Rereading HP, part 1: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

It’s nearing July 31 again, and my cousin Dianne and I are celebrating Harry Potter’s this year by rereading the entire series.

Dianne and I have done many crazy things in the name of Harry Potter (okay, and Severus Snape): joined — and won — a Harry Potter diorama making contest (me);  dressed up as Luna Lovegood and Nymphadora Tonks in a public party (costumes assembled from scratch); had custom made “In Snape We Trust” t-shirts made before Deathly Hallows was released; lined up for the Deathly Hallows release AND the Beedle the Bard midnight release (only a handful of people, us included); stopped watching the Harry Potter movies (Dianne before me); put together a Harry Potter Christmas tree (me); collected Harry Potter books in various editions and languages; threw a birthday party for Harry Potter; and celebrated Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday and Snapeday!

Continue reading “Rereading HP, part 1: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”

A bit of Asian flavor

With just a week to go in the year, I’m now working overtime on my A-Z Challenge, with four books to go and eight reviews to write. In an attempt to make it before the clock strikes twelve on the new year, I am trying to rad the remaining books and churn out their reviews as fast as I can, and I’ll deal with the backlog of my regular reading list in the first week of the new year.

Let me start with an Asian selection: Hardboiled & Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto and A Loyal Character Dancer by Qiu Xiaolong.

Continue reading “A bit of Asian flavor”

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo



I’ve always wanted to read Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — I’ve actually had a copy sitting on my shelf for several months now, but for a while there was some hype about it and I wanted to wait for it to dial down a bit. And then when I was looking for a book to read this weekend, the chartreuse cover got my attention so I finally took it out of its packaging, covered it in protective plastic (of course), and started to read it.

Originally written in Swedish, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. The novel has won multiple awards, including Sweden’s Glass Key Award in 2006 for best crime novel of the year, the 2008 Boeke Prize, the 2009 Galaxy British Book Awards for Books Direct Crime Thriller of the year, and the 2009 Anthony Award for Best First Novel.

Continue reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Chunkster Challenge

I’ve been meaning to join the Chunkster Reading Challenge ever since my book blogger friend Jo blogged about it, and because I’ve just started a real chunkster of a book (Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, in case you’re wondering), I’ve decided to formally join the challenge.

I’m an escapist reader by nature so I like thick, meaty reads, which is perfect for joining  the Chunkster Reading Challenge, a challenge for “readers who like their books fat and chunky.” The challenge defines a chunkster as “450 pages or more of ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction).”

Continue reading “Chunkster Challenge”

Trivia, trivia #2

A few months back, I did a review of a series of trivia books and I’ve finished a bunch more since then. I have a habitual vice of poring into tomes of useless information, especially when I’m too stressed to read continuously, or when I need a break from long narratives.

This time around, I have another set of four trivia books on a variety of subjects, from general information to language to etiquette and combat: Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? and 114 Other Questions edited by  Mick O’ Hare; Red Herrings and White Elephants: The Origins of the Phrases We Use Everyday by Albert Jack (illustrated by Ama Page); Directions to Servants by Jonathan Swift; and The Action Heroine’s Handbook by Jennifer Worick and Joe Borgenicht (books 237-240 of 2009).

Continue reading “Trivia, trivia #2”