- Kids are Just That Into Coraline: It looks like Coraline, the stop-motion-animated feature adaptation of Neil Gaiman's award-winning children's book, is a hit!
Early box-office reports show Coraline, Portland animation studio Laika's expensive, oddball fantasy, rode the strength of stellar reviews to a $16.3 million opening weekend, far exceeding expectations.
The top spot in this weekend's box-office derby went to another book-to-film adaptation, He's Just Not That Into You, based on the book that almost every single woman was reading for about two minutes a few years back.
- The Talented Birthday Boy: Patricia Highsmith's lovable psychopath Tom Ripley turns 80 this year.
Highsmith recorded five installments of the Tom Ripley story over a period of 37 years. She was the author of 17 other novels, in many of which it is the good man (seldom a woman) who suffers, snaring himself in a trap of his own unconscious devising. With Ripley, matters are different. He has killed at least eight people — most of them unsavory types — yet he always walks free, as, perhaps, he continues to do. Highsmith died after a prolonged illness in 1995, but she gave no indication that Ripley had gone before.
And what better way to celebrate Tom's birthday than by picking up a boxed set of all the Ripley books?
They make a great gift for the macabre lover (or lover of the macabre) in your life. They're also heavy enough to weigh down a body you don't want bobbing to the surface anytime soon...
- Fool's Gold: The San Francisco Chronicle has high praise for Christopher Moore's new novel, Fool.
The result is a Bardic stew liberally seasoned with slapstick, sex, groaner puns, anachronisms and plenty of cheerfully curdled Elizabethan wordplay....While our heart-struck sympathies may linger with the tragic king, our minds keep getting snagged by his comic servant's incisive, despairing wit. Here, the fool gets the full attention that he's so cagily earned.
Moore will be reading at our Cedar Hills Crossing store next Tuesday, February 17th, at 7pm. He's also next week's guest blogger!
Book News Round-up
- NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with novelist Jamie Ford about his book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
Ford reads tonight at at our Cedar Hills Crossing store at 7pm.
- Local alt-weekly The Portland Mercury examines How FreeDarko Saved the Sport of Basketball.
FreeDarko's head writer Bethlehem Shoals (aka Nathaniel Friedman) reads tonight at 7:30pm at our flagship Burnside store in sunny downtown Portland.
- Actor Patrick Swayze has announced that his "deeply personal memoir" is due in bookstores this fall.
The book is still untitled, but my money's on either The Time of My Life or Unchained Memoir. (Sadly, someone already took Nobody Puts Swayze in the Corner.)
- Does the UClick app for iPhones spell the demise of the comic book as we know it? And is this a good thing or a great thing?
- The Chicago Sun-Times reviews The Little Giant of Aberdeen County: "Tiffany Baker poured her whole heart into this weird and wonderful first novel — and the result resembles its heroine: ungainly but magical; grotesque but true."
The book is currently a New Favorite title, which means you save 30% off the publisher's price.
- When I say "prequel to The Maltese Falcon," you say, "Shameless!"
- The Boston Globe calls Lisa Rogak's Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King "a thoroughly respectful overview of King's life, and a great starter biography for new fans."
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Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.
The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.
Books mentioned in this post