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Terry Pratchett’s final novel, The Shepherd’s Crown, about the young witch Tiffany Aching, was published to waiting crowds of eager fans on Thursday 27 August at bookstore branches across the country. Waterstones held midnight openings at London Piccadilly, Oxford and Newcastle, with customers appearing in costume to celebrate the Discworld book’s release. Photos from the midnight event can be seen at the Waterstones website.

In other book news:

David Lagercrantz’s Millennium series follow-up, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, has now, finally, been released. As of last Thursday readers have been able to delve again into the murky world of hacker hero Lisbeth Salander. But do you want to learn more about Lagercrantz, the author hired to continue on the late Steig Larsson’s overwhelmingly successful series? The New York Times has an interesting interview with the author.

Morrissey will be releasing his debut novel, List of the Lost, in September. Two years ago the singer published his autobiography, but now it seems that the iconic artist has moved into the world of fiction.

In exciting news for fans of one of America’s most acclaimed leading writers, The Road author Cormac McCarthy will be publishing a new novel – a mathematics and science novel, in fact. The new book, the eleventh of his long career, is called The Passenger, and the author claims it may even be split into two. McCarthy was in the news briefly this week when a Twitter account, claiming to be the author’s official account, suddenly popped up with the tweet ‘First time on Twitter. Let’s see how this goes.’ It turned out, however, that the account @cormacmccarthyw was fake.

the-first-thing-you-see-book-coverThe French novel The First Thing You See, the controversial book by Grégoire Delacourt that Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, will now be coming to UK shelves. The actress opposed the book’s initial release because the story features a character based upon the famous star (although the character is merely a lookalike, and not a fictional portrayal of Johansson herself) and who in the book is treated like a ‘sex object’.

Zadie Smith, the highly successful British author of White Teeth and the recent N/Z, is penning the screenplay of a science fiction film. This news was originally announced back in June, but now more details have emerged as pre-production gets underway. Claire Denis is due to direct the feature, while Robert Pattinson is expected to take the starring role.

The Three-body Problem, winner of this year’s Hugo Award for Best novel, is to become a film, to be released next year. Cixin Liu’s story, the first in a series, follows inhabitants of Earth as a civilization from another solar system begins to invade – sounds like the perfect Hollywood blockbuster.

School’s back, the new university semester is imminent, but for those of you not being set any urgent, structured reading lists but in want of an education here is a list of books to read to offer you some of that back to school spirit.

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