Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day may be over...

Memorial Day was celebrated yesterday, but we're still honoring our troops every day. Click here for a great article on how to send our soldiers books.

Updates on Books into Movies

Check out our Books into Movies page for release dates for Peter Jackson's Hobbit films.

Also, just announced this morning, Golden Globe winner Donald Sutherland will be playing President Snow in the film The Hunger Games.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Title: Robopocalypse
Author: Daniel H. Wilson
ISBN: 9780385533850
On Sale: June 7

I will admit: Robopocalypse is not necessarily the best title. Robots rising against humans is not necessarily a new plot either. However, Daniel Wilson’s Robopocalypse is one of the most entertaining, thought-provoking books on the subject. From the outset, the reader knows only one thing: humans survive. Starting at the end of the war, Wilson frames his book with narration by Cormac “Bright Boy” Wallace, Military ID: Gray Horse Army 217, Human Retinal SID: 44V11902. Leader of a band of surviving humans, Wallace reveals that the Robot War has ended and humanity has triumphed. From there, readers are given a full account of the time leading up to and including the war itself.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Avox Girl revealed!

Lionsgate has announced another bit of casting news: the unnamed but unforgettable role of the Avox girl will be played by Amber Cheney.

Though relatively unknown, Chaney has appeared in Meet the Browns and Somebodies.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mr. Popper's Penguins Trailer

Check out this family comedy coming out June 17, based on the children's classic Mr. Popper's Penguins.

New Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer

A new trailer has been released for the highly-anticipated Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Indie Booksellers Choice Awards, Ondaatje Prize

Winners were announced Monday for the 1st Annual Indie Booksellers Choice Awards.
The winners are:

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade Books)
The Instructions by Adam Levin (McSweeney's)
The Singer's Gun by Emily St. John Mandel (Unbridled)
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes (Grove/Atlantic)
Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr (Akashic)

Also just announced: The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal has been awarded the 2011 Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize. The award is given "for a distinguished work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place."
The shortlist for the prize included:
The Butterfly Isles by Patrick Barkham (Granta)
In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut (Atlantic Books)
Saraswati Park by Anjali Joseph (Fourth Estate)
Landed by Tim Pears (Heinemann)
Red Plenty by Francis Spufford (Faber)

End of Oprah's Book Club

With the end of her show has come the end of Oprah's televised book club. The company has said that it may continue in some form on her network. Launched September 1996, the club has had 65 selections. The first selection was The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, while the final was a double selection of Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cinna is Cast! And the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize is Awarded

Fans can finally put a face to the role of Cinna. One of the most pivotal roles in the series, and most anticipated in the film, has been cast. Lenny Kravitz has joined the cast as Katniss's beloved stylist. The news was announced last night and has been met with mixed reactions from the fans. What do you think?

Also recently announced, this year's Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction has been awarded to Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. This is the first time that an American has won the traditionally British Award.

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Nebula Winners

Winners have been announced for the 2011 Nebula Awards. The awards are given each year for works of Science fiction, fantasy, or related fiction genre originaly published in English in the United States.

2011 Nebula Winners

Novel: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Spectra)

Novella: The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Room by Rachel Swirksy (Subterranean Summer '10)

Novellette: That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made by Eric James Stone (Analog 9/10)

Short Story (tie): "Ponies" by Kij Johnson (Tor.com, 1/17/10)
"How Interesting: A Tiny Man" by Harlan Ellison (Realms of Fantasy, 2/10)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: Inception

Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book: I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; Harper)

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

Heaven is for Real

Title: Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
Author: Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
ISBN: 9780849946158

            Colton Burpo was almost four years old when he visited Heaven. Todd Burpo, his father and the book’s author, is also a pastor. I had one question when I sat down with this book: did Colton really have this experience, or had he simply recounted what he’d heard his father preach?  This book is fairly convincing: Colton went to Heaven, or at the very least had some extremely vivid visions.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Film Adaptation News, James and the Giant Peach Anniversary

It seems many of our favorite books are quickly being adapted to TV and film. To keep you up-to-date on all the latest, we've added a new blog page titled Book Into Movie News. Check it out for the most current updates on all your favorite upcoming adaptations. Major news (will they ever cast Cinna in The Hunger Games?!) will still be posted on the main page of this blog as well.

In other news, Roald Dahl's classic James and the Giant Peach will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! In honor of the celebration, Puffin Books has launched Follow that Peach!, a website that allows fans to send Peach-grams either virtually or through snail mail. The goal is for each peach to reach 50 people, one for each year of the book. Currently there are 310 Peaches which have reached 364 people.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Look at Katniss, plus possible casting of Portia and Octavia

Entertainment Weekly's new cover reveals a first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, possibly putting to rest some fan concerns that Lawrence didn't fit the "look" of Katniss. What do you think?

In the newest possible casting (though this is unconfirmed), Portia and Octavia may have been cast. Rumor has it Peeta's stylist, Portia, will be played by Latarsha Rose. Octavia, a member of Katniss's prep team in the Capital, may be played by Brooke Bundy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Man Booker International Prize

Philip Roth has been announced as the winner of this year's Man Booker International Prize. The award is given every two years to one living author for his or her full body of work. A formal dinner in Roth's honor will be held June 28 in London. In his acceptance, Roth said, "I hope the prize will bring me to the attention of readers around the world who are not familiar with my work. This is a great honor and I'm delighted to receive it."

