Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Brian Shibley

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061997811
  • $24.99 US

Of all of the Harry Potter type books this is my favourite.  This book is so chock full of absolute fun and fascinating tid bits that I think every HP fan should have one.  

First of all, it details really cool facts about the making of all of the films, with bios and interesting info on each actor.  It was created by the Art Department from all of the films so it is one of the most detailed and uber cool fan books I've ever seen!

For example, there is this:

A "real" Mauraders Map (not sure why it's sideways and I can't figure out on my mac how to upright it, but you get the idea).  It looks completely authentic and is to scale so it feels totally real. 

Okay, frig, so this one is sideways too... ANYway, these are replicas of the posters that Umbridge puts up in the school and look and feel like the real thing. 

There are so many extras in this amazing book I could go on and on.  There is a replica, that looks and feels real, of a Quiddich program, a ticket to the Yule Ball, a catalogue of George and Fred's store... 

But it is in the extra info that you get from David Heyman and each director, the actors, and the various departments from the film as well as J.K. Rowling herself. 

And it was just announced on that there is a sequel to this book called "Harry Potter:  From page to screen" coming out October 25th for a whopping $75.00, but if it is created like Wizardry is than I will pre-order it as this one is THAT GOOD!  If you pre-order from you can get the book for $47 with free shipping.  The book is 500 pages and sounds amazing!!!


Sunday, August 28, 2011


Harry a History:  The True Story of a Boy Wizard, his Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon

Kindle Edition

Alright, so....I was super excited when I started this book. It started out awesomely, and I have been reading it pretty much none-stop since I downloaded it a few days ago.  So, over all it was okay.   The good parts were all of the stuff that I didn't know, like the back ground story of how the books became published in the first place, how it was really a grass roots effort at the very beginning, and how Jo Rowling herself would admit that timing was everything, and there are so many instances in the phenom where everything just fell into place at the exact right time.

One of my favourite themes through-out the book is that pretty much everyone involved with the publication of Philosophers Stone had a dream of a "child loving a book to pieces" which is, really, in essence what happened.  Say what you will about the books, the films, or the "franchise" in general; the bottom line is children, and in fact people of all ages, LOVE the books.

One of my other favourite parts was reading about how the midnight launchings got started, and how brilliant it was, and it brought back the excitement I felt around the pub date of the next Harry Potter book.  My 11 year old daughter, who was 5 (I think) at the time, attended one of the launches at our local bookstore.  It was so exciting!  We went around 6 o'clock, and she was in her little Gryffindor cloak and her hair crimped like Hermoine, and other kids were dressed up.  They had wizard crafts, and in the middle of the store a big screen TV playing the latest DVD of Harry with kids piled up on pillows in front, it was the most exciting literary event I had ever been to.  We didn't stay until midnight, but what we took away from it was memories that to this day we talk about.  Nothing will ever match the hoopla that was the Harry Potter phenom.  And now that the last movie is out, we have a similar feeling.

There was an entire section in the book about Wizard Rock a  supposed entire genre of music of Harry Potter themed bands.  I was very "meh" about the whole thing, and to be honest, this was one of the many times in the book that it was more about Melissa and her involvement in the phenom, and kind of like a bit of a creepy, "Ooooohhh, look at me, I KNOW these people."  This happened a lot, and it was extremely annoying.  I am quite sure she didn't intend the book to come across that way, but it totally did, for me anyway.

Even her interview at the end of the book with J.K. Rowling herself, which she repeatedly had to mention that personal things said were stricken from the record, and any personal conversation was stricken, and anything Jo said to me that was PERSONAL I struck.  WE GET IT, YOU KNOW HER PERSONALLY.  Gawd.  And even comments from her during the interview, "Oh, we'll know each other for YEARS."  May that be true or not, it just comes across obnoxiously.

Now, in fairness, Melissa DID get awesome opportunities to meet everyone, studio execs, the stars, Jo herself, pub execs, etc., and I know from personal experience that it is almost impossible to talk about these experiences WITHOUT sounding like your are bragging.  I am telling you, it IS IMPOSSIBLE.  So I feel her pain.  And it is pretty cool how she went from a unemployed graduate to a sought after web mistress of one of the most popular fan sites, and she takes her job very seriously.  Kudos to her for that.

That being said, and maybe this is what sticks in my craw somewhat.  This book should really be called, "Melissa A Memoir" because that is really what it is.  It is essentially about Melissa Anelli and her rise through the ranks from room in her parents house to a 2 day interview in J.K. Rowlings house in Scotland, from a budding journalist to a person invited to insider Harry events worldwide.  And if it was marketed for what it really was, well then, I would not be annoyed at all because I would be getting exactly what I was expecting.  I am not the only reader that feels this way,  just click here to the Good Reads page to read more people with almost exactly the same thought. 

All in all I take away the parts of the phenom that I found fascinating, and to be honest, most of the stuff about Melissa and her buddies in the "biz" I have already forgotten, even though I literally finished the book about an hour ago.

I think a biography of J.K. Rowling would be what I should have picked up instead.

RATING:  2/5

Monday, August 22, 2011


Mailbox Monday is a weekly bookish meme created by Marcia over at The Printed Page, each month it is hosted by a different fabulous book blogger, and this month it is the fabulous: Life in the Thumb.

