(Movie still from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Warner Bros)
It’s the end of July and we can’t put our wand on the why, but things are feeling kind of magical. Oh, hang on. It’s J.K. Rowling’s birthday! Over here at Quirk Books, we’re celebrating the Queen of Quidditch, the Duchess of Diagon Alley, the Countess of Chocolate Frogs. Want in on the fun? Other than sending a loving and determined tweet to our hero and yours, here are five ways to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s birthday.
(TV still from The Magicians, Syfy)
Immerse yourself in The Magicians
Lev Grossman’s bestselling trilogy The Magicians was heavily influenced by the Harry Potter series, so it’s safe to say without J.K. Rowling, these books wouldn’t even exist. And neither would the incredible Syfy television series, which was just renewed for a third season. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge, season one is on Netflix and we’re crossing our fingers season two will be there soon. If books are more your speed – and come on, you can love both – Lev Grossman’s entire trilogy is out there in the world, waiting to be read. It’s been dubbed “Harry Potter for adults” and what’s not to love about that?
(Movie still from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Warner Bros)
Go on a pop culture scavenger hunt for Voldemort
Grab a friend and dig through some of your favorite movies and TV shows in search of casual references to He Who Must Not Be Named. Voldemort’s name has become part of our cultural shorthand and it’s always a delight to see his name dropped for comedic effect. We’ll even give your scavenger hunt a head start: we recently spotted a Voldemort mention in the newest season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. And a little birdie told us (or maybe it was an owl) that he shows up in the flesh in The Lego Batman Movie.
(Movie still from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Warner Bros)
Plan an Autumn excursion to see your local college quidditch team play
The first game of muggle quidditch was played in 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont. Since that fateful day, over 300 teams have formed around the world – dominating the all-gender contact sport sphere. It’s the off season now, but come Fall college teams will running around with brooms between their legs, hurling dodgeballs in their wake. Grab a bunch of friends and find your nearest team because this is a sport you’re going to get hooked on. In the meantime, prep for your adventure by watching Mudbloods on Netflix. It’s a documentary that follows the UCLA Quidditch Team to the World Cup and it’s so incredibly touching.
Start Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and the subsequent Carry On both bare the fingerprints of the slash community in Harry Potter fanfic, making them perfect company for any J.K. Rowling aficionado. Dive into Cath Avery’s world as she dives into her own – a world where a chosen magician named Simon Snow falls in love with a rich and pretentious classmate named Baz. Sound familiar, fanfic fiends? Cath Avery is the heroine of our dreams – a writer, an introvert, a college freshman. She’d rather stay in and write a new installment of her fic than go out to parties and meet new people. We can relate, Cath. Luckily, this is a Rainbow Rowell novel and there’s lots of lovely romantic details and has a cute boy ever read your fanfic in front of you? This is essential reading for J.K.’s special day.
(Still from A Very Potter Musical, StarKid Productions)
Watch A Very Potter Musical on YouTube
Indulge in a little #tbt and host a screening of A Very Potter Musical written by and starring Darren Criss – way before his star turn on Glee. Whether you watched it a million times in 2009 or have even heard of it before today, this musical – filmed in a black box theatre on the University of Michigan’s campus – is well worth the trip down memory lane. The musical includes gems like “Granger Danger,” where Ron and Draco sing about having inexplicable crushes on Hermione. It’s pure gold.