After a long courtship, Angelina Jolie will play Kay Scarpetta

After a long courtship, Angelina Jolie will play Kay Scarpetta / The Christian Science Monitor –

In a follow-up matter to my previous post, Christian Science Monitor book blogger Marjorie Kehe is reporting that many people, like me, are not impressed by the choice of Angelina Jolie to play Kay Scarpetta:

Not everyone is happy. Leaning on both references in the novels and Cornwell’s own appearance, many Scarpetta fans picture the pathologist as more like a 40-something blond with a short haircut. Others insist that Scarpetta more closely resembles Jodie Foster (who is said to have turned the role down), Glenn Close, Demi Moore, and/or Kristin Scott Thomas.

Looking Glass for the Mind: 350 Years of Books for Children

Looking Glass for the Mind: 350 Years of Books for Children

The University of Washington Digital Collection of children’s books starts off with a wonderful piece that touches on the beloved memories children’s books bring back for so many, but also on the reasons why a university library would collect children’s books. Several of the reasons given regard what children’s books can teach us: printing and book illustration history, the “study of the gradual changes in familiar tales to reflect changes in societal acceptance and sensibilities,” social and ethnic history, the historical role of women, and shifting views on education. After the homepage is the index to the exhibit with an introduction, a brief history of the first children’s book publishers. To the left is the “Index” of topics that the books cover. Visitors will find a multitude, including “Fables”, “Grammar, Spelling, Elocution & Rhetoric”, “Math & Money”, “Activity Books”, and “Prejudice & Bigotry”. Under the topic “Fables”, visitors should check out The Baby’s Own Aesop, illustrated by Walter Crane, who began an illustrating apprenticeship at the age of fourteen.

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010.

Angelina Jolie to play Kay Scarpetta

Angelina Jolie to play Kay Scarpetta –

Jolie’s desire to play Scarpetta has revived prospects of a movie franchise that could begin shooting as early as next fall. In a surprise, Fox 2000 has decided to jettison the books in favor of an origins story written directly for the screen. Set in the present day (as opposed to the late 1980s, when the series begins), the film will feature a distinctly younger Scarpetta in the years before she becomes the steely, unassailable expert pathologist she is today.

I gave up on Patricia Cornwell’s fiction years ago, but it looks as if her self-centered and shrill medical examiner, Kay Scarpetta, may finally find her way to a movie screen near you.

I have reservations about the plan to produce “an origins story written directly for the screen,” however. Remember what happened to Sara Paretsky’s female detective V.I. Warshawski in the movie that starred Kathleen Turner? That film combined pieces of several of Paretsky’s novels into one screenplay that completely missed the point on V.I.’s character and made her into a laughingstock rather than a feminist icon. And mystery author Sue Grafton, who used to write for Hollywood, has promised that her popular female detective Kinsey Millhone will never appear on the big screen because Grafton knows what can happen in the translation from one medium to the other.

But then, it will be difficult to make Scarpetta a worse character than Cornwell herself has done already.

For ‘Shutter Island,’ the wait may be worthwhile

For ‘Shutter Island,’ the wait may be worthwhile –

Just six weeks before director Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel about the criminally insane was scheduled to hit theaters last October, Paramount Pictures pulled the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring movie from its year-end lineup.

I had started seeing trailers for this movie last fall and wondered why its release had been postponed. Dennis Lehane is one of my favorite authors, and this book is particularly–well, it’s hard to say more without spoiling both the book and the movie. But the postponement gave me time to reread the book before the movie release, for which I’m grateful. I’m eager to see how this film adaptation works.

J.K. Rowling faces another plagiarism suit

J.K. Rowling faces another plagiarism suit / The Christian Science Monitor –

It’s not the first time that Rowling, estimated to be the world’s wealthiest author, has had to defend herself against charges of plagiarism. One prominent case involved a 2002 suit brought by American author Nancy Stouffer who claimed that her character ‘Larry Potter’ bore a striking resemblance to Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter.’ Stouffer lost her case and an appeal three years later.

Books | Lit Life: Historical novels — reader faves, Part I

Books | Lit Life: Historical novels — reader faves, Part I | Seattle Times Newspaper:

Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn asked readers in her Lit Life column to recommend historical novels and received so many responses she’s reporting the results in installments. This week: historical fiction based in the U.S. Next week: historical fiction with an international setting.

Dick Francis, Novelist, Dies at 89

Dick Francis, Novelist, Dies at 89 – Obituary (Obit) –

Best-selling crime writer Dick Francis, who drew on his experience as a successful steeplechase jockey for his racing thrillers, has died aged 89, the BBC said on Sunday.

Francis rode more than 350 winners, and was champion jockey before injury forced him to take up the pen, first writing for a national newspaper as a racing correspondent and then producing more than 40 novels, many of them international bestsellers.

We’ve had too many of these obituaries recently.

Do E-Readers Cause Eye Strain?

Do E-Readers Cause Eye Strain? – Bits Blog –

The act of reading is going through a number of radical transitions, but perhaps none is more fundamental than the shift from reading on paper to reading on screens. As consumers decide whether to make this jump and which technology to use, one key question is how reading on a screen affects the eyes.

The whole recent news flurry over (1) the introduction of Apple’s new tablet computer, the iPad, and its potential as an ebook reader and (2) the price war between Amazon, maker of the Kindle, and publishers over the price of ebooks was too fast and furious even to try to keep up with.

But here’s a topic we should all take an interest in: How will reading ebooks affect our eyes? According to this article, the news isn’t bad, but you might want to check out these recommendations for avoiding eye strain.

As for reading ebooks, that’s one activity I personally plan to do until I go blind.

Mississippi Plantation Diary That Inspired William Faulkner Discovered

Mississippi Plantation Diary That Inspired William Faulkner Discovered –

The climactic moment in William Faulkner’s 1942 novel ‘Go Down, Moses’ comes when Isaac McCaslin finally decides to open his grandfather’s leather farm ledgers with their ‘scarred and cracked backs’ and ‘yellowed pages scrawled in fading ink’ — proof of his family’s slave-owning past. Now, what appears to be the document on which Faulkner modeled that ledger as well as the source for myriad names, incidents and details that populate his fictionalized Yoknapatawpha County has been discovered.