Jan 31 2013

Unexpected consequences

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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Jan 14 2013

Reworking Cinderella

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I didn't even realize Disney was making a "revisionist" film version of Cinderella, but apparently the movie is running into problems. Cate Blanchett is still on board as the wicked stepmother, but director Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) has left, allegedly due to "differing views on how to tell the story" between him and the studio...

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Jan 11 2013

The Rabbi's Cat (film review), by Joann Sfar

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I was recently sent a DVD screener of The Rabbi’s Cat, a 2011 animated film adaptation of Joann Sfar's graphic novel of the same name. I'm no film critic, and my previous experience with Sfar's work is limited to reading his sword-and-sorcery-on-drugs series Dungeon (which he co-created with Lewis Trondheim, and I have always found more exasperating than amusing), but I'll try anything once...

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Jan 10 2013

A random but interesting glimpse of the past

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Speaking of Laura Ingalls Wilder (or at least speaking of Wilder's illustrator Garth Williams), Slate recently posted an image of Almanzo Wilder's 1884 “Homestead Proof”, the document that established his claim to a homestead in the Dakota Territory...

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Jan 10 2013

Want to buy a piece of history?

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A collection of rare illustrations by Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter, Charles Addams, Ludwig Bemelmans, and Charles Schulz is about to go up for auction via the Swann Galleries in New York. The works include a first edition of Sendak's first book, Where the Wild Things Are, "signed and inscribed with a drawing", and the original ink drawing done by Garth Williams for the dust jacket cover for Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie...

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Jan 9 2013

Dr. Jekyll vs. Mr. Hyde on a weekly basis

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Well, Revenge proved there was an audience for heavily-altered TV adaptations of classic novels, so at the end of the month NBC is kicking off Do No Harm, a modern-day reworking of Robert Louis Stevenson's novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde...

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Jan 8 2013

Kinky! But not really.

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WHOA. This collection of Spanish-language e-book editions of Jennifer Crusie's older titles looks way racier than anything actually featured in the books. These are stories set in Ohio, people...

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Jan 8 2013

Daughter of the Centaurs, by Kate Klimo

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Kate Klimo, author of the popular Dragon Keepers series for children, has launched a new trilogy aimed at older teens. The first book in the Centauriad series, Daughter of the Centaurs, introduces Malora, a girl growing up in a hunter-gatherer village in a post-apocalyptic future. Malora dreams of becoming a master horse-trainer like her father, and when her tribe is slaughtered by monsters her affinity with horses is all that allows her to survive...

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Jan 7 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Daughter of the Centaurs, by Kate Klimo

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It's been a couple of weeks, but we're (mostly) back on our normal schedule, which means it's time to announce the book for our Weekly Book Giveaway. This week's title is Kate Klimo's Daughter of the Centaurs, which we are planning to review tomorrow morning. (Review here...

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Jan 7 2013

Cold open

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Okay, I'm really looking forward to seeing this. MTV Geek recently posted a clip of the first four minutes of Warm Bodies, the not-very-thinly-disguised zombie version of Romeo and Juliet, and it looks ridiculously fun. Also, uh, just plain ridiculous, but that's never stopped me from enjoying something before...

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Jan 4 2013

Cinderella, vastly improved

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The always-delightful webcomic Hark! A Vagrant recently re-interpreted Cinderella, and the results are glorious. I hope this is the beginning of an entire series of reworked fairytales...

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