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20 July 2007 @ 02:35 pm
shina_laris's post on Harry Potter gave me shivers a little, in a good way. Because it reminded me of how it feels to have a series of books be the books that follow you through high school, and become real and true companions throughout.

For me it was Madeleine L'Engle's time trilogy, and the other Murray/O'Keefe books. Meg Murray and Calvin O'Keefe were very much with me throughout high school, and shaped so many of my thoughts and thinking then.
And now--there are bits of my world view I can still trace to those books. And part of my still hopes--as I did then--to get whisked off to some other world some windy night, by a unicorn or a Mrs. Whatsit or something else entirely.

So I take back any grumpy thoughts I've had the past few days. No one spoil the series this close to the end, all right? (But please don't drown kittens or blow up planets either, okay?)
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Janni Lee Simner: roadjanni on July 20th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
Oh yes. randimason (who introduced me to the book, handing me a copy on a Girl Scout trip) and I both did. :-)
Janni Lee Simner: roadjanni on July 20th, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC)
(So you love L'Engle and BotP ... were you also a huge Star Wars fan, back when the first three movies were all that was out there? Because that's my third major influence. :-))
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Janni Lee Simnerjanni on July 21st, 2007 05:02 am (UTC)
Yes. Empire especially. Especially because of Han and Leia, right? :-)

I adored The Blue Sword, reread it more and more as an adult, and it is one of my favorites--although it probably didn't actively shape my adolescence and worldview as much as the others, because I didn't find it until towards the end of high school. Hero and the Crown did less for me--I enjoyed it well enough, but don't feel compelled to reread it so often.
sleepingfingers on July 20th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you! I just hope that, when I've become a grown up, I will still be able to feel the magic of Harry Potter the way you do Meg Murray. :)

And I think I'll try to find these books you've mentioned after this weekend because they must be wonderful.

I promise I won't drown kittens or blow up planets. Not even if I'm unfortunate enough to get spoiled the last few hours. ;)
Janni Lee Simner: roadjanni on July 21st, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
But you pretty much are a grownup! Being done with high school and all. (Well, except in the sense that none of us ever fully feel like grownups, ever. :-))

The adulthood thing changes some stuff, but I've found you never have to give up the magic if you don't want to. And I still find the fact that this is true to be a wondrous and wonderful thing. :-)

I hope you have a wonderful day of reading tomorrow!
origamilady: SuperGroverorigamilady on July 20th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Oh ghods yes . . . . Madeleine L'Engle's Murray/O'Keefe books (particularly A Ring of Endless Light) were a huge influence on me growing up as were Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Little Men and Diane Duane's Young Wizard series.
Ástatheloa on July 20th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not familiar with that trilogy but I suppose it's true that the Harry Potter books are connecting with the younger readership in a very lasting way.

For me it was these book - from ages 12-17 these books owned my soul. I can't imagine my teens without them. I own all 47 of them and every 5 years or so I will read through them all.
Janni Lee Simner: roadjanni on July 20th, 2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
Those sound fascinating. One more reason for me to get to work properly learning Icelandic. :-) (Or Swedish, I suppose, to read the originals, but I've already been wanting to learn Icelandic!)
Ástatheloa on July 21st, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)
Fascinating yes, good ... depends on your definition of good. They're extremely fast paced and well plotted, the writing is so-so but the characters really draw you in - esp. the strong female ones - and there's loads of love, sex, magic, horror and historical and mythological references. It's book crack in its purest form.
Janni Lee Simner: roadjanni on July 21st, 2007 05:06 am (UTC)
Book crack is good, too. :-)

Looking again and seeing how fast those books were written, I suppose they'd almost have to be!

a mean little puke who is borderline retardedshishi on July 20th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
those REALLY sound fantastic. after reading through the summary and all the titles, i'm a bit worked up that i probably will never be able to properly read them. the title "sin has a long tail" made me shiver a bit, deliciously.

if my dream of being associated with a publishing company ever comes true, i will jump upon those immediately and demand translation or else.
Ástatheloa on July 21st, 2007 03:17 am (UTC)
Must be some Norwegian saying - my (Icelandic) version was just called "The Scandal". That particular books tells the story of young Christer, son of the powerful witch Þula (see icon), who is convinced he has magical abilities - which he sadly doesn't. This leads him to gallantly promise to rescue a girl he perceives as being in trouble and when she goes missing he feels it's his responsibility to find her. This book has the distinction of containing the stupidest plot device ever put down on paper - involving dogs and their connection to aliens (the only time that word is ever uttered in the series). Even with all the magic and horror this is the first time the series kicks you in the "oh come one" gland. But it's book 27 and by this time you're committed to the madness.

I dimly recall that the first one was translated into English a long time ago. But don't quote me on it. I'd imagine they'd be tough to market - they chiefly appeal to teenagers and are many of the books are loaded with somewhat graphic sex (which is, of course, part of the attraction).
Ásta: heikirtheloa on July 21st, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
Ugh - typos. It's way past my bed time.
al_zorraal_zorra on July 21st, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
Right now, a couple of blocks from here, the Scholastic store has blocked off all of Mercer so the Big HP Finale Party can go on until the sell minute.

Costumes, etc.

Photos shall surely be avialable in the papers, since the Scholastic store is the closes to the "true" Harry Potter "home" on this side of the water.

I guess ....

Love, C.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 21st, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC)
My feeling about the Potter books (which I've read once, when each comes out, to keep up with the kids at school) is that the emotional investment is definitely with the kids, it isn't inherent in the books. But the experience of growing up with Harry, with the comaraderie of other fans, of anticipating the next book when Harry ks always just a bit older than you so still there in the future...that will be with them forever.

(And of course so will be the experience of a child whose parents are still kids saying to them in the future, Oh those books are sooo boring and dumb, [tenth generation knockoff] is so much better!" just like we Tolkien fans heard from young readers after ZSword of Shanara came out.

But that's okay too because part of our long interaction with literature is the mirror effect, where we see our particular cultural paradigm distor then clear, distort then clear, as time spirals away from when a given book was written.