Saturday, 22 October 2016

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone | Illustrated Version

Yesterday I said on Twitter that I wouldn't upload a new post today because I'm too ill. I really am ill, I have the most nasty cold and even getting up to go to the toilet feels like the biggest effort ever.

But I am very proud and happy at the moment for posting so regularly and I didn't want to miss a day now that I've finally found back into something that resembles a routine. However, I don't want to spend too much time on my Laptop. I'd rather cuddle up in bed with the radio on and a book. This is why today's post is a small one, but that doesn't mean it is less exciting!

Two days ago, I received a parcel from the Book Depository which contained my first copy of an illustrated Harry Potter book. You might have seen that only recently, they have released "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" as an illustrated version and I was tempted to buy it. But I didn't even have the first one yet so I thought I'd follow the proper order.

It is the well-known story (which I already own in three different versions, oops!) but with beautiful illustrations of Jim Kay. The pictures are absolutely beautiful, I absolutely love the style. And you can really tell how much thought he has put into them right to the very details.

Above I show you a page on which he has brought Diagon Alley to life and it looks truly magical. There are so many small things to discover on this single page and it just looks very similar to how I always envisioned it before watching the films.

Of course, this is the perfect version for children and younger readers, but it is also a wonderful one to have as an adult. I've read the Harry Potter books so many times before, in English, in German, and the first one even in Italian. But this book will really add something more to my reading experience, I'm very sure of it!

As soon as I've finished my current book (which is a reread as well), I will dive back into the magical world of Harry Potter and will enjoy the beautiful illustrations of Jim Kay.

Hev you bought one or even both of the illustrated Harry Potter books and how do you like them?


PS: I hope the pictures aren't too bad. I quickly took them with my phone and I didn't have the energy to think of a prettier background. Sorry about that!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Bridget Jones's Diary | Book Review

I am very, very late to the party with writing this book review more than 20 years after the novel was first published. But I only just now read it after having seen the films so many times. If you've seen my book haul I did in August, you'll have seen that I picked up the first two Bridget Jones novels at our local library for only 1 € each. Actually I wanted to read them in English but as I've found them for such a bargain price in German, I changed my mind. And today I'll give you my personal review of Bridget Jones's Diary.

I don't think that the story is a real novelty to anyone reading this post now. Bridget Jones's books and films have become such classics, I feel, and everyone must know what they're about. But just in case, here comes a little summary of the first book. Bridget Jones is a thirty-something single living in London. She doesn't have a man but instead a mother who only means well (but doesn't do well most of the time) and her friends who stand by her through all the ups and downs. Bridget is certain she would solve all her problems if she could just lose 7 pounds, stop smoking, and develop an Inner Poise. The book starts with Bridget's New Year's resolutions and we follow her throughout the year, how she struggles with men and mother problems and her chaotic life, and how she meets Mark Darcy.

I always loved the movies, which is not only because of the story but also because of Colin Firth, who is one of my favourites. Currently, I'm rewatching the BBC's Pride and Prejudice and he's just the perfect Mr. Darcy in both. But back to the book. I think it's even better than the film because you just get the full dose of Bridget. It's just so funny to read about all the things that happen in her life, about her crazy diet substitutes and how she philosophises about over-night weight gain.

Of course, a lot is over the top but I think this is also what makes the book so entertaining. The only thing I was really wondering about was her alcohol consumption. She was drinking loads (nearly) every day, so to me she was basically an alcoholic. But who wouldn't drown their sorrows in alcohol, lol.

I'm glad I've finally read it and I'm starting the second one soon as well. The new film will come out shortly in Germany too and I'm pretty excited to watch it. It surely will be another lighthearted feel-good movie and I'll definitely read the book as well.

Have you ever read the Bridget Jones' books? You'll probably have and I'm the only one who waited forever and a day to do so. ;) If you're like me and you've never read them but you love the films, then get your hands on the books, because you will love them too.


Sunday, 16 October 2016

My Favourite Harry Potter Book

I've originally seen the idea for this post on Hayley's blog where she wrote a post recently introducing her favourite Harry Potter book. To me, as a huge Potterhead, this was a great idea and since then I made up my own little list.

I always think it's so interesting to see what other people's favourites are. Although I feel the ultimate favourite one is most of the times quite similar, the ones at the bottom always differ a lot. Anyway, now I will tell you what my favourite and lesser favourites are.

7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
It's not as if I don't like this book because I do. I love all the Harry Potter books, but in comparison with some of the others, I enjoy this one just a little bit less. Its overall feel is quite dark and I do really miss more of the lighthearted parts that make Harry Potter special. Harry is so moody in this one and makes so many stupid decisions instead of confiding in his friends. And I just honestly hate Umbridge so much that it nearly causes me physical pain reading all this injustice and outrageous unfairness and racism. It's also the book in which Sirius dies which is so heartbreaking as he's been so important for Harry. I feel like a lot of people put this one last for similar reasons.

6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
This one is usually quite high up on all the lists I've seen so far. Again, I don't hate it, I just enjoy others a bit more. I love discovering the other schools and seeing all the different magical creatures, but it is also a very sad book. When I read it the first time as a teenager, I just couldn't comprehend why Cedric had to die. It really broke my heart, even though he wasn't a very big character. A lot of things come together in this book, with Voldemort returning and the whole magical world becoming a darker and more dangerous place.

