Monday, October 22, 2012

Book News and Other Items of Interest

Emma Thompson on reading Peter Rabbit:
"Take it slow, much slower than you think. Give them plenty of time to
look at the pictures and sort of extrapolate from the pictures,"
Oscar-winning actress and author Emma Thompson
told NPR's Renee Montagne in an interview on Morning Edition yesterday,
where she talked about her new book The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit.

We loved her answer to the question of how the publisher, Frederick
Warne & Co., approached her about writing a new Peter Rabbit book: "It
wasn't a formal letter as such," she said. "It wasn't a 'Dear Ms.
Thompson, would you consider blah' from the publishers. It was a little
box with two half-eaten radishes in it and a letter from Peter Rabbit.
And the child part of me, I think, actually believed it had come from
Peter Rabbit himself. And that got past my defenses and my fear for long
enough for me to say, 'OK, well, I'll have a go.' "

These two books are getting such great reviews and awards, that I can't wait to read them, though I only have a copy of "Wolf Hall" in my TBR stack:

Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel's Man Booker
Prize-winning novels, are being adapted for the stage
by Mike Poulton. The Telegraph reported "the two productions are under
consideration by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the intention is to
stage the two plays over the same season.... A BBC Two costume drama
based on the books is also in the works."

"I went to a first reading last week," Mantel said. "There's still a
great deal of work to do but what we're hoping for is two plays--a Wolf
Hall play and a Bring Up the Bodies play--which, if you liked, you could
see on consecutive evenings."

While Mantel noted that the RSC is "not committed but certainly
interested," she added that a spokesman for the company said the plays
were "on our list of considerations."

Amen, Joe! "The world is changing, but I am not changing with it. There is no
e-reader or Kindle in my future. My philosophy is simple: Certain things
are perfect the way they are. The sky, the Pacific Ocean, procreation
and the Goldberg Variations all fit this bill, and so do books. Books
are sublimely visceral, emotionally evocative objects that constitute a
perfect delivery system.

"Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information
contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who have clutter
issues, or who don't want other people to see that they are reading
books about parallel universes where nine-eyed sea serpents and blind
marsupials join forces with deaf Valkyries to rescue high-strung albino
virgins from the clutches of hermaphrodite centaurs, but they are
useless for people engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with
books. Books that we can touch; books that we can smell; books that we
can depend on. Books that make us believe, for however short a time,
that we shall all live happily ever after."

--Joe Queenan in a Wall Street Journal essay headlined "My 6,128
Favorite Books,"
which was adapted from One for the Books (Viking, Oct. 25)

So after 6 months, the new owner of Queen Anne Books has decided to sell the place again! Oh no!
Once again, I find myself wishing I'd won the lottery!

Katharine Hershey, who bought Queen Anne Books, Seattle, Wash., in April, has put the
store up for sale. An attorney and former King County Superior Court
commissioner, she wrote to customers, "This has not been an easy or
hastily made decision, and I thank all of you for your loyalty and your
commitment to Queen Anne Books during the period of time that I have
been a part of the store." She added that she will be "leaving Queen
Anne Books as of the end of November."

In April, Hershey said that the purchase of the store fulfilled
"a lifelong dream I've had
to own a bookstore, and most particularly to be a part of Queen Anne

Queen Anne Books was founded in 1988 and had been owned the last 14
years by Patti McCall (and part of that time by Cindy Mitchell). Last
year, the store won the WNBA's Pannell Award in the general bookstore
category. Earlier this year, McCall said that the store's lease was up
this month, with a five-year option.

Hershey may be reached at 206-283-5624 or
Having just seen "The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" at Book It Rep Theater, I found myself wishing that I could afford to subscribe to their whole, wonderful season. I am such a fan of theater, having been a theater major, and of course I love books, so anything that brings the two together is a winner in my mind.

Imagine my joy on reading this today on Shelf Awareness:
Seattle's Book-It Repertory Theatre Receives Grant
Book-It Repertory Theatre , an artists' collective
founded 24 years ago in Seattle to adapt short stories for performance,
will receive a three-year grant totaling $340,000

from Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen for educational performances and
programs. The Seattle Times reported that the "gift (the largest in
Book-It's history) will allow the company to expand its educational work
beyond the Puget Sound area.

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