Wednesday’s books headlines includes the selling of Jane Austen portrait, an end to the legal battle between indie booksellers and publishing houses, and some bad news for Mike Tyson. Read on for those stories and more below: READ FULL STORY
Tag: Jane Austen (1-10 of 11)
On the Books: Dreamworks acquires rights to Doris Kearns Goodwin's next book; Jane Austen portrait to be sold at auction
Happy Halloween! Below, some haunting reads and spooky lists. But in other news, Doris Kearns Goodwin's new book has been snatched up by Dreamworks for a film adaptation, while writers are bickering over an updated Jane Austen portrait.
Dreamworks has acquired the film rights to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin's upcoming book The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, about Roosevelt and Taft's friendship that became a bitter rivalry. "Doris has once again given us the best seats in the house where we can watch two dynamic American personalities in a battle for power and friendship," said Steven Spielberg in a press release. Spielberg and Goodwin previously collaborated on Lincoln, which was partly based on Goodwin's Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.
The best-known portrait of Jane Austen will be sold for the first time at an estimated £200,000 after her family put it up for auction. [The Telegraph]
The same portrait has been place on the new £10 note, but not everyone's a fan: Jane Austen biographer Paula Byrne calls the image "a 19th century airbrushed makeover." [BBC News]
Meanwhile, writer Attica Locke won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, an award recognizing "rising African-American writers for excellence." [LA Times]
HarperCollins will be creating an e-bookstore for C.S. Lewis titles, using two Lewis websites, CSLewis.com and Narnia.com. [Publishers Weekly]
On to some must-reads: USA Today took a look back at 20 years of its best-selling books list and explores what the titles mean for the way we read. [USA Today]
In the spirit of Halloween, here's a list of 15 spooky must-read books. [The Telegraph]
...And here's an essay on literature's haunted houses. Trick or treat! [The Guardian]
On the Books: Morrissey memoir to be released this month; study finds 'literary fiction' increases reader empathy
Craving a look at Morrissey’s life? Want to know if fiction readers are more empathetic? Read on for more of today’s books headlines: READ FULL STORY
Happy Banned Books Week! To celebrate, we’ve got some recommended banned books, a study on book censorship and a list of most frequently challenged books. In other news, what do Jane Austen and Kelly Clarkson have in common? Why is Paula Deen in today’s news roundup? The answers and more headlines below:
To start you off, here are five banned books Forbes says you should read. [Forbes]
None of those are children’s books, so if you want a dose of nostalgia, look no further than the American Library Association’s annual list of the “most frequently challenged” books, which found that Captain Underpants prompted the most complaints in libraries this year. [ALA]
The ALA, which organizes Banned Books Week, also found that book censors target teen fiction, a genre prone to topics about sex, drugs and suicide. [The Guardian]
Moving on to celebrity news, Kelly Clarkson was asked to leave a ring once owned by Jane Austen behind at the author’s museum. The singer had purchased the ring at an auction, but had no problem with the news, saying “The ring is a beautiful national treasure, and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it.” Looks like her life won’t suck without it. [The Guardian]
If you thought Paula Deen couldn’t get any more cartoonish, you thought wrong. The celebrity chef’s life story will be adapted into a comic book biography, Female Force: Paula Deen, by Bluewater Productions. [Forbes]
Meanwhile, Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, announced it will donate 1 million books to Reach Out and Read, a non-profit established for kids in poverty. [LA Times]
Online, the reading-based social network Goodreads is stirring up some controversy after announcing new reviewing guidelines, which will automatically delete reviews that focus on an author’s behavior rather than a book’s content. [GigaOM]
Eleanor Randolph of the New York Times is writing a biography of Michael Bloomberg that will be published by Simon & Schuster. According to the press release, the book will cover Bloomberg’s career as mayor of New York City for the past 12 years and his legacy as “a public figure of national significance.”
Finally, if you have some time to spare, head over to the New York Times for its profile of Elizabeth “Eat, Pray, Love” Gilbert, a fascinating read on the 44-year-old novelist’s career from being “one of the boys” at magazines like GQ to her image now, as an unwitting self-help guru with legions of female fans. [New York Times]
American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson is caught up in a different type of bling-ring situation: The U.S.-born pop singer has been barred from removing a piece of Jane Austen’s jewelry from British soil.
One of three surviving pieces of jewelry belonging to the late author, the gold and turquoise ring was auctioned off last year and purchased for over £150,000 by Clarkson. But culture minister Ed Vaizey is not letting the Idol star walk away with the British gem so easily. He has instated a temporary export ban on the ring and hopes a British buyer will step up and purchase it. Why all the fuss over a small piece of jewelry? As it turns out, even though the esteemed English novelist turned out six major novels, she had few personal belongings. That’s why UK officials want to keep the ring in the country. “Jane Austen’s modest lifestyle and her early death mean that objects associated with her of any kind are extremely rare,” Vaizey told The Guardian.
