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Christmas Cats TV.
SUDDENLY, I WANT TO ADOPT MOAR CATS.
Which is especially hilarious, as Lemon's caterwauling this morning—I can only assume that she was insulted by the recent snowfall—reminded me that living with a Siamese is occasionally less-than enjoyable.
"There was a line in Pride and Prejudice that just stopped me dead, and I couldn't get past it on one of my re-readings," she says. "It's that period leading up to the Netherfield ball when it's just been raining for days and days, and there's no way the Bennet girls are going to venture out into the muddy roads ... but they need these decorations for their dancing shoes. And the line is 'the very shoe roses for Netherfield were got by proxy,' and I just thought, who's proxy?"
I've been wanting to read Longbourn for a while now, and this NPR piece only made me more eager to do so... however, WHY ON EARTH would they title it "Don't Call It Fanfic: Writers Rework Their Favorite Stories"? IT IS TOTALLY FANFIC. Fanfic is fanfic is fanfic, traditionally published or not.
I adore this:
(via Smart Bitches)
From Quill & Quire:
Toronto’s Liss Gallery will resemble Whoville this Saturday, with a special day of exhibitions dedicated to the art of Dr. Seuss creator Theodor Seuss Geisel.
From 1 to 3 p.m., there will be a children’s exhibition featuring celebrity readings of Dr. Seuss classics. A reception from 6 to 9 p.m. will highlight Geisel’s illustration collection and his “secret art,” which he created for personal enjoyment. Bill Dreyer, official curator of the collection, will provide some insight into the beloved author’s life and work.
From a Q&A with Laurie Halse Anderson:
The first sentence of the letter you wrote to accompany the ARC mailing of The Impossible Knife of Memory says a great deal in just three words: “This is personal.”
Yes, it does. My own father, who I’ve just this week moved to an assisted living community near me, so he’s been on my mind a lot, inspired the novel. In 1945, after he graduated from high school, he was drafted into the Army, and was sent to Dachau. He arrived shortly after the concentration camp opened, and his unit’s responsibilities included burial detail and keeping peace amid a lot of craziness. Like so many soldiers, he came home changed, and echoes of what he experienced in Dachau are still being passed down in our family.
You win, PW. Now I'm totally dying to read the book.
Man, I need to read this series. (ESPECIALLY considering how much I love the Bloodlines spin-off series.)
...by introducing their own mail-by-air program: O.W.L.S.:
...their 2013 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing List:
Nineteen Children's Librarians pored over a wealth of new releases throughout the year, often with the help of the children in their branches, and have selected a delicious sampling of stories for you to peruse. Enjoy this snapshot of the creativity and artistry to be found in books being published for preschoolers on up through sixth grade.
(via Betsy, naturally)
Jim Kay (A Monster Calls) has been tapped to give the Harry Potter series a makeover:
Who is your favourite character from the Harry Potter universe?
This is like trying to choose your favourite record, it changes all the time. I have a soft spot for Neville, particularly because of his awkwardness, but you have to admire Hermione, because she puts the hours in at the library, she's the cement really that holds it all together, well, it would be a different story without her. I want to know more about Severus, there's so much depth there. Visually, though, it has to be Hagrid; he's got a wonderful heart, clothed in an enormous, shabby body. Hagrid's hut is, for me, like an extension of his physique: it makes him a part of Hogwarts, but keeps him at a distance too.
More (including a picture of Hogwarts) here.
And suddenly, I feel far less embarrased about preferring Arrow to Agents of SHIELD:
There is an undercurrent of angst in Agents of SHIELD, with Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) occasionally gazing out of a tiny aeroplane window pondering his mysterious death and resurrection. But since every single SHIELD character is primed to communicate in quips and pop-culture references, it can be hard to downshift into non-snarky melodrama. Every single Arrow character feels guilty about forbidden love or killing someone or being an alcoholic, and they're happy to talk about it at great length without cracking wise. Weirdly, these Sunset Beach excursions make Arrow feel more like an old-fashioned comic book.
I am posting this image purely for my sister, who continues watching the show in the hope that Ollie will do that ladder pull-up stunt again.--->
The version of The Dark Crystal that was released in 1982 was dark and weird, especially for a kids' movie. But there was an earlier version—darker, weirder, and trippier—that didn't make it to theaters. The earlier cut didn't test well with audiences, so the film was substantially changed to appeal to a broad audience. Voiceover was added, and English dialogue was added to many scenes where the action was previously supposed to be understood through puppets' pantomime.
For the past two years an enterprising fan, 31-year-old Christopher Orgeron, has labored to reassemble that original cut of the movie.
Erin Bow, at The Book Smugglers:
I get that it is a compliment, to tell authors that you cry. And I get that we want books that make us cry. I do, anyway. Just not necessarily in front of dozens of strangers.
This is why I am proposing a new literary award. It is to be called the SNOT award. Given to STORIES NOT to be read ON TRANSIT, the SNOT shall honor and mark books that will make you ugly-cry while on a crowded cross-town bus.
The SNOT sticker will be gold and embossed, and will stand as both a ringing endorsement and a useful warning.
AND IT SHOULD HAVE TAGGLE ON IT.
...has been announced.
The Fiction shortlist is:
Oliver and the Seawigs, by Philip Reeve, illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell
Whale Boy, by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Joe McLaren
Click on through for the other lists.
