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Author: Keith Staskiewicz (1-10 of 222)

Anjelica Huston opens up about her new memoir

The Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica houses memories down to its grouting. Opened in the 1920s, it was a social hub for the flashbulb-dizzy elite of early Hollywood; during WWII, it served as a military retreat where U.S. Navy men could disport and recuperate amid the pools and sands. Later, the building headquartered the rehab clinic–turned–deranged cult Synanon, whose leader was eventually arrested for conspiring to put a four-and-a-half-foot rattlesnake in a lawyer’s mailbox.

This is the location Anjelica Huston has picked for our interview today. “I have a thing for places,” she says. “My memories are mostly tied to spaces and rooms.” Like these rooms, the 63-year-old actress has a lot of stories to tell.

Huston’s new memoir, Watch Me, will appear in stores this week. Written at the intersection of Memory Lane and Hollywood Boulevard, the book is stuffed with clear-eyed recollections of the film and fashion worlds from a born-and-bred member of Tinseltown aristocracy. READ FULL STORY

What book do you predict you'll be seeing a lot of this holiday season?

Every Christmas morning at the Staskiewicz household, there’s always one book that appears so many times that you start to make sure no one’s secretly rewrapping the same one when you’re not looking. The members of the family that gather at this time of the year tend to have relatively similar tastes, and books are prevalent either because we’re fans of reading or because we like to pretend that we are. This ensures that there’s always a title with which nearly everyone will be leaving, and usually by the end of the present-giving we have enough identical copies to start an impromptu book club. Last year, I believe it was a tie between Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken and Michael Lewis’ The Big Short.

This year, there’s no question as to what book will dominate the holiday: Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. READ FULL STORY

'Fahrenheit 451' finally becomes an e-book despite Ray Bradbury's opposition to nonflammable media

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s seminal work of science-fiction about the perils of book burning, is finally available as an e-book. Simon & Schuster released the novel for download on Tuesday. It might surprise you to hear that Bradbury, now 91 and apparently a little further into the future than he would like to be, was previously dead-set against making it available in any form other than traditional paper-and-glue, calling the internet “meaningless” and commenting that e-books “smell like burned fuel.” To get the obvious joke out of the way, given his fear of literary conflagrations, maybe he was just uncomfortable putting his book in something called a Kindle.

When Fahrenheit 451 (Celsius 233, in its European editions) was first published in 1953, it was coming only two decades after the infamous Nazi book burnings and in the midst of America’s own wave of anti-literary fervor courtesy of McCarthyism and general think-of-the-children hysteria. But coming in 2011, this e-book release presents an opportunity to ponder the continuing relevance of the novel in a time when words aren’t quite so flammable. It’s pretty difficult to burn an e-book—unless it’s onto a CD—and a thumbdrive is much easier to smuggle than an armful of texts, so you’d think that Bradbury might be willing to forgo his traditional curmudgeonliness to embrace a technology that would spell the end to the act he deplores. Then again, in many cases, firewalls can be just as effective as fire and, as Amazon’s ironically Orwellian faux pas showed us, readers may not be as in control of their electronic library as they are their bookshelf.

Of course, Fahrenheit 451 is not just about the act of burning books in the same way that Animal Farm isn’t just about animal rights (and wrongs). It’s about all varieties of censorship, something from which digital media are far from immune, and in that way its themes are as pertinent as ever. Maybe in fifty years, an updated version will replace Guy Montag’s bonfires with a simple Select All + Delete.

Sneak peek at the trailer and first four chapters of Richelle Mead's 'Bloodlines'

Fans of Vampire Academy author Richelle Mead who can’t wait the extra week until the Aug. 23 release of the first novel in her new spin-off series Bloodlines can get their bloody fix here. Not only do we have the book’s trailer, but we also have an early glimpse at the first four chapters of the vampiric young adult book. Check them out below.

