Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapters 8 and 9

I was going through my bookshelves this morning like normal people do and I thought of leafing through my copy of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” just for old times sake. It’s been more than a decade, after all.

While looking through my copy, I found out that Chapter Six, “The Journey From Platform Nine and Three-Quarters”, and Chapter Seven, “The Sorting Hat”, starts on page 88. The chapters talk about several characters Harry meets on his way to Hogwarts, as well as the moment where Harry is finally picked to be part of a house.

Meanwhile, Chapters Eight and Nine of Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” — named “T-DOD” and “Bzzz” — begins on page 87. The two chapters are about Tookie meeting several characters on the way to Modelland and finally being picked to be an Intoxibella.

Am I saying that Ty-Ty is trying to fashion herself into a “fashion” version of J.K. Rowling, rewriting “Harry Potter” in a very inefficient way? No, I most certainly am not. Is she just renaming characters from Rowling’s universe? I don’t know. Maybe you can ask Xenophilius Lovegood Theopilius Lovelaces.

What I am saying is that it’s time for another installment of “Modelland”!

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapters 8 and 9

Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 7

Oh my goodness me, it’s been a while since we’ve had one of these! As you guys probably know from the recent posts, there have been a lot of book-related activities happening around the metropolis these past few weeks.

There’s the recently concluded Manila International Literary Festival, the 2011 Komikon, and the thousand other things that I had to do because I have a job and I need ALL. THE. MONEYS.

But now, on this cold November morning, I finally have some time! Let’s plunge back into Tookie De La Creme’s fabulous frolics along the fashion forward streets of Metopia!

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 7

Your week in books#28

  • Legendary fantasy and science fiction author Anne McCaffrey died of a stroke last Monday at her home in Ireland. Best known for her “Dragonriders of Pern” series, Anne McCaffrey is also the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction, the first woman to win a Nebula Award, and the first author to get into the New York Times bestseller list with an science fiction title. (Source 1, Source 2)
  • In more “Akira-That-Is-Not-Akira” casting news, it appears that there is now a shortlist of very white actors set to play a very Japanese character. Among the names being floated are Michael Pitt from “Boardwalk Empire”, Richard Madden from “Game of Thrones”, and Paul Dano from “Little Miss Sunshine”. (Source)
Asa Butterfield
  • Meanwhile, the other bit of casting new floating around on the web is the supposed casting of 14-year-old British actor Asa Butterfield in the role of Ender, for the big screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game“. I haven’t read the book yet — Card’s Mormonism conflicts with my homosexuality — so I’d like to know what you guys think of this news. Yay or nay? (Source)
  • The people behind the Oxford English Dictionary have declared the phrase “squeezed middle” as the word of the year. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t a phrase something entirely different from a word? Don’t want to argue with the Oxford English Dictionary though. (Source)
  • The New York Times lists down the 100 notable books of 2011. Some of the titles in the list are Jeffrey Eugenides’ “The Marriage Plot”, John Sayles’ “A Moment In The Sun”, and Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84”. (Source)

Ronreads interview: Junot Diaz

Unless you guys have been living under a rock lately, you probably all know that Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz was in town recently for the second Manila International Literary Festival organized by the National Book Development Board and co-presented by National Book Store.

Getting to interview him for my newspaper job wasn’t just a big honor, it was also stressful beyond belief. See, I have this thing of melting down right in front of really established foreign writers. Since I know that these authors have done a lot of interviews before, I try to think of the most unique question that I can – which really just end up in disaster, as evidenced by my interview with Neil Gaiman.

For this interview, I tried not to do too much research lest I end up psyching myself out like I did with Neil Gaiman. Aside from reading “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” and a lengthy interview he did with the Harvard Advocate in 2009, I pretty much tried to go into the interview with as clean a slate as possible.

I don’t really know if that worked out in my favor or if it relaxed me any, because I was still very, very nervous on the day itself. If it weren’t for the fact that Junot was such a nice guy and such an enthusiastic speaker, I feel like I would have made quite an ass out of myself yet again.

Anyway, under the cut is the complete transcript of my interview with him, while you can find the article I wrote for the newspaper here. And if you guys stick around, I might even announce a little giveaway later on!

Continue reading Ronreads interview: Junot Diaz

Book to movie review: “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1”

Last year was an unexpectedly good year for Twilight fans. Not only did “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” earn $698,491,347 in worldwide box office receipts, it was also the first one of the “Twilight” movies to actually get halfway favorable reviews from critics.

When “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” opened in theaters last year, the “Top Critics” section of review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 67 percent rating, as opposed to the 38 percent rating its predecessor, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”, acquired. Reviewers praised it for being “an improved blend of romance and action fantasy”.

