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On the Books: Could 'Beowulf' be the next 'Game of Thrones'?

Could the Old English epic poem “Beowulf” become the next Game of Thrones? The British network ITV, which also airs Downton Abbey, has announced plans to adapt the story for a 13-part miniseries that will feature “epic fights, thrilling chases, raids, celebrations and battles.” The series will join the adaptations of Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the network is currently developing. Hopefully this Beowulf revival goes better than the last one. [The Guardian]

James Patterson is literature’s top earner, but he also has a charitable streak. Following a string of donations to independent bookstores, Patterson made another Monday, in the form of $473,000 in grants. Patterson started the program in February for independent bookstores with children’s sections; he’s already donated to 178 stores for a total of $1,008,300. [Publishers Weekly]

So much for the digital generation. A survey by Nielsen says that, by a narrow margin, teens are actually less likely to buy ebooks than their older counterparts. While 20 percent of teens go digital, that number increases with age—23 percent of 18-29 year olds and 25 percent of 30-44 year olds buy ebooks, according to the research. None of those numbers are particularly big, but suggest the digital format might not enjoy as easy a transition as once thought. [Nielsen]

Deadheads, prepare yourselves: Jerry Garcia is coming to comic book stores near you. Bluewater Productions has released a biographical comic book of the iconic rocker, that focuses on “separating the myth from the man.” The company has previously produced comic books about stars like Paul McCartney, David Bowie, and Prince. [Mediabistro]

Judy Blume's 'In the Unlikely Event' set to debut in 2015, plot details revealed

Judy Blume has revealed some details of her latest novel, and while the book is aimed at adults, the new work will pull from the author’s own childhood.

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'The things you don't want to admit you feel': Scott Snyder previews 'Wytches' #3-exclusive

Over the past five years, Scott Snyder has quickly become one of the most popular writers in mainstream comics—largely due to his stellar, chart-topping run on Batman. But in his creator-owned work, Snyder has displayed a knack for gripping horror stories that double as explorations of very real and relatable anxieties and concerns. It’s horror steeped in humanity.

In Wytches, the Image Comics series Snyder co-created with the superstar art team of Jock and Matt Hollingsworth, the writer isn’t just completely reinventing witches—through the story of the Rook family’s dealings with the titular monsters, he’s diving deep into very real fears about being a parent, and the ugliness that hides in all of us.

In a characteristically honest fashion, Snyder sat down with EW to chat about where Wytches is going, what scares him as a parent, and the things that make normal people become the stuff horror is made of. Come for the interview; stick around for the sneak peek at this week’s Wytches #3.

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Pottermore Christmas, day 4: Cursed necklaces and Quidditch chasers

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A new day brings a new riddle to solve on Pottermore.

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Pottermore Christmas, Day 3: All about potions and cauldrons

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On the third day of Christmas, dear Rowling gave to we/Some stuff about potions and cauldrons.

Okay, so maybe that doesn’t rhyme. But today’s Pottermore riddle does:

His potions lessons are full of interesting things
With students keen to see what each day will bring
With his large moustache and rotund shape
Who teaches this class after Professor Snape?
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Today's Pottermore treat: A peek into Diagon Alley (and J.K. Rowling's process)

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Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes is a marvellous place
Full of jokes and potions by the box and the case.
The premises are stuffed with people, ready to pop
But on what magical street can you find this fun shop?

The answer to today’s Pottermore Christmas riddle, the second in a series of 12? Diagon Alley, of course. Answering the rhyming message above leads Pottermore users into Fred and Geoge Weasley’s colorful joke shop, which is scored by the sounds of popping balloons and laughter. Double click a few times, click on a floating hot-air balloon, and you’ll be led to the first bit of today’s new material from J.K. Rowling herself—a bit of backstory on Florean Fortescue, an ice cream shop owner whom Rowling intended to play a much larger role in the story. READ FULL STORY

On the Books: 'The Invention of Wings' is Amazon's bestseller in 2014

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-The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd topped the 2014 Amazon bestsellers list, which the e-giant released this morning. The selection is composed of the frontlist titles published in 2014 that moved the most copies, including both ebook and print edition purchases. John Grisham’s Gray Mountain nabbed second place, followed by Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See—also the most wished for book this year. Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher novel, Twenty Seconds Ago and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies rounded out the overall top five. The Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan was the number one bestselling kids/teen book, and the children’s hit Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney was most-gifted overall. [Publishers Weekly]

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DC announces 'Arkham Knight' prequel comic -- exclusive

Rocksteady Entertainment’s Arkham series of Batman games are among the best superhero games ever made. Granted, that’s a bar that wasn’t terribly hard to clear, but the trilogy that began with 2009’s Arkham Asylum and about to conclude with next year’s Arkham Knight has effectively raised the bar sky-high. One of the reasons for the game’s success is the way it subtly remixes the Batman mythos, coming up with a take that’s true to the story beats that everyone knows, but with a texture and feel that is uniquely its own.

Arkham Knight is different. While the previous two games—Arkham Asylum and Arkham City (Arkham Origins wasn’t developed by Rocksteady)—all told original stories, Arkham Knight is the first to introduce a new character, the titular Arkham Knight. As such, a prequel comic is an interesting prospect.

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J.K. Rowling's new Pottermore material hints at Snape's past

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Today marks the first day of Pottermore’s 12-day fete of new material to the site, including new entries that explore the back story of Severus Snape’s hometown.

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Neil Patrick Harris: 2014 was the year I started a new chapter -- then wrote a book

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The hardest-working man in showbiz? It’s still Neil Patrick Harris, who spent his 2014 wrapping up How I Met Your Mother, starring in a pair of movies, playing eight shows a week on Broadway, releasing a memoir… in fact, just about the one thing he didn’t do was decide to take over for David Letterman. Why? Because he was worried he’d get bored hosting a nightly show.

Here, Harris tells EW about one of his busiest years yet—and prepping for a jam-packed 2015. (Hello, Oscars.)

This last year has been the most glorious of clusterf–ks. I was finishing How I Met Your Mother, in rehearsals to perform Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, and filming back-to-back feature films. I remember one day where, after rehearsal as ladies man Barney Stinson on HIMYM, I quickly drove across town to put on high-heeled boots to rehearse in a totally new physicality for Hedwig, then headed back across town to do some looping for the western A Million Ways to Die in the West, and then went to a table read for the thriller Gone Girl.

With the series ending, and all these overlapping gigs—things I simply couldn’t pass up—as well as a bunch of new things on the horizon, it was a bit like juggling. Juggling a bowling ball, a tennis racket, a kitten, and a
chain saw. READ FULL STORY

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