Book – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Author – JK Rowling
Year – 1997 (yes, really!)
Genre – Fantasy

I think that this book needs very little introduction.  For anyone who has never heard of Harry Potter, I would like to point you in the direction of the internet.  The biggest literary craze of the past forever begain with this book, and I was very much looking forward to reading it for what must be the fifth time.

It never disappoints.  With the six sequels, movie franchise, newly opening Harry Potter land, computer games, t-shirts, mugs, toys and any other number of Potter branded items, it’s hard to remember that this first book was once a relatively unhyped release with a small print run, before which we had never heard of Quiddich, Hogwarts or Dumbledore.  As an introduction to a new series, this is perfect.  It is so accessible, without all of the deep complicated connections that the characters will later gain, but having read the other books, it is brilliant to see some of the portents that will relate to the later books.  Above everything else though, it is a massively enjoyable book which comes about as close to a book that every person ‘should’ read, as any other I have read.

The temptation here was to not give Philosopher’s Stone too high a mark so as to not set too high a precedent and end up with seven ten out of tens on my list this year just on a reread series.  But then I decided that as a book that I enoyed thoroughly, feel is wonderfully written, and – without hyperbole – genuinely changed the face of books forever, I couldn’t really give it anything less.