Day 24 β€” Whatever Tickles Your Fancy: My Bookcase

I did have a vague idea of writing something serious and proper for this post… but bahhh, couldn’t muster the energy. Or inspiration. Besides, this is much more fun! πŸ˜€

I decided to go through my bookcase and write down every 10th book shelved, in order to try and show a selection of my personal library and its vast differences!

  • The Symposium – Plato
    (studied it in Classics)
  • Under Western Eyes – Joseph Conrad
    (pretty good actually)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare
    (one of my favourites!)
  • Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
    (a must-read, really!)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K Rowling
    (no surprises there…)
  • Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them – “Newt Scamander”
    (I detect a Harry Potter theme going on…)
  • What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7? (MuggleNet pre-DH theory book) – Schoen Spartz
    (I’m a nerd… teehee)
  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
    (must reread this before the movie)
  • Prince Caspian – C.S. Lewis
    (love it!)
  • The Other Side of Dawn – John Marsden
    (last of the Tomorrow When the War Began books, amazing series)
  • Sabriel – Garth Nix
    (so glad I read this trilogy!)
  • Boy Meets Boy – David Levithan
    (super cute)
  • Pack Animals (Torchwood Novel) – Peter Anghelides
    (one of my favourite TW novels!)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
    (great classic)
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
    (haven’t read this yet, can’t wait!)
  • Moab is my Washpot – Stephen Fry
    (his first autobiography, also on my to-read list)
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    (*foams at mouth* A newly purchased beautiful leather bound, gold-edged pages edition… I’m in love!)
  • The Code of the Woosters – P.G. Wodehouse
    (utter brilliance!)

*grins like a maniac* Who said that I’m addicted to buying books? …well, I’m proud of it πŸ˜€ The only thing is that I’ve run out of room on my bookcase shelves, so I have these steadily growing piles of books, all sitting precariously on my desk… *shakes head*

See, much more fun – and less effort – than a proper blog post πŸ˜€

Have fun!
Bri xx

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Day 13 β€” A Fictional Book

The Real Inspector Hound and Other Plays – Tom Stoppard

Okay, so I’m cheating πŸ˜€ Yes, this is a fictional book… but really, they’re plays. However, Tom Stoppard is too brilliant to pass over, so I couldn’t resist…

I found this book at a MASSIVE annual second hand book sale for $2, and out of the 10+ books I picked out that year, this one is certainly my favourite. It wasn’t the first I’d heard of Tom Stoppard. In my first year at University, I was lucky enough to be able to study The Real Inspector Hound, and even see it performed by – wait for it! – by very own lecturers! As if it wasn’t already a comical play. And so, with this lovely introduction to Tom Stoppard, I dove into reading this selection of plays.

Firstly, I have to say that this collection does not have all of Tom Stoppard’s best plays. ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ is definitely one of his better works, but a couple of the ones included in this book were a little on the bizarre side to me. More bizarre that you’d expect, that is. Certainly, the utter craziness of Stoppard is one of his merits! πŸ™‚ However, this collection also includes Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth. This was a joy to read, and I bet it would be even better to see performed! It’s technically two plays, but they are meant to be performed together, and indeed, one wouldn’t make complete sense without the other! The way that Stoppard twists Shakespeare is a true marvel to experience.

Which leads me to my absolute favourite Tom Stoppard play, which is regrettably not in this collection (but, never fear, I’ve just ordered myself a copy online!)…

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead!

Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about comedy, and meta-theatre, and wit, and… genius!

Here, Tom Stoppard truly shows his flair for Shakespeare. As you might have guessed from the title, this play is about the minor characters from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. It tells the whole play from their point of view – it’s hilarious to see that Hamlet is now one of the minor characters! I have also had the opportunity to see the play performed earlier this year, and I can truthfully say that it is the best performance I’ve seen in theatre for a long time!

And as a side note – it’s always interesting reading a play as opposed to watching a play. I mean, plays are obviously written to be performed and watched, but it’s a merit to the work when one can read it and enjoy it as well. I’m rather used to reading plays, what with all the Shakespeare I study, but it’s a fun thing to think about. I believe that once you’ve seen a play performed though, it gives a reading of the same play extra dynamics and elements – definitely recommend it. πŸ˜€

So… yes. Tom Stoppard is a genius. I sure hope I can see more of his work on the stage!

How about you lot? Any other Stoppard fans? Any thoughts to add about reading plays, as opposed to watching them be performed? Leave a comment, or two! πŸ™‚

You can sympathize with my fellow Ninja here!

Have fun!
Bri xx

Day 12 β€” Whatever Tickles Your Fancy: Harry Potter Tribute

Harry Potter.

The boy who lived. Every child in our world truly does know his name.

