the book list has moved! visit me now on the new site:
the book list has moved! visit me now on the new site:
The Hallucinogenic Toreador by Salvador Dali. This is legitimately my favorite painting by Dali (that I’ve seen so far). It is both artistically and conceptually brilliant- the way most of his painting are, I grant you, but still. And it is in the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. (the Dali) Which means that sometime, as soon as possible, I am going to go see it in person. Officially on the bucket list. :)
This artist is amazing. I just looove this entire series! But in particular the sublime cleverness of this first piece. Love it! Check him out!!
What is it about The Hunger Games? All respect to Suzanne Collins, but I personally was unimpressed considering all the hype. The concept is brilliant, but the execution of the stories was sorely disappointing, and the plot resolution could really use work. So then why are these books and movies so popular??? I am genuinely curious! (and open to any suggestions!)
The only thing I can think is maybe they are popular, not for the social political commentary that I find so fascinating, but for the blood and gore of children fighting to the death as a form of terror/punishment/entertainment. Maybe society likes the hunger games for the same reason we used to enjoy gladiators. Maybe humanity is secretly very barbaric?
Perhaps we love the hunger games so much for the same reason that after everything, Katniss still votes to continue the hunger games?
i want to see this soooo badly! i can’t wait! :)
Snow White and the Huntsman
Release Date: June 1st
check this photographer out! his self portraits are amazing! and of course this photo is directly related to this blog. especially with the quote below. :)
“Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.” ― Carl Sagan, Cosmos (Photo by Kyle Thompson)
this was an assignment promt to “write a letter to someone who does not like Harry Potter/in defense of the books” I had a little bit of fun with it….:)
It appalls me that they can continue to release Harry Potter books. That witch JK Rowling is just promoting her Satanism and turning our innocent children on to her occult. How can the publishers allow this catastrophic immorality to go on and what can we do about it?
Harry Potter is the Antichrist
I have to disagree with you for several reasons. Number one, JK Rowling is just a regular old human being like the rest of us, albeit a brilliantly intelligent one with a knack for successful and enthralling story telling. But that is the extent of her “witchy powers,” the ability to weave a story so intricately as to appeal to children aged seven to 99. Secondly, there is nothing in the entire Harry Potter series that even hints at Satanism, let alone encourages our young children to practice it. Have you actually read even one Harry Potter book? Yes, there is magic in the books. But that is why they are categorized as “fiction” instead of “non-fiction.” Neither Rowling nor any of her supporters ever claimed that children in London actually receive letters by owl at age 11 that whisk them away to a mysterious boarding school to be taught magic tricks. Rather, Rowling, like so many other fantasy writers, presents the world with a fresh new canvas on which to examine themes like good and evil, friendship, laughter, justice, self sacrifice and death. The magic is that she is such a good storyteller that we hardly notice we are learning a thing until it is all over. This point also refutes the argument you may have that fantasy literature causes our children to loose touch with reality. When you finish a Harry Potter book, you are not left with a confusion as to what is real and what is not, but rather, you are left with profound knowledge and lessons to help you deal with the very real evils in the real world. No, Lord Voldemort and house elves do not exist. But Hitler did, and Stalin did, and Mussolini did. Slavery did exist, and similar evils and people exist today and will exist in the future. By watching Harry grow and learn, you learn along with him. As Harry learns the value of friendship and loyalty, so does the reader. As Harry stands up for what is right, not what is easy, the reader learns to do the same. As Hermione stands up for elfish rights and Voldemort ignores them entirely, we learn the value of not mistreating our inferiors. Rowling teaches us to value friendship and family, she teaches us that “it matters not who or what we are born, but who we grow to be.” She teaches us that “it is our choices that matter far more than our abilities” and that “wer are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” She teaches us to greet death as an old friend, for that is the only way to truly “conquer” it. She teaches us to laugh even in the darkest of times, to never give up, and most importantly, that love is the most powerful magic on earth.
Ephriam Biblow has done a study that proves “contrary to popular belief, frequent trips into the land of faerie make for creative thinkers and problem solvers who are less physically aggressive” (Levine and Mass 153-154). Harry Potter is no different. Rather than instilling a love of Satan, the books instill a love of reading and goodness, which results in knowledgeable, intelligent, savvy, kind adults, and isn’t that what we all want our children to become? Defending fairy tales and fantasy in general, C.S. Lewis famously stated, “Since it is so likely they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage” (156). Many writers have pointed out that fairy tales and fantasy deal with basic good and evil, which are the most universal core human issues. In this way Harry Potter is universal in a way that the Bible can never be. Harry Potter does not demand that you believe. It does not require you to be Christian, Catholic, or Jewish. It extends universally to all humans, believers and non, and in a very clever way, teaches our children how to be good and fight evil, which, after all, is what Christ teaches his followers as well. I cannot see God taking issue with a story that extends a message of general goodness, bravery, and most of all, love to anyone willing to pick up the book. Which, incidentally, is exactly what I suggest you now go do.
