Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: Book (11-20 of 168)

On the Books: Do you want to die in the next 'Game of Thrones' novel?

If you know anything about Game of Thrones, you know that author George R.R. Martin kills off a lot of characters. If you’d like to join that esteemed company, here’s your chance. Martin is offering the opportunity to “meet a grisly death” in the next Song of Ice and Fire novel if you donate $20,000 to a fundraiser for the Wild Wolf Spirit sanctuary in New Mexico and The Food Depot of Santa Fe. You’ll be able to choose your position in the world (knight, peasant, whore, lady, etc) as well. But hurry! Offer only good while supplies last. Only one male and one female character are available. Other awards including sharing a breakfast with Martin, tickets to the show’s season 5 premiere, and even Martin’s hat. [Prizeo]

Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins will soon be joining the fray in the Amazon-Hachette war. According to Bloomberg News, their contracts are up for renewal next. This means that Amazon will be up against bigger arms — the publishers’ respective owners are News Corp. and CBS Corp. It also means that Veronica Roth and Stephen King will join J.K. Rowling and James Patterson in the controversy. Independent bookstore owners have also started yelling battle cries — the American Booksellers Association made digital banners reading, “Thanks, Amazon, the indies will take it from here,” “Independent bookstores sell books from all publishers. Always,” and “Pre-order and buy Hachette titles today.” Among all this, Hachette is laying off 3 percent of its staff. [Bloomberg]

Debut novelist Eimar McBride won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, one of the most highly regarded prizes in English-language literature. You might have heard of it when it was called the Orange Prize, sponsored by the British telecom company Orange, but it switched names and sponsorship this year. The book, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, beat out Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah for the award, as well as four other novels on the shortlist. “I hope it will serve as an incentive to publishers everywhere to take a look at difficult books and think again,” McBride said at the ceremony. “We are all writers but we are all readers first. There is a contract between publishers and readers which must be honoured, readers can not be underestimated.” [The Guardian]

In honor of the upcoming World Cup, the curator of Brazilian literature festival FlipSide, Ángel Gurría-Quintana, gives a rundown of the country’s literature — and there’s plenty of it. “Despite the common complaint that not enough Brazilian literature is published in English,” Gurría-Quintana writes. “This is an auspicious moment for new Brazilian writing in translation.” [The Guardian]

Former EW editor Jeff Giles writing YA series 'The Mercy Rule'

JEFF-GILES.jpg

Former EW deputy managing editor Jeff Giles, who oversaw the magazine’s coverage of movies and books and edited plenty of Hunger Games cover stories, has a new young-adult series of his own coming soon. Bloomsbury Children’s has acquired the global rights to two books by him: The Mercy Rule, a fantasy novel about a teen girl trying to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance who meets a bounty hunter trying to escape the Lowlands (a.k.a. hell), and an as-yet-untitled sequel. Giles is represented by literary agent Jodi Reamer, who also represents John Green and Stephenie Meyer.

The Mercy Rule daringly straddles the line between realistic fiction and fantasy — the kind of book that takes hold of you and never lets go,” Cindy Loh, Publishing Director for Bloomsbury Children’s Books, says in a press release. “Jeff is an incredibly gifted storyteller and we knew from page one that this was a project to support in a big way. We have ambitious plans for Jeff and his stunning new series.”

The Mercy Rule is slated for publication in early 2016.

'Hi doggie!': Hear 'The Room' star Greg Sestero read from his memoir -- EXCLUSIVE AUDIOBOOK EXCERPT

When Entertainment Weekly first spoke to actor Greg Sestero back in 2008 the cult which surrounded his film The Room was still a small, mostly Los Angeles-based affair. Six years on, director-writer-star Tommy Wiseau’s fantastically awful film has become famous around the world and Sestero’s recent memoir The Disaster Artist – which concerns both the film’s production and his friendship with Wiseau — has been optioned by James Franco. READ FULL STORY

'Arrow' producer Marc Guggenheim breaks down his book 'Overwatch' and teases a sequel

OVERWATCH-GUGGENHEIM.jpg

As an executive producer on CW’s Arrow, Marc Guggenheim knows how to pull off an awesome cliffhanger. Which is why anyone who has come to the ending of his new book, Overwatch, about a lawyer who finds himself unraveling a CIA conspiracy, was probably left wondering, ‘…and now what?!’

