We're halfway through the Cincinnati Public Library's Summer Reading Program. While working fulltime, taking two classes, and teaching a class has cut into my book-a-day reading habit, I ended June with a total of 23 books. Not shabby as my husband would like to remind me when I pout about having to do class reading. :-)
On to the reviews:
First up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Is there a book better than this one? Actually, yes, there is. I like the later books better, but there's just something about that first glimpse into the JK Rowling's magical world. Harry's so young and small and really doesn't have a clue what he's getting into, but he displays that integrity, determination, and goodness which will persevere through the next six books. Love.
Lines Scribbled on an Envelope and Other Poems.
Madeleine L'Engle's first book of poetry. People, I was not excited. I can barely force myself to read through all the poetry she puts into her novels. I had that really horrible experience with Tricks. There just wasn't much hope. But despite my prejudice, I liked the book. I even copied out a couple poems I wanted to remember. She has this one that's based on the story of Eutychus from Acts that has this really gritty New York in the 60s/70s vibe. The summer I worked at AMC, I saw The Summer of Sam for free (I wouldn't have gone to it otherwise), and that movie just left the deepest impression of hot, muggy, irritable, about to explode city pressure tinted with nostalgia. The nostalgia's from a bit of Spike v. Disco-Slayer and Austin Powers/Studio 54. :-) Still gritty, not my place, but very interesting, evocative.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
For so long this was not my favorite HP by a long shot. Now I appreciate it in reading with Book 6 and all it's Voldemort history. And I really love Fawkes and Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart. The movies are inextricably intertwined with the books for better or worse.
This book got me halfway through James Bond. This one seemed to me like the most classic Bond book. There are about 5 impossible scenes that Bond manages to escape from in various dashing ways in some of the most unlikely settings (the golf course??). There's the "you think we've reached the end... think again" ending. And yeah, lots of womanizing--so offensive you've got to laugh womanizing. Odd, Moonraker is still my fav, but I'm looking forward to this movie.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Until Books 6&7, this was my favorite Harry Potter. I love Lupin and Sirius--the connections they bring to Harry's parents even when it causes pain. It's the last non-uber-dark ending. It's the last book that doesn't end in someone's death. There's a lot of reasons to like this book if you're an optimist who loves Harry Potter. :-)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
While I still maintain this book would benefit from editing, I've moved from it and CoS tying for last place. They still aren't my favorites, but they hold their place in the Harry Potter canon well. Plus I really like the wizard who wears a woman's nightgown because he "likes a healthy breeze about his privates". :-) The Priori Incantatem chapter is just heart-breaking.
And here we are. Halfway through the Summer Reading Program. Halfway through James Bond. Halfway through Harry Potter. Still not a third of the way through Madeleine L'Engle. However, it's a three day weekend and we aren't traveling so I plan to spend much of it reading--until I convince myself to do homework and grade. Stupid real world commitments.