Books to Read if you Loved Harry Potter

While Harry Potter is such a wonderful series to read, the problem is there are only 7 books to read. Of course rereading them is always an option, but there are numerous books and series out there that can satisfy your need for stories as wonderful and magical as the wizarding world. But of course, if you can’t escape that wizarding world, there’s a few extras that allow you to keep reading about everything Harry Potter.

I’ve listed a selection of books below but there are many lists out there that offer suggestions to satisfy your cravings for magic and wonder. I’ve included these below as well.

Fiction

His Dark Materials

Readers of this blog know of my love of this series and I can personally guarantee that the feels, the drama, and the action you experience in Harry Potter are replicated in their own magical way in this series.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

If you liked the strong ties and references to mythology in Rowling’s series, then Rick Riordan’s series will be right up your alley as he brings mythology to life and offers a wonderful cast of characters.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

This is a wonderful book and series, Howl is a wizard with a floating castle and Sophie is a girl who is cursed and begins to work for him. It’s funny, a wonderful mix of magic and reality, and Howl is brilliantly dramatic which is all sorts of fun.

Artemis Fowl

This is a series that is absolutely wonderful! Artemis is a 12 year old genius who is determined to prove the existence of fairies. What he discovers though is an entire secret world with all sorts of creatures who aren’t too pleased to have been discovered. It’s a great mix of technology

and magic with great characters, fantastic storylines and as much emotion and adventure as the Harry Potter books.

 The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman

This story is about Quentin Coldwater, a high school genius who gets admitted into a magical school and discovers the magical world. But things aren’t as wonderful as they appear (sound familiar)

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

I adore this book. It is a story of a young boy who loves book and is trying to cope with the death of his mother. He discovers a strange world where fairytales are real life, but these fairytales are not the same as the stories you know.

The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Baker

A woman who is unhappy with her life passes through a portal into another world, a world full of magic. She initially thinks this is a much better place, but the fairytale world is much darker than it first appears. The question is, will she return to her old life if given the chance?

The Alchemyst: The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

A fun Harry Potter fact: the infamous Nicholas Flamel who created the Philosopher’s Stone is based on a suspected real figure who is rumoured to have created a Philosopher’s Stone to achieve immortality. This could be an interesting read if you want to know some more about him.

Non-Fiction Books

Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli

Anelli takes us on a personal journey through every aspect of the original and developing Harry Potter phenomenon and the decade in which it took over the world. Anelli was lucky enough to experience it all first hand, from stopping leaks, to interviewing the queen JK Rowling herself, and running the website The Leaky Cauldron. Fair warning, this one seems like a hit and miss for people. Super fans seem to love it, but have a sticky beak at the reviews to see if it would be your kind of thing. I think it would interested in reading it just to see her experience of it, but I don’t expect it to be a detailed account of everything Harry Potter.

The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter: A Treasurey of Myths, Legends, and Fascinating Facts

A companion book of sorts filled with all the references and history behind the names of characters and all the wealth of knowledge Rowling has drawn on in creating her wizarding world.

There are a lot of obvious other books I could list but I will leave that up to the links or I’ll be here forever. If there are any books or series you’d recommend feel free to let me know in the comments below. Goodreads also has a list of books aptly titled If You Liked Harry Potter You Might Like… if you are looking for a much longer list. They also have a list called Best Books About Harry Potter which interestingly includes some books that seem like fanfiction that have been published, I’m certainly intrigued looking at some of these summaries. But among them are gems of non-fiction books if you have a scroll through.

Extra Bits and Pieces

19 Books to Read if You Loved Harry Potter

11 Books All Harry Potter Fans Must Read

10 Books for Adults That Are Just As Magical as the Harry Potter Series

17 Books to Read If You Like Harry Potter & Miss the Wizarding World

9 Books to Read If You Loved Harry Potter

Harry Potter: Celebrating 20 Years

“This boy will be famous. There won’t be a child in our world that won’t know his name. There will be books about him, he will be a legend.”
– Minerva McGonagall

Even as I sit here writing this, even knowing I have constructed an entire month long celebration running on my blog, a small part of me cannot get my head around that it has been twenty years since Philosopher’s Stone was first published. Ten years I could comprehend, but twenty? It’s just, mind boggling. Harry Potter has been such a huge part of my life for the past twenty years. I can connect so many moments of my life around these novels and these movies it’s incredible that it has been so long since it first began; it honestly does not feel like it has been 20 years.

I was 9 years old when Philosopher’s Stone was published, and I was in my second year of uni when Deathly Hallows was published in 2007. From ages 9 to 19 Harry Potter was a key part of my life. I have so many memories associated with this series that it’s hard to picture my childhood basically without it.

Even the fact that in the tenth anniversary year (2007) the story was concluded, and now here we are ten years on again and it’s a duplicate celebration, ten years since the series finished, and twenty years since it all began. We can get even more meta when I remind you all that the epilogue of Deathly Hallows also takes place in 2017! (but we can get to that later).

My collection of Harry Potter books.

Of course having the movies has added extra milestones and something to look forward to. The final movie came out in 2010 and even that does not feel like it was that long ago. Perhaps it’s because Harry Potter and his wizarding world is so much of our culture now. It is so incredibly popular and so ingrained in society that we’ve never really escaped it. It’s always there in some form, making it feel like it never really ended.

Key memories I have of this series include:

  • Having Philosopher’s Stone read to us in primary school and reading along quietly in my own copy at the same time before being told off for reading along when I should just be listening.
  • Staying up until about 3:30am reading Goblet of Fire under the blankets and trying not to gasp and squeal too loudly at everything that was happening. (I also learnt it is hard to read under covers because it gets quite stuffy, I don’t see the charm)
  • Having to read the latest book as quickly as possible so it could be passed around the family so they could all read it as well.
  • Foolishly thinking it was ok to wait until my birthday for that latest book (released a few weeks earlier) before realising it was torture and stressing over spoilers (this plan lasted only twice).
  • Having intense discussions between classes in high school about theories about Half-Blood Prince and what “Severus, Please ” actually meant. Like, intense discussions.
  • Being told (incorrectly) Professor McGonnegal died in Order of the Phoenix and panicking anytime she did anything.
  • Rereading every book before the next one was released so I was up to date with what had happened.

Over the past twenty years I have reread the series numerous times, I have obsessed over fun facts and theories, enjoyed the myriad of content that it has inspired, had passionate arguments/debates about characters and scenes, and I have fallen in loved every time I open the first page.

I have been lucky enough to go to the Harry Potter Experience in England, I’ve tried Butterbeer which I would drink all day long if I could, and I have gotten my picture taken “running” through platform 9 3/4.  The one thing I am still waiting on is my Hogwarts letter (I would make a very good mature aged student.)

I can only imagine what the next twenty years has in store for the Harry Potter series as new fans discover the books and old fans grow more attached (if that’s even possible). I look forward to the day when it’s hailed as a classic, though I am fairly certain that day has already arrived.

 

Happy 20th Anniversary, Harry Potter.

The world wouldn’t be the same without you.

Movies 4-5: Fun Facts and Differences

This post may contain spoilers if you haven’t seen the films or read the books.

Next in our movie focus is films 4 and 5, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix respectively. Again there’s so much I could say about these film but in the spirit of keeping things interesting (and short), I’ve only included a few fun facts and comparisons for the book and film. Once again I’ve included links to the numerous “Things You Didn’t Know About…” sites that keep springing up.

Goblet of Fire

Fun Facts

  • Warner Brothers originally wanted to turn the book into two films.
  • Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort), had to shave his head and armpits for the role. He wore prosthetics to cover his eyebrows, and while his nose was going to be prosthetic, it was decided that it should be digitally removed post filming. This meant filming with coloured spots stuck to his head.
  • It was Warwick Davis’s idea that Professor Flitwick should stage dive during the band’s set.
  • The scene where Hermione, Gabrielle, Ron, and Cho are underwater, the figures are all dummies.
  • Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) wore tracksuit pants under his costume.
  • The elves Dobby and Winky were cut due to time constraints. However, in the first campsite scene, right after Ginny points to something and says “Look!” you can see two House Elves riding on llamas.
  • The only Harry Potter film not to feature Julie Walters.
  • When the contestants enter for the third task, the Beauxbatons girls in the audience are dancing the Macarena.
  • The Patil twins are played by unrelated actresses.
  •  While the rest of the cast got three weeks of dancing practice, Daniel was only able to get in four days. For this reason, they mainly used shots of Harry dancing from the waist up to avoid showing his stumbling feet.
  • This is the first movie to not show the Dursleys. This was omitted from the movie because the actors portraying the Dursleys demanded more money so they were cut.
  • Ray Winstone and Billy Connolly were considered for the role of Mad-Eye Moody.

