Diving right in: the big news that you may have missed if you were living under a rock this week. J.K. Rowling's forthcoming adult novel now has a title! The Casual Vacancy will be published September 27th, 2012 from Little, Brown. Here's the blurb:
"When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?"
Oooookaayyy. We wish J.K. Rowling the best of luck with this new venture, which seems to be quite a bit different than her fantasy novels. It's getting quite a lot of hype (apparently thousands of people added it to their virtual shelves on the day it was released), but is that a good thing? Our friend Chachic over at Chachic's Book Nook wrote a great post about the hype that many debut authors receive and why she chooses to read mainly older titles.
For the vast majority of debut authors who are not picked up by a major publishing house and hyped here, there, and everywhere - there's an interesting new(ish) way of getting your book published. The website Kickstarter, which is known for allowing every day citizens to donate toward nonprofit, entrepreneurial, and creative causes now has unpublished novels on it, just waiting for backers.
And before you say that the internet has killed reading - check out this article from The Atlantic. (Although - note that this chart says approximately nothing about the quality of literature being produced these days.)
Some of our favorite authors were among the nominees of The Hugo Awards - announced this week, including Mira Grant, China Miéville, and Catherynne M. Valente.
Catherynne M. Valente also got spit firin' mad about the state of affairs for women this week and wrote a blog post all about it, which of course we loved. AND, she posted the long-anticipated cover for the sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, titled The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. (Last minute awesome addition - Amy over at Turn the Page has an interview with Ana Juan, the illustrator for these books, today!)
Also released this week is the cover for the U.S. paperback version of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. We are loving the creepy, frost-covered doorway. It's a nice change from the feathers and faces and seems much more relevant to the book.
Ever wonder how starred reviews are given or why? And what they have to do with awards like the Printz? There was a great introduction to the topic on School Library Journal this week.
The ALA released its list of the most challenged books for 2011 this week and The Hunger Games was #3! The book was challenged for, "Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence." We're really struggling with "occult/satanic."
And other signs that the world is ending: Nicholas Sparks has started his own production company and already signed a deal with Warner Horizon to "develop and executive produce series projects with an eye toward the cable marketplace “that will bring to television many of the core elements of my books and films: romantic love, family bonds, and the universal human dramas that move us all.”
Perhaps sensing the coming apocalypse, google maps has handily provided the map of the dead - a tool for seeking out hospitals, food, and shelter during the zombie apocalypse.
And lastly, here's a hilarious list of "rejected young adult series" to keep you all laughing as the world ends (much thanks to the brilliant Rachel Hartman for posting this list).
See you next week!
*Correction: For Darkness Shows the Stars is in fact NOT Persuasion in space but is actually "post-apocalyptic Persuasion." We apologize!