2016 Reading Update

I’ve started and finished reading two books within the last week. Which means I’ve now finished 10 percent of my overall reading goal of 50 books this year. I know I’m WAY behind, but I’m currently out of work. Perhaps I have time to catch up now?

I read one book for my 2016 Reading Challenge and one from Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read List. Which means videos for both on the way this week!

After nearly seven months of 2016 are you on track to complete your goal for the year?

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Amazon’s List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read: 29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Another week, another book read from the Amazon list. When I first set out to read the books on the list I figured that I’d read one every five or six books I read overall…WRONG. I’ve found myself browsing through the list trying to decide on which book I want to read next. I have no scientific way of picking books, I really just go with whatever catches my eye. The first two were fairly easy beginner choices, though.

The Sorcerer’s Stone

The book begins with an introduction to Harry Potter. We learn about his ill-fated family. We learn about his horrible Muggle family. We get a small taste into how rough he’s had it since the murder of his parents. Then we’re introduced to all kinds of magical characters. The Weasleys. The Malfoys. Hagrid. Dumbledore. Snape. Quirrel. Hermione Granger. There are too many to name. Then we’re taken on a journey with Harry, Hermione, and Ron through their first year at Hogwarts. There are tears, triumphs, trolls, dark magic, and…Voldemort! He’s back, after all. The gang of three is ultimately up against the Dark Lord himself, though they don’t even realize it until it’s nearly too late.

My Thoughts

This was a splendid read. I found several things that were either changed in the movie or left out completely. This being my first JK Rowling novel, I quickly learned that she has a great gift for children’s fiction. I found the reading to be more than accessible for a grade school student and still rather intriguing. I haven’t read a book with chapter titles in years, and I loved that the chapters have titles in this book. I liked being able to expect when Hermione needed Ron and Harry’s help with the troll. I liked knowing when Harry would be making his first trip to Diagon Alley. I liked knowing when Harry would play his first quidditch match. The chapter titles told me a little about what to expect in the coming pages, and for a young reader who may not read leisurely very much, I think that can make reading more enjoyable.

I also loved Hermione more than I did in the movies and hated Draco more than I did in the movies. Just happened.

This book is currently ranked #21 on my list of best books.

The next book from the list that I’ll be reading is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Amazon’s List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read: 63. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Photo Credit: npr.org

Since I’ve decided to do my best to read every book on Amazon’s List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read in a Lifetime, I’ve now decided to also dedicate a full post to each book I finish. The first on the list is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I’ll first have you know that it isn’t my intention to review the books I read from the list, per se, but rather to offer up my thoughts in a manner that may not always be critical. Now let me tell you what I thought of one of the most well-known works of any author of the 20th century.

The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne begins the book at the fairly young age of just thirteen years, but you wouldn’t know it from her writing. She easily describes each of the eight inhabitants of the Secret Annex, she describes the relationships that develop between all of them, she describes her longing for companionship during her first year in hiding, the feeling of coming to love Peter, experiencing puberty, and the great optimism that came with the Allied invasion of France on June 6, 1944. She puts you there in that annex and keeps you there for the 25 months she remained. She tells you what she thinks of herself and everyone around her. She writes of wanting to publish her diary after the war has ended. She gives the reader an account of what it meant to be persecuted as a Jew in German occupied Europe during World War II.

My Thoughts

I’m somewhat upset with myself for having waited this long to read this. I think I watched and/ or read one of the plays during high school, but it’s just not the same as reading her words. I was in tears once I was nearing the end because of the joy that had made its way into her final entries. I wanted the ending to be different this time. I wanted those eight people to make it through the war without being discovered. I wanted Anne to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. I wanted all of these things as I read about each of their deaths in the Afterword. If you have not read this wonderful work, then please read it. Though I’d never read it, I think I’ve read quotes and reviews that label this as one of the prime examples of the human condition, and yes, this is it. It is far and away the best book I’ve ever read. I’ll leave you with a quote from Anne.

“I want to go on living even after my death.”

If only you knew, Anne, if only you knew.