Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Included on Play.com’s List of Greatest Books

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Jun 19, 2008

Posted by EdwardTLC
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The Telegraph is reporting today that the third Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” has been voted one of the Greatest Novels of All Time according to a new survey carried out by Play.com. The UK retailer polled 2000 readers, which ranked J. K. Rowling’s third Potter novel number 9 on their list. The Harper Lee classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” was voted the greatest book of all time, while such books as “The Da Vinci Code,” “Pride and Prejudice,” The Lord of the Rings,” and “Animal Farm” joined “Prisoner of Azkaban” in the top ten. The top ten Greatest Books of All Time from Play.com are:

1. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

2. Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S Lewis

4. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

5. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

6. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

7. Animal Farm – George Orwell

8. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling

10. Lord of the Flies – William Golding





60 Responses to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Included on Play.com’s List of Greatest Books

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Wow that is an eclectic list. I like it.

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Cool! PoA is probably my favorite HP book.

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awesome

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That’s awesome – PoA is my favorite book of the entire series.

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Noooo, why Da Vinci Code, whyyy?

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‘Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban’ is my favorite out of the seven. there’s just something extra special in ‘Prisoner Of Azkaban’, extra ‘Magical’, perhaps… It surprises me that people like it that much… I always assumed people enjoyed ‘Goblet Of Fire’ Or ‘Order Of The Phoenix’ more. Huh, I guess I assumed wrong, eh? ‘Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban’ will always be my favorite.*

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I wish POA would’ve came in 1rst. So much better then TKAM….

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Very nice to see Harry so well represented!

It’s my opinion that if the Harry Potter series manages to turn some of its books into classics, these two are the most probable: Sorcerer’s Stone and Prisoner of Azkaban. The former simply because it’s the first one. And the latter because it’s the one that shows a glimpse at how deeply plotted the over-arching story is and that not all is what it seems. It turned readers into fanatics and Joanne Rowling into a superstar.

Personally, Deathly Hallows is my favourite, but it’s also too dependant on the earlier books to stand on its own, so I don’t think it will be lauded as much. But then again, Half-Blood Prince tend to show up a lot in some of these top tens…

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@Sam

I agree with you, IMO DaVinci Code doesn’t belong there.

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“To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Pride and Prejudice” are two of my all-time favorites. I think Harper Lee’s style is very much like JKR’s – lots of humor.

POA is definitely my favorite HP film, but Deathly Hallows and Order of the Phoenix are at the top of my HP book list.

Looks like mystery fans didn’t have a lot to say with this list. I would love to see anything by Agatha Christie here. “Murder on the Orient Express”, “Witness for the Prosecution”, and “And Then There were None” are all wonderful stories.

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I was taking the list seriously, until I saw the DiVinci Code made it. Sorry, but for my tastes it was crappy and won’t be remembered for too long.

As for HP:Prisoner of Azkaban, I’m tickled because that is my favourite of the Potter Books (mostly because HP:Goblet of Fire has such a depressing ending).

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yay! Prisoner of Azkaban is my personal favourite and in my opinon the best Potter Book. Lupin and Sirius rocked in it! It was so great finding out about the Marauders and the family betrayal. Prisoner of Azkaban is also the best movie by far and will probably always be. Alfonso is one of the best directors on the planet I think and Gary Oldman and David Thewlis….there are no words to desbribe their brilliant acting ability! I’m so glad this made the list! :)

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It is really great.almost all the books on the list are good ones,but I really think that Prisoner Of Azkaban should have come first. Anyway,its not that bad no.9,is it.Many many congratulations to Jo rowling

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It’s so cool that Jo gets on the list with all the writers like Jane Austen and Emily Bronte

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I love Azkaban—it’s absolutely my favorite out of the first four Potter books, and I think it has the best “reveal” of the whole series, when Sirius and Scabbers (!) are revealed for who they really are. The plotting is diabolically clever but also satisfyingly economical (well, except maybe for the time-travel bit…), and it’s beautifully self-contained, even as it adds richness and emotional depth to the backstory of the overarching tale. Plus, Lupin’s classes make for some of the best “school” scenes of the series. So much of JKR at her best!

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The Lord of the Rings? That is a series not a single book. Hard to take a list seriously when it gets something like that wrong.

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well I think that it isn’t fair that Twilight isn’t on that list. But I am happy that HP made it :D

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Sorry Pumpkin_Juice, but Lord of the Rings was originally written as a single book but published as three separate … volumes, I’d guess you’d say. Even published separately, it is one long story, not a series. But I’d feel better if it replaced The Da Vinci Code with Murder on the Orient Express.

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What the POA?

Why not Deathly Hallows, if not just a courtesy?

This list is very bad… The Da Vinci Code was amazing, but is only popular because it was so controversial.

What about Huckleberry Finn? No Shakespeare? <— although I guess the list is all novels, but, still… The Great Gatsby?

and why have Lord of the Rings (a trilogy) and have only one Harry Potter book?

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I’m glad that PoA got on this list. I may be biased as it is my favorite book, but PoA is very, very underrated. Although it may not be as emotional as say Deathly Hallows, it does portray the great qualities similar to the other novels on this list.

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Kevin, the LOTR wasn’t really a trilogy, it was intended as a whole novel that got split into 3 volumes, where as HP’s stories have a clear beginning and end to each…

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hehe. I was wondering about Twilight too :P I guess maybe next year ;)

I’m excited that POA made the list, but I kind of feel if JRR Tolkien’s whole series can make it on the list, why is POA singled out and not the whole series as well? I can’t imagine reading only one without the rest. Every book added something special to the series.

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The Da VINCI Code??! What the heck is THAT doing there so high??

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Of course it is. It is one of the most elegantly written books of our time.

But why Wuthering Heights??? That is the dullest books with the most unlikeable cast of characters ever written. I demand a recount for Jane Eyre!

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I’m personally not a fan at of Twilight, and although it’s definitely very popular it makes perfect sense to me that its not on this list (Not because of my thoughts on the book).

It came out in 2004, 2005, right? So it’s relatively new. The same could be said of Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code and others on the list, but I think those are better known overall than Twilight.

I read (I can’t confirm this) that the poll asked 2000 people what they considered to be the greatest novel of all time, and the list was compiled in that way. Twilight’s readership probably does not include most of these people. I realize it’s not just read by a bunch of high school aged girls, but that category seems to be where the majority of Meyer’s readers would be (As a part of that group, I can attest that a large percentage of my peers read and love her books), but I don’t know if that would be the kind of people polled.

I’m slightly biased, not being a fan of Twilight, but I don’t know how many people would consider it to be the greatest book of all time, even if they did like it. Maybe given a few years Twilight will end up on one of these lists, as another commenter previously pointed out.

In the end these are wholly based on the opinions of a few people. There’s really no way of choosing a top 10, top 50, top 100, top any number of anything—especially books. It’s completely subjective. The comments at the article (and some here) often express disappointment that a favorite of theirs is not included or disdain that a least favorite has made an appearance. That’s expected. People’s opinions on books vary. It’s a completely subjective thing.

These lists are fun and include a number of excellent books, but offer little else (I do admit it’s pleasing to see Harry Potter make an appearance). My top fifty won’t be the same as Melissa’s or Nikita’s (By the way, is that referring to the meerkat, or am I just too obsessed with Meerkat Manor?) or Barack Obama’s or Jean-Michel Cousteau’s. And that’s okay. :)

I must say TKAM is well deserving of any spot of that list. That it’s number one is awesome.

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Great Job!! all books which i would say deserve their spots.

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wow, im surprised. although i loved PoA, it was not my favorite book, and i assumed that maybe HBP or DH or even GoF would have been there, just not PoA

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I have to say that I am very pleased that, of all the Harry Potter books, The Prisoner of Azkaban was chosen, because it is FAR better than any of the others. The plotting of the book is just magnificent, and like someone mentioned above, it has the best revealing mystery of the entire series. All of the clues were clearly planned and fit together perfectly (unlike the contrived hack-jobs that were the “setups” for Deathly Hallows).

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I’m really happy that POA made the list! However I really wish DH had made the list; its my favorite!

