Just finished listening to the Jim Dale recording of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this morning in the car. I read online that Stephen Fry does the British versions of the books...that'd be something to listen to. I've enjoyed his work since Black Adder. I don't think my feelings regarding the book have changed very much, but it's still a great ride. I certainly think that Luna and Neville were horribly shortchanged. My suggestion to Ms. Rowling is to write a short story centered at Hogwart's covering everything from the arrival of the Death Eaters through Snape's flight. Robert Jordan did that once with his prologue to A Crown of Swords, which was a retelling of the battle at the end of the previous book, Lord of Chaos, from a different perspective.
There are worse ways to start a book. Although it'd likely be best as an internet e-book or audiobook (the latter is my preference).
Speaking of Robert Jordan, it looks like the next book in his epic of epics, The Wheel of Time Series, is finally coming out. Book 11, Knife of Dreams, is due to be released next month. I can only hope it moves a little more swiftly than the last book. At the rate he's slowed down the story, it won't be over until book 20.
Not that I mind all that much, but if he's going to tell his story in 800-page chapters, I'd prefer it if he cranked them out a little faster.
One resource I found today that was exceedingly helpful in deciphering the excerpt posted on the Tor website was the Wheel of Time Character Archive. I'd forgotten who Byar was. Hard to believe, I know. Hell of a beginning, though.
Anywhoooo, that's enough for this lovely morning.
Next up in audio: The Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis.