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Author: Stephan Lee (1-10 of 559)

Take a first look at Nick Hornby's new novel 'Funny Girl'

Funny-Girl-Nick-Hornby

The author of About a Boy is bringing you a new novel about a funny girl. In Funny Girl, Nick Hornby takes us to the London of the swinging sixties. Sophie Straw, a former beauty queen who cares more about humor than looks, mesmerizes the nation as the star of a sitcom. It dives deep into the world of TV comedy writing and female comics. Take a look at the mod U.S. cover of Funny Girl, exclusively revealed here, and read on for a quick Q&A about the novel, available on Feb. 3. READ FULL STORY

2014 National Book Award finalists announced

ROZ-CHAST

This morning on NPR’s Morning Edition, the National Book Foundation announced the 20 finalists for the National Book Awards in four categories.

The Fiction shortlist includes Anthony Doerr’s best-seller All the Light We Cannot See, Phil Klay’s debut collection of wartime short stories, and Emily St. John Mandel’s breakout post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven. The Nonfiction list is most notable for its inclusion of Roz Chast for her graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?—Chast is the first cartoonist nominated in an adult category.

See below for a full list of finalists in all categories. READ FULL STORY

See the trailer for 'Breaking Bad' parody cookbook 'Baking Bad'

Baking-Bad

Are you the one who bakes?

Drugs and sweet snacks have a long history together, so of course it’s about time there was a Breaking Bad parody cookbook that offers up recipes for Walter Wheat’s specialties—including “Buried Barrel Dessert,” “Heisen(Batten) Burg Cake” (yes, there’s an edible black hat), and “Box Cutter Doughnuts.” Load up on your blue rock candy, go easy on the chili P., and watch the exclusive trailer below to get ready for Baking Bad: A Parody in a Cookbook, available on Oct. 28. READ FULL STORY

Here's how Gillian Flynn defended the ending of 'Gone Girl' in 2012

Giant spoilers ahead. Do not read on if you have not read or seen Gone Girl and you’d like to do one or both at some point.

While Gone Girl was becoming a major word-of-mouth hit a couple of years ago, the selling point was the giant twist halfway through. But a recommendation of the Gone Girl would also come with a warning about the ending, which was highly divisive, even among people who liked the book—just look at any online review.

Then earlier this year, in an interview with EW about the movie adaptation, director David Fincher said, “Ben [Affleck] was so shocked by it. He would say, ‘This is a whole new third act! [Gillian Flynn] literally threw that third act out and started from scratch.’” Other blogs ran with the quote, wrongly implying that Gone Girl author and screenwriter Gillian Flynn had caved to the negative response to the ending and changed it for the film. As it turns out, the third act was indeed structured differently for the film, but the ending—the one that infuriated or thrilled so many readers—was exactly the same.

EW talked to Flynn, a former EW writer, about that ending back in 2012: Amy, the sociopathic mastermind played by Rosamund Pike in the film, fakes her own death, ruins her husband’s life, and pretty much gets away with it. Read on for Flynn’s explanation as to why Gone Girl‘s ending is the only one that would have worked. READ FULL STORY

Haruki Murakami didn't win the Nobel -- but these books prove why he deserves it

The Nobel oddsmakers were wrong—again!

Year after year, bookies put their bets on Japanese author Haruki Murakami winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. Instead, the Swedish Academy announced this morning that the honor had gone to French author Patrick Modiano.

2014 was feeling like Murakami’s time: His 13th novel Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimmage hit shelves in the U.S., and his fourth book of short stories, Men Without Women, has been announced. Earlier this week, The New Yorker ran his short story “Scheherazade.” It’s almost as if the Murakami machine—although not the notoriously fame-indifferent author himself—had been subtly campaigning for the win.

But even though Murakami still isn’t a Nobel Laureate, he’s written numerous works that demand to be read (or binged). The 65-year-old author has been writing four hours a day without fail for around 35 years—that’s a lot of lit to go through—so we’ve narrowed down his output to four essential novels that are perfect gateways for newbies: READ FULL STORY

'The Giving Tree' celebrates 50th anniversary

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Whether you loved The Giving Tree or found it profoundly disturbing, odds are you still remember the surprisingly complex story by Shel Silverstein of a boy who asks a tree to give him everything. Even on its 50th anniversary today, parents, religious scholars, environmentalists, and feminists are still puzzling and debating over its meaning. Silverstein initially had trouble finding a publisher for The Giving Tree because it was either too sad, too short, or too adult. Fifty years later, it has sold over 10 million copies and was recently released as an e-book — the first of Silverstein’s books to be published in a non-hardcover format.

To celebrate the anniversary, HarperCollins has released a new edition, and the Shel Silverstein estate has shared never-before-seen family photos of the author-artist below: READ FULL STORY

12 Fall Must-Reads: From award contenders to buzzy celeb memoirs

CHOOSE-YOUR-AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Now that summer is officially, thoroughly over, autumn will bring plenty of high-profile offerings, from Neil Patrick Harris’ choose-you-0wn-adventure memoir to some intriguing literary heavyweights. Click on to see some of the most promising books to hibernate with.

FIRST UP: Perhaps the best laugh-and-cry novel of the fall…

National Book Awards longlist for Fiction released

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The National Book Award longlist for Fiction includes some new blood along with some well-established names. Young authors Molly Antopol and Phil Klay received their first nods for their debut story collections, and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats got a nod for his first novel Wolf in White Van. The list includes two Pulitzer Prize winners, Marilynne Robinson and Jane Smiley, and a previous National Book Award winner, Richard Powers. Read on for the full longlist. READ FULL STORY

National Book Awards nonfiction longlist announced

ROZ-CHAST

The National Book Foundation announced its Longlist for the 2014 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Finalists will be revealed on October 15.

The Nonfiction Longlist includes the first cartoonist, Roz Chast, to be honored by the National Book Awards in the adult categories, a Pulitzer Prize Winner, and a number of distinguished historians. READ FULL STORY

Usher and Scholastic join forces to promote young readers

The Scholastic catalogs you got in elementary school were already cool, but now Usher is joining forces with the children’s publishing giant to launch the “Open the World of Possible” initiative, which is designed to encourage young readers. On Nov. 6, Usher will perform and host a a live webcast, “Bigger Than Words,” which will broadcast live from the Scholastic headquarters in New York City.

“I established New Look, a charitable organization to assist young people to become leaders and to instill in them a belief that they can create change in their communities and around the world,” said Usher. “I’m excited to host the webcast with Scholastic to demonstrate to kids how reading frequently, and being a reading mentor to their friends and others in their community, can open doors to endless possibilities.”

As a further part of the initiative, the Scholastic Possible Fund will make a donation of 100,000 books, and each of three leading non-profits that distribute books to children who need them most will receive a portion of the donation.

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