Ok, I swear I'll have a review up soon! In fact, I've discovered a way to approach Dangerous Liasons, and it's through Balzac. :) I just finished Cousin Bette, and I'm fascinated by the similarities and differences between the two.
In the meantime, I really enjoyed reading this post over at Book Chase. Sam quotes from a WP Book World column that I will shortly be running over to read, and shares his own opinion, regarding the Harry Potter phenomenon. This was very timely to my own reading life, as I explain in a (probably over-long) comment on his post. As I am rather lazy (or, should I say, efficient?), I'm just copying and pasting most of it over here, and then expanding.
I read the first 3 Harry books when I was 12, when I still lived in England and before they had become such a pop hit, and I really enjoyed them. I own the first 4, although by the 4th one I was starting to become less impressed. When I finally got around to reading the 5th one, I hated it. A lot. I only ended up reading the 6th one because I went on a road trip w/ a friend and she wanted to listen to it on cd.
So, with that background, yesterday I found myself thinking that I should pre-order the 7th. Why? Well, because I figured if I didn't read it right away, the ending would be given away. So, in preperation, I grabbed the 1st one off my shelf and reread it.
And I came to a realisation. I'm not 12 anymore. I don't care about how the series ends; in fact, I remember almost nothing from the 5th and 6th books. And that made me feel guilty. Was there something wrong with me? Why wasn't I in love with Harry and Ron and Hermione? Why didn't I care when certain very important characters died?
Now, I'm not dissing all of the people who love the series. I'm certainly not dissing adults who read children's books-to this day, I love Anne of Green Gables, Narnia, and His Dark Materials. I'm not even dissing the books themselves. I'm basically just giving myself permission to not enjoy them. And that sounds heretical, even now when I type it. I mean, I'm not a book snob. :) I enjoy my reading fluff as much as the next person. But I'm finding myself aligned with the snobb-ish book critics on this one.
Well, that's about all I have to say on the topic. I suppose I just wanted to contribute to the discussion Sam's opened up. How do you all stand on the Potter phenomenon? Do you dress up and attend the release parties? Do your kids? Do you refuse to read it because it's 'too popular'? Or do you fall somewhere in the middle? Do any of you feel, like I did, that you *have* to like the books? I mean, these are the books that are making America read again. How could an avid reader not enjoy them? Food for thought.