Dec 2 2019

Weekly Book Giveaway: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Pulp! the Classics edition), by Lewis Carroll

This week's Book Giveaway is the Pulp! the Classics edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. We'll be posting a full review shortly, but this is basically all about that cover art: if the twisted hippie take on Judy Garland (...right?) makes you laugh, then this is the giveaway for you. If it doesn't, check back next week...

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Nov 27 2019

Pre-holiday shopping

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If you've got any hardcore Lord of the Rings nerds to shop for, check out Moleskine's line of limited-edition J.R.R. Tolkien notebooks. (There are some lovely Harry Potter-themed items, too.) The official Moleskine site...

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Nov 26 2019

No, on so many levels

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I just saw a trailer for an upcoming film adaptation of Jack London's The Call of the Wild, and it was extremely off-putting. A) I hate Jack London. B) Why is CGI still so bad?!? It might have improved (slightly) since the terrifying Polar Express movie, but...

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Nov 26 2019

More Shakespeare for your walls

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Vintage Shakespeare festival posters were the third suggestion on our annual Holiday Gift Guide, but that was because we were focusing our 2019 list on used, vintage, and consumable items. If you're in the market for something new, definitely check out the posters for the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, which...

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Nov 25 2019

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, by Ella Quinn

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On the back cover of Ella Quinn's novel The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, there's a glowing promotional blurb by novelist Grace Burrowes: “Lady Phoebe is a heroine Georgette Heyer would adore—plucky, pretty, and well worth the devotion of the dashing Lord Marcus. A marvelous find for Regency romance readers.” Burrowes is lucky there's no such thing as a Better Business Bureau for romance novel promo quotes, because that comment is a pack of liiiiiies...

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Nov 25 2019

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, by Ella Quinn

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This week's Book Giveaway is Ella Quinn's romance novel The Seduction of Lady Phoebe. The promotional quote on the back name-drops Georgette Heyer (always a dangerous comparison to make, IMO), so we'll see if it can live up to such high praise. A full review will follow shortly...

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Nov 21 2019

Holiday Gift Pick #8

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Gift Idea #8: Amusing literary soaps (this is more of a stocking stuffer, unless you tossed in a copy of the actual book)

One more consumable suggestion: The Unemployed Philosophers Guild sells blocks of soap inspired by a wide variety of books...

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Nov 21 2019

Holiday Gift Pick #7

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Gift Idea #7: The 1619 Project

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved people being brought to the United States from Africa. In August, The New York Times Magazine devoted an entire issue to the subject, featuring essays, photos, poetry, and fiction. It immediately sold out, but copies can be found on sale online...

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Nov 20 2019

Holiday Gift Pick #6

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Gift Idea #6: Jane Austen's Sanditon (the good version)

In January, American viewers will have the opportunity to see ITV's adaptation of Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon. From all accounts, this miniseries is both dumb as hell and features a depressing ending, so...

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Nov 20 2019

Holiday Gift Pick #5

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Gift Idea #5: Literary candles

We promised you some consumable goods too, right? How about these $16 literature-themed soy candles from Uncommon Goods? (Sherlock Holmes's 221B Baker Street apparently smells like black currant tea and leather books...

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Nov 19 2019

Holiday Gift Pick #4

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Gift Idea #4: a used copy of Amy Dacyczyn's The Complete Tightwad Gazette

Well before the internet became a haven of frugality tips, Ms. Dacyczyn produced a newsletter that compiled...

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Nov 19 2019

Holiday Gift Pick #3

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Gift Idea #3: Vintage Shakespeare Festival posters

Look, there are a lot of long-running Shakespeare festivals, and they nearly all printed posters, so chances are good you'll find one that strikes your fancy. Personally, I'm thinking of requesting this incredible Romeo and Juliet poster for...

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Nov 18 2019

Holiday Gift Pick #2

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Gift Idea #2: The out-of-print book you loved as a kid

Rather than buying some of the kids in your life yet another toy, share one of the harder-to-find books that you loved as a kid. (If it's out of print, chances are better that they won't already own it!) Here are some suggestions for books...

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Nov 18 2019

Holiday Gift Guide! (And Gift Pick #1)

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It's one of my favorite times of the year: vicarious shopping week! Yes, dear readers, it's time for our Annual Holiday Gift Guide, where I feature eight book-related items that I would personally quite like to receive as gifts. This year I've been trying to focus on buying less new, single-use stuff, so everything on this list will be either A) used/vintage, or B) consumable...

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Nov 14 2019

Frank Miller will 100% find a way to make Nimue a stripper.

