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Jana Riess, Molly Weasley, and how hospitality saved the world!

13 Sep

A Weasley Christmas

(this gem is from Loleia at

Over at, Jana Riess has written a lovely little blog piece on Molly Weasley and hospitality. Everyone knows I can’t resist a blog post on Harry, especially when focused on the ever lovable and controversial Molly!! Enjoy!

Everything I Need to Know About Hospitality, I Learned from Molly Weasley

Jana Riess

The first time we meet Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter books, she welcomes the stranger. At King’s Cross Station, she patiently teaches Harry the trick of finding Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, not because she knows he’s famous — she has no idea who the scrawny boy before her might be — but simply because the very core of her person is suffused with hospitality.

And when, later in the scene, she does discover his identity, her immediate thought is not that he is famous but that he is alone in the world and needs a little mothering. She cautions her daughter that Harry won’t want to be gawked at like some creature in the zoo.

A few months later, she sends Harry a homemade Weasley sweater for the holidays, much to Ron’s chagrin. But to Harry, who has never received a Christmas present, the hand-knitted sweater signals belonging. It brings a message: You are part of us now.

As I explore our spiritual practice of hospitality throughout September, I keep circling back to Molly as the hospitable person I want to become. She’s not a perfect person by any means; she has a fierce temper, succumbs to a dubious Author Crush, and has lousy taste in music. But she is always, always one who welcomes the stranger. In Book 2, when Harry visits the Weasley family, Molly immediately treats him like one of her own children. He’s given a little extra food to fatten him up, but he’s also allowed to go out and de-gnome the garden, doing household chores like everybody else.

She regards him as both special and not special, which is just about right, I think. One trick of hospitality is treating people not as you would want to be treated yourself, but as they want to be treated, which is usually much harder.

Treating people like we would wish to be treated ourselves is great in theory, but in practice it can be an extension of our own ego and selfishness. Molly and Harry butt heads a few times in the later books over his growing adolescent need for independence, but she ultimately respects his need to not be, quite literally, mollycoddled.

It’s not just Harry who benefits from Molly’s open-handed generosity. The Weasley home is a safehouse for all sorts of flawed humans (Mundungus Fletcher, anyone?), not to mention assorted creatures that others might censure, such as werewolves. Molly feeds everyone her famed cooking, despite the fact that it’s not like her family is drowning in cash. The Weasleys are perpetually short of money with their own large family, but you never see either Molly or Arthur turning guests away because they’re poor. She refuses to accept Harry’s Triwizard Tournament prize money when he attempts to press it on her, even though a thousand galleons would go far to alleviate her own family’s poverty.

Molly’s no saint, except when she is; her fierce love for her own family extends outward to create an entire community with bonds of love. Until the end of the seventh book, we only see her magical power in terms of housewifely arts — she can make potatoes jump out of their jackets (please, please teach me how to do that) and knitting needles clack amongst themselves. But in the Battle of Hogwarts, we get a glimpse of a different, powerful Molly Weasley – a strength that has informed her character all along, but is galvanized into action when her daughter is attacked. “Not my daughter, you bitch!” Molly hurls, singlehandedly dueling Bellatrix Lestrange to the death in order to protect the Weasley family.

But that’s just it. Molly’s protectiveness has never been reserved just for her own seven children. From that cocoon it has ever extended outward to include the stranger and build community. In a fantastic twist of irony, the woman who is best known for welcoming the stranger kills the woman whose very name means “the stranger”; Bellatrix has spent a lifetime as the anti-Molly, and she is about to pay.

And so it is that Molly Weasley, housewife, deals the penultimate death blow to the Death Eaters.

Her hospitality helps save the world.

Any thoughts? Hospitality vs. Love? Is it the same? Lets get talking here!  Paint the ROSES!!


Alice is back! NPR gives us the 100 Best Teen Novels

7 Aug

After a hard couple months of medical and rabbitty hole hardship, I’m back! To start off, I give you NPR’s list of the Best 100 Teen Novels. I think some are missing and some are missplaced. Any thoughts? Sound off!

NPR’s 100 Best Teen Novels

Enjoy some of the highlights and lowlights below and click on the link above to read through the entire list. As always, paint the roses in the comment section!

1. Harry Potter


2. Hunger Games- maybe a bit high there?? I mean–I love the series, but it is not the second best ever. Everyone needs to CALM DOWN.

21. Mortal Instruments Series- Seriously? …………………………………………………………….Seriously? I will leave my ranting out of this. But SERIOUSLY? It beats out Tuck Everlasting?? The Giver? Bridge to Terabithea and A Wrinkle in Time (which were missing)? Ugh.

At least my favorite redhead was represented….

14. Anne of Green Gables

Be Still My Heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 Apr

It's Coming!!!!!

We have details!!!!!!!! Little, Brown has given us a TITLE!!!!!!! Drumroll Please!!!!

 The Casual Vacancy

It will be released worldwide on September 27, 2012.

“It begins when the sudden death of a well-liked man rocks the “seemingly idyllic” town of Pagford, England. Beneath its pleasant facade, Pagford is actually a “town at war,” roiled by class conflicts — rich people at odds with the poor — and in-fighting within families.” (Shelf Life)

Could this be the political fairytale we heard about

23 Mar


While I agree with the title of the CNN post, I disagree with the sentiment that Bella is an “okay” role model for girls and Katniss is a better one. A girl who says “SAVE ME” to a boy and goes along for the ride is not a role model for anyone….period. A lost girl does not need to be saved by a boy and that message needs to be stopped PRONTO. It is so harmful for girls AND boys. Young girls and women have agency and are perfectly capable of being the persons they were born to be–even when the “odds are NOT in their favor”. They can rise above every circumstance through their own uniqueness and do ANYTHING. SPARKLY VAMPIRES BE DAMNED! Bella may be the worst thing to hit literature and girlhood since the early Disney princesses. Katniss is a fantastic role model for girls (hearts for Katniss!!!!!), but she is not a novelty–and we should celebrate those that came before. She stands in a long line of female heroines and female leads that teach girls (and boys) what badassness looks like. So today I offer a toast to Hermione, Lyra, Luna, Minerva, Molly, Lily, Ginny, Anne, Leia, Juniper, Galadriel, Arwen, and the many other strong girls and women that have paved the path for our GIRL ON FIRE! Have any more? Paint the Roses!!!

