Sorting Hat: Scandal

Yes, this is a book blog. But my other love is TV, and sometimes the two will overlap, especially when I start thinking to myself, “Hmm, I wonder which Hogwarts House these characters will be sorted into?” (Harry Potter reference, for those not in the know.) And then my mind keeps mulling it over, which turns into a blog post.

ScandalSo for my first official Sorting Hat post on the blog, I turn my attention to Scandal, the latest soap offering from Shonda Rhimes.

The above links are pretty thorough in breaking down the houses, but, in summation, this is how I view them.

Gryffindor – mostly concerned with doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, have a deep sense of justice

Ravenclaw – super duper smartypants who love solving puzzles and just being smart

Hufflepuff – hard workers who want to be recognized for being hard workers, loyal

Slytherin – have a deep sense of self-preservation, think the ends justify the means and the means justify the ends

Of course, these are simplistic baselines. Overlap can happen. I’m basing the sorting on what I think the characters’ most obvious traits are. YMMV, of course.

Pope & Associates

1. Olivia – Ravenclaw — She’s a fixer and being a fixer means putting all of the pieces together and frequently being the smartest person in the room. Most of her cases are huge puzzles that need solving, and she’s not concerned with justice for justice’s sake. She wants the truth of the moment to speak and figures out how to get her clients the results they need.

2. Harrison – Ravenclaw — No lie, Harrison totally reminds me of Gilderoy Lockhart. He’s super smart, and the show has set him up as Liv’s second in command. Like Liv, he looks at how the pieces of the puzzle fit together and uses his wits and ability to problem solve more than anything.

3. Abby – Hufflepuff — She’s loyal and hardworking. I haven’t seen anything that indicates Abby wants more than to be appreciated for the work she does. She doesn’t always agree with Liv or have that same sense of fixing the problem (she’s fine with people taking the fall if they are terrible individuals), but she does what’s asked of her for the sake of the practice and because she believes in her friend.

4. Quinn – Hufflepuff/Slytherin — Quinn was hard to place because she came in the practice a Hufflepuff, but she/we didn’t really know her past or anything. We still don’t really know what Lindsay Dwyer was about, but S2/S3 Quinn has revealed that she’s not just a worker bee; she has some sort of agenda, even if it’s make sure she’s never made a fool of again. So I could see her in either. I get a stronger sense of self-preservation than loyalty from her (I mean, if she leaves Pope & Associates, where will she go?), so I’m inclined to say Slytherin.

5. Huck – Hufflepuff — Even in Huck’s backstory we find out that he’s a good soldier who does what’s asked of him and is glad to be recognized for his hard work. He is extremely loyal (to country, to family, to friends), which is really his downfall. I’d even call it his fatal flaw. Also, you know he just wants to have a home and a family, and that’s it. Poor Huck.

6. David Rosen – Gryffindor — David is SUCH a Gryffindor. This was such a gimme. He is basically Harry Potter in lawyer form. (Also, I consider him an honorary member of the team, even if he is not technically a member of the firm.)

The White House

1. Fitz – Hufflepuff — Fitz thinks hard work (and lots of privilege, of course!) is enough. That’s why Defiance was such a shock/so painful to him. That’s also why he needs Cyrus, Mellie, and Olivia. They do strategy; he follows directions. He also has a deep desire for home and family, and thinks that would be enough. (I am ignoring that he is slime. That doesn’t matter. He is a huge ‘puff.)

2. Mellie – Slytherin — Obviously. I wouldn’t be surprised if that mic oops from this past week’s episode isn’t all part of some scheme for her to get more press and position herself for some sort of political storm. I WOULDN’T PUT IT PAST HER.  She always has an end game in mind, and she will always figure out how/what Mellie can get out of any situation.

3. Cyrus – Slytherin — More obviously. Cyrus can also turn on the charm and fool you into thinking that he is on your side. Also, his only loyalty is to himself and/or power.

4. James – Gryffindor — From what we’ve seen of Cyrus’s husband, I have him firmly in the Gryffindor camp. He has a deep sense of justice and chases the truth. Plus, you’d have to be brave to be married to Cyrus. I mean, seriously.

