Book Review: “Moving Pictures” (1990) by Terry Pratchett

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Gone With The Wind poster.

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As a relatively new Discworld fan, I am still getting to know Pratchett’s world and the way the series operates, but after nine books I can say that I have noticed a recurring theme: Pratchett loves to take an invention/development from our own world and introduce it to the Discworld, often with hilarious results that reflect our own response back to us. Sometimes these books tie in wonderfully with the overarching plot of its respective subseries (like Men At Arms – review coming soon!), but they can also be little more than amusing filler (like Soul Music – review here).

Moving Pictures falls in the second category: witty and quotable, but ultimately skippable.

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Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” (2016) by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne

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Jamie Parker as Harry.

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I read my first Harry Potter book when I was ten years old, and made my brother take me to the store with him to buy the second one the moment I finished it. When I was eleven, I wrote my first work of literary criticism on the series – which basically means that I looked up the meanings of the characters’ names and listed them all like a very dorky IMDB trivia page. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the first book I read entirely in English because my family was on holiday in the US when it came out and I refused to wait until the translation came out. While I was still in the middle of reading it, I left my copy on the roof of our car, and we drove off without anyone realising that I had forgotten to take it inside. I then yelled frantically at my parents until they stopped on the side of the road and let me look for it – and there it was, battered but still intact and, most importantly, still readable. The last book came out the same summer I moved across the country to study comparative literature. I remember travelling to the next town over that morning so I could be the first in line when the store opened. I giddily read the first lines while waiting for the bus back home, alone on a bench in the morning sun. I wrote my BA thesis on power, morality, and responsibility in the Harry Potter series (and got an 8.5/10 for it, thank you very much). I own a Gryffindor tie (even though I consider myself to be a Ravenclaw), a Time Turner, and a replica of Harry’s wand. Two days ago, I got my first and only tattoo – a small Deathly Hallows symbol on my wrist.

And I really wish J.K. Rowling would just stop already.

(Note: This review is full of gigantic spoilers.)

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Video Games for Literature Lovers

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Source: James Bit Originals.

“A game is a narrative experience that does not hold your hand.”

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (2014)

At last, it is time to bring two of my interests together: literature and video games. I have tried to create a varied list of games that are either directly inspired by works of literature or are a strong narrative experience themselves. However, my own personal bias has definitely influenced what made the cut (I am all about atmosphere), not to mention the fact that I have tried to recommend only those games that I have either played myself or watched playthroughs of. That said, hopefully there will be something on this list for everybody, from the more experienced gamer to someone who is completely new to the field. Think of this list as a starting point. If you have any suggestions or recommendations that you want to share, please leave a comment below!

Note I: These games are presented in no particular order.

Note II: Take a shot every time I use the word “journey,” “experience,” or “patience.”

Note III: Take another shot when I recommend a game that features terminal illness and/or traffic accidents in some way.

Note IV: Or Troy Baker.

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Reading List: Campus Novels

Science fiction author Joe Haldeman once said:

Bad books on writing tell you to “WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW”, a solemn and totally false adage that is the reason there exist so many mediocre novels about English professors contemplating adultery.

And yes, ageing white professors cheating on their wives is definitely a recurring theme on this list – but there is also some sexual experimentation, a murder or two, slapstick comedy, and plenty of cheap wine.

In Omnia Paratus!

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Book Review: “The Raven King” (2016) by Maggie Stiefvater

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(Well, 3.5 stars.)

Note: It’s been a while since I actually read this book (yes, I had preordered it and was eagerly waiting for the mailman the day it came out), but hadn’t been able to put together a review until now – and I felt that I should still write down my thoughts, since some of you have been asking for my opinion on the final installment in the Raven Cycle series.

I will be back to posting book reviews on a more regular basis from now on, hopefully. I have read about thirty books since my last review (as you can see on my Goodreads page) and there is no way I can possibly catch up, but I hope to at least make a dent of sorts.

That said, on to the review!

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Book Review: “Some Thoughts On the Common Toad” (2010) by George Orwell

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Picture credit: Typography for Lawyers.

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This collection is part of Penguin’s Great Ideas series, which I am steadily working my way through (read my review of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “Common Sense” here). I adore these little publications; the cover designs by David Pearson are some of the best he has ever done, and the full series is a great overview of some of the most influential essays and manifestos in (mostly) Western history.

Some Thoughts On the Common Toad is one of four George Orwell collections included in this project, and contains eight articles written between 1944 and 1947. Spoiler alert: the titular essay is not actually about toads – it’s about capitalism.

…And toads.

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Reading List: Labyrinths in Literature

There is something about mazes and labyrinths that fascinates me – the sense of mystery while you’re solving a carefully constructed puzzle, the darkness enveloping you more and more as you wander its paths… And I am not alone in this. Many authors have used labyrinths as the setting for their stories, and some have taken it even one step further, creating abstract labyrinths that only exist in the mind.

Are you ready to get lost?

Follow me.

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