Jul 21 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Fire Wish, by Amber Lough

This week's Book Giveaway pick is Amber Lough's debut novel The Fire Wish. I have no idea if the story's any good, but I'm pleased to see an Arabian Nights-inspired teen fantasy novel (and a little surprised I haven't been sent more of them, frankly). You'd think the gorgeous clothes alone would have been enough to attract more YA authors' interest...

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Jul 17 2014

Scholastic strikes again

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Scholastic is working on another "multi-platform action adventure property", according to Publishers Weekly. Like The 39 Clues, Spirit Animals and...

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Jul 17 2014

Marvel shakes things up

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Big plot tweaks are on the way from Marvel: Thor is gonna be a woman, and the Captain America role is going to be handed over to Sam Wilson (AKA the Falcon, recently played by Anthony Mackie in Captain America: The Winter Soldier)...

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Jul 16 2014

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit and The Case of the Good Boy, by John Allison

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I picked up the first volume of John Allison's Bad Machinery because I kept seeing it described as a spectacular title for children, and I figured: what the hell, I'm pretty childish. But now that I've read every Bad Machinery strip to date, I've decided Allison's publisher is making a mistake by pushing Bad Machinery at kids—this is a story about children, but that doesn't mean it's best appreciated by children...

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Jul 15 2014

Jane Austen in wax

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Speaking of Jane Austen, the Jane Austen Centre at Bath recently unveiled a wax figure of Jane Austen, created by sculptor Mark Richards and inspired by Melissa Dring’s forensic painting of Austen. I'm always terrified by wax sculptures...

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Jul 15 2014

As yet, the marketplace has failed me.

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Thanks to a recent digression on Twitter about literature-inspired nail polish, I've been obsessed with the idea of a Jane Austen-inspired line of polishes, and it appears I am not alone: last summer, the website Loving Books wrote a lengthy post on the colors they would choose for the various characters...

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Jul 14 2014

Sparrow Hill Road, by Seanan McGuire

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Seanan McGuire's Sparrow Hill Road began life as a series of short stories published on The Edge of Propinquity. The author reworked the material into a single novel, mashing it into one mega ghost story, with enough free-ranging creepiness to fuel a dozen camp outs...

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Jul 14 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Sparrow Hill Road, by Seanan McGuire

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We've expressed mixed (but mostly positive!) feelings about Seanan McGuire's writing in the past, but we're pretty excited about this week's Book Giveaway pick, Sparrow Hill Road. It appears to be a classic ghost story told from the ghost's point of view, and what could be more summertime campfire-friendly...

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Jul 10 2014

Step One: Avoid the bulls entirely.

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In a move that will, ironically, probably raise his book's profile and generate way more sales, writer Bill Hillmann, co-author of the how-to-not-get-gored-by-a-bull advice guide Fiesta: How To Survive The Bulls Of Pamplona, has been gored by a bull...

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Jul 10 2014

Ridiculous, but kinda funny.

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I was totally oblivious to the kerfuffle over Dinesh D'Souza's accusations that Costco and Google where somehow trying to depress the success of his recent movie and book America (due to their liberal political leanings, I guess) until I read this Seattle Times article. D'Souza's suggestions sound pretty flimsy...

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Jul 9 2014

Mortal Danger, by Ann Aguirre

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I have trouble imagining the pitch for Ann Aguirre's new novel Mortal Danger. ”It's like a supernatural Revenge, but in high school, and the heroine is suicidal... but there's a really hot guy in it! And a makeover scene! But also tons of people die.” The end result melds together better than I expected, but there's no denying that some of those elements work better than others...

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Jul 8 2014

HOW IS THIS STILL A THING?

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While trotting past the book section at Target, my head nearly exploded at the sight of yet another book in Jamie McGuire's Maddox Brothers series. GROSS. I wrote a vitriolic review of the first book in the series a few years ago (sample line: "I can't sign off on a happily-ever-after featuring a guy who is always just one break-up away from full-blown cirrhosis of the liver"), and...

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Jul 8 2014

G-rated Charlaine Harris

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According to THR, Hallmark is planning to adapt author Charlaine Harris's eight-book Aurora Teagarden series into an unknown number of movies for their "Original Mystery Wheel Franchise". The films will star and be co-produced by former Full House actor Candace Cameron Bure...

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Jul 7 2014

Seconds, by Bryan Lee O'Malley

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Still riding high from the resounding success of his Scott Pilgrim series, Bryan Lee O'Malley's new standalone graphic novel Seconds is a fantasy/horror/humor hybrid about Katie Clay, a young, talented chef at a popular restaurant. Katie is trying to open a new restaurant (one that she will co-own), but the process is slow, so she's stuck in limbo, hanging around her former kitchen and pestering her ex-employees. When a moment of inattention leads to a waitress being injured...

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Jul 7 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Seconds, by Bryan Lee O'Malley

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Bryan Lee O'Malley's new graphic novel Seconds. People have often suggested that I review O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series, but I couldn't get past the first volume, which opens with the books' 23-year-old protagonist dating a 17-year-old girl...

