Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

As we are about to close our Harry Potter countdown, I am furiously working to figure out a way to get to the big Harry Potter film this weekend!  I am even thinking as I type this that there are a few lucky ones out there that will be viewing it in only a few short hours.  I am definitely jealous, but only get more and more excited that this day has finally come!

In the meantime, though, let's get to the second to last in the series . . . Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!  When this book was released, I was in my last days of working in an independent bookstore, right before we relocated across the States.  I worked at a midnight release party, and I could not have asked for a greater party to depart on such a high note!  I worked at a photo station, featuring the ever-popular Platform 9 3/4.  Other stations included fortune telling by our very own Professor Trelawney, Wizarding Chess, Choir Practice, Care of Magical Creatures (complete with live, mysterious animals), and so much more!  It was such a blast!

Once the party was cleaned up, I finally was able to head home and begin reading the book.  I did not get far before falling asleep after such a crazy, fun night!  However, no worries because I was able to quickly breeze through the book in no time and was left speechless at the ending!  WHAT?!?  (Yep, that was my reaction with a bit of a milder tone!)  I loved how the mysteries began to unfold in this book ... those surrounding both Harry and Lord Voldemort.  I loved how you watch as Harry grows, realizes his own power, and strengthens his friendship with those around him.  Characters rise up and begin to surprise you at their courage and power (e.g., Neville, Luna, and Ginny for example).  And, your feelings for other characters grow stronger in the other direction (e.g., Snape maybe?!?).  I truly had a love-hate relationship with this book, but the love always seems to win out.  Afterall, I returned to this book only a little over a year later and taught an elective course on Half-Blood Prince at the university I was based at!  (One of the BEST classes I have ever taught, by the way!)

It is in this book that I truly began seeing how much more this book offered than a story I could easily get lost in.  I really could go on and on about my thoughts, but instead I am going to leave you with two passages from the book for you to ponder yourself.  Enjoy!
"Harry did not really listen.  A warmth was spreading through him that had nothing to do with the sunlight; a tight obstruction in his chest seemed to be dissolving.  He knew that Ron and Hermione were more shocked then they were letting on, but the mere fact that they were still there on either side of him, speaking bracing words of comfort, not shrinking from him as though he was contaminated or dangerous, was worth more than he could ever tell them." p. 99
"Don't you see?  Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do!  Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress?  All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!  Voldemort is no different!"  spoken by Dumbledore p. 510

Pondering . . . Pondering . . . Pondering . . . Pondering

With all that pondering, I am sure that you are now hungry!  Let's check out the latest wizarding recipe, with dear Professor Trelawney in mind.  This will be part one of a duo, with part two (the most complicated of the recipes) appearing tomorrow on this last day of the Harry Potter countdown.  One photo with both examples will appear tomorrow.

Celestial Tortilla Chips

Flour or corn tortillas, whichever you prefer
Melted butter (optional)

Use 2-inch star- and moon-shaped cookie cutters and cut out shapes from the tortillas of your choice.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place shapes in a single layer.  Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes, until the tortilla shapes start to harden.  Remove from oven and let cool.

I like to put a spin on this recipe!  I provided a variety of chips using the directions above as well as adding a bit of spice to vary things up a bit!  Some examples include just a little butter brushed on top, adding a little parmesan cheese and/or garlic to the butter, or for those with a sweet tooth, sugar and/or cinnamon.  Get creative and try your own witchy concoctions!

Tomorrow we visit the last book in the series.  In the meantime, I will leave you with a random fact ... My very first post on this blog more than four years ago was a short review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in preparation for the release of Deathly Hallows!  Just for fun, I recommend clicking on over and reading a few of my predictions.  I got a good laugh (in hindsight) at a couple of them!


  1. Half-Blood Prince is certainly the most interesting of the HP books, and Snape emerges from this one as the most fascinating character by far.

  2. Tracy ... I completely agree about Snape! You begin to realize that there is so much more to this "greasy" man that seems to hate Harry! :)


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