Welcome to Rave Review Tuesday! This is the spot for me to reflect on recent books, TV shows, films, or theatre productions I have been fortunate to consume. Fortunately, I have had much more blessed time in which to digest all of these mediums this year, especially in the past couple of months. However, I think it fitting to begin with what I consider to be the greatest creative accomplishment of all time, or should I say creator, Joanne Kathleen Rowling.
Having just finished Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm- I like that she is holding onto that name tongue in cheek style- I found that not only is she a wonderful storyteller, obvious from Harry Potter, but she is a beautiful linguist. I will not show shame in the fact that I had to look up multiple words in the dictionary while reading her newest novel. Not that I felt it hindered my experience, nor did I feel as she was stretching to use these words. She has a remarkable sense of language and how to manipulate it to create a wealth of beauty and I am continually in awe of such talent.
In the summer time, I have a penchant for mysteries, fostered in part by my mother who would pass me her latest crime novel on the beach or by the pool. Though every once and awhile I enjoy a little guilty pleasure reading, I often find I can’t stand the endings of things, be it books, films, etc. There’s always something left unsatisfying about them.
To be honest, there was a point in the book where I knew whodunit, but for Jo’s part, I kept questioning myself and in the end I was surprised by the motive. Throughout the book, I enjoyed myself. This novel wasn’t so much about the mystery anyways. From Harry Potter, The Casual Vacancy, and The Cuckoo’s Calling, I have developed a relationship with the characters she writes. You don’t always like them, you don’t always agree with them, but you understand them. They’re real. The worlds they live in may not be real however hard I pray for them to be, hello Hogwarts, but there is something delicious in getting caught up in a book and sensing that the real world around you has been flooded by its literary counterpart.
When I was reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for I honestly cannot tell you what time, it was early on though so maybe the first or second, I remember being on the beach, reading a scene that featured a stormy day and looking up into the bright sunshine and being shocked silly.
Jo’s ability to immerse her readers into these worlds that she so obviously has fleshed out in vivid detail in her imagination is beyond compare. I know that I am biased-hello I won a costume contest dressed as Hedwig (RIP)- and put her and her work on a pedestal as so many do, but even as I read Harry Potter over and over again (don’t judge me) I am still captivated by the words I know so well.
It’s the stories like The Silkworm that reaffirm her talent and I wonder if that’s why she wanted to write under a pseudonym in the first place. My writing professor in college often said that a writer will feel great accomplishment in his/her work when they are published because they will receive so many rejections before that, but once you find major success, you start to wonder about the validity and talent of your work. My dad often says that JK Rowling could publish a book about “poop” and it would be a bestseller, which emphasizes this point. She is an artist and she wanted to sense that special moment again, so I could never blame her for that.
Sometimes when people reach success with a book, TV, or movie series they seem to resent that which made them famous because they always are associated with it. For Jo’s part that has never seemed the case. Just today she posted on Pottermore a little blurb about the Quidditch World Cup under the guise of Rita Skeeter. There’s also the movie series about the Wizarding World to look forward to in the future.
In part, I owe my creative spirit to JK Rowling and Harry Potter. It’s what made me so want to be a storyteller, to play with words, to invent. I have many eclectic tastes that I want to share with my readers as we move forward, but I had to start with this one. For me, this is the epitome of entertainment. Whether I’m curled up on the couch with a cup of tea by a fire in the middle of winter or lounging on a float in the dead heat of summer, there’s no book I’d rather be reading than one of Jo’s.
Now excuse me, it’s time I start my annual reread of Harry Potter.