Saturday, 19 May 2018

A No-Maj Ponders Potter: The Goblet of Fire


Have you missed my godson's journey through the Harry Potter films? Well, today he's back at it again with his review of the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)!

Unlike the previous chapters, this movie doesn't start with Harry being the victim of mistreatment in his uncles' house. Instead, we find ourselves with an old man trying to enter an abandoned house. Probably a homeless friend of Professor Lupin and Sirius Black. When he manages to get inside, he encounters that balding and very clumsy rat-man talking to someone sitting in an armchair. The only thing we could see form the person resting in the armchair was a skeletal hand poiting with his finger, recognized by all movie lovers. Shortly after this, the character notices the presence of the homeless and, instead of offering him coffee and cookies, shoots him a spell. I would never say that E.T. didn't enjoy guests.

Harry Potter and Ron are woken up by Hermione in a hovel they must have rented. Oh, well... Teenagers are like this, they rebel against their families and go live in herds. They pick their housing according to their degree of drug addiction: small apartments next to universities for the sporadic users, hippy wagons for the usual consumer and houses in ruins for the most serious cases. Drugs and summer festivals are the top pastimes of teenagers, and Harry's group is ready to go to a festival when they meet the Twilight vampire. Turns out he's playing the stud-role, judging the way Hermione looks (there's no need for that, we all know he ends up with Bella Swan). By now, you should know my opinion about characters who play a stud-role: I always suspect that they're malicious or that they hide secrets. I will watch Edward Cullen's behavior with suspicion. The main signs that tell us we have reached teenhood are long hair, sleeping till noon, drug usage and attendance at festivals. No doubt that Harry Potter, his friends and the other people who walk behind them (I think it's Ron's family) meet all these requirements.

But, fortunately, adolescence gives us as much as it takes from us, and Harry has acquired a bit of responsibility. After a fire at the festival they travel by train to Hogwarts because holidays are very nice but studies come first. During the trip, a lady walks past with a cart full of sweets, just like the ones Harry bought in the first movie. Ron buys some things and Harry was already ready to buy the whole cart when a girl anticipates herself and gets some candy. I don't know whether it's because he has gained some economic sense or because he likes to buy things before they are opened by other people, Harry ends up not buying the whole candy cart. At Hogwarts, Dumbledore announces that they will host the Triwizard Tournament, where three schools meet and compete with a student in a game involving three tasks. The director of one of them, Madame Maxime, is a giant and only there to distract Hagrid, throughout the film, who doesn't realise that it's a disguise to destroy his heart. It's certainly Voldemort's ploy to prevent Hagrid from helping Harry: being always around her, Hagrid won't remember that Harry might need help. Then a drunken man with a strange eye comes in and starts firing spells everywhere.

The singing up method for the competition is confusing and no wonder it will later give problems. Whoever wishes to register must fill out their application, which is nothing more than their name on a piece of paper and throw it into the fire. When the contestants are chosen, Harry is among them and no one's happy about it. Personally, I think it's the way they made the students to sign up. Hogwarts goes ahead with two candidates while each of the other schools only has one. In the first task, Harry runs away from a dragon to fly on a broom until the animal flies against a bridge and he manages to steal his egg. In the second, more complicated, Harry eats some spinach that gives him fins and lets him breathe under water. I'm not sure if this shouldn't have been considered dopping, since his opponents only had a shark mask, air bubble and I'm not even sure about the other one. The third and final test is a maze in which Harry Potter, boasting himself, even launches fireworks before victory. After winning he's transported to the presence of Voldemort where they fight a semi-epic battle, given that he flees halfway.

