Jun 14 2023

Not the vibe

I recently got an e-mail from the Edward Gorey House store, informing me that their collection of summer beach towels was now available (currently on sale for $27.95). To be fair, these are some cute towels...

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Jun 13 2023

Bambi, but even more of a gut-punch

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According to Dark Horizons, Sarah Polley is in talks to direct a live-action remake of Disney's Bambi, based on the 1923 Austrian novel of the same name by Felix Salten. I like Sarah Polley, but, uh, does the world really want to see a Bambi adaptation...

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Jun 13 2023

A messy situation

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The Guardian recently posted an interesting article about an uptick in demand in Russia for translated versions of escapist fiction. While some big-name authors like Neil Gaiman and Stephen King have announced that Russian editions of their books will not be made available for the duration of the war in Ukraine...

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Jun 12 2023

Edible Economics, by Ha-Joon Chang

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Ha-Joon Chang's Edible Economics: A Hungry Economist Explains the World starts off strong. Chang is a well-regarded economist, his prose is simultaneously engaging and easy to follow, and I like the cover art concept (National flags! But made of food!) Unfortunately, the end result is slightly underwhelming—a tasty but thrown-together snack, rather than a well-balanced meal...

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Jun 12 2023

Weekly Book Giveaway: Edible Economics, by Ha-Joon Chang

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WE LIVE (but the world is a weird place right now, so things will probably continue to be sporadic). Our current Book Giveaway is Ha-Joon Chang's Edible Economics: A Hungry Economist Explains the World, installment #8,943 in our ongoing series, “Nonfiction Books Julia has Picked Up at Random”. A full review will follow shortly...

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Feb 1 2023

Wodehouse! In the trash!

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If you're a P.G. Wodehouse fan in Wales, you might want to check out the Five Lanes Recycling Centre (near Caldicot). Apparently, some philistine threw out a collection of Wodehouse novels in their original dust jackets...

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Jan 31 2023

Lockwood & Co.: The Series

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I've read several reviews of Netflix's new adaptation of Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series that seem to have been written by people unfamiliar with the books, so I thought I'd chip in with a take by someone who adores the source material (and is picky about book-to-film adaptations): it's safe, fellow Lockwood & Co. fans! You're gonna like it...

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Jan 31 2023

No thank you

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The trailer is out for The Boogeyman, the film adaptation of a 1978 Stephen King short story. I will be skipping this one, because I don't care how cheesy or overdone it looks (which is: very)...

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Jan 26 2023

I miss you, bookstores

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One of the things I have missed most during the pandemic has been my life-long habit of going into bookstores and looking for pretty new editions of classic books. My local bookstore offers a drive-through window, so I can easily order specific editions in safety, but it's not like I get a press release from the estates of long-dead authors telling me about specific reprints. (ALTHOUGH THAT WOULD BE NICE.) So...

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Jan 26 2023

Never forget

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I have mostly ignored news about the upcoming Percy Jackson TV series, because the original movie adaptation was so terrible that it's still tainting my memories of the entire series, even a decade-plus later...

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Jan 25 2023

Amazing (but also pricey)

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Okay, it costs more than a car payment, but I absolutely want this: it's the Beehive books version of Bram Stoker's Dracula. They have divided up the text into "an actual physical research dossier full of ephemera, correspondence, and...

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Jan 24 2023

Please please please

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Oh, thank the TV Gods: the first reviews of Netflix's adaptation of my beloved Lockwood & Co. are coming in, and they're (mostly) positive: check here, here, and...

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Jan 24 2023

First world problems

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I am not normally in the business of reviewing puzzles, but I recently received one of Laurence King Publishing's 1000-piece "The World of Jane Austen" puzzles for my birthday, and I HAVE SOME NOTES. (Incoherent notes, because I don't actually know puzzle terminology, but notes nonetheless!!!) Let me start with the positives: the artwork is adorable, and I love that...

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Jan 23 2023

Weekly Book Giveaway: The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling, by Henry Fielding

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This week's Book Giveaway is Henry Fielding's 1749 comedic novel The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling. I'll be posting a review as soon as I finish reading it, but while I am a fast reader, this sucker clocks in at nearly 900 pages of small font, so, uh... please do not hold your breath.

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Jan 19 2023

Super cool (also free)

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As of yesterday, the original manuscript for Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables is now publicly available online. The physical manuscript continues to be housed in a climate-controlled archive at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, but fans of the novel...

