along. Plus there is not action, really, but I find that the most appealing part of this book. Compared to books to like Dan Brown and James Rollins, this book is quiet and comfortable while theirs are like an amusement park with you riding all the rides. Other authors make there books so detailed that it takes longer to read because you want to pay attention to all the details, while this book is smooth and sweet that you just take a leisurely walk through it. (Sorry, I am feeling very metaphorical today I guess, blame it on the book). In short, this is the kind of book you read when its snowy outside and you are wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of coffee (or tea or hot chocolate, just something hot), siting by a window just enjoying the ambiance. I really admire how this author crafts her stories, making them something to sooth her readers while taking them on an adventure to somewhere new. Now I want to go to Wales. Anyways, see you next book.
Book 63 is a weird one called Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. This is Cantero’s 2nd book in English and I am impressed but the high level vocabulary that is used throughout the book. Not only that, the book is written in a very unique way, in my opinion at least. So this book is like a grown up version of Scooby Doo. I mean that so much. It starts off that you find out that these 4 characters and their dog solved mysteries when they were kids by unmasking bad guys who were dressing up and trying to scare people for some purpose or another. Sounds like Scooby Doo to me. But there are some key differences. First, the characters types are slightly different. The dog and owner are not scared so easily and are always hungry. There isn’t a damsel in distress character like Daphne and one of the characters (the one most like Fred) is dead in this story. Oh, and they aren’t kids anymore but adults.
See the story has to deal with what really happened the last night they were detectives when they were younger. The world thinks they solved the mystery by unmasking a person but something else had happened and the reader is intrigued to know what it was. The only thing that is definite is that it wasn’t a person in a mask that scared these preteens so much that it affected their adult life.
So there were a couple of things that got me with this book. The author would switch to a script format when the characters were just talking back and forth with each other. This is different from regular books in which is written in a narrative format all the way through. Sometimes there are things that were happening that were a little weird for me but that is a personal issue and nothing against the author’s ability to craft a story.
I liked the connection to the mythical that the author put in the story and that many old believes had found themselves in pop culture. Author’s get their inspiration from everywhere so it’s interesting for an author to acknowledge that pop culture in the sci-fi and fantasy genre could be based on really believes and legends. I also liked that one of the female characters is in love with the other. The author doesn’t make it seem like it fulfilling an agenda or trying so hard to add a character in so people of minority have some connection to the story. It felt right and real, not forced. And, later, the two girls acknowledge the relationship doesn’t need to have a definition, just that they love each other. There is no expectations or anything like that. They just want to support each other and be around each other. It was refreshing against many authors, I feel, that create characters to merely make the story appeal to a certain group people and thus it is forced or not really authentic. There are also authors now that are writing books with characters that have no gender as to appeal to people who don’t identify to a specific gender. I know that this is not necessarily relevant to this book, I just wanted to point out or show that Cantero created a character that doesn’t fit in traditional roles but the character doesn’t feel forced and is natural.
Anyways, I really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of nostalgia for me because I grew up watching Scooby Doo and this was just one big allusion to the show. Though it got weird, I like that it wasn’t someone in a mask in the end and that it was something supernatural. I always liked the thought of Scooby Doo and the gang meeting a real supernatural problem and trying to solve it. Anyways, see you next book.
Book 62 is a book I have heard about and so I picked it up when I saw it at the library. It’s “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han. Han was at a book festival I went to a couple years back, so that I how I first heard about the book and then I kept seeing the book and its sequels being advertised by book companies that I follow on Facebook. Because of this, I decided to give the book a try knowing that it would be a typical teenage love story. Didn’t know it was a series at first, because the book covers look all the same, but I figured it out real fast.
So this book is a Korean drama. If you don’t know or haven’t seen a Korean drama before, I will give you the basics of every Korean drama love story. Girl meets boy who is an ass and another boy who is sweet. For whatever reason, she starts to like the asshole boy and friend zones the sweet boy. Drama ensues. Now you know how these dramas work. Lara Jean has loved only 5 boys her whole life and she is now a junior in high school. For every boy she has loved, there is a letter she wrote to them to give them the figurative break up. These letters are addressed and everything but she never means to mail them. That’s her first mistake. Somehow (and it’s easy to figure out how it happened, I guessed at it in the very beginning) these letters get mailed. No big deal, you would think, but Lara Jean is too embarrassed to admit that she liked her big sister’s boyfriend. So instead of owning up to her letter and facing Josh, the sweet boy next door, she pretends to date another boy she wrote a letter to, Peter the asshole.
While reading this book, I literally thought I was reading a Korean drama. The reason I make that parallel is because Lara Jean and her sisters are half Korean. So of course I made the connection. There are a lot of stories out there that are similar to Korean dramas but I don’t usually draw the connection. I guess because this had the duality of the good boy versus the misunderstood bad boy that it was easier to do.
Now because I make this connection doesn’t mean that I don’t like this book. I found it cheesy and a little easy to guess but entertaining. There is a reason I made the comparison to Korean dramas; I like them. The ending, however, doesn’t have a resolution because there are two more books in the series. Don’t know if it will be the end of the Song sisters but it will be the last Lara Jean book. Personally I don’t like Peter and wish that Lara Jean would pick Josh but I know why she can’t.
