Harry Potter Week: Sorry Albus, don’t let the Dumble-Door Hit You on the Way Out

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As someone who spends a lot of time internet window shopping for geeky goods, it seems to me that you can’t really go anywhere without seeing Albus Dumbledore being quoted on something. After “Always”, which is something I’ve discussed briefly in my rant about Severus Snape, Dumbledore quotations are the most commercially viable of the Harry Potter franchise. People wishing to seem deep love nothing more than plastering his words of “wisdom” all over their houses. However, I’ve always felt that Dumbledore’s soundbites are just trite and overly simplified adages. People just eat that shit up. They love the guy. Dumbledore always reminds me of the Tim Minchin song ‘The Fence’. Readers are so quick to want Dumbledore to be good because they need someone to be the opposite of Voldemort. They need the world to be that binary but it doesn’t exist. There’s a part of the song about the Dalai Lama that goes:

He’s a lovely, funny fella,
He gives soundbites galore
But let’s not forget that back in Tibet,
Those funky monks used to dick the poor, yeah

It just reminds me of Dumbledore. For all his talk of socks and sherbet lemons, there is darkness hiding beneath Albus Dumbledore that comes out when it needs to. He has so many secrets throughout the book that show just how far away from a perfect hero he was. Just because the guy manages to say something that sounds deep once in a while people just seem to ignore all of the shitty decisions he makes. Well, not any more, my friends.

As I’ve already suggested, the Harry Potter books have one fatal flaw and that is that they are from Harry’s perspective. This means we all see things as Harry does and his opinions are the ones that run strongest throughout the narrative. We are encouraged to hate the characters that he hates and love the characters that he loves. Most importantly being Albus Dumbledore himself. Through Harry’s eyes, we see the Headmaster as a bright-eyed, kindly old man who cares about Harry deeply. And not, you know, a reckless old man who left a young baby on the doorstep of his abusive family.  Most importantly is the discovery that Albus has been secretly leading Harry down a path that would eventually lead to his death. He basically grooms an 11-year-old boy to become the kind of person who would happily lay down his life for the greater good. He forces Harry to become a hero whilst taking no responsibility for putting the boy in harm’s way.

Dumbledore has always known that Harry will probably have to die to destroy Voldemort. After all, he’s always known that there is a piece of the Dark Lord’s soul within the Boy Who Lived. He has suspected as much from the moment he first heard the prophecy and has only had it confirmed as time went on. Did he tell Harry this? Did he fuck! He, instead, decided to protect the boy’s innocence and keep it a secret. I guess this is a noble thing to try but you’d think anyone who saw that Harry wasn’t going to back down easily would say “now is the time to confess”. Dumbledore should probably have told Harry about the prophecy from the start but he definitely should have told him after the events of the first book. Harry needed to know why Voldemort was after him and what that could entail. It would have saved lives.

Dumbledore acts as though he cares about people but, when it comes to the fight against Voldemort, everyone is just a pawn in his war. He’s the perfect General. He sees that Snape is afflicted by his love for Lily and manipulates him into changing sides and acting as a spy. He also doesn’t bother to convince Harry that Snape is a good guy even though Harry straight-up hates him. Because he doesn’t actually care if Harry and Snape like each other. Dumbledore only cares that they play their parts. And, talking of Snape, he totally lets the Potions Master get away with bullying his students and being completely unfair towards his own house. Snape is, when it comes down to it, a psychopath who hates children. The worst person to be a teacher. Plus, I know he was supposedly worried about Voldemort and shit but anyone in their right mind would realise Harry and Snape were not the best occlumency buddies. If you need Harry to learn the skill it doesn’t matter how good Snape is if they never get through the fucking lessons. This fuck up caused Sirius’ death, you dick!

… Anyway, Harry sees Dumbledore as a hero up until the final book when he finally discovers the truth about his past but even then it makes very little difference. Nothing Dumbledore does is ever questioned by Harry and his loyalty is so unflinching that Fawkes comes down to the Chamber of Secrets to help Harry. It’s crazy to me. Dumbledore was always a fairly suspect character even before we found out that he wanted to help wipe-out muggles solely because he wanted to fuck Gellert Grindelwald. (Hey, I know we’ve all done stupid things for love but that really takes the cake.) I mean almost every single school year he cancels final exams and awards random House Points when students have blatantly disregarded the rules. He shows a clear bias towards Harry and his friends and has an obvious loyalty to his own house. So much so that, after years of Slytherin winning, Gryffindor ends up with the house cup basically every year. Dumbledore is basically like your racist grandfather: he’s ultimately quite funny and generally harmless but you don’t want to give him any real responsibility.

Now I get it, I get it. Dumbledore isn’t bad; he’s just human. Well, that would be okay if he wasn’t aware that he was doing the wrong thing. He admits that he knew a lot of the decisions he was making were harmful but he did them anyway. Human beings make mistakes for noble reasons or because they don’t realise. Dumbledore is the guy who always talks about making the choice between “what is right and what is easy” but can’t live by his own words. When he lies to Harry it’s not the right thing to do and he knows it. He wants people to stand up to Voldemort but he is unwilling to make the right sacrifices. His quotes, far from being deep and meaningful, are just further proof of his manipulation. As he says himself:

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.

With his words, he has the ability to get the whole of his students, heck the whole of the wizarding world, to stand up and fight for him. He doesn’t even have to live by them himself. He doesn’t have to do anything but spout trite nonsense at people. He’s got the whole wizarding world fooled that he’s a great man but he’s actually an evil genius. Words are powerful magic that can manipulate people and, let’s not forget, Dumbledore is the greatest wizard that has ever lived.

Harry Potter Week: Harry Pott-er are we sure this guy is the hero?

