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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

I know, I know, I missed it again! This school year is already kicking my butt (literally, I fell down the stairs at school today like a ding-dong!) so I just didn’t have the strength Tuesday or Wednesday when I got home to update and do my TTT post even though I already had it rough drafted out on notebook paper. So, here it is, two days late, my TTT for the week of 814/12:

Romances that I believe would survive this crazy real world we live in:

10. Alice and Charlie from American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.

           
image from socionix.com

I was a big fan of the former first lady at one time. She reminded me a lot of myself. I guess I still am a fan, somewhat. I don’t care at all for her husband. I did care a great deal for this book though. It’s a fictionalized account of the relationship that blossomed between Laura and George, including all the gory details of a car crash caused by Mrs. Bush herself as a teenager. Having loved Sittenfeld’s first novel, Prep, I bought this one with the same expectations. However, this is a very different breed of book than Prep, though I did end up enjoying both. I do think that Charlie (George) and Alice (Laura) would have made it it reality, because..well… they did!

9. Jacob Black and Bella Swan from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

        
image from fanpop.com

I choose Jacob over Edward because I am a huge member of Team Jacob (I’m wearing my Quileute Tribe shirt right now) but also because I believe that they would have ended up together in reality. After Edward hit the road, Jack in New Moon and Bella and Jacob became closer, I really believe that they would have stayed together in reality. Being abandoned and dumped the way Bella was, I just can’t believe she’d go back to him. Oh, well, at least Jake got a happy ending, too.

8. Marlena and Jacob from Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

    
image from wwhan12.wordpress.com

If you fall in love over any animal, especially an elephant, it’s just gonna last forevs.

7. Elinor and Edward from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

     

Maaaaannnnn, I wanted these two together the whole darn book. One was so shy and proper and the other was so bent on honoring his promises that they were willing to be apart if needed. Thank goodness it wasn’t needed and they got to be together in the end!

6. Gilbert and Anne from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery

   
image from fanpop.com

This movie was on television the other night and I got caught up in it again. It was the early one, where Anne moves to Green Gables and not the later one where she and Gilbert end up happily ever after, but it did get me in the frame of mind of how these two were so meant for each other and that’s why I just had to include them on this list, because honestly they would so have made it in reality!

5. Allie and Noah from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

  
image from romanceeternal.org

Sweetest couple ever. And he wrote their story down. And then he read it to her. And then they died together. And then I cried.

4. Jamie and Claire from The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

   
image from outlandishobservations.blogspot.com

Even though this whole series is so totally unbelievable with the whole time travel thing and all, I still deeply believe that the love between Claire and Jamie would have lasted and would have survived whether in ye olden Scotland or in new modern England (or America, or Canada, or wherever in the world they find themselves).

3. Hermione and Ron from The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

  
image from fanpop.com

Upon my first reading of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I knew that these two were meant fror each other.

2. Josephine March and Professor Friedrich Baher from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

   
image from tumblr.com

OF COURSE I would have one of the couples from Little Women on here and OF COURSE it would be my most favoritest gal Jo and her hunka hunka burnin’ love Prof. Baher! When I made my rough draft the other night, I originally had Laurie down as the other half of Jo’s forever heart, but then I started thinking about childhood friends and how they really rarely ever work out romantically in the end. Jo had to grow up and go out in the world and get a job and write her books and learn some more and THEN she could settle down and who better to do it with than Friedrich! This man could help her open her school and publish her books! I truly believe that they would have made it in the real world based on their relationship of mutual honesty and respect.

That’s right, there are only 9 couples on the list because as hard as I racked my noggin, I just couldn’t think of another couple to add on and I didn’t want to get sloppy by just picking some random couple (like Rhett and Scarlett. I honestly do not think that those two would have made it in the real world. Tomorrow may be another day, doll, but I think he’s gonna tell you to shove it again.) so I’m leaving it at 9. Who do you think I left off the list? Who do you think should have been left off the list?

‘Til Next Time!

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Well, it’s official, today is my last day of summer vacation. I start training (which I’ve already done, last year, but don’t let me get started on that tangent) tomorrow for two weeks and then I have a week of workdays and then the kids come back on the 27th. Those three weeks of preparing for the little darlings means that I will be worn out even before the kids arrive and it also means a lot less time for me to read which I really hate to part with. Oh well, I’m thankful to even have a job in this economy and at least I will be back into a routine.
Since tomorrow is technically my “first day of school” I have decided that this weeks TTT will be books set in or around a school.

10. Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities by Alexandra Robbins
I was never in a sorority in college, but I was always fascinated by the girls who wore matching shirts with Greek letters on them and who seemed to only socialize with each other. I only knew what sororities were like from TV shows like Beverly Hills: 90210 and movies like The House Bunny. This book isn’t that much different than those televised portrayls. Robbins goes undercover and rushes a sorority, gaining the trust of the girls in the house and gives us all the gory details of body image troubles and hazing horrors. It made me pretty glad I never decided to seek out one of those matching t-shirts.

