Feb 27 2015

One Fish Two Fish graces the highest court in the land

In other political/literary news, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recently cited Dr. Seuss's One Fist Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish in her dissenting response to Yates v. United States. It's not like Dr. Seuss really needs the publicity, but it's nice to see him get a shout-out nonetheless, and from such an impressive source...

More »

Feb 26 2015

Jail time for assigning Beloved?

2015-02-26-jail-time-for-assigning-beloved

Oh, this is great news: not content with good old-fashioned censorship, the Kansas Senate has passed a bill "making it easier to prosecute teachers and school administrators for distributing materials deemed harmful to minors". Apparently, supporters say the bill is necessary to ensure that kids are protected from teachers distributing pornography at school. Because... that's a thing that happens a lot? Or something?

More »

Feb 25 2015

The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With The Hidden Name, by Skylar Dorset

2015-02-25-the-girl-who-never-was-and-the-boy-with-the-hidden-name-by-skylar-dorset

Skylar Dorset's novels The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With the Hidden Name are quick, pleasant reads, graced with an unusual setting and a solid romantic storyline. The books slide right down, but, sadly, there's very little in the way of memorable plot development to keep them from sliding straight back out again...

More »

Feb 25 2015

Anais Nin is rolling in her grave

2015-02-25-anais-nin-is-rolling-in-her-grave

Much to my horror, THR recently posted an article about several romantic/erotic novels that (thanks to the unexpected success of the Fifty Shades movie) may now be adapted into films. Their list includes Anna Todd's After, a self-published story that started off as a long-running One Direction fanfic...

More »

Feb 24 2015

The Seattle Library is... different.

2015-02-24-the-seattle-library-is-different

Boston Magazine recently posted an article about the newly redesigned Boston Public Library-Central Library’s Johnson Building. The remodel focused on youth-oriented spaces, and it looks incredibly cool...

More »

Feb 23 2015

Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear

2015-02-23-karen-memory-by-elizabeth-bear

Elizabeth Bear's novel Karen Memory has all the hallmarks of a great YA novel: the plot is unabashedly romantic and imaginative, and the author is clearly determined to deliver plenty of value for your entertainment dollar. In fact, I suspect the only reason this wasn't packaged as a teen book is because the sixteen-year-old heroine is A) gay and B) a prostitute...

More »

Feb 23 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear

2015-02-23-weekly-book-giveaway-karen-memory-by-elizabeth-bear

This week's Book Giveaway pick is Elizabeth Bear's Karen Memory, a steampunk Western set in an otherworldly version of the Seattle Underground. I'm not very far into it yet, but I'll read anything that plays up Seattle's innate weirdness, and I'm already a fan of the heroine's frank, no-nonsense narration...

More »

Feb 19 2015

Meh.

2015-02-19-meh

Okay, this makes me a little sad. It's the 150th anniversary of my beloved Alice in Wonderland, and Puffin Books is celebrating with a new edition illustrated by Rifle Paper Co. founder Anna Bond. Don't get me wrong: I love Bond's work, but it's so tasteful...

More »

Feb 18 2015

My favorite price!

2015-02-18-my-favorite-price

If you hate-watched (or read) Fifty Shades of Grey recently, you might want to check out The Boss, the first installment in Jenny Trout/ Abigail Barnette's "BDSM-themed erotic romance series". The Boss is currently available as a free e-book, and...

More »

Feb 17 2015

Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton

2015-02-17-seeker-by-arwen-elys-dayton

Arwen Elys Dayton's Seeker feels less like an actual book and more like the novelization of a movie. Admittedly, I would totally watch said movie*, but my film standards are embarrassingly low. I expect more from books—consistent characterization, well-planned plot development, creative world-building—and Seeker falls short on all of these fronts...

More »

Feb 17 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton

2015-02-17-weekly-book-giveaway-seeker-by-arwen-elys-dayton

This week's Book Giveaway is Seeker, the first YA novel by Arwen Elys Dayton. This book is receiving LOADS of hardcore promotion, but readers should note that Dayton, who is married to EarthLink founder Sky Dayton, is something of a celebrity author. I am not saying that Seeker is bad (I haven't even read it yet! Maybe it's great!), but publishing is not always an 100% merit-based industry, and...

More »

Feb 12 2015

The benefit of low, low expectations?

2015-02-12-the-benefit-of-low-low-expectations

Slate just posted a largely positive review of Dakota Johnson's portrayal of Anastasia Steele, the main character in the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Sure, they're pretty nasty about the movie itself...

More »

Feb 12 2015

Alphabet background check

2015-02-12-alphabet-background-check

NPR has an interesting article up about Michael Rosen's new nonfiction book Alphabetical, which claims to explain the history behind all 26 letters. Rosen is not the world's most convincing interviewee...

More »

Feb 11 2015

Kill Me Softly and Tear You Apart, by Sarah Cross

2015-02-11-kill-me-softly-and-tear-you-apart-by-sarah-cross

I'm picky about retold fairytales. I get mega-irritated when an author screws up a classic story—I mean, they've already had a huge chunk of the work done for them! Ensuring that their new contribution doesn't suck seems like the least they can do...

More »

Feb 10 2015

Once again, we get stuck with the boring cover.

2015-02-10-once-again-we-get-stuck-with-the-boring-cover

Much to my displeasure (again), I see that Kerstin Gier's Spanish readers are getting both a much faster translation of Silber, the first book in her new trilogy, and infinitely funkier cover art than we do here in the US...

