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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: J. K. Rowling
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Imprint of Scholastic Inc.)        Date: 1997

This book was part of a boxed collection of the series. They have hardcovers and cloth binding. On the hardcover there is a harlequin like imprint that covers from the edge of the cloth binding to the edge of the cover. On the spine of the book, the identifying information including title, volume number, author, and publisher is printed in gold tone ink. The cloth binding is a dusky rose color and the paperbord covers are a royal purple. A lavishly illustrated slip cover incorporates the major elements of the story into a very detailed yet well balanced image. The pages are printed with a font that I believe is Times New Roman. The lines are well spaced and the font is large enough that it does not fatigue the eye.  At the head of each chapter, the chapter number and title are clearly printed. The font is different from the text, thus it draws the eye. (I can not identify what font it is, sorry.) Also, there is a small image that is relevant to the material of the chapter.

This is a text that is obviously written for a young adult readership base. The language is clear and precise. There is a good balance between telling the reader what is occuring and presenting it indirectly. The descriptive language is very well done. The content did not capture my imagination much. This is obviously because I am not part of the targeted audience. When I was younger, I may have enjoyed this book but I'm not sure. Taken in the frame of reference of young adults, the book is well written and accessible to people with a reading level approximately around 6th to 7th grade. Some of the language is a bit challenging to the reader from that age group / reading level. It, however, is something that is easily understood within the context it is used in. Rowling does do a very good job of providing her readers context cues for what terms she invented mean and the words that may not be familiar to a young adult reader.

Rating: 7/10

Reboot & Looking for Book Suggestions

I have had a year of ups and downs. Somewhere along the way, I forgot about this journal and forgot about writing up book reviews. I will be posting new reviews over the next few days. This will be a bit of 'catch up' to cover several books that I have read over the course of the last year. I am also planning on posting reviews of other books that I am currently reading.

As of right now, I am currently working my way through the Harry Potter series. I am also in the midst of reading the Dresden Files series as well. I have to say, if I must choose between the two Harrys I think I would go with Harry Dresden. I recognize that I'm not the target age group for the Harry Potter books. I am sure that is part of the reason why I'm not really feeling too excited by it. J.K. Rowling does have a good grasp on the language and her writing style is easy to read. But it lacks the depth that Jim Butcher puts into the Dresden Files books. I am getting told by friend who have read the Harry Potter series that the books get more interesting as they go on. I'm on book six and I'm still not really feeling anything for it.

I am going to start reading some stuff along the mystical and philosophical lines of inquiry that I have been pursuing again. I dearly hope that I will find material that is actually useful to me. It would be a disappointment to find things that I thought were good leads were really a waste of my time.

So, I will be posting more next week. My hope is to get back into the swing of posting reviews on here as I finish what I am reading. I still need to find my notebook where I jot down my thoughts about the books. I put the blasted thing into a safe place and I haven't been able to find it for the last year. I keep looking but I just can't locate it. I may have to start a new notebook.

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New Year, New Books!

Hello Everyone!

I'm deeply apologetic for the fact that I have not updated this in at least a year. I have been so terribly busy in my efforts to kick-start my writing career and keeping up with my children that my leisure reading has fallen by the way side. As part of my New Year's resolution to take time for myself, I will be making a point of reading a new book and posting my thoughts about it every few weeks.

If time cooperates with me, I should be updating every two weeks. If not, it may prove closer to three weeks between posts. Currently, I am reading Kiss the Dead from Laurel K. Hamilton. I am only about fifty pages in but I can already feel the stress melting off of me. I forgot how relaxing it is to be reading something completely unrelated to my research for various writing projects or my research into how to parent autistic children.

I have several other blogs that I have been updating on a regular basis.

Country Wife, Computer Widow talks about the general chaos of my life at large.

One Witch's Theological Musings is where I discuss witchcraft from a personal approach. I try to update this around the Full moon of each month.

The Veiled Witch is where I write from a more academic perspective on my particular brand of witchcraft. This updates on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Tales of Evandar is a collection of stories and world building material for my fantasy series of novels that I am writing. I try to update this on Saturdays.

Writing for My Anam Cara is a blog of erotic stories and scenes that I started writing for a dear, dear friend. I generally update this by Friday, most weeks.