About the characters in this saga:

Voldemort
At the beginning we only see a skeletal hand and a stretched finger so we conclude that this time Voldemort is masked as E.T. At the end of the movie the rat man mercilessly shoots a baby into a boiling cauldron and adds Harry Potter's blood and a bone. From this mix a sort of fish with legs is born, saying he is Voldemort but I don't believe it. During the saga we were following Voldemort's preference for bald heads, so it's no surprise to anyone that the fish it's said he has turned into is also bald. When I was younger, I was offered a toy, apparently made of plastic figures. Playing time consisted in immersing these dolls in water and, as if by magic, within a while, they became jelly dolls several times larger than the original ones. I confess I've never experimented with a Dark Lord but I have to take my hat off to Peter Pettigrew for the idea. Then this legged fish duels with Harry Potter but he manages to escape.

Dumbledore
They say he's a great wizard but so far he hasn't been able to do much. At lighting up and extinguishing candles he's the greatest but when it comes to defeating enemies, he leaves a lot to be desired. Both he and Snape are very weak, doing only the most basic spells. If they don't improve quickly they will take serious risks in the next films, moreover now that the fish that killed the vampire is quite strong and will soon get inside Hogwarts. I think Dumbledore is out of energy and should think about retirement. At some point he starts taking out of his hair a few strands of spaghetti and puts them in a pot, he looks in and says that he is remembering things... I seriously don't think he's in good shape, he's a nice person, yes, but we need someone more suitable.

Cedric
I confess that I distrusted this boy early in the movie, but after all he's a decent guy. It's urgent to appeal against the prejudices towards vampires, as he could totally be in the sunlight and didn't see him bite anyone. He even helped Harry Potter in the triward competition.

Hermione and Ron
They finally gained some personality and left Harry alone. This kept them from getting into trouble. Earlier, I had warned that if this didn't happen, they would all die because of Harry's foolish ideas. Fortunately they gained some sense and stayed unarmed.

Moody
He's a drunk guy who appears firing up his wand in the air, killing spider and to turning students into weasels. Throughout the entire film he's been hanging on to the alcohol. Note that he's a very powerful wizard and helps Harry Potter on several occasions. When his drink finishes, he starts to bubble until he turns into the son of the Head of the Department of International Cooperation in Magic, a friend of Voldemort's, as he'd been seen in one of Dumbledore's spaghetti. The real Moody is inside an ark. I don'tt know if the real Moody is going to stay at Hogwarts but I do not think so.

As my final thoughts, with some cheating involved, the school of Hogwarts got the trophy. I confess that at this point I expected more powerful spells from the "good ones." The "bad guys" have very good and strong spells, while Hogwarts only seems to teach how to light up the tip of a magic wand. If the teachers think that they're going to beat the great Lord of black magic with Expelliarmus and Wingardium Leviosa they are well deceived.

Don't miss out on his next review on the Order of Phoenix! If you haven't read the previous ones so far, you can find them over here:

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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Eurovision 2018



Despite the fact that I tell myself I really don't care about this contest, every year, without failing, I sit in front of the tv and watch it just to confirm if Portugal is still the worst one. I did have a big surprise last year, but I wasn't very hopeful for this year. I mean, only Spain, Luxembourg and Israel have ever won twice in a row so the bar was set very low for us!

For the most distracted people (or american population that may follow my blog in general), the Eurovision Song Contest is the longest-running annual international TV contest of all time, currently in its 63rd year with over 40 countries eligible to compete. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the competition's winning entry. The final result is calculated with 50% the country's juri vote, whom I have no idea who they are, and the other 50% the public at home and there's usually a lot of politics involved, like neighbours voting for neighbours. For this contest, we bring it all in and we basically have two different kinds of performances: ballads and weird wtf songs.

So last year, Portugal managed to score their first victory, ending the longest winless run by a country in Eurovision history (53 years). Salvador Sobral got us another record as well: the highest scoring winner under the current voting system, with 758 points. And, as the winning country, that meant we got to host this year. Not surprisingly, though, we ended up in last place, back to our usual spot. This time, the UK even managed a higher score than us!

