Jun 16 2015

Signs of life

And in other adaptation news, the long-rumored TV version of Neil Gaiman's American Gods has finally been greenlit. I still have queasy flashbacks to certain details featured in this novel, despite reading it nearly 15 years ago, but...

More »

Jun 16 2015

Anyone else

2015-06-16-anyone-else

UGH. The dread Kenneth Branagh is apparently in talks to direct a film adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. I can't stand Branagh, a pedestrian director whose work has always been inexplicably over-praised...

More »

Jun 15 2015

Flirting in Italian, by Lauren Henderson

2015-06-15-flirting-in-italian-by-lauren-henderson

Lauren Henderson's 2012 novel Flirting in Italian is jam-packed with things I enjoy: girl bonding, travel, mystery, romance, and telenovela-worthy birth secrets. It's close to the perfect summer beach read—apart from one jarring flaw...

More »

Jun 15 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Flirting in Italian, by Lauren Henderson

2015-06-15-weekly-book-giveaway-flirting-in-italian-by-lauren-henderson

After staring long and hard at the book I meant to review today (Laurell K. Hamilton's Dead Ice), I decided to skip it favor of something else. Anything else. I just can't face Laurell this early in the week, particularly not when the book in question seems to kick off on an exceptionally disgusting note, even for her...

More »

Jun 11 2015

Busy guy

2015-06-11-busy-guy

The Library of Congress announced yesterday that the next U.S. poet laureate will be Juan Felipe Herrera. Herrera, a California-based activist, teacher, and author of poetry, "novels in verse", and children's books, is the first Latino poet to be appointed to the position...

More »

Jun 10 2015

No, thanks.

2015-06-10-no-thanks

In a leave-no-stone-unturned effort to extract every possible penny from the George R. R. Martin media empire, Bantam Books recently announced that they're planning a Game of Thrones-themed coloring book. While I've written before about my love for coloring books for adults, I'll be skipping this sucker...

More »

Jun 9 2015

News re: Newt

2015-06-09-news-re-newt

According to NPR, J.K. Rowling recently indicated on Twitter that there is an American equivalent of Hogwarts. She's keeping the name and location of the school under wraps for the time being (apparently, it might play a role in the upcoming film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), but...

More »

Jun 9 2015

Eh.

2015-06-09-eh

The first trailer is out for Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (and don't think I don't have a little rage flare-up every time I have to write out that stupidly long title). The film looks fine, I guess. I'm sure it...

More »

Jun 8 2015

Snow White Must Die, by Nele Neuhaus

2015-06-08-snow-white-must-die-by-nele-neuhaus

I'm not a big mystery reader, but I like to periodically give the genre a shot, just to make sure I'm not missing out on something awesome. My latest attempt was Nele Neuhaus's internationally best-selling novel Snow White Must Die. While I found it readable enough, it's definitely not the book that's going to convert me into a hardcore mystery fan...

More »

Jun 8 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Snow White Must Die, by Nele Neuhaus

2015-06-08-weekly-book-giveaway-snow-white-must-die-by-nele-neuhaus

This week's Book Giveaway is the best-selling yet grim-looking German novel Snow White Must Die, written by Nele Neuhaus and translated by Steven Murray. I have no idea if I'll enjoy reading it, but I give the author massive props for choosing such an eye-catching and memorable title...

More »

Jun 4 2015

Grim death/Oscar bait

2015-06-04-grim-deathoscar-bait

The first trailer is out for Everest, the upcoming film based on Jon Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air, about the 1996 Mount Everest disaster...

More »

Jun 3 2015

Eyeshadow + MURDER!

2015-06-03-eyeshadow-murder

They've released the teaser trailer for Justin Kurzel's upcoming film adaptation of Macbeth, and it looks extremely videogame-y. I'm actually more excited about last month's DVD release of the recent adaptation of Cymbeline...

More »

Jun 2 2015

My visits to Anthropologie usually spark irritation.

2015-06-02-my-visits-to-anthropologie-usually-spark-irritation

A few weeks ago, the New Yorker published an account of shopping with organization expert Marie Kondo, creator of the KonMari method and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The essay...

More »

Jun 2 2015

Gloomy reality check

2015-06-02-gloomy-reality-check

Novelist Nicola Griffith recently posted a disheartening study regarding the last 15 years of six major fiction awards. According to her research...

More »

Jun 1 2015

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, by Natalie Standiford

2015-06-01-confessions-of-the-sullivan-sisters-by-natalie-standiford

Natalie Standiford's Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters seems like it's one of the many trashy thrillers out there about wealthy, pretty kids behaving badly, but the plot summary and glossy cover art are misleading. I'm not sure what I could compare this story to, but it's definitely no Gossip Girl rip-off...

More »

Jun 1 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, by Natalie Standiford

2015-06-01-weekly-book-giveaway-confessions-of-the-sullivan-sisters-by-natalie-standiford

This week's Book Giveaway is Natalie Standiford's 2010 novel Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters. I've always been put off by the generic cover art and the characters' names ("Sassy" is a name for an elderly Shih Tzu, not a human female), but I'm told the story is actually really good. A full review will follow shortly...

