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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (Revisited)

I’m am quite certain most people know who Harry Potter is.  I’m also certain that you know him well enough than your classmate seated on your left, or your co-worker on the right cubicle, or the neighbor at the end of the street, or maybe the man who delivers the milk in the morning. Unless you live in the boondocks, under the sea, or maybe off this planet.

It would be time-wasting to write Harry’s biography and it would even be more futile to write a review.  We know what he is and what happened to him in the end, and yes, we all love him.  If you don’t, there is something seriously wrong with you.

On June 30th 2010, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone celebrates its 13th year of publication. I know I’m six months early but just for fun, I’ve decided to revisit our favorite wizard by re-reading the series. I’m gonna post some things that crossed my mind while Harry was in his first year in Hogwarts.

I recall when I first stepped off from the world of Muggles, the place that captivated me the most was Diagon Alley. Maybe it’s the inherent female-shopping gene kicking in (but strangely I don’t really shop that much in real life), or probably just the out-of-this-world coolness of the stuff that’s been sold in that place that attracted me (Yes, robes are sexy.  LOL!).  So I made a shopping list of the 10 things I’d like to buy in Diagon Alley if there would be a crack in the space-time-reality-fantasy continuum.  (Some things listed are not necessarily mentioned in the series, but given the chance, maybe it could exist in Harry Potter’s world!)

10 Things I’d Like to Buy in Diagon Alley

1. The trendy witch hand bag. Like a bottomless pit, you can fill it in with all your knick knacks without worrying about space or weight.

2. Rita Skeeter’s notepad. Very handy for dictations.

3. The wizard’s version of a camera. Wouldn’t it be cool if your pictures are moving? 🙂

4. Self-stirring cauldron (or pot). Saves time and effort on cooking.  If there’s a self-frying frying pan that’s sure not to burn what you’re cooking, everybody will be gourmet chefs!

5.  Rememberall. Very handy for people who forget names or places .. like me!

6. Nimbus 2000 broom. Your hybrid’s got nothing on this baby. It’s greener with zero carbon emissions.  Saves 1/4 of your life by reducing time spent on mind-numbing traffic, and its parking space is just a closet.  Also, you can probably use it in manual cleaning activities too.

7. Love potion. Self-explanatory.:-D

8. Wizard’s Tent. Making your outdoor travel comfy.  If I have a tent like what they have, I probably wouldn’t buy a house anymore.

9. An Owl. Yes, we have real owls here on Earth, but these owls in Harry’s world seem smarter than dogs. Plus they make sure all your correspondence reach the person, they’re more reliable than e-mail (Mailer Daemon error blah blah).  And I think they’re good pets as well.

10.  Skele-Gro. I can now attempt all the stupid sports I’d like to try without worrying about breaking my bones … I just have to make sure though I won’t get killed or this thing will be useless.

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The Sisters Grimm Book 1: The Fairy-Tale Detectives

Once upon a time, there were two sisters.  Recently abandoned by their parents,  Sabrina and Daphne Grimm were shuffled from one foster household to another for a year and a half.  Having enough of their sneaking and causing trouble, their case manager finally hands them off for the last time.  The sisters alight Ferryport Landing  to meet their grandmother, Mrs. Relda Grimm, who was supposedly deceased long time ago.  Sabrina and Daphne find themselves in a town where fairy tales seem to come alive.  After being attacked by pixies during a failed escape, bumping into an equally snooty town mayor  named “Charming,” and encountering  witches and pigs in the law enforcement agency, the hours become bewilderingly strange for the sisters.  Their destinies unfold when Relda and her creepy assistant, Mr. Canis, got abducted by a 200-foot giant.  The sisters gather  their wits together to rescue their grandmother,  to solve the mystery of the terrorizing giant, and finally, to carry on the family tradition of being GRIMMS.

I stumbled upon this when one cold night I was hankering for a fairy tale book before I go to sleep.  Searching through an audio book site, I took a chance on this as the plot summary seemed interesting.  I had come across a lot of books using fairy tales in their pure form, adapted form, modernized form, twisted forms, and some politically-correct forms before. I was curious on how Michael Buckley is going to pull off this one.  What supposedly turned out to be a tale to put me to sleep morphed into something that kept me awake the whole night until the bright morning.  This book is worse than caffeine! Once started, it has to be finished. And once it’s done, you want to have some more.  Reading this reminded me of my Harry Potter experience.  I started late reading it, maybe book 3 was already out when I started HP & The Sorcerer’s stone.  I found HP’s world exciting and amazing because of the fantastic story, funny and endearing characters, and the strange new world of magic.  With The Sisters Grimm series, I just discovered that there is a book 8 coming  out May 2010, which only means I have a lot of catching up to do. Though it’s way too different from HP’s world, stepping into this one feels the same.  Some of the characters may seem familiar (as I might have heard of them one bed-time story ago), the treatment gives a “biographical” or “historical” view (well, that’s according to the Grimms).  Apparently, these are the TRUE stories of those tales.  What I like most about this is Buckley’s very good narration of what’s going on inside the head spaces of his characters. You can certainly relate to them in the childish sense.  And don’t get me started with funny awkward moments, quips, and seemingly crazy description of things that would certainly force a crack of a smirk even in the stoniest of faces.  I’m looking forward to the next 7 books. This series look very promising.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2010 in Ferryport Landing, Michael Buckley

 

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Undead and Unwed

WARNING:  This book would be a rated R if it were a movie.  If you’re 18 and below, please go back to your Harry Potter books.



Diary of Elizabeth Taylor (just call me Betsy because I’ve heard all the jokes before)

9:20 AM: Laid off from work.

11:00-ish AM:  Laundry.

8:00 PM:  **He calls. Yey! ***

Sometime around 10PM?: Got hit by a car.

Several hours later:  Cold. Woke up in the morgue. Wearing a tacky dress and shoes.  Stepmom stole my shoes!

Several hours more later:  Thith sucks!!! I suck!!

Note:  Did I mention that today is MY BIRTHDAY?

Betsy Taylor’s life started the day it ended.  Waking up in a morgue dressed in a tacky pink suit and worse – Payless shoes (courtesy of her Stepmonster), Betsy found it difficult to stay dead.  There’s the hankering for human blood, which keeps her up all night.  If that’s not bad enough, there’s a circulating prophesy of the rising of a Vampire Queen.  And that happens to be, yup,  Betsy.  With that, she has to battle a Bela Lugosi rip-off who calls himself Nostro (barf), and also deal with the ridiculous notions of friends to turn into a superhero. Well, not necessarily in that order.  Making her life more complicated is the tall, dark, and dangerous vampire named Sinclair (who seems to not just want to get her to work with him, but get into her knickers as well). What’s a vampire girl to do when you’re being bribed with Ferragamos?

I had misgivings when I was introduced to this series by a friend.  First of all, I don’t read chick lit because I dread reading estrogen-laden material. I’m living it already – my diary says it all.  But then the premise of a vampire chick hooked on designer shoes ruling the underworld sounds so hilarious I had to check it out.  I was not disappointed.  This is a laugh out loud series!  Betsy Taylor is the dumb blonde bloodsucker you’d love to have around.  Not to mention the sinfully tempting, Sinclair.  Sink your fangs into this one.  Betsy’s adventures is a comedy ride to Looneyville.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2010 in MaryJanice Davidson

 

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In Absentia

My last post was September 2009. So many things happened – bordering on the happy to the very tragic.

Anyway, I have not stopped reading though. I just didn’t have the mental mood to write something worth posting.

It’s 2010. Last year was a good year for new books and old ones. Here’s another year of mind adventures!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2010 in Uncategorized