Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The interesting thing about reading the Harry Potter novels chronologically (for my Really Like This Book podcast series on HP), and fairly close together, is that you can see the patterns in their construction. In The Chamber of Secrets J K Rowling reused the pattern that began Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The novel begins with … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

This is a lightly edited version of the first Really Like This Book podcast script about the very well-known Harry Potter novels. I’ve been observing the rise of Harry Potter studies in my professional life, having graded research papers by students, and sometimes these novels inspire excellent essays. There is a lot to say about these … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Rampaging in the Pyrenees: Dornford Yates’s Adèle and Co.

Today’s letter in the Really Like This Book podcast scripts catch-up is Y, and today’s author’s name really begins with M, but his pen-name, by which he was made famous from the 1920s, begins with Y. Dornford Yates was the pseudonym of Cecil William Mercer, and he was famous for two kinds of fiction. The first … Continue reading Rampaging in the Pyrenees: Dornford Yates’s Adèle and Co.

Lindsey Davis, Ancient Rome and Marcus Didius Falco

In 1990 I bought a book to read on the way home on the train, and when I got there I wasn’t in London, but in Londinium, for such was the power of Lindsey Davis’s first Falco novel, The Silver Pigs. I read her novels addictively for years. My favourite is not one of the 20 … Continue reading Lindsey Davis, Ancient Rome and Marcus Didius Falco