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Continuing with my celebration of all thing Harry Potter this week we have a welcome return to my traditional rants. Hooray! It is a truth universally acknowledged that Harry Potter is one of the most annoying characters in the whole series. Well, maybe not universally acknowledged. I thought it was pretty much accepted that, as characters go, Harry Potter is a fucking dick but it seems that there are some people out there who still stick up for him. In the comments section of a recent Guardian post about the anniversary of The Philosopher’s Stone there was a beautiful comment talking about how annoying Harry is. I agreed with it 100% but then it was just criticised by everyone else in the comments. Now it’s time to get serious: Harry is a straight up wanker and we all know it. Just because his name is in the fucking title doesn’t mean we should all just let him get away with that.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Oh but he had such a hard life when his parents dies and he had to live with the Dursleys. Plus, you know the most evil wizard ever wants him dead.” Well, I call bullshit! Let’s look at some other people in the books who have had hard lives. Most importantly, Neville Longbottom. Neville’s parents may not be dead but, if you ask me, their fate is actually worse. To be a young boy whose parents are alive but not alive must be really fucking painful. To be able to visit them but never have them recognise you? I can’t think of anything that awful. I know losing your parents would be tough but at least there’s some finality in that. Neville was left with a constant reminder of what Bellatrix and co. did to his mum and dad. He would be endlessly comparing the soulless figures he visited at St Mungo’s with the smiling and happy faces looking back at him in all their pictures. That’s gotta fuck you up a bit. Plus, we know Neville had a difficult time growing up with his grandmother. I mean the guy was terrified of her. But, you know what, it didn’t stop Neville being one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.

Then, we have Luna Lovegood. Her mother died when she was young and her father is a bit of a psycho. She grew up believing in creatures that don’t exist and being openly mocked for being weird. She was constantly bullied by her peers and was always having to defend herself to everyone around her. Yet, still Luna remained a kind and decent human being. She was always willing to go to other people’s aid and do the right thing. She never let the awful way she was treated get to her and never let it stop her being who she wanted to be. In fact, there are any number of people who have had hard lives growing up and plenty of people who have lost loved ones to Voldemort in these books. You don’t see them walking around being as much of a sanctimonious, pompous arsehole, do you?

I know being locked in a cupboard by people who hated you must have been tough and will, at least, explain why Harry struggles with fatherhood in the, apparently, canonical The Cursed Child. However, it doesn’t give him the right to treat his friends and fellow students the way he does throughout the series. Harry Potter, like so many great characters before and since, suffers from what I will call, for lack of a better term, the Chosen One Complex. Harry grew up unaware of the wizarding world until, on his 11th birthday, he was flung into the midst of it as it’s newest celebrity. He was the Boy Who Lived for fucks sake. People adored him. It’s no wonder he fell in love with the world so quickly. He went from being ignored to being worshipped. Now, if anything’s going to have fucked him up it’s that.

People thought he must have been the greatest wizard ever to be born because not only is he the only person to survive the killing curse but he ‘defeated’ Voldemort when he was just a baby. People have always assumed that he will be responsible for great things and he has always been singled out by people. I mean how many other students have had personal visits from the Headmaster when they’ve ended up in Madam Pomfrey’s care? Probably none unless Hogwarts was liable or something. Then he found out about the prophecy that basically confirmed that he had been chosen for greatness. I mean Voldemort picked him over Neville thus adding evidence to his already growing Messiah complex. It just turns him into an annoying prick.

Let’s just look at how Harry acts throughout the entire series. First off, he is lucky enough to get the chance to escape his terrible life and go to an amazing wizarding school and what does he do? Piss about playing wizards chess and ignore his homework. For the first few books at least, Harry and Ron tolerate Hermione’s increased presence in their lives because they can cheat off her homework. You’d think someone who’s alternative was St Brutus’ Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys would see how much better Hogwarts was and not squander his time their. Plus, he has no respect for the rules whatsoever and we know Harry is someone who was forced to play by the rules with the Dursleys. Harry wanders around Hogwarts like he just doesn’t give a fuck and sasses anyone that stands in his way. And what make it worse? Dumbledore aids him by giving him the fucking invisibility cloak! Harry has such a complex about his own status that he thinks he can do whatever he wants. It’s ridiculous.

He gets himself into super dangerous situations for no reason. Yes, he was the last person to see the Dark Lord before he disappeared but that doesn’t mean Harry needs to be the one to stop him. Harry goes looking for trouble because he has decided, in his grandiose manner, that he is the only one who can stop him. It’s insane. Especially when you consider that he lives in a building that houses some pretty powerful wizards. Harry needs to be special because he has spent his childhood being nobody. He thrives on sorting out problems that, most of the time, he ends up making worse by getting involved. Either that or he didn’t even need to solve them in the first place. Take his first year for example: Harry convinces two new friends, who are all 11 years old and know basically fuck all useful magic at this point, to follow a potentially evil wizard through a dangerous set of traps to find the philosopher’s stone. Does it make any difference? Not really. If Harry had’t got to the end then Voldemort wouldn’t have found the stone anyway. It’s all for nothing. The only thing Harry did succeed in was killed his Defence Against the Dark Arts Teacher.

And that’s all before you even take into account that Harry, as a wizard, really isn’t that impressive. Think about it, how many of his many trials and tribulations does Harry actually get through on his own? None that I can think of. He relies too heavily on everyone around him, which is fine. I’m all for teamwork. However, Harry refuses to acknowledge that this is anyone’s fight but his. He is so self-absorbed that he gets other people to do his job whilst telling them they don’t understand how difficult his job is. He’s so infuriating and selfish. The books are from Harry’s perspective, obviously, so they do tend to present the idea that shit is only happening to him. However, there must be times when hundreds of wizards are facing equally difficult tests in order to survive Voldemort and his crew. Harry doesn’t think about any of this and only sees his sacrifice as being important. He turns every situation onto himself. He refuses to see the things his friends are willing to give up to help him. He treats Ron and Hermione like shit for the entire 7th book but they are the ones who have left their families behind. They are the ones who are always worrying that their parents will be the next to turn up dead. Does he care? Does he fuck.

This is turning out to be a really long post so I’m going to wrap it up now but, we have to be honest, Harry is the worst role model in the entire book. He does very little he should actually be proud of. He’s a whiny little tit who spends the last 3 book ranting and whining like a spoilt brat. He’s not a hero; he’s an angsty teenager. And I get it, teenagers be difficult, yo. That’s no excuse. Harry isn’t a special and gifted individual. He is a boy who was given a reputation by complete chance. He did nothing to deserve everyone’s praise and only managed to “save the day” by luck most of the time. It is JK Rowling’s love of deus ex machina that allows Harry to succeed a lot of the time. His talents aren’t what get him through his battles with Voldemort. It’s all some nonsense about wand cores and shit. Harry doesn’t deserve his reputation or his fame. He is famous for being famous. You might as well call him Harry Kardashian.

