Sep 28 2017

I'm more adventurous when things are free.

The Guardian just posted a fairly positive review of Ever, Jane, a Jane-Austen-inspired online role-playing game created by Judy L Tyrer, formerly of Linden Labs (the studio behind the online world Second Life). I'm not a fan of online role-playing, but I might give Ever, Jane a shot...

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Sep 28 2017

Win some; lose some

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I have trouble taking magazines like GQ seriously, but once in a while they surprise me, as they did with their utterly gripping recent longform article "The Untold Story of Kim Jong-nam’s Assassination", by Doug Bock Clark. The article is gruesome but fascinating, and well worth both your time and the embarrassment of...

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Sep 27 2017

Ouch.

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Whoa: an elementary school librarian named Liz Phipps Soeiro just published an open letter to Melania Trump, responding to Trump's gift of ten Dr. Seuss books. The tone of the letter is civil, and many (though not all) of the author's criticisms are valid, but... but... I just can't get behind responding to a gift with a condescending explanation of where the gift-giver went wrong...

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Sep 26 2017

Mad props

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Last week, NASA dedicated the new Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Katherine Johnson herself, one of the key figures in Margot Lee Shetterly's bestselling nonfiction book Hidden Figures. In 2015, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Sep 26 2017

That doesn't sound promising.

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According to NPR, Indian Country Today—a 30-year-old-weekly newspaper that focused on the work of indigenous journalists—is "on hiatus". Over the last six years, the paper has been transformed into a multi-platform digital media network, which Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter says reached more than a million readers each month...

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Sep 25 2017

The Grand Sophy, by Georgette Heyer

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It's tough for most Georgette Heyer fans to choose their favorite of her novels*, but I think it's telling that The Grand Sophy is her first book to get a big-budget movie adaptation. (Allegedly, although I'm not getting my hopes up.) The Grand Sophy is a lively, witty, unabashedly good time, and perfectly encapsulates Heyer's appeal...

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Sep 25 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Grand Sophy, by Georgette Heyer

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Georgette Heyer's The Grand Sophy. (I'm hoping that discussing it will magically encourage the universe to give me an update on the proposed Grand Sophy movie, which seems to have faded from our collective consciousness.) A full review will follow shortly...

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Sep 21 2017

If anyone sews any button eyes, I'm out.

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According to io9, The Simpsons are working on a parody of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, and the author himself will appear on the show. (This is actually his second appearance. He voiced himself back in an episode in season 23. This time, if the article is to be believed, he'll be voicing the family cat.) The...

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Sep 21 2017

Happy Birthday, Stephen King

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I am informed that today is Stephen King's birthday. He can celebrate with this news: his novel IT has been holding the #1 slot in the "Fiction and Literature" category of Apple’s iBooks store for a couple of weeks now, presumably due to the success of the recent movie adaptation...

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Sep 20 2017

It works for Game of Thrones locations!

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According to the BBC, the upcoming Hellboy reboot was allowed to film inside the 900-year-old Wells Cathedral, but only after church officials checked out the comic book and verified that it was a traditional good-versus-evil story. Nobody has mentioned how much the filmmakers paid for the church's use, but...

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Sep 19 2017

Back and forth

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There's an interesting article on Jezebel about a New York Times review of Vanessa Grigoriadis’s new book, Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power and Consent on Campus. From the Times' perspective, the book was fundamentally flawed—full of critical reporting errors. But as other reviewers and the author pointed out, the Times critic had to go back...

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Sep 19 2017

As long as the John Wick movies keep making money...

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The trailer is out for Red Sparrow, the movie adaptation of Jason Matthews's 2013 novel of the same name. The film will star Jennifer Lawrence, and while it frankly looks a little cheesy (and a lot like someone decided to take advantage of the popularity of Marvel's Black Widow character), I am...

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Sep 18 2017

Half Baked Harvest, by Tieghan Gerard

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I have a daily ritual: every morning, when it's still too early for me face the news, I skim glossy cookbooks while I groggily eat my breakfast. Sure, my actual breakfast is totally boring (black tea and an English muffin), but I find looking at pictures of beautiful food to be extremely soothing. That is why I am so fond of the popular website Half Baked Harvest, and why I decided to review author Tieghan Gerard's new cookbook...

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Sep 18 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Half Baked Harvest, by Tieghan Gerard

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This week's Book Giveaway is a little unusual: we're giving away Tieghan Gerard's new cookbook, Half Baked Harvest. But even if you're not the huge fan of Gerard's pretty, pretty website that we are, might we recommend her cookbook as an excellent coffee table option? There's something so soothing about staring at pictures of beautifully-presented food, and this book has 'em in spades...

