Thursday Quotables: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

NEW! Thursday Quotables is now using a Linky tool! Be sure to add your link if you have a Thursday Quotables post to share.

HP4

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
(published 2000)

It’s never a bad time for Harry Potter.

A week ago, Harry would have said finding a partner for a dance would be a cinch compared to taking on a Hungarian Horntail. But now that he had done the latter and was facing the prospect of asking a girl to the ball, he thought he’d rather have another round with the dragon.

Oh, the woes of a teen boy faced with the horror of getting a date:

“Why do they have to move in packs?” Harry asked Ron as a dozen or so girls walked past them, sniggering and staring at Harry. “How’re you supposed to get one on their own to ask them?”

“Lasso one?” Ron suggested.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Click on the linky button (look for the cute froggie face) below to add your link.
  • After you link up, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

Shelf Control #48: A Place Called Freedom

Shelves final

Welcome to the newest weekly feature here at Bookshelf Fantasies… Shelf Control!

Shelf Control is all about the books we want to read — and already own! Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available, and in most cases, sitting right there on our shelves and e-readers.

Want to join in? See the guidelines and linky at the bottom of the post, and jump on board! Let’s take control of our shelves!

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My Shelf Control pick this week is:

Place Called Freedom 2Title: A Place Called Freedom
Author: Ken Follett
Published: 1995
Length: 437 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Scotland, 1766. Sentenced to a life of misery in the brutal coal mines, twenty-one-year-old Mack McAsh hungers for escape. His only ally: the beautiful, highborn Lizzie Hallim, who is trapped in her own kind of hell. Though separated by politics and position, these two restless young people are bound by their passionate search for a place called freedom.

From the teeming streets of London to the infernal hold of a slave ship to a sprawling Virginia plantation, Ken Follett’s turbulent, unforgettable novel of liberty and revolution brings together a vivid cast of heroes and villains, lovers and rebels, hypocrites and hell-raisers—all propelled by destiny toward an epic struggle that will change their lives forever.

How I got it:

I picked up a used copy on a whim after seeing a mention of the book on Goodreads.

When I got it:

Several years ago.

Why I want to read it:

Okay, first off — Scotland. Second — 18th century. Third — colonial America. Those all sound like delicious ingredients to me! The setting and time period absolutely appeal to me, and I just hope it’s as good as it sounds.

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link below!
  • And if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and have fun!


For more on why I’ve started Shelf Control, check out my introductory post here, or read all about my out-of-control book inventory, here.

And if you’d like to post a Shelf Control button on your own blog, here’s an image to download (with my gratitude, of course!):

Shelf Control

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books I’ve been meaning to read since before I started blogging

TTT summer

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is  Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet.

As of this summer, I’ve been blogging for four years. FOUR YEARS. Incredible. I started it on a whim, and here I am, all this time later, still blogging away. Just because I’m blogging about books doesn’t mean that I’m reading more books — in fact, it’s probably the opposite. Sad to say, there are enough unread books in my house and on my Kindle that I could probably go a few years without buying a single book before I’d run out of new stuff to read.

So, here are 10 books that I swear I want to read, which I’ve owned for over four years… and which I still haven’t gotten around to.

1) Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest

Four and Twenty

2) Affinity by Sarah Waters

Affinity

3) In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

In a Sunburned Country

4) Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler

Lilith's Brood

5) Little, Big by John Crowley

little big

6) World War Z by Max Brooks

WWZ

7) Other Kingdoms by Richard Matheson

Other Kingdoms

8) Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir

Innocent Traitor

9) The Children of Men by P. D. James

Children of Men

10) Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede

Sorcery & Cecelia

Have you read any of my TBR books? What books made your list this week? Please share your TTT links!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Shelf Control and Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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The Monday Check-In ~ 8/22/2016

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

In real life:

Where does the time go? I feel like I’ve been barely able to read for the past week, and when I do finally crawl into bed with a book at the end of the day, I just can’t keep my eyes open as long as I’d like.

