TIME Books

Release of Next ‘Game of Thrones’ Novel Will Not Happen in 2015

This image released by HBO shows Kit Harington in a scene from "Game of Thrones."
This image released by HBO shows Kit Harington in a scene from "Game of Thrones." Helen Sloan—AP

Fans will have to make do with a compilation of prequels rather than the next instalment in the saga

George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth novel in his ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ saga that inspired the HBO series Game of Thrones, will not be published in 2015, his publisher told The Guardian on Friday.

Jane Johnson said HarperCollins would instead be publishing a new illustrated compilation of three official prequel novellas to the series, The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight.

“The short novels have been previously published in separate anthologies but never put together before, and this will be a particularly beautiful edition,” Johnson told The Guardian. But she added that she had no information on a possible publication date for The Winds of Winter, which fans have been eagerly awaiting since Martin published the bestselling A Dance with Dragons in 2011.

In December Martin posted on his website to suppress speculation over the book’s release. He wrote: “I’ve said before, and I will say again, I don’t play games with news about the books. I know how many people are waiting, how long they have been waiting, how anxious they are. I am still working on Winds. When it’s done, I will announce it here…I don’t know how I can make it any clearer.”

[Guardian]

Read next: Amanda Peet Thought Husband’s Show Game of Thrones Was a ‘Terrible Idea’

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Books

A Creepy, Tragic Formula for Commercial Success

Edgar Allan Poe
Engraved portrait of author Edgar Allan Poe, circa 1830 Archive Photos / Getty Images

Jan. 29, 1845: Edgar Allan Poe’s 'The Raven' is first published

The plot of “The Raven” is one of the most familiar in American literature: A bereaved scholar, mourning his lost love, is driven insane by grief (and a talking raven). The storyline must have been similarly familiar to Edgar Allan Poe, who seemed to be living a version of it, sans talking bird. What wasn’t familiar to the debt-plagued poet was the success that followed its publication.

After it appeared in New York’s The Evening Mirror on this day, Jan. 29, 170 years ago, “The Raven” became an overnight sensation, and so did Poe. He went from perpetual bankruptcy — according to a Jill Lepore profile of the poet that ran in The New Yorker in 2009, he lived on bread and molasses and was occasionally reduced to begging for change on the street — to a brief stint of relative financial security. Within a month, the poem was reprinted 10 more times. By the end of the year, Poe had published two new books, one a collection of short stories and the other of poems.

Poe, whom TIME called in 1930 “a morose genius who wrote horrible stories magnificently,” claimed to have written “The Raven” based on careful calculations to maximize its commercial success, Lepore reports. He concluded that gothic tales with spooky, supernatural elements sold best — so that’s what he wrote.

But it could also be argued that he wrote what he knew. As TIME’s 1934 review of two Poe biographies noted, “Tragedy visited him early and often, [and] did nothing to thicken an already abnormally thin skin.” He loved and lost an endless string of women, beginning with his mother, who died when he was 2. The love of his adolescent life — an older woman, the mother of a schoolmate — “died insane” when he was 15, according to TIME. An unsurprisingly macabre teen, Poe spent much of his time at her grave.

Unlike the narrator of “The Raven,” Poe managed to move on from this early tragedy, and was engaged to be married by the time he left home to attend the University of Virginia. When he returned, his fiancée was engaged to someone else. Finally, when he was 27, he married his 13-year-old cousin. By the time “The Raven” was published, his child bride was dying of tuberculosis.

Commercial ruse or not, it’s hard to read “The Raven” and not picture Poe, burdened by the accumulated grief of a lifetime of loss, flinging wide his chamber door and finding “darkness there and nothing more.”

Read TIME’s full 1934 review of two Poe biographies, here in the archives: Poor Soul

TIME Books

Sequel to Stieg Larsson’s Dragon Tattoo Trilogy Coming in August

MCDGIWA EC003
Ronney Mara stars as Lisbeth Salander, in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Columbia Pictures

Get ready to reunite with Lisbeth Salander

A new novel in late Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy will hit shelves in 35 countries this August, the book’s publisher announced Tuesday.

The unfinished manuscript left after Larsson’s death in 2004, That Which Does Not Kill, was completed by Swedish journalist and author David Lagercrantz, the Guardian reports. (While the English titles all took the The Girl Who _____ format, the original Swedish titles did not.)

The book will reunite readers with troubled computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, the titular character of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, though the plot has so far been kept under wraps.

The entire series has sold more than 80 million copies worldwide and seen multiple film adaptations including one starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig. Larrson reportedly had several more novels planned when he died.

