The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

61pa6km83al_sl160_

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a delightful tiny book! To tell you the truth, I had low expectation when I picked up the book (which was accidentally just sitting on the library shelf when I passed by), because there’s nothing could be near as good as Harry Potter coming from J.K. Rowling, am I right? Well, even though I am right – it’s nothing Potter – I enjoyed it immensely.

First, if you have not read Harry Potter series, don’t pick up this book. Somehow I got the impression before that this was a stand-alone book. It is in a way, but it had major spoiler for the Potter series. So only pick it up if you have read up until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at least (that’s number 6). I read this book in parallel with Deathly Hallows coincidentally, so I was fine. And it was somehow interesting that when I got to the point where Hermione received The Tales of Beedle the Bard, I was actually reading the Tales at the same time. It just made it more precious in a funny way. Like you KNOW the content of the book when they didn’t (because it hasn’t been translated at that point).

The Tales of Beedle the Bard consists of 5 short fairy tales (sort of, with no fairies): The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock’s Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump, and The Tale of The Three Brothers (which appears in the last HP). Each followed by Dumbledore’s commentary. The tales themselves are short and nothing deep, like most fairy tales, but they’re about wizards and witches.

“Beedle’s stories resemble our fairy tales in many respects; for instance, virtue is usually rewarded and wickedness punished. However there is one very obvious difference. In Muggle fairy tales, magic tends to lie at the root of the hero or heroine’s troubles – the wicked witch has poisoned the apple, or put the princess into a hundred years’ sleep, or turned the prince into a hideous beast. In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, on the other hand, we meet heroes and heroines who can perform magic themselves, and yet find it just as hard to solve their problems as we do. Beedle’s stories have helped generations of wizarding parents to explain this painful fact of life to their young children: that magic causes as much trouble as it cures.

Another notable difference between these fables and their Muggle counterparts is that Beedle’s witches are much more active in seeking their fortunes than our fairy-tale heroines. Asha, Althelda, Amata and Babbitty Rabbitty are all witches who take their fate into their own hands, rather than taking a prolonged nap or waiting for someone to return a lost shoe. The exception to this rule – the unnamed maiden of ‘The Warlock’s Hairy Heart’ – acts more like our idea of a storybook princess, but there is no ‘happily ever after’ at the end of her tale.” ~ Introduction by J.K. Rowling

Now what I enjoyed most, was probably Dumbledore’s commentaries. They don’t add much to the story and sometimes he just rambles on. But they build this world that JKR has created. You get to know more details about wands, dark magic, animagus, transfiguration, and all the little details that build this fantasy world which you have spent time on for the past 6-7 books. I also like JKR footnotes explaining the commentaries. The whole format just makes you feel that you’re actually reading a book translated from the real thing.

At this point you might think that I’m such a Potter fan, that’s why I’d think highly of any books that are Potter related. But I don’t think that’s why I like the book. I just love it when a fantasy world gets created in such details that you get to believe that it might be true. That it might exist in some parallel universe out there.

Pages: 105
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Publication year: 2008

Award
Shortlisted for 2009 WHSmith Children’s Book of the Year (lost to Breaking Dawn)

First line
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of stories written for young wizards and witches.

Last line
Even I, Albus Dumbledore, would find it easiest to refuse the Invisibility Cloak; which only goes to show that, clever as I am, I remain just as big a fool as anyone else.

Also reviewed by

Today I read (full review!) | The Symposium | Serendipity | A Reader’s Respite | Out of the Blue | Bryan’s Book Blog | The Book Lady’s Blog | Wrighty’s Reads | things mean a lot | 5-Squared | Melody’s Reading Corner | Dolce Bellezza | Stella Matutina | Musings of a Bookish Kitty | Fyrefly’s Book Blog | temporaryworlds | Pipe Dreams and Professions | Hello, my name is Alice | Age 30+ … A Lifetime of Books | Everyday Reads | where troubles melt like lemon drops | The Bluestocking Guide (negative review) | OF Blog of the Fallen (sort of negative too) | In Spring it is the Dawn (on Collector’s edition) | Falling Stacks | ChainReading | Once upon a bookshelf | Maw Books Blog

Sunday Salon: Foreign Movies + Little Things for Me

I spent pretty much the entire week finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Finally! I finished the series and joined the shrieking fan club. Both reviews of The Tales of Beedle the Bard and HP and the Deathly Hallows coming soon. Not that they need any review. But I should put some of my thoughts down.

summer-hours-movie-posterI watched 2 foreign movies this week. I won two tickets for Summer Hours at Dendy Cinema just next to Sydney Opera House, a French movie about heritage and loss of it. To be honest, I found it boring, though I didn’t yawn as much as I probably would have normally. It’s probably the language was such a barrier that I didn’t feel connected to the characters and the topic was pretty lame in this recession time. Two brothers and a sister was left with a big mansion, valuable, paintings and furnitures, of a deceased well known painter who inherited his wealth to the sibling’s mother (who then died too). The oldest brother would like to keep things intact, mostly for sentimental reasons, while his younger siblings don’t feel the same because of their different circumstances. The younger brother has been living in China and will continue to, possibly for more years, and the younger sister is looking to get married and move to USA. So both of them prefer to sell everything. The big brother has no choice but to do what the majority wants to. There’s not much drama or humour. It’s a very quiet movie that is probably for people who ever feel the loss of their heritage.

54191-largeSecond is Laputa: Castle in the Sky by Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki. I couldn’t remember for the life of me whether I’d watched it or not, but experienced a series of dejavu along the entire movie. Oh well, I’m writing it down now, so that won’t happen again! The movie opens with an attack scene of a bunch of pirates to a flying plane. A girl tries to run away and she drops to the earth. Magically her necklace glows and she floats nicely to arms of a young boy, Pazu. Later on they find out that both the pirates and another group of people on the plane want to capture the girl, who of course will be the key to find Laputa, the Castle in the Sky. The movie is cute and comical. I think the audience would definitely fall in love with the adorable bunch of sky pirates, who consist of a big bust grandma who the other pirates call Mama. The only thing that I feel lacking is the depth of history of the Laputa. I feel like it’s something that can be developed a lot further and deeper. They also spend very little time at the castle itself, spending most of the time running away and hiding (which serves a lot of the comical moments).

Both will go to my list of foreign movies watched for the OT Film Mini-Challenge.

readathonbutton

Following the read-a-thon last week, I have to mention that I found out I won a mini-challenge after my round-up post! That’s Book to TV cross-over mini challenge by Kathrin. So I won a book. Yay! That’s 2 read-a-thon in a row that I won a mini-challenge!

I also got another book from debnance at readerbuzz for joining her Bookcrossing mini-challenge. I picked Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim: A Visual Novel by Tom Corwin, because it sounds like a quirky fun little book.

More! Somehow I received a series of awards in the past week. Aaww how sweet! (Prepare for a lot of aaww moments) So I’m gonna list them here to acknowledge the people who have been nice to me :)

Suko from Suko’s Notebook passed me this award ages ago, for “being honest and speak their minds in a thoughtful manner“. Suko has been a loyal visitor and commenter of my blog. She was there when I hadn’t got involved much in book community and nobody commented except her ;). Aaww… much love for Suko <3

honest_award_black

I got this Lovely Blog Award from Kathrin from Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic and Callista from SMS Book Reviews. It’s given for newly discovered blog. Thanks you two, it’s nice to discover your blogs too!

3371241622_fab59392d6_m

I received Premio Dardos Award from Mark from absorbed in words. This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.” From his blog it seems that Mark likes Murakami too, so that’s probably why he passed me this award :P

premio_dardos_award

Let’s Be Friends from Teddyree from The Eclectic Reader. “Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.”

I’m not sure if I’m not interested in self-aggrandizement, but I do want to make friends. Aawww.

lets_be_friends

I find it too hard to pass along these awards and select only a few bloggers, so I’m not passing the torch. Boohoo. I hope it’s okay. Thank you all, I really appreciate the gesture :D

Mailbox Monday: OMG It’s Books Galore!

Mailbox Monday

Last week was crazy! I had the most books in my mailbox since.. ever!

img_1054-640x480

I got 10 books from bookclubgirl for being her 1000th follower! (Oh the joy of twittering!) They are (from bottom to top):

Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews
The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel
The Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Nothing is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn by Alice Mattison
The Art of Social War by Jodi Wing
The Air Between Us by Deborah Johnson
(ARC)
Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos
Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende
Captain Freedom by G. Xavier Robillard

Then I got an uncorrected proof copy (is that the same with ARC in Australia?) of Burnt Shadows by Kamile Shamsie from Australian independent publisher, Allen & Unwin.

