I’m back!

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So you thought you’d seen the last of me with that kitten post nearly fifteen months ago. You though, “Oh, hey… What happened to that blog made up of random book posts, tea, and whatever the author wanted to throw on the page on any given week?” I wondered that myself, to be honest.

At first, I simply stopped blogging because (I know, I know. I’m about to break the golden rule of reality television. NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, MENTION THE CAMERA.) it was no longer required of me. There. I said it.

So when I say I’m throwing myself back into this blog, I really mean it because now I’m doing it for myself (and hopefully a few readers). Does that mean it will lose the frantic randomness it had before? Most definitely not. If anything, it may become more random. The difference will be that I will make posts about things that genuinely interest me, whether it be about books, music, television, or my adventures as a writer who lives inside her own head most of the time.

Because let’s be honest for once. I may be a “Young Novel Addict” with a strange tea addiction and an obsessive personality that began with Harry Potter when I was 8, but there are so many other things to talk about.

So, my wonderful readers, stay tuned for changes to come.

In the meantime, re-watch AHS: Coven, read the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, or check out Lady Gaga’s latest performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

The Casual Vacancy

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I know, I know. I’m becoming predictable. I swear, next week I won’t mention anything related to J.K. Rowling or Harry Potter. Also, this post isn’t quite what it seems. I’m not writing a book review, praising the book, or trashing it. After all, that would imply that I had actually read the book.

No, this entry is about my somewhat irrational fear. I can’t read The Casual Vacancy. I can’t even buy it. This isn’t because I spent entirely too much money on concert tickets, greatly diminishing my bank account. (However, that did happen.) I can’t buy my reserved copy of the book that is just sitting there on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, waiting for a home, because I don’t want to be disappointed.

It sounds silly. I’ve been anticipating the release of  The Casual Vacancy since before it was even announced. Now that I could actually read it, I simply can’t. I’m actually starting to freak myself out over this.

I’m pretty obsessive over things like this, so one part of me is saying, “Go buy the book right now! Read it! Finish it tonight!”

Another part of me, which is somehow the more dominant part of my brain is saying, “Don’t read it! The book won’t live up to your incredibly high expectations! It will destroy the way you view your favorite writer!”

I’m trying to hold back the obsessive part of my brain, and it’s giving me a headache. I normally have no choice but to give in, but I guess fear is a stronger emotion. I am terrified of this novel.

I should mention that I know The Casual Vacancy will be nothing like Harry Potter, and I am glad she went in a completely different direction with this book. I am simply afraid that I have imagined Rowling’s talents. What if she isn’t really as great as everyone thought?

I know that I will have to read the book eventually. Maybe I can somehow make myself read it without having unobtainable standards. Maybe it will somehow be better than I hope. I mean, she has had five years to grow as a writer since Deathly Hallows was released.

Or maybe my fears are justifiable.

If you’ve read the book, please take a moment to comment. Did The Casual Vacancy live up to your expectations?

Censorship

I believe censorship is a waste of energy. Before you completely judge me for that statement and say, “but little kids need to be protected!“, realize that I am talking about older children. What I mean is, once a child reaches a certain age, censorship is counter productive. By restricting media, parents only add to the curiosity.

When I was eight or nine, I was a huge fan of Britney Spears. I watched many of her live performances in which she danced around partially naked, but I didn‘t understand the controversy. I had neighbors who were appalled by my parents’ decision to let me idolize the pop star. I remember not being allowed to show their children my Britney calendar, and I didn’t quite understand why.

Around the same time, everyone was freaking out over Harry Potter being witchcraft. My best friend’s mother threw out my friend’s books, and expected my mother to do the same. Of course, my mom allowed me to keep the books. Then, my grandfather’s wife found out I was reading Harry Potter. She thought my parents and I were going to Hell, I am sure. So one night, I spent the night at my grandpa’s house, much like I did before he married that woman. The next morning, we went to her church, where the preacher talked about the evils of Harry Potter, and how anyone who read the series was on a straight path to Hell. Even at the age of nine, I recognized that I had been set up. I thought the whole thing was ridiculous. I wasn’t going to let that woman tell me what I could and could not read. When I got home, I read my books and loved them even more.