I did go on an amazing white-water rafting trip last weekend. We got some great pictures — which one of my family members kindly updated to include a few folks who couldn’t actually be with us (and to add even more excitement than a mere class IV rapid):

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What did I read last week?

Memory WallBefore the FallThe Accident2

The Memory Wall by Lev AC Rosen: I read an ARC of this upcoming YA novel, and it was amazing! Stay tuned for a featured post.

I also posts mini-reviews for books I read on vacation earlier this month:

  • Before the Fall by Noah Hawley – review here.
  • The Accident by Chris Pavone – review here.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week… which is good, since I need to a chance to make a dent in the huge stack sitting in front of me.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 Bright Edge

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey: I’m so excited to be reading this new book by the author of The Snow Child.

Now playing via audiobook:

HP4

I’m continuing to make my way through the Goblet of Fire audiobook. Quite fun, of course. But now that I’m revisiting the world of HP4, a certain issue is keeping me up at night. Check out my post, here.

Clearly, Harry Potter issues can still get me riled up after all these years.

Ongoing reads:

MOBYFarewell to Arms 2

My book group is reading and discussing two chapters per week of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon. This is an online group, and anyone is welcome to join us — so if you’re interested, just ask me how!

And… our new classic read is A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway! We’re just getting started. If you’d like to join in, send me a message and I’ll pass along the details.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

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Burning Questions: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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In which I ask the questions that keep me up at night…

I’ve read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at least 4 or 5 times, and now I’m listening to the audiobook. It’s my first time revisiting HP4 in a few years, and here’s what’s on my mind and making me lose sleep:

WHY IS HARRY REQUIRED TO COMPETE IN THE TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT???

Apparently, the rules state that if your name comes out of the goblet, you must compete. Dumbledore says that Harry doesn’t have a choice, because it’s a binding magical contract.

Wait a sec — a magical contract?

Doesn’t a contract imply consent? You have to sign your name to a contract in order for it to be binding. You certainly have to enter into it knowingly and willingly.

The noun contract is defined as a written or spoken agreement, especially one concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law.

So if Harry’s name was submitted by someone else, shouldn’t the implied contract be null and void? After all, he didn’t put his name in the goblet. He did not agree. (He’s also underage, so he doesn’t meet the tournament requirements.) But really, most importantly, he was not a party to the terms and conditions.

What would happen if he refused to compete, or if Dumbledore refused to let him? Would he die? Would he be cursed? Would his hair fall out? What’s the consequence?

I NEED TO KNOW.

It’s easy, upon first read, to skim the fine print in order to get on with the story — and it’s a damned fine story. And sure, if Harry weren’t required to compete, then there wouldn’t be any plot to the book. (Imagine what a great 4th year Harry might have had if he’d just been sitting in the stands as a spectator, alongside Ron and Hermione.)

So why doesn’t Dumbledore find a way to get Harry out of the tournament, suspecting as he does that someone entered Harry in order to do him harm? Why is everyone willing to just accept the idea of a binding magical contract?

Seriously. I really want to know what would have happened if Harry just said no.

Anyone else losing sleep over this?

Just me?

Take A Peek Book Review: The Accident

“Take a Peek” book reviews are short and (possibly) sweet, keeping the commentary brief and providing a little peek at what the book’s about and what I thought.

The Accident2

Synopsis:

(via Goodreads)

As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder.

Over the course of one long, desperate, increasingly perilous day, these lives collide as the book begins its dangerous march toward publication, toward saving or ruining careers and companies, placing everything at risk—and everyone in mortal peril.  The rich cast of characters—in publishing and film, politics and espionage—are all forced to confront the consequences of their ambitions, the schisms between their ideal selves and the people they actually became.

The action rockets around Europe and across America, with an intricate web of duplicities stretching back a quarter-century to a dark winding road in upstate New York, where the shocking truth about the accident itself is buried.

Gripping, sophisticated, layered, and impossible to put down, The Accident proves once again that Chris Pavone is a true master of suspense.

