Your one-stop shop for the week’s most interesting bookish news and reviews
I100 this week announced that 18 out of the top 20 selling ebooks of 2015 so far have been written by women, with The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins taking top spot. It’s great, I suppose, that female writers have managed to grab so many of the top spots but I honestly don’t see why it matters. If you’ve written a great book, then you’ve written a great book – whether you’ve got dangly bits or not! By always talking about topics like this, surely all we are doing is perpetuating sexism…patting women on the head and saying “there, there, haven’t you done well? 18 out 20 spots!” but in actual fact, gender has no impact on what makes a good book. What does have an impact is whether that book is good.
Speaking of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, the three lead actresses for the up-coming film adaptation have been announced, with Emily Blunt playing divorcee Rachel (the eponymous girl on the train), Rebecca Ferguson playing Anna, and Hayley Bennet playing the unfortunate Megan. For me, I think they’ve got the cast just right. Rebecca Ferguson in particular looks just as I imagined Anna to look. I enjoyed the book (although perhaps with a little less furore than everyone else) and I’m looking forward to seeing the adaptation. What do you think about the casting decisions? Is there anyone you think would be better for the parts?
New research, conducted in Norway at Stavanger University shows that people who read real books over ebooks not only have better memories and concentration levels, but they are also more attractive too! “A Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction […] as a print book does,” Anne Mangen, lead researcher claims. The study also claims that reading is sexy, and anyone who has seen the Hot Dudes Reading Instagram account will agree! Where do you stand on the ebook v. print book debate? Is reading only sexy if it’s a paperback?
Diehard Harry Potter fans are up in arms this week, following make-up brand LA Splash’s release of lipstick shades named after Harry Potter characters. The trouble is, fans claim, that they’ve got the colours wrong. ‘Raven’s Claw’ is controversially a burgundy shade which should, in reality, be closer to the Ravenclaw (Hogwarts house) colours of blue and bronze. Fans claim that whilst it’s a nice idea, the fact that the shades so poorly mismatch the characters just shows that the make-up brand did little research and know nothing about the books. I’m not a diehard Potterhead but it seems to me that if you are going to do something like this, especially using characters from such a famed work, you should put at least a bit of effort into getting it right. Having said that, there is nothing more heart-warming than a good old geeky uproar!
A Japanese book shop chain has bought 90% of the first print run of Haruki Murakami’s new essay collection, Novelist as a Vocation which is set to be released on 10 September. Kinokuniya, the 66-store chain, claim that they have bought 90,000 copies of the first 100,000 copy print run in order to make a stand against online retail giants such as Amazon. A spokesperson from the company said that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for real-life shops to survive in the current industry climate. I’m not sure how successful they could be with this technique but I can’t help but agree with their sentiment.
Fantasy novel American Gods by author Neil Gaiman is set to be adapted for television on US channel Starz. Gaiman himself is writing the script, and British actor Ricky Whittle is amongst the favourites for casting. Gaiman’s work always seems to take well to the screen, Stardust being a great example, and I have no doubt that when filming for American Gods starts in March, this one will prove to be no different!
And for the fun link of the week: Cover Judgement
Do you ever judge a book by its cover? It’s inevitable that we do and there’s no wonder that publishing companies spend so much money on getting covers just right. Judgey is a fun game in which you can judge books by their cover and your answer is then compared to their Goodreads rating. It’s fun! I got 74% accuracy and was called ‘pretty damn judgey’!