Trivia
More Trivia
Even More Trivia
Trivia Galore

Changes
A lot of subplot was cut to make it fit one film

  • Hermione’s S.P.E.W. campaign is not included
  • Dumbledore goes from asking Harry calmly if he puts his name in the Goblet of Fire to yelling at him and charging across the room
  • Beauxbatons is made an all girls school, and Durmstrung made an all boys school
  • Ludo Bagman’s role is omitted and his storyline with Fred and George Weasley
  • Colin and Dennis Creevey’s characters are combined into the character Nigel.
  • Parvati and Padma Patil are not in separate houses
  • Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Dobby, Ludo Bagman, Winky, Narcissa Malfoy, and Bertha Jorkins are absent
  • Neville had to tell Harry about Gillyweed not Dobby.
  • Hermione’s dress is pink not periwinkle blue
  • Rita Skeeter is never revealed to be an illegal, unregistered animagus
  • Harry is never seen either receiving or giving away the 1,000 galleons in prize winnings.

 More changes

Order of the Phoenix

Fun Facts

  • Had the biggest IMAX opening ever, pulling in 1.9 million dollars.
  • Even though this is the longest book it is the 2nd shortest movie.
  • The Black family tree portrait was super authentic. J.K. Rowling actually provided over 70 names for the Black family tree tapestry, along with details of relations between every member.
  • The radish earrings worn by Luna Lovegood were actually made by Evanna Lynch, the actress who played her.
  •  While Tonks’ hair was described as bubble gum pink in the books, it was made purple because the filmmakers felt pink should only be associated with Umbridge.
  • Daniel’s eyes had to be digitally altered in his possession scene because he couldn’t wear contacts.
  • Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy, referred to his wig as his “Paris Hilton wig”.
  • 12 Grimmauld Place was built from scratch because it was cheaper than hiring an actual house.
  • The Ministry of Magic took 22 weeks to build but appears in the film for less than 10 minutes.
  • According to the original script, Kreacher was not intended to be in this film at all. But when Rowling read the script, she more or less insisted on him needing to be there to avoid some serious problems with future films.
  • Many fans were critical of the scene where Harry sees Voldemort at the train station dressed in a Muggle suit, saying it was out of character for Voldemort to do such a thing. Director David Yates and producer David Heyman both defended the scene, though each had different takes on it. Yates explained that it was Voldemort’s way of taunting Harry, that Voldemort could appear in plain sight in a crowd of Muggles who would not realise how dangerous he is. Heyman, on the other hand, said that it’s a figment of Harry’s imagination, symbolising Voldemort taking control of Harry’s mind.
  • James Phelps and Oliver Phelps, who play Fred and George make a cameo appearance in the picture of the original Order of the Phoenix as their deceased uncles, Fabian and Gideon Prewett.

Trivia
More Trivia
Even More Trivia
Extra Trivia

Changes

The scene at St Mungo’s, the hospital where Harry and friends run into Neville Longbottom was cut because it required the construction of a new set.

Mrs. Weasley’s encounter with a boggart at Grimmauld Place

Ron, Hermione and Malfoy becoming prefects

Mundungus Fletcher is not included

Firenze is never shown teaching Divination

Quidditch was never shown or mentioned in the film.

Petunia’s howler and her knowledge of Dementors isn’t included

Cho takes the blame for Umbridge finding out about the DA. She is given veritaserum by Umbridge, forcing her to tell the truth. In the books, Marietta Edgecombe is the character that reveals willingly the existence of the DA to Umbridge.

 More Changes

Movies 1-3: Fun Facts and Differences

This post may contain spoilers if you haven’t seen the films or read the books.

We can’t talk about the books without looking at the amazing movies as well. Overall the movies are a wonderful representation of the Harry Potter series. I know a lot was changed which obviously can’t be helped, and a lot of scenes were cut and characters were left out (people are still peeved off about the exclusion of Peeves [total pun intention]). There’s so, so, much I could talk about in regards to the films: the actors, the changes, the nice little details and behind the scene stories, but I’ve kept myself restrained. I have included some fun facts, but also linked to more. There are enough “Things You Didn’t Know About Harry Potter” articles going around that I don’t need to become one of them myself. I’ve also tried to keep it as short as possible but it is a little long, sorry about that.

