June 25, 2012 • Fiction
In Ben H. Winters' latest novel, The Last Policeman, we're introduced to Hank Palace, a detective still working the beat in a pre-apocolpytic world.
The first title in a trilogy, the book raises a lot of questions, challenging the reader to wonder what they would do in Hank's precarious situation. Some people have chosen to share their answers with us on The Last Policeman's website. You should too!
Speaking of questions and answers, we sat down and chatted with Ben about his experience writing the book. Read on to learn about his process, his research, and what he would do if the world was ending in six months. Enjoy!
June 25, 2012 • Cookbook: Drinks
To commemorate Orwell’s big 109, you may find yourself determined to shoot a rampaging elephant. Or challenge Big Brother with your thoughtcrimes. Or even brush up on your doublethink. But at the end of your day, you can celebrate Orwell and the proletariat spirit with this drink in featured in 1984.
Much as Orwell favored the economy of words in his Politics of the English Language, this drink rejects the bells and whistles of bourgeois cocktails, incorporating nothing but the essentials. Bottoms up!
June 20, 2012 • Fiction: MG & YA
I never thought so much would happen to that quirky little novel I was working on a few years back.
I mean Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, of course.
I had high hopes for my first novel, which maxxed out at more than a few thousand people buying it, not racking up too many scathing reviews, and being afforded the opportunity to write another one. But a funny thing happened on the way to the remainders bin, and the superlatives Miss Peregrine has racked up since it was published just over a year ago seem so absurdly overblown when compared to my modest expectations that I'm almost embarrassed to list them. (Almost.)
The book debuted on the bestseller list, hit number one a few times, and has yet to be dislodged, 53 weeks and counting later. 20th Century Fox optioned the film rights and Tim Burton -- Tim effing Burton -- said he wants to direct it. I didn't get so many scathing reviews after all, and even several nice ones, in papers that aren't published in my hometown, which my relatives still clip out and mail to me when they appear. I've toured the country doing readings.
Best, most astoundingly of all, are the emails and letters I get from readers. I'm knee-deep in writing the sequel to the book right now, and it seems like whenever I have a tough day of it (they happen now and then) I get a sweet, encouraging email from someone I've never met, saying how much they liked the book and that they can't wait for the next one, and all my enthusiasm comes rushing back.
So thanks, everyone, for helping to make this one of the most unexpected and amazing years of my life. You've made me a happy mutant.
Now -- back to the keyboard! Whip noise!
June 20, 2012 • Fiction: MG & YA
Amidst the summer's comic book and sci-fi blockbuster movies, Pixar has nestled what is sure to be a gem: Brave, the animated tale of an impetuous girl growing up in the Scottish Highlands during the 10th century.
The film has been described as a fairy tale in the tradition of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. That's vaunted company to keep, but we wondered, what are Brave's Scottish literary forebears.
To that end, here are 6 pieces of Scottish literature that we recommend to supplement your mid-summer viewing of Brave.
June 20, 2012
Sometimes, when you are hearing the same drivel about TPS reports for the third time, you just can’t take it anymore.
Luckily, there are three ways to sneak out of an office meeting, according to The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Work, and we’re going to cover all of them so you can take your pick. Just remember to wear sunscreen once you’ve pulled your disappearing act and emerged into the sun.
June 20, 2012 • What Would You Do?: Readers Respond to The Last Policeman
1. Carry a gun and shoot out the wheels of anyone who cut me off in traffic. Especially if they didn't use their blinker.