Brendan Fraser
Cornelia Funke's brave new world
Cornelia Funke's brave new world

Tucked in the back of a lush garden exploding with flowers, Cornelia Funke's study is a wonderland of books. Her desk is cluttered with tomes about fairy tales, which are stacked next to those about mining, alongside travel guides for Spain, France and England. A sliding ladder leads to an upper tier of titles, next to a closet that is also chock-full of hardcovers and paperbacks. Much like Meggie and the other characters in her Inkworld trilogy, the 51-year-old author of fantasies for middle-schoolers is a self-described "book maniac," whose writing room is ringed with the works that have helped her research — and the string of books that research has helped yield:...