5. Sally Langston – Hufflepuff — All of the power plays she’s made have been mostly because she wants recognition. If she were a true Slytherin or Ravenclaw, she would’ve seen through Fitz’s emotional manipulation b.s. or actually had a plan in place that considered what would happen to her if he double-crossed her. But, no, she works hard and wants that to be enough.

B-613

1. Rowan/Eli – Slytherin — I mean. There is no right or wrong with this dude, only power. He is cunning and manipulative and will obviously do whatever it takes to deliver his end game. He’d argue it’s for the greater good, but, again, ends/means justify each other, period.

2. Jake – Gryffindor — This dude is all about his rogue missions and saving people even if it puts himself in jeopardy. He may be a little reckless is what I’m saying. He seems more concerned with doing what’s right even though he’ll probably get himself killed.

So what do you think? Did I get it right? Totally miss the mark? What houses would you sort the characters from Scandal into?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Chapter 8

Recent HP observations:

– Stephen Fry’s Hermione is much, much better. There was no way it wouldn’t be since I hate Jim Dale’s Hermione very much. But yes. Fry’s Hermione sounds bossy and like a know-it-all, but she doesn’t sound absolutely annoying. If any of the Harry/Hermione shippers ever heard the way Dale has Hermione say Harry’s name, I’m pretty sure they would all find the pairing absolutely unbelievable. That’s how terrible Dale’s Hermione is.

Of course, the true test of Fry’s domination over Dale will come when Luna appears. Nowhere to go but up there either.

I should add that I enjoyed Dale’s reading of HP overall, but I hated the way he voiced Hermione and Luna and maybe one other character. Those were the moments that took me out of the story. All of his other voice work and character work was just fine. But, omg, Hermione and Luna are just terrible. Terrible.

– I love Percy. I really do. I know people don’t, but he makes so much sense to me, and I love that Hermione is able to talk to him about classes. Also, Percy’s comment that Peeves won’t even listen to prefects is perfection.

– Hagrid hints that only losers have toads as pets. Enter Neville with a toad for a pet. Oh, Neville. I love you. I really and truly do.

– Snape is a terrible teacher. TERRIBLE. I’m not even counting how he treats Harry (which is, of course, awful). He calls Neville “idiot boy.” That is not on. Also, Hermione raising her hand so high she lifts out of her seat in his class is, again, perfection. I feel you, Hermione.

– Harry’s first dream at school is that Quirrell’s turban talks to him and tells him join Slytherin, which makes his scar hurt. Oh, and Quirrell doesn’t want to talk about what happened to him when he faced zombies in Albania. But he’s fine with the vampire questions.

– Hagrid is delightful when read by Fry. I think this is the most I’ve ever liked that big guy.

– James’s wand was excellent for transfiguration and Lily’s was perfect for charms. Never noticed either of those details before.

Also, because everything exists on the internet, here’s a comparison of Jim Dale and Stephen Fry reading from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (Seriously, what did we do before YouTube?)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Chapter 3

Random HP observation of the day: “Dudley’s second bedroom”

Oh, Dursleys. You never cease to amaze.

That said, so far Stephen Fry is great. The difference between him and Jim Dale at this point is that Fry’s voice is slightly more melodic, like listening to a bedtime story. Also, my daughter and I are just as engrossed as we were the first time we listened. And my daughter says that Fry “does a good Hagrid.”

Oh and we had to have a talk about how just how and why the Dursleys are abusive.

2012 Harry Potter Reading Challenge

I added one more challenge to my list for the year. The Harry Potter Reading Challenge, which is a challenge to read all seven HP books before the end of the year.

I know, I know. I said I wasn’t doing any un-challenging challenges this year. And I’m not, truly.

I mean, yes. I have read the Harry Potter books before. But this time I’m going to listen to them all on audiobook. And, okay, yes, I have listened to all of the audiobooks before. I know that.

But! BUT. I haven’t listened to the Stephen Fry (i.e., British) version of the audiobooks.

Here is a true story: Some years ago a friend sent me the Stephen Fry books and I, shamefully, have never listened to them. I know. I KNOW. I KNOOOOOOW. Even though I said that I wanted to listen to them. Even though I had them when I listened to the Jim Dale audiobooks.

