Apr 23 2015

No. Just... no.

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...

More »

Apr 22 2015

Well, good luck to them.

2015-04-22-well-good-luck-to-them

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...

More »

Apr 21 2015

An ongoing and uphill battle

2015-04-21-an-ongoing-and-uphill-battle

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...

More »

Apr 21 2015

See Westeros by bus!

2015-04-21-see-westeros-by-bus

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...

More »

Apr 20 2015

Dream a Little Dream, by Kerstin Gier

2015-04-20-dream-a-little-dream-by-kerstin-gier

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...

More »

Apr 20 2015

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

2015-04-20-weekly-book-giveaway-dream-a-little-dream-by-kerstin-gier

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...

More »

Apr 14 2015

I'm already sharpening my crayons.

2015-04-14-im-already-sharpening-my-crayons

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...

More »

Apr 14 2015

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

2015-04-14-they-cant-sell-us-a-black-widow-movie-but-they-can-sell-antman

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...

More »

Apr 13 2015

Skin Cleanse, by Adina Grigore

2015-04-13-skin-cleanse-by-adina-grigore

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...

More »

Apr 13 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Skin Cleanse, by Adina Grigore

2015-04-13-weekly-book-giveaway-skin-cleanse-by-adina-grigore

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...

More »

Apr 7 2015

WANTED: Squeaky voiced actor

2015-04-07-wanted-squeaky-voiced-actor

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...

More »

Apr 7 2015

The section about Dickens is great, too.

2015-04-07-the-section-about-dickens-is-great-too

I've finally seen the trailer for the movie Effie Gray, written by Emma Thompson and inspired by the life of Euphemia Chalmers Millais, the one-time wife of the famous critic John Ruskin...

More »

Apr 6 2015

Trade Me, by Courtney Milan

2015-04-06-trade-me-by-courtney-milan

I have complaints about Courtney Milan's novel Trade Me, but I want to give the author props for getting one thing totally right: unlike the vast majority of “New Adult” books (and in spite of her far-fetched premise), this book actually deals with real, compelling, and young adult-specific issues...

More »

Apr 6 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Trade Me, by Courtney Milan

2015-04-06-weekly-book-giveaway-trade-me-by-courtney-milan

This week's Book Giveaway pick is Courtney Milan's New Adult title Trade Me. I'm not feeling the cover art—that is not a plausible college guy, in my opinion—but I'm really excited about this book. I've been reading Milan's blog posts about the ongoing Ellora's Cave/Dear Author legal battle, and she's really good at explaining legal minutiae in a clear, digestible fashion. I have no idea if...

More »

Apr 2 2015

So soothing...

2015-04-02-so-soothing

NPR recently interviewed Johanna Basford, the illustrator of two extremely successful coloring books for adults. (A note of clarification: I mean "for adults" as in "for grown-ups", by the way, not... y'know, adult coloring books. Although those might be big sellers, too.) Ms. Basford talks about...

More »

Apr 2 2015

Classics

2015-04-02-classics

Okay, this is adorable: there's a website run by the SAG Foundation (the charitable arm of the Screen Actor’s Guild) called Storyline Online that features videos of stars and celebrities reading famous children's books out loud. The catalog of books isn't very big, but...

More »

Apr 1 2015

Dangerous Deceptions, by Sarah Zettel

2015-04-01-dangerous-deceptions-by-sarah-zettel

Dangerous Deceptions is the second book in Sarah Zettel's 'Palace of Spies' series. It continues the adventures of Peggy Fitzroy, lady-in-waiting (and part-time spy) at the Hanoverian court of King George I. Peggy has been tasked with nosing out the Jacobite rebels at court, but her work as a spy is increasingly hindered by events in her “normal” life...

More »

Mar 31 2015

I expect there will still be plenty of violence, though.

2015-03-31-i-expect-there-will-still-be-plenty-of-violence-though

The Game of Thrones fan site Winter Is Coming informs me that India is planning its own TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin's wildly popular series. It won't be an exact remake...

More »

Mar 31 2015

The new V.C. Andrews?

2015-03-31-the-new-vc-andrews

Huh. Apparently, Stieg Larsson’s death was not enough to stop the creation of his Lisbeth Salander books. According to the Guardian, the next installment in the series will be written by David Lagercrantz, published in 38 different languages this August, and titled The Girl in the Spider’s Web...

