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Tag: Harry Potter (41-50 of 56)

'Pottermore' interface revealed: Just how much will this site be able to do?


J.K. Rowling announced details about her much buzzed-about website, Pottermore, this morning, and fangirls and fanboys-who-lived are already raving with excitement. Now, thanks to Harry Potter fansites The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, excitement levels are rising even more.

Those sites have released the first few images of Pottermore’s interface, and they give a good idea of what the interactive user experience might be like. The above picture comes from MuggleNet and is entitled “Christmas at Hogwarts.” Obviously, it’s an illustration of the wizarding school during the holidays, which is fun in its own right, but it’s all the buttons that surround the image which really interest me.

There is a “Read About” tab, which will presumably provide some of Rowling’s unreleased notes about Christmastime at the school, a Hufflepuff badge and “house points” counter, and a “Friends” link, which will allow users to interact with their fellow witches and wizards. Along the top bar, there are buttons for “Diagon Alley,” “Great Hall,” “Gringotts,” “Common Room,” “Spells,” “Potions,” “Trunk,” “Friends” and “Favorites.”

Where will all these buttons lead? No idea. But they do show that Pottermore is seeking to be more than just a simple platform for releasing e-books or hosting an MMORPG. It looks like it is seeking to be a comprehensive web community for Potterheads that will allow users to insert themselves within the Hogwarts experience. Plus, it’s a pretty innovative way of releasing Rowling’s new insights on characters and plot points without publishing a whole new book, which haters would inevitably deem a sellout move.

You can check out more images from MuggleNet HERE or at The Leaky Cauldron HERE.

J.K. Rowling unveils new 'Pottermore' website

After a full week of wild speculation over the purpose of J.K. Rowling’s new site Pottermore, the Harry Potter author announced it to us Muggles this morning. Theories had ranged from a real-world treasure hunt to a MMORPG based on the books to the revelation that magic was actually real and that I had just been accepted to Hogwarts despite being far too old for it (wait, was that just me?), but according to the video uploaded to YouTube by Rowling (watch it below), Pottermore will actually be a comprehensive website with a number of features, including e-books and, Rowling says, “additional information I’ve been hoarding for years.” READ FULL STORY

My Summer Reading: Harry Potter, all seven volumes


As a book review editor, I’m always reading ahead: manuscripts, galleys. That fat beach read you’re devouring now? I sat down with it in January or February. I’m well into fall 2011 now. That’s just the nature of the job. But every summer, when  I go away for a couple of weeks, I try to take a break and reread something I loved, something that, at some point in my life, meant a lot to me: John Updike’s Rabbit books. Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon.

When I was trying to decide what to reread this summer, it wasn’t hard to choose. Like many of you, I’m both excited and incredibly bitttersweet at the idea that I’m about to watch the final Harry Potter movie. When those final credits roll, I’m sure I’ll be thrilled — and heartbroken. It seems like only yesterday that a friend brought me the very first volume back from a trip to England, where it had, shortly after publication, become a Very Big Deal. Either it hadn’t come out here yet, or hadn’t rocketed up the best-seller list; I don’t remember which. But I do remember the way the book seized my imagination — and the way my young daughters hung on every word as I read it to them. Those books became the touchstones of their childhood. When the girls were young, long before stores were inundated with Harry Potter merchandise, they fashioned their own wands and glasses and robes, made their own Halloween costumes.We waited in bookstore lines at midnight for copies, then sometimes stayed up half the night reading, fueled by sheer excitement. We’d sleep for a few hours and then get up early to continue our all-day reading marathons. We liked to argue about which book was our favorite (I’m still partial to Goblet of Fire).

So I think, in honor of the last movie (which both of my daughters, now grown, plan to see on opening day) I’m going to take my battered copies off the shelves and start at the beginning. All the way back at “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” I won’t finish all seven on vacation — I may  be snatching time for the rest of the summer. But you know, it’s been a long time since I’ve picked some of them up. I’m excited. Yes, it’s going to be nostalgic journey, but it’s also going to be an exhilarating one.

How about the rest of you?  Have you ever gone back and thrown yourself into a marathon reading of a much-loved series?

On the Books June 9: Tea Obreht becomes youngest ever Orange Prize winner, J.K. Rowling builds her own Hagrid's hut?, and more

++ Ever since The New Yorker included 25-year-old Téa Obreht in their “20 under 40″ issue a year ago, the buzz for The Tiger’s Wife author hasn’t died down a bit. Yesterday, she became the youngest ever Orange Prize winner, beating out more seasoned writers like Emma Donaghue and Nicole Krauss. Obreht was the youngest author on the shortlist (which notably excluded Pulitzer-winner Jennifer Egan) by 13 years. READ FULL STORY

On the Books Mar. 29: Perez Hilton's children's book, the secret life of editing 'Harry Potter,' and more

Perez Hilton, the bad boy of celebrity blogging, has written a children’s book, The Boy with the Pink Hair, set for a September 2011 release. Dare we say the protagonist of the story, a boy with a “shock of fabulous hair,” is at least loosely based on the author? The book promises to “celebrate individuality and acceptance.” Hilton has written two previous books for adults, Perez Hilton’s True Bloggywood Stories and Red Carpet Suicide: A Survival Guide on Keeping Up with the Hiltons.

