Margaret Atwood’s historical fiction novel Alias Grace is getting adapted into a six-hour mini-series for Netflix!
For those of you not in the know, Alias Grace is the tale of real life convicted murderer Grace Marks, who received a life sentence for allegedly murdering her employers in 1843.
American Psycho director Mary Harron is attached to the project, which will be penned by actress and screenwriter Sarah Polley, who is also linked to that Looking for Alaska adaptation.
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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases we can’t wait to get our hands on.
For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday pick, we chose a book that somehow has a beautiful cover and a release date but no pre-order page: This is Our Story by Ashley Elston.
The Disney-Hyperion novel is an intriguing sounding murder mystery about five boys and the death of their friend during a routine hunting trip. Side note: that’s what you get for hunting.
As in any murder mystery, all of the remaining River Point Boys are suspects, but who really done it?
Assuming GoodReads and the author’s website is correct — which we’re pretty sure they are — you can learn the identity of the killer when This is Our Story goes on sale November 16, 2016.
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Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
A collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy. Vintage Atwood creativity, intelligence, and humor: think Alias Grace.
Margaret Atwood turns to short fiction for the first time since her 2006 collection, Moral Disorder, with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships bringing to mind her award-winning 1996 novel, Alias Grace. A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband in “Alphinland,” the first of three loosely linked stories about the romantic geometries of a group of writers and artists. In “The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom,” a man who bids on an auctioned storage space has a surprise. In “Lusus Naturae,” a woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In “Torching the Dusties,” an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. And in “Stone Mattress,” a long-ago crime is avenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: We’ve already read this short story collection (review to be posted tomorrow!) and we can confirm that it is Margaret Atwood at her darkly comedic best!
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This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death [edited] by Matthew Bennardo, David Malki and Ryan North
If a machine could predict how you would die, would you want to know? This is the tantalizing premise of This Is How You Die, the brilliant follow-up anthology to the self-published bestseller, Machine of Death.
The machines started popping up around the world. The offer was tempting: with a simple blood test, anyone could know how they would die. But the machines didn’t give dates or specific circumstances-just a single word or phrase. DROWNED, CANCER, OLD AGE, CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. And though the predictions were always accurate, they were also often frustratingly vague. OLD AGE, it turned out, could mean either dying of natural causes, or being shot by an elderly, bedridden man in a botched home invasion. The machines held onto that old-world sense of irony in death: you can know how it’s going to happen, but you’ll still be surprised when it does.
This addictive anthology–sinister, witty, existential, and fascinating–collects the best of the thousands of story submissions the editors received in the wake of the success of the first volume, and exceeds the first in every way.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: A follow up to the intriguing anthology Machine of Death, in which a machine predicts how you will die with hilarious consequences. No, really.
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Stephen Colbert and Carey Mulligan Learn All About The Great Gatsby from LeVar Burton and “Reading Rainbow” (via Hollywood)
“Reading Rainbow” is back! Kind of. Sort of. Not really. To celebrate his super Gatsby themed show, host Stephen Colbert decided to hold a book club (the first rule is you don’t read Fight Club) in which he meant to read The Great Gatsby but then totally didn’t. Colbert invites Carey Mulligan on the show to tell him about the plot, but since she can’t even read and is merely dubbed over by James Franco, LeVar Burton steps in to help with his trusty butterfly in the sky. Head over to the original source to check out all the Gatsby, all the nostalgia, and all the “Star Trek” references.
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First and foremost, a very happy New York Comic Con one and all! We hope all you East Coast con-goers are enjoying the people watching and nerdery. If you happen to see a group of four ladies dressed as gender swapped “Supernatural” characters on Sunday (specifically Castiel, Dean, Sam and Bobby) say hi! That’s us.
Even More Public Domain Books Coming Unwanted to a TV Near You (via Book Riot)
With the success of “Grimm” and “Once Upon a Time”, network television developed “Beauty & the Beast” and “Elementary” for their Fall seasons, but the public domain snatching does not stop there. Slated for development are not one but two shows aimed at The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on FOX and the CW, both of which revolve around Ichabod Crane solving mysteries. ABC plans to take on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which Tom and Huck also solve mysteries but in a steampunk version of New Orleans. And of course there’s the CW version of Wonderland titled “Wunderland” which we announced HERE and another series titled “Expectations” which is a gender-swap version of Great Expectations. WHY!?!
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White Cat by Holly Black
Genre: YA, fantasy, supernatural, crime
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary: Cassel Sharpe is a thief, a con man, and a murderer. He’s also a student at Wallingford boarding school, trying to blend in and have a normal life. His mother is in jail for “working” and his brothers both work for a famous crime boss. They are curse workers – people with magical powers they utilize just by touching someone else with their bare hand. Curse workers can grant people luck, change their memories, or even kill them with a single touch. All working is illegal. Cassel is the only non-worker in his family, but he is plagued by odd dreams, fits of sleepwalking, and holes in his memory. Who is he really? And how can he live with himself after everything he’s done?
I bought this book for like $2 during the final days of Borders and finally picked it up for more Leakycon prep – since Holly Black will be there and I had not read anything she’s written. My friends have disliked Holly’s books so I was kind of wary, but White Cat ending up being a pretty cool book that I would totally recommend.
The world is built very nicely on top of our own – lots of little historical and political details that allow curse workers to slide right into the reality we already know. Our narrator is Cassel Sharpe – I like him much more than I like that ridiculous name. We watch him struggle to fit in at a normal school – try to have friends, a girlfriend, and basically try to pretend he’s normal. But he’s not – his family is deeply entrenched with the famous Zacharov crime family of curse workers. Curse workers have magical powers that they use on others by touching them with their hands. There are different kinds of curse workers – some affect dreams or memory, others can give people good or bad luck, some can kill people with just a touch. Everyone in this world wears gloves. Cassel’s not a worker himself, but he’s been highly trained by his mother as a thief and a con man – giving him habits he constantly has to hide from the other kids at school. Even worse than that – he’s a murderer. When he was 14, he killed the girl he loved and he doesn’t even remember doing it. Just that his family covered it up.
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