As it happens I actually DID recieve not one but two sets of the same identical books from the amazing Simon and Schuster Canada, sooooooo... me thinks I will be having a YA GIVEAWAY!!!  I also have a few YA ARCs I'm going to throw in as well, so all in all it will probably be around 6 books?  I'll let you know in a couple of days!

But ANYway, the ones I got today are pretty cool, one in particular I am pretty darn excited about as I LOVED the first two books in the trilogy.  Okay, well, the first one Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld I L-O-V-E-D, like crazy love.  You can read all of my raving here.  The second one Behemoth I liked, but was not ga-ga over.  So, I am hoping that with the 3rd in the offing we will have come full circle.  This beauty is called GOLIATH:

 And I did not get one but TWO of them!  So that will go in the giveaway.  It comes out September 20, 2011.

The cover is awesome, and actually I just love the depiction of Deryn and Alek.  Oh how I love these two!  And my heart is all a flutter if they will finally, you know, get together.  Leviathan was the very first Steampunk book I had ever read and I immediately fell in total love and utter lust with the genre.  LOVE IT.  It is like Victorian age meets a future robot world... sort of.  You can read more about Goliath on Scott Westerfeld's blog here. 

The second book (and yes I did get ANOTHER COPY of this one as well which I am going to add to the giveaway) I have actually never heard of before.  It is the 3rd in the MONSTRUMOLOGIST series, so I am not too sure if I can read it as a stand-alone or not.  BUT, it does sound pretty cool.  I mean, seriously, who doesn't like a totally made-up cool word like MONSTRUMOLOGIST??!! 

It is released on September 13, 2011.

Here is the blurb from Amazon:

When Dr. Warthrop goes hunting the "Holy Grail of Monstrumology" with his eager new assistant, Arkwright, he leaves Will Henry in New York. Finally, Will can enjoy something that always seemed out of reach: a normal life with a real family. But part of Will can't let go of Dr. Warthrop, and when Arkwright returns claiming that the doctor is dead, Will is devastated--and not convinced.

Determined to discover the truth, Will travels to London, knowing that if he succeeds, he will be plunging into depths of horror worse than anything he has experienced so far. His journey will take him to Socotra, the Isle of Blood, where human beings are used to make nests and blood rains from the sky--and will put Will Henry's loyalty to the ultimate test.

Now, on my own purchasey front, I have down loaded the kindle sample for this one, which so far I am LOVING beyond words:

Harry a History by Melissa Anelli

Now, I actually heard about this book from Twitter, of all places.  Being an avid Facebook user I have been "on Twitter" for a couple of years but only in the last few days seem to be getting the hang of it.  And lately I have been finding little gems like this!  Now, the author is none other than the web mistress for The Leaky Cauldren, which just happens to be one of the largest Harry Potter fan sites out there, the other one being Mugglenet... both totally awesome.  And this book, so far, is just EXACTLY what someone LIKE ME who is in total mourning and feel completely lost after the last movie released, and similarily a few years back when the last book came out.  I'm telling you... LOST PEOPLE!!!  It is jam packed with the insider scoop on the phenomenon, and just the kind of thing a geek like me would love, but here's the only weird thing about it.... the Kindle version (which usually for new releases are about HALF the price of the hard cover book) is actually six dollars MORE than the physical book.


But, being the geek that I am, and since my 11 year old daughter is equally if not more of an HP geek than I am (but I'm a close second, and I'm OLD and have like, you know, responsibilities and can't spend all of my entire day and night everything Potter... although I try.) I may just buy the Kindle AND the hard copy. 

But don't tell my husband.

Have an awesome-sauce day. 

For more Mailboxes you can click here if you completely wanna.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The day I finished this book I felt a deep sense of sadness that Oprah was no longer on the air.  This was the kind of book she would do a show about, and have the people on to tell their story.  She just knows how to take a subject and go deeper, and enlighten and further inspire people.  In fact, it's because of her that I even read this book at all.  She sends these emails to people who sign up and was raving about it, so I googled it and snooped around and found that EVERYBODY was raving about it!  So I ordered it and read it in about 4 days.

Unbroken is a WWII memoir, but it's so much more than that!  It tells the story of Louis Zamperini, who was an olympic athlete who joins the fight via the airforce and is shot down over the pacific and is captured by the dreaded Japanese.  What follows is his unbelievable story of survival, and redemption.  And when I say unbelievable I mean HOLY-CRAP-ARE-YOU-EVEN-KIDDING-ME????!!  Kind of unbelievable.  This book is so masterfully crafted and written as a novel that it is impossible to put down.  IMPOSSIBLE.  I hands-down loved ever second of it.

If you enjoy reading stories about WWII this book is definitely for you.  If you enjoy reading stories about the human spirit.. this book is for you.  If you like to read books that have you on the edge of your seat this book is for you.  I think it is an extremely important story that everybody needs to read.  I am not the type of blogger that writes a detailed synopsis of books, just because I usually skim over any synopsis of books on blogs or reviews because I want to go in fresh, but there are plenty of them out there that do!  Click here to read more of a summary of the book.


Here's the trailer for it as well: