Nov 29 2012

So pretty!

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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Nov 8 2012

I am straight-up depressed by this.

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The idea of a Goodnight Moon app seems fundamentally wrong to me (it's meant to be a passive literary experience, that's what makes it so soothing), but, as usual, that doesn't mean someone didn't make one...

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Nov 7 2012

A misguided publicity stunt?

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Don't get me wrong, I think the Fifty Shades novels are terrible, terrible books, but the news that a charity for female abuse victims is planning to use the series as toilet paper and mulch for their compost heap is straight-up disturbing. (Not least because that would be really uncomfortable toilet paper.) I'm even more freaked out by the idea of burning the books, which was the charity's first suggestion...

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Nov 6 2012

The evolution of a magazine

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The Atlantic recently posted a slideshow of their coverage of "the changing dynamics between women and men in America", starting with the 1859 article "Ought Women to Learn the Alphabet?" and ending with last month's "The Weaker Sex", by Sandra Tsing Loh...

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Nov 6 2012

Here's hoping...

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I'm unsure as to whether I should think of this news as a sign of the upcoming apocalypse, or proof that God loves me, but MTV announced yesterday that Britney Spears is in "discussions" with HarperCollins to publish her first novel...

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Nov 5 2012

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Brief History of Montmaray, by Michelle Cooper

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This week's book giveaway title is Michelle Cooper's excellent 2010 novel A Brief History of Montmaray, which we reviewed here. (We'll be reviewing the second and third books in the trilogy later this week, by the way.) We're pretty sick of real politics at the moment, so why not immerse ourselves in the political maneuvering of a (fictional) royal family from an inconsequential island in 1937...

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Nov 5 2012

The book jacket looks amateurish, but check out the interior...

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NPR recently posted an interview with Deb Perelman, author of the new Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and creator of the website of the same name. The interview includes photos of Perelman's kitchen (which is tiny)...

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Nov 2 2012

Maybe it's better than she thinks?

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Jennifer Crusie has always described her first romance novel, 1994's Sizzle, as embarrassingly bad, and insisted that she never wanted it to see the light of day again. She seems to have changed her mind, as Amazon has posted a collection of stories including Sizzle called Be Mine with a release date of January 22, 2013...

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Nov 1 2012

A meeting of the deep, deep pockets

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The biggest literary news of the week was definitely the prospective Penguin/Random House merger. An announcement was made on Monday that by the latter half of 2013 the two publishing companies will be merged into a joint venture named the Penguin Random House Company. (Catchy!) If everything continues as planned...

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Nov 1 2012

I'm pretty sure I'd rather hang out with Stephen King's Carrie.

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Well, the trailer is out for the CW's The Carrie Diaries, the television adaptation of Candace Bushnell's novel of the same name. The show focuses on Carrie Bradshaw (the heroine of Bushnell's Sex and the City) as a high school student...

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Oct 31 2012

Taking a detour

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We had planned to conclude our Halloween coverage with a link to a collection of horror-themed webcomics found on the website io9.com. Unfortunately, io9's website is currently all wonky (curse you, Sandy!), so we'll update this post when the actual link re-appears, and maybe you can read them to liven up Thanksgiving dinner...

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