Books

Harry Potter official new book announced for Christmas 2024 release | Books | Entertainment
Books

Harry Potter official new book announced for Christmas 2024 release | Books | Entertainment

The Harry Potter main novel series may be over, but that doesn’t mean that’s the end of official books set in JK Rowling’s Wizarding World.Following last year’s Harry Potter Wizarding Almanac comes Christmas at Hogwarts.Unveiled today by Bloomsbury and Scholastic, the festive illustrated book focuses on Harry’s first stay at the wizarding school over the December holidays.Text from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will be accompanied by magical illustrations.An announcement teased: “With exquisite full-colour illustrations courtesy of artist Ziyi Gao, Christmas at Hogwarts is crammed with cheerful, seasonal drawings focusing on Harry Potter's first time staying at Hogwarts for the Christmas holidays.”Beijing-born illustrator Gao said: “Though the owl delivering my acceptance let...
Fake aristocrat who hoodwinked the Nazis | Books | Entertainment
Books

Fake aristocrat who hoodwinked the Nazis | Books | Entertainment

The Majdanek death camp (Image: Sovfoto/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)Amid the barbed wire, gas chambers and shooting pits of the horrific Majdanek concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, Countess Janina Suchodolska was a surprising yet frequent visitor in 1942. A pretty brunette with blue-green eyes, an aristocratic air and the authority derived from generations of nobility, she made demands of the camp’s commandant and guards, SS officers and Gestapo as if she owned the place. She brought food, medicine and hope to the camp that held 23,000 starving prisoners dying of disease with no running water, open latrines and contaminated wells showered with ashes from the crematorium burning the relentless flow of bodies. Barely 5ft 1in tall, she risked her life standing up to Na...
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin slams toxic fandom ‘dancing on graves’ | Books | Entertainment
Books

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin slams toxic fandom ‘dancing on graves’ | Books | Entertainment

Fandom has always had its good and bad sides and now Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has spoken out on the toxic elements. The 75-year-old, who is still working on the long-delayed The Winds of Winter, took to his blog this week to have a really good vent. In a post titled “Dark Days” the fantasy writer despaired at the current geo-political state of the world with fears looming that World War III could be just around the corner.He lamented: “It is hard to escape the feeling that we are living in the Weimar Republic [which was succeeded by Nazi Germany and the outbreak of the Second War War].”On how he deals with the bleak outlook, the author shared: “Well, I take solace where I can… in books. In films and television shows… though even there, toxicity is growing.”Martin continue...
Library delighted as book returns 44 years late | Books | Entertainment
Books

Library delighted as book returns 44 years late | Books | Entertainment

Staff at Manningtree, Essex were delighted when Great Prime Ministers by John Whittle was handed in by relatives of the borrower who took it out on June 30 1979.The UK has since had 10 Premiers – and current PM Rishi Sunak was not even born then.Essex Library Service said: “Staff at Manningtree Library were pleasantly surprised when this title was returned. Despite it being more than four decades overdue, the book was in surprisingly good condition."“Our libraries have changed significantly since this item was first borrowed. We now offer everything from e-books and computer facilities to meeting rooms, events and activities.”Library chiefs decided to waive any fine for the book’s late return.The maximum penalty is capped at £8.75 per overdue item.
The woman who saved Morris Dancing from extinction | Books | Entertainment
Books

The woman who saved Morris Dancing from extinction | Books | Entertainment

Morris dancers, a quintessentially English tradition (Image: In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)A sun-dappled village fair. Children gaily spinning around a maypole. Cricketers on the village green. Few things evoke the splendour and tradition of an English summer so perfectly. And then come the Morris dancers, a quintessentially English tradition, as much mocked as they are loved.Clad in white, with snowy handkerchiefs flying and silver ankle bells jangling, the fleet-footed dancers evoke a tradition that dates back to the 15th century.They’re not everyone’s cup of tea, admittedly.“Try everything once – except incest and Morris dancing,” goes the old saying.Yet Morris dancing is enjoying a surprising revival. More than 800 troupes perform across England with an estimated 13,600 ...
Inside story of real-life spy who discovered Holocaust – but went completely ignored | Books | Entertainment
Books

Inside story of real-life spy who discovered Holocaust – but went completely ignored | Books | Entertainment

