24 May 2013

Harry Potter HFriday - Post the And We're Walking

I know we've been going back and forth and back again about JK's terrible math skills, but I think we can take a moment to note that THIS is the section where all the backwards math goes to hell. If JK hadn't put James and Lily's DOB in the book, or STRONGLY IMPLIED that Hogwarts is the only wizarding school in England (p.210), everything would have been

Hello, sweetie...
And we'd have all been able to discuss without throwing up our hands and calling JK a maths idiot. BUT NO, she had to be clever. At least we can all bask in the knowledge that there are Potternerds out there who put us all to shame - or rather, did the math so we don't have to. Bless them for allowing us to maintain our polite fiction of normalcy.

SO in this section Ron gets pissed (that's angry, not drunk, British and Australian friends - although that might have helped?) and leaves

And then... follows them? With the magic of the deus ex machina Deluminator? REASONS! And then Harry and Hermione camp for an INTERMINABLE length of time, which is like my own personal hell and 100% of the reason I never finished the LOTR books. Well, that and the really poor editing.

Bullet points! Or rather, quotes and discussion because I took too. many. lit. classes.

"He did it instinctively, without any sort of plan, because he hated the sight of her walking alone into the dungeon: As the door began to swing closed, he slipped into the courtroom behind her." 

This is who Harry is on the inside, why he's a Gryffindor, and why he's The Boy Who Lived. Of course, that all happens when he's not being THIS DOUCHEBAG:

"But it seemed that to Dumbledore, the fact that their families lay side by side in the same graveyard had been an unimportant coincidence, irrelevant, perhaps, to the job he wanted Harry to do." 
UGH HARRY. Why do you have to be so seventeen? (p.s. - props to my Mac for recognizing Dumbledore as a real word. Life imitating art, etc. etc.)

"The most recent of these, shining brightly over sixteen years' worth of magical graffitti, all said similar things."

And that, friends, is when Tika broke down and ugly-cried so hard she scared her cat out of the bedroom.

"He shared a damn sight more of what he was really thinking with Gellert Gridelwald than he ever shared with me."

This ship is in the bag.

Ron is back! Saving Harry from his own stupidity, which was a nice touch.
"She stopped right in front of him, her lips slightly parted, her eyes wide. Ron gave a weak, hopeful smile and half raised his arms." 
AGGGH JUST KIIIISSSSSSSS! But no. JK has learned restraint, to everyone's RAGING DISMAY.


Also, you guys? The HP 7+8 gifs? THE SADDEST. Do not want.

21 May 2013

The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

This is the tale of a teenaged girl who fell in love with books with dragons on the covers. One day, after having finished everything Melanie Rawn had written and also having been enraged about the ending of The Ruins of Ambrai, someone handed her a 500+ page mass-market paperback that said “Volume 1” on the spine.

Roughly four thousand pages later, she emerged from book six, blinked a bit, and groped around blindly for book seven.

But alas, book seven had yet to be published! And, as it happens, neither had books eight through twelve fourteen. On that day in a sunny bedroom in Alaska in a room with a strange-if-you’re-not-a-teen mixture of kittens and pop stars on the walls, she vowed that she would not read another word of the Wheel of Time series until it was finished, because Robert Jordan would probably die before the damn thing was done.

And thus it was with sorrow but also a small degree of

 that I heard of Robert Jordan’s death before the ending of The Wheel of Time. But lest you think I am too high on my horse, allow me to tell you that I’m current with A Song of Ice and Fire, and there’s no end in sight for that one either.

I love me some epic fantasy, is what I’m trying to say. For years it was the brain candy I used to take my mind off of studying, or in between stints worshipping at the feet of Anthony Trollope or Edith Wharton. These days, most of my book recommendations come from the other book blogs I read, and it’s safe to say that there are not a lot of dragons flying around the covers of their books.

