Monthly Archives: August 2016

Why I Never Got Into Harry Potter

Harry Potter is one of the most important book series of my generation. But, despite my many attempts to read it, I have never gotten into it. Why?


I read in phases. My children’s novel phase lasted from the age of seven to about fourteen. I read Charlotte’s Web, the first two Little House books, The Last of the Really Great WhangadoodlesTales of a Fourth Grade NothingSuper Fudge, and many so many more. By the time I turned fourteen my attention had inexorably shifted to more adult fare.

The problem is that the end of my children’s novel phase came in 1997. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone did not come out in the U.S. until 1998.

By the time I first heard about Harry Potter, it was 2000 and I was too cool to read it. Or I just didn’t care. Or something.

By the time I figured I should check it out, I was well into my bachelor of arts in English Literature. So attempting to read Harry Potter has been a rather painful experience ever since.

Let me be clear: Rowling’s writing style in Harry Potter is aimed at children. Yes, it can appeal to adults as well. But not all adults. I, personally, do not find the style typically found in children’s novels to be palatable or enjoyable. The sole exception has been The Phantom Tollbooth.

Now, if I were ten years younger, if I turned fourteen in 2007, I might be singing a very different tune. But I was born in 1983 not 1993. So, I’m not.


Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek is finally returning to television! Okay, it is going to a streaming service after premiering on CBS. But at least there is a new Star Trek series! I am honestly both excited and pessimistic about the new series. And, of course, there is the looming issue of how I am going to watch it.

Not much is known about the new series. Although more is known now than it was a month ago.

We know the series is titled Star Trek: Discovery. We know that the ship will generally draw visual inspiration from the attempts to produce a second Star Trek series before the movies were settled upon.

We know that the protagonist is a woman. We know that she will be a junior officer rather than the usual captain. We know that there is a good chance that her actress will be a woman of color. We know that Star Trek: Discovery will continue the tradition of having diverse casts (including an out LGBT actor). We know there will be an out LGBT character.

We know that the series takes place five to ten years before Kirk’s five year mission in the Prime Timeline. We know it touches upon some part of Star Trek history. What that is, we don’t know.

We don’t know the cast, yet. We don’t know how the final visuals will turn out. We don’t know a lot of the details.

Everything else is rumor, speculation, and make believe.

I am excited about Star Trek continuing to be diverse in cast and character composition. Star Trek has always been diverse. And is stronger for that diversity, even if it fails to live up to its potential.

I am not excited about the setting. I’ve never been as big a fan of Star Trek as I am a fan of the later spin offs. I don’t want another prequel like Enterprise. I want to find out what happened to the Federation after the Dominion War. I want to find out if the Romulan Empire survived the destruction of Romulus. I want a new leap forward.

But I get that with Star Trek turning fifty there will be a nostalgic push to revisit the 2200s.

Will I watch it? I want to. But I am not in love with the idea of Star Trek: Discovery being exclusive after the premier on CBS All Access.

I get why CBS is going this route. They want to build their streaming brand.

But it is unfortunate for consumers who will now have to pay $5.99 a month to watch Star Trek: Discovery.

The added cost would be worth it if CBS All Access had anything else a consumer would be interested in. Writing for myself, CBS has nothing of interest except for Star Trek. So, do I want to spend the money for one series?

I need more solid information before I make that decision.