 

My Thoughts:

“Impossible to put down” is exactly right. This spy thriller is off-beat, unusual, and deceptively layered. I expected a certain type of story, but The Accident keeps growing and twisting and taking off in all sorts of unexpected directions.

Who would have thought that an anonymous manuscript could set off an international hunt and race against the clock? With altered identities, murder, surveillance, and high-stakes chases, the manuscript sets off ripples not just in the publishing world, but in corporate headquarters and secret intelligence organizations around the globe.

I read this book on vacation, and it was a perfect choice for lazy reading on a lounge chair with a cold drink in hand. It requires attention, but goes very quickly, and isn’t something that’s going to ruin your happy mood or keep you obsessed while you should be thinking about other things.

This is the second novel by author Chris Pavone, and there is some carry-over from his first, The Expats, as well as characters who appear in his next, The Travelers. I read this one out of order, and realized there were connections I’d missed in The Travelers because I hadn’t read The Accident first. It doesn’t matter a great deal, though. You can enjoy enjoy each novel completely on its own — but reading all three in the order of publication makes it all the more fun, seeing familiar names and places and making connections.

This is a great escapist adventure read — check it out!

Want to know more about this author’s books? Check out my reviews of his other works:
The Expats
The Travelers

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The details:

Title: The Accident
Author: Chris Pavone
Publisher: Crown
Publication date: March 1, 2014
Length: 381 pages
Genre: Spy thriller
Source: Purchased

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Thursday Quotables: A Farewell To Arms

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Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

NEW! Thursday Quotables is now using a Linky tool! Be sure to add your link if you have a Thursday Quotables post to share.

Farewell to Arms 2

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
(published 1929)

I’m only on chapter two at this point — but I’ve never read Hemingway before, and I really enjoyed this paragraph from the very first page:

In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels. Troops went by the house and down the road and the dust they raised powdered the leaves of the trees. The trunks of the trees too were dusty and the leaves fell early that year and we saw the troops marching along the road and the dust rising and leaves, stirred by the breeze, falling and the soldiers marching and afterward the road bare and white except for the leaves.

I have no idea what to expect, but I’m intrigued by the writing style and want to know more!

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Click on the linky button (look for the cute froggie face) below to add your link.
  • After you link up, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Shelf Control #47: The Ice Twins

Shelves final

Welcome to the newest weekly feature here at Bookshelf Fantasies… Shelf Control!

Shelf Control is all about the books we want to read — and already own! Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available, and in most cases, sitting right there on our shelves and e-readers.

Want to join in? See the guidelines and linky at the bottom of the post, and jump on board! Let’s take control of our shelves!

cropped-flourish-31609_1280-e1421474289435.png

My Shelf Control pick this week is:

Ice TwinsTitle: The Ice Twins
Author: S. K. Tremayne
Published: 2015
Length: 373 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?

How I got it:

I received an ARC via NetGalley (and feel really guilty about not reading it yet).

When I got it:

Last year, right before publication.

Why I want to read it:

Twin stories can be so great and creepy, and I love the sound of the possibly mistaken identity, as well as the setting on an isolated Scottish island. I remember seeing a few reviews from other bloggers when the book came out, and the consensus seemed to be that this is a great suspense story. Definitely seems like something I’d enjoy!

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link below!
  • And if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and have fun!


For more on why I’ve started Shelf Control, check out my introductory post here, or read all about my out-of-control book inventory, here.

And if you’d like to post a Shelf Control button on your own blog, here’s an image to download (with my gratitude, of course!):

Shelf Control

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Take A Peek Book Review: Before the Fall

“Take a Peek” book reviews are short and (possibly) sweet, keeping the commentary brief and providing a little peek at what the book’s about and what I thought.Before the Fall

Synopsis:

(via Goodreads)

On a foggy summer night, eleven people—ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter—depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs—the painter—and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members—including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot—the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

My Thoughts:

Wow, what a thrill-ride! Although choosing to start this book the night before a long plane trip was maybe not the brightest idea I’ve every had.

In Before the Fall, the story starts almost immediately with the terror of the crash, and then the miracle of Scott’s long swim to safety, saving his own life as well as that of one small boy. But that’s only the beginning — from here, the author takes a post-mortem approach, giving us chapters focusing on each of the people on board the small plane, so that we see how the pieces fit together. Was it mechanical failure? Something deliberate? And if it was deliberate, who was the intended target?

The storyline shows Scott’s growing closeness to the surviving child, the intensity of the government agents investigating the crash, and the firestorm of media attention and sensationalism that soon follows. The chapters focusing on the different characters and their backstories are fascinating, always leaving me wanting more.

Overall, Before the Fall is a gripping read that builds and builds. It’s tense, well-constructed, hard to predict, and surprising in all the right ways. The characters are well-defined, so much so that it’s hard to approach the end of the story and realize that these people — good and bad, all flawed, almost none irredeemable — are doomed to the end that we knew about from the start.

It’s a pretty neat trick, telling us up front that all of these characters have died, and then taking the time to let us get to know them. Somehow, the tragedy of their senseless deaths is all the more striking with this backwards approach. Meanwhile, Scott’s story is compelling and sympathetic. It’s hard to see a decent man caught up in the tabloid frenzy that follows the crash, but how Scott manages is pretty good stuff too.

Before the Fall is a great summer read — quick, absorbing, and impossible not to care about.

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The details:

Title: Before the Fall
Author: Noah Hawley
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: May 31, 2016
Length: 391 pages
Genre: Adult fiction
Source: Purchased (e-book)

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The Monday Check-In ~ 8/15/2016

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

In real life:

Yesterday, my baby turned 14, and today he starts high school. I may have a tear or two in my eyes, but he’s totally ready to get on with it (and tells me to stop being such a dork about it all).

What did I read last week?

I was away again for a week, so I had lot of time to curl up with good books! I haven’t written a book review in ages, but here’s what I’ve read recently:

20Bad BloodBag of Bones

The AccidentBefore the Fall

Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow: The 20th book in the Kate Shugak series is also the last one published… and now I’m done! Bad Blood ends with a major cliffhanger — so unfair! So now we readers have to just sit and wait until whenever #21 is published, which leaves me feeling like:

pout

Also read:

Bag of Bones by Stephen King: Loved it. It’s a longer book, and was perfect beach reading. Creepy, spooky, touching, scary — lots of trademark King, and call me crazy, but his books always seem to work perfectly for me as vacation reading.

The Accident by Chris Pavone: A super engrossing and entertaining spy thriller, with lots of twists and surprises. This is the third book I’ve read by this author, and they’ve all been terrific!

Last but not least, I read Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, which maybe wasn’t the best choice right before getting on a plane… but was a damned good book about a plane crash and its aftermath. Review to follow, once I catch my breath.

Pop Culture Goodness:

I stayed up until midnight and waited through online queues to buy tickets to…

HP8 banner

Much jumping for joy!!! I don’t have the travel details at all worked out yet, but my daughter and I will be heading to London next June to see Harry Potter!

Fresh Catch:

All sorts of new books this week. First, my book group did a book/gift exchange, and here’s what I received (lucky me!)

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Plus, a whole bunch of library holds came in at once:

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What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 Memory WallCircling the Sun

The Memory Wall by Lev AC Rosen: The upcoming new release from a can’t-miss author! Stay tuned for a blog feature about The Memory Wall!

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain: I won this in a Goodreads giveaway this spring, and I’m finally settling down to read it. I’ve heard such good things!

Now playing via audiobook:

HP4

I still have quite a ways to go, but I’m whole-heartedly enjoying the Goblet of Fire audiobook.

Ongoing reads:

MOBYFarewell to Arms 2

My book group is reading and discussing two chapters per week of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon. This is an online group, and anyone is welcome to join us — so if you’re interested, just ask me how!

And… our new classic read is A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway! We start today with chapter one, and I’m so excited!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

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