Jun 17 2014

Long overdue

Super pleased to hear this (even if I object to spelling "Yay!" as "Yea!", unless you're actually at a Ren Faire): Wordcandy favorite Lisa Kleypas has agreed to write a historical romance series, and then some contemporary novels, for Avon Books...

More »

Jun 16 2014

Darcy's Story, by Janet Aylmer

2014-06-16-darcys-story-by-janet-aylmer

I am not picky about Jane Austen fanfic. Despite my frequent bookshelf purges, I have kept nearly a dozen Pride and Prejudice retellings, re-imaginings, and continuations, of varying degrees of quality, so it's pretty telling that I will be sending my copy of Janet Aylmer's Darcy's Story off to its new home without a pang...

More »

Jun 16 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Darcy's Story, by Janet Aylmer

2014-06-16-weekly-book-giveaway-darcys-story-by-janet-aylmer

This week we're giving away yet another "Pride and Prejudice-from-Darcy's-perspective" book: Janet Aylmer's Darcy's Story. (Creative title!) The cover is pretty, but the novel's subtitle is "Pride and Prejudice, told from a whole new perspective", which is pretty ridiculous. I mean, are we ignoring...

More »

Jun 12 2014

Maybe satirical rhyming?

2014-06-12-maybe-satirical-rhyming

NPR has a great article up about the newly-announced Poet Laureate: Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia. So far, his reaction has not given me much faith in his eloquence...

More »

Jun 12 2014

Wonder Woman at long last

2014-06-12-wonder-woman-at-long-last

Hollywood entertainment columnist Nikki Finke just launched her self-titled gossip site, and she kicked off with one hell of a scoop: a complete (alleged) list of Warner Bros/DC Comics' upcoming film projects. I have no idea if this information is accurate...

More »

Jun 11 2014

A tribute to Ramona (and her parents)

2014-06-11-a-tribute-to-ramona-and-her-parents

Stephanie Lucianovic wrote a really lovely essay for Avidly about the experience of reading Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby books as both a child and an adult. I haven't re-read these books as a grown-up (and even as a kid, I was more into Harriet the Spy and The Phantom Tollbooth), but...

More »

Jun 10 2014

The Stand: original flavor

2014-06-10-the-stand-original-flavor

Well, this should please Stephen King fans: according to the website BloodyDisgusting, the upcoming adaptation of King's The Stand will be R-rated and three hours long. That sounds like a lot to sit through

More »

Jun 10 2014

An ongoing mystery

2014-06-10-an-ongoing-mystery

The Atlantic recently posted an article about the long history of mostly-terrible Wizard of Oz movies, exploring why such rich source material has only resulted in one decent film...

More »

Jun 9 2014

We Are The Goldens, by Dana Reinhardt

2014-06-09-we-are-the-goldens-by-dana-reinhardt

Reading Dana Reinhardt's We Are The Goldens is an exercise in appreciating process rather than product. It's thoughtful and well-written, but if you're hoping for a tidy, satisfying conclusion you're doomed to disappointment...

More »

Jun 9 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: We Are The Goldens, by Dana Reinhardt

2014-06-09-weekly-book-giveaway-we-are-the-goldens-by-dana-reinhardt

The cover art makes it look a bit like an after-school special in book form, but I'm gonna give the story a shot anyway: this week we're giving away a copy of Dana Reinhardt's We Are the Goldens. Our review should be up soon(ish)...

More »

Jun 5 2014

Clash of the Titans

2014-06-05-clash-of-the-titans

Anyone who follows book news has probably heard about the e-book pricing feud between Amazon and Hachette. I wouldn't blame you if you'd decided to skim the details (let's face it: "ongoing pricing debate" is not a phrase that catches the eye when the world is full of cat videos), but The Colbert Report helpfully invited Sherman Alexie...

More »

Jun 5 2014

Ah, Stockholm Syndrome...

2014-06-05-ah-stockholm-syndrome

According to Variety, Disney has hired Bill Condon (of Dreamgirls and both Twilight: Breaking Dawn films) to direct a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. This seems like a verrrry bad idea...

More »

Jun 4 2014

Ewwww!

2014-06-04-ewwww

SUPER GROSS. But also fascinating: tests have revealed that Harvard's Houghton Library copy of Arsène Houssaye’s Des destinées de l’ame is without a doubt bound in human skin...

More »

Jun 3 2014

Attempting to upgrade

2014-06-03-attempting-to-upgrade

NPR recently posted an article about the difficulty schools are having in finding textbooks that qualify as meeting the "Common Core State Standards"—the new educational benchmarks that 44 states and the District of Columbia have adopted...

More »

Jun 2 2014

Hexed, by Michelle Krys

2014-06-02-hexed-by-michelle-krys

The publisher's introduction for Michelle Krys's debut novel Hexed describes the story as “Bring it On meets The Craft”, and they're not lying: this book is uncannily like a late-90s teen movie—snarky, satisfying, and (it must be said) frequently totally ridiculous...

