Book review | December 2017

Book review | December 2017

December was a much better reading month than November. Granted, I only read two novels and the rest were easy to browse books that really don’t take too long to read cover to cover, but still. It was great and I especially tore through some more pages during my Christmas break. As a Christmas gift to myself, I ordered some illustrated Harry Potter books that were all available at half price from a Dutch online retailer, so I have completed that collection for the time being. Here’s what I read in the final month of 2017.

book review december 2017

Maggie Stiefvater – Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Jennifer Donnelly – These Shallow Graves
J.K. Rowling – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
J. K. Rowling – A History of Magic
Brian Sibley – Harry Potter: Film Wizardry
Bob McCabe – Harry Potter: From Page to Screen

Maggie Stiefvater – Blue Lily, Lily Blue

book review december 2017

The saga continues as Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Noa and Adam continue to embark on their search for Glendower. With Blue’s mother missing, a strange new player is in town and at the same time each of our group of friends is struggling with their own issues. Whether it’s Adam being haunted by his abusive father, or Ronan coming to terms with his special abilities, as the search continues, the stakes become higher.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater has been a so-so read for me. I like it, but am not blown away by it. This book was the same. I enjoyed it: I ended up reading it in one sitting. The book is fast-paced, easy to read and quite action packed. Though I thought this one had a little less action than the first one in the series. It’s one of those stories that you just keep on reading. But to say this was particularly good? No. It’s entertaining for sure, but nothing too outstanding.

Jennifer Donnelly – These Shallow Graves

book review december 2017

When Jo’s father ends up dead, she immediately suspects foul play. Eager to prove herself to be more than a high society single lady at the turn of 20th century in New York, she teams up with a young reporter looking to make a name for himself. With the time period working against her at each turn, Jo’s ambition is relentless and she keeps truckin’ along. And when her father’s business partners are killed one-by-one, Jo knows she’s right. But how are you going to proof that when all you’re supposed to do is sit, smile and be pretty?

My final book of the year was a great one. While listed as YA, this book didn’t feel like it. The main characters may be aged in their late teens, but they certainly behaved much more maturely and that gave this book lots more depth and meaning to it. I like the historic aspects of the book: while the setting didn’t feel like turn of the century New York (this could have been any English speaking city at that time), I liked how it explored the role of women in upper class society in that time period, while being a mystery/ thriller at the same time.

J.K. Rowling – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

book review december 2017

This is the illustrated edition of the Harry Potter school book spin offs that were originally written to raise money for charity. But of course, with the movie series being released now, this is a book that has become more important in the Harry Potter canon. I have the original edition of this and always found it a shame that there were no pictures in it. Because just descriptions of animals that do not really exist make it very difficult to imagine what they might look like as there is little framework of reference. I knew, that if there ever would be an illustrated edition, that I would want to own it. And when I found this, I knew I had to grab it. The illustrations are aces and it really show you what these animals might look like. It also adds some new fantastical beasts that were missing from the original edition. Loved it!

J. K. Rowling – A History of Magic

book review december 2017

Another newly released Harry Potter related book is actually linked to an exhibition that I sadly have not been able to attend. Together with British Library, J. K. Rowling made an exhibition looking to the archives to see how the different magic related subjects have been part of world history and different cultures. From alchemists trying to make gold out of nothing to protective spells and love potions: all the magic in Rowling’s stories is based on documents and pseudosciences that used to be believed to be real. There was also a documentary on the exhibition, which was broadcast by BBC, which I happened to catch. The book has been made for those who cannot attend or as a keepsake of course. I loved how it goes over these different topics. Next fall, the exhibition will travel to New York to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Brian Sibley – Harry Potter: Film Wizardry

book review december 2017

A book that I had had for some time, but hadn’t really read through properly. I’d only browsed it before, which doesn’t count. I bought this at the Harry Potter Experience at the Leavesden Studios in London. It’s a short rendition of how the books were translated into movies and comes with a few extras such as stickers and lots of information. It features interviews with actors, producers, creators and directors. A great insight into the making of the movies.

Bob McCabe – Harry Potter: From Page to Screen

book review december 2017

Last but not least, I read Page to Screen. This is the longer, more expansive version of Film Wizardry in a sense. The first part of the book is a more in depth look at the creation of the movies. There are more interviews, more pictures, more pictures. What is special about this book is that it features 4 books into one. Because in addition to these two books, there are also a character vault, location vault and creature vault. But this humongous edition features those three books as well. If you’re looking for the most comprehensive overview of the Harry Potter movies, I would highly recommend looking into this. I got it as a birthday present some time ago, so it’s great for a special occasion gift.

What books did you read last?

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8 thoughts on “Book review | December 2017

  1. I’ve been reading so much recently! I would absolutely recommend “I Am Watching You” by Teresa Driscoll and “My Sweet Revenge” by Jane Fallon!

    boobeautyxo.wordpress.com xo

  2. I really need to get back on board with reading. I’ve been so addicted to social media recently πŸ™ˆ I’m ashamed to say the last book I read was probably β€œ50 Shades” I know I know… let me crawl back into my hole πŸ˜‚

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