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Tag: Ian McEwan (1-3 of 3)

On The Books: 2013's Ten Most Challenged Books

Captain-Underpants.jpg

Every year the American Library Association publishes a list of the most challenged books in the country to keep the public informed of encroaching censorship. The ALA defines a challenge as “a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.” The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. The group estimates that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported. This year’s list is topped by the The Adventures of Captain Underpants series, which also held that slot in 2012. The humorous and cartoony book about two 4th grade boys and their imaginary-turned-real superhero Captain Underpants was cited for: offensive language, unsuited for age group, and violence. Fifty Shades of Grey also made the list, as did The Hunger Games. Check out the complete list. READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Oprah unveils latest book club pick; more than 500 authors lobby UN over international bill of digital rights

We’ve got plenty of book news for today: Oprah chose a new title for her book club, award-winning authors around the world are protesting state surveillance, and more book deals have been announced. (A sports item even made its way into this morning’s headlines.) Read on for more:

Oprah Winfrey has announced a new Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 pick: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, about two women on a quest for freedom. “The moment I finished The Invention of Wings, I knew this had to be the next Book Club selection,” Winfrey said in the press release. “These strong female character represent the women that have shaped our history and, through Sue’s imaginative storytelling, give us a new perspective on slavery, injustice and the search for freedom.”

More than 500 authors — including Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Tom Stoppard, and Margaret Atwood — are lobbying the United Nations over an international bill of digital rights, releasing a joint statement protesting state surveillance. “A person under surveillance is on longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy,” they wrote. “WE DEMAND THE RIGHT for all people to determine, as democratic citizens, to what extent their personal data may be legally collected, stored and processed, and by whom.” [The Guardian]

Parks/MacDonald Productions has won the movie and TV rights to the book League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth, written by ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainuru. PBS Frontline produced a documentary earlier this year on the investigation over football-related injuries based on the book. [Variety]

Actor Terry Crews has inked a deal for his first book Manhood with Ballantine Bantam Dell to be published May 2014. According to the press release, the book will cover Crews’ life and 25-year marriage, “including straight-talking advice for men and the women who love them.”

The winners of 2013’s Roald Dahl Funny Prize, honoring children’s books, have been announced, with Jim Smith’s I Am Still Not a Loser taking the prize in the 7-14 category, and Simon Rickerty’s Monkey Nut winning for ages six and under. [The Telegraph]

The world’s oldest romance novelist, Ida Pollock, has died at the age of 105. Pollock’s daughter said the writer, who authored more than 120 books, died Dec. 3 at a nursing home near her house in Lanreath, England. [USA Today]

Stephen King joined Twitter Friday. “My first tweet,” he posted. “No longer a virgin. Be gentle!” [Twitter]

Charles McGrath discussed what it’s like to judge the National Book Awards. [The New York Times]

Instead of delivering the traditional Nobel Lecture in Literature speech, 2013 winner Alice Munro released a video interview. [Nobelprize.org]

You’ve seen our lists for best fiction and non-fiction; now check out other critics’ picks. Did USA Today‘s Jocelyn McClurg and Bob Minzesheimer select your favorites from 2013? [USA Today]

Ian McEwan addresses his American critics

EW’s Jeff Giles may have liked Solar, Ian McEwan’s most recent novel—but not many others did. In the New York Times Walter Kirn lambasted the book, saying, “Instead of being awful yet absorbing, it’s impeccable yet numbing, achieving the sort of superbly wrought inertia of a Romanesque cathedral.” McEwan, long a critic’s darling, was clearly stung by the reaction. Yesterday he  told the British newspaper The Telegraph, “I think…I caught America in a mood of profound boredom about climate change. They just didn’t want to hear about it any more, they were sick to the teeth.” I wasn’t a fan of the book (though I count Atonement as one of my all time favorites), but I have to say, I kind of admire McEwan’s creative defense of it.

Thoughts? Did any of you read, and like, the novel?

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