Mar 11 2013

Dark Souls, by Paula Morris

Paula Morris's novel Dark Souls isn't the best YA paranormal romance I have ever read, but it boasts likeable characters, an intriguing premise, and literally dozens of ghosts, running the gamut from benign to horrifying. Fans of the genre are in for a creepy, history-infused treat...

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Mar 8 2013

The high-end equivalent of a stuffed-animal backpack

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While reading the always-entertaining Tom and Lorenzo site, I ran across this collection of Charlotte Olympia shoes, which were apparently inspired by fairy tales...

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Mar 7 2013

Vintage style

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WHYYY?!? I'm two years late, but I was so excited to discover these gorgeous, vintage-style reprints of Mary Stewart's romantic suspense novels, and now it turns out they're English*. Meanwhile, we here in America are still stuck with these versions, which...

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Mar 7 2013

Two Pinocchios? Why would you want even one?

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Last week, NPR posted a helpful round-up of the many current and recent film projects inspired by fairy-tales, ranging from Red Riding Hood to the nine(!) Oz movies currently in the works...

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Mar 6 2013

The Flappers: Ingenue and Diva, by Jillian Larkin

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I wasn't overly impressed by Vixen, the first book in Jillian Larkin's Flappers series. It wasn't terrible, but it was the kind of book I read and immediately forgot, so I attributed most of its success to a one two-punch of trendy subject matter and gorgeous cover art. Happily, Larkin's trilogy improved steadily over the course of its run, and by the end of the series I was genuinely sorry to say goodbye to the characters...

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Mar 5 2013

A treasure trove for Kipling fans

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The Guardian informs me that more than 50 previously unpublished Rudyard Kipling poems will be released for the first time this month. The poems were apparently discovered by American scholar Thomas Pinney. Some were stashed...

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Mar 5 2013

Author about town

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If you're eagerly awaiting news of E. L. James's next literary "triumph", here you go: according to the New York Post, movement is slow on the Fifty Shades movie, her next book "won't be nearly so raunchy"...

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Mar 4 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Ingenue and Diva, by Jillian Larkin

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We're giving away two books this week: Ingenue and Diva, the second and third books in Jillian Larkin's Flappers series. Our review will go up on Wednesday, but if you're all agog to learn more about the series you can read our thoughts on the first book in the series, 2010's Vixen, here.

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Mar 4 2013

Freaks, by Kieran Larwood

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Kieran Larwood's debut novel Freaks was the 2011 winner of the annual Children's Fiction Competition co-sponsored by the London Times and Chicken House Publishing. I've been following this contest since it started in 2008, and while all of the books they've chosen have been solid, Larwood's novel is my new favorite...

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Mar 1 2013

The evil trio

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I'm thinking of requesting a review copy of Michael Moss's Salt Sugar Fat, which was recently the subject of an in-depth NPR story. I'm always interested in books about food or money, and this one's about both...

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Feb 28 2013

About time

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After sales of the Nook e-reader took a 26% dive in the latest quarter, Barnes and Noble announced recently that they're planning to "right size" (read: "shrink") their entire Nook-pushing machine...

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Feb 28 2013

Attack of the Highfield Mole!

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Well, the CGI industry should be pleased with this news: after spending several years languishing in development, Relativity Media is finally moving forward on a movie adaptation of Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams's Tunnels series. (We reviewed the first few books in the series...

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Feb 27 2013

The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman

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Allegra Goodman's novel The Cookbook Collector has been widely compared to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Sadly, I have always found Sense and Sensibility much easier to admire than actually enjoy, so I opened The Cookbook Collector with trepidation...

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Feb 26 2013

If you're interested...

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A bit of happy news for the science geeks among us: the US government announced last week that far more taxpayer-funded research papers will soon be freely offered to the public. This is an expansion of an older policy, which had previously only applied to biomedical science...

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Feb 26 2013

Shade-throwing in the Middle Ages

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I was listening to NPR this morning, and they posted a fascinating story about Pope Celestine V, one of the few popes who stepped down, rather than dying in office—and perhaps the only one, other than Benedict XVI, to do so voluntarily. Celestine, originally known as Pietro del Morrone, had been a hair-shirt-and-iron-girdle-wearing hermit in the Italian mountains...

