2018 Year In Pictures

3/365/2018 Aragog

3/365/2018 Aragog
3/365/2018 Aragog by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Ruby has a rule for Harry Potter: if you want to watch the film you have to read the book.

This was the case with The Philosopher’s Stone – which she loved reading and watching – and will be an ongoing rule through all of the books. This suits us as the books and films do get a good bit darker as they go along, and as the books take some time to read the films will be age-appropriate when we get to the end. We’ve just got to Aragog. Ruby is *really* looking forward to seeing him in the film! Next chapter: the Chamber of Secrets.

We might have to spend a few hours at the weekend to finish off the book!

2017 Year In Pictures

295/365 Hermione

295/365 Hermione
295/365 Hermione by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Ruby is maintaining her enjoyment of all things Harry Potter and has decided to dress up today as her personal heroine Hermione Granger.

The best outfit we could come up with was essentially her school uniform with the addition of one of my ties (which, sadly, is not Gryffindor colours).

2017 Year In Pictures

218/365 Philosopher’s Stone

218/365 Philosopher's Stone
218/365 Philosopher’s Stone by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Ruby is really enjoying the Harry Potter universe, and is having fun reading the shenanigans of the first book.

I probably didn’t appreciate this as much when I read the books the first time around (I was an adult!) but there’s a lot of fun to be had in here. JK Rowling has inserted loads of little jokes, and her world building is exceptional. There’s so much going on in what is essentially quite a short book.

We are both looking forward to seeing the film once she’s finished this book.

2017 Year In Pictures

184/365 The boy who lived

“184/365 The boy who lived” by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Proud day alert: Ruby has started reading Harry Potter. She’s very excited!

There are a lot of words longer than she’s used to in these books, so she’s starting off each chapter then I’m finishing them off. She is loving it so far.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The last few years have seen me reading fewer and fewer books. There are only so many hours in the day and my reduced book-reading activity seems to have been replaced with an increased internet-browsing addiction. I’ve also been watching less television too.

Less TV is probably a good thing but fewer books perhaps not so much. I used to really enjoy reading a good novel and I’m not sure why my attention has shifted away from fiction quite so much.

However, I’ve now read two books in under two weeks. That’s good going for me even when compared to my previous reading habits. I had my interest re-piqued by the fabulous Old Man’s War by John Scalzi and now I’ve finally succumbed to finishing off the tales of Harry Potter.

It’s amazing that I’ve not found out what happens in The Deathly Hallows before now. The book has been out for ages and I’d managed to see one of the major plot-twists for book six before I’d got around to reading that one. This made the book far more interesting that the Half Blood Prince.

Overall, I was mightily impressed. JK Rowling has managed to round everything up in under 600 pages (just!) and has trimmed down a lot of the unnecessary chaff as seen in previous efforts. It could still have been a lot shorter (I have no idea how younger readers manage to plough all the way through these books sometimes) but it was a rather exciting read.

Most of the plot-twists are predictable but there are still a few surprising moments in store. Rowling has made an astonishing effort to plant certain seeds from the very first novel and it all seems to come together very well indeed in this final volume. There are some rather tedious stretches in the middle but there’s usually some fight or dangerous situation not too far away.

The series has become darker and darker as it went on and The Deathly Hallows usurps all previous efforts in that regard. Remember all those magical creatures introduced in the earlier novels? Well just about every single one of them returns for the final battle, helping to bring all seven novels to a satisfying close.

I don’t think that JK Rowling would win any prizes for her prose, but she knows how her characters work and she’s been very clever with her plotting. Even this cynical 38 year-old  was dragged into the excitement of some scenes and I had to stay up until 1am last night to finish it off, even though I had to start work at 6am.

It’s been a while since I read The Goblet of Fire but I think this final entry in the Potter story probably pips it to the Best Novel prize of the seven. Only the fifth book disappointed me (it was very tedious mostly) and it’s been well worth the effort of reading them.

However, I think it’s time to be reading some proper adult fiction for now. I have some Dark Tower novels to read and some more Thomas Covenant to get into, along with all these free novels from Tor. I’m sure that some further purchases from the Tor back-catalogue will also be forthcoming.

It looks like I shall be “unplugging” more frequently so that I can insert my nose into more books. That’s a good thing right?