Saturday, July 31, 2010

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.
-Frederick Douglass

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh look, this is me, making it into a tumbler post.
Because I am a murderer.
It was a proud day.

LITERAL Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer Parody HD

Hilarious. That's all.
What the Shakespeare?
Said by Charles Dickens. I thought this line quite clever.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What I've Been Doing

The 16th of August was precisely a week ago, and I am sorry for the delay but I've been completely absorbed in the world of Elizabeth Gaskell (her actual real life world, not the world's she wrote about) and the Stravagante in Talia. I simply adore books, but I've been a bit scared by the sheer amount of reading I've done in the past week. Two whole Stravaganza books and half of Jenny Uglow's biography of Elizabeth Gaskell. Plus a bit of the Bible, but I take that slower.
Reading the Stravaganza books has made me realise that although I've read a lot of fantasy, the fantasy books which I really love (Harry Potter, Stravaganza, Narnia, and others) are ones in which the magical/fantasy world is unknown to the protagonists until it find them/they find it. I feel like this just makes the books more . . . it makes the reader feel as though they can almost reach the world, that it's plausible, there but hidden. It pulls you in more.
Elizabeth Gaskell's biography on the other hand - I love her letters, and I am not exaggerating. They're delightfully excellent, charming, full of details but not boring. At least the extracts I've read, and I plan to borrow out the book of them from my uni's library. I just wish the modern world lent itself more to letters. I love letters.
And that has been my week of reading, or extracts from. So, I'm off to read a bit more!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sometimes I build up these lists in my head, and I feel like I'll just go mad if I don't write them down somewhere safe, before I forget anything on them.

Small Minds.

How could there be a God that could control all that? What did my science teacher used to say - two thirds of the earth's surface was covered in water? How could I be the son of someone that powerful?
-Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon.
And yet, we can be the children of the God who controls more than that, the whole universe, who is infinitely powerful, but belittle him and forget his power and glory and take him for granted and be irreverent. How?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.
- Stephen King
I've begun to wonder that too. So I may just try it out/already have. I also keep reading Stephen King quotes and liking them, but I don't really know who he is. I am now off to amend this.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I think smart in my head, I just can't get the words out.
-Tara, 'Beauty and the Geek.'

36 Days later (but really 31)...

I'm finished. Harry Potter is done for quite a while.
You know, I've never read them all together before. It was lovely. Harry aged 7 years in little over month. Wow.
Deathly Hallows, particularly the last nine chapters, is such an emotional roller coaster. I can't imagine what it's like for people who score higher than 2% emotion on Harry Potter Wand Quizzes. Anyway, the last nine chapters of DoH, the Battle of Hogwarts and everything surrounding it after they become bank robbers, rates as a favourite section out of all the books. I'm waiting to reach it as soon as I start HBP. Also, you can tell it's a favourite section because of the density of dog ears in it compared to the rest of the book. So, without further ado, a cascade of quotes to end my journey.
...there were six Harry Potters gasping and panting in front of him. Fred and George turned to each other and said together, 'Wow - we're identical!'
I feel like there's a lot less humour in this book. Well, not feel, because there is. So this is a little gem of the small amount of humour in the book. Thankfully, that which is there is good. (Something about Severus Snape and shampoo comes to mind....)
'Always the tone of surprise.' [Said by both Ron and Hermione]
This little quote is lovely. Ron says it a fair bit to Hermione in a few of the previous books, but I only picked up on it because I read them all in a row. I just love how many references there are to previous books in DoH. It's great (another one is coming)
...each [g] felt like a friendly little wave glimpsed from behind a veil.
Enough said. Lovely writing.
'Yes - yes - a boy,' said Lupin again, who seemed dazed by his own happiness.
This scene made me so happy when I read it. I loved that Lupin had a kid, I loved that he and Harry were friends again, and I loved the punctuation of happiness in the midst of a grim story. But I'm always a little saddened byt he fact that Lupin could be dazed by his own happiness. It's a slightly melancholy image, whilst being happy at the same time.
'Potter belongs in my house!' Beneath the disbelief and anger, Harry heard a little strain of pride in her voice, and affection for Minerva McGonagall gushed up inside him.
I love that this line was written. And I love it when McGonagall screams when she thinks Harry is dead, and I love it that she duels Voldemort. It's been confirmed in the last month that McGonagall is one of my favourite characters.
...the Snape-shaped hole in the window.
'Are you a wizard or what?'
As promised, the throwback to other books. In this case the first, but this time reversed. Quite brilliant.
'After all this time?'/'Always,' said Snape.
Always. What a beautiful answer, from a character I still dislike. Haha. think that people had years, time to waste, so much time it dragged, and he was clinging to each second.
What poetic language. I thought as I read this that I'm really glad she wrote this book last, which sounds stupid, but it's how the thought got phrased. What I mean is...her writing has gotten better, I think through the books, so that a lot of DoH is just really wonderful writing. This is one example. As an aside, the scene right after this (the resurrection stone) brought me to tears, but only the first time i read it.
Sorry for the length of this post but, you know, it is the last one. So, that's it. Now you can expect sensible, reasonably lengthened posts that aren't bordering on obsessiveness. Thank goodness for that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

'When a father can provide a deserving son with something but denies him, there has to be something very important, something over and above that, and that thing is us. The death of Christ teaches us the love of God.'
'We sing and we sing because we've got so much to sing about, friend'
'The more you count your blessings, life gets into perspective. We've always got something to thank God about. If nothing else, thank him for sending his son.'
Spent a week away, studying God. It was excellent, and above are just a few quotes from Phillip Jensen's talks on the cross of Christ.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Feeling Princely

