A Harry Potter Appreciation Post – #HarryPotter20

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Disclaimer: this post contains spoilers for the Harry Potter series – although, to be fair, if you haven’t read it yet but are offended by HP spoilers, that’s kind of your own fault, isn’t it?

There’s a hashtag trending on Twitter today – most of you will have probably seen it: #HarryPotter20. In case you missed it: 20 years ago today Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published. Every other post on any of the social media seems to be about how Harry Potter changed someone’s life, or shaped their future – it’s kind of heartwarming. So I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon. Because (surprise, surprise) Harry Potter has been a huge part of my life as well.

This morning, I tried to remember when exactly I was introduced to Harry and J.K. Rowling, but I wasn’t sure. I do remember that I got the book as a present for my birthday one year (so it must have been October), and that that was the first time I’d heard of it. I checked the publishing information for that same copy, and that particular copy was published in 2001 – so let’s go with that! Four years after its original publication, Harry entered my world – in Dutch, mind you; it wasn’t until years later that I got to know “Hogwarts” instead of “Zweinstein” and “Diagon Alley” instead of “Wegisweg”.

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Reread: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

P1010195Harry Potter is preparing to leave the Dursleys and Privet Drive for the last time. But the future that awaits him is full of danger, not only for him, but for anyone close to him — and Harry has already lost so much. Only by destroying Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes can Harry free himself and overcome the Dark Lord’s forces of evil.

In this dramatic conclusion to the Harry Potter series, Harry must leave his most loyal friends behind, and in a final perilous journey find the strength and the will to face his terrifying destiny: a deadly confrontation that is his alone to fight.

First read: 2007

Times read: 2 or 3


When I started this blog I was a little bit worried that I wouldn’t get to reread some of my favourite books since I now review every “new” book I’ve read. That’s why I came up with this feature. Every time I reread a book (which isn’t all that often, but still) I will keep track of my reading progress and thoughts on Goodreads, and I will then make a small post and review about it on here.

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Reread: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

P1010194It is Harry Potter’s sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Voldemort’s sinister forces amass and a spirit of gloom and fear sweeps the land, it becomes more and more clear to Harry that he will soon have to confront his destiny. But is he up to the challenges ahead of him?

First Read: 2005
Times Read: No clue


When I started this blog I was a little bit worried that I wouldn’t get to reread some of my favourite books since I now review every “new” book I’ve read. That’s why I came up with this new feature. Every time I reread a book (which isn’t all that often, but still) I will keep track of my reading progress and thoughts on Goodreads, and I will then make a small post and review about it on here. This time I’ll also include some of my favourite quotes, just because the Harry Potter books are so quotable. I might do the quote thing again, I might not, who knows!

Thoughts while rereading…

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As most of you will know, the Harry Potter books are very close to my heart, and they will always be my favourites. I love rereading them once in a while, and as you can see in my reading progress thingy, it had been a while since I’d last read the Half-Blood Prince. I had actually forgotten quite a lot of what happens in the book (although I did remember the main storylines, of course) and it was SO much fun rereading everything!

One of the things I was most pleasantly surprised by was the focus on love and crushes and all that teenager stuff. I know that those things become more present as the series goes on, but I think there’s much more attention for it in this book than in the Order of the Phoenix and all the previous ones. I really liked it! It made me chuckle quite a bit, actually. It also makes the story even more real, because even though these kids are fighting evil, they’re still growing up at the same time, and dealing with the same (sometimes silly) stuff every teenager deals with.

Another thing that I love about all of the Harry Potter books, and sometimes forget about, is the humour. There is so much witty banter going on between Harry, Ron and Hermione! And of course Fred, George en Ginny as well.

I tend to forget just how funny some of these conversations are because of all of the serious and sad stuff happening, such as the ending. That got me all over again. Of course I knew exactly what happened, but it still made me really sad. I went to have dinner with some friends after I finished reading the novel, and she asked me how my day had been, and all I said was: “Meh. I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince today” and she knew exactly what I meant!

Favourite Quotes

Man, that Dumbledore is wise:

It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.

This conversation between Harry and Snape just had me grinning very widely:

“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me “sir” Professor.”
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.