Inside story of real-life spy who discovered Holocaust - but went completely ignored (Image: Getty)Yet Winthrop Pickard Bell’s claims largely fell on deaf ears and a genuine opportunity to avert global calamity was missed, a new book claims.“Winthrop was the first who left a publishing trail warning about Hitler’s plans,” says Jason Bell, an author who has just completed the first biography of Winthrop, based on documents declassified in 2012.“He discovered the Nazis and their plan for race war as far back as 1919, when they were just a small, fledgling group. That let Bell connect the dots in Hitler’s later writing and speeches.”Born in the Canadian town of Halifax in 1884, Winthrop was studying at the University of Göttingen in Germany when the First World War was declared. Arrested ...
Keanu Reeves announces debut novel to expand comic book series | Books | Entertainment
Books

Keanu Reeves announces debut novel to expand comic book series | Books | Entertainment

Keanu Reeves has just announced he will be expanding the universe of his graphic novel, BZRKR, with his first-ever novel.The Book Of Elsewhere will continue the story the Hollywood actor began back in 2021, which went on to become a number-one best-selling debut of a new comic property in over 25 years.It also became the number one comic "of the decade", according to Penguin.Now, the John Wick actor will be continuing his story alongside British author China Miéville on his debut tome, The Book Of Elsewhere.Reeves said of the announcement: "It was extraordinary to have the opportunity to collaborate on THE BOOK OF ELSEWHERE with one of my favourite authors, China Miéville."Reeves went on: "China did exactly what I was hoping for--he came in with a clear architecture for the story and ho...
Tree Wisdom: a guide to nature’s restorative energy and wellbeing | Books | Entertainment
Books

Tree Wisdom: a guide to nature’s restorative energy and wellbeing | Books | Entertainment

Tree Wisdom: a guide to nature's restorative energy and wellbeing (Image: Getty)The UK itself is home to 123 million of them and has many historic giants, like the 1,000-year-old Allerton Oak in Liverpool.Sadly, over the last century, Britain has lost 50 per cent of its ancient woodland – planted before or during the 1600s.The coverage of these ancient trees is now only 2.5 per cent of the country, according to The Woodland Trust.However, as a nation of tree lovers, felling often provokes an outcry and hits the news. Recently, Torbay Council came under fire after cutting down 40 popular palm trees in the Italian Gardens on Torquay seafront.And the unlawful destruction of the tree in the Sycamore Gap, Hexham, Northumberland, has led to an ongoing police investigation and social media out...
The awe-inspiring true story of Nicholas Winton, protagonist of the One Life film | Books | Entertainment
Books

The awe-inspiring true story of Nicholas Winton, protagonist of the One Life film | Books | Entertainment

The extent of his efforts has never been recognised (Image: Getty)Amid the deepening horror of March 1939, as Europe stood on the precipice of a Second World War, it was no wonder the arrival in Britain of 20 Jewish children by aeroplane from the Czech capital Prague should pass almost unnoticed.Five days later, on March 15, as German troops marched across the border, Hitler’s Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop told the world: “The lands of the former Czechoslovakia… are from now on part of the Greater German Reich.”Trevor Chadwick, the only adult to have escorted the children recalled how they “were all cheerfully sick, enticed by the little paper bags, except a baby who slept peacefully in my lap the whole time”. The youngsters, believed to be between the ages of two and 12, had ...
Clooney’s ‘Boys In The Boat’ misses British Olympic triumph | Books | Entertainment
Books

Clooney’s ‘Boys In The Boat’ misses British Olympic triumph | Books | Entertainment

Clooney's 'Boys In The Boat' misses British Olympic triumph (Image: Getty)Exclusive - It’s the Chariots of Fire-style true story of a scrappy working class team of rowers from Washington state who beat posh and privileged Ivy League university rivals to qualify for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where they overcame immense odds to win gold.It’s a typical all-American feel-good story – but Clooney’s polished drama notably fails to mention the bigger upset of the Games just minutes earlier, which enraged Nazi leader Adolf Hitler: the British rowing pair who beat the Germans in the double scull final.Jack Beresford and Leslie “Dick” South- wood’s heroic victory in the face of German dirty tricks merits its own film – yet is completely ignored by Clooney’s movie.“I had hoped the film would inclu...
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