How the heck did we get to September 22nd?! I swear it was just Labor Day. Anyway, today, I’m headed to my nephews’ 8th birthday party, which is ninja-themed! Yes, I am jealous and yes, I do plan to copy their theme when my next birthday rolls around. (I’m an adult now. I get to act crazy and childlike whenever I want. That’s the beauty of being an adult.) In the meantime, I’m still on a witches kick, reading lots of books involving magic. It seems appropriate for this time of year. Here’s the book news:
- No traveling in a giant peach required. Roald Dahl’s 96th birthday was (or would have been) September 13th and to celebrate, eight of Dahl’s books were made available – for the first time ever – for Kindle e-readers. In addition to fan favorites such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the aforementioned James and the Giant Peach, the Kindle deal also featured lesser-known (but not lesser-loved) books The Twits and George’s Marvelous Medicine. I’m still holding out for Matilda, who is still one of my most favorite fictional characters of all time.
- File this under “duh.” According to new market research, more than half (55%) of all young adult books are bought by consumers 18 years and older. Not surprisingly, more than three-quarters (78%) of those YA adult consumers are buying for themselves. I was, however, a bit surprised to learn that the biggest age group reading YA novels wasn’t 20-somethings, but rather those people in the 30-44 range (it shouldn’t surprise me, since I fit – barely – into that category, but still, surprised I was). Harry Potter and Twilight were two of the top sellers. (Again, duh.)
- The books that never were. Nearly every writer starts and stops various projects throughout his or her writing life. Some are even completed after their deaths. But what does happen to all those unfinished novels? Publishers Weekly took at look at an incomplete list of well-known authors who didn’t get to finish a specific work. Included on the list are J.R.R. Tolkien, Truman Capote, Charles Dickens and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I was most intrigued by John Steinbeck’s version of Le Morte D’Arthur. Though unfinished at the time of his death, Steinberg was attempting to take Sir Thomas Malory’s classic Arthurian tale and make it his own. I would have totally read that.
- It’s Shakespeare, Whedon-ized! While The Avengers was epic and dramatic, cultural wunderkind Joss Whedon is trying a different approach for his next film. He’s promoting his modern-day retelling of Much Ado About Nothing, made for a small budget and reportedly filmed in his own home in 12 days. The cast is a who’s who of previous Whedon actors, including Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, and – be still my heart – Nathan Fillion. Though the film is being screened at the Toronto Film Festival, no widespread release date has been announced.
- The duel of the Darcys! As part of a weeklong celebration of Pride and Prejudice, the ladies over at Forever Young Adult featured a Darcy death-match when they pitted the 1995 A&E miniseries against the 2005 Joe Wright film version. While we all know nothing can compare to the original (that would be the BOOK), this is one serious battle. On the one hand, you have Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. On the other hand, you have better everything else (including Dame Judi Dench!). Still….Colin Firth! I own both and I cannot choose between the two (though I will admit to watching the 2005 version more, simply because it’s easier to do). Which version would you pick?
As always, happy reading.