 

9. The Magic Schoolbus Series by Joanna Cole and Illustrated by Bruce Degen 
Let’s be honest here, who didn’t want to be in Ms. Frizzle’s class and get to go on these slammin’ field trips? The Magic Schoolbus books were non-fiction fun escapes that taught me (and countless other youngins) about topics like the solar system, the water cycle, and, my personal favorite, what it’s like inside of a hurricane.

 

8. Villette by Charlotte Bronte 
Okay, this one probably made the list because I just finished reading (and loving) this one. However, there is always something so romantic and exotic about a European boarding school that I just love.

 7. Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter

Okay, this book was written in the 1950’s- when kids were still “good”!!! If you thought that they were bad then, I double-dog dare you to attempt to set foot in a school today. Seriously, folks, nothing can prepare you for what happens inside a school. It would blow your mind. It does mine on a daily basis.

6. Matilda by Roald Dahl
I loved Roald Dahl, and I especially loved Matilda. Matilda was a relatable character for me since she was reading well before going to school. I hated that mean old Ms. Trunchbull for her and I equally loved Ms. Honey. This is a charming story that I can’t wait to share with my daughter one day!

 

5. Christy by Catherine Marshall
Christy is the story of a 19-year old girl who goes to teach in the Smoky Mountains of NC (yes! I love a NC Mountains book!) and discovers hardships both from the townspeople and from her reluctant students but eventually comes to love them all. There was also a CBS-produced mini-series staring Kellie Martin that came out which is equally enjoyable!

 

4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Frequently chalanged and often seen on the ALA’s Top 100 Banned/Challenged Book List this social-commentary book has it all- sex, secret socities, refusal to sell chocolate for those stupid school mandated fundraisers (ever year I end up with a stack of straight-up CRAP that I have felt like I had to buy from the students. The book is pretty intense and it raises up some thought-provoking concepts.

 

 

3. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Front Cover
I read this book in one sitting while I myself was in high school. It’s got some pretty tough issues in it, but one of my good friends did a unit on this book with her eighth grade  honors class last year, and it must have gone pretty well. The kids seemed to enjoy it and I had a lot of them come into the library asking for more books like it and more by Anderson. There was also a Lifetime TV movie staring Bella Swan that came out a few years ago.

2. I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe.
My aunt sent me a copy of this book for my birthday the year before I left for college. Like the protagonist, I, too, am from a small, rural, North Carolina town. After reading this book I wasn’t sure if I was excited or nervous to go to college. This was a fun read and I felt really smart reading a Tom Wolfe novel (and one that was so thick, too!). This is one I remember immensly enjoying and one that I will need to revisit soon.

 

 

1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hogwarts– enough said! (PS, I think that I would be a Hufflepuff, but that kind of thing is best left up to the sorting hat).

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Papa was a rolling stone, my son, where ever he laid his hat was his home -The Temptations

“There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.” -Harper Lee

This week I need to do a Top Ten Thursday instead of a Top Ten Tuesday. I’ve got A LOT going on right now. My mom is very sick and my dad has his hands full with taking care of her so I’ve been trying to help both of them and finish up the school year and find a new apartment in a new town to move to and read and rest from the last awful school year and blog and I’m just now getting to the blog part and I haven’t really done any of the other parts. So for this weeks TTT I decided to list my top ten favorite fathers in literature in honor of Father’s Day being last Sunday. (*note: links to the books will now be accessed by clicking the picture of the book. All links will be from IndieBound.org- be a part of the story*)

10. Dr. Murray from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. Publication Date: 1962– The missing, but brilliant, dad.

It has been a really long time since I’ve read this book, and I don’t think I fully appreciated it when I did read it so this is one that I will need to revisit. Dr. Murray isn’t really in the first book very much I discovered (and failed to even remember) after some researching. This is a really cool dad though, he’s a physicist studying space-time continuums who is missing and NO ONE, not even the freakin’ GOVERNMENT knows where he is (and you know how those guys know EVERYTHING).

9. Charlie Swan from the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. Publication Date: 2005-2008. The aloof dad.

The twilight saga hardback.jpg

I’ve said it before on this blog and I’ll say it again: I am a fan of Twilight. I am not sure if I am 100% a fan of Chuck Swan, father to Bella Swan-Cullen, Grandfather to Reneesme Cullen. Charlie is so distant from his daughter when first we meet him that he is awkward and it’s hard to believe he cares and actually wants her to live with him. Charlie develops the love I had hoped he would for Bella (and honestly, it was there all along, but dads can be weird most of the time) and has some touching moments with her, like at her wedding for example. One thing about Chief Swan that I can’t overlook is how he is so meek. He lets Bella fly out of the house and to ITALY without making much of a stink? He watches her become a vampire and yet doesn’t give it much thought? He doesn’t see her for almost a year and shrugs it off? Whaaaaaa? Overall, good guy, loving dad, I like him, but I don’t love him.

