Feb 11 2013

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, by Cora Harrison

According to the promotional sheet included with the review copy we received, Cora Harrison's YA novel I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend was written for “anyone who has imagined what it might have been like to be the best friend, cousin, and confidante of the one and only Jane Austen.” That is, um, a very specific fantasy, but I'm sure those readers are out there. Somewhere...

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Feb 9 2013

Passion and Rapture, by Lauren Kate

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I reviewed Lauren Kate's novel Fallen in 2010, its sequel in 2011, and then waited nearly two full years to bother reading books three and four, despite the fact that they've been sitting on our To Be Read shelf for ages. That says a lot about my feelings about this series—the premise was too promising to set aside entirely, but...

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Feb 7 2013

For the hardest of hardcore geeks only

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If you are really, really rich, and really, really geeky, you should check out this $9,900 "Orcrist" sword inspired by The Lord of the Rings. It's a limited-edition item, will only be made to order, and requires a wait time of up to 6 months...

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Feb 7 2013

Shopping (for myself)

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I've decided to request one of these gender-swapped fairy tale prints from artist Yudi Chen for Valentine's Day. Pretty adorable, huh? I'm leaning towards the "Tarzana and John" one...

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Feb 6 2013

DO NOT WANT.

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I'm sorry, but I'm voting "no" on this one: according to Deadline, Guillermo del Toro is planning to produce a movie adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel The Secret Garden, and it's rumored that his version will be set in the American South at the turn of the 20th Century...

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Feb 5 2013

Still a loss, but it could have been worse.

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The AP Wire has posted a surprisingly positive story about the recent military activity in Timbuktu. After the French and Malian troops chased out the Islamist militants that had taken over the fabled city, there was concern that the collection of 30,000 ancient manuscripts stored in the city's Ahmed Baba Institute had been destroyed...

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Feb 5 2013

Floors, by Patrick Carman

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When it comes to Patrick Carman, I usually end up damning with faint praise: his books are, y'know, fine. His 2011 novel Floors maintains his record of being totally inoffensive—I've read better, and I've read worse...

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Feb 4 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Floors, by Patrick Carman

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This week's book giveaway title is Floors, the latest offering from prolific children's author Patrick Carman. Unlike some of his other recent releases, this is just a book (there are no video tie-ins or whatever), but we really prefer that, so here's hoping the story is entertaining enough to stand on its own two feet. Our review will go up tomorrow morning...

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Feb 4 2013

There are big names behind the Vampire Academy movie

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The upcoming movie adaptation of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy has some serious YA street cred: according to Deadline, Daniel Waters, writer of the iconic black comedy Heathers, has written the script for the first movie, and his brother, Mean Girls director Mark Waters...

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Feb 1 2013

Waste of time

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Ugh. NYMag recently posted a ridiculous article about Jane Austen's novels, asserting (shocker!) that she's, like, still way popular, particularly with the ladies! Thanks for the info, guys! The whole thing is really poorly researched (it describes The Lizzie Bennet Diaries as "a web series in which Mr. Darcy has Twitter", which, while technically true...

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Jan 31 2013

Unexpected consequences

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Well, this is a problem: according to CBS News, the decline in printed newspapers has created difficulties for San Francisco's Animal Care & Control (and elsewhere, presumably). The shelter system has long relied on used newspapers to line its puppy cages, but...

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Jan 31 2013

Forget Tim Burton, Sleepy Hollow is going Underworld

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I'm shoving this into my mental file labeled "Probably a mistake": according to Entertainment Weekly, Fox has ordered a pilot for a television adaptation of Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow. They're describing it as “A modern-day supernatural thriller based on...

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Jan 30 2013

The Lacey Chronicles, by Eve Edwards

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As long-time readers of the site know, I tend to avoid romance novels set prior to the 19th century. I'm sure that means I'm missing out on a ton of excellent books, but Kate Beaton's 15th Century Peasant Romance Comics perfectly sum up my vision of the English-speaking world before, say, 1795: lots of early death, zero dental hygiene...

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Jan 29 2013

"Darwin Day" possible (but really unlikely)

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According to the Huffington Post, New Jersey Democratic Rep. Rush Holt has introduced legislation that would designate February 12, 2013, as “Darwin Day". Holt's attempt to recognize the famous biologist as a "worthy symbol... [of] the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge” was introduced last week. Unfortunately for science fans...

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Jan 29 2013

The Graveyard Book movie is back on

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I had no idea (or had forgotten) this movie was even in the offing, much less that the project had gone off the rails. But apparently Neil Gaiman's 2008 novel The Graveyard Book was being developed as a stop-motion project to be directed by Henry Selick and produced by Disney, with a planned release date of October, 2013. Things went downhill last summer...

