The next article in the Harry Potter and Philosophy collection is by Patrick Shade (Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rhodes College, TN ), and is entitled “Heroic Hermione: Celebrating the Love of Learning.” As the title suggests, the spotlight here is on Hermione Granger. Gather ’round all ye bookworms, because Prof. Shade does justice to Hermione’s dedication to reading and study.
Here’s an abstract of his article (below the jump).
Excitement for fall and winter movie releases is building, and a lot of this week’s news seems to be movie-based. First, David from The Warden’s Walk is hosting a read-through of The Hobbit, beginning in late September and ending just before the movie comes out. Whether you’re a fan of the book or have never read it, and whether or not you plan to see the movie, this sounds like a great event to check out.
The young Potter actors have made headlines for a lot of reasons, but now Emma Watson’s got a scandalous one through no fault of her own: she’s apparently this year’s most dangerous celebrity to search for online. Cyber criminals use her name to attract potential victims; according to USA Today (link above), searching for her name gives you a one-in-eight chance of landing on a malicious site. It’s a strangely unfitting fate for someone so hardworking and serious as she appears to be. Her new film, Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, releases September 21.
Retiring BYU book reviewer Richard H. Cracroft published, this past summer, a beautiful tribute to the power of reading, titled No Good Stopping Place. We (Revgeorge and I–he suggested I write this post) recommend the entire piece as a worthy read.
At the end of the article, the good Professor lists five blessings of reading. While counting the benefits of reading is not a new idea, Professor Cracroft’s list seems particularly insightful, covering the power of books to “enable us to live more lives than the one allotted” and to “see… solutions where we presently see only dilemmas”. He distills most of the usual benefits such as reduced stress and improved vocabulary into “books sweeten, nourish, brighten, and enrich our lives”, and though not every reader will identify with his #5, most will see some way in which books can aid the spiritual life.
Came across this topic the other day when a post from Mythic Scribes showed up in my Google Reader. It piqued my interest and got me thinking about the subject. The post, although it’s really a thread topic on their forum, focused on books that are either so good that nothing else can live up to them or books that were simply wastes of time. The overarching theme being books that are so good they spoil you in reading anything else of the same genre or books that are so bad they make you lose faith in humanity. I mean, if you ever had any faith in humanity to begin with. 🙂
Anyway, first, I’d really encourage you to check out Mythic Scribes. It’s a site dedicated to fantasy storytelling, for both fantasy writers and fans to support and encourage one another.
Second, what about it? Any books that you wish you had never read? For whatever reason?
The United Kingdom Secretary for Education Michael Gove is saying that children (at least as old as eleven) should read 50 novels a year. The reading standards in the UK fell from 17th to 25th compared to international standards, and most children only read one or two novels in preparation for their GCSE. I’m not even going to attempt to explain that so I give you instead the wikipedia article on it.