look-at-that-book

Childhood memories were like airplane luggage; no matter how far you were traveling or how long you needed them to last, you were only ever allowed two bags. And while those bags might hold a few hazy recollections—a diner with a jukebox at the table, being pushed on a swing set, the way it felt to be picked up and spun around—it didn’t seem enough to last a whole lifetime.
—  Jennifer E. Smith, This is What Happy Looks Like

I was tagged by my lovely Naila swdyww in her summer reading post! Here’s some of my summer reading, plus books I wanna re read as an adult for inspiration. And books I need to finish.

From top to bottom:

The Illustrated Man By Ray Bradbury

Gingerbread By Rachel Cohn

Endgame & Act Without Words I By Samuel Beckett

Frankenstein By Mary Shelly

Before you suffocate your own fool self by Danielle Evans

Where the Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein

Black Hole By Charles Burns (which i’ve read many many times)

Hoping to read more!

I love Albus Dumbledore and here’s why:

  • He was a child prodigy from a pureblood family and fucking bored with the company around him. He had been groomed for success all his life, so he was polite and sociable, but internally, incredibly bored with the people around him and what Hogwarts could teach him.
  • Then this guy Gellert Grindelwald shows up and WOW he’s just as smart as Albus! That’s fantastic! New best friend!
  • And then Frankenstein happens. Alone and in secret they spin all kind of ideas and stories and begin to consider the future, the world they want to create. They’re annoyed with the statute of secrecy because that’s there biggest limitation. So why not break it down? But what about the muggles, I mean, the statute is there for a reason right? And Gellert thinks ‘Apartheid sounds like a really good idea’ and Albus thinks ‘well, magic is really dangerous and they can’t use it to defend themselves. Plus, even if they could, magic in the hands of someone who hasn’t been trained is even worse. It would be for their own safety…’
    • Now remember, because of the statute of secrecy, the wizarding world has literally no idea that the muggle world is actually going through EXACTLY this at the same time. (Imperialism is a bitch.) No one is around to tell these two idiots that apartheid is just cleverly disguised racism and is incredibly destructive to everyone.
  • So with their new glorious ideal of utopian society where there are no longer secrets, but instead muggles and wizards working together, separate but equally, to create a magnificent future. Does Albus truly believe in this? Of course he does. He doesn’t yet see the inherent problems here or how easily the muggles will be mistreated if every right and respect is denied them. Heck, even Gellert may not be nazi scum yet (we know so little about his character, it’s impossible to say whether he was a dyed-in-the-wool racist or came to the conclusion of racism later. Well, given apartheid was his big idea, I should say he’s at least guilty of unconscious racism, but may have become more overtly racist over time.)
  • As their political machinations get underway, it’s about this time that Aberforth comes on the scene. Now Aberforth is the younger, under-appreciated, unnoticed, lesser brother. He got less attention in school and probably in the family. He has had to work hard for all his success which is only a small quantity of what bloody Albus has achieved in his meager 20-something years. But, since Aberforth has none of Albus’ gifts, he has had to go out into the world and learn. And he’s seen the sort of people Gellert attracts, the acts they commit, their hostile and violent views. He’s even seen a similar wave happening in the muggle world. Yes, he consorts with muggle-borns, they don’t look down on him! And what he’s seen isn’t pretty.
    • Aberforth tries to warn his brother of the evil Gellert will create. That ‘separate but equal’ doesn’t work and is only a cruel tactic by those in power to manipulate those they consider lesser.
    • Albus, annoyed, brushes him off saying, ‘Gellert said you’d say that’ and ‘you don’t understand, we’re helping them’
    • Their confrontations become more and more frequent, escalating in hostility, turning personal
  • And into this mix, we add the youngest Dumbledore, the beloved sister, Ariana. Who, in desperation, tries to stop her brothers fighting. And ends up giving her life to that cause.
    • Now what’s interesting about this is we have no idea how she died. We have no idea if it was simply a strong curse that, given her weak condition, became fatal. Or if Albus truly intended to murder his brother.
  • In any case, horror-stricken at what he has done, Albus flees and hides in seclusion for some time. In the meanwhile, Gellert’s strength grows. Politically he is nearly unopposed, helped in no small way by gathering a veritable army of mercenary witches and wizards. And as he gains popularity, his views and tactics become more and more violent. It becomes more and more apparent that he has no respect for muggles and wishes to treat them as slaves.
  • Before the statute of secrecy can be completely be eliminated though, Albus returns. He has grown older and wiser, more sorrowful, but more cunning. He boldly opposes Gellert, encouraging people to speak out against him, winning the trust of muggle-born witches and wizards. No one would have felt brave enough to stand against him (especially as he now has the Elder Wand, or so the papers say), but their prodigy, the greatest wizard Britain has known for a century, has at last stepped out of the shadows. Of course everyone falls in line behind him.
  • And somehow, for the sake of old friendships and allegiances. Because they started this thing together and it seems only right that they should finish it, Albus and Gellert agree to meet in a simple one on one duel and end this. After all, it’s in Gellert’s best interest. There’s no need to shed the blood of so many worthy witches and wizards, Albus is his only real competition. And as he has the most powerful wand in all of creation, how can he possibly lose?
  • When Albus wins, he is greeted like a war hero. He feels nothing like the sort. He simply put an end to the evil he started. He didn’t do it for glory or power or revenge. He did it because it was right. And wanting to do some good in the world, to make sure something like this never happens again, he takes up a teaching position. After all, he has learned much about magic and the world. He hopes he can pass that on to the next generation.
  • Despite this, Aberforth cannot and will not forgive him. He resents his brother now more than ever and resents everyone who calls him hero. Aberforth spends many years bitterly thinking ‘I told you so’ and even once tried to publicly depose Albus as a pillar of good will and tolerance, reveal his spotty background and responsibility for all the lives lost during that terrible time. Sadly, no one much listens and whatever social connections he still has, Aberforth loses. He becomes a grouchy hermit, living on the edges of wizarding society, shaking his head at all the sheep, rolling his eyes at their petty politics. Always wishing there was a better advocate for integration and acceptance than his wretched brother.
  • Albus makes a point of following the muggle world from then on. To understand its trends and politics, to learn from them as they are people as surely as he is. But all too soon, far sooner than he ever hoped, he sees a young man with another mind to bend the world to his will. But now Albus is old and slow. He can impart wisdom, he can guide, he can plan, but he cannot fight as he once did. And this isn’t his fight, after all. This is a new generation that must be free to make its own choices. There are many strong witches and wizards he’s seen come up through Hogwarts who have the strength to stand against this would-be master. He’s sure they will fight against this evil, when it reveals itself.