Nov 11 2014

I hope he gets LOADS of wine.

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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Oct 21 2014

Hokey or not, I'm out.

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The trailer is out for In The Heart of the Sea, the movie based on the true(ish) story that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. Setting aside my usual eye-rolling over the obvious CGI, I think this movie looks terrifying...

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Oct 20 2014

Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts, by Gena Showalter

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I am a huge Alice in Wonderland nerd, but I've had some bad experiences with Alice-inspired rewrites. (I'm looking at you, Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars. You were abysmal.) After years of buying—and regretting—these novels, I swore off them for good... until I saw a “specially priced” copy of Gena Showalter's Alice in Zombieland at my local Target, and that red-and-white 20% off sticker was enough to overcome my embargo....

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Oct 20 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts, by Gena Showalter

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This week we're giving away all three books in Gena Showalter's White Rabbit Chronicles: Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts. This series is a perfect October comfort read, and would go particularly well with any Halloween candy you might have already purchased... y'know, in case all the stores run out. Our full review will follow later today....

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Oct 14 2014

Complicated

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There's an interesting censorship case facing the British Royal Courts of Justice: according to the Guardian, a "well-known performer" has been prevented from publishing a memoir because his ex-wife fears that the information featured in the book will cause harm to their child...

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Oct 14 2014

Amazon via bricks and mortar

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According to GeekWire, Amazon is planning to open two pop-up kiosks in San Francisco and Sacramento for the holidays. Doors will open as early as next week, with no word as to when they'll close...

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Oct 13 2014

The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts

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Jeyn Roberts's The Bodies We Wear is the kind of book I normally avoid. I'm not a big fan of gothic melodramas, so I was surprised to discover that this novel spoke to the same part of me that enjoys the Underworld films. The Bodies We Wear might lack vampires and shiny pleather catsuits, but, like Underworld, it takes its goofy gothic premise 100% seriously, and I find that endearing...

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Oct 13 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts. The cover is graced with the tagline "Revenge Will Be Hers" and the plot seems to hinge upon a teen girl's attempt to get even with the people who forced her into drug addiction as a child, so I'm expecting hardcore DRAMA. Our review will be posted later today...

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Oct 9 2014

One last attempt

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According to THR, the US Supreme Court has declined to review a challenge to Warner Bros./DC Comics' claim to the rights to Superman...

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Oct 9 2014

A drop in the college-expenses bucket

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NPR's Planet Money recently posted an article about the win some/lose some economics of college textbook publishing. The whole thing's worth a read (it's short), but in brief: the cost of textbooks has gone waaaaay up, but the number of textbooks people buy, and how much they pay for them, has gone waaaaay down...

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