I read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in the first 24 hours after I purchased it, and was amazed at how dark and sad Rowling had managed to make the book while still keeping it riveting reading. The death of Dumbeldore took me by surprise, as did the revelation that Snape was the Half Blood Prince, as I was certain it was going to be one of Harrys relatives or someone in the Order of the Phoenix, but at least one of the good guys. Snape shows his true evil colors in this book, much to my horror. I was beginning to believe he was a good guy in disguise. Harry is, in the 6th book, just as angry and upset as he was in the last novel, but this time, he seems more bitter and less apt to let things go, or to forgive. I am anxious to see what becomes of Harry in his quest to destroy Voldemort, and I'm equally anxious to see if Hogwarts remains open, and if Harry continues his relationship with Ginny Weasley. The romance in the book seemed ridiculous and embarrasing, but most teenage romances are, so that didn't come as a surprise.
I've also finished Peter Mayles "French Lessons" about the various food and wine festivals in France, and found it to be a a mild and enjoyable read. Mayle obviously loves to eat and drink, and shows his love of the subject on every page.
Next up are Star Jones memoirs, "You Have to Stand for Something or You'll Fall For Anything" which wins the prize for the longest paperback book title. So far, it is like reading an advice column with a bit of personal history thrown in. But I am sure there will be more about her background as we go along.
I am also reading Hanna's Daughters by Marianne Fredriksson, about several generations of Swedish women, and Isabelle the Navigator by Luke Davis, a book that eludes categorization, and Cat on the Scent, a Sneaky Pie Brown mystery, just for fun. I read a couple of Rita Mae Browns mysteries written by her cat when they first came out, and I enjoyed them, but found them to be somewhat formulaic, and there was a bit too much droning on about politics and sexuality. But I am hoping that Brown has matured somewhat in writing these books, so that by now, her mysteries read like zippy little things, and not like some political text surrounded by a layer of cheap mystery plot. We shall see. It's a paperback gotten at a garage sale, so if the book turns out to be drek, I can always toss it into the "give away" bin.
It's been hot and sunny here in the Emerald City, so I haven't been inclined to read heavy books lately, but I am hoping that I will soon find some good science fiction to perk things up in my TBR pile.
Meanwhile, keep cool and keep reading!