My favourite and, to me, the rightful winner was "You Let Me Walk Alone" by Michael Schulte from Germany. I also enjoyedo "Fuego" by Eleni Foureira from Cyprus with her Beyonce vibes (who ended up in second place), "Outlaw in 'Em" by Waylon from The Netherlands, who brought some country to the competition, austrian Kanye West mixed with Craig David vibes with "Nobody but You" by Cesár Sampson (who was also competing for the trophy right until the end) and estonian Elina Nechayeve with "La Forza" who got a good public vote position. Honestly, though, I would have loved to see the british SuRie with "Storm" win, since despite all the security involved, someone managed to get in the stage and steal her microphone (not shown in the video), but she managed to finish strong anyway (she was given the chance to perform again but declined)! Had she won, next year, after Brexit day, the UK would be forced to host a massive celebration of European unity and diversity!

Honorable mentions go to Ukraine, with a vampire kid who made me Google where Transylvania is actually situated (Romania, not Ukraine), Czech Republic with its MC Hammer vibes, Hungary with its metal-rock, and Denmark's artist who, despite the need of men up in the Wall of Ice, still managed to sing at the contest.

Now, I've given you five good winning potential songs, in my opinion. Those fall into the ballad option of Eurovision songs. Let me now tell you about the winning song, which definitely falls into the weird category. The winner was "Toy" by Netta from Israel, which apparently was a favourite when it comes to the betting pools, and combines a trademark chicken dance, electronic dance song, japanese manga and women's empowerment lyrics. So, as you can see (and hear), it had everything to be a major hit!

All in all, I have a mix of good feelings about the contest. I'm satisfied with Portugal's score - so much pride in fighting for the last place, I like to think we were such good hosts we didn't want anyone to feel sad about scoring last. However, I'm unhappy with the winner. While I get how Netta won, I still feel like my favourite Michael Schulte was injusticed and deserved the trophy. I will definitely be following Eurovision 2019 in Israel and I hope it's even better (read: weirder) than the 2018 edition!

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Sunday, 6 May 2018

Hallo Deutchland! (Or: Four Days in Berlin)



Me and a friend decided to break the routine and take two days off to travel somewhere. We  ended up choosing Berlin, in Germany, because neither of us had been there yet and the flights were cheap compared to the other options. We booked the flights and the hotel and last Saturday took off to Germany's capital and stayed there for four days.

So where did we stay while there? We chose the H2 Hotel Berlin-Alexanderplatz via Booking.com and I seriously couldn't recommend it enough because it seriously exceeded our expectations. It's marketed as a two-star hotel but it definitely doesn't look like it! It's very clean, the staff was very nice and the breakfast had lots of food to choose from. Besides that, it's a five-minute walk from Alexanderplatz so you couldn't be more central and the bus from the Tegel airport (TXL) goes straight there. You can also find a supermarket behind the hotel and, if you feel like eating typical german food, do visit the restaurant next to it. It's called Hofbräu München Tavern and it's where we, on our last night there, ate a delicious sausage the size of my arm, the Hofbräu Currywurst.


Let me now tell you about what we did. We got ourselves in the 9am flight with a stop in Munich and landed in Berlin at around 15h. We got into the first TXL bus we saw (after buying a 7€ daily ticket), which took us to Alexanderplatz, dropped our stuff at the hotel and left immediately for the Tv Tower (Berliner Fernsehturm), a symbol of the communist power of the German Democratic Republic, where we looked at Berlin from 203m high. We then caught the S-bahn, Berlin's railway system, to the East Side Gallery where we walked around 1km following the remnant of the Berlin Wall covered in art from artists all over the world.

