Saw this floating around the Internet yesterday and had to post it here in case any Book Case readers missed it. As a child of the 80s, the tone of the commercial really took me back (do they still make commercials for kids with the same cheesy voiceover?) Favorite moment: when the "super disguise mustaches" are removed.
As Salon's Broadsheet points out, the video was made by the team who wrote and directed last year's film version of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Are there other authors you'd add to this action figure collection?
The world's favorite smizing*, H2T** model is writing teen books!
Tyra Banks—host of America's Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show—has signed a three book deal with Delacorte. The series is called Modelland, and according to Publisher's Marketplace it's about "a teenage girl who finds herself competing for a way of life that's both hotly desired and woefully out of reach at an academy for Intoxibellas, the most exceptional models known to humankind."
Turns out this isn't a huge leap for Tyra, as she's an avid reader. On her blog, she posted: "Modelland has always been a part of my mind and my heart. As you might know, I step into a bookstore and I shake (really!) because I love books so much."
Wendy Loggia, who worked on Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Lauren Kate's Fallen, will edit.
Variety has more on Tyra's decision to write fiction (she's already the author of self-help book Tyra's Beauty Inside & Out):
"I have this notebook I write everything in and started working on titles and breaking down characters. And I kept going and going. I knew I didn't want it to be some autobiography; I wanted to create a fantastical place."
Banks said the books shouldn't be considered "chick lit" but will contain messages of empowerment within the fantasy storyline. "I wanted to make the project a little more what my brand is," she said. "And give (readers) an experience that they haven't seen when it comes to this modeling world."
Banks said she sees "Modelland" as eventually turning into a feature franchise and has already received interest from studios. "I'm not writing the books as scripts," she said. "I'm writing true literature, which can then be adapted into film by Bankable."
*"smize" = smiling with your eyes, in Tyraspeak
**"H2T" = head-to-toe modeling
This week we're posting a lot of new content on BookPage.com, from a whimsical story of a rabbi's unlikely journey to a multilayered fantasy. I've read Turtle in Paradise, and it was a perfect story for tweens. Now, I think I may pick up The Frozen Rabbi. Which of the books look good to you? (Click on the titles for more info.)
English author Andrew Grant shares why his David Trevellyan novels—including new book Die Twice—are set in the U.S.A.
I was lucky enough to attend the excellent Murder 203 conference in Connecticut recently, and one of the questions I was asked most often during the event concerned the settings of the first two David Trevellyan novels. Specifically, panel-goers were curious about how I came to base them both in U.S. cities. Specially as I—and my protagonist—actually come from the U.K.?
Barbara Clark reviews acclaimed author Steve Stern's wacky new novel, The Frozen Rabbi
The Frozen Rabbi tells the whimsical story of Polish rabbi Eliezer ben Zephyr, who, in 1890 and while in a meditative state, is unaccountably frozen alive in a block of ice during a freak storm. Lost and presumed dead by his rabbinical colleagues, he’s later discovered by a Polish laborer, still encased in ice, buried in a nearby pond. The old rabbi is preserved as a kind of holy talisman by the worker’s family and carted about, still frozen, to various locations for the better part of a century—until he accidentally thaws out and wakes from his long hiatus in a freezer in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1999. The unlikely and sometimes hilarious adventures of the ancient rabbi, as well as those of his “discoverer,” 15-year-old Bernie Karp, make up the contemporary half of this entertaining adventure.
Baby Mouse author Jennifer L. Holm shares the inspiration for her latest middle-grade novel, Turtle in Paradise
This book started out with a story my mom liked to tell about her childhood. She grew up in New Jersey with her mother and maternal grandparents. Her grandmother (Nana) was from Key West, Florida. During the summers, Nana would take my mom to Key West to visit relatives there. My mom didn’t really like going to Key West. It was a long drive by car, and Key West in July is hot and sticky and people didn’t have air conditioning back then like they do now. But strangest of all to my mom was what her mother told her to do in Key West: she was to “shake out her shoes” before she put them on. My mom didn’t know why her mother wanted her to do this, but she did it anyway. And then one day, she shook her shoes and out popped… a scorpion!