Radiohead is launching The Universal Sigh, an unconventional international newspaper, containing voice-driven pieces and work by writers such as Robert McFarlane and Jay Griffiths. READ FULL STORY

Fake excerpts from possible J.K. Rowling books

CollegeHumor has posted a hilarious article postulating seven excerpts from follow-ups to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, increasing in hilarity as the author increases her alcohol intake. Honestly, we’d be lying if we said we wouldn’t buy any and all of these, including Larry Potter — A Brand New Novel by J.K. Rowling & 4 Glasses of Cabernet. Seriously, it’s pretty funny, so what are you still doing on our site? Go there now.

'Harry Potter' author J.K. Rowling: Watch an early interview here

The bottomless treasure chest that is the internet has coughed up another gem today: An early interview with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, probably from 1997 or 1998. (We’ll leave it to a more seasoned Potterologist to suss out the exact date.) The clip has some real goodies for Potter fans, starting with the first glimpses of Rowling — sporting long, red hair — standing in line for a coffee at a Scottish café just like the normal, un-famous person she was back then in her pre-billionaire days. And then there’s the money shot: Rowling, snuggled with a coffee in a corner table, writing the book that would become Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. She also gives herself a pat on the back for selling a whopping 30,000 copies so far (i.e., 0.0075 percent of her current sales tally) and offers some candid thoughts about her first taste of success: READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling willing to write more Harry Potter books, but without Harry in the lead. Who should they be about?

JK-RowlingImage Credit: Dave Hogan/Getty ImagesAt last night’s London premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, J.K. Rowling told a reporter that more books about Harry and crew were a possibility: “If in ten years’ time I wanted to do another one I probably would. However, I said to Dan [Radcliffe] I don’t think there will ever be another book with Harry as the central character. So Dan can sleep easy.” And she added that the new movie was “my favorite of the lot.”

Sequels aren’t my favorite thing — but I’d give just about anything for Rowling’s return to the wizarding world. What do you think? If Rowling chooses not to concentrate on Harry, who should her main character be?

Is 'Harry Potter' bad news for owls in India?

hedwigImage Credit: Everett CollectionAccording to a BBC report, Harry Potter might be partly responsible for India’s endangered owl population. Quick clarification: Nobody’s accusing the boy wizard of zipping around South Asia on a broomstick, smiting birds with his wand… yet. But according to a respected wildlife trade watchdog group, Harry’s pet owl Hedwig has turned the birds into a popular pet for Indian children, leading to a spike in illegal capture and sales of the animals.

This is hardly the first time Harry’s had a finger wagged at him: J.K. Rowling’s books have been accused of inspiring everything from tension headaches to teenage drinking. And to be fair, Indian officials aren’t so much blaming Potter as they are pointing out a link between the books and the rising fad of owl pets in their country. But what’s a wizard to do in a situation like this? Release a magical PSA in which a concerned-looking Hedwig (no makeup, feathers down, very non-profit chic) calls for an end to owl capture? Send flocks of Hogwarts-educated owls to repopulate the Indian forests? If anyone has any better ideas, please leave them in the comments. And in the meantime, head over to the Traffic website to find out what you can do to help end illegal animal trading.

J.K. Rowling to appear on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' this Friday: What do you hope they discuss?

JK-Rowling-and-OprahImage Credit: Solarpix/PR Photos (2)Oprah has always had a magic touch when it comes to snagging hard-to-get author interviews. Just look at her extremely rare on-camera interview with Cormac McCarthy. Now, she’s secured a guest that also knows something about magic touches: J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter author will be stopping by The Oprah Winfrey Show for the first time this Friday to talk about her life, her fame, and writing one of the most popular book series of all time.

The interview already took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, so barring a Time-Turner, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to affect what questions Oprah poses to Rowling. But that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate. Personally, I hope she asks why there was so much camping in the last book. It may just be in my memory, but I feel like a third of the book took place in the woods. Some snippets of the interview have already been released. On dealing with her enormous and enthusiastic fan base, the author shares this anecdote: “There was this enormous Barnes & Noble, and I thought, ‘Oh my God.’ And the queue snaked up the street, up the Barnes & Noble, up through four floors and they took me in the back entrance.  They opened the door and they screamed. They screamed….That’s a real stand-out moment for me. I knew it was getting big in that there was press attention and so on, but at that point, that for me…was when it felt ‘Beatle-esque.’”

So, Harry Potter fans — and let’s be honest, aren’t we all? — what do you think Oprah and Rowling will talk about, just one billionaire gal to another? Any topics you hope they’ll touch on?

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