And presently more than 8 million readers in the United States and countless more worldwide are young wizards. (I am the designated second reader of our household copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so please, let's not talk about the details of the book just yet.) For now I remain in the desert with Julie and Ibrahim, and with the photographer, Edward Curtis, in Marianne Wiggins' new novel, The Shadow Catcher.
Last week the New York Times ran a story about what some of our corporate leaders are reading, C.E.O. Libraries Reveal Keys to Success. (Remember you will need to acquire a free registration from the Times to access this article from their website.) It was fascinating to learn that Steven Jobs recently sold his collection of William Blake books. (Gordimer quotes from Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience on p.66 of The Pickup.) And the venture capitalist, Michael Moritz, occasionally re-reads T. E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom for inspiration. (That's Lawrence of Arabia. Julie refers to him dismissively on p. 198.)
At Harry Potter in translation we learn that many of the Potter books have been translated into multiple languages, including Afrikaans and Arabic. I don't believe Ibrahim would read Harry Potter. We are told that, "he is a reader of newspapers" (p. 35). Perhaps Cornell professor, Robert Frank's new book, The Economic Naturalist would interest our former economics major? Maybe not.
However, I'm fairly certain that Julie has put down her Dostoievsky and is reading Harry Potter along with us this summer.