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Mexican director Guillermo del Toro to release illustrated book

Director Guillermo del Toro is interviewed at the premiere of "Pacific Rim" at Dolby theatre in HollywoodNEW YORK (Reuters) - Mexican writer-director Guillermo del Toro is releasing an illustrated book of notes and drawings from his private journals and filmmaking diaries, his publisher said on Friday. "Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions," which goes on sale on October 29, will give readers a glimpse into the imaginative mind of the director of 2006 fantasy film "Pan's Labyrinth," which won three Oscars, and this year's sci-fi disaster movie "Pacific Rim. ...



Book Talk: Nicholas Sparks on telling stories through text, film
By Billy Cheung NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nicholas Sparks, best known for telling poignant love stories through his novels and their adaptations to film, has written another book, "The Longest Ride," which shot straight into U.S. bestsellers list. "The Longest Ride" chronicles two relationships in parallel - one that is emerging while the other is completed. Like "The Notebook," "Message in Bottle," and "Safe Haven," his latest novel is slated for the big screen with a targeted release for early next year. Sparks spoke to Reuters about the book, bull riding and storytelling through text and film. ...
Novel reimagines sister that O'Casey wrote out of history
By David Cutler LONDON (Reuters) - When the Irish 20th century playwright Sean O'Casey came to write his autobiography, he failed to mention the impoverished last decade of his only sister's life. It was this act of 'literary murder' that prompted Irish writer Mary Morrissy to write "The Rising of Bella Casey", published by O'Brien Press, Ireland's leading children's publisher, in its first foray into adult fiction. Morrissy, a historical novelist who has been described as "Ireland's Hilary Mantel", published her first novel, "Mother of Pearl", in 1995. ...
'Foodimals' stalk animated film world of 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2'

Voice talents from the new Sony Pictures Animation film "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" pose during a photo call in Beverly Hills, CaliforniaBy Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fruits, vegetables and cheeseburgers get their film shelf-life extended in the animated comedy "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2," as the franchise explores a new world of living, breathing "foodimals." "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," released in 2009 and inspired by a 1978 children's book of the same name, saw the fictional island of Swallow Falls devoured by giant but inanimate food that falls out of the sky, generated from a machine created by the island's eccentric inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader). ...



Book Talk: Best-selling Jamie Ford on writing that second novel
By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Jamie Ford admits he was taken aback by the runaway success of his debut novel "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" and was sidetracked for a while on his next work by the self-consciousness this produced. But an invitation to write a story for a literary event led to the tale of an orphan boy who thinks he sees his mother in a movie, which grew into "Songs of Willow Frost", out last week. ...
Book Talk: 'Empty Mansions' reveals life of reclusive heiress
By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - She was one of America's richest heiresses with sprawling apartments, palatial homes and fabulous paintings, but little was known about the reclusive woman when she died in 2011 at the age of 104 after spending decades living in a hospital. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bill Dedman hopes to change that with his book "Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. ...
Ten young people's novels on National Book Award longlist
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Growing up gay, the impact on technology on education and futuristic Brazil are a few of the topics covered in the 10 novels that have been chosen for the 2013 Young People's Literature Longlist for the National Book Award. The longlist selections, announced by the National Book Foundation this week, were picked by five judges from nearly 300 books submitted for the award, which is one of the top awards for young people's fiction. "They are diverse voices, very different ideas," said Harold Augenbraum, the executive director of the National Book Foundation. ...
Pope Francis bio fills gaps left by 'instant books'

Pope Francis attends a prayer calling for peace in Syria, in Saint Peter's square at the VaticanBy Tom Heneghan Paris (Reuters) - A wave of "instant books" about Pope Francis rushed into print after his surprise election last March left readers waiting for one that brought more insight into the two seemingly contradictory phases in his past. In "Pope Francis: Untying the Knots," British journalist Paul Vallely fills that gap by showing how the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio went from being the divisive head of the Jesuit order in Argentina in the 1970s to the humble and inclusive pastor he became once made a bishop in 1992. ...



Critics savage 'cheap and cheerless' Diana film as tawdry soap

Naomi Watts arrives for the world premiere of "Diana" at Leicester Square in LondonBy Paul Casciato LONDON (Reuters) - Film critics have savaged a new movie of the late British Princess Diana's relationship with a Pakistani doctor as an intrusive and embarrassingly cheap soap opera. British-born Australian actress Naomi Watts plays the jilted princess trapped in a gilded cage. English actor Naveen Andrews is heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, who gives her the love she craves in "Diana", which held its world premiere in London on Thursday. ...



Former agent in settlement deal with 'Mockingbird' author: lawyer
By Erin Geiger Smith NEW YORK (Reuters) - The former agent of Harper Lee, the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," has reached a settlement deal with Lee in her lawsuit claiming that she was tricked into giving away the copyright to her classic 1960 novel, an attorney for the former agent said on Friday. The defense lawyer, Vincent Carissimi, said he expects the entire lawsuit to be dismissed next week, after Lee voluntarily dismissed the two other defendants in the suit. ...
'Fifth Estate' exposes WikiLeaks in Toronto film festival debut

Benedict Cumberbatch arrives for the premiere of the film "The Fifth Estate" at the 38th Toronto International Film FestivalBy Mary Milliken TORONTO (Reuters) - "The Fifth Estate," an unlikely thriller that chronicles the emergence of anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and its enigmatic founder Julian Assange, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday. English actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Assange, called the debut at Toronto the "perfect marriage" of a festival, known for its popular participation, and a film, about what he called "people journalism." The festival is also considered a harbinger of the awards season. ...



