10 Book Sequels Not Written by the Original Authors

1. Pride and Prejudice

There are a host of sequels to and adaptations of Jane Austen’s most famous work, but the one that turns the beloved story on its head is P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley. The celebrated mystery writer sets a murder at the home of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy with the dastardly Mr. Wickham cast as the prime suspect.

2. Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Never Grew Up

J.M. Barrie left the rights to all his works—including Peter Pan, published in 1911—to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In 2004, the hospital held a competition to write the official sequel, which it awarded to Geraldine McCaughrean for her manuscript, Peter Pan in Scarlet. The book follows the adventures of Peter Pan, the Darlings, and the Lost Boys in 1926. Captain Hook, having escaped the crocodile, makes his malevolent appearance as well; the book ends with Pan and Hook still in Neverland, Hook plotting his revenge.

3. Gone with the Wind

The zaniest of the four sequels to Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War saga is Scarlett, the authorized follow-up by Alexandra Ripley. In it, Scarlett endures Mammy’s death, sex in a cave following a shipwreck, and a return to her roots when she moves to Ireland and rebuilds the old family estate, Ballyhara. 

4. The Godfather

In 2004, author Mark Winegardner wrote The Godfather Returns, which picked up immediately where The Godfather left off and has the events of the film The Godfather: Part II as its background. Two years later, Winegardner wrote The Godfather’s Revenge. Just as the first book’s Johnny Fontaine was an analogue of Frank Sinatra, Winegardner’s books feature analogues of Joseph, John, and Robert Kennedy.

5. Rebecca

In Susan Hill's Mrs. De Winter, the ever-nameless narrator of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca returns to England with her husband 10 years after the burning of Manderley. The couple continues to feel the weight of Rebecca’s ghostly presence and find themselves threatened by a revenge-seeking Mrs. Danvers. In essence, nothing has changed.

6. The James Bond series

Just like in the movies, Ian Fleming’s super-spy never ages—he just adapts to the technology and weaponry of the times. Since Fleming’s death in 1964, authorized sequels have been written by seven different authors ranging from the literary lion Kingsley Amis to the latest, novelist and screenwriter William Boyd.

7. Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë’s only novel gets a follow-up as labyrinthine as the original in Nicola Thorne’s Return to Wuthering Heights. In it, Catherine’s nephew Hareton and daughter Cathy wed, only to have their passion disrupted by the arrival of Heathcliff’s secret son. Romantic (and melodramatic) troubles ensue. 

8. The Boxcar Children

In 1924, Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote the first of 19 books about the Boxcar Children, a family of four orphans who fashion a home from an abandoned boxcar in the forest. When they are adopted by their grandfather, he moves the boxcar to his own property so that they can use it as a playhouse. There are now more than 150 books in the series, including two scheduled for publication next year. While the original books were set in the 1920s and 1930s, the recent books are set in the present day. 

9. The Foundation Series

Isaac Asimov wrote the Hugo Award-winning Foundation trilogy about the rise and fall of two empires, a thousand years apart. He later expanded it with four other titles and peripherally encompassed within it the Robot series and the Empire series. Following Asimov’s death in 1992, seven additional novels were written by other authors to expand the series, lengthening the time covered in the original series by more than 20,000 years.

10. The Catcher in the Rye

The Salinger Trust took a dim view of Swedish author Frederik Colting’s sequel to the famed novel of teenage angst.  In 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, a septuagenarian “Mr. C.” escapes from a nursing home to return to the Manhattan haunts of his youth. The book cannot be published in the United States or Canada until the copyright on The Catcher in the Rye has expired.

Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Qatar National Library's Panorama-Style Bookshelves Offer Guests Stunning Views
Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The newly opened Qatar National Library in the capital city of Doha contains more than 1 million books, some of which date back to the 15th century. Co.Design reports that the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) designed the building so that the texts under its roof are the star attraction.

When guests walk into the library, they're given an eyeful of its collections. The shelves are arranged stadium-style, making it easy to appreciate the sheer number of volumes in the institution's inventory from any spot in the room. Not only is the design photogenic, it's also practical: The shelves, which were built from the same white marble as the floors, are integrated into the building's infrastructure, providing artificial lighting, ventilation, and a book-return system to visitors. The multi-leveled arrangement also gives guests more space to read, browse, and socialize.

"With Qatar National Library, we wanted to express the vitality of the book by creating a design that brings study, research, collaboration, and interaction within the collection itself," OMA writes on its website. "The library is conceived as a single room which houses both people and books."

While most books are on full display, OMA chose a different route for the institution's Heritage Library, which contains many rare, centuries-old texts on Arab-Islamic history. This collection is housed in a sunken space 20 feet below ground level, with beige stone features that stand out from the white marble used elsewhere. Guests need to use a separate entrance to access it, but they can look down at the collection from the ground floor above.

If Qatar is too far of a trip, there are plenty of libraries in the U.S. that are worth a visit. Check out these panoramas of the most stunning examples.

Qatar library.

Qatar library.

Qatar library.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images: Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Reading Aloud to Your Kids Can Promote Good Behavior and Sharpen Their Attention

Some benefits of reading aloud to children are easy to see. It allows parents to introduce kids to books that they're not quite ready to read on their own, thus improving their literacy skills. But a new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that the simple act of reading to your kids can also influence their behavior in surprising ways.

As The New York Times reports, researchers looked at young children from 675 low-income families. Of that group, 225 families were enrolled in a parent-education program called the Video Interaction Project, or VIP, with the remaining families serving as the control.

Participants in VIP visited a pediatric clinic where they were videotaped playing and reading with their children, ranging in age from infants to toddlers, for about five minutes. Following the sessions, videos were played back for parents so they could see how their kids responded to the positive interactions.

They found that 3-year-olds taking part in the study had a much lower chance of being aggressive or hyperactive than children in the control group of the same age. The researchers wondered if these same effects would still be visible after the program ended, so they revisited the children 18 months later when the kids were approaching grade-school age. Sure enough, the study subjects showed fewer behavioral problems and better focus than their peers who didn't receive the same intervention.

Reading to kids isn't just a way to get them excited about books at a young age—it's also a positive form of social interaction, which is crucial at the early stages of social and emotional development. The study authors write, "Such programs [as VIP] can result in clinically important differences on long-term educational outcomes, given the central role of behavior for child learning."

Being read to is something that can benefit all kids, but for low-income parents working long hours and unable to afford childcare, finding the time for it is often a struggle. According to the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, only 34 percent of children under 5 in families below the poverty line were read to every day, compared with 60 percent of children from wealthier families. One way to narrow this divide is by teaching new parents about the benefits of reading to their children, possibly when they visit the pediatrician during the crucial first months of their child's life.

[h/t The New York Times]


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