May 18 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Secret Ingredient, by Stewart Lewis

This week's Book Giveaway is Stewart Lewis's The Secret Ingredient, which I suspect will hone pretty closely to the tone and style of his first book, You Have Seven Messages. I was underwhelmed by Messages, but...

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May 12 2015

Much worse

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NPR recently visited Monroeville, Ala., the home of Harper Lee, asking residents about the controversy surrounding Lee's upcoming To Kill a Mockingbird sequel Go Set a Watchman. While I share many residents' concerns about Lee's health and independence, at least the people of Monroeville can take comfort...

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May 12 2015

That is just unkind.

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Some guy named Patrick Stewart (no, not that Patrick Stewart) apparently wrote his 52,438-word doctoral thesis for the University of British Columbia entirely without punctuation, arguing that he wanted to make a point...

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May 11 2015

Day Shift, by Charlaine Harris

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This is going to sound a little strange, but I mean it as a compliment: Charlaine Harris's Midnight, Texas novels are a delightful opportunity to indulge in benign nosiness. Her characters are still only half-developed (at most), but the odd, disjointed peeks she offers into their lives makes me feel like I've had an opportunity to eavesdrop on the private conversations...

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May 11 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Day Shift, by Charlaine Harris

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This week's Book Giveaway is Charlaine Harris's Day Shift, the sequel to her highly enjoyable novel Midnight Crossroad. If Day Shift is even half as fun as Midnight Crossroad, readers are in for a treat—the first book in this series hit all of Harris's sweet spots (pink-collar work, small towns, creepy hijinks), while neatly avoiding her weaknesses...

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May 8 2015

Blood Magick, by Nora Roberts

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It's official: Nora Roberts's writing has reached peak laziness. Not only has she used these characters and situations before, she's used them before in this exact same combination. Seriously, if you want to read Blood Magick, just pick up a copy of her 2002 novel Face the Fire—it's the same story, but half the price...

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May 7 2015

The Marvel juggernaut rolls on

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I was pleased to learn that ABC has chosen to renew Marvel's Agent Carter, but I can't help but wonder if Marvel worked out some kind of deal with the network in an effort to improve their current reputation re: female characters...

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May 6 2015

I want these. All of them.

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I love both cookbooks and nerdy literary slide shows, so there's no way I wasn't going to be all over this: Paste recently compiled a list of the Saddest Cookbooks Ever, and it is a delight...

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May 5 2015

Sleepless nights ahoy

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Variety recently posted an update on Cary Fukunaga's upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King's It. The story will be split into two films (one featuring the characters as children; the other as adults), the scripts for both films are ready, and...

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May 5 2015

Update: Marvel still full of jackasses

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io9 put together a very helpful summary of the main talking points surrounding the fan reaction to Joss Whedon's depiction of the Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's a quick but comprehensive read, and will bring anyone up-to-date on the whole kerfluffle who doesn't want to wade through a million pages' worth of Internet commentary...

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May 4 2015

Jinn and Juice, by Nicole Peeler

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Nicole Peeler's Jinn and Juice is nowhere near as terrible as either its tacky cover art or suggestive tagline (“Don't Rub Me the Wrong Way”) would suggest. On the other hand, that doesn't make it actually good, nor does it prevent the story from dipping into some really shady areas...

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May 4 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Jinn and Juice, by Nicole Peeler

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This week's Book Giveaway is Jinn and Juice, by Tempest Rising author Nicole Peeler. A full review will follow shortly, but I promise the book is better than that cover makes it look, or that tagline makes it sound...

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May 1 2015

Undertow, by Michael Buckley

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Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm is one of my all-time favorite kids' series. The books have their problems—actually, some really big problems—but they are so funny, romantic, and action-packed that it's easy to overlook their flaws. Buckley's new YA novel Undertow is much darker than his previous books, but...

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Apr 30 2015

No need

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Netflix has announced an upcoming miniseries adaptation of Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, which will somehow transform from a 72-page-long book of nonsense poetry about weirdly-colored food into a 13-episode-long show about two characters and the journey that tests "the limits of their friendship"...

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Apr 29 2015

Have they read it?

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Well, this is just... unfortunate. In an effort to purge Russia of swastikas in observance of Victory Day, the holiday commemorating the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany, Moscow bookstores have removed all copies of Maus, Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1980 graphic novel about the Holocaust...

