Betwixt the Books Discuss! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Fanfiction vs. Canon

Hey guys … so its been over a month since I’ve posted anything.  I’m having real college flashbacks where I would blink off the face of the internet for a while.  I have still be posting things on youtube so if you follow me there you will have seen my face a little but I’ve been going through a really rough patch as of late and it has led to extreme self doubt.  When I doubt myself I have a tendency to let things that I love slide, because maybe I’m not doing them properly.  Maybe I think I’m doing well when in reality I’m just shouting into an empty void.  Hopefully that isn’t the case.

In an attempt to reform my life in a way, I have started planning posts again (really I fall off the bandwagon when I stop planning… I go, oh I’ll think of something for monday … Monday comes and goes and no posts and so it goes forever).  I have a handful of content that I created while I was on hiatus here that can show up if I am at a loss for content, but I want to keep up with it.  I have been saying this all year.  I want to keep up with it and I want to let you guys know I still care.  Even when I’m in limbo, I still care.

Today, Gretchen and I managed to get together and talk about something that is super topical and super controversial around the interwebs: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

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Title: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
Author: J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany
Publisher: Little Brown UK
Page #: 343
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Young Adult

I have read the thing, she is choosing not to read it at all.  This tells you a bit about where we stand in it all. We discuss some of the issues we have seen or heard as well as some of the issues around it in general.  If you are interested in our take then please by all means check it out.

(I do apologize for the audio issues, google + has been acting super shifty so I was trying a different style of streaming and the audio was not having it.  What I was hearing was not at all what the stream was hearing but I didn’t have anyone around to tell me this.  We hope to fix this issue in the future, either by returning to our beloved Google Hangouts or by finding some other way to do it … just get better at it in general.)

I hope you guys have had a better summer than I did.  I will be back tomorrow, believe it or not, because we have penciled in a super late book club episode.  Remember when we were going to talk about Middlesex guys … we do.  It is going to happen.

Lions by Bonnie Nadzam ARC Review

I read this book waaaaay back in February so I’m talking to you guys from the past!  Hello future me!  Hello future you!

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Title: Lions
Author: Bonnie Nadzam
Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
Page #: 288
Genre: Literary Fiction

This Book Will be Released on July 5th!

Now because I am writing this review after just having read the book in February something weird is going to be happening.  I have ordered a copy of Bonnie Nadzam’s first novel, Lamb and am planning to read that as well (which spoils a bit of what I’m going to say in this review, tldr; I liked it).  The reason I am saying this is because one book is called Lamb the other is called Lions they have to be connected somehow.  You don’t name things like this unless they are meant to be in some sort of conversation with each other.  There is a chance that by the time this review goes up that I have read and reviewed Lamb… in which case you already know whether or not I was disappointed that there wasn’t any repeating themes or super excited that both books gain deeper meaning when read and compared.  If not, perhaps I will do that soooooon.  SOOOOOOON.

You aren’t here for things that may or may not have happened already, you are here for a review of this book right here!  Like I said, I liked it.  I read it in one sitting despite the fact that is literary fiction.  That isn’t to say this is a light read, its just an engaging one, or at least it was for me.  It does have several trigger words associated with it that I particularly love though so I may be a bit biased (ghost story, mysterious stranger, westerns … yes please!)  It is relatively short being under 300 pages so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to spend a couple hours curled up in my nice warm bed on a snowy February evening (HI JULY HOW ARE YOU? HOT AS BALLS? PROBABLY) and escape into a summery setting.

One of the things I found most enjoyable about this books is that there are these long prosaic descriptions of the setting and everything going around in this tiny little town in Colorado.  However, whenever anyone speaks its this clipped back and forth exchange of a handful of words.  It is as if the people in this town don’t need to say a lot, everything is already known and understood, and what is unknown is left to the imagination or ignored.  For instance, the catalyst to most of the events in this novel, that mysterious stranger walking into town with his dog.  He is mostly ignored even when he stirs up a bit of trouble.

