Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2016 Man Booker Longlist Announced

The Man Booker longlist, announced this morning, consists of 13 titles vying for the £50,000 (about $65,682 USD) Man Booker Prize. The list will be winnowed even further on September 13th, when the shortlist is revealed. The winner will be announced on October 25th.
The long-list contenders are:
  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, NY, 2015)
    • Currently listing on Abebooks for $38-$50 USD unsigned; $120-$420 USD signed.
    • Winner of The National Book Critics Circle award
  • The Schooldays of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee (Harvill Secker, October 25, 2016)
    • No listings on Abebooks
    • No copies available via Amazon (out of stock)
    • Out of Stock at Powell's
  • Serious Sweet by A.L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape, London, 2016)
  • Hot Milk by Deborah Levy (Hamish Hamilton, 2016)
    • Currently listing on Abebooks for $60 USD signed.
  • His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Saraband, 2015)
    • Currently listing for $30 USD on Abebooks.
  • The North Water by Ian McGuire (Scribner, UK, 2016)
    • Listing for up to $95 USD signed.
    • Also available in limited, signed edition from Simon & Shuster. Listing between $200 - $500 USD.
    • US edition published by Henry Holt, 2016, listing for up to $50 USD.
  • Hystopia by David Means (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016)
    • Currently listing for $45 USD unsigned; $120 USD signed.
  • The Many by Wyl Menmuir (Salt Publishing Jun 2016, 2016)
    • Currently listing for $15 unsigned. (No other listings found)
  • Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin, 2015)
    • Currently listing for $300 USD signed. (No other listings found)
  • Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves (Scribner, 2016)
    • Currently listing for up to $40 USD unsigned.
  • My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (Random House, New York, New York, 2016)
    • Currently listing for up to $85 USD unsigned; $110 USD signed.
  • All That Man Is by David Szalay (Graywolf Press, 2016 / Jonathan Cape, London, 2016 / Random House, 2016)
    • Currently listing for $20 USD unsigned.
  • Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (Knopf Canada)
    • Currently listing for $35 USD unsigned.

Bolded titles indicate higher collectibility potential.

What We Know About Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Most of the details of the book (and the play to some extent) have been kept under wraps. J.K. Rowling herself asked that folks not share details about the play, creating the hashtag #keepthesecret.
Of course, not everyone has "kept the secret." People who have seen the play and given reviews lean a bit toward the ecstatic, giving me the impression that there are a lot of visuals and special effects in the play that may not come across in the script. While at least one reviewer compares it to fanfic, most fans who've seen the play are raving about it.

The New York Times reviewer was all a gush and wrote this about the play (to give you an idea about its complexity):
Who is that cursed child, anyway? More than a few of this story’s many, many characters (the adeptly multifarious cast numbers 42) might fit the description. Like the novels that preceded it, “The Cursed Child” is stuffed with arcana-filled plots that defy diagrams and baldly wrought sentimental life lessons, along with anguished dives into the earnest, tortured solipsism of adolescence. By rights, such a combination should try the patience of any grown-up. But like Ms. Rowling’s books, the play vanquishes resistance.

For hardcore fans, I won't give any spoilers about the storyline, but for those who want to know more about the book, I'll share what I've heard:

  1. Don't expect it to read like a novel. It is a play, and true to form, this is basically a bound script.
  2. Although this is being touted as the "8th book in the series," you should treat this more like an addendum or a bonus story rather than a continuation of the Harry Potter saga.
  3. The story actually starts off with the last scene of The Deathly Hallows. So fans may not need a refresher (unless they really want to reread the books).
  4. While the play is set 19 years after the Deathly Hallows, time travel is involved—so the story actually takes place in a couple different (& defining) time periods. And yes, a time-turner is involved.
  5. The cast of characters, of course, includes Harry & Ginny and their son Albus, Ron & Hermione and their daughter Rose, & Malfoy and his son Scorpius. 
  6. Albus and Scorpius are first years, along with Delphi Diggory (a blue-tipped hair girl that rounds out the trio).
  7. Albus, Scorpius, & Delphi take the mantle from Harry, Ron, & Hermione
  8. The Cursed Child is complex and full of surprises, and the title may refer to any number of characters (which shouldn't surprise Harry Potter fans).
  9. This is the "Special Rehearsal Edition." As changes to the play are finalized, they will come out with the "Definitive Collector's Edition."
  10. The play happens in two parts. The book contains both part 1 and part 2 (Audiences who see the play, actually end up seeing two consecutive plays: part 1 and part 2, sometimes on consecutive days.)
  11. As far as print runs go, Scholastic stated back in February that they'd not yet determined the print run. However, I think it is safe to say it will be in the million+ range.

