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When the author’s name itself reminds me of something inexplicably happy and definitely of unicorns, how can Rainbow Rowell disappoint with her book, Carry On.

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home,” said J.K.Rowling famously at the premiere of the last film of the Harry Potter series.

While Watford may not be Hogwarts and may not be the home most hardcore Harry Potter fans would prefer, it is faintly reminiscent of it with its castle like structure and the choosing of roommates procedure. The characters such as the Mage and even that goatherd could have easily been inspired by the HP series.

Carry on may smell like a fan fiction but also manages to weave its own enganging story revolving around Simon Snow, an orphan who is prophesized to be the Chosen One to destroy the most oddly named villain, Humdrum.

He is surrounded by the usual cast of friends, who help him in his trials, and enemies. But there is a catch, his nemesis, Baz, is his roommate and they are both hopelessly in love with each other.

Do I smell a Draco Harry fan fiction?

Probably not. Though I never shipped those two and do not think they could have really fallen for each other, the two in Carry On are quite a contradictory fit. One sassy and sharp while the other clumsy and caring. Take a guess who is who!

They both hate each other but one cannot exist without the other’s constant opposition.

Apart from their secretive romance, most of the novel takes us through Simon Snow’s other friends such as Penelope and Agatha, how he and Baz come together to sort the mystery of Baz’s kidnapping and eventually the gang fights the Humdrum.

So do they come together romantically though or does their mutual hatred overcome them, would be your question I suppose?

Well read and find out!!!

Carry On is definitely a great book to pick if you love fantasy and are in a desperate need to read something that is not mind bogglingly dense and difficult. It is quite a fun and light read.

And by the end of it you will be humming to yourself these lines from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody:

Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters.

Which actually resonates quite well with the title and the meaning through that title emphasised in the book at the end.

Happy reading!!

If you have read this one, let me know in the comments below what you thought of it!

P.S. Have you read any of her other novels? What did you think about them? Comment below!

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What could be better than pouring over 56 pages of fun,quirky Quidditch facts to follow up a quick read about the magical beasts in Potter’s world? Admit it now, all Potter fans must have always wanted to own this book since it was first mentioned in the Harry Potter books and Rowling provides all her devoted followers with just the chance(albeit at a high cost which can be forgiven since it contributes to charity like its companion book, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’).

So all you crazy, not so crazy, obsessed or normal Muggle witches and wizards, let me present, ‘Quidditch Through The Ages.’ Like its companion book, the proceeds from the purchase of this book go to the charity organization, Comic Relief, and like ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, ‘ this book too is simply fantastic and definitely worth all the money and good cause.

Quidditch Through The Ages‘ is a comprehensive history lesson of the noble wizarding sport, Quidditch. Everything about Quidditch that all HP readers have ever wondered about is answered in this slim volume. The book describes the emergence of broomsticks as a mode of magical transformation, the other wizarding sports, the development and evolution of Quidditch, the different Quidditch teams and the several racing brooms including Harry’s own Nimbus 1000 and Firebolt etc.. This vast treasure chest of Quidditch knowledge is supplemented by good illustrations as well.

Despite the book having a factual basis, it is very much enjoyable thanks to Rowling’s great presentation and writing skills. The book at no point becomes a boring history lesson. Instead with each chapter, fascinating as well as interesting facts turn up that make one marvel at Rowling’s rich imagination. She thought up not only the intriguing, intricate  plots of the seven books but also an equally enthralling history of the wizarding world’s favorite game. ‘Quidditch Through The Ages‘ is undoubtedly imbued by not only her remarkable imagination but also her quirky sense of humorous writing which also shrouds the way she has written about the development of this game. Some aspects( I would love to elaborate on them but that would spoil the fun for all future readers so I am refraining from it) mentioned in the book are bound to make you laugh and say LOL even if you normally don’t use this much abused SMS word.

