Category: Book Culture

Lizzy Caplan to Lead ‘Castle Rock’ Season 2 as ‘Misery’s Annie Wilkes

Hulu’s hit Stephen King adaptation  Castle Rock is returning for a second season, this time taking inspiration for the main plot from King’s Misery. Emmy-nominated Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls, Masters of Sex) will take the lead.

Yes, this season Caplan will take on the role of the dangerously obsessive Annie Wilkes, a former nurse who cares for novelist Paul Sheldon after he is injured in a car crash and breaks two legs. Throughout the story, Annie is preoccupied with Sheldon’s novels featuring the character Misery Chastain. As she reads, she becomes enraged by a twist in Sheldon’s plot, and decides she will do whatever it takes to make him undo his decision.

This psychological thriller was previously adapted into a movie by Rob Reiner and earned Kathy Bates an Oscar. It also became a play by Simon Moore. In Castle Rock’s take on the story, Wilkes is a superfan suffering from mental health issues. The story could potentially follow Wilkes prior t the kidnapping of Sheldon as her mental state deteriorates. This season will also include Elise Fisher most known from her work in Eighth Grade and Despicable Me who will play Wilke’s homeschooled daughter Joy, whose concerns are growing for her mother’s mental state.

 

Annie Wilkes staring menacingly with a knife.

 

Yusra Warsama (The Last Days on Mars) will play hospital director Dr. Nadia Omar and Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) will take on the role of her older brother who is building a Somali community center. In addition, Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) will portray Reginald ‘Pop’ Merrill and Garrett Hedlund will be his nephew John ‘Ace’ Merrill (Tron: Legacy, Triple Frontier) and Ace’s brother, Chris will be played by Matthew Alan (13 Reasons Why). There isn’t any confirmation yet if The Sun Dog storyline will intertwine with Wilkes’ or if Merrill’s Emporium Galorium will be introduced. However, it is known that the Merrills will face tensions with the Somali community and Wilkes’ arrival in Castle Rock will definitely increase their rivalry.

The first season of Castle Rock was filled with Easter eggs and crossovers from Stephen King storylines and it appears that the second season will continue to interlock various plotlines and characters from previous King novels with the introduction of Anne Wilkes and the Merrills.

 

This season will arrive in late 2019 on Hulu with Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason returning as creators with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. I for one cannot wait for the second season and should probably brush up on the first season again so I can prepare myself of the twists and turns of what should be an intense and darker continuation.

 

Featured Image Via Indiewire

Arthur displays his library card.

A Librarian’s Guide to Fighting Discrimination

Earlier this year, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) published a digital resource for librarians as part of its push for freedom of expression (and book titles) in school libraries. The manual, an eight-page PDF file titled “Defend LGBTQ Stories,” outlines a number of difficult or delicate circumstances educators will encounter as their students develop literary tastes, and offers specific advice on how to be an ally and set an example of compassion for all students. The guide offers librarians simplified tools for de-stigmatizing LGBTQ themes, protesting banned books, staying up to date on school policy changes, communicating with the NCAC, and sharing their experiences on social media.

This fledgeling resource — a small, but mighty PDF — comes as part of a subset of the NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program called the Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP). This grassroots-inspired program unites community members and national organizations to oppose the growing tangle of restrictions placed on library media in American schools. According to the NCAC’s website, the KRRP rallies “teachers, booksellers, librarians, local reporters and free speech advocates” to protect the reading rights of students.

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These subsets of the NCAC, itself an entity composed of fifty nonprofit organizations, do not have the legal clout to directly influence policy change in the American education system. Instead, they rely on time-tested community advocacy to drum up significant local support to challenge cases on an individual basis, while making these methods accessible to the public. Since 2016, for example, the Florida Citizens Alliance (FLCA) has pushed bills which aim to restrict materials allowed in Florida classrooms based on their educational value. The NCAC offers a thorough breakdown of the proposed legislation, a timeline for its development, and a history of the FLCA’s past initiatives. This document, available on the NCAC’s website, is free to read and share, and gives activists the help they need to make sure kids can read whatever they please.

While the NCAC’s resource “Defend LGBTQ Stories” is in effect a glorified How-To guide for being a properly “woke” librarian in an American school, it is nonetheless a tremendously productive and helpful tool which, in the hands of community activists and national associations alike, has the potential to effect real change and inspire a future generation that embraces diversity.

 

Featured Image via Arthur

The Boy at the Back of the Class

Heartfelt ‘Upbeat’ Refugee Tale Wins Children’s Book Award!

BBC reports that Onjali Q Raúf’s The Boy at the Back of the Class has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize!

Raúf’s debut novel is already being described by Waterstones children’s buyer, Florentyna Martin, as a “future classic.”

The story follows a young refugee whose newfound friends from school help him reunite with his family. Raúf was inspired by the people she befriended while working in refugee camps.

 

The Boy at the Back of the Class
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

“Children’s books have a raft of difficult topics to convey to young readers, and Raúf embraces this with an approach that is funny, upbeat, and overwhelmingly open-hearted,” Martin added.

