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Tag: Nonfiction (81-90 of 114)

Prince William's romance chronicled in 'William and Kate: The Love Story'

middleton-prince-williamImage Credit: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty ImagesSomething tells us this is no coincidence. Gallery Books is announcing the publication of William and Kate: The Love Story on the very day that Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton was officially confirmed. According to a press release, the book (slated for Feb. 2011) will dish about the future king and queen’s romantic histories, courtship, and juicy family drama. It looks like they got the right man for the job, too: Author Christopher Anderson already has numerous celeb tomes to his name, including The Day Diana Died and Jack and Jackie: Portrait of an American Marriage. “With another royal wedding imminent, this book will shed light on a relationship that has remained a mystery yet is a true love story,” said Gallery Books EVP Louise Burke in a statement.

What do you think, Shelf Lifers: Does this sound like a royally entertaining read in the making?

Brittany Murphy's mom to write tell-all biography

Sharon-MurphyImage Credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.comThe mother of the late actress Brittany Murphy (Clueless, 8 Mile) is ready to set the record straight with a biography of her daughter, according to E! News. Sharon Murphy (far left) announced her plan for the book on Nov. 10 — the day that would have been Brittany’s 33rd birthday if the actress hadn’t passed away last December from a combination of pneumonia and prescription drugs. The tragedy prompted a swirl of speculation about Brittany’s lifestyle, rumors that Sharon Murphy hopes to stamp out once and for all. “This book will be my way of celebrating and honoring her extraordinary life and career,” said Murphy, who promised to give part of the book’s proceeds to charity. “I am looking forward to everyone reading the accurate account about my daughter, her life, loves and career.”

Sharon Murphy’s goal is nothing if not noble; certainly someone ought to step up to the defense of her daughter after her reputation was savaged in the media frenzy surrounding her death. But a book like this will also invite a new wave of scrutiny. Would Brittany’s memory be better served by letting her legacy live on through her work rather than in a biography? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Top 5 Stoner Movies That Don't Feature Any Actual Weed-Smoking: As chosen by the co-author of 'Reefer Movie Madness'

Reefer-Movie-Madness“18 months. 660 movies. 1 definitive book.” So promise Shirley Halperin and Steve Bloom, co-authors of the new tome Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide, which in addition to featuring reviews of assorted cinematic “joints” also boasts “Stony Movie Picks” from Jason Mraz, Andy Milionakis, Adrianne Curry, and Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill. Also included? Informative guides to “Far-Out Acid Flicks,” “Foreign Stoner Films,” “Trippy Spaceships,” “Smoking Animals,” “Smart Stoners,” “Will Ferrell Movies To Watch Stoned,” “Stoner Cops,” “Stony Dream Sequences,” “Stony Mockumentaries,” and “Ganja Girls.” Wow, I think I’ve gotten a contact high just writing that list.

But can we really trust anyone who would pen a stoner film guide to count accurately up to 660? Or 18? Or 1? Actually we can, given that Halperin is a former EW staffer. What we can’t do, on the other hand, is promote or condone the smoking of what I believe the kids like to refer to as “the Mary Jane wacky backy.” Which is why we asked Halperin to recommend her Top 5 Stoner Movies That Don’t Feature Any Actual Weed-Smoking.

You can check out her list after the jump.


Peruvian writer/politician Mario Vargas Llosa wins Nobel Prize in Literature

mario-vargas-llosaImage Credit: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Swedish Academy wandered outside of its usual European base to select Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa as the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature today, according to the official Nobel website. From the publication of his first novel, 1963’s The Time of the Hero, based on his experiences at a Peruvian military academy, Vargas Llosa was recognized as a leading figure in the Latin American Boom that emerged in the second half of the 20th century. He went on to write essays, nonfiction, and fiction in a wide variety of genres and styles. In its statement, the Swedish Academy said it presented the award to Vargas Llosa “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat.”

The 74-year-old writer is the first South American to win the Nobel since Colombian magic-realist innovator Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1982 (Mexico’s Octavio Paz won the prize in 1990). Like Paz and many other Latin American authors, Vargas Llosa has dabbled in politics over the years. He even ran, unsuccessfully, for the the Peruvian presidency in 1990. Initially a supporter of Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba, he later withdrew his support as his political views drifted gradually to the right over the years.

