Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Well, all, I have survived the seven books of Harry Potter, and I must say, my fiance and his mother certainly beat me as far as length of "fanship" goes... she, in fact, is a young adult book lover, which means she purchased the books as they first came out. It was The Fiance who convinced me (standing in the aisles of a classy used book store, me with my arms full of Proust and poetry, telling me I ought to read what I amounted to an Oprah book club craze) to finally delve in myself, just before the fourth installment was released.

I'm glad I finally gave in.

I worked at a bookstore during the release of Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, and I worked the release party with Kelly during The Half Blood Prince (where I have a photograph of Kelly hugging a unicorn). Like Emily was saying in her Potter post, we can now say we've survived and been a part of the Harry Potter craze. It's over now, in a sense, though the films will leave lingering excitement, but I don't know if we will ever see a series of books as much anticipated and as much celebrated as these... it will be a while, certainly, if ever in our lifetimes. I have fond memories of debating future plot lines with fellow booksellers behind the information desk--did Dumbledore really [blank]? Is Snape really evil? Will Harry die in the end? We talked odds, evidence, read excerpts, and spoke of how Joseph Campbell might be pleased at these archetypes and mythological allusions are living on in new generations.

There is some relief to not have experienced the sweaty, sardines-in-a-tin, dragging-with-boredom feeling of waiting for the release to occur, trying to avoid the smear of make-up from all the wee ones. Kelly and Michelle, however, opted to be patrons this year, and their pictures express exactly how I felt as a bookseller that night, many years ago (which, by the way, happened to be The Fiance and my six year anniversary).

I won't ruin a thing, since some are somehow even slower at finishing than I, but I will say this: some of the major debates, I chose correctly on, which pleases me, because I feel it would have been cheap, too easy, not fitting if those things would have happened otherwise. I will admit to a few things: I cried during one particular chapter towards the end and I hated the epilogue (that felt formulaic and cheap).

Other books I've read recently:

The Conscious Bride: This was lent to me by Emily and came in handy as reading material while I stayed at my parents' house, teaching gifted kids about theatre, and my mother, working on that dress above me, the sewing machine whirring me to sleep. I think it re-established a sense of OK-ness about The Fiance--how we are indeed ready to get married, how we're in a very good place for it, and how many of those transitions shouldn't be too terribly difficult on anyone--us, our parents, our friends. I think being together for eight years and owning a house together for two will do that to a couple--stabilize and establish them. My friend Nikki told me of her confidence in our match, which meant a lot, and recently, some of my bridesmaids showered our house with a thousand paper cranes for luck.

Plainwater by Anne Carson. I don't want to write about this one right now as I am finishing The Autobiography of Red and want to write about both at the same time. Just know that this slim-but-hefty volume has been on my mind.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. Many have read his Into the Wild, and this reads much like it--zippy quick, fascinating, and disturbing. It is his account of the Mount Everest disaster, which lost so many people, and also includes some startling tales of survival. I passed it on to Chris as I finished, but I thought this was a good read, and kept me grateful to be sticky in the humidity of the Carolinas.

1 comment:

EWH said...

Yay for finishing HP. I know you're busy, but I'm going to Suzanne's tonight for a chat about it at 7:30, if you want to join us :-)

Into Thin Air: I have strong opinions about this book. Ask me why sometime :-)