Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them : Review

One of the things I hope to do this year is work through this 2016 Reading Challenge. I already read a lot, but I’m hoping this will get me to be more focused and to read a larger variety of books. I wanted to read more non-fiction last year, but that just didn’t happen. I hope this will help me with that. And I plan on blogging about the books I read as sort of an accountability. I hope to read at least one book every two weeks, which means 26 books total (I haven’t lost my math skills have I). My goal is for half of the books to be non-fiction. At first that sounded extremely easy, but with two kids in the house now it’s a bit more daunting. With the help of my trusty Kindle app during lunch breaks and night feedings I think I can make it through. I’m sure I’ll read more than 26 books, but from past experience the free ones I get on my Kindle app aren’t worth mentioning. As Tim Challies mentions on the website, I’m going with the “discard all the rules and choose books from any plan in any order” option. I know, strange for a rule-follower like me. So here we go.

The first book I read is “a book for children” in the light reader plan. I doubt it’s what he had in mind, but I went with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamandar (aka J.K. Rowling). I got it as a part of The Hogwarts Library boxed set which I received for Christmas. I know it makes me a terrible Baptist, but I LOVE Harry Potter so I thought it would be fun to add these to my collection. They’re also making a movie (trilogy I believe) based on this book. The first movie comes out this November. I thought the book would follow along in story format like a movie would, but I was wrong. I guess that’s what I get for not doing my research.

The book is basically like a textbook that Harry would use at Hogwarts. One of the selling points is that it has his and Ron’s notes. Well, the book ended up being more like I textbook than I had anticipated, and it had less “notes” than I had hoped. It goes through a history of classification of magical beasts and then a description of beasts in A-Z order. Occasionally there would be a few words “hand-written” by Ron or Harry about beasts they’ve encountered. I think instead of reading this like a regular book it would be fun to use it almost like a reference when reading the other books or watching the movies. The descriptions were enjoyable, but not something you’d sit down and get immersed in. It took me longer to read than a basic 128 page book normally would. If you have kids it might be fun to use it as a tool for make-believe play. Get them to draw, act out or write a story on the creatures. Not really a bedtime story type of book though.

All in all, even though it’s not what I expected I am glad that I have it in my collection. It’s fun to be able to take a quick visit to the world of Harry Potter (much quicker and cheaper than the trip to Universal Studios I’ve been bugging Lee about for years). I’m also looking forward to the first movie. Another selling point for this book is that its proceeds go to Comic Relief, a charity that strives to end poverty for children. They also do Red Nose Day (remember that celebrity telethon from last year). So if you’re a Harry Potter fanatic then consider adding this book to your collection. Or get the three book set like I did. I plan on reading the other two books, and then maybe I’ll update here.

I plan on reviewing 10 Things Every Minister’s Wife Needs to Know by Jeana Floyd next time. I’m about 40% of the way through (according to my app) and I hope to have it finished and reviewed by the end of the end of the week. Wish me luck. Are you doing the reading challenge? What have you done so far? Also, is there a book that changed your life? This is one of the book ideas from the challenge and I’m needing some suggestions. Happy reading everyone!

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