Divergent reading

You may not know about this yet, but Divergent will soon be what everyone is talking about in book and movie circles: As USA Today reports:

“Here’s a look at what’s buzzing in the book world today.

“Off with a bang: Veronica Roth is ringing in the new year with the best-selling book in America.  Divergent tops USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list for the first time (it was No. 2 last week), and the


other books in her dystopian trilogy, Allegiant and Insurgent, are not far behind at No. 5 and No. 7. (The boxed set is No. 43.) It’s the first of what are likely to be many 2014 milestones for the 25-year-old Chicagoan. The highly anticipated movie adaptation of Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet, is due out March 21, and adaptations of the sequels are in the works.

“‘Hobbit’ happy: Filmmaker Peter Jackson has meant very good things indeed for J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 book The Hobbit. The fantasy novel moves up to No. 22 fromNo. 40 as Jackson’s latest movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is doing boffo box office over the holidays. But that doesn’t match December 2012, when the book climbed to No. 2 as the first Hobbit movie filled theaters. The novel also did well from 2001 to 2003, the era of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. All told, The Hobbithas spent 183 weeks on the list since 1997. — Jocelyn McClurg

“Movie magic: More movies are having an impact on the list, which isn’t surprising, since the holiday movie season is one of the most important of the year. Also appearing in the top 50: The Book Thiefat No. 4 (up from No. 5); Lone Survivor, No. 16 (up from No. 26); Catching Fire, No. 18 (up from No. 33); and The Wolf of Wall Street, No. 50 (up from No. 95). Beyond the top 50, Twelve Years a Slave is at No. 66, up from No. 78. — McClurg

“Reading ambassador: Kate DiCamillo, author of Newbery-winning kids’ book The Tale of Despereaux and most recently, Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, which made the 2013 National Book Award longlist, is 2014’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. DiCamillo talked to USA TODAY in January 2013 about her writing process and her hopes for her books: “I’m excited and hopeful that this will go out into the world and – this sounds like a grandiose hope, but here it is – that it will cheer people up, that people will laugh, kids and adults, and it will make them happy.” Read the Q&A, plus listen to an iTunes Meet the Author podcast interview.

New in paperback: USA TODAY’s Jocelyn McClurg rounds up noteworthy books out in paperback, including National Book Award nominee Tenth of December by George Saunders, and Sonia Sotomayor’s autobiography.

Sherlock Holmes: On Dec. 23, an Illinois court ruled that Sherlock Holmes and other characters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mystery series are in the public domain — but lawyers from Doyle’s estate are contending that all the characters willnot be open to the public until 2022. Find the full story at Publishers Weekly.

Birth year books: Were you born in the ’80s or ’90s? Cosmopolitan has compiled lists of the best books from your birth years. I was born in 1989 — the year The Joy Luck Club was published!


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