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11.17.2014

Sorcerer's Stone collection

I'm obsessed.
There, I said it.
Everyone who knows me, knows I an a HUGE Potterhead.
So, naturally, I had to join the rereadathon.

I finished The Sorcerer's Stone reread last night - marking the 13th time I have read it! (yes- really!) On the inside cover of my paperback copy, I write the dates I have read the book. The first 5 dates are only years because that was before I wrote specifics. I started to add months when I started reading it more than once in a year.

Now, here is a sad revelation as a Potterhead... I must admit, I was one of those people who didn't get hooked right away.
I read The Sorcerer's Stone back in '99 and didn't really care for it. It didn't hook me and make me salivate for more, like it did most first time readers. At that time in my life, I was 14 and completely obsessed with RL Stein and Stephen King. I devoured both authors regularly, so I think the switch to the magical world just didn't go over well for me. I didn't pick up the series again until the end of high school in 2003. That was when I found a love for the series, and the rest is history.

Sorcerer's Stone is where the magic begins, and every time I sit down to read it, I feel like I fall in love with it all over again. Even though I have read it 13 times, this time was just as magical as the 2nd (because, like I said earlier, that 1st time wasn't highly magical for me). My love and obsession for all things Harry Potter has grown over the years, and what started as just a love for the books has grown into a love for the entire empire.
It started with rereading the series. As I read them again and again, I was constantly finding new things.... things I had not noticed before, things that were surprising, tiny details that hinted at the future, details that tied it all together... the thought that was put into the series is what kept me coming back for more. And more... and more.
As the years wore on, my collection grew too. I started grabbing books, memorabilia, tshirts, and really anything Harry Potter related. I have tons to show, but today I will just share my copies of the Sorcerer's Stone.
My 2nd copy of the book - I donated my very first set to my classroom when I first started teaching.
The beautiful updated version that came out this year
The mass market "for schools only" edition
My crowning jewel - the leather bound collectors edition
I also have the ebook editions, which is actually what I read from this time. I plan to read this entire rereadathon on the Kindle so I can highlight and make notes while reading, which I have never done before.

I love to collect, so of course I would love to get more versions of all of the books, but especially the 10th anniversary edition of The Sorcerer's Stone with the Mirror of Erised cover.

So everyone - what versions do you have and which one did you read from this time? Have any of you listened to the audio books? (they're awesome, btw!)

Can't wait to browse all your posts and hear what you all thought of The Sorcerer's Stone this time around!



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

10.31.2014

Harry Potter re-read!

What's that you say? A Harry Potter re-readalong?! Count me in - obviously

Sheila over at Book Journey is calling all the Potterheads looking for a reason (like we need one!) to re-read the Harry Potter series. She's hosting a winter re-readalong of the Harry Potter series.
Join in the fun: comment for house points, win prizes, chat with fellow Potterheads, introduce HP to some newbies, and enjoy the series all over again!
Even though I just re-read the series early this year, I have to join in the fun. I can never resist a re-read of Harry Potter and it is a lot more fun with others to discuss it.

Get sorted and post your house and your year and join in the festivities!

I've been sorted into Ravenclaw (both by Pottermore and this quiz, as well as pretty much every other sorting quiz I've ever taken)



You can join as a first year (never read or only read Sorcerer's Stone) all the way up to the seventh year (read them all)
I'm a seventh year, since I've read all the books before- literally a dozen times

The readalong will last 5 months and the tentative schedule is as follows:

* Nov 1 – Nov. 16 – The Sorcerer’s Stone
* Nov 17 – Dec. 6th – Chamber Of Secrets
* Dec. 7 – Dec. 29th –  The Prisoner Of Azkaban
* Dec 30th – Jan 20th – The Goblet Of Fire
* Jan. 21st – Feb 13th – Order Of The Phoenix
* Feb. 14th – March 7th – The Half Blood Prince
* March 8th – March 31st – The Deathly Hallows

Hope you'll be joining us on this magical journey!



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

10.29.2014

NEW Harry Potter!

Be still my little geeky heart.

Last month, I preordered The Creature Vault and it arrived yesterday (on it's release date!) at my doorstep. Thank you Amazon!

It is heavy and beautiful and masterfully crafted.

Similar to Film Wizardry - but with a focus on the creatures and plants in the Harry Potter movies. I've read about 1/2 of it so far, and I love it. I've learned so much and the images contained within are stunning.

Expect a full review with pictures of this beauty over the weekend!



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

10.28.2014

The Fever is an engaging and mysterious read...

The Fever is a timely thriller about a mysterious contagion that spreads to the girls of Dryden high.

The Fever by Megan Abbott
Little, Brown and Company // June 17, 2014
hardcover, 320 pgs
ISBN: 9780316231053
source: egalley from publisher through Netgalley

About the book:
The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.
The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.