Originally posted on GeekOut:

Editor’s note: Colette Bennett, aside from being Geek Out’s main otaku, is an obsessive fangirl. Recently, her love of “The Hunger Games” series led her to call it the “thinking woman’s YA series.” As fans across the country camp out to buy tickets to “The Hunger Games” movie premier, Bennett explains the singularity and relevance of Katniss worship.

In the era of obsessive young adult literature fandom, a new heroine towers above all the others — Miss Katniss Everdeen.

Friday marks a great day for avid fans of “The Hunger Games,” as they anticipate public vindication for their devotion to the book’s 17-year-old lead character, who has a handsome boy on each arm and a political uprising to lead.

The first movie adaptation of the popular book series opens Friday night, and the trailers have already whipped fans into a frenzy. The madness is sure to soar…

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YA Highway: Roadtrip Wednesday

21 Mar

The wonderful women at YA HIGHWAY do a Road Trip every Wednesday where they post a question and ask bloggers from the YA Lit world to answer a question. I have decided to jump in on the fun! It is a great website and suggest you take a look and head over. This is what they have posted for today!

Welcome to our 122nd Road Trip Wednesday!
Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.
We’d love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link in the comments – or, since this week’s topic is a short one, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week’s Topic:
A long-awaited kiss, a surprise ending, a character’s sudden decision…  these are the moments that make us smile, gasp, and LOVE a book for the rest of our lives.

What is your favorite literary moment?


(Deviant Art: cactusrain)

 I think most people know that the Harry Potter series was an investment when in TIME. I am 27 (barely a tween, I know). I actually had the luxury–yes the luxury–of having to wait years in between books. I know I am in the minority when it comes to loving the waiting game (most people now won’t even watch a show anymore because they would rather wait and buy or netflix the entire set), but when it came to Harry– it think we had it good. We had it really good. We had the entire Harry Potter world to play in as readers. I know some authors (George R. R. Martin–I am looking at you, my dear good bearded man) hate fanfiction. They think it “rapes” (his words, not mine) their worlds and characters, but J.K. Rowling nodded her head at us readers and said, “It is going to take me time, go ahead, speculate and create.” And create we did.

In between books we had almost a decade to speculate. I read everything I could get my hands on. I read fanfiction on Lily and James, the Marauders, Dumbledore and McGonagall, the founders, vignettes on every character and topic….everything but Snape. I stayed away from Snape. I stayed away because I had a soft spot for him I couldn’t exactly explain. I think I only trusted J.K. Rowling with him. Maybe I was afraid of all the vilifying of my Snivilus (vindication was MINE!!!!) It seems really silly now– I could have been reading about his days moonlighting as a karaoke singer on Diagon Alley’s backstreets with Tonks and Bellatrix (I don’t know know, but right? AmI right?) , but I held back.

When, after waiting in line behind a sugared up pack of eight-year-old Death Eaters at the last midnight release (don’t get me started on why eight-year-olds want to be Death Eaters $(#^$%), I finally got Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, went home, and read, I was so glad I had saved Snape for just J.K. Rowling. When I got to  Chapter 33, The Prince’s Tale, everything changed. I had that magical moment where you fall in love with a chapter and know you will forever reread it and play it over and over  and over again (yes…I am an audiobook and Jim Dale freak).  The entire series changed for me–even the protagonist. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Harry. I love my trio. But I had always suspected that Snape was at the center of it all: Love was, redemption was, a REAL LOVE STORY. When she fleshes out Snape’s life, love, and sacrifice I seriously sobbed into my book for what seemed like 30 mins. Snape’s sad reality and love made every character more real. It made Harry more fleshed out for me, Dumbledore more of a teacher, Voldemort more pathetic, and the magic pulsing through the series a million times more valuable. I both swoon and have my heart break every time I read it. It was just a magical chapter/moment for me. It also changes how I read the books now. I just want to hug Snape throughout the series–let him know I appreciate his sacrifice and that it would have been ok to be vulnerable again. Oh Snivelus…

So now that I have given you mine, RHR readers, what is your favorite literary moment? Paint the Roses!!!


8 Mar

Coming Soon.....

Open to all users in early April……

For more information, visit the Insider!

I am geeking out like Dobby at a sock factory ya’ll!!!!

Dobby, A Free Elf!

Please don’t let me down Pottermore. You are the last thing on my fandom checklist (other than name every single one of my kids after a Harry Potter character….).

The Day Has Come

23 Feb

According to the New York Times, J.K. Rowling has announced that she will indeed be releasing a new book–an adult book. No other information has been given–no title or release date. She has left Bloomsbury, her Potter publishing home, for Little, Brown and Company.

A Time for Change......

So….what do you think? I can already hear the rumor mills turning. What does an adult book mean?? I mean–I’m finished a Master’s THESIS on HP!!! It felt pretty adult to me (HAHA-self loathing begins here). I seriously can’t wait for this book! GIVE IT TO ME NOW! Let the crazy anticipation begin. I will be there at midnight to pick up this book.

I wonder why she left Bloomsbury though…

I wonder about all those rumors about a political fairytale that were running around for so long…

I wonder if she is as nervous as we all are….it’s hard to be a Rowlinian.


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