Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harry Potter doesn’t just belong in the children’s domain

A few years back our head office sent up an ex Victorian policeman who was contracted to do an audit of our office and train us in compliance. I was a little afraid of this man when he arrived at our office; he was very stocky with a shaved head and looked every bit the law enforcer of the Victorian type. I was called in to his allotted office for my training, and as I sat down he pulled out his brief case and opened it. It contained two items – a buff manilla folder and a book - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I laughed, he smiled and the ice was broken. He turned out to be a lovely man, and I realised that some books do not just belong in the children’s domain. No matter how old we are, we are all still children at heart and warm to the sense of the magical. I don’t think that there would be anyone amongst us who would not love to shop at Diagon Alley, join in a feast or catch the Hogwart’s Express.

J K Rowling’s imagination is amazing. From the names of her characters, to the names of the Wizarding lessons….. everything is so well thought out and everything contains a sprinkling of her lovely humour.

It has been a couple of years since I read book two, but the characters are so well constructed that I got straight into The Prisoner of Azkaban with no real need of the reminders that are strategically placed throughout. Hermione, Ron and Harry have just come face to face with Sirius Black so I’m on a bit of a cliff hanger until I listen to some more on my drive to work in the morning.

I finished reading On Borrowed Time by Evan Green in my lunch break today. It read a little bit like a Matt Reilly towards the end and I even got caught up in the excitement, but then it got confused and the last few lines were a bit pathetic and a real let down. I’m a big believer in great opening and closing lines, so no marks there for this one.

A little bit about why I read several books at once……. I have a different book for different periods in the day. IE my drive to work is about half an hour each way, so I like to have an audio book for that drive. It took me a while to get used to listening to books, but as long as you have a good narrator you can’t go wrong. Audio books have just about tripled my reading output – or should that be input? I try and do all my book club reads as audio books (I’m not sure why…..). I even think that some books can be enjoyed more as audio – such as the PG Wodehouse Jeeves & Wooster stories.

In the evenings I like a physical book, generally a nice 400 pager that will last me a long time that I can savour for half an hour before sleep. Just lately that’s been a Dickens, though at the moment it is Solaris as I need to get that finished as it’s due back to the library on Thursday!

At work I like to have an easy light hearted/pulp book or short stories. Something that I can pick up and put down (on those rare occasions when I actually get a lunch break I still need to answer the phone).

I also have a ‘spare’ read. Something I’ll pick up now again. This is generally a horror book, something I won’t take too seriously but just to keep my ‘hand in’ with my favourite genre. Though I have gone against the rule and it’s currently Madam Bovary. I’m really enjoying it, so it may become my evening book.

I have many books lined up beside my bed and I'm just itching to get started with those!

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