I had been keen to write up a tribute post to Harry Potter for a while, and when I stumbled across this lovely post (thank you Toni! :)), I knew that it would do perfectly! I did add in a few of my own questions though, as I’m a bit of a fanatic! It’s a few weeks late, but I’m planning on seeing Deathly Hallows Part II for the second time on the weekend, so it is timely on that respect!

Favourites

Character: Such a tough one to start off with. I’d have to say it’s a tie between three characters…

Luna Lovegood: Love her attitude about life! She has the best quotes, and, well… she’s just lovely. And Evanna Lynch is perfect! Plus, seeing as I’m blonde, she’s the one that get to dress up as – can’t get any better than that! I’ve made my own cork necklace especially for such occasions πŸ˜‰ (keep reading for a pic!)

Draco Malfoy: Oh, how I wish J.K Rowling had spent more time exploring his character… yep, I’m one of those fans who believe that he’s a seriously misunderstood character. He’s in a unique position, which gives his character so many interesting sides… I guess that’s what fanfic is for, right? πŸ˜› Not to mention… Slytherin Prince = HOT.

Remus Lupin: He’s gorgeous! πŸ™‚ My favourite of the Marauders… I just can’t help admiring him. Being a werewolf, having to struggle through life, and watching all of his friends die before him – when in all likelihood he probably should have been the first to go… so brave. And he gives out chocolate. Win!

Book: Prisoner of Azkaban. Loved finding out more about Remus and Sirius, and their past. Also adore the whole Time Turner sequence – brilliant!! πŸ™‚ And… I dunno. I just love the whole atmosphere of the book. It’s just before things at Hogwarts take a turn for the worse, but it’s also more mature than the innocence found in the first two books. Which is, of course, charming in itself, but I love this book for finding a balance. Oooh, and we’re introduced to Hogsmeade – love it!

Film: Deathly Hallows Part I. Not just because it’s one of the more recent ones, but because it has the most focus on character, over plot. I know that some people saw this as a negative point, but I loved every moment. It’s wonderfully faithful to the book, a perfect setup for the end. And Dobby… too beautiful for words. I have to say though, right behind this one is Chamber of Secrets. I’ve watched it so many times, along with Philosopher’s Stone, so it’s very quotable. And very funny. πŸ˜€

Moment: Talk about an impossible task! What sticks out for me is a moment in Deathly Hallows during the Battle of Hogwarts, where Luna, Seamus, and Ernie cast Patronus Charms to protect Harry, Ron, and Hermione, because they don’t have enough fight in them to cast their own. Very sweet! πŸ™‚ I enjoy the whole part in Order of the Phoenix where everyone’s staying at Grimmauld Place – seems like a house full of things to explore. And I love when we go back into Snape’s memories and past. Heartbreaking! May I just say, for the record, I totally knew that he was in love with Lily πŸ˜‰

Quickfire

House: Ravenclaw. I would love to say Slytherin, but I don’t think I’m evil enough. πŸ˜‰

Class: Charms. Swish and flick!

Professor: Minvera McGonagall. Hands down. (although Snape gives her a run for her money…)

Spell: Levicorpus! What fun πŸ˜€ As for a useful spell… Alohomora!

Potion: Draught of Living Death. And Amortentia, because of the awesome sounding name!

Book: Hogwarts, A History. I’m sure I’d actually read it…

Profession: A professor, I believe!

Shop: Flourish & Blotts, followed by Scrivenshaft’s Quill Shop.

Food/Drink: Has to be Butterbeer, Chocolate Frogs, and Cauldron Cakes. Mmmmm.

Patronus: A frog! πŸ˜€

Animagus: A cat, naturally. You get to sleep all day.

Creature: Phoenix – preferably, Fawkes. And Dobby, not that he’s a ‘creature’ as such… awww!

Boggart: *shudders* most likely spiders, like poor Ronald…

Death Eater: Bellatrix Lestrange, all the way! πŸ˜€

Mirror of Erised: I think I’d probably see myself with some novels published…

Final Thoughts

When the final book came out, I was actually working – at a book store, appropriately enough. Dressed as Luna, while my fellow colleagues (who are all middle aged and older!) dressed as Tonks, Harry, and Dumbledore. Too epic. The whole book store was full of people waiting to get their hands on Deathly Hallows. We counted down. Funnily enough, immediately after we yelled “ZERO!” our store CD player, which was playing a specially mixed Harry Potter CD, started blasting out the Hogwarts Song: “Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, teach us something, pleeease!” *giggles* Best. Timing. Ever. My boss ripped open the boxes, and I gazed with wonder at the piles of Harry Potter books… until I had to start selling them a millisecond later!

