If You Could Have Dinner With an Author?

Before I post my author, and I will tell you, I was arguing with myself for days; if you could have dinner with one author, living or not, who would it be?

I am expecting some familiar names, and please do not let that stop you from posting, because I would honestly love to have dinner with JK Rowling, Stephen King (hold the meal), or Mr. Patterson.

I would have loved to have had a face-to-face with Mr. William W. Johnstone, whom stoked my fire for writing when I wrote to him as a young teenager, obsessed with his books, and he replied, and we had a friendly relationship for several years.

That book right there; Sweet Dreams, put me on the path to loving books for the rest of my life!

And now I have a personal library in my house, and I am constantly hunting for the books I loved as a child. Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators? They are gold now, because I cannot find a single one under $30.00, and my local library does not even carry them anymore 😦

So about that dinner…..who is it?

He Was More Than a Storybook Character…

…he was our nemesis, the man we loved-to-hate, the man we wished ill upon, and the man we eventually grew to love for the sacrifices he made.

A. Rickman 1

Sacrifices that took us 7 books and many years to fully comprehend.

But beyond that, he was a great actor. Someone who truly took pride in the work he did, and the character’s he portrayed.

Yes, he did other work before, and after, Harry Potter. Besides his debut acting role in the first Die Hard movie, I think I enjoyed him as the Blue Caterpillar in “Alice in Wonderland” (2010), and he is reprising the voice in the upcoming “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (2016).

Sad child

Do you have a favorite Snape moment? I would love to hear what it is!

Books Versus Their Movie Counterpart…

…great idea, or did they kill the story?

I find myself in my own personal argument about this, because although there are books I have read, and thought the movies were terrible; I also know that so many people decided to pick up and read that book because they saw the movie.

Some easy ones for me that should have never been made? Any Romeo and Juliet movie; ever. Honestly, I never enjoyed the story, so there was zero chance I would like any movie based on this story.

This is strictly my personal-non-scientific-I-watch-too-many-movies opinion; so we will just go with it.

I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when the movie was done at the theater, but not released on dvd. I read it in a day, and by that time, the next two books were already out. So it took a while before I got caught up to the book releases and had to wait in line for the remaining books. I loved the movies, as much as the stories.

I absolutely love the Twilight series. The movies were painful to watch because I think Kristen Stewart is the worse actress ever; but I loved the stories. So yes, I did watch, and own, each dvd.

The Hunger Games. I loved the books, but as each successive movie comes out, I find it more unbearable to sit through.

Inkheart. Oh. My. Goodness. I love this story, and the movie. I watch it all the time. I do not know why, but I love watching Brendan Fraser in any movie. Goofy; serious; I just like him. But Inkspell and Inkdeath never made it to film. Journey to the Center of the Earth? Loved him in that. Yes; I own that too.

Inkheart Cover

And Narnia. Oh my favorite, glorious Narnian world. I have heard rumors about The Silver Chair being next to be produced, but the actors are grown, and can no longer fill the roles as they left them.

Another well loved book!
Another well loved book!

What movie have you loved that you wish was written in a story?

Me? Stephen King’s From a Buick 8.

B&N 6-10-2015 007

One of my favorite stories, as you all know, and I would love to see this made into a movie.

What about you?

Happy Father’s Day to my Favorite Reader!

I think one of the things that makes me so happy about the relationship I have with my Dad, (and there are many), is that I can buy him books, and he does not roll his eyes at me. I buy him books for Christmas, of series that I have read, and I know he will enjoy. And since we get hard winters here in Michigan, he has a lot of time to read.

Last Christmas it was Percy Jackson. He tried to give the books back to me, but I had to explain to him that I already had all of those books. So he donated them to the library in his very small town, and the Librarian was so happy, she hugged him 🙂 Which makes me feel even more happy!

So this year it is Harry Potter. I already told him he was getting them, and that once he starts, he will not put them down.

They get snowed in; a lot; so they have weeks at a time where they know they are not getting out of their driveway. He seemed a little intimidated when I told him each successive book is longer than the last, but I know he will love them.

And then I get to look forward to the phone conversations, and the visits, and the conversations about all things books, which makes me more happy than anything!

So here’s to you Dad, and our future Harry Potter conversations. And well beyond that, Thank You for ALWAYS being my rock, my support, my ear to bend, my bail-her-out-of-whatever-jam-she-got-into.

I am truly Blessed, and love you for it!

My Book Facts

I have read more books than I could ever count (and would not even want to guess) but amongst all of those books, there were some that stood out.