Raúf is the founder and CEO of Making Herstory, a human rights organization working to end the abuse, trafficking, and enslavement of women throughout the world. Her debut novel is already a significant step towards bringing attention to the circumstances surrounding those who are wrongfully separated from their loved ones.

Congratulations on your well deserved achievement, Ms. Raúf! And thank you for the reminder that everyone deserves a home that their family can call their own.

 

 

 

Featured Image via BBC

Librarian Receives Bravery Award After “Gun” Incident

Sometimes heroes wear capes; other times, heroes advise us on and provide us with a substantial amount of quality literature. These highly educated,  index-finger to the mouth—” shush, quiet in the library” champions have been incorrectly labeled “librarians.” More like Knights of the Meticulously Arranged Book Shelf. These words of high praise for, in all seriousness, a very underappreciated profession, are in reaction to the actions of one Sandra MacLean. MacLean is a librarian at the Fort William Library in Scotland, whose swift response potentially saved multiple lives.

 

 

On May 25th, 2017, Sandra Maclean was working as a supervisor at the library when a man entered the premises with what looked like a handgun. This was a situation she knew—she’d read about it in every Stephen King, Lee Child, James Paterson, Agatha Christie, John Grisham etc. novel. Reacting “calmly and discreetly” MacLean evacuated the building and called the police. In addition to this, she wisely and courageously locked the library so the antagonist could not escape. The police arrived and apprehended the suspect. The twenty-six-year-old man carrying a gun replica was jailed for eighteen months.

MacLean  has recently been awarded a Police Public Bravery Award for her courage and quick thinking.

 

Sandra MacLean receiving her award from Ch Supt George Macdonald

Image via Bbc.com

In an interview with BBC,  she said:

“In many ways, I don’t feel like I deserve an award but that in no way diminishes my gratitude for it. What I did at the time didn’t feel especially brave, it was simply the obvious thing to do to make sure the library was clear of people and that nobody else could get in. Receiving the award put that whole day into perspective with the wider police investigation and I would certainly like to thank the officers for how they handled the situation when they arrived.”

In the same article, Police Scotland’s Highlands and Islands divisional commander George McDonald said this of Sandra’s actions:

“Sandra’s calm and professional response to an undeniably frightening situation helped ensure the immediate safety of the public and her staff. Her initial actions also prevented the incident from escalating and allowed police to bring the situation to a swift conclusion on arrival without creating any wider risk to the public. She deserves a lot of credit for her response and I was delighted to present her with this award to recognize the bravery of her actions.”

It’s often we read stories about regular people exhibiting intrepid, moral fortitude in threatening situations as a result of an innate and spirited instinct; however, rarely do we see that happen in our daily lives. I’ve never doubted my librarians and neither should you.

 

Image via Bbc.Com

 

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Hollywoods’ Hottest Composter Hans Zimmer to Score ‘Dune’ Adaptation

Surely you know who Hans Zimmer is. He is the man behind the music and emotion of some of our favorite films. Whether you remember being curled up on the couch fist bumping while Christian Bale embodied the “hero we deserve,” drinking your favorite rum while Captain Jack Sparrow docked his slowly sinking ship or crying profusely while Scar murdered Mufusa, you know Zimmer.

The composer has created everything from the celebratory and carefree score of True Romance to the LOUD mood-affecting madness of films like Inception and Interstellar (he seems to work with Christopher Nolan a lot). Gladiator, The Da Vinci Code, Black Hawk Down, Kung Fu-fricking-Panda— so many films. The man composes the crap out of Hollywood. Even his last name—Zimmer—sounds like an instrument of some kind. And he’s not slowing down.

It has just been announced that Zimmer will compose the score for the new Dune adaptation, based on Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel of the same name.

 

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Image Via Billboard.com

Dune follows Paul Atreides as he embarks on what can only be described as an epic journey. The book killed it in 1965, winning numerous awards and capturing the hearts and souls of space nerds eating Apple Jacks cereal everywhere. Dune’s director, Denis Villeneuve, has recently collaborated with Zimmer for Blade Runner 2049. The screenplay has been written by Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) and Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and has an official synopsis that reads as follows:

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

 

Image Via Amazon.com

Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. have convinced an alarming amount of top tier talent to assemble under the narrative of Herbert’s story. Timothée Chalamet will play Paul, Oscar Issac will play Duke Leto Atreides, Zendaya (swoon) will play Chani, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Rebecca Ferguson and Stellan Skarsgård (of course)—they’re all there. Zimmer’s tunes will rock our worlds and undoubtedly propel all their performances to intergalactic heights (PUN). The adaption is rumored to be conceived as a multi-film production and with Villeneuve doing some Arrival level melancholy, it is sure to be a powerful pair of films.

 

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Image Via Giphy.com

Dune is set to be released in theaters on November 20th, 2020, and Hans Zimmer’s music can be heard in the background of every movie ever…

 

That’s an exaggeration, not every movie… but most of them.

 

 

Featured Image Via Art.marcsimonetti.com