More »

Feb 10 2015

Shelvable furniture

2015-02-10-shelvable-furniture

I like the idea of "multi-fuctional, highly portable" furniture, but I'm pretty sure the very first thing I would do if I bought some Bookniture is spill tea into its delicate paper innards...

More »

Feb 9 2015

The Vanishing Game, by Kate Kae Myers

2015-02-09-the-vanishing-game-by-kate-kae-myers

There's some good stuff in Kate Kae Myers's teen mystery/horror/romance novel The Vanishing Game, but it's one of those unfortunate novels where the whole is considerably less enjoyable than its individual parts...

More »

Feb 9 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Vanishing Game, by Kate Kae Myers

2015-02-09-weekly-book-giveaway-the-vanishing-game-by-kate-kae-myers

This week, we continue the fine Wordcandy tradition of picking our Book Giveaway titles based entirely on the virtue of eye-catching cover art. I have no idea what Kate Kae Myers's The Vanishing Game is actually about (our review will be posted later today), but I want to give Ms. Myers's cover artist two enthusiastic thumbs up...

More »

Feb 5 2015

Sign me up

2015-02-05-sign-me-up

According to Variety, Whit Stillman's upcoming film Love and Friendship—based on Jane Austen's novella Lady Susan—is finally showing signs of life. Kate Beckinsale will play the scheming, beautiful main character, while...

More »

Feb 5 2015

Impractical

2015-02-05-impractical

Apartment Therapy recently posted a round-up of 10 "beautiful, bizarre, wonderful" designer bookcases. Only a few of them seem, y'know, actually functional, but they all look pretty cool...

More »

Feb 4 2015

Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell, by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

2015-02-04-veronica-mars-mr-kiss-and-tell-by-rob-thomas-and-jennifer-graham

When I reviewed the first Veronica Mars novel, I had several minor complaints: the story felt like fanfiction, there were too many needless cameos from the TV series, and the authors failed to take advantage of the longer format to create a subtle, well-paced mystery. Some of these problems are resolved in the second book in the series...

More »

Feb 3 2015

Seriously, I can barely write my name legibly.

2015-02-03-seriously-i-can-barely-write-my-name-legibly

According the Guardian, The Huntington Library in California has acquired 52 "unpublished letters, poems and other material" from Jane Austen's mother's family, the Leighs of Adlestrop...

More »

Feb 3 2015

The Casual Vacancy approaches

2015-02-03-the-casual-vacancy-approaches

The trailer is out for the BBC's upcoming TV adaptation of J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. At first glance, it doesn't seem to have much in common with her Harry Potter series (apart from the presence of Michael Gambon, of course), but I think I can already see some of Rowling's fondness for obsessive detail and slightly exaggerated characterization...

More »

Feb 2 2015

A Vintage Affair, by Isabel Wolff

2015-02-02-a-vintage-affair-by-isabel-wolff

I have some significant problems with Isabel Wolff's novel A Vintage Affair, but I want to do it justice: this would be a solid choice to bring on an airplane—briskly paced, densely plotted, and engrossing enough to distract you from the kid kicking the back of your seat...

More »

Feb 2 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Vintage Affair, by Isabel Wolff

2015-02-02-weekly-book-giveaway-a-vintage-affair-by-isabel-wolff

I was poking around the depths of our To-Be-Read pile, and I unearthed an embarrassingly dusty copy of Isabel Wolff's A Vintage Affair, which I'm offering up as our Weekly Book Giveaway pick. If you (like me) never got around to reading this book when everyone else was, now's your chance...

More »

Jan 29 2015

Christmas and my birthday, rolled into one

2015-01-29-christmas-and-my-birthday-rolled-into-one

OH MY GOD: We asked for this in 2012, and Nancy Pearl, like a book-nerd fairy godmother, has totally delivered! Yes, dear readers: for the first time in my lifetime, my beloved Greensleeves will actually be available in print.

More »

Jan 29 2015

Take two

2015-01-29-take-two

It looks like Marvel would like everyone to forget the 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four movies (even though they made a fair bit of money). Now the studio wants all their movies to match, and, since the original F4 films stand out like sore, tacky thumbs, they're attempting a far more dignified re-do...

More »

Jan 28 2015

What A Lady Requires, by Ashlyn MacNamara

2015-01-28-what-a-lady-requires-by-ashlyn-macnamara

Ashlyn McNamara's What The Lady Requires is the kind of fun-yet-forgettable historical romance that neither challenges one's intelligence nor insults it. I won't remember it a month from now, but it slid down perfectly pleasantly...

More »

Jan 27 2015

Cute and plausible

2015-01-27-cute-and-plausible

There's a great tutorial over at A Beautiful Mess about how to build your own quotation mark bookends. I cannot with organizing books by color—I don't care if it looks cool, what if different books in a series end up far apart?—but those bookends are awesome...

More »

Jan 27 2015

Added to my to-be-read pile

2015-01-27-added-to-my-to-be-read-pile

Last week, the Guardian published an article about the release of The Debs of Bletchley Park, a new collection of stories by Michael Smith. The book focuses on the largely female group of World War II code-breakers who worked at the UK's Government Code and Cypher School, which was run out of Buckinghamshire's Bletchley Park mansion...

More »