Literary Jottings

emma watson, vogue italia

Be Our Guest: So we’ve had Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie and teaser trailers for a live action remake of Cinderella. But next on the cards for live action remakes of Disney classics? Emma Watson is set to star as Belle in Beauty and the Beast! And apparently there will be singing! Be Our Guest! Something There! I’m so excited – I loved Beauty and the Beast so much as a child (come on, who doesn’t?) plus I’m such huge fan of Emma and I think she would be terrific as Belle! Now, while we’re all waiting for the movie to come out, time to reread (for the hundredth millionth time) Robin McKinley’s two awesome retellings of that much beloved fairytale, Rose Daughter and Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast. 

Invisible ink: So did anyone participate in reading James Patterson’s new book, Private Vegas, which was set to self-destruct within 24 hours? The premise itself doesn’t appeal to me as much as his Alex Cross series, but you gotta admire the gimmick. It’s a truly unique way of marketing a book and if I had heard about it sooner, I might have actually jumped on the bandwagon just because I’d like the challenge of getting through a book before the ink runs off the page. Or, in the case of the $294,038 copy, actually self-destruct with a bomb squad standing by.

Trigger Warning: Speaking of books… it’s February the 3rd and my pre-ordered copy of Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning has arrived in my Kindle. I’m preparing to get sucked into the book and not reappear for the next couple of days. Or one day. Maybe I’d better warn J that dinner might not be ready when he comes home because why cook when you can read?

It runs in the family: John Le Carre’s granddaughter, Jessica Cornwell, has published her first book, The Serpent Papers. It’s all very Da Vinci Code – a young English academic is hired by a mysterious organisation to track down an ancient document and finds herself caught up in murder, mystery and witchcraft. So far the book has received fairly good reviews and my interest is definitely piqued!

The Characters of Love: John Bayley, husband of author Irish Murdoch, died last week aged 89. Hearing the news reminded me of the movie, Iris, starring Kate Winslet, Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent, which explored the relationship between Bayley and Murdoch. Does anyone else remember that movie?

#myozobituary: Another death in the literary world – much-beloved Australian author Colleen McCullough also passed away last week. However, her literary achievements have instead been overshadowed by a rather cringeworthy obituary in The Australian which describes her as “plain of feature and certainly overweight,” yet “nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth.” The obituary has sparked a media firestorm and also the hilarious Twitter tag #myozobituary where users, including many authors, offered up comical suggestions on what their own death notices would look like in The Australian.

miss marple, agatha christie, geraldine mcewan

Murder She Acted: There was a third death last week – (I know, this is getting a bit grim, but it’s the last one, I promise!!) Geraldine McEwan, best known for playing Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, has died on the weekend. I loved her as Miss Marple and was so sad to hear of the news.

Speculative fiction online: Meanwhile, in the world of science fiction and fantasy, Strange Horizons gives an update of what its contributors have been up to in the first month of 2015 while Tor reminds its readers that a free anthology of some of its best stories are available on Kindle. Downloading right now!!

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