It’s been awhile, bookworms. And so much has happened. SO. MUCH. I won’t comment on recent events here, because I’ve tried to keep this blog focused on books, reading, and the bookish world. So here are some book-related news stories that might make you happy. Just in case you maybe weren’t happy for reasons. Books may not solve all the world’s problems or make things magically better, but they can be comforting and familiar. So enjoy a good book today, and enjoy this random collection of book news.
- In September, to honour Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, the Oxford English Dictionary added a number of words from Dahl’s writing to the dictionary. Along with those new words (including “scrumptious” and “splendiferous”), several existing words received updates, among them “gremlin.”
- A new TV movie adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is coming to PBS later this month. The Canadian production aired in Canada earlier this year and now it will make its way to the U.S. The movie, whose trailer you can watch by clicking on the link, stars Ella Ballentine as Anne and Martin Sheen as Matthew.
- In other literary adaptation news, a feature film version of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is in production and the casting news makes me very hopeful. The lead role of Meg Murray will be played by actress Storm Reid, with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Chris Pine taking on the parts of Meg’s scientist parents. Perhaps even more exciting is the news that Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling will portray Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who, respectively. Directed by Ava DuVernay, this film is shaping up to be spectacular!
- And in the last bit of adaptation news, director David Yates confirmed that a young Albus Dumbledore will indeed appear in the second planned Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. The first movie is due in theatres later this month, and will give fans a glimpse of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, once and former best friend of Dumbledore. The only downside? Apparently, Grindelwald will be played by Johnny Depp. Ugh.
- And while on the subject of the JK Rowling-created wizarding world, a Harry Potter fan created a data set that shows how many times a specific spell was used in the novels. The chart can be sorted to view spells by most occurrences or by order of appearance. According to Tor.com, the most commonly used spells by Harry and his friends were spells of non-violent resistance (e.g., Expecto Patronum, Expelliarmus, and Stupefy).
- Turns out, Shakespeare had some help after all. For the first time, Christopher Marlowe will be listed as a co-author to Shakespeare on three plays (Henry VI Parts I, II, and III) in a new publication from Oxford University Press. Shakespeare’s collaboration with Marlowe (or possible theft of his material) has long been a topic of discussion among Shakespearean scholars. With regards to Henry VI, at least, that question has been answered.
As always, happy reading.
Another month, another book news post. I am sorry to whatever readers I have left that this blog is not terribly exciting. I wish I could read more and review more, but the PhD thing is pretty much all-consuming. So perhaps you can take this book news with good intentions?
- How’s this for a starter – book news that aligns with my doctoral research! Scholastic will experiment with multi-platform transmedia publishing in 2017 when it launches Horizon, a series that will be part book, part video game experience. Details are still a bit scant, so I’m not sure how it will tie all together, but it sounds promising!
- Earlier this summer, at the 2016 Romance Writers of America (RWA)’s annual conference, winners of this year’s RITA and Golden Heart awards were announced. These awards celebrate the best in romance writing for the year. While some of my favourite authors were finalists, the awards went to books and authors that I haven’t read. At least not yet, because now my TBD list is much longer!
- Anne-with-an-E is being introduced to a new generation. Netflix and the Canada Broadcasting Corporation are teaming up on a new production of Anne of Green Gables. Due to air in 2017, the new series will use L.M. Montgomery’s book series as inspiration while also “incorporating new adventures reflecting themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self.”
- Katherine Paterson’s novel, The Great Gilly Hopkins, has made the transition to the big screen. A new film version of the story is due in theatres in October. The film will star Kathy Bates, Octavia Spencer, and Glenn Close, among others. Watch the trailer here.
- It’s a Harry Potter-palooza here at Book News today:
- Earlier this summer, in anticipation of the new Fantastic Beasts movie, JK Rowling published a new story about the American wizarding school, Ilvermorny.
- Not everyone was happy with the story, however. Many scholars and Native American activists rightly pointed out that Rowling appropriated Native American culture in her creation of the American wizarding world.
- Rowling continues to push on, however. This fall, Pottermore will publish three new e-books that will collect previously released short stories about Harry’s world, Hogwarts, and more.
- If you still crave more Harry Potter, and can’t travel to London to see The Cursed Child play, People Magazine offers up some of the play’s biggest spoilers (warning, obviously!).
- Lastly, it turns out Harry Potter might influence political opinions. A political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania found that people who read Harry Potter hold unfavourable opinions about Republican candidate Donald Trump.
As always, happy reading!
Bookworms, I have been trying to write this Book News post for WEEKS. Since March, easily. My life has been consumed with school and work, and with just a few weeks left in the term, I’m ready to tear my hair out (which, incidentally, might actually be handy because I don’t have time for a haircut!). Anyway, here’s a much shortened version of the news, some of which is probably really irrelevant at this point.
- J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy is coming to HBO next week. Here’s the trailer.
- Remember Clean Reader? No? It was a thing, then it wasn’t. This Digital Reader article explains a bit about why.
- Romance Writers of America named their nominees for the 2015 RITA and Golden Heart Awards, which honor the best in romance fiction.
- Speaking of romance, Jezebel published a long-form fascinating article about the history of romance fiction and how Harlequin became the most famous name in romance.
- While the world will be a sadder place without Terry Pratchett, readers might be heartened to learn his final Discworld novel will be published in September.
- Any thoughts on the cover for Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman? It feels appropriately old-school to me.
- Spoiler alert: the Game of Thrones television series will spoil the books. Which, given George R.R. Martin’s writing speed, isn’t really surprising at all. And since the show has already diverged from the books, it can be argued that the spoilers may not matter in the end.
- Some awesome people were coming up with ideas for Very Realistic YA on Twitter. The ideas are both hilarious and heartbreaking for their utter dullness. Very realistic indeed.
- The ALA recently released it’s annual list of the top 10 most challenge books. Unsurprising (but still disappointing) is the fact the most of the books challenged feature diverse characters and plots.
- The 2015 Pulitzer Prizes were announced and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See took home the Fiction prize.
- Last, but certainly not least, a sad goodbye to Jonathan Crombie, the actor who portrayed Gilbert Blythe in Disney’s Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea movies. The “Anne” books and movies were essential parts of my childhood and it’s sad to see Crombie pass away too soon.
Happy reading (and send me some free time!)