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?
We're pretty sure the answer to this question is "no"—which is why we're sharing our very first invite to a twitter launch party with you.
Novak will be chatting about the book with fans using the hashtag #bnparty. Fans will have the chance to ask questions about Novak's work and win prizes—including an iPad.
Have you ever attended a twitter launch party? Will you drop by this one? Tell us in the comments!
We've posted quite a bit leading up to the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird; see this "Happy Birthday, Harper" post or Lynn's description of re-reading the classic novel with her book club.
And now the big day is finally almost here--July 11, the actual date that To Kill a Mockingbird was published. To celebrate, Monroeville, AL, is hosting a weekend-long celebration, starting today. If you're somwhere in the vicinity this weekend (about 100 miles southwest of Montgomery), it'd be worth it to drop by Harper Lee's hometown. There will be a silent auction for a signed edition of the novel; a screening of upcoming documentary Our Mockingbird; a public reading from the judge’s bench in the old courtroom where Lee’s father practiced law; and more. Visit this website for information.
The July 2010 edition of Southern Living has an interesting essay on the festivities, with perhaps more anecdotes about the ever-elusive Lee than is typical in a magazine piece. There's an excerpt of the article online, although it leaves out my favorite section, in which former Auburn football coach Pat Dye describes a conversation with Lee. She tells him, "I never could finish another book. I started two or three more." He responds that that's probably a good thing; "I don't think you could ever have matched the masterpiece that you wrote," he says. Lee answers, "You're probably right."
Anyone heading to Monroeville this weekend?
Scholastic announced today that the print run for Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay has been increased from 750,000 copies to 1.2 million copies.
BookPagers have been fans of The Hunger Games series for a while now, but we hear from Scholastic that interest in the series and sales of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire continue to build every week.
I know many readers will be thrilled to hear that in August Collins will go on her first book tour since September 2008. Per a Scholastic press release:
Beginning on the August 24, 2010 publication date for Mockingjay, Collins will tour bookstores in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Boston. . . In September 2010, she will continue the tour in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, and in October she will travel to Chicago, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The tour will conclude in November 2010 with visits to bookstores in Northern California, Seattle, and Vancouver.
Mr. Peanut came out yesterday, and the BookPage staff rang in the publication at a packed reading/signing at Davis-Kidd Booksellers and a party at a local restaurant. Author Adam Ross is originally from New York, though he said Mr. Peanut is his "Nashville book" since he started working on it about 15 years ago after he moved to town with his wife.
In BookPage, reviewer Jillian Quint gave a perfect description of the novel: "Through three men’s interlocking though asymmetrical narratives, Mr. Peanut tells the story of all marital strife—with an emphasis on the ugly side, replete with violence, pain, inertia, manipulation, sexual longing and destruction." As you might imagine, the story is complex, and I won't describe it other than to say it's got one of the most interesting and unique structures I've seen in a book all year. (I finished it two nights ago and stayed up until 2 a.m. reading. Ross told me he thinks the book is best read in "chunks," and I agree—you won't want to put it down, anyway.)
If you have the opportunity to see Ross on tour, I would go for it, as Ross (a child actor—and you could tell from his expressive voice) was an entertaining reader and very engaged with the audience. See the cities he's visiting here.
Notoriously harsh Michiko Kakutani called Ross "an enormously talented writer" in the New York Times and Mr. Peanut "induced nightmares" in Stephen King. Last night, people who had either started or finished Mr. Peanut were noticeably excited about the book, and here at BookPage editors have been fighting over review copies. I think it's safe to say that Ross's debut novel is already a hit, and there will be many readers eagerly waiting for his next project: story collection Ladies & Gentlemen.
Have you read Mr. Peanut? Is it on your TBR list? What authors have you enjoyed meeting?
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando resort officially opens tomorrow. And though I've never been to Disneyland or Walt Disney World in my life—and I've never even been tempted to visit Universal Studios (the lines! the pricey souvenirs!) . . . after reading New York Times reporter Neil Genzlinger's report on the Potter-themed amusement park, all I want to do is apparate down to Florida.
