Archive for November, 2006

Harry Potter 5 – The Trailer (TBS)

Have you seen the trailer for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix yet? No, you don’t have to go see “Happy Feet.” It’s online now. I watched it over at Yahoo Movies. It’s the first trailer, so it’s not very long, but it makes me wish that the movie was coming out sooner than next July 13. Come to think of it…when is the last book coming out? J. K. Rowling? Will you please write faster?

Posted on 30th November 2006
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Bestselling Author Bebe Moore Campbell has left us. (TBS)

Bebe Moore Campbell, author of such books as Brothers and Sisters and Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine died Monday at the age of 56. She was diagnosed with brain cancer this past February. Campbell was a very versatile author whose work included plays, children’s books, and many articles.

Source: Yahoo News

Posted on 29th November 2006
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New Look For The Site! (TBS)

Hey! Check it out! The Book Stacks has a new look. I think the new template looks really nice, and I’m glad that I didn’t end up with purple lettering. Purple is my least favorite color. Red, on the other hand, is my second favorite color. (No, my color opinion was not solicited.) Along with these updates, I’m told that I will soon have a blogroll. That should be fun! I hope that my reviews look even better in this new format. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted on 29th November 2006
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The Tuesday List (TBS)

So, remember that I was sick last week? Yeah, I got worse and kind of missed Thanksgiving. Still, here’s the weekly list.

Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton – Book two of the Aunt Dimity series. This one is actually about how the neighbors from book one met. Aunt Dimity is even still alive.

A Great Day For Up by Dr. Seuss – Silly fun. The end is my favorite part.

Doctor Who: The Shooting Scripts – Scripts for season one of the new Doctor Who. I’m still working my way through this one. I can’t decide if I should review it here or on Watching Doctor Who.

Getting Started as a Freelance Writer by Robert W. Bly – I haven’t gotten any farther on this one.

Million Dollar Baby by Amy Patricia Meade – Stalled out on this one. Maybe next week?

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story by Nobuhiro Watsuki – I’ve reviewed the first one. Is anyone interested in a review of the second one?

So, there you go. These are the books I am working on now.

Posted on 28th November 2006
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Conversations with the Author, part 3 (TBS)

An Interview with Debbie Viguié

In this four part series we will be talking with author Debbie Viguié about her life as a professional writer.

(Continued from last Monday)

Elisa: Do you like to use an outline or do you prefer to just write?

Debbie: I prefer to just write. However, when it comes to writer’s block outlines are really helpful. You know where you are supposed to be going, then. To just write is better for me. Unfortunately that is not always the writer’s decision as oftentimes editors want an outline.

Elisa: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Debbie: Well, you can try to force your way forward. If you have an outline, then you can jump ahead to another scene that will be easier. Otherwise, try writing something completely different. Listen to some music. Get out of the house. Go see a film. For me, if all else fails, I put in the first disc of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition) on an endless loop. It’s very soothing for me, and somehow it taps right into my creative side. You see, there are movies I can do housework to, and there are movies I can write to. There are very few films that function both ways for me. Clue is one of the best ones for housework but I can’t write to it.

Elisa: What kind of book have you always wanted to write?

Debbie: Oh, everything, but most especially a western.

Elisa: Who are your favorite authors and why?

Debbie: Zane Grey is my favorite author. Every book he wrote had a romance in it. Sometimes it was a romance between man and nature or boys and sports. Other times, it was a romance between a man and a woman. Even though he was writing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he wrote a woman’s point of view really well. Another element he used in his writing was to tell the same scene twice, once from each side. He’d tell it all from “his” point of view, and then turn around and replay the same scene from “her” point of view. You could see how each person interpreted and misinterpreted the events and motives of the other. He was also great with imagery and his writing had intensity to it. One thing you have to remember about Zane Grey’s books. Every once in a while the story ended badly, so you were never quite sure if this one would turn out alright. Also, he kills you with his openers.

Jim Kjelgaard and Jack London wrote animal stories. Jim Kjelgaard wrote “Snow Dog” (which I’ve read over 400 times) and “Haunt Fox” (which I’ve read over 80 times). They were from the animal’s point of view. “Snow Dog” was about the love between a man and a dog. “Haunt Fox” was the story of an adversarial relationship between a hunter and the hunted. It’s about an animal trapper and a fox and their bond. The fox gets smarter and the boy gets older, and eventually the boy has to choose between renown and the continuation of that bond. Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” is also written from the animal’s point of view and explores the relationship between man and dog. He also writes great stories about life at sea.

I love Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” It’s a bizarre story told from many points of view. Stylistically, it’s very different from anything else.

I like J. K. Rowling, too, but I like the later Harry Potter books better than the earlier ones.

…Part 4 to follow next week….

