Some Thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

What can I say about this book?

It was an okay read. I wasn’t overjoyed by it but I was hooked on the story as always. Well, I’m always hooked on anything J.K. Rowling writes. Of course, I will have to read The Casual Vacancy to prove this true. I love the Harry Potter series and I appreciate this installment, which is somewhat different from the previous two in that it deviates from including an appearance from Lord Voldemort. Instead, we are shown how much fear acts as a tool that aids Voldemort’s influence and power.

Fear is essential to Voldemort’s power. People fear him so much that they are afraid to say his name and instead refer to him as “He Who Must Not Be Named.” It’s as if by uttering his name he will immediately appear and wreck havoc on that unfortunate person’s life.

In this installment we learn what Harry fears. Naturally, we (and all the adults in the book) assume that Harry fears Voldemort. After all, Voldemort, though physically weakened, is powerful through influence and is immensely evil. Furthermore, he wants to kill Harry. But no; it’s not Voldemort. The next logical assumption would be the immediate threat, Sirius Black, since through much of the novel it is assumed that he broke out of Azkaban (the only wizard able to do such a thing) for the sole purpose of murdering Harry (completing his master’s wishes, supposedly). But no; not him either.

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“10 Celebrities’ Surprisingly Bizarre Homes” — Flavorwire

Visit Flavorwire to see pics of the other bizarre homes.

Here is a cool post that I found on Flavorwire. The homes featured are truly bizarre, for example, Betsey Johnson’s “Betseyville” located in Mexico. It’s very colorful but totally matches her style; I quite like it.

My favorite is above — Julian Schnabel’s pink palazzo, located in New York. My second favorite is Christina Aguilera’s macabre mansion in Beverly Hills, California. Click here to see pictures of the other bizarre homes.

“The Templeton Twins Have an Idea” by Ellis Weiner

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

This is how children’s books should be written: light and playful with a crazy, opinionated narrator. Ellis Weiner’s The Templeton Twins Have an Idea is totally hilarious. It’s told using an omniscient narrator, who almost seems to be a character as well.

I think it was on Goodreads where I read a great review on Weiner’s book that mentions that the story tries to start about 3 times before it gets going. I found that to be interesting. Driven by curiosity, I decided to buy the book to find out why.

For some reason, I assumed that the book was for teens (I didn’t read much into the Goodreads review), I have no idea why I thought so, and expected it to be a bit thick like The Hunger Games. I was surprised to find a slim, blue book decorated with illustrations without and within.

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Books on Writing, or—about Literature: Anne Lamott, Kevin J. Hayes, Dorothea Brande

“…good writing is about telling the truth.”

I have an annoying habit of immersing myself in books on literature and writing when I want to make myself commit to writing. It’s a trap I always fall into since I hardly notice when it occurs. It sneaks up on me and gradually distracts me from my self-appointed assignment until I totally give up on it and instead gorge on literature and writing books. Such was the case recently when I decided to read Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott, A Journey through American Literature by Kevin J. Hayes, and Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande.

The way this habit of mine begins is by whispering to me that since I need to improve my talent before attempting to write, I must first do some research. After all, research always helps to point a person in the right direction. I find this statement to be true so I go along with the suggestion. I began with Lamott’s Bird by Bird.

“Not enough!” my devilish habit exclaimed. So I went ahead and began reading Hayes’ A Journey through American Literature. My habit was appeased for the moment.

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“Seraphina” by Rachel Hartman

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

A few months ago, I was reading one of my Shelf Awareness newsletters when I discovered a new book to read, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I was drawn to the story since it featured dragons that can take on human form. Why did this interest me? Well, it just so happens that a few nights prior to my discovery I had a weird dream about dragons that could become humans so I was elated to find a book that’s based on part of my dream. It’s pretty cool.

Since I’ve just got a Nook Color, I decided to use Seraphina as my guinea pig/test-rat. So instead of skipping off to Barnes & Noble and harassing the booksellers into convincing me to buy a book since I suck at convincing myself sometimes, I instead searched for Seraphina in the Nook books shopping database, clicked “buy”, and download.

It was weird reading on the Nook. Mainly it’s because I’m one of those readers who always look back to the book’s cover while reading. For some reason, I always think that the cover will give me a clue as to what will happen. Other times, I look at the cover to see if it fits the story. It’s a bit difficult to do this on the Nook since it’s easy to lose the page you’re presently reading. Hence the bookmark feature comes in handy.

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