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Jul 3 2014

A+ for craftiness

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I'm really impressed by these recent reprints of Koushun Takami's Battle Royale from Haikasoru Books. Not only are they eye-catching as hell, but I'm assuming their vague resemblance to the packaging materials for The Hunger Games is 100% intentional (and smart)...

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Jul 3 2014

RIP, Walter Dean Myers

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Critically acclaimed YA author Walter Dean Myers died this week at the age of 76. Myers (whose motto was apparently "Reading is not optional") served as the 2012/2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and campaigned tirelessly against the extreme racial imbalance featured in children' literature...

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Jul 2 2014

Questionable, but mostly pretty fun.

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As of yesterday, visitors to London can relax on one of the 50 "BookBench" sculptures. Designed by local artists, the unique benches are meant to "celebrate London’s literary heritage and reading for enjoyment". Frankly, I find the art on these suckers... well, variable in quality...

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Jul 1 2014

Enterprising!

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According to the Huffington Post, the Amsterdam bench featured in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars has gone missing, but before any European-bound mega-fans demand a refund for their plane tickets, city spokesman Stephan van der Hoek has promised the city will correct the situation...

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Jul 1 2014

So unhealthy. So delicious.

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Okay, I have a sick, self-destructive love for instant ramen, so I was thrilled by this NPR article about Sarah Childs's recently-released book Rah! Rah! Ramen and the blog Dumbed Down Foods...

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Jun 30 2014

Threshold, by Caitlin R. Kiernan

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Caitlin R. Kiernan's novel Threshold is 90% atmosphere, 10% plot. That's not necessarily a complaint, but anyone setting out to read this novel better be prepared for the literary equivalent of visiting a haunted house that consists mostly of smoke machines being blown in your face, with only occasional, unsatisfying glimpses of an actual monster...

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Jun 30 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Threshold, by Caitlin R. Kiernan

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This week we're giving away Threshold, by Caitlin R. Kiernan. I haven't read it yet, but I have wasted far too much time puzzling over those... things on the heroine's arms. What are those? Gloves? Part of her shirt? The review will follow later this afternoon; hopefully the book includes a detailed explanation of the protagonist's wardrobe choices...

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Jun 26 2014

Clearly, horror is selling well on Lifetime.

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I've never thought of Stephen King's work as being Lifetime material (except for maybe Dolores Claiborne), but The Hollywood Reporter informs me that the network is gearing up to adapt King's 2010 novella Big Driver (from the collection Full Dark, No Stars) into a made-for-TV movie. The story actually sounds totally Lifetime-friendly...

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Jun 26 2014

Trapped at the Altar, by Jane Feather

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Before I begin, a word of warning: Jane Feather's Trapped at the Altar ends on such an inexplicably abrupt note that I found myself wondering if the e-reader advance copy I was sent was somehow missing several final chapters. But after poking around a bit online, I'm assuming my copy is fine—it seems that's just the way the story ends. However, if I find out later there's secretly another 100 pages out there, I promise to go back and update this with a more fair assessment...

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Jun 25 2014

Bad Luck Girl, by Sarah Zettel

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I was thrilled to receive my review copy of Sarah Zettel's Bad Luck Girl, the final book in her American Fairy Trilogy. Zettel had already produced two exceptionally creative, intelligent installments for this series (Dust Girl and Golden Girl), so I was crossing my fingers for a truly spectacular finish...

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Jun 24 2014

Geek gear

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Out of Print has introduced several new designs as part of their new Sci-Fi Collection, including The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Handmaid's Tale, Ender's Game, and Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Personally, I don't think that last one qualifies...

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Jun 24 2014

A CGI BFG

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Roald Dahl's official website recently posted an announcement about the upcoming film adaptation of Dahl's 1982 novel The BFG. According to the site, the movie will be co-produced by DreamWorks and Disney, directed by Steven Spielberg, and released on July 1, 2016...

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Jun 23 2014

Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, by Jennifer Graham and Rob Thomas

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Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line is extremely satisfying... y'know, for fanfic. It's less successful as a freestanding mystery, but I suspect author Jennifer Graham (who “co-wrote” the novel with series creator Rob Thomas) was encouraged to walk a very fine line between creative storytelling and shameless fanservice...

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Jun 23 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

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This week we're giving away a copy of Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. The book is the first installment in a series of mysteries inspired by the TV show, and while I suspect most hardcore Veronica Mars fans already own it, if you're A) broke, B) on the fence about reading a movie tie-in, or C) just looking for an entertaining, noir-lite beach read, today could be your lucky day...

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Jun 18 2014

Expect many new reprints

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According to The New York Times, Circuit Judge Richard Posner, writing for a three-judge panel from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, has declared that most (but not all) of Arthur Conan Doyle's dozens of Sherlock Holmes stories are now part of the public domain...

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