Coming to theaters near you this weekend: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, based on Jeff Kinney's best-selling middle-grade series. The movie hits theaters Friday, and the companion book, Movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid, is in libraries and bookstores today.
Judging from the trailer, the movie looks like a winning adaptation—likely to be a hit with the the 6- to 10-year-old set (and parents wondering how to pass the long hours of spring break).
Related in BookPage: Check out our Meet the Author featuring Jeff Kinney.
A few observations on books and reading after spending a week at the beach:
1. The number one book spotted on the beach/in airports/and everywhere else I looked: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. If you need further evidence that this book has crossed from bestseller into phenomenon territory, take a trip.
2. If you're reading on a Kindle, you have to turn it off during airplane takeoff and landing—a total pain, especially if you've reached an exciting part of the book. If you're reading a good, old-fashioned paper-and-ink version, you can keep reading your book while the Kindle reader next to you squirms anxiously and awaits the announcement that personal electronic devices can be turned on.
3. If your plane hits extreme turbulence over the Atlantic, you won't want to read either your Kindle or your old-fashioned book. You'll want to clutch the armrests with both hands and moan as quietly as possible.
4. Though it's widely reported that women read more than men, this doesn't hold true among travelers. In airports and on the beach, men are just as likely as women to be staring at a book (though the man is more likely to be sound asleep and pretending to read the book).
5. Having a book in your hand is a great conversation starter among strangers.
6. Sand can be used effectively as a bookmark.
Don’t miss this week’s fresh content on BookPage.com. Click the book titles to read more:
Every week, there are many smart, funny and fascinating posts in the book blog community. With that in mind, we’re starting a Friday series: Best of the week in book blogs. Below are a few choice posts we’ve stumbled upon throughout the past few days. Feel free to add YOUR favorite book blog posts in the comments.
“I dare you not to sing along ...”
Posted by She is Too Fond of Books
How much do you love this video, from Ocoee Middle School in Florida? Oprah did, and now she’s partnering with Target to give the school a library makeover. Okay everyone: Sing it with me: “This book's going to be a good, good book to read.”
“Great Building of Books Friday”
Posted by Entomology of a Bookworm
This post is awesome because, well, who doesn’t want to learn about a building made of books? I visited the Modern Art Center in Lisbon a couple years ago, and there was a minimal, conceptual light installation in the hall where the book structure was on display. If only I could have seen a "symmetrical, enclosed room of stacked literature”!
“Some Bookish Events that are Local (to me)”
Posted by Book Chatter
I love getting out from behind my computer screen and interacting with booklovers in person—hence my fondness for book festivals and readings. On Book Chatter, Ti highlights two such events in the Los Angeles area, the L.A. Times Festival of Books and the Impatient with Desire book party. Wish I could be there!
“Spotted on the subway: Vladimir Nabokov edition”
Posted by Wormbook
Browse Wormbook for many “Spotted on the subway” entries. How fun is it to spot a stranger reading one of your favorite books? Or spy on a reader who totally doesn’t match up with the book he’s reading?
What book blog posts did you enjoy this week?
Finally, a celebrity memoir that has a chance of being interesting! On Wednesday St. Martin's Press announced the acquisition of a memoir from Judi Dench, And Furthermore. As the press release puts it, "For the first time, Dench writes about her life, both on-stage and off, in a book that takes the measure of both her astonishing career and her private life. " The book will be published in October.
Dench made her acting debut in 1957 and has amassed a string of impressive credits in the years since. Seeing her name on a cast list feels like a guarantee of quality to me -- her turn as Lady Catherine de Bourg made the sub-par 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice worth watching (OK, Matthew MacFadyen helped with that too!). It's hard to say what role of hers is my favorite, but right now I'm going to go with Miss Matty Jenkyns in the Cranford adaptations. (I blogged about the series here.)
I'm also looking forward to her turn as Mrs. Fairfax in the upcoming version of Jane Eyre. (More on that here.)
Do you have a favorite Dench film? Has anyone seen her on stage? And will you read her memoir?
The iPad went on sale today (if you order now you’ll receive the device on April 3), and I wondered how many e-reader users following The Book Case are tempted by Apple’s sleek new toy.
Forbes has some information on how browsing the iBookstore will work:
Apple has designated about 20 "top-level" categories for books, including "Fiction & Literature", "Reference," "Romance," "Cookbooks" and "Comics & Graphic Novels." Below those categories lie more than 150 sub-categories, including some very specific genres, such as "Manga" under "Comics & Graphic Novels," "Special Ingredients" under "Cookbooks," and "Etiquette" under "Reference." Some sub-categories, such as "Fantasy" and "Science Fiction & Literature," even have sub-sub-categories ("Historical" and "Paranormal," for example.) There are also two sections for "Erotica" books; one under "Fiction & Literature" and one under "Romance."
Rumor has it we’re getting an iPad at BookPage, so when that happens we’ll be sure share the experience of reading on the gadget.
Are you going to buy an iPad?
Some of you may look forward to college basketball in the spring. As for me, I get my March Madness fix every year (well, since 2005, anyway) with the Morning News Tournament of Books, which puts the year's best fiction in head-to-head competition.
The race for the Rooster started this week, and so far the commentary and matchups have been epic. Where else would you find John Wray's Lowboy facing off against Kathryn Stockett's The Help? (I won't give the winner away, but judge Andrew Womack concludes, "Were the two books somehow collated into a single work, the result would be more formidable: a cooler, more memorable, disarming contender. Something with teeth of its own.")
And don't miss the commentary on each round from returning hosts Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner. A sample from the discussion of the aforementioned Help/Lowboy matchup:
Take the following one question quiz—If a black person were in your house, where would you send her if she asked to use your restroom? If your answer is not “the driveway,” The Help will make you feel good about yourself.
If you're interested in military history and loved Band of Brothers, mark your calendar for this Sunday at 9 pm EST—it's the premiere of HBO’s miniseries The Pacific, based on memoirs by two U.S. Marines: With the Old Breed by Eugene B. Sledge and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie. The series is produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, the team behind Band of Brothers.
On an HBO message board for the series, a commenter wrote, “Without a doubt Sledge's account is the greatest WWII story ever told.” If you’ve read With the Old Breed, do you agree?
Watch a trailer for the miniseries:
The book’s been compared to Small Island and Sophie’s Choice (tall order, huh?), and Annan calls it "a powerful novel of acceptance, survival and love.”
Just two days after I blogged about Starcrossed, the high school Greek tragedy billed as “a Percy Jackson for teenage girls,” another huge YA deal goes through. Dutton Children’s Books (a Penguin imprint) has paid six figures to publish The Catastrophic History of You and Me, by debut novelist Jessica Rothenberg. Rothenberg is an editor at Razorbill, another Penguin imprint. Here’s more on the plot:
In the book, a 15-year-old girl who literally dies of a broken heart must pass through five stages of grief before she can move on to the afterlife...and restore her faith in love.
When I was a pre-teen, I had a fascination with tragic stories—for a while there, anything by Lurlene McDaniel was a must-buy from the book fair. Sounds like heartbreak and mortality still haven't gone out of style.
Will you (or your teen) pick up The Catastrophic History of You and Me (out fall 2011)?