Book Chat #8: Happy Birthday, J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter!

Hi everyone! Today is J. K. Rowling’s fiftieth—and Harry Potter’s thirty-fifth—birthday! Here’s a Book Chat that’s rather different than the ones I usually post; one that I’ve poured all my thoughts and feelings about the world of Harry Potter into…


Dear J. K. Rowling,

I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was quite young—all the way back in primary school. As I opened the book and read the first line,

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much,”

yer a wizard, harry.jpg
o The battered old book that started it all.

I had no idea what lay ahead. But I read and eventually drifted off into the magical world where anything is possible (which I’m happy to say I still visit quite often). I devoured one book after the other, and when I had finished all the books, back to back, in under two weeks, I read them again and again. They never lost their excitement, no matter how many times I flipped through their pages.

This sounds cliché, I know, but I truly felt as though I was alongside Harry, Ron, and Hermione through it all— marveling at the sheer enormity of Hogwarts, raising my hand in Charms class, whizzing through the air in a Quidditch match, sneaking over to Hagrid’s in the middle of the night, fighting all sorts of magical beasts, dueling with Lord Voldemort, banding together with everyone in the epic Battle of Hogwarts. You see, the characters were not simply characters. They were people, just as real as my family and friends.

But, looking back, underneath these thrilling, brilliantly worded accounts of three clever, mischievous students at Hogwarts learning magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and book chat picWizardry, meeting all sorts of magic folk, and bringing together everyone to help defeat You-Know-Who Voldemort, there lie quite a few important lessons—namely about love and determination and human nature—that have stayed with me since that very first book, and for that, J. K. Rowling, I must thank you.

As Professor Dumbledore once said,

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most

inexhaustible source of magic,

capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

You have certainly proved him right, J. K. Rowling. ❤

Happy Birthday to you and Harry! (And Neville Longbottom too.)

Yours truly,

Yasimone

P.S.: I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter… 🙂

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Book Chat #4: Springtime!

It finally feels like spring!

The sun is out, the flowers are blooming, and everyone’s in that cheerful mood! Well, at least I am. 😀 So here’s the ultimate post about spring: what I love about spring, what to do, and of course, what to read!


Things I Love about Springtime

  • Sunshinebook chat pic
  • Running barefoot through dewy grass
  • Being able to swim in the ocean again
  • Hearing the doves coo at dawn
  • Reading on a bench at the park
  • Taking pictures of blossoming flowers
  • Eating ice cream with friends
  • Your hair having that perfect shine in the sun
  • Those beautiful moments before a thunderstorm
  • Singing by yourself
  • Watching the sunset
  • Walking anywhere and everywhere
  • Blogging on the balcony

Things to do in Springtime

Spring is just a magical, magical time. So the best way to get the most out of springtime is to embrace that magical-ness. ❤

Take a stroll in the nearby woods and pretend that you’re Lucy in Narnia, exploring and making animal friends. Watch the sunrise. Watch the sunset. Pick flowers at your neighbourhood park. Weave them into your hair and become Queen of the Daisies. Have a picnic with your friends, with lots and lots of tea. Read underneath a tall, shady tree. Drink some more tea. Read something else. Sketch people you see walking by. Bring out your camera. Take photos of grass. Read fantasy books. Dance in the rain (hopefully without a book in your hand).Take a roadtrip to a nearby landmark. Call up your relatives. Call up your friends. Watch a movie. Watch an older movie. Bake something. Meet someone new. Pour glitter all over your lawn. Search for the faeries. Wear pastel colours. Wear yellow. Write a story. Write a poem. Enjoy life while you can. Enjoy spring while it lasts. Enjoy books. Enjoy everything.

Books to Read in the Springtime

>> Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott- I’ve found that I enjoy reading these sort of classics most during spring and autumn. Why, I have no clue. 🙂 But try sitting outside and reading about the March sisters: the experience is that much more exhilarating, since many chapters of the story take place in the great outdoors.

>> The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter- Nostalgic much? 😉

My little library of Beatrix Potter stories.
My little library of Beatrix Potter stories.

In all seriousness, however, these books are simply gorgeous— the writing, the illustrations, the characters, everything! Beatrix Potter’s stories, such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, and one of my favourites, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, are perfect to read to a small child on a spring morning or to thumb through by yourself and reminisce. Bonus: “Miss Potter,” a biographic movie about none other than Beatrix Potter, is a fantastic movie to watch sometime this season as well.

>> Heidi, by Johanna Spyri- Yes, I know, yet another classic! Told you I like reading them in the spring! This one, about a little girl named Heidi who moves to the Swiss Alps to live with her gruff but friendly grandpa, is a wonderful book that makes you long to go to the mountains yourself, breathe in that fresh, clean air, and share a simple meal of bread, cheese, and goat milk with Heidi.

>> Fantasy books in general- As said above, I feel like spring is one of the most magical seasons. It seems as through at any moment a faery might fly by, or you’ll reach an enchanted land through your wardrobe. So, fantasy books are a great choice. May I suggest the Chronicles of Narnia? 😀


Hope you enjoy your spring! Now I must go re-read Little Women for the millionth time. 🙂

-Yasimone

 

Book Review || 11 Birthdays

Author: Wendy Mass

Amanda Ellerby is about to turn eleven. She’s stuck having a costume party she doesn’t really want, and wearing a very uncomfortable costume. But most of all, it’s the first year she isn’t having her birthday with Leo. Leo is her best friend ex-best friend. They were even born on the same day. But one year ago, on their 10th birthday, Leo said something terrible, and Amanda hasn’t talked to him since. After an okay-ish day at school (she has a pop-quiz!), her birthday celebrations are not going well: half the guests haven’t even shown up, and the other half are slowly leaving her party to go to Leo’s huge birthday bash. 😐 *sheds tear* Amanda is extremely relieved when, finally, the day is over. Blissfully, she goes to sleep. But the next morning, everything happens exactly the way they do yesterday! At first Amanda thinks it’s a twisted trick. But when the same thing happens the next day, Amanda understands that something else is at work. But what? Before long, Leo and Amanda realize that, for some strange reason, they are in it together: they need to forgive each other and find out what exactly is causing their 11th birthday repeat over and over. Along the way, they meet a mysterious kind elderly woman with a duck-shaped birthmark who knows quite a bit about their ancestors and in the end, see that friendship is important in ways they never imagined.

Wendy Mass is, I must say, also one of my absolute favourite writers. She combines the real world and magic one seamlessly. Amanda and Leo are ordinary kids who act just their age and are true-to-life. The writing keeps you interested and turning pages eagerly. This is a heartwarming book that shows that friendship can be broken, but much more easily fixed.

-Yasimone