And there is my blog at Keen which is part of what I do there along with my tarot reading stuff.

Happy Reading and thank you for keeping me in mind! I'll see you all again in a fortnight!

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50 Shades of Grey

I had heard everybody talking about how good/awful 50 Shades of Grey is. I finally broke down and attempted to read it. This thing doesn't even qualify as a wall banger, aka a book you throw at the wall because of how awful it is. No, it is a withered, whimpering pile of excrement. That is the kindest thing I can say about this bit of fluff. And I couldn't endure reading all of the first chapter, the writing was that awful. I'm looking at this and left amazed that this author who can barely string together a sentence is celebrated as one of the best things written in a while.

Never mind the attempts to write interesting BDSM oriented scenes. I paged forward in the book to see if even any of that was worth reading. It wasn't. The entire thing was just flat the whole way through. I think reading a set of operating instructions for a stereo system that were translated from Japanese to Dutch to English to Sanskrit to Gaelic and then back to English would be more interesting. Why the five languages and double English translation? Because it gives the remote chance of something interesting happening in the phrasing. Oh, I forgot to mention, all of this should be done by someone whose native language is Portuguese. Why? Because that ensures that the translations will come out looking absolutely nothing like a direct and proper translation of the original.

Seriously, if this miserable thing is what is getting upheld as 'best seller' material, I am glad that I am taking the self publication route. The quality of the major publishing houses has dropped precipitously if this is their best. I've seen more engaging fiction out of a 5 year old's dictated work that was transcribed by a slightly more literate child, misspellings and all. Thank goodness I had enough sense to sign this book out from the library rather then read it.

The Stand

Title: The Stand.
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Signet Books  Date: 1991

I am a little over half through this. I'll be honest, I am not terribly impressed. Stephen King is a strong author. He can spin very good stories. The fact that he has managed to keep the story cohesive as far along as it is, it is a testament to his ability as an author. I find the characters relatively well developed. The plot is fairly believable, within the context of this world he is writing in.

I confess, however, I find this book to be a wall banger. I am struggling to find anything worthy of merit. We finally get to see a bit more of the character of Randall Flagg and he lacks the menace that Flagg had in the Eyes of the Dragon. I set the book down two weeks ago. I didn't even miss it. I felt no urge to see how the story ends. Reading an atlas would be more entertaining, unfortunately. I'm debating if I punish myself by making myself finish it.

Honestly, I don't see how this book became so popular. Pet Cemetery had a tighter plot and a faster pace. And I didn't even like Pet Cemetery. This book is just dragging on and on. The plot is so far about as interesting as a hamster running on a wheel. Somewhere along the way, his description of the plague turned into a post-apocalyptic description of America that is utterly flat. I enjoyed reading about the plague. He did a great job and you could tell that he did his homework on things like vectors of transmission. But now... the prospect of reading a dictionary sounds about as exciting as slogging through the rest of this.

Good Afternoon!

Hello folks!

I am in the midst of getting myself settled with restarting writing on here. I have a book that I am almost finished reading. It isn't currently on the best seller's list but not much of anything else I have reviewed has been recently either. Give me about a week to get myself all organized and I'll start posting here about once a week. As per usual, I will welcome any suggestions of books to read and review.

I am considering taking pot shots at the news organizations as well. If so, I will be doing them in my usual sardonic style. No one is safe from my sense of humor!

I sincerely hope that all of you are doing well.

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Mysticism

Title: Mysticism: The Preemient study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness
Author: Evelyn Underhill
Publisher: Image Press          Date: 1990

Side note: This was originally published in 1911.

This is a ponderous and slow to read book. I am approximately a third of the way through it and I have been pecking at it for (literally) months now. When I picked it up, I had been hoping for something closer to a general survey of different practices of mysticism from around the world. I have found that this focuses primarily on Christian mysticism. As such, it has been less useful to my studies then I had anticipated it to be when I bought it.

New Book Reviews Coming Soon!

New book reviews are going to be coming in the immediate future. Look for one to be posted once a week.

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LJ Reboot!

Random book commentary is coming.

I finally had a chance to get back into this. :P

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Republication of Reviews...

Hi folks!

I'm republishing many of my previous book reviews up on Triond. Take a look and check them out. They're all tagged with Cydira's Book Reviews in the title.