( Order-ing my thoughts )
Anyway, I could blather on for ages and ages, but let's not. :p Here's the recap! I did a more 'global' one this time around, not commenting on every little funny bit because if I did that the recap would get HUGE. Plus jotting down my thoughts slowed down my reading too much, and the book is big enough as it is... (How did I ever manage to read it in 24 hours? Damn)
( Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix )
I actually got the books when they came out - I even remember where I got them, in a children's bookstore in Utrecht. Sadly, I lost them a few years back. I'm fairly sure I lend them to someone, I just can't remember to WHO. Boo. So I had to buy them again. I mean, I still have the Dutch version (with the reference to guldens in the foreword, that's how old they are!), but that's just not the same, even though the translation is really very good. I didn't want to wait for shipping and I was too lazy to go to a local bookstore, so I got the ebooks online and send them to my ereader directly using wifi. One of those things I wouldn't have even dreamed of back when the books first came out, back when I barely knew how to put things on a floppy-disk. :p
Sadly, it turned out the Fantastic Beasts one was now a tie-in with the new movies. :( Which was ok on the one hand (although I'm not a huge fan of them) but they had done away with Harry's comments in the margins, and that was half the fun! On the other hand, Quidditch was as fun as I remembered. I got SERIOUSLY nostalgic reading them, because these were usualy the books I grabbed when I wanted a quick visit to the wizarding world. They were also often my bathtub reading choice because they're so light and fast to read through. So I ended up really missing my parents' bathtub, haha.
I also really enjoyed how lighthearted they are compared to GoF and OotP, even though the wizarding world is seriously psycho sometimes....
Anyway, recap, such as it is:
Quidditch Through the Ages
Library card in the front! Heh, Ron checked out the book but didn’t return it in time. Hermione finished it in a day, of course (and Draco checked it out after her).
Reviews by other people! One Brutus Scrimgeour wrote The Beater’s Bible. Wonder if they’re related. And Lockhart’s review is insufferable of course! “Shows a lot of promise!” Rita has “read worse”.
Dumbledore’s intro is genius. I am ambivalent towards the man in the series but, to speak with Phineas Nigellus, you have to admit he has style!
Buy the book or you will be the object of a Thieves Curse. Good thing I didn’t illegally download it then. :p
“It is of course an entirely fictional sport and nobody really plays it. May I also take this opportunity to wish Puddlemere United the best of luck next season.”
“By the twelfth century, wizards had learned to barter services.” And they call Muggles primitive!
All those other broomstick games sound dangerous but kind of hilarious.
They had a female head of the Wizard Council in the 14th century! Elfrida Clagg. And the inventor of the Golden Snitch lived in Godric’s Hollow of course.
I love the excerpts from the Daily Prophet. “I want baskets to score in instead of hoops because it’s so much fun to set fire to them!” And some six-year old doesn’t want to go to Quidditch anymore because it’s no longer allowed to beat up the Keepers. Wizards are psycho.
700 fouls in the first World Cup in 1473. How?! Also there’s a Cup every 4 years. (Yet in GoF Ludo Bagman welcomes them to the 422th World Cup? That would make it the year 3161 if it really was every 4 years. If it was yearly, GoF would be 1895. It should be the 131th World Cup, honestly. Besides, 1994-1473 is 521 years which is indivisible by four, so unless they skipped a year somewhere it can't even have been every four years. Jo and math...)
Aw of course Ron’s favourite team is the loser one.
Fastest Snitch capture: 3.5 SECONDS in 1921 (the Seeker in question maintains that it wasn’t an accident).
Norse poet Ingolfr the Iambic! Whose poem is of course in iambic pentameter. And the French wizard playwrite Malecrit.
The Bulgarian Vratsa Vultures are always willing to give new players a chance to make a name for themselves! Yes, we’ve seen that.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published by Obscurus Books! At 18A Diagon Alley.
Aw man, a foreword by Newt. Wait, he’s still alive? It ties in with the movie now, bummer.
“Albus Dumbledore was something more than a schoolteacher to me”??? Wait whaaaaaaaat? My brain is going all sorts of places now. Mostly to Jude Law. Yum.
(I am low-key OBSESSED with The Young Pope. It's the most bizarre show I've seen since Hannibal. It was part of the reason why I squealed when I found out Jude had been cast as young Dumbledore. Now if only they'd recast Johnny Depp...)
What is a beast? A great hairy thing with too many legs, according to Harry. (I miss his doodles. L )
Elfrida Clagg pops up again. And I love how it’s always Goblins messing things up.
Werewolf Support Services at the Being Division and Werewolf Registry and Capture Unit at the Beast Division. That seems... unwieldy.
Owners of a Hippogriff have to perform a Disillusionment Charm on them. Did Sirius ever do that or did Buckbeak spent a year locked up in Sirius’s mum’s room? Poor thing.
Hey, according to the author's description Newt was the one who formed the Werewolf Registry? Kind of wondering whether that's going to pop up in the movies somehow. Anyway, I do like the new illustrations. But I miss the commentary!
