Apr 11 2013

The many hats of Dr. Seuss

Sadly, this touring exhibit of the many fabulous hats owned by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel isn't coming anywhere near where I live, but it might be worth taking a vacation to see. According to this article in Collectors Weekly, Dr. Seuss started collecting hats in the 1930s...

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Apr 11 2013

Minimalism at its best

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I'm not sure if this book cover mock-up of a new edition of George Orwell's 1984 from the Austrian graphic design group Adronauts is a real thing, or just an art project/contest submission. Either way, I love it...

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Apr 10 2013

Jane Austen's nastiest one-liners

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Adelle Waldman on Slate ranked Jane Austen's books from best to worst, and listed the ten "most devastating one-liners" featured in her novels. Unsurprisingly, I totally disagreed with her best-to-worst order (Emma at number one, and Persuasion dead last? Please...

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Apr 9 2013

Widescreen worthy

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Architectural Digest recently posted an article and slideshow about the lavish constructed for Baz Luhrmann's upcoming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. I have my doubts about this movie—I'm pretty sure it's going to be insane, although possibly in a good way...

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Apr 9 2013

Evil Pygmalion

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There have been several articles released recently about Wendy Moore’s new nonfiction title How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain’s Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate, which sounds absolutely mind-blowing...

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Apr 8 2013

Plain Kate, by Erin Bow

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When it comes to YA literature, the current trend towards dystopian stories boasting loads of hardcore violence is so widespread it's actually gotten boring—no matter how creative the backstory, it's hard to be shocked by yet another novel centered around some far-fetched excuse for futuristic kids to kill one another. This is why I found myself approving of Erin Bow's novel Plain Kate—sure, it was dark and sad and creepy...

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Apr 8 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Plain Kate, by Erin Bow

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This week's book giveaway pick is Erin Bow's debut novel Plain Kate, which I'm planning to read and review this afternoon, despite the fact that stories about witch burnings—even thwarted ones, which I'm assuming is the case here—totally give creep me out. I'm doing this for you, dear readers...

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Apr 5 2013

Heart of Glass, by Sasha Gould

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YA author Sasha Gould recently released Heart of Glass, the sequel to last year's well-received historical novel Cross My Heart. I found this installment less interesting than Gould's first, but it was still well-written and solidly researched (and blessed with much less Vegas-y cover art)...

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Apr 4 2013

Up and coming

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According to Publishers Weekly, Delacorte Press recently announced it has purchased the rights to 17-year-old Beth Reekles's debut novel The Kissing Booth, which has apparently been selling like hotcakes on the self-publishing site Wattpad...

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Apr 4 2013

Just in case you were wondering

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Speaking of random-but-impressively-thorough online efforts, someone at the real estate website Movoto came up with a detailed analysis of the resale value of Hogwarts, based on its presumed location, comparable (if non-magical) properties, and square footage...

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Apr 3 2013

Trackers and Trackers: Shantorian, by Patrick Carman

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Patrick Carman's Trackers series is simultaneously one step forward and several steps back: it features even more digital bells and whistles than his Skeleton Creek quartet, but it's markedly less readable than his recent novel Floors or his earlier Land of Elyon series...

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Apr 2 2013

Another show I will be skipping

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I can't see any way for this to avoid being absolutely horrible, but maybe that's what makes for must-see TV: according to The Hollywood Reporter, FX is developing an "event series" based on Kim MacQuarrie's book The Last Days of the Incas, which focuses on...

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Apr 2 2013

Austen-inspired arts and crafts

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The design-and-print-your-own-fabric website Spoonflower is asking readers to submit and vote on fabric patterns "inspired by the idea of what life would be like in a Jane Austen novel". Some of them are pretty creepy-looking (and several have nothing to do with Austen), but I liked at least ten of them enough to vote for them...

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Apr 1 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Trackers and Trackers: Shantorian, by Patrick Carman

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We're giving away two books this week: Patrick Carman's Trackers and Trackers: Shantorian. Like his Skeleton Creek series, they appear to be full of unnecessary bells and whistles, but who knows? Maybe all the digital tie-ins and stuff will be magical. I'll have more for you on Wednesday, when I post the review...

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Apr 1 2013

Brain-wrinkling

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I've been staring in appalled fascination at the website Scarfolk, which seems to the project of graphic designer Richard Littler. The blog is devoted to the ephemera of an imaginary—and impossible—town...

