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HBO Releases Teaser Trailer for ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Two

HBO has released a teaser trailer for season two of its George R.R. Martin adaptation, Game of Thrones. We’ve embedded the video above–what do you think?

A number of new actors will join the cast, including Gwendoline Christie as the warrior Brienne of Tarth, Liam Cunningham as former smuggler Ser Davos Seaworth and Stephen Dillane as would-be king Stannis Baratheon.

According to Deadline, fans have to wait until April 2012 for the first of ten new episodes.  A Song of Ice and Fire series author Martin is currently working on a few projects: a not-yet-titled novella and two novels, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. (via Shelf Awareness)

Jane Austen Murder Theory

Crime novelist Lindsay Ashford‘s new novel, The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen, explores the possibility that Pride & Prejudice author Jane Austen was murdered.

According to The Guardian, Ashford read about symptoms of arsenic poisoning while combing through old volumes of Austen’s letters. A scholar told her that Austen’s hair was once tested for arsenic. Austen said she suffered from rheumatism, a disease treated with arsenic in the 1800s.

In the article, Ashford explained: “Having delved into her family background, there was a lot going on that has never been revealed and there could have been a motive for murder. In the early 19th century a lot of people were getting away with murder with arsenic as a weapon, because it wasn’t until the Marsh test was developed in 1836 that human remains could be analysed for the presence of arsenic.”

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Kristin Cashore to Publish New ‘Graceling’ Companion Novel

Children’s author Kristin Cashore will publish Bitterblue, a new novel set in the universe of her debut YA novel, Graceling.

The new book stars Queen Bitterblue, a character who first appeared as a supporting character in Cashore’s fantasy novel about teenagers with remarkable abilities. Dial Books for Young Readers will release the title on May 1, 2012. Bitterblue is the second companion book to Graceling. Cashore also published the companion book, Fire, in 2009.

Editorial director Kathy Dawson had this statement: “It felt like a long waiting period but Bitterblue was worth every single minute. With every book she writes, Kristin becomes a more accomplished writer, and for this one, she learned all about codes and ciphers. She even hired a linguist to create an entire language! Bitterblue is a fascinating character because while she has no powers, as queen she has the ultimate power.”

Stephen King Reads from Sequel to The Shining

While accepting the Mason Prize at George Mason University this weekend, novelist Stephen King gave fans a peek at a sequel to his classic novel, The Shining.

Above, we’ve embedded a short video clip from the event. Follow this link to read more about all the topics King discussed while receiving the award–past recipients included Chinua Achebe, Dave Eggers and Greg Mortenson.

Here’s more about the reading: “Doctor Sleep, his upcoming novel about a grown-up Danny Torrance from The Shining. In the book, Danny is a hospice worker who uses his powers to help ill patients to pass away without pain. Unfortunately, he runs afoul of a gang of wandering psychic vampires who feed on people’s energy.” (Via Matt Staggs)

Children Remember 9/11 in New Book

Assouline Publishing will commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with the release of Art for Heart: Remember 9/11. The book features a collection of drawings created by young children shortly after the terrorist attacks.

All of the proceeds will be donated to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a not-for-profit organization that operates the memorial and museum at Ground Zero. Museum director Alice M. Greenwald wrote the introduction and political journalist Christy Ferer wrote the forward.

Here’s more from the release: “In Art for Heart, the innocence so profoundly disrupted that day is nowhere better demonstrated than in the words and drawings created by children following the attacks. Straightforward and heartfelt, these works reveal the human instinct to bear witness, provide comfort, and attempt to make sense out of the unthinkable.”

Haruki Murakami Excerpts ’1Q84′ in New Yorker

This week The New Yorker ran an excerpt from Haruki Murakami‘s upcoming novel, 1Q84.

Check it out: “Most people think of Sunday as a day of rest. Throughout his childhood, however, Tengo had never once viewed Sunday as a day to enjoy. For him, Sunday was like a misshapen moon that showed only its dark side. When the weekend came, his whole body began to feel sluggish and achy, and his appetite would disappear.”

If you want some mood music for “Town of Cats,” check out our growing Murakami playlist on Spotify. It includes many songs from the novel, constantly updated as this GalleyCat editor works his way through a review copy of the novel.

‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ Book Gets 500K First Printing

Abrams will release The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy on November 15th. According to Publishers Weekly, an initial printing of 500,000 copies has been ordered.

Here’s more from the release: “The book chronicles the full 25 years of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ with unforgettable highlights and images, as well as essays about its indelible impact and most important themes by well-known individuals across a wide variety of areas and interests.”

Nonfiction writer Deborah Davis will write the narrative text. The book will feature a forward by poet Maya Angelou and essays by Pulitzer winner Toni Morrison and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. All three of these authors were featured in Oprah’s book club.

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Jodi Picoult & Daughter To Publish YA Novel

Novelist Jodi Picoult has finished editing Between the Lines, a YA novel she co-wrote with her daughter. Publication has been set for June 2012.

Here’s more from Picoult’s Facebook announcement: “Color me happy! My daughter Sammy and I JUST finished editing the young teen chapter book we co-wrote, BETWEEN THE LINES … it’s about a prince who wants to break free from his fairytale existence … and the girl who falls for him while she’s reading. It’s sweet and romantic and funny — and to celebrate, we’re going out for ribs!!”

According to The Book Case, the mother-daughter duo will tour to promote the title. Picoult is not the first writer to partner with her daughter on a writing project.

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What Is Your Most Anticipated Book This Year?

The Millions collected a list of 66 highly anticipated new titles coming out in the second half of 2011. The listed included George R.R. Martin with A Dance with Dragons in July, Haruki Murakami with 1Q84 in October and Stephen King with 11/22/63 in November.

Here’s more from the article: “But, even as fans look forward to books from these favorites, there will undoubtedly be many new discoveries in the coming months as well, some of which, hopefully, we can introduce you to today. The list that follows isn’t exhaustive — no list could be — but these are some of the books we’re looking forward to.”

The list excluded forthcoming children’s and YA books. In the coming months we will see Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein (September), The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (October)  and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney (November). What titles are you looking forward to in the second half of 2011?

Neil Gaiman Hopes to Write ‘American Gods’ Sequel

Author Neil Gaiman hopes to write a sequel to his novel, American Gods. According to an interview with MTV News, the novelist has a “boxful of stuff” he would include in the sequel.

Gaiman explained: “The first book was very much about the grifters and the lowlifes, and you don’t really get to see much of the new gods and you don’t really get a sense of those gods who are doing incredibly well in America. In the second book, I definitely want to go into both of those things.”

Gaiman (pictured, via) released the 10th anniversary edition of American Gods on June 21st. This edition (the author’s preferred text version) contains 12,000 additional words–expanded chapters, essays and interviews.

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