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The Bookish Owl – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Owl

Hoot, hoot! All aboard for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling!

I might be a little sleep-deprived…

But I must say I enjoyed rereading the Harry Potter books as an adult. Like most readers my age, these books were a huge part of my childhood and all the way through my later life (every twenty-something knows what Hogwarts house they belong in), but there are so many small details you only truly appreciate upon rereading them after almost a decade of obsessing over the story and the world.

Yet, somehow, I haven’t completely learned my lesson. Even with everything I know about him, I still got all emotional during the scene with Dumbledore’s funeral and had to repeat “He’s an asshole, he’s an asshole, he’s an asshole” in my head, so I wouldn’t start getting teary-eyed…

At least he’s being all flashy and badass on the cover. My Danish edition shows the same scene, just 5 minutes earlier, where the Inferi is crawling toward Harry kneeling by the water, and that cover art almost struck me as rather nightmare-inducing. Yet I still had a poster with it on the wall of my bedroom for years, so it was the last thing I saw every night before I closed my eyes.

No wonder I have suffered from insomnia ever since my early teens.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
by J. K. Rowling

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggles have been affected. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet . . . as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Harry receives some extraordinary help in Potions from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. And with Dumbledore’s guidance, he seeks out the full, complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort — and thus finds what may be his only vulnerability.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Owl

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The Bookish Owl – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

We’re back in owl territory with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling.

Of course every book is owl territory when I’m involved, but I have to say something in these posts, right?

By the way, this is not the book to be reading after dropping your owl off for surgery. It is not an effective way of distracting yourself. Big spoiler alert, but there’s a lot of owls in this book, y’all.

All kidding aside, I had forgotten how creepy the scenes in the Department of Mysteries were, what with brains floating in water tanks and that horrifying scene with the Death Eater with the baby head. Remember, this is a series of kids’ books. I might have been a messed-up kid (when you got a 5 years older brother, you see a lot of horror movies and kill a lot of hookers in GTA), but it’s still a wonder I didn’t have nightmares about this.

But all that stuff isn’t what people remember about The Order of the Phoenix, is it?

They remember Umbridge.

I was prepared for Umbridge, because she’s so utterly awful that she’s edged into your childhood memory. But really, she’s not as awful as she seemed as a kid. Honestly, she’s just a more extreme version of the type of person you have to deal with in your adult life. We have all had a boss or a manager with a ruthless streak and a near sociopathic way of dealing with people, right? If you haven’t, just turn on the news and watch the political leaders of the world for a bit. That should do it. It’s hard to be amazed by how far the Ministry of Magic is willing to go once you have dealt with today’s political scene for a few years.

This got surprisingly deep, so let’s get back to my usual brand of enthusiastic rambling:

McGonagall.

Professor McGonagall was the MVP of this book and every scene with her is amazing. I would give my left foot to read a series that’s just about her dealing with students and other everyday problems at Hogwarts.

(I had already written this before I realized Artemis no longer has his left foot in the photo below – I swear its unrelated and that he’s not the victim of me making some shady deal with Rowling!)


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J. K. Rowling

Dark times have come to Hogwarts. After the Dementors’ attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry Potter knows that Voldemort will stop at nothing to find him. There are many who deny the Dark Lord’s return, but Harry is not alone: a secret order gathers at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces. Harry must allow Professor Snape to teach him how to protect himself from Voldemort’s savage assaults on his mind. But they are growing stronger by the day and Harry is running out of time.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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The Bookish Owl – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Let’s give it up for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling!

We have now reached the end of my backlog of owl photos and ironically, it seems like Artemis is showing off the leg he doesn’t have anymore in this one. Thankfully he’s recovering well and has been far more lively since he got off the pain meds, so once I get a new jess (falconer for ‘leather strap’) attached to his remaining leg, he should be ready to pose a bit for the camera.

I’m sure everyone who’s going to read this book have already done so, so let’s get straight to the spoilers. Obviously ‘the Goblet of Fire’ is where we reach the point in the series where every new book will now leave you feeling slightly depressed. Cedric Diggory, the Hufflepuffiest Hufflepuff there ever was, is such a nice guy and we all know he’s going to end up as cannon fodder.

But otherwise, it’s a great book! I mean, it’s got dragons and everything…


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J. K. Rowling

The Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter – but that doesn’t stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe’en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons and Dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through – alive!


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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The Bookish Owl – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban owl

Enjoy Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling!

This is another Harry Potter book, which means Artemis the owl is not happy.

It might have something to do with me once considering naming him ‘Pigwidgeon’…

Once again, rereading these books as an adult has turned out to be both awesome and infuriating. Awesome because they’re still great and entertaining books, infuriating because I’m sounding more and more like Mrs Weasley for every book. These kids are totally irresponsible, but even worse: what kind of headmaster urges thirteen year old kids to go back in time, dodge a rabid werewolf, steal a hippogrif out from under the noses of law enforcement, just so they can fly around to save a convicted murderer from soul-eating monsters?!

Why don’t you do it yourself, you crazy old bat?!

I have some unresolved Dumbledore issues, yes.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by J. K. Rowling

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it’s the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run – and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves . But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban owl

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The Bookish Owl – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Time for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling!

I hope you’re enjoying the Monday – I’m mostly just running around, trying to prevent my patio furniture from flying away. There’s really no other sensible thing to do in this weather than to burrow underneath a blanket with a book and not come out unless absolutely necessary.

Obviously you all know this specific book – if you don’t, I can only assume you’ve been locked in a cupboard for the past twenty years.

If so, that’s okay. No judgment here.

It is of course the sequel to this one, which I only link to because it is by far my favorite owl photo.

It’s nice to revisit these books, but I had blissfully forgotten exactly how awful Gilderoy Lockhart is… I have a feeling I might turn homicidal once I get to Umbridge.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by J. K. Rowling

The Dursleys were so mean that hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone–or something–starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects…Harry Potter himself?


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets