I Solemnly Swear That I’m Up To… THE ULTIMATE HARRY POTTER TAG!

So, I was supposed to write about my trip to seeing Moby Dick at Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago… but time got away from me and all of a sudden it was July 31st, Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s birthday, and what kind of book blog would this be if I didn’t mark the occasion?

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THE ULTIMATE HARRY POTTER TAG!

Books and Movies

1. Favorite Book? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban I’m a sucker for the Marauders… especially Sirius and Remus so this book is my jam.

2. Least Favorite Book? Harry Potter and The Order of Phoenix I have reasons (Hagrid’s Tale, Sirius’ Death, Dumbledore, Cho Chang etc.) and I just… ugh I love so many parts of it that the bad parts make me angrier.

3. Favorite Movie? Deathly Hallows Pt 2

4. Least Favorite Movie? Prisoner of Azkaban

Favorites

5. Favorite Quote? “When in doubt, go to the library.” …I may or may not be wearing a Harry Potter Alliance t-shirt that says just that at this very moment…

6. Favorite Weasley? Molly. No question. Molly Weasley is everything.

7. Favorite Female Character? Three way tie between Minerva McGonagall, Luna Lovegood and Molly Weasley

8. Favorite Villain? I don’t know if this counts, but Tom Riddle (not Voldemort) in Chamber of Secrets always gave me chills, a seductive, alienating villain. He was really well crafted. Umbridge is one for the ages… she’ll go down as one of the great villains of literary history.

9. Favorite Male Character? Another tie… four way Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Neville Longbottom and Arthur Weasley

10. Favorite Professor? McGonagall… hands down, no question

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Would You Rather?

11. Would you rather A) wash Snape’s hair or B) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself? I’d rather listen to Lockhart rant about himself.  Snape is gross. And I could laugh about Lockhart later.

12.  Would you rather duel A) an elated Bellatrix or B) and angry Molly? Please… Bellatrix. Never cross Molly Weasley.

13. Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) Flying Car? Why is this even a question? HOGWARTS EXPRESS! Harry and Ron didn’t want to take the flying car, they thought they had to. The Hogwarts Express is so cool! Magic, hanging out with friends, sweets trolley… so cool

14.  Would you rather A) Kiss Voldemort or B) give Umbridge a bubble bath? Give Umbridge a bubble bath… she’d probably be very uncomfortable with it… and maybe she might accidentally drown if I’m not paying close enough attention to her.

15. Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a Firebolt? Neither. I’m scared of heights.

Movies

16. Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies? Yes. Hermione. I love book Hermione but the way she’s written in movies and  Emma Watson’s performance kind of ruins her for me. Ginny also suffers a similar fate. I actually like Seamus Finnegan more in the movies.

17.  Is there a movie you preferred to the book? Maybe Order of Phoenix depending on my mood.

18. Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore? I would have liked to see what Richard Harris would have done with the role if he had lived. But I think Gambon did a great job with a few exceptions (HARRYDIYOUPUTYERNAMEINTHEGOBLETOFFIRE)

19. Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie that you wanted there the most? Well… SPEW would be high my list.  Meeting Neville’s parents would be another…um… I would have liked to see Potterwatch come into play more. I can’t really think of many off the top of my head because I think for the most part the movies are pretty good adaptations that cut what they did for reasonable reasons.

20. If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be? Prisoner of Azkaban. 

General

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21. Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of? Ravenclaw. I held no delusions about being in Gryffndor. I knew what I was.

22. Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore? Ravenclaw. Obviously.

23. Which class would be your favourite? Transfiguration, maybe History of Magic

24. Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn? Accio… or Lumos.

25. Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with? Luna or Neville or both.

26. If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be? Cloak of Invisibility. If I had access to the Hallows I think I’d know the story and know which one didn’t end up with me dead.

27.  Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change? I would love to see Hermione be canonically black, and a lot more explicit, obvious diversity at Hogwarts. Also, Harry… do NOT name your kid after Dumbledore and Snape… any of his father figures or friends deserve the honor more Remus, Arthur, Rubeus, Neville… hell even Dobby showed him more love, loyalty and friendship… name your son after Dobby.

28.  Favorite Marauder? Well, logically, I say Remus, because he is good and kind, and smart… and a lot of honorable wonderful things. But I’m always going to be Sirius Black’s girl…

29.  If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be? Fred. Come on, now. Fred didn’t deserve to die and the Weasley’s didn’t deserve to lose him.

30. Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows… I’m not interested in murdering anyone.

There you have it! Happy Birthday JK and Harry, thanks for all the magic!

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Getting to Know the Girl in the Garret aka The Newbie Book Blogger Tag!

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Real Name: Katy Alice
Favorite Books: Moby-Dick,American Gods and The Night Circus
 

Explain the Blog’s Name: Well, as I mentioned in my first post I took the ‘Garret’ idea from Jo March’s attic hideaway in Little Women. As for why I chose the ‘Girl’ part when I am more of the age to be called a “woman”… well it’s because it’s alliterative and rolls off the tongue better. Also, I have no problem with the word girl. I know that makes me controversial in some of the feminist circles I run in, but you see, I don’t see anything inherently pejorative or wrong with being a girl and therefor I don’t see anything wrong with calling myself a girl regardless of my age.

