Book Reviews · Fantasy · Non-fiction · POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2021 Update: Week Thirty-One

Good morning, everyone! I hope that you are having a fantastic week so far, and that you are continuing to stay healthy.

I don’t know about you all, but I have spent a ridiculous amount of time in front of the television this week, as I’ve been following the coverage of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Other than my borderline obsession with hockey, I’m not really known for being “into sports,” but the Olympics are definitely an exception. I’ve spent most of the week firmly planted on my couch, watching various events and reading during the (numerous) commercial breaks.

This week for the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, I decided to focus on non-fiction. The book I read was Harry Potter and the Art of Spying, by Lynn Boughey and Peter Earnest. This book has been on my TBR since 2016, when I had the opportunity to visit the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. It was one of the coolest museums I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting (in a city filled with amazing museums), and I highly recommend checking it out if you are ever in DC.

The book that’s been on your TBR list for the longest amount of time…

In Harry Potter and the Art of Spying, Lynn Boughey (a spy novelist) and Peter Earnest (the Executive Director of the International Spy Museum, and former member of the CIA) discuss how various aspects of espionage are used in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

The first half of the book focuses on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, examining the book chapter-by-chapter to identify and explore the various elements of spy craft used by Harry and his friends, the members of the Order, the Death Eaters and Voldemort, and the Ministry of Magic. Along with this analysis, the authors provide real-world examples of these elements in action.

The second half of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying elaborates on some of the topics presented in the first part of the book, with a bit more emphasis on their real-world application.

Some topics of interest in this section include: the reasons for which a person might choose (or agree) to become a spy, methods of information gathering, counterintelligence, the importance of critical thinking and analysis, and politics and law.

I enjoyed my reading of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying, and felt that it was a very informative look at the use of spy craft in the Harry Potter series. The book is packed with tons of interesting facts about espionage (both as it relates to Harry Potter and the real world), and it was evident that the authors know their subject very well.

That being said, I couldn’t help wishing that the authors had chosen to organize the book differently. While I understand the authors’ decision to focus on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to the extent that they did (because there is a lot of spy-related material to work with in that book), I greatly preferred the organization of the second half of the book, and thought it did a better job of representing the series (and the real world applications of espionage) as a whole.

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter series, and you also have an interest in espionage, then Harry Potter and the Art of Spying is worth taking the time to read. I do think it is important to mention, however, that this book does contain a massive amount of spoilers for the entire Harry Potter series; particularly the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Because of this, I would not recommend reading this book unless you have already read the Harry Potter series in its entirety.

Next week’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge update will be posted on Saturday, August 7th. In the meantime, I hope you will join me here on The Unapologetic Bookworm on Wednesday for my review of Ruth Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Also, be sure to stop by tomorrow for this month’s Beat the Backlist update!

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

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