Jul 8 2013

The Beautiful and the Cursed, by Page Morgan

Page Morgan is an ambitious woman. Her debut novel The Beautiful and the Cursed features two heroines, a massive cast, a historical setting, a menagerie of supernatural creatures, and an elaborate mythology centered around gargoyles, which (in Morgan's world, anyway) can be both hideous monsters and ridiculously handsome love interests...

More »

Jul 8 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Beautiful and the Cursed, by Page Morgan

2013-07-08-weekly-book-giveaway-the-beautiful-and-the-cursed-by-page-morgan

This week's book giveaway title is The Beautiful and the Cursed, by Page Morgan. I haven't even cracked this book open yet, but it appears to be a sexy YA supernatural thriller about gargoyles. (Possibly sexy gargoyles, in which case I give the author full points for creativity.) I'll post our review later today...

More »

Jul 3 2013

Better this than more Miami Vice

2013-07-03-better-this-than-more-miami-vice

There is more screen-to-comic news today, this bit making far more sense than yesterday's announcement: according to THR, Dark Horse Entertainment publisher Mike Richardson has hinted that Ridley Scott's Alien prequel Prometheus may continue in comic book form...

More »

Jul 2 2013

I cannot believe there's a demand for this.

2013-07-02-i-cannot-believe-theres-a-demand-for-this

Sometimes, life is an incomprehensible mystery. According to THR, someone decided it would be a good idea to revive five shows from the NBC line-up of the early 1980s as digital comics: Knight Rider, Airwolf, Miami Vice, Punky Brewster, and Saved by the Bell...

More »

Jul 2 2013

The Car Thief, by Theodore Weesner

2013-07-02-the-car-thief-by-theodore-weesner

The back cover of Theodore Weesner's The Car Thief describes the book as a "modern American classic" featuring “heartbreak, cruel realities, and stunning personal triumphs”. That may be true, but allow me to issue a word of warning: you have to wade through a lot of heartbreak and cruel reality before you get to any personal triumphs...

More »

Jul 1 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Car Thief, by Theodore Weesner

2013-07-01-weekly-book-giveaway-the-car-thief-by-theodore-weesner

After reviewing five supernatural romances, we're offering a literary palate cleanser as our current Book Giveaway pick: Theodore Weesner's The Car Thief. This autobiographical novel was first published in 1972, but has recently been re-released. I'm pretty sure it's 100% supernatural-creature-free, but we'll post our review tomorrow...

More »

Jul 1 2013

Throwing good money after bad?

2013-07-01-throwing-good-money-after-bad

There are some uggggly numbers coming out from Barnes and Noble: total sales fell 10% in the fourth quarter for their brick-and-mortar stores, and Nook sales tumbled 34%. But B&N isn't giving up the ghost just yet. According to Publishers Weekly, the company is going to invest $33 million in their Nook units this year...

More »

Jun 28 2013

Underworld and Awaken, by Meg Cabot

2013-06-28-underworld-and-awaken-by-meg-cabot

I've been waiting a whole year to review Meg Cabot's novel Underworld, the middle book in her Abandon trilogy. I read it as the minute we received it (because Cabot's books are always fun), but if I had any self-control I would have followed my own advice and waited until the final book in the trilogy was released.

More »

Jun 28 2013

The Demon's Lexicon, The Demon's Covenant, and The Demon's Surrender, by Sarah Rees Brennan

2013-06-28-the-demons-lexicon-the-demons-covenant-and-the-demons-surrender-by-sarah-rees-brennan

While poking around Powell's Books a few weeks ago, I found an autographed copy of Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Lexicon. The cover art was straight-up atrocious (the goofy-looking male model swinging a sword while sucking in his cheekbones does nothing for me), but I really liked Brennan's latest book—Unspoken, which we reviewed here—so...

More »

Jun 27 2013

I'm depressed about this.

2013-06-27-im-depressed-about-this

THR informs me that Julianne Moore is being courted to play the role of District 13 leader Alma Coin in the two-part adaptation of Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay. That's fine (I don't care about the casting; I've had a DVD of The Hunger Games sitting, unwatched, next to my TV for more than three months now), but...