My thoughts:
A mysterious tale of a sudden contagious epidemic keeps this book moving fast. The Fever was a quick read and one I could have read in an evening (ya know, if life didn't get in the way of my reading time). Fast paced and mysterious, this novel is perfectly timed with the current mass hysteria over Ebola in the US.  What exactly is causing the girls of Dryden to get sick with seizures, convulsions, vomiting, and hallucinations?  Is it the HPV vaccine all the girls got? Maybe it's the polluted lake that's making them sick. Or is something more sinister at play?
The quest for answers kept me turning the pages of this novel. I wanted answers as badly as the parents of these afflicted girls. And why, exactly, is Deenie caught in the middle? I just wanted to know!!!
In addition to the fast moving plot, I liked the characters. The girls were all different, but shared commonalities enough to make us question what was happening- and why. They were different enough to be unique but similar enough to seem like any girl you'd meet in a local high school cafeteria. I think that helped make this novel relevant.  The entire idea behind this book was impressive- the outbreak and what comes after. The hysteria was accurately depicted and twists and turns kept me guessing.  Overall, I really liked this one and would definitely recommend it.... especially with all the current hysteria in the media right now.


About the author:
Megan Abbott is the Edgar award-winning author of six novels, including Dare Me, The End of Everything and Bury Me Deep. Her writing has appeared in Detroit Noir, Queens Noir, Phoenix Noir, New York Times and Los Angeles Times Magazine. She is the author of The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir and editor of A Hell of a Woman, a female crime fiction anthology. She has been nominated for awards including the Steel Dagger, the LA Times Book Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Currently, she is working on the screenplay for her novel, Dare Me, soon to be a major motion picture.
Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English Literature and went on to receive her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She lives in Queens, New York City.


write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Cover image from Netgalley.com
Book and author information from Amazon.com

10.17.2014

Press Play is an incredible and intense read!

WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind after reading Eric Devine's latest YA novel- Press Play.

Press Play by Eric Devine
Running Press // October 28, 2014
paperback, 368 pgs
ISBN: 978-0762455126
source: ARC from the publisher

About the book:
Pound by sweaty pound, Greg Dunsmore’s plan is working. Greg is steadily losing weight while gaining the material he needs to make the documentary that will get him into film school and away from the constant jeers of “Dun the Tun.”
But when Greg captures footage of brutal and bloody hazing by his town’s championship-winning lacrosse team, he knows he has evidence that could damage as much as it could save. And if the harm is to himself and his future, is revealing the truth worth the cost?

My thoughts:
It's been awhile since I read a book in a mere 24 hours. Press Play is one of those incredible page-turning stories that you just have to finish as quickly as possible. I had the luxury of camping over the long weekend and was able to spend a fair amount of time reading - I brought Press Play with me, knowing that I like Eric Devine and because this just sounded like a really good read.
I am SO glad I did.
I finished this book within 24 hours and it was one of those novels where when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it.
The 4 main characters were superbly developed - even though I can't say that I connected directly with their struggles, I can say that I understood them. They were so real. I could absolutely feel the anger and pain that flowed from Greg, the humiliation Ollie felt, the anger and deeply hidden secrets of Ella, and the fear within Quinn. Each member of this quartet was exposed to the reader, allowing us to really understand them and their experiences.
The story isn't your typical high school YA novel. It isn't filled with romance or vampires or your typical drama. Press Play is filled with emotion. It is a tale about the hazards of sports, cliques, unhealthy lifestyles, lying, and hazing. It is also about the truth... how it can set you free, save your ass, and keep you sane.
The overall idea of Greg catching video of how cruel the lax bros are (and many of the cliques in general) is heartbreaking. It is terrible because it is true. I cannot imagine being in high school now - I was lucky that in school I was a social butterfly and got along with pretty much every clique. My only bad experience was that I was damn good at sports and had a gaggle of older girls (that I beat in a gym class game) try to heckle me. I kept my head down, ignored them, still kicked ass in gym, and carried on - they eventually got bored. However, I do know a lot of people who had terrible high school experiences. Now, with the addition of social media, I cannot even imagine how quickly bullying can escalate. Press Play gives us a glimpse into how dangerous High School really can be.

Press Play has a great message and I am really impressed with it, I would recommend it, especially for older high school students. They could certainly learn a lot from this book.

Before you run off to grab this - check out the awesome book trailer!

About the author:
Eric Devine is a writer, high-school English teacher, and educational consultant. He is the author of the young adult novels Dare Me, Tap Out, which is a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and This Side of Normal. He lives in Waterford, NY, with his family. He can be found online at ericdevine.org and via Twitter @eric_devine.



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Book image, author information, and synopsis from Amazon.com
Book trailer from Eric's webpage