My 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd. As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge every year.

I initially set my target as 25 books this year, but a few things happened that meant I reached this goal quite early on. Firstly, I had a baby, so this meant that I was awake at silly hours with plenty of time to read. Then, there was lockdown. Because of lockdown, I decided to join Bookstagram and NetGalley and get more serious about reviewing books. So now, instead of reading two books at most a month, I’ve been reading up to ten.

I upped my goal to 60 around halfway through the year, and still managed to pass that by reaching 74 books. This year has really rekindled my love of books, and I can’t wait to start 2021 with this new passion.

Here’s how my 2020 challenge went:

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My 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd. As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge every year.

After doubling my goal of 10 books last year (since I went on honeymoon and managed to read a book a day!), I thought I would keep my goal to 20 books this year. However, just missed out on this target, but I was ever so close to making it.

Here’s how my 2019 challenge went, with a short review and rating for each of the books that I read:

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Book Review: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Original Screenplay)

“Do you know why I admire you, Newt? More, perhaps, than any man I know? You don’t seek power or popularity. You simply ask, is the thing right in itself? If it is, then I must do it, no matter the cost.”

Written by J.K. Rowling and a sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Crimes of Grindelwald begins with the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald escaping from MACUSA, and has set about gathering followers to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists the help of his former student, Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.

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Book Review: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (Original Screenplay)

“See, they’re currently in alien terrain, surrounded by millions of the most vicious creatures on the planet. Humans.”

Written by J.K. Rowling and a spin-off of her Harry Potter franchise, this beautiful hardcover edition captures Rowling’s screenwriting debut. Set in 1926 New York, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them follows ex-Hogwarts student Newt Scamander who travels to the city as part of a global study of fantastic beasts. But when he gets caught up in a conflict of a group of extremist No-Majs and a mystical act of destruction, some of the magical creatures in his case are accidentally released. With the help of a No-Maj named Jacob and two members of MACUSA (the American equivalent to the Ministry of Magic), he must find all of his creatures before they are blamed for the mysterious deaths that are adding up, causing magic and non-magic folk alike to panic.

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Film Review: Fantastic Beasts 2 – The Crimes of Grindelwald

The second instalment in the Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts, The Crimes of Grindelwald is directed by David Yates and written by J.K. Rowling. Continuing on from its predecessor, the film begins with the escape of the powerful Dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), who has set about gathering followers to begin his plan to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. To stop him, a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists the help of his former student, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). As the wizarding world is increasingly dividing, love and loyalty are tested, and many truths will be revealed that will change the wizarding world as we know it.

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My 2016 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd.

As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge.

So, this year I set myself a challenge of reading 18 books, and for the first time since doing so, I have managed to exceed my target, hooray!

Here’s how my 2016 challenge went, with a short review and rating for each of the books:

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Book Review: The Hogwarts Library

The Hogwarts Library is a collection of the popular stories: Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Written by J.K. Rowling, with additional notes from the esteemed Professor Albus Dumbledore, the trilogy of books is an essential collection for any wizard or Muggle home.

If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, then it’s always exciting to learn more about the history of Hogwarts and everything that it is included. And that’s why you’ll love The Hogwarts Library. All three stories are widely referenced in the original Harry Potter books and provide fun and imaginative content that allow you to step even further into the magical wizarding world.

Also, the collection of books is just simply stunning and will look beautiful on your bookshelf.

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Film Review: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

Written by J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is a spin-off to her Harry Potter franchise. Directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, the film is set in 1926 New York and follows ex-Hogwarts student Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who travels to the city as part of a global study of fantastic beasts. But when he gets caught up in a conflict of a group of extremist No-Majs and a mystical act of destruction, some of the magical creatures in his case are accidentally released. With the help of a No-Maj named Jacob (Dan Fogler) and two members of MACUSA (Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol), he must find all of his creatures before they are blamed for the mysterious deaths that are adding up, causing magic and non-magic folk alike to panic.

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More Casting News for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

(Written for Filmoria)

We’ve had quite a bit of casting news for the Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, this week.

A few days ago it was announced that Colin Farrell has joined the cast, and now comes news that Brooklyn actress Jenn Murray and casting call winner Faith Wood-Blagrove have come on board, too.