Harry Potter Week: The Girl Who Read

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When I turned 20 I was at university and I had an epic night out with a load of my flatmates. It was a typical university style night out and we all got super drunk. It was during the days when people still took digital cameras on nights out (yes I’m super old) and I took a shit ton of photos. It’s safe to say, as the night progressed, things get less pretty and my eyelids droop ever lower. My 20th birthday was a fantastic night out but the next day I experienced my first, grown-up hangover. Literally the day I turned 20 my body stopped being able to just get up and go after a night out. I was dying. I’d never felt as old as I did that morning. I doubt Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone woke up this morning with a banging headache and feeling super nauseated but I bet it felt old. I mean I fucking do. The first Harry Potter series was released 20 years ago. I’m nearly 30 but it still feels like yesterday that I first read about the boy who lived.  How did this happen? Imagine if I had another night out like my 20th birthday… I probably would die at this point. Jeez.

I have a confession to make: I didn’t read The Philosopher’s Stone when it first came out. ARGH! I know. This probably makes me less of a Harry Potter fan than you. But it’s fine. I actually got the book one year later, in 1998. My father bought me a copy of the first adult edition and I’ve never looked back. It was during the time that Harry Potter fever was infecting the nation and I vividly remember one of my teachers bemoaning the fact that I was jumping on the bandwagon. She was a massive bitch and I ignored her. Ultimately, I didn’t care because I loved the book. I was 10 years old and I’d never read anything like it before. It had everything and I read it obsessively. I’d always been involved in reading as a child but it was my twin sister who would ingest books in a single sitting. This series turned that around. I wanted to read for fun and I wanted to read for long periods. It was the first time I remember not wanting to stop reading because I was desperate to see what happened.

We didn’t realise 20 years ago that the whole landscape of literature was about to change with the release of the first 500 copies of JK Rowling’s debut. When you look at the lists of people’s favourite books ever, it’s highly likely that Harry Potter will always top, or at least be near the top, of a reader’s most loved novels. They have overtaken such classics as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Lord of the Rings. Despite everyone being convinced it wouldn’t take off, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has reached an insane amount of people all around the world and has got so many children into reading. I have some intense views about Rowling nowadays (see my many old school rants) but I will always respect what she has achieved. She found previously unknown success through writing and has inspired generations people: young and old.

That’s the great thing about Harry Potter. It was the first time that children’s fiction also became super popular for adults. It was the first time I remember my whole family being invested in the same book. I didn’t really think about it at the time but it was a really binding experience. Every time a new book came out I would read it first and then it would be passed round my entire family. We would discuss the books and would all share in the excitement and sadness that ensued. The majority of my friends read them too and we would talk about theories together all the time. I remember writing to a penfriend and theorising over who the Half Blood Prince was before the book came out. We wrote fucking pages about the books in our correspondence.

I only ever queued up at midnight for the final book but my friends and I did it together. It was a really great night. We went to a friend’s house, got food, and messed about with our homemade magic wand (they were literally just sticks from her garden). Then we headed into town and stood in line with all of the eager kids. I admit that I was in that period where I (mistakenly) felt a little too cool to be doing it and I forced my friends to leave their “wands” in the car. However, I’m so glad I did it. The day after we’d all finished reading it I remember going out with the same friends and we all just felt numb. We genuinely didn’t know what to do now it was over. We’d dedicated 10 years to this story and it was just finished… and with such a terrible epilogue. I didn’t know what to feel. I was a mix of sad, happy and kind of angry.

Which is why I think my feelings towards the series have cooled off a bit now. You see, unlike a lot of fans out there I haven’t obsessively reread the books every year since I first read them. I think it’s partly because, after I read the final book, I was done. It took so long for me to get over the book that, when I did, I wanted that to be it. It sounds really fucking stupid but it was like a breakup. There was so much pain that when it eventually went away I didn’t want to risk getting back to that feeling. Also, if I’m honest, I’ve never managed to get all the way through the first 2 books again. They just feel so childish now. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. After all, they have shaped my life in such a massive way and in ways that I probably don’t even realise. Just as they have for so many other people.

After all, these books aren’t just fun children’s literature. They taught us all so much about life. It’s not a glossy and lovely Disney world where everyone is happy and good always triumphs over evil. This is  a story where awful things happen to good people and they struggle to go the right thing. We saw discrimination at work and we saw the oppressed standing up for themselves. The thing the book’s did most of all was offer hope. It showed that, no matter how awful things get, with people by our side we can get through anything. The books don’t sugarcoat life for children but inspire them to keep going. It’s no wonder that so many studies have shown that fans of the book show an increased sense of empathy towards others. They taught us that difference isn’t something to rally against but to embrace.

What has been so lovely in the run-up to today is the amount of people sharing memories about the books. On Instagram there are Harry Potter related posts everywhere and people from all over the world are bonding over one series of books. These books are decades old and they are still bringing people together. Writing this post has forced me to look back over my time in this fandom and it’s actually been quite emotional. I forget just how massive a part of my life this was. Little silly memories come back to me and it’s wonderful. I grew up with these books and will always have a place for them in my heart. I’ve since moved on to bigger and better novels but Harry Potter is about so much more than the writing. Yes, JK Rowling wasn’t the best writer but she improved in every new book. Yes, her ideas weren’t original and she took bits from other work. That doesn’t matter. Harry Potter doesn’t survive because of the quality. It survives because of how is makes you feel. It’s nostalgic and charming but it’s also important and embracive. It’s a community that, admittedly, sometimes can be a bit brutal but is somewhere you always have a place.

I was 10 when I started reading and I was 19 when it ended. I had grown up with this series and my love had only grown deeper with each book. I dabbled in both reading and writing fanfiction. I bought merchandise, played the video game, and went to see every film. I signed up to Pottermore immediately. I’m 29 years old now and I still can’t get enough. Harry Potter was my first fandom before I even knew what a fandom was. It’s something that I am so glad to be a part of and am so grateful to my father for buying that book. I’m not trying to be melodramatic but who knows how different my life could have been. I studied literature at university and I’m pretty sure these books pushed me deeper into reading. I have made so many friends over these books and continue to make connections because of them. There’s been times when I’ve kept my love of the series quiet because I feel too old for it now. Or played it down with friends who don’t share the love. Not anymore. As I’ve already said, I’m pretty fucking old now and I’m at an age where I don’t give a shit. I’m a Harry Potter nerd and there’s fuck all wrong with that.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

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So, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and, in honour of this momentous occasion, I’m dedicating my entire week to writing Harry Potter related posts. Some of you may remember my week of ranting at the end of the last season of Game of Thrones: I called it my week of Irk and Ire. It’s basically going to be like that but for Harry Potter. So I won’t be sticking to my usual schedule of reviews. Instead I’ll just be writing rants and ramblings about the book series. I’m hoping it will be fun but I can’t promise anything.