My friend Jeremy also loves fantasy and sci-fi, and since we occasionally share a brain, he suggested I read The Way of Kings. What he neglected to tell me was that this is the first book of a series of ten, and that only this one has been published so far.

You’d think the guy who was commissioned to write the end of Wheel of Time would be a little leery of planning at 10,000+ page series, wouldn’t you?  BUT NO. He cares not for fate and her wily ways.

Anywhatsis, if you like this kind of thing – that is, epic, world-building stories that could reasonably be used as weights and take a torturously long time to get written and published – this is pretty close to as good as it gets. 

8.5 of 11 Glowy Rocks to be Used as Currency

16 May 2013

Harry Potter HFriday - Post the It's All Downhill from Here

FIRST, has anyone mentioned yet that Saint Hedwig is the patron saint of orphans? Someone had to have, but I missed it, so I flailed a little a lot when I read it JUST TODAY.


Rest in peace, Old Battleaxe. You earned it. 
I'mma just be over here in my chair.

I am starting to get seriously upset that this readalong is ending. I love how we all let one another drift in and out (ahem: me, mostly) and don't worry, how Alice managed to pick the exact right amount of chapters so we can do this reading and other recreational reading on the side, and how we argue and discuss and roll our eyes at each other every once in awhile but have also forged what I, at least, consider to be some pretty badass friendships.

I never actually watched this show, but the GIFs are pretty good.
Also, Australian Kayleigh, I'm going to need you to get me a koala to live outside my house, please. Thanks.

SPEAKING OF FRIENDS, which we were, Dudley brought Harry tea and was trying to make him feel betterrrrr! And it's totes not Harry's fault that he misread Dudley's extremely subtle hints (I say, as an Extremely Subtle Hint Leaver myself...), but maybe there's hope for Dear Diddykins after all.

"Harry had spent the morning completely emptying out his school trunk for the first time since he had packed it six years ago." 
This has to be a boy thing. I mean, it could also be a Plot Point Thing for the Purpose of Reminding Us What Has Come Before [as if anyone would just pick up book 7 out of the blue - there's not even a book flap blurb! (which I liked a lot, nice job JK)] but I have six brothers and I am here to tell you: boys are disgusting.

"I've also modified my parents' memories so that they're convinced they're called Wendell and Monica Wilkins, and that their life's ambition is to move to Australia, which they have now done." 
DAMN, girl. That is badass and so sad. I don't know that I'd have the cojones to do that if it were my parents.

Ron on the Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches:

"You'd be surprised, it's not all about wandwork, either."

Keep telling yourself that, Roonil Wazlib.

Hey, did you notice that Arthur's patronus is a weasel? Because I did ::coughTHISTIMEcough::

Will Hagrid's gift of a bag no one but the put-inner (soon to be named the De-outer) can take things out of come in handy further down the Plot Road?

Luna's dad believes one should wear sun-colored robes to a wedding for luck. How charming is that? I might make my life imitate art at more weddings if I didn't look like a corpse in yellow.

"Vot," he said, draining his goblet and getting to his feet again, "is the point of being an international Quidditch player if all the good-looking girls are taken?"

Oh Viktor, you are a gentleman. I've met a fair number of internationally famous people, and not one of them cared if the women they hit on were taken. My hat is off to you, sir.

Lastly before we move on to the genre-required endless walking portion of the program:

"Harry felt sickened by what he had seen, by the use to which Draco was now being put by Voldemort."

02 May 2013

Harry Potter HFriday - Post the FOR SOBBING OUT LOUD

I MISSED YOU GUYS! I am going to be seriously adrift in Blogland when these Harry Potter shenanigans are over. The frustrating thing about having missed the last 2 weeks is that I actually completed my reading BOTH TIMES and just wasn’t able to write up the post due to the plague (week 1, super shitty!) and a father/daughter weekend in Seattle (week 2, loads of fun!).