We thought the same thing and set out for some answers.

“I think the two reasons I really want to do another novel is because I have [a] story to tell,” Guggenheim says of his in-the-works sequel. “And then the second reason, quite frankly, is that I feel like I learned so much [during the first book], I want to put that knowledge to use.”

Below, Guggenheim opens up about the Overwatch follow-up and which characters will (and won’t!) be returning.

[In other words, book spoilers below.]  READ FULL STORY

What We're Reading Now: Annihilation; Jeff Vandermeer

annihilation.jpg

Are you in a book club? Do you take turns [painstakingly] picking out each read? Hoping everyone likes it and your one friend doesn’t complain about how “the chapters are, like, sooo long” again? And, as the end of each month nears, do you realize that a) the plan for you and your two roommates to share one copy of a 300-page book was dense and b) you need to shuffle your calendar to find a Friday night you and the girls can try out that new spot in Chelsea at 10pm to…discuss a book?

Does that ever work? The last time my ‘Book Club’ got together we pretty much…well, suffice to say, everything after the second course is a little fuzzy.

No, that’s not the way to share books.

A better way is this: Matt, EW’s Editor / the dude with whom I share an office wall (I’ll let you decide which is his bigger claim to fame) walks past my desk several mornings raving about Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation, which EW reviewed here –> I bemoan having nothing to read whilst giving the book in his hand a pointed stare –> he promises to pass it along once finished –> I receive it, knowing he loved it, and begin reading.

There’s a chance I’ve buried the lead, but basically –> I also love it.

 Annihilation takes you inside the weirdness (read: mind-blowing, post-apocalyptic, potentially LSD-fueled Eden) of Area X. The prose is phenomenal,  the characters, despite existing in a very different world and time, have much to teach us about our own and the plot is…well, I’m actually  still not sure what the plot allegory is (Jesus? The 2nd Coming? Conservationism?) but I know it toyed with my imagination in ways that haven’t happened since A Wrinkle in Time.

And the best part? This is just the first book of the Southern Reach Trilogy — we won’t be bidding Area X or its mind-bending oddities ‘goodbye’ anytime soon. Book Two, Authority lands on bookshelves May 6.

Authority-Jeff-Vandermeer.jpg

So that’s the kind of book-sharing that goes on at EW. I’ll be back here every week reporting on what books the EW staff is reading, and loving (or…hating). In the meantime: What are you reading?

2014 Pulitzer Prize winners announced; Donna Tartt takes the big fiction prize

The-Goldfinch.jpg

Donna Tartt’s sprawling literary epic that centers on a mysterious little painting has taken the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, besting other lengthy titles, such as The Son by Philipp  Meyer and The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis, both of which received “A” grades from EW. READ FULL STORY

Love 'Reign'? Three British princess books to dive into

Just admit it: you’re head over heels for Reign. Ratings for the racy CW drama have been steadily rising – look no further than Thursday’s lavish wedding episode, which earned its highest viewership of the season – which seem to indicate the market for edgy princess drama is holding its own.

And with good reason. The 16th century, with its corseted dresses, complicated transnational politics, torrid affairs, absurd wigs and class struggles, has long inspired period television drama and film. Hundreds of authors have been similarly inspired, penning a host of deliciously scandalous offerings meant to satisfy your craving for all things bejeweled, lusty and forbidden. So if you’re longing for more after Reign’s last episode, there are plenty of books to choose from. Here’s a look at three of our very favorite princess books, complete with epic romance, sprawling castles, the Queen’s English, and a gripping storyline revolving around a throne at stake. READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling has seven books planned for Cormoran Strike series

Using a similar approach as she took with Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has plans to write up to seven novels in her Cormoran Strike series, according to The Sunday Times. Rowling, writing under the name Robert Galbraith, has already had solid success with the detective genre. Her first book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was published last April and has sold 600,000 hardback copies and 1 million ebooks. As we announced last week, the sequel The Silkworm is coming out in June 2014.

