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Welcome to Shelf Life from EW

August 5, 2009 |  9:14 am

Kidman_inaustralia The magazine Entertainment Weekly launched a books blog, Shelf Life, on July 14. Bloggers include books editor Tina Jordan, Ken Tucker and the frequent, funny poster Thom Geier.

While glossy, screen-oriented entertainments are the bread and butter of Entertainment Weekly, it also pays attention to books. Its book reviews are typically succinct and smart. 

Shelf Life, which is updated about once a day, touches many bases: literary fiction (the Booker Prize), comic books (Green Lantern), science fiction/fantasy (Neil Gaiman) and where celebrity culture intersects with books (Lisa Rinna, a step up from Lauren Conrad).

Most recently, it got Michael Cunningham ("The Hours") on the phone, just as he finished a chapter of his novel-in-progress, "Olympia."

Cunningham, who is a screenwriter as well as a novelist, has a project about the life of Dusty Springfield in the works with Nicole Kidman -- which recently went into turnaround at Fox 2000. He likes the studio, he said, but hopes it'll find a new home. "Now it’s just Nicole and me and Dusty." Brief entertainment-meets-books interviews like this give Shelf Life an extra kick.

A couple years back, there was much consternation about mainstream media's contracting book coverage. So when an old-school medium like Entertainment Weekly decides to devote some time and attention to a new discussion of books, how can we not applaud?

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Nicole Kidman in "Australia." Credit: James Fisher / 20th Century Fox