Dec 4 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Harry Potter necklace

Gift Idea #3 Harry Potter necklace

Etsy is overflowing with Harry Potter-themed jewelry and clothing, but I fell in love with this delicate sterling silver "Glasses" necklace ($34). It manages to be both pretty...

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Dec 3 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Bizarrely specific journals

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Gift Idea #2: Blank Books

It doesn't matter what your friends and loved ones are into: trust me, there's probably a journal for it, and journals are almost always a safe and affordable gift. Check out BuyOlympia's wide selection of blank books and guided journals, which offer...

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Dec 3 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Kate Beaton t-shirts

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This year we're doing our Wordcandy-approved holiday gift list a little differently: we're going to put together a series of eight mini posts, each featuring a different gift idea. Like always, we're way late with these suggestions (our sincerest apologies to our Hanukkah-celebrating readers), but at least all of our suggestions are well under fifty bucks...

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Dec 2 2013

The Living, by Matt de la Pena

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Matt de la Peña's The Living has gotten a lot of praise for its supercharged premise, its sympathetic male protagonist, and the way it touches on class, wealth, and social injustice. Most of that praise is well deserved, and only one thing prevented me from wholeheartedly enjoying it: the discovery that this is actually the first book in a series, and (of course) nothing ever gets resolved in a first installment...

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Dec 2 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Living, by Matt de la Pena

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Matt de la Pena's The Living, which looks, uh, intense. There's a glowing quote on the front from James Dashner (not really a recommendation, to my mind), but NPR describes the book as "...at once a disaster epic, a survival story and a coming of age novel, told through the life of a young man who is becoming aware of class, prejudice and romance", and...

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Nov 27 2013

An in-depth look

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We have two Hunger Games links today: the real estate blog Movoto has done one of their imaginary property evaluations on Katniss's mansion in the Victors' village (long story short: it rings in at $1.8 million), and Slate recently offered a...

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Nov 26 2013

The MacGuffin personified

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According to the Seattle Times, the titular bird statuette featured in the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon recently sold for more than $4 million. The black figurine is "one of two known cast lead statuettes made for John Huston's screen version of the film but the only one confirmed by Warner Bros. archives as having appeared in it", and...

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Nov 26 2013

Vampire Academy on screen

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They've released a trailer for the upcoming Vampire Academy movie, and I'm not sure what to think. While I liked the first book, the rest of the series left me cold, so my memory's a little fuzzy, but...

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Nov 25 2013

Premeditated, by Josin McQuein

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Josin L. McQuein's Premeditated is the kind of novel that helps teenage mystery fans grow up into adult ones. In addition to featuring a lot of very teen-friendly romantic and familial drama, McQuein sprinkles her text with a series of tantalizing clues that are just tricky enough to make a young reader feel like Sherlock Holmes...

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Nov 25 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Premeditated, by Josin McQuein

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Our current Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Josin McQuein's Premeditated, which appears to be a mystery/revenge story that I'm pretty sure will go horribly wrong. So, uh, just the thing to get us all into the holiday spirit...

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Nov 21 2013

Breaking off a piece of the historical drama action

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According to the Christian Science Monitor, Robert K. Massie's biography Catherine the Great is being adapted into a "limited series" for ABC. The book was well-received by critics, so I'm assuming ABC is hoping for something a little more high-brow than the CW's Reign...

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Nov 21 2013

Yawn.

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I am much less enthused about the "Penguin Horror" line of reprints than I was about the recent "Legends of the Ancient North" collection. I don't care if the book choices were curated by Guillermo del Toro ...

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Nov 20 2013

Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud

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Jonathan Stroud's novel Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase has a surprising amount in common with the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures. Sure, The Screaming Staircase is the product of an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author, while Ghost Adventures is a ridiculous show about a bunch of shrieking dudebros racing around and swearing at (allegedly) mysterious noises, but both center around...

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Nov 19 2013

Insulting one's core audience: as illustrated by Joanna Trollope

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I was never inclined to read Joanna Trollope's modern-day rewrite of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, seeing as A) it's my least-favorite Austen novel, and B) Trollope doesn't exactly rock my boat, either. (Plus, most the reviews have been lukewarm at best.) But...

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Nov 19 2013

Admittedly, they're pretty ugly, but...

