Words We Read

Words

Isn’t it funny how books can touch us in the deepest and most meaningful way!? Obviously there is a reason that authors do what they do, and it’s just so fascinating that they can take ordinary words and put them into the context that makes us feel emotions, that makes us cry. We are always in awe of the talent levels of authors. Even the authors that are more “mediocre” have more talent than we could ever dream. It’s amazing what authors do, and we are in awe of your work (whether it’s a book for us or not).

Book quotes are some of our favorite things, ones that we tend to forget to share. They remind of the story we read, of the journey we are on in our lives, and the feelings that we have had (or are having) in our lives. These are the quotes that we write down wherever we can, that we put up all over the internet, that we share with so many people because they are on a journey too…and maybe these words can help.

So today, and randomly throughout the months, we will be sharing some words that we have read that have hit us. For our first post we have a very special theme for you.

For the 20th birthday of the Harry Potter books, we have decided to pick a book from the Harry Potter series to share with you! If you are among the mass of Harry Potter nerds (just like us) then you know that it is SO hard to pick a quote. JK Rowling just has such a way with words, and we could probably pick multiple quotes from each book. But here are some of the quotes that have stuck with us…

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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“We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are. ”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

“I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone

“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

“After all this time?”

“Always,” said Snape.

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

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ANNOUNCEMENT! There is more than one reason that we are sharing Harry Potter quotes today. Not only are we celebrating 20 years of the series that drove us further into reading, but we are also planning on…A HARRY POTTER REREAD!

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That’s right! Starting this Monday (June 26th) we will be opening up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (for the first time in AGES) so that we can once again get lost in that world. Let us know if you want to join us (comment or email) and we can set something more formal up. But that means you should probably be looking for more Harry Potter on the blog in the future.

NOTE: We will be using the hashtag #mdwstreadalong on twitter and instagram if you want to keep up to date with what we are doing. We are pretty pumped for this.

QUESTION: What are some of your favorite Harry Potter quotes?

I Grew Up Potter, Did You?

This is a post that I wrote for My Trending Stories (you can find the original here!) I was really excited to share my reasons for being the Harry Potter nerd that I am, because it gets a little more personal than just a general feeling. Feel free to share your thoughts about how you grew up Potter (or any other series) in the comments!

As readers we are always able to look back fondly at a book or series that we felt we grew up with. It could range from the picture books you read as a kid (Berenstain Bears for the win!) or the first chapter books that you remember getting lost in (Little House books!). Whatever that book or series may be, you hold a special place for it. As an adult you may collect it, and eventually hope to pass that love down to the children in your life (your own children, nieces, nephews, etc). While I was a very avid reader as a child, knocking out the Little House books at a pretty young age, I can honestly say that I grew up Harry Potter.

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Shocking right? What “millennial” (blech, I hate that word but I am technically classified as one) hasn’t said that they grew up Potter and that Harry Potter was life, but it’s the truth. I grew up Potter and I am not ashamed.

When we say we grew up with this series I think that we all mean it a little differently. Some started reading it the day it came out in 1997. Now, let me tell you, my parents would not have let their 8 year old read Harry Potter. They were unsure about it and I don’t blame them. There was a lot of talk about the magic and what it would do to children, and I don’t think they were wrong at all to wait. I don’t think I was quite ready then. Thanks for being a bit strict about it mom and dad, I wasn’t fully prepared for Harry Potter.

Others who say that they have grown up Harry Potter refer to the movies. As a child who did get into this series around the same time as the release of the 1st movie I must say, I get it. I didn’t start reading it because of the movie, but I can see the appeal. How many times do we see a TV show or movie and decide we want to look further into it? I do this all the time. But no, this is not how my journey with Harry Potter started.

I started reading Harry Potter in 2000, right before Goblet of Fire came out. I remember it well. My dad had finally said we could maybe read it, if my mom read it first and approved (and that’s how my mom got suckered into the series). This became the rule of the house. My mom always had to read the book before we did so that she could make sure it was appropriate for us (eventually I think she just started using that rule so that she got the book first…). I was pretty excited. I remember starting this series because this was also the year that I stopped being home-schooled and started public school. I was definitely nervous and not fully sure I wanted to start this new part of my life, but I started to feel like I was doing the same thing as Harry (minus being at Hogwarts) and looked on this as a new adventure.

The more I read the more I found that I could relate to this young boy. I started to match up to him in ages as the books started taking a little bit longer to release. I found an escape when I was still trying to figure things out. I found friends, and honestly felt a little more comfortable with being out in this new experience because of Harry. Even though Harry is fighting for the school and against Voldemort he also experienced a lot of the same adolescence that I was going through.

And then…came The Order of the Phoenix.

Now, at this point we knew without a shadow of a doubt that we wanted to continue on with this series. Because we were so sure of this we pre-ordered books from that point on. There was no way we would be able to wait on the library hold list. WE NEEDED THE BOOKS RIGHT AWAY! You know the feeling.