SO. Let’s just say I approached this week’s reading with a big ol’backlog of things to talk about, most of which I am going to assume someone in this group covered at some point. But here are my bullet points:
  • Dumbledore telling off the Dursleys and Dudley’s confusion
  • “Let us not deprive Molly any longer of the chance to deplore how thin you are.” Dumbledore knows what mothers like best.
  • Snape. UGH you are being such an ASSHOLE. I have sympathy for you, I really do, but seriously man, you are the only one of the Mauraders generation who had even a CHANCE at a normal adult life, so try not being such a gigantic douche-canoe, would you?
  • Ginny, you are amazing and I want to kiss you on the mouth.
  • I think we can all take a moment to appreciate Madam Pince’s reaction to writing in books. Or at least I can, because why would you do that when there is a wide world of post-its out there?
  • And another moment for this, which I noted as “might be a perfect paragraph”:

She left. At once Lavender and Parvati put their heads together to discuss this new development, with everything they had ever heard about McLaggen, and all they had ever guessed about Hermione. Ron looked strangely blank and said nothing. Harry was left to ponder in silence the depths to which girls would sink to get revenge. (314)
JK, you may not have a good handle on the romantic relationships in your stories, but damn girl, you sure know how to describe people.
  • McGonagall sets Seamus lines: I am a wizard, not a baboon brandishing a stick.

You tell'em, Dame Smith!

One last thing for catchup: Ron’s love potion from Romilda Vane was so incredibly fantastic, and then he’s safe, and then he’s in Terrible Danger and how good is JK at foreshadowing and how guilty did I feel for laughing at Ron a moment before?! Most of my notes in this section amount to “aaauuuughhhh this is so good!”


OKAY. It happened, that Thing we have all been dreading, for we shall Dumble no more.

 And this whole book I have been approaching the end much like this:

Why is it in a saucepan? Why is there a towel on its head? Why do I suddenly want a kitten?
BUT FIRST, I have jumped on Alice and Rainbow's bandwagon and may supplement my lack of Harry Potter when June rolls around by reading Harry/Draco fic. 
“I need to see what Draco Malfoy is doing inside you…”


But onward we must trudge, heavy our hearts and heavy our eyelids for staying up way too late to read children's' books:
Back at the beginning Harry was all, “why won’t something attack me?” and Dumbledore is like, “because you’re with ME and I am the baddest ass in these here parts.” (that last may have been just in my imagination, yes?) And then when Harry is taking Dumbledore out of the cave, Dumbles is all, “I am not worried, Harry. I am with you.”

He's going to talk to some food about this.
I’mma segue here a little and assume you are all Firefly fans because you are cool like that. Do you remember when you saw Serenity for the first time? I DO. I went to opening night and stood in line and won a t-shirt that has since disappeared (dammit). And at That Moment We All Remember, the whole theater stopped breathing. But we didn’t get time to cry because there was SLAYING KILLIN’ to be done by River Tam, Intergalactic Badass.

The second time I went to see Serenity, a very unexpected thing happened. When the crew got to Miranda, I started to sob. Great, heaving, trying-to-be-quiet-and-failing sobs. My friends who didn’t know what was coming were extremely uncomfortable, but I wept on undeterred. Because I knew what was coming. Megs and I got choked up over it this afternoon, in fact; it was one of the most devastating things I have ever experienced for a fictional character.

I haven’t read HBP since just before I started book 7, and I was racing through so I could crack open that orange behemoth. I didn’t know. I didn’t understand. I was firmly in the “Snape is evil” camp – I had a bookmark and everything (remember those?).

But this time through… this time, I just wept at the inevitability of it all, from the moment Dumbledore said, “I am with you.”

No exaggeration was used in the creation of this image.

So hey, how about that Fleur, huh? I’m pretty sure that “”Our Great-Auntie Muriel has a very beautiful tiara” anagrams into, “sorry I was mean and dismissive of you; welcome to the family.”

She is quite good looking enough for both of them.