Well here we are, it’s my blogiversary! One year – one whole year of this blog! In the last 52 weeks I have read and reviewed 52 books. At the start of this challenge I had my doubts as to whether I could do this, but as time has gone on and I’ve been building up steam reading has just become part of my life. Blogging about it has become a nice way to record my thoughts and get them out there. Not many people notice my microscopic slice of the internet, but I have had some interesting interactions with those that do. Authors whom I have reviewed have liked and re-tweeted my reviews on twitter, several self published authors have got in touch with me to read their books and I’ve even recently broken the ice with Netgalley, the site where “readers of influence” get free books direct from publishers.
Reading has become an addiction and the big news is that 52 Good Books will be continuing for the time being. I certainly can’t stop before the end of the year because I set myself a 52 book challenge for the whole of 2018 on Goodreads… So if you can bear it, keep coming back for more each Monday. There happen to still be quite a lot of books out there for me to read…
And now to Harry Potter. Beware – this review contains spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read the whole series. This past week has been an utterly hedonistic one as far as reading material is concerned. I have had the illustrated copies of books two and three since Christmas but hadn’t managed to read them. This week I indulged myself and read both of them. Whilst I always say that books are generally better than the films, it has to be said that the Harry Potter films are brilliant. They are a fab quick HP fix when you’re in need of one, but, it goes without saying that, nothing does justice to the detail of the plot like reading the books and that is where these illustrated books really come into their own. You have the fully blown story line so that die-hard fans don’t miss a single thing and amidst this you have the pictures put together by the skilful Jim Kay. I savoured every page of these books. Even the pages that aren’t illustrated have some kind of design on them which just makes the whole experience so much more than just reading. It definitely helped that I hadn’t ‘cheated’ and flicked ahead to see the pictures in the book. Part of the fun was waiting to see what pictures I would discover as I read.
As for the content of the books themselves; I have often given the matter thought, and I think that the Prisoner of Azkaban may be my favourite book of the HP series (but I also like Half Blood Prince quite a lot – I am a Snape fan you see…) PoA was my first introduction to Harry Potter. It is also the only book where Harry isn’t actually in any danger, which is nice to know when you are re-reading. You can chill out a bit, go with the flow. It also contains one of Rowling’s rare kindnesses in giving Harry a chink of hope, his godfather, whom she cruelty snatches away again a couple of books later. Killing Dumbledore is one thing but killing Sirius?! And then Lupin??!! It’s like she just had to utterly wipe out Harry’s history. It was meaner than mean. No wonder we all pondered whether Harry might have to die in his quest to rid the world of Voldemort. Rowling had shown no mercy to anyone else. No-one seemed to be safe, nothing was sacred. So why should Harry be any different? I could go on about Harry Potter for ever and ever and ever and ever so I am just going to finish by saying that J.K. Rowling is stupendously clever. This fantasy world of hers is so detailed, so nuanced and so addictive that I wonder if we will ever get enough of it.
If you’ve got this far in the post (and / or if you’ve been following my year long quest) I’d like to thank you for sticking by me and seeing it through – and particularly for reading this post which is less about reviewing and more about me tinkering with my Harry Potter obsession! Next Monday I will be back to tell you about how I got on with Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.