Monthly Archives: July 2011

Lauren Kate giveaway!

I know I said that I’d put this up yesterday afternoon, but my job got in the way and I basically just crashed on the floor when I got back home at around midnight. So apologies for that.

But here is what I was so excited about yesterday! As all of you guys know, I recently interviewed New York Times bestselling author Lauren Kate, and since I had an extra trade paperback of her latest book laying around anyway, I thought it would be nice to have it signed and given away to you guys!

Of course, since there’s only one book, I can’t just give it away willy-nilly. No, you guys have to do a little something-something if you want this in your hands.

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Sale at the National Book Store!

If you guys are anything like me — which I hope you’re not, because I am weird — then you’re probably feeling a little faint because National Book Store just started their almost month-long (It goes on until August 21!) cut-price sale on selected books.

I haven’t gotten around to a National Book Store yet — my work week has been crazy — but I’m going to be scouring the shelves and hopefully stumble upon some prize finds. Or maybe get myself a cartful of Tagalog romance novels.

What about you guys? Any particular book you’re hoping to find discounted all the way to 75 percent?

Your week in books #14

It’s been a really busy week for me, with several interviews taking place one after another, that it’s been a little difficult to update this here blog. But I’m back now, O Faithful Readers in the Threes!

There’s been a post I’ve been itching to write for two weeks now that I hope you guys will really like. Watch out later in the day because I will definitely put it up before the weekend. But for the meantime this round-up of news will have to do!

  • Wesley Scroggins

    If there’s one thing that really gets me riled up, it’s censorship. I don’t like it when it’s done to movies and I most definitely do not like when it’s done to books. It’s even doubly frustrating when these shenanigans go down in this day and age. So you can just imagine my contempt for the man on the right, Wesley Scroggins, who successfully campaigned to have Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five”, Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Speak”, and Sarah Ockler’s “Twenty Boy Summer” removed from a high school library and its curriculum. If there’s any silver lining in this, those kids will be searching the internet for ebooks of those three novels because that’s certainly what I would if somebody told me I couldn’t read something because it’s “dirty”. (Source)

  • The Man Booker longlist is out, and this year’s list looks a little different as four of the novels included are debut works. There also seems to be more “genre” books this time around, which I’m certainly happy about. If a book’s good, it’s good, even if it’s “just a thriller”. (Source)
  • I’m sure most of my readers from the Philippines notice that paperback books arrive really early here on our shores. Aside from the fact that it’s a tough battle to sell hardcovers here (I asked), it also looks like publishers are really pushing for paperback editions to come out earlier, mostly as a reaction to the rising popularity of ebooks. (Source)
  • Finally, Lady Gaga, along with fashion photographer Terry Richardson, will be collaborating on a book of photographs chronicling a year in the Mother Monster’s life. (Source)

Ronreads interview: Lauren Kate

The sizeable crowd at the Lauren Kate event at Glorietta 5

Now that my article on Lauren Kate has come out, I’m free to talk about how this particular interview went, especially when compared to the festival of awkward that was last year’s interview.

For one thing, Lauren was in incredibly high spirits when she sat down for this interview. Not that she wasn’t last year — she was incredibly gracious and fun — but this year it seemed she was even more gracious and fun. It was great because it immediately put me at ease; for some reason I am not rattled when interviewing politicians, but authors always make me feel like I’m on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Not that I wasn’t awkward. Throughout the interview, I kept on banging my chair against a window, and spent about several minutes trying desperately to open a shrink-wrapped copy of “Passion” for Lauren to sign. I think at one point my flailing resulted in a pencil flying off the desk to her bemusement. Hopefully.

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Your week in books #13

With the San Diego Comic Con now ongoing, there is a lot of book to movie news now making it out into the Web.  From “Harry Potter” to “The Hunger Games” and all the way to the seemingly endless comic book adaptations, this week’s round-up will try to keep up with everything that’s happening, alongside other less “star-studded” book news.