Leslie Moïse reviews the third book in Jane Lindskold’s Breaking the Wall series, Five Odd Honors
Life is not turning out the way college student Brenda Morris expected. Instead of literature and history, she spends much of her time studying self-defense, learning magic and how to infuse mah-jong tiles with her life force, or ch’i, for magical purposes. With her mentor, former child star Pearl Bright, and a band of mortals and ghosts called the Thirteen Orphans, Brenda works to unravel a century-old curse. Insane warrior Thundering Heaven, Pearl’s long-dead father, is only one of the powerful, treacherous enemies the group must face.
Blogger Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose.com will edit a collection of J.A.-inspired short stories by the likes of Lauren Willig, Adriana Trigiani, Karen Joy Fowler, Laurie Viera Rigler, Elizabeth Aston, Pamela Aidan, Stephanie Barron, Syrie James, Alexandra Potter, Beth Patillo, Frank Delaney, Diane Meier and 10 other writers, according to Publishers Marketplace.
The interesting tidbit is that one of the stories in the collection could be written by you! Pemberley.com will host a contest for inclusion in the collection, and the book will be published by Ballantine.
If our feature on Write That Book Already! had you inspired, maybe this contest would be a good way to flex those writing muscles. . .
Got any good story ideas?
Raise your hand if you read On the Road when you were a teenager, and it was, like, your favorite book of all time (right after you got over The Catcher in the Rye). Yeah, me too. I read Jack Kerouac's Beat Generation classic on my bunk bed at summer camp, and I'm pretty sure I listed the "burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles" quote as my favorite in more than one yearbook.
I suspect that die-hard Kerouac fans will have mixed feelings about the following news:
On the Road adaptations have been rumored for years, but now it's really going to happen. Walter Salles, best known for The Motorcycle Diaries, will direct the film. Garrett Hedlund (Four Brothers, Eragon) will play Dean Moriarty, the free spirited friend of narrator Sal Paradise. Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame will play Mary Lou. The movie should be out in 2011.
What do you think—are you excited about this news, or is On the Road one of those untouchable books that shouldn't be adapted at all? Who do you see as Sal? I'll admit that I'm skeptical. . . although I'm eager to learn more about the casting and the direction of the screenplay.
What book blog posts have you enjoyed this week? A few of my favorites include. . .
Alice In Openland
Posted by Open Culture
Maria Popova writes about the public's renewed interest in Lewis Carroll's Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, "easily the most beloved work of children’s literature of the past two centuries." Popova provides a list of "free versions of, tributes to, and derivatives of" Carroll's 1865 classic, from a Russian translation with awesome illustrations to a video of the earliest cinematic adaptation of the book (c. 1903). It's definitely worth a look. And if you haven't seen Tim Burton's recent "Alice" movie, read Trisha's report on the "weird and wonderful" wonderland.
The Passage - Justin Cronin
Posted by books i done read
Raych's posts are always hilarious, and her review of The Passage is no exception. Here's an excerpt: "And it's great, liebchens. Stressful, because Cronin leaves you sitting for a minute, anxious but subdued, before flinging you out over a crevasse and then letting you hang there for (p)ages. My anxiety is currently palpable. You may have no fears re: the ending, you will not be Patrick-Ness'ed into cliffhangerry rage, but even if the promo bits hadn't been all ZOMG TRILOGY I still would have been looking over my shoulder for the sequel. Read it. You know, when it comes out next month. Of which I will remind you." Trisha interviewed Justin Cronin for our June issue, so check in at BookPage.com at the beginning of the month. We think The Passage might be "the buzz book of the summer"—do you agree?
