Reading, Writing Rowling 39: When in Doubt, Go to the Library: The Books Within the Books

 

 

Reading, Writing Rowling 38: Harry Potter and the Deadly Virus

 

 

Looking for Your Next Celebrity Storytime? Try These!

While we may all get a little tired of being told that we must use these odd times for self-improvement and intense personal growth, there is no denying that many people have taken both comfort from and interest in reading. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile: Houston, Gloria, Lamb, Susan ...Libraries are realizing that the rural Bookmobile concept is actually pretty amazing, something I knew as a child when the magical delivery service visited my aunt’s house. It was like a traveling Scholastic Book Fair. Amazon is, of course, doing a rip-roaring business, but they aren’t delivering only books, as people are shipping everything including a kitchen sink (if Amazon doesn’t have one that suits the shut-in home-improver, I’m sure Home Depot or Lowe’s will). Local bookstores, many of which are only doing online or appointment sales, are a nice choice, and a good idea if you’d like that bookstore to be there this time next year.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy a good book, though, is to hear it read aloud. There is something magical about the read-aloud. It conveys safety and connection for many of us, reminding us of our childhood and of family reading timeHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Wikipedia.  I may have complained mightily about reading any chapter in which I had to do my extravagant voices for Voldemort, Bellatrix, Dobby, and/or Snape, but I wouldn’t trade those sore throats for anything, as reading the Harry Potter books aloud to my children remains one of the most precious experiences we have shared (and I do still do the voices sometimes for laughs, although my daughter has truly made Luna her own. My grandchildren will have a ball with that one).

Celebrities are, of course, taking up the task of bringing storytime comfort, and the Wizarding World has been featuring appropriate readers for Philosopher’s Stone. Daniel Radcliffe, the Boy who Lived to most filmgoers, has read us the first chapter. Noma Dumezweni of Cursed Child took on “The Vanishing Glass.” Newt Scamander himself, the delightful Eddie Redmayne, reads chapter 3, and has an Aunt Petunia voice I truly envy. Artwork from contributors adds to the reading, but Spotify also has all–auditory versions. Many other famous voices are lined up to read aloud each chapter over the coming weeks.Chapter Three: 'The Letters from No One' | Wizarding World

While we wait for the next chapters to be read by the next celebrity readers, you may be in need of another reading companion.  Thankfully, there are some wonderful choices available. Here are a few I like and which you might want to try, but also hope you’ll comment below with suggestions if you have found some that you have discovered and enjoyed. [Read more…]

How to Get Ready for ‘Troubled Blood’

What is the best way to get ready for the publication of Strike5, Troubled Blood?

I think, based on my experience with previous Rowling releases, at least three efforts will yield the best results.

First and most obvious: re-read the books that precede the new entry. Rowling is a maestro of narrative slow release, one who plants clues and foreshadowings of coming attractions in the first books of a series. I enjoy listening to the Robert Glenister audio-books of the Strike novels for a fun review (and I keep a notepad with me while I listen if something catches my attention).

Second: review the HogwartsProfessor posts and MuggleNet podcasts on the books in question. You won’t find discussion of subjects from mythology and alchemy to the links with parallel numbers in the Harry Potter series and the ring composition of each book and the series as whole anywhere else. Get yourself up to speed with the conversation that has been happening here at Serious Reader Central about Cormoran, Robin, and Company.

Third: Join that conversation! There are the comment threads here, of course, and now the #StrikeReadAlong for you to jump in and share your questions, insights, and critique. The more the merrier — and it’s never too late!

How are you preparing for Troubled Blood? Has anyone tackled Faerie Queen or a prolonged listen to Marilyn Manson albums?

Guns Akimbo: Harry Meets Katniss?

My first thoughts on seeing this trailer were:

‘Guns Akimbo’ looks like a fun meta-take on video games. I wonder if it is direct to video or whether there will be a video game released akin to the story-line…

Does anyone else feel an irony boundary has been crossed akin to the Gamesmakers being tasked with making film adaptations of The Hunger Games books?

Chris Calderon has actually seen the movie and given it a thorough review:

The fundamental problem of Guns Akimbo is that it is sabotaged by the very message it wants to convey. If Howden is determined to critique the kind of story premise found in the works of authors like Rowling, then in order to prove his point, he must look for the most satisfying outcome for his character. The best possible refute would have been to let the critique play out in such a way that Miles is able to emerge a better and wiser character precisely because he has had a realization of the futility of the path he’s on. That could have made for an interesting premise. The trouble is there’s no such payoff to be found anywhere in the film’s running-time. The story requires a certain type of course correction from the character that never quite arrives. Instead, everything peters to a halt at the very end by Howden being unable to find that other course and letting the character trod the same path that audiences have either seen or read a thousand times before.

Read the whole review at Chris’ weblog, Scriblerus Club, for the several Potter, Everdeen, and Baggins allusions embedded more and less successfully in the movie.

And, if you’ve seen the movie, let me know what you think. Is it worth the hours of viewing time?