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Amal and George Clooney were out for dinner in New York this weekend. As you know, they’re in town because he’s shooting a movie there with Jodie Foster. Or you could say they’re in town because she’s now a visiting lecturer at Columbia’s Human Rights Institute. "It is an honour to be invited as a visiting professor at Columbia Law School alongside such a distinguished faculty and talented student pool. Full Story
Did you know that it’s Chinese Valentine’s Day on Thursday? The Chinese Squawking Chicken gave me a list love matches and mismatches that I’ll post later this week.
Speaking of the Squawking Chicken…
I wrote a book called Listen To The Squawking Chicken that was released last year. THANK YOU for helping to make it a national bestseller! Today is the launch of the trade paperback with a brand new cover AND bonus content that includes an interview with my ma, the Squawking Chicken, and Feng Shui tips, and an FAQ, and more. You voted on the colour – here it is! For more details, please click here.
Would you like a copy? We’re giving away 10 copies. Read Full Intro
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Drew Barrymore just turned 40 and has announced she’s going to write a collection of autobiographical essays. This is usually that point at which I’d piss and moan about celebrities who slip into any profession on a whim, but, um, I love a personal essay. And I think Drew will have some very interesting stories to tell. Full Story
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Whatever we may think of it, Fifty Shades of Grey is an unqualified hit, with $300 million at the worldwide box office and counting. In some respects, that’s a good thing: A movie by women, about women, for women is a monster success. Every time we clock a win like this, it gets that much harder to deny that movies by and about women can’t be profitable, or are somehow “risky”. Full Story
We studied Thomas Hardy for a few weeks in one of my elective Fem-Lit university classes one year. I was not great with attendance at the time. There was a casino that had just opened two hours away. My parents were out of the country. For several months, I made some very bad decisions. Can’t recall why I showed up for that session in particular – probably lost all my money – but I’ll never forget the discussion, even though I hadn’t done any of the reading. Full Story
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Duana taught me something I repeat often here on my blog. In her case, as a screenwriter, it’s about how the story and the audience relate, and how it’s the writer’s job to: Give them what they need, not what they want. I’ve been thinking a lot about this as we near the release of Fifty Shades Of Grey, reading reports of tension between the director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who’s admitted that she and author EL James struggled to agree on the creative direction of the film. Full Story
Have you read, I’ll Have What She’s Having? The author, Rebecca Harrington, experiments with different celebrity diets, from Marilyn Monroe (eggs whipped in milk) to Madonna’s arduous and seemingly impossible macrobiotic diet. It’s funny, yes, but also an illuminating look at what it takes to maintain the “ideal body” of the day. Full Story
As mentioned last week, I will be defending Raziel Reid’s When Everything Feels Like The Movies on Canada Reads in March. The book was inspired by the true story of a 15 year old boy called Larry who was bullied at school for wearing makeup and heels. In 2008, Larry asked another boy to be his Valentine. Larry’s intended Valentine ended up rejecting him. By shooting him twice in the head the next day. There are kids like Larry who are surviving in silence all the time.
“I don’t want to survive. I want to live.” Solomon Northup, 12 Years A Slave
Jude, our anti-hero in When Everything Feels Like The Movies is trying so hard to go beyond survival and to find a life. His story is provocative but relatable. His thoughts are irreverent but true. Read Full Intro
Have you read The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins yet? Are you reading The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins? It’s the hot book of the season. It’s the most disciplined I’ve had to be about a book in a long time. And it’s so f-cking hard to be disciplined about this book. To only take it 20 pages or so at once because the rest of life won’t leave me alone.
Since I’ve not finished, I can’t tell you what I think of it. But I can tell you that I can understand why everyone’s talking about it. So far, the pacing is brilliant. It’s commercial fiction at its best. And this is saying something because you’re in the head of a person who is a mess, you could say an intolerable mess. Still, Hawkins lures you along.
That’s what it is, isn’t it? A luring?
Great writing is a lure, sometimes a terrible one. Read Full Intro
Canada Reads announced its 2015 book and debate panel list yesterday…
Canada Reads is an annual Book Battle. Five books and their respective champions go head to head over the course of a week. A book is eliminated at the end of each day’s debate until one book and one panelist remains.
This year, for the first time in the history of the competition, a Young Adult novel has been included – and I will be defending it!
The book is called When Everything Feels Like The Movies by Raziel Reid. It is GLORIOUS. But I’m up against some heavyweight contenders:
Cameron Bailey, Director of the Toronto International Film Festival
Kristen Kreuk, actor (Smallville, Beauty And The Beast)
Craig Kielburger, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and all round angel (he’s been on Oprah, he has, like, 8 thousand honourary degrees)
Martha Wainwright, musician
Dakota Johnson covers the new issue of VOGUE in anticipation of Fifty Shades Of Grey’s February release. It will be one of many interviews and photos we see of her, but this is certainly a showpiece of her promotional push. I mean, it’s VOGUE, right? Before we get into the interview, let’s talk about Dakota Johnson getting a VOGUE cover to promote a film that no one has seen, based on a terrible book that almost everyone has read. Full Story
I feel like it’s one of Jamie Dornan’s key messages: you will not see his dick in Fifty Shades Of Grey. Dornan covers the latest issue of Variety in advance of the film’s February 13 release. Just 3 weeks away now. And, as I’ve been telling you, almost to the point of creepiness now, I can’t wait. Full Story
Karwai Tang/ Getty Images, Keystone
The NBA was in the UK last night. The Milwaukee Bucks played the New York Knicks. Even though the Royal Foundation has a partnership with the league, Prince Harry already met with Carmelo Anthony the day before – click here to revisit those pictures – so I guess that was enough to satisfy the royal involvement…? Maybe he just likes watching darts Full Story
Thank you for all your emails and tweets about my chicken pox paranoia because I’ve never had it. Here’s what you all are telling me:
-Adult chicken pox is the worst
-Shingles sucks more than chicken pox
-You can get chicken pox again – many of you claim to have had it twice, first as a child and recently, mildly, as an adult
-Angelina Jolie totally has chicken pox
-Angelina Jolie doesn’t have chicken pox
-Go get the shot, it works
-Don’t go get the shot, it doesn’t work
-Definitely do the antibody test to see if your body already has built up an immunity
My appointment is on Thursday. Not going to lie. At one point yesterday I allowed myself to daydream that when they do the test, they’ll find that I do have a naturally occurring resistance to all diseases, making me a real superhero. Read Full Intro