Other tidbits:
  • This book has already broken all pre-sale records (which were previously broken by Deathly Hallows, and before that Half Blood Prince).
  • Warner Bros. already has the film and merchandising rights, so don't be surprised if we see another movie franchise, although I'm guessing we won't see this until after the Fantastic Beasts trilogy has been released.
  • J.K. Rowling is signing copies of Cursed Child, so expect to see quite a few hit the collectibles market shortly after release. And if buying a signed copy, remember that her official signature now comes with a holographic sticker.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In the Post: Arabella of Mars

Arriving in the mail, from Powell's, last week was my signed copy of David D. Levine's debut novel Arabella of Mars. I started reading it last night and realized that, as of late and unbeknownst to me, I've been on an automaton kick.

This book features an automaton in the shape of a harpsichord playing man (secretly being fixed by the main character, Arabella, a 19th century English girl born on Mars—who shouldn't be interested in such unlady-like things).

Only a few chapters in, Arabella of Mars reads like a mixture of  alternate history, early naval, steampunk, & early sci-fi novels. There's definitely a throw-back to earlier science-fiction writers, so lovers of the early genre will get a kick out of the world(s) Levine has created.

 The story takes place in the Regent era of England as well as in a Jules Verne-like outer space / Mars. The language is a combination of Martian terms and modern English with a few more formal, almost Shakespearian phrases thrown in (the use of 'tis or "on the morrow" stood out). There is a little acclimating to be done in order to accept the more inventive elements of the story, but that doesn't seem to hinder folks reading and reviewing this over on Amazon and Goodreads. Along with consistently receiving 4 and 5-star reviews, it's garnered a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Although it's not really fair to compare the books, the last book I read, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, also features a 19th century England storyline with a bevy of automata & a gender bending girl (although not the main character). That book fits more into the magical realism/fantasy category. The book moves slowly at first, but once all of the characters' stories converge it gets a little harder to put the book down. There are a few bumps, twists, and red herrings to keep you on your toes, with some rather subtle (and not so subtle) clues that foreshadow specific events.

This got starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus.

Of note: Both are debut novels & I would recommend both of them for science-fiction / fantasy collectors.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Harry Potter Illustrated Editions

As we queue up to check out the latest in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (being released July 31st), I figured we could take a look at the most recent reincarnation of the series: The Illustrated Editions.

The first in the illustrated series was published last year, and although I couldn't find print run numbers, you can bet it was high, as it was released pre-holidays. Likewise, the second in the series will be released this year—almost exactly a year after the Sorcerer's Stone. Scholastic & Bloomsbury plan on releasing a new illustrated HP title each year, with the final book being published in 2021.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Illustrated Edition)
by J.K. Rowling
Illustrations by Jim Kay
Published by Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic (October 6, 2015)

Of note:

• The text of the book is taken from the original Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, with only mentions of "the Philosopher's Stone" changed to the Americanized "Sorcerer's Stone." All other British spellings and terminology remain true to the U.K. edition.

• The book boards are red cloth with no difference in the spine which has silver text.

• The "Year 1" appears on the spine of both the dust jacket and the book.

• The size is 9.1" x 1.1" x 10.5"

• Original price: $39.99 USD

At the time of this post, first printings (or "first editions thus") were listing in the range of $200 - $400 USD. Most listings, however, don't state the printing. On average, used copies are listing for $50 in very good condition (again, no printing is listed for these).

