The Gift of the Magi(cian)

When I started reading Harry Potter to the kids this summer I knew remarkably little about what was in store. (Kind of surprising since there is a lot of Harry Potter in the tap water.) I did know one big thing that was going to happen, and I knew it happened in book six. We finished that book this week, and even though I'd known about that one big thing, it still came as a shock, because it really was a big one. After we were done, I decided to...

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18 years and still unspoiled

I've been hearing for a while that Harry Potter is pretty good. I've missed out on it for all these years, mostly because it hit at the wrong time for me. I was too old to get into it myself but was also pre-kids so it sort of passed me by at the time. I always appreciate when people really love something, and I loved seeing kids lining up at midnight to buy a book, but I was content to admire from the sidelines. I'd just smile and nod when people talked about horcruxes and patronus charms...

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This week in review

Starting where we left off last week, I finished Happy Family, and I'm sorry to say, it doesn't get better. I was expecting the "happy" part of the title to be meant ironically but not so much the family part. This really wasn't a family story so much as a book about this one person who does happen to have some relatives. This character is quite ordinary and hard to care about. Meandering plot with stray bits of casual racism here and there, none of it went anywhere and it ultimately felt...

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Straight up, with a twist

I'm almost always disappointed by thrillers, but I still keep going back for more. I think it all comes down to the twist. Either the twist isn't shocking enough, so you see it coming, or it's too shocking to be believable, or it's not so much a twist as just- ok, here's what happened. Or it's the same twist that's already been done over and over and over- they were all dead this whole time! Or the twist is good, unpredictable while still believable, but is the only remarkable part...

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