Jul 31 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire

This week's Book Giveaway is Seanan McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway. I'm inclined to look suspiciously upon books that cost $18 but weigh in at well under 200 pages, but this book has won, like, all the awards (seriously), so I'm looking forward to reading it. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jul 27 2017

New heights

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There is a fascinating article in the current issue of Vanity Fair about the ongoing battle between The New York Times and the Washington Post. The venerable papers have taken the election of President Trump as a opportunity to continuously out-scoop one another, producing a steady stream of stories...

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Jul 27 2017

I dunno...

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The trailer is out for Netflix's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's 1996 novel Alias Grace, which was inspired by the life of Grace Marks, an Irish-Canadian maid who was convicted in 1843 of murdering her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery. The adaptation looks extremely well-made and acted and everything...

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Jul 26 2017

Asking for us all.

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I'm kind of surprised by how few pithy one-liners (or catchy musical cues) are featured in this trailer for Marvel's The Defenders, but my mind was busy with a more urgent question: what the hell does Sigourney Weaver use for moisturizer?

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Jul 25 2017

Women in refrigerators (or snow, in this case)

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The trailer is out for the upcoming film adaptation of Jo Nesbo's The Snowman. I have a policy of avoiding movies with trailers that start off with an attractive young woman being chased through a dark/snowy/isolated landscape by an unseen assailant*, so...

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Jul 25 2017

Scrambling for cash

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Chawton House Library, the “Great House” once owned by Jane Austen's brother Edward, is seeking to raise around £150,000 over the next 18 months to stay open after a longtime backer withdrew support. (The £150,000 is just to keep the doors open while they apply for millions in capital grants...

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Jul 24 2017

Faro's Daughter, by Georgette Heyer

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After slogging through last week's highly irritating historical romance, I picked up Georgette Heyer's Faro's Daughter as a literary palate cleanser. It might be one of her weaker efforts, but even C-grade Georgette Heyer still stands head and shoulders above most historical romances...

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Jul 24 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Faro's Daughter, by Georgette Heyer

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This week's Book Giveaway is Georgette Heyer's novel Faro's Daughter. I don't think anyone is going to pick this as their all-time favorite Heyer, but it falls somewhere in the middle of her body of work—not perfect, but still featuring the kind of charm, wit, and historical detail that most other romance novelists can only dream of achieving. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jul 20 2017

Persuasion = The Shallows

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There's a mildly amusing essay over on the Guardian website that compares Jane Austen's Persuasion to a kung-fu movie. I think the analogy is a stretch (if you're talking about the characters being hemmed in and surrounded by potential dangers, why stop at kung-fu films? There are lots of horror films that play up claustrophobia and danger. Why not a shark movie?), but...

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Jul 20 2017

Okay, WOW.

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74-year-old Argentinian artist Marta Minujín has built a spectacular replica of the Greek Parthenon using copies of banned books. "The Parthenon of Books" in Kassel, Germany is the centerpiece of the Documenta 14 art festival. With the help of students from Kassel University, Minujín...

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Jul 19 2017

I'm assuming these ladies are critical to the plot.

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Yesterday, io9 published an exciting round-up of a number of upcoming book-to-TV adaptations, at least half of which I want to check out. (This is a pretty good ratio, as far as I'm concerned.) I'm most excited...

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Jul 18 2017

Skipping this.

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Aaaand in completely different film news: check out the trailer for Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, the upcoming biopic inspired by the polyamorous relationship between William Marston (the creator of Wonder Woman, his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston, an attorney and psychologist, and...

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Jul 18 2017

I'm gonna need to buy Amazon Prime for this, aren't I?

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The trailer is out for the upcoming live action reboot of The Tick, based on Ben Edlund's cult comic series. The Tick has never quite hit it big (despite Patrick Warburton's truly immortal turn as the title character in the earlier TV series), so...

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Jul 17 2017

Duels and Deception, by Cindy Anstey

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I picked up Cindy Anstey's Duels and Deception in hopes that it would be an improvement on Avon's True Romance line, a short-lived attempt to write Regency romance novels for teens. I found the Avon books to be amusing but flimsy (even by romance novel standards), but assumed that Anstey's book—with its eye-catching cover and breathless promotional quotes—would be more impressive. Sadly, I was wrong...