While she waits for a verdict on the ban, Clarkson might need back up plans for “something old” and “something blue,” with a fall wedding looming. The 31-year-old announced her engagement to talent manager Brandon Blackstock back in Dec. The couple plans to marry in October, and country artist Blake Shelton will officiate the ceremony.
First the Royal Baby and now news that Jane Austen will replace Charles Darwin as the face of the British Ten Pound note? Wow, England is having quite a week.
The legendary author of classics like Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility will have her bonneted profile printed on the new Ten Pound note, which will be released in 2017. Austen’s charming quote — ”I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” — graces the bottom of the bill.
Austen’s PR rep must be really good at their job: The author’s fandom is reaching a fever pitch, with the new film Austenland telling the tale of a hotel where singletons can act out on their most romantic Austen fantasies, and websites the world over celebrating Emma — I mean Clueless‘s — 18th anniversary this week.
Yesterday, as I was rifling through the mound of galleys that publishers oh-so-kindly sent our way, I came upon a book that made me sigh. No, not Heidi and Spencer Pratt’s How to Be Famous. That book made me scream. Instead, I became immediately fatigued upon finding a copy of The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy, by Sara Angelini — a 2007 novel (newly in paperback) that’s billed as Legally Blonde-meets-Pride and Prejudice.
Why, you ask? Because I completely, 100 percent supported the trend of Jane Austen mash-ups — until now. Can you say oversaturation? Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was hysterical, and wholly original. But the novelty has worn thin, with dozens of authors jumping on board to sell their updates of Austen’s work in every genre from romance to mystery to sci-fi. How many more supernatural remixes will we find (see: all those Prejudice-themed vampire books)? How many more chick-lit updates?
Because, really, there are hundreds of other identifiable, classic authors whose work could use an imaginative update. Let’s leave Austen alone for once. Why not desecrate the work of John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, or, hell, even Dante? Tell me, Shelf Lifers, are you as tired of the Prejudice trend as I am? And whose work do you wish contemporary authors would update?
A new year is fast approaching, and it’s a good time for me to take a good, hard look at my leisure reading and resolve to do better. Or at least to be a little more ambitious in my reading choices (even if it’s only to finally tackle that daunting pile of books accumulating on my nightstand that I really, truly do intend to get to someday). It’s rather embarrassing for a guy who regularly reviews books to admit to some of the glaring gaps in his reading, I admit, but I’m hoping that a public confession will spur me to action. So I hereby resolve that in 2010 I will read:
1. More poetry. I love poetry and find that I don’t make nearly enough time for it. First up: Amy Gerstler’s Dearest Creatures, which sounds brilliant in this review in the New York Times Book Review.
2. The zombie-free oeuvre of Jane Austen. (Yes, I was an English major in college. No, I never did read an Austen novel.)
3. Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I’ve never been a comic-book guy, and I think that that aspect of this Pulitzer-winning novel always put me off. But I loved Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which boasts a comics-fixated hero, so I’m willing to take a chance.
There are other items on my to-read list (I want to chase down the acclaimed locked-room mysteries of John Dixon Carr, for instance, and go back to Lee Child’s early Jack Reacher thrillers), but that should be enough to get me started. The biggest challenge — for me, anyway — will be carving out time for already-published books when I’m so busy reviewing new titles. But what about you, Shelf Lifers? What books do you resolve to read in the new year?
EW has learned exclusively that Quirk — the publishing house that brought you Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters — has planned a new title, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, which goes on sale March 23, 2010. In this prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, zombie carnage once again reigns in Regency England. Readers will be able to see how heroine Elizabeth Bennet — who emerged as a martial arts star in P&P&Z — evolves, as Quirk editor Jason Rekulak says, “from an innocent teenager to a deadly slayer of zombies.”
Jane Austen’s coauthor in this venture is award-winning mystery writer Steve Hockensmith (Ben H. Winters worked on Sea Monsters and Seth Grahame- Smith co-wrote P&P&V.) “Hockensmith is no stranger to literary mashups; he does these great Sherlock Holmesian westerns,” says Rekulak. He notes that Dawn of the Dreadfuls is a “completely original novel inspired by Austen’s characters” — in other words, there’s not a drop of original Austen writing in it.
The story opens with the Bennets attending a funeral for a local shopkeeper, who — before the burial — suddenly sits up in his coffin. Everyone in the crowd is shocked except Mr. Bennet, who has some knowledge of zombie incursions in other parts of England. Realizing that the scourge has come to their village, he decides to protect his daughters by having them schooled in the martial arts — nunchuks, katana swords, and the like.
What do you think? Is this another zombie must?
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