On the second day, we took a bus to the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) and walked to the Reichstag. We initially wanted to visit the Reichstag's dome as we heard it has a very nice 360º view of Berlin. However, it is only open to visitors with prior registration (which we didn't have) so we looked around for a few minutes and walked back to the gate towards the Holocaust Memorial. After that, we kept walking until the Potsdamer Platz and caught a bus to Checkpoint Charlie and from there, caught another bus to the Jewish Museum. I was honestly a bit disappointed with the museum, since the permanent exhibition is under reconstruction and we could only access the basement of the Libeskind Building, the Garden of Exile, and the Voids. While the Memory Void is pretty powerful, the basement is mostly abstract art. After the Jewish Museum we went to the Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom), climbed to the top (it's a lot of steps, be prepared) and then decided to take a boat trip on the river. We went on the one in front of the DDR Museum (which we decided we weren't really interested in, since it was 10€) and it had a really nice and funny guide, I totally recommend.


On the third and last full day we went all the way to Charlottenburg Palace (Schloss Charlottenburg) but we decided not to go inside since the tickets are around 20€. It's about 45 minutes from the center of Berlin and we took the S-bahn and then the bus to there. After that, we took the bus to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Victory Column but we didn't climb to the top, walked to the Bellevue Palace and then took a bus to the Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors) which is a free outdoor and indoor history museum in the former headquarters of Gestapo. On the last day, we slept in, ate a big breakfast and decided to walk a bit around the Alexanderplatz to check a few places we hadn't yet: The Neptune Fountain (Neptunbrunnen), the Red Town Hall (Rotes Rathaus), the St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche) and the St. Mary's Church (St. Marienkirche).

As last thoughts, Berlin isn't very a pretty city but it's mostly full of history and you can totally get the hang of the city in four days, like we did. We found the transportation system (at least the S-Bahn) a bit confusing since we never knew which side to stand on and buses were easier to understand and very reliable. It's easier to buy the 7€ daily ticket than walking everywhere because it's a big city, and it's totally worth it if you're planning to take at least two trips in the day. Do validate your ticket if you buy it in the S-Bahn/U-Bahn stations instead of the bus because you will get caught by the controllers and they will fine you (60€), even if you're a tourist and don't know you need to validate. Trust me on this, it's not very pleasant (and neither are they).


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Sunday, 29 April 2018

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (A Witch's Review)



First of all, let me tell you what this Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is all about: it's a new mobile game, released on this past 25th of April, based on my favourite book series, Harry Potter. So as you might expect if you know me, I was extremely excited to be able to download it and play it myself. It was marketed as a game where you can create your own character and take on the role of a Hogwarts student, experiencing all seven years and taking part in classes while solving a mystery. My hype was all up, as I was expecting sort of crossover between The Sims game and Hogwarts.

It starts in 1984, a bit after Harry defeated Voldemort for the first time, and it features characters known from the books during their student years like Bill and Charlie Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks and teachers who were working at Hogwarts during that time such as Hagrid, Snape, McGonagall, Dumbledore, Flitwick and Madam Hooch. We also see Filch and Ms. Norris, who are as detestable as always.

Our journey begins creating our character before arriving at Diagon Alley where twe meet Rowan Khanna who advises us to purchase our books from Flourish and Blotts and we then become friends, after getting our names straight. Afterwards, we get a wand from Ollivanders and we find out we have a brother, Jacob, who went missing and, depending on the answer we select in response, we will receive one possible wand wood and core out of three possible ones. We arrive at Hogwarts, the Sorting Hat asks us which house we're hoping for and then place us there, which will be the same house Rowan was placed in.

Now this looks tons of fun, right? Right. And it is. For a while. We get to complete missions in the story, where we get closer and closer to find what happened to our brother Jacob, and also learn spells, potions and how to fly properly with Madam Hooch (who is somehow better at Divination than Trelawney and manages to name a broom, Firebolt, which will only be released in the future). The problem is that it's an energy-based game. So we're living our Hogwarts magical dreams... until we run out of energy. You need energy to complete most of the game's tasks and then you have to wait for it to fill up to free before we can continue playing.  Of course, you can refill your energy by using some gems, the game’s premium currency, but it costs real money. We also have to wait around 3h for the next tasks... It's basically just a very long waiting game... And I don't like to be kept waiting. Also, it's not like we haven't already done our waiting, twelve years of it, in Azkaban!