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Seattle toy shop Archie McPhee continues to supply the world with random stuff that no one really needs, but everyone enjoys, like this $7.00 tin of 22 Jane Austen-inspired temporary tattoos...

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Nov 18 2013

Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts

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It's pointless to complain about repetitiveness in a Nora Roberts book. The woman has published over 200 novels; at this point I'm not sure if there's a romantic conflict out there she hasn't beaten to death. Certainly all the subjects in her latest novel Dark Witch are pretty shopworn—but if you're in the right mood, “shopworn” can translate to “enjoyable and comforting”...

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Nov 18 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts

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This week's Book Giveaway is Dark Witch, the latest effort from Nora Roberts. And no, despite that title and cover art, it's not actually a Halloween story. Our review will go up tonight...

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Nov 14 2013

How tall do you have to be to go on a Hunger Games ride?

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Here's another thing I could present without comment (but I won't): Lionsgate is apparently considering opening up a Hunger Games theme park! Which sounds super fun and not at all weird as hell...

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Nov 13 2013

It's coming.

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I'll just present this without additional comment: here's a link to the film trailer for Lifetime's upcoming Flowers in the Attic adaptation...

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Nov 12 2013

Loud Awake and Lost, by Adele Griffin

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While I had plenty of complaints about Adele Griffin's previous two books, I felt unaccountably hopeful about her latest effort, Loud Awake and Lost. It look me a while to figure out where my sunny optimism was coming from, but...

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Nov 12 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Loud Awake and Lost, by Adele Griffin

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Adele Griffin's Loud Awake and Lost. I keep complaining about Ms. Griffin's books, but something keeps me reading them, too. (Likeliest culprits: her eye-catching cover art and my severe a lack of willpower.) My review should go up later today...

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Nov 7 2013

The Addams family to ride again?

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According to Variety, MGM is looking to produce an animated film based on the long-running Addams Family cartoons created by Charles Addams...

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Nov 7 2013

A step towards awareness

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I am ridiculously excited by this idea: Sweden is introducing a new rating to its movie theaters based on the famous "Bechdel test", which requires a movie (or book or TV show or whatever) to include...

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Nov 6 2013

I should probably contribute to this.

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Whoa: the Kickstarter fund for Ever, Jane (a multiplayer role-playing game inspired by Jane Austen's books) is plugging right along, hovering at more than $30,000 of their $100,000 goal, with 25 days yet to go. Interested parties should visit the game's Kickstarter site, which, according to lead designer Judy Tyrer, offers a downloadable prototype...

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Nov 6 2013

Visual punch

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Etsy artist Evan Robertson's shop Obvious State features original illustrations, posters, fine art prints, and more, inspired by the work of classic writers ranging from Oscar Wilde to Sylvia Plath...

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Nov 5 2013

Sooo gorgeous

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I'm assuming this is an attempt to further mine the pocketbooks of Tolkien fans (in case dividing The Hobbit into three movies wasn't shameless enough): Penguin has released a series called Legends from the Ancient North, described as...

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Nov 4 2013

Tandem, by Anna Jarzab

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Anna Jarzab's last novel, The Opposite of Hallelujah, was a thoughtful and original exploration of family, faith, and mental illness. I loved it, but it didn't exactly scream “Teen Blockbuster”. Her latest effort, Tandem, hews much closer to the tried-and-true formula of recent bestsellers: love triangles, fantasy elements, violence, and deeply stupid choices abound...

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Nov 4 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Tandem, by Anna Jarzab

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Our current Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Anna Jarzab's Tandem, the first installment in a projected trilogy. Early reviews are mixed, but I've really enjoyed Jarzab's previous two books, so my hopes remain high...

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Oct 31 2013

Superheroism

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In additional comic book news, DC Comics has hired Toronto cartoonist Jeff Lemire to create a new title inspired by a teenage girl from James Bay, Canada. The 15-year-old girl in question, Shannen Koostachin, was a member of the Attawapiskat First Nation who advocated for equitable education funding for native children...

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Oct 31 2013

Just what the world needs

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Neil Gaiman gave NPR a lengthy interview about The Sandman: Overture, a prequel series to his long-running Sandman comic book series. I'm mildly stoked about the idea, but...

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