Currently Reading
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
Okay, I put 7th Function on hold for a bit because I started reading this again in time for the big day tomorrow and expected to have it finished this weekend. I didn’t reckon on being so bloody tired though and have barely got anywhere with it. It won’t be long though.

  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Audiobook Edition)
I’ve listened to bits of this during the week but I’ve started to become distracted. I find that I miss bits because the narrative is so fractured. This wouldn’t matter in a normal novel but I think it’s vital to pay attention to something like this. I’ll get back into when I’ve got back into my sleeping pattern

Recently Purchased
  • The Most Dangerous Book The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham
I have wanted this book for absolutely ages but the hardback is so expensive. I eventually decided it was time, despite my book buying ban and I’m looking forward to reading it. I never actually got past chapter 1 of Ulysses but the story of how it was almost not published is a interesting one. I may not have read it but I understand the importance of Joyce’s novel on literary history. Plus, I’m trying to get myself to read non-fiction more. I always try but then never follow through.
  • Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte
This is another book that’s been in my peripheral vision for a while now but never got round to buying. It’s about a group of college graduates in the noughties and you know I’m all about books that relate to my own life. A group of young people just entering the “real world” and wondering what to do with themselves? Sounds right up my street.

  • The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
This was a book that was mentioned in a review of The Versions of Us that I saw after I’d finished reading it. It sounded amazing so I tracked down a copy. It’s another Sliding Doors style narrative where destiny hinges on one moment. In this case, a kiss at a party. To kiss or not to kiss: it all dictates whether Irina McGovern will stay with her steady boyfriend or run away with passionate Ramsey. I’m not sure it’ll be great reading but it’ll be entertaining I’m sure. 

Recently Watched
  • Netflix binges: GLOW, Archer
I have been waiting for this Netflix show to start. It looked and sounded amazing and I adore Alison Brie. She’s been fantastic in everything I’ve seen her in so I was really excited to see her in this. I’ve got about 2 episodes to go but, so far, this is turning out to be as good as it looked. Can’t wait for more. Archer was something I’ve thought about watching for ages but it wasn’t until I was stuck for something to watch the other day that I started the series. I’m still not sure what I think about it. It’s not terrible but I’m not sure I’m into it. I don’t know if I’m just not getting it but I just don’t find it that funny. It’s more loud and obnoxious. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against loud and obnoxious

TOP 10 WEN-SDAY – TOP TEN MOST IMPORTANT QUOTATIONS FROM HARRY POTTER

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So, anyone who follows my Instagram will have noticed that I recently took possession of the 20th Anniversary editions of The Philosopher’s Stone. I now own 8 different editions of the book, thanks to my four House paperbacks and Ravenclaw hardback, but I’ll probably end up caving and buying the other 3 hardbacks. On June 27th 1997, Harry Potter and the Philopsopher’s Stone was first published. I didn’t read it until a year later but it is a date that remains an important moment in my life. Whatever I think of the series now, the Harry Potter books had a huge impact on my life. I loved them. I obsessed over them. I even, in my more misguided moments, wrote fanfiction about them… secret fanfiction that nobody else ever read but still. However, over the years I’ve kind of grown a bit cynical and have a lot of irritation for certain aspects of the series. Most importantly is the number of people who pick up on specific quotes and spout them like their philosophy. Things like “Always” and the endless number of Albus Dumbledore quotes are infecting my social media whilst there are so many important quotes just being ignored. Quotations that actually have something to tell us about humanity instead of just regurgitating the usual guff and nonsense that Dumbledore is so fond of. So I decided to put together 10, admittedly this isn’t really an indication of my top 10, that should be given more respect. If I’m being honest, this post comes after deciding that doing a Top 10 characters from the series would just be the top 10 characters in Harry Potter that I’d be most likely to sleep with, which is really unhelpful and, more important, probably quite shameful. This feels safer.


Ten: “Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I know there is a section of Tumblr who eat up Dumbledore quotes likes they’re sweets but I’ve always found most of his oft quoted lines to be fairly trite. All of the most famous ones are just the kind of stupid hipster nonsense that were created just to end up on top of a black and white photo of a landscape or some shit so you could post it on social media and pretend to be deep. However, there are some of his lines that I can’t help but adore. The first being this one. I come from a musical family and it’s always been an important part of my life. Music is a universal concept that anyone can enjoy and appreciate, regardless of background and stuff. I love that this all powerful wizard appreciates it for the awesome thing it really is.

Nine: “Not my daughter, you bitch!” Molly Weasley, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If ever you needed a quote to sum up the unflinching love of a mother for her children then it’s this. Molly Weasley spends most of the novels being the kind but dowdy mother stuck in the Burrow. She fusses and she berates her family but she is, most importantly, the most loving and generous person we ever meet. Then, she gets in the middle of a battle and she becomes a fucking powerhouse. When her daughter is threatened she springs into action, like a lioness protecting her cub, and destroys Voldemort’s right-hand woman. This is a testament to mother’s everywhere and a reminder not to judge people on their appearance alone.

Eight: “Really Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Yes, I know that, despite what I said about Dumbledore, this is another quote from the Hogwart’s Headmaster. However, this quote seems more fitting in this age of social media than ever before. We care too much about what other people think about us when we should just live our lives as we want. We waste so much time in trying to be the person we think everyone else wants us to be and we miss out on life. It’s a lesson to us all to just stop giving a shit.

 Seven: “No good sittin’ worryin’ abou’ it,” he said. “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.” Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Rubeus Hagrid is often overlooked in the quotes stakes if you ask me but he often has some remarkable and important things to say. This is an important quotation for life in general: we all know what’s going to happen to us but if we let that affect us what kind of life will we have? The most important thing to do is live. Hagrid is a fucking philosopher.

