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Tag: Children's Books (1-10 of 102)

On the Books: Whoopi Goldberg penning a book about the 'downsides of marriage'

- Hachette has acquired a “provocative, witty, and heartfelt book on the downsides of marriage” by the thrice-married actress and The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg, according to a press release from Tuesday. In the untitled book, set to be published in hardcover, ebook, and audio versions in September 2015, the personality “will speak openly, and with her trademark wit and wisdom about why marriage isn’t for everyone, how being alone can be satisfying, and how what’s ultimately most important is understanding who you are and what in life makes you happy.”

Goldberg is one of the few celebrities in the prestigious “EGOT” club—having won an Emmy, Golden Globe (twice), Oscar, and Tony over the course of her three-decade career. The winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is also the author of children’s Sugar Plum Ballerinas series, as well as Is It Just Me?, her humorous take on the decline of modern society.

She said in the press release: “I get to hear from a lot of different people about relationships and this got me trying to figure out why the divorce rate is SO high. It occurred to me that as one who has done it badly often, I might have some insight into why a person might not put her best foot forward in a relationship… It’s hard to really know the other person’s agenda, but if someone says ‘you complete me’…RUN!!!”

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On the Books: Ellen DeGeneres is writing an interior decorating guide

- Ellen DeGeneres is writing an interior decor book called HOME that will help readers “create the homes of their dreams,” according to a press release from publisher Grand Central Life & Style (an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette). “A lot of people don’t know that I have a passion for interior design, so I’m excited to be releasing this book,” said DeGeneres, who has renovated 12 properties before. “I’m inspired by art and nature and architecture. Now everybody can see how things come together inside my home and in some of my favorite places.”

The talk show host has a slew of other home decor-related projects leading up to the book’s release in fall 2015. She recently debuted her line of home goods on QVC; Ellen’s Design Challenge will premiere on HGTV in January; and her lifestyle brand E.D. will launch with an e-commerce site in the spring. DeGeneres has written three books of life experiences and humorous observations, all of which debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list. This year, she hosted the Academy Awards for a second time, where she took the memorable star-studded selfie that broke Twitter records.

- Another famous woman has a different sort of literary venture in the works. Evangeline Lilly (LostThe Hobbit) Kickstarted a campaign to raise money for First Book, a nonprofit that brings books and digital resources to children in need in the U.S. and Canada, via Prizeo. Rewards for donations include copies and memorabilia of her forthcoming children’s book The Squickerwonkers, out Nov. 18. One winner will accompany Lilly to the world premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in London next month. [GalleyCat]

- Lilly ought to consider giving author Joshua Ferris a call—he won the £30,000 Dylan Thomas Prize last week for his novel To Rise Again at a Decent HourThe Guardian describes the winning title as a funny yet serious read, “in which dentistry, baseball and existential dread combine with contemporary New York, unlikely Old Testament peoples and the modern malaise of being emotionally disconnected in a hyper-connected age.” Among Ferris’ competition for the fiction award were Eleanor Catton. (The Luminaries) and Eimear McBride (A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing).

- PBS announced plans to livestream three days of the Miami Book Fair International, the annual weeklong fest beginning Nov. 16. The fest, expecting over 200,000 attendees, will feature over 500 authors and special guests—including YA author Judy Blume, novelist Emma Straub (The Vacationers) and musician Questlove of The Roots. Executive producer of the PBS livestream Rich Fahle said the book industry hasn’t been “aggressive about creating a media opportunity around their business,” adding that the fair is “an amazing collection of people and stories in one place.” [The New York Times]

On the Books: Pulitzer-winning poet Galway Kinnell dies at 87

- Renowned American poet Galway Kinnell died of leukemia last week at the age of 87. Kinnell received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for 1982′s Selected Poems—as well as a MacArthur genius grant, a poet laureateship in Vermont, a chancellorship at the American Academy of Poets, and, most recently, the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement. The World War II vet, anti-Vietnam War activist, and civil rights champion infused his verse with the gritty social issues pervading the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The Los Angeles Times writes that the Kinnell is celebrated for his “forceful, spiritual takes on the outsiders and underside of contemporary life,” and how he “blended the physical and the philosophical, not shying from the most tactile and jarring details of humans and nature.” His work reflects the influence that Walt Whitman and  friend W.S. Merwin had on him. Kinnell—who also taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Reed College before retiring in 2011—is survived by his wife, two children from a former marriage, and two grandchildren.

