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Watch the book trailer for 'William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope' -- EXCLUSIVE


“In time so long ago begins our play/ In star-crossed galaxy far, far away.”

This isn’t your parents’ Star Wars. It’s more like your ancestors from the Old World’s Star Wars. Author Ian Doescher reinterprets the classic space opera into a classical play written in the majestic style of the Bard of Avon. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope takes all of the characters you know and love and has them speaking in asides, soliloquies, and poetic verses. Even Chewie and Artoo roar and beep in iambic pentameter. For an exclusive look at what’s in store, check out the trailer below: READ FULL STORY

Read an excerpt from 'William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope' -- EXCLUSIVE


“Darth Vader, only thou couldst be so bold.”

Carrie Fisher may inexplicably have a bit of a British accent during the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope, but this latest genre mash-up puts the epic space opera in the hands of the Bard himself. Debut author Ian Doescher blends protocol droids with iambic pentameter in William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope.

Tapping into the vein of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars follows the basic structure of the original Star Wars film but molds it according to the style of a Shakespearean play. Lord Vader still seizes the spaceship of Princess Leia of Alderaan in search of the Rebellion’s plans against the Galactic Empire. C-3PO still cries and complains about everything. R2-D2 still beeps and buzzes — but this time in flowing verse.

So if you’re a fan of Stormtroopers and/or soliloquies, check out Act I, scenes 1-4 of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars below: READ FULL STORY

The New York Times' haiku blog is the best thing about National Poetry Month


News stories are not often places for poetry — filled, as they are, with facts and grafs and ledes and quotes, all arranged in pyramids. But that’s changed with the launch of “Times Haiku,” a project that turns The New York Times’ copy into splendid 15-word poems.

Subtitled “serendipitous poetry from The New York Times,” the blog’s launch comes concurrent with National Poetry Month. It’s powered by Jacob Harris’ algorithm, which he wrote “scans each sentence looking for potential haikus by using an electronic dictionary containing syllable counts.” Harris, a senior software architect at the Times, reversed-engineered the coding behind @horse_ebooks for his @nytimes_ebooks last year.

The new algorithm’s only requirement is numeric: Like classic haikus, its selections must contain five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five again in the third. “The nice thing about haikus is they’re very short, so they’ll fit inside a tweet,” Harris said.


Jon Stewart, J.K. Rowling included in new edition of 'Bartlett's Famous Quotations.' Who else made the cut?


The 18th edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations just hit stores (and iPhones; check out their new app), and this version adds a slew of pop-culture quotes that haven’t appeared previously. New inclusions range from why-wasn’t-that-in-there-already? entries (Johnny Cash’s “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die”) to head-scratchers (the title of The Empire Strikes Back, which doesn’t really seem like a quotation). Here are 10 quotes that are included in Bartlett‘s for the very first time. READ FULL STORY

The Queen names new litter of dogs after 'Harry Potter'

With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee officially commencing this weekend, the royal family is in the news more than ever — with the exception, of course, of that little wedding last year.

Today, another nugget of info about the Queen Elizabeth’s personal life came out: She’s named a litter of Labradors after Harry Potter. Royals: They’re just like us. According to MSN, the Queen named one of the dogs “Gryffindor” which of course is one of the four Hogwarts houses, and not the name of an actual character from the books. No word on whether there is a Hufflepuff dog as well, which, being the house that is loyal and true, seems a perfect match for a canine pal. Gryffindor is the only name so far that is being reported, but one has to assume Sirius Black made the cut. This isn’t the first time the Queen has shown her Potter love. In 2006, J.K. Rowling helped the Queen celebrate her 80th birthday.

Read more:
New ‘Harry Potter’ box set to be released
Original ‘Harry Potter’ manuscript goes on tour
‘Harry Potter’ books to be part of Kindle lending service  

'Godfather' prequel: Watch the book trailer -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Ed Falco’s highly anticipated The Family Corleone, a prequel to The Godfather based on Mario Puzo’s unproduced screenplay, promises to tell the story of Vito Corleone’s climb to become one of the most powerful crooks in New York. But as you count down the minutes until May 8 — when the Mafia novel makes its way to bookstores — we have a wacky exclusive trailer that will remind you why we get obsessed with chronicles about “the family business.” Face it: We’re making you an offer you can’t refuse.

The trailer spoofs a notorious crime set-up. Two mobsters attempt to get a copy of the novel from the publisher pre-release. “What happens if I say no?” the man asks. Well, any Godfather fan worth their cannoli can predict what happens next. Everyone erupts into laughter and the makeshift hoodlums end up leaving with the book. Their “boss would consider it a favor to him personally.”

In case you were wondering, the thugs in the trailer aren’t actual characters in the novel. They’re just diehard Godfather fanboys eager to get their hands on the novel. Book trailer stars, they’re just like us!

Check out the trailer below: READ FULL STORY

'Hunger Games Cookbook': Recipes for sauteed raccoon, and how to taste Gale's kiss

Is making a cookbook inspired by a story about a serious lack of food a bit of a stretch? Probably, but The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook is a fun if not quite practical treat for a ravenous fan of the novels. While many of the recipes allow you to replicate the rich, sumptuous dishes from Capitol banquet scenes (“Super Sweet Potato Rolls”), others require ingredients you’d have to kill in the woods with your own bow and arrow. Any dish that evokes Peeta’s near-magical baking skills sounds promising (“Peeta’s Cinnamon Bakery Bread”), but most of the concoctions inspired by food from the Districts (“District 4’s Seaweed Bread”) or gamey survivalist meals you’d have to make do with in the Arena (“Wild Squirrel & Sausage Gumbo” and “Wild Raccoon Sautéed in Bacon Drippings”) are only for the brave. READ FULL STORY

Your favorite authors in doll form -- see photos!

Ever wanted to fit your favorite authors into your back pocket? Now you can! If you need a little stocking-stuffer for the reader in your life, these tiny, handcrafted dolls (the manly men can call them literary action figures) by Debbie Ritter are available on Etsy. Click through below and tell us your favorites!


'Cake Wrecks' for the holidays: See photos!

Who knew such hilarity could be found in confectionery calamities? Blogger Jen Yates has an eye for botched cakes — her first book, Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong shot to the New York Times best-seller list, and her new holiday-themed edition, Wreck the Halls, is sure to be a stocking-stuffer for adventurous bakers everywhere. It’s amazing that anyone would buy, let alone eat, these gross, scary, or just plain wrong dessert disasters, but they’re certainly good for a laugh. Sample a few slices below! READ FULL STORY

'More Badder Grammar': See some funny, ridiculous mistakes!


Take out your red pens, grammarians! In case you’re feeling turkey or family overload this weekend, treat yourself to a laugh by checking out these hilarious grammatical blunders from More Badder Grammar (available now) by I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar author Sharon Eliza Nichols. SWEEPING DISCLAIMER: Any spelling or grammatical errors I make in this post are completely intentonal.

NEXT: Attack of the mutant goldfish …

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