The art director for the park is Alan Gilmore, who also worked as Art Director for the Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire films. And if Genzlinger's article (and accompanying video) is any indication, the park's effect is quite magical. Ollivanders, the Three Broomsticks, the Hog's Head, even Dervish & Banges . . . it's all there.
I don't know about you Potterheads, but as far as I'm concerned November 19 cannot come soon enough (the release date of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1).
Will anyone be checking out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando?
Last night I saw Shawn Colvin perform live at Nashville's beautiful Cheekwood Botanical Garden. And I was tickled to get more than just a great live show: On stage, Colvin chatted about her upcoming memoir from HarperCollins, A Few Small Repairs, named for her 1996 album that featured the hit "Sunny Came Home."
She asked the audience what they'd prefer: information about the music she's played—or dirt. Surprisingly, the audience was split in their reactions. (Confession: I hollered for "dirt.")
Colvin gave more information about her book in a March interview with The Birmingham News:
"It’s a combination of stories about my life and stories I’ve told on stage, but they’re not presented in chronological order," Colvin says. "I include some of my musical thoughts, and stories that I find amusing and other people have found amusing—or not amusing." The challenges she faces as a woman, a parent, a musician and "someone who suffers from depression" will be fused into the narrative, Colvin says. Crafting a memoir proved to be quite different from songwriting, she says, and Colvin prepared by reading the work of Mary Karr, the best-selling author of a memoir trilogy, and Open, a frank autobiography by former tennis champ Andre Agassi.
Also on The Book Case: See a recent post on celebrity memoirs.
Stephenie Meyer fans probably don't need a reminder, but just in case your summer reads have you distracted . . . The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner goes on sale tomorrow! The hardcover costs $13.99, and one dollar from every sale will be donated to the American Red Cross. At noon on June 7, you can read the book for free on Meyer's site.
Seth—Meyer's webmaster/little brother—posted a news item today on StephenieMeyer.com: Meyer has created a The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner Playlist, which you can check out here. (Side question: Do you all listen to music while you read? I never do—too distracting—although I can read in almost any public place.)
I'd also like to announce that on Monday morning, we'll be offering an exclusive first look at our review of Bree Tanner to Book of the Day subscribers. If you haven't already signed up for this fun and informative newsletter, you can do so now.
Anyone going to a late-night Bree Tanner release party or downloading the e-book at midnight?
Allen Ginsberg, the poet who wrote Howl and gave voice to the Beat Generation's passion and discontent, would have turned 84 today. (He died of liver cancer in 1997.) A new book celebrating Ginsberg's life and the lives of his fellow Beats was released last month: The Typewriter is Holy, by Bill Morgan. As the book's publicist says,
For the last two decades of Allen Ginsberg’s life, Bill Morgan assisted him daily as his bibliographer and archivist. As the author and editor of more than twenty books on the Beat Generation, including I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg (Viking Press, 2006), Morgan, quite simply, knows more about the Beats than anyone alive.
BEA may have lasted only two days, but many of the convention's most eager attendees had an event of their own to look forward to after the show closed: the first ever Book Blogger Convention. Organized by several of the most prominent literary bloggers, the event kicked off with a social hour on Thursday after BEA closed. There were nearly 200 registered attendees, and at least 100 others participated in an "Armchair Convention" organized by the bloggers who stayed at home.
Eager to meet my favorite bloggers, I hadn't realized I'd also encounter publicists and authors like Emma Donoghue, Susan Holloway Scott and Glen Plaskin, who attended with his puppy, Lucy, a descendant of the dog he writes about in the upcoming book Katie.
It's clear that savvy publicists and writers are interested in courting bloggers and social media mavens—the question is, has the rest of the world gotten with the program, or will the New York Times still print quotes from authors who categorize them as Terre Haute basement-dwellers? (Sorry, Richard Ford, but no one is going to forget that one.)