May 23 2014

Father's Day is coming.

According to NPR, NASA's new (and free!) 300-page e-book Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication is a fascinating exploration of the question of what would happen if...

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May 22 2014

They really anticipate a demand, don't they?

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While visiting Barnes and Noble, I ran across these freshly reprinted Judy Blume novels in the "New Teen Books" section. Setting aside my issues with describing a bunch of books written before I was born as "new", I generally like these reprints, although I'm not sure why Simon and Schuster felt we needed two new editions...

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May 22 2014

Whatever works, I guess.

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Oh... my. Um. So, the website Flocabulary uses "educational Hip-Hop" to engage kids and raise test scores. Check out their song "Believe it or Not", which aims to teach children the difference between fiction and nonfiction...

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May 21 2014

It doesn't look creepy, but...

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If you're a classic sci-fi fan with $1,495,000 lying around, Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury's house in the Cheviot Hill neighborhood in Los Angeles is for sale...

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May 20 2014

That is some very elegant dirt.

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And in more highbrow movie-adaptation news (although, one could argue that the two stories have an equally melodramatic worldview), the first posters for Justin Kurzel's upcoming movie version of Macbeth have been posted on IndieWire...

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May 20 2014

Really, impressively dumb-looking

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Well, apparently the Flowers in the Attic movie on Lifetime made enough money for them to fast-track a sequel, and lo and behold, the first trailer for Petals on the Wind has arrived...

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May 19 2014

The Annotated Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen

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Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey is her earliest completed novel—she started writing it in 1798—but one of her last to be published. (It was released posthumously, along with Persuasion, in 1817.) Some critics lump it in with her juvenilia, but it's a remarkably ambitious and entertaining work, even if it isn't quite on par with her later books. Last fall, Anchor Books released a handsome paperback edition of Northanger Abbey featuring annotations by David M. Shapard...

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May 19 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Annotated Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen

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This week we're giving away a copy of The Annotated Northanger Abbey, written by Jane Austen and edited by David Shapard. According to his official bio, Mr. Shapard has a Ph.D. in European History from the University of California at Berkeley, and specialized in the eighteenth century. I've read his work before; like most annotated editions, his writing tends to...

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May 15 2014

RIP, Mary Stewart

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According to the Guardian, romantic suspense author Mary Stewart has died at age 97. Seeing as my favorite Stewart novel (the glorious Nine Coaches Waiting) was published in 1958, I admit I'd always assumed Ms. Stewart had died years ago...

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May 15 2014

Drive-through lit

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Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced their "Cultivating Thought" project, a line of disposable cups and bags featuring middlebrow short stories and brief essays, presumably meant to be enjoyed during the time it takes Chipotle customers to stuff their faces...

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May 14 2014

Rebel Belle, by Rachel Hawkins

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Bestselling YA author Rachel Hawkins has a new iron in the fire. Her latest book Rebel Belle is the first installment in a projected trilogy, and thus far I'm pretty excited about it. It's action-packed, wryly funny, and romantic, and as long as it ends on a less irritating note than her Hex Hall series did, Ms. Hawkins should have an enormous hit on her hands...

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May 13 2014

Literary domiciles

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The fine people at Flavorwire recently compiled a list of the 25 Greatest Houses in Literature. While their choices are solid, I'm afraid they left some critical picks out:

1. The boxcar in The Boxcar Children. Please note they don't say "nicest" structures; they said "most memorable". And God knows people remember the boxcar...

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May 13 2014

SO. COOL.

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The humanitarian group WaterisLife and ad agency DDB have teamed up to promote and distribute a product called The Drinkable Book. Based on the research of Teri Dankovich, The Drinkable Book features...

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May 12 2014

Book decor

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Despite my well-documented aversion to fake books, I quite like this book-shaped "Hanabunko" vase from Spoon & Tamago. It's $37, and currently on back-order until July, but...

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May 12 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Rebel Belle, by Rachel Hawkins

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Our current Book Giveaway pick is Rebel Belle, the latest book from YA paranormal romance author Rachel Hawkins. In addition to writing solid action sequences, Ms. Hawkins has a gift for creating dialogue that manages to feel deliciously snappy, rather than annoyingly contrived (ahem, Sarah Rees Brennan), so I'm really looking forward to reading her book...

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May 8 2014

Up and coming TV

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Loads of book-related TV news has come out this week, including the fact that NBC has green-lit a new adaptation of DC Comics' Hellblazer (to be called Constantine, like the 2005 Keanu Reeves movie), more info about the CW's upcoming take on the comic iZombie, and...

