It’s time for the year end accolades. Check out EW’s awards for the best in books below!
Trend We’d Like to Squash
“Cookbooks” like The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook. Stewed goat, anyone?
Ladies (and gents — no shame!), get ready to meet your next kinky businessman obsession: Mr. Bennett Ryan. Beautiful Bastard (or, as I like to call it, the Twilight fanfiction formerly known as The Office) won’t be released until February, but we’ve got an exclusive first look at the tantalizing cover to whet your appetites.
As we reported earlier this month, Beautiful Bastard is the latest Twilight imitator to score a book deal. The fanfiction, which centers on “whip-smart” intern Chloe Mills and her love/hate relationship with her exacting boss Bennett Ryan, first appeared online in 2009, but was quickly taken down by author Christina Hobbs after the attention proved to be overwhelming. In 2010, she began pursuing projects with her fellow fanfic writer Lauren Billings and the two revised The Office together under the pen name Christina Lauren, eventually landing a deal for two books — Beautiful Bastard and its sequel Beautiful Stranger. Think Fifty Shades of Grey, but classier (or so I’m told). So without further ado, check out the cover of the first book below:
Who can resist a man in a skinny tie? How haute couture.
Beautiful Bastard hits shelves Feb. 12. Fans of The Office, how does it compare to Fifty Shades? Better? Worse? Hotter? Kinkier? What do you think of the cover? Let me know in the comments!
The ‘Fifty Shades’ bump: More ‘Twilight’ fanficion is being turned into novels
Just what your baby needs: a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’-themed onesie
‘Fifty Shades’ Watch: Erotic book trilogy sells for seven figures
Call it the Fifty Shades bump — literally. BabyCenter has released their yearly list of most popular baby names and — shocker! — the Class of 2030 will be seeing a lot more Anastasias and Greys. Wait, Greys? Yes, readers. When bestowing a Fifty Shades-inspired moniker on their child, parents chose not Christian, but Grey. The name saw a 20 percent jump from last year. On the girls’ side of things, Anastasia rose ten percent, while Ana climbed 35 spots. I suppose we should just be thankful these parents are still together. Make love, not war, right?
As the child of a voracious reader, this news strikes particularly close to home. My father named me for Gone with the Wind, but my brother was not so lucky (in his eyes) — his name is Dickens and he’s been clamoring to change it to Will since he was 10 (don’t even get me started on our dog Trollope). So on that note, what are the worst book-based names you can think of? Here are my top ten: READ FULL STORY
Think you’ve had enough exposure to bad sex lit lately? (Ellen Degeneres, Kristen Stewart and your Facebook friends made sure you didn’t escape the abundance of Fifty Shades of Grey excerpts floating around the Interwebs this year.) Well, whether you like it or not, there’s more out there. A lot more. Award-worthy more.
But by award-worthy, I mean Razzie-esque awards. That’s right, authors are annually bestowed with the prize that recognizes gag-worthy writing about the bedroom. It’s an award that British magazine Literary Review started in 1993. On Tuesday, the magazine unveiled its 2012 shortlist for the Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Check out the list of eight finalists below:
–The Yips by Nicola Barker
–The Adventuress: The Irresistible Rise of Miss Cath Fox by Nicholas Coleridge
–Infrared by Nancy Huston
–Rare Earth by Paul Mason
–Noughties by Ben Masters
–The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills
–The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine
–Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe
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No, you gasp! It cannot be! No other book screams (literally) undying romance quite like E L James’s erotic trilogy. But alas, dear readers, it is (allegedly) true. According to a report in the UK’s Daily Mail, a British woman cited Fifty Shades of Grey as evidence of her husband’s “unreasonable behavior,” claiming that he maintained a “boring attitude” towards sex and refused to recreate scenes from the steamy book.
“She thought their sex life had hit a rut — he never remembered Valentine’s Day and he never complimented her on her appearance,” the wife’s lawyer Amanda McAlister said. “So she bought sexy underwear in an attempt to get her husband more involved. She said, ‘Let’s make things more interesting.’” But her husband could not be swayed. “He went ballistic when he found out the name of the book she was reading and told her, ‘It’s all because you have been reading that bloody book.’”
