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Tag: YA (31-40 of 323)

New speed reading technology might change reading forever

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Imagine if you could read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in a mere 77 minutes. Or latest YA favorite Divergent in just 105 minutes. Or a huge classic novel — like Les Miserables, which has roughly 560,000 words of text — in nine hours.

You can speed read through these books — as well as emails, news articles and blogs — thanks to tech company Spritz, which is promising to change reading forever by altering the way readers view and process text. No more poring over lengthy sentences or losing your place on a page — instead, Spritz  is offering readers the chance to process text at speeds as high as 1,000 words per minute.

Spritz will be releasing its technology on the yet-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear 2 watch, the company recently announced at the Mobil World Congress in Barcelona. And with the phone or watch, readers will be able to process text one word at a time at various scrolling speeds. Whether one opts for 250 or 1,000 words per minute, Spritz is counting on making the brain change the way it expects and analyzes texts.

It turns out that Spritz is basing its technology on a well-established speed reading method called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation. Based on the same premise that trained speed readers use, the special display technology saves readers the time of reading a page from left to right by placing text at one spot at a specified speed. Add to that some fancy jargon called “Optimal Recognition Point” — ORP for short — which, according to Spritz’s blog, refers to highlighting certain text red so that your eye never needs to move from a central viewing point, and you’ve got the recipe for tackling the Bible in 13 hours flat.

But what happens when the eye processes words — instead of relying on the brain to analyze context? The Boston-based start up isn’t the first to develop a speed reading app — vapps like Velocity and Speed Reading Trainer for Android  can be downloaded for just a few bucks — but EW has confirmed they are pitchings its technology to global tech giants like Google, Yahoo and Apple.

So will Spritz prove an effective tool at tackling the hundreds of emails that seem to flood the average corporate employee daily? Or will authors find themselves competing for audiences for whom the story, instead of its delivery and prose, matters most? And what happens when the core of what makes great books great — the composed phrases that make us laugh, cry, ache and crave more — gets reduced to mere words? We know that technology  in the form of  e-readers has given a new generation a platform by which to consume books, but will the love and pleasure of reading be changed forever if pleasure can be reduced down to WPM? Are we saying “hello” to a new age of Cliff Notes — or beginning the process or saying “goodbye” to a form of communication that’s been established for centuries?

Octavia Spencer in conversation with Nate Foster of 'Five, Six, Seven, Nate!' -- EXCLUSIVE

Get ready for a cuteness overload. Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster (of Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever and the newly released sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate!) recently took a break from rehearsals for E.T.: The Broadway Musical to interview Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, author of The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit. Spencer imparts wisdom and wit that will enlighten us all, whether or not we’re budding Broadway stars. READ FULL STORY

See new cover for Judy Blume's 'Then Again, Maybe I Won't' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Simon & Schuster are bringing Judy Blume to a whole new generation by repackaging some of the beloved author’s best-known novels. EW already revealed the other updated looks—check them out here and here. Today we’ve got a peek at the new cover for Then Again, Maybe I Won’t (above), featuring the tagline “Why can’t things stay the same?” What do you think of the, Shelf Lifers? These editions will be available beginning April 29.

See the cover for Veronica Roth's 'Four: A Divergent Collection' -- EXCLUSIVE

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We’ve got Divergent fever over here at EW. Just check out this week’s cover. To add some more fuel to the YA fire, we’ve got an exclusive first look at the covers of Four: A Divergent Collection. Four is a companion volume to the Divergent series. The hardcover includes four pre-Divergent stories told from Tobias’s point of view, along with two exclusive scenes, also told from his point of view. Each of the stories will be available separately in electronic format. The first story, “The Transfer,” was released last year and the others will be released on July 8—the same day as the hardcover collection.

The first three pieces in this volume—“The Transfer,” “The Initiate,” and “The Son”—follow Tobias’s transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions. The fourth story, “The Traitor,” runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving readers a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty—and love—that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior. So without further ado, check out the brand-new covers!

