Dec 7 2012

Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero, by Larry Tye

If you're a classic comics junkie, pop culture aficionado, or fan of Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, you're definitely going to want to check out Larry Tye's nonfiction book Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero...

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Dec 7 2012

Weekly Book Giveaway: Uglies: Cutters, by Scott Westerfeld

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Here's our second Book Giveaway of the week: Uglies: Cutters, which we reviewed here. While entries for last Monday's book (Adele Griffin's All You Never Wanted; review here) are still due by Monday, December 10th, you can submit your entries for Cutters until Wednesday the 12th...

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Dec 6 2012

Uglies: Cutters, by Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson

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When I reviewed Scott Westerfeld's Uglies: Shay's Story last spring, I wondered if Westerfeld's original series (which had already expanded from a trilogy to a quartet) really merited a graphic novel tie-in. I still have my doubts, frankly, but Shay's Story obviously sold well enough to justify a sequel, because Westerfeld has just released Uglies: Cutters...

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Dec 6 2012

"Experience the saga"... for upwards of three grand

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I'm not sure whether to snicker at this news or roll my eyes like a slot machine, so I'll probably settle for doing both. If you're looking for a replica of the staggeringly tacky Twilight engagement ring: today's your lucky day. Bed Bath & Beyond is now selling a line of fine jewelry "honoring the Twilight love story"...

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Dec 5 2012

The Project, by Brian Falkner

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If you're in the market for a book for a ten- to twelve-year-old boy who finds even the tiny smidgen of romance featured in the 39 Clues series too embarrassing, Brian Falkner's novels may be the answer to your holiday gift-giving prayers...

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Dec 4 2012

The Casual Vacancy to hit the small screen

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, J. K. Rowling's novel The Casual Vacancy is going to be turned into a television series for the BBC. As with the Harry Potter movies, Rowling will be keeping a careful (read: obsessively controlling) eye on the project...

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Dec 4 2012

Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy, Book One, by Sarah Rees Brennan

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I can already see a problem with my review-a-day plan: my feelings about one book are going to bleed into another. I'm certain I would have enjoyed Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken regardless, but a little additional love may have been generated by the sharp contrast it presented to the story I read yesterday...

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Dec 3 2012

Weekly Book Giveaway: All You Never Wanted, by Adele Griffin

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In an effort to get our "To Be Read" pile down to less terrifying heights, during the month of December we are planning to post one review per day, Monday through Friday. In addition, we'll be increasing our Weekly Book Giveaway to two books per week. (Gotta get rid of the reviewed books somehow, right?) Our first giveaway title of the week is Adele Griffin's All You Never Wanted...

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Dec 3 2012

All You Never Wanted, by Adele Griffin

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My only previous experience with popular YA author Adele Griffin was Tighter, her modern-day retelling of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. I was underwhelmed by Tighter, but I've always loved James's novella, so I had some residual goodwill for Griffin's story despite its disappointingly weak ending...

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Nov 30 2012

A Christmas gift... that will cost you four dollars.

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If, like us, you're a fan of the children's adventure series The 39 Clues, you're in luck: Scholastic is releasing an e-book called The 39 Clues: Cahill Files: Silent Night on Christmas Day. (So... many... hyphens...) The publisher did something similar last season, releasing The 39 Clues: Rapid Fire...

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Nov 29 2012

So pretty!

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Speaking of less-ludicrously-overpriced items from Anthropologie, the store recently trotted out a collection of six novels from the Penguin Classics line featuring absolutely gorgeous cover art designed by stationer Mr. Boddingtion's Studio...

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Nov 29 2012

Mostly ridiculous, a little bit sublime

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I love these bookends from Anthropologie, but, like so many of things sold at that store, they are ridiculously overpriced. They're priced between $168 and $228, because adding fake snow apparently adds sixty bucks to the already inflated cost. However, I'm pretty sure this is one of the rare craft projects I could actually duplicate...

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Nov 28 2012

The Unfailing Light, by Robin Bridges

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The Unfailing Light is the second book in Robin Bridges's Katerina trilogy, following rapidly on the heels of last winter's The Gathering Storm. This installment is less ambitious than its predecessor, but the series as a whole has a lot to offer fans of historical YA fantasy, including an appealingly intelligent heroine and an unusual late-19th century Russian setting...

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Nov 27 2012

Signs of life

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NPR has a surprisingly encouraging article up about the current state of independent bookstores. Despite the popularity of e-books, the holiday season apparently guarantees the sale of a lot of expensive coffee-table-style hardcovers, which is great news for indie bookshops. Cookbooks are doing exceptionally well this season, too—including $60 tomes...

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Nov 27 2012

Bad teachers

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I read this article about Tennessee preacher Michael Pearl's book To Train Up a Child with horrified fascination. Pearl apparently believes that children should be treated like "stubborn mules", and argues with the right (read: abusive) persuasion, parents can have the little whippersnappers potty-trained by the time they're two weeks old...

