Illustrated Harry Potter

 Illustration by Jim Kay © 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Illustration by Jim Kay © 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

It seems that Harry Potter will never go out of style at the library. Each generation produces a new group of readers, and along with the movies, they are constantly in circulation. It’s about to get exciting again.

Scholastic will release a fully illustrated version of HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE on October 6, 2015, will illustrations by Kate Greenaway Medal winner, Jim Kay. And just this week, the publishing house released several of the illustrations as a teaser. The one above is Hogwarts, of course.  You can see the full images here.

Scholastic plans on releasing each book in the series in an illustrated version, one per year. If the rest of the illustrations are as gorgeous as these, you might want to invest in collecting the whole series again. I don’t think you’ll be sorry you did.

How To Finish a Book

safe_image.phpNeil Gaiman, author extraordinaire, gives some advice to a fan who would also like to write a book, but is having trouble getting things down on paper. I thought this was appropriate, consider we’ve had so many writers working on books in our library this past year. If only they’d known this before!

Write the ideas down. If they are going to be stories, try and tell the stories you would like to read. Finish the things you start to write. Do it a lot and you will be a writer. The only way to do it is to do it.

I’m just kidding. There are much easier ways of doing it.

 

To find out the easier way of doing things, click this link to visit the article on his Tumblr page.

What did you think of his advice? Frankly, it’s brilliant.

The Martian

One of the most exciting books I read last year was THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir, and now, it’s going to be a movie released at the end of 2015, starring Matt Damon.

18007564THE MARTIAN is about a crew of astronauts who are living and working on Mars, trying to establish the means for others to eventually inhabit the planet. But when a powerful dust storm forces them to leave suddenly, one of the astronauts–Mark Watney—is believed to be dead, and is left on the planet alone.

NASA discovers he’s still alive only after it’s too late for his crew to return for a rescue mission. So now, the world watches as Mark Watney struggles to survive while NASA scrambles to put together a rescue mission that will be years in the future.

I loved this book, even while the opening was quite technical and a little tedious at times, Weir put together a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering if they can save Watney in time. I”m very excited about the star-studded cast for the movie-version out in November of this year. This is sci-fi without the creatures and hyper-speed, totally plausible if we could get people there safely in the first place.

Have you read this novel, and are you anticipating the movie release?

50 Most Anticipated Books of 2015

The Globe and Mail has just released their 50 Most Anticipated Books for 2015...with more to be added as the year progresses. The list is full of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, debut releases and the latest from familiar authors.

Top of the list is IF I FALL, IF I DIE by Canadian author Michael Christie. This is his debut novel about a boy with an agoraphobic mother, and his first taste of “outside”. Christie is a former pro-skateboarder who won raves with his short story collection The Beggar’s Garden.

21462154 It ends in June (2nd half to come, I suspect), with the first adult novel in 15 years by Judy Blume, called IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT.

blume_bookThere are some great books on this list. If you’re hoping to read some of the best, start at the beginning. The July – December list will be here before you know it.

What to Read Now?

If you didn’t make it to theatres to see the movie version of Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL, it’s about to be released on January 13th in your DVD store. If you’re one of the very few who held out and didn’t even read the thriller everyone was talking about, it’s not too late. Come in and grab a copy at the library. I’m sure it’s going to be popular again (still).

But what if you read it and are looking for that next great read along the same lines? THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins is starting to get the same buzz.

girlFrom the Amazon blurb:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and evening, rattling over the same junctions, flashing past the same townhouses.The train stops at the same signal every day, and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof terrace. Jason and Jess, as she calls them, seem so happy. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden. Soon after, Rachel sees the woman she calls Jess on the news. Jess has disappeared.
Through the ensuing police investigation, Rachel is drawn deeper into the lives of the couple she learns are really Megan and Scott Hipwell. As she befriends Scott, Rachel pieces together what really happened the day Megan disappeared. But when Megan’s body is found, Rachel finds herself the chief suspect in the case. Plunged into a world of betrayals, secrets and deceptions, Rachel must confront the facts about her own past and her own failed marriage.
A sinister and twisting story that will keep you guessing at every turn, The Girl on the Train is a high-speed chase for the truth.

 

This sounds like a LOT of fun. Early reviews are saying that it might not be as complex or fast-paced as GONE GIRL, but who doesn’t like a good thriller to start off the year? Expect to be on hold for this one for a while.

Will you read this book? Have any other suggestions? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Book Resolutions!

resolveIt’s the New Year, and that means resolutions. This year, instead of making plans to lose weight or get more sleep, how about making some reading resolutions? A year from now, you’ll be happy you did.

WHY SHOULD I TRY TO READ DIFFERENT BOOKS?

It’s great to have favourite authors or really get into a series, but there are so many other great books out there, are you limiting your reading? Think of it like only eating broccoli with every meal. What about carrots? Kale? Corn? There are so many other options, you might not realize what you’re missing until you try. Reading is all about getting lost, about expanding your horizons, about learning something new about yourself and those around you. Give peas a chance…….

WHAT SHOULD I READ?

Start with non-fiction. Yes, I said it….non-fiction. Not enough people read non-fiction, and it’s fabulous! Find a topic, or a person (celebrity or the latest criminal) and read about their lives. Or read a new type of cookbook. Anything non-fiction will give you a fresh outlook, and it might just refresh your reading schedule.

Once you explore the non-fiction world, you might feel like you need to go back to fiction again, and that’s okay. This time, try a new author. Stand in the aisle where you normally pick books (a favourite author or genre), and reach to a different shelf. Bend your legs, stand on your toes, lean to the side…whatever might make you choose a new book. Exciting, isn’t it?

DISCUSS A BOOK

No, you don’t have to join a book club, but talking to someone about a great book you just read can open you up to new ideas. Maybe that person will have a suggestion as to what you should read next. Or maybe you’ll both have a good laugh over the fact that neither of you figured out who the killer was in the latest murder mystery. Either way, talking about books to other people makes you look well-read (aka super intelligent!), and could lead to a new friendship. Talk to the person in the coffee shop who is sitting alone reading. Talk to someone with a book on the subway. Or just talk to the person in front of you in line at the library…you’ll never know what might happen. Everyone loves to talk about books!

 BUY A BOOK

Of course, we love it when people come to the library to get books. But once in a while, why not buy a book if it is within your means? Books as gifts, people! What could be better?

Make 2015 your year to try new things when it comes to books……new genres, new authors, new places to read, new book clubs…..whatever you can think of. You’ll be happy you did!

Very Good Lives

Earlier this week, Little, Brown Book Group announced they would be publishing an illustrated version of J. K. Rowling’s 2008 speech during a Harvard University commencement where she talked about the benefits of failure.

VGL_JKR-228x330

Sales from the book, called VERY GOOD LIVES, will benefit Rowling’s charity called Lumos which aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged children. Similarly, it will also go toward providing financial aid to students at Harvard.

You can watch the original speech here, claimed by many to be one of the most memorable speeches in Harvard history. The book is bound to be just as riveting!