  • With “Harry Potter” no longer a contender, Moviefone has put together a great list of book to movie projects that could possibly succeed in replicating the success of “Harry Potter”. Of course, first on the list is Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”, which just recently put out a teaser poster featuring a blazing mockingjay badge. Other series that seem set to make the transition to the silver screen are Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” trilogy; Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Wolves of Mercy Falls”; and Veronica Roth’s “Divergent”. (Source)
  • One book to movie franchise that has consistently dominated — for better or for worse, depending on who you’re asking — Comic Con has been Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, and this year is no different. According to Entertainment Weekly, some fans were in line for the Hall H press conference three days before it was set to start. Say what you will about the franchise, but goodness me that is a different level of adulation. Or crazy. All I know for sure is this is one chagrined looking Edward Cullen. (Source)

  • “Twilight” fans looking for a little bit of karmic payback for this particular Stephen King quote may have just had their wishes fulfilled as the adaptation of King’s “The Dark Tower” series looks to be dead before it even began. (Source)
  • “Captain America” is opening on our fair shores next week, and from the

    Let's all be honest now. You'd watch it just for this.

    advance buzz it looks like plunking a few hundred pesos for it won’t be such a bad life decision after at all. And at least it gives me a better reason to watch the movie other than getting to see Chris Evans shirtless. (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3)

  • And just to keep us on the Captain America track for a bit longer, Marvel has just released two concept art posters for the “Avengers” movie coming out in 2012. (Source)
  • I quite enjoyed the “Sin City” movie when it came out in 2005, so I’m looking forward to the possibility of a sequel being made by Robert Rodriguez, who also helmed the first movie all those years ago. (Source)
  • Bradley Cooper is set to play Satan in a movie adaptation of the John Milton classic, “Paradise Lost“. I don’t know about you guys, but this just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. (Source)
  • Just when you thought Google couldn’t get any more omnipresent than it already is, the search engine giant just announced that it will be integrating with Pottermore so that future ebooks of the “Harry Potter” series will be able to integrate seamlessly with all the other Google products already on offer. (Source)
  • There’s a great essay in the New York Times about how the digitization of historical texts and artifacts means for historians and researchers used to feeling a “contact high” when handling original manuscripts. Is there really any difference between handling an original manuscript and perusing it electronically? (Source)
  • Finally, Jodi Picoult, author of “My Sister’s Keeper”, is set to publish a book she co-wrote with her daughter, entitled “Between the Lines”. (Source)

Ronreads interview: Gerry Alanguilan

Another thing that Gerry Alanguilan is famous for.

Anybody who follows the comic book scene here in the country probably already knows that our very own Gerry Alanguilan was recently awarded the Prix Asie-ACBD 2011 for “Elmer”, which tells the story of a world where chickens have become sentient and are now fighting for equal rights with humans.

Even before winning the Prix Asie-ACBD, “Elmer” was already garnering acclaim, earning an Eisner Award nomination, probably the highest honor awarded to comic books.

This new set of honors is only the latest for the popular Marvel inker, who has worked on such titles as the “X-Men”, “Wolverine”, and “Fantastic Four” and who has come out with critically-acclaimed local works like “Wasted”, “Timawa”, and “Humanis Rex”.

I was lucky enough to ask him a few questions for an article that came out last week, and under the cut is the full transcript of the interview, with some answers that never made it to the final copy.

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Your week in books #12

It’s been a busy week for me since the “Deathly Hallows” premiere, with interviews left and right as well as a few hectic days at the office as well. Nothing to complain about, but it hasn’t really been making it easy for me to take off a few books from my “to-read” pile. Hopefully, I can blog about a couple of books by next week.

In the meantime, enjoy this week’s selection of book news!

  • With “Harry Potter” over for the time being — there’s still Pottermore, after all — people are looking to J.K. Rowling and what she has in store for the rest of the world. Rowling isn’t say much, though, other than that she is “working hard” on it. Here’s to hoping that she doesn’t end up like A.A. Milne. (Source)
  • There’s an interesting post over at Jezebel about the women in the Harry Potter universe, how empowered most of them are, and a little bit of speculation about what it could mean for future YA franchises in books and movies. There’s also a lot of healthy and interesting discussion in the comments section, so be sure to check it out! (Source)
  • To be quite honest, I have no idea what exactly Digital Adaptations is all about, and the interview with its executive producer over at Kotaku hasn’t exactly made things clearer for me either. From what I can understand, they’re adapting books to look a little like Microsoft Encarta’s Mindmaze and a little like those Flash games where you look for stuff hidden in backgrounds. I don’t know if that’s going to be terribly exciting, but I’m willing to see what they come up with. (Source)
  • Oxford University shelled out $1.6 million for 68-pages of an unfinished Jane Austen manuscript. It was supposed to be 80 pages, but the first 12 pages are already owned by the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. (Source, Source)
  • My birthday is in a few months, so would anybody be interested in gifting me with the pretty little book you can see on the right? It sounds like a lot of fun. I quote:

“The Elements of Style was first published in 1918. Think about that for a moment. In 1918, gay meant happy, opium derivatives were prescribed for headaches, and top hats and monocles were un-ironic fashion choices.”