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Mar 29 2013

Historical mash-up

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The most recent Hark! A Vagrant strip blends the life of Anne of Cleves (well, at least the part of her life that involved Henry the VIII) with Anne of Green Gables. Thomas Cromwell fills in for Matthew; Henry himself is Marilla...

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Mar 28 2013

A three-million-dollar book deal seems like the least the world can do

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Pakistani education activist, youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee, shooting victim, and fifteen-year-old girl Malala Yousafzai has closed a book deal, according to The Guardian. The nonfiction title I Am Malala will be published by Little, Brown and Company this fall, and describe Yousafzai's life to date...

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Mar 28 2013

Room 237, in depth

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I had no idea people had devoted so much energy to analyzing Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining, but apparently there's enough interest in picking apart the deeper significance of every shifted prop, altered costume, and misplaced window to justify making a whole documentary about it...

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Mar 27 2013

Banished and Unforsaken, by Sophie Littlefield

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I'm sure most bookstores have filed Sophie Littlefield's novels Banished and Unforsaken with the teen paranormal romances, but that's far from accurate. These books are about a girl who discovers that she has magical healing powers, and is immediately targeted by a series of evil scientists, murderous rednecks, and zombies. She does eventually acquire a boyfriend, but their relationship is never more than a minor plot thread...

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Mar 26 2013

Vintage cyborgs

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Speaking of serialized stories, science fiction fans can now read the first chapter of British author E.V. Odle's 1923 little-known novel The Clockwork Man, which is apparently the earliest story to feature a cyborg...

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Mar 26 2013

Neverwhere on the radio

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The BBC has apparently made a radio production of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and you can download the first episode here. It features the voices of James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, David Harewood, and Sophie Okonedo...

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Mar 25 2013

Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan

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Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron is a collection of eighteen all-new short stories about witches and witchcraft, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Most of the featured authors—a who's who of well-known fantasy writers, including Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Charles de Lint, Jim Butcher, and Holly Black—brought their A-game, and the resulting stories are memorable, imaginative, and utterly absorbing...

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Mar 25 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Under My Hat, edited by Jonathan Strahan

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This week's book giveaway pick is Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, a collection of eighteen short stories inspired by witchcraft, edited by Jonathan Strahan. I'll post my full review this afternoon, but here's the quickie version: I'd give the overall collection a solid B+, with a couple of stories creeping up into A territory and one slipping into the C range...

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Mar 22 2013

Out of Warranty, by Haywood Smith

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Despite its Viagra-commercial cover art and quirky plot summary, Haywood Smith's novel Out of Warranty isn't a conventional middle-aged romance. Instead, it's a story about two deeply neurotic characters beset by a legion of age-specific problems: fragile parents, irritating adult children, bad health, and worse insurance coverage...

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Mar 21 2013

This is real thing, apparently.

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April Fools' Day is so close, but we're not actually there yet. So I'm assuming this isn't a joke: someone actually wrote a children's book called Mr. Penny and the Dragon of Domeville, and it's about a "singular" little penny who battles a dragon that represents a bloated federal government...

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Mar 21 2013

Book cover art for your phone

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If you own an iPhone 4 and you're looking for a new case, Nordstrom currently has three "Out of Print" cases inspired by classic book covers on sale: Animal Farm, The Outsiders, and On the Road...

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Mar 20 2013

Nostalgia ahoy

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I was mega-excited when I saw this Slate article about a brief, wordless Calvin and Hobbes cartoon created by professional animator Adam Brown. Unfortunately, the final product was a bit of a letdown...

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Mar 19 2013

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

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Ernest Cline's debut novel Ready Player One borrows its premise from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, its plot from TRON, and its conclusion from The Wizard of Oz, but that's actually okay: people are buying this novel to wallow in all the geek-oriented nostalgia, not marvel at the author's originality...

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Mar 19 2013

Aim high

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According to THR, Constantin Films is planning another film version of Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo. David Goyer will direct, Jeremy Bolt (of the Resident Evil franchise) will produce, and they're apparently planning to take a "graphic novel approach" to the story. I figured that meant something vaguely cartoonish...

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Mar 18 2013

The phrase "training guide" does sound a little ominous, though.

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In a move that has generated a lot of online commentary, Chicago Public Schools (the nation’s third largest school district) announced last week that they would be restricting students' access to Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s 2003 graphic novel about growing up in Iran. We're obviously no fans of book-banning...

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