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by Rebecca Keegan - Los Angeles Times (MCT)

29 Mar 2012


Children murder one another in a multitude of gruesome and memorable ways in “The Hunger Games,” deploying spears, arrows, rocks, venomous wasps, mutant wolves and their bare hands in a televised gladiatorial death match.

The juvenile slaughterfest depicted in the film and its source material, Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of bestselling young adult novels, may give audiences (particularly parents) pause — is this what contemporary entertainment has come to? But violence committed by and against children has a long, grisly tradition in literature — as an allegory for adult cruelty, a representation of the emotional volatility of adolescence and a tension-raiser for audiences.

by Mary Ann Gwinn - The Seattle Times (MCT)

22 Feb 2012


SEATTLE — According to his mother (in a position to know), Bradley Craft drew before he talked. Some children drop their obsession with drawing once they start to read and write, but Craft never quit.

Even a lifelong immersion in words as a bibliophile and bookseller didn’t choke off his drawing instinct. At Stacey’s, the venerated and now-closed San Francisco book store, Craft created literary caricatures for bookstore posters, sketching the hills and valleys of faces like that of California author Amy Tan. For his own amusement he labored over images of his 19th-century literary idols—Dickens, Thackeray. He even drew modern literary titans like Margaret Atwood in 19th-century dress (George Sand’s dress, to be specific).

by Gabrielle Malcolm

14 Feb 2012


James Patterson's investigative genius Dr Alex Cross

For the second year in a row, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol is the most borrowed book in UK libraries, and James Patterson is still the most borrowed author overall, a place he has occupied for the last five years.

The Public Lending Right (PLR) is the organistion that tracks the frequency of loans for any particular author’s work and enables the royalty payments to reach them. Their figures, released 3 February 2012, represent the shifting trends in popular tastes, consistently moving towards crime and thrillers in the last ten years; and American (or US-based) writers are favourite.

by Gabrielle Malcolm

25 Jan 2012


Partial of Mr. Charles Dickens’s Last Reading. Source: Leighton, George C.: “Illustrated London News Vol 56” (1870)

The Charles Dickens House Museum, 48 Doughty Street, represents the preservation of the author’s London home and proudly advertises the fact that it houses over 100,000 artefacts. These range from original manuscripts, personal belongings, images, and rare editions of the novels. It’s where he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. All very significant, as their website, Dickens Museum.com, demonstrates.

But be warned, those of you who might be planning on following the Dickens trail during 2012, his bicentenary year. If you follow this link, “Great Expectations renovation project will start in April 2012”, you will find a surprise in store. As of April 2012 the Dickens House Museum in London will be closed for the remainder of the year. Yes, it pulled me up short as well! Of all the times to carry out refurbishments; and you’d have thought they would have seen this one coming.

by Carolyn Kellogg - Los Angeles Times (MCT)

3 Jan 2012


LOS ANGELES — Look ahead: The presents have been opened, wrapping thrown away, and for a few quiet hours you’ve been curled up reading the new Steve Jobs biography, a gift from your dad. You find a surprising detail and call to your significant other, “Honey, did you know ...?” but because he is busy making dinner, the idea fizzles away as you turn the page.

Or maybe when you get to that passage, with the swipe of a finger you highlight it and email it to your dad, adding a thanks for his gift. Or you click to add your thoughts to a chorus of readers who found that same passage interesting; or you check to see if there’s a link to a video clip; or you find an annotation from the author; or you post it to Twitter or Facebook or Google+, where others can comment on it too.

That’s called “social reading,” and it’s coming to an e-reading app or device near you.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Emerging from My Hiatus from Big Budget Games

// Moving Pixels

"I'd gotten burned out on scope and maybe on spectacle in video games, but I think it's time to return to bigger worlds to conquer.

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