Five things we loved this week
Our literary round-up of the last seven days
1. A Midsummer Harry Potter's Dream
Harry Potter is back! Breathe, keep breathing – yes, you are awake and yes, you heard correctly, Harry Potter is returning this summer. As if that wasn’t enough, part eight of his wondrous, wizarding story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II will be a West End play that will be published as a script book too. This means you can act out the play in your back garden (I predict many arguments over who gets to be Harry…). It is actually a fine time for Children’s fiction in general - we just released our brilliant Children’s Book Prize Shortlist, a Children’s book, The Lie Tree, won the Costa Book Award, The Fox and The Star won our Book of the Year Award, plus, to celebrate 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth, Puffin have reissued his hilarious novels with glorious new covers.
2. To see or not to see
The question of whether to watch your favourite book adapted for television is a perennial one. Do you dare see your beloved characters with the wrong colour of hair, the wrong accent – or worse – the wrong brand of trainers? But sometimes, the stars align and literary adaptations can be sublime. Three upcoming productions hotly tipped to be spectacular are adaptations of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels (beginning with A Brilliant Friend), Philippa Gregory’s The White Princess (which will air as a sequel to the 2013 series The White Queen) and more of James Runcie‘s Grantchester.
3. The Statue of Pratchett-ry
We all love statues. Never mind Ozymandias, sure, they may not last forever, but they are pretty remarkable in the meantime. And without them, where would students put road cones or pigeons sit? I said ‘sit’. I think the late Terry Pratchett would be tickled to know that a permanent-ish facsimile of him will be erected by popular demand. I just hope they manage to capture his puckish grin and the twinkle he always had in his eye.
4. My name is Lucy Barton
My Name is Lucy Barton is a literary fiction title that will knock you off your feet. And no, I don’t mean it runs around on four legs, is difficult to train or resembles a puppy. What I mean is that the writing is taut and crisp and deceptively simple and before you know it you are hooked. I couldn’t tear myself away for hours. The story is not a dramatic one, exactly, more it creeps slowly and gathers momentum, little by little; your curiosity, which is stirred from the very first line, alone will not let you put the book down until you look up and realise it is night time, and you haven’t eaten dinner and you aren’t sure what day it is…
5. Roses are definitely red (unless they are pink, or yellow…)
Roll up your romantic sleeves and get out the glitter, it is Valentines, people! This is the only day of the year British people are even slightly romantic – so make the most of it! Actually, we have broken all the rules and made a week of it – we can’t help it - there are a few literary romantic treats to share on this here blog already, and on our twitter feed @waterstones, plus more to come over the weekend. Happy Valentines, readers!