I don’t even understand it myself.

But I want to listen to them! I do! Especially because I was talking to a British friend of mine who said she loves the Fry version so much and it makes her so happy to listen to, and I was like, “Maybe I should listen to mine.”

So here we are. 2012 is the year I listen to the Stephen Fry narrated HP audiobooks. I have already ripped them to my iPod and everything so I can listen to them in and out of the car.

Also, since I have already read the books several times, I won’t do straight reviews but will instead just post observations I make (however random they may be) as I listen. All spoilers will be marked.

For example, I already started listening to the first book. How much do the Dursleys suck? They are terrible. I mean, the most exciting part of Vernon’s day is drills. DRILLS. No wonder they hate imagination so much. Also, they could be any kind of bigots, couldn’t they? I mean, we don’t really know what kind of sort the Potters are to start with, do we? Plus also, it takes a lot of work to be as cruel as they are to Harry. Just wow. WOW.

And it just goes to show: you never know who is sleeping under your roof, do you?

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the last book in the series by J.K. Rowling, and this was probably my favorite of the books to listen to as an audiobook (read by Jim Dale).  I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t read the book since it first came out or if it’s because I wanted to get to the ending and that awesome last line or what.  Or maybe it’s because so much was happening.  Or perhaps because the reading of Hermione was so much less annoying.  I don’t know.  But it seemed to go much faster than any of the other books.

I also don’t know if it’s just that rereading the last book makes me want to go back and see the clues from the earlier books, but I’m seriously considering rereading the whole series (in standard book form) again this summer.

Although I did have some problems with Jim Dale’s narration (his Hermione and Luna are both problematic and annoying), the audiobooks are a great way to experience the story.  My daughter wouldn’t read the books because they made her eyes hurt, but, by the end, she was sneaking a read because she didn’t want to wait to listen to the story to find out how it ends.  Plus, listening to HP has made us seek out other books to listen to in the car.

Also, please let us talk about how much J.K. Rowling rocks in general.  I mean, seriously.

YA Reading Challenge:  15/75

what I'm reading

Alicia does brief posts wherein she says what book she’s currently reading.  I’ve been flirting with doing something similar except, well, what I’m currently reading constantly changes.  This is largely because I start and stop books frequently, tossing aside books that seemed interesting but are not.  Sometimes it’s because I’m catching up on my O magazine (yes, I actually read that now…I don’t even know what to say about it except I also have Oprah on my season pass list) or House Beautiful or I have entered a reading slump.

I am currently in a reading slump.  I read pretty voraciously, going through 90+ books per year, but sometimes–and it’s usually during the summer or winter breaks–I just kind of don’t read.  I can’t find anything interesting or the books I get seem unappealing.  And it’s not that I don’t want to read them, but there’s always something else I could be doing.

At any rate, even when I’m in a reading slump, I am reading something, even if it’s taking me eons longer to get through said something than usual.  So.  What I’m currently reading, annotated.

  • Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier – I am reading this for my dissertation (topic:  representations of female friendship in ya lit).  It’s been about two years since I’ve read it, and I have to say I am enjoying it a lot this time around.  Mostly, I am completely in love with Dimple’s parents who are completely amazing.  Both Gwyn and Dimple are infuriating at times (so very infuriating), but her mom and dad are so adorable and delightful, and I love them both lots and lots.
  • Girl Friends #1: Draw the Line by Nicole Grey – I have read a lot of book series in my life.  A lot.  This series is one of my absolute favorites.  I am talking definitely in the top three.  First of all, the five featured girls are so diverse, which is something I hungered for a lot as a teenager.  (And by diverse, I mean only one is white.  ONE.  OUT OF FIVE.)  So, yes, there are five main girls, and even though Janis (the white character) is listed first on the back of the book, the first character we meet is Stephanie Ling, then Maria Torres, then cousins Cassandra and Natalie Bell, and then Janis.  Amazing.  And although the books deal with a lot of issues (relationship violence, drug abuse, racism, school shootings–pre-Columbine, mind), they aren’t preachy AT ALL.  The only thing I don’t like about the series is that it was only ten books, and it ended with several cliffhangers.  That is not on.  Also, the books are seriously out of print, so it’s not like I can really get anyone else hooked on them.  For shame.  They are delightful.  So fantastic.  I keep stopping and starting reading the book, but since I know how everything turns out, I keep telling myself that’s okay.  (The author’s new website is here.)
  • Prom Kings and Drama Queens by Dorian Cirrone – I just started this the other day, and it’s a fast read.  I picked it up because I liked the author’s book Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, which did interesting things with gender, so I’m curious to see how this one will go.
  • Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch – Honestly, this has probably been the biggest drain on my interest in reading novels for the past week.  The book is huge and kind of overwhelming, but I have taken a targeted approach to it by reading up on the conditions I’m most interested in.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling as read by Jim Dale – My daughter and I are listening to the entire series on audiobook in the car.  We just finished book four , and I have to say the audiobooks are a lot of fun.  I don’t like Jim Dale’s Hermione, but she’s distinctive, and we always know it’s her even before he reads the tag announcing that it is.  Honestly, that’s my only complaint about the books. My daughter doesn’t like reading the Harry Potter books from the page, but loves hearing them read to her.  The bonus is that I get to reread the books as she reads them for the first time.

I should be finished with Born Confused in the next couple of days, and I’m guessing that once I am, my slump will be over.  Because then I’ll be avoiding work, and that’s one of my favorite times to read.

trifecta of book reviews

Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore: This is a sequel to Prom Nights from Hell, a book that I enjoyed very much, so I was excited to see that it seems to be an ongoing series. What I like about this book is that the characters are interesting, there’s a complex female friendship, and Clement-Moore doesn’t shy away from the concept of religion in her demon fighting. What’s also really cool is that she tackles sororities as being an excellent site of evil because of the rituals and secrecy already inherent in them. (For the record: sororities are not bad in and of themselves, but the cloak of secrecy around them allows–in the book anyway–dirty dealings to go on kind of without question because of the secrecy. If that makes sense.) Reading the book, I was kind of on the fence about how I feel about it, but the more I think about it (and the fact that I think about it after reading!), the more I like it.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan: I had actually tried to read this before and didn’t really care for it so quit. Mostly I found the narrative really annoying. Like, REALLY annoying. However, after seeing the movie, which I liked a lot, I gave it another go. I still find the narrative annoying, but it was easier to get through because I kept picturing the movie in my head. I also still much prefer the movie to the book. (One of my favorite bits from the movie–the bit about holding hands–was lifted straight from the book.) But the book wasn’t quite as obnoxious as I first found it. Don’t get me wrong! It is still obnoxious. Just not so much that I couldn’t get through it this time.

Also, I’ve read some of the reviews over on Goodreads that complain about the language, and I have to say that although I, too, was annoyed by the dropping of the f-bomb and the fact that the girls referred to each other as “bitch,” I found that to be pretty realistic, so it didn’t bug me as much as some of the other reviewers.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling: My favorite two tales are “The Fountain of Fair Fortune” and the “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” Otherwise, I found the stories cute and/or horrific, depending. It’s an easy breezy read made better by all of the anti-censorship comments and the fact that Dumbledore uses “simulacrum.” I seriously got a kick out of that. Here’s an anti-censorship bit:

Mrs. Bluxam believed that The Tales of Beedle the Bard were damaging to children, because of what she called “their unhealthy preoccupation with the most horrid subjects, such as death, disease, bloodshed, wicked magic, unwholesome characters, and bodily effusions and eruptions of the most disgusting kind.” Mrs. Bloxam took a variety of old stories, including several of Beedle’s, and rewrote them according to her ideals, which she expressed as “filling the pure minds of our little angels with healthy, happy thoughts, keeping their sweet slumber free of wicked dreams, and protecting the precious flower of their innocence.” […] Mrs. Bloxam’s tale has met the same response from generations of Wizarding children: uncontrollable retching, followed by an immediate demand to have the book taken from them and mashed into a pulp.

Hahaha! I love that so much. I plan on using that excerpt when we get to Harry Potter in the class. How the authors respond to censorship is kind of a big deal and that she did it pretty explicitly in one of her books is fantastic.