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From Yahoo! News:
Benson wrote more than 130 books, including the 1940s Penny Parker mystery series, but she is best known for the Nancy Drew books that inspired and captivated generations of girls.
She wrote 23 of the 30 original Nancy Drew stories using the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Paid $125 per book, she never collected any royalties.
Benson died in 2002 at 96 and left her home and possessions to her only daughter, Peggy Wirt, who died in January.
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.
In one of MTV‘s most ambitious moves on the scripted side since Susanne Daniels became president, the network has given a script-to-series commitment to Shannara, a drama series based on Terry Brooks’ popular fantasy books. The project, from Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films, has Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau on board to direct and will be written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. The trio will executive produce with Brooks and Dan Farah (The Crow remake).
(via SF Signal)
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.
Then again, I love gingerbread so much that I don't see why it should just be a seasonal treat!
Anyway, here's the Instructables link.
...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)
Super-short, and appeals to the same part of me that finds Ratchet & Clank hilarious:
Song Of The Knight from Ringling Computer Animation on Vimeo.
(via SF Signal)
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.
Roshi Fernandez on Maya Angelou at NPR:
I had entered the second year of the six years when I didn't speak of the-thing-that-happened-to-me-when-I-was-11, and I was looking for explanations of that thing. And I was looking for ways to introduce the subject to my parents, so they would say, "Oooh, I understand," in an unemotional, chatty way, and we could get thatthing out into the open.
In Maya Angelou, I found some answers. Reading I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings explained more to me than the Harold Robbins and Jackie Collins novels that we passed around the classroom ever did. Maya Angelou told me quite clearly — your body is yours.
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.
From their website:
Scarlet Voyage is a young adult fiction imprint dedicated to providing original stories with a strong voice and an independent spirit. From literary to contemporary romance to crime thriller—across all genres—our books embody our passion for authentic and compelling stories that reflect and explore the lives of young adults. Our mission is to create books that take readers on a voyage and will leave them burning for more.
Coming this spring, among others:
In the River Darkness: ALTERNATING NARRATORS! LOVE TRIANGLE! (<--I'm guessing here, but the description sounds pretty clear.) LOTS OF SEKRITS!
Freak City: Romance about a boy who falls in love with a deaf girl and starts to explore deaf culture & community.
What We Did for Love: WWII? I think?
Code Name Komiko: Sixteen-year-old violin prodigy moonlights as cyber-investigator.
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.
The BookSeekers is geared specifically to finding children's books, specifically, in their words, "a discovery website for kids’ books which seeks to help you to navigate through the huge choice of books for kids – from toddlers to teens - to find the next great book to read".
As I've done in the past, I ran Howl's Moving Castle and The Book Thief through the engine.
For fans of Howl, BookSeekers recommends: Charmed Life. Which I feel is weaksauce, because A) only one title? and B) that one title is ALSO by DWJ?
For fans of The Book Thief, BookSeekers recommends: I Am the Messenger and Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Weak (same author) and barf (I understand why it came up, but man, I do dislike that book).
Anyway, I'll continue playing with it—it looks like there are other ways of using it and there are lots of booklists to comb through—and it's a pretty new site, so they'll probably continue to add to the database and tweak it and whatnot.
Man, I need to read this series. (ESPECIALLY considering how much I love the Bloodlines spin-off series.)
...a list curated by the ladies at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books:
Since I'm going to miss the annual discovery of awesomeness in YA romance this year, I put the call out on Twitter for reader favorites in YA romance this year, and promised to compile them all. Here's a selection of those recommended, and please, add your 2013 favorites in the comments if you'd like! Feel free to share what you loved and why you loved it, and help others discover the best of 2013 YA Romance.
...by introducing their own mail-by-air program: O.W.L.S.:
I adore this:
(via Smart Bitches)
The Book to Art Club launched this September, and is an extension of the Library as Incubator Project. Its aim is "to explore literature through discussion and hands-on creative projects".
So far, they've covered The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Art Forger, The Language of Flowers, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, and this month, they're working with John Green's Paper Towns.
It's a really cool concept, not just connecting art to books, but CREATING art that's inspired by books. Anyway, it's a cool website & a good resource, and a lot of the basic ideas could be easily incorporated into book groups (or classrooms), regardless of age level.
(I mean, I think a lot of storytimes already incorporate themed crafts, as do book groups for younger readers. And way back when, I always did a craft with my high school book group, too, but somewhere along the way, I stopped. I'll have to Bring It Back when I get a high school book group up and running at my new library.)
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.--->
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.
From Publishing Perspectives:
It’s not just the fact of censorship — it’s more the way the censorship works. Speak to any bookseller – and, sadly, there aren’t many in Doha – and they all tell you the same story. At the moment, retailers have to submit one copy of every title they receive to the Ministry of Culture for approval, even if the same book has already been approved for another retailer. It’s an Orwellian situation that is not without a comic side. “We’re still waiting for clearance for The Gruffalo even though it’s for sale elsewhere,” said Richard Peers-Weaver, Purchasing Manager of WHSmith, with a weary smile. “We have around 70% of our stock still tied up at the Ministry awaiting approval. It’s very frustrating, particularly when we have customers coming in and expecting to see certain things.”
If nothing else, click through to see the picture of the Doha skyline: it's VERY cool.
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"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.