 

While I’m not exactly a fresh hand at the old book blogging game, this is my first real attempt at running one on my own. So, I figured I’d give the tag a try. Without any further ado, let’s get to it!

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           Why did you start this blog?
Because my blogging home of two years closed at the end of May, and I’ve grown accustomed to having a voice in the online book community. Also, I don’t have many people in my immediately social circle with whom I can chat about books, and I like having an outlet for my ramblings. Also, I just got a job at a public library and I need to tune up my RA skills (that’s Readers’ Advisory) with a little one-sided bookchatting.
        What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?
Well, I tend to bring a slightly more academic feminist read to popular fiction than the casual blogger based on my education background–it’s more of a bad style habit than anything else… I never learned to turn the student part of my brain off. And I am not shy about sharing my honest opinions of books in reviews even if they are not flattering. But if I’m being REALLY honest the only truly unique thing I bring to book blogging is me, my perspective and particular love of books and the bookish community.
 What are you most excited for about this new blog?
I’m excited about  just getting to be the primary voice on this blog. While I loved blogging for The Bookish Blog, I was part of a staff and that meant keeping with a certain tone. I was never told to keep my politics and beliefs to myself, I felt compelled to because the tone of the site in general was pretty light, and I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. But THIS is my blog and I’m the only one I have to answer to… so that’s pretty exciting.
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Hermione Reading before Bed by Lincevioleta.deviantart.com on @deviantART
 Why do you love reading?
Geez… that’s a loaded question. What’s not to love about reading? I guess I first loved
reading because I learned how to very early and was always praised for it, so it became kind of my thing. I was the bookworm of my family/neighborhood/friend group. I was Belle and Jo and Matilda and Hermione and that identity meant and means a great deal to me. I continue to love reading because I’m a touch socially awkward and overly cautious in the real world, but in my books I can be absolutely anyone, go anywhere and do anything. Reading takes me away from me, but it also teaches me about myself in surprising ways. It’s just my very favorite thing.
         What book or series got you into reading?
My mom read Little Women with me when I was five (she read it to me when I was home sick for two weeks with scarlatina aka Scarlet Fever which isn’t a genius idea if you’re familiar with that particular novel, but that’s another story for another time), but I probably really fell in love with reading when I read Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume, Matilda by Roald Dahl, and Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I liked books about bold girls because I wasn’t and I learned how be brave from them… I sometimes think I should go back to those books and relearn some of those lessons.
         What questions would you ask your favorite authors?
How do you do it? How do you focus the ideas and make them come out story shaped? Do you ever lose your voice? How do you find it again? And I guess I’d asked them how they would write me as a character.
         What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?
Keeping up with it when I get busy or blocked. It’s the same thing that has plagued me every time I’ve tried to blog in the past. But in the past I’ve done kind of general lifestyle/personal blog things, so I think the specific book focus should help with that… that and I’ve got a backlog of old reviews/posts I can reshare when I’m feeling stuck.
         When did you start reading?
I learned to read when I was three (little things and picture books, I didn’t get into chapter books/novels until I was five or six) and it became part of my daily routine around that time.
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         Where do you read?
Anywhere, everywhere. I keep a book with me at all times. But I guess my favorite reading spots are in my bed and in the corner of my couch… I prefer quiet places.
       What kind of books do you like to read?
I prefer fiction of most stripes… I don’t really dig fantasy or Science Fiction. I also go through phases where all I want to read is Nonfiction. Soooooo I guess I read all kinds of books.

 

Well there you have it, a little bit about me! I’d love to learn about you, feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments!

Welcome to the Garret

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to my garret. 
 
Here you will find my musings on books, literary media and culture and other bookish things. I am first and foremost a lover of books, many of my most important life decisions have be made in service of this love, primarily my decision to get my BA and MA in literature without a really clear plan on how to make that work in the nonacademic world… I’m a former adjunct English professor who just started working as an LTA at my local public library. So basically, I’m living the dream.
 
I try to carve out little pockets of my life to celebrate my nonacademic love of books
and all that goes along with them and have found that the internet is certainly the best place to share and connect with likeminded literature lovers (how’s that for some killer alliteration?). I run a book-centric Instagram (#bookstagram) account with the same name as this blog, maintain semi-regularly updated Litsy and GoodReads profiles and until recently I wrote exclusively for The Bookish Blog (which was an amazing two year gig, but all good things come to an end and what not).
 
But as all readers know, every ending is just an opportunity for another beginning, and
that’s what The Girl in Garret is for me, a new project, a chance write what I want without having to fit it into someone else’s mission statement or philosophy. It’s going to be my bookish little corner of the internet. 
 
It’s with this in mind that I named this blog. The “Garret” in question is a reference to hideaway of my favorite literary heroine, Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Jo’s garret was her refuge, where she spent hours reading and writing and dreaming… and I couldn’t think of a better place to explore my own bookish passions.
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I do not own this image. I love it but I did not make it. If you know who did let me know so I can give them the credit they deserve.
So again, I welcome you to my garret. Drop by when the mood strikes and stay as long as you like.