Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book-to-Film Adaptation Trailer Insanity

Oh the insanity! This week, trailers for four much-anticipated film adaptations were released, according to GalleyCat.

Let's take a gander at what's in store for the big screen:

1. Gone Girl 
Based on the bestselling thriller by Gillian Flynn
Release date: October 3, 2014

While I struggled to get through this book (I couldn't even finish it, honestly...the characters were all so damn unlikable!), I am interested in what Twentieth Century Fox and director David Fincher do with it. I'm particularly intrigued by the fact that Fincher worked with Flynn to change the ending of the book for the silver screen.

2. If I Stay
Based on the popular YA novel by Gayle Forman
Release date: August 22, 2014

Now, this one I am totally stoked for. I read If I Stay years ago and loved it to pieces. It's one of those books that resonated with me, that made me laugh and cry and beg for more. Its sequel, Where She Went, was good, too, but not nearly as engrossing and powerful as If I Stay. You can bet I'll be one of the first in line to see this baby.

3. Heaven is for Real 
Based on the bestselling Christian novel by Todd Burpo
Release date: April 16, 2014

Though I haven't heard of this book before--and I'm not generally a Christian fiction reader--the cast is pretty stellar. It's also an interesting topic--near death experience--that might be worth checking out. Probably not on the big screen for me, though. Apparently, this flick is "part of Hollywood's push into marketing faith-based films to Christians" (GalleyCat), and I'm curious to see how it does in the box office.

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Based on the bestselling comic book series X-Men
Release Date: May 23, 2014

I'll admit it: I've never read any of the comics before. But I have seen all the movies thus far, and I've enjoyed each and every one of them. So, I'm sure I will feel similarly about this one. Especially since one of my favorite actresses, Jennifer Lawrence, has been cast on as Raven/Mystique.

Friday, April 11, 2014

New Trend: Reading Alone Together

Apparently there is a growing fad in the literary world. No, I am not talking about New Adult fiction. I am talking about silent reading parties. The trend first started out in Seattle, with the Sorrento Hotel hosting the event on the first Wednesday of every month. Now, a Brooklyn bar called Muchmore is following suit, according to GalleyCat:
A group of readers in New York have formed Silent Reading Party NYC, a once a month event in New York in which readers gather in a bar to silently read in a group setting. 
The next one will take place this Sunday April 13th at Muchmore’s in Brooklyn from 7-9pm. Brandee Younger will play harp music to set the mood. 
Check it out: “Silent Reading Party NYC is a free monthly event that offers people the chance to drink together and read to themselves in the comfort of a quiet bar with cozy couches and good lighting.” 
See the original post HERE

While my initial reaction to the trend was "o_O" I have always enjoyed reading quietly with others around. It's part of why I like going to coffee shops, restaurants, or bars and just sitting there with a book, letting the day move along around me. While this behavior sometimes makes me feel self-conscious, garnering looks from my fellow patrons to the effect of "what a loser" or "umm okay," it's still nice to be lost in my little fictitious world within the real one. So why not do it with a bunch of people who feel the same? If I still lived in NYC, I'd be all over this monthly get-together (even if I would have to trek to Brooklyn).

If anyone out there has taken part in one of these silent reading parties, I'd love to get your thoughts on the experience! I imagine it would be lovely...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hump Day Humor: Celebrity Slam Poetry, "Boy Meets World," and "Full House"

I have no words.


GalleyCat explains:

Just in time for National Poetry MonthDjango Unchained actor Samuel L. Jackson recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and performed slam poetry about the 90′s American sitcom, Boy Meets World
In the video embedded above, Jackson makes references to the Corey-Topanga love story, theCorey-Shawn bromance, and Eric’s infamous “Feeny” call
According to Mental Floss, Fallon later asked Jackson whether or not he was a fan of Boy Meets World; Jackson admitted that it’s probable he had never even “seen one episode.” 
Back in 2012, Forrest Gump actor Tom Hanks came on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to deliver a similar-stylized slam poetry performance about another iconic TV show, Full House.

See the original post HERE

Sunday, April 6, 2014

BREAKING BAD's Bryan Cranston Breaks Into Publishing

The hit television show "Breaking Bad" was all the rage in the States a few years ago, spreading just in the past six months or so across the pond to the UK. And now, the craze seems to be shifting mediums as lead actor Bryan Cranston signs a deal with Simon & Schuster to pen a memoir about his time on the show.