The other thing I think this book did incredibly well was to move around the idea of ghosts and haunting.  One of the character’s father dies within the first couple pages of the novel and his father’s dying wish was for him to continue his life’s work.  Now we are not privy to what that is and neither is anyone else in the town beside the now deceased father and his son just about to step out into the world for the first time.  People speculate that their family has been tasked with taking care of a sick or injured ghost.  The mysterious stranger is believed to be a ghost.  Then of course there is the theme of this dying town with all of the inhabitants moving away to something larger, something better, something bigger creating the illusion of a ghost town because it is so empty.  This theme continues through the book in different ways including the haunting of regret, the haunting of past relationships and even insanity in some cases.  It was fully explored without being too heavy handed.

There was enough mystery involved in several aspects of the story and whenever something got resolved something new sort of sparked up.  There is a lot of secrets in this town and a lot of inferring and gossiping.  There is always something new to try and glean from the sparse words you get or to parse out through the narrators description of this town and its few straggling inhabitants.

If you enjoy books about how our decisions effect us, tales of mystery, tales of young love and regret then this is definitely something you should pick up.  It creates a story through atmosphere and both gives and withholds of information with perfect timing.  This was one of the best books I’ve read so far this year (reminder this is in February I could read something earth shatteringly good two months from now but as of the 22 books I’ve read so far, this was really freakin’ good).

That’s all I have for you guys today!  I hope you enjoyed this review from the past, now back to the present!

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

Alright we are caught up.  This post was supposed to come out today.  It came out today, *breathes a huge sigh of relief*  From now on we are moving forward and we are going to stay on track or so help me, I’ll have to apologize AGAIN.

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Title: A Fierce and Subtle Poison
Author: Samantha Mabry
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Page #: 288
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism

Alright, there we are.  We did it.  We got caught up.  There were a million posts, but its there now, we managed it.  I will see you guys tomorrow for a new post!

Nostalgia Junkie: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

Speaking of late content, we did this live stream last Sunday which was very nearly a week lately.  Not quite, but almost.  Casey joined us for this discussion which is always a good time!

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Title: The Golden Compass
Author: Philip Pullman
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page #: 399
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

I hope this episode was entertaining for you all, a bit contented I think.  Will hopefully be posting the rest as they come.

Invisible Fault Lines by Kristen-Paige Madonia (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

Those of you who saw my last post will know why this post is two weeks late.  We did do this hangout two weeks ago, I just never got around to posting it.  So here we are, I have it for you, if you missed the livestream:

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Title: Invisible Fault Lines
Author: Kristen-Paige Madonia
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page #: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism

I wasn’t feeling well when we did this livestream but we managed to get it out to you.

Monday Musings: On Reading Slumps, Depression, and Anxiety

I made a really quick video for you guys, wherein I talk about where I’ve been and why, at least on a surface level.

I have something scheduled for every day this week so hopefully we can bring ourselves back on track a little bit … this one is a bit late, but I tried, in fact I succeeded.  It is here, late or not.

My Comic Project

No, I’m not writing my own comic (although I have had ideas about one… I just don’t think my art is strong enough for that yet…).  I am however doing some art stuff for my home.

I bought two big things to do some art on to hang somewhere in my home eventually and the first one I wanted was to recreate some of my favorite comic cover art.  The first one is probably way too ambitious and I am probably going to tear my hair out over it but I’m at the very least going to try.

I might update you guys as I continue on it but for this first post I figured I would tell you how I am going about turning a comic book cover into a painting big enough to go on my wall.

The cover in question is from the third issue of Low:

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My first step, as I did not want to deface my comic, was to print out a picture of the cover that I could write on.  I then divided up the cover into a grid that I would use to assist me in transfering the image’s size.  (Trust me it super difficult to change the size of something without the grid because it helps keep everything relative to everything else.

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I labelled the grid and measured the size of the board I was tranferring to so that I could use a ruler and mark out a grid exactly like the one on my print out, but a little over three times larger.

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This of course was followed by me sketching out the image, which I am still technically in the profess of doing.  Once that is done I will use clear gesso to seal the board before I begin painting so that it doesn’t deteriorate.  Then come the fun part!  Paint.

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It might look a little like a mess right now, but soon friends I promise it will be something great for me to hang up in my home.

If anyone is interested in the continuation of this process as I work on it, just let me know and I will be glad to show some more pictures.

Just a reminder that this is not my original art, it is someone else’s.  I am not going to be selling this or making prints of it because it is not my art to do so with.  I simply wanted something beautiful to hang in my home.  It will not be a perfect replica because I am not half the artist that Greg Tocchini is but I will do my best.