Well, all my grand plans for creating a backlog of posts fell through. I swear, September happened and I went from being mildly busy to being busy ALL. THE. TIME. On the one hand, I am doing a lot of reading, but on the other hand, it’s academic reading which is a different kind of experience. At any rate, I apologise once again for the extremely sporadic posting and I hope you enjoy this week’s book news, for whatever it’s worth.
- More fun from J.K. Rowling. First, in late September, Rowling released a new short piece on Pottermore that revealed the history and origins of Harry Potter’s family. Rowling imagined a rich and detailed past for the Potters, and we can only hope there were some witch and wizard historians around after the defeat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to help Harry fill in the blanks. In early October, Rowling once again took to Twitter to answer a few fans’ questions, revealing once and for all that Ron is not a time-travelling Dumbledore and despite all evidence otherwise, Snape is not a vampire. (Could have fooled me!)
- Earlier this month, the publishing world marked the 10th anniversary of the publication of Twilight, which – love or hate – was certainly a huge player in young adult literature. To celebrate the occasion, Stephenie Meyer released a new book: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined which retells the story from a gender-bent perspective. Edward becomes Edythe, Bella becomes Beau, etc. Though I haven’t personally read it, the buzz around the Interwebs seems to be dividing into two camps: the first, people annoyed and/or frustrated with yet another Twilight book, especially one that seems tailor-made to capitalise on the series’ popularity to make money. The other camp praises Meyer’s gender-bent retelling for being (perhaps surprisingly) really good. So it seems no matter what, people continue to either love or hate this vampire love story.
- Speaking of Internet buzz, you are likely already familiar with the practice of “click bait” – that is, writing deliberately provocative or eye-catching headlines in order to get people to click on the link and through to the story. It’s a huge part of what drives traffic on the Internet. So Book Riot decided to reimagine classic novels as click bait titles, and the results are hilarious. I won’t spoil them all here, because I encourage to read the full post on Book Riot’s website, but let’s just say that they saved the best for last.
- Movie adaptation news:
- We’re now just some weeks away from the fourth and final Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 2 from arriving in the cinemas. One of the first trailers highlights Katniss’ relationship with her sister Prim, and frankly it seems very spoiler-y to me. I’m not sure how many people have seen the films without reading the books first, but I think the trailer gives a bit too much away.
- Meanwhile, Tris Prior has survived the breakdown of her world and several assassination attempts. Now, in the trailer for Allegiant, the next movie in the Divergent series, she’s going beyond the walls of Chicago to find out what’s really out there. There will be a fourth movie, because Hollywood can’t seem to help themselves, so I’m interested in seeing how Allegiant the book is expanded and divided to provide enough plot for two movies. Though for the record, I’ll never complain about more Theo James.
As always, happy reading.
Mes amis, I am terribly sorry for the two-month-long hiatus. Despite my best efforts, my summer became consumed with writing my MA thesis. But now we (okay, really just me) can rejoice because I officially submitted my thesis yesterday and now I am FINISHED……for the next few weeks before I start up again. No rest for the weary in academia, I’m afraid. But I do have most of August completely free and I plan to make the most of it. I even started today by not getting out of bed until 1 PM so I could read. (It was as decadent and fantastic as you can imagine.) I will be doing my best to bring you some posts throughout this month, and hopefully, schedule some things to run in the fall after I get busy again. Until then, even though it isn’t a Saturday, enjoy the book news:
- Let’s start with the boatload of Harry Potter news I’ve been saving up:
- Earlier this summer, JK Rowling confirmed that a new Harry Potter play will come to London’s West End in 2016. While she swears up and down that the play is not a prequel, it will, reportedly, feature an “untold part of Harry’s story.” (Which kinda sounds like a prequel to me, but hey….) No casting news has been announced yet, nor any indication that the play will eventually make its way to Broadway.
- The other new HP-related production, a three-film version based off of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is already underway. This summer offered a veritable buffet of news, from the revelation that there is an American wizarding school (I wanna go!) to the announcement that actor Eddie Redmayne will be playing Newt Scamander himself. The Fantastic Beasts movie will also feature newly created characters and will take place in the 1920’s and 1930’s. (So any chance we’ll get a young Dumbledore….)
- Meanwhile, Rowling continues to be the Queen of Twitter. In a series of Tweets, Rowling answered all sorts of questions, including when Luna Lovegood’s birthday is celebrated (13th February, FYI) and why / how Wormtail of all people ended up in Griffyndor. Rowling also published an essay on Pottermore explaining why the Dursleys disliked Harry (and by extension, his father) so much. It’s enlightening, even if it doesn’t excuse their years of mistreating Harry.