Just like the Beasts book was a copy of Harry own edition, ‘Quidditch Through The Ages‘ is a facsimile of the Hogwarts Library edition which according to Dumbledore’s Foreword was very difficult to part from Madam Pince. Thus, in order to add to the authenticity, the first page has the names of students who borrowed them and all keen HP readers will recognize all those students immediately. This teeny book broadens all Muggles’ perception of the Harry Potter world and proffers a lot of trivia about Quidditch(like its many rules and fouls) and other aspects mentioned in the septilogy(is this even an actual word?) but are never elaborated on and also draws on a lot from the personalities of various characters from the main series( Read the section ‘Praise for Quidditch Through the Ages and you will know what I am talking about!). Although written by Kennilworthy Whisp in the wizarding world, ‘Quidditch Through The Ages’ has an overt Rowling style to it.

Quidditch Through The Ages‘ is funny, factual, fascinating, fabulous book that gives a systematic overview of ‘the most glorious of sports.’ Don’t go by its size. Good things can come in small packages and this package packs quite a powerful punch in its 56 pages!

Worth it all the way! Just buy it!

Highly recommended.

Yup you guessed it! The title says it all, doesn’t it? What else could I be pottering around for except for Harry Potter??? Well not exactly among the 7 Rowling books but among the Potter fan fiction. And it is quite fun to read all these stories to pass you time. Most of what I read were short stories but I came across this novel on Goodreads website by Norman Lippert titled, ‘James Potter and The Hall of Elders’ Crossing.’ At first I thought its about Harry’s dad, James but no, its about his son, James’ first year in Hogwarts.

Firstly, anyone can read the book in PDF format on the following website: http://www.speedbumpstudios.com/chapters/JPHEC.pdf

The author obviously makes no money out of this but he himself has written a book called, ‘The Flyover Country’ and has also written books of James’ 2nd and 3rd years at Hogwarts, although I haven’t read them as yet.

Taken from elderscrossing.com

The plot concerns James going into the first year of Hogwarts. Initially he is nervous, in general because it is his first year and in particular that he is great Harry Potter’s son and has to live up to that legend. Eventually he does make friends and relaxes a little. The novel touches upon other students as well and the mischief they do. But of course, being Harry’s son, adventure can’t be far behind right? This year at Hogwarts representatives from Alma Aleron and United States Department of Magical Administration are to arrive at Hogwarts. Also, a movement called the ‘Progressive Element’ is spreading among the students that questions the recent history of the whole Battle with Voldemort and the fact that the existence of the magical community has to be kept a secret from the Muggle world. James and his two friends, Ralph and Zane, an American whose father works in England, discover a sinister plot to bring back the most dangerous wizard, Merlin, to this time. And these three are determined and confident to foil this plan. Well, the book is more exciting than it sounds here. It really is.

Being a Harry Potter fan, it was good to read this particular book. ‘James Potter and The Hall of EldersCrossing‘  is definitely not fantastic yet it gives a plausible imaginative story about Harry’s first kid. Reading the novel will stimulate any Potter fan as it takes the reader back to the school, gives tidbits of Harry and gang’s future and everything. Its quite fun to plunge back into that world again and is definitely enjoyable. So ok, Lippert is not a Rowling but his writing is decent, simple and comprehensible and retains the magic of the Potter world. The dash of the American element is well blended in in the book. Certain other imaginative bits like Snape’s portrait and Diggory’s ghost add a touch of nostalgia. The friendship between different houses, James need to become like his father and the slight sketches of the old characters like Harry in the role of the Head of Auror Department, Neville as the Herbology professor and several such more elements show Lippert’s desire to be different while still capturing the charm of the Harry Potter books. In fact, all sort of fan fiction does require neccesarily to hold on to the original books to make a connection with the reader. I remember feeling very happy seeing all the old characters in a new avatar.