5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
I really enjoy reading about Harry's first struggles when he discovers he's a parselmouth and I really feel with him. I also do enjoy the story with the chamber of secrets and the Basilisk and I love having Ginny coming to Hogwarts because she's such a great character. And of course Dobby appears in this book the first time and he must be the favourite of everyone. I mean, who doesn't love Dobby?? Also, Gilderoy Lockhart is quite funny when you think of it, even though he is a bigheaded dork.

4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
At first, I wanted to put this on third place, but I decided in favour of another book, so it ended up on fourth. I feel a bit bad about it because I genuinely love this book so much. It's definitely one of my ultimate favourites and I think actually that in my case, the third and fourth place are interchangeable as it's really not that definite. The reason why I love this book so much is that Harry finally finds out so much more about his parents and their time at Hogwarts. I also love Lupin, he's not only a great friend but also a very good teacher which cannot be taken for granted when you think of it. And it's also the book when Sirius comes into Harry's life and he finally gets something like a real family, which he has always longed for.

3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
This one ended up ahead of the Prisoner of Azkaban mostly for nostalgic reasons. It's the first one and therefore it will always be special. I love discovering the magical world and Hogwarts with Harry and seeing it all through his unknowing eyes. It's just so special to discover all these places for the first time and I love it when Harry, Ron and Hermione become friends as this is such an important part of the story. Hayley wrote in her list that she especially enjoys the everyday scenes in Harry Potter, which this one has plenty of. And I have to agree, I also especially love those parts as they really make you feel like you're there as well.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Well this one just had to be up here somewhere, right? Everything comes together in the end and I love reading this. It's such an emotional book as not only Harry starts questioning Dumbledore, but me as a reader did that too. The ending is of course quite sad too, with so many favourite characters dying, but I love that it has a happy ending. Anything else would have just felt wrong. Even though I said I love the everyday Hogwarts scenes in the Harry Potter books, I still enjoy reading Deathly Hallows a lot. The whole situation of Harry, Ron an Hermione, crammed in that tent with so much tention going on between them, just really reflects the whole magical world and community in my eyes and makes the ending especially satisfying.

1. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
This is without doubt my favourite Harry Potter book of all time and it has many reasons, but the most obvious one is: Snape. I love Snape, he is my favourite character, I love him even more than Harry and I can't really explain why. Maybe because no one ever saw who he really was until the end, when it was too late. I must say, I never doubted Snape, I just always had that feeling that he's a good egg. But back to the book. This is a very important one as we discover Horcruxes for the first time and Harry goes on adventures to find them with Dumbledore. A lot of the important knowledge Harry needs later on, he gathers in this book. I also really enjoy to learn more about Snape, although the most important bits come in the last book. Although this book is especially sad because Dumbledore dies, it also has its happy moments, for example when Harry and Ginny finally get together.

So, this is my list, but what would yours look like? Leave me a comment with your favourite Harry Potter book and let me know what you think of my personal collocation.


Friday, 14 October 2016

My First SourcedBox

Two days ago, I received my first SourcedBox. I didn't sign up for the subscription as it's just a bit too expensive for me at the moment and I also don't feel like I need a full box of snacks every month as I buy quite a lot of those things in store too.

But I was very curious about this box as I've seen Instagram posts of it every month and every time I wished I had one as well. I did look quite a few times already to order a one-off box but it has always been sold out already. Last month, however, I was finally lucky enough to get one.

It comes in a beautiful green plastic wrap and the box itself is just a simple cardboard which I like. In there, all the goodies are packed in white wrapping paper which is secured by a green SourcedBox label sticker. It contains ten different snacks which I find is really good for the price. I don't know what all of these cost individually, but I personally didn't buy the box to save money but to discover some new things.

In October's box I received:
- Raw Organic Raspberry Chocolate from Loving Earth
- The Pumpkin bar from Rude Health
- Vanilla Choc Chip Protein Snack from Pulsin'
- Beetroot Velvet Seed Toast from Science Kitchen
- Rawcha Cacao & Goji Organic Matcha Bar from Pretty Smart Food Co.
- Chocolate Hazelnut Tea Biscuit from Rhythm 108
- Organic Tomato Pesto Popcorn from Nom
- Sparkling Cherry & A├žai With Rooibos from Cape Drinks
- Hand Toasted Peanuts from Chika's
- Ginger + Spirulina Raw Bites from Bioglan Superfoods

The only thing that I did know and try already was the protein bar from Pulsin' which is really yummy so I don't mind having that in there, especially as I didn't have one since leaving Sweden. I haven't seen them in Germany yet, but maybe I did look in the wrong places.

All the other things sound absolutely delicious, I'm especially curious about the popcorn as I only ever had classic sweet or salty one before. The only thing I'm not so sure about are the Ginger and Spirulina Raw Bites. I love ginger a lot although I'm not too keen on spirulina, but we will see, maybe I end up loving them.

Have you ever ordered SourcedBox or something similar before? I am currently looking into some German subscription boxes and maybe I'll end up getting one at some point.