Book Talk: 'Crazy Rich Asians' tackles stereotypes via satire
By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - The wealthy people who fill the pages of "Crazy Rich Asians" think nothing of draping themselves in jewelry, keeping live sharks in their living room or hiring a helicopter to fly off to a private island. But author Kevin Kwan said some of the depictions of life among the very, very rich in his debut novel - aspects of which were taken from his own experience as a member of an established Singaporean family - had to be toned down or cut. ...
'The Cuckoo's Calling's' back on top of U.S. best-sellers list

Author Rowling poses for a portrait while publicizing her adult fiction book "The Casual Vacancy" in New YorkNEW YORK (Reuters) - "The Cuckoo's Calling," a detective novel written by "Harry Potter" series author J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym, regained the top spot on the U.S. best-sellers fiction list on Thursday. It shot to No. 1 on August 1 and stayed there for two weeks but was knocked into second place on August 15 and only came back this week. The list is compiled using data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide. Hardcover Fiction Last Week 1. "The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith (L.B./Mulholland, $26.00) 2 2. ...



Review: Jim Parsons can't save mindless 'An Act of God'

This 2015 photo provided by Polk & Company shows, Jim Parsons, left, and Christopher Fitzgerald, in the play, "An Act of God," by David Javerbaum. (Jeremy Daniel/Polk & Company via AP)NEW YORK (AP) — Latecomers, be warned: Miss the start of the new show at the Studio 54 theater this summer and you will be heckled by no less than God Almighty.



Review: Dwayne comes to the rescue, but he forgot the script
It's sure been a rough year for Hollywood. First there was the stinging Sony hacking scandal. And now we have the humbling image of the Hollywood letters themselves toppling to the ground, as most of California is pulverized by an earthquake — make that earthquakes, plural — in "San Andreas."
Review: Say goodbye, not hello, to Cameron Crowe's 'Aloha'

This photo provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows Bradley Cooper, left, and Rachel McAdams in a scene from Columbia Pictures' "Aloha." The movie releases in U.S. theaters on May 29, 2015. (Neal Preston/Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP)Cameron Crowe loves a good failure story, and specifically what happens after a disastrous fall from the top. If Crowe were a character in his own film, the fiasco of "Aloha," and nearly all of his post-"Almost Famous" movies, would provide the perfect intro.



Can quake thriller 'San Andreas' shake box office?

Actor Dwayne Johnson arrives on a Los Angeles Fire Department fire truck for the premiere of Warner Bros Pictures' film “San Andreas,” May 26, 2015 at TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CaliforniaCalifornia's long-feared mega quake hits movie screens this week with "San Andreas," but the big-budget movie has thrown up a fault line between critics and filmgoers even before its release. The movie, which stars Dwayne Johnson, has only a 41 percent critics' rating on the Rotten Tomatoes film review website -- although 96 percent of cinema-goers say they want to see it. All eyes will be watching whether the flick, with its $100 million budget, can shake the box office after a lackluster week or two at the start of the traditional summer blockbuster season.



Review: Bujalski bulks up with a starrier cast in 'Results'

This photo provided by courtesy of Magnolia Pictures shows, Cobie Smulders, left, and Guy Pearce, in a scene from the film, "Results," a Magnolia Pictures release. (Ryan Green/ Magnolia Pictures via AP)In Andrew Bujalski's directorial debut "Funny Ha Ha" — the film often cited as the first "mumblecore" movie — its aimless protagonist Marnie, recently graduated from college, writes a to-do list charming in its modest ambition: "Make friends with Jackie." ''Learn to play chess?" ''Fitness initiative!"



Review: Cussler's 'Piranha' is great book for summer reading
"Piranha" (G.P. Putnam's Sons), by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison
Book Review: John Corey returns in DeMille's 'Radiant Angel'
"Radiant Angel" (Grand Central Publishing), by Nelson DeMille
Canine from 'Arabian Nights' fetches Palm Dog award at Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival logo on May 12, 2015 in Cannes, southeastern FranceThe coveted Palm Dog award for best canine was fetched at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday by Lucky, who appears in an epic Portuguese film, "Arabian Nights". The second-place jury prize went to the father-son Border Collies that appeared in eccentric fable "The Lobster" alongside Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, which the jury said was the first time a dog had played a human trapped in a dog's body. "I think it was the jumpers (sweaters) -- it has 10 different dog jumpers in this film from checked to red," said Kate Muir, film critic for The Times, on presenting the award, adding that Lucky also proved her ability to fetch newspapers.



Review: Whitesnake delves deep into Purple past on new album

This CD cover image released by Frontiers Records shows "The Purple Album," a new release by Whitesnake. (Frontiers Records via AP)Whitesnake, "The Purple Album" (Frontiers)



Review: 'Poltergeist' solid remake of haunted house classic

This photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox shows, Sam Rockwell, left, as Eric Bowen and Rosemarie DeWitt, center, as wife Amy, desperately trying to hold on to Kennedi Clements, right, their youngest daughter Madison, who’s been targeted by terrifying apparitions in the film, "Poltergeist." (Kerry Hayes/Twentieth Century Fox via AP)LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's infrequent and particularly satisfying when the remake of an especially memorable film equals or exceeds the experience of the original. In 1982, "Poltergeist" saw the brilliant pairing of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's" low-budget horror director Tobe Hooper with far more mainstream screenwriter and producer Steven Spielberg for an effects-laden event movie that earned its place as a contemporary benchmark among supernatural thrillers.