However,there were some odd discrepancies which haven’t been explained such as James having subjects like Muggle Studies in his first year itself(which in Rowling’s case is supposed to be studied in the third year) or that different year students are attending the same lecture or that Harry gifting James’ best friend the Potions book that belonged to Snape(Harry couldn’t have got the book back because he left it in the room of requirement and also the things in that room burnt down because of the Fiendfyre set by Crabbe in the 7th book) etc. The whole idea of magic as a science wasn’t too appealing either but those classes of Technomancy were good nonetheless. It just showed(along with the American flavour) that Lippert has the capability to imagine quirky bits while mingling the original ideas from JK Rowling.

In all, its worth a read for sure. Its good to be back in Potter world and ‘James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing‘ just helps you take the plunge into it! Go for it!

‘Haroun and the Sea of Stories’ is a fabulous book written by Salman Rushdie that can be interpreted at varying levels by the reader. It can be viewed simply as a creative fairy tale written by a father(Salman Rushdie) for his son(Zafar) or can be seen as a commentary supporting free speech or as a postmodern fairy tale  or a criticism of the postmodern novels or whichever way one wants to see it. The book will nonetheless not fail to enthrall the reader as Rushdie takes you into the realms of an exuberant, richly created magic world.

Taken from penguinbooksindia.com

The story has two protagonists-Rashid and Haroun. Rashid has a gift of telling stories upon stories to anyone who would request him one. This talent earned him the sobriquet, Shah of Blah. However, one day, his wife,Soraya, leaves him for a better life with a Mr Sengupta who was their neighbour. As a result of this tragedy, Rashid loses his ability to tell stories. He just simply runs out of them and cannot summon the magic with which he used to narrate his never ending stories! His only son, Haroun, therefore sets out to restore his father’s talent. However, Haroun soon realises that this task is far from easy. His father’s stories come from a subscription to the water supply to the Gup City in Kahani. This subscription has been canceled and now Haroun must go to Kahani, to the Gup city to renew it which will renew his father’s story telling gift as well. While over there, Haroun finds himself embroiled in another adventure. The princess of Gup city is kidnapped by Chup city who forbid people from speaking and where it is always dark. He and Rashid discover these two cities while saving the princess and helping Rashid to once again become the Shah of Blah.

‘Haroun and the Sea of Stories’ is an upbeat, imaginative, buoyant fairy tale that works as an allegory along with drawing parallels between Rushdie’s and Rashid’s life. Rushdie has used references from several past books as well like ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Wizard of Oz,’ ‘One Thousand and One Arabian Nights’ etc. Rushdie’s brilliant writing, lucid style and imagination and copious humor will appeal to all readers-from young to old, to literature students and scholars. There are so many layers to the story and can be seen from so many numerous perspectives that one can can get lost in the depths of the story. Each character has a parallel in real life and the some of the places mentioned in the book are obviously inspired from real life places.

It is a wonderful book to peruse, a delight for all bookworms the world over.

Go grab it and fly along with Haroun to the Gup and Chup city!

‘The Tales Of Beedle The Bard’ by J.K Rowling is a short novel of 105 pages. It has 5 tales of fantasy that make for an interesting read and a great companion to Harry Potter series.

Taken from bargainbooks4kids.com

The tales in the book are similar in terms of structure to the Aesop’s fables and Jataka tales i.e. as well as being entertaining and childish, they also give a message. In other words, they are didactic. After each tale, a note by Albus Dumbledore, the former headmaster of Hogwarts school, is written which furthers our understanding of the tale. It provides a unique glimpse into  Harry Potter’s world and its history. The tales are excellent anecdotes that prove once again J.K. Rowling’s imagination is superior and simply marvellous. Her ability to weave a tale and connect it with the main Harry Potter series is incomparable.

‘The Tales of Beedle The Bard’ is a fast read, a book that can be read in an hour or so. Its a bit expensive for a book so thin but considering that the royalties will go to charity, Children’s High Level Group(CHLG), it seems justified to buy the book.

When one reads ‘The Tales of Beedle The Bard’, one feels like one is reading in Hogwarts library and has come upon a quaint treasure of tales of olden times. Its a definite must rad for all Harry Potter fans who are curious to know more about Harry’s magic world, that goes beyond the seven books. It is a great collection to owe, a real prize.

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