THE TRANSFER

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THE INITIATE

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THE SON

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THE TRAITOR

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Watch the trailer for Sally Green's 'Half Bad' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Half Bad, the first book in Sally Green’s highly anticipated new trilogy, hits shelves March 4. The novel has already sold in 45 countries and been optioned for film by Fox, with Karen Rosenfelt (Twilight) producing. And if that’s not enough proof that people are excited about Half Bad, even other author’s are raving about it: Life After Life‘s Kate Atkinson said, “A book about witches with no owls and not a pair of round spectacles in sight. The new Hunger Games, I suspect.” READ FULL STORY

See the cover of Becca Fitzpatrick's 'Black Ice'. Plus, an announcement about her next book -- EXCLUSIVE

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We’ve got exciting news for Becca Fitzpatrick fans! Her next novel, Black Ice, doesn’t hit shelves until Oct. 7, but here’s an exclusive first look at the cover (above). “The cover captures not only the ruthless setting, but the characters as well,” Fitzpatrick told EW in an exclusive statement. “Under the winter layers, we catch a glimpse of an irresistible bad boy—the kind I love writing so much.” READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Gender count shows literature is still a man's world

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Since 2009 the good people at VIDA have been trucking away counting bylines and book titles to give us the hard data on gender equality in literary journals. The 2013 VIDA count just went up today and the general consensus is that there is still a disparity between men and women when it comes to literary coverage — both in whose doing the writing and in whose being written about. The highlights:

– Most improved this year goes to The Paris Review. “The Paris Review’s numbers, previously among the worst in our VIDA Count, have metamorphosed from deep, male-dominated lopsidedness into a picture more closely resembling gender parity. While such progress is remarkable in one year, we are likewise pleased to note that we haven’t heard anyone bemoan a drop in quality in The Paris Review’s pages.”
– Poetry Magazine is consistently the most equal.
— The least gender equal with at least 75% male representation: The Atlantic, London Review of Books, New Republic, The Nation, New York Review of Books (actually holding steady at 80% men for four years) and New Yorker.
— Journals that skew more than 50% female: Tin House, Callaloo, The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, New American Writing, and Ninth Letter.

Amtrak is contemplating a “writers’ residency” program on their trains, which would allow writers to travel for free (or at least for cheap). They’ve already hooked up Jessica Gross, who contributes to the New York Times Magazine. Gross got to ride for free from New York to Chicago and back (straight through 44 hours, no hanging out in the Windy City.) After the trip, she wrote a piece for The Paris Review on her time. Sounds a little like…how do I say this? Hell. A 44 hour train ride with no destination? To me, the draw of writing on trains is open adventure, being in the Tuscan hills with nothing ahead of you except sunflowers and vineyards. Or being on the Orient Express scoping each new passenger for murderous intent in between exploring Egyptian ruins. Somehow being trapped on a commuter train between NYC and Chi-town sounds more like living Sartre’s No Exit. [The Wire]

Rick Yancy’s The 5th Wave has won the 2014 Red House Children’s Book Award (a unique award because it’s voted for entirely by children). Big surprise: the YA novel is set in a post-apocalypse dystopia. The plot follows Cassie who is left alone, after waves of extinctions, running for her life from death squads roaming the countryside. But she meets a boy named Edward — no, Peeta — no, it’s Evan this time who might be the key to her survival. [The Guardian]

Read an excerpt from Laini Taylor's 'Dreams of Gods & Monsters' -- EXCLUSIVE

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It’s the final countdown! Dreams of Gods & Monsters, the last novel in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, hits shelves April 8. Dreams picks up where Days of Blood & Starlight left off. And while you have to wait a little longer for the series’ epic conclusion, you can go ahead and read the first chapter—titled “Nightmare Ice Cream”—right now. Check it out after the jump. READ FULL STORY

'Exposure': Read an excerpt from Kathy Reichs' latest Virals novel -- EXCLUSIVE

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The Virals series, written by Kathy Reichs and her son Brendan Reichs, follows the crime-solving exploits of Tory Brennan, the grand-niece of Bones heroine Temperance Brennan. Exposure, the fourth installment and latest adventure in the YA series, hits shelves March 4. And we’ve got an exclusive chapter excerpt. Check it out after the jump, and then read on for a quick chat with Kathy and Brendan. READ FULL STORY

Read an excerpt from Seth Fishman's 'The Well's End' -- EXCLUSIVE

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From agent to author! New York literary agent Seth Fishmam is switching things up later this month as he makes his YA debut with The Well’s End. The book doesn’t hit shelves until Feb. 25, but we’ve got an exclusive excerpt to share today. READ FULL STORY

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