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Other Novels To Discuss > The Tales of Beedle the Bard

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message 1: by Kandice (last edited Jan 20, 2009 08:22AM) (new)

Kandice In another topic, some of us have been lamenting the pressures of reading lately. What with our massive TBR lists, owned but unread books, challenges and group reads, some of the fun has gone out of just snuggling up and enjoying a few hours of escape into a good book.

I have had this book since Christmas, but since it was misplaced for a bit (and I was 4th on the list for a turn!) I have yet to read it. I am going to put aside the massive tome I am struggling through, and read this little book just to escape and enjoy.

I can tell from the threads that lots of us already have this, read or unread. I hope some of you will discuss it with me.

Happy reading


message 2: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Haven't read it yet. I don't know why. I must. Maybe I'll quickly read it next after my present book. I'm sure I said that the last time.


message 3: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I only started this morning, and am more than halfway through. Super quick read, and i was thinking, a nice break from the "struggle"! Please do... It's so much fun discussing with you.


message 4: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) I want to re-read the HP series before I read it this. I haven't read the last HP, but of course I heard of how the book comes into play.


message 5: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Hang on. How can you not have read the last HP yet? You mean, not at all?

How is this possible?

*goggle eyes*


message 6: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) Nope. Haven't read it at all. I don't even know what happens because I haven't read any spoilers. I stay away from any and all HP threads. I'm hoping sometime soon to re-read the series.




message 7: by Kandice (last edited Jan 20, 2009 10:58AM) (new)

Kandice Oh my gosh! I can not even fathom waiting this long. But, really it doesn't matter if you have read Hallows or not. These little tales are just a side note. I am really enjoying them.
Of course there's the added bonus of re-visiting JKR's created world. I spent so much time anticipating the next installment, it really beame a big part of our lives.



message 8: by Jamie (last edited Jan 20, 2009 12:45PM) (new)

Jamie I don't know - I think I'd wait until I'd finished DH, since this book plays a role in DH. One tale in particular might spoil certain parts of it.


message 9: by Laura (new)

Laura | 56 comments I have the book..but haven't read it yet. It awaitings in the TBR pile.


message 10: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Obviously not as many people as I thought!

I find the footnotes in Strange and Norrell sooooo distracting, but I relish the footnotes in this book. If you look at size and length, there are just as many, but they are welcome each time they come up. Isn't that strange? I would have thought just the idea of footnotes in fiction bugged me, but I guess it's just the footnotes in THAT book that get under my skin.

My favorite tale so far is The Fountain of Fair Fortune. I think the moral, that basically we are all entrusted with our own destiny, is a terrific one. A bit along the line of "God helps those who help themsleves"


message 11: by Heather (new)

Heather (hsditto) My favorite tale was The Fountain of Fair Fortune too, Kandice!

This book was a nice, quick read and very enjoyable. I too, was thrilled just to be back in Rowling's magical world again. I miss not having new HP books to look forward to! I'm impatiently waiting for the newest movie to come out this summer. If I stay on plan, I'm going to reread the series (again) before I go see the movie. Seems like a good time to do it :)

OK, back to Beetle the Bard...I gave it 3 stars...What do you guys think of Dumbledore's assessment at the end of each tale? I found that my mind started to wander as I was reading those parts. I much preferred the tales themselves and wish that there had been more of them!


message 12: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn I gave it four stars.
This was all I was hoping for, and more! Why, then, only four stars? Because it really wasn't as astounding in content or as fabulous in style as the HP novels. However, I don't think it was meant to be. This is a collection of fairy tales, fables. As such, they are not meant to be elaborate in scope or remarkable examples of literary talent. No, these are the tales that wizarding parents can adapt to tell their children at bed-time (remember Ron's dispute with Hermione's translation of one of the tales, haha!) they are meant to be sparse so that various versions can blossom throughout the ages. At heart lies the moral of each story. I believe JK Rowling succeeded in capturing the essence of fables/fairy-tales in terms of style while making the morals relevant not only to her wizarding world but to muggle children, as well. Moreover, her illustrations are lovely and apt.

The "bonus" for me is Dumbledore's commentary on the tales. How splendid to hear more from the beloved Hogwarts Headmaster. Often humorous, always insightful, the commentary reveals a little more of Dumbledore's character as well as some deeper insights into the wizarding world that compliment Harry's story well (i.e., wand lore, wizard vs. muggle relations) and even just some smaller questions that were never resolved in the novels (i.e., the difference between a wizard and a warlock).

