Playing Catch Up

Why hello there, long time, no see!  It has been quite awhile since I updated – over three months actually – eek!

My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in May so as you can imagine, our world is in the process of being turned upside down.  We’ve decided on a Harry Potter nursery, is anyone actually surprised??

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Our baby announcement!

We’ve gotten some of the major furniture items, done the baby registry, my friends are planning my NC baby shower and my next item of business is researching daycare for after I go back to work. The whole things still seems surreal!

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Harry Potter flying key mobile

My best friend from college was in Atlanta for a conference so we went a bit baby crazy.  We made this gorgeous Harry Potter mobile using this YouTube video as a reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyvv5eVOLao.  I am absolutely in love with it!

Amidst all the baby preparations, I did keep up with my reading.  Yes it is February but I would still like to share a few of my favorites from 2015:

Favorite Comics – The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Nimona, Locke and Key, Rat Queens, Trillium, Descender, Wytches, Saga, Ms. Marvel

Favorite Books – Carry On, The Revenge Playbook, An Ember in the Ashes, Speak, I’ll Give You the Sun, Rose Under Fire, Legend

Favorite TV Shows – Orphan Black, Supergirl

Favorite Movies – Star Wars, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two.

I hope you all have been doing well these path few months, reading some great books, and nerding out with some wonderful fandoms!

 

DragonCon Day 2

I had such a great day today at DragonCon!  I am so so pleased with my Cosima cosplay. First thing I did today was meet Chris Rankin aka Percy Weasley!  Chris talked about his audition process, his favorite Percy moments, and what he’s up to these days.  For his Percy application, Chris mailed in a postcard saying he was a prefect in school, a ginger, not a twin and 16 aka perfect for Percy.  His favorite HP character is Tom Riddle and he’d love to play Arthur or Horace in a remake.    His favorite HP moments: leading the first years to the common room, the breakfast scene at the burrow especially the hair and the ‘night dress thing’, the final battle (apparently the Weasley family danced to Saturday Night Fever!), and his absolute favorite moment was yelling ‘I’m headboy’ in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Chris earned his degree in media production and currently works in TV production.  Overall, I was pretty impressed with the interview! 

Friday Schedule

 After Chris Rankin, I attended a panel discussion about creating a safe space for female (comic book) readers.  It was a great conversation between Gwenda Bond and Laurenn McCubbins and I came away with some killer reading recommendations: Bombshells, Not Funny Ha Ha, Diary of a Teenage Girl, and On A Wire to name a few.I wrapped up the afternoon by going to an X-Files panel featuring the actors who played Deep Throat and Alex Krychek (Jerry Hardin and Nick Lea).  Sadly, Lea confirmed he will not be appearing in the new X-Files in Jan. 2016.Two of my favorite cosplays I saw today were a couple dressed up as the Grey Lady and Nearly Headless Nick and a woman dressed up as The Last Unicorn, my FAVORITE childhood movie. Last but not least – my fellow sestras and I being silly 🙂 

Bookshelf Thursday: Harry Potter Part 2

Last week in honor of World Book Day, I posted my favorite bookshelf cubby which contains my Harry Potter books.  I have so many Harry Potter goodies that I have a second cubby to contain all the overflow!

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The July 2011 issue of Empire magazine which has a killer HP photo spread in honor of the final film.

The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages set.

A separate copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

I have a number of copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in various languages – Arabic, Welsh, Spanish, German, French, and the Adult British version.  I picked up these editions while traveling (my friends and family helped along the collection!).

I received a bitchin’ Deathly Hallows journal from an old co-worker.

Prior to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, my sister bought me New Clues to Harry Potter: Book 5 which was filled with all sorts of theories about where the series was going.  I haven’t picked it up since that summer but I really should to see how accurate some of the conspiracy theories were!

I splurged on Page to Screen a few years ago and it was a fantastic purchase – no regrets!  I love to flip through the book and look at the incredible concept art.  Page to Screen led to buying the Creature Vault last year and ultimately the Character Vault (10/27/15) and Magical Places from the films (5/12/15).

