Feb 12 2015

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...

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Feb 12 2015

Alphabet background check

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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...

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Feb 11 2015

Kill Me Softly and Tear You Apart, by Sarah Cross

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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...

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Feb 10 2015

Once again, we get stuck with the boring cover.

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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...

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Feb 10 2015

Shelvable furniture

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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...

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Feb 9 2015

The Vanishing Game, by Kate Kae Myers

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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...

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Feb 9 2015

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

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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...

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Feb 5 2015

Sign me up

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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...

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Feb 5 2015

Impractical

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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...

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Feb 4 2015

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

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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...

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Feb 3 2015

Seriously, I can barely write my name legibly.

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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...

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Feb 3 2015

The Casual Vacancy approaches

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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...

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Feb 2 2015

A Vintage Affair, by Isabel Wolff

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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...

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Feb 2 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Vintage Affair, by Isabel Wolff

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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...

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Jan 29 2015

Christmas and my birthday, rolled into one

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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.

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Jan 29 2015

Take two

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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...

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Jan 28 2015

What A Lady Requires, by Ashlyn MacNamara

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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...

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Jan 27 2015

Cute and plausible

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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...

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Jan 27 2015

Added to my to-be-read pile

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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...

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Jan 26 2015

All Fall Down, by Ally Carter

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It pains me to say this, but All Fall Down is one of Ally Carter's weaker efforts. I have no doubt things will improve as the series progresses, but so far things are only fair-to-middling on... well, almost every front.

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Jan 26 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: All Fall Down, by Ally Carter

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This week we're giving away a copy of All Fall Down, the first book in Ally Carter's Embassy Row series. Carter has yet to write anything that full-on knocks my socks off, but she's one of the most consistently entertaining YA authors we follow, so I'm sincerely looking forward to reading this sucker...

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Jan 22 2015

Ugly but true

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If you enjoyed the 2012 cinematic hot mess Snow White and the Huntsman, there's been some fascinating—and probably accurate—speculation about the future of the series posted at LaineyGossip...

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Jan 21 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo

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My birthday was this week, and my mother gave me a copy of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. No, this was not a pointed hint—I have done some work as a professional organizer, and I am a huge, huge nerd, so my mom thought I would legitimately enjoy reading it...

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Jan 20 2015

Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer

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Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation is simultaneously clever and pretentious, engaging and irritating as hell. I am by no means certain I actually liked it, but I'm definitely going to read the sequels...

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Jan 20 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer

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This week's Book Giveaway is Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation, the first book in his Southern Reach Trilogy. I'm not sure that I buy other reviewers' comparisons between this book and the works of H.P. Lovecraft, but I will give Annihilation this: that cover is awesome...

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Jan 15 2015

Musical fans take note.

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According to FilmDivider, producer Marc Platt has confirmed that a film adaptation of Wicked is trotting along towards a 2016 release. The adaptation will be of the Broadway musical based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, rather than the book itself...

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Jan 15 2015

About time.

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According to People, the Harry Potter Alliance (a HP fan organization dedicated to social justice issues) has successfully pressured Warner Bros. into guaranteeing that by the end of 2015, all chocolate sold at their "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park will be certified 100% Fair Trade...

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Jan 14 2015

Autumn Falls, by Bella Thorne (and Elise Allen)

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I can't believe I'm writing this, but I'm giving Disney Channel actress Bella Thorne's debut novel Autumn Falls a glowing “Nowhere near as terrible as I thought it would be”. I'm not saying it's actually good, mind you, but I've read way worse...

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Jan 13 2015

It is a mystery.

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Okay, I had no idea a Gone With The Wind musical even existed, but I am sincerely impressed by the cheese factor of this South Korean version. K-pop idol Seohyun plays Scarlett O'Hara, and while she makes a lovely stand-in for Vivien Leigh, I really don't understand...

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Jan 13 2015

SO. EXCITED.

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Hark! A Vagrant author Kate Beaton recently announced that she has written her first book for children, and clearly she knows her audience: the book will be called The Princess and the Pony. I have no idea if said pony is THIS pony, but...

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