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Category: News (91-100 of 623)

On The Books: Jane Austen Was Bored In Church

Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection

A fragment of paper with Jane Austen’s delicate scratch on it was discovered in a first edition of The Memoirs of Jane Austen. Apparently she was transcribing a sermon that her brother wrote, which is just so like her. Maybe she was bored in church too. She’s human after all! For another (less delicate) snippet of Jane Austen, peep this, a succinct yet nuanced account of Pride & Prejudice. [The Guardian]

Another Austen-y thing online today: a “fictional” map of London. Curiocity, a British map-maker that designs alternative and unusual ways of looking at London, has just published a map of the city’s nooks and crannies that have been featured in famous works of fiction. To answer your most pressing questions, yes, they feature hot spots from Harry Potter and Bridget Jones’ Diary. [The Independent]

Today seems to be the day for scraps of handwriting to be cropping up online. An article on David Foster Wallace showcases two of his childhood poems written in his own adorable baby-hand. Everyone knows the man was a genius, but clearly he was also a child prodigy. I can barely scratch out a haiku and he was penning rhymes in kindergarten. DFW FTW. [Open Culture]

Good news for romance fans! The Hallmark Channel has just announced that they will be developing a television series based on Sherryl Woods’ Chesapeake Shores novels. Thank God. I’ve been feeling like there’s something missing in the programming between Golden Girls and I Love Lucy. Problem Solved!

On The Books: Neil Gaiman reads you a bedtime story

Don’t you wish that Neil Gaiman was your kooky uncle? He would sneak you into the circus and you’d get to hold the Biggest Amazonian Python That Ever Lived (whose name is Lucille). He’d help you put frogs in your sister’s bathtub. He’d keep secrets for you, like that time that you accidentally buried your dad’s favorite watch in the park. He would agree that pirate treasure is only good if it’s buried. To help you cement the fantasy that Gaiman is your favorite uncle, here he is reading Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.

A federal judge sentenced a woman to five years in prison and also assigned her some reading for the long nights behind bars. What philosophical tome would a judge think a former eco-saboteur could benefit from? Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath. Naturally. [Gawker]

Apple is in an ongoing legal scuffle over the prices of their e-books. Bloomberg reported that consumers are demanding $840 million in damages. Turns out you’re not the only one who thought you were overpaying for 50 Shades of Grey on your ipad. But before you get excited, it’s unlikely that you will be getting any of that money back. [Bloomberg]

If you were dying to know how Zadie Smith feels about tipping waiters, let out a sigh of relief because she’s laid it all out for The Telegraph today. In short, she finds giving money to the delivery man “awkward.” If I felt indignant on behalf of America’s “service with a smile,” her dig at the Astor Place Pret A Manger made up for it. Smith also has a short story in The New Yorker this week. [The Telegraph]

See the all-star lineup of readers for Lemony Snicket's next audiobook -- EXCLUSIVE


Lemony Snicket always has a few tricks up his sleeve, and it appears he’s called in some favors for the upcoming audio version of File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (out on April Fool’s Day, fittingly). File Under presents 13 mini-mysteries that a young Snicket must solve, and for the audio version, 13 very cool people have signed on to read. Among them are a few radio hosts, an MSNBC anchor, some popular YA authors, musicians, and a football player. Listen to an intro from all 13 readers and see the list exclusively below: READ FULL STORY

See new covers for Judy Blume's 'Tiger Eyes' and 'Deenie' -- EXCLUSIVE


Everyone from Lena Dunham to Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Handler have declared their love for Judy Blume, and now Simon & Schuster is bringing some of her classics to another generation of young readers. Two months ago we revealed updated editions of Forever and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, and now we have a sneak peek at Tiger Eyes and Deenie. (Available Apr. 29). Check them out below! READ FULL STORY

Rainbow Rowell signs two-book deal with First Second -- EXCLUSIVE

It’s time to fangirl because Fangirl author Rainbow Rowell has signed a two-book deal with First Second. She’ll be writing two as-yet-untitled graphic novels which will be YA prose fiction, in the same vein as the aforementioned Fangirl and Printz Honor winner Eleanor & Park. The books were acquired for First Second by Senior Editor Calista Brill. Are you fangirling yet? Because we are.


