Beatrice Groves: Strike’s Church Going

 Beatrice Groves, Research Fellow and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post: Strike’s Church Going.  Discussing one of the most beautiful and pivotal moments in The Running Grave, in a post first shared on Hogwarts Professor Substack on the 49th birthday of Cormoran Strike. Find out more, join Prof Groves after the jump:

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Anne Bradstreet: America’s First Poet, A Great Books Podcast

Over the summer, I was privileged to be a guest as part of National Review‘s wonderful Great Books podcast series on The Chronicles of Narnia. I was honored to be asked to join the brilliant host John Miller again a few weeks ago to discuss one of my other favorite authors, the incomparable Anne Bradstreet, America’s first published poet. As many Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, this is a wonderful time to reflect on the work of Bradstreet, a Puritan wife and mother who was also a phenomenal poet whose influence continues today. I hope you will enjoy listening to our conversation about Bradstreet as much as I enjoyed having it! On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the many authors whose work has been a powerful influence in my life. Sixty years ago today, C.S. Lewis left this earth. Hardly anyone noticed (Aldous Huxley died then, too) because President Kennedy was assassinated the same day. Anne Bradstreet lived four hundred years ago, and yet, her voice remains powerful. May you be blessed this Thanksgiving with great reading!


Hollywood Gamemakers and Some Lovely Tunes: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Comes to the Big Screen

Over ten years ago, I shared my thoughts  on the first Hunger Games  film, which was largely filmed just down the road from where I live and included some of my friends and students as extras. Despite the fact that the movie gave a nice tourism bump to my region and was a fun viewing experience since I had my English classes reading the novel, I am not particularly fond of it as an adaptation, and I saw the subsequent films as mixed bags that frequently failed to match my expectations compared to Suzanne Collins’s wonderful trilogy. Thus, when the film adaptation of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was announced, I was not particularly hopeful. The prequel to the original Hunger Games Trilogy is a brilliant novel, and I was not optimistic about what the Hollywood Gamemakers would do to it. I donned my T-shirt that says “The book was better,” and off I went to be underwhelmed, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Although there are certainly some aspects of the film I found lacking, there were others that hit some very nice notes, just like a song. Join me after the jump for some thoughts on sets, Snow, symbols, songs, and much more from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Be warned, spoilers and venomous reptiles lie ahead.

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Mikaila: We Didn’t Start the Fire

I vaguely remember posting this fan music video before but could not find it after a quick look in the archives.

It’s sufficiently catchy that I don’t mind the possibility of running it twice.

Anyone equal to creating a Cormoran Strike edition? Post your lyrics below!

Reading ‘Running Grave’ as the End of the Strike Series (A)

Strike7’s Parallels to ‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ Make it the Completion of a Ring Cycle

Last week I wrote a post saying that it was time to start pretending that Rowling had died or written her last book and move on to the next (and final) stage of literary criticism: ‘Is Rowling’s Best Work Behind Her Now?’ I caught quite a bit of blow-back on that intentionally provocative post, but not for the reasons I expected.

I thought Strike fandom would line-up to say what an idiot I was because the detective series is supposed to be ten books long per the author and her publisher, the Strike-Ellacott romance obviously hasn’t played out, and the last three novels have been the best in the series, no sign of Rowling-Galbraith having lost her touch. Silly me, I anticipated that readers would object to the assertion that Cormoran Strike wasn’t over, rather than quibble at my twenty-five year rule (when I listed significant counter-evidence to that rule).

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