Mar 21 2012

The Gathering Storm, by Robin Bridges

It always feels weird to complain about a story having too much plot, but sometimes I can't help it: Robin Bridges's novel The Gathering Storm—the first book in a projected trilogy—races along at a breakneck pace, but it would have been improved by more world-building and less straight-up storytelling.

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Mar 20 2012

India Black, by Carol K. Carr

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Carol K. Carr's debut novel India Black doesn't actually make that much sense, but when a book is as breezily stylish as this one, being a little short on substance is totally forgivable.

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Mar 19 2012

Sandition (Continued), by Jane Austen and others

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Most of our posts this week are going to be devoted to reviews, as our To Be Read shelf is once again looking like a potential earthquake hazard. And while the rest of the reviews are going to be of novels we've received specifically for Wordcandy, today I'm focusing on two books I picked up at my local library: Charlotte, by Jane Austen and Julia Barrett, and Sanditon, by Jane Austen and “Another Lady”.

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Mar 15 2012

For all those kindergartners with smartphones...

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The creators of the Reading Rainbow television series have partnered with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Holiday House, and Charlesbridge Publishing to create a Reading Rainbow app, due out this spring. Details are still sketchy, but the app will feature an array of titles curated by Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton.

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Mar 15 2012

Meaningless awards

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The American Book Review, a nonprofit journal published by the Illinois State University, recently compiled a list of the 100 best first lines from novels. As always, this is is totally subjective...

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Mar 13 2012

Seventy minutes seems more likely

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I have long wondered how the upcoming The Hunger Games movie could possibly secure a PG-13 rating. And, at least in Great Britain, it hasn't. According to Entertainment Weekly, the British Board of Film Classification has required that seven seconds' worth of footage be cut from the film...

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Mar 13 2012

Patience is not one of my virtues

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Two questions:

  1. What was wrong with this book's original, deeply awesome cover art?

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Mar 12 2012

Tacky, yet glorious

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The fine staff at AbeBooks have put together a loving, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, guide to the cover art styles of vintage romance novels. "Romance novels", the author insists "...like their science fiction counterparts, have been done zero favors by designers of cover artwork." Personally, I love these covers...

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Mar 12 2012

New-old stories

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According to the Guardian, 500 "new" fairytales were recently discovered in an archive in Regensburg, Germany, where they had been stored for over 150 years. The stories are part of the collection of folklore gathered during the mid-19th century by historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz...

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Mar 8 2012

Christmas is coming... eventually

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Behold the Albatros Bookmark, a new kind of bookmark that does the active page-marking for you. After you insert your Albatros bookmark, it automatically re-adjusts itself as you turn each page, so your book always opens to whichever page you were reading last....

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Mar 8 2012

Couldn't they find a more recent comparison?

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Because Heathers came out in 1989, people. It's been quite some time.

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Mar 7 2012

New clothes inspired by old books

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If you spend a lot of time in indie bookstores, you've probably already seen the line of t-shirts, hoodies, and bags created by Out of Print Clothing. Out of Print's products feature a variety of classic-book-cover-inspired images, and they're about to release several new designs taken from famous children's books...

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Mar 6 2012

Brace yourself

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WHOA. Lisa Kleypas changed her website again! This time her web designer seems to be going for a magazine-inspired layout, which I think is... well, a mistake.

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Mar 6 2012

Toning down a King classic

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NPR has a great article up about a recent revival of the musical version of Stephen King's Carrie. I had no idea there had ever been a Carrie musical, but apparently it was one of Broadway's biggest flops...

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Mar 5 2012

Dolores Umbridge would not approve

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And speaking of propaganda posters, I want one of these Harry Potter-inspired prints from Blimp Cat Studio. I'm torn, though: should I go for creepy, or so-cheerful-it-goes-back-to-creepy? Or both?

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Mar 5 2012

What, no baby showers?

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TresSugar recently put together a slideshow of Hunger Games-themed party ideas for birthdays, weddings, and bat/bar mitzvahs. The whole thing struck me as being in questionable taste (seriously? For a wedding? Were all the Walking Dead invites already taken?), but even I have to admit this Hunger Games-inspired propaganda poster is awesome.

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Mar 1 2012

A busy day for book nerds

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Tomorrow (March 2nd) is the NEA's annual Read Across America Day, and there are a ton of events scheduled...

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Mar 1 2012

A different take

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CBS is apparently planning a complete reboot of the Sherlock Holmes story: they've hired Jonny Lee Miller to be their Sherlock Holmes (which... okay), changed the setting to modern-day New York City, and cast Lucy Liu as Watson.

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Feb 29 2012

I... can't even.

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A Twilight-themed engagement shoot? I am, oh, 20% appalled, 30% amused, and 50% impressed by the studio's savvy. Way to go, K&K Photography. You will clearly get a boatload of publicity for this.

Note: Props to the makeup artist, too. The couple looks half-dead, but in an attractive way. That's a fine line to walk, you know?

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Feb 28 2012

Catching up

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According to The Guardian, a new British study claims that boys are no longer lagging behind girls when it comes to reading ability.

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Feb 28 2012

A legacy to be proud of

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We were sorry to hear that Jan Berenstain, who co-wrote and illustrated the perennially popular Berenstain Bears series with her husband Stan, suffered a severe stroke on Thursday and died Friday without regaining consciousness. Ms. Berenstain was 88, and is survived by two sons and four grandchildren.

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Feb 27 2012

Half cute, half creepy

NPR described Studio Ghibli's new movie The Secret World of Arrietty (based on Mary Norton's book The Borrowers) as "gentle and meditative", but the trailer looks like something that would have given me nightmares as a kid.

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Feb 27 2012

The Hunger Games meets Cinderella

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Another day, another dystopian YA series.


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Feb 24 2012

Utterly bizarre

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Scholastic Parent & Child magazine has trotted out their list of the 100 Greatest Books for Kids, awarding the top spot to Charlotte's Web, second place to Goodnight Moon, and third place to A Wrinkle in Time.

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Feb 23 2012

Big money

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A month ago, cartoonist Rich Burlew set up Kickstarter account in order to raise $57,500, the amount needed to reprint one of the out-of-print collections of his Order of the Stick webcomic.

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Feb 23 2012

It was bound to happen eventually

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J. K. Rowling has confirmed the rumor that she is writing a non-Harry Potter book for adult readers. No release date, title, or plot details have been released, but... there you have it.

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Feb 22 2012
Feb 21 2012

Cookbooks of the future

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Eater recently posted a preview of this spring's most-anticipated cookbooks, including one book graced by a cover-photo of the author with a dead pig draped over her shoulders.

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Feb 21 2012

A Sad Lack

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Seriously, if I had any hand-eye coordination whatsoever, I would be all over this truly awesome (and free!) crochet pattern to make your own Hobbes doll. As it is... maybe Nathan will do it!

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Feb 16 2012

Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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While looking for something to read on a recent plane trip, I finally cracked open Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Creatures, a book that has been idling on my to-be-read shelf for over two years....

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