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Monday Miscellany

Stephen King’s ‘Bag of Bones’ to be A&E Miniseries, Starring Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan is set to star in the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s 1998 bestseller, Bag of Bones. The James Bond actor will return to television for the four-hour, two-night Sony Pictures Television event on A&E. Kelly Rowland and Annabeth Gish (as Jo) will also join the cast of this supernatural thriller.

Bag of Bones introduces readers to novelist Mike Noonan. After Noonan’s wife dies suddenly, he finds himself unable to write. Fortunately, in previous years he had written prolifically, and he now has 4 earlier manuscripts stashed away. One by one he doles these out for his annual best seller. But once the manuscripts are gone, Noonan is still unable to produce anything new. Moreover, he has begun having nightmares about a summer home from his past. Thinking that the dreams must hold some meaning for him, he returns to the house to face his fears.

 

Stieg’s Stockholm

A couple of weekends ago my husband and I plowed through all three Swedish film versions of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. We had seen each one separately before, but it was fun seeing them in order, one right after the other. During one scene when Blomqvist was walking through a busy intersection, I thought, “I bet at least one company is offering Stieg Larsson tours of Stockholm.”

In this article in the Paris Review Daily Elisabeth Donnelly describes that very thing, a tour she and her father took on a recent trip to Stockholm. I was especially interested to learn that Lisbeth Salander’s 25-room penthouse actually exists, although Donnelly and her father didn’t actually get inside. Donnelly also offers some interesting facts about Larsson’s life that I didn’t know, such as this:

Larsson also wrote science fiction, was an accomplished illustrator, and traveled to Africa the year after he finished his mandatory Swedish military service to teach female guerrilla fighters in Eritrea how to handle arms. The trip to Eritrea shaped the theme of female warriors in the third book, The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.

 

 Death & Authors: The 12 Weirdest Stories

No additional commentary needed.

 

 Missouri School District Bans ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ and ‘Twenty Boy Summer’

The school board in Republic, Mo., voted 4-0 to eliminate Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” and Sarah Ockler’s “Twenty Boy Summer” from the high school curriculum and library, respectively, after a local man led an effort to deem the novels inappropriate.

It’s not just the censorship that bothers me, it’s the arrogant ignorance:

Of the members of the school board who voted on the issue last Monday, according to UPI, only one — Melissa Duvall — had actually read either of the books in question.

 

E-books Rapidly Increasing in Reading Groups

 Reading group members nationwide are increasingly choosing e-books and e-readers over traditional print books, according to a survey by Reading Group Choices (RGC). The survey shows that 25% of reading group members are using e-books, up 10 percentage points from 2009.

More facts from the report: Most people (59%) reading ebooks are using Amazon’s Kindle, with Barnes & Noble’s Nook in second place (26%).  “The Nook is rapidly catching up, however—up from just 7% in 2009. Usage of tablet computers as e-readers is also on the rise.” But overall, the majority of readers still prefer printed books over ebooks. “Currently, romance fiction is the genre most frequently read in e-book format (60% of all titles purchased in e-book format.)”

 

The best 100 closing lines from books

There’s also a link to the best 100 opening lines.

 

Britain’s Telegraph ordered to pay $100,000 over book review

The Daily Telegraph’s parent company was ordered Tuesday to pay more than $100,000 in damages over a book review. The British newspaper lost a lawsuit for libel and malicious falsehood in the high court.

This initially looks like scary stuff, but it’s not so alarming once you read the whole story.