Tag Archives: J.K. Rowling

WWW Wednesday, 15-February-2017

15 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


phone-callCurrently reading: My husband and I were finally able to listen to some of Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs. We had four hours in the car and got through some of it. This is a really long book so we might be at this one for a while. We have next weekend to get through a bit more.
I’ve been making steady progress on The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler during lunch and doctor’s appointments. I’ll keep it up at this pace as much as I can. Lunch has also transformed itself into a study time for me which might take over a bit.
I started reading Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling. It’s great reading this now because it’s moving super fast and I can pick it up and put it down easily as school makes other demands on my time. I should finish it soon.
I also started The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom on audio. Albom narrates the story which is a fun twist. He loves basing his books here in Michigan (where he’s also from) which makes fun reading for me!

awayRecently finished: I knocked out Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling really fast. Celebrity memoirs tend to be fast reads and I enjoyed getting through this one fast. My review will come up tomorrow so look out for that.
My review of Away by Amy Bloom posted yesterday. I liked the book but was disappointed by the ending. I thought it seemed like the main character gave up at the end and that disappointed me.

My review of El misterio de la guia de  ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie posted last Thursday. Thanks again to those who commented on it, I’m really excited about having finished it so quickly!

nightsoldiersReading Next: Night Soldiers by Alan Furst is in transit! I should be able to pick it up from the library soon and get started on it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Discussion: Do you change your world to fit fan demands?

22 Sep

My husband sent me this article from Vox. It talks about the homosexual undertones in the newest Harry Potter installment and the subtextual content of the previous seven books. It’s an interesting argument to be sure, but it got me thinking.

Rowling originally wrote the series for young children (I believe I was in 4th grade when I read the first one). Now, some of you might argue with me here, but my experience was that I wasn’t introduced to homosexuality outright until I was in the 7th or 8th grade. This isn’t to say that my experience is normal or that this is right, it’s just my experience. I grew up with no gay relatives or close family friends that necessitated it being explained to me that not every house was like mine, the assumption I believe many of us make growing up. Now, I’m going to extrapolate here that I’m not the only one who grew up this way though obviously, not everyone did. Breaching the topic of homosexuality can be more delicate in some homes than others and, like ‘the talk,’ I think many parents want to talk to their children about these topics before they come up in social situations. The age at which parents do this, I believe, depends on the culture the child is raised in and the social context of that childhood.

Feel free to argue, this is a set of assumptions based on my (American Midwestern) upbringing. It allows me to make this next assumption.

Because homosexuality can be introduced to children at different ages through adolescence depending on upbringing, I don’t believe it’s common in books aimed at middle-grade reading levels. I’ve seen a surge in YA books with homosexual protagonists or main themes, but I haven’t seen many middle-grade books. I think this is for the reasons I outlined above.

Going back to Harry.

If the first book is aimed at a middle-grade audience, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Rowling to have excluded homosexual characters from her book. Sexuality in general was not stressed in the novel. Besides parents, there are no references to romantic relationships among the core group of characters and because we looked through Harry’s eyes, any on the periphery didn’t play a main role. Looking at the first book alone, I don’t think many would argue that Rowling stuck to the expected content of a book aimed at that age group.

But there are seven books, not one. And as the characters grew up, so did the reading level and intended audience. 19 years later, we’re reading a book where the 11-year-old who lived under the stairs is the father of an angry 13-year-old. Harry grew up. Should the world have ‘grown up’ too?

The article criticizes Rowling for writing a highly white heteronormative series. With a few exceptions (Dean, the Patil twins, Cho), this is a fairly accurate assumption. Dumbledore was never explicitly gay in the books and fans only know of this because of interviews Rowling later gave.

Here’s my question: Should Rowling have added more explicit descriptions of some characters homosexuality in later books?