Great Gatsby Casting News

Another role has been cast for Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Joel Edgerton will be playing the role of Tom Buchanan. Deadline.com reports that the role was originally supposed to be played by Ben Affleck, who had to back out due to scheduling conflicts. Below is the confirmed cast for the Warner Bros. film:
Jay Gatsby: Leonardo DiCaprio
Nick Carraway: Tobey Maguire
Daisy Buchanan: Carey Mulligan
Myrtle: Ilsa Fisher
Jordan Baker: Elizabeth Debicki
Tom Buchanan: Joel Edgerton

The film, due out some time next year, will be released in 3D.

2012 Hans Christian Anderson Award Nominees

The longlist has been announced for the 2012 Hans Christian Anderson Award. The award is given every two years to one author and one illustrator. The awards are presented by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). The shortlist will be announced March 10-11, 2012. The winners will be unveiled at a press conference at the Bologna Children's Book Fair on March 19, 2012.

The nominees for the United States are author Paul Fleischman and illustrator Chris Raschka.

A full list of nominees can be found here.

Ezra Jack Keats Award and Caine Prize for African Writing

This year's Ezra Jack Keats Award winners have been unveiled. In the category of New Writer, the winner is Laurel Croza for her book I Know Here (Groundwood Books; illustrated by Matt James). The winner for New Artist is Tao Nyeu for Bunny Days (Dial/Penguin). Nyeu also authored the book.

Also just announced: the shortlist for the Caine Prize for African Writing. The nominees come from 126 entries from 17 African countries. The winner will be announced July 11th in Oxford.

Adventures of Tintin Preview

A trailer was released yesterday for the upcoming Spielberg film Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn. Based on the work of Herge. The 3D film, produced by Peter Jackson, releases in theaters December 23.

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea; Cloud Atlas; Heaven is For Real

Quick recap of the newest in book adaptations:

*NBC has released a sneak peek look at the new sitcom, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. Based loosely on the life of comedian Chelsea Handler (who authored a book of the same title), the sitcom follows waitress Chelsea Hanson, played by Laura Prepon (That 70's Show). Chelsea Handler is on the show as well, playing Chelsea Hanson's sister, Sloane.

*Jim Broadbent and Susan Sarandon will be joining the cast of the film Cloud Atlas, based on the book by David Mitchell. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, and Ben Whishaw have already signed on for the film, which is being directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski. Filming starts in September.

*Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent's bestselling book Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back is now on track to be adapted to film. Sony Pictures recently bought the screen rights. T.D. Jakes and Joe Roth (Alice in Wonderland) are set to produce. Roth has been quoted as saying the book reminded him of The Sixth Sense and could have appeal beyond the religious market. The book, based on Burpo's son, has already sold 4.5 million copies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Passage

Title: The Passage
Author: Justin Cronin
ISBN: 9780345504975
Release Date: May 17, 2011

            When asked what prompted him to write the book, Cronin has been quoted as saying that his daughter asked him to write a book about a girl who saves the world. The Passage is the result of that request.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hunger Games casting, Book into Film News

Lots to talk about today with film adaptations of several books.

*Jess Walter has adapted his bestselling book The Financial Lives of the Poets into a screenplay for a film. The film, currently titled Bailout, will be directed by Michael Winterbottom and Jack Black is set to star. Filming will begin this August.

*The 2011 Cannes Film Festival will feature several films based on movies, many of them featuring major Hollywood actors. Among the highlights:
-The Killer Elite (based on the novel by Ranulph Fiennes), starring Jason Statham and Robert DeNiro
-Drive (based on the novel by James Sallis), starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan
-The Skin I Live In (based on the novel by Thierry Jonquet), starring Antonio Banderas
-We Need to Talk About Kevin (based on the novel by Lionel Shriver), starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly

*Hunger Games news: Cato and Clove have been cast! The District 2 tributes will be played by Alexander Ludwig and Isabelle Fuhrman, respectively. With this news, all 24 tributes of the Hunger Games have been cast. The final remaining role to be announced is that of beloved stylist Cinna.

2011 Indies Choice Awards and E.B. White Award Winners

We're a bit late in announcing it, but the American Booksellers Association (ABA) last month announced the 2011 Indies Choice Book Award winners as well as the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award winners.

James Beard Foundation Book Awards

The 2011 James Beard Foundation Book Awards have been announced. The awards are given annually to cookbooks and books pertaining to the culinary world.

