Harry Potter Turns 20

I’m rereading the series in french which is good practice except it takes me forever.

You’re a wizard, Harry!

Twenty years ago today, British publisher Bloomsbury released J.K. Rowling’s debut novel, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” the first in the seven-book series about a boy wizard that went on to become a global phenomenon.

The outspoken billionaire author, who was living in relative poverty when she first completed her manuscript, took to Twitter on Monday to celebrate the milestone.


  1. I thought of you recently. You’ve had those updates about reading somewhat proficiently in french but little to no practice speaking. Between that admission (that inadvertently inspired me to work on my French) and a trip last April to France, I took a few classes at the Alliance Francaise in Chicago. I can so nothing but great things for the experiences and teachers and I just started a new season last night. If there’s anything similar in your neck of the woods, do it!

    On topic, I’ve been reading more books in French, mainly adolescent books. I have made it a quarter way through a Jonathan Kellerman book I picked up in Paris last April. Like you, slow going. I can also recommend:

    “Le Monde sans les enfants” – Philippe Claudel
    “Comment peut-on être français” Chahdortt Djavann
    “Le bruit des trousseaux” – Philippe Claudel
    “Le Theoreme de Cupidon” Agnes Abecassis <– truly adolescent and lots of slang.

    I've also been doing "Learn French by Podcast" and downloading their $1 PDFs via their website. I've found them to be very good and redo them several times.

    1. That’s awesome Jeremy. I have some French friends who I practice with and have started turning captions off when I watch French films. I seem to pick up a bit more although I’m barely getting the gist of going on depending on how fast they are going.

      News in slow French is really good for that too.

      Part of the reason I read slow in these books is I stop to make Flashcards of the words I don’t know.

      1. Flash cards is a good idea. I tend to read and aim for gist rather than develop vocabulary. The more difficult the book the longer it takes me, for sure.

        Any recommendations for adolescent french shows?

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