Tag Archives: essays

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide

Author: J. K. Rowlinghogwarts-an-incomplete-and-unreliable-guide

My rating: 4 of 5

Many of us consider the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry a second home, and one close to the heart at that. But there are secrets to this amazing school that have remained hidden for years. Some are shrouded in legend. Others are so mundane as to have escaped notice. In this guide, you may find a few of these mysteries unveiled . . . though most assuredly not all of them.

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide is a collection of short writings by Rowling, most if not all of which were originally featured on the Pottermore website but which are here brought together in a slightly more organized selection. The topics discussed here range from the origins of the Hogwarts Express to the ghosts who haunt the halls of the school to the location of the Hufflepuff common room. I wouldn’t call any of the content “short stories” per se–more like a combination of descriptions and origin stories paired with Rowling’s discussions on the stories behind these topics, where she got her ideas, that sort of thing. It’s a bit of an unusual collection, but as it’s told in Rowling’s ever enchanting voice, this small volume is still quite a charming read, especially for Potterheads like myself. My one regret is that the collection is not more extensive, but I would still definitely recommend Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide as an enjoyable little addition to your Harry Potter collection.

Note: As far as I know, this volume is only available as an e-book.

 

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The One I Love

Mangaka: CLAMP

Anyone who’s been in love can tell you it’s a wonderful thing. But love isn’t all happiness and comfort–it comes with uncertainties and fears. Will this continue? Am I the only one who feels this way? Sometimes, it seems the more you are in love, the worse your uncertainties become. . . .

In this delightful collection of shorts, CLAMP unpacks some of the issues that come up frequently in relationships. While The One I Love is set up in a different format than their typical works, it features a topic that seems ubiquitous to all of their manga–a topic about which they always have something interesting to say. In this volume, Mick Nekoi (usually the chibi artist of the group) creates 10 manga shorts, each featuring a different girl and the specific love-problem she is facing. Following each manga, lead story writer Nanase Ohkawa has a short essay discussing her own opinions and experiences about that same love-problem. The manga are cute and meaningful, and I think the discussions are interesting, relevant, and helpful. The One I Love probably isn’t for everyone, but for CLAMP fans and for those interested in some insight into their own uncertainties, I think it’s an enjoyable collection.

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