The Harry Potter Exhibition Goes Online | Book Pulse

Muggles Rejoice

Google puts the British Library’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition online. The show was a blockbuster in London, reports The Guardian, with “every ticket sold.” “‘We’ve never known anything like it at the British Library,’ lead curator Julian Harrison said. ‘It was a first for us, every day we had queues of people desperate to get in. We could see from the expressions of joy and surprise on many faces as they came that they’d never been in the library before—but we also got many visitors who had never read and had no particular interest in the Harry Potter books, but were just fascinated by the history of magic and the treasures of our collections relating to it.'”

Briefly Noted

The NYT reviews Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds by Lauren Slater (Little, Brown) writing it is “a capacious and rigorous history of psychopharmacology … pithy, readable and generally fair.” The paper also reviews The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump: Essays and Reportage, 1994-2017 by Martin Amis (Knopf) saying “The best parts … are devoted to his two favorite novelists, Vladimir Nabokov and Saul Bellow.” The paper also has an essay by author Ahmet Altan, a Turkish novelist who has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Ron Charles reviews A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey (Knopf; LJ starred review) for The Washington Post, calling it an “opaque tale of spoiled affections and disinterred racism.” Yesterday we linked to the mixed early reviews of the A Wrinkle in Time film, now Michael Dirda takes on the novel itself in the Post, writing with what he calls “jaundiced adult criticism” that the book is “a mess; it’s illogical, derivative and confusing, with a rushed and unconvincing ending.”

USA Today reviews Chicago by David Mamet (Custom House: HarperCollins) calling it a “splendid new tale of mobsters and newspapermen” and notes that while the start is slow, the writing is “razor-sharp.”

NPR reviews Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir by John Banville (Knopf) calling it “a lovely quasi-memoir and multi-leveled portrait of Dublin.”

Jill Soloway (Transparent) now has a book imprint with Amazon Publishing.

Ready made displays: Paste has a list of “Every 2018 Oscar-Nominated Film Based on a Book.”

In a list Elon Musk might love, The Guardian counts down the “Top 10 spaceships in fiction.”

Entertainment Weekly posts their Hot Stuff romance column. A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (Avon: HarperCollins: LJ starred review) gets an A+. Related, Vulture interviews Cole on “why her romance novels are always political.”

Vox interviews Omar El Akkad, American War (Knopf: Random House: LJ starred review), spiking books sales a year after it first published.

The NYT interviews Etan Thomas, We Matter: Athletes and Activism (Edge of Sports).

Bitchmedia interviews Michele Lent Hirsch, Invisible: How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine (Beacon Press: LJ starred review).

Author Jane Kamensky gets a tattoo.

Harper Lee’s will has been unsealed. It transfers everything to a trust which is a private document, so the questions of what happens to her papers, and her money, remain unknown.

Penny Vincenzi has died at age 78. Her novels were blockbusters in the UK. Cynthia Heimel has died at 70. She became famous for her funny books about sex and relationships.

Authors on Air:

The Today show bump: Maria Shriver talks about her new book I’ve Been Thinking . . .: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life (Pamela Dorman: Penguin), sending it soaring. Also on the show is One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together by Amy Bass (Hachette). It gets a boost too.

Sebastian Maniscalco featured on The Chew yesterday, sending his book Stay Hungry (Gallery: S. & S.) flying. He will be on Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Friday.

Lauren Slater was on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday talking about Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds (Little, Brown). The interview (and the NYT attention) gave the book a big push.

Jorge Ramos, Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era (Vintage: Random) will be on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah tonight.

Patton Oswalt, promoting his late wife’s book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (Harper), will be on Watch What Happens Live tonight.

Iyanla Vanzant, Get Over It!: Thought Therapy for Healing the Hard Stuff (Hay House) will be on The Talk today.

Deadline Hollywood reviews The Looming Tower, calling it “magnificent… not only very good television, but it also is important television.”

This Red Fire by Nicolina Torres (Inkshares) has been bought pre-pub for the movies. The novel comes out in 2019.

David Grann answers questions from readers for the PBS/NYT book club.

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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at

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