“What I wanted to make use of in the book was the vast mythology that Stieg Larsson left behind, the world he created,” said Lagercrantz, who told newspaper Dagens Nyheter that he worked closely to recreate Larsson’s writing style.

[The Guardian]

TIME Books

At Last, You Can Read Harry Potter in the Gryffindor Common Room

Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

Pour yourself a butterbeer and relive your favorite series

It took 14 years for J.K. Rowling to agree to make the Harry Potter series available digitally. And while the seven books hit the e-shelves in 2011 through Rowling’s fan site Pottermore, they’ve never been available like this. The e-reading subscription service Oyster — often called the Netflix of books, since it lets you stream an unlimited number of books on many devices for $9.95 a month — has worked with Pottermore to bring the entire series and the complete Hogwarts Library to users.

Oyster is noteworthy for having a customizable user experience: readers can alter the visual theme of their book. But those reading the Potter series can choose a Hogwarts house to read in — where the font and colors will reflect whether you’re a Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. Users can even tap a Sorting Hat icon that will place them in a house to read in at random. (That is, you no longer need to make polyjuice potion to get inside Slytherin.)

Readers can choose a custom House Theme to read in. Oyster

 

The “Hogwarts Library” that will be featured on the service includes three books that once only existed in the wizarding world: Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Fantastic Beasts, a textbook “written by” Newt Scamander, is being turned into a Potter spinoff of three films, the first of which will hit theaters November 18, 2016.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” Rowling, who is penning the screenplay, said in a statement in 2013. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

Long story short: now is a good time to study up on Thestrals, Hippogrifs and Norwegian Ridgebacks.

Read next: The Harry Potter Actor Who Played Malfoy Is Seriously Bummed He Was Sorted Into Gryffindor

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TIME Books

Read TIME’s Original Review of The Catcher in the Rye

Salinger cover
JD Salinger on the Sept. 15, 1961, cover of TIME Cover Credit: ROBERT VICKREY

Author J.D. Salinger died five years ago, on Jan. 27, 2010

When The Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger died five years ago, on Jan. 27 of 2010, TIME’s remembrance of his life noted that he had long been “the hermit crab of American letters,” dissatisfied with his own fame and drawn to a reclusive life away from the spotlight.

In fact, when he was the subject of a lengthy cover story for TIME in 1961, shortly after the publication of Franny and Zooey, he had already begun to recede into seclusion. Though the story is rife with biographical details — his IQ score was 104; he “played a fair game of tennis”; he was literary editor of his school yearbook — it’s absent any comment from the man himself. The cover art too drawn from a photograph, not from life.

But his books, the story suggests, contain plenty of information about the man who wrote them. “For U.S. readers, the prize catch in The Catcher in the Rye may well be Novelist Salinger himself,” TIME’s original 1951 review of the book posited. “He can understand an adolescent mind without displaying one.”

That’s not all the critic had to say about the book. Here’s the full review:

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE (277 pp.)—J. D. Salinger—Little, Brown ($3).

Some of my best friends are children,” says Jerome David Salinger, 32. “In fact, all of my best friends are children.” And Salinger has written short stories about his best friends with love, brilliance and 20-20 vision. In his tough-tender first novel, The Catcher in the Rye (a Book-of-the-Month Club midsummer choice), he charts the miseries and ecstasies of an adolescent rebel, and deals out some of the most acidly humorous deadpan satire since the late great Ring Lardner.

Some Cheap Hotel. A lanky, crew-cut 16, well-born Holden Caulfield is sure all the world is out of step but him. His code is the survival of the flippest, and he talks a lingo as forthright and gamy, in its way, as a soldier’s. Flunking four subjects out of five, he has just been fired from his fourth school.

Afraid to go home ahead of his bad news, he checks in at a cheap New York hotel; in the next 48 hours, he tries on a man-about-town role several sizes too large for him. Getting sickly drunk at a bar, he slithers away in a Walter Mitty mood, pretending: “Rocky’s mob got me … I kept putting my hand under my jacket, on my stomach and all, to keep the blood from dripping all over the place. I didn’t want anybody to know I was even wounded . . . Boy, was I drunk.”

Some Crazy Cliff. When the seedy night elevator man proposes sending a young prostitute to his room, bravado makes him play along. Besides: “I worry about that stuff sometimes. I read this book once . . . that had this very sophisticated, suave, sexy guy in it . . . and all he did in his spare time was beat women off with a club … He said, in this one part, that a woman’s body is like a violin and all, and that it takes a terrific musician to play it right. It was a very corny book—I realize that—but I couldn’t get that violin stuff out of my mind anyway.” His enthusiasm for that kind of fiddling practice fades in hopeless embarrassment as soon as the tart snakes out of her dress.