The hardest book To read:

The Bible. Yes, it is hard to understand, at least the Old Testament is for me. I read it from front to back last year, and I try to read it every day. In my own personal opinion, everyone needs to read this book! 🙂

I had to share this picture: it cracks me up every time I see it!
I had to share this picture: it cracks me up every time I see it!

A book I haven’t read yet but should have:

The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde (This will be read before summer is done).

The Importance of Being Earnest Cover

Books I hated having to read in school, but I loved once I grew up:

1984 – George Orwell, Lord of the Flies – William Golding, The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne, Macbeth – William Shakespeare (Okay, I have to be honest here, I still do not like Macbeth, or anything else by Shakespeare; it’s just not my thing!)

A book I should have read sooner:

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck. The first time I read this book was about 4 years ago. I loved it!

Books I read at least once a year:

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee, The Shack – William P. Young, At least one of the 7 Chronicles of Narnia books – CS Lewis

Books I should never have read:

50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker, 50 Shades Freed – EL James. Okay, they weren’t horrible, but I honestly skipped over all of the so-called steamy sex scenes, they were too ridiculous to even get through.

My favorite books as a child:

Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators – Robert Arthur, Jr. I read these books over and again, and will still grab a few from the library on occasion to read them again!

From The Screaming Clock cover, courtesy of http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/
From The Screaming Clock cover, courtesy of http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/

Series that should have went further:

Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath – Cornelia Funke. I loved these stories. My daughter will kill me for not saying Harry Potter, but honestly, it was a perfect series of 7 books that I do not think anyone else will ever be able to do again.

Inkheart Cover

Books that should not have been made into movies:

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins. I liked the stories a lot. But by the time I saw the first part of Mockingjay in the theater, I found it to be beyond cheesy. Yes; I said it was cheesy!

Books that sucked me in:

The Twilight Series – Stephenie Meyer. These books sucked me in and I could not put them down. I read them over and over while I waited for the next one, and I read the whole series twice in a row after I had all 4 books. Should I be embarrassed to admit this? Probably. Am I? Not in the least. I loved these books 🙂

Twilight Cover

How about you? Did you have a book that was hard to read, or one you read over-and-over again? I would love to hear what your book facts are. Let me know!

I Tried, But I Just Can’t Do It! James Potter #2

You will see why I could not read another word of this second book of fan fiction. I also think I am done with fan fiction. Just not my cup of tea.

So, I started the 2nd book, and after the first couple chapters, I have decided to keep reading it. I say this because very early on in the story, there are 2 people who tracked down a goblin to fix a painting. A moving painting, of course. A painting of Voldemort that is basically in shreds, but can still communicate.

Really? REALLY? I actually said to myself “Come on! You’ve got to be kidding me.” Sorry Mr. Lippert, I just personally feel that this is a ridiculous way to take a story line, even if it is fan fiction. And yes, it is strictly my opinion, and not worth a can of pork-and-beans, but I find this almost comical.

 

Be aware, spoilers are ahead, and likely quite a few of them.

The first one being….

Arthur Weasley is dead. Yep, he had a heart attack. Killed him off, right at the beginning of the book. During his surprise 78 ½ birthday party. That’s probably normal for wizards, right? Molly said it was the only chance they had to surprise him, and he still got one over on them.

So we have the funeral, Draco and his wife show up, James gets his 1st pair of glasses, and he is NOT happy, and there is some type of shadow stalking him and causing all kinds of ruckus.

Then it is off to school for James’s 2nd year at Hogwarts, and Albus’s 1st year. Of course he is a nervous wreck, convinced he will get sorted into Slytherin, and James of course teasing him about it. An interesting fact, Albus Sirius Potter, ASP, is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world. This of course is why he is getting teased as bad as he is. I thought it was quite the coincidence that his initials worked out like that, when JK was the one who gave him the name. Was there a reason for it?

So, on the train, James and Albus both see the shadow again, and chase it throughout the train. Having it cornered, and it trying to remove the pin holding the cars together, James prepares to stun the shadow, just as Merlin grabs his arm and points it upward, telling James he shouldn’t do that to the Borley. Yes. The Borley. A form of Shade; shadow creatures. Completely magical beings. They grow from magic, so when someone does magic in front of them, they grow larger and stronger. What do they grow into? Wait for it….

Dementors.

Albus manages to get in a squabble with Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s son. Soon enough, they reach Hogwarts, and are sorted. Scorpius Malfoy is a Gryffindor, and Albus Potter is a Slytherin.

So, I left off with Albus in Slytherin, and Scorpius in Gryffindor.  Back in the common rooms, the 1st years of Gryffindor refuse to let Scorpius bunk with them, so he goes into the 2nd year’s room and takes James bed. James goes back to the common room, where he gets to be a look out for who knows what kind of trouble these kids are about to get in to. They won’t even tell James, letting him know that this way he can honestly plead ignorance.

Merlin asks for assistance from James, Ralph, and whomever else James chooses. James chooses Rose, and they go on a journey to retrieve some of Merlin’s belongings. (I am sure this will be important later).

As the school year gets to a start, the 2nd years seem less than impressed with their new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Kendrick DeBellows. He is teaching class in the gymnasium (apparently none of the students knew Hogwarts had a gymnasium either) and requiring everyone to get into fit shape before learning the spells.

Albus seems to be taking to the Slytherins rather sportingly, and I am not quite sure if he told his parents yet. He has every intention of trying out for the Quidditch team, an idea that James is none too thrilled about.

Professor DeBellows is not teaching D.A.D.A. spells to the younger students, which has many asking James to form a group like back in his father’s day, when Umbridge wouldn’t let them use spells, and they formed Dumbledore’s Army. James bright idea on who to teach it? The ghost of Cedric Diggory. Yes, he is still floating around the castle, not sure why he is still there, and not sure where he is expected to go.

And this just takes the cake, and I cannot finish this story. While James Sirius Potter is talking to a painting, who is about to tell him some very, very juicy information, he gets a stabbing pain in his forehead, the same spot that has been itching for weeks. What is this, the scar we couldn’t see? Cedric the Ghost can see it; it glows green. Way to be original. And with that, folks, I am done. If you want to know how this ends, if is called James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper. It’s free (It would have to be!), and you can find it on Goodreads.com

I apologize, but I can only handle so much ridiculousness. And yes, this is strictly my own opinion.

James Potter and the Hall of Elder’s Crossing

James Potter and the Hall of Elder’s Crossing

 

G. Norman Lippert

 Image

Not usually one to get myself involved in fan fiction (No, I do not have anything against it) I came across James Potter and the Hall of Elder’s Crossing. It had numerous reviews, mostly positive, some complainers, and there are also more books to this “series” as well.

 

James Potter is the oldest son of Harry and Ginny (Weasley) Potter, and older brother to Albus and Lily Potter. This book begins in James’ 1st year at Hogwarts, and it appears that the more things change, the more they stay the same, i.e., some talk of Voldemort. Yes, he really was killed, and will not be making a guest appearance in this story (at least he hasn’t yet!)

 

James immediately makes 2 friends, Zane, who is in Ravenclaw, and Ralph, who is in Slytherin. Ralph is quiet, reserved, and not the “Slytherin” type, so it will be interesting to see how he grows in these stories.

 

Some things at Hogwarts have changed, such as this trio tends to hang out in all of their common rooms, depending on what they are up to. A Gryffindor and Ravenclaw in the Slytherin common room takes a bit to get used to!

It seems as if James cannot get out from under his father’s shadow, but we do not hear too much about the “old” Hogwarts students, except for small mentions here-and-there.

It seems as if Merlin himself was a horrible magician, and he has a couple people who are trying to bring him back from the grips of death. The alignment of the planets, along with his staff, robe, and throne are all that are needed for him to come back to life on Earth.

But as usual, all is not as it seems at Hogwarts. Merlin does make it back, but it certainly wasn’t what I expected.

So, the storyline seemed to revolve around how a muggle news reporter was able to gain access to Hogwarts. After sneaking in a couple times, Mr. Prescott was apprehended and questioned by the staff. They let him go, knowing he would bring back the video cameras to reveal to the world that there were witches and wizards among them.

The staff of Hogwarts however, used this to humiliate Mr. Prescott, making everything look like bad magic tricks. The source of the leak was revealed, and of course, all that was wrong was put right again. Hufflepuff won the house cup at the end of the year (I would have never saw that coming!) They were the only house to not lose significant house points due to being involved with the whole Merlin conspiracy.

It seems as if Headmistress McGonagall is looking to retire and they are going to have Merlin be the next Headmaster. Everything gets neatly tied up in the end, and the school year comes to an end at Hogwarts.

 

It was a good read, obviously different from the Harry Potter books, but a good story none-the-less. I will likely read the next book he wrote, as soon as I figure out what it is!