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On the Books: Dick Cavett talks 'Brief Encounters' in pop culture in new book

Dick-Cavett

- What do Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Taylor, James Gandolfini, Gore Vidal, and John Lennon have in common? They’re all featured characters in Dick Cavett’s new essay collection out today, Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments and Assorted Hijinks. In his latest offering, the 28-year host of one of The Dick Cavett Show—one of 20th-century America’s first media forums for entertainment culture—shares his recollections of the famous figures he encountered throughout his career. Jimmy Fallon wrote the foreword to Brief Encounters, in which Cavett also revisits his Midwestern upbringing and offers his take on modern politics and pop culture—he calls Stephen Colbert’s upcoming late-night debut “one of the great things to happen in this country,” reports USA Today. Fifty-six years after the debut of his talk show, Cavett, 77, remains as quick-witted and bold-minded as ever. “I dislike people who can’t swim, who can’t drive a car, who don’t have a television set and who don’t go online,” he says. “A great world is available to you there. It’s moronic not to be a part of it.” READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Mary-Louise Parker to pen memoir in the form of letters

Actress Mary-Louise Parker will tell her life story through a series of letters penned to the most important men in her life—so exes Billy Crudup and Jeffrey Dean Morgan should maybe look out. Dear Mr. You will be released by Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner in fall 2015. “I am so honored and thrilled to be working with Scribner and in the company of such wonderful writers,” said Mary-Louise Parker in a Scribner press release.

“From Frank McCourt to Jeannette Walls to Anjelica Huston, Scribner loves a great memoirist, and Mary-Louise Parker is one,” added senior vice president and publisher Nan Graham. “Her writing is magnificent; the conceit—a memoir in letters to men—is wholly original and brilliantly executed.” The Emmy-, Tony-, and Golden Globe-winning actress is best known for her critically acclaimed role as pot-dealing widow Nancy Botwin on Showtime’s Weeds. 

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On the Books: Long-lost Dr. Seuss stories hit shelves

Horton-and-the-Kwuggerbug

A new Dr. Seuss book was published Tuesday, 23 years after the writer’s death. Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories is a collection of four previously unpublished short stories that Seuss wrote for Redbook magazine in the 1950s. The stories, discovered by Seuss biographer Charles Cohen and published by Random House, feature both familiar faces like The Grinch and Horton the elephant, as well as new characters like the titular Kwuggerbug. Theodor Geisel, the man behind the legendary pseudonym, died in 1991. [The Telegraph]

British fantasy novelist Graham Joyce died Tuesday at the age of 59 after a yearlong battle with lymphoma. Joyce’s publisher Gollancz, confirmed the news via Twitter: “Graham Joyce was a writer of huge heart. He loved people and his writing celebrated the magic of them. His books are a fitting legacy.” The multiple-time British Fantasy award winner was mourned on Twitter by fans and fellow authors including Stephen King, who tweeted, “Very sad to hear that Graham Joyce, a truly great novelist, has passed away. Too soon. Far too soon.” [The Guardian]

The nation’s largest bookstore, Barnes & Noble, experienced a 7-percent loss in revenue in its first quarter, ending in August—but managed to cut its net losses from $87 million to $28.4 million in the first period of the fiscal year. Retail CEO Mitch Klipper said that part of the reduction in declining sales is due to the ongoing dispute between retailer Amazon and publisher Hachette, as well as the popularity of movies adapted from young-adult books. B&N’s future revenues will in part be determined by its Nook Media ebook business and a new joint venture with Google, a book delivery system, currently being piloted. [Publishers Weekly]

Celebrity television judge-turned-author Judge Judy Sheindlin is giving away her new book for free. What Would Judy Say?: Be the Hero of Your Own Story is downloadable on Sheindlin’s website a PDF or e-book, free of charge.  On the site, Scheindlen—who collects a bigger paycheck than any other celebrity on TV, earning nearly a million dollars per workday—describes her book as “an honest conversation with women about what it really takes to get what you deserve out of life.” [Los Angeles Times]

 

 

 

 

On the Books: Americans appear on Man Booker shortlist for first time

Man-Booker-Prize.jpg

The shortlist of contenders for the United Kingdom’s prestigious Man Booker Prize, announced today, includes American authors Joshua Ferris and Karen Joy Fowler among the unprecedentedly multinational selection. The competition—which until this year was only open to citizens of the the U.K., U.K. Commonwealth, Ireland, and Zimbabwe—considered writers from any country, as long as they were published in English in the United Kingdom. Here is the list in full:

