Sep 15 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Skink—No Surrender, by Carl Hiaasen

This week's Book Giveaway pick is Carl Hiaasen's Skink—No Surrender. People are making a big deal out of the fact that this Hiaasen's first novel aimed at teen readers, so I'm interested to discover what separates it from his previous books for adults and children. (Swearing, but just a little? Non-explicit sex? Semi-detailed descriptions of alligators eating people?) Sadly, one thing is already clear: there's no sign of the vivid, pop-art cover style...

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Sep 11 2014

No, thanks.

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Yeah, this is never gonna happen: according to THR, Televisa USA (creator of Lifetime's Devious Maids) has acquired the TV and digital rights to Anne Rice's best-selling Sleeping Beauty trilogy. The article indicates that they're hoping to turn the books into a Fifty Shades of Grey-esque TV series, but...

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Sep 11 2014

Depressing.

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According to the Pew Research Center's annual report on reading in in the United States, fully 24% of American adults read no books in 2013...

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Sep 10 2014

Sammy Keyes and The Kiss Goodbye, by Wendelin Van Draanen

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After eighteen installments, Wendelin Van Draanen is ending her award-winning Sammy Keyes series. The final book, Sammy Keyes and The Kiss Goodbye, was released this week, and it's a creative and genuinely sweet send-off...

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Sep 9 2014

Good omens indeed.

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According to io9, BBC Radio has announced that Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are collaborating on the first successful dramatization (after many, many attempts) of their 1990 classic Good Omens, to air this December...

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Sep 9 2014

The Lotus Caves on TV

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Apparently, TV producer Bryan Fuller (of Hannibal and Pushing Daisies fame) tried developing a Syfy TV adaptation of our beloved John Christopher's 1969 young adult sci-fi novel The Lotus Caves. Syfy declined to pick up the pilot as a series, but...

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Sep 8 2014

Gameboard of the Gods, by Richelle Mead

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To do her justice, Richelle Mead is not lazy. Her Vampire Academy series is successful enough that many authors would have settled for simply producing more of the same, but she has chosen instead to return to her adult paranormal-fiction roots, creating the sci-fi/fantasy series Age of X...

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Sep 8 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Gameboard of the Gods, by Richelle Mead

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This week's Book Giveaway is Richelle Mead's Gameboard of the Gods. I've found Richelle Mead's adult novels to be even more hit-or-miss than her Vampire Academy books (and let's face it: those are pretty spotty, too), so here's hoping this is one for the "hit" column...

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Sep 5 2014

Lois Lane gets the YA treatment

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According to the website DC Women Kicking Ass, Lois Lane will be starring in a YA novel by author Gwenda Bond and published by Capstone/Switch, to be released next May...

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Sep 4 2014

A disappearing breed

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NPR recently posted a depressing article about the loss of librarians in Chicago's more than 600 public schools. As the districts are facing tough financial choices, more and more librarians are being reassigned from libraries to classrooms. Illinois does not require library instruction, so schools won't face any political or financial repercussions...

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Sep 4 2014

Visions, by Kelley Armstrong

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The second book in Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series has recently been released, and it has the same strengths and weaknesses as its predecessor: I continue to find the heroine about as emotionally engaging as a roll of paper towels, but I am 100% invested in figuring out the whys and wherefores of the world Armstrong has created...

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Sep 3 2014

Gross, gross, gross

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Margaret Talbot over at The New Yorker recently posted an article that perfectly sums up my feelings about the deeply creepifying new cover art for Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...

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Sep 2 2014

Carry On, Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse

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Carry On, Jeeves is a collection of ten of P.G. Wodehouse's early Jeeves and Wooster short stories. Nine are told from the point of view of Bertie Wooster, a wealthy, genial, mentally negligible young Englishman; the tenth is narrated by Jeeves, Bertie's unflappable and infinitely resourceful valet. There are no surprises in a Jeeves and Wooster short story...

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Sep 2 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Carry On, Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse

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In honor of back-to-school week, I've chosen something soothing for this week's Book Giveaway: Carry On, Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse. It isn't my favorite Jeeves-and-Wooster collection, but it's pretty much ideal reading for anyone feeling overwhelmed by constant demands for calculators, kleenex, and signed permission slips...

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Aug 26 2014

The Lowly Worm returns

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NPR informs me that there's a new Richard Scarry book coming out this month (despite Scarry's death in 1994). Scarry's son, Richard "Huck" Scarry Jr., claims to have found the partially-finished manuscript for Richard Scarry's Best Lowly Worm Book Ever! in his father's Swiss chalet, and decided to complete it himself...

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Aug 26 2014

Mollocking

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I suspect this will be (unintentionally) hilarious: according to Variety, BBC One has announced the cast for its upcoming adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley’s Lover...

