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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Review: J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban

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20131231-183337.jpgI seemed to remember this book much more than the others, whether it’s because I’ve read it more often or if I’ve just seen the film a lot, but the book felt extremely familiar.

The thing I love the most about this book is that it is the first time that Harry feels like he has an actual family (I don’t think the Dursleys count as a normal loving family), and even though Harry’s dreams of living with Sirius are cruelly snatched away after half an hour and now it looks like he has no chance of seeing him again, he knows that he has someone who loves him.

My favourite quote from this book was from when Buckbeak was sentenced to execution and Harry, Ron and Hermione are trying to comfort Hagrid. When Hagrid’s howling becomes unconsolable, Ron says ‘Er, shall I make him a cup of tea?‘ After a stare from Harry, he says that it’s what his mum usually does when someone is upset. Apart from the fact that I can’t get enough of tea at the moment, the exchange reminded me of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.

This book brings back some of the tension between Ron and Hermione, with Hermione stressed out by taking so many subjects and Ron and Harry baffled as to how she manages it, and Hermione understandably getting a bit snippy. As well as all the work, she’s trying to find a way to free Buckbeak and constantly worrying about Harry with Sirius ‘on the loose’. Not that she gets any thanks for it when she has Harry’s precious new broom temporarily confiscated for ‘tests’.

I was hoping that I would have been able to read Goblet of Fire before the end of the  year, but with 5 hours left, I don’t think I stand a chance, so I’ll leave it at 34 books read this year. Not quite as good as the 68 last year, but not too shabby since I hardly read at all over the summer. I think I’ll aim for 50 next year and see how it goes…

5/5

 

Review: J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone

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20131228-163743.jpgI’ve been wanting to re-read these books since I went to the Harry Potter museum in July, and my lovely parents bought me the full boxset for Christmas, with the gorgeous new covers. I couldn’t wait to start, but I managed to hold back until I’d finished reading Death Comes to Pemberley.

It’s actually been a surprisingly long time since I read the books, I re-read the last 3 when the final book came out, but it’s probably been about ten years since I read the first few. I’ve obviously seen the films more recently than that, but I loved being transported back to 10 years old again!

I think we all know how the story goes, so I won’t do a review of the actual book, but I do have a favourite few parts from the book, which I was able to write down in the awesome Book Journal that my friend Andy bought me for Christmas.

I got a nice smile from when Dumbledore and McGonagall were leaving Harry on the doorstep of the Dursley’s, and McGonagall asked Dumbledore if there was anything he could do to remove the scar from Harry’s forehead. Dumbledore said ‘Even if I could, I wouldn’t. Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee which is a perfect map of the London Underground’. I had a wonderful vision of Dumbledore in a pair of shorts on the underground consulting his knee for directions.

I also loved the quote on the door of Gringotts;

Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay dearly in their turn,
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned beware
Of finding more than treasure there.

Not only is it a good quote about not taking advantage and taking more than you earn, but I’d imagine that if you’d never seen a Goblin before and you saw this quote about finding ‘more than treasure’, it’d probably put you on edge a bit!

But by far my favourite quote from the book is from Dumbledore when Harry is sat in front of the mirror of Erised. ‘It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that’. I also loved that I’ve only just realised that the quote on the mirror of Erised was actually a message backwards:

“Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi”

Which then becomes:

“I show not your face but your hearts desire”

I was quite surprised to remember that the adventure into the third floor corridor past the three-headed fluffy and the subsequent battle with Quirrell/Voldemort was only really in the last 30-40 pages. I seemed to remember it being much longer, although that was maybe because it took up a much bigger part of the film. I’d also forgotten that at the start, Ron and Harry thought that Hermione was an annoying know it all, and weren’t actually friends with her until they helped her fight the troll in the girls bathroom, after accidentally locking it in there with her!

Can’t wait to start the Chamber of Secrets now. I always remembered it as my least favourite of the books, but maybe it will change my mind!