Summer of Harry Potter. You can read about my experience so far:
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE
HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS
HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
Okay, so on the day I was finishing THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, I read on Twitter that it was the 10 year anniversary of the book's publication (July 16). Ten Years. I can't believe it took me so long to get to this one!
And yet I do know exactly why: I stopped after SORCERER'S STONE because there were too many details, and I just wasn't into it. And sure enough, I really had to push myself through books 2 and 3 -- they were good, I just didn't care. By book 4, I was starting to care, and by book 5, I absolutely DID care.
And now book 6. Wow. I can't believe how invested I am in these characters! I get it now -- the obsessions, the uber-fans, the gazillion homemade products on etsy.com.... I WANT THEM ALL. I think J.K. Rowling is a genius. Her way of writing... the slow build... but oh, oh, the PAYOFF. Brilliant. Truly. What an engaging experience. ORDER OF THE PHOENIX is still my favorite, but I loved THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE and am so excited about DEATHLY HALLOWS. And a little sad, too. I wish I didn't know the Snape twist from the movies. What a joy that would have been to discover in the pages!
Some favorite quotes from this one:
love this description:
"He tumbled through dark nothingness and landed in a sitting room in front of an immensely fat old lady wearing an elaborate ginger wig and a brilliant pink set of robes that flowed all around her, giving her the look of a melting iced cake."
Ron cracks me up:
"Ths is Felix Felicis, I suppose?" said Hermione anxiously, holding the bottle to the light. "You haven't got another bottle full of -- I don't know--"
"Essence of Insanity?" suggested Ron, as Harry swung his cloak over his shoulders.
I found Professor Slughorn's eulogy pretty perfect:
"Farwell, Aragog, king of arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you won't forget! Though your body will decay, your spirit lingers on in the quiet, web-spun places of your forest home. May your many-eyed descendants ever flourish and your human friends find solace for the loss they have sustained."
I loved Dumbledore's whole explanation/conversation with Harry about the Prophecy, and how he had a choice. I will just share here the last little bit when Harry has found some understanding:
"It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew -- and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents -- that there was all the difference in the world."