I was delighted to see an article in this weekend's NYT Sunday Book Review titled "‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and Its Sci-Fi Heroine," about Meg Murray, the wonderful girl who has made such a large impact on so many readers. Beyond an analysis of Meg's character, there are some interesting facts in the article regarding women and science fiction. For example:
Thirty-two percent of adult male book buyers are science-fiction fans compared with only 12 percent of women. When Joanna Russ, one of the few successful female science-fiction writers, died last year, her obituary in The New York Times referred to her as a writer who helped “deliver science fiction into the hands of the most alien creatures the genre had yet seen — women.”
Another reason this article made me a little bit giddy was that it mentioned a forthcoming biography of Madeleine L'Engle by children's literature historian Leonard Marcus. You can go ahead and add that to my personal most-anticipated books of 2012 list!
The Academy Award nominations were announced this week, and you'd have to be living under a rock to miss the fact that many of the movies were based on books. Or, as this blog post from The Guardian puts it: "Oscars' big winners will be books: Literary adaptations look set to sweep the board in Hollywood this year." We'll post more about the year's biggest books-to-film closer to the Academy Awards, but for now tell us: Which was your favorite adaptation?
The final major news item of the week was that the Youth Media Awards were announced, including winners and honorees for the Newbery, Caldecott and Printz Awards. (We interviewed two of the authors here.) Popular children's lit blogger (and librarian) Betsy Bird posted a wonderful "post-game recap" of the awards announcement on her blog, A Fuse #8 Production. One excellent point she makes is that the Newbery win for Jack Gantos was somewhat surprising because it's such a funny book, when previous winners have been much more on the earnest side of things. Read more about Gantos' Dead End in Norvelt on BookPage.com, and continue reading Bird's post here.
Happy Friday, readers! What are you reading this weekend? Do you have any links to share?
Literary Review revealed their shortlist for the 2011 Bad Sex in Literature award on Tuesday, and the 12 nominees include 1Q84, 11/22/63 and The Land of Painted Caves. The winner will be announced on December 6. In the meantime, check out the rest of the list as well as some really bad examples via Huffington Post, such as this one from Stephen King:
She was wearing jeans. The fabric whispered under my palm. She leaned back and her head bonked on the door. "Ouch!" I said. "Are you all right?"
Doubleday's Thanksgiving Twitter challenge, Literary Turducken, had some great results that are worthy of a chuckle. The original post said: “The Literary Turducken combines not one, not two, but three classic works into one, in the spirit of the turkey+duck+chicken creole classic.”
2012 will be a big year for Charles Dickens, what with it being his 200th anniversary. Amidst all the celebration will be a bit of a change, however . . . specifically to Great Expectations. A new film adaptation of the classic work comes out in 2012, directed by Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes. This article over at The Telegraph has Newell comparing it to Hannibal Lector and calling it a "thriller." It will also have a new ending.
My opinion: I'm into it. You?
Generally at the Book Case we try to stay above tabloid gossip. But when one of the biggest literary names around decides to start joking about Kim Kardashian's divorce, it's impossible to resist sharing.
Salman Rushdie also hosts a twitter thread called #LiterarySmackdowns, which pits two classics against each other every Monday. This week, it was American Pastoral vs. Portnoy's Complaint. (To find out who won, you'll have to visit the thread.)
Here at BookPage, we've pretty much been drooling over any Hunger Games movie-related news for at least a year. So, when we heard that Vanity Fair scored a photo shoot with the cast—and posted the photos online—it was music to our ears. Check out the photos here, and don't forget to hover your mouse over the various actors. The shot is interactive, and you can read info about each actor (and their role in the movie).
What literary links have you enjoyed this week?
Hope everyone had a great, summery week! Today's weekly links celebrate classic favorite reads (and suggest new ones), recognize some great songwriters' books and enjoy some book-to-film if-onlys. Enjoy!
Socially important or academically fascinating books might get all the attention, but that doesn't make them great reading material. The Guardian points readers to some overlooked masterpieces.
Some examples include Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust over Brideshead Revisited and Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle over Slaughter-House Five.
What are your this-over-that reading suggestions?