READ FULL STORY

Pottermore: First impressions of the new interactive Harry Potter site

pottermore_website_1

We all enjoyed the story of Harry Potter and his progressive battles against fosterage, puberty, and a noseless supervillain, but what readers—especially, but not limited to, younger ones—really loved about the series was the ability to immerse themselves in a world of everyday magic, of charm spells, enchanted clocks, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. How many kids at one point or another pulled a Veruca Salt, demanding of their parents, “But mummy and daddy, I want an invitation to Hogwarts, now!” Forget Santa Claus, for a whole generation of children the real heartbreaking revelation was that we’re all Muggles and that’s all we’ll ever be.

While it won’t let you apparate or play Quidditch (there are leagues for that already), J.K. Rowling’s new interactive website Pottermore will at least let you experience some of the fun of living in the world of Harry Potter. It’s still in beta and doesn’t open to the general public until October, but Pottermore is rolling out early access to the one million fans who qualified for it, and we were lucky enough to get an account. READ FULL STORY

'Vampire Academy': Unreleased original chapter from Richelle Mead's 'Bloodlines' - EXCLUSIVE

The first book in Richelle Mead’s new spin-off series, Bloodlines, doesn’t hit stores for a couple weeks, but she’s giving us a sneak peek at an alternate first chapter right now, after fans rose to her challenge of reaching 10,000 pre-ordered copies. The new book features many of the characters from her Vampire Academy novels, and this excerpt — originally the beginning of Bloodlines — is told from the point of view of Adrian, one of her popular bloodsuckers. Check it out below. READ FULL STORY

See the trailer for 'The Power of Six,' the sequel to 'I Am Number Four' -- EXCLUSIVE

Last year, everyone was eager, eager, eager for I Am Number Four to become the NBT (short for Next Big Twilight). Not only was the first book in the alien-in-high-school series released with much fanfare, but it was adapted immediately into a film starring Alex Pettyfer and Dianna Agron. There’s no indication whether a Hollywood version is in the works for the sequel, The Power of Six, but the book is definitely set to hit stores on Aug. 23 and, like the first, it is written by Pittacus Lore, the nom d’espace of writer Jobie Hughes and Oprah hatchet-burier James Frey. Here’s the trailer: READ FULL STORY

Some excerpts from the biography of a Hollywood producer and Israeli secret agent

Arnon Milchan has two high-level lives: One as the producer of big-name movies like Love and Other Drugs and Knight and Day, and the other as an intelligence agent for the Israeli government. Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon, a new biography by Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, is chock-full of hush-hush anecdotes — more from the Tinseltown gig than the foreign government one, but both can be equally top secret. Check out the following excerpts from the upcoming book, including Milchan’s selling-your-Google-stock-in-2004-esque missed opportunity when he passed on the Harry Potter franchise: READ FULL STORY

Comic Book Heroes: A conversation between Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison

Sometime in the late 1980s, the British invaded and changed comic books forever. Superman may stand for the American way — at least most of the time — but it took Scotsman Grant Morrison to write one of the best modern interpretations of the Man of Steel with All-Star Superman. Morrison’s latest work, Supergods, is an analysis of what superheroes, caped crusaders, and masked men can tell us about ourselves and our culture. It’s a fascinating discussion, and one that continued when he got together with fellow comic book icon and Sandman maestro Neil Gaiman to discuss their medium, their lives, and each other’s work in a wide-ranging conversation that EW was lucky enough to listen in on.

NEIL GAIMAN: First off, congratulations! You’ve got a book out.

GRANT MORRISON: Oh, thank you. It’s great after 30 years of actually taking it seriously to finally write it down. READ FULL STORY

Exclusive first chapter excerpt from 'Bloodrose,' Andrea Cremer's third 'Nightshade' novel

Wolfsbane, the sequel to Andrea Cremer’s popular young adult werewolf book Nightshade, may just be hitting stores today, but we’re already way ahead of the game. Fans of the series can click on the cover image to the left to read an exclusive excerpt from Bloodrose, the third novel in the trilogy that won’t be released until 2012. The first chapter continues the adventures of Calla Tor, a girl from Colorado who just so happens to be able to transform into a wolf. Check it out and then report back here to let us know what you thought.

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