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.

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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.

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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!

Do you Abandon Books?

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Do you abandon books part way through if you don’t like them? According to GoodReads, these are the Top Five most abandoned books. (I must admit that someone came in last week looking for the copy of WICKED that was released after the musical. Hopefully, it won’t come back when she realizes it doesn’t have any songs in it.)

And I have abandoned one of these books (two I haven’t even picked up).  What about you?

(Thanks to Jetmore Public Library for the photo!)

 

Authors Write

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J.K. Rowling’s handwritten notes for her Harry Potter book (via Bookninja)

The books we read don’t start out that way. Usually, an author will go through a great deal of revision before getting to the final product.  But just how they outline their books or work on revision is different for every author.  Take a look at this great article on famous authors and their handwritten notes for books that became classics.  It’s amazing!

How will it fair?

In September, J.K. Rowling will see her first adult fiction title appear on shelves everywhere. There is wide anticipation of this book and people are speculating whether or not it will command the same type of following as her Harry Potter series. I’m sure she’s quivering in her expensive boots at the thought, but at the same time, maybe she’s not even worried. What will it matter if it’s a smashing success or a tremendous failure?  She probably won’t ever have to worry about money, so it’s more of a personal reflection at stake. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

At the heart of THE CASUAL VACANCY is a st0ry about a small town election, but it’s much more than that. When one of Pagford’s  local Councillors dies unexpectedly, many secrets about the town are revealed.  It’s not the calm, sweet little English village everyone thought it was and the election is fraught with drama.

But it’s not the story people are already talking about.  It’s the book cover, to start with. Some people love it, some hate it.  The general thought is that the publishers decided to get as far away from the Harry Potter cover designs as possible, going for something bright and simple.  Others are saying they didn’t put enough thought into the cover, that it looks like someone designed it at the last minute, or that it was so plain no one would mistake it for a best-seller.

Maybe that’s what Rowling intended.  While authors usually don’t have much say in what their book covers will look like (it’s all up to the publisher’s design house), Rowling has earned a different distinction. It allows readers to make up their own minds about the story and doesn’t influence how they feel about a book before they’ve even read it. Whatever the reasons behind it, this book is going to be dissected at every turn. I hope Rowling has developed a thick skin because even though she has mad writing skills, she has big expectations to live up to.

After all is said and done, I hope people give this book the chance it deserves, whether it is good or not. It should be judged on its merits alone. I’ll probably read it, just out of curiosity….will you?

What is Pottermore?

Just what does it mean???  Earlier this week, Harry Potter author extraordinaire revealed a link to a secret website, simply entitled Pottermore. One look at the webpage and it makes one wonder if there’s more Harry Potter on the way, or if this is just a bit of marketing as the last Harry Potter movie comes out on July 15th. However, the website is very un-harrypotterish, in my opinion…the background in deep fuschia and the font quite unusual for anything we’ve seen of the wizard boy before.  So just what is it?

Rowling claims this is not a new book announcement, but says it will be something just as exciting.  As a teaser this week, ten letters were hidden throughout various Harry Potter websites and led to the Pootermore site eventually.  Fans were busy searching for hours until they finally came to the right spot.  You can see all of the sites and follow the clues yourself by visiting here.  You need to take the secret co-ordinates that you find at each site and then enter them at this website called Secret Street View.  If nothing else, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, the websites listed have GREAT information on them to keep even the most well-versed fan interested for some time. In particular, check out the Daily Prophet site.

Along with Pottermore, Rowling opened a new twitter account that will add details as they come.  Speculation is running wild as to what the site is all about, but only Rowling herself can answer that at the moment.  Stay tuned!

What are we reading?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Those of us who work at the front desk of the library know that the books being requested most over the last few months are the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. We seem to have requests at least 3 – 4 times each day for one of the books, and although we have several copies of each, there is usually a waiting list.  And even though we are aware of the excitement over these young adult books, it is interesting to note that they have been the top 4 books requested over the past three months, according to the stats on our library catalog website.

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It seems that the teen vampire series has struck a chord with our readers and they can’t get enough.  Of course, these books are aimed at Young Adults, but many adults have been reading them as well.  Meyer decided to try her hand at an adult novel after this series, and The Host has become almost as popular.

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Many people have written about the success of this series and the author, who has successfully become the “next J. K. Rowling”, and it makes me wonder if someone shouldn’t be starting an adult series right now.  The kids who read Harry Potter are the same ones who are now reading Twilight, so maybe they are a generation of series readers?  What’s next for these teen readers?  I think they’ll need a fresh voice, a new series to charm them and a breakout author.  Who will it be???