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Jan 28 2013

Blood Magic, by Tessa Gratton

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I winced when I read the promotional materials for Tessa Gratton's Blood Magic, which describe the book as “A natural next-read for fans of Stephenie Meyer”. I am not one of said fans, so this news was not enticing. Having now read the book, let me reassure my fellow Twilight anti-fans that Blood Magic is a gore-splattered, intense YA novel without so much as a hint of love triangles, magical imprinting, or sparkly vampire action...

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Jan 28 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Blood Magic, by Tessa Gratton

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This week's book giveaway is Tessa Gratton's debut novel Blood Magic, which we're planning to review this afternoon. It looks fairly gory (I haven't read it yet), but if you're in the mood for that, today could be your lucky day...

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Jan 25 2013

Unusual library services

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The New York Times posted a lovely article this week about an American Girl doll that's available for checkout from the Ottendorfer branch of the New York Public Library in the East Village, where many of the library's clients are unwilling or financially unable to buy American Girl dolls (which retail for a jaw-dropping $110 apiece) of their own...

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Jan 24 2013

Fateful, by Claudia Gray

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Claudia Gray's Fateful must have had one hell of an elevator pitch: “It's a Downton Abbey romance! But with werewolves! And set on the Titanic!” Some of those elements are executed more successfully than others, but we always approve of an author thinking big...

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Jan 24 2013

Making science

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NPR posted an article this morning about Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, two scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, who set out to explore the use of DNA as a method of storing information. Birney and Goldman decided to encode Shakespeare's sonnets, an audio clip of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, and a picture of their office, and sent all the data...

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Jan 23 2013

What did Anne Shirley ever do to you, cover artist?

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WHOA. Remember the collection of The Bell Jar covers we linked to the other day? Well, Jezebel was also thinking of Sylvia Plath this week, and found this edition, which manages to be both deeply unsuitable (considering the book's subject matter) and ugly. But wait, there's more...

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Jan 22 2013

Here's hoping the Korean drama lightning will strike twice.

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Dramabeans recently posted an article about a possible drama adaptation of Salon H, a webtoon from manhwa writer Park So-hee, best known for her silly-but-undeniably-entertaining series Goong...

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Jan 22 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Fateful, by Claudia Gray

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We're a day late, but here goes: our current weekly book giveaway title is Claudia Gray's Fateful, a YA novel about werewolves on the Titanic. (No joke.) Our review will go up in a day or two...

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Jan 18 2013

Semi-useful Valentines

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I volunteer at a local children's library, and we are definitely going to be making these Heart-Shaped Page Markers from the website How About Orange for Valentine's Day. They look mega-cute and super easy...

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Jan 17 2013

Like the geekiest bake sale ever

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According to Tech News Daily, a physicist and author is attempting to use his science fiction writing to raise money to build laser weapons capable of knocking out guided missiles with electronics-disabling electromagnetic pulses. Adam Weigold, author of the upcoming novel Dragon Empire, is hoping his book...

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Jan 17 2013

The Bell Jar revisited

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The Atlantic recently put together a slideshow of a "50 Year Visual History" of Sylvia Path's The Bell Jar, which came out in England a half-century-ago this week. (It was originally published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, which made the book sound like it was written by a soap opera ingénue.) The slideshow includes...

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Jan 16 2013

Shield your eyes

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I don't watch reality TV, but Entertainment Weekly informs me that the latest episode of The Bachelor featured the contestants dressing up as Harlequin romance cover models. (Because nothing says "proof of romantic compatibility" like a willingness to pose as a vampire or Southern belle or whatever.) The results, judging by the covers featured in the article, seemed uniformly awful...

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Jan 15 2013

Spring Fever, by Mary Kay Andrews

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Mary Kay Andrews's novels are the modern-romance equivalent of a plain cake doughnut: unexciting, yet undeniably tasty. Her latest effort, 2012's Spring Fever, is the story of Annajane Hudgens, a sweet-tempered advertising executive carrying a not-totally-extinguished torch for her ex-husband (and current boss), Northern Carolina businessman Mason Bayless. They've both seemingly moved on with their lives, but...

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Jan 15 2013

Hopefully there aren't many power outages.

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MySanAntonio.com has an article up about Bexar County's attempt to create the nation's first book-free countywide library system. The goal is to have a library designed for the digital age (rather than adapted to it), which apparently means A) an interior resembling an Apple Store, B) an exterior resembling a minimum-security prison...

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Jan 14 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Spring Fever, by Mary Kay Andrews

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Mary Kay Andrews's Spring Fever. (Our review will go up tomorrow.) To enter, just send us an e-mail connected to a valid address...

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