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Wow. This list makes me feel sad, I read 3 of those books within the last two years of schooling and next year, I get to read “Lord of the Flies”. All in all, i will have read a great number of these books by next year.

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I love Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations, I’m glad they were chosen!

And Da Vinci Code- hehe I couldn’t get past the first page; I found it so boring.

POA isn’t my favourite (it’s OOTP and DH :) but I love it for its twists and Sirius and Lupin!

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That’s great, but i don’t know why they unly put one of the HP books, and the whole LotR trilogy. They should’ve chosen one of the LotR books, or put the entire HP series in.

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I’ve read most of those and they all are awesome!!!!!!!!! It’s good that the Lord of the Rings is be #2, but HP should be #1!

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PoA is my favorite of all the movies and books thus far. I wholeheartedly agree!

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Well I’m glad Jo got somewhere. Some books should not be there though in my opinion…..

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As much as I love HP (and don’t get me wrong, I’m obsessed), I can see why TKAM is first. While the main theme of prejudice is seen in both HP and TKAM, TKAM is much older and much more considered a “classic” by many people, so I think it makes sense that would get more votes- I think more people have probably read it. As for HP, I’m glad it made the list, and I’m super happy that it was PoA, which was my favorite for many years, until HBP came out. As others have pointed out, LotR was intended to be one book, so it makes sense that’s it is on the list as one. Personally, I agree with those who thought “The Da Vinci Code” didn’t belong on the list. While it was entertaining, I don’t think it will last like many of the others on the list have endured, and also, I found the prequel “Angels and Demons” to be much more entertaining. Also, I hated “Great Expectations!” So awful, as I found most of Dickens’ work to be.

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Well, DH is my favourite book, but I guess i can’t stand alone, as in, there’s too much detail relating with the other books and you need to know that before you read Hallows. I love PoA, mainly because it’s the last book in which we see the trio as “kids”. There’s still an element of innocence in PoA and it’s also a marvellous progression to the darker part of the series.

I think the list is pretty OK, though why The Da Vinci Code is there, I don’t know. It’s a wonderful book, but there are so many more which are miles ahead. Anyway, I’m so glad to see that there is a Potter book there, and one which I think is pretty underrated in the series.

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Wow, I’ve read all books on the list! And IMO Azkaban should’ve been at #5, not Da Vinci Code.

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POA may be my favourite book in the series, but I´m sorry, I think this list is ridiculous. HP and Da Vinci Code side by side with Animal Farm, TKAM or Pride and Prejudice? Please… I´m not a snob at reading, I love Stephen King and I enjoy best-sellers. But I´d never say that they´re as good as Dickens, Austen or Tolkien. Anyway, if you think that HP books are something more than a nice reading, it´s your opinion and I respect it. I just had to say mine.

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Posted by will or wont “Not interested in seeing any more Potter films directed by David Yates. He’s going to end up doing no less than four, for no other reason than that they couldn’t find anyone else. And if he’s got enough free time to fit in another one I doubt that he’s giving Deathly Hallows the attention it needs. Yates, by the way, is the one responsible for the terrible “Queen’s Handbag” thing. Sure, it was done at short notice but the fact is that it still turned out awful. If he gets the gig for the theme park short film it will be just as unwatchable. Give the reins to someone else for the short film. Please. David Heyman’s strength used to be that he would find the right person for the job, so let’s see that happening again.”

Posted by || “As for the OotP movie, it was not flawless or necessarily better than the rest as a whole. However, the acting was undoubtedly the best so far. The mental-imagery was done perfectly, and in terms of cinematography, it is only bested by PoA. PoA also has the best music, followed by GoF. CoS was the most faithful adaptation. GoF made the best of having to cut the size of the novel. OotP didn’t too so well in that case. And of course, PS/SS laid the groundwork & got the casting right.”

(Ed Tom Speeking) You see now my children, more and more people are realising how bad the OOPt movie was. They are finally realising that David Yates, Goldenberg and that Hooper popper what ever guy are complete gumbi heads. Though there still remains some few confused individuals that still think OOPT was moderately OK-ish and like good and stuff, but like i said, they are confused. Just look at what some so called HP Fan posted.