Another subject I'd like to point out is our characters customization, or the lack of thereof. We don't have a lot of options to start with (we could've had it all with The Sims - Hogwarts Mystery) and most of the actual customization costs either a huge amount of in-game galleons or gems (again, the paid ones) so we're reduced to a short amount of options if you're a poor Weasley, or just don't want to spend money with the game. Even if you're willing to put your actual money in the game, there aren't a lot of options either so I'd save your money.

Finally, let me just mention a few more issues. We don't have access to all locations at once, but rather we get access to them as we move up in years at Hogwarts. For example, I understand how a first-year can't get into the Divination classroom but it makes no sense to me to have the Owlery unlocked only in the sixth year. I mean, I come from a magical family, they're going to get worried if I don't communicate with them for six years! I also haven't figured out the housecup points system, who decides (and how) which house is winning?

Now, will I continue to play this? Absolutely, I will stay with it until the very end, or until there's no more years to level up to (also, I want to know what happened to my brother!). I would even keep playing if Portkey Games added life after Hogwarts such as jobs and eventually meeting Harry's timeline, playing as a side character, just minding my own bussiness, and we happen to cross paths sometimes with Harry and his friends (in Hogsmeade or Hogwarts, for example). Just a suggestion I leave here, leave it or take it, Portkey Games!

Personally, I'm really curious about the whole Jacob issue and I also want to know who teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts! What about you, did you install the game? What are your thoughts on it?

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Friday, 20 April 2018

Movie Review: The Shape of Water (2017)



When my boyfriend came up to me after having just seen this movie and started talking it, I thought that it had all the potential for a post here. I suggested him so and he accepted the challenge! Despite the fact that I'm in Berlin (do expect a post about the trip very soon), I present you his review of The Shape of Water (2017), a film that won 4 Oscars and 9 nominations. I would like to previously advice you that he didn't have the patience to watch the whole movie, jumped several parts and the review is slightly PG-13.

“The Shape of Water (2017) is a movie that doesn't deceive the viewer. The movie poster shows kind of salmon with human limbs clinging to a woman, and that's what this movie is all about: the love story between a grown-up fish and a lady with not so many words.

The movie begins by showing us any US military facility where a man who looks like a fish, or a fish that looks like a man, or something like that... probably a fish that always wanted to be a man, and now, with a more transgender friendly society, has decided to step out of the closet. The reason why this fish appears to be taken to the military base isn't well understood. He appears and there we have it, without warning, being dragged with some grunts. It was probably caught in some lake or river. Unfortunately, life's like this sometimes. A person spends money on good bait, and then instead of fishing for a beautiful trout, it comes up with a fish with legs, arms and a mustache.

Throughout the movie, the man/fish isn't well received by some sort of FBI store manager who works at those facilities. As soon as he sets his sights on the transfish, he's suddenly reluctant, and that's the motto of the rest of the film: The inspector trying to kill the hairy sargo. I didn't get the reason for this hatred on the inspector's side, perhaps it's just because he's someone who didn't tolerate the stink of fish.

I must add that in the middle of it all a mute maid appears who, and this is the point that must be stressed: falls in love with the fish ... and decides to have sex with him. Why, her reasons, and, more importantly, why the need to present us with this sample of XXX subordinate to fish farming isn't well understood. However, it should be mentioned this same lady is indeed a peculiar person from a sexual point of view. At the beginning of the film, the director decides to show us twice the lady masturbating in the bathtub. So far nothing against that, and depending on the sexyness of the actress, I even support it. However, there is a curious detail: she always times her masturbation with one of those egg-shaped timers that people use to cook. Why? No idea. Maybe she's a very organized person who plans her time well. Maybe not. Maybe she's a lady who has always wanted to set a record of reaching the orgasm and enter the Guiness. Maybe not. There's some reason behind this, and this is the great and fundamental question that remains unanswered about this film.