ANYWAY. WEREWOLF FEELS. I HAVE THEM. Let's move on. We'll revisit this topic with OotP, HBP and TDH anyway.
Warning: this is stupidly long, I shout at people a lot, and the arc words of this recap are 'I forgot' because good grief, I forgot A LOT..
( PoA recap )
This was an interesting one. CoS was always a bit the redheaded stepchild of the series to me, the one I had to get through to get to the good parts (i.e. PoA :p). The plot always seemed so inconsequential to me since the whole Chamber/basilisk/diary thing would never be mentioned again - of course, I had no idea I had to wait for HBP for that! So CoS is always "the one that got good when HBP came out , haha. *
What surprised me this time around is how much this one deepens out the world and how much is set up for later books, but we had no idea at the time. Mudbloods, Azkaban, Horcruxes, Lucius Malfoy and the School board, Cornelius Fudge being ineffectual, Tom Riddle, house elves, and of course the Vanishing Cabinet. It all shows up here first but it didn't get important until way later. Jo basically distracts us with Lockhart's antics. :p (And even HE shows up again later on!) So yeah, this was pretty enjoyable to read.
* Also, it put me in mind of the theory that the seven books are mirrors of each other. PS and TDH reflect one another being the opener and the closer, CoS and HBP complement one another with the Horcruxes and the.... Slytherinness of it all, PoA and OotP reveal more about the Potters and their friends, and Azkaban and its prisoners play a huge part (ánd it's the beginning and end of Sirius). GoF is the pivot, the middle point, and it fits that it has a plot that doesn't really come back later (the Triwizard Tournament) but also opens up the wizarding world to us ánd it's where the overarching plot of the later 3 books start, the "we're not in Kansas anymore moment. It's pretty neat.
Before we begin there's something else I want to share. I first read PS and CoS on holiday with my parents. Actually, that's not entirely true. I mentioned before that my brother first got into HP because his teacher read it to him at school. My aunt tried to get me into HP too but I resisted because they books sounded dumb. My mom wanted to buy the books but she could only find the second one; the first one was flat sold out (I think the third one had only been released a coupe of months before; it was the year GoF came out). I tried to read CoS first but I couldn't make heads or tails of it, so I bought the first one myself, and we took both books on vacation to France.
I finished PS with CoS lying next to me, so I could immediatey continue. Jo had completely fooled me with her Quirrel twist (I was so angry that it wasn't Snape!) and I was DETERMINED that she wouldn't fool me again.
So naturally I was absolutely sure Lockhart had opened the Chamber.
I mean, it made sense! Last time it had been the least likely candidate, Lockhart was an obvious fool and it would be ridiculous that he would open the Chamber. Therefore, it was obviously him!
Of course, Jo kicked my ass once again and I had to bow down to her genius plotting. :p
Anyway, while on vacation my parents had brought art supplies and my brother and I spend rainy days drawing. Of course, being the budding HP freak that I was, I drew a lot of HP stuff. Thankfully, I saved most of my drawings, so when I started the reread project I decided to look for my original HP drawings. And I found them! So here they are. My very first drawings I made when I had JUST finished the first two books.
( Drawings! )
Anyway, without much further ado, here are my reactions to Chamber of Secrets!
( Chamber of Secrets recap )
I planned it out and apparently if I read one book every two weeks I should finish the series by July 21, the ten year aniversary of the release of TDH. I'm also planning to read the mini-books (Fantastic Beasts, Quidditch, and Beedle the Bard) but I'm skipping The Cursed Child as once was way more than enough for THAT one.
I actually started the reread two weeks ago, beginning - of course - with Philosopher's Stone. I was surprised with how much nostalgia I felt, how much I still recognised and how much I had forgotten - athough most of it quickly came back to me in an "oh right! sort of way. Now, 17 years after I first read it (oh God), I could look at it with a bit more distance. It's not a perfect book by any means, but I really enjoyed how brilliant of a children's book it is, in the vein of Roald Dahl. The characters are simple but not dumb, it's a perfect world for kids who want to be heroes, and it never talks down to the reader. Jo also has a brilliant way with words with a delightful British sense of humor.
So yeah, I really enjoyed reading it again.
During my reading, I kept a notebook nearby to jot down my thoughts as I was reading it. I kind of wish I'd done this during my first reading of the book, way back when, as I barely remember how I took it. What I mostly remember is scoffing at the 'kids book' at first (my younger brother actually first got into HP as his teacher was reading it to his class at school; HP was also the first book he really got into, to the point where we took it on holiday and we actually skipped a day of activities so my brother could stay home and read!). But my interested was piqued anyway. I think I rushed through this in a couple of days, finishing it with the second book next to me so I continue straight away. Jo had sunk her claws in me. :p
Anyway, I typed up my notes this time around! It's a bit long and quite rambly, but nevertheles fun to read. Here they are, my genuine reactions to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
( Ye're a wizard, Harry. I'm a wot? )