Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Category: TV (1-10 of 95)

Carol Leifer talks life in TV sitcoms, from 'Seinfeld' to 'Devious Maids'

How-to-Succeed-in-Business-Without-Really-Crying.jpg

Veteran TV writer Carol Leifer has tapped her storied Hollywood career as fodder for a new memoir, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying. She talks to EW about what it takes to succeed in an industry that’s so tough it isn’t funny. Jennifer Armstrong reports.

Carol Leifer’s career could be a mini-lesson in modern TV history. She started as a stand-up but segued into sitcoms by writing for her buddy Jerry on Seinfeld. From there, she talked her way onto the staff of The Larry Sanders Show, co-created The Ellen Show with future Arrested Development master Mitch Hurwitz, created her own sitcom (Alright Already), and even dabbled in reality in The Celebrity Apprentice‘s third season. READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Alice Walker doc premieres tonight

In honor of black history month, a documentary about the life of Alice Walker, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Color Purple, will be premiering tonight on PBS. Along with hearing from Walker, there will be interviews with Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, Gloria Steinem, Sapphire, and the late Howard Zinn. [PBS]

Attention lady poets: watch your back because 2014 does not seem to be your year. Former poet laureate of New Hampshire Maxine Kumin passed away yesterday. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for Up Country: Poems of New England. You can read some of her work at The Academy of American Poets. And former U.S. poet laureate Kay Ryan was hit by a car while riding her bike in the Bay Area. What the heck guys?? Luckily, Ryan is out of the hospital this week. To help her recover, take a few minutes to read a few of her poems here. My favorite is “Lime Light.” [SF Gate]

If you haven’t had enough of Bridgegate and all the Chris Christie brouhaha, then maybe you’ll be interested in catching his biography. Threshold Editions announced today that they would be publishing Matt Katz’s book on the controversial governor in Spring 2015.

And in “I Never Thought I’d See The Day” news, Ice T has recorded a Dungeons & Dragon’s audiobook. He discusses how this amazing pairing happened in his podcast Ice T’s Final Level Podcast. “The deep, deep nerd s—,” really threw him for a loop. He notes that “motherf—–s live in places that don’t exist, and it comes with a map.” Not much gets by Ice T! I too have always wondered if there’s a category of topographer that specializes in fantasy fiction maps. [Paste]

And let’s take a moment to wish Charles Dickens a happy 202nd birthday. To celebrate, take the time to revel in Christopher Hitchens’ brilliant analysis of Dickens’ personal character in The Atlantic. And possibly enjoy this quiz.

On The Books: Glee's Chris Colfer drops another book

Chris Colfer (the one who plays sassy Kurt on Glee) writes children’s books. Just to make you feel unproductive this Thursday, he already has two books under his belt and he’s only 23. In between filming Glee episodes, he’s found the time to write a third, The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning. In between my heavy coffee-drinking, I found the time to author this post, so we’re all busy. Colfer just announced that the fantasy story will be released on July 8, and USA Today has an excerpt. Don’t all rush over there at once! [USA Today]

You know that feeling that you get when you are swept into a really good book, so lost in what the character is thinking that you can’t hear the subway conductor announce your stop and suddenly you’re in Queens again – and not at your office in Midtown? That’s never happened to me. But if you are this kind of engrossed reader, then imagine how much cooler cracking a book is going to be with a computerized vest that makes you feel like you are the protagonist. MIT developed a vest for readers to wear that can restrict your breathing when the main character is scared or change your body temperature to match a dank basement that the character is trapped in. Wait, that sounds terrible…This should come with a warning label that says: DO NOT use with a Stephen King novel. [NPR]

The script for Red Rising, a new science fiction/fantasy novel that was released last week, is already being tossed around in Hollywood. Deadline is reporting that Marc Forster, the director of World War Z, is attached to the potential film. We liked the book so much that we put it on the Must List last week, so snap up a copy if you’re interested in reading a gripping saga of a young boy trying to break out of the brutal caste system that he has been born into. Vengeance, war, love, and hate — all taking place on Mars. Sounds like a Valentine’s Day read! [Deadline]

Business Insider put together a list of the 18 bookstores every book-lover must visit. Some picks are classics: Book People in Austin, Shakespeare & Company in Paris. And some picks were less known gems: apparently the biggest outdoor bookstore in the world is in Ojai, CA. Then there’s John K. King Used And Rare Books in the industrial wasteland of Detroit, which looks like an episode of CSI waiting to happen. I won’t be rushing out to “get lost” in these book stacks. [Business Insider]

'Pity the Antihero,' an essay by 'Shovel Ready' author Adam Sternbergh

Adam Sternbergh is the culture editor of The New York Times Magazine. Formerly an editor-at-large for New York, his writing has been featured in several other publications including GQ, The Times of London, and on the radio program This American Life. He lives in Brooklyn. His first novel, Shovel Ready, will be published by Crown on January 14, 2014. He is at work on a second Spademan novel, Near Enemy, which is set to publish in 2015.

Pity the antihero. Amid his usual routine of skirting the law, living by a code, and implicitly calling into question the validity of our bourgeois social structures, he (or she!) must now contend with a new menace: Antihero fatigue.

