books

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Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books are coming to television with a series set for HBO. The Wrap reports that Interstellar writer and Person of Interest showrunner Jonathan Nolan is in charge of the adaptation. Currently, Nolan is also working on adapting Westworld for HBO.

The books were once set to be adapted into a film by Roland Emmerich, so news of a series is a big deal. However, there is no word yet on whether it will be a full-fledged series or a miniseries event. Given the amount of material in the Foundation books, it wouldn’t be a stretch to produce several seasons worth of shows.

(via io9)

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Lemony Snicket aka author Daniel Handler is teaming up with Netflix to produce a new adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Hollywood Reporter quotes Cindy Holland, VP of original content for Netflix, as saying:

“On the search for fantastic material that appeals to both parents and kids, the first stop for generations of readers is A Series of Unfortunate Events. We are proud to start work on a series for a global audience that already loves the books […] The world created by Lemony Snicket is unique, darkly funny, and relatable. We can’t wait to bring it to life for Netflix members.”

As you may recall, the books first came to life in a 2004 film starring Jim Carrey. The movie took the first three books and turned them into one movie, but there are 13 all together. They follow the story of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire as they try to solve the mystery of their parents’ deaths and keep away from Count Olaf. Snicket said of the partnership with Netflix:

“I can’t believe it. After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books.”

Terribly, horribly dismaying and so very exciting!

(via The Mary Sue)

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LeVar Burton is widely known for encouraging kids to read on the series Reading Rainbow. This time, he’s reading the definitely not kid friendly Go The F*ck to Sleep and it might be one of the most entertaining book readings he’s ever done. It all happened during Rooster Teeth’s Extra Life 2014 live stream and it’s just brilliant as he reads the whole thing just like he’s reading to a group of kids.

See the video after the break (NSFW language obviously)…

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Fan fiction takes your favorite characters and sends them off in directions the original authors never intended. Case in point:  this Christian version of Harry Potter. Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles is the work of “Mommie blogger” Grace Ann who says it has “all the adventure and good morals of the Harry Potter books without all that bad stuff that is bogging it down.” To get an idea of what she means, read an excerpt from Chapter One after the break…

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Here’s another reason for Harry Potter fans to cheer their favorite books and author J.K. Rowling.

According to three new studies conducted by Loris Vezzali of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, people exhibit a marked difference in empathy and tolerance for others before and after reading the Harry Potter books.

The article, published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, studied how children and university students treated “out-groups” and found that subjects who read the books were more accepting of those people who are different than they are:

We conducted three studies to test whether extended contact through reading the popular best-selling books of Harry Potter improves attitudes toward stigmatized groups (immigrants, homosexuals, refugees). Results from one experimental intervention with elementary school children and from two cross-sectional studies with high school and university students (in Italy and United Kingdom) supported our main hypothesis.

Scientific American summarized the study result this way:

Of course there are many factors that shape our attitudes toward others: the media, our parents and peers, religious beliefs. But Vezzali’s work supports earlier research suggesting that reading novels as a child — implying literary engagement with life’s social, cultural and psychological complexities — can have a positive impact on personality development and social skills.

I gotta say, that’s pretty cool. I think I may need to thank my parents for starting me reading as early as they did.

(io9 via The Mary Sue)

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Puffin UK has re-released its series of Doctor Who novellas with beautiful new cover art. Each book is about a different doctor and features a minimalist design of that Doctor’s outfit. Stories are penned by an amazing roster of authors that includes Neil Gaiman, Eoin Colfer, and Richelle Mead. The series is currently available for preorder in a slipcased set on Amazon and is slated to be available on US shores on November 18th.

See the rest of the covers after the break.

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pine marten

You’ve likely wondered what your Patronus would look like, and so has Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. She was recently asked about this on twitter, and said that her patronus would be a pine marten. This adorable little squirrel-fox thing is very rare in Britain but is found in large numbers in Ireland and Scotland. Isn’t it just the cutest Patronus ever?

On that note, Rowling also teased the possibility of a Patronus test coming to Pottermore, so you may have an official answer to this question soon.

See the tweets after the break.

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martin

Amid cries for him to write like the wind, George R.R. Martin is releasing a new book this October, but it’s not quite the one that fans are dying to read. The World of Ice and Fire is an illustrated history of all things Westeros that spans from Dawn Age to the fall of the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. The book was co-written by Martin with Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, the webmasters of Westeros.org who also fact-checked to make sure everything was accurate.

Martin is also holding a special, one-time event to promote the book in New York City with the $125 ticket price including a signed copy of the new book.

Product Page ($29.98 Vulture via Mashable)

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It seems that some people use more emoji in their text messages than actual words, and it can make deciphering things difficult. Those lovers of all things emoji will likely jump at the challenge to decipher these first lines of classic novels done solely in emoji. I’m not afraid to admit that if this was part of a college entrance exam, I’d be failing. But for everyone else, give it a go and then check out Slate to see if you passed the test.

(Mental Floss via Neatorama)

not a narnia gateway

(Rohit Bhargava via Neatorama)