It’s October 13! Even though it’s not a Friday, there’s still something sufficiently creepy about October 13th. It feels like the perfect day to do something spooky, so I’m headed to the spooky capital of New England, Salem, MA. As the home to the witch trials and the country’s wildest Halloween parties, I’m sure it will be a blast. How do you get in the Halloween mood? Think on that while you read this week’s book news:
- Book Awards season has arrived. The finalists for the 2012 National Book Awards were announced this week. Some familiar names, like Junot Diaz and Dave Eggers, were on the list of fiction finalists, while other categories (nonfiction and young adult) included relative newcomers. This year was the first year the finalists were announced on television, as the announcement was made on the Morning Joe cable news show. Winners of the National Book Awards will be revealed in November.
- The story has come full circle. Years after Lois Lowry’s The Giver became one of the first dystopian YA novels, Lowry has finally finished Jonas’ story with Son, the first direct sequel and the final chapter of the story. Though the character of Jonas showed up peripherally in Gathering Blue and Messenger, this new novel completes the saga started so many years ago. Entertainment Weekly interviewed Lowry about the new novel, her thoughts on The Giver quartet and even what she thinks ofThe Hunger Games.
- While we’re talking spooky, here’s another holiday to celebrate. October 31 is Halloween, but it’s also All Hallow’s Read, a literary-inspired holiday, started by sufficiently creepy author Neil Gaiman, in 2010. The gist of All Hallow’s Read is this: it’s the start of a holiday tradition of book-giving, as you give someone you love a creepy, horror-filled and/or downright terrifying book to read. Galley Cat has a video of Gaiman explaining the holiday (in a graveyard, natch).
- Inconceivable! Though I am a firm proponent of the “books are better” camp, it is true that, sometimes, the movies do a better job of telling the story. Book Riot has a list of its top five movies that are better than the books, including The Princess Bride, Fight Club and Little Women (sacrilege!) Other fans chimed in on Twitter with their picks, though no one came up with my two choices: the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Atonement. I love Tolkien’s writing, but the man was so long-winded! And Atonement’s meta-fiction angle actually worked well with a cinematic approach. Which books/movies would be on your list?
- Literary love at its finest! A few weeks ago, at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, to book lovers got engaged in a truly novel way. Mental Floss has a full recap of the wonderful proposal and how the two bookish fans involved got to tell their story to authors and writers alike. (It’s such a sweet story and yet I can’t help but lament the fact that a book was cut up in the process. Which obviously isn’t the point of the story, but still…)
- I’d file this under “duh” – Republicans and Democrats are different! No, really – apparently someone at Goodreads has time to do this sort of thing because the social book-reading website came up with a infographic highlighting exactly how Republicans and Democrats are different when it comes to reading habits. While Obama fans are more likely to read Jonathan Franzen (except me!), Republicans are more likely to enjoy Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (that explains Paul Ryan. Sort of.) The results are far from scientific, but it is kind of interesting to see nonetheless.
As always, happy reading.