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Hunger Games ‘Catching Fire’ Movie Poster Revealed Via Instagram

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We told you last week that The Hunger Games Instagram account was preparing to reveal something special on May 14th. Well their surprise is here! Here is the newly debuted Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie poster. What do you think? It looks very much like a painting of a warrior. It certainly paints Katniss as a heroic war hero, and if you have read the books you will know that she is nothing if not a fighter.

If you look closely you can read the tagline in the upper middle of the poster: ““The sun persists in rising, so I make myself stand.” The line comes straight from the pages of Suzanne Collins’ book Catching Fire as the Instagram account teased yesterday when they posted this picture:

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What do you think of the movie poster? Are you excited to see Catching Fire when it hits theaters later this year on November 22nd?

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Ansel Elgort Is Gus In ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ Movie

ansel elgortAnsel Elgort has been cast as Gus in The Fault in Our Stars movie, based on the book by celebrated Young Adult author John Green!

“Ansel is whip-smart and uber-charismatic and everything I dreamed for Augustus Waters. I am by nature a cautious pessimist, but I’ll just say it: Now that we have Shailene and Ansel, I am completely, unreservedly psyched about this movie.” John Green told Entertainment Weekly who broke the news.

Director Josh Boone also added his own words on his choice of Ansel, “Ansel Elgort is the epitome of the boy John Green brought to life so vividly in his novel and he truly embodies the character traits we admire so much about Gus. His humor, sensitivity, honesty and confidence floored us. Watching him with Shailene was like seeing the film for the first time. Hearing then say okay to each other was incredibly moving. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have found our Gus.”

Ansel Elgort is already starring with Shailene Woodley in Divergent. They will play brother and sister Caleb and Tris in the adaptation of Veronica Roth’s dystopian novel. Shailene has been cast as Hazel, the central character of The Fault in Our Stars. It will be interesting to see the pair play off a tragic romance and a brother-sisterly love in two separate Young Adult book-based movies.

Producer Wyck Godfrey spoke also about Elgort’s audition to play Gus: “We were all swept away by the humor, charm, and aching vulnerability Ansel brought to his portrayal of Gus. His performance completely annihilated our concerns about his playing Caleb in Divergent with Shailene, and we are confident that the fans of Fault will fall in love with him the same way that Hazel does–slowly, and then all at once.”

The Fault in Our Stars movie plans to shoot later this year. It will be released sometime in 2014.

What do you think of Boone’s choice for Gus? 

J.K. Rowling Crushes ‘Harry Potter’ Prequel Dreams

rowling at bathHarry Potter fans may wait a long while to get anything Harry Potter related out of Rowling again, but one thing’s for sure, she won’t be publishing any Potter Prequels.

Speaking at the Independent Bath Literature Festival recently, Rowling said that she was not planning to return to the story of the “Marauders”, the name self prescribed to Harry’s father James and his friends Sirius, Lupin and Pettigrew while they attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft. Rowling gave a simple reason behind this decision: ” I think prequels are not generally very successful.” (Independent)

Her purpose through the night was to discuss The Casual Vacancy but of course Potter fans were able to get some answers to their own burning questions. Here are some fun facts fans might like to know:

– Grindelwald never loved Dumbledore and only wanted to use him.
– Rowling’s first kiss was when she was 12, at a youth disco, by an older boy.
– Her next book will be aimed at 8-year-olds, but she’s still busy writing it.
– Her proudest moment was when she pulled Dumbledore out of the closet, and following the revelation in New York City a fan came up to her straight afterwords and revealed that they too were gay.

Are you disappointed that J.K. Rowling won’t be publishing a Potter sequel? Or do you feel that the series is satisfactorily finished?

 

Hunger Games: Capitol Couture Peeta Mellark Portrait

Capitol Couture has released another new portrait in their collection of new publicity stills for Catching Fire, the Hunger Games sequel due out in cinemas on 22 November 2013. This one is our leading man, Peeta Mellark played by Josh Hutcherson. Check out his portrait below thanks to Perez Hilton. The portraits released so far include a sneak peak at Katniss, Beetee, Effie, Caesar, Haymitch, Cinna, and Johanna and you can see those here!

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Pottermore Announces ‘Chamber of Secrets’ Release Schedule

The Seattle Times wrote a story about Pottermore’s server platform, Windows Azure, and how it has helped it succeed in launching. But something CTO of Pottermore Julian Thomas was quoted as saying in the article may be a little more interesting for fans of the content.

