Category: authors (page 2 of 32)

Book News, Aug. 9th

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have picked up on the fact that today is the premiere of the Outlander television show on Starz. (You could have watched it online during this past week, but why quibble with minor details.) Based on what I’ve seen so far, the show looks amazing, but thanks to my upcoming move, I’ll only be able to watch a few episodes before leaving. Maybe someday I’ll get the see the whole thing. Will you be watching? Why or why not? Ponder that, and the book news:

  • Classy all the way. Last month, after a teen girl survived a shooting that claimed the lives of the rest of her family, she paraphrased Albus Dumbledore in a public speech. In response, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling recently sent the girl a personalized, handwritten letter in Dumbledore’s voice, along with a Hogwarts acceptance letter, a wand and a signed copy of Prisoner of Azkaban. Though the contents of Rowling’s letter will remain confidential, it strikes me as a very classy move by a very classy lady.
  • Tolkien is never far from people’s minds, especially with the final Hobbit movie releasing this winter. Now, you can also consult Tolkien for writing advice, thanks to an infographic from EssayMamma.com. The advice is culled from the letters of J.R.R. Tolkien and features ideas such listening to critics, finding inspiration in dreams and understanding that you will always improve as time goes on.
  • Madeleine L’Engle told readers that there is such a thing as a tesseract, and now movie-goers will get to see it as well. Jennifer Lee, the director of Disney’s mega-hit Frozen, is writing an adaptation of L’Engle’s novel A Wrinkle in Time. Disney is apparently eager to maximize on the book’s strong female heroine and science-fiction elements. (We’ll just ignore that television version of the novel from awhile back, mmkay?). No word yet on who will direct, or the cast. I’ll keep my fingers optimistically, but cautiously, crossed; A Wrinkle in Time is one of my all-time favorite childhood novels and I’d hate to see it messed up.
  • Football, schmootball! Who needs a fantasy football league when you can have a fantasy author league? Thanks to Book Riot, you can now lead a fantasy league with your reading friends, drafting authors instead of athletes. (Everyone knows authors are more fun, anyway.) In this year, you get points for an author’s productivity (bonus points for the Nobel Prize!), media and publicity appearances, and, “feuds, disputes, and ruckuses.” May the best fantasy draft win!
  • This just in: reading is sexy. And when beautiful, attractive, sexy people read books aloud, well, that’s just even better. The lovely people at Book Riot have compiled a list of 10 sexy celebrities reading children’s books (although they included Justin Bieber on their list and I wholeheartedly disagree with that, so I’m calling it 9). You may think that sounds icky, but trust me – you haven’t really lived until you’ve listened to and watched Benedict Cumberbatch read The Little Red Hen. You’re welcome, book world.

As always, happy reading.

Book News, July 12th

Welcome back to Book News! I trust you’ve been enjoying yourself and staying out of trouble (or, at least, not getting caught). We’re fully entrenched in the month of July and I’m starting to panic a bit at how fast this summer is flying by. I still have so much to do! There simply needs to be more hours in the day, so that I can have all the time I need to complete my tasks and still sit and read. I wouldn’t mind a few extra hours of sleep either. What would you do, if we suddenly had more time in our day? Contemplate that, while reading the book news:

  • Sad news for the book world: young adult author and former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers passed away at age 76 on July 1st. Myers was a three-time National Book Award nominee who often wrote about black and African-American children and teens with clarity, honesty and compassion. He wrote more than 100 books, covering a diverse range of subjects, and he was awarded the inaugural Printz Award from the ALA. He has three books which will be published posthumously during the next year.
  • In happier news, people really like LeVar Burton! The Reading Rainbow kickstarter raised $5 million in 35 days, wildly surpassing the campaign’s original goal and allowing Burton and his team to create a Reading Rainbow digital library. The money raised (which allow includes an additional $1 million from actor Seth MacFarlane) will also allow 7,500 classrooms to receive Reading Rainbow content for free. The additional funds will also provide the ability to adapt Reading Rainbow for mobile devises and platforms, beyond the web-based show. It’s heartening to know so many people care about ensuring the survival of reading.
  • Winter is coming…eventually. Though it’s still summer here on Earth, in Westeros, winter is definitely coming. George R.R. Martin recently teased some of the plot points of his upcoming novel, The Winds of Winter, which will be the sixth book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. Naturally, more deaths are on the agenda, as are weddings, battles, and betrayals. (All in all, a pretty typical day for the Seven Kingdoms.) I’m intrigued by Martin’s hint that the Dothraki will be returning to the story in a big way, as well as the possibility of a Tyrion-Dany meeting. There’s still no official publication date, but one can only hope Martin is writing as fast as he can.
  • Dislike Jane Austen? Is it even possible? Apparently, yes, because both Mark Twain and Charlotte Bronte had some less-than-pleasant things to say about Miss Austen, once upon a time. In a delightful new infographic, the Huffington Post has mapped out some of literature’s rivalries and vendettas, which pit author against author. Twain seemed to be a rather grumpy fellow, as he also took a dislike to Henry James and James Fenimore Cooper. Henry James, meanwhile, strongly disliked Edgar Allan Poe, who in turn disliked Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. And that’s only one corner of the infographic! (For her part, Bronte also had unkind things to say about her own sister, Anne.) At least I can now feel better about my dislike of Nicholas Sparks and Jonathan Franzen.
  • Now this is how you do propaganda. In a chilling and stark new teaser trailer for Mockingjay Part 1, President Snow reminds us (or threatens us, it’s kind of hard to tell) that we’re all stronger together. The first part of the final Hunger Games movie will be released in November. (And if that wasn’t enough, the second trailer was recently released. Poor President Snow’s broadcast is hijacked – for an announcement from District 13 that the Mockingjay lives.)

