Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home"

What Word Can Describe The Harry Potter Series?

July Monthly Overview

I am still recovering from Post-Potter Depression, which is why I've read practically nothing! It was so bad that I couldn't even finish all my Harry Potter posts in time, and some not at all!
Luckily, July is over, so now I am ready to read in August!

9/10 books
I finished everything except Beedle the Bard because my copy got lost! I watched all the movies, but never wrote a comparison post for the last movie because I kept crying whenever I thought about it!

4/9 books

I haven't read anything at all, especially not anything that's won any kind of reward!
o books
I feel so bad that I didn't read anything! I kept bugging people to sign up, but then I never read anything at all! I applaud those who signed up to read along with me, but completely crushed me!


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Book Review: The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

This I received for Christmas, along with a chocolate frog mold. I wasn't nearly as excited as my mom thought I'd be. I'm obsessed with Harry Potter and cooking! Why wouldn't I want a Harry Potter Cookbook? Because I already knew tons of recipes, and I don't particularly like British food (which is why I spent my time visiting London eating at McDonald's)
This cookbook is really just traditional British food that's mentioned in the books. Things like a "Gammon of Bacon" and "Buttered Peas". Seriously! Do you think normal people don't know how to fry bacon or butter peas? I couldn't find one recipe I'd use.
One thing I did find impressive was each recipe had a reference to where in which book it's mentioned, as well as a brief history on that food!
 It didn't have recipes for some classic wizarding fare that is repeatedly mentioned in the books! (Something else that gets me mad is that it says cauldron cakes are really just big pancakes!)

This book got me thinking that I should make my own cookbook of recipes, since I have a somewhat large collection of Harry Potter recipes.
Here are some of my recipes (which are so much better, though less British)!


1 stick butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 375°F. Beat butter, 
granulated sugar, brown sugar, 
vanilla and salt in large bowl until 
creamy. Add eggs; beat well.
Stir together flour, cocoa and 
baking soda; gradually add to 
butter mixture, beating until 
well blended. Stir in remaining
ingredients. Drop by rounded 
teaspoons onto ungreased cookie 
sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until 
set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie 
sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. 

I know the ones in the books have raisins, but I'm a chocolate person, who avoids all junk food that doesn't involve chocolate!


½ cup butter/margarine
½ cup milk
½ cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
2-4 Tablespoon peanut butter
3-4 cups oats (we use quick oats)
1 tsp vanilla

Bring butter, milk, cocoa, and sugar
to a boil; boil 1 minute. Remove
from heat. Add the remaining
ingredients and cool slightly. Drop
by spoonfuls onto wax paper and
let sit for at least 30 minutes (they
don’t last 20 minutes at our house!)
Do not double.

These are really simple and easy, and sound much more appetizing than chocolate covered chow mein noodles!

(My mom's recipe)

1-2 boneless chicken breasts,
cooked and shredded
1 8 oz package cream cheese,
1 Tablespoon finely chopped green onion
2 cans crescent rolls

Combine chicken, cream cheese,
and green onions. Separate roll
dough and put a spoonful of
mixture at the widest part of
triangle and roll up, forming a ball.
Bake according to package
directions until golden brown. May
be served with gravy!

My mom renamed these back when we first fell in love with Harry Potter. Golden Snitches is a much cooler name than "Chicken Pockets"!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Review: Film Wizardry

You can tell Film Wizardry is bursting with magic before you even open it! It's full of the secrets of behind the screen. It has tons of stories from the cast and crew, and includes lots of photos and concept art that have never been seen before! It also has some props in it, that could be pulled out of pockets. These props include a Yule Ball program, the "Educational Decrees", and the Marauder's Map (which is very lame compared to mine!)
It really made me appreciate the movies more, and also understand why they cut out some of my favorite parts in the book (though I still don't understand why they couldn't have 3 minutes where they talk about house elves in GoF...)
The whole design of the book was great. It looked like a scrapbook! It was all designed by the Harry Potter graphic designers so it felt familiar and "matched" the movies (sort of).
It was definitely worth the $40 that were spent on it!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book vs Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