In the end, the mute maid tries to save the fish. Both end at the bottom of the river like a kind of Romeo and Juliet but with more scales and gills.

Final Note: I didn't like it. I found it boring, with little development and too predictable. 4 out of 10.

It seems to me, therefore, that this film is a second Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), a film that also received 4 Oscars and 5 nominations but that I couldn't at all undestrand what it is that people saw about it. One thing is certain: I'm not at all interested in watching The Shape of Water. And you, have you watched it? Do you have the same opinion as my boyfriend?

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Sunday, 15 April 2018

A No-Maj Ponders Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban



My 20-year-old godson is back at it again, with his Harry Potter movie journey, this time with his Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) review!

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban we find the main character again at his evil uncles' house but already a teenager, contrary to the previous chapters. We expect, therefore, typical teenager behaviours: pouting, rebellings and developing a peach fuzz. Well, we don't have to wait long until we see Harry Potter blowing up an aunt, kicking the furniture, and running away from home. In short: typical magical teenager behaviours. The uncles get upset and he ends up leaving the family. Of all the places that could be chosen for refuge on a rainy day after running away from home, our beloved wizard prefers to shelter himself in a cursed playground. Luckily, he doesn't stay there for long. He is rescued by a very weird bus where he makes troubled a trip by London's streets. One of those crazy people from the Knockturn Alley (hunchback and looking very closely at other people) comes in the bus calling Harry into a kind of tavern where his friends are.

When you think the bus trip was already weird enough, on the train trip to Hogwarts a creature appears freezing everything and starting to suck Harry's face. Their compartment is share with a homeless man wrapped in a blanket that wakes and points a light to the creature, which causes it to go away. This beggar later gives Harry Potter a chocolate. I fully understand that he couldn't offer anything else but the truth is that Harry is now a teenager: you can give chocolates to a child but toasting a teenager with sweets is halfway to get them pissed off for receiving candy instead of a mobile phone. Upon arrival at Hogwarts, Dumbledore announces that Hagrid and Lupin (the beggar on the train) are the new teachers. On their first night at Hogwarts, Harry joins a group of friends and plays a teenage game probably involving some kind of narcotic drugs that change the voice of those who eat them.

The highlight of the film is the fight between Harry Potter and three vagabonds: Lupin, Sirius Black and a fat man who was inside Ron's rat. Two of them turn into dogs and the other one into a mouse and they all end up running away. Harry Potter, despite being the best sorcerer in the world, isn't able catch a mouse and two dogs. During the film his only accomplishment was to mount a giant pyriquito, not managing any other feat in animal area.

Characters that stood out in this movie:

Hagrid
He is promoted to Professor, but his lack of experience is notorious. The last time he took children into the woods they were almost attacked by Voldemort, but he still thought it was a good idea to take them to the woods for their first class. Another mistake was to put a bug that likes to be respected in front of teenagers who like to disrespect. Everyone knows that teenagers aren't very polite so it was predictable that, sooner or later, some young man would be kicked by the distinguished bird. Hagrid isn't fired because, judging by his meals (always tea), the hut where he lives and his clothes, he doesn't earn a big salary already. Still, because of this lesson, Malfoy is the one who gets kicks and consequently the animal is doomed to death.

Sirius Black
Early on it's understood that it will be Harry Potter's new enemy. He was the first sorcerer to escape from Azkaban, which gives him some prestige. But when he enters Hogwarts, the best he can do is putting a fat woman next to black pig in one of the school's pictures. When we realize that he is a beggar and also turns into a wolf, it is easy to conclude that Professor Lupin, another homeless man and possible werewolf, will be his friend. In the end Harry Potter and him are very close friends.