That’s 11 books in total! Gosh, I can’t breathe. Thanks you two!

From the 10 books I got from bookclubgirl, I only recognize We Need to Talk About Kevin and Belong to Me (just because it’s featured in so MANY blogs). Apparently they’re probably not books that I usually read. (Oh I also know Isabel Allende of Zorro) I’d appreciate any comment if you have read any of them, or if you’ve read any book by the above authors.

ps: The rose on top of the books is my mom’s. She’s overseas at the moment but her roses just can’t stop blooming.

24 Hour Read-a-thon: Hour 24

Hour 24! And I’m wide awake! (Though that’s just because it’s 9pm here) I’m gonna do the last hour meme, and call it a day. Phew!

readathonbutton1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

None. But that’s probably because I didn’t push myself that much. I slept for 6 hours and I actually didn’t do things much differently than my regular weekend (I could read the whole day too on some weekends).

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Thin books and graphic novels are always the top choices for reading marathon.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Nope. I think the organizers have been amazing.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

It’s very organized. I think the shift between Trish, Nymeth, and Wordlily worked really well. I remember that Dewey was so tired to stay awake for the whole 24 hours the last read-a-thon that I joined, and she didn’t get to read much at all!

5. How many books did you read?

0.3 book I think. More or less :P

6. What were the names of the books you read?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ethel & Ernest by Raymond Briggs.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

All of them.

8. Which did you enjoy least?

None.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I wasn’t a cheerleader, but I imagine it’s getting harder for the cheerleaders to cheer with the number of participants increasing!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I will. A reader again. Yay!

Things that I will do differently for the next read-a-thon:

Be more prepared. I could probably sleep for a few hours just before the read-a-thon starts, so I don’t have to sleep as much during.
Prepare more snack. I only had Maltesers and I didn’t want to munch it too much.
Plan very quick lunch and dinner. Either cook them beforehand or just buy them.

Overall I found this read-a-thon experience to be less daunting than the previous one. The last time I was actually struggling to read for a long time at a time. This time it was enjoyable and I wish I could have more reading time. I guess I had learnt to read for longer time in one sitting since the last read-a-thon. So I’m sure the next one will be even better.

Ooh I read so much I’m so sick! I’m never gonna read it again for the next.. 30 minutes! :)

Thanks to the organizers, cheerleaders, and everyone that visited here! It’s been a great successful read-a-thon!

Total

Reading time: ~6 hours
Blogging time: lost track.. a lot.
Mini-challenges participated: 8
Books started: 2

Read-a-thon: Hour 22

24hrreadathon

I didn’t read in the last 3 hours :(. Needed to go to buy some grocery, whip up a quick cooking, eat, then watch my favorite TV shows: The Biggest Loser and You Think You Can Dance.

So far I think I’ve spent around 6 hours reading. I’m third way into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I did start Ethel & Ernest a little bit.

Participating in another mini-challenge:

A Striped Armchair’s Honoring Dewey Mini-challenge

As most of you know, Dewey of The Hidden Side of the Leaf began the read-a-thons. She passed away quite suddenly (at least suddenly to the book blogging community) last November, which is why the read-a-thon has been renamed in her honour.

So sometime in the next three hours, either share a favourite story/memory of Dewey if you knew her OR go to her blog and find a post that appeals to you (trust me, it won’t take long!). Then on your own blog (or in the comments here if you don’t have a blog), talk about why you chose it.

Eva shared a few interactions that she had with Dewey. Thought I’d go back and dig up my old comments as well.

Last week I joked how you have bigger chance of winning the mini-challenges that occur in the last hours, because everybody has started to sleep. Then Tanabata said,

I hadn’t thought about having a better chance to win the later mini-challenges. LOL!