Felt like the longest shift in existence. The lunch break was extra torturous – I bought Deathly Hallows, and then sat staring at it the whole time. I didn’t want to start it, because then I’d have to stop… never again have I possessed such will power πŸ˜‰ But gosh, it was epic fun, selling the books on the release date – the joy on everyone’s faces, watching people walking out of the shop having already started reading… πŸ™‚

Going to see the midnight screening of Deathly Hallows Part II – the final film, ever! – was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had, related to Harry Potter. I dressed as Luna, of course. There were so many people dressed up – I saw many Bellatrixs, many Tonks, many non-distinct Gryffindors and Slytherins… and even saw a Voldemort wearing a bald cap! Dedication. While we were watching the film, everyone was so respectfully quiet – except when some like NEVILLE did something EPIC and then we all just erupted into cheers. We saw the Part I film directly before Part II as well, which definitely made for a better time – it followed on so perfectly that it felt like it was just one massive film!

I can’t wait until I have time to re-read the series again πŸ™‚

Please share any of your thoughts about the end of Harry Potter with me!! I’d love to hear them πŸ™‚

…although…

It’s not really goodbye, after all!

Have fun!
Bri xx

Day 04 β€” Your Favourite Book

Good old books.

One of the lifesavers of reality! Unfortunately at the moment, my time seems to be mostly taken up by reading books that I have to, for my English courses at University… but they’re mainly good, so that’s no sad thing. I must admit, I seem to be a bigger fan of older, classic books, rather than modern contemporary fiction. My study has probably influenced that… or maybe it’s the other way round? *shiftyeye* Ah well, guess they’re called classics for a reason, right?

Harry Potter series – J.K Rowling

What can I say?

Fell in love with the series when I was 9 years old. As many others of my age, my teacher was reading the Philosopher’s Stone to the class. However – he neglected to finish it! Summer hit, and I didn’t know the ending! So, of course, I had to save up to buy it – a big deal when you’re 9 years old. And the rest, as they say, is history. Even today, holding my very first copy of Harry Potter sends chills down my spine. πŸ˜‰ Nowadays, I have somewhat of a collection of Harry Potter books…

  • Philosopher’s Stone: 6 copies (1 softcover, 1 hardcover, 1 special edition, 1 French, 1 Chinese, 1 Thai)
  • Chamber of Secrets: 4 copies (1 softcover, 1 special edition, 1 Chinese, 1 Norwegian)
  • Prisoner of Azkaban: 3 copies (2 softcover, 1 special edition)
  • Goblet of Fire: 3 copies (1 softcover, 1 hardcover, 1 special edition)
  • Order of the Phoenix: 2 copies (1 hardcover, 1 special edition)
  • Half Blood Prince: 2 copies (1 hardcover, 1 special edition)
  • Deathly Hallows: 3 copies (1 softcover, 1 hardcover, 1 special edition)

Wow. I didn’t realise I was that bad.

Plus, I have 1x Tales of Beedle the Bard, and 2x each of Quidditch Through The Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (1 softcover, 1 hardcover).

Yep. Obsessed.

But anyway… I just adore the series. The whole magical world of Hogwarts is so enchanting, how could one resist? The characters are brilliant, the names, the plot, the intricate planning that J.K Rowling put into the books… overwhelming. It’s a cemented part of my childhood – I can say with certainty that without Harry Potter, I would be a different person today. πŸ™‚

Anything Goes – John Barrowman

Best. Autobiography. Ever!

In fact… it was pretty much the first autobiography I’d ever read. I never really felt the appeal, before – but when I love John Barrowman this much, it seemed like an obvious move. And wow, was I blown away!

It’s a completely honest and hilarious portrayal of his life – like he says in the ‘Author’s Acknowledgements’, it truly feels like you’re lounging around at John’s house in your pyjamas, sharing a pot of tea and some stories. The tone of the book is perfect. Not to mention – he’s done some fantastic things in his life, and a huge range of different things at that!

Never fails to make you giggle. Be prepared for odd looks from surrounding folk – all totally worth it.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte BrontΓ«

This is my favourite ‘Classic’ book so far. I studied it last year in an English course called ‘The Novel’, and to be honest, I was expecting it to be kind of fluffy.

Boy, was I surprised! πŸ™‚

I absolutely love Jane Eyre, as a character. Female characters rarely satisfy me, as either they’re too soppy, or too hard, or… but Jane is perfect to me. She’s strong, but passionate, has firm morals, and really follows her dreams. Plus, being a bit of a fan of Gothic fiction, I loved the setting, the Byronic hero of Rochester, and the whole style of BrontΓ«’s writing. Superb!

Okay, so…

Your turn! What books are your favourite – and why? πŸ™‚

Have fun!
Bri xx