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Jul 17 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Duels and Deception, by Cindy Anstey

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This week's Book Giveaway is Cindy Anstey's Duels and Deception. There's a promotional quote on the back that claims Anstey's writing is "BETTER than Georgette Heyer", which is, uh, high praise, to say the least. Personally, I'd be satisfied to find something that's better than Avon's short-lived attempt at producing Regency romances for teens...

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Jul 13 2017

Noooo, thanks.

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If you're in the market for a profoundly uncomfortable-looking chair that also manages to make large sections of your bookshelf space non-functional, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto...

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Jul 13 2017

A tiny glimpse

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Entertainment Weekly has some first-look images of Ava DuVernay's upcoming film adaptation of my beloved A Wrinkle in Time, and they are gorgeous. I'm REALLY not clear on why the article author decided to describe Oprah's depiction of Mrs. Which as "wizened"...

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Jul 12 2017

I don't know about some of these...

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NPR recently assembled a list of 10 game-changing comics: titles that "changed how the entire medium of comics was perceived". Some of their picks are easy (Action Comics #1, for example), but I would have been curious to see one or two less highbrow picks, too, that may have had a game-changing impact on comics publishing...

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Jul 11 2017

Opera and nonsense nursery rhymes

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According to Publishers Weekly, a new, fully-illustrated children's book manuscript has been found among the late Maurice Sendak's papers, and will be published late next year. The book, Presto and Zesto in Limboland, was co-written with Sendak's longtime friend Arthur Yorinks...

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Jul 11 2017

Solid recs

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The Cut recently compiled a list of quotes by twenty-five famous women about their favorite books. I am always excited when I find out I have something in common with J.K. Rowling...

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Jul 10 2017

The Boy is Back, by Meg Cabot

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The Boy is Back is the fourth book in Meg Cabot's loosely-connected The Boy series, all of which are narrated via unconventional methods: texts, e-mail, diary entries, online reviews. This installment is set in Bloomville, Indiana, hometown of professional golfer Reed Stewart. Reed assumed he'd left Bloomville behind, but when his increasingly eccentric parents end up causing a scandal, his family calls him home...

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Jul 10 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Boy is Back, by Meg Cabot

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This week's Book Giveaway is Meg Cabot's novel The Boy is Back. The story involves one of my favorite things to read about (organizing) and one of my least favorite things to experience in any medium (golf). One cannot win them all, I suppose. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jul 6 2017

Toys, yes; Video games, no

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According to THR, Warner Bros. and the Tolkien Estate have "amicably resolved" their five-year-long dispute over the digital exploitation of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. As far as I can tell, this seems to be a fight over merchandising...

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Jul 6 2017

Money has been spent

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The cast has been announced for PBS's upcoming miniseries adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, and it has some big names in it: the adult actors include Emily Watson, Michael Gambon, and Angela Lansbury, and the protagonist Jo will be...

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Jul 5 2017

Not a word-for-word adaptation

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The first official trailer was recently released for the upcoming film adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's 1981 children's classic Jumanji. I have no idea if this is supposed to be a sequel or reboot of the 1995 Jumanji movie, but...

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Jun 29 2017

"Tartan noir"

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Pajiba recently posted an essay by Kayleigh Donaldson called "There’s Been a Murder: Reading Scottish Crime Novels as an Actual Scottish Person". I suspect there's some emotional crossover between Scottish crime novels and other stories set in countries with notoriously terrible weather, but...

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Jun 29 2017

Sign me UP

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Levar Burton has a new podcast called Levar Burton Reads. Nerdist describes it as "Reading Rainbow for adults", but who cares how anyone describes it? You had me at "Levar Burton reads"...

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Jun 28 2017

Grab a hankie.

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This is both beautiful and tear-inducing: the Guardian tells me that the highest bid in the Authors for Grenfell Tower auction was given to James Clements, a teacher who bid £1,500 to have a character in Philip Pullman's upcoming series named after a former student who died in the fire, 16-year-old Nur Huda el-Wahabi...

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Jun 27 2017

Ever-evolving

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There's some good stuff in the latest Oxford English Dictionary update: "woke", "Boston Marriage", wrestling terms "face" and "heel". But my favorite is their attempt to give nuance to "A new sense of thing"...

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Jun 27 2017

Books and booze

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Well, I am just shocked, I tell you: according to Atlas Obscura, book clubs have always been focused on gossip and drinking, just as much (if not more) as they've been focused on reading...

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