Movie lovers and book fanatics were treated to a delightful teaser last week. We got our first look at next year’s Disney cinema adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, a story that follows a young girl, Sophie, who is captured and taken to Giant Country by the BFG – the Big Friendly Giant, so-called because among his clan he is the outcast, the runt of the litter who, as well as being the smallest giant, also doesn’t eat humans. The film is directed by Steven Spielberg.
In other book news:
The poet Sarah Howe has been named young writer of the year by the Sunday Times (Peter Fraser and Dunlop Award) for her debut publication Loop of Jade, a collection that explores her dual British and Chinese heritage. The prize itself is awarded each year to a notable debut work in either poetry, fiction or non-fiction (Howe was the only poet on this year’s shortlist) to British or Irish writers aged 35 and under.
President Barack Obama announced his favourite book of the year last week. He acknowledged Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies as his top read of 2015. Groff’s novel has already reached best-seller status and accrued acclaim among many U.S. reviewers, although it has so far received less widespread praise from UK critics.
Joe Hill’s novel NOS4R2 – known as NOS4A2 in the U.S. – will soon become a film. This horror novel from 2013 follows a mother trying to save her son from a supernatural being who is determined to take him. The villainous Charlie Manx abducts children in his black Rolls-Royce, which sports the license plate of the title, and promises them a trip to Christmasland. When Vic, the book’s hero, becomes the first such victim to escape Charlie’s clutches, she finds herself facing him again years later when he comes back for her young son Wayne.
It has been bad news recently for libraries across the country, as government cuts since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 – £180 million in total – have severely impacted institutions in both major cities and smaller towns. Numbers of libraries have fallen by more than 2% in this year alone, and visits by the public have fallen by 14% since 2010.
Like end of year bookish knowledge tests? Check out this book cover quiz and see how many you can name.