Tag Archives: harry potter and the cursed child

August Reading Wrap-Up

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So August was…not great. I spent a lot of the month reading a book that I didn’t end up finishing (The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante) and although I did end up with a respectable-sized wrap-up stack, the majority of those were library books and I’d really wanted to #readmyowndamnbooks this month. Also, my August reads overall were a bit disappointing, although all in different ways. I haven’t had a really lackluster reading month in awhile, and I’d started out with such a great TBR that I wasn’t expecting it. Highlights of the month include Bout of Books, a really good audiobook, and the bad guy love interest from Everneath; low points included, oddly, Harry Potter and Pablo Neruda.

Here are my stats for August:

Number of books read: 7

#readmyowndamnbooks: 3 (eek, not so good)

Audiobooks: 1

Read Harder Challenge tasks completed: 2

✓ 13. Read a book set in the Middle East
The Underground Girls of Kabul In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

✓ 23. Read a play
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Also, an update on the 20 books of summer challenge that I signed up for at the beginning of the summer: I ended up reading 29 (!) books this summer, exceeding my goal of 20! I wonder if I’ll be able to read 20 books this fall as well–it seems to be a good seasonal goal number for me.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Vicious (Vicious, #1)Everything Is TeethThe Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in AfghanistanEverneath (Everneath, #1)Everbound (Everneath, #2)Love Poems

So, here’s what I read in August, ranked (as usual) from most awesome to least:

The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg (4 stars) – this was an extremely powerful nonfiction book about the lives of women in Afghanistan, focusing on the intriguing tradition of some young girls dressing as boys. It’s well-researched and detailed, and highlights the lives of several different women that the author interviewed.

Everything is Teeth by Evie Wyld (4 stars) – I thought this was fantastic, although maybe I’m biased because I’ve always been a shark person. This was the first graphic memoir I’ve read, and I thought that Wyld’s story and the illustrations really conveyed both her literal fascination with sharks and her metaphor of sharks as the constant dangers in life lurking beneath the surface.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab (3.5 stars) – I thought the characters were great, and V.E. Schwab does a wonderful job building tension throughout the book; it just wasn’t as original as I had expected. This book gets a ton of hype; for me, I didn’t fully get why.

Everneath and Everbound by Brodi Ashton (2.5 stars each) – I read the first two books of this YA trilogy during Bout of Books; it’s about a girl who has just returned to the real world after living for 100 years in a sort of underworld where her emotions were used to feed an immortal (who happens to be a snarky and very attractive guitar player who used to be a Viking back in the day). She then is allowed to return to her former life for 6 months before being sucked back into the underworld and used as a living battery to feed the immortals there for eternity. It’s a very dark story; the main character’s mother was killed by a drunk driver, and when she returns from the underworld everyone she loves believes she was missing for 6 months and was a drug addict during that time. I liked the dark tone and the concept; I really, really did not like her other love interest (meathead high school quarterback) and didn’t end up wanting to read the last book in the series, although the first two were dramatic and fun.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne (2.5 stars) – this book has already been discussed so much; personally, I found it really disappointing. I’d love to see it as a play; I’m sure it’s better in that format. In general, though, it didn’t feel like a “real” continuation of the story to me.

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda (2 stars) – I actually feel very weird rating this so low; I know that Pablo Neruda is such a highly regarded poet, and there were a few lines in this short volume that I thought were strikingly beautiful. But the majority of it, for me, just did not feel like anything special. It could have been that my expectations were too high and I expected every poem to be brilliant, but I really didn’t end up enjoying this.

 

I hope everyone’s reading month for August went better than mine did!

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMG_2096It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly bookish feature hosted by The Book Date (http://bookdate.blogspot.com/).

August feels like it’s off to a slow bookish start; I was in a wedding this past weekend, so that’s where a lot of my time has been going, but I’ve also been reading more slowly than I typically do and it feels sort of strange. Let’s figure out why!

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I decided to kick off August with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; I bought it on July 31st (I’m not a midnight-release-er) and, although my expectations weren’t sky-high, was intending on binge-reading it that day so that I could experience it before being accidentally spoiled somehow. This…didn’t happen. Instead, I read about 30 pages of the play and it started to make me really sad because I just wasn’t liking it/connecting to it. It took me several days to work up the desire to pick it back up, at which point I sort of forced myself to accept it for what it was and was able to enjoy some aspects of it. I’m not going to do a whole review here (I might do one later, though…) but I think that a lot more thought and detail should have gone into any sequel to the Harry Potter series.

The second thing that’s been slowing my reading down is that I’ve (finally) discovered Booktube! (I know.) (Yes, it really did take me this long.) For some reason I hadn’t thought I’d enjoy watching YouTube videos by fellow bookish people; I thought it wouldn’t hold my attention as much as reading bookish blogs. Turns out, I was very wrong, and BookTube is awesome, and I’ve already added a ton of books to my TBR based on recommendations that I’ve gotten on there. So far, these three are my favorite Booktubers that I’ve found:

Erika’s Epilogues https://www.youtube.com/user/erikaraeable

Under the Radar Books https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu1Yn5B7KGk3OWT1fcQko_Q

Thoughts on Tomes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpnjp7mgeQGdtesz5v6xY_A

If anyone could recommend me more Booktubers to follow, or if you have a channel, please let me know! As I said, I’m a newbie, and I’d love to find more awesome bookish people to get recommendations from.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan

I was also having some audiobook issues this week (shocking, I know). The audiobook I intended on listening to this month, Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, was…not great. The writing was pretty good, but I only listened to about half an hour of it before realizing that I really did not like it. I went on Goodreads to check out reviews and see if I should push myself to keep reading, and I actually saw in a bunch of reviews that Burroughs had been sued for misrepresenting the family he talks about in his books, and that large parts of the “memoir” had been fabricated. I did not know this when I picked up the book; if I’d wanted to read fiction, I would have! So I went ahead and DNF’d.

