How did I miss this? Apparently, TPTB aired an extended trailer for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland during the Spike Scream Awards, but I couldn't find a decent copy online and it turns out I hadn't seen the non-extended trailer, so that's what I've got here. Behold:
And don't get me wrong, I love Johnny Depp, but it seems a more than a little unfair that he got top billing while the main actress isn't mentioned at all....
Last year we made a list of last-minute, book-inspired Halloween costumes. Those are definitely still good options, but I ran across an even easier costume this year: dressing up as Sookie Stackhouse from the Charlaine Harris books and True Blood TV series. Now, ideally you'd go all-out and get a blond wig, but if you're low on cash you can just skip that and go as one of the other waitresses at Sookie's job (the ones with the high mortality rate). You'll need a pair of tiny shorts, sneakers, a tight white t-shirt, and a tray. Write "Merlotte's" on the shirt and you're golden! Best of all, at this time of year you'll probably be able to find tiny shorts and white t-shirts galore in the deepest recesses of the clearance aisle.
I wouldn't trick-or-treat in this, though. You'd freeze vital bits off.
Sears is currently offering an unusual deal via its website: if you buy any of these featured titles on Sears.com, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, or Target.com, you can receive a store credit for the purchase price (up to $9) that you can use immediately on your next purchase of $45 or more from the Sears website.
This promotion is part of the Sears program "Keep America Reading". I'm not sure how often the featured titles will change (they're currently the top 10 pre-selling books) or how long the promotion will run, but this might be a great way to kick off your holiday shopping!
If any of you are harboring dreams of becoming the Next Big Thing in young adult publishing, you need to check out NaNoWriMo.org's current contest: aspiring authors can submit the first 250 words of their novel-in-progress for a chance to have the idea seen by top editors at Random House, HarperCollins, Penguin, Harlequin and Sourcebooks, and get feedback on the manuscript from one of New York’s top YA literary agents. The winning submission will get a FREE 10 week writing course courtesy of the Gotham Writer’s Workshop, while four 2nd Place winners will get feedback from editors and a one year subscription to The Writer magazine.
So I was poking around on the British Amazon site to see if they had a concrete release date for Catherine Jinks's Genius Wars (they do: October 2010), and I happened upon the English cover for Jinks's The Reformed Vampire Support Group. Behold:
I know I usually complain when English covers are cooler than ours, but this time I am totally okay with it. The English cover might be sleeker, but anyone who's read this book knows the American cover is about a 1000 times better suited to the story:
Actually, you don't even have to read the whole thing. Just get to the part [SPOILER] about vampires having to live off of (literal) guinea pigs and you'll see the light.
Barnes & Noble is throwing its hat into the e-book ring with the Nook, a $259 reader with a 7.7 inch screen. It is the first color reader, features 3G Wireless and Wi-Fi, and will work with either PCs or Macs. Most interestingly, it also includes something called the "LendMe" feature, which allows Nook owners to lend e-books to friends with similar devices for a two week period.
I'm still not buying one of these suckers until they drop way, way in price (like, halfway), but they're getting cooler, huh?
ApartmentTherapy recently did a very Halloween-friendly post about a H.P. Lovecraft-themed walking tour in Providence’s College Hill, which includes many of the houses featured in his horror stories. Frankly, a single visit to the house above (the Arts and Crafts Fleur-de-Lys Artist Studios, a building described in Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu) would be more than sufficient for me to consider my Halloween appropriately celebrated.
If you've got some less-than-lovely books in your life, you might want to pick up one of Book City Jackets' Artist Edition book cover sets ($12 for a set of three). And even if you don't care about book covers, these puppies would go a long way towards convincing anyone you'd like to impress that your collection of, say, Danielle Steel novels* is actually something totally artsy and deep....
*Note: We personally believe in the "out and proud" approach to our book collections, but we understand that some people are more delicate.
NPR's "All Things Considered" featured an interview and Q-and-A session with Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney yesterday. Both were fun, but I was even more interested in the interview that followed, with Books4YourKids.com blogger Tanya Turek. Turek was invited on the show to discuss parents' concerns about their children over-identifying with Kinney's lazy, selfish, totally self-absorbed main character, Greg.
Turek is a good interview, and she gives some solid general advice to parents whose children are old enough to make their own choices about reading, but I seriously had no idea that people were worried about this. I mean, does any kid want to act like Greg? He's hideous! Kids laugh at him, not with him. It would be like wanting to emulate Adrian Mole. I'm sorry, but this seems like unnecessary pearl-clutching to me...
Actress Judy Greer is starring in an in-development comedy for ABC based on the novel I'm With Stupid by Elaine Szewczyk. According to BuzzSugar, the show will "focus on Manhattanite Kas Sienkiewicz (Greer), whose life takes an unexpected turn when she has a vacation fling with a park ranger in South Africa, and a few days later he shows up on her doorstep and moves in."
