Nov 24 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Daughter of Xanadu, by Doris Jones Yang

This week's Book Giveaway is Daughter of Xanadu, by Doris Jones Yang. Judging by the somber cover art, the story won't be a rollicking good time, but I notice the main character shares several characteristics (and a birth year) with Khutulun*, so there might be a happy ending in store...

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Nov 20 2014

Surrealism, food, and sex: a recipe guide

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The Huffington Post recently featured a fascinating description of Les Diners de Gala, Salvador Dali's 1973 "erotic cookbook". I can think of few artists whose vision I find less erotic than Dali's, but maybe food was his one true medium? I sincerely love the cover, although...

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Nov 20 2014

Computers are hard.

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When I first read this vitriolic plot summary of the book Barbie: I Can Be... A Computer Engineer, I honestly thought it was a joke. I mean, no one, not even Mattel, could be that tone-deaf, right? Turns out I was wrong: according to NPR, Mattel...

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Nov 19 2014

Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers

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The first two novels in Robin LaFevers's His Fair Assassin trilogy are intelligent, atmospheric, and jam-packed with historical detail, and the final installment, Mortal Heart, is no different. None of the books have been perfect, but this is still one of the most interesting and ambitious teen series to come out in years...

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Nov 18 2014

Not exactly giving it away, but not bad.

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If you too have always coveted one of Kate Spade's Book of the Month clutches, ModCloth is offering a more affordable alternative: this Elusive Edition Bag is a comparatively cheap $59.99...

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Nov 18 2014

Pricey!

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I rolled my eyes over this headline (describing an estate as "Mr. Darcy's IRL House" is both weird—seeing as he's not, y'know, a real person, and therefore does not actually own anything—and irritatingly cutesy), but if you've got a spare £7 million lying around, you can apparently use it to buy Wentworth Woodhouse...

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Nov 17 2014

Gated, by Amy Christine Parker

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Amy Christine Parker's debut novel Gated occasionally strains credulity, but teen suspense fans are going to absolutely love it. It's engrossing, fast-paced, and about as real-world creepy as YA literature gets...

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Nov 17 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Gated, by Amy Christine Parker

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This week's Book Giveaway is the YA suspense novel Gated, by Amy Christine Parker, which appears to be a novel about a girl growing up in a doomsday cult. (Picking random novels off our to-be-read shelf always leaves me reading the world's cheeriest stuff.) Our review should be up later today...

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Nov 11 2014

A literary battle

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According to NPR, a lawsuit has been filed in an ongoing fight over the late Maurice Sendak's personal library. The Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia has accused the executors of Sendak's estate...

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Nov 11 2014

I hope he gets LOADS of wine.

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The internet was recently blessed with a great single-page comic titled "Hero in Action: Bottle of Wine", written and illustrated by artist Russ Heath...

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Nov 10 2014

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

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The 75th anniversary edition of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None opens with a smug quote from Christie's autobiography. In it, she describes the book's premise as “perfectly reasonable”, mentions that it was well received by critics, and announces that she was the person who was most pleased with it, as she alone knew how difficult writing it had been. Having now re-read And Then There Were None for...

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Nov 10 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

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This week's Book Giveaway is the 75th anniversary edition of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. I hadn't read this novel since I was a child, and I have to say: if it is truly one of Christie's best books, I am now really bewildered by the comparative lack of interest in Georgette Heyer's mysteries...

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Nov 6 2014

Maybe a B+?

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Word and Film recently posted a generally positive review of BBC One's adaptation of P. D. James's Death Comes to Pemberley. I wasn't impressed by the reviewer's argument that Pride and Prejudice is constructed around the "central question" of Darcy's feelings...

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Nov 6 2014

There's a demand for this?

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Yesterday THR reported that Netflix is planning to adapt Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events into a TV show. I'm a little taken aback, seeing as the 2004 movie adaptation of this series didn't make enough money to justify a franchise...

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Nov 5 2014

Killer Instinct, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Before I launch into the body of my review, I'd like to commend my local chain bookstore for not displaying Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Killer Instinct in the children's section. That's where they originally stocked the first book in the series—last year's The Naturals—and it was a staggeringly inappropriate choice...

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Nov 4 2014

TIGERS!

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According to ComingSoon.net, Shekhar Kapur has signed on to direct a film adaptation of Tiger's Curse, based on Colleen Houck's New York Times-bestselling series of the same name. I've never read these books (I'm sorry, but that cover art totally reads "Updated Lisa Frank" to me), but...

