Thank You, Harry Potter.

Like most people of my age, my age being 22, Harry Potter will always hold a special place in my heart. I have so many fond memories from my childhood that relate to Harry Potter. At eight I started my very own Harry Potter magazine that included in-depth looks into each character, documenting how far I’d read into the book and which parts were my favourites. I seem to remember being hysterical with laughter when, thanks to Hagrid, Dudley sprouted a pigs tail. My entire bedroom was adorned with HP, I was a merchandisers dream, if you slapped the name Harry Potter on it I would pester my parents to buy it! Admittedly most of the time my parents would say no, the disappointment of Christmas 2002 still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I’d asked my parents for a Harry Potter wand, it lit up AND had sound effects! Incredible. However I was given a Quidditch broom, this was basically a plastic broom with a tiny screen in the handle that let you play a very pixilated game of Quiditch, rather disappointing. You can imagine my embarrassment on Christmas day when I went out onto the street to do the annual ‘show off your main present’ showcase with my friends. Everyone was scooting around on shiny new bikes and rollerblades, I was stood in my front garden with a broom in-between my legs that made occasional swooshing noises.

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The most important memory or should I say memories I have thanks to Harry Potter are the countless nights my Dad would take me up to bed to read the stories aloud. I was probably too old to be getting a bedtime story but I think Dad was enjoying the books just as much as I was. I have an amazing relationship with my Dad and I will always look back at those days with a smile on my face. Have you ever met a seven year old excited to go to bed? Well I was, if it was Dads day off that meant I’d be getting a story. He’s a bit of an introvert my Father, he’s very quite around new people and tends to be the serious one of our family so who’d have thought he could produce such a convincing Dobby voice?! Each character had their own distinctive voice and way of speaking, if I could’ve I’d have nominated him for an Oscar.

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As a late Christmas gift (thank you post office) I gave my friend Heather a time turner necklace. She was pretty pleased with it and spent the entire evening showing it off to everybody, even those who had no idea that this was Hermiones time manipulating piece of jewellery. Silly muggles. When I got home the following day I was inspired to start rereading the series. I was half way through the first paragraph of The Philosophers Stone when all the fond memories and feelings came rushing back to me.

I’ve heard so many stories of how Harry Potter and J.K Rowling have had a positive affect on peoples lives, so I’d like to say – thank you J.K Rowling for giving me and my Dad some of the happiest memories we have.

BookShelf Tour Part One

We begin our bookcase tour with ‘The Read Shelf’ the title is pretty self explanatory but for those of us who are yet to have our morning cup of tea, ‘The Read Shelf’ is where all the books I have finished reading are put out to pasture. As you can see from the picture below this bookcase is full! I’ve even begun to pile books on top of it which is so unsightly and does not agree with my tidy tendencies. The logical thing to do would be to give some of these dusty reads to a new home where they can be lovingly consumed by somebody else.

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However, I rarely part with my books, I enjoy seeing them sat on my shelves, each one holds a special memory for me and only me. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, read during the week I was locked in my home whilst I nursed Jonathan through his norovirus.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnet, a gift from Jonathan to say thank for nursing him through said virus.

Tipping The Velvet  by Sarah Waters, getting over halfway through before realising this book was very much a book about lesbians. Then very British-ly blushing on the bus whilst devouring  a rather steamy scene between Nan and Kitty.

I can sit by my bookcase scanning through these finished books smiling to myself as I think about their characters, the way their stories stayed with me and what I where I was in my life whilst I enjoyed them. Please tell me I’m not the only person who does this? Also to be taken into account is that I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to books!

So without further adue may I please properly introduce ‘The Read Shelf’..

Let us begin with the stragglers on top…

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Pile One 

Burlesque and the Art of the Teese – Dita Von Teese

Alice in Sunderland – Bryan Talbot

Recorded Attacks – Max Brooks

30 Days of Night vol. 1 & 2 – Steve Niles

The Walking Dead vol. 1-10 – Robert Kirkman

Danger Girl – J.Scott Campbell

Before Watchmen (Comedian.Rorschach) – Brian Azzarello

Nemesis – Mark Millar

The Complete Maus – Art Spieglman

Embroideries – Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi

Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs

Priscilla – Nicholas Shakespeare

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Pile Two

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories – Lewis Carroll

Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

Hollow City – Ransom Riggs

Anno Dracula, Johnny Alucard – Kim Newman

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote

It Is Just Me – Miranda Hart

Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary – Ruud Van Der Rol & Rian Verhoeven

Watchmen – Alan Moore

Black Hole – Charles Burns

Salem Brownstone – John Harris Dunning

Shelf One 

SO MUCH ROALD DAHL

How To Be A Woman – Caitlin Moran

Entire Series of Unfortunate Events

High Fidelity – Nick Hornby

Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Walters

The Penguin Book of Classical Myths – Jenny March

  The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank

The Littlest Stranger – Sarah Walters

My Story – Dave Pelzer

The Help – Kathryn Stockett

Lolita – Vladamir Nobokov

Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela

Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux

La Vie Parisienne – Janelle McCulloch

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Self Two

Northerners – Sefton Samuels

Hiroshima – John Hersey

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – F. Scott Fitzgerald

World War Z – Max Brooks

Closure Limited – Max Brooks

A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby

Willy Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan

The Best of Everything – Rona Jaffe

A Spot of Bother – Mark Haddon

A Study in Scarlett – Arthur Conan Doyle

Paper Towns – John Green

Rules of Civility – Amor Towles

The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz – Denis Avey

The Door – Magda Szabo

The Curios Incident of the Dog and the Nightime – Mark Haddon

The Night Watch – Sarah Walters

The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood – Rebecca Wells

The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde

The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot

Wuthering Heights – Jane Bronte

The Red House – Mark Haddon

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

Horrorstor – Grady Hendrix

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Shelf Three

Life 1-3 – Keiko Suenobu

The Mafia: The First 100 Years – William Balsamo & George Carpozi Jr.

The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

The Godfather – Mario Puzo

An Abundance of Katherines – John Green

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Peter Pan – J.M Barrie

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

Gandhi: Naked Ambition – Jad Adams

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Mr Darcy, Vampyre – Amanda Grange

No One Gets Out Alive – Jerry Hopkins & Daniel Sugerman

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Audition – Ryu Murakami

1984 – George Orwell

Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris

The Magician – W. Somerset Maugham

The Hounds of Baskerville – Arthur Conan Doyle

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PHEW! Goodness me that was one heck of a list! If you are still with me then well done to you!! Let me know if you’ve read any these and if you have any recommendations based on this little lot I’d love to hear them.

Books of 2015: Horrorstör – Grady Hendrix

The first book of 2015 for me was Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix I first heard about this book through Youtuber booksandquills I’ll leave a link to her video about it below as she does a much better job of explaining it than I ever could.
http://youtu.be/VesI3voTMII 
 I was so intrigued by the premise and I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint. I loved so much about this book, the writing was so gripping I struggled to pull myself away from the story. It was genuinely terrifying in places with some really graphic and vivid scenes that left me thinking to myself, “this is so messed up, why am I reading this?” Horrorstor is a very clever book and it has a wicked sense of humour. Hats off to Hendrix this was a brilliant way to start the year.