The New Dork Review of Books celebrates medium-crossover books -- particularly those from musicians (and disregarding "idiot celebrities"). There's something very similar between telling a story through song and through prose, as often a creative mind can tell a tale through either medium.
This week, Ron Howard's epic adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower was scrapped. Flavorwire added it to "the long list of proposed book-to-film adaptations by famed directors that never saw the light of day." They listed the 10 book-to-films they'd love to see, including Orson Welles' adaptation of Heart of Darkness, Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote and Terrence Malick's Blood Meridian.
Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings has compiled a list of 7 Obscure Children's Books by Authors of Grown-Up Literature, including one of my favorites, T.S. Eliot's Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, as well as 6 others I did not expect. Mark Twain's Advice to Little Girls might be my new favorite thing - ever:
Have a wonderful weekend! What will you be reading?
BOOM goes the long weekend! Will you be taking some time away from cooking out and playing with sparklers (or in my case, trying to calm down my dogs) for some good reading?
Check out some of our favorite links this week:
According to CNN, Conan O'Brien will be a comic book character! Bluewater Productions specializes in transforming famous figures into superheroes, and Coco's set for August.
Author Elinor Lipman (@ElinorLipman) might be a Twitter newbie but she's already making us giggle. She has pledged to tweet one politically-themed poem every day until the 2012 election ("Warning: 'twill be in couplets & 'twill rhyme."). Here's her first:
Valerie Gribben, who published her first novel, Fairytale, when she was seventeen and finished up the rest of The Fairytale Trilogy during college and medical school, suggests doctors make room for Grimm's Fairy Tales beside their medical journals. Read her article in NYT: "Practicing Medicine Can Be Grimm Work."
We were surprised once with Meowmorphosis, the Quirk mash-up of Kafka's masterpiece -- and we are surprised again with the film adaptation of Metamorphosis, a "modern horror version" starring Nick Searcy and Matt Angel. Sounds very . . . goopey. Take a look at the movie website and check out the following video:
Do you have any cool links from this week to share? Reading any good books?
Have a great weekend!
What are your click-worthy links of the week? Here are a few items that are both news-worthy and just for fun:
Looking for a laugh? Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm posted this hilarious link to a person wondering about a "video rental store but for books." As Kerry titled the post: "It's called the Library."
Thanks to Spike Jonze, Where the Wild Things Are and Maurice Sendak are hipper than ever. Fans will be thrilled to hear that Sendak has written and illustrated his first new book in almost 30 years. Bumble-Ardy will be about "a pig who longs to party." It comes out September 6; read more in this piece on WSJ.com.
Were you intrigued by Jodi Picoult's latest, Sing You Home, after reading our review and the author's handwritten Q&A? You have to check out this brand new web exclusive conversation between Picoult and Ellen DeGeneres—which includes the news flash that Ellen is adapting the novel into a movie.
Sick of eBooks but still want something new? The Guardian reports on the 'flipback' book—a pocket-sized book for reading on the go . . . "It's small, light and portable – and it doesn't need charging." Do YOU think this could kill Kindle?
Have you recently come across any links worth sharing? Share away in the comments! Here are my favorites:
Linda Holmes of NPR's Monkey See blog has published a post to get you pumped up in the post-Oscar world: Your 2011 Books-Into-Films Lineup, From 'Eyre' To 'Water' To 'Desert'. And man, does this lineup of books-to-film look good. We already knew about We Need to Talk About Kevin and One Day and Jane Eyre, but what about Moneyball and Desert Flower and Too Big to Fail? I can already taste the popcorn . . .
If you've ever wondered about how to spot a first edition of a book, The Awl has a post on that very topic. Just out of curiosity: Are any readers of The Book Case collectors of rare books? (Signed copies, first editions, etc.?)
Novelist Sonya Chung has written an essay for The Millions on authors "who dare to leap the imaginative chasm of gender." She questions: Are they successful? How does one measure? She specifically looks at Annie Proulx's famous story, "Brokeback Mountain" (and excerpts a sexually graphic passage).
Benjamin Hale has written a novel that might take the cake for weirdest premise of the month: The narrator of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore (reviewed here in BookPage) is an ape. The Westword catches up with Hale to ask him how he came to write from such an unusual point of view.