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Feb 25 2013

Meridian, Wildcat Fireflies, and Speed of Light, by Amber Kizer

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Amber Kizer makes no secret of the fact that she started writing fiction because she needed a job that she could handle while managing a difficult health condition, not because she had an epic novel burning inside of her. Happily, Kizer turns out to possess a real talent for trotting out entertaining, briskly-paced YA literature, no matter how prosaic her inspiration...

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Feb 25 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman

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We won't be reviewing the book in question until Wednesday (we're pretty disorganized this week, even by our standards), but our current Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Allegra Goodman's 2010 novel The Cookbook Collector. Here's hoping it finds a good home amongst you...

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Feb 22 2013

A fitting tribute

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I had planned (and still intend to post, but on Monday) a review of the three books in Amber Kizer's Meridian series, but then Megan pointed out that today's Google Doodle is honoring my beloved Edward Gorey, and it was too magnificent to go unmentioned...

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Feb 21 2013

Filling a void

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Thank goodness: someone has finally responded to the worldwide demand* for a book combining wacky cat photos with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice...

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Feb 21 2013

Solving a mystery

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In a bit of interesting (if gross) news, poet Pablo Neruda's body is going to be exhumed and tested for evidence of poisoning, according to Time. Neruda's family has always maintained that he died at age 69 of advanced prostate cancer, but a judge in Chile has ordered the autopsy in response...

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Feb 20 2013

Anachronisms ahoy!

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Slashfilm is warning us to brace ourselves for Dodge and Twist, a movie retelling of Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist that will combine "the context of a period film with modern action thrills". They're comparing it to Guy Ritchie's recent Sherlock Holmes films...

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Feb 19 2013

G-rated swooning

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The website Avidly recently put together a lovely list of G-Rated Moments of Swoon featured in literature. I've never read a few of their picks (including the Trixie Belden series, although their description was enticing enough that I now intend to do so as soon as possible), but I absolutely agree with the others...

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Feb 19 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A. S. King

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Our current Weekly Book Giveaway pick is A.S. King's Please Ignore Vera Dietz, which we reviewed here. We don't want to sound like we're damning with faint praise (the book is really good), but here are our thoughts in a nutshell: King's book is more fun than any story about a budding teenage alcoholic mourning her best friend ought to be...

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Feb 15 2013

Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A.S. King

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It is no coincidence that the promotional blurb on the cover of A.S. King's darkly funny novel Please Ignore Vera Dietz was written by Crank author Ellen Hopkins—King's story doesn't actually revel in its grim subject matter the way Hopkins's books do, but it's aiming squarely for the same audience...

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Feb 14 2013

I disapprove.

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Man, one piece of good news giveth a Valentine's Day warm and fuzzy feeling; one piece of bad news taketh it away...

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Feb 14 2013

Sendak lives on

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Okay, this is pretty great: the Huffington Post informs me that New York City is planning to name a new public school (PS 118 in Park Slope Brooklyn) after famed children's author Maurice Sendak...

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Feb 13 2013

Refreshing Harry Potter

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According to USA Today, Scholastic recently unveiled the first of seven new cover designs of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The new covers will appear on paperback reprints of the series coming out this fall. They feature artwork by author/illustrator Kazu Kibuishi (of Amulet fame), and will mark the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone...

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Feb 12 2013

My condolences

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Remember when I wrote that Jennifer Crusie was republishing a novella she'd written long ago, later described as "embarrassingly bad", and said she never wanted to lay eyes on again? I was trying to be understanding about the reprint, because I know Crusie has had a really rough year and could use the money, but it turns out that wasn't an accurate assessment of the situation...

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Feb 12 2013

Signs of life from L.J. Smith

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I was looking up information on the CW's upcoming spin-off series The Originals, which will kick off with a "back-door pilot" episode of The Vampire Diaries airing on April 25th. I wanted to see if L.J. Smith (the original author of The Vampire Diaries) was going to be involved, so I made one of my infrequent visits to her delightfully hokey website...

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Feb 11 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, by Cora Harrison

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This week's book giveaway title is Cora Harrison's I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, which we reviewed here. (The book isn't actually a fictional tell-all about Jane's dirty secrets, despite the way the title makes it sound...

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