He announced that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will be released this summer!

Still, “we found when we opened up to the world that the architecture wasn’t enough to accommodate the massive demand,” said Julian Thomas, Pottermore’s chief technical officer.

When the beta version launched, and hundreds of thousands of people wanted in — especially at peak times such as when new content was added — some of the rich features had to be turned off in order to keep the website working, Thomas said.

Thomas anticipates more such peaks occurring when new content is added: Such as when content for the second book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” launches. Thomas did not give a specific date for that but said it would be sometime this summer.

Pottermore.com will also be translated into more languages, including “some Far Eastern languages that will be announced shortly,” he said, and Pottermore will also appear on more mobile devices in all sorts of forms. One example: The just-announced “Book of Spells,” a partnership between Rowling and Sony in which users can learn about spells in the Harry Potter books via Sony’s PlayStation 3 Move.

I believe the ‘rich features’ that he mentions were turned off was the wizard duelling that I still haven’t tried because I gave up on Pottermore about a week after I got my invite. Like other Harry Potter fans I was super excited to see what this site could offer me as a life long fan, but apart from the new content that Jo released I found the rest of the site lacking in magic. Maybe Chamber of Secrets will bring to life some of the parts of the site that could have been improved on. For example we know that they have been working on music and sound effects which will surely brighten up the place. But why is it taking so long?

Originally book two was supposed to be released in early 2012, about four months after the initial launch of Pottermore in October 2011. Beta was then pushed back and obviously then was Chamber of Secrets, too. If they still plan to release it four months after the official launch, the book could be available in August. But will it be available to everybody at once? It seemed their servers were incapable of managing the traffic, and apparently Sony didn’t want to spend more money on getting new servers to maintain the site.

Well I guess I shouldn’t be negative, at least now we have a tentative release for Chamber of Secrets: summer 2012! YAY!

Finding Finnick: The True Story By Hunger Games Producer

So there’s been a lot of rumors flying around about who will be playing Finnick Odair in the Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The last we heard Lainey Gossip had been reporting that Armie Hammer was the frontrunner for the part. But now we’re finally hearing some unconfirmation from The Hunger Games series producer Nina Jacobson who told the Los Angeles Times that the casting field is still wide open despite reports that the group of contenders has been narrowed down:

But a producer of the sequel says even those whispers are “so not true.”

“That’s the thing that’s crazy — people are like way ahead of where we are,” Nina Jacobson told us on the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday. “We’ve not narrowed things down by any means. It’s funny to see how things can take on a life of their own.”

But are the filmmakers taking fan input into account while seeking out their Finnick? Not entirely, says Jacobson.

“It means something that people can see [an actor] in that light, so you know [the actor] will be accepted by a lot of people, on the one hand,” she said. “On the other hand, you have to kind of ignore it. You have to just sort of act like you’re sitting in a room and you want to just pick the person who gives the best audition and looks and feels most like the part.”

I guess we won’t know for sure until an official casting announcement is made, but I’ll still be rooting for Armie! Armie for Finnick!

‘Get Reading!’ Goes All Australian For The First Time!

Australian Arts Minister Simon Crean has announced that this year’s ‘Get Reading! 50 Books You Can’t Put Down Guide’ will go ‘All Australian’ for the first time, as part of the Government’s initiatives to support Australian authors, publishers and booksellers.

“I’m pleased to announce that for the first time in the program’s history, the 2012 guide will feature all-Australian content,” Mr Crean said. The Australian Government has invested in the Get Reading! program, developed by the Australia Council for the Arts, to provide valuable support to Australian content creators.

Australia Council CEO Kathy Keele said Get Reading! had promoted more than 280 Australian authors and 433 Australian books since its launch in 2000.

“This year we’re taking it a step further by making the guide 100 per cent Australian,” Ms Keele said, “Not only will this introduce Australians to the wealth of local treasures, it will give a boost to our local authors, publishers and booksellers.”

As well as the Get Reading! September campaign, the program now also includes a year-round Australian author-touring program, which promotes Australian writers and their books through events held across the country, in both metropolitan and regional areas.

“The Get Reading! program fits perfectly within the 2012 Year of Reading,” said Sandra Yates, Get Reading! Chair. “Both programs are about fostering a reading culture in Australian families and engaging reluctant readers.”

If you’re an Australian does this list ever influence your reading? I often find Australian books can be quite dreary, although the YA section definitely produces the best books out of the Australian industry. If you’re not Australian do lists like these ever influence your reading decisions?

