The Numbers are in

Unfortunately the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a runaway hit. In its first ten days in release the book version of the script has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America alone. At the times of my original post on here and when I made my video for the script I hadn’t actually read any of the script. But now I have. Just a few bits and pieces to get a feel for the writing itself. My conclusion is quite simple. The writing is terrible. If no one had known anything about how this play came about and read this it would be obvious on page one that it wasn’t written by Rowling.

But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Even with the great sales numbers they still don’t come close to the first day sales of Deathly Hallows, which sold more than 8 million copies in 2007. I’d say several factors are at play with the somewhat diminished numbers. First, it’s been nearly a decade since the final book was released. Second, this isn’t really a continuation of the series so many people know and love. Third, (and I saw this firsthand) a lot of people were unaware of this release. Fourth, the reviews. In my video last week I told y’all that it was rated 3.3 stars on Amazon after more than a thousand reviews. That trend is sticking. After more than 3000 reviews it is currently rated 3.4 stars out of 5. I think that number will stop people from buying who wanted to wait and see what initial readers thought of the script.

I’m hoping this doesn’t happen with the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them adaptations. Every one of the original Potter movies (like the books) was well received by viewers and critics alike, but hearing that a sequel is already in the works before the original is even released has me scratching my head. I mean, Warner Bros. just gave everyone the terrible trilogy they adapted from The Hobbit. Let’s hope they don’t make a habit of it.

 

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Reading to Become Immortal

WHAT?!

A new study published recently in the journal Social Science and Medicine concluded that reading more books can lead to immortality! *opens a book to start reading*

Okay. Maybe I’m exaggerating. BUT over a 12 year study of people over 50-years-old those who read more than 3 1/2 hours each week were less likely to die during the span. The study concluded that reading books could potentially add two years to your lifespan. And that’s only in people who were over 50 to begin with, imagine how many years are added if you start young! Oh boy.

So much for that so many books, so little time nonsense. Keep reading and you’ll have more time!

How many years do you think will be added to your lifetime?

2016 Reading Challenge Book #4: Friday Night Lights

I know we’re in August now and I’m only four books into my 2016 reading challenge, BUT I’ve actually read two more I haven’t talked about just yet. Hehe. I’ll finish. Because it’s so easy.

Anyway, the requirement I fulfilled by reading Friday Night Lights was a book I’d already seen the movie for. Which you definitely should have seen the movie by now since it was released in 2004. I can’t tell you how great this book really is. This might sound stupid to you, but I believe it should be assigned reading in any sports-related class in Texas high schools and universities. Because if you’re studying to go into the Texas sports market you should understand how important sports can be. This book gives the reader incredible insight into the world of Texas high school football, but more importantly it gives the reader incredible insight into small-town Texas life. It is simply a remarkable work.

Now take just a few minutes for my complete thoughts!

What’s the best sports book you’ve read? The best one for me (just narrowly) is still Moneyball, but boy this book couldn’t be any closer.

Saturday Selects: The First is out of the way

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month to discuss a topic outside the general bookish theme of the blog.

Early this morning the first gold medal of the 2016 Rio Olympics was awarded in the women’s 10m Air Rifle competition. It was awarded to Ginny Thrasher, a 19-year-old American from West Virginia University. I watched the medal ceremomy live. I also watched her win. I’ll never grow tired of seeing my fellow Americans on the podium at the Olympics. 

Now that the first medal is out of the way the medals will be awarded in quick succession.

PS: I’ve already watched five hours of coverage and it’s not even 1:00 yet. Can you tell I love this?

Today is the Day!

Today is the day that only comes around once every four years. A day anticipated by millions of people and thousands of athletes. It’s the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics!

I know there has been tons of negative publicity surrounding the city’s preparation for the Games. And it’s mostly warranted, but sport is more important to me than any person I know who isn’t paid to know sports. And that’s no different today.

I remember the absolute elation that I experienced when I saw this relay. In my opinion, the greatest call in Olympic history. Even greater than the miracle on ice. 


I remember the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Games in Beijing. I remember Gabby Douglas making history in 2012. And Usain Bolt dominating every Olympic track he’s stepped foot on. There’s so much I love about the Olympic Games I simply don’t have enough room to put it all here.

The thing is that it’s the one chance I get as a sports fan to root for these elite athletes in sports I may not get to see on a regular basis. And it isn’t because they’re playing for my hometown team, it’s because they share something with me that goes far beyond that. We’re American.

I mentioned in one of my DC videos that I got emotional when I saw the flag that inspired our national anthem. I’ll get emotional again over the next two weeks every time I see one of our athletes standing atop the podium with a gold medal around their neck and our national anthem playing. It is our chance to realize how important it is to them to get to represent this country. They may have money or fame or fancy cars or none of that, but in that single moment none of it matters. It’s about their journey to become the absolute best at their craft, and the people who helped get them there.

Happy Olympics!

What’s your favorite Olympic memory? Mine is the race in the video above. Jason Lezak doing the impossible.

Reading on a Plane

I just read an article about a woman who was detained and questioned by police after a flight crew member saw her reading a book. No. There’s no more to it. Tell me how absolutely ridiculous that is.

But there is more to it. First, she’s Muslim. Second, she was reading a book about Syria. I’d hope those two things on their own would not cause you to immediately think “terrorist” because then it probably says more about you than the person doing the reading. And the airline didn’t issue an apology or anything in their statement. It’s just one person being ignorant and the airline refusing to admit a mistake was made.

But the reason this got me thinking is because on my trip to DC two months ago I took three books with me. Two fiction and one nonfiction. The nonfiction was a book on Columbine. I’ve had it on my shelf for months and I thought I might have some time to read on the plane. I didn’t end up reading any of them, but what if I had decided to pull that book out? Would someone have noticed and immediately thought something was wrong? Would I have been detained simply for reading a book that made someone slightly uncomfortable?

I’m not going to sit here and lecture you on staying safe while traveling, but there is something I do want to say. The people who carry out terror attacks anywhere in the world want to evoke fear in us. They want to alter and attack our way of life. I understand that working on an airplane is taking a risk every day on the job because of could happen. But I can’t sit here and say I think this particular crew member acted appropriately. I believe the passenger was profiled. If she’d been a blonde haired, blue eyed American I don’t think anything would have been said. All I know is I will not live in fear of what might or might not happen. I’m going to live. And I’m going to respect every person I come across because we’re all human. There are some horrible ones among us, but they’re far outnumbered by the unknown heroes of the world.

This went into a different direction than I’d planned. But that’s okay. Do you have any thoughts on what happened with this passenger being questioned simply for reading a book on a plane?

On Harry Potter and the Disappointed Reader

I knew this would happen. I KNEW IT!

I waited a few days to see what the initial consensus would be regarding the newly released script. And guess what? The reaction has been less than stellar. I think there’s plenty of blame to go around, and every single bit of it should be placed upon the shoulders of the ignorant readers who expected something they were never getting in the first place.

Here are my full thoughts on the initial reactions to the script:

I know at least one of you all bought the script and immediately read it. Please tell me what you thought. I’m curious. No bending the truth!