September 30, 2012 |
Susan Straight lives mere blocks from where she was born in the Inland Empire town of Riverside. She says there are two types of people, those who stay and those who leave. Straight has always stayed. "All I am is a writer and a mom," says Straight, the author of eight novels, divorced mother of three daughters and a professor of creative writing at UC Riverside. On a recent Monday afternoon, just a few days before the release of her latest novel, "Between Heaven and Here" (McSweeneys, $24)
August 31, 2012 |
You can now precisely mark your calendars, Hobbit fans. Peter Jackson's final film in the trilogy will be released July 18, 2014, with the title “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” Initially, the director had planned two movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's popular masterpiece, but this summer he decided there was enough material for a third movie. The first film in the trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” opens this year on Dec. 14. The second installment will be called “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and will be released a year later, on Dec. 13, 2013. Shot in 3-D, at 48 frames-per-second, the trilogy of films will be released in High Frame Rate (HFR)
August 26, 2012 |
In 1993, Lois Lowry published "The Giver," a young adult novel about a dystopian culture in which conformity is the standard and Sameness is a social goal. By then, Lowry was already a well-known writer for young readers: Her first book, "A Summer to Die," came out in 1977, and her novel "Number the Stars," which takes place during the Holocaust, won a 1990 Newbery Medal. Still, with its cautionary sensibility, its insistence on thinking for oneself, "The Giver" became a literary lightning rod. Winner of a 1994 Newbery, the novel has been equally assigned and challenged and is the defining book of Lowry's career.
August 26, 2012
What do many young-adult bestsellers have in common? The fact that they're not standalones - some of the hottest new titles this fall offer a continuation of many series in the form of sequels or prequels. SEQUELS Reached By Ally Condie Dutton, 384 pp.: $17.99, for ages 12 and up The conclusion to the "Matched" trilogy. (November) Days of Blood & Starlight By Laini Taylor Little, Brown, 528 pp.: $18.99, for ages 15 and up The second book in the "Daughter of Smoke & Bone" trilogy.
August 3, 2012 |
The intrepid folks at Criterion have put out a fine pair of three-disc sets, each one celebrating a little-known but gifted foreign-language director who has a very particular place in film history. Perhaps most familiar to American audiences is the Samurai Trilogy of Japan's Hiroshi Inagaki, the 1950s trio starring Toshiro Mifune that began the West's enduring fascination with the samurai genre. Mifune plays a fictionalized version of the legendary 17th century swordsman Musashi Miyamoto as he takes the now-familiar journey from country bumpkin to wise killing machine.
July 29, 2012 |
Shadow of Night A Novel Deborah Harkness Viking: 584 pp., $28.95 Writing second installments of planned trilogies is harder than you think. There has to be enough background from the first novel - but not too much - to give newcomers a grasp of the story while advancing the plot for readers eagerly anticipating the challenges of the new book. Deborah Harkness laid the foundation of her "All Souls Trilogy" with "A Discovery of Witches," which introduces historian Diana Bishop, a witch not fully aware of her powers.
July 19, 2012 |
"The Dark Knight Rises"is poised for one of the biggest opening weekends of all time in the U.S. and Canada, but its ultimate box-office potential hinges on moviegoers far outside Gotham City. Director Christopher Nolan's second movie in the Batman trilogy, 2008's "The Dark Knight," was the only movie to ever gross more than $1 billion worldwide that sold more tickets at home than abroad. So while the ultimate domestic box office tally for "The Dark Knight Rises" is unlikely to significantly exceed its predecessor's $533 million, it could far surpass the $469 million it generated overseas.
July 18, 2012 |
No film this year faces higher expectations than "The Dark Knight Rises," the ambitious conclusion to Christopher Nolan's pitch-black Batman trilogy. And yet, like the caped crusader himself, Nolan has been known to pull off some pretty remarkable feats - the latest being that "Rises" appears to live up to the hype. The Times' own Kenneth Turan calls "The Dark Knight Rises" a "dazzling conclusion" that "is more than an exceptional superhero movie, it is masterful filmmaking by any standard.
July 9, 2012 |
Booksellers, get out your handcuffs: Roughly one in five physical books sold in the U.S. over most of the spring were the “Fifty Shades” sex trilogy. That figure comes from Nielsen BookScan data cited in a new Wall Street Journal report on the trilogy's likelihood of hitting 20 million in sales this week. Available in stores and airports everywhere and as an e-book, E.L. James' “Fifty Shades” trilogy somehow occupies the top four spots on Nielsen's top 10 adult-fiction list: “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Fifty Shades Darker,” “Fifty Shades Freed” and, rounding out the pack at No. 4, "The Fifty Shades Trilogy," an all-in-one version that retails for $28.71 on Amazon . “The Fifty Shades Trilogy will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever,” says the book's promotional copy, which could not be independently confirmed by the Los Angeles Times as of press time.
June 23, 2012 |
Just when you thought it was safe to put the book away, by the end of the year you might just be able to sleep in pajamas and lingerie - “Fifty Shades of Grey”-style. Products based on the “Fifty Shades” phenomenon will hit stores between August and December this year. The merchandise will include apparel, stationery items, hosiery, lingerie and accessories. Expect to see “Christian Grey” boxers and ties as well as lounge wear, sleepwear and T-shirts; the accessories would comprise bags, wallets, portfolios, key chains and underwear (for men and women)