Here’s some news appropriate for Bram Stoker’s 165th birthday: Another piece of Twilight fanfiction is getting adapted into an original novel, Fifty Shades of Grey-style. The fic, originally called “The Office,” reimagined Edward Cullen and Bella Swan as a powerful businessman and his smart, ambitious intern.
Sound familiar? That’s not because the story rips off Fifty Shades — in fact, “The Office” appeared on the Internet before the fic that became E L James’ bestseller. “The Office paved the way for Fifty Shades and a thousand other imitators,” University of Utah professor and fanfiction expert Anne Jamison tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It turned fanfiction’s ‘porn without plot’ into porn as plot, peopling Twilight‘s basic plot structure with sexually voracious, assertive and snarky adults.”
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There’s no shortage of Fifty Shades of Grey spoofs, spinoffs and coattail-riders. Some of them are kind of weird, some are sad and some are downright desperate. We were ready to write off FL Fowler’s dirty cookbook Fifty Shades of Chicken as just another notch on E L James’ bedpost, but then we watched this exclusive trailer and began to reconsider: READ FULL STORY
Pearson PLC will merge its Penguin Books division with Random House, which is owned by German media company Bertelsmann, in an all-share deal that will create the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.
The planned joint venture brings together classic and best-selling names. As well as publishing books from authors such as John Grisham, Random House scored a major hit this year with Fifty Shades of Grey. Penguin has a strong backlist, including George Orwell, Jack Kerouac and John Le Carre.
The two companies said Monday that Bertelsmann would own a controlling 53 percent share of the joint venture, which will be known as Penguin Random House. READ FULL STORY
The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon has inspired a number of copycats and spoofs, but it will attain a whole new level on Nov. 13 when the first Fifty Shades cookbook hits the market. (Just in time for Thanksgiving!)
Fifty Shades of Chicken – a title that sounds absolutely revolting when you think too hard about it — chronicles the relationship between a chef and his chicken. Because that sounds so impossibly ridiculous, I’ll just let the author tell you about it herself.
“The recipe and headnotes follow a chef and his chicken on an emotional journey very much like the original trilogy,” FL Fowler — a nom de plume — said in an email to People. “You start with an overbearing cook and a pigheaded chicken but by the end they’re spanking and tying each other up like soul mates. There’s a bit of Christian and Anastasia Steele in every dish.”
Yes, that is in fact a real quote. Here’s another, if you think you can handle it: “Like so many others, Fifty Shades of Grey resonated for me,” Fowler continued. “It evoked something I’d never been able to express. Then one day as I was tying up the ankles of a chicken for roasting, I realized why some of the scenes in the book were so strikingly familiar. It turns out I’ve been practicing BDSM for years — but with poultry.” Sample recipes include “Mustard Spanked Chicken” and “Dripping Thighs.”
While I realize that this is a parody — as it boldly declares on the cover of the book — there are some things that are sacred. And not having an image of my chicken spanking me is one of those things. What’s worse is the author chose my real last name as his/her (let’s be honest, probably her) fake one. I already have to deny accusations of being married to Montel Williams. I don’t want to have to start defending myself against allegations of cavorting with naughty chickens.
What do think readers? Will you purchase this cookbook? Will you serve “Dripping Thighs” to your family this holiday season? Will you ever be able to eat chicken again?
Ten ways to tell you’re enjoying an evening with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ author E L James
On the scene: E L James talks ‘Fifty Shades’ with Katie Couric
‘No Easy Day’ dislodges ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ from bestseller list
Aside from drunken exploits and her crazy family, late-night host Chelsea Handler’s favorite topic to write about is sex, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the title of her next book — 50 Shades of Chartreuse: This Time It’s Personal — spoofs E L James’ erotica phenomenon. Chartreuse will be released Oct. 2013 under Handler’s own A Chelsea Handler Book/Borderline Amazing imprint of Grand Central Publishing. While the title seems to promise the new book will have the same raunchy, sarcastic tone as her first three essay collections, its tagline — which it shares with Jaws: The Revenge — might suggest this tome might be a little more serious. Handler has been expressing recently that she wants to take her E! series Chelsea Lately in a slightly weightier direction. In a statement, a rep for Grand Central Publishing said, “The new book is groundbreaking. Bigger stories, smaller type.”
Are you looking forward to 50 Shades of Chartreuse?