PRO: Her audience matured and would have been able to deal with the changing characters as their own worldview was changing as they aged. By the time Cursed Child came out this year, many of us who remember reading the books as they were released are old enough to have children of our own (though some have turtles and that’s totally fine). A lack of homosexual characters is not reflective of reality and we’re to believe that wizards are born the same way as Muggles and would, therefore, have similar instances of homosexuality in their culture. Rowling’s world is not representative of modern Britain.

CON: Rowling started the book series to appeal to a young audience. Adding explicit references to homosexual characters could deter parents from having children enjoy the series at a young age. After the world was established as heteronormative, adding homosexual references would have been forced and might have led to inconsistencies in Rowling’s characterization of many main characters.

I’m unsure what to think about the instance of Harry Potter. As for myself, it’s making me look at my writing and wonder if I’ve included the diversity fans would expect from my stories in terms of sexual preference. Do I have the diversity of characters in terms of race, educational background, religion, etc. that my story deserves or would be expected to have? Should I look at my characters in terms of what (possible) fans might expect from my world or are they my characters to form as I originally saw them? Has being a white heterosexual Catholic tinged my character selection to a point where it’s arguably skewed? What steps should I/would I be asked to take to correct this? Would I be getting too far away from ‘write what you know?’

I think this topic can be applied to all kinds of diversity in a huge number of books. I’m curious how you all feel about this and I love using Harry as a common launching point for discussion. Please be kind and realize we all come from strongly different backgrounds.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (5/5)

15 Aug

I was so beyond excited to read this book. I’ve been looking forward to it since it was announced and I went to a midnight release party to celebrate it. Would I surprise anyone if I said I finished it by 2:30 PM the day it came out? I didn’t think so.

Cover image via Goodreads

Cover image via Goodreads

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Other books by this author:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay
Harry Potter y el orden del fenix by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter y el misterio del principe by J.K. Rowling
Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Summary from Goodreads:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

I was apprehensive, to be honest. This is my favorite franchise of all time, what if it wasn’t what I was hoping for? It was so fun to see the characters I love all grown up and grappling with parenting. It was great to meet the young children we only get a very brief glimpse into during the epilog of the 7th book. This was everything I could have hoped for. I’m going to try to keep this spoiler free and I’ll let you all know if you need to skip a paragraph.

I loved Scorpius and Albus. It would have been easy to make them similar to their fathers but Rowling (who I’m going to credit with the plot for this review) built them into entirely different people. I liked how they developed and interacted during the accelerated first years of the book and I enjoyed their relationship during the main focus of the plot as well. Again, I don’t want to get to any spoilers here, but Scorpius was very smart and resourceful when he needed to be and he had that Slytherin cunning to get him through.

If it’s not obvious, Scorpius was my favorite character. It was too easy to read Albus as a whiny teenager while Scorpius had real problems to deal with and a positive outlook on things that were beyond his control. I liked Ron the least. I thought he was turned too much into a bumbling dumb old man. It was disappointing.

I think Albus was easy to relate to. Growing up, I felt the pressure to be like my parents. I should be as successful as them, as happy as them, and do the work they did. I can’t imagine what that pressure would feel like if Harry Potter was my dad! The end of Deathly Hallows gives us a rosy view of Albus but this book really digs into the difficulty he has to go through.

J.K. Rowling Image via The Telegraph

J.K. Rowling
Image via The Telegraph

Ok, being vague here to not give away the plot. I liked Scorpius and Albus’s adventures in the meat of the novel. I liked what they had to go through to fix the problems and put things back to how they were. Was that vague enough? I hope so. If you read the book, I hope you know what I’m talking about.

I think the biggest difference to me between this play and the original novels was the multiple points of view. Not only do we get Albus and Scorpius’s conversations, but we have Harry and Ginny as well as Hermione and Ron. That was weird for me and threw me off a bit. I know it’s better for a play, but it was not ‘Harry Potter-y’ and to me was one of the most marked differences.

 

I think we’ve all wondered what would happen if one thing in our past changed. Maybe something that we consider insignificant but it could have resounding impacts on the future. I liked the way this was explored in the novel. (Again, trying to be vague here.) I thought the alternatives that were presented made sense and showed how important every part of our past can be.

