The Song that Reminds Me of Harry Potter [Tune in Tuesday]

Sometimes, often despite my best efforts, the outside world still seeps in while I’m reading. This can be annoying but it can also be enlightening. Every once in awhile my book and the real world align to create this wonderful thing. When this happens, it’s usually because I find music that perfectly fits a story.

Which is why I love this month’s theme for Tune in Tuesday: Book Playlists. Although today I’m not actually going to give you a playlist, but just one song.

When I was reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I also happened to be a bit obsessed with AFI’s Sing the Sorrow album. For that reason, I always associate that album with that book. And AFI can be so wonderfully emo that it totally works with the teen angst in Book 5.

But there is one song in particular that never fails to remind me of Harry Potter. And I think the song totally works for Harry. It feels like the song is about someone who is alone – who is faced to deal with something awful on their own. And while Harry is surrounded by friends, there are things he must face that no one can face with him.

 So take a listen and let me know if you agree (here is the YouTube link for you mobile site-users).

Are there songs or albums that remind you of certain books?

Thanks to Ginger at GReads! for hosting Tune in Tuesday. Don’t forget to stop by her blog to see what other Book Playlists people came up with.

Goodbye, Harry

Deathly Hallows

What a long, wonderful, funny, heartbreaking, hopeful, magical journey this has been. I am excited to see the final movie tonight, but I am also saddened by The End. We’ve faced The End before. In 2007, when the final book was released, I think there was a similar feeling. But we still had the movies to look forward to. So this End is a little more final (unless we count Pottermore).

I wish I could watch this final Harry Potter movie with my husband.  We were also living apart when the final Harry Potter book was released (the time zones have favored him both times), so maybe it is fitting. Harry Potter has been a part of our relationship from the beginning – we started dating right around the time the first movie was released. As lame as that sounds, it’s true, and I think this is the first movie we won’t be seeing together (even when I was in California for the 5th movie, we waited until he visited to see it). I have some wonderful friends here who are braving the midnight showing with me and I am very thankful for that. And hopeful that they won’t judge the tears that are sure to come.

How do you feel about the final movie? Are you happy? Sad? Bittersweet? Relieved that this Harry Potter nonsense will finally be over? Baffled by the entire fascination? Let me know. I want to discuss Harry Potter one more time before it ends.

Harry Potter and the Audiobook Adventure

Thoughts on listening to Harry Potter for the first time:

Jim Dale, will you please narrate my life?

This summer/fall, I listened to the entire Harry Potter series. It was kind of amazing.

I have read this series multiple times. I always enjoy it, but listening to the books made the series even more magical. It was so much fun taking this journey with Jim Dale. He provides wonderful voices and really illustrates some of the character traits I miss when I read it myself  and adds traits that are just perfect. (Hermione’s “Harryyyyy” and Draco’s drawl for instance). At times it was like reading the series for the first time.

If you’ve never listened to the series, give it a try. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Random thoughts on the series (kind of spoilery):

  • My favorite line in the whole series. Half-Blood Prince. Harry and Dumbledore leaving the cave. Dumbledore: “I am not worried, Harry. I am with you.”
  • The first time I read Deathly Hallows, I wasn’t terribly impressed. But the more I read it, the more I like it. And I’ve grown to love just how beautiful the story is at the end. From the time Harry dives into Snape’s memories, into the forest, and through King’s Cross. That is really just some good story telling.
  • But ugh, the epilogue. Can we please still pretend it doesn’t exist?
  • You can’t always think that hard about Harry Potter. Sure, it seems illogical that someone had to put Harry through the TriWizard Tournament just to get him to the graveyard. But what would Goblet of Fire be without it?
  • Dobby. Tear.
  • The angst in some of the middle books seems to get worse over time.
  • I love Harry Potter.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I promised a post about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter way back in August when I first visited. Somehow that never happened. Now that I have been there twice more due to the visits of Susan and Emily (I am certainly getting my money’s worth out of my annual pass to Universal), I figured I really better get a post up.

Any Harry Potter fan will enjoy the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A lot of thought and detail went into it and it really shows. However, it is only a small portion of Islands of Adventure so I am not sure it’s necessarily worth a trip alone. But if you’re in Orlando anyway, or you’re planning a few days at the various amusement parks, definitely go visit.

There are only three rides and two of them existed before it was converted to Harry Potter. The new ride, The Forbidden Journey, is fantastic. And waiting in line is half the fun. You walk through Hogwarts (the greenhouses, Dumbledore’s Office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and lots more) before getting on the ride. The ride takes you on a half virtual/half actual journey through Hogwarts. You fly through the castle, evade a dragon, dive into the Chamber of Secrets, and soar over the quidditch pitch. They did a great job with it – so much that I actually have to close my eyes when the dragon gets close and flinch when the whomping willow comes my way.

The other two rides are Dragon Challenge (a double inverted rollercoaster) and Flight of the Hippogriff (a mild roller coaster). Those lines are not quite as nice but you still get to see some interesting things. Dragon Challenge takes you through the Triwizard Tournament and Flight of the Hippogriff shows you Hagrid’s Hut.

Apart from the rides, there are the shops you would expect. You can shop at Honeydukes, Zonko’s, Ollivander’s, and Dervish and Banges. And of course, you can buy a butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks, the Hogs Head, and various carts. Some of the stores are combined. Be prepared to spend some money. There are other store fronts lining Hogsmeade/Diagon Alley but they are all “closed.” You can also watch performances by the school choir (w/ frogs) and the students of Beauxbatons and Durmstrong.

My only complaint (aside from the crowds and the heat which can’t really be helped) is that it is too small. I hear rumors that they are going to expand it and I hope they do. The rest of Islands of Adventure is actually kind of lame so it wouldn’t be a loss if they converted more of it.

