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On the Books: John Green celebrates 10 years since debut novel

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Looking For Alaska

– Bestselling young adult author John Green unveiled the cover of a special 10th-anniversary edition of his debut novel Looking for Alaska via Twitter yesterday. Green said on his Tumblr that the new cover was designed by Rodrigo Corral, the man behind the now ubiquitous cover of his young adult sensation and The Fault in Our Stars. He also shared that the new edition of the award-winning book—which became a bestseller in 2012, seven years after its release—will include a new introduction, an in-depth Q&A, editor notes and a few scenes that were cut from early drafts of the work.

“It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed,” Green wrote. “I feel so lucky that Alaska is still in print and still finding readers (some of whom were in preschool when it was first published). Thanks to everyone who has read it and shared it this past decade, and I hope you enjoy the anniversary edition,” currently available for preorder. Alaska is the coming-of-age story of new boarding school student Miles Halter who falls in love with a girl named Alaska. Green announced this spring that Alaska was being developed for the big screen by Sarah Polley, several weeks after the release of Josh Boone’s smash-hit adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars. 

– Actress and newly minted bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl Lena Dunham might consider giving Boone a call—the girl behind Girls is indeed the kind of gal to adapt a young adult novel to the big screen. At The New Yorker festival last week, Dunham announced she is developing Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman into a movie. The 1995 Newbery Medal winner is about—spoiler alert—the coming-of-age of a young girl. The twist: It’s set in medieval England. “I’m going to adapt it and hopefully direct it,” Dunham said, joking, “I just need to find someone who wants to fund a PG-13 medieval movie.” The novel is one of Dunham’s longtime favorites. “[I]t’s hyper-realistic and really pretty and it’s full of incest and beatings, but it’s a child’s story,” she said. “I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a kid.” [USA Today]

Geekwire confirmed reports of two new pop-up Amazon storefronts opening in California next week. Beginning Oct. 22., shoppers in  San Francisco and Sacramento will be able to check out Amazon’s new Kindle e-readers and Fire TV, phones and tablets at a brick-and-mortar shop. “While customers can already see our products online and at retailers like Best Buy and Staples, we wanted to provide another option to try out our full line-up leading into the holidays,” said a spokeswoman from Amazon. This solid news of the lead e-commerce company’s venture into retail stores comes days after The Wall Street Journal‘s unconfirmed report of plans to open a location in Midtown Manhattan this fall. [Geekwire]

– The tireless award-winning sci-fi and fantasy author Harlan Ellison, 80, is having to slow down as he recovers from a stroke he had last week. Ellison, who just published his 114th book, appears to be in good mental shape. Writer Patton Oswalt tweeted earlier this week of his condition: “Spoke to Harlan Ellison in hospital. Stroke paralyzed his right side. His brain is intact (and profane & lucid). He’s on the mend.” Ellison, credited with popularizing the genre of speculative fiction, has written hundreds of titles over his career, including short stories, cultural criticisms and screenplays. And according to Oswalt’s progress reports, he isn’t quite done—on Twitter he quoted Ellison as saying “I gotta go do some physical therapy on my stupid f—ing arm,” adding, “He’ll be fine.” [Los Angeles Times]