The last book I reviewed was How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran back in October last year. That is the last time I finished a book.
I ended the review by saying that I wasn’t sure how I felt about the book and so would read it again to complete the review. Well, I tried but I just couldn’t do it. I put it down one day and didn’t pick up another book for six months.
How sad. Reading had become a chore to me and every time I thought about picking up a book, I would swiftly find something/anything else to do (Candy Crush was a firm life-wasting favourite).
But the overwhelming urge to write again has taken me over recently and I know that to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. Or at least it helps. Which meant me powering through my fear of choredom and actually reading some fiction again.
I, of course, do in fact read every day; social media, blogs, articles – but it’s all been news, entertainment news or marketing tips, not sitting with a good book losing myself in another world.
The first book after my hiatus had to be something gentle, something that could ease me back into book reading. I scanned my shelves and there it was. The thinnest book on my shelf. Perfect.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K.Rowling. I’d not actually read it since getting it and decided this skinny-minnie would be the right woman for the job. I was not wrong.
The tales read like the fairytales we all know and love from our childhoods. Mingle them in amongst Snow White and the poisoned apple, Jack and his magic beans, Hansel and Gretel and the sweet house, Cinderella and her glass slipper; and you would never know that these weren’t made famous by Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm.
My favourite was always going to be The Tale of the Three Brothers, obvs, but placing that one aside, my next favourite from the remaining stories would have to be The Warlock’s Hairy Heart. I think it’s because the underlying story is so relatable, we can make ourselves go mad by trying to be better than everyone else (or that’s what I took from it anyway).
But of course a Harry Potter spin off wouldn’t be complete without something linked to Harry Potter; and there we are not disappointed either. The book has been ‘adapted’ to include notes from Hogwarts Headmaster, Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. The notes on the tales were made by Albus around 18 months before his death, and I am not ashamed to say – I could hear his voice in every single word. Not Richard Harris’ or Michael Gambon’s portrayal, but the Dumbledore I see and hear when I read the original Harry Potter books. And it was good to hear his voice again.
I read this in a single sitting on Sunday afternoon and felt a number of things; relief at having read again, turns out I’d missed it so much without even realising it; pride, for finishing a book in one go (I’m a slow reader alright, this was a triumph for me); and, the only way I can think to describe this last one is as, rounded. I felt whole, like something important had been missing but I’d found it again.
My love for reading is well and truly back! So much so, I have another review to write up – straight after this one.
Thanks J.K. you’ve done it again and brought a lost soul in from the cold.
Until next time and happy reading!