June 30th, 2009


Linkspam for 30-6-2009


Cold tea

Inspired by this thread between yhlee and rosefox, I just tried cold-brewing some tea - filled the cup with cold water, put in a teabag, left it for twenty-five minutes, drank it.


Probably should have left it in the fridge as rosefox recommends, so that it is refreshingly cold and not halfway to room temperature; probably should have left it a bit longer as well; but a pleasant experience none the less and not too dissimilar from what I have bought across the counter as "iced tea" in the US. Here in Belgium, "ice tea" is carbonated, heavily sweetened and often flavoured with peach or lemon. I still prefer it to other soft drinks, but that is not saying much.

June Books 33) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I enjoyed this more than I remember doing first time round. I still think it has some pretty serious flaws. I find Harry's adolescent surliness for much of the book simply boring, and his reconciliation with Dumbledore at the end feels flat to me since we have always been pretty sure that it was going to happen. And the construction of the legal system and governance of the wizarding world is not quite substantial enough to be described as superficial. (Just one example: in what sort of school would the Slytherin supporters' merciless mockery of Ron Weasley not result in serious disciplinary measures against the perpetrators?)

Having said that, the high points were higher than I remembered. There are some good descriptive passages, especially of particular settings - the forest, the Ministry; and the second order characters, Sirius, Luna, the twins, etc, all get much more development. (One is a bit sorry for Cho Chang whose subplot gets lost in the second half of the book.) I still think this is one of the weaker volumes of the series, but I think I must have raced through it so fast first time round that I missed a lot of its better elements.

I'm going to end my Rowling re-read here, since this was the first part of my programme of returning to popular books I have read but not previously written up on Livejournal, and I have written up volumes six and seven. Next in this sequence is therefore Tolkien's The Hobbit.

< Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire | Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix | Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows | The Tales of Beedle the Bard >