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Sep 14 2017

SO CUTE.

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Normally I find most of the items from Pottery Barn's kid and teen lines mega-boring, like the kind of stuff you could buy at an extra-expensive, extra-WASP-y Costco. But once in a while they surprise me, and I am totally down with their "Harry Potter Collection", which...

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Sep 14 2017

Yeah, but... (Part II)

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There's been an update on the recent literary scandal surrounding the publication of Lani Sarem's Handbook For Mortals, which recently rocketed to the top of the YA bestseller lists via some seemingly questionable sales practices. While...

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Sep 13 2017

Tastiness

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There's a book trailer (so fancy!) celebrating the release of popular blogger Deb Perelman's second cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites. The above link includes information about...

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Sep 12 2017

Good luck in your future endeavors, sir.

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Graydon Carter, longtime editor of Vanity Fair, recently announced that he will be stepping down after twenty-five years at the magazine's helm. Carter is regarded as a celebrity in his own right, and while his accomplishments as an editor, tastemaker, and Hollywood figure cannot be denied, I suspect his longest-lasting legacy...

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Sep 12 2017

Creepy

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The Smithsonian magazine recently posted an interesting article about the history of book-burnings, and the motivations of the arsonists in question. That first picture (of a bunch of grinning Hitler Youth members, looking for all the world like cheery Eagle Scouts) is...

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Sep 11 2017

The Empty Grave, by Jonathan Stroud

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For the past five years, I have welcomed every fall with a new installment of Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series. I don't know what cutesy name to give to the autumnal equivalent of a “beach read”, but that's totally what these books are—the perfect reading choice as the weather gets gloomier and we all start craving Halloween candy...

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Sep 11 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Empty Grave, by Jonathan Stroud

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This week's Book Giveaway is Jonathan Stroud's The Empty Grave, the last book in our beloved Lockwood & Co. series. I'm strangely reluctant to start this book—it's a little painful to accept that this will be the last time we get to celebrate the beginning of autumn with a new Lockwood book. Where will I get my only-technically-G-rated scares now?!? Anyway, a review will be posted as soon as I accept the inevitable...

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Sep 7 2017

Thumbs up (for the review, anyway)

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I've never heard of this movie, but the AV Club review is pretty great: they're giving the J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye a D+. Even the few notes of praise are extremely muted ("Hoult doesn’t embarrass himself..."), and the rest of the review is full of lines like these...

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Sep 7 2017

I hope their outerwear was top-notch

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There's a great post on Atlas Obscura about the women who ran the The Pack Horse Library, one of the initiatives created as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. The Pack Horse Library was an organization of (overwhelmingly female) traveling librarians who rode their own horses or mules all over Appalachia, delivering books to remote households...

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Sep 6 2017

No pants = no moral authority

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There's an article in the Guardian about a recent study of the moral effects of children's literature. According to the results, children who read stories featuring human characters behaving in moral ways were far more likely to emulate that behavior than children who read stories about anthropomorphic animals...

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Sep 5 2017

Midnight Riot, by Ben Aaronovitch

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I originally bought Ben Aaronovitch's book Midnight Riot because I had heard it compared to Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim books. Midnight Riot doesn't actually have much in in common with those series, however. It reminded me far more of Kat Richardson's Greywalker books, although Aaronovitch deserves props for creating a protagonist with an actual personality...

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Sep 5 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Midnight Riot, by Ben Aaronovitch

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This week's Book Giveaway is Midnight Riot, the first book in Ben Aaronovitch's PC Peter Grant series. While you're (no doubt breathlessly) awaiting our review, I recommend reading this post about the controversy surrounding the original US cover art, which has since been replaced with the artwork featured here. Nice call, publishers...

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Aug 31 2017

On Wednesdays we wear BLOOD SPLATTERS

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According to Deadline, two (male) screenwriters have made a deal to create a new film adaptation of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, only this time? All the characters will be girls. This...

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Aug 31 2017

Phony: Part II

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The Guardian recently posted an update to the fascinating John Smelcer story, which we wrote about last week. It seems that the overwhelming pile of evidence suggesting that Mr. Smelcer is 100% full of garbage...

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Aug 30 2017

Store-brand Poe

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Some streaming service that I've never heard of (Shudder) has bought the rights to all four chapters of Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories, a collection of short-film adaptations that originally aired on the UK’s Sky Arts last year...

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Aug 29 2017

Money was spent

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The promotions for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel are mad fancy: Collider just premiered an “in-world” short film that explains what happened between the events of the first movie, set in 2019, and this sequel, set in 2049. This short takes place in 2036, and features...

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