The All Australian Get Reading! 50 Books You Can’t Put Down Guide will be released on 1 September. You can check out last year’s list here.

Hay Literary Festival Booksellers Fight To Ban ‘Soulless’ Kindles + A Small Rant

According to the Daily Mail today, organisers of the internationally renowned Hay Festival are facing a revolt from traders who want a ban on Kindles, which they describe as ‘the enemy of books’.

Nobel prize-winning writers, politicians and musicians will descend on the small market town of Hay-on-Wye for the literature and the arts festival which started today. But the event, which attracts around 250,000 people from across the world, threatens to be overshadowed by book shop owners declaring war on Kindles.

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How a 15 Year Old Built a Library

I’m a 22 year old who occasionally works at a local library. If you’ve ever stepped into a library on the weekend or after school hours you’d see that the place is filled with students researching for their school projects. Often they’ll come to me for help and I have to kindly tell them that we don’t have all the books they need. General libraries only hold a certain amount of books and you’d be surprised how few of them are actually helpful for school aged children. Sure there’s a ton of books for elementary/primary school aged kids but when you start getting into the middle school/high school age you’d be better off going to a university library and finding books there. (Or trying your luck with the internet, which isn’t wise because teachers tend to be weary of wikipedia.) The children and teenagers will borrow up whatever books they can and promptly leave. Who wants to stay at the library these days? Leisurely reading certainly isn’t the first thing you think of when you want to relax after a hard day of school. Kids have Xboxs, Playstations, iPhones, Macs, iPods, other handheld tablets for gaming. Well this 15 year old girl from Miami-Dade found a way to get kids reading – starting with building a collection of books that people her age and younger actually want to read.

Publishers Weekly reports that Lilli Leight, “began volunteering at Chapman when she was 13, working in the Family Resource Center with school-age children after school and on weekends. ‘I helped the children with their homework; we played games, and shared in many conversations about life and school,” said Leight. “But I noticed that when they finished their homework all attention promptly turned to video games or television. I realized that there were no books available to the children, and that no one ever thought to ask for a book.'”

“My goal was to help the Chapman children develop a love of reading and further foster my peers’ interest in reading,” Leight told PW. She began by collecting used books from friends, schools, and local organizations, as well as new books from her local bookstore, Books & Books, in Coral Gables. In exchange for the donations, Leight wrote shelf-talkers for Books & Books. At the same time her donations were beginning to roll in, Leight started iRead, a teen book club for her friends and other students that provided them with opportunities to meet authors and volunteer at Chapman. Soon, high schools in the area heard about Leight’s project and started encouraging their students to volunteer at Chapman as homework helpers.

The library now has 5,000 books. Leight was honored for her efforts with the Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation.

Game of Thrones Season 3 ‘A Storm of Swords’ Characters Revealed

Like others who read A Clash of Kings before HBO aired the series I was somewhat disappointed with the absence of many key characters: Jojen and Meera Reed and the Tullys to name a few. But all is not lost! Directors David Benioff and Dan Weiss confirmed to EW that we will indeed be seeing these characters in season 3. *YAY*

“[Jojen and Meera Reed] haven’t been written out. It’s important to point out that that we have the largest cast on television right now. We introduced dozens of new characters in season 2. If you hurl 300 characters at an audience, the story collapses under the weight of too many faces, too many names, and too many subplots. We need to be just as mindful of the audience members who have never read the books as we are of the readers; the series will fail if we only appeal to those who already know the characters. So we try to be parsimonious about how many new roles we introduce to the story and when we introduce them.”

Here’s the list of characters that we will be seeing including some non-spoilery descriptions:

– Mance Rayder: We’ve heard about him all season. A former member of the Night’s Watch who became the “King Beyond the Wall,” the leader of the Wildlings. 
– Daario Naharis: A confident and seductive warrior. 
– Jojen Reed; Meera Reed: A teenage brother and sister duo with special insights.
– Edmure Tully: A brash young member of the Tully family.
– Ser Brynden Tully (The Blackfish): Catelyn Stark’s uncle.
– Lady Selyse Florent: Stannis Baratheon’s wife.
– Shireen: Stannis’ daughter.
– Olenna Redwyne (The Queen of Thorns): Margaery Tyrell’s sharp-witted grandmother.
– Beric Dondarrion: A skilled knight who is the leader of the outlaw group Brotherhood Without Banners.
– Thoros of Myr: A red priest who follows the same religion as Melisandre.
– Tormund Giantsbane: A Wildling raider.