Sunday, July 23, 2017

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

J.K. Rowling's final book in the fascinating fantasy series, this one moves kind of slowly at times and is quite frenetic at others. All the pieces are tied together, with one omission ( the goblin Gripnhook took the sword of Gryffindor, yet Neville uses it toward the end and this is never explained). It is sad, and satisfactory at the same time. The epilogue leads one to believe more books may be in the works with the second generation, but Rowling seems to have moved on to other projects. Of course, the play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" has been released.... Not Rowling's and not quite up to her standards.

Harry Potter and the Half - Blood Prince

In this sixth installment of the fantasy series by J.K. Rowling, Harry gets to be a normal teen wizard. He concentrates on lessons (with help from the mysterious Half - Blood Prince), quidditch, a girlfriend. The war against Voldemort is not going well, so Dumbledore gives Harry private lessons searching for the complete story of Voldemort's life in hopes of finding what makes him vulnerable. This book is darker still and may cause warned if you're reading aloud to the children.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The fifth installment of J.K. Rowling's fantasy series and the darkest yet. As the Dark Lord increases in power, the Ministry of Magic remains in denial. The Ministry also fears Dumbledore's influence and so makes great changes at Hogwarts. These things take away from Harry's study time for the Ordinary Wizarding Level exams. Friends are even more important this year for Harry, especially as sacrifice looms ever closer.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The fourth novel in J.K. Rowling's fantasy series, and Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts. He's halfway through his training as a wizard in this book. He gets to go to the Quidditch World Cup with his friends. He finds out about a mysterious event taking place at Hogwarts involving two rival schools of magic, he has a crush. In short, he wants to be a normal teen wizard. However, Harry has never been normal... and that difference can be dangerous!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Birth Order Book

Why You Are The Way You Are, by Dr. Kevin Leman. Dr. Leman takes the four positions in the family; first born, middle child, baby, and only child, and tells how that position helps shape your personality and influences your interests and career choices. He gives the typical strengths for each birth order to nurture and the usual weaknesses to be overcome. He includes relationship information of all types. I enjoy personality theory books; this one is more anecdotal than evidence based, though he does include notes referencing scientific studies on occasion. I have had the pleasure to hear Dr. Leman speak at a Hearts at Home Conference; he is a delightful man. This is an enjoyable book. It helped explain some things I'd wondered about in my family of origin for many years. Big plus!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This young adult fantasy novel by J.K. Rowling is, in the words of my oldest daughter, neither too silly nor too dark. When I realized my youngest daughter was rereading the series for the nth time, I thought I would reread them as well. I think this was also the last book in the series which had a dedicated editor. This is a delightful book, and the blurb on the back tells what it's about; "For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.  Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, ' He's at Hogwarts... he's at Hogwarts.'  Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst."

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

This is a delightful novel written by Mary Ann  Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Set as a series of letters to and from Juliet Ashton, a London author just after World War II, it tells the story of the German occupation of the Channel Island of Guernsey and how the people survived. Some, with the help of literature, make-do recipes, and friends, even thrived. Highly recommended.