Mar 10 2015

Gross! But interesting.

Romance novelist Hope Tarr recently wrote a guest post for the blog Heroes and Heartbreakers called "Keeping “It” Clean: Hygiene, Hot Sex, and the Historical Romance Novel". This is a subject near and dear to my heart...

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Mar 9 2015

The Cake House, by Latifah Salom

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After complaining (a lot) about anyone having the nerve to describe Cymbeline as “William Shakespeare's undiscovered masterpiece” and reviewing Jenny Trout's Romeo and Juliet/Hamlet-inspired Such Sweet Sorrow, we're concluding our totally unplanned rush of Shakespeare-themed posts with a review of Latifah Salom's debut novel The Cake House...

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Mar 9 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Cake House, by Latifah Salom

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This week's Book Giveaway is The Cake House, the debut novel by Latifah Salom. Based on the description on the back cover, I'm assuming that we're continuing our recent (and totally unintentional!) string of Shakespearean updates: this appears to be a modern retelling of Hamlet...

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Mar 5 2015

"The dean of American science fiction writers"...?

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According to THR, Bryan Singer plans to direct an adaptation of Robert Heinlein's classic 1966 sci-fi novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I'm not a big Heinlein fan—I find his portrayal of sex to be straight-up creepifying...

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Mar 4 2015

A worthy sacrifice

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The always-awesome site ThisIsColossal recently featured two book-related art projects: one about books and magazines being transformed into crystallized sculptures by San Francisco-based artist Alexis Arnold, and one about South African artist Barbara Wildenboer...

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Mar 3 2015

Magical duck ponds

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Slate recently featured an excerpted fairytale from The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales, by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, which we wrote about here...

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Mar 3 2015

And people say her work is self-absorbed

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Lena Dunham has produced an HBO documentary about illustrator Hilary Knight (best known for his work on Kay Thompson's Eloise stories), and the trailer is really heavy on... Lena Dunham. I'm happy someone is honoring Knight's career, but this movie appears to be less about him, and more about how much his art means to her...

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Mar 2 2015

Such Sweet Sorrow, by Jenny Trout

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As books go, Jenny Trout's YA novel Such Sweet Sorrow is a bit of a mess—albeit an interesting, ambitious mess, with flashes of something that could have been great. I can't ignore its flaws, but let me give credit where credit is due: this story would make a spectacular video game, full of world-building and action...

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Mar 2 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Such Sweet Sorrow, by Jenny Trout

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I've had Shakespeare on the brain recently, what with my rage over anyone describing Cymbeline as an "undiscovered masterpiece" (note: I'm not sure which one of those descriptors irritates me more), so this week's Book Giveaway is Jenny Trout's Such Sweet Sorrow, a YA novel about Romeo and Hamlet teaming up in the afterlife to find Juliet. I don't understand why there's a corseted girl with what appears to be a Victorian parasol on the cover, but whatever...

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Feb 27 2015

One Fish Two Fish graces the highest court in the land

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In other political/literary news, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recently cited Dr. Seuss's One Fist Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish in her dissenting response to Yates v. United States. It's not like Dr. Seuss really needs the publicity, but it's nice to see him get a shout-out nonetheless, and from such an impressive source...

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Feb 26 2015

Jail time for assigning Beloved?

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Oh, this is great news: not content with good old-fashioned censorship, the Kansas Senate has passed a bill "making it easier to prosecute teachers and school administrators for distributing materials deemed harmful to minors". Apparently, supporters say the bill is necessary to ensure that kids are protected from teachers distributing pornography at school. Because... that's a thing that happens a lot? Or something?

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Feb 25 2015

The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With The Hidden Name, by Skylar Dorset

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Skylar Dorset's novels The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With the Hidden Name are mildly entertaining, thanks mostly to their unusual setting and solid romantic storyline. The series slides right down, but, sadly, there's very little in the way of memorable plot development to keep it from sliding straight back out again...

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Feb 25 2015

Anais Nin is rolling in her grave

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Much to my horror, THR recently posted an article about several romantic/erotic novels that (thanks to the unexpected success of the Fifty Shades movie) may now be adapted into films. Their list includes Anna Todd's After, a self-published story that started off as a long-running One Direction fanfic...

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Feb 24 2015

The Seattle Library is... different.

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Boston Magazine recently posted an article about the newly redesigned Boston Public Library-Central Library’s Johnson Building. The remodel focused on youth-oriented spaces, and it looks incredibly cool...

