Dec 19 2013

More monkeys

I always wonder about authors like Pierre Boulle, who wrote both The Bridge Over The River Kwai and the novel that inspired Planet of the Apes. That's a wide-ranging literary legacy, you know? I'm sure more people have read The Bridge Over The River Kwai than La Planète des singes, but certainly more people have watched The Planet of the Apes than read the two books put together. Anyway, Boulle's monkey book is the gift that keeps on giving...

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Dec 19 2013

Ridiculously cool

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Clearly, nothing says "holiday spirit" like the sex-and-death world of Game of Thrones, so we all have to be grateful to interaction designer* and storyteller Krystal Higgins for providing us with ten incredible (and free) GoT-inspired snowflake patterns...

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Dec 18 2013

Sacred and Splendor, by Elana K. Arnold

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Sacred and Splendor, the first two novels from YA author Elana K. Arnold, are ambitious, creative... and totally devoid of editorial judgment or restraint. The books contain a number of intriguing ideas, but the sum total is a hot mess...

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Dec 17 2013

My eyes remain dry.

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The Guardian posted an article about a trio of unpublished J.D. Salinger short stories that recently leaked online. The transcripts are apparently accurate, and have lead to considerable hand-wringing for Salinger's fans, who are torn between their desire to read the difficult-to-obtain* stories before Salinger's approved publication date of January 27th, 2060...

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Dec 17 2013

"Shaken, not stirred" might refer to an alcoholic tremor

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According to NPR, a group of Nottingham University Hospital scientists spent a year analyzing Ian Fleming's James Bond novels and tabulating the number of drinks the spy downed each day. The grand total? Six to seven drinks per day, or an average of 45 per week...

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Dec 16 2013

Tomorrow, by C.K. Kelly Martin

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I always feel weird making this criticism, but C.K. Kelly Martin's Tomorrow is Too Much Book. It crams enough action and drama for an entire series into a scant 250 pages, leaving readers more shell-shocked than anything else...

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Dec 16 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Tomorrow, by C.K. Kelly Martin

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Tomorrow, the sequel to C.K. Kelly Martin's Yesterday, which we reviewed here. Sadly, her publisher still has not granted us the insanely lurid 80s-inspired cover art of our dreams, but (spoiler!) Tomorrow is pretty good anyway. Our review will go up later today...

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Dec 12 2013

Riiiight.

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NPR recently featured the new book Dangerous Women on its "Book News" blog...

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Dec 12 2013

Death comes to BBC One

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Unwilling to let NBC steal all the questionably-adapted thunder, BBC One is offering up a trailer for their upcoming adaptation of P. D. James's Death Comes to Pemberley. I haven't read this book (I'm not a fan of unnecessary drama in my Austen pastiches), but...

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Dec 11 2013

NBC is feelin' bold

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Fresh off the questionable success of their Sound of Music adaptation, NBC has ordered another update of a modern classic, according to THR: a four-hour miniseries based on author Ira Levin's 1967 horror novel Rosemary's Baby...

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Dec 10 2013

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, by Sebastian Faulks

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Sebastian Faulks's book Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse was formally approved by Wodehouse's heirs, who apparently hope that Faulks can introduce a new generation of readers to Wodehouse's most famous creations: the “mentally negligible” Englishman Bertie Wooster and his ever-resourceful valet, Jeeves. Frankly, I doubt it. I mean, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells might amuse Wodehouse groupies*, but...

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Dec 10 2013

A good cause

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J.K. Rowling recently wrote a lovely article about charm bracelets for Harper's Bazaar. She was promoting the sale of a charm bracelet she designed, the proceeds from which are going to benefit Lumos, the charity she co-founded in 2005 that wants to "[transform] how governments and communities think about looking after vulnerable children"...

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Dec 9 2013

Red, by Alison Cherry

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Alison Cherry's debut novel Red has its charms: her heroine is relatable and plausibly flawed, and she has the fun, flowing writing style of a much more experienced author. Unfortunately, the tone of her story kept flip-flopping between campy and realistic, ultimately failing at both...

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Dec 9 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Red, by Alison Cherry

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This week's Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Alison Cherry's Red, which is either an entertaining satire about superficial beauty standards or a questionable (at best) metaphor about racial inequality. I haven't decided which one I think the author was aiming for yet, but I'm hoping to make up my mind before I post our review this afternoon...

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Dec 6 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Something to read aloud

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Gift Idea #8: The e-book edition of Irene Iddesleigh, by Amanda McKittrick Ros ($3.49)

You're gonna have to bear with me on this one...

