Originally Posted by savafan
9 days until the release of the 6th Harry Potter book. Is there anyone else here besides me that's excited about it? I've just recently gotten into the HP books, and am just now starting the fourth one. I've also become quite the Harry Potter fan, collecting anything and everything that is Harry Potter. These books are easy to read and draw you in with the stories and characters. If you haven't read them and want something fun to read, I highly recommend them. They're not just for kids.
I liked them pretty much. In fact, I just got interviewed by the local paper about the new release and one of the questions was why I thought they are so popular. I think it's two things; the writing is very good with great characters and it is fantasy that does not dip too far into the fantasy genre. The comparison is made with Phillip Pullman and Tolkien, who I have not found enjoyable mainly because they seem too steeped in the magic, the awe inspiring symbolisms. Granted, they are terrific but I prefer stuff that's not so...dark. HP is lighter reading in comparison and as such I think that makes it more accessible, more popular.
If you like HP, I'd recommend Road Dahl. I find Rowling's style to be similar, especially in James and the Giant Peach, my all time favorite book. Narnia may also appeal to those who like Harry Potter, although Lewis laid on the Christian metaphors a little thick for my taste. On balance though, you won't find any finer writing than the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.