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Books, authors and all things bookish
George R.R. Martin will show 'The Interview'

George R.R. Martin will show "The Interview" on Christmas. The "Song of Ice and Fire" series author owns the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., one of the independent theaters that has decided to screen the controversial comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco about the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"We got it!" Martin blogged after getting confirmation from Sony. "We were otherwise going to be closed on Christmas. We're opening just for this film, and will devote the whole day to it."

On Christmas, "The Interview" will show four times at the Jean Cocteau Cinema: 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

"The Interview" will continue screening at the theater owned by the "Game of Thrones" creator for two weeks, alongside other films already booked.

Martin has been outspoken about the controversies surrounding the film. He lashed out at Sony and theaters, whose refusal to initially show the film he called "a stunning display of corporate cowardice."...

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Celebrate the holiday with 'A Christmas Carol' read by Neil Gaiman

Exactly 171 years ago, Charles Dickens sat down and wrote "A Christmas Carol." Dickens liked to write stories for Christmas, but "A Christmas Carol," with stingy boss Ebenezer Scrooge, clerk Bob Cratchit, Bob's sweet son Tiny Tim, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, has been the most lasting, being cycled and recycled countless times in fiction, television and film.

Author Neil Gaiman went back to the original in 2013 at the New York Public Library. At a public performance, Gaiman read "A Christmas Carol" using Dickens' own "prompt" copy. It's the only surviving copy of the story that Dickens edited himself for living readings, annotated in Dickens' own hand. The New York Public Library holds the copy in its collection.

The reading is available as the 41st episode of the New York Public Library podcast. These days podcasts have been getting a lot of attention, thanks to NPR's "Serial," but places such as the New York Public Library have long been making their...

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The Rolling Stones, David Bailey and Taschen's big, pricey book

The names on the walls outside the Taschen Gallery on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles are freshly painted in bold, rosy shades of pink. “The Rolling Stones,” they declare, and: “David Bailey.” Just as bold are the photographs inside, including many by Bailey, documenting the 50-year rise of an essential band.

In the 1960s, Bailey was a rare photographer whose fame rivaled that of his subjects. His life as a young artist in Swinging London inspired Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film “Blow-Up.” He was among the first and most important photographers to shoot the Stones, helping establish them as icons of music, fashion, sexuality and danger.

“Kids having a good time really,” Bailey says cheerfully of his pictures, which fill the main room of the Taschen Gallery’s debut exhibition. “It was great because everyone was willing to take a chance – because we had nothing to lose.”

Now 76, Bailey knew Mick Jagger from the Stones’ earliest days in London. He was engaged to British supermodel Jean...

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'American Sniper' author's widow will appeal book verdict

Taya Kyle, widow of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle, will appeal a $1.8-million verdict against her husband's estate, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. A federal jury found Kyle's estate liable for defamation earlier this year, finding in favor of former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura who argued that Kyle lied about him in his bestselling autobiography.

Kyle died in a shooting last year in Texas. Taya, the author's widow and executor of his estate, filed notice of the appeal with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday. The film "American Sniper," directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, opens in movie theaters on Christmas Day.

Last week, Kyle told Fox News that she would have to pay most of the judgment out of pocket. Ventura seemed confident she could cover the judgment, telling a radio host, "She’s making millions right now. She’s already made millions off the book. ... [S]he probably has more money than I do."

Ventura's lawsuit claimed...

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12 ways to do literary good this holiday season


What with all the wrapping and trips to the store and airport lines and online shopping, it's easy to lose hold of the idea that the holidays are for giving. If you have room left on your list or in your wallet, here are some ways to give for the holidays that will give back in return. Each of these nonprofits benefits Los Angeles literarily.

826LA offers tutoring and creative writing workshops for kids 6-18 at its two locations, Echo Park and Mar Vista. The L.A. branch of the national nonprofit founded by Dave Eggers accepts financial support and also has a wishlist.

Beyond Baroque
A mainstay of the literary counterculture of Venice since 1968, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center holds poetry readings, workshops and more.

Centro Latino for Literacy
Based near MacArthur Park and with an online curriculum, Centro Latino teaches literacy skills to Spanish-speaking adults who have not yet learned to read and write.

Get Lit
Get Lit works with at-risk teens across Los Angeles,...

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E-books can interfere with sleep, study finds

If you're looking forward to catching up on some sleep over the holidays, you might want to put down your e-reader and pick up an actual printed book.

A small study conducted by sleep medicine researchers at Harvard Medical School indicates that e-books can interfere with readers' sleep cycles. According to the Guardian, "Study participants reading a light-emitting ebook took on average almost 10 minutes longer to fall asleep and said they were less sleepy an hour before bedtime than they were reading a paper book."

The study involved "12 healthy young adults" who were asked to read either a printed book or an e-book before going to sleep. The e-book readers experienced less rapid eye movement sleep than their printed-book-reading counterparts, and were less alert the mornings after.

The findings don't apply to the original Amazon Kindle, according to physician and professor Charles Czeisler, one of the researchers, because that e-reader doesn't emit light. The same goes for other e-ink...

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