Just yesterday, Scholastic unveiled the book trailer for Mockingjay, the final book in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy:
There's not any new information here for Hunger Games fans, but the trailer does feed the fire of excitement that's building toward the August 24 release. I like that foreboding background music!
Also on The Book Case: Read our past coverage of Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games.
Here's an update on our Janet Evanovich post from July 16, in which we speculated on the mega-bestselling author's plan to move to another publisher:
Janet E. is also in the news these days for other reasons: She’s currently renegotiating her contract with publisher St. Martin’s Press. Reportedly Evanovich, who is represented by her son Peter, wants around $50 million for her next four “Plum” books, and St. Martin’s is apparently not ready to pony up quite that much (the last four books in the series cost them about $40 million). Evanovich isn’t saying much about the “private” details of the negotiation, but industry pros are wondering if she might take her fan base and self publish if she can’t find a publisher ready to pay the asking price.
In a press release, Evanovich commented on the deal: “I started my career as a Bantam author, and I'm very excited to be returning. Their sales, distribution, and marketing make them the perfect partner for me and my work. Load up the U-Haul; break out the pizza and the beer—it's moving day for Stephanie, Joe, Ranger, Diesel and me!”
What's your favorite Evanovich title? The latest, Sizzling Sixteen, is currently at #7 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction list.
"Is that your blood?"
"Why, yes, some of it."
First the good news: The seventh book in the Artemis Fowl series, Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, comes out in just eight days (August 3, to be precise).
The bad news? In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Colfer stated that it will be the penultimate Artemis adventure:
"One more book, and then that'll be the end of that," [Colfer] said. "He will be faced with a choice where he can be kind to somebody and he won't gain anything, or he can be unkind and he will find a million dollars in a suitcase, and he will choose the nice way, and that will be the end," he explained. "That's how I'm going to finish it, on a very simple choice."
For more on the author, read a hand-written Q&A about And Another Thing..., the final book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (Colfer was chosen by Douglas Adams' widow to write the book).
Beth Harbison's best-selling Shoe Addicts Anonymous—about four different women who bond over a shoe size—will be made into a movie starring Halle Berry. Paul Weiland (Made of Honour) will direct, and Kristen Buckley and Brian Regan (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) wrote the script.
Deadline.com reports that other members of the ensemble cast have yet to be chosen. On her Twitter page, Harbison said fans should "keep an eye on Facebook for an official movie page, coming soon, with more casting news."
Harbison's latest novel, Hope In a Jar, came out in May. Have you read it yet? Will you check out the Shoe Addicts Anonymous movie? Any casting predictions?
What book blog posts have you enjoyed this week? Asterisks, Ramona, Proust. . . my browsing has been all over the place this week:
The contributors at arts and letters site Emdashes love letters and books. They combine the two passions in this contest, in which readers are encouraged to write a letter to their favorite punctuation mark for a chance to win a signed copy of Ben Greenman's What He's Poised to Do:
Here is a partial list of possible correspondents, with the current tally of blushing recipients marked in bold: the air quote, the ampersand (2), the apostrophe (2), the asterisk, the at-the-price-of, the at sign, the backslash, the bracket, the bullet, the caret, the colon (3), the comma, the curly quote, the dagger, the dash ditto mark, the diaeresis, the double hyphen, the ellipsis (5), the em dash (toward which some jurors are slightly biased) or the en dash, the exclamation point (3), the full stop, the grawlix, the hyphen, the interpunct, the interrobang, the inverted exclamation point, the interroverti (formerly the inverted question mark), the little star, the manicule, number sign, the parenthesis (2), the percent sign, the period, the pilcrow, the pound sign, the question mark (2), the quotation mark (or a pair of them), the semicolon (3), the smart quote, the slash, the tilde, the underline, the Oxford comma, or any other mark close to your heart but not listed here.
5 Children's Books That Hollywood Should Tackle Next
Posted by Moviefone
The movie Ramona and Beezus opens today—what better time to think about what other kids books should make it to the big screen? Moviefone suggests Anastasia Krupnik, In the Night Kitchen, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret and The Boxcar Children.