I bought the special edition and am not at all sorry. It's beautiful! Despite some of the less-than-stellar reviews for this story, I still highly recommend it in either version for true HP fans. Don't go into it expecting something of equal depth, scope or style to the novels. Approach it as you would a collection of OUR fairy-tales. Then, picture Mrs. Weasley telling the tale of Babbity Rabbity to Ron and his siblings, and you'll smile and be well satisfied! :-)


message 13: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Kathryn, that's a lovely image to associate with these tales. She's pretty much the only magical mother we become well acquainted with, isn't she?

I just read the reference to McGonagall wanting to make it clear that she uses her animagus powers appropriately! Too funny. Those little, familiar additions really put us back in that world completely.


message 14: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Heather-I like Dumbledore's commentary. I hear the actor's voice from the movies (Harrison!!!!!) and just soak it up.

I'm sure almost all HP fans do, but I desperately wish she would go back and write about Harry's parents and their cronies. It would obviously be an exciting story, and there would certainly be enough for a series. I can understand as a writer just wanting to move on, but... one can always hope;)


message 15: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) I'd like to see a book where it's from both James' and Snape's POV - in the same book.

It'd make a great book. I think there's a lot of stuff unanswered that'd make a great story.


message 16: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn One thing that struck me with Dumbledore's commentary was how it ended--the very last sentence. I thought it was a very interesting, and rather bittersweet, final view of this character I loved all along. Anyone else feel the same?

Overall, I liked the Dumbledore's commentary aspect.


message 17: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Fiona, that would make a great tale! I wonder why JK says she is done with the world of HP. I mean, I could see wanting to branch beyond the Harry, Ron, Hermione Hogwarts years -- or even their characters, but the world she created is so rich, and the side characters so deep, there could be lots more to cover while still making it seem fresh. Oh, well! At least it is exciting to think of what she might come up with next. Let's hope it's something as wonderful! ;->


message 18: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Kathryn, I agree, absolutely. I would like to post it hear, but don't want to *spoil*. Dumbledore is such an honest man (even about himself). I wish every one of our children could have a role model like him! Magical or not.


message 19: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Fiona wrote: "I'd like to see a book where it's from both James' and Snape's POV - in the same book.

It'd make a great book. I think there's a lot of stuff unanswered that'd make a great story."


She could alternate POV between chapters. I'm not really interested in Lilly's, but Sirius would be good too. 3 POV's would probably be too confusing, so sticking to the two sides of the issue (with Snape and James) would be great.




message 20: by Heather (new)

Heather (hsditto) Kathryn, I really enjoyed reading your assessment of the book (msg 12)...very eloquent and well spoken!

I think the idea of a new book/series starring James, Sirius, and the gang is wonderful! There is definitely a lot of story there to tell and I would love to hear more about that period in Hogwarts and the wizarding world's history. We got some amazing glimpses of it in the HP books. I especially remember the scene where we see Sirius and James completely humiliating Snape. I started to feel sympathy for Snape after that!

Have there been any rumors of such a book, or any other spinoff book, on the horizon?


message 21: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Not that I have seen Heather. I have to say the scene you mentioned made me feel so emotionally conflicted. I really felt for Snape and understood a bit more of why he is so.... Snapeish! I didn't care for James or Sirius at all as I was reading that, hence the confliction. What a wonderful author to make us feel that way.About people we don't know. Will never know. Made-up characters. In a book. Amazing.


message 22: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn I agree, Heather and Kandice, that was a great scene! I have not heard anything about such a spin-off and last I heard was simply that JK was "done" with Harry Potter. The only rumors I heard about her next book are that it's a mystery, but those were then said to be simply RUMORS.

By the way, many of you are probably already familiar with the wonderful HP site, but in case not: www.mugglenet.com
They have lots of fun stuff, as well as great updates.


message 23: by Emily (new)

Emily I thought this book was cute, and it only took about an hour to read. I agree that I wouldn't recommend it to people who weren't really big fans of the other books. I also think it needed the Dumbledore commentary, otherwise it wouldn't feel Potter related at all!


JG (The Introverted Reader) Kathryn, I enjoyed reading your comments about the book.

