Thursday, May 31, 2012

LES MISERABLES Film Trailer Officially Released!

The upcoming film adaptation of the musical of Les Miserables (based on the book  by Victor Hugo, of course) has been getting a lot of criticism regarding its casting. I'll admit that the producers and casting directors have made some interesting choices, ones that perhaps I would not have made, but I am thrilled nonetheless for it to hit theaters. Since I saw the very first glimpse of it months and months ago, I had a feeling that the cast would surprise us.

And now that I've seen the first official movie trailer, I've got to say.... 

I have a feeling the cast will surprise us.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Twitterific Short Story...Maybe?

When I first joined Twitter I loved reading people's little 140-character stories. I followed a bunch of people who actually made the goal of writing them. (Naturally, now that I'm thinking about it, I can't remember any of their handles anymore.) It was a quick, fun little burst of creativity for the day.

But even so, the news that The New Yorker will be "publishing" Jennifer Egan's newest original short story "tweet-by-tweet" doesn't sound super appealing to me. Okay, that's a lie. I'm not actually interested in it at all. 10 tweets at 140 characters doesn't seem all that exciting, especially when they come only one a day and I will likely have forgotten the previous day's tweet.

But, alas, The New Yorker--and I'm sure many others--disagree. Here's the scoop from the New York Times:
When the novelist Jennifer Egan submitted her latest short story to The New Yorker, she hinted to Deborah Treisman, the fiction editor, that there was a catch. It soon became evident: Ms. Egan had written an entire work of fiction in 140 character bits, to be first posted on Twitter and then published in the magazine.

“I had a sense it could work for a spy story,” Ms. Egan said this week while sitting in Ms. Treisman’s office.
Ms. Treisman was receptive to the idea, so much so that this week the New Yorker will begin publishing the story, “Black Box,” in segments on Twitter. Starting Thursday night, the New Yorker’s Twitter fiction handle, @NYerFiction, will post a new tweet of text from Ms. Egan’s 8,500 word story every minute between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The tweets will continue for 10 straight nights. Readers can find a summary of the text posted on the magazine’s Web site at 9 p.m. each evening.

The article, built around a character in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” will appear in the magazine’s first science fiction issue, which comes out on May 29th.

While many writers have used social media to promote their work, Ms. Egan was especially interested in Twitter. She said she wanted to explore writing something serialized because that’s how many people watch television programs today.

The story is a running scroll of a spy keeping a log of her current mission. Ms. Egan said that when she was writing, she struggled not to make the language sound “gimmicky” or “cartoonish.”

“I’m just interested in serialization in fiction,” said Ms. Egan. “I’m fascinated by it. I love the 19th-century novels. I’m interested in ways to bring that back to fiction.”

Ms. Egan said that she is not entirely comfortable posting tweets. She marvels that she has nearly 3,000 followers when she has only posted four tweets, including one apologizing for being spammed. She said she feels comfortable posting to her Web site but that her posts on Twitter didn’t work.

“I felt tongue tied. It seemed phony,” said Ms. Egan. “I felt really self-conscious.”

But Ms. Egan said that after plugging so many lines of text into Twitter to make sure they were 140 characters or less, she said she felt less fearful.

Since the story’s text as written for Twitter didn’t look right in the standard New Yorker format, the magazine is using a different font called Neutra Face. The creative director, Wyatt Mitchell, said it had never been used before in the body of the magazine.

As New Yorker editors wait to see the response from readers, Ms. Egan notes the story has already lured one new follower to Twitter. “My mom is joining,” she said.

See the original post HERE

Friday, May 25, 2012

Feeling Indecisive About Your Reading Selection? Think No More!

With how insane this week has been, I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't have the brain power left to even decide what book I should read next.

Luckily, for times like these, there is a website willing to lend a hand:

Just go to the site and it will give you a book recommendation. If you hit refresh, it will keep giving you more suggestions until you find one you like. This could be super helpful when feeling indecisive!

Thanks to guest blogger Alex Christopher for bringing this site to my attention!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Avoiding Reality with Spartacus

There is a lot going on in the publishing industry right now: Big-six publishers are implementing new e-only imprints, the Department of Justice is continuing its investigation, more people are suing Apple, etc. etc.It's a dramatic and volatile time. There is much to discuss!

However, I am not going to touch on any of that right now. Because, quite frankly, it is upsetting and makes me a little bit afraid about the future of this business that is my livelihood. Instead, I am going to tell you about something fun, something I am personally very excited about: Kirk Douglas has a book in the works...about the movie SPARTACUS.

The Associated Press fills us in:

At age 95, Kirk Douglas is not too old to give e-books a shot.

The legendary actor has an e-memoir coming out in June.

Titled "I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist," the book tells about the Roman epic that came out in 1960 and helped break Hollywood's ban against suspected Communists.

Douglas, who starred in the "Spartacus" movie and helped produce it, reveals that Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay after the blacklisted Trumbo had worked throughout the 1950s under assumed names.

The book includes a foreword by George Clooney. It is being released by Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher that announced the deal Monday. An audio edition will be narrated by Douglas' actor-son Michael Douglas.
See the post HERE in the Washington Post

To put it simply: I am stoked about this book. I am a huge fan of SPARTACUS. I watched it for the first time in early high school (or late middle school..I can't quite remember haha), but became obsessed, bought the VHS and proceeded to watch it over and over and over again. Just this past year I tracked it down on DVD so now I can watch it again whenever I so choose. I will still never stop laughing about the scene where Sparty drowns the prison guard in a pot of soup. Ahh, classic.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why Old Books Smell: Does It Matter?

I am definitely a fan of the "old-book smell," I'm not going to lie. I love going into used/rare bookstores and just breathing it in. There's something so calming about it for me--I guess, in a way, it takes me back to a time when things were simpler, where there weren't so many choices to be made to simply read a book, when life was just less busy.

And yes, this "smell" is one of the reasons I prefer print books to eBooks. I am one of the people that GalleyCat blogger Dianna Dilworth speaks of in her April 20th post about the topic. And I am perfectly okay with that.

It honestly doesn't matter to me that the smell of an old book is just matter deteriorating; smell is the most memorable sense and that is what it's all about.

But for those of you who are interested in learning more about why old books really smell, here's the GalleyCat post and an interesting (and somewhat amusing) video from Abe Books:

Many people use the excuse that they love the smell of an old book to describe why they prefer print books to eBooks. Abe Books helps explain the science behind the smell of old books in the above video.

In the video, Richard from Abe Books says, “A physical book is made up of organic matter that reacts with heat, light, moisture, and most importantly of all, the chemicals used in its production. And it is this unique reaction that causes the unique used books smell.”

Here is more from Abe Books’s YouTube post: “Chemists at University College, London have investigated the old book odor and concluded that old books release hundreds of volatile organic compounds into the air from the paper. The lead scientist described the smell as ‘A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.’”
See the post HERE