Writer’s Takeaway: I hadn’t read a play in a while. I read Shakespeare in high school but I honestly think that might be the last time I cracked one open. It was fun to read this style again, but I see why Rowling needed some assistance to be an effective writer in this format. There’s a lot to consider with who is on stage when, how much you can do with effects, scene changes, etc. I think the team pulled the whole thing off well.

Yes, it’s because of the nostalgia and I don’t care. A full Five out of Five stars.

I did the math and the majority of this plot takes place in the future so I’m counting this title toward ‘the future’ time period for the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling | GemsBookNook
Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne | Bookiecookie Blog

WWW Wednesday, 3-August-2016

3 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


5LL-7.09.F.inddCurrently reading: I read about a chapter of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. My husband is out of town for a few days which might give me some time to read while I’m eating dinner alone. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I make a little progress here.
Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles is a short book and I’m hoping to finish it before this weekend when I head out of town. Then I can take just my ‘next’ book with me and not worry about running out of reading material. Maybe I’ll send another book ahead just in case…
The audiobook I want to listen to next has a hold on it, so in the meantime, I’m going to listen to The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I had a roommate in college who read this and talked to me about how it helped her relationship with her boyfriend and ever since, I’ve been interested in listening to it myself. It’s a shorter audiobook so I hope I can power through it before the other hold comes in.

626F6F78747265616D=7474747474727576707<7473Recently finished: I finished off two! The first was 10% Happier by Dan Harris. This was a cross between a memoir and a self-help book. I liked it, but I wasn’t convinced to start meditating, not just yet. I understand how mindfulness might help a person and I understand there are proven health benefits, but I’m still a skeptic. I struggle to fit in my five minutes a day of prayer! We’ll see how that goes. Review will be up soon.
I don’t know how I could have blanked on this, but another WWW reminded me that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling would be released before this week’s WWW. I’ll post soon about the release party I went to and I’ll add that I finished it about 14 hours after starting it. The book reads really fast because of the formatting and it was one I want to reread soon because speeding through it, I’m sure I missed something.

WithoutEndReading Next: I’ll be taking In One Person by John Irving with me on vacation this weekend. I’m not sure if it’s much of a beach read, but I’m really looking forward to diving into Irving. I love his crazy-twisted books.
The next audiobook I plan to undertake is World Without End by Ken Follett. This will be a long trek and I’m ready to make it because I enjoyed the first book so much. I’ll likely lose the hold and have to come back to it a few times, but I hope it will be worth it in the end.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Challenge Update, July 2016

1 Aug

I was finally able to pick it up in July! Woo. I’m hoping to carry this through August because after that it will be back to school and hard for me to fit too much reading in again. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in July:

Truth & Beauty // Ann Patchett
In the Hand of Dante // Nick Tosches
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Illustrated) // J.K. Rowling and John Kay
The Drunken Botanist // Amy Stewart
The Invention of Wings // Sue Monk Kidd
10% Happier // Dan Harris
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child // J.K. Rowling

Reviews are up for all except the last two, both of which I finished Sunday. I’ll get to them soon. You can tell I’ve been writing reviews pretty soon after finishing books lately. I think my reading has slowed down since I got my new job about a year ago but I’m still reading as much as I can and I’m much happier in the new role.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

11/12
This is my challenge to read a book from 13 different time periods. You can read about it here. I’m glad to say I added TWO this month! I filled in 1800-1899 with The Invention of Wings, set during American slavery. I decided to count Cursed Child for the future. If you do the math, it starts 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts (1997+19=2016) but a lot of the action takes place three years later (2016+3=2019) so I’m counting it in the future. One more to go! I’ll have to see about finding a book set in the 1600s, it was a challenge last year as well.

Goodreads Challenge

30/45
Four ahead! I’m feeling a lot better about this. For a while, I didn’t think I was going to make it. I’m out of the woods now and we’ll have to see how I finish out the year. This is a good time for me to feel like I can start a long audiobook.

