People: Midler writes kids' book about Central Park duck

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Midler writes kids' book about Central Park duck

Bette Midler is using words and pictures to tell a New York story.

Midler's picture book "The Tale of the Mandarin Duck" will be published Feb. 16, Random House Books for Young Readers announced Thursday. With a story based on a real duck seen in Central Park in 2018, the book combines Midler's words, photographs by former New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani and illustrations by Joana Avillez.

Midler said in a statement she thought of the book after seeing Kakutani's pictures of the duck in the park.

"It came to me practically overnight: the duck that had enchanted an entire city," she said. "The real duck's visit to New York was a cause for celebration; everyone who saw him fell instantly in love. I wanted to memorialize his visit, and let readers know that the natural world is full of creatures just like him, if we only take the time to raise our eyes and actually see them."

Stephenie Meyer: More 'Twilight' books planned

There is still plenty of life in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight Saga."

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Meyer is planning at least two more books in her mega-selling vampire series, she said during a recent promotional event. Meanwhile, the author's long-awaited "Midnight Sun" sold more than 1 million copies in its first week, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers announced Thursday.

While such previous novels as "New Moon" and "Eclipse" were narrated by high school student Bella Swan, "Midnight Sun" is told from the point of view of Bella's lover, the vampire Edward Cullen.

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Meyer once vowed never to write another "Twilight" book, but on Monday she revealed during an online event held by the chain store Books-A-Million that she is far from done with Edward and Bella.

"There are two more books I think in the world that I want to write," she said. "I have got them outlined and a chapter written I think of the first one, so I know it's there. I am not ready to do that right now. I want to do something brand new."

Lady Gaga to perform at Video Music Awards

Lady Gaga is ready to just dance at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.

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MTV announced Thursday that Gaga, who is tied as the most-nominated act alongside Ariana Grande, will perform at the Aug. 30 event. Other performers include The Weeknd, BTS, J Balvin, Doja Cat, Maluma, Roddy Ricch and CNCO.

Seven of Gaga's nine nominations — including video of the year — are for her collaboration with Grande on the No. 1 hit "Rain On Me." Gaga is also nominated for artist of the year and best quarantine performance — one of two new categories related to the pandemic — for "Smile" from the TV special "One World: Together At Home." MTV also introduced the best music video from home award this year.

The 2020 VMAs were originally to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The awards show will now be held outdoors at various places in New York City in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Actress-singer Keke Palmer will host the show.

Today's birthdays: Actor Pat Priest ("The Munsters") is 84. Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 76. Actor Larry Mathews ("The Dick Van Dyke Show") is 65. Actor Debra Messing ("Will and Grace") is 52. Actor Anthony Anderson ("black-ish") is 50. Actor Ben Affleck is 48. Singer Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers is 31. Actor Jennifer Lawrence is 30.

— The Associated Press


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