Thursday, August 2, 2007

Current library haul, and goodbye to some old friends

It's amazing how many books you can accumulate. My father is a retired history teacher, my mother is a retired English teacher and elementary writing aide, and my sister is working on her PhD in children's lit, so you can imagine the amount of books we have. Tonight, I took two boxes of books that have repeatedly failed to sell at garage sales to our local library. They have a used bookstore, with the proceeds benefiting the library, so I hope they sell there. We have about six more boxes out in the garage, so they'll see us again soon.

I looked around a bit tonight, after finally admitting that I'm not going to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, at least not right now. I did renew Little Children and picked up the following:

Goodnight Nobody, Michael Knight
Lit Life, Kurt Wenzel
Innocent Traitor, Alison Weir
Dedication, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

All but Lit Life are new books, so we'll see how many I actually finish before they're due. If past experience with McLaughlin and Kraus holds true, Dedication at least should be an extremely quick read. Goodnight, Nobody isn't very long either, and is all short stories. But I've never been able to stop myself in libraries. Perhaps there's a bit of the feeling that all these books are free, and it's too good to be true, and the whole thing may be gone when I come back so I'd better take advantage. I generally wind up getting as many as I can carry out!

Harry Potter Retrospective

Lately, I've been re-reading all the Harry Potter books. They always make me feel better when I'm feeling shitty. I'm going to write to JK Rowling and tell her that someday. Harry is kind of an inspiring character. He is in many situations where he's forced to do an impossible task with little support, and always manages to keep going. In the fourth book, for instance: he's forced to compete far above his level in the Triwizard tournament, and everyone just wants to see him fail. He's suffered many losses and grew up starved for love, but it never makes him bitter or hateful. And I think I've mentioned before, in those dark days when my ex dumped me and my job ran out of money to pay me and my cat was dying and it just seemed like everything sucked, how I pulled through by reading the scene from the end of Azkaban, with the dementors, over and over again, and actually using a similar method (I mean, without the magic) to fight my own growing depression.

But really, I was also hoping that there would be tidbits scattered throughout the series that could be viewed differently in light of the last book. 1/4 of the way into HP6, I'm disappointed to say that I haven't found many yet. Two so far:

At the beginning of HP5, Harry and Dudley are attacked by dementors. Aunt Petunia astonishes everyone by demonstrating knowledge of dementors, and their position as prison guards at Azkaban. She elaborates that she heard that horrible boy telling her about it years ago. Harry (and the readers) assumed the horrible boy was James. It was actually Snape: when Harry looks into the Pensieve, one of the memories he views is a pre-Hogwarts conversation between Snape and Lily on this topic.

The Vanishing Cabinet, which allows the Death Eaters entry to Hogwarts in HP6, makes a throwaway appearance in HP2: Peeves smashes it at the request of Nearly Headless Nick, to distract Filch's attention from punishing Harry.

Do you have any?