Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Wasp in a Wig

Say what you will about Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland movie (which, occasionally, is a little like Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland books), it has brought up all sorts of discussion on the internet about things Alice. Here's a piece on the legendary missing chapter, with an excerpt.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Jane Austen phenomenon

The Wilson Quarterly reviews a couple of books that clarify some myths and explain some facts. The author didn't sneak around to do her writing, for instance, and her fame has ebbed and flowed over time. At the moment we're at high flow (zombie books, for Pete's sake!), but another flow was about a century ago. "By 1905 Henry James, jealous as ever of the success of another writer—even a dead one—was grousing about 'the body of publishers, editors, illustrators, producers of the pleasant twaddle of magazines; who have found their "dear," our dear, everybody’s dear, Jane so infinitely to their material purpose, so amenable to pretty reproduction in every variety of what is called tasteful, and in what seemingly proves to be saleable, form.' From a hundred years beyond James, one can only say he didn’t know the half of it." More...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Which books make good movies?

Is the book always better than the movie? This article explains, maybe, maybe not. Books are books and movies are movies, and when the twain meet, the medium is the message.

BookExpo America

The BEA is where publishers and booksellers go to find out what one another is doing, to meet and greet and get excited. It's always been too overwhelming for me: gazillions of books being touted by gazillions of people. It's like a gigantic unorganized bookstore. Who's where and what they've got isn't easy to sort out. Library Journal (via HuffPo) has published a good piece listing what's hot enough that publishers are giving away advance copies, if you're curious about the upcoming publishing calendar, and what people are pushing.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Some digital children's books

They come in different packages, with different capabilities. Link.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Epileptic authors

This is a curious article. "Flaubert, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Lord Byron, Dante Alighieri, Sir Walter Scott, Edward Lear, Jonathan Swift -- all legendary writers and all epileptics. The hallucinations, seizures and flood of memories associated with temporal lobe epilepsy influenced some of these writers profoundly." More. I have to admit I also got caught up in the video on Swift on the page. Very interesting.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Celebrating Alice

From Maria Popova on Open Culture: "Today, we’ve curated a selection of the most interesting and culturally significant — the 'curiouser and curiouser,' if you will — free versions of, tributes to, and derivatives of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland." Video, audio, text of one of our favorite books. Of course, we found the Jonathan Miller version just...weird.

One Book One Twitter

Get everyone on Twitter to read the same book, turning the service into the world's biggest book club? Why not? Link.

Kid's stories that make us cry

I will immediately admit to sogginess at the end of Charlotte's Web. "It seems I'm not alone in being a sucker for loyal, intelligent animals – including anthropomorphised toys – who give everything for the people (and pigs) they love. In fact, unstinting generosity in anyone or anything, especially if it culminates in the donor's death, is generally a good recipe for a torrent of reminiscent tears." More...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lee Child interview

The Big Thrill (via Andrew Peterson) interviews the creator of Jack Reacher. Link.