Dec 11 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews

This week's Book Giveaway is Red Sparrow, the first book in Jason Matthews's espionage trilogy. If you're looking for a heartwarming holiday read... you should probably keep looking. (Sorry.) But if you need a lot of literary violence to get through the season, you're in luck! A full review will follow shortly...

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Dec 7 2017

It just looks so juvenile.

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LitHub recently posted J. Courtney Sullivan's lovely tribute to Anne of Green Gables: "Anne of Green Gables: Patron Saint of Girls Who Ask Too Many Questions". I'm not too sure about the "saint" part (one of the character's charms is how far she is from saintly), but...

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Dec 7 2017

Maybe the CGI is a work in progress...

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If your brain, like mine, stalled out from trying to process all the information shoved into the bloated Avengers: Infinity War trailer, here's a helpful scene-by-scene guide. It's obviously jam-packed with spoilers, but...

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Dec 6 2017

And no dragons

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According to io9, George R.R. Martin has confirmed that his horror novella Nightflyers is going to be adapted into a SyFy television series, with an 10-episode first season order. I'll be curious to see how well Martin's work is received when the contents are edited down for a non-premium cable channel...

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Dec 5 2017

Sure, okay.

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According to Variety, Christina Ricci and Judith Light will co-star in a Lifetime biopic about famous journalist Nellie Bly. Ricci will play Bly...

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Dec 5 2017

Ugh. But also: ha

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It's time for the 2017 Literary Bad Sex Awards, and you can see the shortlisted entries here. They're all pretty painful, but my favorites are the ones that obviously aspire to achieve something impressive on the sexual and artistic fronts, and fail equally at both...

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Dec 4 2017

We Are Never Meeting In Real Life, by Samantha Irby

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I have never understood why people buy crappy stuff to read on airplanes. I need something great to read on a plane—a book instantly absorbing enough to distract me from the many, many things that suck about flying. A People article about Chris Pratt is not going to cut it, so I was delighted to run across an A+ plane book recommendation for this upcoming holiday season: Samantha Irby's essay collection We Are Never Meeting in Real Life...

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Dec 4 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, by Samantha Irby

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This week's Book Giveaway is We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, a collection of essays by Samantha Irby (best known as the author of the "bitches gotta eat" blog.) The book is a little less stream-of-consciousness than her online writing—and all the font is the same color—but just as awesome. A full review will follow shortly...

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Nov 30 2017

Wow.

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I'm both amused and horrified by this Buzzfeed headline: "An Ivy League Food Scientist Is Retracting Yet Another Paper". According to the article, Cornell University food behavior scientist Brian Wansink has been forced...

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Nov 30 2017

Intense

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I've been reading about the drama surrounding the upcoming Bollywood movie Padmavati, which is loosely based upon a (possibly fictional) queen who appears in a 16th century epic poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. According to Deadline, an extremist caste group has threatened...

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Nov 29 2017

Hug a librarian

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The Guardian recently posted an article about an open letter to the UK's Education Secretary, written by a bunch of literary bigwigs (Neil Gaiman, Antonia Fraser, and Philip Pullman, among others). The letter was written to protest the decline in support for school libraries...

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Nov 28 2017

Science!

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GeekWire recently put together their Holiday Science Book Guide for 2017, and their choices look amazing. I'm particularly attracted to Kimberly Arcand and Megan Watzke's Magnitude: The Scale of the Universe. As a person with literally no sense of physical perspective...

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Nov 28 2017

I've finished my shopping for other people, so...

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I was stoked to recently run across this review of Mary Stewart's The Wind Off the Small Isles, a "long-lost novella" that has recently been republished for the first time in 40 years...

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Nov 27 2017

Bubbly on Your Budget, by Marjorie Hillis

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For a book written in 1937, Marjorie Hillis's Bubbly on Your Budget has some surprisingly timely advice. Sure, the details might need to be adjusted for a 21st century lifestyle, but her basic message—that you should spend your money on what you actually value—is just as valid today as it was 80 years ago...