This fatigue started, as with so many things, on our TV screens. No sooner had Breaking Bad, that brilliant showcase for the morally decaying American male, ended its series run then TV watchers publicly brushed their hands and announced they were done with the antihero. “Can We Make Walter White Our Last Antihero, Please?” read the straightforward headline of one typical essay. The Shield? Great. Mad Men? Of course. Breaking Bad? Huzzah! Antiheros sure had a good run, but now we’ve had our fill. READ FULL STORY

Shonda Rhimes lands book deal for memoir(ish) take on work and family

If you’re like me and have to watch Grey’s Anatomy with closed captions to keep up with the characters’ fast-paced emotional monologues (“Something something I’m your person something something dark and twisty something me something ME!”), you’ll love this news: Shonda Rhimes is getting a book deal!

The creator of Scandal, Grey’s, and Private Practice has inked a deal with Simon & Schuster for a book that’s being billed as “part memoir, part inspiration, part prescription.” Rhimes — a single mother of three girls — will write about building her family on the cusp of her skyrocketing Hollywood career and navigating the subsequent challenges that come from balancing those two facets of her life.

“Simon and Schuster is crazy for giving me a book deal as I am clearly in no position to be handing out wisdom,” Rhimes said in a release. “But I have made a lot of mistakes as a single mother and as a working mother and as a sleepless mother and as a dating mother. And I did all of it while running a bunch of TV shows. So I’m going to write about that and hope my kids don’t use it against me in therapy later.”

The book is due for publication in 2015.

See the cover of Judy Greer's upcoming memoir -- EXCLUSIVE

Judy-Greer-Cover

Even if you only learned her name recently, you totally recognize Judy Greer. She was one of the best parts of Arrested Development, served as a trusty (or back-stabbing) best friend in popular rom-coms, showed us her dramatic side in The Descendants, and elevated many a network sitcom with her presence.

Now the onscreen best friend will make you feel like she’s your actual best friend in her upcoming book of essays, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star (out April 8, 2014). In the book, Greer will write about her trip to the Oscars, bad blind dates, Spanx, behind-the-scenes stories, and how she really feels about fans telling her she’s prettier in person.

“BUY MY BOOK! PLEASE!,” says Greer to EW. “I’m just kidding (not really). Seriously though, this book is all about my life, which is a lot like yours, especially if you’ve peed next to J. Lo.”

See the back cover, also exclusive, of the book below: READ FULL STORY

Has Fox News fought criticism with fake commenter accounts?

last-of-old-media-empires.jpg

In a new book called Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires, author David Folkenflik — who is an NPR media reporter — writes that in the mid- to late-aughts, Fox’s PR team was tasked with countering “not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them.”

According to a book excerpt posted Sunday on progressive site Media Matters, Folkenflik even found one former Fox staffer who “recalled using 20 different aliases to post pro-Fox rants.”

“Another,” Folkenflik adds, “had one hundred.”

Allegedly, the authors of these fake comments went to great lengths to conceal their true identities. “Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account,” Folkenflik explains. “Another used an AOL dial-up connection, even in the age of widespread broadband access, on the rationale it would be harder to pinpoint its origins.”

And the directive to fight criticism with comments apparently came from on high: “Old laptops were distributed for these cyber operations,” according to Murdoch’s World.

Folkenflik cites “four former Fox News employees” as his sources; he does not claim that current staffers are still utilizing these tactics.

Fox News has not yet responded to EW’s request for comment.

'Paddle Your Own Canoe': Nick Offerman talks manners, college life, and -- what else? -- manliness

paddle-your-own-canoe.jpg

With his Pyramid of Greatness, woodworking prowess, and lust for bacon and eggs, Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation seems like the ultimate man: a carnivorous, all-American alpha male who can fashion rings in 20 minutes and escape all women named Tammy.

But Nick Offerman insists, despite his love of woodworking and iconic mustache, he’s nothing like his character — after all, he’s an artist who went to theater school and danced ballet, and even puts on makeup for work every day. In his new book, Paddle Your Own Canoe, he not only explores his Paul Bunyan-like image with tongue-in-cheek lessons on manliness, complete with illustrations and advice, but also offers poignant memories of his childhood growing up in Illinois and hilarious anecdotes from his career.

The actor spoke to EW about his writing process, his favorite memories, and what it truly means to be manly. Hint: No punching involved — unless it’s something to do with Jamm. READ FULL STORY

'Duck Dynasty' star Si Robertson talks 'Si-cology 1' -- EXCLUSIVE

si-cology-1.jpg

The big-bearded Robertson clan is turning their Duck Dynasty into a formidable publishing dynasty. Willie and Korie Robertson’s book The Duck Commander Family has been lighting up the charts for 38 weeks, and Phil Robertson’s Happy, Happy, Happy has been the biggest hit of all. Now wise-cracking Uncle Si is getting in on the publishing action with Si-Cology 1 (out today), which includes Si’s tall tales and one-liners. Check out two videos starring Si below; the first is a look inside his photo album, and the second an interview about recording the audiobook: READ FULL STORY

Drawings of 'Breaking Bad' characters as ghosts by Doogie Horner -- EXCLUSIVE

I am the one who..haunts?

Comedian, writer and designer Doogie Horner, who reinterpreted the spooky icon as different pop culture characters in 100 Ghosts, his book of drawings, has created a series of new ones just for Breaking Bad. Horner explores these ghosts for characters both dead and alive on the hit drama and even makes Heisenberg look downright innocent as a hovering white sheet.

“Why are people afraid of ghosts? I think it’s because ghosts say ‘boo,’ and people are afraid of criticism, but also because ghosts live in graveyards and are sometimes filled with spiders,” Horner writes in his introduction to 100 Ghosts. “But ghosts are just dead people, and most people are nice.” Just not Walter White, of course. READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP