Tag: Order of the Phoenix

Sunday Summary – 12th September 2021

Welcome back to my regular Sunday Summary update post. I didn’t share an update with you last week as there wasn’t much to tell. My sister and her boyfriend Chris came over for a visit and so consequently, I took a break from both reading and blogging for the time they were over.

I have been back since the beginning of this week, however, and I’ve already shared a couple of posts with you. With not sharing my regular Sunday Summary update, you didn’t know what I had planned. However, sharing my Monthly Wrap-Up for August shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. I would’ve shared this the week prior if not for their visit, and it’s a post I’ve been sharing at the beginning of each month since the beginning of this year. Reading progress was better in July, but I’m still happy with what I managed to read in August. I’m now getting back into the swing of reading more regularly and that habit has continued throughout August!

Later in the week, I shared a First Lines Friday post; this week’s featured book has just been published and I’m excited to give this a go! It’s written by an author I have come to love. Whilst the genre is a little out of my comfort zone, for this author I’m willing to give it a try anyway.

 

Books Read

I could not be happier with this week’s reading progress! Considering I practically didn’t pick up a book for the whole of the week prior, I’ve certainly made up for it this week. As of my last Sunday Summary update I was around halfway through Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. I’m pleased to say that I finished this yesterday. When you take into consideration that my edition of this book is 766 pages long, you can already see that reading half the book in just less than a week is already a lot of reading!

Well, we don’t end there. After finishing the book I decided I wanted something a little lighter to pick up next. I don’t mean that just in terms of size either. I love that the later books of the series have a darker side, but in contrast I wanted something significantly more lighthearted as a break. Don’t forget, I read both Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix one after the other. So, with that in mind, I remembered a recent recommendation by my boss to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It was just what I needed; so much so, I managed to read this in one sitting!

Lastly, I picked up my third book of the week this morning. I wanted to continue with the slightly lighter tone, however move away from narratives aimed at children. After combing through my to be read list, I settled on The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. If I recall correctly, I think I’m around 15% of the way through this book at the moment. Again, I’m really enjoying the lighter side of the book as the narrative is in itself quite humorous. But, the book also has a lot to offer in terms of insight into mental health as well, which is really interesting at the same time!

 

Books Discovered

Over the last couple of weeks, it’s fair to say I’ve fallen off the wagon a little. I feel like I’ve added quite a few books to my list. I have managed to take a few off as well, but if I’m entirely honest I think I breakeven at best.

The first book added to my list in the last couple of weeks is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. This recommendation actually came to me from my sister’s boyfriend Chris. He has just read the book himself and after telling me about it, he very kindly left his copy with me to borrow.

The second book added was also the featured book shared in my First Lines Friday post this week. As I’ve said, I’ve come to love Jay Kristoff, in particular his Nevernight series. When I saw a post this week about his new release, Empire of the Vampire, I knew I had to give it a go. Based on the introduction I shared in that post, I am more convinced than ever that taking a little step out of my comfort zone will pay off.

Lastly, I added one more book to my list today after being introduced to it by my mum. She mentioned that she had just ordered this new release and I think it has a lot to offer. As I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, it was 20 years ago yesterday that the world changed forever. The 9/11 attacks are unforgettable recent history, and the book my mum introduced to me, Ordinary Heroes, is written by the first FDNY chief on the scene on that fateful day. Having recently watched a documentary offering insight into the attacks from the perspective of those on the ground at the time, this memoir can definitely shed new light on the widely publicised event, but in more intimate detail. I’m a firm believer that we can learn from our history; that’s why I enjoy reading it so much.

 

Coming Up…

I feel like it has been a little while since I’ve shared a book review with you all, and so my plan for this week is to share my thoughts on Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Brandon Sanderson is probably my second favourite author of all time. He is the kind of author that I could pick any of his books up and it wouldn’t matter – I’d love it regardless! He is a fantastic writer and to date, all the books of his I’ve read, I rated five stars. Steelheart is no exception! I loved the narrative and the action, and I feel sure I will continue with the series before too long. I read this first book back in 2020 and so my review is certainly overdue.

Later in the week, I will be sharing my next Shelf Control post. Having added no less than three books to the to be read pile, I should certainly get back to checking what else is on the list and making sure it’s still relevant to my reading taste!

That’s all for me vote this week. I hope you enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary update and I look forward to seeing you in the next post!

What have you been reading this week? Do you have any good recommendations?

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Sunday Summary – 29th August 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a great week? It’s especially been a good one here as we are in the middle of a super bank holiday weekend. We normally have a bank holiday in June, but this didn’t take place as planned this year as it is associated with a motorbike racing event. This was cancelled due to Covid, so we got Friday this week in lieu.