This is one of my most absolute favorite movies in the series! It has all the magic and mystery of the book, but has another dimension of magic now that it’s brought to life. I love the beginning, where it shows the 3 main characters preparing to leave on the search for Horcruxes. This movie feels so different from the others. Maybe because they’re not at Hogwarts anymore, and they’re learning how to be adults and keep themselves safe. 
I really liked the music. Alexandre Desplat will never quite match up to John Williams, but he comes close!
I have one wish for this movie, and it's that they'd focus more on Dumbledore's history. They didn't really talk about his family or his interest in the dark arts. Other than that, it was practically perfect!
My favorite scene was in the Ministry of Magic. It was marvelous! 
The scene after Ron leaves and Harry and Hermione dance is so cute. I like how it sort of shows what their relationship is like. Not romantic at all, but a lot more like siblings (although not as awkward to dance with). 
The ending is full of sadness and misery, but it makes you happy for the next movie!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I know I’ve been avoiding this blog! After getting back from camp, I had to recover from all the crazy stuff I did. Camp put things into perspective for me, which really just means I’m gonna spend less time blogging. I’m gonna do less memes, and really focus on books.
Instead of July being “Read the Classics” month, it has been “Debz is a Quitter” month. I dropped out of the Read-a-Thon, which I regret! I have hardly read anything at all this month, especially not classics! I’ve come close to giving up with my Harry Potter challenge! 
I think it’s all from Harry Potter Withdrawl! After the last movie, I’ve been trying to do anything to find out something else about Harry Potter’s universe, but I’ve already learned everything that JK Rowling has made known to man! Being a Harry Potter addict isn’t fun when it’s gone! 

What's left this month:

Book vs Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Book Review: Film Wizardry
Book Review: Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook
Harry Potter Recipes
Farewell, Harry Potter

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry has started the search for Horcruxes, the key to destroying Voldemort. With Ron and Hermione alongside him, he starts to use the clues left behind to discover the secret of the Horcruxes hiding places. They keep on the move and make slow progress. As they learn more about Horcruxes, they also learn more about Dumbledore’s dark past and the Deathly Hallows. Their journey to find the horcruxes leads them to many places including the Ministry of Magic, Gringott’s Bank, Godric’s Hollow, and back to Hogwarts!
Will Harry live or die? Was Snape good or evil? Will Voldemort be finished once and for all?

Such an amazing way to send off the series. I love every bit of this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through, and I've already read/listened to it tons! That's the wonderful thing about Harry Potter; the story never gets old. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book vs Movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I think this story has a much different feel then all the others. Harry is getting so close to the end, but he doesn’t know it yet! Harry and Dumbledore’s relationship grows so much over this installment, and it’s captured in both the book and the movie.
I thought it was sort of strange to show Harry is the muggle world, but not with the Dursleys! The actor who plays Slughorn does a magical job, but he looks nothing like I imagined him to! I wish we’d gotten a chance to go to Defence Against the Dark Arts with Snape! That would’ve made my day! The potions lesson was so funny! I loved every second of it!
I hate how the memories involving Merope were missing! That would’ve been so much cooler! Besides that, I really liked all the Pensive stuff!
Yay for Quidditch! I hate how it was missing in the 5th movie, but it’s back in #6!
Everyone’s love lives are funny, but realistic at the same time.
I really wished they’d learned more about horcruxes! They don’t even talk about the possibility of what the other horcruxes are!
I also wish that we’d learn more about the Half-Blood Prince. What bugs me a whole lot is that they use Levicorpus in the 5th movie! HOW COULD YOU?!?!?!?!
I thought the scene in the cave was amazing! The acting and set and effects were stunning to watch (and the inferi a bit disturbing)
The think I loved most about this film was Malfoy! He was hot! And he could act! WOW! Awesome! Tom Felton really could convey all of Malfoy’s complex emotions throughout the film.
Dumbldore’s death was so horribly sad! I was glad to see the respect that was paid to him at the end even by those who hardly knew him. He was a great wizard.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book vs Movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

This movie, although it is missing so much awesomeness present in the books, it makes up for it in acting. I think this movie has the best overall acting. It was missing some things I really wanted to see, but still, you’ve got to love Luna and Umbridge!
The thing I wanted to see the most was the Department of Mysteries with all the strange rooms and stuff, and it’s all missing! How could they?!?!?!?!
While reading “Film Wizardry” I’ve come to understand why the creators of the films have changed it so much from the original story. Apparently they want it to focus just on Harry, so anything that wasn’t needed and didn’t focus on Harry’s journey was tossed out the window.
I thought the special effects were spectacular, especially the thestrals and WWW fireworks!
I also thought it was creative to give Umbridge her own little “Theme Song” (sort of). And if you pay close attention, you’ll notice that her clothing keeps becoming darker shades of pink as the story progresses!
Evanna Lynch is the perfect Luna! Better than even Jim Dale! She captures the mysterious aura and lunacy, and yet makes her seem kind and approachable.
Sirius and Harry’s relationship is wonderful to watch develop throughout the movie! I don’t think Sirius could ever be a “father” to Harry, but definitely a kind, protective, fun, close uncle.
At one point, I thought 4, 5, and 6 were horrible movies, but since then I've learned to appreciate them for what they are!

but only because they cut out 500 pages worth of pure awesomeness!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon End of Day 2

  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 43
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update: 19
  • Total time read: 1 hour
  • How I'm currently feeling: I should just drop out of the Read-a-Thon. I'm reading slower than my normal pace thanks to lots of stress! EURGH! I don't like stress!
Tomorrow is 3 times busier than Monday and Tuesday combined! If I can't handle a read-a-thon when I'm not busy, how will I do when I am?!?!?!?

