It's thanksgiving week and a great time to read some thriller novels. Enjoy some nice thanksgiving leftovers with these new novels that will keep you reading until you've reached the last page.
Today marks the seventh anniversay of the movie premiere for Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire, the second installment of The Hunger Games trilogy. In honor of the day that the best movie of the series was released, I'm sharing the seven best Peeta quotes to honor the seventh year this amazing story caught fire in our hearts.
Welcome back, book lovers! I am coming at you today from increasingly cozy weather and with plenty of enthusiasm to find that one book (or three) to curl up with this weekend. Let me be clear: it does not under any circumstances need to be even remotely cold for the olden curling-up-with-a-good-book to happen. But isn’t it so much nicer when it is?
This one is for my fellow Austenites. Believe it or not, SP Books is releasing limited edition copies of the legitimate, longhand manuscript of Lady Susan, the only complete surviving manuscript of our favorite drawing-room hypocrisy critic’s work. This beautifully bound gem is full of irresistibly human author details like Austen’s true-to-form calligraphy and, interestingly enough, essentially no margins or interlinear space, which likely suggests our favorite Jane may have been trying to economize on paper. Sign of the times? Gimme.
Do I really need to explain much here? The world does not have enough longhand manuscripts of proto-feminist authors who are also literary legends. In a largely digital world, the magic of a person’s handwriting—seeing it, recognizing it when it often comes in the mail, learning the many shapes and angles that vary from writer to writer—is no longer a part of our daily lives, and yet it carries such a nostalgic hit of personality; who wouldn’t to get a little closer to Jane Austen’s personality?
COFFEE SHOP READ
Lightbringer is the right book end in Claire Legrand’s beloved fantasy series The Emporium Trilogy. I am not dead inside, so I’m not going to spoil it for you, but here’s a little bit about the series: it’s perfect for dark fantasy and epic fantasy readers, it features two strong female leads, and the story is told from both of their points of view. In a world of ruthless assassins, dark prophecies, and elemental magic, two queens—one foretold to be a queen of light, and the other of blood—find themselves in an imperial feud to last millenia.
Some stories are so big, they don’t fit into 300 pages. There is something about committing to a compelling saga that makes you feel like the story has committed to you right back. Anyone who appreciates quality world-building, fantastic adventure, and full-fledged female leads would do well to pick up this book (start at the beginning—Furyborn—though!).
Finally, we have book thirteen of Evans’s archaeological mystery series—Wrecked, by Mary Anna Evans.
Archaeologist Faye Longchamp learns of her friend and colleague’s suspicious drowning in what was supposed to be an underwater archaeological site. When she inspects the area and finds no trace of the shipwreck her friend meant to explore, things don’t quite add up. Additionally, when Faye learns her daughter is being romanced by a potentially dangerous man, the situation escalates a layer beyond murder mystery.
Murder mysteries and archaeology have one core characteristic in common: they are both, in some capacity, a puzzle that the living have the task of putting together if they want to get to the truth. Put them both together and you have mental jumping jacks without the extra sweaty laundry.
Stay warm and stay reading!
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What I have for you are three different love stories in three different tones to get you happily through Fall—an edeavor which does not take much work for me, personally, since Autumn always comes at me with a surge of whatever the opposite of seasonal depression is.
Fifteen years ago today, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out in theaters. Though this adaptation of the fourth book in Rowling’s Harry Potter series is wonderful, there are times, in both the book and movie, where Harry tends to strike a nerve. Let’s face it, Harry may be the chosen one, but he’s not the brightest wizard of his age. Here is a list of the five times Harry grinds our gears in Goblet.
1. Harry doesn’t study
You would think that procrastination is Harry’s favorite sport, rather than Quidditch, with how passionately he attempts to avoid studying at all costs. He and Ron rely on Hermione far too much to pass their exams, and, while it is a normal teenage endeavor to fall back on the notes of your most studious friend, preparing for the Triwizard Tournament is an entirely different monster. The stakes of the game are to win or to invite injury, as well as defeat, and yet Harry evades investigating the ins and outs of a successful trial by fire (Goblet of Fire, that is) at every turn. Thank goodness for his invaluable luck, where help seems to fall in his lap by way of Hagrid spilling secrets, the loyalty of Cedric Diggory, and the effort of friends: Dobby (in the book) or Neville (in the movie).
2. Harry critiques everyone’s outfit at the Yule Ball
Okay, so he does this silently in his mind, and that’s much different from telling someone to their face how ghastly their ensemble is, but still we have a window into his thoughts. Harry laughs at Ron’s dress robes, refers to Hagrid’s suit as “hairy and horrible,” McGonagall’s tartan as “ugly,” and Malfoy’s cronies as “two moss covered boulders.” Granted, the last one is quite satisfying and these observations bring some humor to the text, but we’re still not used to seeing such a blunt critique from Harry’s point of view.
3. Harry has shallow reasons for rejecting dates
Harry did have one special girl on his mind (Cho Chang), and though she was eventually unavailable, all other females in Harry’s eyes were dimmed by her light. Three girls ultimately asked him to the ball, yet he rejected them all on the grounds that he didn’t know them and he was holding out hope for Cho. When an unidentified fifth year asked Harry to the yule ball, he turned her down with the simple explanation, “She was a foot taller than me. Imagine what I’d look like trying to dance with her.” According to harrypotterfandom.com, “Harry also described her as looking as though she might knock him out if he refused her invitation.” He does later, in his final desperation, attend the dance with Parvati Patel, though he treats her as nothing more than a ticket to gawk at Cho dancing with Cedric.
4. Harry Shares the trophy with cedric
This one is no fault of his own, but it’s still the most cringe-worthy and painful regardless. Harry was doing a good deed and being fair by sharing the trophy with Cedric, something more akin to that of Hufflepuff than Gryffindor. And for someone who almost attacked his competitor, to assist him at the end like this is making a complete one-eighty. However, if there was one moment that we wish Harry had been selfish, it’s this one. There was no reason for Cedric to be there with Voldemort, and had he not touched the goblet at the same moment as Harry, it’s unlikely that the graveyard scene would have gone differently. The only thing worse than a literary character’s death is a senseless one. Harry couldn’t have known that the goblet was a portkey, yet each time we watch Harry decide to be benevolent at the worst possible moment, the good and light part of our literary soul dies along with Cedric.
5. “Harry! DID YAH PUT YAH NAME IN DA GOBLET OF FIYAH?!”
Alright, this one’s just for fun, but how could I not broach the moment when Harry is verbally assaulted by Dumbledore about “putting his name in the Goblet of Fire?” Though this one isn’t on Harry by a long shot, it’s the single most excruciating grind-your-gears moment in the film, and it’s actually pretty hilarious how contradicting Dumbledore’s on-screen presence is from his “calm” inquiry of Harry in the novel.
There you have it! The five ways in which Harry grinds our gears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Now, you can celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of its premiere by diving into the movie once again, and procrastinating along with Harry throughout each of the Triwizard tasks!
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