8. James Henry Alden from The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Original Publication Date: 1924. The Grandfather Dad.

Though not actually a dad the grandfather in the boxcar children acted as a dad to the four boxcar children in Gertrude Chandler Warner’s AWESOME mystery series for children. After the death of the children’s parents, Grandfather steps in and cares for them. He’s wealthy, he’s kind, he’s patient, he’s full of advice, he’s not overly stern, he’s the worlds best grandfather! Too bad he’s fictional.

7. Matthew Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery. Publication Date: 1908. The adorable, adoptive, loving dad.

I promised you a few weeks ago when I did my Mother’s Day blog that I would touch on the awesomeness that is Matthew Cuthbert and here is where I do it. How awesome is Matthew Cuthbert? Let me count the ways:
1. He loves Anne at first sight. Sure he wanted, heck, NEEDED, a boy and ended up with Anne instead. He could have just left her at that train station, but you know that the thought never even entered sweet Matthew’s mind.
2. He had to put up with Marilla. Though she’s really a softy, she sure can come off as a mega b-i-t-c-h.
3. He is SO SHY! It might kill him to have to talk to anyone so he keeps to himself A LOT.
4. He’s Canadian.
5. He bought Anne that dress!
6-infinity. There are so many reasons to love this character, and I do!
(And yes, that is a picture of Richard Farnsworth who played Matthew PERFECTLY in the 1985 movie and not a cover of the book. Farnsworth did such a great job, I had to feature him. I’ll also do the same later in this post for Gregory Peck. See if you can guess which father from literature he played!)

6. Sirius Black/James Potter/Arthur Weasley/Albus Dumbledore/Severus Snape/Remus Lupin/Hagrid from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. Publication Date: 1997-2007. The Harry Potter Dad(s).
The Coat of Arms of Hogwarts, featuring scarlet and gold Gryffindor colours with the mascot Lion, yellow and black of Hufflepuff with the symbolic badger, bronze and blue Ravenclaw colours with an eagle, and Slytherin green and silver with a serpent mascot.

 When the story opens on Harry in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (or Philosopher’s) Stone we learn quickly that poor Harry is an orphan. Having lost both his parents to Lord Voldemort, Harry now is forced to live under the stairs with his awful aunt, uncle and cousin. During the series progression, however, Harry is able to have many characters step in as surrogate father figures to him. Each character offers something to Harry that the other’s can not. Sirius Black is Harry’s actual Godfather and James was his actual father. But all of the characters mentioned above were Harry’s fathers in some fashion.

5. Steve Miller from The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. Publication Date: 2009. The Dying Dad.

The Last Song was probably the last Nicholas Sparks book I read all the way through. I used to enjoy Sparks’ books, mainly because they are all based in coastal North Carolina which is where I am from and where I grew up. I loved that he used real places that I could actually recognize; it made me feel like I was actually a part of the story and the characters lives since I too had been to those locals! However, after this book I realized that all of his books are exactly the same. Exactly. The. Same. Start off with a dysfunction in a family, throw in a disease or an accident, add a death, and there is _____ by Nicholas Sparks. I wanted to include Steve Miller on my list though because he really is a good dad. He has to contend with a spoiled, selfish daughter and try to connect to a son and try to help a neighboring church all while dying. He does all of these things with grace. Sparks’ characters are generally ones that are good role models for the other characters as well as for the readers and Steve Miller (not the musician, I should have mentioned earlier) is no exception.

4. Robert “Bob” Quimby from Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary. Publication Date: 1977. The fun dad.

 Ramona actually makes appearances in several of Cleary’s books, but I chose this one since this is the one where Ramona gets to connect with her dad after he looses his job. I can’t rave enough about all of the Ramona books in this series and this one is no exception. This book is awesome because it’s difficult to find one where a young daughter can connect with a father the way these characters do. The plotline from this novel makes an appearance in the movie Beezus and Ramona which came out in 2010.

3. Vladek Spiegleman from Maus by Art Spiegleman. Publication Date: 1980-1991. The survivor dad.

What makes mouse Vladek Spiegleman seem so real in Art Spiegleman’s graphic novels is the fact that, well, he is. Through the use of animation and storytelling Art is able to tell his father’s story of his father’s history as Holocaust survivor. The illustrations in Spiegleman’s novels tells more of a story than the actual written words. I’m not a very big fan of comics, but this one flows so smoothly and the story is so gripping that you find yourself reading it as if it were an actual novel.

