Harry, A History

Oh Harry... how I love thee.

I just recently posted about my love of Harry and all things Potter-related in my post "I am a Potterhead". Over the course of the 2011-2012 school year, I have successfully created a class of Potterheads as well.

Unfortunately, with a lack of a book club and general lack of bookish (especially HP obsessed) friends, I haven't really been able to dive deeply into that world with others. This book offered me that opportunity. Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli (the webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron) is about her inside view of the world of Potterheads... including its birth and beyond.

Harry, A History has been on my TBR for ages. I never got around to it, mainly because my pile of books to read was overwhelming. Once I got a Kindle, I was able to download a sample of the book instead of having the title on a post-it that was stuck to my pile of books. The sample blew me away (I knew it would) and I immediately purchased the book for my Kindle Fire and had a great time on the journey into Potterdom with Melissa. 

Did you see that right there? I just called the author "Melissa"... yea I don't do that. But it just came out so naturally. After reading this book, I felt like I knew Melissa- and that I could totally be BFFs with her. So yea, I'm going to refer to her as Melissa... and I sure do hope that doesn't offend anyone... but after reading her work (including work from the Leaky ages ago!) it just seems so natural. Is that weird? I hope not.
Okay, girl crush over. Back to the book.

Harry, A History on my Kindle Fire
Harry, A History was an engrossing read. Immediately sucked in to Melissa's world, I was hooked. Since I started my journey into Harry Potter after the initial buzz (years, in fact) I felt like I was finally privy to the knowledge and fun that I missed out on in those early years. It was like I got to see what happened when I was living under my Harry Potter-less  rock. Melissa weaves her experiences with Harry Potter (and what was happening in her life) with what was happening in the Harry Potter world at large. She highlights the news and general public reactions, as well as indulging us with many of the details outlining her success in the Harry Potter world and her involvement in the fandom. While reading Harry, A History, we get to meet loads of interesting characters along the way. I felt like I got to peer into the lives of some very cool adult Potterheads. Knowing how Melissa met these people and how she paved the way was super inspiring too... she took two things she loved (journalism and Harry Potter) and made a career out of it. How awesome is that?! It was also humbling to know that there were moments of struggle for her and that not everything always went perfect... it reminded me that we need to work for the things we want in life.
I also really enjoyed all the bits I learned about J.K. Rowling. In the edition I have, there is a forward from J.K. Rowling and Melissa's interview with J.K. Rowling has been published. As Melissa says, "it has been polished and scrubbed up. Off-the-record and personal discussions were deleted." I found it very interesting to read, especially after hearing about how intimate of a setting for an interview that this turned out to be. 

Well written and full of information, as well as anecdotes,  this book is wonderful. My only complaint would be that it does jump around a bit. There were a few times when I got a bit confused as to where we were or what time it was in the timeline of the Harry Potter world. However, in general this book was every bit as interesting and fulfilling as I had hoped it would be. I loved Harry, A History and would absolutely recommend it to any and all Potterheads. After reading it, I was a bit sad that it took me so long to finally pick it up... and a bit sad that it was over. If you haven't read it and you are in any way a bit of a Potterhead, quit stalling and start reading!

Of course, I must thank Melissa for sharing her Harry Potter experience and history with us. Three cheers to Melissa Anelli- she deserves it for all she has done for Harry Potter and the fandom!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


  1. No way--how did I not know about this book? I'm so glad you liked it. I'll have to get myself a copy! :)

  2. This is one of the books that helped me get into fandom! I didn't know about wrock at all until reading it.

    I also missed out on most of the HP heyday. I was reading the books as they were released, but somehow I never got into release events or anything like that. I wish I had now.

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