That actually worked out well, since my library had The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg available. I started it today and it’s fascinating; it focuses on the lives of women in Afghanistan and particularly the custom of disguising and raising some young girls as boys.

I’m also in the middle of Vicious by V.E. Schwab as my main physical book–actually, it’s the only physical book I’m reading right now, which is super weird! I’m typically such a multi-book reader. Anyways, I’m a little more than halfway through, and I sort of thought I’d have finished it already, but like I said, August has been a slow month so far. I really like the characters and how the book jumps back and forth in time to tell the story; however, I’m not absolutely blown away by this book. It’s good, but not amazing. So far.

 

What are you guys reading? Let me know!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated New Book Releases

11a7d-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (http://www.brokeandbookish.com/).

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday in awhile, but as we approach the halfway point in 2016 I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to focus my reading for the second half of the year. (Upcoming post about this and the first half of 2016 in review will be up in the next few weeks.) This also got me thinking about what books I’m still waiting to be published this year and what I’ll be drawn to pick up and/or buy asap; there are a few of these that I’m absolutely going crazy with anticipation for. These are posted in order of release date, according to Goodreads, not according to how excited I am! I’m also really excited to check out everyone else’s posts and see what books I’m missing 🙂

So here are my top ten anticipated book releases for the second half of 2016:

 

Stiletto (The Checquy Files, #2)

The sequel to The Rook, a supernatural spy thriller with a lot of humor that I read earlier this year, is actually being released today! I have some skepticism about the fact that this sequel will be told in multiple perspectives instead of just the wonderful Myfanwy’s, but I’m definitely still going to pick it up.

Saga, Volume 6

The sixth volume of this impressive graphic novel series about love and a family attempting to escape war will be out on July 5th. This series turned me from someone skeptical about graphic novels into someone who is really impressed by the gorgeous artwork and emotions evoked in the storytelling.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

It’s out on July 31st, but most of you probably already have that marked on your calendars :). I wish I could see the play in London, but I am really interested to read the script (and to knock out another one of the Book Riot Read Harder challenge tasks). I’m also planning on avoiding spoilers like the plague.

The Last Days of New Paris

I’ve read two previous books by China Mieville (Perdido Street Station and The City and the City) and I love the creative weirdness and intense worldbuilding he brings to his storytelling. This new book has a ridiculously intriguing premise; one of the summaries calls it an “intense and gripping tale set in an alternative universe: June 1940 following Paris’ fall to the Germans, the villa of Air-Bel in Marsailles, is filled with Trotskyists, anti-fascists, exiled artists, and surrealists. One Air-Bel dissident decides the best way to fight the Nazis is to construct a surrealist bomb. When the bomb is accidentally detonated, surrealist Cataclysm sweeps Paris and transforms it according to a violent, weaponized dream logic.” It’s out on August 9th.

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)

I NEED THIS RIGHT NOW. But I have to wait until August 16th :(. The Fifth Season, the first book in N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series, was one of my favorite books of 2016; the book starts with the end of the world and backtracks from there in three separate perspectives. I’ve ranted about it a lot on this blog and on Goodreads, but basically if you like creative fantasy with intricate worldbuilding and human stories,  you need to get into this series immediately. I have no doubt that the sequel will live up to the premise and am fascinated to see where Jemisin takes the story next.

Furthermore

This is a middle-grade release from Tahereh Mafi, the author of the Shatter Me series, which is one of my all-time favorite YA series (and has possibly my favorite YA love interest). I don’t read middle-grade at all, but I’m a huge fan of Mafi’s writing (and this will knock off another Read Harder challenge task for me). It’s about a young girl searching for her father in a magical and dangerous land, accompanied by a boy she can’t trust, and it’s out on August 30th. Also, how beautiful is that cover? Tahereh Mafi seriously gets the most amazing cover art for her books; I love the eye motif on the Shatter Me covers.

Once Broken Faith (October Daye, #10)

Out on Sept 6th, this is book 10 in Seanan McGuire’s UF series that follows Toby, a half-fae, half-human who solves mysteries and problems in the magical realms around San Francisco. The last book I read in this series I was pretty lukewarm about, but I do want to see this out to the end. (This is not the last book.) I like a lot of things about this series (especially the characters) but it’s not my favorite.

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)

I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK I’M ALMOST AFRAID TO READ IT. It’s the 9th book in the Kate Daniels series, which is an incredibly well-done UF series set in post-apocalyptic Atlanta, where the world vacillates between being controlled by magic and technology. The humor, action, and romance is this series are all fantastic, and this book is the penultimate in the series, which means things are going to get intense. The problem is that I’m so invested in these characters that I won’t be able to handle it if anybody dies. It’s out on Sept 20th.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Six of Crows was one of my favorite books of 2015, and I’m so anxious to see how things fall together in the sequel. Since this is only a duology, not a trilogy, there’s a lot that needs to happen in this book; I can’t wait to return to the amazing characters we met in book one. Especially Kaz. It’s out on Sept 27th.

Hag-Seed (Hogarth Shakespeare)

From Goodreads: “Hag-Seed is a re-visiting of Shakespeare’s play of magic and illusion, The Tempest, and will be the fourth novel in the Hogarth Shakespeare series.” Margaret Atwood is an auto-buy author for me, so I’ll definitely be checking this out when it’s released on Oct 11th.

And…there’s no release date  yet, but I’m really anxious to read Roxane Gay’s memoir as well, which is supposed to come out sometime this year.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

 

 

What books are you looking forward to? Let me know!