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Jan 19 2023

Sign me up

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Ooh, I see PBS is hoping to take Masterpiece in an edgier direction with an upcoming adaptation of Henry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. If you haven't read Tom Jones, imagine an 18th century telenovela, complete with birth secrets...

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Jan 18 2023

I like the font, at least

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Well, it's finally happening: Judy Blume's 1970 awkward-teen-girl classic Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret is being made into a movie. The trailer looks good (in a painfully embarrassing way, but that's due to the source material), so...

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Jan 17 2023

Doesn't he have a real job?

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Boris Johnson has apparently signed a hefty deal with HarperCollins to write a memoir about his time as Prime Minister of the UK. According to a friend of Johnson, the book will be "an important exercise in rescuing his reputation", so I'm interpreting that to mean it will be...

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Jan 17 2023

Yikes

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I still haven't read a Colleen Hoover book, but have kept her novels on my mental list of stories to check out if I run across one in a Little Free Library. (The descriptions of her books really don't sound like my thing, but I'm willing to give them a chance... as long as they're free.) However, her recent attempt at producing a coloring book tie-in...

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Jan 12 2023

January perfection

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January 12th is National Hot Tea Day, apparently, which makes it the ideal time to break out this P.G. Wodehouse quote (from The Code of the Woosters:

"The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs...

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Jan 12 2023

This is gonna be a busy TV week

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Paramount Plus just dropped a trailer for their upcoming series Wolf Pack, based on the book series of the same name by Edo Van Belkom, and I am stoked. Sarah Michelle Gellar + werewolves + angsty, 24-year-old "teenagers"? Is it my...

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Jan 11 2023

Financial hijinks

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There's a juicy article in The New Yorker about the recent sale (or... attempted sale?) of an English country house that once belonged to Evelyn Waugh. Waugh was not apparently a fan of the house himself (it was a gift from his in-laws), but...

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Jan 10 2023

Covetable

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Another thing to request for my birthday: last year, Chronicle Books released The Art of Alice and Martin Provensen, and I want it. (Actually, I want many framed prints of the Provensens' work, but they're pretty pricey, so...

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Jan 10 2023

Mark your calendars

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BookTrust recently compiled a helpful list of some of the many book-to-screen adaptations of kid books coming our way in 2023. I am, of course, most excited about Lockwood & Co. (although that comes burdened the weight of So Many Expectations), but...

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Jan 9 2023

The Murder of Mr. Wickham, by Claudia Gray

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I have read a lot of Jane Austen fanfiction, ranging from free stories on websites like AAO3 to published, high-profile efforts by well-known authors (those end up with fancier descriptors like “literary pastiche”, but whatever—they're totally fanfic). Claudia Gray's The Murder of Mr. Wickham is...

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Jan 9 2023

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Murder of Mr. Wickham, by Claudia Gray

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This week's Book Giveaway is Claudia Gray's Jane Austen-by-way-of-Agatha-Christie novel The Murder of Mr. Wickham. A full review will follow shortly, but here's my instant take: Ms. Gray is a successful author of Star Wars novels, and she knows what makes a good fanfiction work...

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Jan 5 2023

Waaay behind the scenes

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As a staunch anti-monarchist (throw 'em all out; make them ALL sell their sob stories to Oprah), I am not the target audience for Harry Windsor's new memoir. I am, however, always in the market for obscure literary gossip, so I richly enjoyed this article on...

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Jan 5 2023

So many Nicolases

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Well, Nicolas Cage might have repaid that infamous $6 million tax bill, but that's no reason for him to stop churning out insane movies. This time he's joined by another Nicolas (Hoult, in this case, who's really carving out a niche for himself in playing handsome weirdos) in a modern-day film about Renfield, Dracula's bug-eating henchman...

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Jan 4 2023

Finally

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This past Sunday was 2023's Public Domain Day, which marked the end of US copyrights on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s last few Sherlock Holmes stories (also Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, but that's unlikely to make as much of a pop-culture-freebie splash). If you're attracted to falling down legal or literary nerd wormholes, I highly recommend reading the Wikipedia article...

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Jan 3 2023

But why, though?

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I am fond of reading all those January articles about cleaning and organization, but I just encountered a bewildering article on Well + Good on how and when we should be disinfecting old/used books. I have so many questions! Did they really need to tell us that...

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