Friday, November 17, 2023

Just checking in. . .


It's November 2023. It's hard to imagine that I have been reading the Harry Potter books for over 20 years. . . and I am still rereading them. They are like an old friend, familiar, interesting, funny, still suspenseful. They are a place I go when the real world is frustrating or overwhelming or sometimes just too sad.

I have nothing else to add right now. I've been rereading the seven books this year. I usually fit one in after reading a novel about World War II. I like historical novels, but in the past I usually chose the ones set in the 19th century or in English history, It seems that it's past time for me to learn more about the history that my parents lived as teens and young adults, that time between World War I and the end of the 1940s when I was born. But it's sometimes a very scary and difficult history to read about so I turn to my old friends in Harry Potter, knowing there is comfort and safety in those stories.


Sunday, November 18, 2018


I don't go to midnight movies anymore. My movie buddies of those days can't go with me and it doesn't feel safe to go alone like it did when all the Harry Potter movies were new. I actually found myself checking the time on Thursday night, however, and wondering if I could still get a ticket. But common sense prevailed; did I really want to go to the mall at midnight and come out alone at 3 am? No. I did decide that I could go on Friday afternoon after I finished volunteering at the Food Bank. If not for that, I would have gone earlier in the day. The theater wasn't completely full, but it was nice to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald with an audience - sharing some laughter, some gasps, some clapping. That's part of the experience I've missed from the midnight movies (and midnight book launches).

This second movie reveals so much of the back story of Dumbledore, Newt and his brother, Theseus, Leta Lestrange, Nagini, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob and how their lives are intertwined and connected to Grindelwald. Some of the story we already knew from the Harry Potter books, but without the detail. Other parts of the story were a surprise and in some cases, a shock. I definitely wasn't prepared for the ending, and now I can't believe we have to wait for the third movie to see where this story will take us.

This second movie answers a few questions but raises many more, just as the second installment should do. To say more, before the story is common knowledge, might ruin it for others, so I'll leave it there. The cast, old and new, is perfect. I especially like Jude Law as Dumbledore. He manages to capture just how I imagine a younger Dumbledore would be. I was glad to see the nifflers again, as well as many new creatures, some were quite extraordinary, but well understood by Newt, of course.

I'm looking forward to reading the screen play and then seeing the movie again, this time with Laura. And then we can have a great discussion. Thank you, J. K. Rowling, for another wonderful story, one that touches all our emotions and imagination.


Thursday, August 30, 2018


When this book first came out, I bought it and was entertained but didn't really pay much attention to it. Now we have one movie, an audio recording of the book (excellent), and the second movie coming up in November.

I loved this new look into the Wizarding World, pre-Harry. I also found it fascinating that it's set in the United States with a different view of the wizarding world, tied to the Salem witch hunts and all the hysteria that surrounded that time.

Since this was a movie without a book as a reference, it was easier to watch, take in the story and the characters without constantly comparing it to books I had read and re-read. Having more background and insight into Newt Scamander, coincidentally a Hufflepuff), makes Harry's text book even more interesting. And seeing some of the animals come to life that we had read about at Hogwarts was fun. But it is even better that we see characters/beasts that we hadn't seen and hadn't even known existed. The darker story of Credence and what happens when people like him suppress who they are has the obvious implications for the wizarding world, but also relates to those who are marginalized or suffer discrimination in any aspect of life. Leave it to J.K. Rowling to give us reasons to examine how we treat others, not just in a fictional setting but in real life.

With the movie coming out in November, we are to get a more complete picture of evil in the world, as well as the relationship between Newt Scamander and Albus Dumbledore. Can't wait. (And I love the casting for both movies.)