Get ready for a refreshing, relaxing recipe this week from our cookbook of the month, Rick Bayless' Fiesta at Rick's [read our full review here]. These watermelon mojitos are perfect for your weekend barbeque.
Set out eight tall 12-ounce glasses. Put the leaves stripped off a single sprig of mint into each glass—you’ll need about 10 leaves for each drink—and top with 1/2 cup watermelon cubes. Divide the Simple Syrup among the glasses (1 tablespoon per glass). Use a muddler (or the handle of a wooden spoon or a long-handle ice tea spoon—though neither is anywhere near as effective) to crush the mint and watermelon, releasing their flavor into the syrup—the more muddling, the fuller the flavors. Fill each glass with ice. Measure in the rum (2 ounces per glass) and the lime juice (1 tablespoon per glass). Use a long-handle ice tea spoon to mix everything together. Top off each glass with a little sparkling water or soda and you’re ready to serve.
Out of Flint, Michigan:
An article in today's Wall Street Journal has been making the rounds on Twitter and in blogs—the piece is about the habits of e-reader owners, and as Penguin imprint Dutton tweeted this morning, the conclusions are "maybe not what you'd think."
The major conclusion? Studies show that e-reader users read more often than they did before they owned the device, but they read slower. (This does not surprise me. I read the first 100 pages of Mockingjay on a Kindle and the second 100 in a hardback; I made the switch because the lag time between pages was starting to get on my nerves.)
Marketing and Research Resources reports that e-reader owners read 2.6 books per month, whereas old-fashioned (i.e. print) readers read 1.9 books per month. (A comparison: according to our 2010 Reader Survey, 65% of BookPage readers read at least 4 books per month. 20% of you read at least 8!)
An e-reader study found that 40% of e-reader users read more than they did with print books. 55% of the group said they'd use the device to read even more books in the future.
E-reader users: How have your reading habits changed since you got your Kindle, iPad, Nook, Sony Reader, etc.?
For more on this subject, read Lynn's iPad vs. Kindle blog post.
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!