There are so many pages turned down in my copy of the Half-Blood Prince to mark the lines I liked. More than the other books, so it's hard to be selective, but I've decided to pick a only er a few to share.
[About Harry's popularity]'And it doesn't hurt that you've grown about a foot over the summer, either,' Hermione finished, ignoring Ron. 'I'm tall,' said Ron inconsequentially.
Rowling has a knack for picking exactly the right word to describe tone and the way things are done. I think I said that in the last post, but I can so easily imagine Ron saying that. And I love how quietly amusing the books are. There's not really much that would make you laugh out loud, but there's plenty of lines that have me chuckling to myself.
He did not usually lie in bed reading his textbooks; that sort of behaviour, as Ron rightly said, was indecent in anybody except Hermione, who was simply weird that way.
Good old Hermione. I love that about her. And she doesn't even care that everyone thinks that.
'It's not my fault she's barking mad Hermione. Or d'you think she overheard you being rude about Filch? I've always thought there might be something going on between them...'
I love it when the kids discuss something other than the year's big mystery, or Voldemort. When you get a glimpse of when they're just being completely normal teenagers. I also love that later on in the book, at the funeral, Rowling specifically mentions that Madam Pince and Filch were standing together in the hall.
[Harry]:'I want to find McLaggen and kill him.' 'I'm afraid that would come under the heading of "over exertion",' said Madam Pomfrey.
I love it when the staff are funny. That is all.
'I am not worried Harry,' said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger, despite the freezing water. 'I am with you.'
What a compliment. Not much to say, except that I dog eared the page as soon as I read that line.
'DON'T --' screamed Snape, '-- CALL ME COWARD!'
So before book seven this made me dislike Snape more, but now this whole section makes me respect him more (not really like him though). He's just had to kill Dumbledore and commit himself to Voldemort indefinitely and Harry runs after him, taunting him and he's absolutely beside himself. It's quite intense situation for him.
And that is all. Sorry, there turned out to be more than I thought. But still, that's about a quarter of the quotes I had marked, which is about half the quotes I mentally mark.
One more to go, ('thank goodness' I hear you say), and then I can return to posting about some things which are a bit more relevant, perhaps.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Phoenix Ramblings. Sorry.

Having finished Order of the Phoenix er a few nights ago, and being now a good 200 pages into Half Blood Prince (which is, incidentally, up there as a favourite), it seems odd to come back and write about the fifth harry potter book, but I have to, because I had several observations. I hadn't read this book for ages, so a lot of things stood out for me. (This post is long. I'll forgive you if you don't read the whole thing)
1) This book is long. Seems pretty obvious, but when I was setting a target of at least 100 pages a day just to get through it in a week, that tells you something. But while it's long it is also...
2) Quite a good story, yarn, tale etc etc. Well, I don't actually know how to articulate it, but it's just that there's so much in this story about one boy's year at school that it's just kind of engrossing. Okay, so much happens and...I give up on this point.
3) It's well told. I don't know if you've ever actually tried writing a story with so much dialogue and movement, but J.K does a really fantastic job of simply describing the way people say and do things that makes it easy to visualise, and not repetitive (you know the classic bunch of quotation marks followed by said all in a row. She avoids this) This is true of all the books, but I've never really noticed. I just really admire the variation and cleverness in her choice of description.
4) The fight in the ministry is really good! So I used to just kind of skim through this whole book I think I dunno, but I suddenly realised how er enthralling those whole two chapters are. The movie adaptation completely decimated the greatness of this bit. I mean the teenagers are running around in the depths of the ministry, dropping one by one .... it's suspenseful! Haha
Also, the book is humorous, but then again, they all are, so it doesn't make the list. As this was such a long book, it needs a longer post than this so I'll add a few quotes too. Had to be very selective, much to my consternation.
He was never going to see Ron and Hermione again - And their faces burst clearly into his mind as he fought for breath. 'EXPECTO PATRONUM!'
One of the great things about the books, and this sounds cliche but it's actually true, is how much they value friendship. In the quote above, it's this massively powerful thing that allows Harry to defeat dementors. And for Harry, Ron and Hermione are it, they are the people that mean the most to him for so long. It's just....amazing.
'Ron,' said Hermione, 'you are the most insensitive wart I have ever had the misfortune to meet.'
Okay, so I had to pick only one quote from this whole hilarious, four page discussion by the trio. I just love it, I laugh the whole way through every time. Anyway...
'Has it not occurred to you, my poor puffed-up popin jay...' [Phineas Nigellus to Harry]
Love a bit of alliteration, and how many people do you hear using this expression? Fantastic.
Ron had caused a dinner plate to mutate into a large mushroom and had no idea how it had happened.
I just was struck by (and loved) the fact that their mistakes in exams can be this bizarre. If you read through the whole OWLs section, it's like a list of bizarre mistakes, listed almost nonchalantly. The worst we can do is answer the wrong question.
And finally that's it. Oh, one more thing. I've juts got to say how much I love McGonagall. She's amazing; the scenes that she and Umbridge are in are hilarious/excellent because McGonagall completely owns Umbridge. So that's it. I'm off to read the sixth!
Once I began a book, I couldn't put it down. It was like an addiction; I read while I ate, on the train, in bed until late at night, in school, where I'd keep the book hidden so I could read during class. But I had almost no desire to talk with anyone about the experience I gained through books and music. I felt happy just being me and no one else. - Haruki Murakami


Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible ad wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. - Charles W. Eliot