Thursday, 18 August 2016

Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts

I realized I've developed a Blogger's Bad Habit called Overthinking. It means I've got tons of ideas for blog posts that I'd really love to show you readers, but the moment I'm sitting at my laptop trying to actually write something, I get carried away with fussing about exact wordings and clarity issues and all sorts of perfectionist woes. I find it impossible to just let my thoughts flow onto the blog post and then go publish it – instead, I plan and procrastinate for ages, and then maybe get something finished. This is interesting, because I'm not a perfectionist generally.

To cure this Bad Habit, I'm going to try out another weekly blogging event, Bookish (and Not So Bookish Thoughts, hosted at Bookishly Boisterous. The idea is to let bloggers share their thoughts and experiences of the week, meaningful or random, without necessarily having to develop these ideas into blog posts of their own. So here we go, my "spontaneously getting my thoughts out on the blog" exercise of the week:

1. I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Now, can someone please give me a Time-Turner or put a Memory Charm on me so I can forget everything about it? I won't say anything more because some readers might still want to avoid spoilers, feel free to ask me in the comments what exactly horrified me so much – if you dare.

2. One of my best friends visited London, and whenever someone travels to the UK I very nicely ask them to bring me a couple of books which are hard to find here in Finland, in exchange of eternal gratitude and the price of said books. This time, I got David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, the play version of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, and a surprise bonus of Shakespeare breakfast tea! Cloud Atlas is one of my absolute favourite books which I need in my own collection, I had been looking for Peter Pan for ages without any luck, and the Shakespeare tea has the most beautiful box ever, so I'm over the moon. Thank goodness for friends who visit the civilized world when I can't.

Have you ever seen such an exquisite wooden box of tea?

3. Finnish television is finally showing the new series of Hollow Crown. I watched the first episode, which is the first part of King Henry VI, and got basically the same, wonderful feels that the first series produced: excellent British actors playing brilliant Shakespearean dialogue in beautifully-shot locations. The first episode opens with a prologue by Judi Dench, and, as I expected, Sophie Okonedo as Margaret is ruthless queenliness incarnate. I reviewed all of the Henry VI plays while waiting for this adaptation to happen.

"I'm the bloody Queen, mate."
4. I read Oscar Wilde's fairy tales and am completely spellbound. There is such beauty on those pages that it's almost impossible to take it all in with a simple, human understanding. Go read them, if you haven't. Your life will get infinitely better.

5. I have been reading Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children for a long while now, and I'm still in the middle of it. Not because of any loss of interest issues – it's one of the most intriguing books I've ever read. There's just so many ideas to take in there, it appears to be quite a challenge even for an obsessive reader like me. I love it.

6. A curious thing happened in the library the other day. I wandered off to the epic poetry section, which I don't normally do, and this one book just demanded to be taken off the shelf – Gilgamesh. I have vague memories of hearing the name somewhere, but until I read the back cover I had no idea of it being an ancient Mesopotamian epic, considered to be the oldest surviving work of literature in the world. So apparently, I will be reading Gilgamesh in the near future, without ever having planned to do so.

7. All in all, my To Be Read list has been completely re-arranged. I already had that list planned, then rummaged through my bookcase to find a staggering stack of books that I realized I couldn't wait to read. So, once I'm finished with Midnight's Children at last, my near-future reading list will include:

  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (with the added bonus of delightfully pretty covers)
  • Gilgamesh
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson 
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel
Just had to show off the Peter Pan cover and my illustrated edition of Treasure Island.
My thoughts for the week turned out to be mostly of the Bookish sort. I'm not surprised. 


  1. I have lots of Disney images throughout my house, created by an artist named Jim Shore. My Peter Pan characters live on top of one of my country cupboards in the dining room.

    I've been curious about Wolf Hall. Enjoy your reading...and I am definitely wanting to know what horrified you about the new HP book.


    1. Welcome to my blog! I got to Wolf Hall through the TV adaptation, which was wonderful in every way.

      Oh, Cursed Child, where do I begin...? SPOILER ALERT for anyone reading this comment. In my opinion, all of the characters from the books were wildly out of character. Harry Potter should never EVER boss Professor McGonagall around to do pointless stalking with the Marauders' Map, and Professor McGonagall would never accept such behaviour even for half a second. Why was Ron lobotomized into useless comic relief? Why was Snape's character smeared with sickly-sweet goo? How on Earth would failing at the Triwizard Tournament have turned decent, good-hearted Cedric into a Death Eater? Why did the whole plot have to revolve around Time-Turners and time travel, when Rowling made a point of having all Time-Turners destroyed in Order of the Phoenix because she felt they were too deus ex machina? WHY DOES VOLDEMORT HAVE A DAUGHTER? I'm very sorry about this rant, I just have so many questions, and a load of frustration...

  2. Oh dear, sorry to hear that you didn't like The Cursed Child! :( I didn't *love* it myself and I definitely had my issues with it - most of which you've pointed out - and yet I still ended up liking it because I found a lot of the dialogue in it really funny and I absolutely adored Scorpius. I think I'd probably give it about a 3/5.

    That *is* a beautiful box! :)

    I've read some of those books on your TBR list: The Name of the Wind, Peter Pan, and Treasure Island. It's been so long since I've read the other two that I can't really comment on them but The Name of the Wind is FANTASTIC.

    Happy reading!

    1. Your blog post of The Name of the Wind is one of the reasons why I want to read it. :) The other reason was this list that I happened to find online: