Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.
This Wednesday’s topic is Books For Your Hogwarts House – show your Hogwarts House Pride, and tell us the top 5 books that represent your house! As I am a very proud Ravenclaw, this week I bring you my top five books that I think represent my house and, moreover, that my fellow Claws would enjoy too! Ravenclaw’s dominant traits include wit, learning, and wisdom, (“wit beyond measure is a man’s greatest treasure” after all!) so I’ve been sure to choose books that champion the pursuit of knowledge, that include wittiness, or that are books which can really sink into and think deeply about.
5. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (x)
This is the only book on my list that I haven’t read and, because of that, I think it has to go last on this list just because of that factor. However, from what I know of this book, it’s a book you really have to work at – you have to sink into it and let its confusing story completely consume you. You have to crack puzzles to understand and go along with some pretty confusing things in order to get to the end of this mammoth of a book. Not only do I think Ravenclaws would love this book, I also think that resilience to understand and learn represents one of the dominant traits of the house itself.
4. The Wide Window (ASOUE) by Lemony Snicket (x)
Similarly, I think the inquisitive nature of the Baudelaire children in Lemony Snicket’s series perfectly matches the curiosity that Ravenclaws have for gaining new knowledge about the world around them. I’ve specifically highlighted the third book in the series simply because I think the grammar puzzle left by Aunt Josephine perfectly represents how the password to get into the Ravenclaw Tower involves solving a cryptic puzzle or riddle. Also, ‘Claws stick together and if there’s anything Violet, Klaus, and Sunny represent it’s the strength of the bonds of family and friendship, even in a world which seems so dark and cruel to children like them.
3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman (x)
As a book, American Gods is bloody weird (to say the least)… but very clever… definitely Ravenclaw traits! (cough Luna cough) Gaiman’s weird and wonderful mishmash of figures from different mythologies and cultures epitomises Ravenclaw’s championing of learning and wisdom, as American Gods is undoubtedly a book that teaches you about all manner of deific figures, including lesser known examples from folklore – perhaps it’s my own ignorance but, for example, I’d never heard of Anansi before this book and likely never would have had it not been for Gaiman’s portrayal of him in this novel. However, American Gods has a certain kind of humour in its otherwise dark tone which I feel that Ravenclaw shares and enjoys.
2. Any of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (x)
Not only would ‘Claws totally appreciate ACD’s detective, the character of Sherlock Holmes epitomises Ravenclaw curiosity in the face of a challenge. Likewise, his behaviours which are often seen lightly as “eccentricities” highlight the originality of Ravenclaw house – it’s not all about logic and facts, but also about looking at things in a different way. Remember that Sybil Trelawney and Luna Lovegood belong to Ravenclaw House after all! Sherlock’s cold and clinical characterisation elsewhere probably also represents the slight superiority complex that Ravenclaws sometimes can be mistaken for having, but what wins out in the end is just the thrill of the pursuit of knowledge – “the game is afoot!”
1. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (x)
Bear with me on this one because I understand it’s maybe a slightly left-field choice. Allow me to explain: Northern Lights, for me, represents so much of Ravenclaw in its primary characters and because of this I reckon ‘Claws would really love it. In Lyra’s initial thirst for play and exploration where she definitely shouldn’t be exploring, we have Ravenclaw’s insatiable curiosity aka poking their nose in where they should probably leave well alone. In Lord Asriel we see not only Ravenclaw’s intellectual prowess and wits against their adversaries but also their ultimate pursuit of the right thing for humanity, even if it means sacrificing others or, ultimately, themselves. The theocracy of the Magisterium also, I think, represents precisely the kind of knowledge and ethics that Ravenclaw would fight against – the Magisterium as an institution is unfalteringly dogmatic, actively suppresses any kind of heresy or alternate view or research, and uses their belief system to oppress individuals within their society into conformity with their credo. Ravenclaw would definitely have a few things to say against that kind of censorship, I reckon!
And there we have it folks – those were my top 5 books for Ravenclaw house.
Do you agree/disagree with my choices?
Which titles do you think represent your Hogwarts house?
If you have a Top 5 Wednesday list, please link it below – I’d love to take a look!