More »

Mar 30 2015

The Truth Commission, by Susan Juby

2015-03-30-the-truth-commission-by-susan-juby

Susan Juby's The Truth Commission is 60% snappy young adult novel; 40% unexpectedly effective horror story. I really enjoyed the teen stuff, but I'm a little sorry Ms. Juby didn't go full-out on the horror, because this book is proof positive that she can create characters that would leave Stephen King weeping with envy...

More »

Mar 30 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Truth Commission, by Susan Juby

2015-03-30-weekly-book-giveaway-the-truth-commission-by-susan-juby

This week's Book Giveaway pick is Susan Juby's upcoming novel The Truth Commission. (Please note: we don't ship unreleased books until their official publication date, which in this case is April 14th.) Juby doesn't write a ton of books, but when she does they're awesome, so we're super excited about this release. A full review will follow later today...

More »

Mar 26 2015

90% amazing, 10% creepy

2015-03-26-90-amazing-10-creepy

io9 just posted several examples of the unbelievably detailed interior artwork from this upcoming 50th anniversary deluxe edition of Frank Herbert's Dune. The art—by Sam Weber—is incredible (and that image of Baron Harkonnen is going to haunt my dreams), but...

More »

Mar 26 2015

Fantasy v. Sexy Halloween Costume

2015-03-26-fantasy-v-sexy-halloween-costume

The blog Muddy Colors recently featured a fascinating column by Lauren Panepinto, the Creative Director for Orbit Books. In her post, Panepinto discusses the difficulty (and importance!) of achieving attractive, dynamic cover art for fantasy novels...

More »

Mar 25 2015

Pocket Apocalypse, by Seanan McGuire

2015-03-25-pocket-apocalypse-by-seanan-mcguire

In my review of Seanan McGuire's first three 'InCryptid' novels, I gave the author a very specific request for book four: I wanted the plot climax to kick off with the hero naked, unconscious, and in need of rescue. I don't want to spoil anything, but I would give Pocket Apocalypse a solid B+ for its wish fulfillment alone...

More »

Mar 24 2015

The unwelcome return of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

2015-03-24-the-unwelcome-return-of-the-manic-pixie-dream-girl

And in other movie news, the trailer for the movie adaptation of John Green's Paper Towns recently hit the interwebs. Frankly, I'm even less excited about this than I am about the Little Women movie...

More »

Mar 24 2015

Little Women Strike Back

2015-03-24-little-women-strike-back

According to THR, Sony is planning another film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, with Sara Polley as the probable writer/director. I'm not much of a Little Women fan, but it is an important piece of American literature, so I guess I'm in favor of another movie version...

More »

Mar 23 2015

Midnight Crossroad, by Charlaine Harris

2015-03-23-midnight-crossroad-by-charlaine-harris

I've always classified Charlaine Harris as an “airport writer”. Her novels are reasonably entertaining, and you can find them in even the saddest, most under-stocked airport book display, but if I'm in an actual bookstore I'm probably going to choose something else. That's why I'm so impressed by Midnight Crossroad, the first book in her latest series—it does a great job of playing to Harris's strengths, but it also proves that she's still growing and improving as an author...

More »

Mar 23 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Midnight Crossroad, by Charlaine Harris

2015-03-23-weekly-book-giveaway-midnight-crossroad-by-charlaine-harris

This week's Book Giveaway title is Charlaine Harris's Midnight Crossroad, the first installment in a trilogy set in a fictional Texas town called Midnight. The novel plays to Harris's strengths; there's no one better at creating a plausible blend of fantasy and pink-collar Southern life. (Of course, that's not exactly a crowded literary field, but that doesn't take away from Harris's gifts.) A full review will follow later today...

More »

Mar 17 2015

So many Cinderellas

2015-03-17-so-many-cinderellas

NPR recently featured a great article about the enduring popularity and staggering variety of Cinderella adaptations, from print to stage to screen. The article name-drops an 1893 book that had managed to collect 345 versions of the story...

More »

Mar 17 2015

Bride of the Water God on TV?

2015-03-17-bride-of-the-water-god-on-tv

Manga/manhwa fans take note: according to Dramabeans, Mi-Kyung Yun's popular Korean series Bride of the Water God is going to be adapted into a TV drama. The show is being developed by drama writer Jung Yoon-jung, who...

More »