My blogging schedule didn’t quite go to plan this week. I was hoping to get my review of The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn out a little earlier than I did, but I eventually got it to a stage I was happy with it and published the post on Thursday.

I was meant to publish a First Lines Friday post this week. However, with having the day off I got stuck into some household jobs, including taming the garden. Long story short, I had quite a busy day and I finally remembered that I hadn’t started drafting this post about 10 pm. By that point, I hadn’t chosen a book to feature and so I decided to postpone the post rather than scramble to get something sub-par ready.

 

Books Read

Reading progress this week has been good. As you guys know, I’m currently reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling. I’m now just over 300 pages into the book and it’s so easy to pick up and put down. Even though I haven’t read this book for a long time, there is still a sense of familiarity but equally, it’s keeping me engaged. I love how well these are written and I don’t think it will be too long before I finish the series; I want to try and finish them by the end of the year.

 

Books Discovered

No news to report here once again, so I’m a happy bunny!

 

Coming Up…

I’m going to be taking a brief break over the next week. My sister and her boyfriend are coming over to the island for a visit and so I’m going to be taking time out to spend time with them. My sister was over for the first time in a couple of years back at the end of June; I am looking forward to being able to catch up with her again so soon. I haven’t met my sister’s boyfriend properly yet, so I’m looking forward to that too!

I will be back at the end of next week with another Sunday Summary post, but that’s all you can expect from me next week. Until then I hope you have a good one!

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Sunday Summary – 22nd August 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a good one whatever you have been doing?

At the beginning of this week, I shared a Top Ten Tuesday post; this week’s subject was my top ten favourite places to read. As someone who reads a lot, I have no shortage of places I will pick up a book. So, this is quite an easy post for me to write. If you haven’t checked out that post already, I’d be interested to see what your favourite places are by comparison!

On Friday I shared my next Shelf Control post. For those unfamiliar with the series, I use it to review the books on my reading list and I tell you about why I can’t wait to read them. This week’s featured book was a mystery/crime novel by a new author to me. It’s unusual in that it is slap-bang in the middle of the series, however I won’t let that put me off giving it a go! I’m hoping the book can be read standalone, but we’ll see!

 

Books Read

This week’s reading progress has been significantly better than last week. I barely picked up Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last week but I’ve been making up for that since. I’ve read over 150 pages this week and I plan to take this to bed with me again tonight to continue. I’m really enjoying the book so far. It is a hefty one, but at the same time it’s very easy to pick up and read. It probably helps that I have a rough idea of the story from the last time it read it, but equally the narrative is just really easy to follow and reading doesn’t feel like a chore.

 

Books Discovered

For the second time in a couple of weeks, I can still say that I haven’t made any acquisitions or added anything to my TBR! No complaints here – the list is long enough already.

 

Coming Up…

This week I am going to pick up where I left off with my half-drafted review of The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn. I made a solid start and I want to pick this back up and get it into a state where I’m happy to publish it. I hope you can join me for that post!

Later in the week, I’ll be sharing my next First Lines Friday post. I’m going to set myself a challenge for this post and choose this week’s featured book is out of my top 10 reads from last year. Naturally, you can be sure that this book comes highly recommended and I hope it will catch your eye as it did for me.

Last, but not least, I’ll be back with another Sunday Summary post at the end of the week to share what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been reading.

That is, however, all from me this week. I hope you have a fantastic one and I look forward to seeing you again.

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Sunday Summary – 15th August 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post. I hope you’ve had a great week?

In terms of blogging, my week didn’t go quite as planned. I was hoping to share a review of The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn earlier this week. However, whilst I made a good start on it, I wasn’t able to finish it in a way that I was happy to share it. I’ve still got what I’ve done so far and this will be coming to you shortly!

I did manage to find a book to feature for this week’s First Lines Friday post. The book I featured is one I read as a teenager. I really enjoyed the book at the time, however, I didn’t go on to finish the series. I got a good way through it (I was on book 3 I believe) but whether it was because I tried to read it all at once or because it definitely felt targeted to a YA audience, I just couldn’t finish it. I was in the target audience age bracket at the time, but it’s not a genre I read a lot of anyway. And it did feel a little bit… Not childish, but I certainly felt like I was too old to appreciate it. I can’t say if I’d agree now, but it’s worth a look and if you like fantasy then it may just be for you anyway!

 

Books Read

I’ll hold my hands up and admit that reading progress has been very light this week. And by light, I mean that so far, I’ve read a single chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I did that this morning because I felt conscious of the fact that I haven’t picked it up all week.

I will be rectifying that tonight. There isn’t a particular reason why I didn’t pick this up all week; I’ve just been enjoying doing other things. After sharing this post, however, I will be picking this up and even taking it up to bed with me tonight!