What titles would you add to the list? I'll add a big vote for Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl.
Reading in Tongues
Posted by The Millions
Novelist and screenwriter J.P. Smith has written an interesting post about the rewards of learning to read in another language. I was especially interested in how the experience has influenced his own writing:
Adopting French as a second reading language gave me two worlds through which my own work could be filtered. As a novelist (far less so as a screenwriter), I find that reading in two languages has a way of enriching one’s own work. When reading in French I’m really stepping beyond myself and my world, and it’s this tiptoeing into another culture and another way of viewing things, that allows me to look back over my shoulder and find perhaps a whole new way of telling my own story.
If you've ever doubted that working at a small company really means doing a little bit of everything, wonder no longer. This morning, our publisher Michael Zibart spent some time repainting the side of our building, which had been tagged by graffiti artists (kids these days).
The eight-hour miniseries of Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth starts tonight on Starz at 10 p.m. EST, and you can also now download Penguin's nifty "Amplified Edition" of the novel for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Buy it for $12.99 through the App Store.
Here's a video explaining what to expect from the amplified edition, which includes video footage blended into the eBook, an interactive character tree, Follett's "multimedia diary" and more:
Will you be watching The Pillars of the Earth on TV tonight, or downloading the amplified edition? Is contextual video an exciting advantage of eBooks, or does it distract from the text?
Digression: I am admittedly old school when it comes to reading, and here I can't help but think of Newbery winner Laura Amy Schlitz's comment to me in March about why her students enjoy reading: they say, "I like it when I make the pictures up in my head. I like to see the pictures in my head." Is some of that participation lost when you're being fed video of what the characters look like?
In other Follett news, are you excited about the author's newest book, the 1,000-page Fall of Giants, out Sept. 28? (When we posted about the book back in April, some of you were turned off by the $36 price tag.)
I was thrilled to learn that Trenton Lee Stewart, the author of The Mysterious Benedict Society books, is writing a prequel to his middle-grade series. The prequel is titled The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict.
Before I go on, I have to acknowledge that I have a somewhat personal connection to Stewart—we're both from Arkansas, and I profiled him for a Little Rock newspaper before I started working for BookPage. (I also moderated his session at last year's Southern Festival of Books and reviewed The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma for BookPage.com.)
The Mysterious Benedict Society series is about four very different children: steadfast, clever and "average" Reynie (the star of the books); adventurous Kate; brainy Sticky; and mind-reading, cranky and hilarious Constance. The four kids are recruited to help the genius Nicholas Benedict prevent evil Mr. Curtain from taking over the world. One of the great things about the series is that the lovable four main characters are so distinct that practically every child can find someone to identify with.
Prisoner's Dilemma—which has a conclusive ending—was supposed to be the final book in The Mysterious Benedict Society series, although Stewart has acknowledged that the decision wasn't set in stone.
The prequel, set for a spring 2012 release from Megan Tingley Books, will follow "a brilliant young boy named Nicholas Benedict, who has his own unusual friends and his own mystery to solve."
I guarantee that there are many children and teachers who will be overjoyed by this news—there was a packed crowd at the early-Saturday morning Southern Festival of Books signing, and many hands shot up immediately after Stewart's reading. (Not to mention that book one in the series was on the New York Times children's bestseller list for a year.)
Do you or your kids/students read The Mysterious Benedict Society books? Are you excited about the prequel?
Just months away from publication, Cooper withdrew the finished manuscript. Hyperion is not commenting, but Cooper says he felt the publisher was looking for a different type of book:
"I set out to write about how, in the wake of a devastating and unexpected divorce, I slowly rebuilt my life by redoubling my already decades-long commitment to humanitarian relief and human rights work. In the end, it seemed to me that Hyperion hoped to push the book in a more controversial direction -- something I was unwilling to do. I am exploring options with other publishers."
Readers, what say you?