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Nov 27 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Bubbly On Your Budget, by Marjorie Hillis

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In honor of this season of furious consumerism, this week's Book Giveaway is Marjorie Hillis's Bubbly on Your Budget, a reprint of a financial advice guide first published in 1937 under the title Orchids On Your Budget. This volume is used (and looks it), but still an unexpectedly modern and entertaining read. A full review will follow shortly...

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Nov 22 2017

Just in time to spark some holiday discussion

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Well, this is topical: there's a recently-discovered and -published Raymond Chandler short story called "It’s All Right—He Only Died" about the evils of a profit-minded health care system. The story is only 655 words long, but...

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Nov 21 2017

Edward Gorey-esque

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io9 recently featured a bunch of pages from Brian Coldrick's new book Behind You, a collection of fragmentary, single-page ghost stories. I usually prefer anything I read to come with a plot pay-off, but I actually love this idea: it blends Chris Van Allsburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick with...

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Nov 21 2017

More mustache

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According to Entertainment Weekly, the recent movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express has already made enough money to justify making a sequel, this time of Christie's Death on the Nile...

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Nov 20 2017

Red Sister, by Mark Lawrence

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Let me start with a word of warning: Mark Lawrence's latest fantasy novel Red Sister is really, really violent. Scenes include (but are by no means limited to) the execution of a child, the torture of an older woman, and the fatal beating of an animal. There's a lot to admire about this book, but readers with delicate sensibilities should take heed...

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Nov 20 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Red Sister, by Mark Lawrence

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Mark Lawrence's Red Sister, the first installment in his new Books of the Ancestor fantasy/adventure series. I'm only a few chapters in, but thus far things are looking promising (albeit massively grim). A full review will follow shortly...

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Nov 16 2017

A rare bit of great news (in a week that could use it)

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There was a lovely article on NPR recently about Books From Birth, a D.C. Public Library program that mails a book a month, every month, to enrolled children from birth to age 5...

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Nov 16 2017

Don't get hit by cars, please.

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According to The AV Club, the tech company that created Pokémon Go is partnering with Warner Bros. to create another augmented-reality game, this time based on the world of Harry Potter. The description makes it sound pretty much exactly like...

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Nov 15 2017

This looks massively stressful.

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There's a new trailer out for the upcoming miniseries Waco, which apparently is relying heavily on the accounts of two nonfiction books: Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, by Gary Noesner, and A Place Called Waco: A Survivor's Story, by David Thibodeau...

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Nov 14 2017

Intriguing

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I'm tempted to buy this Pride and Prejudice-inspired board game, but I've been burned by many an Austen-themed novelty item before...

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Nov 14 2017

Wait, what?

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How did I miss this? Apparently, Starz is making a miniseries adaptation of E.M. Forster's Howards End. This new version will star Hayley Atwell as Margaret Schlegel and Matthew Macfadyen as Henry Wilcox, which is a nice change from the 90s adaptation, which tried (and failed) to...

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Nov 13 2017

A Spoonful of Magic, by Irene Radford

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I frequently evaluate books like recipes, and it feels particularly appropriate in the case of Irene Radford's new novel A Spoonful of Magic, as it's a story filled to the brim with cooking. Unfortunately, while this particular literary recipe has some interesting ingredients, the finished product is a big ol' mess...

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Nov 13 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Spoonful of Magic, by Irene Radford

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This week's Book Giveaway is Irene Radford's latest novel, A Spoonful of Magic. I haven't even opened it yet, but the cover art features a smorgasbord of all the stuff I need to get through what is turning out to be an extremely wet, blustery day: a plaid shirt, glitter, and the suggestion of potential baked goods. A full review will follow shortly...

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Nov 9 2017

Holiday Gift Pick #8

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Gift Idea #8: Festive Fiction Ornament ($16)

Sure, this is technically both the last and least item on our holiday shopping guide, but it's a solid option for any book-lovers on your list...

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Nov 9 2017

Holiday Gift Pick #7

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Gift Idea #7: Asymmetrical Harry Potter earrings ($48)

We love these, particularly in sterling silver...

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Nov 8 2017

Holiday Gift Pick #6

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Gift Idea #6: Guns, Germs, and Steel: 20th Anniversary Folio Society edition, by Jared Diamond ($73.95)

Grade-A dad present...

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