Frankly, I can't stand that title and the plot sounds like a pretty weak fish-out-of-water concept, but Greer's a fun actress and the existence of Ranger Gord has proven to my satisfaction that the life of a park ranger is rife with unexpected lunacy, so maybe it'll be better than it sounds.
According to ComingSoon.net, Cary Fukunaga is in "advanced negotiations" to direct a film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. The film, which features a script by Moira Buffini, will "play up the gothic elements of the classic 19th century story about a governess who falls in love with her surly employer who has a dark secret."
One wonders: does the above quote indicate that they're going to make the story as much like Twilight as the book's basic premise will allow, or just chop off (or at least reduce) the bit at the end with Jane's long-lost cousins? We'll have to wait and see, but my money's on a bit of both.
Seattle's Elliot Bay Book Co., an iconic bookseller located in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square District, has been sufficiently hard-hit by the recession to be considering a move. While I'm glad to hear they're not considering closing, this news is still a huge blow for the other businesses in Pioneer Square—a gorgeous bit of Seattle, for those of you who haven't seen it, but one that has long contained more than its fair share of the city's homeless and mentally ill population, and is now really struggling with the recent dip in tourist income.
I've been trying to hunt down a copy of Robert Bloch's Psycho, the novel that inspired the Hitchcock movie of the same name. I'm not about to pay $25 for this edition (seriously, are they insane?), but pickings are strangely slim. Why has no one published an appropriately pulp-fiction-y edition of this book recently? Don't they realize that Halloween is coming, and some of us might like to get into the mood with a little vintage horror?
The AustenBlog readers are still giving the recent BBC adaptation of Emma an overwhelming thumbs-down, and while I'm sorry to hear the show is so sucky I've been enjoying their complaints, which range from general griping about the actors to super-specific problems with the settings, characterizations, and script. (The writer apparently took out the "We are not brother and sister line", which *is* kind of a shocker.) I'm no longer sure I'll watch adaptation when it comes out here in the States, but seeing all these devoted Austen fans up in arms has been a delight to behold, so I suppose I should be grateful for the entertainment it has already provided me....
I've always been curious about Jennifer Crusie's long-out-of-print early novel The Cinderella Deal, and it's finally being reprinted (with, sadly, a luridly pink-orange cover). Crusie has said this was her first romance novel that wasn't "cold", so I'm looking forward to seeing what she means—even if she claims there are moments in the book that are "downright weepers", something I usually avoid like the plague. Here's the author's description:
Daisy Flattery is an incorrigible free spirit with a soft spot for strays and a weakness for a good story and a bit of adventure. Why else would she agree to the outrageous deal offered by her button-down, workaholic neighbor Linc Blaise? The history professor is desperately in need of a fiancée to capture a dream job at a local college—and Daisy is up for the challenge. But something funny happens on their way to the altar that breaks all the rules and changes the game. Falling in love was never part of the bargain. Their little charade has taken in everyone—including themselves. Now with the proverbial midnight hour approaching will the fairytale finally be over or will opposites not just attract but live happily ever after?
Sounds cute, right? So where do the weepy bits come in, I wonder? Does the dog die? Because I don't care how much I like Crusie's stuff: I am not signing off on the romance novel equivalent of Old Yeller.
I can't stand Nicholas Sparks's books, and therefore have never seen any of the film adaptations of his novels. (I've always suspected that his stuff would have received far fewer accolades if it had been written by a female author.) However, I have friends who watch The Notebook every time it's on TV, so fine, here y'all go:
The fine people at Georgette-Heyer.com have posted 9 YouTube links to the 1950 film version of Heyer's novel The Reluctant Widow. They can't find all of it (apparently it ends a little prematurely) and the movie was made as a spoof, so it's a far cry from our Wordcandy Holy Grail, but it does have some charm as a curiosity. Enjoy!
As a (woefully underpaid) Internet writer, I've been trying to understand the blogging-related changes the Federal Trade Commission announced last week regarding its "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials". Apparently, these new guidelines would define a positive review from our brave little site as an "endorsement", any books our reviewers decide to keep for our personal collections as "compensation", and require us to post some kind of disclosure identifying our relationship to the "advertisers"--in this case, the publishers, authors, or PR people who sent us the books.
I'd be more worried about this, but A) Wordcandy hardly ever writes anything uncritically positive, and B) wading through the legal language surrounding this decision is totally boring. Anyway, Wordcandy's official plan regarding this announcement is to burn that bridge when we cross it. Like Scarlett O'Hara, we'll worry about that tomorrow*.
But in the meanwhile, please accept our assurances that any review posted on Wordcandy is the result of our own reaction to the book in question, not some kind of paid advertisement. We have offended way too many authors (even some we really like!) to be accused of false enthusiasm.