Last but not least, I have a Hedwig sticker book which came with an adorable little Hedwig #squee who lives with my HP books seen last week.

I do actually have a third HP cubby which doesn’t contain any books but it does contain plenty of other goodies – maybe I’ll make it three HP Bookshelf Thursdays in a row??  What Harry Potter schwag do you have??

Bookshelf Thursday – World Book Day Edition!

In honor of World Book Day falling on a Thursday, I’m bringing you a Bookshelf Thursday picture of my favorite cubby 🙂

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Here are all 7 Harry Potter books plus The Creature Vault.  I have a second HP related bookshelf cubby (so much Harry Potter in my life!!!) which I’ll feature in a future Bookshelf Thursday post.  I hope you are having a wonderful World Book Day and share the book love every day!

The Magicians Revisited

The Magician’s Land, the final novel in Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy, comes out on August 5th. I first drawn to the Magicians when the cover kept haunting me at Barnes and Noble. Time and time again I have found you can judge a book by its cover – unless that cover is The Infinite Moment of Us in which case the cover lies, LIES! But I digest. The cover caught my eye, the book jacket reeled me in:

By imagining magic as practiced in the real world by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions, Lev Grossman pays homage to the fantasy novels of C. S. Lewis, T. H. White and J. K. Rowling while creating an utterly original realm in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent and power comes at a terrible price.

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When there is a sequel, and most definitely when there is a trilogy, I am the type of reader that rereads the previous books to prep for the release of the final. And so begins my Magicians reread and this entry here. Including just now, I have read the Magicians 3 times and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older, but each time I read the book I want to punch Quentin Coldwater in the face more forcefully than the time before. Lets rewind shall we?

At its core, The Magicians is a coming of age story about a boy – a depressed, ridiculously (book)smart, teenager named Quentin Coldwater. Quentin is attached to a series of books centering around the fantastical world of Fillory (think Narina). One day he finds himself transported to upstate New York to take an entrance exam into a prestigious school of sorcery, Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. Quentin believes he’s finally escaping his mundane life in the city to pursue magic and he will finally be happy but over time his depression creeps back in. Each new discovery briefly deceives Quentin into thinking he will be happy but he is never satisfied. Following the conclusion of his magical education and now running amok as a certified magician in Manhattan, Quentin learns Fillory is real and he is going on an adventure to save Fillory where he will finally fulfill his destiny. But things never go according to plan do they?

Let’s get one thing straight, Quentin is an unlikeable protagonist but I think most people can appreciate a flawed character. Quentin is depressed, snarky, insecure, unappreciative, and narcissistic. I stick with him because people truly believe if you can attain your heart’s desire then you will be happy. And this is simply not true, least of all in Quentin’s case. Like any good coming of age novel, Quentin befriends a rag tag group of students – Eliot, Alice, Janet, and Josh, all with their own baggage.

Magicians Art by Christopher Shy

Magicians Art by Christopher Shy

One of my favorite quotes in the books is from Dean Fogg: Can a man who can cast a spell ever really grow up? I had never really thought about magic in that context before and it rings true of Quentin and his friends at Brakebills, they are teenagers playing with a power they don’t understand. After years of study, the know how to manipulate and use the magical power they have access to but they have no concept of the wider world in which they exist and more importantly they are clueless to the consequences of their actions. Never fear, all of these elements make for a fantastic story!

Magicians Art by Christopher Shy

Magicians Art by Christopher Shy

This story is a mix of previous magical tales like The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter but also reminds me of other novels which feature an extremely tight knit friend group with secrets like The Secret History by Donna Tartt and The Likeness by Tana French. Last year I met Lev Grossman (and his twin/brother Austin) at the Decatur Book Festival and I was extremely extremely awkward (like more awkward than normal) and I wish I could wipe it from my memory *shudders* I did get my books signed woo… I almost would exchange the signatures for my dignity – oh the adventures of being me.

Lev and Austin Grossman

Lev and Austin Grossman