Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic • $17.99 • August 24, 2010
I know that many fans are afraid of spoilers, so all I'll say is that Mockingjay is a page-turner (duh); I am not disappointed with what I've read (aren't you always worried you'll be disappointed after looking forward to a series conclusion for so long?); and I love Katniss Everdeen—our heroine—more than ever.
You can listen to our staff's reactions to the story's twists, turns and surprises in a podcast we'll be posting later in the month. In the meantime, read a short excerpt from the novel:
"Katniss, I'm not arguing. If I could hit a button and kill every living soul working for the Capitol, I would do it. Without hesitation." He slides the last pencil into the box and flips the lid closed. "The question is, what are you going to do?"
It turns out the question that's been eating away at me has only ever had one possible answer. But it took Peeta's ploy for me to recognize it.
What am I going to do?
I take a deep breath. My arms rise slightly—as if recalling the black-and-white wings Cinna gave me—then come to rest at my sides.
"I'm going to. . . "
By the way, so far I've managed to avoid reviews of the novel—although I am happy to say that BookPage's review is a satisfying read, yet contains no spoilers.
Have you already managed to finish Mockingjay? What'd you think? Please avoid posting major plot twists (and if you're unsure of whether your comment is a spoiler, write "spoiler alert" before your note). Happy reading!
Including Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick. At least, that's what the forces behind Age of the Dragons are betting on. Director Ryan Little has transformed the 19th-century search for the great white whale into a medieval search for the great white dragon. A plot description:
Set in a medieval realm where Captain Ahab [Danny Glover!] and crew hunt dragons for the vitriol that powers their world, Ishmael, a charismatic harpooner joins their quest. Ahab's adopted daughter Rachel, beautiful and tough, runs the hunting vessel. Ahab's obsession is to seek revenge on a great "White Dragon" that slaughtered his family when he was young and left his body scarred and mauled, drives the crew deeper into the heart of darkness.
What are we talking about with that headline? The film version of Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, of course. Rumor has it that the film, which will start production in early 2011, has Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock ready to sign on, though their exact roles are unclear. Stephen Daldrey, who very successfully adapted The Hours and The Reader for the big screen, is in charge of the script, and Scott Rudin will produce.
No word yet on who will play the precocious Oskar.
Foer's second novel got mixed reviews—it was called brilliant, pretentious, moving, maudlin and everything in between—but it was a hit with the BookPage crew. Read our interview with Foer about the book here.
The wacky cast of characters in Carl Hiaasen's latest novel include an off-the-rails young starlet named Cheryl Bunterman, aka Cherry Pye; a sleazy paparazzo; a hijacked busload of development investors. . .
Still curious about what's making Star Island climb the bestseller lists and cause BookPage reviewer Becky Ohlsen to be "often amazed but never confused"?
Watch this book trailer from Knopf:
Will you check out Star Island?
Also in BookPage: Read about other books by Carl Hiaasen.
The trailer for Howl—an Allen Ginsberg biopic—has just been released, and it looks pretty fascinating. Though the Beat Poets have never spoken to me, precisely, James Franco and John Hamm definitely do. The film will also include "animated reimaginings" of Ginsberg's poem, drawn by graphic novelist and Ginsberg collaborator Eric Drooker. And who doesn't love a good obscenity trial? With the midcentury modern background reminiscent of "Mad Men" (they even stole that series' star, Jon Hamm!) this might be the next literary biopic to capture the imaginations of more than just readers.
Howl hits theaters in the U.S. on September 24.
Yeah, yeah, Mockingjay comes out tomorrow. If you've read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, you've probably had August 24 marked off in your calendar for months. (And if you're totally obsessed with the series—like me—you'll be reading the book on a Kindle at 12:01 a.m.)
In the coming days, we will have plenty of Mockingjay coverage on BookPage.com (here's a hint: subscribe to Reading Corner to read our first reactions to the novel), but in the meantime here are some links to get you even more pumped up for the book release:
And more importantly: Are you Team Peeta or Team Gale?
To continue with our trend of highlighting the slightly off-color (hey, it's Friday), allow me to introduce Better Book Titles. This blog takes some of today's popular books and some of the most popular classics and doctors the covers to give you a short but sweet assessment of what really lies between them. Here are three of my favorites.
Click here to check out the site, but make sure you don't take yourself (or your favorite books!) too seriously (yes, Mrs. Dalloway is more than a panic attack -- but it's still funny). Happy Friday!
What book blog posts are you buzzing about this week? We're excited about...
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face*
Posted by Erin Hosier on Betsy Lerner's blog
Are you all sick of hearing about Jonathan Franzen yet? Before you roll your eyes, here's a funny post from guest blogger Erin Hosier (on author/editor/agent Betsy Lerner's blog) about why the Great American Novelist's author photo just doesn't do anything for her. I'd highly recommend you read the post, although if you think you'll be offended by insults to Franzen's masculinity (or perhaps an image of him on the toilet). . . well, don't say we didn't warn you!
Interview with Jennifer Egan
Posted on The Morning News
BookPage gave a rave review to Jennifer Egan's latest novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, so I was interested to read this conversation with the author in The Morning News. Egan, who is also a journalist, discusses being a both sides of interviewing, why she included PowerPoint slides in her novel and more. Definitely worth a read.
On the Shelf
Posted by Bookish NYC
As someone who is somewhat obsessed with interiors and decorating, I was excited to find a book blog that devotes a portion of its coverage to spaces for reading. This picture of "le petit salon" will make you want to swoon right onto that chaise lounge. Scroll down on the blog for other "On the Shelf" posts.
"Rick Bayless is the undisputed Big Enchilada of Mexican cooking north of the border," says Sybil Pratt in her review of Fiesta at Rick's (our August Cookbook of the month). Now you can be the judge: prepare this cool, delicious end-of-summer appetizer.
One of my summer favorites: two tropical flavors—creamy avocados and juicy, fragrant mangos—with the sweet crunch of red onion and just enough sparkly lime and cilantro. Other than procuring ripe avocados and mango, there’s almost nothing to this preparation.
Cut around each avocado from stem to blossom end and back up again, then twist the halves apart. Dislodge the pit. Scoop the avocado flesh into a large bowl. Coarsely mash the avocado with a large fork or potato masher. Scoop the onion into a small strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water and mix into the avocado along with serrano, cilantro, lime juice and 2/3 of the diced mango. Taste and season with salt, usually about 3?4 teaspoon. If not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate—best if served within a couple of hours.
When you’re ready to serve, scoop the guacamole into a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining diced mango and a few cilantro leaves if you’re so inclined. Serve with tortilla chips or slices of cucumber or jícama.
Reprinted from Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless (c) 2010. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin announced on his Facebook and Twitter pages yesterday that he is publishing a memoir titled Me. The memoir is being published by Penguin imprint Celebra and will be simultaneously released in English and Spanish on November 2.
Writing this book allowed me to explore the different paths and experiences that have led me to be who I am today. I've had to tie up loose ends that I'd never attempted to tie up before, to work deeply into memories that were already erased from my mind. Allowing myself to do this was not easy, but once I started an incredible spiritual healing began... and I wanted to share my sense of discovery.
Are you eager for Martin to spill all?