Also, I really didn’t like Lara Jean’s sister, she kind of mad me a little mad. She chose to move to Scotland to go to college, that’s awesome, and she breaks up with her boyfriend of 2 years, that’s Josh, so she wouldn’t have to do long distance and everything. She comes home at the end of the book for winter break and she is all but hurt that everyone is doing fine without her and she has missed out on things and that Josh has feelings for her little sister. Not only that but she thinks she knows everything because she then precedes to tell Lara Jean that Lara Jean and their youngest sister Kitty are not responsible enough to have a dog. Excuse me, they were doing just fine while you were gone, sweetheart, I think they are more than capable to handle a dog. That one really got me mad. Don’t think because you were the head of the household before you left that your place was saved, someone has to step in and take over when there is a leadership change. Sorry, didn’t mean to rant so much, I just really don’t like no-it-alls.
Anyways, that’s it with this book. Honestly have no idea what I am going to read next because I haven’t found what I am interested in right now. Happens when I get in a reading slum. I want to read but I don’t know what to read so I just try to read and I am not interested. Joy! Not really. Well, you lovely people, see you next book.
So I have finished book 61 and it was definitely a doozy. Dan Brown started off with his books showing connection with the past to the present and future. His first two books dealt heavily with the Christian religion and it’s symbols and history. The last few books have started to deviate from that and bring history and technology close together. Reminds me of James Rollins books that combine history and science. Anyways, in Origin, Brown has decided to answer the question of where humans came from and what the future has a hold for us. I have read other fictional books in which authors use fiction and research of science today to help answer that question. This is Dan Brown’s attempt.
So I have always wondered about Dan Brown’s few of religion is. He seems to respect religion but doesn’t necessarily believe in it. At least that is what I have gotten from his books. This is also present in Origin. Even though Brown’s character finds this answer with his super technology, it seems that there is some respect for religion left in the end. Religion does not hold all the answers but it does help those that need it. If you read the book, that statement makes sense. Now I know there are haters out there that says Brown’s book are getting boring and ridiculous but I found this book fast pacing enough. I will say this, I was super frustrated to have to wait until the end to find out this discovery about humans’ origin and where we are going in the future. Now, I have never wondered about where humans are going. I always thought that we were just merely here to live, with no actual derived purpose of the race as a whole. I never asked where humans were going to involve. So when this book brought that question up, I kind of got a little uncomfortable. This isn’t a bad thing. There are things in this world that are fact that I don’t think about because they don’t affect me personally and they make me uncomfortable. Things like the infinite space of Space. So when the whole future of the human race thing came up (which was kind of touched on in Inferno) it made me a little uncomfortable but I read on and it made me think about our future. Sad things is, the future that Brown hypothesizes in his book is something I could see happen. Now, I know that this a work of fiction and this doesn’t necessarily reflect Brown’s actual belief of the future, I can still see the future his fiction hypothesizes, if that makes more sense.
In the end, there really isn’t a definite way to really talk about this book unless you have read it. I can’t just go through and rant about likes and not likes because it’s hard to really talk about what I like or don’t like with this book. Everything works together so perfectly that I just can’t really pick it apart. That or I am just a little to tired to try to think to closely. I will say this, I didn’t know that Spain still had a monarchy, so that was interesting to find out and there is a little twist in the end that made me sad but I should have seen it coming. I say that because I have an extreme distrust for a certain thing Brown brings into this story. I am not going to tell you or it will give it away and I think that twist is something that every reader would love to figure out on their own.
Anyways, I have no idea on what I am going to read next so wish me luck and I will see you next book.
Book 60 is one of my favorite books, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It is my favorite in the Harry Potter series and I decided to re-read it after I started reading others of the Harry Potter series (if you had read my last post, all of this is not new to you). Why is the Goblet of Fire my favorite? Well I just love the story. You get to see more of Sirius and you get more about the wizarding world and I believe it is the threshold of the series, taking Harry from the young hero into the traditional hero, giving the series its villain in full power and really showing the complexity of JK Rowling’s world. The first books don’t really have all the complex back story and theories because each book seems to be just a stand alone book that doesn’t seem like it will have to have the next book to continue. Well at the end of the Goblet of Fire, the second wizard war starts. The reader sees the connections and starts to see the little clues that Rowling leaves to help the reader figure out what is going to happen in the end. After re-reading the book and having watched the movie just a few days ago, the movie is a really horrible representation of the book. I now understand why many people said it was the worst of all the movies that were created. I get it, there is a lot in the book and not needed for the movie but there was some things that were needed to make the rest of the story make sense.
First, Sirius is more involved in the books. In every chapter it seemed Harry was reaching out to his godfather for advice and you genuinely see Sirius’s affection for his godson. The movies miss that. In fact, the movies make it seem like Sirius is distant. The books make it better for the reader to understand Harry’s grief in the 5th book. With regards of Sirius, remember in the third book/movie everyone, other than Lupin and Dumbledore along with the Trio, thought Sirius Black was this murderous person. In the Goblet of Fire, you get to see Sirius being introduced back into the Order of the Phoenix and meeting a couple of the newer members. You actually get to see the beginning of the Order of Phoenix start. You get to start seeing the hints that will play out as part of the plot in the books to come.