Scolded by testy cab drivers, seared by his best girl’s refusal to elope with him, and surrounded by an adult world of “phonies,” he loses control of his tight-lipped histrionics. He sneaks home for a midnight chat with his perky ten-year-old sister, breaks down and cries on her bed. In a moving moment, he tells her what he would really like to do and be: “I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around—nobody big, I mean—except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy . . .”

For U.S. readers, the prize catch in The Catcher in the Rye may well be Novelist Salinger himself. He can understand an adolescent mind without displaying one.

Read the 1961 cover story about J.D. Salinger here in the TIME Vault: Sonny

TIME governors

Chris Christie Has Been Gifted 77 Weight-Loss Books While in Office

<> on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey. Andrew Burton—2015 Getty Images

Titles include The Macho Man Diet and Leave the Cannoli, Take the Weights

Of the 1,100 gifts Chris Christie has received from the public since taking office five years ago, 600 are books, 77 of which are about diet, weight loss, exercise or bariatric surgery.

The gifts include CDs, DVDs and kits, NJ.com reports, and they come from authors and readers alike. Even Dr. Mehmet Oz sent the New Jersey governor a copy of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live.

While Christie has thanked supporters who’ve noticed his weight loss since his bariatric surgery two years ago, he prefers to keep the topic of his size a private matter. We’re guessing not all 77 of these titles have a permanent home on the Christies’ bookshelves.

[NJ.com]

TIME celebrities

The Harry Potter Actor Who Played Malfoy Is Seriously Bummed He Was Sorted Into Gryffindor

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2
Tom Felton, right, as Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 Warner Bros.

According J.K. Rowling herself, Tom Felton has been in Gryffindor all along

Maybe Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy can be friends after all.

Tom Felton, the actor who played Harry’s rival Draco in the Harry Potter films and embodied all that was evil about Slytherin, finally joined J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website Wednesday. The site sorts users into one of the four Hogwarts houses, and Felton was disappointed by his results.

MORE: See How the Oscars Are Honoring Harry Potter

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling replied to Felton’s tweet and confirmed that the Sorting Hat hadn’t made some terrible mistake:

Does this mean that Daniel Radcliffe could actually be a Hufflepuff? Emma Watson a Ravenclaw?

Read next: Everything J.K. Rowling Revealed About Harry Potter in 2014

TIME Books

The ‘Boy Who Came Back From Heaven’ Says Book Was a Hoax

Five years after hitting best-seller lists, the publisher is pulling the book

Alex Malarkey was six years old when a car crash put him in a coma for two months, during which time he said he went to heaven and visited angels. The resulting memoir, co-authored with his father, was a best-seller. But now, five years after its publication, Alex says he made the whole thing up, NPR reports.

“I did not die. I did not go to Heaven,” he wrote in an open letter to Christian books retailers. “I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention.”

Tyndale House, the book’s publisher, is now pulling The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven and all “ancillary products.” Malarkey, now a teenager, says readers should instead turn to the Bible, “which is enough. … Anything written by man cannot be infallible.”

[NPR]

Read next: What Christianity Without Hell Looks Like

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME movies

9 Things Everyone Should Know About Paddington Bear

Familiarize yourself with the popular British literary icon, coming to theaters on Jan. 16

  • Created by a BBC cameraman

    Author Michael Bond
    United News/Popperfoto/Getty Images

    Michael Bond, who at the time was a BBC TV cameraman for a popular children’s show called Blue Peter, was inspired to create Paddington after buying a small neglected toy bear on Christmas Eve in 1956.

  • He’s named after a train station

    The Queen's 80th Birthday - Paddington Arrives
    Gareth Cattermole—Getty Images

    Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington, decided to name the iconic British bear after London Paddington Station because he and his wife were living near it at the time.

  • He got the bronze treatment

    Statue of Paddington Bear in Paddington Railway Station
    Ricky Leaver—Loop Images/Corbis

    In 2000, a life-sized bronze statue of Paddington was installed at his namesake Paddington station in London.

  • The Paddington Trail

    The Paddington Trail - Launch
    Ian Gavan—Getty Images

    More than 50 individually-designed Paddington Bear statues were scattered across London to celebrate the city’s art and culture from Nov. to Dec. 2014.

  • Q is Paddington

    StudioCanal; Dave J Hogan—Getty Images

    Ben Whishaw, also known as the most recent incarnation of Q in the James Bond franchise, is the voice of the iconic bear in its eponymous film Paddington.

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