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Dec 6 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Snuggly blankets (which I'm hoping is not a brand name)

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Gift Idea #7: Throw blankets

Wordcandy reading should always be a comfortable experience, and having a warm and fuzzy blanket to wrap up in can really help with that. PB Teen (the only even semi-reasonably-priced part of the Pottery Barn empire, IMO) currently has some great throw blankets on sale, including...

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Dec 5 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Animal Bookends

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Gift Idea #6: Zuny Bookends

Zuny Bookends are cheerful and sturdy (they're made of synthetic leather, so your kid would need to put in some serious effort to chew through one), and come in pretty much whatever animal form you can think of...

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Dec 5 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Literary posters

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Gift Idea #5: Jane Austen posters by PemberleyPond

I have some quibbles: These ladies got Sir William Lucas's name wrong on their Pride and Prejudice poster...

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Dec 4 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Roots: The Definitive Compendium, by Diane Morgan

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Gift Idea #4: Roots: The Definitive Compendium, by Diane Morgan

In addition to being the winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for "Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian" cookbooks* and the winner of the 2013 IACP Cookbook Award for single subject-cookbooks, Diane Morgan's book Roots (cover price $40, can be found for considerably less online) is...

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Dec 4 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Harry Potter necklace

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Gift Idea #3 Harry Potter necklace

Etsy is overflowing with Harry Potter-themed jewelry and clothing, but I fell in love with this delicate sterling silver "Glasses" necklace ($34). It manages to be both pretty...

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Dec 3 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Bizarrely specific journals

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Gift Idea #2: Blank Books

It doesn't matter what your friends and loved ones are into: trust me, there's probably a journal for it, and journals are almost always a safe and affordable gift. Check out BuyOlympia's wide selection of blank books and guided journals, which offer...

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Dec 3 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Kate Beaton t-shirts

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This year we're doing our Wordcandy-approved holiday gift list a little differently: we're going to put together a series of eight mini posts, each featuring a different gift idea. Like always, we're way late with these suggestions (our sincerest apologies to our Hanukkah-celebrating readers), but at least all of our suggestions are well under fifty bucks...

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Dec 2 2013

The Living, by Matt de la Pena

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Matt de la Peña's The Living has gotten a lot of praise for its supercharged premise, its sympathetic male protagonist, and the way it touches on class, wealth, and social injustice. Most of that praise is well deserved, and only one thing prevented me from wholeheartedly enjoying it: the discovery that this is actually the first book in a series, and (of course) nothing ever gets resolved in a first installment...

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Dec 2 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Living, by Matt de la Pena

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Matt de la Pena's The Living, which looks, uh, intense. There's a glowing quote on the front from James Dashner (not really a recommendation, to my mind), but NPR describes the book as "...at once a disaster epic, a survival story and a coming of age novel, told through the life of a young man who is becoming aware of class, prejudice and romance", and...

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Nov 27 2013

An in-depth look

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We have two Hunger Games links today: the real estate blog Movoto has done one of their imaginary property evaluations on Katniss's mansion in the Victors' village (long story short: it rings in at $1.8 million), and Slate recently offered a...

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Nov 26 2013

The MacGuffin personified

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According to the Seattle Times, the titular bird statuette featured in the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon recently sold for more than $4 million. The black figurine is "one of two known cast lead statuettes made for John Huston's screen version of the film but the only one confirmed by Warner Bros. archives as having appeared in it", and...

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Nov 26 2013

Vampire Academy on screen

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They've released a trailer for the upcoming Vampire Academy movie, and I'm not sure what to think. While I liked the first book, the rest of the series left me cold, so my memory's a little fuzzy, but...

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Nov 25 2013

Premeditated, by Josin McQuein

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Josin L. McQuein's Premeditated is the kind of novel that helps teenage mystery fans grow up into adult ones. In addition to featuring a lot of very teen-friendly romantic and familial drama, McQuein sprinkles her text with a series of tantalizing clues that are just tricky enough to make a young reader feel like Sherlock Holmes...

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Nov 25 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Premeditated, by Josin McQuein

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Our current Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Josin McQuein's Premeditated, which appears to be a mystery/revenge story that I'm pretty sure will go horribly wrong. So, uh, just the thing to get us all into the holiday spirit...

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Nov 21 2013

Breaking off a piece of the historical drama action

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According to the Christian Science Monitor, Robert K. Massie's biography Catherine the Great is being adapted into a "limited series" for ABC. The book was well-received by critics, so I'm assuming ABC is hoping for something a little more high-brow than the CW's Reign...

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