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Nov 4 2014

Teardrops on my keyboard

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I'm presenting this without comment: John Allison has announced that he's done writing my beloved Bad Machinery. He's not done with the characters, but he's shifting his focus back to the larger world of...

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Nov 3 2014

Lark Rising, by Sandra Waugh

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After last week's horror-story marathon, I've been looking forward to exploring different genres, and Sandra Waugh's Lark Rising totally fits the bill—it's classic high fantasy, complete with glowing orbs, prophetic poetry, and a hand-drawn map featuring names like "The Myr Mountains" and "The Dark Wood"...

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Nov 3 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Lark Rising, by Sandra Waugh

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I could wish for a less moldy-looking cover, but I'm pretty excited about this novel: our current Book Giveaway is Lark Rising, the first installment in Sandra Waugh's Guardians of Tarnec series. I've heard good things about this story, and will post our take later this afternoon...

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Oct 30 2014

Scored, by Lauren McLaughlin

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My favorite kind of scary stories involve real, everyday things gone horribly wrong, so when I realized the subject matter of Lauren McLaughlin's Scored I was totally stoked. Brace yourself, dear readers: this is a horror novel about student test scores...

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Oct 30 2014

It's maybe... 63% overdone.

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The BBC has released a very dramatic trailer for their "A Lifetime of Original British Drama" promotion, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch at his absolutely most British, reciting the "All the world's a stage" speech...

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Oct 29 2014

The Turning: What Curiosity Kills, by Helen Ellis

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This might be a stretch, but I'm including a novel about shape-shifting cats in my Halloween read-a-thon. I realize were-kittens aren't quite as threatening as zombies or whatever, but they fall somewhere along the monster spectrum, right? (On, like, the cuter end...

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Oct 28 2014

Scary Go Round, by John Allison

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If you're looking for a Halloween read this week and you haven't got any money (or a library card, or friends who own books), you're in luck: John Allison's pre-Bad Machinery comic Scary Go Round is available for free online...

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Oct 28 2014

The memories are still too fresh.

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While I'm picking random horror-themed books off my To-Be-Read shelf this week, zillions of other people are doing Halloween-related book lists, too. My favorite is Jezebel's "SPOOKY SCARY HALLOWEEN YA BOOK CLUB", which has been revisiting the big horror titles of my early 90s youth...

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Oct 27 2014

Famous Last Words, by Katie Alender

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According to her author bio, Katie Alender went to film school, and her love of movies permeates every page of Famous Last Words. I expect there's already a film-adaptation deal in the works, but if not, Hollywood is missing out, because Famous Last Words has everything: ghosts, romance, murders... even a makeover scene. Seriously, it's practically a shopping list for a successful teen movie...

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Oct 27 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Famous Last Words, by Katie Alender

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This week's Book Giveaway is Katie Alender's YA murder mystery Famous Last Words. My original plan had been to focus entirely on horror novels this week, in honor of Halloween, but A) I actually want to read this sucker, and B) there might be a ghost in it...? Anyway, a full review will follow later today...

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Oct 24 2014

All pink and evil...

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Okay, I know I've complained about J.K. Rowling's seeming inability to stop doling out further mini-installments of her totally, absolutely, 100% finished Harry Potter series, but her last story (the Rita Skeeter one) was actually really fun...

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Oct 23 2014

Marvel just loves scenes of destruction.

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The trailer is out for the upcoming Marvel mega-project Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I have thoughts. First, is Ultron, like, a Terminator? (Also, why the ballerinas? Will they serve some plot purpose, or do ballerinas just look cool?) I have no doubts this movie will make a zillion dollars, but it looks a little depressing...

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Oct 22 2014

The Secrets of Tree Taylor, by Dandi Daley Mackall

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If you, like me, feel a pang of sadness whenever you remember that Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes series has really and truly ended, I have good news: Dandi Daley Mackall's coming-of-age novel The Secrets of Tree Taylor hits a lot of the same notes, and hits several of them even better...

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Oct 21 2014

Currently experiencing second-hand embarrassment

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And speaking of upcoming movies, Paramount has picked up the rights to first-time author Anna Todd's One Direction fanfic-turned-novel After, which has apparently been a massive success on WattPad. I haven't read this story (because, well, I'm not in the market for One Direction fanfiction), but...

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