*Note: Nobody sent us a copy of Gone With the Wind, and--just in case you're wondering--we don't even like that book.
According to Cinematical, director Alex Proyas's next project might be a three-film adaptation of John Christopher's Tripods series--a trilogy near and dear to our hearts. A screenplay for the first film has already been completed, although details are scarce, so we'll be keeping an eagle eye on future developments.
Sure, we'd all expect this from stores like Hot Topic, Wet Seal, and the more cost-conscious department stores (after all, what is a t-shirt like this one, if not the teen-girl equivalent of a Hannah Montana hoodie?), but I can't believe this line is being sold at Nordstrom, purveyor of $600 prom dresses, $185 candles, and—my favorite—$170 baby snow suits. (Sure, the kid will only fit into it for about a week and a half, but hey: it's Juicy couture!)
Well, dear readers, Nodame Cantabile, one of my all-time favorite manga series, has finally come to an end. It took eight years and a 136 chapters (and I'm holding out hope for some kind of epilogue), but it had a brilliant run. My sincere thanks go out to series creator Tomoko Ninomiya, and I'm looking forward to the final anime/drama adaptations!
I usually like Salon, but sometimes their stuff irritates the hell out of me. Take this recent article on Lise Haines’ new novel Girl in the Arena, which kicks off with the following lines:
"Girl in the Arena is like nothing you’ve ever read. Lise Haines’ new novel is about the rise of a modern gladiator culture in America, in which fights to the death have become a hugely profitable televised sport."
"Nothing you've ever read"... unless, of course, you've read The Hunger Games, which sold about a bazillion copies last year. Are the Salon writers seriously that oblivious to literary popular culture*? I haven't read Haines' book (although I might; it sounds kinda cool), so I can't weigh in on any similarities between her novel and The Hunger Games, but trust me, Salon: combining that opening line with that description was a mistake.
*They've weighed in on Harry Potter and Twilight, but that's pretty much it.
And they're not pretty. AustenBlog readers have weighed in on the first episode (of four) of the most recent TV adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, and they're tossing around phrases like "huge disappointment" as though they were confetti*. I'll still probably check it out when this shows up here in the States, but this is not a promising sign.
*They seem particularly irritated by a scene in which Emma teaches Harriet Smith how to eat soup properly, and I gotta say: Harriet's supposed to live a girls' school, right? Wouldn't she already have a pretty solid grasp of basic table manners? I mean, it's not like soup is some kind of super-exotic food....
...at least, we expect the friend she mentions in her response to the Deenie question in this otherwise excellent interview thinks so. That's the kind of anecdote that probably should have remained between friends, Ms. Blume.
Dude, they've repackaged Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy books for adults!
Actually, I don't know if they've done the whole series or just the titles featuring Betsy in her teen years and later, but I don't care: either way, these two-in-one editions of the last six books in the series look great.
If you don't like reading manga online, the paperback copy of the first volume of Rin-ne, the latest work from Rumiko Takahashi, will be out on October 20th. I've really been enjoying this series (although I suspect some of the humor isn't translating well), so I might pick up a copy even though I've been following the chapters online via the Rumic World site.
If you've got anywhere between nine and thirteen dollars burning a hole in your pocket this evening (depending on how outrageously expensive your local movie theater is), you might check out Whip It, the film adaptation of Shauna Cross's 2007 YA novel Derby Girl:
Here's hoping they invest in better CGI than the New Moon producers
We've had a review copy of Maggie Stiefvater's novel Shiver floating around Wordcandy HQ for a few months now*, so I was interested to see that it's been picked up by the producers of the Lord of the Rings movies, who plan to turn it (and, I'm assuming, its sequels) into a feature-length film.
*The book has great cover art, and I keep meaning to read it, but Nathan picked it up and said something about the werewolf hero trying to eat the heroine in the first chapter, which I find totally off-putting. I'm not sure why, seeing as I read vampire books all the time, but being torn apart by wolves just sounds so messy....
Then brush up on your Austen trivia, because Sourcebooks is having a contest to celebrate the release of Monica Fairview's new novel The Other Mr. Darcy.
Beginning today, Ms. Fairview's blog will feature one Pride and Prejudice-related question every day. In order to enter, you'll need to answer the Question of the Day in the comments section of the blog. You'll be entered each time you answer, so the more questions you answer, the more chances you'll have to win.
According to the Sourcebooks press release, there will be five winners total, chosen at random: 1 grand prize winner and four runners-up. The Grand Prize will include The Other Mr. Darcy plus a box of chocolates, while the four runners-up will receive copies of novel.
The fine print (such as it is): The contest will run for the month of October, only serious responses to Ms. Fairview's questions will be considered, and US and Canada mailing addresses only.