More »

Jun 2 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Hexed, by Michelle Krys

2014-06-02-weekly-book-giveaway-hexed-by-michelle-krys

This week's Book Giveaway title is Michelle Krys's novel Hexed. The publisher describes it as "Bring it On meets The Craft", which (in my eyes, at least) answers the question of what age group YA fiction is actually written for, because those movies are fourteen and eighteen years old, respectively. Clearly "Young Adult" fiction is squarely aimed at 32-year-olds...

More »

May 29 2014

Lost opportunity

2014-05-29-lost-opportunity

Novelist and playwright Niall Williams recently compiled a list of the top ten books "that manage to make heroes out of readers" for the Guardian. His famous-bookworm choices aren't terrible (Matilda, Jo March, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, etc.), but...

More »

May 29 2014

It appears to be working, too.

2014-05-29-it-appears-to-be-working-too

According to NPR, LeVar Burton, host of the beloved but defunct PBS show Reading Rainbow, is trying to crowdfund a web-based version of the series. The campaign is going swimmingly...

More »

May 28 2014

Lost: the family-friendly version

2014-05-28-lost-the-family-friendly-version

According to THR, Sony has bought a pitch for a "family adventure project" called Stranded, to star The King of Queens actor Kevin James. The project is apparently loosely based on Johann David Wyss's 1812 adventure classic The Swiss Family Robinson...

More »

May 27 2014

Sea of Shadows, by Kelley Armstrong

2014-05-27-sea-of-shadows-by-kelley-armstrong

According to the author's note at the end of her new book Sea of Shadows, Kelley Armstrong has always wanted to write a full-blown epic fantasy, complete with “swords, sorcery, and the ravenous undead.” I'm a big fan of epic fantasy, zombie stories, and Armstrong's writing, so I figured the resulting novel would be a surefire win...

More »

May 27 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Sea of Shadows, by Kelley Armstrong

2014-05-27-weekly-book-giveaway-sea-of-shadows-by-kelley-armstrong

This week's Book Giveaway title is Kelley Armstrong's Sea of Shadows, the first installment in her "Age of Legends" series. The title and cover art are a bit of a letdown (read: so generic my eyes glaze over when I look at them), but the story's pretty fun, even if it's not quite as intriguing as Armstrong's recent novel Omens...

More »

May 23 2014

Father's Day is coming.

2014-05-23-fathers-day-is-coming

According to NPR, NASA's new (and free!) 300-page e-book Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication is a fascinating exploration of the question of what would happen if...

More »

May 22 2014

They really anticipate a demand, don't they?

2014-05-22-they-really-anticipate-a-demand-dont-they

While visiting Barnes and Noble, I ran across these freshly reprinted Judy Blume novels in the "New Teen Books" section. Setting aside my issues with describing a bunch of books written before I was born as "new", I generally like these reprints, although I'm not sure why Simon and Schuster felt we needed two new editions...

More »

May 22 2014

Whatever works, I guess.

2014-05-22-whatever-works-i-guess

Oh... my. Um. So, the website Flocabulary uses "educational Hip-Hop" to engage kids and raise test scores. Check out their song "Believe it or Not", which aims to teach children the difference between fiction and nonfiction...

More »

May 21 2014

It doesn't look creepy, but...

2014-05-21-it-doesnt-look-creepy-but

If you're a classic sci-fi fan with $1,495,000 lying around, Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury's house in the Cheviot Hill neighborhood in Los Angeles is for sale...

More »

May 20 2014

That is some very elegant dirt.

2014-05-20-that-is-some-very-elegant-dirt

And in more highbrow movie-adaptation news (although, one could argue that the two stories have an equally melodramatic worldview), the first posters for Justin Kurzel's upcoming movie version of Macbeth have been posted on IndieWire...

More »

May 20 2014

Really, impressively dumb-looking

2014-05-20-really-impressively-dumb-looking

Well, apparently the Flowers in the Attic movie on Lifetime made enough money for them to fast-track a sequel, and lo and behold, the first trailer for Petals on the Wind has arrived...

More »

May 19 2014

The Annotated Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen

2014-05-19-the-annotated-northanger-abbey-by-jane-austen

Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey is her earliest completed novel—she started writing it in 1798—but one of her last to be published. (It was released posthumously, along with Persuasion, in 1817.) Some critics lump it in with her juvenilia, but it's a remarkably ambitious and entertaining work, even if it isn't quite on par with her later books. Last fall, Anchor Books released a handsome paperback edition of Northanger Abbey featuring annotations by David M. Shapard...

More »

May 19 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Annotated Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen

2014-05-19-weekly-book-giveaway-the-annotated-northanger-abbey-by-jane-austen

This week we're giving away a copy of The Annotated Northanger Abbey, written by Jane Austen and edited by David Shapard. According to his official bio, Mr. Shapard has a Ph.D. in European History from the University of California at Berkeley, and specialized in the eighteenth century. I've read his work before; like most annotated editions, his writing tends to...

More »

May 15 2014

RIP, Mary Stewart

2014-05-15-rip-mary-stewart

According to the Guardian, romantic suspense author Mary Stewart has died at age 97. Seeing as my favorite Stewart novel (the glorious Nine Coaches Waiting) was published in 1958, I admit I'd always assumed Ms. Stewart had died years ago...

More »