Book of the Month

626F6F78747265616D=7474747474727576707<7473This probably seems obvious, doesn’t it? A big Potterhead like me, picking a book of the month. Yes, I’m going to pick Harry every time and this month, my favorite book was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. I’ll be posting more about the book in the coming days so look out for more about how amazing this book was.

Added to my TBR

I only added three! And one of these I’ve already started so ha! I’m really proud of this because, for a while, it seemed my TBR would never go down but I’m knocking it apart bit by bit now.

  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I’m not sure how this wasn’t on my list before. I’m a bit ashamed of that.
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple. This got great reviews when it came out and I got it from the library sale for $1. What’s not to love?
  • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I needed a short audiobook to listen to while waiting for a hold to come in and this seemed a good filler for the time I have. I started it yesterday and I hope to finish it soon.

How are your challenges going? I hope you’re killing it. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review(ish): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay (5/5)

18 Jul

So while this is technically a book review, it’s going to be more of an illustration review. I now own six copies of this story; three books and three movies. For those curious, that’s the original Scholastic (American) printing in hardcover, the Salamandra (Spain) print in paperback, the illustrated, one VHS copy, and two DVD copies (one on its own and the other part of a four-disk set). I’m a bit obsessed and very proud of it. My husband teased me endlessly when I said I wanted the illustrated edition for Christmas. But that was only to dissuade me from buying it so he could give it to me. The little stinker

SorcererIllustrated

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay

The beloved first book of the Harry Potter series, now fully illustrated by award-winning artist Jim Kay.

For the first time, J. K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books will be presented in lavishly illustrated full-color editions. Rowling herself selected artist Jim Kay, whose over one hundred illustrations make this deluxe format as perfect a gift for the child being introduced to the series as for the dedicated fan.

Yep, I’m for sure part of the ‘dedicated fan’ this was marketed to. I pre-ordered the Chamber of Secrets illustrated a month ago and it doesn’t come out until October. So. Pumped.

I reread this slowly, in bits as I waited for my husband to get ready for church or while dinner was cooking. The last week, I read it a bit more in a hurry, but never too fast. There’s no reason to speed through these gorgeous illustrations.

Kay does an amazing job. The characters look the way they’re described in the books, not like the actors in the films. Some things were, I thought, a bit too far off (the Sorting Hat) but other things were spot on (Snape). I don’t want to share pictures of it because they deserve to be treasured at their spot in the book as you read it. Which you should. Immediately.

The pages with no pictures were still beautiful, having drops of watercolor on them and a textured background that was lovely. I liked the small in-line pictures as well, of small things like Trevor. The full-page pictures were treasures, giving us images of characters like Dumbledore or Ron and depicting epic scenes like Hogwarts at night or Diagon Ally. There were a few full-page spreads (one is the cover, no big surprise) that were breathtakingly beautiful. I particularly enjoyed two illustrations that were modeled after a page or two from a magical textbook, one on trolls and another on dragon eggs. I thought that was a wonderfully creative way to get into the world.

I won’t say too much more. The story is amazing, as ever, and moved me to tears (as ever). The illustrations made me connect even more with the text and I loved it. I was happily surprised that it was the British text so now I own a third ‘translation’ (this being the original and the American and Spanish being seconds) of the book. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Harry Potter y el misterio del principe by J.K. Rowling (5/5)

6 Jun

It’s hard to write a book review for a re-read, especially a re-read of a Potter book. Oh well, I’ll try my best. I read this book over the past five months so my memories of it will be a little spotty and my comments will likely lean toward the later part of the book, which is freshest in my mind. And I want to talk here about reading in another language because, in the end, that was my purpose.