- The past few months have also brought a lot of adaptation news to my feed reader:
- Lionsgate released the first teaser trailer for Mockingjay Part 2, the final installment of the Hunger Games movies that will be released in theaters in November. It’s pretty spoiler-y, I have to admit, so fair warning.
- Meanwhile, HG lead actress Jennifer Lawrence will be taking on yet another literary adaptation, building something of a niche for herself in Hollywood. Lawrence has been cast in the film version of Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project, which is an excellent book if you have not read it yet. (There’s also a sequel, The Rosie Effect.) The announcement doesn’t confirm if Lawrence will be playing Rosie, but I assume that’s the case.
- Disney seems to be on a live-action kick, greenlighting film versions of many of its animated films, from this year’s Cinderella to the upcoming Beauty and the Beast (which I NEED, like, yesterday because it has an amazing cast). Now there’s news that Disney is planning a live-action version of The Sword and the Stone. That movie was itself based on T.H. White’s novel of the same name, part of his King Arthur epic The Once and Future King. No casting or release date information has been publicized yet.
- Lastly, Entertainment Weekly magazine offered some of the first glimpses at the film version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. While Austen rolls over in her grave, I have to admit that I’m curious. I couldn’t bring myself to read the book, but I just might convince myself to see the movie. (Apologies, Jane.)
- Last week, the Romance Writers Association (RWA) held its annual conference, which in turn led to lots of romance-related news as well:
- The RWA annual awards for romance novels, the RITAs, were announced at the conference. I was thrilled to see so many of my personal favorites win, including Tessa Dare and Jill Shalvis. Alas, many of my other favorites were finalists, but didn’t win (Sonali Dev’s A Bollywood Affair is still tops in my world!).
- Speaking of Sonali, she wrote a great blog post on the need for diverse romance, and an RWA conference that reflects the reality of the world we live in. It’s easy to give lip service to diversity, of course, but actually reading (and more importantly, buying) diverse books is one of the best ways to demonstrate with your actions that you support and want diverse books. Read Sonali’s post – then go buy her books because they are AMAZING.
- For those who didn’t make it to RWA, Jenn Northington at Book Riot has a good round-up post centered on some of the best things she overhead while at the conference. She also touches on diversity, as well as pointing out good writing (and general life) tips from the various panels she attended.
- And of course, it wouldn’t be a good discussion of romance if I didn’t include NPR’s Summer of Romance 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances list. Curated by a committee of authors and romance experts, this list has everything: historical, paranormal, urban fantasy, LGBTQ, contemporary, etc. These 100 books represent an incredible cross-section of the variety found in romance, and dare people to say that all romances are the same. (Just, stay away from the comments. A few brave souls wandered in there to speak up for romance, but mostly, the idiots were out in full force.)
Stay tuned for Part 2! As always, happy reading.
Let’s keep this short and sweet, bookworms, because there is a lot of Book News to get to. Happy Saturday, and here we go:
- Ding dong the feud is dead? After being locked in an e-book pricing dispute since April, Hachette Books and Amazon have reportedly reached a multi-year settlement. The agreement, due to start in early 2015, will allow Hachette to oversee and manage pricing for its e-books, something Hachette’s CEO calls a “victory for writers.”
- Today marks the last day in the second round of voting for Goodreads’ annual Goodreads Choice Awards. The third and final stage of voting will open on Monday, with winners announced on December 2nd. If you’re a Goodreads user, vote now!
- Last month, Harry Potter fans got a taste (however bad) of Dolores Umbridge. But JK Rowling surprised fans by publishing six additional stories as well, sharing details about Professor Trelawney, thestrals and the Minister of Magic.
- Speaking of Harry Potter, the good folks over at the Sesame Street Studio have continued their traditional of parodying literature, with “Furry Potter and the Goblet of Cookies.” Cookie Monster, naturally, plays the title role. For the record, Harry probably would have preferred cookies to dragons, underwater rescue missions and that maze.
- In adaptation news, three book series are coming to television:
- Movie clips and trailers for everyone! Hang on, because there are plenty:
- A first peek at Natalie Dormer as Cressida in Mockingjay Part 1
- Katniss and Gale fight over Peeta in another Mockingjay clip; in other news, TEAM PEETA!
- A teaser trailer for the upcoming Insurgent movie was released this week. Nice haircut, Tris.
- One ring, lots of gold, and five armies: the final Hobbit movie will be released at Christmastime and there’s a whole lotta fightin’ going on.
As always, happy reading.