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New Unseen Clips From The Final ‘Harry Potter’ Blu-Ray Release

(Written for BritScene)

Warner Brothers have uploaded a collection of behind the scenes clips and trailers to their YouTube channel, ready for the release of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 on a special Blu-ray Combo Pack this month.

The featurettes compromise of sizzle reels, interviews, behind the scenes clips and trailers, with a ton of unseen footage that looks back over a decade of memories with the Harry Potter team. The clips will be released as extras on the Blu-Ray Combo Pack with an additional UltraViolet Digital Copy, which will be the final release for the Harry Potter franchise.

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Film Review: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (Part 1)

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. Directed by David Yates, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) drop out of Hogwarts to seek the remaining Horcruxes in order to defeat Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). On their journey, the trio learn about The Deathly Hallows, three sacred objects that together could also help them on their way. Following Voldemort’s return and Dumbledore’s death, they must sneak into the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts itself whilst having to remain hidden from the dark takeover of Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

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Harry Potter Ends All Filming

Saturday marked the end of filming for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. The end of filming for the book’s film adaptation (which will be split into two parts) also meant the end of filming Harry Potter altogether.

“Everyone was really devastated. It was really, really sad,” Daniel Radcliffe said on Sunday. “Were crying quite a lot.” Fortunately, Rupert Grint popped by in his ice cream truck with ice creams for all to enjoy in their time of sorrow.

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Film Review: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

Directed by David Yates and based on the sixth book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series of novels, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) enter their sixth year at Hogwarts, as both the muggle and wizarding world are under Voldemort’s tightening grip. Meanwhile, Dumbledore enlists the aid of resourceful yet unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) as we learn more about the dark past of the boy who grew up to become Lord Voldemort. Does Slughorn hold the key to their enemy’s Achilles’ heel?

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Film Review: Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix

Directed by David Yates and based on the fifth book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series of novels, Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) return for their fifth year at Hogwarts, only to find that the magical community is in a state of denial about his recent encounter with the sinister Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Suspecting that Headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) may be fueling the rumours, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy) entrusts newly arrived Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) with the task of keeping a protective watch over the wizarding school. With the school failing to provide the students with the tools that they will need to defend Hogwarts against the powers of the Dark Arts, the trio takes it upon themselves to recruit a small group of students to form “Dumbledore’s Army”.

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Film Review: Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire

Directed by Mike Newell and based on the fourth book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series of novels, sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) return for their fourth year at Hogwarts as Harry’s famous lightning-bolt scar begins aching and causing him mysterious visions. Introduced to yet another Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, former dark wizard catcher Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), Harry’s wishes for an uneventful school year are almost immediately shattered when he is unexpectedly chosen, along with fellow student Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), as Hogwarts’ representative in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Worse still, Harry doesn’t realize that the most feared wizard in the world, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), is anticipating the tournament, as well.

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Film Review: Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón and based on the third book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series of novels, Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) enter their third year at Hogwarts as trouble begins to brew when it is revealed that convicted murderer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban and is coming after Harry. With yet another Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) tries to help Harry defend himself against the Dementors, the soul-sucking guards of Azkaban who have been employed at Hogwarts to protect the students. But they’re the least of his worries.

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Film Review: Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets

Directed by Chris Columbus and based on the second book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series of novels, Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets sees the return of young wizards Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) for their second year at Hogwarts with a new Defense against the Dark Arts, Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh). But it’s not long before the trio find themselves in trouble again, as a mysterious presence begins stalking the corridors of a school of magic and leaving its victims paralyzed. It seems that someone has opened the mysterious Chamber of Secrets, letting loose the monster and all its calamitous powers.

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Book Review: Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

The second book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series, published in 1998, Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets sees the return of young wizards Harry, Ron and Hermione for their second year at Hogwarts with a new Defense against the Dark Arts, Gilderoy Lockhart. But it’s not long before the trio find themselves in trouble again, as a mysterious presence begins stalking the corridors of a school of magic and leaving its victims paralyzed. It seems that someone has opened the mysterious Chamber of Secrets, letting loose the monster and all its calamitous powers.

Rating:

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