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Apr 28 2015

Free Comic Book Day

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Just a reminder: this Saturday, May 2nd, is Free Comic Book Day, and (as always) there's a ton of titles on offer. You can see all the possible options here, but...

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Apr 28 2015

Sorry, Bard fans.

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There was a recent post on io9 debunking the popular rumor that William Shakespeare was responsible for inventing 1,700 English words, including such necessary additions as "puking", "bump", and "eyeball"...

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Apr 27 2015

Fairest, by Marissa Meyer

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Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles are a sci-fi blend of classic fairytales, Sailor Moon, and modern fantasy/adventure. Meyer has a gift for mashing all of her various inspirations into a seamless whole, but her constant borrowing makes it difficult to judge her books on their own merits...

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Apr 27 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Fairest, by Marissa Meyer

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This week's Book Giveaway is Marissa Meyer's Fairest: Levana's Story. Fairest was released in place of Winter, the next chronological installment in Meyer's Lunar Chronicles. I think this is a brilliant move. Back-story novels usually only come out after the original series has ended (and they generally only appeal to the most hardcore fans), but Meyer's decision to release this novel early means that...

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Apr 23 2015

No. Just... no.

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I thought the webseries The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was a cute, if far-fetched, idea that stretched on a little too long. I didn't actually finish it, but I definitely liked the first third or so, and I can see why it was such a success. But I am not sold on the visual appeal of these...

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Apr 22 2015

Well, good luck to them.

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E.L. James does not strike me as a woman who is big on self-reflection. I'm not judging her (clearly, her bank balance is proof that she's getting something right), but a lot of the people who worked with her on the first Fifty Shades of Grey movie have...

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Apr 21 2015

An ongoing and uphill battle

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According to the recent NPR article "See Priya Cook", gender bias is prevalent in textbooks worldwide. Women are generally portrayed in subservient or domestic roles, while men are depicted as figures of authority and action...

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Apr 21 2015

See Westeros by bus!

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The travel blog GoEuro.com has created a guide to the various real-world stand-ins for Game of Thrones locations, in case you'd like to make vacation plans based on your love of a fantasy series...

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Apr 20 2015

Dream a Little Dream, by Kerstin Gier

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Kerstin Gier's new book Dream a Little Dream is finally out (two years after being released in Germany; her translator remains super slow), and it has the exact same strengths and weaknesses as her first series. Once again, Gier has created a fanciful, romantic world that is...

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Apr 20 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Dream a Little Dream, by Kerstin Gier

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This week's Book Giveaway is Kerstin Gier's Dream a Little Dream, the first book in her new 'Silver Trilogy'. I can tell you that things start off well, but so did her last trilogy, and I am still not over the fact that that series ended with the hero and heroine becoming a pair of nearly-married immortals, despite A) still being teenagers, and B) only knowing one another for a couple of weeks...

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Apr 14 2015

I'm already sharpening my crayons.

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Last week I wrote a brief piece about the charm of Johanna Basford's coloring books for adults, and now the Internet has introduced me to her books' cooler, more urban cousin: artist Steve McDonald's upcoming book Fantastic Cities, which features...

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Apr 14 2015

They can't sell us a Black Widow movie, but they can sell Ant-Man?

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The first trailer is out for the upcoming Marvel movie Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd. I really like Rudd, and Marvel has succeeded in transforming even dorkier characters (like, say, a talking, trigger-happy raccoon) into...

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Apr 13 2015

Skin Cleanse, by Adina Grigore

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The world wasn't exactly crying out for another book extolling the benefits of drinking less coffee, eating more dark leafy greens, and laying off the donuts, but Adina Grigore's Skin Cleanse condenses and simplifies about ten health blogs' worth of information into a fresh, cheerful, immensely readable guide to skin health...

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Apr 13 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Skin Cleanse, by Adina Grigore

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This week's Book Giveaway is Adina Grigore's Skin Cleanse, which meets my "of general interest" standard for reviewing nonfiction. (Plus, it appeals to the same part of me that enjoys reading fancy cookbooks while eating, like, toast. I'm a big fan of theoretical self-improvement.) I haven't quite finished Ms. Grigore's book, but thus far it seems like a chattier, more grown-up version of...

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Apr 7 2015

WANTED: Squeaky voiced actor

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According to Austen Blog, we here in America can now purchase a recording of a BBC "radio dramatization" of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, starring the voices of Felicity Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch will apparently be playing Edmund Bertram, to which I say: oh, hell no...

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