Thursday, October 25, 2012

Book Bucket List | J. K. Rowling

I first picked up J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when I was eleven years old.  Everything about the books is so engrossing that I can go back and pick up any one of the seven books and be just as excited about it as I was the first time. The Harry Potter series is one of the most influential and entertaining series of our time.  The books inspired a whole generation to get into reading, a huge eight part film series was created, and college kids are even picking up their broomsticks and playing a "muggle", or non-magical, version of wizard soccer.  

If you have never read the series, at least read the first one to see what all of the fuss is about.  
Here are the titles in the series:

Rowling also wrote two of Harry's textbooks and donated all of the profits to charity.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione is given the book Tales of Beedle the Bard by Professor Dumbledore to assist in the fight against Voldemort.  After the series ended, Rowling actually published the book, which contains fairy tales that are told to children in the wizarding community, and never heard by non-magical children.
 "Ron, you know full well Harry and I were brought up by Muggles! We didn't hear stories like that when we were little, we heard Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Cinderella"
 "What's that, an illness?
           - J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Even after the series ended, Potter fever didn't die down.  In 2011, Rowling released her Harry Potter universe website, Pottermore.  Here, readers can go through interactive pages of each chapter of the books.
In the first book, when Harry goes to buy his first wand, the user takes a quiz designed by Rowling herself which tells them which kind of wand they would receive.  Similarly, when Harry gets sorted into his school house by the Sorting Hat, the user takes a quiz and gets sorted into their own house.  The great thing about this website is that it gives readers the opportunity to experience, at least in some way, the things Harry got to experience.

On September 27, J. K. Rowling released her first adult novel.  The Casual Vacancy is in no way a children's book.  It is set in a small British village and follows the lives of its residents after a parish council member dies unexpectedly.  The book contains references to many adult themes and situations including drug abuse, murder, and sex.  Readers familiar with Rowling will be interested to read this, just to see what her writing is like beyond Harry.  It is definitely different.

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