See the cover of Seth MacFarlane's first novel, 'A Million Ways to Die in the West' -- EXCLUSIVE


It’s rare enough for novelists to turn their own novels into movies, and it’s even rarer for a screenwriter to novelize his own script before the movie even comes out. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane wants to give you an early glimpse of his movie A Million Ways to Die in the West (out late May) — starring himself, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, and Sarah Silverman — in book form (out Mar. 4). And unlike the novelization of, say, Attack of the Clones, which was written by a seasoned tie-in author, it’s written by the director-writer-star himself.

Check out the cover of MacFarlane’s debut novel above and the official description below: READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling muses on 'Harry Potter' character Gilderoy Lockhart for Pottermore -- EXCLUSIVE


We are able to reveal new information from J.K. Rowling about one of the most colorful characters from the Harry Potter books: Gilderoy Lockhart.

Played by Kenneth Branagh in the films, the vain one-time Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher’s birthday falls on January 26th, and J.K. Rowling has recorded three short audio clips for – the digital platform for the Harry Potter stories and the world described within them. These clips are being revealed today at A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida and will be released on soon.

In the three clips, J.K. Rowling discusses her flamboyant creation’s family background, a failed business idea and where the Sorting Hat nearly put him during his time at Hogwarts. The audio reveals her mischievous sense of humour, and a penchant for poking fun at the excesses of celebrity, with echoes of today’s celebrity endorsement culture. READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Lewis Wolpert admits using unauthorized works of others; new E.L. Doctorow interview

Scientist and author Lewis Wolpert has recently admitted to using the work of others in his texts, particularly in a book called You’re Looking Very Well, about the science of aging. More than 20 passages were taken from academic papers, Wikipedia and other websites, and passed off as Wolpert’s own. “I acknowledge that I have been guilty of including some unattributed material in my last book to be published, You’re Looking Very Well (2011) and in the initial version of my yet unpublished book Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man? This lack of attribution was totally inadvertent and due to carelessness on my part,” Wolpert said in an email statement from his publishing company, Faber and Faber. “It is my sincere hope that no damage was done to any individual by the inclusion of any of these passages.” [The Guardian]

Off today? Spend your holiday reading a new interview with author E.L. Doctorow, who talks about his writing style and current preferences. [NYTimes]

With all the reports about the rising popularity in e-readers, should you be concerned about the downfall of print? According to a new post-holiday survey, apparently not. The 2014 survey found that not only do most people who read e-books also read print books, but only 4% are “e-book only” readers. Another interesting stat, according to the survey: at least 87% of e-book readers also found time to pick up a print book in the last 12 months. [Publisher’s Weekly]

Not exactly book related, but close enough, considering: Amazon has always been one step ahead of the game, and now they’re taking their already-advanced shipping ideas even further. According to a report from The Verge, Amazon has acquired a patent that could allow packages to ship before you even buy them. Remember how you used to need to click something in order for it to show up in your cart? Now the company expects its customers to “preemptively” buy, based on what the user has searched and purchased, and how long the user hovers their cursor over an item. This technology is probably farther away than the drone concept, which most likely will be put into development first, but it does raise interesting questiosn about the future of online shopping. [The Verge]

On The Books: Hilary Mantel to pen new book on Margaret Thatcher


Author Hilary Mantel has announced that she will publish a new short story collection in September. The double Booker winner, who hasn’t published short fiction since 2003, will title her new book The Assassination Of Margaret Thatcher. [The Guardian] READ FULL STORY

'Orange Is the New Black' Star Laverne Cox to Pen New Memoir

Harlequin announced today that it has secured the rights to a memoir penned by transgender actress Laverne Cox, who shot to fame this year in Netflix’s hit original series, Orange is the New Black. The book, which hits shelves in 2015, will describe Cox’s personal journey growing up transgender and how she overcame the personal obstacles in her life to become not only an acclaimed actress, but a popular advocate for LGBTQ organizations.

Cox made history when she became the first African-American transgender woman to appear on an American reality show, VH1′s I Want To Work For Diddy. She also produced another VH1 program, TRANSform Me, and starred in a number of small films before landing her breakout role of Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black.

“Laverne Cox is a powerful, accomplished actress and a beacon of hope to countless people of all ages around the world. The story of her life to this point is nothing short of an inspiration,” said editor Rebecca Hunt in a press release.

Watch Cox eloquently respond to an invasive question from Katie Couric about transgender people’s bodies here.

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