Monday, July 25, 2005

50 Book Challenge: Harry Potter & Other Stuff

Okay, there's just no way I'm going to hit 50 books by the end of the year. Silly me, I thought I'd catch up during the summer. Turns out, this is the busiest summer of my life! Not only are there the many pre-wedding festivities of BLB and the Bride to enjoy, but I don't know what I was thinking, signing the kids up for so many activities. Day camp for Enthusio is great except for the fact that last night I realized I'd barely seen him in the last few weeks :-( Having him there is convenient but has hardly cut down on my driving -- between Mermaid's participation in swim team (daily practice plus bi-weekly swim-meets) and the DAC production of "The Wizard of Oz" (rehearsal twice a week has understandably increased to much more than that as the performances -- tonight and tomorrow night -- have approached), putting me in the car almost constantly. Pre-wedding festivities (last weekend, as you know, was the bachelorette cruise; this past weekend was the bridal shower, and a fine time it was!) are plentiful, and Saturday was a swim-meet in the morning, for which my parents came up, and then we went to lunch with them and to the pool.

So reading time has been limited, and I started out my summer with two long and somewhat difficult books: Children of God and Under the Banner of Heaven. Both very good, but not what you'd call light summer reading. Thus, instead of speeding through some frothy literary fun and adding to my list as I'd hoped, I've barely added a book title every couple of weeks.

My schedule did not prevent me, I am happy to say, from devouring the latest adventures of Harry Potter in two days. My assessment, unfortunately, is not good. In short, I thought the book was a major bummer. I'm not going to give away any crucial information at this point (unless my opinion is a spoiler for anyone, in which case, my apologies :-/), but I'll say this -- I can understand why things are set up the way they are to go into the final chapter of the series, but I still think it sucks. Also, I was disappointed in the way Harry's character was written. After the brilliantly-rendered sulkiness of a 15-year-old boy in book 5, I feel the author took a real step backward. In book 6, Harry is once again wide-eyed and bewildered -- there is little of the anger that we saw in book 5 and in my opinion, it should have, if anything, increased after the death of his guardian, Sirius Black, at the end of that chapter. In any case -- I am looking forward to an amazing 7th and final book, hopefully with a satisfying answer to any question you could possibly think to ask about the universe J.K. Rowling has created. I am still in awe of her talent, despite my feelings about book 6 and my very strong opinion that she could use some more forceful editing ("Too many adverbs!" she cried vehemently.)

Not everyone will share my opinion, of course, and if you want to read a detailed argument of why book 6 had to turn out the way it did, check out The Webbed Toe Yes, my husband, Reasonable Man, has joined the world of blog-writing. He twisted his ankle badly in a softball game this past week, which was his week off, and I knew he was bored, but I didn't know how bored until he told me he'd started a blog. He probably won't update it very often, if I know him, but his first real entry (after a brief introductory one) is pretty good. Don't read it if you don't want to know what happens in the new Harry Potter book though.

As for me -- I haven't decided what my next reading selection will be, but I'm thinking about the piece of chick-lit fluff currently sitting on my shelf...

1 comment:

Erin Nicole said...

i'm into the story and felt the ending was both appropriate and very brave on rowlings part. i'm glad she didn't give in and write something fluffy.

anyway, for ideas on a new read, check out my blog...