More »

Jun 25 2013

Golden Girl, by Sarah Zettel

2013-06-25-golden-girl-by-sarah-zettel

Sarah Zettel's novel Dust Girl was one of my favorite books of 2012, which meant I was equally excited and nervous to read Golden Girl, the next book in the series. Middle books in trilogies are tough to get right, so I was thrilled to find that Golden Girl is just as entertaining as its predecessor—and possibly even weirder...

More »

Jun 25 2013

Diversity in children's literature

2013-06-25-diversity-in-childrens-literature

NPR's Elizabeth Blair recently posted an article about the lack of diversity in children's books. According to a report by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, only 3% of children's books are “by or about Latinos—even though nearly a quarter of all public school children today are Latino.” Blair...

More »

Jun 24 2013

Belle Epoque, by Elizabeth Ross

2013-06-24-belle-epoque-by-elizabeth-ross

It feels weird to commend someone for an idea that they took from someone else, but that's what I'm doing here: Elizabeth Ross has openly acknowledged that the inspiration for her novel Belle Epoque was taken from an Emile Zola short story, but I give her full props for borrowing with style...

More »

Jun 24 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Belle Epoque, by Elizabeth Ross

2013-06-24-weekly-book-giveaway-belle-epoque-by-elizabeth-ross

This week's book giveaway title is Elizabeth Ross's Belle Epoque, which has an unusual YA pedigree: the central concept was taken from a story written by Émile Zola (Les Repoussoirs). Zola isn't our favorite 19th century writer, but we've read worse adaptations of better literature, so we're not complaining. Our full review will go up later this afternoon.

More »

Jun 20 2013

Ironic casting?

2013-06-20-ironic-casting

I can't stand Kenneth Branagh, but THR informs me that Helena Bonham Carter is going to play the fairy godmother in his upcoming adaptation of Cinderella, which I am now obliged to see. The movie will also feature Lily James in the title role (no one cares) and Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother. I like Blanchett, but I find the idea of Bonham Carter...

More »

Jun 20 2013

Mystery book artist strikes again (with awesomeness)

2013-06-20-mystery-book-artist-strikes-again-with-awesomeness

According to the website Books on Books, Edinburgh's "mystery book artist" has delivered another work. This time the lucky recipient was the Leith Library. The sculpture is in the shape of a nest full of baby birds, and...

More »

Jun 19 2013

Summer reading programs for grown-ups

2013-06-19-summer-reading-programs-for-grown-ups

Okay, this isn't actually a summer-specific program, but it does sound like a grown-up take on the incentive programs most public libraries offer when school gets out: according to Publishers Weekly, Penguin has launched a new program...

More »

Jun 18 2013

Dirt Candy, by Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey

2013-06-18-dirt-candy-by-amanda-cohen-and-ryan-dunlavey

My brother recently handed me a copy of Dirt Candy, a collection of recipes from Amanda Cohen's NYC vegetarian restaurant of the same name. The book is an unusual blend of cookbook, memoir, and graphic novel, and while I won't be leaping to make one of Cohen's fantastically elaborate recipes any time soon, it does make for an unexpectedly satisfying reading experience...

More »

Jun 18 2013

Spirit's Princess and Spirit's Chosen, by Esther Friesner

2013-06-18-spirits-princess-and-spirits-chosen-by-esther-friesner

After writing everything from poetry to TV novelizations to books with titles like Witch Way to the Mall and Fangs for the Mammaries, Esther Friesner has expanded her résumé yet again, embarking on a series of YA books inspired by famous princesses from history and mythology. Previous books in the series have featured Helen of Troy and Nefertiti, but her latest effort focuses on Himiko, a shaman queen of ancient Japan...

More »

Jun 17 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Spirit's Princess and Spirit's Chosen, by Esther Friesner

2013-06-17-weekly-book-giveaway-spirits-princess-and-spirits-chosen-by-esther-friesner

We have TWO books for this week's Book Giveaway: Esther Friesner's Spirit's Princess and Spirit's Chosen. This duology—part of Friesner's ongoing "Princesses of Myth" series—was inspired by the stories surrounding Himiko, a shaman queen in 3rd century Japan. Unlike the author's earlier subjects (Nefertiti and Helen of Troy), not much is known about Himiko, so at least Friesner finally got to write about someone...