The political and social climate of South America has remained a familiar theme of Vargas Llosa’s fiction. 1965’s The Green House, widely considered among his best works, is a nonchronological account of unrest in Peru centered on the desert brothel of the title. The bitter 1969 novel Conversations in the Cathedral embeds a critique of the dictatorship of Peruvian president Manuel Odria in the story of one man’s search for the truth about his minister father’s role in the murder of a notorious underworld figure. And in the 2000 novel The Feast of the Goat (published in the U.S. in 2002), Vargas Llosa makes a startlingly unsympathetic, Shakespeare-worthy villain of Rafael Trujillo, the real-life military despot who ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930-61.

Many Americans may know Vargas Llosa best for his 1977 comic novel, Aunt Julia and the Screenwriter, which was adapted into American director Jon Amiel’s widely praised movie Tune in Tomorrow, starring Peter Falk as a larger-than-life creator of radio soap operas who manipulates the May-December relationship of a young aspiring writer (Keanu Reeves) and his older, twice-divorced aunt by marriage (Barbara Hershey). (EW’s Owen Gleiberman said the film “crackles with romantic heat.”)

What do you think of the Swedish Academy’s selection? What’s your favorite book of Vargas Llosa? And if he’s new to you, do you plan to pick up any of his works now that he’s been Nobel-blessed?

Bob Woodward Announces Title of his Obama Book

Obamas-WarsSimon & Schuster announced today that Bob Woodward’s 16th book, Obama’s Wars, will be released on September 27. The book will concentrate not on the economy but on the president’s foreign policy. The 441-page investigative work will show Obama “making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret war in Pakistan and the worldwide fight against terrorism,” Simon & Schuster announced. An official with knowledge of the book says that Woodward finished writing three weeks ago and that the book will include little on the war in Iraq.

Since winning a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Watergate with fellow Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, Woodward has remained an investigative force in Washington D.C., known for his access to top White House information. He wrote four best-sellers on the George W. Bush administration, focusing on foreign policy and the war on terror. As he did with those books, Woodward will draw upon internal memos, documents, and interviews with top sources–including President Obama–for this latest title.

The cover of Obama’s Wars was also unveiled in the Tuesday announcement, and prominently features a profile shot of Obama looking forward with a focused gaze, and key foreign policy players, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the bottom.

What do you think, Shelf-Lifers? Will you be reading Obama’s War?

The timely e-book: 'Truman Fires MacArthur' and Gen. Stanley McChrystal

mccullogh-mcchrystalImage Credit: Carolyn Kaster/Getty ImagesTiming is everything. With this mantra in mind, Simon & Schuster released an e-book Friday titled Truman Fires MacArthur, a historical account of the 33rd president’s dismissal of his famous Pacific general. The e-book publication came only 48 hours after Pres. Barack Obama sacked Gen. Stanley McChrystal over his comments in a controversial Rolling Stone article. The pamphlet-length e-book, culled from material in David McCullough’s 1993 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Truman, demonstrates a new use of digital technology: the timely back-catalog reissue.

Special editions of physical books have to be planned months in advance, but with no printing or distribution requirements, e-books can be turned around in a matter of days, making up-to-the-minute relevance much more feasible. Excerpts and titles that might normally be difficult to track down could see release within reasonable propinquity to the events they’re pegged to. It’s good to see a major publisher like Simon & Schuster making use of the unique abilities of e-books rather than just spending all its time trying to ensure the experience is as close as possible to that of traditional books. Are there any other back-list books that might be particularly apropos to current events? Maybe a re-release of Upton Sinclair’s Oil! in light of the BP fiasco, or a World Cup 2010 edition of The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick?

'The Advanced Genius Theory': Author Jason Hartley explains which artists are on a whole different level

Jason-HartleyJason Hartley’s Advanced Genius Theory (“are they out of their minds or ahead of their time?”)was hatched over a pizza with his friend Britt Bergman as a way to explain why musical artists like David Bowie and Lou Reed are seen as brilliant in the beginning and slightly kooky as time goes on. EW spent some time talking to him about the theory — and the book.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Can you explain the Advanced Genius Theory as simply as possible?
JASON HARTLEY: It all kind of comes down to there’s a certain level of genius that is so great that it should always be trusted, no matter what the appearance is. So for instance, most people think of artistic geniuses starting out early, making their great statements when they’re young, then as they get older their work seems to decline. The idea behind the Advanced Genius Theory is that there are certain people who start out great and they get greater and greater, but they’re so great that we don’t understand them.

