Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Review

Flashback Friday

 

Perpetually Past Due

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Published in 1997 as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, published in the U.S. in 1998

Pages: 309

Genre: Fantasy, magical realism

 “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

The legacy of Harry Potter is undeniable and the critical acclaim is well deserved. The first Harry Potter book not only broke records for sales but also brought about the different genres and categories we have today on the New York Times Bestseller List.

I am going to say outright that this book is as good the third time as it was when I read it for the first almost seventeen years ago. The characters are well fleshed out and J.K. Rowling has a ridiculous amount of talent in the way that she switches from…

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The Long Ships – Review

Flashback Friday: The Long Ships – Review

Perpetually Past Due

Röde Orm by Frans G. Bengtsson

Published in 1941 and 1945, first published in English in 1943 as The Long Ships

Michael Meyer translation

Pages: 503

Genre: Adventure saga

“Along the coast the people lived together in villages, partly to be sure of food, that they might not depend entirely on the luck of their own catch, and partly for the greater security; for ships rounding the Skanian peninsula often sent marauding parties ashore, both in the spring, to replenish cheaply their stock of fresh meat for the westward voyage, and in the winter, if they were returning empty-handed from unsuccessful wars.”

The Long Ships is an epic that would feel welcome on a mahogany bookshelf sitting between Beowulf and TheOdyssey. At least, that’s my understanding. I’ve never read Beowulf and it has been years since I read TheOdyssey so I kind of have to take people…

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J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography – Review

Perpetually Past Due

J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography, by Humphrey Carpenter

Published in 1977

Pages: 287

Genre: Non-fiction, biography

“It is mid-morning on a spring day in 1967.”

So begins Humphrey Carpenter’s J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography, a look at the man behind one of the most popular fantasy series ever written. What follows is an in-depth study of Tolkien’s life from his birth in South Africa to his death in his beloved English countryside. J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography gives an extraordinary amount of context that explains not only the style in which Tolkien’s stories were written, but the genesis of a brilliant man and the beliefs that shaped him.

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An Impromptu Blog Post: Book Review Hiatus

I have come to make the difficult decision to stop writing book reviews and posting them on this blog. I started what began as The Past Due Book Review, and later changed to The Past Due Review, in an attempt to continue writing after graduating from college. I used it as a sort of living portfolio in order to build up experience to facilitate finding a job in writing. As I’m sure many of you know, it is difficult to get even an entry level writing job without any prior professional experience, so The Past Due Review was my answer to that problem. I am proud to say that I have begun working where I am able to write and put my skills to use; however, that means this blog has served its original purpose for the time being.

This has all come about at a good time for me because I was beginning to get book fatigue; I was continually checking what page I was on, how it would affect my editorial calendar if I gave myself another week, and I was no longer enjoying the experience of reading. When I did find myself engrossed in a book, I realized how much stress taking my time with it was causing, so I began to consider making this change. With accepting this writing position, I am afforded an opportunity I cannot pass up. I will continue to post Music Mondays for the foreseeable future, but consider this an indefinite hiatus from all book and movie reviews; What the Hell Did I Just Read by David Wong will be my last book review on the blog.

However, I have decided to continue blogging, albeit through a different name and purpose. I am currently planning content that is more personal and lets you get to know me as a human being a little better. If you came here mainly for reviews, I appreciate all of the time you have given me and wish you the best. If you would like to know my story and thoughts about life, love, and the occurrences therein, look forward to some upcoming posts. A huge shout out to my fellow blogger Amy for unintentionally inspiring me to follow this new path; anyone who enjoys reading enthralling and honest writing should go follow her and read her posts.

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to read my blog; I started this over two years ago with no idea the trajectory it would take on. I have had such an incredible experience being part of this comforting community. As a small token of my appreciation, here is a picture I snapped of Nina sleeping on my legs one afternoon. Rest assured, she woke up shortly after and ran off to chase some imaginary thing in the other room.

Sleepy Nina

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” – Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White

What the Hell Did I Just Read – Review

What the Hell Did I Just Read By David Wong (pen name of Jason Pargin)

Published in 2017

Pages: 371

Genre: Horror, humor

“It rained like we were a splatter of bird shit God was trying to hose off his deck.”

If you think that the above sentence uses profanity unnecessarily, then this isn’t the book for you. What the Hell Did I Just Read is the newest book by author Justin Pargin, written under the pen name David Wong, who is the protagonist of the novel. Covering everything from seemingly immortal government agents, a drug called Soy Sauce, and the mystery of why John ordered so many silicone butts while under the influence of Soy Sauce are just a few of the plot points that will have the reader chuckling and blowing air out their nose with nearly every page. You want to hear a story? Well buckle the eff up! Continue reading “What the Hell Did I Just Read – Review”

Steppenwolf – Review

Der Steppenwolf (Steppenwolf) by Hermann Hesse

Published in 1927; first published in English in 1929

Basil Creighton Translation

Pages: 218

Genre: Fiction

“This book contains the records left us by a man whom, according to the expression he often used himself, we called the Steppenwolf.”

Metaphysical and internal speculation abound in a tale of struggle between man and metaphorical wolf. Written by German author Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf is a tour-de-force of poetic prose, hallucinatory description, and internal conflict that speaks to any who feels at odds with the world and society in which they live. Following a mysterious man who refers to himself as the Steppenwolf, the story twists and turns into the fantastic, forcing the reader to wonder what is real and what is in the man’s mind. Continue reading “Steppenwolf – Review”

When You Are Engulfed in Flames – Review

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

Published in 2008

Pages: 323

Genre: Creative nonfiction

“My friend Patsy was telling me a story.”

Stories are what elevate much of the human experience, and it is the mark of a masterful storyteller to help their listeners or readers forget their problems and escape into a different world; this is true not only in fiction, but creative nonfiction as well. When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris, is a collection of creative nonfiction essays that cover everything from coming out as a gay man in order to avoid an awkward hitchhiking situation to arguing the validity of different unknown artists with his parents as a child. The collected stories make for an entertaining read that gives the reader a look into a perspective different than their own. Continue reading “When You Are Engulfed in Flames – Review”