Happy November, bookworms. With Halloween officially over and Thanksgiving a few weeks away, we’re racing towards the end of the year. I love this time of year – it’s perfect for burrowing deep under a warm blanket with a good book. And this weekend, you’ll get an extra hour of reading time when we “fall back” and Daylight Savings Time ends. Don’t forget to change your clocks! Here is this week’s book news:
- The new library is here. Earlier this week, Amazon unveiled the new Kindle Lending Library, which allows Amazon Prime members to rent or borrow one digital book per month, with no due date. The library is still growing, with about 5,000 titles available now and, presumably, more to come in the future. While there are some negatives to the service (primarily, that you have to pay the $79 Prime membership to access it and you can only borrow one book per month), the hope is that Kindle users will use the Lending Library to try out new books and authors, which they will then want to buy.
- RIP Ron Weasley?!? With the release of the Deathly Hallows Part 2 DVD just a week away, new details emerge from an interview with J.K. Rowling that’s included in the Blu-Ray version. Rowling reveals that she seriously considered killing off Ron while writing the books, that Hagrid’s fate was determined by the role he played in the final few chapters and that Lupin was originally going to live. While all the details are fascinating, fans – myself included – are no doubt trying in vain to imagine the series without Ron. He’s one of my favorite characters and I’ve always considered himself so integral to the story that I cannot even fathom how the series would have turned out without him.
- But apparently some people CAN imagine Ron dead. Book Riot has a blog post in which they argue that Ron should have died and that his death would have made the series stronger. I can understand their point of view – in some ways, Rowling did take the easy way out by having all the major, important characters survive – but I still maintain that Ron was essential to Harry’s quest and that sometimes the more difficult choice is to have the characters have to survive in the aftermath of tragedy.
- Big in life, big in death. A few weeks after he died, Steve Jobs is again big news, as his memoir is a best-seller. More than 380,000 physical copies of the book were sold within the first week (and with the hard copy of that book priced around $35, that’s no joke). And according to Book Scan, Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple founder is already the 18th biggest selling book of the year in the U.S. Book Scan doesn’t track digital book sales, which, considering it is a book about the Apple gadget guy, are most likely as high – or higher – than the physical book sales.
- Clearly, the “before” picture. Vanity Fair has one of the first looks at the cast of the upcoming Hunger Games movie, with a new interactive photo on their website. The photo includes the majority of the younger cast members, including Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), Liam Hemsworth (Gale) and Amandla Stenberg (Rue). The picture looks beautiful, but the actors – most of whom portray tributes in the Games – are too clean to be in character. The magazine also has an interview with Lawrence and additional pictures online.
- And some more literary movie news: Summit Entertainment (the studio that brought the world Twilight and its sequels) is looking to bring Orson Scott Card’s classic Ender’s Game to the big screen. Though no cast has been announced, the studio is aiming for a March 2013 release. Ender’s Game is one of my all-time favorite science-fiction novels, so I worry what Summit might do to it. And prepare to finally see the Once-ler! An animated version of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is coming to theaters and a new trailer is making its way around the Internets. First published in the early 1970s, The Lorax is Seuss’ tribute to environmentalism. Danny DeVito provides the voice of the Lorax, while Ed Helms voices the Once-ler.
As always, happy reading.