Who’s a good example of this?
Bob Dylan is the perfect one. There are a lot of components of the theory, and some superficial characteristics, and he meets basically all of the foundations and superficial stuff. The foundations are you have to have a long career; you have to be working on your own, you can’t be in a group; you typically end up selling out like doing a commercial; and also you seem to completely lose your way and you also embrace religion. Bob Dylan does all these things. READ FULL STORY

Sebastian Junger talks about going to 'War'

Sebastian-Junger_240.jpg Image Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton/LandovThere are two kinds of people in the world: those who hear the sound of gunfire and bolt in the opposite direction, and those who run toward it. For the past 15 years, Sebastian Junger has made his reputation as the latter. He’s donned a flak jacket to cover wars in lawless lands like Liberia and Sierra Leone. He’s been held prisoner by armed militants in Nigeria. And for his latest book, the harrowing and hard-to-put-down War, he spent 15 months embedded with the U.S. Army’s Battle Company in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley — a remote and vicious mountain region in the eastern part of the country that he describes as “too remote to conquer, too poor to intimidate, too autonomous to buy off.”

We spoke with Junger for a profile in this week’s issue of EW. Here are some of the outtakes from that interview.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you embedded with Battle Company, you were more than just a reporter with a notebook, you and veteran British war photographer Tim Hetherington also brought video cameras to film the missions (the footage of which was edited into the Sundance-winning documentary Restrepo). How did having a camera help you with the book?
It certainly helped me as a journalist. It’s very immediate and very exact. So I would use the video tape as a reference for myself when I was writing. I mean, we’re visual creatures. Most of our information comes through our eyes. Reading ultimately is a cerebral activity, it takes place in your mind. And it’s a way of making reading visual.

Did being preoccupied with filming, help make you less scared?
The camera gave me a reason for being there. I think if your house is burning down and you had your child in your harms you wouldn’t be thinking of yourself. And if you were by yourself and your house was burning down, you’d be terrified what was going to happen to you. The camera was like my baby. It was the thing I was supposed to take care of. My job was to get video. Once I was caught without my video camera in a fire fight, all I could think about was my safety. I had no role. So it really did make a difference. And I’m pretty sure that it works the same way with weapons.

How did you get your start as a war correspondent?
I was 31. I went to Bosnia and I started filing freelance radio reports for 40 dollars a pop. It was the bottom of the journalistic food chain, but I was part of this world of foreign reporting. I was nothing on the food chain, but I was completely intoxicated by it. It was exciting and world events were happening right around me…It was like a drug. READ FULL STORY

Move over, Random House! Novel from Bellevue Literary Press wins Pulitzer

The 2010 Pulitzer Prizes were announced today, and the winners included a few surprises (although sadly, still no recognition for critic extraordinaire Jay Sherman). The prize for fiction went to Paul Harding’s Tinkers, a debut novel about a clock repairman recalling his childhood on his deathbed. The book comes from Bellevue Literary Press, a nonprofit publisher operating out of a tiny office at New York University’s School of Medicine since 2005.

The Pulitzers for history and biography went to, respectively, Liaquat Ahamed’s Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, about the Great Depression and T.J. Stiles’ robber-baron bio The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Here’s the full list of those who won for books:

Fiction: Tinkers by Paul Harding

Poetry: Versed by Rae Armantrout

History: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed

General Nonfiction: The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman

Biography: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles

What's that smell? Why it's just a bit of 'Jersey Shore' in your bookcase!

jersey-shoreImage Credit: Scott Gries/MTVSurprisingly, the first book to pop out of the greasy traffic accident that is the MTV reality series Jersey Shore is not a heart-wrenching introspective memoir entitled The Reality of The Situation. No, it’s Never Fall In Love At the Jersey Shore, a Guido guide on how to maintain that distinctive Jersey Shore look and attitude, brought to you by two of the show’s houseguests, J-WOWW and Ronnie. That’s right, folks! You too can be a lowest common denominator!

St. Martin’s Press has signed a deal with the two fair-weather Jerseyites to bring you all the best insight into GTL (Gym, Tanning, Laundry), MOITHT (Making Out In The Hot Tub) and GABTCAPSOOTB (Getting Arrested By The Cops After Punching Someone Out On The Boardwalk.) No doubt the advice will be as shallow as the Atlantic Ocean is deep, but perhaps they’ll be nice enough to include a free sample canister of Axe Body Spray along with some suggestions for dermatologists who specialize in melanoma.

What say you, Shelf-Lifers? Gross? Or awesome (and gross)?

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