The Los Angeles Times tells us more:
“With this book, I want to tell the stories of my life and reveal the secrets and lies that I lived with for six years shooting ‘Breaking Bad,’ ” Bryan Cranston said in the press release announcing his upcoming memoir. The as-yet-untitled book will be published by Scribner in 2015. 
Cranston won three best actor Emmy Awards portraying Walter White, the cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who turns to making methamphetamine to support his family. In the show's five seasons, White -- who in a desperate moment came up with the pseudonym Heisenberg -- went from everyman to drug kingpin. 
The role has become iconic -- Heisenberg T-shirts are available just about everywhere, including Wal-Mart. But Cranston, 58, has had a long career as an actor whose skills allowed him to play all kinds of roles. 
He was the father in the goofy TV comedy "Malcolm in the Middle," quietly appeared in the Oscar-winning drama "Argo" and is currently portraying Lyndon Johnson on Broadway. 
As he told Terry Gross in a recent interview on NPR's "Fresh Air," he had a difficult childhood as his parents' marriage dissolved. His father was a frustrated actor and alcoholic, and his mother also struggled with alcohol. For a time he and his brother lived with their grandparents, where they learned to slaughter chickens. 
The publisher promises that Cranston's book will be "a deeply candid work" and "offer fascinating insights into his early years, the craft of acting, and his experiences on the landmark series 'Breaking Bad.' ”

See the original post HERE
I'm not even halfway through watching the series myself (thank you, Netflix), but it's clear from just the very first few episodes how impactful a role like Walter White must have been on Cranston. Many of the actors involved (Aaron Paul, anyone?), in fact, surely have much worth sharing regarding the intensely emotional and suspenseful--and sometimes terrifying--show. I will definitely be snatching myself a copy of this baby when it hits the shelves!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Importance of Books for the "Bad Guys"

Over the past year or so, I've watched a lot of TV shows and films about prisons. Yes, that might sound a little weird, but it seems to be a trend, particularly with the popularity of shows like "Prison Break" and "Orange is the New Black," as well as classic films like "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Malcolm X." And while watching these shows and movies, it always made me happy when the scenes took place in the prison library, seeing the inmates get the opportunity to read and learn and grow from books, the way I believe books are meant to teach. Heck, it's been proven that
 books can help mental health patients, and there's an organization in the UK focused solely on that task. That's gotta mean something, right?

So, when I saw a headline on GalleyCat yesterday that stated "Authors Fight Ban on Books in UK Prisons," you can imagine my upset:

British authors Phillip Pullman and Mark Haddon are among many that have spoken out to stop new rules that restrict access to books among prisoners in the UK. 
“Any government worth having would countermand this loathsome and revolting decision at once, sack the man responsible, and withdraw the whip from him,” Pullman told The Guardian. 
Mary Sweeney launched a petition [yesterday] urging Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP to “review and amend” the new rules. The petition has already generated more than 5,000 signatures. Here is an excerpt from the petition: “Access to books can be crucial for education and rehabilitation. Access to family items are important for continued family connection, and should not additionally punish children of prisoners who need contact.” (Via The Guardian).
See the original post HERE

I don't know about you, but I immediately went over to to sign the petition. To take away something like reading, even from those who have committed crimes and are imprisoned, you take away the potential for personal growth, compassion, and possibly rehabilitation. Not only are these new rules keeping inmate from exploring the healing power of reading, but they are also keeping inmates from any family-related items and even their children, an issue that reaches far beyond the book. It makes me want to cry to think that now the children are also being punished by not being able to  have relationships with their parents, just because said parent(s) may be incarcerated. There are so many things wrong with this picture.

So, if you believe in reading and of family as powerful motivators and inspirations to heal and change one's life, get your butt over to and add your name to the petition. At the writing of this blog, more than 6500 signatures are still needed, so don't hesitate. Just help.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wear Your Favorite Books

The other day on Tumblr I re-blogged these awesome literary brooches. I have personally worn a brooch, nor can I even imagine how to do so properly, but my attention has been pulled back to them when GalleyCat wrote up a quick piece today on the very same accessories:

London-based artist Sarah Pounder has been transforming the pages of classic novels into wooden brooches. 
She sells them through the Etsy store House of Ismay. The collection includes a heart-shaped Pride and Prejudice pin, a pipe-shaped Sherlock Holmes pin and a whale-shaped Moby Dick pin. The buttons retail for $8.53-17.06.
See the original post HERE

Here are some of the other brooch options:

Not only are these cool in their own right, but they also reminded me of an Etsy shop that I found while doing my Christmas purchases this past fall that makes some really cool book-based jewelry, ESPARTOstudio. I had gotten one of the necklaces for a friend of mine, and it can be a really fun gift (especially when you choose one of the pendants that focuses on a specific word, IMHO):

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Trailer Release: THE GIVER by Lois Lowry

I don't know how I missed the fact that a film adaptation of The Giver is being made! And the trailer has just been released!

Created by the Weinstein Company and featuring stars like Meryl Streep, Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd, Jeff Bridges, and Katie Holmes, this adaption is scheduled to hit theaters on August 15th of this year.

This book was one of the first I read as a child that I remember really changing my point of view. I've actually been meaning to reread it for ages now as it sits on my shelf collecting dust. I guess I have a few months to make that happen. Get on it, Poiesz.