Friday, October 1, 2010

Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside The Harry Potter Phenomenon

Author: Melissa Anelli
Publishers: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Year: 2008

I picked this book up right after it came out because I listen to (and love) Pottercast and wanted to read the book written by one of its hosts. The book went directly into my TBR stack and got lost amid the pile of ignored books. Then, last week, I was going through my TBR stack picking out books to read while in Orlando this week, stumbled across this forgotten purchase and decided this would be the perfect book to read while I was visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (which was awesome by the way). For those who don't know, Melissa Anelli is first and foremost a Harry Potter fan. She also helps run The Leaky Cauldron, a Harry Potter website, and hosts Pottercast, a Harry Potter podcast. Her book is about the Harry Potter fandom: how it came to be, what it means to the Harry Potter fans and how it is different than most any fandom that existed before or after it. She touches on how the internet influenced the popularity of the Harry Potter books and connected fans all around the world. Oh and we can't forget Wizard Rock.

I loved this book. Of course, I am a fan of both of Anelli's website and podcast. I found Pottercast at a very difficult time in my life. I listened to the first fifty podcasts non-stop. By the time I was "caught up," I felt like the whole crew were friends. Reading Harry, A History reminded just how much I love their show and just how much being a Harry Potter fan has meant to me. I enjoyed seeing how some of the stories and interviews that I'd read about on Leaky or heard about on Pottercast came to be. I also loved reading about the friendships and connections that were made through the love of the Harry Potter books. I've experienced that feeling of belonging to something again first hand this week while at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I saw other fans like myself that were just teeming over with excitement at being there and seeing the world they had imagined in real life. We squirmed with excitement over Ollivander's wand shop, reveled in the sweets at Honeydukes and laughed at the products at Zonkos but the most exciting part was walking through Hogwarts itself. I talked to fans from all over their world that had made their way to Orlando, Florida for this chance to live in the Harry Potter world. Oh, wait, I'm getting off topic. This is supposed to be about Melissa Anelli's book, not The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But, if you're a Harry Potter fan, then you should definitely read this book. 

View of Hogwarts at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter


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