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)
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)
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.
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)
Here’s something that may interest Haruki Murakami fans: Knopf Doubleday just put up the book trailer for “1Q84”, Murakami’s latest book.
While I don’t think I’ll be getting an ebook reader anytime soon, I have been known to patronize the format every now and then, mostly if they’re in the public domain and available on Project Gutenberg. Which is why it’s quite sad to hear about the death of its founder, Michael Hart. (Source)
We all know that reading is good for you and that it helps you understand other points of view and empathize with people. But did we really need to have a group of scientists tell us about it? Researchers at the University of Buffalo say that “reading fiction improves empathy”. In other news, the sky is blue. (Source)
Finally, The Guardian has a great essay about the current rise in popularity of the Bronte sisters. I, for one, think it is because the new Jane Eyre adapatation has Michael Fassbender in it. And if by some weird reason you don’t know who Michael Fassbender is, check him out under the cut. (Source)
I’ve had a busy week, so apologies for not being able to put up your weekly installment of “Your Week in Books” yesterday. Here it is now!
Aside from being the author of “Lolita“, Vladimir Nabokov was also an avid collector of butterflies. It appears that way back in 1945, he had come up with a hypothesis that a specific species of butterflies migrated from Asia to the New World, which professional lepidopterists dismissed. Turns out he was right, after all. (Source)
The University of East Anglia (UEA) has been given 50 letters written by J.D. Salinger to his friend Donald Hartog. The UEA website doesn’t say what exactly are in those letters, but Mediabistro says it reveals that Salinger liked Burger King and Tim Henman. Okay. (Source)
Haruki Murakami’s new novel, “1Q84”, will come out in October. Paul Bogaards is Knopf’s publicity director. (Source)
For those interested in how books get made, check out how the University of Iowa Libraries bound together a 10,000 page poetry book written by David Morice. (Source)
I’m also hoping to finish “I Am Number Four” later today and have a review up by the evening, so watch out for that one!
I’m a twentysomething who loves reading books, whether they’re good or bad. I started out stealing books; now I review them.