July 2017


Welcome to July – the month of Kate’s Harry Potter obsession! Find the three Harry Potter books on Pottermore, but they’re only available in e-book form at the moment. Next month will be more varied – not that I’m ashamed! You’re always allowed to over-dose on Harry Potter…

  • Depression: Vintage Minis by William Styron
  • Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents #1) by J.K. Rowling
  • Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents #2) by J.K. Rowling
  • Hogwarts: An Incompletely and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents #3) by J.K. Rowling

Depression: Vintage Minis by William Styron

“It may require on the part of friends, lovers, family, admirers, an almost religious devotion to persuade the suffers of life’s worth, which is so often in conflict with a sense of their own worthlessness, but such devotion has prevented countless suicides.”


I chose this particular quote out of many different ones which I could pick out of this book because of how well it explains the commitment of my friends and family to helping me. Sometimes, when my brain stops thinking about how much I suck, I consider how hard it must be to watch someone you love suffer from depression and beat themselves up so much on a daily basis. So this feeble little book review is dedicated to them, and most importantly to the love of my life – Sam.

This book is part of a new Penguin series of little extracts about certain topics and is an abridged version of the full book Darkness Visible by William Styron. His words are very powerful and even though it was written decades ago, it still resonates with current societal reactions to depression and mental illness.

I’m very precious about my books – keeping them in pristine condition for as long as I can, but with this little memoir, I felt compelled to get out my pencil and start underlining. Now I can flick through it when I feel alone and find those snippets of writing which remind me that depression is an illness which lots of people suffer and recover from. Because like he notes – “by far the great majority of the people who go through even the severest depression survive it” and plan to follow in their footsteps.

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents #1) by J.K. Rowling

“To be a hero; sometimes, all it takes is having your heart in the right place.”


I had a bit of a Harry Potter love-affair this month! But what I didn’t know was that these three extra Pottermore books existed! So naturally, I ordered them and finished all three in only a few days.

I L-O-V-E-D everything about McGonagall in this book. She’s one of those characters who I’ve always wanted to know more about and I knew her back story would do her justice. What an inspirational character – quite the fictional role model!

Well worth the read if you love the series – lots of cute extra anecdotes.

Short Stories from Hogwards of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents #2) by J.K. Rowling

“No Muggle Prime Minister has ever set foot in the Ministry of Magic, for reasons most succinctly summed up by ex-Minister Dugald McPhail (term of office 1858 – 1865): ‘their puir wee braines couldnae cope wi’ it.”


Similar to above – a wonderful supplement to the Harry Potter universe. As a politics nerd, I always thought I’d find myself somewhere in the Ministry of Magic if I was a witch, so it was really enjoyable to read about the history of Ministers of Magic. Even better was how J.K. Rowling contradicted the time it took for the muggle world to give women a chance to reach the top offices of power.

Umbridge was always an interesting character so it was interesting to know more, but one of my favourite characters that was left out of the films was Peeves. He gives a splash of colour to the castle, plus in the end, he fights the against the Death Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts!

Hogwarts: An Incompletely and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents #3) by J.K. Rowling

“The advice to ‘hold on to your dreams’ is all well and good, but there comes a point when holding on to your dreams becomes unhelpful and even unhealthy.”


As a proud Hufflepuff, I was happy to hear about my amazing house and the common room which I would have frequented if only the wizarding world was real. I loved the back story of the Sorting Hat too – especially the idea of a Hatstall, where it takes the hat more than 5 minutes to decide which house to place a student. Originally, I was placed in Gryffindor and I also have Ravenclaw traits so I can’t help but wonder how long it would have taken the Hat to place me!

These three extra Harry Potter stories brought back a wonderful sense of nostalgia for me. Also, I’m just in awe at the power of Rowling’s mind – there’s nothing that she doesn’t know about the world she created and that is quite the extraordinary feet.

Another month, another set of books completed – see you soon for August’s selections! In the meantime, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profile, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Page.

Happy reading. 💕📚

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