As always, happy reading.

Book News, June 21st

We’ve got sun and warmth, bookworms! After what felt like an endless winter, us Bostonians finally have weather that matches the season; namely, 80-degree temps and lots of sunshine. Just in time for the longest day of the year and the official calendar start to summer. The small-but-delightful pool for my apartment complex is open, so I can read poolside, which isn’t nearly as much fun as reading beachside, but the summer is young and I will get there. What’s your favorite summer place to read? Think about it, while I share this week’s book news:

  • Another week, another ridiculous article about YA literature and who’s saving it and what’s wrong with it and yada yada yada. Thankfully, there are lots of smart, articulate people out there who can communicate why reading YA novels is just fine, thank you very much. A recent Washington Post op-ed explained this with the simple fact that there’s nothing shameful about YA books or stories (despite with ill-informed people might say otherwise). And if that’s not often to sway you, Book Riot has a whole list of things you actually can be ashamed about reading – and YA literature is not anywhere on the list (but someone else’s text messages are).
  • Meanwhile, over at The Atlantic, Mary Ann Badavi has written a great article about why The Fault in Our Stars is not the “savior” for young adult literature, despite its recent box office success. Badavi rightly points out that this genre doesn’t need saving in the first place, and even if it did, there are numerous female authors who have been writing for years (long before Time magazine decided John Green was a prophet) who can speak for themselves, thank you very much. The media has this story all wrong, which isn’t surprising, but still disheartening nonetheless. So, for the record, YA doesn’t need saving, there are hundreds of female YA authors who deserve just as much praise as John Green and can we please stop idolizing middle-aged white males? Okay? Okay.
  • In happier news, perhaps you noticed this little thing called World Cup? I’m an American, and even I know that the World Cup is a big deal. And I quite like soccer (aka “football”), at least compared to other sports (specifically American football and basketball), but I’m still not really a “sports” person. So luckily for me, the University of Rochester is hosting the World Cup of Literature on its international literature blog. Featuring the same set up as the actual World Cup (eight groups, four countries), the Literature version pits some of the best literature from the World Cup countries against each other. The rationale for choosing the specific books is quite interesting as well – for example, David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King is America’s pick because “like the USMNT, it’s an unfinished product, made of various pieces, and all about boredom (which is how some people in the States view soccer as a whole). Not to mention, The Pale King’s defense is pretty shaky . . .” May the best country win! 
  • From book to screen to smaller screen. Author Lauren Oliver wrote the Delirium trilogy and a production company optioned it as a possible television series. A pilot was made, starring Emma Roberts in the lead role, and that pitched was pitched to Fox. Unfortunately, Fox declined to pick up the show for a full series, but fans of Oliver’s books will still get a chance to see the pilot (aka the first episode).  The production company has teamed up with Hulu to offer fans the chance to watch the pilot for 30 days online. Based on the trailer, it looks like it could have been a interesting show, though it would probably have been better suited to the CW instead of Fox.
  • Literary legos for everyone! There’s a new Tumblr in town and it’s called LEGO Stories, in which scenes from books, movies and TV are depicted through LEGO characters. Book Riot highlighted some of the literature-focused ones, including Catching FireHarry Potter and The Hobbit. The scenes are a lot of fun, especially considering all the creativity that goes into making them instantly recognizable. There’s even one with the Hulk, though he’s not strictly a literature character (but he’s big, angry and green, so we’ll let it pass).

As always, happy reading.

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