Booking Through Thursday: Sniffle

What was the most emotional read you have ever had?

Of late, I’d say The Lord of the Rings, especially the ending. I’m a very easy crier, more so with film and television—something about the emotional power of music. I think I startled my father when I started crying a little during The Hobbit trailer when we went to go see Brave; but it was the highest definition I’d ever seen it in and “Over The Misty Mountains Cold”—if that doesn’t give you chills, I don’t know what does.

But I think the first time I cried openly (i.e., actual tears, not just tearing up, which I do all the time) over a book was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I was twelve when it came out, but I was unable to go to the midnight release—I think we were travelling at the time, and my efforts to attend a local release were shot down. So when I did get it, I tore through it (did I ever tell you about the time I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in eight hours? Good times). I remember being curled up on my office chair (there was a good way to balance myself with my feet on the desk and my back half on the seat, which probably explains my hamstring issues), reading the death of a certain someone, and crying lightly. I mean, yeah, we’d had a big death in the previous book, but that character had been introduced and removed within the same book. My mother popped her head in to tell me to go take a shower (reading had taken precedence over my morning routine, but it was the summer), and looked startled to find that I was tearful.

The Sunday Salon: Literary LEGOs, Part One

I spent a half hour last weekend doing something I haven’t done in ages—building a LEGO set. I’ve long goggled at the skills of people who can put together astounding creations out of LEGO, but I’ve not been tempted to the hobby myself, for reasons of cost and space. But when I heard, at the beginning of the year, that LEGO had gotten the licenses to both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, I knew I was going to buy a set as soon as it came out—not only because I wanted one, but because the LEGO resale market would prohibit it. But this isn’t LEGO’s first crack at sets based on books. Today, I thought we’d take a look at official LEGO sets based on books—and next week, we’ll take a look at the amazing creations of fans.

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The Sunday Salon: The Midnight Premiere

In my head, my year is separated into two halves—the holidays (October through April—Halloween through Easter) and geek season (April through September—Renaissance Festival through Dragon*Con). This isn’t a hard and fast rule; obviously, this December is going to be awesome. A subsection of geek season is the glory of summer movies, and another cinematic summer is upon us! (…summer has four months in the South. And, yes, The Hunger Games technically kicked off blockbuster season this year, but it lacked, you know, being released in summer.) It’s time, ladies and gentlemen—time for the midnight premiere.

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The Sunday Salon: Pottermore and Authorial Intent

As you may have noticed over the past two weeks, Pottermore, the Harry Potter point and click adventure thing, has finally opened its doors to the rest of the world. I actually managed to get into the beta, but they never sent my e-mail, so I had to wait until two weeks ago to finally register. It’s been fun watching it spread among my college—people have been declaring their Houses all over the place. I didn’t think it would matter to me what House I got sorted into on the website, but I found myself getting nervous when the message from J. K. Rowling popped up before the actual sorting. Luckily, it proved me a Hufflepuff, which I’ve known for years. In any case, while I was exploring the first book’s content on the website, I found myself pushing through just to get to all the new content Rowling has provided. But when I was done, I felt a bit… well, sullied and unusual, to quote Captain Jack.

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Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling

Despite my adolescent allegiance to Harry Potter, I faded out from the fandom after the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so The Tales of Beedle the Bard feels much more recent than it actually is. While I’ve been eying it at my college library ever since I got here, I’ve been thinking of it as very new, so imagine my surprise when I realized it’s already four years old. In any case, I’m always in need of something sweet and light between heavier works of literature, so I picked it up and ended up reading it on the way back from Louisiana.

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The Sunday Salon: Five Things I Learned Rereading Harry Potter

Well! After the four months it actually took back in the late summer and fall of last year and the seven months it took to post the whole thing, I’ve finally publicly finished the Harry Potter series via audiobook. Naturally, there were some elements of the books that I couldn’t discuss thoroughly in reviewing (kind of) the audiobooks. (I only listen to books I’ve read because I’m not an aural learner at all; I need the text, so my audiobook reviews can’t be as thorough as my regular book reviews.) So I thought I’d take today to take a look at some of the things I discovered on this particular journey through Harry Potter.

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Reading by Ear: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
read by Jim Dale

On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been five years since the last Harry Potter book came out—on the other, I can’t believe it’s only been five years. The films make that gap seem smaller, especially since they went into greater detail than the other films in the series. I remember, after getting the book at midnight, being driven home (I was fifteen). In the light of the headlights of the car behind me, I perused the table of contents and immediately suspected that the chapter entitled “The Seven Potters” was about Harry’s family. That, of course, was untrue, but it was the last time I was able to theorize about the books with the possibility of having my theory validated in the book. Ah, memories.

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Reading by Ear: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
read by Jim Dale

I got a very odd feeling two-thirds of the way into Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It wasn’t just the fact that this is the second time I’ve read (listened? This terminology always trips me up) this book; it was the fact that I can never read these books in the same way I did as a child and a teenager. I was a very different person when I was a child than I am now, and I was also a very different reader, so it’s hard to try and gather back up my initial impressions—but I still try to, and it’s that attempt that’s disorienting. I really hope that made sense. In any case, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

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The Sunday Salon: Authorial Biopics

In addition to books, I love movies. I thoroughly enjoyed my Introduction to Film Studies class last semester, to the tune of keeping the textbook for further reference. (And I also enjoy having an academic text confirm that yes, loving Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings is just and right. Deep down, we all just want affirmation and approval.) A lot of the time, when these two loves collide, it’s when a novel is adapted into a film—but occasionally it happens when an author’s life is reimagined by screenwriters. (And by “reimagine”, I of course mean “create fanfiction”. We’re all fanfic writers, maaaaaaan.) Hence today’s post, which highlights the last three authorial biopics I’ve seen. (I have seen Anonymous most recently, but… I’m not ready to talk about that. I may never be ready to talk about that.)
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