July 16, 2012

Books books books.

I finished the Harry Potter series on Saturday while taking a break from painting. I know it's an audio book but I still spent a lot of time on it that I might have otherwise used to read so it counts.

I don't have a lot to say about the series or any of the books in particular because I'm so familiar with them and obviously enjoy them. First, a little history. I got Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for my twelfth birthday. I was right in the target age group for the books and I grew up with them so there was nothing really new there for me. It's been a couple years since I last read them, though, even though I saw the final movie when it came out in theaters last year. It's amazing how much happened in the final book that was new to me. I didn't remember how far some of the characters had developed, and listening to the seven books back to back really made that more clear to me.

There's something to be said for how fast I went through the books, too. I started them on May 29th, the day I got my laser eyes, and finished them on July 14th. That's 47 days of Harry Potter. When I was younger, I probably would have read the books at a roughly equal speed, taking on average a week to finish each book, generally on summer vacation with little or no responsibilities. I never did, though. The final book came out in 2007 and I have always had something going on then. I think two years ago when I set out to reread the series I started on book four or five. I didn't bother with the first few since I knew them the best. I don't think I've ever done the whole series front to back before, and, with my life the way it is now, there is no way I could have gone through the books any faster had I gone the paper consumption route. It was Harry Potter and Ron Weasley saturation to the extreme, Ron being the best character in the whole series.

It was nice because I could still be engaged in the story as I did the various soul crushing endeavours I decided to undertake. Baking? Yep, Harry was there. Toilet cleaning? Dobby and Hermione came along for the ride. Dishes? Check, Ron was present. Nightstand painting? Dumbledore showed me how it was done.

Am I starting to sound like a crazy person?

It's done, though, and now it's back into the regular world of paper books with no Stephen Fry to narrate anymore. Ah well. I feel a lot like I did when I finished The Hunger Games. I want to read something else really good and engaging, although maybe not as engaging since I'd like to remain productive. Right now I'm working on Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs. It's the book series that Bones is based off of. I don't mind the show so I thought I'd give it a go.
I'm going to be upfront and tell you that this book is a tough read. I used to love CSI and I figured these crime/mystery books are all the rage so why not expand my horizons outside of the chick lit and fantasy. It's pretty gruesome. I never really thought that there would be tons of gory and gruesome details explained but there are. I guess that's to be expected, but the details and really really intense. Without going into too much detail, and reminding you that I read most during breakfast, lunch and before bed, there's a lot of mutilation and things being put in places they should never be.

The thing is, I don't really think of myself as a squeamish person. I can handle the nasty stuff in fantasy books and, sure, I cringe and get uncomfortable at times, at the risk of sounding soulless (I'm not, I swear) I usually get past it. It's harder in this book. It might be because fictional lands with swords and the like aren't a reality that we ever need to deal with. But plungers? I have one in my bathroom. Gross.

So, I'm going to try and power through Déjà Dead because I'm a trooper and am curious. Even though it's not what I'm really used to I'd still like to finish it, find out what the hype is about, and move on to greener, sillier pastures. I have my next read all lines up in my head. Two for the Dough. Chick lit meets mystery writing, the book that follows One for the Money. It was impossible to find the book used and I had a hold on it at the library for two months before finally lucking out at the used book store for $5.50. It's a little steep for something with a hot pink cover, but it'll last me more than most books with similar colouring and I'm excited. Now to just get through Kathy Reichs...

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