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Penguin releases movie tie-in cover for 'Inherent Vice'

On Dec. 12, Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s seedy 2009 detective novel Inherent Vice hits theaters. Penguin has revealed a tie-in cover for new copies of the book, featuring sleazy neon coloring, cop cars, and renderings of the actors involved in the project. The new edition of the “part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon” novel comes out Nov. 26.

Inherent Vice follows a pothead detective (Joaquin Phoenix) as he investigates the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend in 1970 Los Angeles. Anderson and Phoenix have worked together before, on 2012’s brilliant The Master. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood scored Anderson’s previous two films—The Master and 2007’s There Will Be Blood—and will again lend the director his sparse, foreboding melodies. Phoenix will star alongside a stacked cast that includes Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro, Reese Witherspoon, Maya Rudolph, and Martin Short.

Before Vice, 2013’s Bleeding Edge, and 2006’s Against the Day, the notoriously reclusive author had released only five novels since 1963. So, are we hitting peak Pynchonaissance? You heard it here first.


Image Credit: Courtesy of Penguin Books

On the Books: Pulitzer-winning poet Galway Kinnell dies at 87

- Renowned American poet Galway Kinnell died of leukemia last week at the age of 87. Kinnell received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for 1982’s Selected Poems—as well as a MacArthur genius grant, a poet laureateship in Vermont, a chancellorship at the American Academy of Poets, and, most recently, the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement. The World War II vet, anti-Vietnam War activist, and civil rights champion infused his verse with the gritty social issues pervading the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The Los Angeles Times writes that the Kinnell is celebrated for his “forceful, spiritual takes on the outsiders and underside of contemporary life,” and how he “blended the physical and the philosophical, not shying from the most tactile and jarring details of humans and nature.” His work reflects the influence that Walt Whitman and  friend W.S. Merwin had on him. Kinnell—who also taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Reed College before retiring in 2011—is survived by his wife, two children from a former marriage, and two grandchildren.


See the cover for Sarah Dessen's latest novel, 'Saint Anything'


Sarah Dessen is synonymous with contemporary YA fiction. Similarly, Dessen’s book covers have a distinct look indicating you’ve got a Sarah Dessen novel in front of you. Her 12th novel, Saint Anything, hits shelves in May, and EW has an exclusive first look at the cover (above).

This is not a drill, folks. Those dark covers are on a Sarah Dessen novel, making it a pretty big departure from her previous works. Here, the author answers a few questions about her latest novel. READ FULL STORY

On the Books: R.L. Stine, comic publishers embrace the digital age

The Stephen King of children’s literature is as prolific on Twitter as he is in print. R.L. Stine has more than 18,900 tweets, and yesterday he devoted 14 of those to a new bite-sized story. Just in time for Halloween, Stine made the announcement last night:

Stine rattled off the sub-2,000 character story in about five minutes, and then told followers to go watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. [The Huffington Post]

High-profile children’s favorites haven’t always been so readily available—at least, until now. Action Comics #1, the 1938 DC Comics issue that introduced Superman, sold for $3.2 million in August. That collector might be kicking himself now. CGC Comics, an independent grading authority, has scanned the comic in full and posted it online for free consumption—and given it a 9 out of 10 rating, to boot. The comic features characters and stories besides Superman, so readers should get ready to fall in love with lost DC greats like “Zatara: Master Musician” and “Scoop Scanlon, Five Star Reporter.” [CNN]

That vintage comic isn’t the only one getting the digital treatment. Toronto-based e-reader company Kobo has added more than 250 issues of Marvel comics to its virtual collection, including The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. “Marvel is excited about our partnership with Kobo and happy to have the opportunity to provide fans, new and existing, another great way to experience our legendary content,” said David Gabriel, a Senior Vice President at Marvel. Fans will be able to enjoy the comics on Kobo’s own readers or the apps the company produces for other phones and tablets. Comic purists might welcome this news after a week of decidedly cinema-oriented announcements from Marvel. [Mediabistro]

We all know the feeling of identifying with a fictional character—but what if you shared a name with a literary creation? Next month we’ll find out just how much people are willing to pay for that privilege. On Nov. 20, the Royal Institution of Great Britain will host an event dedicated to ending torture, and authors have pledged to auction off characters in their upcoming novels to raise funds for the cause. Big names including Ian McEwan and Margaret Atwood have already signed on for what organizers are calling “the Immortality Auction.” Can’t make it across the pond for the event? Online bidding goes live on Oct. 29. [NPR]

See the cover for J.R. Ward's newest series, 'The Bourbon Kings'


On July 28, New York Times best-selling author J.R. Ward returns with a new series, The Bourbon Kings. Her latest book won’t arrive until next summer, but EW has an exclusive first look at the cover (above) now.

