Book Challenge: Relevatory, Scotland, Hobbits

What's On the Bookshelf?

This was a tough batch of questions to answer. I’m sure I have answered these before, but…but time passes, people change.

And if it takes me a while to post anything more, that’s because Irene’s hit. I’ll be surrounded by books and boardgames for the next little while. That, or I’ll be cleaning. 🙂

Ten: Book that changed your life

There’s something about books that is intrinsically life changing. It’s a cliche, but books really do open doors, new understandings of the world.

For me, one of the most life changing books I read was Page by Tamora Pierce.

I don’t really remember the particulars of the book, the second in a series about a girl who becomes a knight. I do remember that this was the book where I first started ‘thinking like a writer’ as I termed it. I started to pay attention to how the book was written, thinking, “Why did Tamora Pierce choose this word?” as I read.

In all honesty, I don’t remember much about this book, apart from being a huge Pierce fan for about 18 months. I think I read this series three or four times, the same with her other quartets. By the time I reached high school, I had put Ms. Pierce’s books aside, fondly remembered, but sadly forgotten.

Eleven: Book from your favorite author

I have to choose a favorite author? Why are you doing this to me, oh great Book Meme? I don’t have a favorite author.

As I’m moving to Scotland, I’ll include a book by one of my favorite Scottish Authors. Who is dead.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde remains one of my favorite of Robert Louis Stevenson’s stories. I have been known to carry it in my purse, for days when I know I’ll need something to read. I like the way the story is written, the creepiness of (unnecessary spoiler alert), Hyde and Jekyll being the same man. Also, hearing the story of Deacon Brodie the first time I was in Edinburgh, and how Stevenson may have been thinking of Brodie when he wrote this book makes it stick in my memory.
I probably read The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde every other year. Its one of those stories that improves with each reread.

Twelve: Book that is most like your life

The Lord of the Rings. I’m really a hobbit out to support my friend in his quest to destroy the One Ring. Hello, my name is Samwise Gamgee.

Thing is, I’m being serious. Applying for college, my admissions essay was “Why I’m like Samwise Gamgee.” And while I don’t battle orcs, go on quests, or wander into Mordor, at the end of the day, I’m a loyal, resourceful person who stands by her friends, through thick and thin. I might not face the Nazgul, but hey.

Okay, so that’s a bit of a stretch. But bear with me. I haven’t read any books about nerdy former Bostonians. 🙂

For the Love of Harry

Nerds Have More Fun

I remember the day my mom bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was in fourth grade and Harry Potter-mania had yet to hit. “I found this in the clearance section of Marshall’s,” my mom said. “It sounds pretty interesting.”

We devoured the first book and scaled the bookshelves at a now-defunct bookstore to get Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets the day it was released.

Fast forward ten years.

Harry Potter is now, of course, incredibly popular and profitable, with movies, books (and controversy surrounding the books), and a new exhibition of artifacts from the movie, which I saw at the Museum of Science Boston.

It was awesome.

I’m a movie junkie (as well as a Harry Potter fan), so I considered it my duty to go to the exhibit. I’ve enjoyed previous movie exhibits at the MoS (there was an awesome Lord of the Rings one, and an okay Star Wars one). Though I still think that the LotR one was the best, I thoroughly enjoyed the HP one. There were costumes and props from the movies with fun activities throughout (like harvesting Mandrakes and throwing Quaffles into hoops).

As a GD junkie, one of my favorite parts of the exhibit was looking at the textbooks. It was really quite cool, seeing the different covers up close. I wanted to flip through the books, but that would never happen, given that they were encased in glass and arrest is not on my to-do-list.

I also really liked looking at the wands. We never really get a good look at them on screen, just flashes of them here and there. Being able to study Voldemort’s, Dumbledore’s and McGonagall’s wands was quite cool. Each has character hidden until you get a really close look at them.

The various portions of the exhibit were set up like different parts of Hogwarts. There was the Gryffindor Common Room (and dormitories), Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts classrooms, the Great Hall, the Quidditch pitch, Hagrid’s Hut and the Forbidden Forest. The details were extraordinary.

All said, I had a great time, and decided to reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, only to realize halfway through that the parts I really wanted to read were in The Half-Blood Prince. Oops.

The exhibit is one that I recommend when it comes to a city near you (I imagine that a stop in NYC will occur).

I also was sorted into, of all houses, Ravenclaw. Or Slytherin. The Sorting Hat was a little confused. 😀

My biggest regret

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

I am, by nature, a literary packrat. I don’t save “stuff” so much as I save whatever I’ve written. I have some of my early stories from elementary school squirreled away somewhere.

But I find myself regretting one thing.

When I was in seventh grade, I hand wrote a 50 page Lord of the Rings fan fiction. It’s not the fact that I wrote fan fiction that bothers me (shhh, I still do, on occasion). It’s the fact that I recycled it.

I wish I had that rich, terribly written mine of cliches. I really do. It’d be fun to go back and read. Not to mention cower at the sight of all that purple prose.