Tag Archives: twilight

Ronreads interview: Gregg Olsen

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but I was too busy puking my guts out to actually finish going through the transcript. I may have caught a little something-something, because even as I type this up now I have snot literally dripping from my nose.

This interview with Gregg Olsen happened about a month ago. Going into the interview, I quite honestly expected something else. If you do a Google image search of Gregg Olsen, you end up with pictures of a stern-faced man with a rather impressive moustache, and I was prepared to interview someone with no sense of humor at all.

Happily, Gregg Olsen is far from being someone with no sense of humor. In fact, meeting him in person, you’ll quickly find no one likes laughing more than Gregg Olsen. In this interview, he talks about making the move from non-fiction to fiction, the humor he tries to put into his work, and what he really thought about the Philippines before coming here.

Continue reading Ronreads interview: Gregg Olsen

Your week in books#32

  • All my RL friends know that I’m not averse to a little erotica — or pornography, whatever you want to call it — and it seems that erotica is exactly what’s floating everybody’s boat in America right now. “Fifty Shades of Grey”, an erotic novel that is being described as “Mommy porn” and “Twilight for grown-ups”, has just been bought bought by Vintage Books for a reported seven-figure sum. And yes, it’s the same Vintage that gives us those literary classics with such beautiful covers. (Source)
  • This was all over Facebook and Twitter the past week, but in case you don’t know yet, The Guardian reports that 500 new fairytales have been discovered in an archive in Germany. You can read one of them “The Turnip Princess” over here. (Source)
  • Here’s another discovery for you guys. An archivist stumbles upon a 111-year-old short film that features characters from Charles Dickens’ novel “Bleak House”, making it the world’s oldest Charles Dickens film. (Source)
  • I’m linking to this story on the American Academy of Arts and Letters because of this great Michael Chabon quote: “I knew that when the gray came in it was only a matter of time before my augustness would be recognized.” (Source)
  • Movie adaptation news! Reese Witherspoon just bought the movie rights to writer Cheryl Strayed’s memoir and plans to star as Strayed in the movie adaptation. (Source)
I'm sure you guys can tell who drew this.
  • And just so we go full circle back to erotica, did you guys know that Theodor Seuss Geisel — or Dr. Seuss, as he’s more popularly known — wrote and illustrated a book for adults? And by adults, I mean adults? It was called “The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History’s Barest Family” and it was a humongous flop. Check out the rest of the illustrations over at The Atlantic! (Source)

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#25

  • CATFIGHT! There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the internet in the past few days as Twihards took offense at on-again/off-again Catholic Anne Rice declared that Lestat and Louis from “The Vampire Chronicles” would feel sorry for Stephenie Meyer’s sparkly bloodsuckers. (Source 1, Source 2)
  • More “Twilight” stuff! io9 has four clips from “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn aprt 1”! (Source)
  • In case you’ve spent the past week buried under a particularly large rock, you probably know that bestselling author Nicholas Sparks spent a couple of days here in the country signing books and whatnot, all thanks to the efforts of National Book Store. In fact, the Manila Bulletin will be coming out with a three-page feature on him this Sunday!
  • I’ve managed to be indifferent to ebooks and ebook readers for the most part, but Amazon’s Lending Library kinda softens my stand on them a wee bit. (Source)

  • I’m not really into the zombie genre in general — the most I’ve been into it is my devotion to “The Walking Dead” series — so I don’t really know what to make of “Warm Bodies”, wherein a zombie falls in love with a mortal girl. It’s adapted from a book, so maybe I should check that out first? I’ll probably check this out anyway since Nicholas Hoult is in it. And one final point: Are we going to run down all the supernatural creatures of the world and pair them with humans at this point? (Source)
  • Salman Rushdie write a limerick about Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage. It’s got a lof of Ks in it. (Source)
  • The Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary prize, goes to a biology teacher. (Source)
  • The Guardian has a great slideshow on some of the illustrations that J.R.R. Tolkien did for “The Hobbit”. (Source)
  • Also from The Guardian, a really nice essay about the pleasures of writing your stories in longhand. (Source)
  • The New York Times has put out a list of 2011’s best illustrated children’s books. They aren’t putting up any artwork until the 13th, though. (Source)
  • Finally, check out seven clips from “Immortals”! Semi-accurate Greek mythology! Shirtless Henry Cavill! Shirtless Kellan Lutz! (Source)

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


It was around 2009, I think, that I first heard about Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s young adult work, “Beautiful Creatures”. It came with such intense hype — Amazon named it one of the best books of 2009 only a month after its release — that I immediately snatched it up the moment it showed up in local bookstores.

I started reading “Beautiful Creatures” with a little bit of trepidation, as that large hype more often than not results in equally huge disappointment, but found myself pleasantly surprised by the book. When “Beautiful Darkness” came out a year later, I got myself a copy immediately.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I finally got myself a copy of the third book in the series, “Beautiful Chaos”, and I can’t wait to get started on it as soon as I get my suddenly jam-packed work schedule in order. But just so everyone has an idea about this series, I’ll be posting the reviews of “Beautiful Creatures” and “Beautiful Darkness” that I wrote for my day job while I’m reading “Beautiful Chaos”.

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

Book review: Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”

When “The Night Circus”, Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, first made its way onto the bookstore shelves less than a month ago, it came with the sort of buzz and marketing that would make any reader’s eyebrows shoot straight up.

Aside from comparisons to “Harry Potter” and “Twilight”, the publicity machine behind “The Night Circus” was also putting it in the same league as New York Times’ bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke. The hype was further intensified when film rights to the novel were snapped up by Summit Entertainment, the same group behind the “Twilight” series of films.

Now that “The Night Cirucs” has come into town, readily available on your local bookstore’s shelves, will it live up to the immense expectations set by its own advance press? Or will all prove to be just smoke and mirrors in the end?

Continue reading Book review: Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”

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)

Book review: Cassandra Clare’s “City of Fallen Angels”

Anyone who’s been in Harry Potter fandom for as long as I have has certainly heard of the infamous Cassandra Clare. Bringing her up is always fun because people have such extreme feelings when it comes to her — either rabid hate or blind obedience. There is no gray area when it comes to Clare. For me, the whole debacle and the way she handled it has always made me skeptical of everything that she has put out.

That plagiarism debacle, however, certainly didn’t end Clare’s writing career. In 2007, she came out with “City of Bones”, a book that would jumpstart her successful “The Mortal Instruments” series. She’s been on the top of the New York Times (NYT) Bestseller List and as garnered praise from authors like Holly Black and Tamora Pierce.

Even “Clockwork Angel”, the first book in her new “Infernal Devices” series, shot up the NYT Bestseller List despite the mixed fan reaction, with most of the fans complaining that “Clockwork Angel” merely rehashed characters, plots, and themes Clare had already explored in her three previous books.

Her latest novel, “City of Fallen Angels”, is a return to the series that made her famous. The novel shifts its focus from Clary Fray to that of her best friend, Simon Lewis. Will this new novel be a return to form, or another clunky addition to a once soaring collection?

Continue reading Book review: Cassandra Clare’s “City of Fallen Angels”