Cover image via Goodreads

Cover image via Goodreads

Harry Potter y el misterio del princie by J.K. Rowling, translated by Gemma Rovira Ortega

Other books by J.K. Rowling reviewed on my blog:

The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Harry Potter y la Orden del Fenix
Very Good Lives
The Cuckoo’s Calling (under pseudonym Robert Galbraith)
The Silkworm (under pseudonym Robert Galbraith)

English Summary from Goodreads:

It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys’ house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can’t quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys’ of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time? Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine…

I’ve thought about it, and I’m not sure I’ve read this book a second time since devouring it the week after it was published. I know I’ve reread books 1-4, but I’m not sure about 5-7. That makes this Spanish reread of the series even more fun for me. HBP is my favorite of the movies so I’ve watched it dozens of times but knowing that aspect of the story made me forget the details in the book that made it even more incredible. I loved Crabbe and Goyle as first-year girls, the reason Snape called himself the Half-Blood Prince, the details of Ginny and Harry, Quidditch politics, and even more Slughorn.

After seeing Harry act like an emotional teenager in the fifth book where just reading the all-caps freak-outs he has will give you 70% of the plot, HBP is a nice break and a chance to see Harry mature. Hermione is her strong self as always and Ron’s growing and fading relationship with Lavender is always good for a laugh. Rowling’s characters are very believable teens and I remember reading this when it was published, the year I was 16, and thinking the same thing. It was so great to grow up with Harry.

For once, Harry was my favorite character. Though, when Malfoy is in the astronomy tower, he breaks my heart. That’s one of my single favorite character development scenes in all of literature. I’ve literally written a book about it. Harry was much more level-headed this time around. I also liked his drive and determination when it came to the Horocruxes. It was good to get some internal thoughts from him about Ginny and his friends. Much of Rowling’s writing is 3rd person narration but it’s a treat to get into Harry’s head.

Part of what makes this book one of my favorites is that Rowling makes Malfoy sympathetic, something we never expected in Sorcerer’s Stone. We’ve all struggled with something we didn’t want to do but were told to. It’s a terrible inner turmoil, trying to reconcile morality, duty, and compliance. I related to Malfoy and my mother would argue it was my fascination with everything she hated in my teen years, but I loved his character. What great writing.

J.K. Rowling Image via The Telegraph

J.K. Rowling
Image via The Telegraph

It should be easy to tell by now that the astronomy tower scene is my favorite (and least favorite) in the book. I think it’s something Potter fans can still discuss to this day. Was he really lowering his wand? In the movie, Malfoy shows a Dark Mark but not in the book. Did he have one? Was Snape reading Dumbledore’s thoughts? Did Dumbledore really want to die? Such a great scene!

It’s hard to find a part of this book I didn’t like. From the opening scene with the Muggle Prime Minister to the ominous tone at the end, I loved the whole thing. Maybe it’s how long it took me to read this, but I really enjoyed every word.

To me, the last two books deal with sacrifice and love. This book focused a lot on sacrifice, especially at the end. Harry is reeling from losing Sirius at the beginning but quickly has to focus on the real problem, Voldemort. He is willing to sacrifice his time and later his safety to stop the Dark Lord and at the end, sees the downfall of his mentor. However, he quickly realizes that this had to happen for him to find his own strength. Gah, I love it!

Writer’s Takeaway: It’s hard to say what it is about these books that I can’t get enough of. I’ll reread them time and again. This book showed a lot of character development and depth I’d been waiting a long time to see and it was refreshing. The series grew up with Harry and this book continued that trend and I really, really loved being a Harry Potter kid.

Amazing, amazing book. A full 5 out of 5 Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Resena #9 { Harry Potter y el Misterio del Principe Mestizo } | Un Viaje por los Libros

Challenge Update, May 2016

2 Jun

My book giants have fallen this month! I got through two long titles I’ve been chipping away at for months and I’m finally going to start tearing through some summer books (I hope). You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in May:

A Clash of Kings // George R.R. Martin
The Virgin Blue // Tracy Chevalier
The Art of Asking // Amanda Palmer
Harry Potter y el misterio del principe // J.K. Rowling (review coming next week)

Only one behind on reviews is pretty good for me! I’ll have it up next Monday so look out for that. Though, if you’ve been here more than a week, you know how much I love Potter.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

9/12
This is my challenge to read a book from 13 different time periods. You can read about it here. Half of The Virgin Blue was set in the 1500s so I counted it and crossed that one off of my list. I think I’ll have some 1800s books come up soon, but I’m getting concerned about the 1600s book. I might have to take a look at my list for some options, that can be a hard time period. I’m sure I’ll find something for ‘the future.’ I’ve never struggled with that era before so no sweat there.

