Jane Austen, Comic Con, and Harry Potter: Last Week in Review (56)

Let's get to it! Last week is was hot, record-setting-temperatures hot. And when it's that hot the only thing to do is stay inside with the a/c and read a good book. Unless you have access to a pool, but I don't. Staying inside was my only option. Even my flowers look horrible. I've tried to keep them watered but the heat has taken its toll. Relief seems to be days away, so maybe we can get back to the oppressive summer temperatures that we're used to.

On July 18, 2017, readers celebrated the 200 anniversary of Jane Austen's death. I know it sounds morbid to celebrate a death, but really, it's celebrating a life. Readers across the internet expressed their love for Austen and what her book have meant to them. And Signature (part of Penguin/Random House) has put out an Essential to Jane Austen Guide. And it's free to download!  All you need to do is go to: http://www.signature-reads.com/download/the-essential-guide-to-jane-austen/ and enter your email address. It's super easy. 

Another year has passed and another Comic Con has came and went. And once again, I didn't attend. Not that I didn't want to, because I totally did. But for those of you that did attend, thanks for posting your pictures and telling the world about your experience. That may sound sarcastic, but it's not. I've enjoyed reading the posts and living vicariously through you. One day I will attend, but it will be sometime in the far off future. 

The fans of Harry Potter have two more reasons to rejoice! It was announced last week that J.K. Rowling will be releasing two new books and we can't wait!

Harry Potter: A History of Magic is the official book of the exhibition, a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Bloomsbury, J.K. Rowling and the brilliant curators of the British Library. It promises to take readers on a fascinating journey through the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – from Alchemy and Potions classes through to Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures.

Each chapter showcases a treasure trove of artefacts from the British Library and other collections around the world, beside exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive. There's also a specially commissioned essay for each subject area by an expert, writer or cultural commentator, inspired by the contents of the exhibition – absorbing, insightful and unexpected contributions from Steve Backshall, the Reverend Richard Coles, Owen Davies, Julia Eccleshare, Roger Highfield, Steve Kloves, Lucy Mangan, Anna Pavord and Tim Peake, who offer a personal perspective on their magical theme.

Readers will be able to pore over ancient spell books, amazing illuminated scrolls that reveal the secret of the Elixir of Life, vials of dragon's blood, mandrake roots, painted centaurs and a genuine witch's broomstick, in a book that shows J.K. Rowling's magical inventions alongside their cultural and historical forebears.

This is the ultimate gift for Harry Potter fans, curious minds, big imaginations, bibliophiles and readers around the world who missed out on the chance to see the exhibition in person.

An irresistible romp through the history of magic, from alchemy to unicorns, ancient witchcraft to Harry's Hogwarts – packed with unseen sketches and manuscript pages from J.K. Rowling, magical illustrations from Jim Kay and weird, wonderful and inspiring artefacts that have been magically released from the archives at the British Library. 

This spellbinding book takes readers on a journey through the Hogwarts curriculum, including Herbology, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy, Divination and more. Discover the truth behind making the Philosopher's Stone, create your very own potion and uncover the secret of invisible ink. Learn all about the history of mandrake roots and dragons, discover what witches really used their brooms for, pore over incredible images of actual mermaids and read about real-life potions, astronomers and alchemists. 

The perfect gift for aspiring witches and wizards and any Harry Potter fan. Celebrating twenty years of Harry Potter magic, and produced in association with the British Library to support their major exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic.