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National Book Foundation Unveils 5 Under 35 Honorees

279-300x300From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant author Alex Gilvarry, Faces in the Crowd author Valeria Luiselli, Panic in a Suitcase author Yelena Akhtiorskaya, Redeployment author Phil Klay, and Night at the Fiestas: Stories author Kirstin Valdez Quade have been named this year’s 5 under 35 authors at the National Book Awards.

According to the press release, each honoree will receive a $1,000 cash prize. The National Book Foundation will celebrate these authors at an event at Brooklyn’s powerHouse Arena on November 17, 2014.

Musician and author Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson will play the host. The New Yorker editor Ben Greenman will jump behind the turntables to serve as DJ. Memoir writer Rosie Schaap will handle the drinks and shakers as the guest bartender for the evening. (via BuzzFeed)

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‘Snap Judgment’ Storytelling Show is on Kickstarter

Glynn Washington, the host of NPR‘s Snap Judgment, hopes to raise $150,000 on Kickstarter.

The funds will be used to cover the cost of producing the storytelling radio show’s sixth season. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“Snap was born of love, and we have balanced on a razor’s edge since the very beginning. Your contribution goes directly toward making the most amazing season of Snap the world has ever known. Together, we’ve surmounted the obstacles before, and created the first five seasons of Snap. Let’s do it again.”

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Visit With Syrian Refugees Influenced Neil Gaiman’s Take On ‘Hansel & Gretel’

4231596_origAuthor Neil Gaiman took away many ideas from an emotional visit to Jordan where he met Syrian refugees.

In an interview with CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour, Gaiman reveals that this experience affected how he wrote his re-telling of “Hansel and Gretel.” Gaiman sets this classic story of lost children in a world torn by war and famine; he feels this is highly reminiscent of the suffering endured by Syrian refugee children as well as the Grimm Brothers’ version of the tale.

Toon Books will release the finished graphic novel, which features illustrations by artist Lorenzo Mattotti, on October 28th. Click here to watch the entire interview. Follow this link to read Gaiman’s blog post recounting his trip.

Lions Gate Invites Female Filmmakers to Make ‘Twilight’ Short Films

twilightcoverLions Gate will host a contest for aspiring female directors to create short films based on characters from Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight saga. The participants will consult Meyers’ 2011 encyclopedic tome, The Twilight Saga: Official Illustrated Guide.

Deadline reports that five winners will be selected to receive production advances to finance their short films. The five installments of “The Storytellers — New Creative Voices of ‘The Twilight Saga’” series will be released exclusively on Facebook in 2015. From there, fans will vote on which filmmaker deserves a grand prize which includes cash and career opportunities.

Here’s more from The New York Times: ”A group of female panelists, including the Twilight actress Kristen Stewart and Ms. Meyer, will select the winning shorts and mentor participants, Lions Gate said. Other panelists include the actresses Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer and Julie Bowen; Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the first Twilight movie; the film producer Cathy Schulman; and Jennifer Lee, who co-directed Frozen. Certain contest details, including the length of the shorts, are still being worked out and will be made available on Tongal.com, a crowdsourcing platform.”

Debut Novelist John Kenney Wins Thurber Prize for American Humor

johnkenneyGuest post written by Kelsey Manning (@kelseyMmanning)

Before Thurber Prize winner John Kenney settled in to read a selection from his novel Truth in Advertising, he had a few words for his fellow finalist:

“Dear David Letterman, Please let me win this award. Just this one. We need the money.”

It was one of many hilarious moments during last night’s presentation of the 2013 Thurber Prize for American Humor. David Letterman attended alongside co-writer Bruce McCall on behalf of their book This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me). In the absence of third finalist Liza Donnelly (Women on Men), her husband Michael Maslin spoke about how much James Thurber means to them, especially as New Yorker cartoonists themselves. The pair’s first date was to see a James Thurber drawing at the Armory on the East Side.

In the true spirit of the night, Truth in Advertising author John Kenney joked, “My first flight wasn’t to the Thurber House or my first date, but I was conceived there.” It was easy to see why the Thurber Prize judges—Meg Wolitzer, John Searles, and Henry Alford—were so taken by the wit in Kenney’s debut. Read more

Cover Revealed For New Sara Gruen Novel

At the Water's Edge

Water For Elephants novelist Sara Gruen has penned a new book entitled At the Water’s Edge. The jacket was unveiled today—what do you think?

According to the Water For Elephants movie fan page, the story features “a privileged young woman’s moral and sexual awakening as she experiences the devastations of World War II in a Scottish Highland village.” Spiegel & Grau, an imprint at Penguin Random House, will release the book on June 02, 2015.

‘Killing Patton’ Joins iBooks Bestsellers List

Killing PattonKilling Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard has joined Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week at No. 2.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending 9/28/14. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and The Maze Runner by James Dashner continued to hold top positions on the list this week.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump. Read more

How To Turn Your Book into a Pumpkin

Fall is here! Don’t feel like carving up a traditional jack-o’-lantern from a pumpkin? YouTuber Lacey Keith shares an alternative idea with DIY book-themed pumpkins.

If you want to make a pumpkin statue of your own, watch the video tutorial embedded above. For those who wish to play with a gourd, follow this link to view Nan Nethery’s “Pumpkin Book Characters” pinterest board. What book-themed Autumn decorations do you enjoy making?

Gregory Maguire’s Next Book Has An ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Connection

Gregory MaguireWhen we last spoke with author Gregory Maguire, he told us he planned to sit in a “big long white noise period” to coax out his muse. He recently revealed that he has been working on an adult book with “an Alice in Wonderland connection.”

In an interview with School Library Journal, Maguire (pictured, via) mostly talks about fairy tales and his recently released young adult title, Egg and Spoon. At the very end, he offers a teasing snippet about his new project.

In the past, Maguire has written novels inspired by ”Cinderella,” “Snow White,” The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and A Christmas Carol. How do you predict he will remix Lewis Carroll’s beloved fantasy story?

Lena Dunham’s Wild Ride – Reinventing the Book Tour

lena-300x300She’s got ‘Portlandia’ star Carrie Brownstein and novelist Zadie Smith, ‘Prep” and ‘American Wife’ author Curtis Sittenfeld, poetry, live music, and food trucks, plus a set of artists whose videos she screened in bed. The ‘happenings’ sold nearly 8,000 tickets in less than a week. Starting today in New York City, Lena Dunham begins her 11-city ‘traveling circus of sorts that seems more like a roving Burning Man festival’ than a book tour, notes the New York Times. Lena told the Times:

‘I found the idea of a traditional author tour, where you go and stand behind the lectern and talk about yourself, I found it a little bit embarrassing, a little blatantly self-promotional and a little boring. I wanted it to have an arts festival feel, which is why we now have all these remarkable, special weirdos who I found on the Internet.’

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