Archive for the 'Books/literature/book reviews' Category

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Book 7 Countdown..

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Alright all you Harry Potter geeks- yeah you- I see you re-reading Book 6 on the train to work to catch up on the plot in preparation for the July 21st release of the FINAL HARRY POTTTER!! 3 hours, 46 minutes, 53 seconds… watch the countdown on Mugglenet, the best Harry Potter site on the net.

The theories and speculations about Harry’s fate are reaching a fever point. Many think that Harry is doomed to die, because a) the prophecy said that either he or Voldemort must die b) in mythological literature the hero often dies c) so that no one can write “Harry Potter 8” or some other lame book about what Harry does post-Hogwarts.

The official Artful Dodger guess: Harry doesn’t die. Voldemort does. Dumbledore isn’t really dead. Snape is good. Post your opinions in the comments section above.

We’ll see if I’m right this weekend!

Fun Harry Potter celebrations happening in the Boston area this Friday:

  • Harvard Square in Cambridge is going completely insane- find out more info here
  • Potterpalooza begins in Coolidge Corner, Brookline at 8:00 PM
  • More info here at Boston.com for parties in Salem, Braintree, Boston University

Another awesome theme park: Dickens World!

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Not only is there going to be a Harry Potter theme park, but there is already a Dickens World! Just opened in May 2007, it’s located in Kent, England. It’s like the Theme Park Gods are making my dreams come true. I wonder if there is a character actor walking around as the Artful Dodger!!??

Now if only there were a Louis Vuitton world… well actually you can visit the Louis Vuitton Museum in Asnieres, France, 25 minutes outside of Paris. Or you can just go to the Champs Elysees LV store, aka “The Mothership.”

Movie Review: The Namesake

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I highly recommend The Namesake. Based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize, The Namesake follows the Ganguli family from Calcutta to New York.

Starring Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar go to White Castle) as Gogol, the beautiful Indian singer/actress Tabu as his mother, and Irfan Kahn as his father. Directed by Mira Nair (Vanity Fair and Monsoon Wedding).

The story begins in 1970’s Calcutta, India. Ashima and Asook marry and move to New York City. Ashima has a difficult time adjusting to American life, but her loving relationship with her husband smooths the transition. We see their children grow up. Gogol, their eldest son, has a major identity crisis. He is Indian and American and neither- caught between his family and Indian tradition, and the rebellious need to be free, Gogol also has an intense desire to fit into American society. He dates a blonde, WASPy girl named Sam who means well but simply doesn’t understand him. A classic scene is at a party at Sam’s parents’ house, where Sam’s mother introduces him to another guest as “a wonderful Indian architect.” The guest asks Gogol if he was born in India, and talks about a girlfriend that went to India. Gogol can’t be viewed as simply an architect, he is that “Indian architect.” Gogol and Sam later break up, but Gogol finds out in a relationship with a Bengali woman that shared culture is not enough for a successful, loving relationship either.

“We all came out of Gogol’s Overcoat.” Read Gogol’s famous short story here: The Overcoat.

Artful Dodger rating: 4 out of 5 cookies

Harry Potter mania!! Books and movies and theme parks, oh my!

Complete Harry Potter overload!

Coming in late 2009- Harry Potter Theme Park in Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida. Read more about it here.harry-potter-1.jpg

July 11- “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” movie hits theaters. See the trailer here.

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July 21-“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” book hits bookstores- preorder yours now on www.amazon.com . My official prediction: Dumbledore isn’t really dead, Snape is really good and helps Harry find the horcruxes, Harry and Voldemort fight, Voldemort dies, Snape dies

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“How to Lead a Miserable Life” by the Artful Dodger

There are countless books written on how to lead a happy, joyful, loving life. But where do you go if you choose to be miserable? Look no further dear reader, for this article will provide you with the steps needs to be completely unhappy for the rest of your days. Now there may be some doubters in the audience who think that we are destined to be happy or unhappy, whether due to nature, nurture, or both. However, these doubters ignore one key power of the human mind: attitude.

First, and most importantly of all: work at a boring, dead-end, unfulfilling job for many years because you lack the nerve to attempt to find a better job that suits you and your talents. After a solid ten years at this type of job, you will almost certainly be there for life, and the desire to move to a challenging position which you enjoy will slowly disappear, to be replaced by a comfortable numbness.

Focus only on yourself. Be completely self-absorbed and self-centered. Adopt a “woe is me” attitude, and count all of the bad things that have happened to you over the years (making sure to conveniently forget all of the good things that have happened to you) and convince yourself that there is a divine plan on the part of God and humanity to ruin your life. Do not waste your time helping others with their comparatively miniscule problems; they should be helping you with your much more important problems. Do not do any community volunteering as generosity would only give you a sense of self-worth and satisfaction. Whining and complaining incessantly will also get you far on the road to unhappiness.

Take everything far too seriously. Let your sense of humor lie dormant, and above all never learn to enjoy a good laugh at yourself. Focus only on your shortcomings and ignore your successes and talents. Insert a soundtrack into your mind that plays over and over a long list of your weaknesses, personal failures, and fears. After a while, this soundtrack will block out any realistic interpretation of yourself or the world around you.

Never take any risks. Narrow your mindset so that you see only failure in any new things that you might try. Why bother going to that interview: you will never get the job. Why date anyone? It will never work out. Loving and happy relationships with family, friends, and significant others require a risk as well as hard work. Learn to view change as a threat. Close your mind to other viewpoints and possibilities.

Focus only on the bad things that happen, and ignore the good things. This is the most important part of leading a miserable life. Keep careful track of all the disappointments, bad luck, and add it all up until you are too afraid to trust anyone or have hope for anything. Above all, do not count your blessings. Forget all of the little joys of everyday life, and ignore all of the good and generous things that other people have done for you purely out of the goodness of their hearts. Never be grateful for your good health, your family’s good health, and the people in your life.

Remember that attitude is key in life. With the proper bad attitude, you too can lead a life full of misery and regret.