And this one had me chuckling out loud:

“An Unbreakable Vow?” said Ron, looking stunned. “Nah, he can’t have…. Are you sure?”
“Yes I’m sure,” said Harry. “Why, what does it mean?”
“Well, you can’t break an Unbreakable Vow…”
“I’d worked that much out for myself, funnily enough.”

There are so many more quotes I love from this book, but I’ll just leave it at these three for now!

What are your favourite Harry Potter moments or quotes?

Top Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is Top Ten books that will be in my beach bag this summer. I am very much looking forward to the summer holidays and all the reading I will be doing, so this list is basically my to read list. Although I had trouble limiting myself to only ten books… Anyway, here is my list!

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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

cuckooscallingWhen a troubled model falls to her death from a Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts and calls in private detective Cormoran Strike to investigate.

Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his private life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s world, the darker things become and the closer he gets to terrible danger…

First published: 2013


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It’s Another (tiny) Book Haul!

This week was the last week you could order three English novels for 25 euro at what I’d call the Dutch equivalent of amazon.com. I’d been pondering for a while if I should make use of that discount or not, since I technically don’t really have any disposable income (student loans and all that) and I still have quite a few books on my bookshelf waiting to be read, but on Sunday I thought “what the heck”. My motto in life is “you can never have too many books” (among several other mottos, to be honest) so I went ahead and ordered four books.

Huh? But I thought the discount was for three books?

Uh, yeah, that’s right… But there was another book that I’ve been wanting to read for ages, and wasn’t part of the discount, namely One Day by David Nicholls. I could never find it in the local bookstore, and there were always other books that took priority for some reason or other. But that’s over now! I can now read it whenever I want!

Which’ll probably mean somewhere next year or so.

Anyway, this post’ll be in the style of my first book haul post, which I thought worked quite nicely. It also features only three of the four books, since there was a delay concerning Paper Towns by John Green… I’ll get that one somewhere next week.

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers cross paths. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, culminating in heroic turns-of-heart and the most epic musical ever to grace the high-school stage.

My thoughts: As you might know, I’m quite the John Green fan, even though I’ve so far only read The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska (oh, and let’s not forget the wonderful, Christmassy Let it Snow). I’ve already got An Abundance of Katherines sitting on my bookshelf, but I just figured I’d make my collection of John Green novels complete by buying Paper Towns (which, like I said, is still on its way) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I have to say I’m not at all familiar with David Levithan, but I’ve heard great things about Will Grayson, so I’m sure he’s just as awesome as John Green. I’m looking forward to reading this! But it’ll have to wait for a while, I’m afraid, because I first want to read both Katherines and Paper Towns.

One Day by David Nicholls

15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year? And the yeart after that?

And every year that follows?

My thoughts: Like I said in the ‘introduction’, I’ve been wanting to read this book for a looong time. Carrie Hope Fletcher (who is a YouTuber) recommended it to her viewers (among whom I find myself) and was so enthusiastic about it I got enthusiastic as well. Even before reading it, I feel like I love it, which is perhaps not the best way to get into a book; it’ll probably disappoint now, won’t it? Either way, I can’t wait to finally read it.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

When a troubled model falls to her death from a Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts and calls in private detective Cormoran Strike to investigate.

Strike is a war veteran — wounded both physically and psychologically — and his private life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s world, the darker things become and the closer he gets to terrible danger…

My thoughts: This is actually the book I’m most looking forward to reading. When I found out JK Rowling had gotten into writing crime fiction I got extremely excited because what you don’t know is that I love crime fiction. I haven’t read a lot of it lately (as you can see from the novels I’ve reviewed since the start of this blog in October) but I do love it, it’s one of my absolute favourite genres. Combine that with JK Rowling, who is my all time favourite author, and it must be gold, right? Disclaimer: I’m not really that naive, I read a lot of really great reviews about this novel from before it came out that Robert Galbraith is in fact Rowling.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is most likely the novel I’ll read next, after I’ve finished the Jill Mansell novel I’m reading at the moment. I can’t wait!

Have you read any of these novels? What did you think of them? No spoilers, of course!