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Feb 23 2015

Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear

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Elizabeth Bear's novel Karen Memory has all the hallmarks of a great YA novel: the plot is unabashedly romantic and imaginative, and the author is clearly determined to deliver plenty of value for your entertainment dollar. In fact, I suspect the only reason this wasn't packaged as a teen book is because the sixteen-year-old heroine is A) gay and B) a prostitute...

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Feb 23 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Elizabeth Bear's Karen Memory, a steampunk Western set in an otherworldly version of the Seattle Underground. I'm not very far into it yet, but I'll read anything that plays up Seattle's innate weirdness, and I'm already a fan of the heroine's frank, no-nonsense narration...

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Feb 19 2015

Meh.

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Okay, this makes me a little sad. It's the 150th anniversary of my beloved Alice in Wonderland, and Puffin Books is celebrating with a new edition illustrated by Rifle Paper Co. founder Anna Bond. Don't get me wrong: I love Bond's work, but it's so tasteful...

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Feb 18 2015

My favorite price!

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If you hate-watched (or read) Fifty Shades of Grey recently, you might want to check out The Boss, the first installment in Jenny Trout/ Abigail Barnette's "BDSM-themed erotic romance series". The Boss is currently available as a free e-book, and...

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Feb 17 2015

Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton

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Arwen Elys Dayton's Seeker feels less like an actual book and more like the novelization of a movie. Admittedly, I would totally watch said movie*, but my film standards are embarrassingly low. I expect more from books—consistent characterization, well-planned plot development, creative world-building—and Seeker falls short on all of these fronts...

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Feb 17 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton

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This week's Book Giveaway is Seeker, the first YA novel by Arwen Elys Dayton. This book is receiving LOADS of hardcore promotion, but readers should note that Dayton, who is married to EarthLink founder Sky Dayton, is something of a celebrity author. I am not saying that Seeker is bad (I haven't even read it yet! Maybe it's great!), but publishing is not always an 100% merit-based industry, and...

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Feb 12 2015

The benefit of low, low expectations?

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Slate just posted a largely positive review of Dakota Johnson's portrayal of Anastasia Steele, the main character in the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Sure, they're pretty nasty about the movie itself...

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Feb 12 2015

Alphabet background check

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NPR has an interesting article up about Michael Rosen's new nonfiction book Alphabetical, which claims to explain the history behind all 26 letters. Rosen is not the world's most convincing interviewee...

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Feb 11 2015

Kill Me Softly and Tear You Apart, by Sarah Cross

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I'm picky about retold fairytales. I get mega-irritated when an author screws up a classic story—I mean, they've already had a huge chunk of the work done for them! Ensuring that their new contribution doesn't suck seems like the least they can do...

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Feb 10 2015

Once again, we get stuck with the boring cover.

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Much to my displeasure (again), I see that Kerstin Gier's Spanish readers are getting both a much faster translation of Silber, the first book in her new trilogy, and infinitely funkier cover art than we do here in the US...

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Feb 10 2015

Shelvable furniture

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I like the idea of "multi-fuctional, highly portable" furniture, but I'm pretty sure the very first thing I would do if I bought some Bookniture is spill tea into its delicate paper innards...

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Feb 9 2015

The Vanishing Game, by Kate Kae Myers

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There's some good stuff in Kate Kae Myers's teen mystery/horror/romance novel The Vanishing Game, but it's one of those unfortunate novels where the whole is considerably less enjoyable than its individual parts...

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Feb 9 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Vanishing Game, by Kate Kae Myers

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This week, we continue the fine Wordcandy tradition of picking our Book Giveaway titles based entirely on the virtue of eye-catching cover art. I have no idea what Kate Kae Myers's The Vanishing Game is actually about (our review will be posted later today), but I want to give Ms. Myers's cover artist two enthusiastic thumbs up...

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Feb 5 2015

Sign me up

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According to Variety, Whit Stillman's upcoming film Love and Friendship—based on Jane Austen's novella Lady Susan—is finally showing signs of life. Kate Beckinsale will play the scheming, beautiful main character, while...

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Feb 5 2015

Impractical

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Apartment Therapy recently posted a round-up of 10 "beautiful, bizarre, wonderful" designer bookcases. Only a few of them seem, y'know, actually functional, but they all look pretty cool...

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Feb 4 2015

Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell, by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

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When I reviewed the first Veronica Mars novel, I had several minor complaints: the story felt like fanfiction, there were too many needless cameos from the TV series, and the authors failed to take advantage of the longer format to create a subtle, well-paced mystery. Some of these problems are resolved in the second book in the series...

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