READ FULL STORY

'Harriet The Spy' turns 50: A tribute to Louise Fitzhugh's perfectly prickly heroine

harriet-the-spy.jpg

Harriet M. Welsch would eat Anne of Green Gables for lunch.

Not literally, of course: Anne isn’t a tomato sandwich. But if the two went toe-to-toe in some sort of battle royal for 11-year-olds, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s plucky orphan wouldn’t stand a chance. Unlike Anne — and Pippi Longstocking, and Pollyanna, and countless other cheery kid-lit protagonists — Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet isn’t friendly or agreeable. She’s rude, impatient, temperamental, arrogant, and sharp, especially when taking vengeance on the classmates who read her meticulously kept notebook.

Harriet is, in short, a jerk — but a smart, perceptive, lovable jerk, one who’s wholly relatable whether you’re 11 or several times that age. When I’m snaking my way through a crowd of cement-footed commuters, I can hear Harriet’s indignant voice whispering in my ear: “Fast. That’s the way I move, fast. What’s wrong with that?” When I surreptitiously write down snippets of strangers’ conversations — what, doesn’t everybody? — I can sense her silent nod of approval.

Harriet’s edge has won her scores of fans, including novelist Jonathan Franzen. “I don’t know of a better novel about the costs and rewards of being a truth teller,” Franzen says in a cover blurb for Harriet the Spy‘s 50th-anniversary edition, which will be released Feb. 25. “I love the story of Harriet so much I feel as if I lived it.”

I get where he’s coming from. When I first discovered Harriet circa second grade, I had never even heard of her favorite drink (the egg cream) or the contraption she uses to spy on crazy old Mrs. Plumber (a dumbwaiter). She was an only child in 1960s New York; I was the youngest of three in 1990s Pittsburgh. While we both sported glasses, hers were merely cosmetic; she wore them “because she thought they made her look smarter.”

But those surface details hardly mattered. Like Franzen, I identified so fully with Harriet — her emotions, fear of change, frustration, and loneliness — that she instantly felt like an old friend. Inspired by her, I even started keeping a journal in which I carefully wrote mean things about my friends. During a fateful fifth-grade camping trip, that choice came back to bite me…hard. (P.S. Katy, Julia, Whitney, Kate — I’m still sorry.)

Despite that episode, Harriet wasn’t a bad influence. My bond with her was so strong precisely because her faults and virtues mirrored my own. Later incarnations of the character penned by people other than Fitzhugh — the 1996 film that introduced me to fan rage (Ole Golly does not look like Rosie O’Donnell), two wan sequels by Helen Ericson and Maya Gold, a horrific 2010 TV movie called Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars — fail to capture what made the original so captivating because they turn her into someone the real Harriet would find insipid. Thank heavens, then, for this anniversary edition, which I hope will introduce a new generation to my endearingly jerky little heroine.

On The Books: Let's hope you don't win a book prize

You better hope you haven’t been nominated for any book prizes this year. (No, not really. Let’s hope you have.) A new study coming out in the March issue of Administrative Science Quarterly finds that prize winners face a backlash from readers. According to The Guardian, Amanda Sharkey and Balázs Kovács looked at 38,817 reader reviews on GoodReads.com. They compared the reviews of books that had won an award to reviews of books that had not. Apparently the reviews of the award winners took a notable nose dive after their authors’ accolades were announced. Sharkey and Kovács hypothesized that “many readers who are drawn in by prize-winning books tend to have tastes that are simply not predisposed to liking the types of books that win prizes.” That sounds like a circumspect way of calling us superficial social climbers for reading a book because it won an award. Doesn’t everyone presume something award-winning must be particularly outstanding and therefore worthy of our time? That doesn’t mean every book that wins a Booker Prize or every movie that wins an Oscar or every restaurant that wins a James Beard Award is going to be your favorite thing ever, but still it’s worth a shot. Also, checking Goodreads.com for your case study seems pretty amateur. What do you guys think? [The Guardian]

READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP