April 2009 Archives

Take the Chicago Poetry Tour

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We're coming to the end of National Poetry Month, but the Poetry Foundation has come up with a way to celebrate Chicago's poetic history year round with an impressive multimedia tour.

The online tour includes maps and landmarks and readings of poetry written by Chicago poets past and present, including Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Li-Young Lee, Ana Castillo, Stuart Dybek and many more.

You can also download the tour on your mp3 player and take a guided walking tour through downtown and/or visit any of the other stops on the tour, such as the Green Mill, Newberry Library, Graceland Cemetery, Maxwell Street and more.

Take the Chicago Poetry Tour.

Angelina Jolie as Dr. Kay Scarpetta

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Angelina Jolie scored herself another franchise. The "Tomb Raider" star has been tapped to play Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the beautiful medical examiner heroine of Patricia Cornwell's popular crime novels.

Oscars Arrivals
Angelina Jolie and husband Brad Pitt. (AP)

"Scarpetta's a workaholic who dresses well, drives a Mercedes, attracts handsome guys, and handmakes Italian food, reports Elisabeth Rappe on Cinematical.com. "She's kind of perfect, just like Jolie."

Twentieth Century Fox apparently has acquired the rights to all 16 Scarpetta novels. Could keep Jolie working for a long time.

Royalty coming to bookstores

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Prince Charles (left); King Abdullah II of Jordan (right)

England's Prince Charles is working on Harmony, a call for balance between "Man and Nature" that HarperCollins has tentatively scheduled for next year, with a picture book version planned for 2011, the publisher announced Monday.

Meanwhile, Penguin Group (USA) will release a memoir in 2010 by Jordan's King Abdullah II. The book is called The Last Best Chance: An Intimate Account of the Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril. In a statement Monday, Penguin called the book a "personal narrative rich with human drama" by "an active participant in major events."


New Vonnegut stories

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A posthumous collection of short stories by Kurt Vonnegut will be released this November. The collection, called Look at the Birdie, contains 14 stories by the author of Slaughterhouse-Five and other works, Delacorte Press announced Friday.

The publisher plans to reissue 15 Vonnegut titles including Mother Night, The Sirens of Titan, Galapagos and Slaughterhouse-Five. Also due: another collection of his unpublished writings and a book of letters sent to and from the author during his life.

More never-before-seen stories by Vonnegut appeared in the 2008 collection Armageddon in Retrospect.

Vonnegut died in April 2007 at the age 84. His works contained elements of social commentary, sci-fi and autobiography.


'Presumed Innocent' sequel

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Scott Turow is putting out a sequel to his million-selling Presumed Innocent and leaving his longtime publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Turow's next book, Innocent, will be released in May 2010 by Grand Central Publishing, a division of the Hachette Book Group (USA).

The author had spent the past two decades publishing hardcovers with Farrar, Straus & Giroux and paperbacks with Grand Central (formerly Warner Books).

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Scott Turow
(Jean Lachat~Sun-Times)

Turow is the second major author within the past year and a half to leave FS&G for Hachette, the rare thriving publisher thanks in part to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.

In early 2008, Tom Wolfe ended a 40-year run at Farrar and announced he would publish his next novel, Back to Blood, with the Hachette division Little, Brown and Co.

As with Wolfe, sales had dropped for Turow's recent books, notably Ordinary Heroes.


Posthumous Michael Crichton releases planned

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Two new Michael Crichton novels, one of them unfinished, have been scheduled for release.

Publisher HarperCollins announced Monday that Pirate Latitudes, an adventure story set in Jamaica the 17th century, will come out this fall.

HarperCollins says the novel was recently found in the files of Crichton, who died last year of cancer at age 66.

Obit Crichton
Michael Crichton in 2004. (AP)

A techno-thriller, about one-third completed and currently untitled, will come out in 2010. A co-author, yet to be determined, will help finish the book.

Crichton's many best-sellers included Jurassic Park and State of Fear.