47. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
This re-reading was a joint venture in comfort and re-examining how many points the movie missed and how it could have been done better. I just read it through in a couple of days, comfort food style, but I couldn't help noticing the writing style differently.
Rowling does an excellent job, at least in this book, of keeping a sense of time and organization in each chapter. She uses descriptions of seasons to pull you through a school year at Hogwarts. Each chapter has its purpose, and its descriptions that hint at and reference earlier chapters and earlier books. The sixth book is well put together. Her pitfalls, overuse of certain adjectives, outlining instead of showing, and her hideously awkward view of teen relationships, are here, but they felt softened this time. I think this may be my first re-read since reading the seventh book. Naturally, I paid much more attention to descriptions of Dumbledore. He is often swathed in purple, described as "tall and thin," the scenes where he tears up at Harry calling himself "Dumbledore's man" and his words in the cave as Harry feeds him the potion, are more significant now. There are also a LOT of references to the barman at the Hog's Head, can't believe I missed that.
I liked the movie, but of course it can't begin to do justice to the book. Ironically, I don't believe it can stand on its own either. I just really like the black-and-white cinematography with Draco Malfoy slinking around...it's like a pretty corollary to the book, but then with random scenes that never happened...but who can help wanting more Harry Potter?