Posted by Preston “My favorite movie is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was da bomb. Can I get a HOOT HOOT!”

Now come on is this what we want our children to here. “OOTP da bomb” really, so so confused.

Well i leave you with these last few words, my army is building more and more are joining the cause. Time still remains, we can still save The Deathley Hallows Film from Yates disasterous directorial skills and confounded editing partener. I have hope in Kloves, because he hasn’t failed my yet, but with Yates at every corner i fear the worst. Join me, and we shall rule the galaxy.

P.S. Can i get a HOOT HOOT!!

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe should not be on that list. Its the most unoriginal peace of work and C.S Lewis isn’t that great of a writter. He writes very straight forward simplistic sentences that fail to capture real atmosphere of a scene.

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There’s no doubt PoA is a great book.It’s only equals in the HP series are PS,CoS,GoF,OotP,HBP and DH.

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Wow, what an honour to be on such a fantastic list of classic books. The Prisoner Of Azkaban has always been my favourite Harry Potter book, although it has a lot of connections plot wise to the rest of the series it is probably the best stand alone Harry Potter book to read.

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I personally love the Twilight series more than Potter now, but I am not at all surprised that it is not on this list. Twilight is only very new compared to HP, which has been around 11 years. I’m just happy that POA made it on the list compared to the other Potter books because I really think POA was the best out of all 7. It was short and sweet but exciting and we got to learn about the marauders which added a adult darkness to the series. And POA is by far the best film by a million times. YAY for POA!! I love Lupin!! hehe P.S. Can I ask why people are dissing the Da Vinci Code? I thought it was pretty cool, The huge detail and um “facts” that were in the book were really good. And the writing was pretty good two. I dunno, maybe thats just me.

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ED TOM: Yes I 100% agree, Yates and that screenwriter are complete morons. The characters and their relationships were ruined compared to the other movies and the books. And he left out waaay too much. Why the hell was GOF a longer movie then OOTP when OOTP is the longest book!? That doesn’t even make a little bit of sense. I liked OOTP the first time I saw it but after the second time I saw it, I realise how crap and innaccurate it was. There was no character development, and the whole film felt very rushed with not middle to take a breath ya know? Every film has got to have a start, middle and end but OTTP was missing the middle and all the character development. Why the hell did they ask him back to do HBP and DH. He’s going to ruin them! Theres no Bill or Fleur, no Lupin and Tonks forbidden love drama, no moaning myrtle to comfort Draco. I mean, an i ask what they ARE putting in HBP? because it seems that everything is missing! Please excuse the angry rant but I really hate Yates lol. I miss Alfonso, who would have been so perfect to direct DH. Tim Burton would have been so good too, pity he’s so busy

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is really great. I hope that next on their list will be Deathly Hallows, it’s the best book! Defeat of Lord Voldemort. I love Harry Potter!

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That’s great! I just wonder why, of all of the books, they chose Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m mean, it’s probably the best book in the first half of the series, but I still think DH was better. Not complaining, though.

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Why would Twilight be on this list? I love POA it’s definetly one of my favourites it is just remarkable storytelling. For me it’s the way all these seemingly unreleated threads of story continue throughout the novel and then all become connected in the last few chapters. All these unreleated little stories all wrapped up in a nice bow at the end its just a joy to read from start to finish. That and I LOVED the Dementors, that was what really turned the books for me into something very dark. Prisoner of Azkaban kicks ass.

To Kill a Mockingbird certainly deserves that spot though, when I read it as a teenager the book and how my amazing English Lit teacher taught me it completely changed my perspective in life. Every person growing up needs to read that book- the whole idea of empathy and seeing things from others’ view

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Ughhh, I can’t believe that Wuthering Heights made the list, that was an awful book. Her sister’s book Jane Eyre is so much superior!

But POA is my favorite HP book.

There are many books on that list that I have read, and I don’t like most of them. Not really a fan of To Kill a Mockingbird, it isn’t bad, but it isn’t that good.

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Its interesting to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe made the list concidering there are books in the series before it that are as good or better. Thats the problem with people. They keep forgetting that it was a SERIES!

