Every Friday, the staff at Literary Traveler gathers up relevant book news from around the web, bringing it together in a handy post for book lovers to peruse. Enjoy!
- An interesting piece from the Jewish Review of Books asks the question: Why are there so few Jewish fantasy authors? It’s something I’ve never considered, but considering the Christian allegories in Narnia and the like, it’s certainly worth thinking about. Michael Weingrad argues, “we should begin by acknowledging that the conventional trappings of fantasy, with their feudal atmosphere and rootedness in rural Europe, are not especially welcoming to Jews, who were too often at the wrong end of the medieval sword.” More thoughts on the relationship between religion and the fantasty world at The Second Pass.
- Independent publisher Melville House has announced their intention to host an award ceremony for the best and worst book trailers. Book trailers, for those of you who don’t know, are short videos created to promote upcoming books. Categories include “Best Big Budget Book Trailer,” “Best Cameo in a Book Trailer,” and hilariously, “Least Likely to Actually Sell the Book.”
- One possible contender for the Melville House awards? Actor Zach Galifianakis, who appeared in the trailer for John Wray’s Lowboy. Galifianakis and Wray humorously switched places in this short video, with the actor portraying the writer and the writer playing a far more chipper Zach.
- In 2006, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love became an instant hit, a bestseller, and a defining entry in the travel writing-cum-memoir canon. As you’ve probably heard, the story of Gilbert’s self discovery is being made into a feature film, starring (who else?) America’s sweetheart Julia Roberts. Roberts talks to the New York Times about the film, which left her “exhausted when it was all done.” But “I loved every second of it,” she added.
- And finally, start this weekend off right by listening to a bit of poetry. Singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant has done something interesting with her newest album, Leave Your Sleep. Merchant has taken her favorite poems from childhood and set them to music in such a way that both adults and children can enjoy the resulting lullabies. She chose works by famous poets (like Robert Graves, E.E. Cummings and even one from Mother Goose) mixed in with those of lesser-known writers, including Charles Carryl and Lydia Huntley Sigourney.