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Book News, Jan. 28th

It’s a quiet weekend around here, bookworms. I have many, many e-ARCs to read and simply not enough time in the day, so I’m hoping to get some quality reading time in this weekend. January is rapidly coming to a close and I’m still trying to remember to write “2012” instead of “2011.” Time really does fly when you’re busy and boy oh boy am I ever busy these days. But at least it keeps me out of trouble! Here’s the book news:

  • It’s been a week for nominations and winners. First up, the ALA Youth Media Awards (better known as the Newbery, the Caledcott and the Printz Awards, among many others) were announced on Monday. Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos won the Newbery Award, while Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley won the Printz. I was particularly excited to see David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary as an Alex Award honoree (given to “adult” books with teen appeal) and the Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults went to Susan Cooper, best known for her Dark is Rising series.
  • I’m even scaring myself. Though not usually a fan of mysteries, I did pay attention to this year’s Edgar nominees. The Edgars (so named for Edgar Allen Poe) are awarded by the Mystery Writers of America in honor of Poe’s birthday. Not being one to scare myself (most of the time), I’m unfamiliar with nearly all the nominees, but my recent foray into the mystery world – The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson – is one of the young adult nominees. So at least when I do read mysteries I have good taste. The Edgars winners will be announced in April.
  • Don’t get tired of awards yet. The National Book Critics Circle has also recently announced its nominees for the NBCC Awards (’tis the season, it seems).One-third of the American literary world’s award trifecta, the NBCC Awards honor fiction, nonfiction, criticism, poetry and (auto)biography. I must really be out of the loop, because the only book on the list that I recognized (let alone was familiar with) was Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot. I guess this means I won’t get to sit at the NBCC “cool kids” table? Oh well, let me talk about something I do know…
  • Oscar nominations! I am all over the pop culture. The Academy Award nominations were announced this week and, per usual, several of the films have literary antecedents.Aside from the obvious contenders in the Adapted Screenplay category, some of the other more well-known nominees are from the film versions of The Help, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The gorgeous adaptation of Jane Eyre (with Michael Fassbender, mmmmyesplease) received a nomination for costumes and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 received a few of the technical awards (even if it get get robbed in the Best Picture category). And if you have a chance, you should really watch one of the nominations for Best Animated Short Film, titled “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.” The title says it all.
  • With less than two months to go before it hits the silver screen, Hunger Games excitement is starting to grow. Recently, Publishers Weekly did a Q & A with Amandla Stenberg, the young actress who will portray Rue in the movie. Stenberg may very well end up being the heart of the film (and the cause of many, many, many tears – damn you, Suzanne Collins!), but she’s clearly up for it. In the interview, she talks about her love of the books, how she set about winning the role and the input from Suzanne Collins that had her adjusting her perspective of one particular scene.

As always, happy reading!

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