Book Log #41 – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Let me tell you, I really enjoyed this. It’s the “Special Rehearsal Edition Script” from the play. I enjoy reading scripts almost more than novels, and this was no exception.

This was Back to the Future meets Harry Potter.

I’m a fan, like all sane people, of the original Harry Potter series, and this extension by another writer did not disappoint. In fact, Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpious, is now one of my favorite Harry Potter characters.

You know why? Because he’s funny. He gets funny lines. In truth, the humor in this script is better than anything in the original novels.

Don’t get me wrong, I think J.K. Rowling is a heck of a writer. But she doesn’t bring the funny all that often. The exception was Ginny, who had the strongest comedy lines in the later books. Ironically, she doesn’t get any in this play, which disappoints me. In fact, Ginny is underused in this piece. In the author’s defense, he was packing a lot of our favorite characters into this thing.

The one thing that kept bugging me was I have NO IDEA how this could be produced on a stage. From the stage directions of the magic, it almost seems like it was written as a joke, an unproducable play.

Seriously: it would make the Les Miserables bridge jump and Peter Pan flying seem like a walk in the park.

Stacey’s complaint was that Harry Potter and his son are kind of thick headed jerks, but… that’s the plot, so we’ll let it slide. Someone’s got to learn lessons, or why have a book?

Anyway, good read.

Books Read: 41
Week Number: 38
Books/Weeks: 1.08

Book Log #40 – Skellig

Skellig by David Almond (Amazon, $6.29)

Nick Hornby recommended this one. He’s even got a blurb on the cover… “One of the best novels publishedin the last decade… A beautifully simple and bottomlessly complicated story.”

To date, Nick Hornby has never steered me wrong. I have no memory of not enjoying one of his recs.

Skellig was… okay. It didn’t have a significant impact on me one way or another.

Granted, it’s a young adult novel, but I’ve been reading a number of those recently with great success, so I don’t see that as a major excuse.

Just… okay.

In brief, a boy whose baby sister is in the hospital finds a broken down humanish creature in a shed. There are some heartstrings pulled.

Books Read: 40
Week Number: 38
Books/Week: 1.05

Book Log #39 – The Girl in the Well is Me

The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers [Scholastic]

Just finished reading this to Scout. Though the premise is seemingly dark (POV a 12 year old girl who is stuck in a well), it is actually a pretty brilliant novel.

The girl in the well was sort-of tricked into falling in there during a hazing by three Mean Girls at her new school. Gradually, the author lets out her full story in oxygen-deprived, stream of consciousness monologues that work much, much better than you think they would.

It’s a great YA book. Enjoy

Week: 38
Book: 39
Ratio: 1.03:1

Book Log #38 – The Member of the Wedding

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers [Little Shop of Stories, $7.56/Kindle $6.51]

“Recommended” by the Language Arts teacher at Dekalb School of the Arts. By which I mean, it is on my son’s reading list for this fall. This is the second book from his list that I’ve picked up, and I must say that we’re 2/2 on good reads there.

Probably I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much in 8th grade. Or 12th. Or when I was 25. Tastes change, now I am boring. Or I used to be. One or t’other.

This book is a fascinating character sketch of a 12 year old girl. Full of complex emotions she’s encountering for the first time, she struggles with finding her place in the small town she grew up in. That description seems cliche, and doesn’t really do justice to the fine writing and vivid portrayal involved here.

Regardless, I liked it quite a bit. I look forward to more of the school system’s recommendations for “my” reading list.

A note that I read the first half in paper form, then we forgot it when we went out of town and Roan needed to get a couple chapters read, so we grabbed it on Kindle, where I finished it. Being a short novel, the price/page on this one is fairly high.

Week: 38
Book: 38
Ratio: 1:1