Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring into Poetry!

If you haven't noticed just yet, Oprah dedicated a large portion of her magazine to poetry this month. I had read most of the books on her list, but had not heard or read Semus Heaney, who I picked up very quickly after reading her homage to the great poets of our time. I was not aware of Heaney, who for years was our poet laureate, and have spent some considerable time lately catching up on his prose. I wanted to share one with you that I particularly enjoyed from his book "Open Ground"--a compilation of his work. If you get the time, check him out. Oprah will approve.

Holly by Seamus Heaney

It rained when it should have snowed.
When we went to gather holly

the ditches were swimming, we were wet
to the knees, our hands were all jags

and water ran up our sleeves.
There should have been berries

but the sprigs we brought into the house
gleamed like smashed bottle-glass.

Now here I am, in a room that is decked
with the red-berried, waxy leafed stuff,

and I almost forget what it's like
to be wet to the skin or longing for snow.

I reach for a book like a doubter
and want it to flare round my hand,

a black-letter bush, a glittering shield-wall
cutting as holly and ice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Masterpiece Adapts Book & Film Club Discussion Guides

For its 40th anniversary, Masterpiece has collected more than 25 book-to-film discussion guides from its Book & Film Club archives for such works as Jane Eyre, The Diary of Anne Frank and Dr. Zhivago. The guides are sorted by title or author and provide discussion questions, author biographies, background essays, interviews, activities--and even recipes. They can be found at pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/bookclub/guides.html.

Agatha Christie is the next author to be added to the Masterpiece Book & Film Club. Book-to-film discussion material for Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple will available in June at pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/bookclub/index.html.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Dutch Flip for the "Flipback"!

A new paperback format?

The "flipback" book, introduced in the Netherlands in 2009 and "all the rage" there, is being touted as the "new Kindle," smaller and lighter than an e-reader but made out of paper, according to the Guardian.

Flipback books are printed on extra-thin paper; the spine stays open easily; text is printed "parallel" to the spine so one reads the book longways; and the whole thing is small enough to fit in a pocket.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Library Legislation...

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation barring the FBI from using the Patriot Act to search bookstore and library records unless they relate to a suspected terrorist or someone known to the suspect. Now the bill, USA Patriot Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011 (S. 193), moves to the Senate floor where it will be brought to a vote sometime before the end of May, when several provisions of the Patriot Act will expire. The Campaign for Reader Privacy--representing librarians, booksellers, authors and publishers--is urging its supporters to ask their senators to support S. 193.

The House also considered Patriot re-authorization last week at the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee hearing on Crime. On February 18, the House defeated a floor amendment offered by Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) that banned the use of the Patriot Act to search bookstore and library records. The vote, 196-231, was closer than many expected. Thirty-two Republicans voted for the measure. When Bernie Sanders introduced the same amendment in 2005, it attracted only 27 Republican votes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eating Healthy with the Hungry Caterpillar....

Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar will serve as the centerpiece of a new "Eating Healthy. Growing Strong." campaign to help facilitate discussion between doctors and families about good eating habits for children. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Academy of Pediatrics joins with We Give Books to launch this campaign as part of the Alliance's mission to combat childhood obesity.
President Bill Clinton, whose William J. Clinton Foundation helped start the Alliance for a Healthier Generation along with the American Heart Association, said in a statement, "By joining with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the classic children's brand The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we are starting a dialogue between parents and doctors that will go beyond the waiting room." More than 17,500 pediatricians' offices will receive specially created editions of Carle's book, along with growth charts and handouts that encourage conversations between doctors and parents about what constitutes healthy eating (including tips that integrate the book, such as, "Talk about how when the caterpillar overeats, he gets a stomachache--so it is important to stop eating when you feel full").
We Give Books, a digital initiative from Penguin (publisher of The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and the Pearson Foundation will provide the materials for the campaign. In addition, whenever visitors to the We Give Books site read a digital book in its library, the Pearson Foundation will donate a brand-new book to a leading literacy group. "I'm so pleased that my caterpillar can help to promote healthy eating in the fight against childhood obesity," said Caterpillar creator Carle in a statement. "I hope The Very Hungry Caterpillar will be a happy reminder for children to grow healthy and spread their strong wings, like the butterfly in my book

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"The Prophet" is going to the movie house....

An animated feature based on the Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet is being produced by actress Salma Hayek's Ventanarosa Productions, along with Clark Peterson and Ron Senkowski. According to Deadline.com, the "intention is for different directors to helm each chapter, with an interconnecting theme and a musical through-line."

Among the filmmakers expected work on the adaptation are Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville), John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda), Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), Chris Landreth (Oscar-winning short Ryan), Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), Bill Plympton (Guard Dog and Your Face) and Kunio Kato (Oscar-winning short Tsumiki no ie).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Apple Unveils IPad #2

At its media event today, Apple unveiled the iPad 2, which ships March 11. It’s got a bunch of new features, most notably a much thinner size (the new iPad is even thinner than the iPhone 4). It’s lighter, has a dual core processor (meaning its twice as fast as the iPad 1), front and back facing cameras, and the same battery life as the original iPad. It comes in both black and white, and in models that work with both the Verizon and AT&T networks for 3G connectivity. It will also support video output via an HDMI cable.

Read more Here: http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/PWxyz/?p=4549&utm_source=Publishers+Weekly%27s+PW+Daily&utm_campaign=0013170716-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Le Carre' on Screen

Universal Pictures acquired the domestic distribution rights to the new film adaptation of John Le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy, directed by Tomas Alfredson and starring Gary Oldman, Oscar-winner Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong and Ciaran Hinds. A November or December release is expected for the movie, which Deadline.com described as "one of the hottest titles shopped in Berlin, where buyers watched several minutes of footage and read the script for Alfredson's follow-up to Let the Right One In."