James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing

Now, any of you regular readers of my blog will know that I am a huge Harry Potter fan. Some of you also might know that an unofficial fan series has been published (with J.K. Rowling’s consent). This series chronicles the adventures of James Sirius Potter, Harry and Ginny’s eldest son and is meant to be very good- that’s as much as I know, having only found out about the series’ existence yesterday. 

This presents me with a dilemma. I don’t know what to do. Part of me wants to read the series, part of me (the dominant part) is shrieking with rage and cursing the fool who took Potter into his own hands. I don’t want someone who is not J.K. Rowling having a say in things! It’s her world, her creation and I’m outraged that someone would dare try and carry it on. It’s like blasphemy (Harry Potter is actually my religion on Facebook). 

For: I’m very curious as to see if this series is actually any good. Who knows, I might end up really enjoying this series! It would be wonderful to revisit Hogwarts and even if the series is rubbish, at least I’ll know for sure. You’ve got to read a book before you judge it! Plus, although Rowling has approved the series, it remains unofficial- not like when Amis, Wood, Gardener etc. continued Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Somehow, that makes it better. It’s not like someone else is having a say over the official Harry Potter series or changing what’s already been done. It’s just like fan fiction, which (though a lot of it is terrible) has never really hurt anyone.

Against: It’s blasphemy. It’s theft of Rowling’s intellectual property. It’s an attempt to continue a series that was finished so nicely. It’s like someone is trying to take over Hogwarts. It’s leeching off of someone else’s genius!  I’m not keen on that. And what if Rowling herself was planning to release some James Potter stories? Talk about treading on her toes. Although, as it’s not official there wouldn’t really be many issues with this. I just really don’t like the idea of someone taking the Potter series into their own hands and carrying it on. They can’t possible know the magical world as well as J.K. Rowling and since Harry Potter is her creation, we should accept her decision to leave the series at Kings’ Cross Station on the first of September. 

What do YOU think I should do? Help me out! 

All I want for Christmas is… These books please.

So rather than clogging up your WordPress reader with book tags (which are fun every now and then but were starting to get repetitive), I’ve decided to enlighten you all about the books I’m hoping Santa brings me.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller – this book is incredibly esteemed and is also one of the great literary works of the 20th century, so my expectations are high. The 20th century is, for me, one of the most interesting periods in literature since it reflects the massive changes in society which took place and the events and movement which shape the culture of today, so this is something I feel that I really should read. Plus, since Heller took seven years to write it, I think I owe him the hours it’ll take to read it.

The Beautiful and Damned by Scott F. Fitzgerald – I want to read this because I loved The Great Gatsby so much that I’m keen to discover more of Fitzgerald’s wondrous works! I love the way in which Fitzgerald explores the decadence and exposes the amorality of the 1920s as people turned away from traditional values in the shameless pursuit of decadence.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – I love anything with romance in it and so this book, which tells the tale of a married, aristocratic socialite’s affair with a cavalry officer seems as though it will have enough romance and scandal to keep me happily turning the pages. Add to the mix that it is another great literary work and the fact that I loved the film and voila– it’s on my Christmas list.

The Devil in the Flesh – Ramond Radiguet – lesser known than any of the other novels on this list, The Devil in the Flesh is another story about a young married woman having an affair that caused a scandal. I picked it up in Waterstone’s a few months ago, when I unfortunately didn’t have any money on me, and I haven’t forgotten about it, so here’s hoping it makes an appearance in my stocking!

Margaret Mitchell – The Handmaid’s Tale – I have wanted this book for a while since several friends/teachers have recommended it to me. It’s a work of science-fiction from what I’ve heard, which isn’t my usual genre but I’m willing to give it ago- I don’t avoid sci-fi, I’ve just never been overly interested in it. It’s gathered a lot of attention and I’ve debated buying it several times, but always ended up going for something else.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck – This novel is supposedly Steinbeck’s most ambitious and won the Putlitzer Prize, so it’s definitely critically acclaimed. I’ve read that it parallels the story of the fall of Adam and Eve, something I find endlessly fascinating, and so it’s certainly something I want to read!

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey – I know this book is set in a mental asylum and I’ve always been interested in psychology, in particular mental illness, so this book sounds very intriguing to me. In addition to this, numerous friends and relatives have recommended it to me, so this is one I’d really like to receive!

Which books are on YOUR Christmas list? Please let me know in a comment!