More »

May 28 2015

I WANT.

2015-05-28-i-want

DesignSponge recently featured a straight-up amazing tutorial on how to build your own neighborhood library stand out of salvaged materials. I am totally jealous of this, mostly because...

More »

May 27 2015

Creepy yet intriguing

2015-05-27-creepy-yet-intriguing

Donna Zuckerberg, editor of the online Classics journal Eidolon, recently contributed a fascinating article to Jezebel recently called "How To Teach An Ancient Rape Joke"...

More »

May 26 2015

The Liar, by Nora Roberts

2015-05-26-the-liar-by-nora-roberts

After her most recent—and truly terrible—series, I was ready to give up on Nora Roberts forever, but her latest standalone novel, The Liar, is the kind of satisfying, sturdy, girl-power effort that drags me right back in. Curse you, Nora Roberts, and your ability to wrest away my hard-earned spare cash...

More »

May 26 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Liar, by Nora Roberts

2015-05-26-weekly-book-giveaway-the-liar-by-nora-roberts

Okay, I'm giving Nora Roberts one more shot: this week our Book Giveaway is her recent standalone novel The Liar. We'll have to see where it ranks on her scale of shameless self-replication. My hopes aren't high, but Roberts has surprised me before...

More »

May 21 2015

Gilded mansion (or close enough)

2015-05-21-gilded-mansion-or-close-enough

According to Curbed.com, the 7-bed, 7-bath New York home that once housed F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald is up for sale for a mere $3,888,888. Zelda apparently described it as her "nifty little Babbitt house"...

More »

May 20 2015

Sixty-odd years and counting

2015-05-20-sixty-odd-years-and-counting

NPR recently posted a lovely interview with writer, artist, and illustrator Jules Feiffer, who, at age 86, is still going strong. His work is the subject of a new book (Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer), which...

More »

May 19 2015

Innnteresting.

2015-05-19-innnteresting

I had actually assumed this was an April Fool's Day joke, but apparently it really happened: earlier this spring, Marvel teamed up with the subscription-clothing site Five Four Clothing to produce a line of goofy-looking clothing inspired by their Avengers comics...

More »

May 19 2015

Pard-Spirit

2015-05-19-pard-spirit

Writer and director Sally Wainwright (Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley) is working on a two-hour-long drama for BBC1 about the "difficult" home life of the Brontë sisters and their alcoholic brother Branwell. According to the Guardian, the movie will be titled To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters, and...

More »

May 18 2015

The Secret Ingredient, by Stewart Lewis

2015-05-18-the-secret-ingredient-by-stewart-lewis

Stewart Lewis's The Secret Ingredient has a great cover, a great hook, and the foundations of at least two—maybe more—great YA novels. Unfortunately, he seems incapable of delivering on any of that promise, and once again produces a book that is simultaneously overly dramatic and underdeveloped...

More »

May 18 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Secret Ingredient, by Stewart Lewis

2015-05-18-weekly-book-giveaway-the-secret-ingredient-by-stewart-lewis

This week's Book Giveaway is Stewart Lewis's The Secret Ingredient, which I suspect will hone pretty closely to the tone and style of his first book, You Have Seven Messages. I was underwhelmed by Messages, but...

More »

May 12 2015

Much worse

2015-05-12-much-worse

NPR recently visited Monroeville, Ala., the home of Harper Lee, asking residents about the controversy surrounding Lee's upcoming To Kill a Mockingbird sequel Go Set a Watchman. While I share many residents' concerns about Lee's health and independence, at least the people of Monroeville can take comfort...

More »

May 12 2015

That is just unkind.

2015-05-12-that-is-just-unkind

Some guy named Patrick Stewart (no, not that Patrick Stewart) apparently wrote his 52,438-word doctoral thesis for the University of British Columbia entirely without punctuation, arguing that he wanted to make a point...

More »

May 11 2015

Day Shift, by Charlaine Harris

2015-05-11-day-shift-by-charlaine-harris

This is going to sound a little strange, but I mean it as a compliment: Charlaine Harris's Midnight, Texas novels are a delightful opportunity to indulge in benign nosiness. Her characters are still only half-developed (at most), but the odd, disjointed peeks she offers into their lives makes me feel like I've had an opportunity to eavesdrop on the private conversations...

More »

May 11 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Day Shift, by Charlaine Harris

2015-05-11-weekly-book-giveaway-day-shift-by-charlaine-harris

This week's Book Giveaway is Charlaine Harris's Day Shift, the sequel to her highly enjoyable novel Midnight Crossroad. If Day Shift is even half as fun as Midnight Crossroad, readers are in for a treat—the first book in this series hit all of Harris's sweet spots (pink-collar work, small towns, creepy hijinks), while neatly avoiding her weaknesses...

More »