Lupin
He's proof that Hogwarts goes from bad to worse. After two failed hires, the third time could be the charm and they could even get a decent teacher. I think this is an unrealistic belief, since to have good teachers you need good wages and the first contact we have with him is sleeping wrapped in a blanket on a train seat. I think he's homeless, and goes to Hogwarts to teach in exchange for accommodation. He seems to be quite a nice man, but the second time he gave Harry some chocolate, I began to mistrust him. Why so much chocolate? Nobody gives this much chocolate to someone else without asking anything in return. It sure is poisoned. He has to be trying to traffic Voldemort in chocolate bars. If Voldemort can get into Harry's body by this mean it can be a good plan, depending on the amount of chocolate ingested.

In conclusion, in this episode we don't see Voldemort but we know that the plump man is made up with him because he's the only one with a bald head. It's in this movie that the Hogwarts School of Magic goes into decline. Underpaid teachers and insufficient safety show that this institution has had better days. It's the third teacher resigning... Three films and they still haven't found the right man for the position.

Don't miss out on his next review on the Goblet of Fire! If you haven't read the previous ones so far, you can find them over here:

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Sunday, 8 April 2018

The "BBC" Book List Challenge



What is the BBC book list, you may ask? I learned about it this week and it's a list of 100 books which has been widely circulated on the Internet with the tagline "The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books on this list. How many have you read?"

Apparently, though, this list wasn't created or endorsed by the BBC since on their site there are no quotes, articles, or any mention whatsoever about the 6 book number. Do you remember back in 2009/2010 when there were notes on people's profiles of lists with questions and whatsoever all over Facebook? Do you feel old yet? Yes, it seems like that is exactly how this meme list started: going arround the internet, making people feel better about themselves for having read over 6 books of a list. I've seen worse memes.

The average Goodreads member has read 23 out of 100 books on this list. I have read 16 (marked with ✔) and 12 are still on my to read list (marked with ✉) so basically, if I didn't always read other books instead of sticking to me to read list I would have read 28 books and would be above the average Goodreads member. I'll get there someday, though. How about you? How many of these have you read? Let me know!

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling ✔
2. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown ✔
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ✉
4. Animal Farm by George Orwell
5. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ✔
6. 1984 by George Orwell ✉
7. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë ✔
10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
11. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien ✔
12. Lord of the Flies by William Golding ✉
13. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
14. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
15. Life of Pi by Yann Martel ✉
16. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen ✔
17. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë ✔
18. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
19. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger ✔
20. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott ✔
21. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
22. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
23. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
24. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
25. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
26. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl ✔
27. Atonement by Ian McEwan
28. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ✉
29. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
30. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis ✔
31. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
32. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen ✔
33. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
34. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
35. Dracula by Bram Stoker ✔
36. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
37. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
38. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
39. Holy Bible
40. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
41. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
42. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
43. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens ✉
44. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
45. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley ✉
46. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
47. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
48. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
49. Persuasion by Jane Austen ✔
50. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold ✉
51. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
52. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
53. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
54. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
55. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
56. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
57. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
58. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
59. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
60. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
61. Moby-Dick or, The Whale by Herman Melville ✔
62. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
63. Emma by Jane Austen
64. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon ✉
65. The Complete Works by William Shakespeare
66. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood ✉
67. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
68. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
69. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
70. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens ✔
71. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
72. Middlemarch by George Eliot
73. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
74. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
75. Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder by Evelyn Waugh
76. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
77. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath ✉
78. Possession by A.S. Byatt
79. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
80. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
81. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
82. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
83. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
84. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
85. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
86. The Faraway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton
87. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
88. Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
89. Dune by Frank Herbert
90. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
91. Watership Down by Richard Adams
92. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
93. The Secret History by Donna Tartt ✉
94. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
95. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
96. Ulysses by James Joyce
97. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
98. Germinal by Émile Zola
99. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
100. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

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