 Six: “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

A very wise and valid point. It’s not about how people treat the ones they have most in common with but the ones that they differ from. We all need to treat everyone with respect and realise that we are all the same deep down.

Five: “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Okay, okay. Albus Dumbledore is the most quotable of Harry Potter characters but I still maintain that his most famous ones are actually a bit vacuous and cliched. This one is full of truth. Life sucks. We will feel pain throughout our life and the worst thing we can do is ignore it. Keeping the hurt locked away will only make it worse when you finally let it out. Humans are too afraid to face their pain but, as Dumbledore points out, it is the best thing to do in the end.

Four: “We are all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” Kingsley Shacklebolt, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

Erm… duh. This quotation probably resonates more at the moment because it’s the night before the surprise General Election here in the UK. We’re at an important political precipice where we decide if we want to be a nation for the elite or for the majority. JK Rowling has always been a supporter of equal rights for everyone and it’s important that this quotation comes from the best example of a magical politician that we see in the books.

Three: “You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Another quotation that is actually really important in the real world. Ginny talks about how growing up with Fred and George has affected her outlook on life. She is telling us that, if we only believe in ourselves, then we can achieve great things. It’s not about ability or skill but about self-belief. Nothing else matters but how we see ourselves.

Two: “I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.” Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Good old Hagrid, eh? The reason this quote resonates more is that it is said in such a Hagrid way. He has such a simple and straightforward way of speaking that he just gets right to the point. This reminds me of the Tryion Lannister quote from A Game of Thrones (you know the one: “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not…”) except it’s much more practical. Fuck the people who don’t accept you for who you are. They’re not worth it. People always underestimated Hagrid but, deep down, he was just a kind and loving being. This quote sums him up better than anything.

One: “Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both influencing injury, and remedying it.” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

As if I could pick any other quote. This is the most truthful thing I’ve ever heard. Obviously, as a book lover, I believe that words have the power to influence people in many ways. Get the correct sequence of words and you’ve created something effortlessly beautiful. Words aren’t something that everyone has a mastery over but they should be our greatest treasure.

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Saddest deaths in Harry Potter

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About a week ago, I came up with a great idea for what to do this month’s Top 10 on. I’d been re-watching the first seasons of Black Mirror and decided that I would rank the episodes from best to worst. I mean it was perfect, 3 seasons plus the Christmas special equalled 10 episodes. Well, thanks to fucking Netflix, the 3rd series of Charlie Brooker’s amazing TV show had more episodes. There are, in fact 13 episodes of Black Mirror to date so doing a Top 10 didn’t seem right. It’d be okay if there were way more than 10 but leaving off 3 seemed unnecessary. “So why didn’t I just do a Top 13?” I hear you cry. Because that wouldn’t rhyme. So, I’ve spent the last hour or so despairing and trying desperately to come up with something else to write about. I’ve found something. It came about after I was taking some Instagram pictures today. I was looking through The Deathly Hallows for a quotation and ended up getting engrossed in the Battle of Hogwarts. I then found myself weeping at moments that I’d forgotten/blocked from my memory. So, in honour of the fallen, I’ve compiled a list of the worst deaths in the Harry Potter series. By the way, I’ve seen some lists that include Lily and James. I find this to be cheating because, though seen in memories or whatever, these don’t actually occur in the book’s narrative.

 Ten: Albus Dumbledore

Now, don’t get me wrong, Albus Dumbledore was a great guy and everything but, when you think about it, his death isn’t really that sad. There’s plenty of build-up in Book 5 and, let’s be honest, he’s already fucking old. Plus, as we find out in Book 7, he planned his death to fuck with Voldemort as much as possible so his death is actually a good thing. He’s pranking his mortal enemy from beyond the grave. Also, he was always kind of a shitty headmaster and a bit suspect. There’s some darkness beneath those eyes I tell ya. Darkness.

Nine: Cedric Diggory

I almost wasn’t going to include Cedric because I think my dislike of Robert Pattinson has had an adverse affect on my opinion of the character. Although, Cedric’s death was the first major “good guy” character to death up to that point (if I remember correctly). He was a student and he was killed because he wanted to share his victory with Harry. He was selfless, brave and intelligent. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and shouldn’t have died. Also, I vividly remember being absolutely destroyed by these scenes when I first read them so I couldn’t ignore it.

Eight: Colin Creevy

Colin may have been a truly annoying character when he first appeared in the books but that doesn’t mean his death is any less sad. He was a young man and wasn’t supposed to be in the battle. He snuck back into Hogwarts to help Harry. Another case of Harry Potter fever causing people to sacrifice themselves in the name of the Boy Who Lived. The moment his body is carried in is just awful.

 Seven: Mad Eye Moody

I love Mad Eye Moody and I feel, after the whole Barty Crouch Jr. thing, that he got kind of a raw deal. He was epic and powerful. Gruff, yes, but the kind of guy you wanted on your side in a fight. So, when he was killed in such a forgettable and insignificant way it just seemed unfair. He was destined for great things and should have gone down fighting an army of Death Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts. Not on a broomstick carrying a fake Harry Potter.

 Six: Tonks

Tonk’s death is sad, there can be no doubt, but I refuse to put it much higher because SHE DIDN’T NEED TO BE THERE. She was meant to be staying with her new born child. I know she was being noble and fighting the good fight. But she didn’t need to be there. She put her own need to fight before what was best for Teddy. When Lily and James were threatened by Voldemort they took Harry and hid. There was nothing ignoble in that act. Tonks did the opposite and went looking for the forces that were trying to kill her. And she left her son without a mother.

Five: Hedwig

I know there will be those who place Hedwig at number one because, quite frankly, it was a death that hit everybody hard. Hedwig had been Harry’s only companion in the Muggle world since his first year. She had been there for him and died to save his life. I’m a sucker for an honourable, sacrificing death and this was heartbreaking. However, the overall impact on others was less than with the people below. I’m sorry to have to be the one to say it but it’s true.

Four: Remus Lupin

I loved Remus from the moment he first appeared in the books. I’ve had a complicated relationship with him where I couldn’t decided if I wanted him to be my literary father or if I wanted him to do dirty things to me. In fact, I still can’t if I’m honest. It’s fucking weird. Remus was another of those wholly good characters who didn’t deserve to die. Plus, the only reason it happened was for literary mirroring. J K only killed Remus so the whole of the Marauders could die and so Teddy was left without parents. It’s bullshit I tell you. Bullshit. But I’ve had this argument before.