While financial success isn’t going to be a worry for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” – the film has already earned US$283 million worldwide on its opening weekend – the film does have a much more favorably reviewed predecessor to live up to. Will the film’s director, Academy Award winning filmmaker Bill Condon, be able to acquire the same critical success “Eclipse” enjoyed, while at the same time fulfilling fans’ expectation of faithfulness to the source material?

Continue reading Book to movie review: “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1”

Your week in books#27

  • Just in case the theaters around the country haven’t made it clear to you guys already, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” just opened yesterday. The lines to buy tickets were crazy.
  • Galleycat has an interview up with “Breaking Dawn” screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. Favorite quote: “Don’t get pregnant with a demon baby unless you have vampire venom on hand.” (Source)
  • Check out the guys who lined up for the “Breaking Dawn” premiere. They’re exactly what you’d expect. (Source)
  • In “Akira-That-Is-Not Akira” news, it appears that Kristen Stewart is being tapped to play the role of Kei. Stab me with a rusty fork RIGHT. NOW. (Source)
  • Fact about myself: I did not like Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series. I could barely make it past the halfway point with “Eragon”. The movie wasn’t any better either — woefully lacking in shirtless scenes. I don’t think Paolini’s recent declaration that his next series is going to be science fiction is going to be any better either. (Source)
Jane Austen being fab.
  • If crime writer Lindsay Ashford is to be believed, then homegirl Jane “J-Hizzle” Austen was the victim of some foul play. Apparently, Mr. Bingley did her in with some arsenic. (Source)
  • Finally, under the cut are individual character poster for “The Avengers”, which comes out in the United States in May 2012. No word yet as to when it’ll come around to our fair shores, but I’m willing to bet it’s going to be around the same time. (Source)

Continue reading Your week in books#27

Book review: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Chaos”

The dynamic duo of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl has certainly proved profitable over the past couple of years.

Ever since the pair came out with “Beautiful Creatures” in 2009, they’ve been jumping from one success to another. Not only was “Beautiful Creatures” a New York Times bestseller, it was hailed by Amazon as one of the best books of 2009, placing fifth in a list that consisted of 100 books.

“Beautiful Darkness”, which came out a year after, was also a success, rocketing up the New York Times Bestseller List. To top it all off, the series looks to be adapted into a movie by Warner Brothers.

This year, the series enters the final stretch as Garcia and Stohl bring us “Beautiful Chaos”, the penultimate book in the four-part series. The pair bring us back to the small, fictional town of Gatlin, South Carolina, where teenage lovers Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes continue to grapple with the many difficulties – mortal and supernatural – that continue to plague their relationship.

Continue reading Book review: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Chaos”

Your week in books#26

  • Here’s the trailer for “Snow White and the Huntsman”, where Bella Swan, after being trained by Thor, leads the Men of Gondor in a rebellion against Aeon Flux. or Aileen Wuornos if you’re all indie and stuff.
  • Two Pulitzer Prize winners will be heading to our fair shores next week! Edward P. Jones, author of “The Known World“, and Junot Diaz, author of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao“, will be taking part in the Manila International Literary Festival, which will be held from November 16 to 18. (Source)
  • There’s going to be a course on Harry Potter at Durham University in the United Kingdom. The Guardian’s kicker takes the cake, though: “Module will focus on ‘social, cultural and educational context’, but no word on whether Expelliarmus will be applied to students with poor grades.” (Source)
  • I love a good plagiarism story, and boy is this one crazy. Debut novelist Q. R.
    Q. R. Markham, plagiarist

    Markham’s novel, “Assassin of Secrets”, recently came out to strong reviews, with Publishers Weekly noting that the “obvious Fleming influence just adds to the appeal. Turns out, the “obvious Fleming influence” was around because Markham — Quentin Rowan in real life — used Fleming’s actual words, along with the word of Robert Ludlum and many more. The blog “Reluctant Habits” even provides a rundown of the works plagiarized! (Source 1, Source 2)

  • “Assassin of Secrets” most definitely will not make it to Amazon’s Best Book of 2011. Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84” and Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus” made it though! (Source)
  • The New York Observer has a nice profile on Anthony Bourdain, who it appears is now going into publishing. (Source)
  • Barnes and Noble has a new Nook tablet out! (Source)
  • Check out “The Books They Gave Me”, a Tumblr blog focusing on books given by lovers. (Source)
  • Take a look at some stills from the David Cronenberg film, “Cosmopolis”, based on the Don Delilio novel of the same name. It stars Robert Pattinson! (Source)
  • In that other Robert Pattinson film that’s based on a book, he talks about how Bella’s placenta tastes like “cream cheese and strawberry jam”. I can’t wait to watch this movie. (Source)
  • Finally, “One Tree Hill” star Chad Michael Murray is now a graphic novelist, coming out with “Everlast” under Archaia. I will now take this opportunity to post shirtless pictures of him under the cut. (Source)

Continue reading Your week in books#26