Friday, July 31, 2009

Recommended Viewing:
Fantastic Mr. Fox Trailer

Freaky, furry fun!

I Scream, You Scream, We All Screa--
Shhh! This Is A Library, Dammit!

Summer sees a sizable increase in two things in our store: (1.) Folks asking us for book recommendations and (2.) staff sojourns to the ice cream shop next door. As if stalking us from afar, The New Yorker has news of a Facebook group which sorta blends both: People for a Library-Themed Ben & Jerry’s Flavor. A few of the suggestions/submissions thus far:

Writer’s Block: Coffee with fudge chunks and nicotine stains.

Chick Lit: Fat-free Peach-Mango swirl with pieces of Chicklet chewing gum.

Chexy Librarian: Demure vanilla on the outside, chocolate-covered cherries and Chex cereal pieces on the inside.

And here's mine:

Using the Computers to Upload my Amateur Smut Stories Crunch: Sinfully sweet black raspberry ice cream with long, sticky shavings of almost pornographically delicious dark chocolate. (Note: Best served in a cone or on a stick.) As an added bonus, the container will come with a wrap-around slip cover that reads: 'Just Looking for a Job Crunch,' and shows a well-dressed family man eating from a decidedly non-phallic bowl of bland, vanilla bean ice cream.

Got one of your own? Go here for the New Yorker article and/or here for the Facebook group.

Tip via: Estoreal!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Adaptation News
(for those who prefer to watch)

Brian Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim -- soon to be a feature film -- is now en route to becoming a video game, as well.

Another really good comic, Greg Rucka's Whiteout, will have its film adaptation hit theaters in September. Click here to view the trailer...and Kate Beckinsale in the shower.

Having successfully adapted Dennis Lehane's Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck is hopping back into the director's chair again, this time for a film version of Charles Hogan's The Town.

Tolkein's heirs have filed a lawsuit to try and block the filming of The Hobbit. When this case is miraculously dismissed due to a large sum of money being dropped into the Tolkiens' laps, remember, you read it here first.

Wes Anderson, the fetishistic stylist behind Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, has made a stop-motion animated feature out of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox. For a nice look at the puppets (and a blocked view of the sets), click here.

Remember Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH? It was the Newbery Medal-winning children's book that they made into the creepy and cool cartoon, The Secret of NIMH. Well, Hollywood is adapting it again, this time as a blend of CGI and live action.

In order to keep some semblance of coolness, I'll try and keep the Twilight news as brief as possible: Radiohead's Thom Yorke has written a song specifically for New Moon, and Bryce Dallas Howard will be replacing Rachelle Lafevre as 'Victoria' in Eclipse.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book Review:
Sense and Sensibility by J. Austen

I’m fully at the mercy of my Jane Austen fixation now. It started with Persuasion, ramped up with Emma, and is continued by Sense and Sensibility. The latter has all the usual elements of a novel by Austen: a female protagonist; marriage at the end; some sort of impropriety by a character in the protagonist’s immediate social circle; prose which brings grown readers to their knees; and use of the nowadays-rare literary voice “free indirect speech.” Interestingly, I noticed some differences. Sense and Sensibility mentions the servants regularly throughout, unlike the other two novels. Also, it focuses on a pair of sisters, with one of them fulfilling the role of primary protagonist. There is a richness to their sisterhood, and it endears you to both of them, even when one holds a little less sense than the other. In contrast, I found myself under-whelmed by the male characters. The previous books had male characters that impressed, while one in Sense and Sensibility comes off as a bore at first. Another is far too charming, to the point of being suspicious. Both characters eventually show other layers. Still, I didn’t find myself rooting for any of them to end up with the protagonist on account of their personalities; only because of the female character’s own desire did I have allegiances. The protagonist Elinor Dashwood is thought by some scholars to be one of the first literary depictions of a female intellectual. Her consideration of social situations and her pleasure at playing with ideas seem to back this up. To borrow a line from Moreland Perkins’ Reshaping the Sexes in Sense and Sensibility, Elinor is “a talented analyst of human conduct, character, and convention who is equally dedicated to concretely applied reason - although we imagine her functioning this way long before the phrase ‘an intellectual’ was put to its current use.” (Perkins, p.13) To put a personal spin on it, I found myself becoming attracted to Elinor mainly for the above reasons - in the previous two novels I was extraordinarily happy for the protagonists for their eventual fortunes, though I could not share in their husbands’ love. I was endeared towards the protagonists, most certainly, though I didn’t find myself jealous of an Austen character until Elinor was scooped up. I won’t tell you by whom - you’ll just have to find out for yourself. Enjoy!

Reviewed by Wendell 'Scutopus' Edwards

Book News, In Brief

Wi-Fi(nally): Barnes & Noble take a late leap into the 00's, offering -- wait for it -- free Wi-Fi!

It's not you, N.C. It's them: has joined in abandoning its North Carolina booksellers over the state's proposed internet sales tax.

i-Caramba: The online world is buzzing about Apple's newest gadget, the Tablet. Boasting a 10 inch touch screen, it's expected to take e-books where the the Kindle couldn't -- into the homes of average Janes & Joes.

Amazon Hawks Hate (And So Should You): I hate it when I have to take Amazon's side about anything, but truly practicing free speech and anti-censorship means selling sh*t you find offensive -- even Nazi books.

The Groupies Wear Corsets and Their Rider Requires Mead: Shakespeare's Globe theater company -- London's premier tights-wearing troupe -- has deemed the U.S. worthy of a three month tour. States and dates can be found here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Go, Look: Editing Sarah Palin

Full on power-props to The Abbeville Manual of Style for steering me towards this choice bit of fact-based hilarity: Vanity Fair's executive literary editor, Wayne Lawson, took the red pen to Sarah Palin's long-winded resignation speech. Page one is posted above. To read the rest, click here.

Tuesday's Tips for Flailing Writers

Ten Tens

10 Writing Prompts

10 Daily Writing Rituals

10 Common Writing Mistakes

10 Myths of Freelance Writing

10 Tricks to Hook Your Reader

10 Writing Tips from Joss Whedon

10 Signs You're Obsessed with Writing

10 Reasons to Take More Photographs

10 Dos & Don't for Writers Seeking Feedback

10 Writing Tips from the Masters (with quotes!)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Henry Sene Yee: Master of Minimalist Cover Art

Violence by Slavoj Zizek
Columbine by Dave Cullen

Winner of the National Book Award: A Novel of Fame, Honor, and Really Bad Weather by Jincy Willett
Flying Leap by Judy Budnitz

Check out more of Yee's book cover designs here.

Book News, In Brief

The cougar craze

Remember the un-official sequel to Catcher In The Rye that J.D. Salinger successfully sued to have stopped in the States? Surprise, surprise: The case is going to appeals court.

We've all seen the adjectives Joycean, Proustian and Kafkaesque while reading book reviews. Now the writers at The Australian are attempting to introduce a new word to the lit lover's lexicon: Malcoholic.

After posting two 'Recommended Viewings' in one day, you'd think a bookstore blog would try and stay away from non-literary links for a little while. Eff that. Click here to read Entertainment Weekly's list of TV Characters Who Read Books.

Amazon has issued a public apology for the unannounced removal of George Orwell titles from its users' Kindles. Folks still waiting for Amazon to apologize for their de-listing of gay titles should take this as a sign: Y'all have been forgotten.

It seems like every time a new Harry Potter film is released, a first edition of the first volume miraculously turns up in a used bookstore somewhere. Knocking tens of thousands of dollars off this year's find's final bid is the bookshop's handwritten pricing on the inside cover -- a mere 99p!