Three: Dobby

Oh my god, the amount of feels that this death caused. Dobby is such an innocent and purely good creature that it was immensely unfair that he was killed in such a horrible way. All he’d ever done was try and help Harry Potter and look what happened. I mean, Harry didn’t even respect Dobby enough if you ask me. I mean, yeah, he gave him his freedom and everything but he kind of stopper giving a shit about Dobby after that. He used Dobby’s help when he needed it but gave little back. Yes, his life with the Malfoy’s wasn’t great but at least he’d have lived through the battle.

Two: Sirius Black

Now, my feelings on Sirius Black are kind of mixed. Part of me loves him because he’s awesome and, you know, Gary Oldman. But the other part realises how terrible a role model he was for Harry. The man had been locked up for 13 years and was still basically his younger self. He was reckless and angry and saw Harry as a new James. As much as we all loved the idea of their happy ending, if the pair had ended up living together in familial bliss it would undoubtedly gone badly. Still, this death was heartbreaking mostly because it was Harry’s fault. If he’d been less of a dickhead and had any common sense he wouldn’t have gone to the Ministry alone. Therefore, Sirius wouldn’t have needed to rescue him and gotten killed. Fuck you, Harry.

One: Fred Weasley

This one’s kind of a given I suppose. Fred was the lovable twin who only ever wanted to make people laugh. It’s horrendously sad in the book to see Percy, who’s been a massive dick for since we met him, fall to pieces when he sees his brother. Plus, as a twin, I think this always had some deeper resonance than the others. The one thing guaranteed to get me in bits is seeing a film/TV show where a twin reacts to the death of their sibling.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

Ben Affleck, books, currently reading, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, motherhood, Netflix, recently watched, Will Arnett

It’s Mother’s Day so I hope you all treated your mothers with something lovely. Or that your children surprised you with something wonderful. On Instagram today I’ve been celebrating my favourite literary mother: Molly Weasley. There aren’t many positive examples of motherhood in the world of Harry Potter because, quite frankly, there aren’t many of them. The main two that we experience are Molly and Narcissa Malfoy. I know Tonk’s has Teddy but she’s a mother for about half a book or something. Plus, you could argue that her decision to leave her newborn baby to go into battle was the wrong one. I realise she was fighting for the freedom of the wizarding world and it was a tough decision. However, you could argue that, having basically just given birth, she would have been distracted and perhaps not in the best frame of mind to fight. Essentially the decision to have her leave her baby was so JK Rowling had symmetry between Teddy and Harry. I hate plot points that only exist for reasons beyond the narrative itself. Anyway, this isn’t the time to start another rant about the Harry Potter author. I have a rundown to write.

Currently Reading

  • The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
Still enjoying this but, at the moment, it’s not quite as addictive as The Rosie Project. I’m empathising with a middle-aged man more than I ever thought possible but I’m not sure the main character is quite as easy to love as Don Tilman was (even with the aspects of Simsion’s characterisation that I disagreed with). Still, it’s a story about lost love and getting older. Those are things that every reader can relate to. Plus, it’s still super easy to read without being too simplistic. Simsion has a skill to make things palatable. 
Recently Purchased
  • There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker
I am so glad that I bought this. It’s a fantastic selection of poetry that use political and pop culture references to explore what it means to be a black American woman in the 21st century. I’ve only read a handful of these poems so far but I’m already super excited. 

Recently Watched
  • Chasing Amy
After my book review of The Animators last Tuesday, I wanted to find a relevant title to review for TBT. I couldn’t think of any until I stumbled across this Kevin Smith classic on Netflix. A film about a comic book creator and questions about sexual identity. It’ll work.
  • Netflix binges: BoJack Horseman, Ricky and Morty
I finished BoJack Horseman this week and I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure it was as good as I’d been told it would be but it was enjoyable enough. The third series was nowhere near as good as the second but it was still better than the first. I have hope for a season 4. Whilst going through Netflix to find a new series to watch (I’m still putting off Iron Fist cause I’m too scared it’ll be another Luke Cage and I’ll never go back to it). I keep passing Flaked, another Will Arnett series, but it just seems like BoJack set in real life minus the horse. Is he destined to play the same part over and over again? So I decided to rewatch all of Rick and Morty and I’m so glad I did. It’s a fucking awesome show.

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Characters I’d Invite to my Birthday

birthday, books, George RR Martin, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, lord of the rings, Roald Dahl, Tolkien, Top 10

Just like Ronald Bilius Weasley, I am a March baby. Yes, just as Ron is celebrating his 37th year of his life on this very day, I will be celebrating turning 29 on March 5th. As a younger twin, I’m used to not really giving much of a shit about my birthday. I mean when you’ve spent 29 years sharing congratulations, parties and cakes, you start to feel that the whole thing isn’t really that special. Still, I feel it’s best to honour it in some way so for my monthly top 10 I decided to do a rundown of the fictional characters I’d most like to attend my birthday shindig. Not that it would be a wild affair. Don’t get me wrong, I like to party… but by party, I mean read books.

 Ten: Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby)

I know that if Gatsby did show up to my party that he’d end up hiding away and being all mysterious. However, I am willing to overlook that if I can get him to help me organise my bash. Of course, I accept that the whole event would then become a horrible metaphor for excess and superficiality but, hey. we all know there ain’t no party like a Gatsby party. He’s thrown quite a few Jazz Age ragers in his time so it would undoubtedly be a party that would go down in history… and I’m okay with that.

Nine: Rob Fleming (High Fidelity)

Rob is becoming another of those characters who constantly pop up on my top 10s. What can I say? I just bloody love this book. However, my reasoning here is for one thing: music selection. I reckon if I gave Rob the challenge to come up with an unforgettable party playlist then it would be the best thing we’d ever heard. It would be balanced and well put together with a mix of great classics, unknown hits, and cheesy pop songs. Ideal.

Eight: Brienne of Tarth (ASOIAF)

Am I just including Brienne on this list as a force of habit? Who can say? Well, I can. Yes, I think I’m just getting used to adding her to every list I possibly can but, also, she’s a bloody great character. I doubt she’d want to come to my party or, indeed, any party she didn’t have to. However, I still believe, wholeheartedly, that Brienne and I would be besties. We wouldn’t be at the heart of the party but we could escape from everyone else and have real talk. Or I could just repeatedly tell her how much of an inspiration she is.

