Preparing for Potter

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I’ve never read Harry Potter. Working in a bookstore with loads of diehard Potter fans, my usual excuse often fell short. I tried telling people that I was simply too old when the books came out. The first book was published in the fall of 1998 in the U.S. and I was in eighth grade. … Continue reading

Wayne Barlowe

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Wayne Barlowe is a living legend in the world of science fiction painting and creature art. Classically-trained at The Cooper Union, he became an award-winning author at age twenty-one with his first painted book, Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials (1979). Since then, his work has been seen in Life, Time and Newsweek magazines, on trading cards … Continue reading

Books, brooms, and bad video games

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I spent a number of years working in a bookstore in the early 00s, starting shortly after the release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2000. For a character who has appeared in books, films, toys, stickers, a theme park, and who knows what else, it’s always amusing for me to remember … Continue reading

That’s all there is, there is no more

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I haven’t read a word of the Harry Potter series. Not one word. My intentions to do so were fleeting and only arose once the people around me, the ones whose opinions I trust implicitly, began reading and recommending it to me. It all sounded good, but I was already three films deep at the … Continue reading

Magic is real, if you want it

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Ladies and gentlemen, witches and wizards, boys and girls, this, is a love fest. This is the story of a girl falling for a book. Never before has the world known such unabashed devotion. If Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone had a window I would have stood beneath it in the pouring rain tossing … Continue reading

Harry Potter and the evil empire

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Two weeks ago, in a corner suite on the fourth floor of the very lovely Hotel Rouge in Washington, D.C.’s tony Dupont Circle neighborhood, I lay on a king sized bed, finished my quinoa/ dried berry / green leaf lettuce / dinner salad, and read the last ten pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s … Continue reading

On the Hogwarts Express: Pumpkin Pasties

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Because I’m in the process of moving across the country, cooking has been the farthest thing from my mind. I eat odd things at odd hours of the day and spend the rest of the time searching for things I’ve lost in one box or another, lamenting my less-than-stellar eating habits to anyone who will … Continue reading

No more LEGOs

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I’m done. That is, I’m not quite done, but I’m done. I own several of the Traveler’s Tales LEGO video games. I’ve played the first two LEGO Star Wars games on my GameCube. I unlocked all of the characters, collected all of the mini-kits, earned True Jedi on every level, and unlocked all of the … Continue reading

After the end: a Harry Potter counterfictional

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[What exactly is a counterfictional? You can find the answer (and more examples) here.] J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is a masterwork of young adult fiction, one that is at least as rich and will be just as enduring as C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. (Also, it made better movies. Just sayin’.) It … Continue reading