Rereadings: What to read after Harry Potter?

July 2, 2010 at 12:00 am 16 comments

Okay, I finally finished my rereading of all the Harry Potter books last week (*weep!*). This means I’m suffering a little bit from PABD. Since I never experienced the whole series in order, I never really felt a loss reading-wise after finishing any of them. After completing Deathly Hallows, however, I put the book down and immediately didn’t know what to do with myself.

So today I turn to our readers in hopes of coping: What do you recommend to read after Harry Potter? Is there really anything comparable?

My bookbinding teacher suggested Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, which I will be reading this weekend and reviewing here soon. It has been billed as Harry Potter for adults, which just seems to mean that there’s more profanity, more heavy snogging, and a bit more wickedness. Frankly, these aren’t things I ever wished for in Harry Potter. I rather prefer Rowling’s generally clean tone to anything more “for adults.” So where does that leave me? At a loss, I can assure you!

Other sites have been pretty inane with their suggestions (“Did you know these this great little series called The Lord of the Rings? You should really give it a go!” being only one of the intelligence-insulting recommendations I’ve found) so I hope you guys can help a poor Potterite out!


Also, anyone want to commiserate about the intense “Deathly Hallows” film trailer that was recently released? Semi-related to books, right? I feel a little transgressive bringing it up here, anyway, so it can fall under more under “transgressions” than “literary.” :)


Entry filed under: Musings and Essays, Rereadings. Tags: , , .

Discussion Post: The Mysteries of Udolpho Currently Reading

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Iris  |  July 2, 2010 at 1:06 am

    I wish I could help you. I am still looking for that kind of read as well..

    How did you like The Deathly Hallows after rereading it?

    And as for the trailer, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I am excited, but also a little sad because it will mean the end of HP once again. And also, I still don’t see how 2 parts will work. However, I don’t see how they could put everything in one movie without having it last for 6 hours either.

    • 2. Corey  |  July 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm

      Okay, definitely tune in next week for my review of “The Magicians.” In short, it was amazing and perhaps the answer to our problems here!

      Meanwhile, back in Rowlingland, I loved and appreciated “The Deathly Hallows” so much more the second time around. Particularly after reading all the others directly before, I could see how everything was building and how perfectly “Hallows” ended everything.

      I still wasn’t crazy about the epilogue; it just still seemed too fanfiction-y and unnecessary. We know evil was defeated and, while it was nice to see how everyone sorted out in the next few years, I think that information could just as easily been conveyed in interviews after the fact or in the forthcoming encyclopedia. It just struck me as a little hokey. Otherwise, though, I loved “Hallows” so much more!

      What are you thoughts on it?

      Ah the trailer! It was SO intense! I’m not actually a big fan of the films, so I’m not sure if I’ll even see it, but the trailer just looked incredibly epic and intense. I was actually shivering after watching it. (Probably the combination of reading the book and then shortly thereafter seeing the trailer version!)

      It is so sad that the release of those two films really means it’s all over! No more new Harry anything. :(

      • 3. Iris  |  July 7, 2010 at 12:58 am

        Those were exactly my thoughts after rereading it. Reading the Deathly Hallows the first time around it felt rushed and confusing, but the second time around I liked the book much better. I agree about the epilogue though: either write a decent one and tell us a little more about each person, or don’t write anything at all. This epilogue was very unsatisfying.

        I’m going to click over and read your review of the Magicians now.

      • 4. Corey  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm

        Glad you’re in agreement. I was really fairly stunned how much more I liked “Hallows” the second time around. It actually ended up rivaling “Azkaban” in my affections!

  • 5. Britney  |  July 2, 2010 at 4:38 am

    If you haven’t read Diana Wynne Jones yet, I absolutely recommend her, especially the Chrestomanci books (and from there, one of Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, or Witch Week would be a great place to start). Diana had been writing books that are sort of similar to Harry Potter for 20+ years before Harry Potter was around.

    Another Diana Wynne Jones book I’ve been meaning to reread for awhile is Dogsbody, which follows Sirius, the Dog Star, after he’s trapped in the titular body of a dog.

    • 6. Corey  |  July 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm

      Hmm, thanks for the suggestion! In what ways are the Jones books similar to Rowling’s? Or are they just generally good fantasy?

      In any event, library here I come!

      • 7. Britney  |  July 2, 2010 at 6:36 pm

        Well, Diana Wynne Jones is an excellent fantasy writer with an enormous backlist (after writing my original post I realized I’ve been reading her books since 2001 and I still have a few to read!) but her Chrestomanci books are probably the closest to Harry Potter and they’re compared frequently (some uninformed readers have claimed that she copied). Chrestomanci does have a castle filled with magic users and enchanted objects – and he does tend to show up in a lot of places in his dressing gown. Witch Week is a ton of fun because it takes place in an alternate world where Guy Fawkes succeeded in destroying the Houses of Parliament but Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant explore more about the role of Chrestomanci. (Christopher Chant is the uniting character in all the books, though he’s not always the protagonist.)

        One of the great things about Harry Potter is that many of Diana’s books were reprinted. :) She’s an excellent world builder and many of her books are different enough that if you don’t like one of them, you could probably find another that suits you better.

      • 8. Corey  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm

        Sounds great! I really need to start making a proper list of all the excellent-sounding books you have recommended to me. :)

  • 9. Shannon  |  July 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I manufactured an obsession with British mysteries and read everything ever written by PD James. And then I read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which is nothing approaching Potter but difficult to put down, even when it gets cheesey.

    • 10. Corey  |  July 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm

      Ooo, neat solution! Fortunately, I already love British mysteries so perhaps I can just channel my interest in that direction, too. :)

      I’ve never heard of the Gabaldon, but I’ll have to look into it! Gripping fantastical stories are never a bad thing. Thanks for the tip!

  • […] one of the things that makes The Magicians a perfect book to read in any post-Harry Potter state of depression is that Mr. Grossman aptly engages with the deeper questions and darker side of magic (or at least […]

  • 12. Jo  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I don’t know how you feel about hype around books, but I found Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass (and the next two books, which I can’t remember right now) to be intriguing, engrossing, and immensely well-written Pullman creates a very different world from Rowling’s world, but it is equally as encompassing.

    Let me know what you think!

    • 13. Corey  |  July 10, 2010 at 9:59 am

      I have read “The Golden Compass” but I didn’t adore it. I enjoyed the book well enough, but I didn’t feel compelled to read the next ones, although I’ve heard variously that they get worse and better as you go along!

      Kate is actually our resident Pullman expert since she wrote her master’s dissertation on this series, so if you want a more informed opinion, I would definitely ask her! :) Thanks for the recommendation, though!

  • […] the continuing adventures of my search for something to read in a post-Harry Potter state of depression, I turned this week to Ali Shaw’s The Girl with Glass Feet. The novel has been billed as a […]

  • […] some point, probably during my Harry Potter PABD days some years ago, I started scrounging around for some good fantasy to rekindle my love of the genre. […]

  • […] to the bookish internet (heck, we here at Literary Transgressions have often wondered what to do post-Harry Potter), but I can’t stop myself from reading them every time a new one appears. Will there finally […]


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