News Hugs

July 26, 2008

Inspirational Randy Pausch Dies

Filed under: books, inspiration — Tags: , , — newshugs @ 3:15 am

The Last Lecture. Aspire to your childhood dreams and if you don’t achieve them, you’ll still get a lot out of trying. 


July 11, 2008

Robert Downey Jr. As Sherlock Holmes

Seems perfect. It’s about times someone brings Sherlock to life.

Robert Downey Jr. is trading Iron Man’s metal suit for Sherlock Holmes’ deerstalker hat.

Downey is following his action blockbuster “Iron Man” with the title role in “Sherlock Holmes,” a mystery drama based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective and an upcoming comic-book about Holmes by Lionel Wigram, one of the movie’s producers.

Guy Ritchie (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) is directing the Warner Bros. film, which is set to begin shooting in October, the studio said Thursday.

That should put it ahead of the schedule for a “Sherlock Holmes” comedy in development at Sony, which will star Sacha Baron Cohen as the detective and Will Ferrell as his partner, Dr. Watson.


February 22, 2008

Tunnels: The Next Harry Potter?

Filed under: books — Tags: , , , , — newshugs @ 12:21 am

tunnels.jpgTunnels is about a 14-year old boy, appropriately named Will Burrows, who loves to dig. When his father disappears, he digs his way into an underworld. The book, published first in the UK, is now for sale in the US. Some are calling it the next Harry Potter, partly because the man who discovered the book, Barry Cunningham, also discovered J.K. Rowling.

Amazon had more than one million preorders. Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, neither a writer to start, wrote the book together. They self-published 2,500 copies of the book before they found a publisher.

Publisher’s Weekly, which reviews books, dissed it: 

Encumbered by verbose and flat descriptions (“His whole being emanated evil, and his dark eyes never left Will’s, who felt a wave of dread wash over him…. {Will] was unable to tear his gaze from the sinister man, whose thin lips twisted into a sardonic smile”), the novel is nearly one-third over before the boys enter the underground Colony-where they are promptly imprisoned and tortured. 

But kids are loving it.

February 18, 2008

Sandra Boynton

Filed under: books, fun — Tags: — newshugs @ 4:13 am

momcat-on-phone.gifWow! I’ve never seen a story about Sandra, the woman behind the pigs, cows, cats and other animals that dance with top hats and have big toothy smiles in books on cards and always on my calendar.

She said she had an “absurdly happy childhood.” I’ve never heard anyone describe their childhood in that manner. Sandra’s website.

February 17, 2008

The Power of Whimsy

SANDRA BOYNTON’S studio, in a converted barn next to her Connecticut home, bears the milestones of her singular career: a long rack of greeting cards featuring quirkily drawn animals; a room full of small, sturdy children’s books, with names like “Snuggle Puppy!” and “Barnyard Dance!”; and, upstairs, where she does much of her work, old-time radios and jukeboxes representing her more recent foray into music CDs for children.Ms. Boynton’s CDs have garnered three gold records and one Grammy nomination. These accomplishments, on top of the hundreds of millions of cards and tens of millions of books she has sold, are all the happy — and profitable — results of an unconventional approach to business.

As an entrepreneur, Ms. Boynton maintains a firm grasp on market realities and her finances, but she says she has succeeded by refusing to make money her main objective. Instead, she says, she has focused on the creative process, her artistic autonomy, her relationships and how she uses her time.

“I don’t do things differently to be different; I do what works for me,” she says. “To me, the commodity that we consistently overvalue is money, and what we undervalue is our precious and irreplaceable time. Though, of course, to the extent that money can save you time or make it easier to accomplish things, it’s a wonderful thing.”

While Ms. Boynton may make all of this sound relatively straightforward, she has overcome hurdles in three industries that have routinely tripped up or roundly laid low legions of would-be entrepreneurs.

MS. BOYNTON, 54, describes what she calls an “absurdly happy childhood” in Philadelphia. The third of four daughters, she attended Germantown Friends, a K-12 Quaker school famed for its arts education and interdisciplinary teaching. Her father, Robert Boynton, was an English teacher at the school. “The best English teacher I ever had,” she says. read more.

February 12, 2008

Obama Wins Grammy for Hope

Filed under: books, election — Tags: , , — newshugs @ 6:01 am

audacity.jpgThat’s right, he won for the audio recording of The Audacity of Hope, which, by the way, is an insightful book into the world of politics. Hope is a good thing.

February 5, 2008

Quentin Blake

Filed under: books — Tags: , , , — newshugs @ 5:23 pm

sevenstoriesexhbntitle1.jpgYou may not know the name but Quentin illustrated all of Roald Dahl’s books. We have all of them at my house, Matilda, BFG, Willy Wonka and Esio Trot. His drawings are complete whimsy.

Quentin’s explains how to illustrate a book.

January 30, 2008

James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning

Filed under: books — Tags: , , , — newshugs @ 3:46 pm

frey-bright-shiny-morn.jpg James Frey, shamed by Oprah for making up parts of his memoir, A Million Little Pieces, has another book coming out June 3: Bright Shiny Morning. I can’t wait.

Thankfully, it’s a work of fiction, so he can write whatever he pleases.

I loved A Million Little Pieces, a story of hope and redemption. His writing style is unique – short sentences and run-ons and little punctuation.

Oprah liked it, too, before she found out Frey exaggerated a bit. Frankly, I don’t read any memoir with the expectations that it’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The memory is a faulty and subjective thing. 

Frey may have taken too many liberties in dramatizing the memoir but it is an account of a liar, so it is fitting. His follow up, My Friend Leonard, is charming and funny. Ah, sweet Leonard.

I have high hopes for Bright Shiny Morning.

If his recent blog –Fun Facts Los Angeles– is any clue, it looks like the book will dwell in the eccentricities of LA.

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