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  • Director Spike Jonze has, many critics argue, done something very special with his film-adaption of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. And Heads on and We Shoot: The Making of "Where the Wild Things are" is a fantastic accompaniment to Jonze's film. A beautifully produced, double-spined hardback that fans of the film absolutely need to get hold of... Oh, and the book is edited by the McSweeney's crew and is as stylish as everything they produce. A lovely, lovely book:

    Maurice Sendak's classic book Where the Wild Things Are follows the adventures of Max, a headstrong young boy who leaves home after having a fight with his mother, only to find himself in a mysterious forest bordering a vast sea. Misunderstood and rebellious, Max sets sail to the land of the Wild Things, where mischief reigns. But how do you turn one of the world's favorite children's books into a movie?

    This film incorporates the most dynamic elements of voice performance, live-action puppetry, and computer animation into a live-action adventure story that captures the magic of the book -- and takes it to a new dimension. In order to preserve the realistic nature of the film, the Wild Things are not created digitally. Instead, Spike Jonze brings these characters to life in the form of physical suits built by the Jim Henson Company. These creatures, operated by a suit performer, interact with the live actor playing Max on set in front of the camera. After principal photography is finished, CGI is being used to make the creatures completely lifelike and convincing.

  • Full of fascinating characters and brilliantly told, James Bradley's The Imperial Cruise "will forever reshape the way we understand U.S. history":

    In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt dispatched Secretary of War William Howard Taft on the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in history to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, China, and Korea. Roosevelt's glamorous twenty-one year old daughter Alice served as mistress of the cruise, which included senators and congressmen. On this trip, Taft concluded secret agreements in Roosevelt's name...

    In 2005, a century later, James Bradley traveled in the wake of Roosevelt's mission and discovered what had transpired in Honolulu, Tokyo, Manila, Beijing and Seoul. In 1905, Roosevelt was bully-confident and made secret agreements that he though would secure America's westward push into the Pacific. Instead, he lit the long fuse on the Asian firecrackers that would singe America's hands for a century.

  • Ooh, I likes this! The Insect That Stole Butter? is an Oxford Dictionary of word origins, an "accessible, lively A-Z of thousands of words and their origins, drawn from Oxford's unrivalled dictionary research and language monitoring":

    Combining both accessibility and authority, The Insect That Stole Butter? describes the origins and development of over 3,000 words and phrases in the English language. The book relates the fascinating stories behind many of our most curious terms and expressions in order to offer the reader a much more explicit account than can be found in a general English dictionary.

    Organized A-Z, the entries include first known use along with examples that illustrate the many faces of the particular word or phrase, from 'handsome' to 'bachelor' and 'cute' to 'baby', from 'pagan' to 'palaver' and 'toff' to 'torpedo'. Also featured are almost 20 special panels that cover expressions common in English but drawn from other languages, such as 'coffee', 'sugar', and 'candy' from Arabic or 'booze', 'brandy', and 'gin' (Dutch). This absorbing volume is useful for language students and enthusiasts, but also an intriguing read for any person interested in the development of the English language and of language development in general. Includes an extended introduction on the history of the English language.

  • 29-year-old Evie Wyld's debut novel After the Fire, A Still Small Voice won this year's prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize:

    After the breakdown of a turbulent relationship, Frank moves from Canberra to a shack on the east coast once owned by his grandparents. He wants to put his violent past and bad memories of his father behind him. In this small coastal community, he tries to reinvent himself as someone capable of regular conversation and cordial relations. He even starts to make friends, including a precocious eight year old named Sal. But it is not that easy for him to let go of the past. Leon is the child of European immigrants to Australia, living in Sydney. His father loves Australia for becoming their home when their own country turned hostile during the Second World War. His mother is not so comforted by suburban life in a cake shop. As Leon grows up in the 50s and 60s, his watches as his parents' lives are broken after his father volunteers to fight in the Korean War. Leon himself goes from working in the shop, sculpting sugar dolls for the tops of wedding cakes, to killing young men as a conscripted machine-gunner in Vietnam. In the fall out from the war, Leon thinks he might be able to make a new life with his woman, make a baby, live by the sea in a small shack. But something watches from the cold shade of the teeming bush. Set in eastern Australia with its dark trees and blinding light, where the land is old but its wounds are still wet, this beautifully realized debut tells a story of fathers and sons, their wars and the things they will never know about each other. It is about the things men cannot say out loud and the taut silence that fills up the empty space.

  • In this astonishing memoir, Shaun Ellis, the star of Animal Planet's Living with the Wolfman reveals how he came to eat, sleep, and play with some of the world's wildest and most terrifying animals:

    What would compel a man to place himself in constant danger in order to become a member of a wolf pack? To eat with them, putting his head into a carcass alongside the wolves' gnashing teeth? To play, hunt, and spar with them, suffering bruises and bites? To learn their language so his howl is indistinguishable from theirs? To give up a normal life of relationships and family so that he can devote himself completely to the protection of these wild animals?

    In The Man Who Lives with Wolves, Shaun Ellis reveals how his life irrevocably changed the first time he set eyes on a wolf. In exhilarating prose, he takes us from his upbringing in the wilds of Norfolk, England, to his survival training with British Army Special Forces to the Nez Perce Indian lands in Idaho, where he first ran with a wolf pack for nearly two years.

    Offering an extraordinary look into the lives of these threatened, misunderstood creatures, Ellis shares how he ate raw kill -- and little else; washed rarely, and only in plain water; learned to bury his face into the carcasses of prey -- and, when necessary, to defend his share of the kill; communicated with the pack by his howls and body language, which over time became seemingly identical to theirs; and observed from this unique vantage point how wolves give birth to and raise their young, and enforce order among the pack.

    After years of living in the wild, Shaun Ellis was barely able to recognize the feral face that stared back at him from the mirror. And in The Man Who Lives with Wolves, we discover the life of a rare and fascinating man who abandoned civilization but never lost touch with his humanity.

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