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May 8 2014

Like a Mr. Rogers sweater... but EVIL

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If you're a big Stephen King fan, start saving your pennies now: Mondo Tees has announced a product line based on the iconic (and hideous) carpeting featured in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining...

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May 7 2014

The Blue Castle, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

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Originally published in 1926, L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle is one of the most unabashedly sweet books I have ever read—an old-fashioned, utterly straightforward romance. It's the story of 29-year-old Valancy Stirling, a downtrodden spinster who has spent her life trying (and failing) to please her judgmental relatives. When she discovers she has a heart ailment that will almost certainly kill her within a year, Valancy decides to enjoy whatever time she has left...

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May 6 2014

Yet more Princess Diaries

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Meg Cabot is returning to the world of her Princess Diaries books. She's planning on releasing two vaguely connected spin-offs: an adult novel featuring her previous heroine (Princess Mia Thermopolis, heir to the fictional kingdom of Genovia) and a middle-grade novel centering around Olivia Grace...

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May 6 2014

Ben McKenzie's real estate-based TV streak continues

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I'm super excited about FOX's upcoming Gotham, which recently released its "Official Extended Trailer". I like both Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue, and seeing all the baby versions of Batman's various villains is fun. It's amazing, though: as soon as wee Batman introduces himself...

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May 5 2014

Daughters of the Sea: Hannah, by Kathryn Lasky

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Kathryn Lasky's Daughters of the Sea: Hannah is a stitched-together Frankenstein's monster of a story—an Upstairs, Downstairs domestic drama featuring a mermaid, an evil debutante, and a potentially demonic cat. I realize that sounds insane, but to the author's credit, it slides down more smoothly than you'd think...

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May 5 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Daughters of the Sea: Hannah, by Kathryn Lasky

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It seems I had more books on my to-be-read shelf about mermaids than I thought, including Kathryn Lasky's Daughters of the Sea: Hannah, which we're currently offering as our Weekly Book Giveaway title. It's the first installment of a three book series, so those of you who aren't totally over the whole mermaid-angst thing might want to check it out...

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May 1 2014

Yet more magical pants

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I cannot believe this. DOES THE WORLD REALLY NEED ANOTHER MOVIE ABOUT MAGICAL PANTS?!? According to THR, it seems so: Alloy Entertainment is working on a movie adaptation of Sisterhood Everlasting, the third (and, hopefully, final) novel in Ann Brashares's inexplicably popular* Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series...

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May 1 2014

Ugh, no thank you.

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Personally, I wouldn't trust Lost writer Damon Lindelof any further than I could throw him (and I have no upper-body strength), but HBO appears to have a lot more confidence in his abilities. Word & Film has just posted the first full-length trailer for Lindelof's upcoming adaptation of Tom Perrotta's novel The Leftovers...

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Apr 30 2014

It all sounds better than wrestling.

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THR has posted a round-up of the various projects currently being developed for Syfy, which is doing its best to win back the crowd that should have been their bread and butter: actual sci-fi nerds. Don't get me wrong, everybody likes a good episode of Ghost Adventures...

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Apr 29 2014

How do these people keep getting mislaid?

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In an effort to avoid any kind of carpark-burial-style shenanigans, Spain is searching for the remains of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes. The writer died in poverty in 1616, and while they know the date of his death—April 22nd, 1616—no one is sure exactly where he is buried, other than somewhere on the grounds of Madrid's Convent of Trinitarians...

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Apr 29 2014

Lu-piiiin!

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There's going to be a live-action version of Lupin the Third (one of Japan's most enduring manga series), and the promotional images look GREAT...

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Apr 28 2014

Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator, by Josh Berk

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I absolutely loved Josh Berk's first novel, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, so my hopes were high for his second, Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator. Like Dark Days, it's a mystery/coming-of-age story told from a convincing teen-boy perspective, complete with bouts of insecurity, an obsession with the opposite sex, and a positive gift for saying the wrong thing...

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Apr 28 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator

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This week we're giving away Josh Berk's novel Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator. I have super-high hopes for this one, as I found Berk's novel The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin impressively creative and endearing. (I was even happier with it when Berk's publishers changed the cover art, and I could stop fretting about it falling into the hands of third graders...

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Apr 24 2014

Early but unhelpful

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Publishers Weekly has already compiled their "Best Summer Books of 2014" list, because they are revoltingly well-organized. As usual, though, I can comfort myself with the thought that while I won't come up with a recommended summer reading list until late June (and possibly not even by the end of July), at least none of my picks...

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