I took this out of my review:

I'll be honest here. True, morbid, Brothers Grimm fairy tales are just not my thing. I much prefer the fully fleshed out, happily ever after Disney versions. So, this book was just okay for me. Rowling did a good job of staying true to the form of real fairy tales, I have to give her that. It just wasn't for me. They were mostly mildly entertaining. I liked that Rowling points out that the heroines of her stories are not helpless females that things just happen to while big strong men rescue them. Her heroines rescue themselves. Dumbledore's comments did add some insight. Some of Rowling's comments felt unnecessary. This book is aimed at Harry Potter fans. What true Harry Potter fan doesn't know what a Muggle or a Squib is? But then some comments could have been explained further. I would have liked to be told about an Ashwinder instead of being referred to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. That happened several times and felt like an attempt to push up sales of that book.

This doesn't really have anything to do with anything, but I loved the feel of this book. It's such a nice, neat little book and the pages feel so smooth! Call me weird. I know.

I don't regret reading this, but I don't feel like I gained much from it either. I did like that the proceeds from the book are being donated to a children's charity that Rowling co-founded. That's really probably justification enough for me.


JG (The Introverted Reader) Fiona wrote: "I'd like to see a book where it's from both James' and Snape's POV - in the same book.

It'd make a great book. I think there's a lot of stuff unanswered that'd make a great story."


This is a great idea, Fiona! I wish she'd do it! I have to admit that I never really liked James too much after reading the stuff that he did to Snape. It would redeem him some for me if she wrote the book and showed how he grew past that bullying stage.


message 26: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 548 comments I have this book in my nightstand and it will be my prize for finishing 'Love in the Time of Cholera'

JG wrote I would have liked to be told about an Ashwinder instead of being referred to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. That happened several times and felt like an attempt to push up sales of that book.

You are probably right. JK often gives away info from the HP series but Fantastic Beasts was written for a UK Children's charity so they more pushy about getting you to buy it.


message 27: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 1002 comments I too felt this was a nice little read...and if I had looked at it as just that I might have enjoyed it more. I think because I love JK Rowling and feel she is very creative that I expected "something more". The stories did (especially the first) were trite and uninspired.

I also just read the Book Thief and the tale in there about the Word Shaker was much more of what I was expecting looking forward to. When comparing the two there is no contest.

Ultimately I'm glad i read it. And it was a nice little break - but I feel that it could have been ....so much more!

-- Wife of GR author Michael J. Sullivan: The Crown Conspiracy (10/08) | Avempartha (04/09)


message 28: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I so wish she would write from Snape and Jame's perspective JG, because I feel a bit guilty not liking James as much. There must be reasons, give them to us!!!!

It is a pretty little book! I have Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but read the book at work, so it was nt close at hand. Frustrating!

Esther-This book was a bit of a reward to myself as well. It was SUPPOSED to be after I finished a certain book, but I don't have willpower. I am a spineless jellyfish!

Robin-I don't think I expected more, but she was certainly capable of it and I definitely WANTED more. I guess that's a moral right there-You don't always get what you want ;) (too bad)


message 29: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (last edited Feb 19, 2009 11:11PM) (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) Heather wrote: "I think the idea of a new book/series starring James, Sirius, and the gang is wonderful! ..."

Okay, it took me awhile to find it. JK Rowling penned a prequel to Harry Potter. She wrote it on a card and crammed 800 words on it. It was auctioned off, as well as cards written out by other others and UK Bookstore Waterstone purchased it and put them out in a small book. I think I saved the photo of the card on my harddrive but it's hard to read her handwriting. The text of it's been written out for you to read online. You can read the prequel here:

http://www.gryffindorgazette.com/2008...

It's 2000 characters too much to post here unless I broke it into two posts. Will only take you a couple minutes to read. It's a short youthful adventure with Sirius and James.

Enjoy.

Oh, and for HP fans, she is writing an encyclopedia for the wizarding world she created. She wrote background stories for Harry's classmates that never made it into the books and that sort of thing will end up in her encyclopedia. I have no idea what the projected date for this is, other than that she has said she's working on it. (I also heard she's writing some other non-HP book first.)



ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) Kandice wrote: "It is a pretty little book! I have Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but read the book at work, so it was nt close at hand. Frustrating! ..."

She wrote two text books:

Quidditch Through the Ages
and
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The money went to her children's charity.


message 31: by Fiona (Titch) (new)

Fiona (Titch) Hunt (titch) I didn't rate it that much hun.


message 32: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 1002 comments Briansgirl thanks for sharing that site - very interesting. I'm off to read it now!




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