Cookbook Hall of Fame
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

Cookbook of the Year
Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy by Diana Kennedy (University of Texas Press)

Les Miserables

Title: Les Miserables
 Author:  Victor Hugo
ISBN: 9780451525260

 Victor Hugo's classic masterpiece, Les Miserables, is a beautiful story of morality, law, justice, love, war, loss, heroism, and redemption. Often explained as simply “the story of a man's quest for redemption,” Les Miserables is that and much more. It is a story of many multi-layered, complex characters and the way their lives intertwine with one another. It is the story of Valjean, the former convict seeking redemption, and Javert, the obsessed inspector desperate for justice. It's the story of Fantine, a beautiful young woman forced to sell everything, including herself, to provide for her young daughter. It's the story of Marius, the young man who finds himself penniless and befriended by student leaders early in the French Revolution. It's the story of Eponine Thenardier, raised by her villainous parents to help in their schemes, who finds herself helping the man she loves pursue someone else. It's the stories of all of les miserables (“the miserable ones”).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reviews coming soon...plus Woody Harrelson is Haymitch Abernathy!

This week's review is a bit late, but stay tuned in the next few days for a review of a classic that's one of my favorites. Anyone care to venture a guess?
Also coming soon, a review of the highly-anticipated Robopocalypse. This book is now responsible for me finally deciding to see Terminator, as many I've spoken with have said the plot sounds similar. Stay tuned for the review to find out if they're right.

Now, for those of you eagerly awaiting the Hunger Games film, one of the biggest supporting roles has been cast! Haymitch Abernathy, the drunken former-winner-turned-trainer, will be played by Woody Harrelson. Rumors were circulating in recent weeks that the role was being offered to John C. Reilly (whose rep immediately denied the claim). Personally, I'd never thought of Harrelson for the role (I was one of many hoping for Robert Downey, Jr.), but I think Harrelson will not only pull it off but be absolutely wonderful. What do you think of the casting choices thus far?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stanley Tucci is Caesar Flickman

Just announced within the last hour: the newest addition to The Hunger Games cast is Stanley Tucci! The Hollywood favorite will be playing talkshow host Caesar Flickman.

Let's see who they'll cast next!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wes Bentley is Seneca Crane

Just announced within the last couple of hours--Wes Bentley has been cast as Seneca Crane, head gamesmaker for the 74th annual Hunger Games in the Hunger Games film. This comes after last week's rumor that the role was possibly to be filled by Woody Harrelson.
Only a few district tributes remain to be cast. We've yet to hear word on some of the film's major supporting roles, including stylist Cinna, President Snow, and trainer Haymitch Abernathy.
What do you think of the choice of Wes Bentley? Who should be cast next?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Godfather Prequel in the Works

Grand Central Publishing, part of Hachette Book Group, will be publishing a new book next year that should draw plenty of fans: a prequel to Mario Puzo's classic The Godfather. The prequel, currently titled The Family Corleone, is said to be set in Depression-era New York City and will show readers how Vito Corleone became the Don. The Family Corleone, written by Ed Falco, draws on an unproduced play written by the late Puzo and is due out June 2012.

Hunger Games Movie Cast, The Host, and R.L. Stine Film

Lots of book-to-film news today:

*The cast of The Hunger Games continues to fill out with the additions of newcomers Samuel Tan and Mackenzie Lintz as the tributes of District 8. The Hunger Games will be the film debut of both actors.

*R.L. Stine's new It's the First Day of School...Forever has been optioned as a film by Gotham Group. The book releases July 5th.

*Stephenie Meyer's The Host is also set to be a film adapted by Andrew Niccols. Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Atonement) is set to star.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hunger Games Casting Update

Two more districts have been cast:
The unnamed tributes of District 6 will be played by Ashton Moio and Kara Peterson.
The unnamed tributes of District 7 will be played by Sam Ly and Leigha Hancock.

2011 Children's Choice Book Award Winners

Winners of the 2011 Children's Choice Book Awards have been announced.

Author of the Year
Rick Riordan, The Lost Hero: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1

Illustrator of the Year
 David Wiesner, Art and Max (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

1st Annual Booksellers Choice Finalists

The list of finalists has been released for the 1st Annual Booksellers Choice Awards. The awards, sponsored by Melville House and Shelf Awareness, will be voted on by participating booksellers until May 20. Winners will be announced May 23.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

Title: Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him
Author: Fmr. Capt. Luis Carlos Montalván
ISBN: 9781401324292
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: May 3, 2011

            I still can’t quite explain what made me pick up Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. Perhaps it was Tuesday’s lovable face on the cover, staring right at the reader. Perhaps it was the image of the dog tags hanging out of his mouth. I think it may have been the subtitle. A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. How could a dog have saved a warrior? 

Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 2010 L.A. Times Book Prize

More literary awards to announce!
The Arthur C. Clarke Award was given last week to Lauren Beukes for her novel Zoo City.

Additionally, the 2010 L.A. Times Book Prizes were announced this weekend.

The Firm adapted for Television

John Grisham's bestselling novel The Firm may soon be a TV series. Already sold for international distribution as a series, Deadline.com reports that the TV adaptation is also zeroing in on a deal with a domestic network. Thanks to the international distribution, the series has already been given the green light for 22 episodes, even before talks with NBC began. The television series, adapted by Lucas Reiter, will pick up 10 years after the end of the film The Firm and will follow attorney Mitch McDeere and his family as they emerge from ten years in the Federal Witness Protection Program.