Best known for her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Ward’s latest endeavor is a contemporary story that follows the intertwined fortunes of several wealthy Kentucky families who have made their money from bourbon. EW has also learned that Bourbon Kings has already been optioned for television by Endemol, the same production company behind Big Brother and Deal or No Deal, among others. Here, Ward answers a few questions about Bourbon Kings. READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars Costumes' trailer revives the original trilogy's best looks

Star Wars characters are as iconic for their looks as they are for their personalities, and a new book highlights some of the most gorgeous costume work from the original trilogy.


On the Books: Dick Cavett talks 'Brief Encounters' in pop culture in new book


- What do Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Taylor, James Gandolfini, Gore Vidal, and John Lennon have in common? They’re all featured characters in Dick Cavett’s new essay collection out today, Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments and Assorted Hijinks. In his latest offering, the 28-year host of one of The Dick Cavett Show—one of 20th-century America’s first media forums for entertainment culture—shares his recollections of the famous figures he encountered throughout his career. Jimmy Fallon wrote the foreword to Brief Encounters, in which Cavett also revisits his Midwestern upbringing and offers his take on modern politics and pop culture—he calls Stephen Colbert’s upcoming late-night debut “one of the great things to happen in this country,” reports USA Today. Fifty-six years after the debut of his talk show, Cavett, 77, remains as quick-witted and bold-minded as ever. “I dislike people who can’t swim, who can’t drive a car, who don’t have a television set and who don’t go online,” he says. “A great world is available to you there. It’s moronic not to be a part of it.” READ FULL STORY

Amy Poehler offers sex tips in new book 'Yes Please'


Amy Poehler has some bedroom advice: Don’t fake it.

“I know you are tired/nervous/eager to please/unsure of how to get there,” Poehler writes in her new book, Yes Please. “Just remember to allow yourself real pleasure and not worry about how long it takes.”

Yes Please is Poehler’s first book, an autobiographical memoir of sorts that show’s off the Parks and Recreation actress’ wit — as well as her wisdom. “Good for her! Not for me,” Poehler writes when discussing her decision to forgo an all-natural birth. “That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”

On the Books: Beyoncé gets a bio, George R.R. Martin on how his dragons stack up

You’ve listened to her songs countless times, follow her on social media, and watched her on TV—but how well do you really know the current Queen of Pop? Grand Central Publishing hopes you’re craving even more Beyoncé knowledge. The publisher announced today that J. Randy Taraborrelli will write a definitive biography of the icon, due out in fall 2015. The book will reportedly span Bey’s start as a 7-year-old pageant diva and chronicle her life up to the present. Taraborrelli has written biographies of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, the Kennedys, and the Hiltons, so don’t expect this one to be a slouch. [USA Today]

Last night, George R.R. Martin unveiled his new Westeros coffee-table compendium, The World of Ice & Fire, in a Manhattan talk. Told from a maester’s perspective, the book fleshes out the litany of historical events, mythological figures, and sociological details that make Martin’s fictional universe so immersive, both in print and on the small screen. The author predictably talked ad nauseam about Westeros’ details, including one fascinating tidbit that relates to another major fantasy universe making headlines. Drogon, one of Martin’s dragons, would stand no chance against Tolkein’s Smaug, the prominent dragon in The Hobbit. At least, that’s what Martin thinks. “As competitive as I am, no, Drogon is a very young dragon,” the author said. “Not to mention Smaug, like, talks, which would give him an intellectual advantage.” [The Guardian]


On the Books: Barnes & Noble reverses decision to close Bronx store

- Barnes & Noble has reversed this week’s decision to close its Bronx branch, the only major bookstore in the neighborhood. Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. led the fiery local campaign to keep the shop open, brokering a compromise between B&N and the the property’s landlord. Mr. Diaz told the crowd at a press conference yesterday that “this is more thatn just a bookstore… This is where kids read and broaden their minds and do their homework.” [The New York Times]

- The first-ever Kirkus Prize-winning authors were announced in Austin, Tex. last night. Writers Lily King, Roz Chast, and Kate Samworth took home the brand-new $50,000 prizes in the fiction, nonfiction and young readers categories, respectively. King’s novel Euphoria, the story of three intertwined rival anthropologists, stood out “for its perfect construction, its economy and originality, and its fearlessness.” Chast, a cartoonist for The New Yorker, won for her illustrated memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, the story of the last few years of her parents’ lives—also up for a National Book Award later this year. Samworth’s Aviary Wonders Inc. is a a strange, funny, dark young adult tale about a world where birds are extinct. [NPR] READ FULL STORY

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