“Down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down, / ‘Twas sad as sad could be; / And we did speak only to break / The silence of the sea.” –- The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Samuel Taylor Coleridge). If you’re planning on spending some time on the open water this summer — or, more likely, if you only wish you were, you’re in luck. After all, you can get a taste of sea salt air from your living room… if you choose the right book. To that end, Flavorwire asked Ethan Rutherford, whose own excellent debut collection, The Peripatetic Coffin, is a perfect nautical summer read, awash with sailboats, ships and futuristic whales, to pick his favorite seafaring reads for summer or any time. … Read More
Next season, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet will be presenting an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s beloved novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. While there’s no denying the power of the book, it does seem somewhat strange fodder for a ballet — given that it’s a dystopic indictment of fundamentalism and gender norms and all. However, as it turns out, a number of surprising novels have been adapted for the stage as ballets or operas — check out a selection of these after the jump, and feel free to add to the list in the comments. … Read More
After spotting this Jules Verne-inspired hotel in Canada, we decided to go on a worldwide hunt for other interesting hotels that pay homage to our favorite reads — whether in general, or focusing on a single volume, or even detail. After all, book nerds need someplace cool to stay as much as art nerds… Read More
Here’s a truth universally acknowledged: Television and the Victorian novel are two wholly different media. Make as many comparisons as you will, but the 19th-century English novel will never experience any kind of seamless transition into the world of serial television. The incentives of the two forms are so incongruous, not to mention the contrast in creative and productive conditions that goes into generating them. When Laura Miller emphatically told us that “The Wire is NOT like Dickens,” she made many good points — an obvious one being that if one wished to reference a canonical novelist in lofty conversation about The Wire, Dickens would be a safe bet. But as Miller went on to state: Dickens wrote prose narrative on paper, and The Wire is a visual drama. It’s a good place to start as any if we’re looking to tease out the distinctions between the two.
Still, it won’t stop television (or film, for that matter) from continuing to draw on written stories. Alfred Hitchcock, that undisputed master of cinema, took from novelists such as Patrick Hamilton, Patricia Highsmith, and Dorothy Sayers for his film and television work alike. Alfred Hitchcock Presents, however, focused on a different story per episode, while the idea behind The Wire-versus-Dickens comparison is that such serial storytelling has the power to hook the viewer time and time again. … Read More
Tomorrow is World Book Night, an annual celebration dedicated to “spreading the love of reading, person to person.” Tomorrow night, tens of thousands of people all across the US, the UK and Ireland will give away free paperbacks in their communities in order to promote reading and the love of printed books. If you want to spread the love of books in a more personal way, however, we came up with another way to celebrate the evening — by having someone read a book aloud to you, or by reading aloud to one of your friends. After all, reading a book out loud to someone else is one of the best ways to truly share and give a love of reading — at least, this author got hers from being read to every night as a child (and yes, sometimes as a grown up). If you’re in Brooklyn tonight, WORD is hosting a bookish event for the occasion. If not, click through to check out our list of wonderful books to read aloud or have read aloud to you, be sure to suggest your own favorite read-aloud fare in the comments, and then share a story with someone you love tonight! … Read More
Tony D’Souza is the author of Mule, a new novel about a down-on-his-luck journalist who smuggles pot from California to Florida in order to raise some much-needed cash. We asked him to curate a list of ten books about road trips that influenced him while he was writing his novel, which comes out next week. He writes, “Pushing myself to look past the most obvious choices like On The Road or Travels With Charley, I saw how long and deep the roots of the road trip are in our cultural memory.” He continues, “The characters in each of these books becomes changed by the journeys they make in profound ways, in the same the sorts of ways any of us are when we make a long and taxing journey. The road trip becomes both bath and baptism, purging us of our old thoughts and preparing us to experience something new.” So read on, dear readers, and tell us your favorite books that feature a life-changing road trip. … Read More
It’s the tail end of summer but you wouldn’t know from the heat, would you? We propose a list of books worth reading as you hightail it to the beach while there’s still time, because you have 30 days left in this fine month. Make it count by reading a few of the following books (mostly novels, plus one nonfiction upstart). It doesn’t matter if you’re in to crime thrillers, political dramas, fantasy worlds, or tales about a quirky family of art stars — we guarantee that you’ll find something you like on this list. So read on, dear readers, and let us know what you’re excited about reading in the weeks to come. … Read More
When Universal announced last year that an epic adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower was in the works, which would include a trilogy of feature films directed by Ron Howard and a two-season television series, it sounded like a massive undertaking — from both a creative and financial perspective. This week, the studio decided it was too massive and pulled the plug on the project, breaking the hearts of fanboys and King readers the world over.
From the beginning, some had wondered if Howard was the right director for the project — now, unless the filmmaker attempts to set the project up elsewhere (unlikely, as both Howard and his Imagine production company have a long history with Uni), we’ll never know. It seems that we can add The Dark Tower to the long list of proposed book-to-film adaptations by famed directors that never saw the light of day. We’ve assembled ten of them after the jump; add yours in the comments. … Read More
In case you missed this story over the holiday weekend: WordBridge Publishing, a Christian conservative publisher concerned with “the phenomenon of manipulation based in white guilt” has given Joseph Conrad’s The Nigger of Narcissus a thoroughly modern makeover. Their updated version, entitled The N-Word of Narcissus, “addresses the reason for its neglect: the profusion of the so-called n-word throughout its pages. Hence, the introduction of ‘n-word’ throughout the text, to remove this offence to modern… Read More