I replied,

Actually I read it at someone’s blog during last year’s read-a-thon, and I thought, hey she’s right! :)

Since then I tried to remember, whose blog it was that I saw. Guess what, it’s apparently Dewey commenting on one of my last year’s read-a-thon post:

Don’t worry! Later on, when people in the U.S are all dropping like flies, you’ll be all perkily awake and ready to enter mini-challenges without as much competition! :)

Ooh I just suddenly miss her more. When I knew Dewey, I wasn’t blogging as much as I am today. So we didn’t interact that much. The comment above was one of a few of hers, and at that time I was happy/surprised that she visited, because she was such a well-known blogger who was very active in blogging community. Dewey’s blog was definitely one of my favorite. She’s funny, she’s nice, she works a lot to build the community, and I read a lot of books that she reads. She will be remembered for a long time.

Read-a-thon: Hour 17

readathonbuttonI’m enjoying this so far, as long as I don’t look too much at people’s statistic, like how many gazillion pages they have read or how many dozens of books they have finished. I have probably read about 5 hours more or less, while the rest was spent sleeping, eating, and blogging. Isn’t it great to spend a day just reading, eating, blogging, and sleeping? ;)

I gave up keeping up with my statistic because I kept losing track of how much time I spent for this and that.

The mini-challenges that I participated in since the last post:

Tammy’s Book Nook’s A Nod to Nonfiction
Filling my Patch of Sky’s Reading Madness! mini challenge

Life in the Thumb’s You know you’re participating in a read-a-thon mini-challenge

Thank you for everyone that’s been visiting! I’ll try to go around for a while to drop comments for you too!

Read-a-thon: Hour 11 & 2 Mini Challenges

read-a-thon

I just woke up at 7am, which is hour 10 of the read-a-thon. I read for 2 hours last night before I went to sleep for 6 hours, so I think it’s not bad. Then I spent the rest of the hour catching up of what’s been happening, visiting all the sites that host the mini challenges, commenting on some participants’ sites. It bummed me out that I missed some of the challenges, but hey, we still have quite a lot more hours to go, so I can participate later :).

I’m going to read again pretty soon. I’m sorry if I haven’t visited or left comment on your sites. I will do more later, I promise!

Meanwhile, since there are 2 mini challenges still running, I’m gonna try to do them.

The Curious Reader’s Love Your Local Library Mini Challenge

What is the name of your local library? What city is it located in?

I have 2 local libraries that I frequently go to: Bankstown and Lakemba (Canterbury) Library. They’re at the suburbs of Sydney, NSW.

How often do you go to the library? If you’re a regular, do the staff know you?

Since my hubby and I are not working at the moment, we go to the library at least once a week. We know the faces of lots of the staff, but I think they don’t know us yet because it’s a big library. Well except for one staff.

Do you browse while you’re there or just pick up items you have placed on reserve?

Both. At Bankstown library we have to pay $1 a book to reserve, so I don’t reserve there. But I do reserve at the other library.

What is your favorite thing about your local library?

Oh I grew up with library. I frequent library every where I live. I even go to library when I visit a new city. So any library is just a familiar place for me. For my current local library, I just love the whole atmosphere. It’s very convenient to browse around and you can always find a place to sit for a while. When I was in Singapore, I had to fight for seats all the time, it was crazy! There were just so many people!

Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic’s Books to TV Cross-over

Now, what I want you to do for the mini-challenge is to search your memory for books and book series that might also work as a TV series. Which are they, and do you already have some actors in mind for them? (If so, you might even post links to a photo of the actor!)

I always think that Harry Potter series would be great as TV series, since the movies have omitted so much of the detail. With TV series they will have more time to show everything that is in the books. For the actors, well, the current Harry Potter actors would be great.  But I always imagine that Harry would be skinnier, so they could perhaps use another actor for Harry if Daniel Radcliffe is too busy :P.

Now think about the movies or TV series you’ve watched. Which of them would you read as a book as well? What are they about and what genre would they be?

I can’t really imagine reading books out of TV series. Most TV series I watch are the funny type. Nothing much to write about that isn’t already in the show. With movies too, I don’t think I’d be interested reading a book out of a movie (the movie comes out first). I don’t think there has been a good one yet.

And finally, think about the books that have already been made into a movie or a TV series. And what about those movies and TV series that were made into a book?

I don’t even know if there’s any movie or TV series that has been made into a book. I like to watch a movie based on book because I can be sure that the story line is solid and strong enough to be made into a movie. But I don’t ever do it the other way around. Let me know if you have recommendation!

Total

Reading hours: 2
Blogging hours: 2.5 hours
Mini Challenges: 3

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...