British Author

Best Books of J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling has written several books, but she is most known for the Harry Potter series. As a writer, she is predominantly known for her detailed world-building and the tackling of simple yet strong themes in her books.

J.K. Rowling has tackled several interesting genres after she finished the final installment of the seven-part series that got her immense recognition. However, the Harry Potter series stays true to the name and still contributes in excess to the list of the best books written by J.K. Rowling.

J.K. Rowling is a skilled writer and her Harry Potter novels have a charm that most readers recognize unlike any other novel written after this series by Rowling. But another book series by J.K. Rowling about a detective called Cormoran Strike also has some features that make it an interesting read. Some other books by her include the first novel by her for adults named The Casual Vacancy, which she wrote immediately after the last Harry Potter book, and The Ickabog, another children’s book published in 2020.

Best Books of J.K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The last book in the Harry Potter series (excluding Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), this book gains the top spot for several reasons. In this book, Rowling masterfully ties all the loose ends and questions that readers have had in the rest of the books. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is also a significant book because it ushers the young readers into adulthood by narrating Harry and the other characters’ actions of serious responsibility and heroism. In the absence of Dumbledore and Hogwarts where Harry could always seek counsel, this book presents Harry as an adult who is forced to depend on his own choices for figuring out life.

The true triumph of Rowling’s writing is successfully ending the series with exceptional storytelling and also depicting the difficulties and vulnerabilities of entering adulthood. Furthermore, this book delves deeper into the nature of friendship and puts it to test several times, with small arguments breaking out between Harry, Hermione, and Ron. It sheds light on the complications that take form once responsibilities burden people due to their ‘coming of age.’ The subtle way in which serious elements of the human condition are portrayed through a children’s fantasy novel by Rowling makes the book a magnum opus in its own right.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

After two books from Harry’s first two years at Hogwarts which went by quite cheerfully, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban changed the expected tone and direction of the series for most readers. Through this book, Rowling introduces the darker and grittier realities of the Wizarding World, something that was only hinted at in the first two books. The dementors, who represent fear itself, pave the way for adolescent readers who are coping with a lot of changes in their life. Rowling has cited that the dementors took form in the book after the tragedy of her mother’s demise and the consequent grief that ensued.

This book does a very good job of making the reader comfortable with fear and presents solutions through metaphors to counter these fears. Furthermore, this book is one of the best contenders for a standalone book in the series as its plot is so well crafted that it could be read on its own as a single novel, without the help of the other books.

It also makes a very good use of time travel as a trope, finding a magical counterpart to the time machine – the Time Turner. For a book about magic, Rowling artfully uses the concept of time travel without any obvious paradoxes and does a great job to build a story where the final moments feel like a delayed victory after an obviously possible sad ending with the death of Buckbeak and Sirius.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Artwork
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Artwork

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the book that introduced the world to this boy wizard who was brave and famous, yet valued love and friendship over absolute power. The writing style alone couldn’t qualify this book very high on the list, this being Rowling’s first novel. However, several elements of this book earn it a high place.

This book is aptly written as a children’s novel and uses humor and other similar devices to prevent a child from being terrified of the events, yet appreciating dangerous situations and the thrill of adventure. For instance, an encounter with a mountain troll could be dangerous, but Rowling skillfully draws the reader’s mind to Harry’s presence of mind, Ron’s previous encounters with wand-waving, Hermione’s wit, and the humorous banter between the three.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has a unique responsibility to present the world of Harry Potter as an interesting and significant ‘narrative environment’, which would make readers want to read more about this. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone does an exceptionally good job in setting up this book series.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The penultimate book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince does a great job setting up the final book. Rowling sets up several interesting instances and events that make it quite a memorable book to read. Perhaps the most significant theme of this book is the exploration of the relationships between characters.

A prime example of this theme is the relationship between Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore. As Dumbledore recognizes the end as being closer than ever, he recruits and mentors Harry and teaches him everything that will be crucial to the defeating of Lord Voldemort. Furthermore, the relationships between Hermione and Ron, and Ginny and Harry are also explored in more detail than ever.

By leaving the book on a cliffhanger with the nature of Severus Snape revealed to an extent, this book sets up a very interesting beginning for the last novel. It also explores Lord Voldemort’s history and origins, giving readers some justifiable cause to understand Voldemort’s current thought processes.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is certainly a cleverly crafted novel, in that it has several elements of a mystery novel. Rowling does a great job with the finale of the book, setting up the return of Lord Voldemort, and by extension, the inevitable Second Wizarding War. The book introduces the readers to a lot of new people, places, and things, way more than most other books in the series.

The Quidditch World Cup first occurs in this book, then the Triwizard Championship takes place and introduces us to other wizarding schools outside Britain. This book also hints at the recurring trope of Harry having a connection with Voldemort in his mind. The complicated relationship between Cedric Diggory and Harry makes it an interesting book for teenagers.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the longest Harry Potter book ever written. It builds up a lot of essential elements that are significant to the series. The essential theme of this book is rebellion against tyrannical institutions. With the Ministry of Magic constantly trying to further its agenda in Hogwarts, this book portrays rule-breaking and rebellion for a just cause.

The relationship between Harry and his godfather, Sirius Black is also explored in great detail in this book. Furthermore, this book introduces the Order of the Phoenix, a group of witches and wizards that have a history and will become more significant in the subsequent books.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Although the last Harry Potter book on this list (excluding Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has some very entertaining and memorable moments. Mr. Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia appears several times in this book. Harry and Ron end up meeting eventually fighting off an entire battalion of gigantic spiders. Several people get ‘petrified’, a condition similar to a coma in the magical world.

The new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart works well as a trope to portray the differences in the personalities of Harry and someone who is strongly influenced by their fame. This plays a major role in character building that is essential for later books which work will with grounded and strong characters.

The Cuckoo’s Calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling is the first book in a series of books written about a private investigator named Cormoran Strike. J.K. Rowling wrote this book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith and her involvement in it was kept secret for some time till it leaked in the press.

This book tells the story of Cormoran Strike who has fought in the Afghanistan War and is in the process of becoming a private investigator. This book spanned four more sequels at the time of writing this article and was critically well-received.

FAQs

When is J.K. Rowling’s birthday?

J.K. Rowling was born on 31 July 1965 in Yate Gloucestershire, England. Interestingly, J.K. Rowling shares her birthday with Harry Potter, the protagonist of her eponymous famous book series. She started writing Harry Potter in 1990, 25 years after she was born.

What is the most sold book of J.K. Rowling?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the most sold book written by J.K. Rowling. It has sold more than 100 million copies and is the only Harry Potter book to reach that mark so far. Interestingly, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince sold around 70 million copies and come second, even though it is the sixth book in the series and was written much later.

How many times was the Harry Potter book rejected?

The first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected 12 times by various publishers. Finally, Bloomsbury bought the publication rights to this book in Britain, and eventually, Scholastic Books won the publication rights in the USA. All subsequent Harry Potter books were published right away without rejection.

About Mohandas Alva
Mohandas graduated with a Master's degree in English literature. He is very passionate about deciphering the nature of language and its role as a sole medium of storytelling in literature. His interests sometimes digress from literature to philosophy and the sciences but eventually, the art and craft of narrating a significant story never fail to thrill him.
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