The Order of the Phoenix is the first book I remembered crying in. I started to relate to something way more than I had ever even imagined that I would; the loss of a loved one. This book has been out for 13 years now, do I still need to hide who died here? I mean you have either seen the movies or read the books right? Well…the death of Sirius hit me hard. At this point in my life I was getting close to the 1 year anniversary of my dad’s death. I think that was the moment that I found I related to Harry the most as he watched his beloved guardian die. Now, let me get this straight…my dad was not killed by a death eater. His death was due to cancer, but even so…I understood. I understood the hurt and the pain and the need to try to make it better even though there’s no way to really do that. I could relate and I felt a little less alone.

In 2003 I really felt like I understood Harry. And in 2003 I become 150% more invested in reading his adventures in bringing good to the world and defeating Lord Voldemort.

2007, the year the last book was released…well, that was the year I graduated high school. I read as Harry and his friends fought for their lives, and then I watched as their lives started all over. At that same time I felt like my life was starting all over. I wasn’t necessarily going to the college that I had intended to at that point, but it was still a whole new world. I felt like I ended an era with Harry.

Obviously there were still the movies at that point, which I deeply enjoyed, but I grew up Potter. I grew up with the books. Harry Potter was there for a lot of tough situations in my life, and I am so happy for that.

So naturally, I have been like a kid at Christmas lately. Seeing new books by JK Rowling, a play, a new movie series to look forward to. I am so excited to get to be treated to this world again; a world that gave me temporary relief from the real world when I needed it most.

I grew up Potter! Did you?

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Let’s Talk About…Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

29056083The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

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Initial reaction upon finishing:

Wow. Am I ever glad I was able to read this. As any Harry Potter fan in the US, I was super sad when I heard that they were doing the play in the UK and I would never see it because…let’s face it…I’m poor. I would have had to win the lottery to get over there just to see this play. So when they announced that they would be releasing the script as a book I was super pumped. I honestly can’t even fully describe the excitement to you, but if you are also a Harry Potter fanatic you probably feel me. So, needless to say I was terrified to read this book, even though I was super excited for it. Why? Well…what if it didn’t live up to my expectations? What if they killed all the characters I loved and just made a mess of things? What if I had the worst time adjusting to the format? There were so many what-ifs. But I braved them all, and dove in to this book and exited with zero regrets. Here are a few of my non-spoilery thoughts on this 8th Harry Potter book…

  • It’s important to remember that this is going to be different than the original 7 books. For starters, this is a play script. It is written as a play, with lines for characters and some vague stage directions. If that is going to be an issue for you and take away from your experience then I would highly recommend you not do that. Also, our beloved trio…well, they have grown up. They have grown up jobs and do grown up things (well, maybe not Ron all the time). They aren’t at Hogwarts galavanting off on adventures constantly and breaking all the rules all the time. So even though they are there, they are in their adult roles. I really hope that doesn’t disappoint you, but I know some people didn’t like that. It’s ok to not like that aspect, but I think its important to remember that they are adults and to go in with that mentality.
  • The conflicts with Albus and with his father Harry Potter made so much sense. Harry dealt with so much as a kid, so having the past follow him…well that’s a no brainer. And Albus…he has to live in his father’s shadow. I can’t even comprehend how difficult that would be as a child. You go to Hogwarts and are expected to be as great as the wizard that saved the wizarding world…good luck. I think this play really explored that well (and I bet seeing it as an actual play would make it even better).
  • The story really explored what could have been. I think after we all finished The Deathly Hallows we were all left wondering about what could have been. This story really explores that and made me really satisfied with how the original stories had ended.
  • Not only did I get to go back to the world that I have grown up with and loved, I also got to see so many characters that have held a special place in my Harry Potter loving heart. Between talking portraits and dreams, I got to see so many characters. It warmed my heart. Also, Ron and Hermione finally made sense to me. I mean, I was happy they got together but I never completely understood it. They were adorable. So stinking adorable.

Honestly, I really enjoyed this story. I am one that doesn’t mind reading stories as play scripts, so I got fully invested and did find myself completely absorbed into the story (especially the last act guys…oh man). To sum it all up…yes, this is a different Harry Potter story. I really hope you don’t go into it expecting the same old same old, because you won’t get it. Go in with an open mind. Because this story can really take you places. It took me places, it made me feel like a kid again…completely invested in a Harry Potter story while sitting on the couch at my mom’s house. It was so nostalgic for me. And I loved where this story went and I think it would be amazing to see as a play.

So glad that I could read this book.

But now…I have a few suggestions for new books JK Rowling. Prequel series to the Harry Potter books and whatnot. So feel free to shoot me an email so we can discuss 😉

Alright, the real question here…who has finished this book? Definitely curious to hear your thoughts and feelings.  Also, what other stories from the Harry Potter world would you like to read?