 Seven: Kim Pine (Scott Pilgrim)

Kim is another one of those people who probably wouldn’t appreciate having to come to my party but she is also a character who I’m sure I’d get on with. We’re both super sarcastic, angry, and basically hate everyone. We’d get on like a house on fire and would throw some serious shade at the other guests.

 Six: Gandalf the Grey (The Lord of the Rings)

Yes, Gandalf is super old and kind of angry when he gets riled up. But, I have one word for you: fireworks. Yep, if Gandalf came to your party it may kick start a chain of events that sees you going on the longest and most dangerous journey of your life BUT he’d also treat you to some amazing pyrotechnics.

Five: Willy Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

For one thing, Willy Wonka seems like a guy with a dark sense of humour that I’d really love. For another, he’d definitely have to bring me a present of sweets, right? I mean he might bring enough for the whole gang but as long as I’m getting a box of Wonka Bars then I don’t give a shit. Plus, the Oompa-Loompas could very easily get together and organise a full on song and dance number for me, That’s got to be worth it.

Four: Deadpool 

I think I’d be so bold as to say that Deadpool was my favourite movie of 2016. I say that because I really can’t remember all of the films I watched in 2016. I mean Rogue One came close but Deadpool was the result of a long and arduous wait for the comic book character to get his proper on screen adaptation. Deadpool is insane and, whilst I admit he’s a little unruly, I’d love to see what chaos he brought to the party. Provided (film) Colossus or (comic book) Cable turned up with him to keep him in check we’d be fine.

Three: Hagrid (Harry Potter)

Hagrid is the nicest half-giant you could ever hope to meet and he’s a massive softy. He also seems to love birthdays. He turned up to meet Harry with a home-baked cake and it was just the sweetest thing ever.

Two: Tyrion (ASOIAF)

How can I possibly have a party without including the God of Tits and Wine to the guest list? Tyrion is Westeros’ original badboy. He loves a party and he’d be a great drinking companion. Just as my best friend and I have so many times before, we’d drunkenly talk about books and politics all evening. It’d be messy but, boy, would it be worth it.

One: Oliver Wood (Harry Potter)

I have to invite Oliver Wood. I mean he’s the closest thing I have to a book boyfriend. I’ve loved Oliver Wood since I was a child and, thanks to Sean Biggerstaff, I continue to love him to this day. The decision to make film Oliver a Scot did rather cement the idea that he’s my ideal man. Therefore, Oliver Wood is at my birthday looking all cute and Scottish. I’d listen to him talk about Quidditch plays all evening and never once let him know how bored I was.

Belated Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Literary Couples

books, couples, George RR Martin, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, lord of the rings, love, much ado about nothing, romance, Shakespeare, Tolkien

Valentines Day is coming up and love is in the air. People are obsessed. I’ve been seeing chocolate hearts, soppy cards, and stuffed animals for bloody ages now. I’m getting sick of it but decided I couldn’t really avoid it. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of Instagram challenges, which has been fine but there are times when I really have to think about certain prompts. The most recent one I struggled with was “Favourite Literary Couple”. When it comes to traditional views on literary love I tend to buck the trends. I hate Romeo and Juliet. Heathcliffe and Cathy are a disaster. Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester is a creepy relationship. Gatsby and Daisy are in no way relationship goals. And the less said about The Fault in our Fucking Stars the better. So I struggled to find a literary couple that I actually was rooting for. It was pretty difficult, So what was the next logical step? To force myself to come up with 9 more. Obviously.


Ten: Rob and Laura – High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

I know I come back to High Fidelity so often but it is one of my favourite novels. So sue me. Still, I have to admit that I had to stretch my parameters a little for this one. I mean Rob’s initial relationship with Laura isn’t great and he acts like a complete dick towards her. It’s no wonder she leaves him considering how much he takes her for granted. However, the beauty of the relationship is that Rob is able to learn that Laura really is the ideal woman for him. He overcomes his demons and learns to accept commitment. At the end of the novel, Rob and Laura are ready for a real relationship.

Nine: Westley and Buttercup – The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I have my doubts about this one because it’s too much of a fairytale romance. Still, there can be no denying that the story of Buttercup and the stable boy is lovely. The lengths that Westley goes to in order to rescue his love are just something you can’t ignore. And “as you wish”? Well, I still consider those to be some of the most romantic words ever uttered in fiction. Westley’s love is so selfless. He says I love you by doing what he thinks Buttercup wants. And then, later in the novel, Buttercup reiterates Westley’s sentiments with her own speech. These two are focused on each other solely. It’s hard not to get swept up in the romance of it all.

Eight: Mr Hoppy and Mrs Silver – Esiotrot by Roald Dahl

Esiotrot probably isn’t a very well known Dahl story but it is one I’m kind of obsessed with. When I was younger I loved the mutliple tortoises because I was a kid. Now, I’m obsessed with the depth of Mr Hoppy’s love for his neighbour. He secretly buys loads of different sized tortoises on order to make her happy. It’s an incredibly weird love story but it’s an utterly adorable one. Who needs hearts and flowers when you’ve got magically a growing pet?

 Seven: Eowyn and Faramir – The Lord of the Rings by George RR Tolkien

When most people think of Lord of the Rings they’ll probably think of Aragorn and Arwen as the best love story. However, I’ve never been a fan of book Arwen. She’s weak, feeble and basically non-existent. The only thing we really ever learn about her is that she’s pretty. So it’s difficult to really believe or care about the depth of their love. However, Eowyn is a completely different story. Eowyn is an independent and strong woman who manages to help defeat the fucking Witch King. She’s amazing. So it’s great to see her settle down with a man who really deserves and appreciates her. The brief moments we see of them together are just glorious. A well-deserved happy ending for the two of them.

 Six: Khal Drogo and Daenerys – ASOIAF by George RR Martin

Okay, so this couple get off to a rapey start. I get it. I’m not trying to suggest that they’re perfect. However, Drogo and Dany quickly became a power couple who truly loved each other. When Dany started to take control of her relationship and become her own version of a Khaleesie this pair became almost unstoppable. She loved him and he adored her. It was perfect. He was going to give her the Iron Throne and she became the fearless and loving leader he needed her to be. Drogo’s death was definitely one of the most heartbreaking thing George RR Martin has ever done. This couple would have been the greatest leaders that Westeros had ever seen.