Hate Mail Dramatic Reading Project #9
Posted by Edward Champion's Reluctant Habits
Speaking of hilarious blog posts, if you haven't checked out Edward Champion's "Hate Mail" series, in which he posts recordings of himself reading hate mail in various voices, I'd strongly recommend you check it out. This week he's reading in the style of a Tennessee Williams protagonist. I also like his Richard Milhous Nixon-style reading. What's your favorite?
Deanna Larson, public information officer for the Nashville Public Library—and a prolific BookPage contributor—says the library system “was mostly unscathed, for which we are very grateful.” Only one branch sustained damage, in the basement. All branches were back up and running by Tuesday, and even the Bellevue branch, in one of the city’s most heavily flooded areas, had Internet access restored by Wednesday.
A few years ago I interned at a small publishing house in New York City that had a basement warehouse. During my time there the warehouse was flooded after extensive rain, and I can tell you from personal experience that sorting through—and throwing out—soggy books is both hard work and heartbreaking. We're so glad that the NPL (the main branch of which Ann Patchett has called "like a friend") wasn't majorly damaged.
Speaking of the flood, last night Nashville got the national media attention that many people have considered absent. Anderson Cooper reported from the city in “Anderson Cooper 360°”, and yesterday he tweeted several times about his experience reporting ("in nashville. so many people volunteering to help their neighbors who are suffering in the wake of the flooding. Truly inspiring"). Watch clips from the show.
Of course, Cooper is also a best-selling author. His 2006 memoir Dispatches From the Edge was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and coincidentally Deanna Larson interviewed him about the book for BookPage. The piece, which addresses the emotional impact of reporting, is especially timely now.
One fan of the book is the daughter of Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, the producers of Precious. The family enjoys the books so much that their Smokewood Entertainment production company is taking on Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer as their next project.
In a press release from Judy Moody publisher Candlewick, Siegel-Magness said, “Our company, Smokewood Entertainment, intends to make films with a positive message for a variety of audiences, and the adventures of independent Judy and her family and friends are a perfect vehicle for that.”
The movie will come out in 2011. In an interview with Daily Variety, director John Schultz added that the movie will appeal to girls and boys and engage adults.
Do your kids or grandkids like Judy Moody? Will they be excited about this movie? Who should play Judy and Stink?
Add another buzzed-about debut to your September reading list: The Gendarme, by Mark T. Mustian (Amy Einhorn Books).
It has a provocative premise: a 92-year-old man discovers he has a brain tumor that seems to be unlocking memories of his past as an Ottoman Army soldier during the Armenian genocide. Turns out he fell in love with, and spared the life of, an Armenian girl during that time, and despite his age and frailty, he's determined to go back to Turkey to find her.
The atrocities referred to in Mustian's book are still a point of contention today, as the Turkish government still considers it a crime to refer to the murders, arrests or mass deportations that took place between 1915 and 1918 as "genocide." Mustian traveled the route between Turkey and Syria that many Armenians were forced to travel by foot and without much food, and posted about the journey on his site. "Traveling paved highways in an air-conditioned van, I tried to imagine what it would have been like for old men, women, and children to make this journey on foot. . . . They would have had to leave almost all of their possessions behind. The sun would have been searing, the paths dusty and arduous and long. Water would have been scarce. Disease and lack of food and thievery would have taken their toll. . . . It was easy to see how many would have failed to survive it."
Library Journal says, "A first look suggests that the dreamlike, staccato language opens up into a moving but fiercely unsentimental book. Not for your lighter time-traveler readers; recommend to smart book clubbers in search of something intriguing and different."
Rights have already been sold in at least six countries, and the book's striking cover recalls National Geographic's "Afghan Girl."
Does learning more about this period of history interest you? Will you read?
One of the most time-tested ways of generating reader interest is asking a question (and yes, we're guilty of it at this blog!). Lately we at BookPage have noticed some doozies leading off the back cover copy of a few soon-to-be-released novels, and we have a question of our own: given a book's cover and title, can you guess which question it promises to answer? Share your score—or your favorite flap copy question—in the comments.