Sep 16 2013

The Blood Keeper, by Tessa Gratton

While Tessa Gratton's The Blood Keeper is billed as a “companion novel” to her book Blood Magic, rather than a sequel, you need to have read the earlier book for this one to make sense. (Actually, this one isn't guaranteed to make sense even if you have read Blood Magic, but the light bulb might glow a little brighter...

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Sep 16 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Blood Keeper, by Tessa Gratton

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Tessa Gratton's The Blood Keeper, the standalone "companion novel" to her 2011 novel Blood Magic, which we reviewed here. It's... not a sequel, I guess, but set in the same world? And maybe the pair from the first book will make a cameo? Who knows? Anyway, our review should go up later today...

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Sep 12 2013

Blood Sun, by David Gilman

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David Gilman's supercharged Max Gordon series is aimed squarely at action/adventure purists. These books are not even remotely plausible, but they're ridiculously fun—even for someone like me, who would ordinarily be grousing about strained credulity and far-fetched MacGuffins...

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Sep 12 2013

From book to movie to TV

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The website Word & Film recently compiled a list of 10 upcoming TV shows based on books. We've already written about most of them (NBC's Dracula and Crossbones, Fox's Sleepy Hollow, etc.), but I was interested to see that NBC has ordered a midseason comedy based on Nick Hornby’s 1999 novel About a Boy...

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Sep 11 2013

Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers

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Robin LaFevers's Grave Mercy rings my bell on about a million different levels. Her heroine is thoughtful, cautious, and totally badass, the story dives into a load of historical details without triggering all of my usual squeamishness about novels set pre-1800, and—best of all—it's the first installment of a trilogy, but there's no cliffhanger...

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Sep 10 2013

The Morning Star, by Robin Bridges

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The Morning Star, the final book in Robin Bridges's Katerina trilogy, exhibits the same strengths and weaknesses as her previous two installments. The story is ridiculously over-stuffed with monsters and plot twists, but it's hard to fault an author for having too much ambition...

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Sep 10 2013

Imaginary home values

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The fine people at the Movoto real estate blog have once again been speculating about home prices in the Harry Potter 'verse. According to their calculations, it would be possible to purchase the Burrow—home to the Weasleys—for a mere $660,150...

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Sep 9 2013

Hanging By a Thread, by Sophie Littlefield

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Sophie Littlefield's novel Hanging By a Thread bills itself as a murder mystery, but the lion's share of the story centers around the heroine's interest in re-purposing vintage clothing. The end result still boasts its fair share of action and violence, but the blood-splattered cover is a wee bit misleading...

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Sep 9 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Hanging By a Thread, by Sophie Littlefield

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Sophie Littlefield's Hanging By a Thread. One of the reviews from BN.com describes it as a "tension-filled mystery with an extrasensory twist", which concerns me, because I tend to read that as "a mystery whose resolution hinges on a magical cop-out", but who knows? Maybe it will be brilliant. Our review will go up later today...

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Sep 5 2013

Books in stripe form

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British artist Jaz Parkinson has created twelve "rainbow charts" for Smithsonian Magazine, each inspired by a different book or play. The colors are determined by tallying the number of times the text "mentions or evokes" (the "evokes" bit is kind of hazy) a specific hue...

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Sep 5 2013

Thanks all the same, but...

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According to Deadline, Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas is working on an upcoming, modern-day TV series inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables. The series is described as...

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Sep 4 2013

Three arms do help

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Thanks to a brewing head cold, even this shortened work week feels like it's lasting forever. To help any fellow sufferers get through it, may I suggest reading Christina Dodd's post about her infamous three-armed cover? I have no idea when it was posted, but...

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Sep 3 2013

A Plague Year, by Edward Bloor

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For a book about the devastating effect of methamphetamine on a small Pennsylvania town, Edward Bloor's novel A Plague Year is surprisingly readable. Bloor never shies away from the horror of his subject matter, but his overall message is one of courage—even if it's the kind of courage that only appears after people realize they have nothing left to lose...

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Sep 3 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Plague Year, by Edward Bloor

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Rarely do we describe books about meth as "wordcandy", but we're giving this one a shot: this week's Book Giveaway pick is Edward Bloor's A Plague Year. (Apparently, the title comes from another cheery text, Daniel Defoe's 1722 novel A Journal of the Plague Year, about the Great Plague hitting London in 1665.) Our review should go up later today...

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Aug 29 2013

Hand-Drying in America, by Ben Katchor

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For one brief, glorious moment, I thought Ben Katchor's Hand-Drying in America was actually a nonfiction graphic novel about the development of electric hand dryers, like an American version of this. Little known fact: I am obsessed with hand dryers, and have long dreamt of having one installed in my bathroom, so I was ridiculously excited at the idea. Sadly...

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Aug 29 2013

JAWS... for plankton

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I love everything about this "Moby" t-shirt by artist Terry Fan. I like the Jaws shout-out, I like the idea of a rage-filled whale, and I even like the price ($22, which isn't bad for that level of awesome)...