2. The dad from Go The F*** To Sleep by Adam Mansbach. Publication Date: 2011. The frustrated dad.

I don’t think that this dad ever really reveals his name, but with the honesty given in this book about the sheer impossibility of getting a young child to sleep, we have to assume that the dad’s name is Adam and that he is writing from personal experience. The book is hilariously funny and honest and loving and I dare you to read it without laughing out loud, especially if you have ever been in that boat of trying to get a child to sleep who just wants one more glass of water and one more story. For an even bigger laugh, get an audio copy of the book read by Samuel L. Jackson.

1. Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Publication Date: 1960. The moral dad.

Not only is Atticus Finch my #1 dad in all of literature, but he is also my #1 character. Atticus is the person that I hope that I as well as everyone else in the world will grow up to be. Atticus is revered by people the world overand the group The Atticus Circle which is a group of LGBT Allies named their group after them. Atticus is a hero to everyone in the book and he is the reason that my first born son will be named Atticus. Again I elected to place a picture of Gregory Peck instead of the cover of the book. This picture is perfect- it shows Atticus in court next to the African American man that he is defending much to the chagrin of Macomb County, Alabama. Plus, I wanted to put in a picture of Peck’s Atticus because…well… LOOK at the handsome man!

Who are some of YOUR favorite dads in literature?

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“I am woman, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore.” -Helen Reddy

In honor of Women’s History Day I present to you my list of the top five (with a bonus six, actually seven) leading ladies of literature, You Go, Girls! 

5. Liza from Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. You Go, Gay Girl!
Ok, I have to start off by admitting that I have never in my life read Annie… (and surprise, surprise, it is not available in my school library or at the public one down the way). However, I did go to graduate school and take several classes in children’s literature and I am a school librarian so I have heard a thing or two about this uber controversial book. The book is 30 years old this year and I can understand the controversy behind it in the early 80s, but today it baffles me that in 2012 we are still having debates about gay characters in books (and women’s rights to contraceptives, but that’s a whole other discussion…). This book is consistently in the lists of the most challenged books, was burned in Kansas City, and had several questions on the Praxis II each year. Kudos to the first popular YA lesbian novel!

 4. Wonapalei from Islandof the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. You Go, Solitary Girl!
I remember reading this in the library of my mom’s school while she was finishing up her workdays one summer. I also remember being simultaneously terrified and intrigued by this premise.  This girl was stuck on AN ISLAND by HERSELF for years?!?! What was even worse was learning later in life that this book was inspired by a true story! The book was made into a movie and won the Newbery in 1961.

 3. Josephine March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  You Go, Historical, Semi-Autobiographical Girl!
If you have read my blog for a while now, you will know that I love Little Women and especially Jo March from this book.  Jo was a brave lady who wasn’t afraid to die alone and who was afraid to not be heard.  The book has been made into two movies. Jo’s character is said to be based on Alcott herself. Jo however was given the happy ending that readers wanted and ended up with Professor Bhear while Alcott died a spinster.

 2. Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling. You Go, YA Girls!
Here’s the best thing about these two girls: they are not Isabella Swan, natch. Where Bella whined and moaned and almost died over a boy, these two girls kick ass and take names while relying on no man, dead OR alive. I loved both characters so much I could not choose which one to leave off the list, so I added them both. Both series have been incredibly popular and both characters give girls a role model to really look up to. Both series have been made into incredibly popular movies. (Exactly two weeks until the theatrical release of The Hunger Games! And, my friends daughter has a role in the film, how cool is THAT!?)

1. Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larrson, You Go, Punk Rock, Semi-Gay, Very fierce, Swedish, Hacker Girl!
What can I say about Lisbeth Salander that has not already been said; nothing. The character is fierce (hello revenge rape scene in Dragon Tattoo), she’s smart, she’s sexy, she’s barely even human. Rooney Mara’s interpretation of Salander was dead on in the 2011 film.  I love her quirkiness, her clever yet snarky attitude towards society and all things in general, and I love her loving nature that is just below the surface, but very much there.

 Bonus Girl: Scheherazade from One Thousand and One Nights. You Go, Storyteller Girl!
“She had perused the works of the poets and knew them by heart; she had studied philosophy and the sciences, arts and accomplishments; and she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred.”
The power of storytelling is very much the theme of this story. I love that a girl can utilize words and tales to keep herself alive and keep a man entertained. This lady forced a brutal king to not only spare her life, but also made him fall in love with her and take her as his queen. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that I would want to marry a man who had beheaded 1,000 women before me. God forbid he loose his temper one day! Should that happen I’ll bet clever Scheherazade will just once upon a time him…

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