The mystery of Mad-eye Moody being an imposter also is a surprise in the book, you actually think Barty Crouch Jr. is dead, not alive. This means that when you learn the truth, you are completely blindsided. I think Rowling does this so that her readers will now start looking for more clues. Granted I have watched the first two movies so many times and could see the clues very early on in the books when I re-read them.
Now, another thing I am disappointed in is the lesser role of Rita Skeeter in the movie. She plays such a vital role in why no one believes Harry Potter in the 5th book/movie. She writes an article, along with many other mean and horrible articles, about how Harry is unstable and points out all of the similarities that Harry has with Voldemort. She makes it seem like Harry does things all the time to get attention and that is particularly attracted to the Dark Arts. Basically discrediting Harry. This plays such a vital role because this means Fudge, the Minister of Magic who is scared of Voldemort and doesn’t want to acknowledge that fact that he is back, can now discredit Harry even more in the press, making it seem like the Dark Lord isn’t back as Harry says. He also uses the fact that Dumbledore wasn’t that forthcoming about these qualities that Harry possess as a way to discredit the Headmaster. This leads to one of the biggest problems Harry has to deal with in the Order of Phoenix, making people see and understand the truth that Voldemort was back. And the movie has nothing of this. You see Rita Skeeter once in the whole movie, and she doesn’t do anything really for the plot. Honestly the writers of the screenplay and the directors should have just written her out all together the way that it plays out.
I have so many other things to say about the differences between the book and the movie but not enough time or room to write. I am disappointed in myself for thinking the 4th movie is was great representation of the book. I should have known that it wasn’t because I didn’t like watching it compared to some of the others. This doesn’t mean I hate the movie, I just understand why I am not as interested in it like I thought I would be, considering I always told myself that the Goblet of Fire is my favorite book of Harry Potter.
Well, seeing as I have finished this book and am still in a Harry Potter mood, I may read the 6th (since I read the 5th Order of Phoenix earlier this year) the Half-Blood Prince. I don’t know as I am getting the next book of an author I like today. I may read that instead. We shall see I guess. See you next book.
Book 59 is part of one of my all time favorite series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Now if you have been following me all year, you already know that I have read 3 of the Harry Potter books, though a little out of order. I started with the order of phoenix but decided to go back and read the first two. I would have continued but there were a lot of books coming out that I wanted to read so I didn’t continue. Not that that was the only reason. There are very few people who know this but I actually never finished the third book in the series before. This is the first time I have read the book from start to finish. There is a reason behind it and I didn’t like that I didn’t finish the book but I was always hesitant to go back and read it until now.
When I was in high school was when the Harry Potter books started coming out. Didn’t know about them until my neighbor decided she was going to be Hermione for Halloween and I had no idea who that was. Mind you, I was heavy in the romance novels at this time and wasn’t reading anything young adult because that genre hadn’t really been popular at the time. So I watched the first two movies and then the third when it came out in theaters. I remember going with my mom to see it, one of the few times me and my mom had gone to the movies just us girls. If I am correct, my friend Charlie (yes, Charlie is a girl) was with us but I could be confusing it with another memory of us going to the movies. ANYWAYS, I started reading the books after the third movie because I wanted to know what was going to happen to Sirius and Harry. So I read the fourth book and then the fifth and had to wait a couple of months for the 6th book to come out so I decided to read fanfiction and read the first three books. Well by the time I got to the third book, I just couldn’t get over the fact that everyone hated Sirius, especially since I liked reading fanfiction about the Marauders and I liked Sirius. Of course my teenage self was more involved emotionally and thus I could not stand the heartbreak of hearing all the bad things about Sirius when I knew the truth, so I stopped reading the third book and concentrated on fanfictions. The rest is history, really.
I know you came to hear my thoughts on the book and it is mostly this, this book is not a traumatizing as I thought it was when I was in high school. Honestly, I loved reading it. I will say that I am upset with Hermione’s character and the grief she gets from her friends is self-inflicted. She is more of a tattle tale and goody-good shoes in the book then in the movie. I honestly got made at her too. Granted I am sure that I will feel upset with Ron in the next book since he pissed me off in the 4th movie as well. I am sure the book will make his stupidity even worse. Back to the Prisoner of Azkaban, I did like that there wasn’t a scene of Harry and Hermione battling out with Lupin in his werewolf form, it is one of my least favorite scenes in the movie. Glad to know that it isn’t in the book.
Well, the fact that I have read 4 of the Harry Potter, might as well read the rest of them this year. I haven’t read most of them since I read the first time so it will be interesting to read them after I know all the theories and all the small reveals. Lets see if how long it takes me, shall we? Also, just because I am going to read the rest of them doesn’t mean I will do it all at once. I figure two at a time will suffice. See you next book.
Let's enjoy the many worlds there are to enjoy, in just our own heads.