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Aug 28 2013

Possession, by Kat Richardson

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Possession, the eighth installment in Kat Richardson's Greywalker series, continues the author's hot streak of coming up with deliciously creepy stories inspired by horrific episodes in Seattle's past. I have read and enjoyed every one of these books, and Possession is no exception—but Richardson's limitations as a writer are definitely becoming more apparent...

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Aug 27 2013

Salt Sugar Fat, by Michael Moss

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Journalist Michael Moss has made a career out of terrible food: his 2009 reporting about the safety of ground beef earned him a Pulitzer Prize, and he has recently published a book about the activities of processed food companies, aptly titled Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us...

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Aug 27 2013

Maybe he wrote something from Phoebe's point of view...

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According to the New York Times, J.D. Salinger's estate may release up to five more books written by the late author, including additional stories about the families of his most famous creations, Holden Caulfield and the Glass family (featured in Franny and Zooey and Nine Stories)...

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Aug 26 2013

Dragon's Keep, by Janet Lee Carey

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Janet Lee Carey's 2008 novel Dragon's Keep is a fantasy novel aimed at mature middle schoolers—kids hungry for “realistic” historical fantasy (read: everyone has fleas, and there is frequent discussion of urine) but way too young for, say, Game of Thrones. Carey's heroine is Princess Rosalind Pendragon, the subject of an ancient prophecy that suggests that she—the 21st queen of Wilde Island—will be the one to restore her family's fortunes and end a war...

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Aug 26 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Dragon's Keep, by Janet Lee Carey

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Our Book Giveaway pick of the week is Janet Lee Carey's 2008 historical fantasy novel Dragon's Keep, which we're planning on reviewing later this afternoon. I don't care for the cover art, but I was amused to note that the interior hardcover has been textured to look vaguely like snakeskin. I always approve of people trying to get the little details right...

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Aug 22 2013

A happy ending

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A crime against literature has been solved: the bronze Lorax statue stolen from Dr. Seuss's house in March of 2012 has been found. Last week, a 22-year-old man walked into a police station in Montana and offered information about several crimes...

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Aug 22 2013

Needle-felted awesomeness

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If you have any small children (or classic literature nerds) in your life, Urban Outfitters is currently offering all three titles in the "Cozy Classics" series for $4.99 apiece. The books feature a single but aptly-chosen word per page and amazing needle-felted illustrations inspired by...

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Aug 21 2013

A vast improvement

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Oooh, things are looking up: according to Deadline, Marion Cotilliard has signed on to play Lady MacBeth alongside Michael Fassbender in an upcoming film adaptation of the play. Much to my disgust, this role was originally going to go to Natalie Portman, whom I still haven't forgiven for Thor. Or V for Vendetta. Or Star Wars...

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Aug 19 2013

Of Beast and Beauty, by Stacey Jay

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Of Beast and Beauty, Stacey Jay's horror/fantasy/sci-fi retelling of the Beauty and the Beast myth, takes its fair share of missteps. The story's mythology is murky, the ending felt rushed, and several of Jay's attempts at poetic descriptive passages sound like something written by an overwrought seventh grader, but I must give credit where credit is due: this is a huge, huge improvement over her previous two books...

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Aug 19 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Of Beast and Beauty, by Stacey Jay

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We weren't impressed by her earlier two books, but we're giving Stacey Jay another chance: her novel Of Beast and Beauty is our current Book Giveaway pick. Our hopes are not high, frankly, but if you're curious about the story at least the price would be right...

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Aug 15 2013

The mind boggles.

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Deadline is reporting that 13-year-old Mad Men actress Kiernan Shipka has signed on for the lead role in Lifetime's upcoming Flowers in the Attic adaptation. I guess this answers my question as to whether or not people think this movie is going to be a Crazy Big Deal...

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Aug 13 2013

Touched and Dead River, by Cyn Balog

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Cyn Balog's standalone novels Dead River and Touched are the kind of stories that allow YA readers to dip their toes into the horror genre. They're disturbing enough to send the odd shiver up one's spine, but still guaranteed to come with a safely happy ending, making them an ideal choice for kids who aren't quite ready for, say, Stephen King...

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Aug 13 2013

Drama!

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I recently caught the preview for the upcoming movie Seventh Son. The trailer claimed the film was based on an "acclaimed series", but that's where things got confusing: there is a fantasy novel called Seventh Son (written by Orson Scott Card), but this movie is based on Joseph Delaney's book The Spook's Apprentice (U.K. title)/The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch (American version). In addition to...

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Aug 12 2013

More in my financial wheelhouse

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If, like me, you were totally in love with the Kate Spade "Book of the Month" clutches, but neither willing nor able to spend $325 on an adorable but mostly useless accessory, today is your lucky day: Out of Print has released their own line of literary-themed canvas pouches...

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