Sunday, 8 March 2020

Short post on a *short* weekend...

We’ve lost an hour this weekend, and so far I seem to be adjusting to the time change for Daylight Savings Time, but the real test will be tomorrow morning when I have to get up for work... *sigh*.  Right now I feel ahead of schedule, having completed many household tasks, and am happy to settle down with a steaming cup of chai and a delicious Date Bar on this bright, sunny, mild Spring-like day.
My Volunteer Book Club met yesterday to discuss Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling, and it was a fun meeting.  I don’t need to summarize this novel, as everyone knows the story, even if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie.  We chose this book so that, during Freedom to Read Week, we would all be reading a banned or challenged book (this book series tops the list of the 100 most frequently banned or challenged books of 2000-2009 - http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/top-100-bannedchallenged-books-2000-2009). Some of us had read it before, some of us had never read it, and some of us were “Harry Potter” Superfans.  This meeting was very different from our usual style, where we go around the table to ask what everyone’s initial thoughts on the book were, then get some background info on the author and the novel, then discuss specifics about the plot, characters or themes.  Yesterday it was more of a free-for-all, a constant volleying of comments around the table, with no structure at all, although I did give some background info about Rowling and the publishing of the novel around the middle of the meeting. I think this was partly because everyone knew the book/story so well and partly because this book was just the beginning of “the rest of the story”.  What I mean by this is that it was difficult to discuss the first book as a separate entity from the other six - while it was a complete novel, so many of the themes, plot lines and character stories are carried forward and explored more fully in later books, so that perhaps the first book is a bit “flat” compared to the other later books. I did not love this book, even the second time reading it, and one of the book club members didn’t finish it, saying that she just couldn’t get into it, but perhaps if we had read it as children, we might have found ourselves caught up in the “wizarding world of Harry Potter”.  Still, we had fun talking about the books and the movies, we had a Harry Potter-themed treat (https://onelittleproject.com/halloween-treat-cheese-pretzel-broomsticks/), we even had a quiz!  So it was fun for all of us, but I think we’ll be happy to read an adult fiction selection for next month.
That’s all for today.  Get outside and enjoy the sun, as we’re expecting a few days of rain next week.
Bye for now…
Julie

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