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January Reads: Week Two and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Chapter Five and Six
books on my head
coffeebased
Finished Reading:

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After (Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia) by various authors, is an almost perfect short story collection. Not only were the stories engaging, but the authors really managed to take the concept and give us a whole range of interesting interpretations. I was reading this between Catch-22 chapters, but it was so interesting I accidentally read it all.

Wet Moon Volumes 1 and 2 by Ross Campbell is beautifully drawn. The characters are varied, but the plot is a bit thin, as of the second volume anyway. I'm definitely going to read the rest, but more out of curiosity than actually being invested in the story.

Servant of the Underworld by Aliette Bodard is a murder mystery! An Aztec murder mystery! With magic! I was pretty taken with it during the first 3/4s of the story, but the conclusion was a bit messy in execution /and/ resolution. Will definitely read the rest of the trilogy, but probably later on in the year.

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And my weekly book blogging's coincided with my HP blogging, so here's five and six.

photo 3

The way Hagrid talks about people wanting magic solutions to their problems, and then illicitly using magic later on with his umbrella to get into Diagon Alley is kind of worrisome? The wizarding community is awfully insular and selfish (HPMoR thoughts, anyone?) and Hagrid's ideas about the magical world are Harry's first glimpse into how things work, and ~seeds being planted~ :)) I am still really jealous of Harry and his shopping at Diagon Alley and heading off to Hogwarts and I am really bitter about my Hogwarts letter never arriving. :)) I am twenty-seven.

photo 4


We get a lot of new and important characters all in one go in this chapter! I love Mrs. Weasley. Not only is she perfectly kind to a strange boy she's never met, but she also tells her kids to not bother him or remind him of terrible things, WHAT A GREAT WOMAN. Ginny's such a spitfire too. Wizarding candy makes me really hungry, and I want to make and eat a million pumpkin pasties. I love how J.K. gives us so much more information about wizarding stuff through Ron's relationships with his (very accomplished) siblings. Hermione and her canonical eidetic memory hurts me and ugh, you can tell she's auto-bonded on them because she came back to warn them about stuff. SCABBERS, you bitch. Neville is a poor dear. Draco's such a terrible little snot, and I feel as though Lucius could have said something about making friends by being nice at some point or another and not insulting your intended friend's only other friend. :))

Sorting's in the next chapter!!!

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Now and Still Reading: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller; it's a very difficult book to mainline and I've been cutting it with the books I finished this week. It's really superbly written, but the subject matter is heavy, and disheartening. I'm cutting it with Parasite by Mira Grant right now, which is a short book, so I'll probably be getting into The Scar by China Mieville as well. :))

Next Twenty Reads:

1. S by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
2. Babayaga by Toby Barlow
3. The Dragon Charmer by Jan Siegel
4. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
5. Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
6. The Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
7. The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
8. The Magic Kingdom by Stanley Elkin
9. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
10. My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
11. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
12. The Magic Kingdom by Stanley Elkin
13. Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis
14. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
15. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
16. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
17. The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
18. The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
20. Countdown City by Ben Winters

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Yeah, the ending of Servant of the Underworld was definitely messier than it ought to have been, and was one of the reasons I thought this didn't function very well as a mystery. But as an example of fabulous worldbuilding, I think it does a pretty fantastic job. It's a world I'd like to live in for a while, as long as I don't wind up as a ritual sacrifice :D.

I totally agree about the worldbuilding. Even the characters' turns of phrase were delightfully unique and served the entire thing so well. :'D

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