Jul 27 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Dead Ice, by Laurell K. Hamilton

There's a 98% chance I'm going to regret this, but it's time for me to woman up: this week's Book Giveaway is Laurell K. Hamilton's Dead Ice. A full review will follow shortly, which means I'm going to have to actually read it...

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Jul 24 2015

Unexpectedly apropos

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WELL THEN. According to AnimeNewsNetwork, there was apparently enough demand to justify not one but two(!!!) lines of Sailor Moon-themed feminine hygiene products...

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Jul 23 2015

Next up: hovercars

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In another recent NPR post, there's a discussion of an early childhood test that claims to be a clear indicator of a person's eventual reading ability...

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Jul 22 2015

Modern classics?

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NPR recently featured a list of books that various colleges have chosen as required reading for their incoming college freshmen. I am only familiar with one of them—Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams, which I found highly overrated...

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Jul 21 2015

Agree, like, 1000%

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NYMag's "Science of Us" section published an article earlier this month about the small but growing number of schools and professors who have chosen to ban laptops and smartphones from their classrooms, feeling that the technology is more of a hindrance than a help...

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Jul 21 2015

Spot on

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Mallory Ortberg's literary tributes over at The Toast are always a pleasure to read, but I was particularly excited about her latest effort, "The Sequel To Rebecca The Second Mrs. de Winter Deserves"...

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Jul 20 2015

The Diviners, by Libba Bray

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Libba Bray's books remind me of cheesecake—good cheesecake, sure, but the basic kind without bittersweet chocolate or lime zest or whatever. Her writing is always rich, carefully crafted, and satisfying, but despite her many excellent qualities, it's just not that memorable...

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Jul 20 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Diviners, by Libba Bray

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In the spirit of summer vacation, this week's Book Giveaway pick is Libba Bray's The Diviners. I was looking for something both satisfyingly hefty and sufficiently entertaining to offset my other beach reading choice—a book about the plague outbreak in the 14th century. At 608 presumably Black-Death-free pages, Ms. Bray's book seems like just the ticket. A review will follow shortly...

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Jul 16 2015

If only he was a fur-trapping zombie.

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Whelp, the trailer for the upcoming film The Revenant is out (based "in part" on Michael Punke's 2003 novel of the same name), and it does absolutely nothing for me. I'm not impressed by Leonardo DiCaprio's goofy beard, the panting "soundtrack", or the CGI bear...

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Jul 16 2015

Another fine candidate for the $10 bill

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If you were impressed by the recent Google Doodle featuring Ida B. Wells, I encourage you to check out Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant strip about her, too...

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Jul 15 2015

75% less creepy than Pinocchio, but still...

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Another week, another inexplicable live-action Disney film: according to THR, they're making a live-action prequel to Aladdin called Genies...

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Jul 15 2015

Raisins, corn syrup, and 8 whole eggs?

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I find the vast majority of recent Harper Lee news to be very depressing, but NPR recently posted a recipe for a "Lane Cake" (the boozy, eggy dish baked by To Kill a Mockingbird's Maudie Atkinson)...

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Jul 14 2015

Still meh.

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It was news to me that this miniseries is even happening, but better-informed people seem pleased to learn that Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall, Mirror Mirror, Self/Less) has been hired to direct NBC's upcoming 10-episode-long Wizard of Oz prequel The Emerald City...

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Jul 13 2015

Tales Too Ticklish To Tell, by Berkeley Breathed

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When it comes to 1980s comics, Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County was the odd one out. Doonesbury was political, The Far Side surreal, and Calvin and Hobbes genuinely moving—Bloom County veered wildly between all three, and the end result was 70% amazing, 25% mediocre, and (it must be said) 5% terrible...

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Jul 13 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Tales Too Ticklish to Tell, by Berke Breathed

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In honor of the unexpected but super exciting rebirth of Berkeley "Berke" Breathed's Bloom County, this week's Book Giveaway is my copy of Breathed's 1988 collection Tales Too Ticklish To Tell, the only one of my Bloom County collections that still has enough glue left in its spine to hold together...

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Jul 9 2015

Just saying.

