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Authors Share Their Favorite Audiobooks of the Year on Audible

AudibleLooking for recommendations for some good audiobooks to listen to during your holiday travels?

Audible.com has had some bestselling authors pick out their favorite audiobooks of the year, which is probably a good place to start.

Author Anthony Doerr recommends Karen Joy Fowler’s audiobook We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; Lisa Genova recommends You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero; and Lev Grossman recommends Ian Fleming’s Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Check it out:

The best audiobook I listened to this year was On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming. It’s not new — in fact its 50 years old — but you might be surprised at how fresh the original Bond novels still feel….Simon Vance does a consistently nuanced, world-weary take on Bond-James-Bond and is absurdly comfortable with just about every possible European accent. Plus he does Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series too, and the occasional similarities in the voices suggests the tantalizing possibility of a trans-historical Bond-Maturin team-up.” –Lev Grossman

Blank on Blank Creates the ‘Tom Robbins on Jitterbugs’ Video

The Blank on Blank organization has created an animated video starring Even Cowgirls Get the Blues author Tom Robbins. The video embedded above features outtakes from a previously unheard interview conducted with Tod Mesirow that took place in 1994. In the past, the producers behind this YouTube channel made pieces about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings memoirist Maya Angelou, Where the Wild Things Are creator Maurice Sendak, and Infinite Jest novelist David Foster Wallace.

George R.R. Martin Wants to Showcase The Interview at His Movie Theater

George R.R. Martin PhotoThe hackers behind the Interview incident have elicited both anger and fear from American moviegoers. A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin (pictured, via) has publicly expressed great fury towards Sony for pulling the film from theaters.

Here’s an excerpt from Martin’s blog post: “I haven’t seen The Interview. I have no idea how good or bad a film it is…That’s not the point, though. Whether it’s the next Citizen Kane or the next Plan 9 From Outer Space, it astonishes me that a major Hollywood film could be killed before release by threats from a foreign power and anonymous hackers.”

Should The Interview ever become available, Martin has offered to showcase it at his own independent theater. Martin owns the Jean Cocteau Cinema which is based in Santa Fe, NM. What do you think? (via comicbook.com)

The World’s Greatest Storytellers: INFOGRAPHIC

World's Greatest Storytellers

Who would you name as the world’s greatest storyteller? The team at Raconteur.net interviewed 500 authors, journalists, editors, students, media experts, and marketing professionals to try to uncover the answer to this question; the data was collected into an infographic.

The ones that made it into the top six include five British writers and one American horror master: William Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, and Stephen King. Follow this link to view the full infographic.

Neil Gaiman Reads A Christmas Carol

35405593_gvv24v-3.inline verticalLast year, author Neil Gaiman celebrated the holiday season by reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens to an audience at The New York Public Library. Follow this link to listen to the reading. (via Open Culture)

Author Jason Boog Shares His Favorite Writing Music From 2014

cassettetapeJason Boog, the former editor of GalleyCat and the author of Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age, has rounded up his annual Spotify playlist of the best writing music.

This free collection includes ten hours of wordless music that should help inspire writers. Jason also made a list of his favorite songs (with words) from 2014.

“The free playlist is filled with great storytelling, another kind of musical inspiration,” he explained. “Most of all, I loved “Micheline” by Sun Kil Moon, a heartbreaking memorial for lost friends and family. I’ve never been so moved by the simple repetition of a loved one’s name, like a prayer.”

What’s your favorite writing music from 2014? Share it in the comments section so that we can all expand our playlists.

Title & Release Date Revealed For New Judy Blume Adult Book

judyblumeJudy Blume has revealed the title and release date for her forthcoming adult novel. Alfred A. Knopf will release In the Unlikely Event on June 02, 2015.

BuzzFeed has posted the cover for this book—what do you think? People magazine reports that the book “focuses on an ensemble of family and friends across three generations.”

According to Blume’s website, the inspiration for this story comes from “a series of passenger airplanes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey within a three-month period in 1951–1952.” This real-life tragedy has inhabited a place in Blume’s mind since she was a teenager.

Barbara Walters Declares George R.R. Martin to Be a Fascinating Person

georgerrmartinGeorge R.R. Martin has made it onto the 2014 edition of Barbara Walters’10 Most Fascinating People.”

Martin earned his place on Walters’ list due to the great popularity of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series and the Game of Thrones TV adaptation; both projects have made a serious mark in pop culture history.

The nine other people alongside Martin include Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Chelsea Handler, Neil Patrick Harris, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Michael Strahan, David Koch, and Amal Clooney. (via The Huffington Post)

James Patterson Completes His Promise to Donate $1M to Indie Bookstores in 2014

jamesPattersonBestselling author James Patterson is giving a generous gift to independent bookstores this holiday season. He is donating $473,000 to 81 different stores across the country.

The donation is part of the author’s promise to give $1 million to indie bookstores this year. This brings the author’s donations for the year up to $1,008,300 which he handed out to 178 independent bookstores across the country.

“Here’s to a joyful holiday season for booksellers everywhere,” said Patterson in a statement. “Yes, joyful! Here’s to more parents and grandparents coming to their senses and giving their kids books—yes, books—for Christmas and other holidays. Here’s to local governments waking up to the fact that bookstores and libraries are essential to our way of life. Here’s to media coverage of books, booksellers, and publishers, and to a wiser, more literate America. Happy holidays to one and all!”

 

 

Lauren Oliver Shares Her Thoughts on the Traits of Fiction Writers

Lauren OliverLast week, Lauren Oliver appeared at the “Epic Reads” panel hosted by Books of Wonder.

During the event, Oliver shared the three traits she feels that fiction writers must possess: (1) great self-awareness (2) radical empathy and (3) a deep interest in human beings. Do you agree with her?

Oliver also divulged that her book Panic was inspired by a Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale called “The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers.” Towards the end of the night, she revealed that she has a number of projects in-the-works: a young adult novel entitled Vanishing Girls, a middle grade series called The Curiosity House, and another young adult story featuring clones.

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