...the Harry Potter edition.
PS. And yes, Neville was included. Thank goodness.
PPS. I hadn't realized that Daniel Radcliffe was only seventeen when he was on Extras. Somehow that makes his Jackassery-Unchained performance ALL THE MORE IMPRESSIVE.
Bria Quinlan is rounding up a list of books that are no longer in the running for the YA RITA (since the category was canceled):
I hope everyone has something that catches their eye. New books are like new worlds: You never know where you’re going to find them.
I feel like I should shout VIVA LA YA here.
THE BOOK CONCIERGE:
So, in November we reached out to our book critics and staff to ask which books they absolutely loved in 2013. We got more than a total of 200 titles in response from trusted names such as NPR's go-to librarian Nancy Pearl, Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan, Morning Edition host David Greene, and even Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! limericist Philipp Goedicke. Then the members of the NPR Books team locked ourselves in a small room for several hours to hash out how exactly to categorize titles ranging from Mr. Wuffles! and Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great to an 832-page biography of Woodrow Wilson.
After much wailing and gnashing of teeth we emerged with a taxonomy that allowed users to filter the list of our 200-plus favorite 2013 books in ways that felt both functional (i.e., or ) and fun (i.e., and ). Meanwhile, the NewsApps team was busy figuring out how this whole thing should look and work. After a couple of weeks of designing and coding and testing and editing, our books concierge was born.
And even though they aren't doing the list thing, THAT WON'T STOP ME. Here are the titles in their app-thingie that are tagged 'young adult':
Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Gorgeous, by Paul Rudnick
A Corner of White, by Jaclyn Moriarty
The Madness Underneath, by Maureen Johnson
Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black
Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer
Rose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein
Paper Valentine, by Brenna Yovanoff
The list, from Quill & Quire:
Namesake, by Sue MacLeod
Sorrow's Knot, by Erin Bow
The Night Before Christmas, written by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Barbara Reid
Lasso the Wind: Aurelia’s Verses and other Poems, written by George Elliott Clarke, illustrated by Susan Tooke
The Great Bear Sea—Exploring the Marine Life of a Pacific Paradise, by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read
Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) When Johnson City parent Jeannette Farr saw what her eight-year-old daughter was reading, she was shocked.
Illustrations of soldiers bombing villages, and terrorists kidnapping a girls father were just a few of the details Farr couldn't believe her third-grader was reading.
"It's scary. We don't have guns in our house, my kids don't see guns, my kids don't watch the news," Farr said.
Although each story has a positive message, Farr says the illustrations are too much.
"I was surprised at how graphic the photos were," she said.
She even suggested banning the books, at least for elementary school students.
Not that anyone is infallible, but SLJ suggests both books for grades 2-4 and Booklist suggests Nasreen for grades 2-4 and Basra for grades 3-5. Anyway. Yes, fine: if a parent chooses to not have guns in the house and to avoid the news, that's her choice, etc., etc. But to expect an entire classroom—an entire SCHOOL—to conform to one's own personal worldview is just ridiculous.
No one person is the center of the universe, and in the Heat of the Moment, I think we all tend to occasionally forget that.
From the Guardian:
Mexican auteur Alejandro González Iñárritu, renowned for high-minded dramas such as Babel and 21 Grams, is being lined up to direct a big-budget adaptation of The Jungle Book, it has been reported.
However, this live-action Jungle Book, written by Harry Potter's Steve Kloves and back[ed] by Warner Bros, is facing serious competition in the shape of a similar project from Disney, which earlier this year was reported to have attached Iron Man's Jon Favreau as director. Disney recently confirmed an October 2015 release date for their movie, so it would appear their project is well advanced.
And now The Bare Necessities is going to be in my head all day.
From her blog:
Reading that, you’d think that “YA Romance” was just another kind of contemporary romance, wouldn’t you? Like “contemporary romances” (i.e., now-set romance novels with no strong paranormal, mystery, thriller, religious, etc. plotline) YA romances are required to “focus primarily on the romantic relationship.”
Except, we all know that’s not what all YA romances are. Sometimes they are contemporary romances that focus primarily on a romantic relationship (Anna and the French Kiss, Eleanor and Park, Perfect Chemistry, etc.) Sometimes, in addition to the romance, there’s a lot of other stuff going on, like saving the world from a demon invasion (The Mortal Instruments), or running away from home and falling into a magical addiction (Valiant), or trying to survive on an alien planet after your spaceship crashed (the upcoming These Broken Stars).
Because of this description, a lot of people didn’t enter their YA romances.
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...I wrote about Unhinged, the upcoming sequel to Splintered:
Howard’s descriptions of Wonderland—Alyssa and Co. don’t actually spend much time there in this installment, but it makes its way into our world—play off Carroll in creative, often unexpected ways, and the result is lush and vivid and dark and dangerous and weirdly attractive. Alyssa’s growing affection for Wonderland and her ultimate acceptance of her birthright is a long, sometimes annoying journey, but the beauty she sees in it—even amid the occasionally macabre and sometimes downright horrifying—is undoubtedly there.
HAS ANYONE ELSE READ IT? Because I have some things I'D LIKE TO DISCUSS.
Let me know in the comments, and I'll let fly.