the bookish life

my geeky love for books and bookish things

Tag: harry potter

Curiosa: Purveyors of Extraordinary Things!

The greatest store EVER just opened in Toronto, and today I had the opportunity to visit. Welcome to Curiosa: Purveyors of Extraordinary Things!

Curiosa exterior

Curiosa is mainly Harry Potter themed; it’s like stepping into a shop on Diagon Alley. They sell games, stationary, enamel pins, artwork, even old-fashioned tin toys and music boxes. The majority of the items for sale are from JK Rowling’s world, but there is also a small section of Tolkien and Game of Thrones goodies. Surprisingly, I recognized quite a few things from some online shops I love. This store is so me!

Harry Potter shelves

Curiosa interior

The inside of the store is gorgeously decorated – the detail was kind of amazing. The shelves overflow with leather trunks, wand boxes and other magical props. They even have cauldrons that stir themselves.


Curiosa ceiling

My other stroller is a Nimbus 2000

If you live in the Toronto area (or happen to be visiting), you should definitely swing by and check out Curiosa for yourself. Trust me – it’s worth it!

Book & Movie Review – Fantastic Beasts by JK Rowling

I don’t think it would be possible to review one without the other, and I’m definitely going to talk about both! So here we go: my review of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, the screenplay and the film.

Fantastic Beasts

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone… – Goodreads

I had the good fortune of seeing the movie on opening night, and then bought the screenplay the next day. To put it simply – I loved it. Actually, I would even rank it higher than the original Harry Potter films. Let’s be honest, the kiddie trio were a bit painful to watch the first few movies. (Put down your pitchforks – I adore the books.)

Fantastic Beasts takes all the good things about the original HP films and goes one step further. The acting, the costumes, the visual effects – everything was absolutely beautiful. And it was refreshing to see the wizarding world from the adult perspective for once.

Another huge difference? This time, JK Rowling wrote the screenplay – her first. And you can really hear her voice in it, something that tends to get lost in the HP movies. Reading the screenplay really drives that home.

At first glance, buying (and reading) the screenplay seems a bit unnecessary after watching the film. And I think the publisher realized that too, because they have gone above and beyond in putting together this book. The jacket is beautiful and the book itself is bound in a nice blue leather-like material. The screenplay is exactly like the film, so no surprises there – but I still enjoyed reading it. It’s amazing how much you can miss while watching a movie! The book is also filled with lovely line drawings of all the beasts mentioned in the film. If you’re a fan, I would definitely recommend picking it up.

There are four more movies coming, eventually ending up at the epic fight between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in the 1940s. I can’t wait, and I really hope Rowling continues to publish each screenplay as well.



Reading Wrap Up – July 2016

I read 9 books in July, but once again I’m behind in reviews. I’ll be adding a bunch over the next few days. Books with reviews have their titles linked. Enjoy!

Total Books Read in 2016 (from my Goodreads page): 61

Books Read in July:

  1. The Liberty Box by C.A. Gray
  2. Miracle Monday by Elliot S. Maggin
  3. 100 Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi
  4. Ghostbusters by Nancy Holder
  5. The Eden Conspiracy by C.A. Gray
  6. The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr
  7. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
  8. Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
  9. Unbound by Shawn Speakman

July Books

As always, pictures, plus shorter reviews for some of my reads are also on Instagram.

Book Review – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

It’s finally here! After months of waiting, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released worldwide yesterday. I managed to stay awake and pick up my pre-order at the Indigo midnight release party – mostly because I wanted the complimentary tote bag!

Harry Potter 8

For those of you who don’t follow all things Potter, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part play currently being performed in London. It takes place 19 years after the original books, and follows Potter’s youngest son as he goes off to Hogwarts for the first time. And in a feat of marketing genius, Rowling and Co. decided to publish the script as well.

First of all, this is definitely not a novel. While I’ve enjoyed reading Shakespeare many times in my life, this is the first time I’ve read a modern play. I was a bit worried that the new format would make the story harder to follow, but I was so wrong – a couple of pages in and I was back again at Hogwarts. I’m trying my hardest to keep this review spoiler free, but I’ve got to mention it: there are some awesome appearances by a few unexpected but familiar characters. Fans will love it.

The plot itself is a little thin at times, but overall it’s an engaging and thrilling adventure. The descriptions of the set and action sequences made it very easy to picture it all in my head, although many times I wondered how they would pull off some of the magic on stage! I finished the book wishing I had tickets to see the show, and I really hope that they eventually film it for the rest of the world to enjoy.


Do You Pottermore?

Back in 2011, I was lucky enough to be a part of the Pottermore Beta. For the muggles out there, Pottermore was originally launched as an interactive website for Harry Potter fans. It included games and exclusive content written by JK Rowling herself. While I loved the extra reading material, the games weren’t really my thing, and I eventually stopped logging in once the Beta testing was complete.

For me, the relaunch this last September was a welcome change. Gone were the games, and the site was given a much needed make-over. It now features a tonne of extra content; I’m always finding something new to read when I visit. Once they restored the Sorting Hat, I of course took the test again – it was the only interactive feature I really liked in the Beta. (Ravenclaw for life!)

Pottermore Ravenclaw

A little over a month ago, Rowling revealed that there are 11 wizarding schools in the HP universe. So far, the North American school only has a name: Ilvermorny. The location is still a mystery, although the map on Pottermore makes me suspect it is in Canada (woot!). I’ve been itching for more details about it, but so far it’s been nothing but crickets. Until today.

A news release has appeared on Pottermore, stating that Rowling has written a series called ‘The History of Magic in North America’, which will be released in daily instalments this week. Yay! No doubt this is meant to be promotional material for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie, but it will be awesome nonetheless. I can’t wait to read the first instalment tomorrow.


So, back to today’s blog title – HP fans, do you Pottermore? If you don’t, this week would be a perfect time to start!

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