Five: Beatrice and Benedick – Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing is my favourite Shakespeare play. I’ve probably mentioned that numerous times. It’s mainly because Beatrice is the only Shakespearean leading lady that I can actually stand. She’s clever, powerful, and doesn’t give a shit about finding true love. Until her friends and family convince her otherwise. Yes, she and Benedick bicker but that’s all part of the fun. They have a real fiery passion and, when they come to realise that they actually love each other, then they are a perfect match. That passion and fire is turned on each other and they make a loving couple. It’s the classic Freudian thing of being mean to those you love most but it’s still a great story. These two are equals.

Four: Don and Rosie – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I wasn’t sure about including these two on my list. I mean this book was adorable and everything but I felt it was a little too twee in relation to Don’s autistic traits. It seemed to be romanticising the condition and making the whole thing seem a bit too much like a fairy tale. However, there is something fantastic about seeing this relationship come about on the page. From their first meeting when Don decides that Rosie isn’t a viable candidate for ‘the Wife Project’ to his eventual realisation that she’s the only viable candidate.

Three: Remus and Tonks – Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Remus and Tonks got short shrift in the Harry Potter films. Their relationship is glossed over so much that it barely registers. I mean their son is mentioned once and he was supposed to be the mirror for Harry himself. It’s a disgrace. Still, in the books, their romance is a subplot that hangs around from Order of the Phoenix onwards. They have their problems at the start but eventually come to really care for each other. In the end, Lupin wants to keep Tonks safe but she doesn’t want him going in to battle without her. Their death is tragic but, in a sordid way, kind of romantic. They fight and die together. They’re two very good people who lay down their lives so their son can have a better life. That’s not just relationship goals; it’s parenting goals.

Two: Ned and Catelyn – ASOIAF by George RR Martin 

 When the Instagram challenge of “best fictional couple” came up recently these two were my first thought. I know Cat was supposed to marry Ned’s elder brother Brandon but, after he died, the pair managed to make the best of a bad situation. They were loving parents to their 5 children and they really cared for each other. Cat loved Ned’s quiet, stately, and moral ways and Ned loved her strength and determination. She even allowed Ned to bring his, supposed, bastard child into their family home and allowed him to be raised alongside her children. Yes, she had a certain amount of resentment towards Jon but you’ve got to give her props for not just chucking him out or having him killed or something. She clearly loved him enough to give him his way. It’s just a shame that we only see them together for such a short time in the books. If only Ned had gone back to Winterfell before confronting Cersei. The trusting old fool. They also happen to the best couple in the whole series. The only loving and stable relationship in all of Westeros.

One: Molly and Arthur – Harry Potter by JK Rowling

I can’t believe I forgot about these two when I did my post. I mean if there was one marriage in the whole of literary history that screams relationship goals then it’s this one. Molly and Arthur are not only fantastic on their own but together they have such a loving and happy relationship. It’s not a mad or crazy passion but it’s comfortable and real. They have a normal and loving marriage where they argue and disagree but, ultimately, they care for each other and their children. I think literature is too often littered with unrealistic romantic expectations. Everything is so hyperbolic and extreme. People falling in love in difficult circumstances and overcoming the odds to be together. It’s not for me. I just want people who are happy with each other. Where the relationships are easy and safe. They can rely on each other and things work with a little effort. Molly and Arthur are the most realistic representation of love that I’ve possibly ever read… if you ignore the magic and shit.

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

Benedict Cumberbatch, books, currently reading, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, Penguin Books, recently watched, Sherlock Holmes, Steven Moffat

I’ll be honest with you, this week has fucking sucked and I’m super glad it’s over. It’s been a shit week for my family and, really, I haven’t felt in the mood to do anything. Other than shop. That’s the one thing I can rely on at all times. So this week’s rundown isn’t exactly inspiring. I have read some things but I’m only getting through one chapter a night because I’m so tired. Still, it’s hopeful and tomorrow is the start of a new week. It can only get better.. or I hope so because any worse and I’d have to give everything up.

Currently Reading

  • The Plague by Albert Camus
This is slow going, I’m not going to lie but I am getting into it. I love the writing and it’s a super interesting study of humanity in a difficult time. I’ve had this on my TBR for ages so I’m hoping I get more inspired soon. I just need to watch less Netflix and spend less time on the internet. 

Recently Purchased
  • The Magician of Lublin by Isaac Bashevis Singer
I wasn’t supposed to be buying books this week. I was doing so well… until I saw that Pocket Penguin editions come in fucking pink. I know barely anything about this book but as soon as I knew it existed I bought it. I’ve seen bright pink Penguin editions all over Instagram and have always been jealous. Now I have my own and my life feels more full.
  • The Great Science Fiction by H.G. Wells
Another that I don’t need because it contains copies of books I already own multiple copies of. However, this collection of Wells’ stories is beautiful. I’ve never needed a better reason to buy a book in the past so it’ll do me now.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated Edition) by J.K Rowling
This is another of those books that I’ve coveted for ages but haven’t felt like I could justify. Until I decided to just say “fuck it” and bought it. It’s a beautiful edition and has already come in handy on my Instagram. I’d say it was a great investment. 
Recently Watched
  • Sherlock series 4 episode 3
I’ve pretty much just finished watching this as I write and I’m not sure how I feel about it. This whole series has been weird. I liked the first episode but it wasn’t anyway near the best. I hated the second but loved the ending. This one felt… disappointing. It was emotional, certainly, but I feel like they’re forever moving Sherlock more into the realms of the Steven Moffat era Dr Who. He’s like a completely different character to the one from the beginning and I just don’t buy it as much. It’s too far removed from the books and it’s an unprecedented change. I’m kind of hoping we don’t get much more because it’ll be a fucking rom-com in no time. It’s less about the solving of crimes and more about Sherlock’s emotions. It’s as awkward and annoying as the moment The Big Bang Theory started making Sheldon a more emotional person. It just didn’t work with the character development they’d already started. I’ll have to watch this again.
  • The Girl on the Train
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this film considering my feelings on the book. But I kind of wanted to see how it worked out. And I do fucking love Emily Blunt. So, what did I think? Find out Tuesday.