Wednesday, October 26, 2011

theatlantic:

Can Celebrities Like Glenn Beck Write Good Children’s Books?

Glenn Beck’s latest book comes out today. Is it a screed against big government? An ode to George Washington? A jeremiad warning Americans their country is heading toward socialism? No, for this book, the pundit breaks from form to write a children’s book called The Snow Angel. It follows up on his 2009 kids’ book, The Christmas Sweater, which became a best-seller. 

Beck isn’t the only famous person to try his hand at writing books for young readers. Here’s a survey of other celebrities who’ve published kids’ books, from Prince Charles to Terrell Owens.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Read an excerpt from Tyra Banks’ novel, Modelland.

Here, I’ll start you off:

Thousands of girls stampeded to the square all at once. Heels clacked. Dresses swished. Hairdos wobbled. The T-DOD theme song boomed a pulsating beat.

There was one rule and one rule only: a girl must be walking in order to be chosen.

Other than that, there was no prearranged runway on which the girls could walk, so everyone created invisible ones wherever they were standing. Violence was not encouraged nor was it condemned, and some girls’ parents insisted on adding martial arts training to their walking lessons in preparation for the big day. T-DOD Square was an every- man- for- himself or, more precisely, an every- girl- for- herself event.

Scores of girls marched down their own stretches of the square, paused, posed for the cameras (real and imaginary), and then turned around. Trains of walking girls intersected with others. One area behind Tookie was so crammed with street vendors, it bottlenecked into a slow, shuffling line. Some walkers had only enough space to take a few steps before they had to stop and turn. Tookie’s heart went out to a young girl in a ruffled pink dress who seemed way below the unofficial thirteen- year-old age requirement. She marched in place as if she were on a drill team.

Riiiip. A girl stepped on the train of a walker a few feet from Tookie and tore the fabric right off the dress. Both girls fell forward into a heap. The walkers behind them stepped over their bodies and continued.

How evocative.

Saturday, July 9, 2011
As Harry Potter was the only other thing I was passionate about, the doctors gave consent for me to leave the hospital and collect the fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, from the local book shop. I was so ecstatic to have the book and excited to begin reading it, but there was never any hint of your imminent arrival and the way you would change my life so drastically. Luna, you instantly captivated me. I didn’t know why but there was something about you with your upside-down magazine, straggly blonde hair, and the honest, abashed way you stared at people without blinking that fascinated and perplexed me at once. You laughed hysterically at one of Ron’s quips and didn’t stop to excuse yourself and feel ashamed when it became clear that everyone found you strange. Throughout the book, I found myself waiting for your brief appearances and wanting to know more about you and why you were the way you were. You baffled me, not because you were odd (though indeed you were), but because you were… perfect. But it was a different kind of perfect to the perfectly thin, smiling magazine girls I simultaneously idolised and reviled. It was the way you carried your oddness like it was the most natural thing in the world. You didn’t market your oddness as your defining feature the way some insecure teenagers do, in guise of confidence and security. And nor were you oblivious to the awkward and uncomfortable feelings your oddness provoked in others. When, unable to comprehend how you wore your oddness so honestly and unashamedly, your peers reverted to mockery and bullying, you recognised this as a reflection of their own deep-seated insecurity and calmly let them carry on, quite above your head. You weren’t trying hard to present a certain aspect of yourself that would boldly identify you in the world. And that’s when it occurred to me how bizarre and positively ridiculous it was to apply the word “weird” to describe you, when you represented the most natural and unpretentious state possible to be; you were yourself.

Evanna Lynch, in part of her Dear Mr. Potter letter, where she describes first reading about Luna while in a recovery programme for anorexia (via holymotherofhnng)

Wow, Evanna Lynch is a really good writer! (Preorder Dear Mr. Potter. I’ve got a letter in there, too!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

That summer, between my freshman and sophomore years, I worked for a Swedish guy named Jan, pronounced Yan. My job was to watch old film reels of the moon. There were hundreds. I worked in a cold, windowless basement. The reels would run from one spool to another on this old machine that looked like a tank. I was supposed to record blemishes and splices in the film. Sometimes the moon was full; sometimes it would get a little more full as I watched. Sometimes the film was scratched so badly it skipped, or it broke. I was in the basement forty hours a week. I watched so many moons.It got so boring, I stopped looking for splices. Instead, I drew pictures on computer paper that I pulled from the recycling bin. Jan was never around, so I drew a lot. I drew rainbows, and people, and cities, and guns, and people getting shot and bleeding, and people having sex. When I got tired I just drew doodles. I tried to draw portraits of people I knew. My family always looked ridiculous, but funny because the pictures resembled them, but not enough. Then I drew all these things from my childhood, like Hello Kitty and Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony. I drew my brother’s G.I. Joes. I made the My Little Ponys kill the G.I. Joes.

That summer, between my freshman and sophomore years, I worked for a Swedish guy named Jan, pronounced Yan. My job was to watch old film reels of the moon. There were hundreds. I worked in a cold, windowless basement. The reels would run from one spool to another on this old machine that looked like a tank. I was supposed to record blemishes and splices in the film. Sometimes the moon was full; sometimes it would get a little more full as I watched. Sometimes the film was scratched so badly it skipped, or it broke. I was in the basement forty hours a week. I watched so many moons.It got so boring, I stopped looking for splices. Instead, I drew pictures on computer paper that I pulled from the recycling bin. Jan was never around, so I drew a lot. I drew rainbows, and people, and cities, and guns, and people getting shot and bleeding, and people having sex. When I got tired I just drew doodles. I tried to draw portraits of people I knew. My family always looked ridiculous, but funny because the pictures resembled them, but not enough. Then I drew all these things from my childhood, like Hello Kitty and Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony. I drew my brother’s G.I. Joes. I made the My Little Ponys kill the G.I. Joes.

Saturday, May 28, 2011
Excerpt of Mindy Kaling’s new book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? can be read here.
It arrives in stores this fall.
There are tips for men in here. TIPS. FOR. MEN. Take note.

Excerpt of Mindy Kaling’s new book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? can be read here.

It arrives in stores this fall.

There are tips for men in here. TIPS. FOR. MEN. Take note.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Read Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy (click the picture).

Read Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy (click the picture).

Sunday, March 6, 2011

paperbacklibrary:

at the gym today watching fox news with the captions on, some woman called charlie sheen a ‘poet’ and said, ‘he’s like alan ginsburg.’  i know this is the fault of the caption typist but still.

huh-rumpf.

What an egregious error! First of all, comparing Charlie Sheen to Ginsberg, then spelling his name wrong.

Yet, they may have a point. The Daily Beast has turned Sheen’s rants into pure poetry. And it is kind of beautiful. “Can’t is the cancer of happen” is my new mantra.