  • Finally, trailers for upcoming book to movie adaptations. The first one is Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo“, an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s Caldecott-winning novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret“. Young stars Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz will be acting alongside Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, and Helen McCrory.

 

I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know how faithful it is. Looks interesting!

  • This second one is for “John Carter“, an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs “A Princess of Mars“. It stars Taylor Kitsch, which is all the reason I need, frankly. But to find out that the script is by Michael Chabon? Michael “The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” Chabon? I WILL BE FIRST IN LINE.

 

Will I pay P300 to see Taylor Kitsch in various states of undress? You bet.

Book to movie review: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″

Guuurrrlll.

So last night I was at the press preview for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″, which I think everyone and their uncle knows by now is the final (FINAL!) installment of a film series that has lasted a decade and earned Warner Bros $6 billion dollars.

Much like any normal fan that grew up with the books, I was pretty excited and actually expected to be quite emotional at this event. After all, the books have been with me for almost 15 years, while the movies have been a mainstay in my movie viewing schedule for almost a decade.

I have actually been liking the movies more and more over the years, and I thought that as they were increasing in quality, the ultimate film in the octet would be the best in the lot. Maybe that was the most crucial mistake on my part.

Because I thought the movie was…well…kind of a fail not as good as I wanted it to be.

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Your week in books #11

First off, apologies for the lack of updates for the past week. Not only am I busy at my day job, I am currently slogging my way through a thousand-page work which I cannot talk about here because of legal considerations. DUN-DUN-DUN!

I will hopefully be able to finish this book over the weekend and move on to other works that I can feature on the blog. But for the meantime, enjoy this week’s round-up of news!

  • With “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ arriving in theaters next week, the Boy Who Lived is what is hogging the headlines right now. Newspapers from both sides of the pond are looking back at a decade of Potter, with varying opinions on whether J.K. Rowling’s hold on popular culture has been a boon or a bane for us all. (Source 1, Source 2)
  • Another fantasy series is also in the news, and it is George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”. It’s sixth book, “A Dance with Dragons”, has just been accidentally shipped to over a hundred readers in Germany. To say that Martin is pissed is an understatement; he says he will “mount the head on a spike” of the Amazon employee who made the costly mistake. (Source)
  • I rarely buy my books online — I like going to bookstores — but I do know that a monopoly in the book selling business will not be good for readers or my pockets. So just like fellow book blogger Honey, I would prefer that Amazon and The Book Depository to be separate entities. (Source)
  • It seems like J.D. Salinger’s letters are just popping up everywhere. A new batch has been discovered that reveals that the author of “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Franny and Zooey” found graduations “pretentious” and that he had a deep love for cats. (Source)
  • Finally, here’s an interesting idea. Twenty-six crime authors — from Alexander McCall Smith to RL Stine — have collaborated to come up with “No Rest for the Dead”. Each of the authors were just provided an outline of the chapter they were going to write and pretty much nothing else. (Source)

Your week in books #10

  • If the people on my Twitter feed are to be believed, the biggest news of the day is the death of the Oxford comma. My response is to quote The Shoebox Project:

“Good advice though it may be, I am choosing to ignore all of it, since I have created a personal grammar that adheres to my needs both moral and punctuational. After all, with the world in its current lamentable state, I sincerely believe that rather than WASTING commas with the rest of my fat capitalist pig brothers on frivolous consumerist sentences like these, they should be donated to the more needy, such as the chinese, who as I understand it have NO COMMAS AT ALL.”

  • Another big development online has been the quiet launch of Google+, the search engine giant’s attempt to dislodge Facebook from its social networking throne. While my initial wanderings on it have just made me realize it is Facebook without the annoying apps, Galleycat has been much more productive and outlined a few ways that the new Google product can be useful to writers, readers, and publishers. (Source)
  • The Guardian has a list of phrases that should be considered cliche and meaningless, at least according to poets participating in the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Great, as I wasn’t worried enough about which phrases to use to not sound like some cliche-spewing robot. (Source)
  • Finally, plagiarism! While not on the scale of Kaavya Viswanathan — Viswanathan’s book actually got published — there has apparently been a plagiarist on the loose on the wilds of the Internet. Somebody named Angela Priest has been taking published work, changing the character names, and passing them off as her own work. She’s not earning any money from it, but that is still some messed-up shit. The “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” background isn’t helping her out either. (Source 1, Source 2)