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition)
by J.K. Rowling
Illustration by Jim Kay
Published by Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic (October 4, 2016)

The second book in the illustrated series is due out in October. List price is $39.99 USD.

You can take a sneak peak at some of the artwork here.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Harry Potter Minimalist Posters

It's no secret that I love good design. I was surfing etsy the other day (like you do) and came across these Harry Potter themed minimalist posters and found myself wishing I had more wall space in my house.

Entropy Trading Co. features a variety of minimalist Harry Potter Posters but my two favorites are the 9 3/4 and the Mischief Managed posters, available in a variety of sizes, starting at $15 USD.

Also quite lovely are these posters that mimic the design of old paperback series' from the 50s, from Mr Panesar Design (posters are $13.52 USD each):


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Free ebook: What is My Harry Potter Worth?

Free eBook: What is My Harry Potter Worth?

I get so many questions about the value of just about every published printing of Harry Potter that I decided to put together this free eBook in hopes of starting to answer even a fraction of those questions.

I have several blog posts on the subject (see What's Your Harry Potter Worth? and How Much is That Harry Potter in the Window?), but this eBook simplifies some of the information and gives you visual clues to make it easier to pinpoint first, second, and even third printings.

In this book I focus on helping you to identify whether or not you have a first issue or a later copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (printed in the U.K.) or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (American edition). It clearly lays out the first issue points for each as well as the many changes or states that the American edition dust jacket underwent.

Future eBooks will focus on subsequent titles and the various deluxe / collector's editions. For now, you can click on the link below to download your free, no-strings copy — you don't even have to enter your email address.

>> Download your free eBook here (PDF) <<

Here's a sample page:

You are welcome to link to this post or the One Girl Collecting eBooks page in order to share the book from your website, blog, newsletter or email, but please do not embed it on your website.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Various Dust Jacket States of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Of some confusion, when people ask me about the value of their Harry Potter books (for which, I must reiterate that I am not an appraiser), are the various dust jackets that accompany Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

There are indeed a number of different dust jacket variations for the "First American edition," although the first four or five are the ones that best mark the book's value and time line.

First-state dust jacket (first printing only)
- was released with the first issue / first printing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Arthur A. Levine / Scholastic, 1998).

  • Features a quote from The Guardian on the back cover.
  • Displays a white or cream ISBN box with two barcodes, a larger and a smaller.
    • The smaller barcode displays the numbers 51695 above it.
  • The spine lists the author as "J.K. Rowling" (the "J.K." is dropped later)
  • No year badge appears on the spine
  • The price, found on the upper right corner of the front flap, is $16.95
  • "Harry Potter" is printed in raised, gold text

Second-state dust jacket (first through fifth printings)
- was issued mid-way through the first printing and went through the fifth printing.

  • Identical to the first-state, except the quote on the back is now from Publishers Weekly.

Third-state dust jacket
- was introduced during the sixth printing.

  • Identical to the second-state, except the "J.K." is dropped and the spine simply states "Rowling."

Fourth-state dust jacket
- was issued somewhere around the first price bump, between the 19th and 25th printings.

  • Identical to the third-state, except the price is now $17.95 on the inner dust jacket flap, and above the small barcode on the back it now states 51795.

Fifth-state dust jacket
- was introduced shortly there after, showing the "Year 1" badge on the spine.

  • Introduction of the "Year 1" badge on the spine. All else is the same.

Sixth-state dust jacket
  • Identical to the fifth-state, except the ISBN box on the back cover is now red.

Most collectors are looking for earlier printings of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, so won't be interested in books with third, fourth, fifth, or sixth state dust jackets. That said, the sixth printing (& third state dj) is a bit of a novelty since it did not have diamond stamped purple boards (but that's another post altogether). Value-wise, the first printing with the first-state dust jacket is the big-ticket item for the "First American edition."

I go into this with a little more detail in What is My Harry Potter Worth? (PDF) offered as a free eBook download.

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