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Aug 25 2014

Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner

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Inspired by Robert Lynn Asprin's long-running Thieves' World series, editor and author Terri Windling created the shared-world Borderland series in 1985. Borderland was followed by 1986's Bordertown and 1991's Life on the Border, and in 2011, twelve years after the publication of The Essential Bordertown, the series was revived by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner, with Windling's blessing and participation...

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Aug 25 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black

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This week we're giving away a copy of Welcome to Bordertown, a collection of short stories and poetry set in Terri Windling's "Bordertown" Universe and edited by Holly Black. The anthology includes some big names (Jane Yolen, Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, etc.), but I'm most excited about the short story by Annette Curtis Klause, whose book releases are way too few and far between...

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Aug 21 2014

A little look-see

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NPR is offering readers a sneak peek at Jules Feiffer's upcoming graphic novel Kill My Mother, due out next Tuesday. The story appears to be a play on classic Hollywood film noir, re-imagined via Feiffer's inimitable art style...

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Aug 21 2014

Unfair

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Illustrator and writer Leanne Shapton has designed a series of absolutely gorgeous patterned covers for Jane Austen's six novels. You can admire the books via the website Creative Review, but I have yet to see any signs of them on Random House's American website...

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Aug 20 2014

Girl to the Core, by Stacey Goldblatt

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Stacey Goldblatt's Girl to the Core has the makings of a sweet, inspirational coming-of-age novel... cursed with a story-crippling flaw. Goldblatt's heroine is Molly O'Keefe, the only girl in a large, boisterous Irish-American family. Molly's a pushover, so when her boyfriend Trevor cheats on her she knows she'll need a distraction to keep herself from taking him back. Unexpectedly, she finds one in the Girl Corps, a Girl Scouts-like group...

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Aug 19 2014

Tactile reading

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NPR recently posted a fascinating article about how 3-D printing might change books printed for blind readers—imagine a sculptural version of Goodnight Moon, with the mittens and kitten and everything standing out from the page...

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Aug 19 2014

Ghoulish tourism!

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According to The Independent, the Yorkshire house that inspired Jane Eyre's Thornfield Hall is now open to the public. Charlotte Bronte visited the stately home of Norton Conyers in 1839, and heard the legend of "Mad Mary"...

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Aug 18 2014

The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, by Kate Hattemer

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Kate Hattemer's The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy is the kind of challenging, dialogue-driven teen drama I would have absolutely devoured as a kid. Sadly, I read it as an adult, which left me with a somewhat different reaction...

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Aug 18 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, by Kate Hattemer

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This week we're giving away a copy of The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, by Kate Hattemer. The PR note I received with the novel claims that it's perfect for fans of Glee. I don't know about Ms. Hattemer (whose writing deserves better), but to paraphrase P.G. Wodehouse: if someone said such a thing about me, I would have risen and struck them on the mazzard, regardless of their age or sex...

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Aug 13 2014

Not feeling it.

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Okay, I've been super busy this summer, but how did I miss this, and—bigger question—why is it happening? Bookriot informs me that Bloomsbury is releasing another new set of Harry Potter covers, this time featuring the artwork of Jonny Duddle...

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Aug 12 2014

Sadly...

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The trailer is out for the upcoming Johnny Depp movie Mortdecai, based on the 1970s series of comic novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli. The movie looks absolutely terrible, but I had my hopes up about the books, seeing as A) they appear to be a parody of the Jeeves and Wooster stories, and B) the third is called Something Nasty in the Woodshed, which I assume...

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Aug 11 2014

Frostborn, by Lou Anders

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While I doubt Lou Anders's Thrones & Bones: Frostborn will attract much of an adult audience, it's the kind of novel parents will love to read out loud to their kids. Anders divides his story between Karn, a human boy destined to inherit his father's farm (and the countless mind-numbing responsibilities that come with it), and Thianna, a half-giant, half-human girl who feels like she'll never fit in anywhere...

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Aug 11 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Frostborn, by Lou Anders

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This week we're giving away Lou Anders's debut novel Frostborn, the first installment of his "Thrones and Bones" series. I'm only a few chapters in, but so far it seems like a brisk, enjoyable read, carefully constructed to appeal to young readers of both genders. It definitely feels like a kid-specific story (unlike, say, Jonathan Stroud's Heroes of the Valley), but budding fantasy fans...

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Aug 7 2014

Have at it, Ms. Brownstein.

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Time magazine says that Portlandia co-creator Carrie Brownstein has been hired to complete the late Nora Ephron's unfinished adaptation of ITV's 2008 TV miniseries Lost in Austen. Normally, I'd be concerned at the notion of Brownstein getting her hands on a Jane Austen-related property...

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