Saturday, August 24, 2013

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Book

Like I mentioned previously, I recently read all of my Harry Potter books again. I started Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets right after I finished the first book.

This book picks up about a month after the end of the first book. Harry is still stuck with the Dursleys and hating the time he has to spend there. Things get more complicated when Doby, a house elf, shows up claiming it will be too dangerous for Harry to return to Hogwarts. The story is just as entertaining as the first book, and a little more complicated since time doesn’t have to be taken to introduce all the characters and situations. There are a few new characters, the main one being the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart. He isn’t evil or anything like that, but he is still one of the worst teachers for that class ever. The man is a pompous jerk who loves fame and assumes Harry is the same. The man is clueless, but all the girls, even Hermione, think he is handsome.

 The story does get a bit darker, something that continues to happen with the rest of the books. Each one is darker than the previous one. This book is also a little longer than first one. The story is entertaining and more about You Know Who is shared by the end of the book. This is the first time it is established how powerful he was while still in school and how twisted he already was. That comes up again in later books and something is more important than it seems at first.

The movie adaptation of this book is one of the better ones I think. It stays very close to the book, which is why I think it works so well. The important things and explanations are left in the movie, though there are a few things that are condensed for the movie. There are some more details to a few things in the books. It would have been nice if more of Harry’s time at the Burrow had been included. I also liked that Hermione’s parents are in the book and meet Molly and Arthur, something that never happened in the movies. Christopher Columbus, the man who directed the first two movies, didn’t direct any more of the movies. From interviews, it seems like he wanted to stay true to the books, and keep the magic in the movies. I think some of that left the movies when he did. I do wonder how some of the other movies would have been different if he had directed them.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a strong second book to the Harry Potter series. It definitely deserves to be read, but start with the first book. These books need to be watched in order. People who have only seen the movies really should read the books.

I did post a longer review on Epinions several years ago.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Monday, August 19, 2013

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - Book

I quickly got hooked on the Harry Potter books after I received the first one for my birthday in October of 2001.  I picked up the other books that were out at the time and went to see the first movie within days of it being released.  I have all of the books and have read them multiple times.  I recently decided to read them again, the first time in just over two years.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the original title in England - is the first book in the seven book series.  It gets off to a good start, setting up things well and it does a good job of introducing the main characters.  The story is interesting, and while it may not seem like it on a first reading, there are little hints and things being introduced that will be important later in the series. 

While I love the movies overall - though there are things about them I don’t like - I like the books more and think they are better.  I know many people have only seen the movies.  It is definitely worth it to read the books for those people, and they should definitely start with this book.  It is wonderfully detailed and very magical.  The story ends up being very interesting and entertaining. 

Reading the book again, I rediscovered some little details I had forgotten about, and some other things I just hadn’t thought about in a while, like Peeves.  He would have been a very interesting addition to the movies, especially since he was frequently turning up to cause some mischief or complications.  For the most part, I think the movie version of this book was done very well and stayed very true to the book.  I remember some people complaining about that when the movie came out, saying it wasn’t different enough, something I don’t agree with.  In this book,  Neville was a little more involved in a few things, which ties into his overall development and it helps to set the foundation for what he ultimately does in the final book.

I feel that the books have more of a sense of magic and they definitely deserve to be read.  I still love them and I really enjoyed reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone again.  I will not let so much time pass before I read them again.

I did post a longer review on Epinions in 2003 that has been updated.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Trying to Catch Up

It seems like I am trying to catch up on several things right now.  My DVR is staying right about 90% full even as I watch things.  Some things have been on there for a while because I haven’t taken the time to watch them yet.  I also have a few movies and episodes of tv shows that I want to save because of how much I enjoyed them.  A few weeks ago, it got to 100% full and some movies that had been on there for a while got deleted.  Maybe I’ll try to watch something from it later tonight.

I have DVDs and Blu-rays that I haven’t watched yet that I want to watch and then do reviews for Epinions for them.  I have finished reading a few books that I want to write about there as well, but I haven’t taken the time to do that either.  I need to request the books be added there, and while it isn’t that hard to do and the leads are great about getting them added, it does kind of drain my motivation to get a review done.  I want to get more reviews done at Epinions again.  I’m also posting things at Bubblews, though not as much as some people have been doing.  I have ideas for several things to write for there, but I never seem to find the time to do it.  I want to write more here as well.  I just need to start taking the time to do it.

Every year for work, I have to do classes for continuing education.  Some of them are done in the office, and others are online.  There are several online classes that I am interested in - I actually do want to keep learning stuff for my job - but I haven’t gotten going on that yet either. 

It seems like there is just never enough time to get everything done that I want to do. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Back...I Hope

I knew that it had been a while since I posted something here.  I kept meaning to do more posts, but I didn't for various reasons.  I had no idea it had been so long since my last post until just recently when I finally logged back in here. 

I just spent some time tonight changing the theme and a few things here.  I am happier with the theme now than what I had before, though I might still do a few small changes. 

I am trying to write more again in general lately.  I haven't been posting as much at Epinions for a while now, and I don't like that.  I am doing better this month, and I hope to get several more reviews done by the end of the month.  I just didn't have much time for doing reviews, or reading and rating, for a few months when work was a bit nuts. 

I did join Bubblews about three weeks ago.  I've done several posts there so far, but I not posting as much as some members evidently do.  I do like that members can write about anything they want and how we can see the money we earn add up in real time. 

Well I think I am done for now.