Philosopher’s Stone

Fun Facts

  • The film had its world premiere on 4 November 2001, in London’s Leicester Square, with the cinema arranged to resemble Hogwarts School.
  • Rosie O’Donnell almost could have been Mrs Weasley except Rowling wanted an all British cast. The same goes for Robin Williams who wanted to be Hagrid
  • The Restricted Section scene was filmed in the Duke Humfrey’s building at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. They have very strict rules about not bringing flames into the library. The makers of Harry Potter were the first ever to be allowed to break this rule in hundreds of years.
  • This is the only Harry Potter film that does not feature Mark Williams, who plays Arthur Weasley
  • Despite him being referred to as a great wizard quite a bit throughout, Harry never actually casts a single spell in this movie.
  • Rik Mayall was cast as Peeves the Poltergeist and filmed for three weeks. He was eventually cut from the film.
  • Hermione performing magic on the Hogwarts Express train to fix Harry’s broken glasses was not in the book, but it was added for the film.
  • Dan originally has green contacts and Emma was given false teeth, however Dan’s eyes reacted strongly to the contacts and Emma couldn’t talk clearly with the fake teeth in her mouth.
  • In the script, the flashbacks to Voldemort killing Harry’s parents were written by Rowling herself. The producers knew she was the only one who knew exactly what happened.
  • The floating candles in the Great Hall were created using candle-shaped holders containing oil and burning wicks and suspended from wires that moved up and down on a special effects rig to create the impression that they were floating.
  • Three owls play Hedwig: Gizmo, Ook, and Sprout, but mainly Gizmo.
  • It took the owls six months to learn how to carry the letters at the start of the film.
  • Richard Harris only agreed to take the part of Albus Dumbledore after his eleven-year-old granddaughter threatened never to speak to him again.

Extra Trivia
More Trivia
Even more trivia

Changes
Note: There are obviously a fair few, but these are a key selection

  • Harry’s time at Mrs. Figg’s is not shown
  • The boa constrictor from Brazil in the zoo becomes a Burmese Python
  • The Quidditch pitch is altered from a traditional stadium to an open field circled by spectator towers
  • Peeves’ role is not included in the film, neither is Professor Binns, the History of Magic teacher and various other minor characters.

More changes

 

Chamber of Secrets

Fun Facts

  • The film premiered in the UK on 3 November 2002 and in the United States and Canada on 14 November 2002 before its wide release on 15 November.
  • Fourteen Ford Anglias were wrecked in the filming of the scene where Harry and Ron crashed into the Whomping Willow.
  • Shirley Henderson, who played Moaning Myrtle, is the oldest actress (age 37) to portray a Hogwarts student.
  • Hugh Grant was originally cast as Gilderoy Lockhart but was forced to withdraw at the last moment because of scheduling conflicts.
  • The filmmakers had to build an entire new row of houses as they lost access to the neighbourhood that they originally used to depict the Dursley’s House.
  • All the potions consumed on set were actually soup.
  • Fawkes was so realistic-looking that Richard Harris thought he was a real bird wearing a Phoenix costume.
  • Filming started three days after the release of Philosopher’s Stone. This was to ensure the actors didn’t age too much between films.
  • The hands on the Weasley family’s clock are made out of scissors with photographs stuck into their handles.
  • The second highest grossing film of 2002

Trivia
More Trivia
Even More Trivia
You Guessed It, More Trivia
Oh Look, Trivia
Totally Not More Trivia (but is actually more trivia)

 Changes
A lot of the differences not mentioned I found were mainly slight alterations rather than missing entire scenes

  • The scene where gnomes are removed from the Weasley’s yard wasn’t included
  • Sir Nicholas’ Death Day party was excluded
  • The length of time Harry was locked in his room was reduced
  • In the book, Fred and George try to save Harry from the bludger, not Hermione.
  • We never find out Filch is a squib
  • Professor Lockhart’s Valentine’s Day breakfast never makes it into the film.
  • Professor Binns and Peeves are again excluded.

More changes

Prisoner Of Azkaban

Fun Facts

  • Opened in the United Kingdom on 31 May 2004 and on 4 June 2004 in the United States.
  • Ian McKellen turned down the role of Dumbledore. Having appeared as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, he said, “I had enough trouble living up to one legend. Two would be too much to hope for.” He also stated it would have been inappropriate to take Richard Harris’ role, as the late actor had called McKellen a “dreadful” actor.
  • To make the Knight Bus appear as if it was zipping through traffic at an extremely high speed, the scenes were filmed with the bus driving at normal speed and the rest of the traffic driving at snail’s pace. The film was advanced though the camera at a slower rate than it would eventually advance on screen. When the scene was played back at normal speed, the bus appears to be driving super-fast.
  • Harry Melling had lost so much weight that the role of Dudley was almost recast. Eventually it was decided that Melling would continue to play Dudley and would wear a fat suit to make him look heavier.
  • The symbols under Sirius Black’s picture on the Wanted Poster translate as “more or less human.”
  • When Alfonso Cuarón became Prisoner of Azkaban‘s director, he asked Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint to write essays on their characters. Radcliffe wrote a page, Watson wrote 10, and Grint never managed to hand one in.
  • Cuarón had the idea to have Harry, Ron, and Hermione wear everyday clothes more often than their Hogwarts uniforms in order to show more of the characters’ personalities.
  • Dudley Dursley has no lines. He only laughs at the television, and gives two gasps of surprise.
  • Two Persian red cats were used for the role of Crookshanks: Crackerjack and Pumpkin. The trainers saved the cats’ shed fur, rolled it into balls, and clipped these onto the cats in order to achieve Crookshanks’s mangy appearance.

Trivia
More trivia
Even more trivia

Changes
The complex plot of the book meant a looser adaptation was required of backstory and lesser plot lines

  • Harry uses his wand to read under the covers not a torch (my pet peeve)
  • The in-depth detail about the Marauder’s Map and its creators isn’t explored
  • You never find out how Sirius escaped Azkaban or how he betrayed the Potters
  • Harry received his Firebolt at the end of the film, not at Christmas
  • Many scenes are cut where they’re in class as were the other Quidditch matches
  • Malfoy and co. don’t dress up at Dementers to frighten Harry
  • When Harry and Hermione travel back through time they have to get themselves to leave Hagrid’s hut
  • Harry is not caught by Malfoy at Hogsmeade and interrogated by Snape about the map, instead he is caught at night.
  • The three weeks Harry is at the Leaky Cauldron before starting school aren’t shown

More changes

 

Beyond the Novels: Additional Books and Stories

In addition to the seven Potter novels, Rowling has released numerous extra books and stories over the years. These are not new novels, instead they are books that exist in the Harry Potter universe that now exist for us to read. The first was in 2001 when she released Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (a textbook mentioned in Philosopher’s Stone) and Quidditch Through the Ages (a school library book Harry reads) as part of Charity Relief. The next came in 2007 when Rowling hand wrote seven copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard (fairy tales mentioned in Deathly Hallows). It was then published internationally at the end of 2008.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 

In a 2001 interview Rowling stated that she chose the subject of magical creatures because it was a fun topic for which she had already developed a lot of information in earlier books. What was great about it was that it was published to look like one of Harry’s textbooks, complete with Newt’s name as author and even a ‘Property of Harry Potter’ sticker on it. Further editions have changed this, with both names appearing on the cover. An updated version was published earlier this year, with six new creatures added to it, and of course, it was recently turned into a film.

Quidditch Through The Ages

Like Fantastic Beasts, Rowling originally published this book as it would have appeared in the wizarding world, writing under the pseudonym of Kennilworthy Whisp, a renowned expert in the sport. It covers the sport’s origins, the details about each of the balls in play, the evolution of flying brooms, the introduction of the snitch and much more. The copy exists in the series as a library book and the 2001 first edition reflects that with a check out list in the front of characters who’ve borrowed the book.

 

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Unlike the other two which were written for charity, originally only seven hand written copies of the book existed. Rowling has stated that the idea of writing the books was to thank six key people who had been very closely connected to the series. She had the idea to write the book, handwritten and illustrated by herself, just for those people. She then decided if she was doing six, she may as well do seven and auction if off for a good cause. The original editions were bound in brown morocco leather, and decorated with hand-chased silver ornaments and mounted semiprecious stones. Looking at pictures of them they are gorgeous, and I am so envious of those seven people.

 

All three of these books contain extra information about the wizarding world that isn’t in the seven books. But it’s not the only thing Rowling has created that is separate from the novels. While those books were written as in-universe books, Rowling has also written other things that reveal a little bit more about the world.

The Prequel

In 2008 Rowling wrote an 800-word prequel as part of a fundraiser. Rowling adamantly stated she is not writing a prequel, this was merely a good idea to raise money for worthy charities. The original was a handwritten story on a piece of A5 card which was auctioned off for £25 000.The story revolves around James and Sirius when they were teens. It was published online in June that year and can be read here. This original story was stolen earlier this year. The owner has stated that “If it’s destroyed, or if it’s lost, it’s a great loss” and whoever took it or may purchase it may not understand “the benefits to people out there [and] what it can do.” Already this story is expected to be worth £65 000.

The Short Stories

In 2016, three ebooks were released which contained short stories about Hogwarts that Rowling had written. I did not even know about these until I started researching so I am incredibly exited to get these and read them. Presented by Pottermore, these stories came from the Pottermore archives with exclusive new information added. The three ebooks are titled:

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