Goodreads Challenge

20/45
I’m still two ahead of pace. With the big two giants down, I’m feeling like this one will be no sweat at all. Yay!

Book of the Month

PrincipeNo question for me this month because Potter wins everything. It’s got to be Harry Potter y el misterio del principe by J.K. Rowling. I’d forgotten a lot of the details of the book, such as why Snape calls himself the Half-Blood Prince and how Harry and Ginny really dated for a few weeks. It was so fun to revisit.

Added to my TBR

OK, so I added three. I’m not taking the list down any faster with this, but two of them are for book club so they were coming one way or another.

  • Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins. Watkins was part of the Midwest Literary Walk that I went to with my friend Amy and I bought her book and had it signed. I’m so proud of myself for keeping this to one book!
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. When I worked at a bookstore in college, we had hundreds of copies of this book for a Freshman class at the local college. I didn’t read it then and it will be fun to go through it with the book club now.
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Another book club pick, I’m excited to compare this one to the movie!

How are your challenges going? I hope you’re killing it. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 1-June-2016

1 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


27 Days_HighResCurrently reading: I don’t think I’ve read a word of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I might grab a little of it this afternoon, but I’m in no rush to read this one. I’ll savor Larson’s writing for a while.
I’m just about finished with The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. This has been a great audiobook and is very thought provoking! I really recommend it. I’ve had Evangelical friends before, but I never knew very much about the culture.
I finally started  27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa over the weekend. I’m not too far into it yet but I’m so excited to read this one! Kristine is a personal friend of mine and I was at her book launch party a few weeks ago where I got my copy signed.

PrincipeRecently finished: I finished Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling! That’s a good speed for me to finish my Spanish read of the year so I’m really happy about this one. I won’t tell you how many times I cried, but it was more than five.

I posted my review of The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. Thank you so much to everyone who popped over and took a look at my thoughts! It really meant a lot to me to see you all over there for the day as well. Like I said, I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I would have read it if it weren’t for my book club. 4 out of 5 Stars.

Cat DancingReading Next: I’m going to have time to read off of my bookshelf for a while! This is so exciting, I’m not sure I know what to do with myself. Next on my shelf is The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing by Marilyn Durham. Yes, this is a very obscure title for me, but the author was educated at my university and it was turned into a movie so I’m super curious. I looked for years before finding a copy in a Grand Rapids bookstore. I think it was waiting for me.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 25-May-2016

25 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


DiscipleCurrently reading: I’m so close to finishing Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling! Two chapters left in this one and it’s great to have the end in sight! I’d love to finish this by the end of the month. I haven’t finished my Spanish book until the end of the summer the last two years so this is a great pace for me.
Not much with In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson this week. I didn’t have a lot of waiting time going on to fill with the story and I don’t see a lot coming on this week so it might be a while.
I started a new audiobook that I’m really enjoying so far. It’s The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. I forget how I heard about it, but in the beginning, Roose mentions interning with A.J. Jacobs, one of my favorite non-fiction writers, so that’s probably it. It’s great to get Roose’s opinion on what he’s witnessing going on around him because, like him, I don’t know many born-again Christians. I find other people’s lives fascinating.

AskingRecently finished: I finished up The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer on Wednesday last week. I’ll have a review up tomorrow. I liked it, but I’m so different from Palmer that some of it was hard to wrap my head around. Four out of Five stars from me. The audio was great because Palmer included a lot of her songs.

27 Days_HighResReading Next: I hope to start 27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa this week. I had drinks with Kristine last week and after hearing her talk about her book launch, I’m even more excited to read this one! Woop.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!