What I Read:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
734 pages / Fantasy / 4 out of 5 stars
How it Starts: Before returning from Hogwarts, Harry attends the Quidditch world cup with the Weasley family. After a rousing Quidditch match, a group of ne’erdowell wizards terrorize the camp surrounding the arena. Then, mysteriously, somebody conjures the Dark Mark the air, meaning that someone has been killed by one of Lord Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Amidst these troubling circumstances, Harry, Ron, and Hermione return to Hogwarts to learn that the school with by hosting an international Triwizard Tournament. Unfortunately for them, only wizards 17 or older can compete. However . . .
How it Gets Complicated: Harry discovers that, without even entering, his name has been pulled from the Goblet of Fire, meaning that he has no choice but to compete in the tournament. And all the while he keeps having realistic dreams about the Dark Lord’s plans to return to power. Are these events connected? What does it all mean? And how are a bunch of wizarding pimple-poppers supposed to get through it all?
What I Liked:
What I disliked:
Source: This word comes from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, on page 260.
Context: When I accessed the colophon, I saw that Syrinx’s author was listed as “Anonymous.”
In Their Words:
- a publisher’s emblem on a book
- (formerly) an inscription at the end of a book showing the title, printer, date, etc
In My Words: a place in the book that shows the name of the author and other publishing information.
Source: The Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour, page 320
Context: For as long as she could remember, Aunt Elena had been rising at daybreak. She supposed it was her father’s influence, Although he had been an hidalgo with vast estates in both Spain and Morocco, it had been his custom to ride each morning with the rising sun.
In Their Words:
- a man of the lower nobility in Spain.
- (in Spanish America) a man who owns considerable property or is otherwise esteemed.
In My Words: a member of Spanish nobility who owns a lot of land.
Source: The Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour, page 313
Quote: Reading had done that for me–that even when I disapproved of what my grandfather had done, I could understand him. It made his crimes no less, but left me with a clearer view.
Context: Johannes Verne, at this point in his mid-to-late teens, is reflecting on his grandfather’s motives in hiring men to hunt him down and kill him. Johannes’s grandfather, Don Isidro, is trying to have Johannes killed because Johannes’s father eloped with Don Isidro’s daughter, Consuelo. After Johannes was born, Consuelo died of tuberculosis. Don Isidro has succeeded in having Johannes’s father killed, and now wants Johannes killed to erase the shame brought on his family when Consuelo eloped with Johannes’s father.
This Makes Me Think: Even though he doesn’t want to die, Johannes says that he can understand why his grandfather is trying to have him killed. He understands because he read about similar situations and feelings of pride in Robinson Crusoe, by Sir Walter Scott. He doesn’t agree with his grandfather, but he understands why his grandfather is doing what he is doing.
Being able to understand why your enemies think and feel the way they do is an important skill. It’s part of being able to see both sides of any issue, which is a skill I try to teach my students. One of the best ways to develop this skill is by reading widely. When you read, you get used to seeing things from someone else’s perspective, and this is a real-world skill that can benefit a reader for the rest of his or her life. I like that Johannes points out that he gained this skill by reading.
Source: The Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour, page 205
Quote: I knew the image of that hand would be with me forever, for we who pass do not own this land, we but use it, we hold it briefly in trust for those yet to come. We must not reap without seeding, we must not take from the earth without replacing.
Context: Johannes Verne, who is growing up an orphan in the California frontier when California was still part of Mexico, is reflecting on a story his father once told him (before he died) about coming across a Native American cliff dwelling in which he could see impressions of the hand of the ancient builder in the mortar.
This Makes Me Think: I agree with this philosophy that we need to protect the deserts of the American Southwest. There are plenty of people who promote the idea that the land is here for us to use and that we should use it. I agree with this idea within the limits of what L’Amour says through the character Johannes in this quote. I think we should make sure that anything we do to or with the land leaves it in as good of shape or better than we found it. Generations will come and go, but the land will stay, and I can’t imagine anything more selfish than to strip and waste the land and leave it desolate for future generations to deal with.