Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (novel)
Part of my re-read of the series for the Witch, Please podcast. This is the first time I’ve read the whole series since the first time I read them, and this book remains my favourite, even though it’s the one I have re-visited the most. Random thoughts on this read through – 1. what an absolutely terrible job the films did of adapting this book. I have no idea how the Deathly Hallows films make any sense to people who haven’t read the books. 2. can Lily Potter really be the first person to sacrifice themselves to save a person they love? Really? 3. Hermione needs more credit for everything. Harry pay more attention. Neville needs more credit from everyone in the book. Harry, you’re not the only one that’s been through some shit. 4. I still didn’t read the ‘Dumbledore is gay’ subtext. Please just make your gay representation actual text, authors. If it’s not overt, it doesn’t count as representation. 5. The epilogue remains insanely cheesy, and was obviously written to put a ‘this is really it, I’m not writing any more HP books’ ending on it (though, clearly, JK didn’t manage to stop…). 6. Snape is brave, but that doesn’t change the fact he’s also a douchebag.
The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney (non-fiction)
April’s pick for the Women’s Lives Book Club. I didn’t really get on with this. Because so little remains of Hatshepsut’s reign, and many aspects of ancient Egyptian life generally, Cooney uses a lot of “maybe this happened, or maybe this, or perhaps nothing”. I can see why she’s done it that way, but the style took me a while to get into. And, once I did, I found the book as a whole quite repetitive. But it was interesting what she saying at the end, that Hatshepsut’s success prevented other women from gaining power at the time, because of the difficulty of integrating a woman into religious and political traditions (*cough*StillAProblemToday*cough*)
The Weaver Fish by Robert Edeson (novel)
This is a weird book that’s not going to be for everyone; even now I’m not sure if it’s for me. It’s part fictional non-fiction and part crime thriller, and you’ll get the most out of it if you have at least a little scientific literacy. At times the hand of the author was just too visible for me, but I really enjoyed some of the imagery. Full review here.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (graphic novel – fiction)
I really liked this, it’s a lot of fun. Nimona, a badass young shapeshifter, joins supervillain Lord Blackheart as his sidekick, to prove that hero Sir Goldenloin is not as great as he seems. But Nimona doesn’t follow the ‘rules’ of combat, and might be more dangerous than she seems. It’s a YA book, and, as with most YA, I found some of the plot/character development thinner than I like. But it’s funny and enjoyable and I definitely recommend giving it a go. (If you want to check it out first, you can actually read the whole thing online for free as it started as a webcomic).
Peter and Alice by John Logan (play)
Really great fictional account of the real-life meeting between Alice Liddell Hargreaves (the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland) and Peter Llewelyn Davies (the inspiration for Peter Pan). Some of the dialogue is a little clunky, but there are also many moving and powerful scenes which make it well worth your time. It’s short, and easy to read, so an excellent place to start if you’re not used to reading plays. It’ll also break your heart a little. Full review here.
Also on the blog this month:
A post on where I buy my books (online and in person)
A discussion / rant on the snobbery that can sometimes happen in the bookish world towards people who don’t read – on (not) being a reading snob.
Currently reading: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (novel)