Posted on 27th November 2006
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Bridge to Terabithia: Coming to Theaters February 2007 (TBS)

I was just surfing around on the IMDB, and I discovered that Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is coming to the big screen in February 2007. The only name that I recognize in the cast list is Zooey Deschanel, who played Trillian in the most recent Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy film. She is playing Miss Edmunds. Wait! I also recognize AnnaSophia Robb, who is playing Leslie Burke. She played Violet Beauregarde in the last Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film. Quite the literary cast, it would seem. The last time that this Newbery award-winning book was made into a film it appeared as a made-for-tv movie in 1985. Now, I remember reading this book. I enjoyed it when I read it. It did, however, hurt my brain at the time. So much so that I still remember the hurt brain twenty years later. I guess that I just wasn’t prepared for the ending. (No, I’m not going to spoil the ending for you.) I guess that we’ll just have to see how this adaptaion turns out. Walden Media, mighty filmer of all kinds of cool books, as usual offers some teaching tools to go along with this film. If you are interested in learning more about Katherine Paterson and her books, check out her website called: Teribithia.

Posted on 25th November 2006
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Frankenstein to Become a New Musical Theater Experience (TBS)

Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel (revised in 1831), Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, is coming to the stage again in 2007. This more serious adaptation isn’t so much a “musical” as “bold new theatrical experience,” apparently, but it will be full of music. The authors of this new “experience” have chosen to tell the story in flashbacks, and are trying to stay faithful to the original storyline. It should be interesting to see what they come up with. Either way, it has to be better than the Kenneth Branagh film.

Source: Yahoo News

Posted on 25th November 2006
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Do You Like Reading About Books? (TBS)

I was hanging out in the magazine section at Borders the other day when I ran across a magazine called bookmarks: For Everyone Who Hasn’t Read Everything. Published bimonthly, this magazine is full of book reviews, book-related news, coming attractions, booklists, and interviews. Just flipping through it in the store I encountered a review of I’m Proud of You: My Friendship With Fred Rogers by Tim Madigan that I need to read now. They gave it four stars. I also enjoyed their Year in Books flashback to 2001. Did you remember that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling won the Hugo Award that year? I didn’t. What can I say? I had to buy it. Check it out if you ever get the chance. It may give you some ideas about what to read next.

Posted on 22nd November 2006
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If It’s Tuesday, Then It Must Be Reading List Day (TBS)

Still not much time to read this week. (We’ve been ill. So, time to read…but too tired to do so. Sigh.)

Doctor Who: The Shooting Scripts – Scripts for season one of the new Doctor Who. I’ve made it to episode two. It’s really interesting to read the stage directions.

The Work at Home Sourcebook by Lynie Arden – I’m on page 170 of this one. Yep, I’ve been spending my time here this week. It has some pretty interesting ideas for writers.

Getting Started as a Freelance Writer by Robert W. Bly – It’s pretty much what the title says. So far, the book is pretty straightforward, and the author doesn’t sugarcoat anything.

Million Dollar Baby by Amy Patricia Meade – I’ve only made it to chapter 9 on this one. Sigh.

Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls by Bennett Madison – Okay, I admit that I read the end of this mystery first. Nearly done catching up. I hope to review it sometime this week.

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story by Nobuhiro Watsuki – I’m trying to decide how to review this one. Every volume? A series of volumes? The whole series? Opinions?

So, there you go. These are the books I am working on now.

Posted on 21st November 2006
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Conversations with the Author, part 2 (TBS)

An Interview with Debbie Viguié

In this four part series we will be talking with author Debbie Viguié about her life as a professional writer.

(Continued from last Monday)

Elisa: What’s your favorite thing about being a professional author?

Debbie: Actually, I have two favorite things. I like walking into a book store and seeing my new book on the shelf. I also love getting positive feedback from fans. Fan mail and positive interactions in person are just great.

Elisa: Okay, what is your least favorite thing about being a professional author?

Debbie: I hate the isolation. You end up spending too much time by yourself. You pretty much end up going to the grocery store just to get human contact. It’s not like you can go have lunch with a co-worker. My agent and editors are a couple of time-zones away from me.

Elisa: Where do you get your ideas and how do you flesh them out?

Debbie: I get my ideas from anything and everything. I replay real events in my head and I ask myself what would have happened if I had done *that* instead. Sometimes I just think that something is cool. Like with “Scarlet Moon.” I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to re-write Little Red Riding Hood. I like wolves and werewolves. Why not make the wolf a werewolf? Sometimes a song lyric will inspire a thought or I will just think of a great first line.

Fleshing the ideas out could be simple if the thought is complete enough, or difficult if all I get is the first line. Usually I start with an opener and a closer, and filling in the middle is the hard part.

…Part 3 to follow next week….

Posted on 20th November 2006
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