 

Books Discovered

For the first time in a couple of weeks, I can say that I haven’t made any acquisitions or added anything to my TBR!

Hoorah!

 

Coming Up…

I like the idea of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic. This week’s post will be all about my favourite places to read. It’s one of those subjects where it’s interesting to see how well other people’s answers compare to your own. So, please take part in the comment section after I share that post because I would love to know what your favourite places to read are!

Later in the week, I’ll be back to sharing another Shelf Control post. In case you aren’t familiar with this series, the aim is to share details of the books on my TBR and why I want to read them.

Last, but not least, I’ll be back with another Sunday Summary post to round off the week.

That is, however, all from me this week. I hope you have a fantastic one and I look forward to seeing you around.

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Sunday Summary – 8th August 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome back to another Sunday Summary update post. I hope you’ve had a lovely week, whatever you have been doing! I have had a good one, albeit run-of-the-mill – work, home, eat and sleep… oh, and read!

In addition to that, I have shared a couple of blog posts with you. My first post of the week was my monthly wrap up for July. I can’t believe it’s August already! I feel like I say this all the time but honestly, where is this year going? In that post, I shared all the books I’ve been reading (and there have been a lot more than of late) as well as the posts I shared last month.

On Friday I shared my first Shelf Control post for a little while. It was lovely to go back and look at my TBR and talk about why I can’t wait to read the next book on my list. This week’s featured book was a non-fiction novel called Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots, and looks at the history of psychology and how patients were treated in the 19th century.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update I was around two thirds of the way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Although longer than its predecessors I didn’t struggle to make progress with this at all. I love these books and the series and I’m glad I took the plunge with reading this one. It’s encouraged me in that I know I can pick up something longer and not lose momentum. You’ll know that I haven’t been reading as much so far this year as I’ve been giving myself a little bit of a break. I’m just now getting back into the habit of reading more regularly and this series is helping me do so!

This book is so good that I finished the final third in one sitting. Yes, you read that right. Around 220 pages were read over a few hours on Tuesday evening to finish the book. It was a bit of a marathon session but it got to the point where I was so close to the end that I didn’t want to put it down! It was brilliant; I love the change in tone from the previous books. It’s a lot darker and a lot more interesting given that I’m now a slightly older audience than I was when I first read the book.

I loved it so much that I have dived into Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix already. Again, this is significantly longer than the Goblet of Fire, but I’ve already made a dent and gotten around 75 pages in.

 

Books Discovered

I met up with some friends earlier this week for a catch-up and my friend Natalie has kindly loaned me a book that she has talked about with me before. A few months ago she started reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo and she was keen to hear what my opinion was on the book. So, I’ll probably be picking this up shortly so that I can return it to her in good time.

 

Coming Up…

This week I want to share with you a book review for something I read last year. I’m gradually chipping away at the books I still owe reviews for and this week’s feature book is going to be The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn. I enjoyed the setting of this book and the action within so I hope you can join me for my review and find out all my thoughts on the book.

Later in the week, I will return with another First Lines Friday post. As of writing this post, I haven’t got any particular book in mind, but I will come up with something during the week and fingers crossed this will appeal to you if you haven’t read it already!

Last, but not least, I’ll be back with another Sunday Summary post to round off the week.

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Throwback Thursday Mini Review: Harry Potter series – J K Rowling

I for one feel privileged to have grown up reading the Harry Potter books. I read these in my teenage years; so I grew up with Harry, Ron, Hermione, and friends as they venture through a vast world of magic.

I never got my Hogwarts letter, and I am TOTALLY bitter about it.

 

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

My Thoughts…

The series paints a wonderful, exhilarating and magical world. It is written incredibly well, so magic could live in our world without us “muggles” knowing about it! Though not without its downside, the world beyond Platform 9 ¾ is fraught with danger. He Who Must Not Be Named makes a formidable wizard and undying foe. The series is so well known, I don’t feel I even have to say that much about it. If you don’t know it, you either don’t care or live under a rock.

Whilst there are discrepancies over exact numbers, I cannot believe J. K. Rowling had so many rejections by multiple publishers. To think how prominent and successful the series is now, it is hard to fathom why they didn’t snatch the opportunity with both hands. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, I guess.

Naturally, I am going to show a preference for the books, but the films are great too. They are totally enjoyable to watch and pretty true to the books, so that’s a big thumbs up from me!

Whilst advantageous that I was of a similar age to the characters when I read the books, I know they are loved by many – of all ages and walks of life. My gramps read/listened to the books and still enjoyed them at 70! I think this series will stand the test of time. I only hope my grandchildren will still be talking about them. That is many MANY moons off yet… I hope.