More »

Jun 13 2013

A different take on The Great Gatsby

2013-06-13-a-different-take-on-the-great-gatsby

I'm getting a weird thrill out of reading this "alternate history" of The Great Gatsby, written by Robert Atwan for The Believer magazine. The story is told from the perspective of Tom Buchanan, and Atwan gets his voice exactly right...

More »

Jun 13 2013

Scholastic seeks party-planners

2013-06-13-scholastic-seeks-party-planners

According to Publishers Weekly, Scholastic is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the publication of the first Harry Potter book with a contest. To enter, public librarians have been asked to plan an event to be held at their libraries in celebration of the anniversary...

More »

Jun 12 2013

I treasure these.

2013-06-12-i-treasure-these

Behold these "honest" re-worked posters for Disney's fairytale movies, found on TheFW.com. The photoshopping could use some work, but the results are glorious. I'd hang both the Beauty and the Beast one and the Little Mermaid one on my wall*...

More »

Jun 11 2013

Unnecessary drama (of course)

2013-06-11-unnecessary-drama-of-course

According to the Guardian, the Brontë Society has shelled out £50,000(!!!) to acquire an unpublished homework essay by Charlotte Brontë. The essay was written for Constantin Heger (Charlotte's French teacher and the object of her apparently one-sided affections), and deals with l'amour filial. It argues—with typical Brontë restraint—that...

More »

Jun 11 2013

Hours and hours to be wasted

2013-06-11-hours-and-hours-to-be-wasted

Flavorwire recently put together a slideshow of pop-culture-inspired video games you can play online for free, and three of their choices were based on books: a "pretty epic multi-part online Flash game" based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu Mythos stories called Arcane, a strategy game called Dune II, and an "interactive fiction" adaptation of...

More »

Jun 10 2013

Scent of Darkness, by Margot Berwin

2013-06-10-scent-of-darkness-by-margot-berwin

Margot Berwin's novel Scent of Darkness is built around an absolutely delicious premise: Evangeline, a lonely, directionless 18-year-old, is left a bottle of scent by her perfumer grandmother, and a single application of the perfume changes her entire life. Strangers suddenly find her impossibly desirable (even animals start following her around), and she finds herself torn between two men...

More »

Jun 10 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Scent of Darkness, by Margot Berwin

2013-06-10-weekly-book-giveaway-scent-of-darkness-by-margot-berwin

This week's Book Giveaway pick is Margot Berwin's second novel Scent of Darkness, which looks very... arty and dramatic. (I haven't read it yet, so I'm currently judging this book solely by its cover, which I hear is not the recommended method.) Our review should go up later this afternoon...

More »

Jun 6 2013

Why am I not wealthy enough to fly to England and see this?

2013-06-06-why-am-i-not-wealthy-enough-to-fly-to-england-and-see-this

According to The Guardian, Robert and David Goodale's play Perfect Nonsense—an adaptation of P. G. Wodehouse's 1938 book The Code of the Woosters—will open in England at the Duke of York's Theatre on October 30th. The play will star Stephen Mangan (star of the BBC's Dirk Gently TV series) as Bertie Wooster and Matthew Macfadyen...

More »

Jun 6 2013

The Superman movie is almost here!

2013-06-06-the-superman-movie-is-almost-here

The final trailer is out for the upcoming Superman movie, and it's really working for me. I've been a lot more interested in Superman stories since reviewing Larry Tye's Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero last December...

More »

Jun 5 2013

Ruined and Unbroken, by Paula Morris

2013-06-05-ruined-and-unbroken-by-paula-morris

After reading Paula Morris's novel Dark Souls earlier this spring, I decided to hunt down the two books in her earlier series, Ruined and Unbroken. Dark Souls had some shaky characterization, but Morris's plot was creative, creepy, and rich in historical detail (all things I approve of in a ghost story), so my hopes were high...

More »