Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Today I finished reading...

That means I have finished three of the seven books.  I think I just might make it!

So what do I think?  Well, they are interesting books and they do keep my attention, but I keep wanting to hit a fast forward button.  There is so much story, so many things happening at once.  I have to say that I know that every story needs at least one antagonist, but Professor Snape is really annoying me.  Why would one horrible person be allowed to get away with the way he treats some of the students in an otherwise nurturing environment?  Dumbledore must be able to see and yet he does nothing to put a stop to it.  It just bugs me.

I have stayed up late more than one night because I wanted to see what would happen next, so I suppose that means I'm enjoying the books.  My heart hasn't been taken "prisoner" yet, but I am having fun with the characters.  And now on to The Goblet of Fire...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I have just finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling, the second book in the Harry Potter series.
I am enjoying the series, but for me, this book had a slow start.  I was at least halfway through before I felt much pull to get to the end.  When I sit down to read, I like the story, but I can't help but wish I could hurry it along a bit.  I was also struck by how much Dobby's character reminded me of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.  Admittedly, I haven't read that series, but I have seen the films, and the two characters seemed very similar- they each referred to themselves in the third person, Dobby's description sounded much like what Gollum looked like in the films, and they were both annoying as heck.  That's right, Ladies and Gentlemen, I just said "heck."  I hope you aren't too shocked. 

Finally, I began to enjoy the storyline and I am very pleased with the plot twists we have had in this series so far.  I try very hard not to get ahead of the author and figure out what is going to happen, but I have been very surprised.  It's fun to be taken by surprise.  I can't wait to see what's around the next corner. 

The Prisoner of Azkaban is next!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

I'm on my way!  I have plunged into the Potter pool...

...and I think I'm liking the water so far.  I cannot count the number of friends and family who have badgered  told me that I need to read these books.  "You haven't read Harry Potter yet?"  "But you just have to read Harry Potter!"  "Why haven't you read Harry Potter?!?!"  Harry Potter fans (Pot Heads??) are very intense.  And very persuasive, so here I am.  Reading Harry Potter.  

A few friends warned me that the first couple of installments in Harry's world are a little slow, but that it picks up as the series progresses.  It's a good thing I had that warning, because I gotta tell ya': I'm not bewitched yet.  It didn't exactly have me at hello like a certain other Young Adult series which I will not name here for fear of offense to all those J. K. Rowling fans out there, but I am sticking with it.  By the end of the book, I was very interested to see what would happen and I was genuinely surprised by the twist at the end.  (Professor Quirrell?  Really??)

I am looking forward to starting Chamber of Secrets today and I think if I can keep up this pace, I will have no trouble getting through the series by year's end.  Stick with me as I stick with Harry.  I can't wait to see how it goes!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Must Be Crazy

Well, Smart Girls.  We are fastly approaching the busiest season of the year.  Can you believe it's already November?  I sure can't, but I have a list a mile long of all the things I need to get done by the end of the year.  Crafts and baking and shopping...oh my!  And now I've just added something crazy to my already long list: my own reading challenge. 

As you may know, I belong to a WONDERFUL book club.  We have read some really wonderful books, but now that we are to such a busy time of year, we always take December off.  There is just so much to do that we take a break from book club.  So now I have 8 weeks.  Am I going to take 8 weeks off of reading?  Of course not!  I have planned a lovely little book binge for myself.

You see, I am one of those few readers who has not yet plunged into the Harry Potter pool.  I just haven't had time because I know that once I start, I will want to read straight through the entire series.  Well now I have 8 weeks and I'm going to knuckle down and do it.  I will be reading all 7 books in 8 weeks.  By New Year's Day, I will be finished, or I really will be staying up burning the midnight oil.  And I'm only giving my self until January 1st because our next book club meeting is January 7th and I will have to have finished our next book by then.  So yes, I have 8 books to read in 9 weeks.  Plus the one I was already reading before I started this crazy trek.  I can do it, right?  Right??

Wish me luck and check back to see how I'm coming along!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry

I have a great book club.  We've been reading together for about a year and a half now and it is a great group.  There are six of us ladies who attend every meeting and two or three more who come a little more sporadically.   We are smart, funny, interesting girls who read.  Our book club has made better and more active readers of us.  And you know one of my favorite things about our book club?  We actually read and discuss the books!  I have heard about other book clubs out there that pick a book, no one really reads it and then the "book club" meeting is really more of a social hour.  I have no problem with that.  If that's what you need, please do, but I really wanted a book club.  And that's just what we are.  

This months selection is: 

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.

It was actually my turn to pick the book and this one has been on my shelf for a long time, waiting to be read.  I just finished it last night, well actually it was more like 1 o'clock this morning.  I got to a certain point in the plot, and there was no putting it down until it was done.  

What did I think of it?  Well...that I'm not actually sure of.  When I first began it, I really liked it.  Then I got to an interesting plot twist and suddenly I loved it.  As I read further, I became engrossed in the characters and the plot.  I kept thinking "What is going to happen next?"  "Where is this leading?"  "No...they can't possibly be about to do what I think they are going to do?"  [The only problem with this blog is that you may not have read these books yet, and I really hate to be a spoiler, so I have to be careful what I say because I could really give away some big things here.]  

Suddenly, last night when I should have been putting the book away and going to sleep, something unbelievable happened in the storyline and I couldn't stop.  I couldn't look away.  I kept thinking, "Please don't do that."  "Please see the error of your ways and do something else."  Well, the characters just didn't listen to me and the story took a turn I would not have preferred.  

When I was finally finished, I felt...unsettled.  I wanted things to turn out differently, but it's not my book to write.  Last night I would have told you that I really did not like that book.  I wouldn't have recommended it to anyone.  This morning, I feel a little less disturbed and I think the book has grown on me a bit.  I still wouldn't say it was my favorite and I won't be hanging on to my copy to read again, but I think I'll find someone interesting to pass it on to.  Someone who can appreciate imperfect characters and an unexpected, non-fairy tale ending.  If that's you, I would suggest reserving a copy at the library.  Maybe you'll love never know.