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I'm mildly interested in the recently released "illustrated novel" Cursed, written by Thomas Wheeler and illustrated by Frank Miller. It's a retelling of Arthurian myth centered around Nimue, and set to become a Netflix series in 2020. (The show was announced more than a year ago, but I'm assuming the novel was published now in order to give it more real-book—versus "novelization" or "companion book"—cred.) It might work, too, but...

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Nov 14 2019

Jane Austen's taste in snacks

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The Spruce recently posted a recipe for Jane Austen's Favorite Bath Buns. I'm not sure how I feel about caraway seeds in a sweet bun (as a Czech person, I'm used to caraway seeds in stuff like cauliflower soup or braised cabbage), but my love...

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Nov 13 2019

65+ melodrama

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I just saw the trailer for The Good Liar, a new film (based on a book of the same name by Nicholas Searle) starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. I definitely want to support movies starring older actors that aren't about them facing imminent death...

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Nov 12 2019

Blowout, by Rachel Maddow

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Reading Rachel Maddow's Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth is like listening to an exceptionally long monologue for her MSNBC show. Her voice is genial, her subject important, and her arguments carefully researched and informative—but her laid-back, rangy, coolest-professor-on-campus style undermines the urgency of her subject...

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Nov 12 2019

Weekly Book Giveaway: Blowout, by Rachel Maddow

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This week's Book Giveaway is Rachel Maddow's latest book, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth. (Nothing but good times ahead!) A full review will follow shortly, and this review will run through 11/17/19...

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Nov 7 2019

We hardly knew ye

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According to Slashfilm, the upcoming X-Men solo movie about Kitty Pryde is dead. They're blaming it on the failure of the Dark Phoenix movie, but I don't think anyone is surprised that when things get even remotely dicey, Disney/Fox/Marvel...

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Nov 7 2019

I've been burned before.

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I have never liked Peter Pan much, and I am by no means certain that this new, Wendy-centric film adaptation of the story will make me feel any more positive about it. It certainly looks beautiful and wild, but I can sense the angst...

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Nov 6 2019

Single season for the WIN!

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Ooh, according to THR, ABC is rebooting Revenge, their (very, very loose) TV adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo. I fully approved of the glorious soapiness of Revenge when it premiered; sadly, it...

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Nov 5 2019

Better than all those made-for-TV musicals, I suppose.

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The first trailer is out for the BBC's upcoming adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, and it looks creepy as hell. Were people really clamoring for more authentic Victorian horror with their...

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Nov 5 2019

I'm sure they'll find a new dude to handle this woman-centric story.

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So much drama for such a young series! According to THR, HBO Max has fired Jon Spaihts as the showrunner for Dune: The Sisterhood, an upcoming TV offshoot of the (also upcoming) feature film. They haven't found a new showrunner to replace him yet, but apparently they weren't happy with his early plans for the "female-focused take" on...

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Nov 4 2019

Detection Unlimited, by Georgette Heyer

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Georgette Heyer wrote some memorably creative mystery novels, and some memorably terrible ones. She also wrote Detection Unlimited, which I can only assume she threw together to meet an urgent deadline...

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Nov 4 2019

Weekly Book Giveaway: Detection Unlimited, by Georgette Heyer

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This week's Book Giveaway is Georgette Heyer's Detection Unlimited. I know I've read this before, but I have absolutely no memory of what it's about—even after reading the description summary on the back. I suspect this is a bad sign, but we'll see. A full review will follow shortly, and this giveaway will run through 11/09/19...

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Oct 30 2019

You don't deserve it, sir.

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Well, it's almost Halloween, and this seems more than adequately horrifying to me: there are loads of rumors going around that Andrew Davies will be allowed to write a second season of Sanditon, his racy fanfic continuation of the unfinished Jane Austen novel...

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Oct 29 2019

Romance recs

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In a recent "Entertainment Self-Care" post, one of the writers at Lainey Gossip rounded up some solid romance novel picks, including my beloved Georgette Heyer. I'm not as enthused about some of the author's other choices...

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Oct 29 2019

Too soon

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NPR recently posted an enthusiastic review of Danny Fingeroth's new biography of comics legend Stan Lee, A Marvelous Life. I'd be more interested in this, but A) I've been burned by their reviews before, and...

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Oct 28 2019

Snow & Rose, by Emily Winfield Martin

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Emily Winfield Martin is best known as a visual artist, but her recent novel Snow & Rose proves she's a competent writer, as well. Inspired by the little-known “Snow White and Rose Red” fairytale, Martin has reworked it into a full-length children's book that is greatly enhanced by her delicate, richly colored illustrations...

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