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THR has posted interesting article about the difficulty of handling security for Comic-Con. Apparently, they're expecting costumed attendees to show up with around 3,000 "weapons", each one of which needs to be carefully inspected...

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Jul 9 2015

A tribute both loving and long-winded

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Last week, the Guardian posted novelist Hari Kunzru's very long, very positive tribute to Frank Herbert's Dune. The article is full of trivia and background information about the novel (which you can easily skim), but...

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Jul 8 2015

So, not Dead House, then?

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The theme for this week is apparently "confusion". Yesterday, I didn't understand the Shel Silverstein/World Cup connection, or why anyone might want another Pinocchio film, and today I'm bewildered by the new trailer for the upcoming Goosebumps movie...

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Jul 7 2015

But why?

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And speaking of inexplicable projects, FOX Soccer asked actress Helen Mirren to read Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends" as a voice-over for their visual recap of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Don't get me wrong: I love Helen Mirren, Shel Silverstein, and the Women's World Cup, but...

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Jul 7 2015

Misfit toys

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I'm a little dubious about this, because... why? Why would anyone want this? But if THR is to be believed, Robert Downey Jr. and director Paul Thomas Anderson are working on a live-action version of Pinocchio. Pinocchio is perhaps history's creepiest children's book...

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Jul 6 2015

Ink and Bone: The Great Library, by Rachel Caine

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Rachel Caine's new book Ink and Bone: The Great Library is set in an alternate universe where the world is (unofficially) ruled by the Great Library of Alexandria, a ruthless organization that controls all access to knowledge. Caine's protagonist is sixteen-year-old Jess Brightwell, the son of a successful book smuggler...

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Jul 6 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine

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This week's Book Giveaway is Rachel Caine's Ink and Bone: The Great Library, which blends a fantastic idea—an alternate universe in which the Great Library of Alexandria has survived for centuries—with some tried-and-true dystopian teen-lit trappings. A full review will follow shortly (I'm on chapter three), but so far, so good...

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Jul 2 2015

Why won't you diiiiieeee?

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And, speaking of stories about obsessive, stalkerish "romances", Koala's Playground informs me that there is going to be yet another adaptation of the inexplicably popular manga Itazura Na Kiss...

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Jul 2 2015

The Donald Trump of the literary world

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Okay, I cracked up over this. Doesn't E.J. James have anyone on her team willing to say: "E.L., this is an incredibly stupid idea, and people are going to go to town on you"...

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Jul 1 2015

Health and wealth

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According to Publishers Weekly, Barnes and Noble is once again a profitable business, thanks largely to a more stable market for printed books. The article covers a bunch of other B&N-related news items (Nook sales, the recent website redesign, the up-and-coming "Barnes and Noble Education" division, etc.), but...

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Jun 30 2015

Hotly anticipated

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Aaaaand today marks the release of The Princess and the Pony, Kate Beaton's first book for children. I'm super excited about this one, even if A) I am several decades past the target audience age, and B) the book trailer is...

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Jun 30 2015

Scraping the bottom of the barrel, guys?

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Ah, just what the world needs: Badass Santa: The Comic. (Not its real name, sadly.) I originally assumed this sucker was a joke, but...

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Jun 29 2015

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson

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I had good feelings about Noelle Stevenson's Nimona from the first page. I liked the warm colors and distinctive character design, I always enjoy stories about unconventional families, and I instantly fell in love with the title character, who reminded me strongly of an evil-doing Yotsuba. As the book progressed, however, the initial offbeat silliness began to feel like a bait-and-switch...

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Jun 29 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson

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This week's Book Giveaway is Noelle Stevenson's graphic novel Nimona. Admittedly, I picked it because the main character's name and image reminded me of a fantasy version of Ramona Quimby, but you know what? I've chosen plenty of books for stupider reasons. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jun 25 2015

Nope.

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Okay, um, GROSS. The latest full trailer for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Attack on Titan is out, and it's final: there are some things I don't need to see on a big screen (and some things I really don't need to see in 3D), and huge, nude, people-eating zombie-things rank high on that list...

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