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am glad POA made the top 10…but it should be higher!i love tht book! and surely books like pride and prejudice could go higher,though 1st place is a good choice to have to kill a mockingbird…awesome book…if wuthering heights made it..suprisingly jane eyre didnt..

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I find this list rather shocking to be honest. Where is Tolstoy? Where is Proust? What about Hemingway, or Dostoevsky? Where are Faulkner and Fitzgerald? Ellison? Woolf? Solzhenitsyn? I could go on.

I love the Harry Potter books, and PoA is a fine choice for the best in the series. I also think it has considerable literary merit, and is worth being praised as more than mere ‘children’s fantasy’ (used as a pejorative). I think it is folly, however, to rank it so high when such other classic works of literature are so conspicuously absent. (Though, I do agree, the presence of Brown’s fun, but shallow “The DaVinci Code” is the most egregious error).

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Don’t get me wrong, PoA was incredible and was one of my favorites because it had such a different mood. But i’m a little surprised it is on this list opposed to the other books because it doesn’t have a big climax or battle scene. I thought the time- travel scene was great; it was something new to the series. I guess it goes to show you that you don’t need big, intense action scenes. WB, Yates, and the producers, should consider this instead of making everything look “hollywood” with tons of exaggerated special effects, but focusing on the story and development of characters that captures millions of readers. HBP is a fantastic book, but I’m worried after seeing the list of all the scenes they cut: the other minister, THE GUANTS!, etc.

I’ve read 8 of the 10 books on the list, and I’d say they’re right on the ball of finding the right books.

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T-Vey: Where did you find this list of scenes?

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I should have said I saw a list of characters that have been cut, but the characters imply what scenes have to be cut. Veritaserum had a post at with a list of a couple characters, and another website (possibly snitchsneeker?) said something about how Tonks was only in one scene and it was an added scene where the Burrow is attacked at Christmas. Shouldn’t Yates be worried about keeping as many as he can from the book, before ADDING their own? Chamber of Secrets was the second-shortest book, and the longest film?!? It just doesn’t make sense…

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(continued) sorry, i tried to type the web adress, but i didn’t know it would be edited. i should have known there would some kind of copyrighting/ plagerism offense… anyways, the site said that the characers were the Guants, Hepzibah Smith, and the Muggle PM.

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Prisoner of Azkaban is an excellent book.

Whenever I try to convince an adult friend to read the Harry Potter books I always tell them that the first two are more like very good children books but if you get to POA you will be hooked. You will LOVE the series. I always feel that it was POA that got me hooked on the books. POA is more adult oriented and a great book to read.

So far everyone who I have convinced has come back to re-affirmed it for me. Once they read POA they are hooked on the series! I had one friend who adamantly refused to read children books. I refused to accept that ; I shoved SS, COS and POA at her and told her please read them. They are quick read. Once you finish POA if you do not want the rest I will shut up I told her. She came back to me and begged me for GOF. Then she went and bought all her own books. At that time we were up to OotP. She was hooked! :) She has even stood in line for the HBP and DH

So great choice for the HP series to have POA on that top ten list. That is the book that gets everyone hooked. Although now that I have read them ALL more than a few times….I love HBP and DH more. I have probably read those two more times than the other 5 combined.

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The Da Vinci Code was ranked the 5th greatest book of all time?

Dear God, what on Earth has happened to our culture?

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I think “Prisoner” is remembered well because it’s the last book before the death toll starts rolling and the last one where the wizarding world only expands as far as the Hogwarts region and Diagon Alley, and has a very well-executed main arc, complete with fantastic new characters (Lupin, Sirius, Wormtail, Trelawney and probably more) and development of the old ones. It’s the first one where the extent to which the trio care about each other becomes clear, and Harry is realy tested- there’s more than just the good VS evil of the previous Voldemort-based storis. It seems shocking in retrospect that I was so upset about Buckbeak’s “death”- so tame by the standards of the later books. I am pleased to see that this, along with GoF being on the “Entertainment Weekly” greatest list show that “Deathly Hallows” hasn’t made us forget the early days.

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That’s great news. I wondered, Why not Deathly Hallows?

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