Children are typically restricted because many adults(falsely) believe children do not have the ability to separate fantasy from reality. As children get older, restriction is more based on mature content. When I was thirteen, I started to watch the reality show, My Fair Brady, which featured the marriage of model Adrianne Curry and Brady Bunch actor Christopher Knight. My mom advised me to stop watching the show, which only made me like it more. I was by no means a rebellious teenager, but I secretly watched the entire first season of My Fair Brady when it re-aired late at night. If my mom hadn’t told me to stop watching it, I would have probably gotten bored with it and stopped watching after a week or two.

By my teen years, my parents had no idea what I read. I mean, how could they keep track when I finished several books in one week? I primarily stuck to YA lit until I was sixteen, but you could say that I was greatly educated through more mature young adult books. When I was thirteen, my grandmother took me to Barnes & Noble to pick out books before I went off to summer camp. I remember picking out a few books on my own, and my grandmother picked up Kate Cann’s Mediterranean Holiday. Little did my grandmother know, she bought me my first book with a full-blown sex scene. My parents had no idea, but at that point, I read so much that it would have been impossible to censor anything I read.

The point is, once a kid reaches a certain age, they pretty much make those kinds of decisions on their own. If I’d been uncomfortable reading a book with a sex scene, I would have put it down. If I was uncomfortable and someone tried to stop me from reading it, I may have read it anyway. As long as the media is not negatively affecting a young person’s life, censorship only makes the person more rebellious.

Sweaters and Tea

Today is the first cold and rainy day of the season, which means I was able to wear a sweater today! I love wearing sweaters. I mean, you can’t be a stereotypical book nerd without loving sweaters.

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Think of Hermione Granger. Emma Watson always wore the cutest sweaters in the Harry Potter films. The Harry Potter wardrobe department showed the world that it is possible to be smart and attractive.

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Also, just look at Martin Freeman(John Watson in BBC’s Sherlock) in this picture. Isn’t that sweater fantastic?

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And then there’s this one from Sherlock’s Christmas episode after the creators of the show found out the fans were obsessed with Watson’s sweaters. It’s one of the best nerdy – yet wearable – Christmas sweaters I’ve ever seen!

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Another important component to a rainy day is an endless supply of tea and coffee. If you prefer tea over coffee, go with a black tea. My favorite black tea is Earl Grey. I don’t know if it’s just because the word “grey” is in the name, but I feel like everything about this tea makes the grey sky a million times better.

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If you are willing to spend $4 at Starbucks, I would suggest getting a London Fog(an Earl Grey latte with a shot of vanilla) on a rainy day. About a year ago, a friend of mine had me try a London Fog, and I have been paying for the overpriced tea with foam ever since. They are seriously addictive.

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Most importantly, rainy days are the perfect excuse to stay indoors, plop down in a comfortable chair next to a window, and read.

So put on your favorite sweater, brew some Earl Grey tea, and read a good book.

 

A New Harry Potter Generation

As I will probably mention a million times, I am a product of the Harry Potter generation. To say that Harry Potter was my childhood would not be an exaggeration. To prove it, here are pictures of my childhood bedroom:

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I am telling you about my obsession because I have very exciting news. My roommate just began reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone for the first time. She has no idea what happens. At all. Do you understand how rare that is? She mispronounced Hermione’s name, much like I did when I first read the book twelve years ago, and innocently referred to Voldemort as “You-Know-Who”.

I am beyond excited that my friend is finally reading the series, but I am also sad and jealous. Sad, because it is too late for her childhood to be impacted by Harry Potter. She will never know what it was like to-after so much anticipation-hold a freshly printed Potter book shortly after midnight. I may be an extreme case, but J.K. Rowling completely shaped my life.

I am jealous of her because, unlike me, she can still read a Harry Potter book for the first time. She doesn’t know who lives or dies. She does not yet know that her heart will fall through the veil, off the astronomy tower, and fly off a bridge. Oh, wait. That last one only happened in the film, and is completely irrelevant…

Anyway, if you know how I feel, lend the book to a friend who somehow missed out on a magical childhood. If you happen to be one of these people, it is not too late to join the party. Make all of your Harry Potter friends jealous by mispronouncing Hermione’s name. Tell them that you think Snape is evil. Ask them what a Hufflepuff is(just don’t expect a direct answer).

As a self-proclaimed Harry Potter nerd, I desperately hope future generations, as well as people like my friend, see the magic in J.K. Rowling’s stories. It is up to those who grew up with Harry to pass the story on to common muggles who are oblivious to the magic around them.