Those are my thoughts but here is the fun part, the pictures:

Susan and me in front of the Hogwarts Express

Hogsmeade and Hogwarts (you’d never guess it felt like 100+ degrees that day, right?)


More Hogwarts

Hogsmeade and Hogwarts again


Inside Ollivander’s (where Susan was picked by Ollivander to test wands)

The Butterbeer Cart (the butterbeer is so delicious)


Hagrid’s Hut

The Three Broomsticks


I have many, many more pictures but I don’t want to make this post any longer. If you make it to Orlando to visit, let me know what you think.

The Sunday Salon 8.22.2010 – Comfort Reads and a Surprise

The Sunday

I didn’t actually get that much reading done this week so if I did my normal Sunday Salon, it would look much like last week’s. Instead, I wanted to focus on one of my books specifically.


But first, I must share with you the Wonderful Thing I received in the mail yesterday. A few days ago, I got an email from Michelle of Le Mei Muse, telling me that she found something at Goodwill for $0.75 and bought it with me in mind and that she’d send it to me if I liked. Naturally, I immediately wanted whatever it was more than anything else in the world. So I waited a few days until this showed up:

I LOVE it! The little “Reading is Sexy” mug has become my internet presence and now I can take it out into the real world (plus, Rory wore this shirt on an episode of Gilmore Girls).

So thank you, thank you, thank you, Michelle. I love it. I want to wear it immediately. Also, you should all be following Michelle’s blog – she’s hilarious and artsy and just a joy to know.


Ok, on to the discussion.

For the past few weeks, I have been listening to the Harry Potter series. It’s my first time through the audio but certainly not my first time through the series. I find myself drawn to reread these books every few years. In fact, I am currently listening to Prisoner of Azkaban, and I would bet that I’ve probably read this book at least 5 times previously (it’s my favorite so I think I’ve read it more than any other).

Harry Potter makes me feel happy. I love being back in this world that I now know so well. I miss the characters when I’m away too long. Harry Potter is officially my newest “comfort read.” I read it when I want something I know, something I love. But Harry Potter is simply the newest in a long line of comfort reads.

The first comfort read I can remember is Charlotte’s Web. I used to read it when I was sad (of course, it made me cry, but I think I find that’s true with a lot of my comfort reads). I would flip to my favorite parts and lose myself in the story of Wilbur and Fern. At a very young age, I understood the need for a comfort read. I even managed to salvage the tattered copy from my childhood.

When I got a little older, that book because Little Women. A few years ago, when I was rereading it, my mom caught a glance of it in my bag and asked, “how many times have you read that book?” I couldn’t answer that question other than saying “a lot.” When I read Little Women, I felt like a part of the March family. And sometimes that’s what I needed – to escape into their story for awhile and leave real life behind.

When I was a little older still, my comfort read became The Starlight Crystal by Christoper Pike. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve read this book either but it’s probably even more than Little Women. I have such fond memories of rereading this book that I’m afraid to read it again for fear that it won’t be very good (what I call The Last Unicorn effect). But even if it isn’t, it helped me through some of those early teen angst-filled years and that is the most important thing.

After that, I don’t think I had a comfort read for awhile. I was at a stage in my life when I turned to my friends or movies or music when I needed to escape and not to books. I was still reading, but I don’t remember going back to a specific book over and over again.

I’m sure there were more along the way, but those are my comfort reads that stand out. They are the books I have opened time and time again because of their familiarity.

What are/were your comfort reads?

The Sunday Salon 8.8.10

The Sunday Salon.comI slept for 9 1/2 hours last night after spending the day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I woke up to a very quiet house. I have my tea and a few hours before yoga. Perfect Sunday Salon time.

Harry Potter was pretty great. I think it deserves its own post, so look for that this week, but a quick summary is: hot, crowded, still worth the trip.

I haven’t been able to read a lot this week/weekend, but I have some hopes about today. My sister-in-law, Melissa, is visiting us right now and she is among my favorite visitors. Her trips always include a lot of sitting around and reading (maybe to balance out the trip to an amusement park we always end up taking). And when she leaves, we send her home with books. I’m still thinking of which books she should take with her tomorrow. I’m on a YA kick as her pile so far includes The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, The Disreputable Histpry of Frankie Landau-Banks, and Before I Fall. She has already started and finished the third Mysterious Benedict Society.

As for me, I:

Just Finished (and by just, I mean two weeks ago):

am Currently Reading:

am Currently Listening to:

have On Deck:

and Recently added to my TBR:

Recommended by Galleysmith

Recommended by Chick Loves Lit

Recommended by Devourer of Books

Recommended by KellyVision

As I was writing this post, Melissa woke up, came out to the living room, grabbed a drink, and sat down with The Hunger Games. Best guest ever, right?

What are you reading today?

Question: do you guys like when I incorporate my TBR books into this post or do you prefer they get their own post? I’m still deciding which I like better.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition

Since getting back from Massachusetts, I have had zero time for anything. I’m behind on reading all of your blogs, I’m behind on reading, and behind on every other aspect of my life (including laundry which is going to become a problem very quickly). But, I wanted to throw a quick post out there.

On Saturday, I went to Harry Potter: The Exhibition at the Museum of Science in Boston. It’s an exhibit of props used in the movies and it was simply fabulous. We saw costumes, wands, school books, and entire rooms.  I watched kids get sorted into houses, pulled up a screaming mandrake, scored in quidditch, and sat in Hagrid’s chair.  The exhibit is in Boston until February but future locations are promised on the website (it was in Chicago previously). If you are a Harry Potter fan and you have the opportunity, you should check this out (I’m not sure if I have many New Englanders for readers).

So there is my quick update. And now I need another vacation to catch up on life.