Book Review: Number the Stars

Annemarie was living a relatively normal life despite the war. Then the Nazi’s start their search for Jews. Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen, is a Jew, and so to keep her safe, Annemarie’s family takes her in and pretend she’s Annemarie’s sister.
As fun as that is, they know Ellen is still in danger, so the go to Uncle Henrik who may be able to help Ellen and her family get to safety.
Along the way to getting Ellen to safety, Annemarie learns that it’s easier to be brave when you don’t know the whole truth.

I thought this book was really interesting. The story reminded me of Anne Frank (who I’m currently reading), but I thought it was unique to have the story told, not by the Jewish girl, but by her friend.
I received this book as a gift a long(ish) time ago, and I don’t know why I didn’t read it! I love reading Middle Grade fiction because a child’s perspective is so different from anyone elses.
I felt the characters were well developed, which added to the complexity of this simple story. 
Reading more award winning books that weren’t really up my alley has made me appreciate why this literature is so great.

This book was read as part of the Award Winning Reads Challenge


Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Day 2

  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 24
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update:18
  • Total time read: 35 minutes
  • How I'm currently feeling: I feel proud of myself for reading 18 pages this morning! Is that sad? Yes, probably.
 I'm disappointed that I didn't read at all yesterday because that was my least busy day of the week! I'm ready to tackle Anne Frank today, and possibly Romeo and Juliet (I know it's a play, but who cares? I can read whatever I want!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Day 1

  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 6
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update:6
  • Total time read: 10 minutes
  • How I'm currently feeling: I have been feeling brain dead today and can't focus long enough to read!
I've been turning into a lazy blogger and reader this month. I had a couple posts that I needed to have up by today, and they aren't up! I'm sort of mad at my dad because he won't fix my laptop even though it's a simple repair! That leaves me to fight with my computer addict of a brother who has serious anger issues when it comes to the family computer.

Once Upon a Read-A-Thon Starting Line!

  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 0
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update:0
  • Last Line Read: 
  • Total time read: 0 hours 
  • How I'm currently feeling: I should've started reading sooner!
I'm still trying to figure out what I'll read. I'm going to finish Anne Frank, then I'll probably read Peter Pan or Pride and Prejudice. I really want to read To Kill a Mockingbird, but my copy is lost. I also might do Romeo and Juliet. 
My goal is 3-4 books. Based on my performance during the Squeaky Books read-a-thon, I'll be lucky if I get 3 done.

Remember, it's never too late to come read the classics with me! 

Read the Classics

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review: Princess Academy

Miri always feels left out. She is very small for her age, and her father will not allow her to work in the linder quarry, where most others her age and older spend their day.
When noble lowlanders come to Mount Eskel proclaiming that one of the young girls there will marry the prince, there is a flurry of excitement among them; all except Miri. She doesn’t want to go marry a stranger and live in the capital of Danland when she’s fine on her little mountain.
Reluctantly, she leaves for the “Princess Academy” where all girls ages 12-18 from Mount Eskel must go in order to learn how to be a princess. She hates the spiteful tutor Olana, who gives out unfair punishments.
After growing used to Olana’s tactics, Miri finds she’s learning so many things. More than just writing and poise and history and conversation, but also quarry speech: a way that mountain people can communicate while working in the linder quarry.
As Miri continues to unlock the secrets of quarry speech, the arrival of the prince is growing ever closer, and it looks like Miri, who’s top of the class, just might be the prince’s choice.

I love Shannon Hale! Her writing seems familiar, and yet I discover something new each time I read her books. Miri was such a strong character compared to other fictional young women.
Quarry speech is such a unique idea of communication. I love the way it works through memories and linder! The whole idea of a Princess Academy is unique! 
The story was very vibrant. Every little detail added to the illusion that it was real. And the story wasn't so unbelievable that it couldn't have happen; if only it had.

This book was read as part of the Award Winning Reads Challenge



 I know this is over a week late! I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to finish it before I left!


The 2 participants and I are going to have the time of our lives! I have NO idea what I'll read now! I might not even reach my minimum goal of 4 books because I have Harry Potter and summer camp getting in the way! My only hope is audiobooks! I'm sure I'd fail if I read all the classics I was hoping to because as far as I know classics aren't known for being short and easy to understand.
So right now I'm in the middle of Anne Frank, and next up is Romeo and Juliet! After that I have plans for Peter Pan, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre and Little Women. We'll see which one's I get to before July is over.

It's not too late to sign up!

Read the Classics

Happy Reading!

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