Joshua Ferris (U.S.), To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking)
Richard Flanagan (Australian), The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus)
Karen Joy Fowler (U.S.), We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Serpent’s Tail)
Howard Jacobson (British), J (Jonathan Cape)
Neel Mukherjee (British), The Lives of Others (Chatto & Windus)
Ali Smith (British), How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton)

Despite fears of British authors being shut out by American literary powerhouses, Brits still dominated the competition, nabbing three of the six spots on the shortlist. AC Grayling, chair of the judges, said the selection is “a strong, thought-provoking shortlist which we believe demonstrates the wonderful depth and range of contemporary fiction in English.” The winner of the $80,000 award will be announced in London on Oct. 14. [NPR]

Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards’ children’s book, Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar, hits shelves today. Published by Little, Brown and illustrated by Richards’ daughter Theodora, the book is about Richards’ childhood memories of jazz-musician grandfather Gus, who shared his love for music and London with a young Keith. [USA Today]

Publishers Weekly conducted an informal poll of more than 20 independent bookstores, finding that despite earlier predictions, most of the stores enjoyed a successful summer. Though overall book sales fell nearly 8 percent in the first half of 2014, PW‘s poll shows that many small booksellers saw a surge in sales over the last quarter. Storeowners attribute part of the increase to the Hachette-Amazon feud—Powell’s Books of Portland, Ore., for example, received 10,000 pre-orders for Edan Lepucki’s California after getting a mention on The Colbert Report.

Judith Viorst talks 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day'

Judith-Viorst

It’s time for a trip down memory lane. If you grew up reading picture books, chances are you’re familiar with Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Originally published in 1972, Alexander is one of those instant classics because, like the titular character, we’ve all had our fair share of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. Alexander’s hitting the big screen next month with Disney’s adaptation starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. Coincidentally, \ Viorst has two new books (out now) leading up to the movie’s release: Alexander, Who’s Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever and And Two Boys Booed, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Here, Viorst talks about her inspiration for both, and Alexander’s lasting legacy. READ FULL STORY

Nick Cannon to publish illustrated poetry book for kids

Versatile TV and radio personality Nick Cannon will soon be adding “published poet” to his list of professional accomplishments. Today Scholastic announced it will publish Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems, a hip-hop-influenced children’s poetry book written and partially illustrated by Cannon, in March 2015.

The poetry collection will include “funny, silly, gross, heartwarming, as well as serious poems,” according to the Scholastic press release. Cannon—a musician, comedian, actor, producer and host of America’s Got Talent—will do some of the illustrations himself, while others will be the work of notable streets artists like Califawnia (a.k.a. Fawn Arthur), Art Mobb (a.k.a. Michael Farhat), and MAST.

Neon Aliens is inspired by Cannon’s love for both poetry and hip-hop. “Writing is at the center of everything I do as an artist,” Cannon said. “As a kid, it was my escape from the inner-city pitfalls.” He credits Shel Silverstein in particular with fostering his passion for writing poetry and creating art from a young age—and aspires to do the same for kids today with his book. “I hope that poems in Neon Aliens will help inspire kids to want to get out a pen and paper to write or draw their own thoughts, rhymes, and stories.”

The book deal is the result of a collaboration between Nick Cannon’s production and management company Ncredible Entertainment, Vice President at Scholastic Debra Dorfman, and the investment group Impact Republic. Scholastic is set to publish a previously announced children’s book by Cannon in November, Roc and Roe’s Twelve Days of Christmas.

Inside the far-off world of 'Star Wars Workbooks'

Many elementary school kids spend their days wishing school was more like Star Wars. But what if Star Wars was school?

That’s the ambitious theory behind Workman Publishing’s new collection of Star Wars Workbooks, which aim to drill youngsters in everything from “Preschool Number Fun” to “2nd Grade Writing—by means of everything from Boba Fett to Padmé Amidala. The books align with Common Core requirements, and Workman promises that they drill basic concepts in much the same way as the company’s highly successful Brainquest workbook series. Of course, the Star Wars books will also help everyone remember the long “O” in Obi-Wan (which we think is far more important than two plus two). READ FULL STORY

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