The very first time I tried to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when I was in 5th grade, I could not actually finish the first chapter. I vaguely remember lending the book to my cousin, and being surprised that he actually finished and liked it. I think that this is what actually motivated me to finish the book myself. Of course, after that, I was hooked. I remember my mom reading the books out loud to my younger brother and sister…and usually to me as well.
Five books later, I went to my first midnight book release at the local Borders with my good friends Raine and Maddy. It was here that we were standing in line to get our “butterbeers” (which was just a chai latte—still my favorite coffee type drink) when Raine opened the Order of the Phoenix to a random page and read Sirius’ death, which she thankfully refused to share with us, no matter how much we begged.
After anxiously awaiting the release of The Half Blood Prince, my friends Beth and Jenna and I all took our copies on vacation with us to Cedar Point the day after the release…and all finished them before we got back home. If I remember correctly, we all cried when Dumbledore died. Nearly everyone I knew then spent the interim between books six and seven coming up with theories on how Dumbledore was going to turn out to not really be dead after all; that it was just a trick devised by Dumbledore and Snape. Theories of Dumbledore rising from his ashes like Fawkes never even came close to the brilliant trick Rowling played on us all with that particular plot twist.
Even as I was reading the final installment (staying up literally all night), I knew that it was the best book I had ever read or heard of. I cried varying tears of grief and joy from pretty well the “Battle of Hogwarts” chapter until the very end when all was well. I had the special opportunity and fortune to be a part of the “Potter generation.” We grew up with Harry. When I read the first book, Harry was 11, and so was I. And when I read The Deathly Hallows, Harry and I were both around 17. I never realized it at the time, because I never thought about it, but I was in a particularly special place of growing up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
J.K. Rowling is hands down my favorite author, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is easily my favorite book of all time. (Though Peter Pan is a clear second second.) The way Rowling intricately weaved such a supremely believable story is remarkable. It truly felt like growing up with Harry, because Harry’s story felt real, even if I knew logically that there is no such thing as dragons or wizards or magic. And by the time we had all grown up at the end of book seven, I had realized the true magic in Harry’s tale: the lessons about life that Rowling teaches us without us even realizing we are learning.
Rowling writes with an easy familiarity; with an amazing sense of humor and reality, but within her light-hearted style lie several very profound truths about life for muggles. With memorable quips from the sage Dumbledore like “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live,” “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be,” and “To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure,” we are cleverly exposed to real life lessons. Fred and George taught us how to laugh even in the darkest of times, Hermione taught us to stand up for the abused and underprivileged, and the Weasleys taught us that the purity of blood does not matter, Luna taught us to keep an open mind, Snape taught us the power of love, Harry taught us to be loyal and to do what is right, even if that is not what is easy. And the list goes on an on. Of course, listing it all out defeats the purpose of reading the books.
J.K. Rowling taught us not to take anything for granted, like house elves or children’s tales, because it is in ignorance of powers different than our own that we are bound to ultimately fail. She taught us about death, and that the only way to “conquer” death is by greeting it as an old friend at the end of a simple, quiet life. But most of all, J.K. Rowling taught us all how to believe in magic. She made all the forests enchanted again (or forbidden, as it were).
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
on the list of movies to watch. :)
This started out as me wanting to explain the full name of this blog…and then my mind just kept running and running and this is where I ended up…
So to begin at the beginning: “the book list” is a ltitle obvious. the whole project revolves around a list of books to read and think about, hence, the book list. fairly simple. the numbers, however, do have a bit of a deeper meaning. 713 is the number of the vault in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that Harry and Hagrid first visit in Gringott’s. For this reason it is an easy number to remember, and is related to books. It was going to be as simple as that.
But then, like I said, I kept thinking. Within vault 713 is stored a tool to eternal life. While the sorcerer’s stone does not actually exist, I would argue that books are one good way to guarantee maybe not immortality, but a certain kind of lasting life. Books are often said to be the keys to the past, a way to converse with authors long dead and gone. Chalres Dickens is no longer alive, but his name lives on. And not just his name, but his thoughts and ideas. Anything he found amusing or witty or profound he no doubt utilized in his work, and we can read those works today just as easily (perhaps actually easier) than when he first put pen to paper and jotted down what was in his mind. The same goes for Jane Austen and literally countless others. These authors and their thoughts and works are still impacting the lives of countless people alive today. And until such influence ceases, they have a sort of immortality.
Dumbledore pointedly remarked “I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me…” I think this one statement alone gets to the core of the power of books. Countless people are still loyal to authors who were alive a hundred years ago or more. Hell, we still read and study Plato and Homer. And these authors and people will never be truly gone from this world until none remain loyal to them. This blog/collective will be a way not only to remain loyal to these great writers and thinkers, but to ourselves as well.
It might not be a stone that turns anything to gold and brews a potion for eternal life, but perhaps with thebooklist0713 we can create a metaphorical vault of our own brand of immortality.