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Nov 26 2012

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Unfailing Light, by Robin Bridges

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is The Unfailing Light, by Robin Bridges. It's the second book in the "Katerina" trilogy (you can find our review of her first book, The Gathering Storm, here). Our review of The Unfailing Light will be posted Wednesday, and will include my thoughts on what I hope was a hardcore Photoshop job on the girl featured on the book cover...

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Nov 26 2012

Cyber Monday book deals (such as they are)

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I'm always irritated by its unfortunate name and definitely-not-a-real-holiday status, but I'm told you can pick up some decent deals on Cyber Monday. (Check out Barnes and Noble's offers here, and...

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Nov 21 2012

"Looks promising" is a stretch, but...

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The trailer is out for the upcoming movie adaptation of the fairytale Jack the Giant Killer. It looks like the kind of CGI extravaganza I usually avoid, but I like both the cast (Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, and Bill Nighy) and the director (all the non-crappy X-Men movies' Bryan Singer)...

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Nov 20 2012

NBC takes to the high seas

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Hugh Laurie (best known as the star of House, but he'll always be Bertie Wooster to me) has signed on to play Edward Teach—a.k.a. the famous pirate Blackbeard—in NBC's Crossbones, an upcoming 10-episode drama based on Colin Woodard's nonfiction book The Republic of Pirates...

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Nov 20 2012

A sex scene that includes the word "wubbering" should win automatically.

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Sadly, neither E.L. James nor J.K. Rowling have made the shortlist for the Literary Review's annual Bad Sex Award. Rowling's writing was described as containing a "couple of queasy moments", but overall judged to be too good, and intentionally pornographic/erotic literature is excluded, so that meant James's series was out...

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Nov 19 2012

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, by Daniel and Jill Pinkwater

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In honor of Thanksgiving, this week's Book Giveaway is Daniel and Jill Pinkwater's 1977 classic The Hoboken Chicken Emergency—which, as far I'm concerned, qualifies as one of the Great American Holiday Novels...

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Nov 19 2012

Generic fantasy

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Aaand the trailer is out for the upcoming movie adaptation of City of Bones, the first book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. I tried with these books, I really did, but they were so boring. Seriously, they were as predictable as a telenovela...

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Nov 16 2012

Romeo Redeemed, by Stacey Jay

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Romeo Redeemed is the sequel to Stacey Jay's 2011 novel Juliet Immortal, and—like its predecessor—is best described as an incoherent mash-up of overwrought teenagers, poorly-explained supernatural hijinks, and Shakespearean-lite fanfiction...

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Nov 15 2012

Thirteen years later and still (probably) an idiot

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I am fretting over the news that Helen Fielding is planning a third Bridget Jones book. Fielding says Bridget has "grown up" in this installment, but I expect she'll still be a grade-A doofus, and I was hoping the happily-ever-after she earned in book two would have included a longer humiliation-free stretch. However, I am curious to know...

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Nov 15 2012

In 2013, we can celebrate surviving the Mayan Calendar apocalypse with zombie movies

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Trailers have recently been released for two upcoming movie adaptations of popular zombie novels: Max Brooks's World War Z and Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies. Warm Bodies looks like tremendous fun (I've heard complaints that the novel's Romeo and Juliet stuff is irritatingly heavy-handed, but dude: Rod Corddry makes a perfect zombie Mercutio), but...

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Nov 14 2012

Ridiculous gifts inspired by a ridiculous book

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I treasure this, I truly do: the fine people at TresSugar have put together a suggested gift list inspired by five of the year's best-selling books: Gone Girl, Fifty Shades of Grey, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Where We Belong, and The Hunger Games. It's a cute idea, except the very first item is a candle that costs $495...

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Nov 13 2012

Weekly Book Giveaway: Romeo Redeemed, by Stacey Jay

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This week's book giveaway is Romeo Redeemed, the self-described "sizzling sequel" to Stacey Jay's Juliet Immortal, which we reviewed (vitriolically) here. Our review of Romeo Redeemed should go up on Thursday, but in the meanwhile you can amuse yourself by laughing at that cover. I certainly will be...

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Nov 13 2012

Children's books, condensed

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I love, love, love these minimalist children's book-art posters from graphic designer Christian Jackson. I originally ran into them at The Land of Nod, where they will run you about a hundred bucks (framed)...

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Nov 9 2012

The FitzOsbornes in Exile and The FitzOsbornes at War, by Michelle Cooper

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I opened the second and third books in Michelle Cooper's Montmaray Journals trilogy in exactly the right mood to appreciate them. I had just finished the final book in Nora Roberts' most recent series, and I seriously cannot recall a lazier piece of writing: Roberts's Inn BoonsBoro trilogy combines recycled characters with done-to-death plots, turns the whole series into a 1000-page-long brochure for her new hotel, and has the gall to charge sixteen dollars per book...

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Nov 8 2012

Fairy tales revisited

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Slate recently posted an in-depth review of Philip Pullman's new retelling of fifty classic fairy tales, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, which was written in honor of the tales' 200th anniversary. I'm totally going to buy this book (I love fairy tales), but...

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