I’ve had a busy week with University (I can’t believe I now only have 10 weeks of lectures until I graduate) so my 2015 Reading Challenge has stalled slightly. However, 10 days ago, a fellow Harry Potter fanatic friend (Johnnie) and I decided to create a Goodreads book group, so we could read some J.K. Rowling books together. Today that led me to finish my 6th book of the year.
With the upcoming movie series “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” (the screenplay of which is being written by J.K. Rowling herself), the first book we decided to re-read was the book of the same name, which fittingly came into the category #39 A book with magic. Anything Harry Potter related is inherently magical, and what could possibly be more magical than magical creatures?!
My Goodreads Review
“‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ by Newt Scamander (aka J.K. Rowling) is one of three special “Hogwarts Library” books, which accompany the Harry Potter series. Fantastic Beasts focuses on more than 70 different species of magical creatures that are present within the Wizarding World (one note – why are Demeters and House Elves not in here? Are they not classified as beasts?)
The book begins with ‘About the Author’, followed by a ‘Foreward’ by Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore. This special edition book was published for the benefit of Muggles (non-magic folk), but it stresses that the entirety of its contents are fictional. There are also comments made by Harry Potter and his friends throughout (although not as many as I would have liked), which relate to their adventures in the series.
This is a very useful companion for anyone who has read the Harry Potter series, and is unsure exactly what Red Caps and Grindylows are (as well as the dozens of other creatures). I really enjoyed some of the footnotes that are present, particularly the ones about Uric the Oddball, who I desperately hope features in the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise.
Arguably my favourite section of the book was the introduction, which included information about the defining criteria of beasts, Muggle awareness of Fantastic Beasts and a Ministry of Magic classification for each of the beasts discussed. I certainly learnt a lot more about the “laws” of beasts and beings, which I didn’t appreciate when I first read this companion well over ten years ago! For those of you expecting to be entertained by this book, it is not a novel, it is a textbook which has effectively been edited in a way to create an anecdote or two, but it is still information heavy. I’m certainly glad I read it in preparation for the upcoming films! Bring on the Kappas and Erumpents!”
Reading this book has certainly got me in the mood for the upcoming movies, and I now know more about Crups, Doxys (or is it Doxies – Jo you’ll have to help me here!) and Graphorns than a moderately skilled wizard. What pleased me even more was that 80% of the proceeds of this book went to Comic Relief (a UK charity helping those abroad and at home with lifesaving treatments and support). I guess Jo simply doesn’t need the innumerable quantities of 14 Sickles and 3 Knuts. The one overriding negative with this book is that it is inherently a “textbook”, thus all elements that I love of the Potter novels are excluded (for obvious reasons) and there is only so much detail one can read when talking of Flobberworms. However, I’m looking forward to reading the remaining two books in the Hogwarts Library collection soon – you can never have too much Potter!
#39 A book with magic – Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling (6/10)
Six down, forty-four to go.
My journey will also be instagrammed frequently on @charlottebibliophile