While I haven’t been blogging about them too much lately as moving to Portland has taken over my life, I have been reading a nice supply of books. Not as many as usual maybe since I’ve also been reading Harry Potter since I moved here, so there’s been only so much time to spare for other books. I thought it would be nice to spend some time in that familiar world since everything else around us is new. Hang out with the HP gang and all that.*
When I got to Chapter Twenty Six of Book Six though, I have to admit, I seriously thought about quitting right there.Â Like when you read the first book in Series of Unfortunate Events and you get to the second to last chapter and it says something along the lines of “And they all lived happily ever after and everything was great. If you want a happy ending, stop here. If you want to know the dreadful thing that happens next read on,” and since I wanted the happy ending I stopped reading right there which pretty much put an end to reading that series since you have to read the last chapter of that book to move on to the next one.
It was just like that with Harry Potter Six.Â I knew what was going to happen in the rest of Book Six and what was going to happen in Book Seven. But if I quit reading, I could just PRETEND like those thing never happened. I could have my own alternative ending where none of the really horrible stuff happens. In the end, I couldn’t do it. I had to keep reading and I think it may have been slightly less painful this time around. It’s the fourth time I’ve read Book Six (how’d that happen? seriously?), though only the second time I’ve read Book Seven, but knowledge of the horrors to come did give me a bit of a buffer. I was prepared for them (sort of). There are some shining moments in Book Seven and I thoroughly enjoyed those while I was reading them.
Some of the other books I’ve been reading:
Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson. This is one of her new romance novel-esque/historical/European novels that she’s been writing lately and I decided to give one a go. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m not sure that it’s marketed to YA but it’s totally something I would have read when I was that age. It’s sort of a romance novel, but with interesting twists like nudists and suffragette mothers. It was a great summer read and even made me think that I too could enjoy doing laundry and other domestic bits the way the main character does. Sadly, it didn’t work for me, laundry is still boring and I’ve discovered I have little in common with that loveable domestic goddess in the book (even though I really liked her) and probably more in common with the super evil opera singer Brigitta (our names are almost the same so really I never stood a chance) except without the tremendous talent Brigitta has. But given the option between being carried around on a litter and hanging out in villas or doing the laundry and selflessly cooking in the basement for a million people, I’m pretty sure which one I’d choose. I like cooking, but think about all those dishes!
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. This is a mid-grade novel and somehow this book really sunk into me. I’d heard people talking about it, but hadn’t really known what to expect and I’m not sure if you can give a description of it that does it justice. There’s something folk-taley about it, but like an older, darker folktale where you aren’t sure that everything is going to turn out all right but you get pulled in by the fabulous characters anyway (even if you are prone to liking happy endings like I am). The main characters are, I have to admit, animals, but they’re so much more. I love that hound. And the kitties. I’ve never heard purring described so well or had a description so accurately convey just what purring is. It takes place in the bayou. I don’t know, I think you have to read it yourself to get it. Although I did tell Barrett the whole book from start to finish and quoted a few of my favorite sections and he’s still talking about it and asking me questions about Garr Face, so maybe it’s more pervasive than just the words on the page.
Let’s see. I’ve also read a few graphic novels. The new Nancy Drew graphic novel series is pretty fun. I love old school Nancy Drew, but it’s a relief to not have to read over and over the description of Bess as slightly pudgy and how she likes to eat. I mean, come on! Poor Bess. This version of Bess is super cool. So is George. Anyway, it doesn’t have the lovely nostalgia factor of the real deal, but there’s something refreshing about them too. I’ve also read a couple of graphic novels by Kazu Kibuishi that Barrett turned me on to. Kibuishi does robots mixed with non-usual robot worlds really well. Daisy Kutter: The Last Train is more adult and it’s got a kick ass woman who’s an ex-train robber. And there are robots. Amulet: The Stonekeeper is more for kids and it’s a creepy mansion sort of story. With robots. They’re definitely worth picking up, especially if you didn’t think you’d like graphic novels with robots in them since these are like robot stories for non-robot lovers. Right.
I’ve also been delving into someÂ Jeeves and Wooster. They ALWAYS make me smile.
What are other people reading this summer?
* Luna was totally my favorite character this time around. She is so great!