Apr 30 2014

It all sounds better than wrestling.

THR has posted a round-up of the various projects currently being developed for Syfy, which is doing its best to win back the crowd that should have been their bread and butter: actual sci-fi nerds. Don't get me wrong, everybody likes a good episode of Ghost Adventures...

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Apr 29 2014

How do these people keep getting mislaid?

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In an effort to avoid any kind of carpark-burial-style shenanigans, Spain is searching for the remains of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes. The writer died in poverty in 1616, and while they know the date of his death—April 22nd, 1616—no one is sure exactly where he is buried, other than somewhere on the grounds of Madrid's Convent of Trinitarians...

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Apr 29 2014

Lu-piiiin!

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There's going to be a live-action version of Lupin the Third (one of Japan's most enduring manga series), and the promotional images look GREAT...

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Apr 28 2014

Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator, by Josh Berk

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I absolutely loved Josh Berk's first novel, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, so my hopes were high for his second, Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator. Like Dark Days, it's a mystery/coming-of-age story told from a convincing teen-boy perspective, complete with bouts of insecurity, an obsession with the opposite sex, and a positive gift for saying the wrong thing...

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Apr 28 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator

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This week we're giving away Josh Berk's novel Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator. I have super-high hopes for this one, as I found Berk's novel The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin impressively creative and endearing. (I was even happier with it when Berk's publishers changed the cover art, and I could stop fretting about it falling into the hands of third graders...

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Apr 24 2014

Early but unhelpful

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Publishers Weekly has already compiled their "Best Summer Books of 2014" list, because they are revoltingly well-organized. As usual, though, I can comfort myself with the thought that while I won't come up with a recommended summer reading list until late June (and possibly not even by the end of July), at least none of my picks...

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Apr 24 2014

Apart from my overdue fees, this applies to me.

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This is a bit difficult for me to swallow, but according to a study commissioned by the U.K.'s Department for Culture, Media & Sport, visiting a library gives people the same pleasure getting a raise does (a £1,359 raise, specifically). The study looked at ways "cultural engagement" affects overall health and happiness...

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Apr 23 2014
Apr 22 2014

Intimidating

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Wow. This is quite the eye-catcher: according to Boston Magazine, the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston has chosen sculptor Stefanie Rocknak to create sculpture bronze, life-sized statue honoring author and poet Edgar Allan Poe. Poe is depicted with a suitcase in hand, a raven in front of him, and a dramatically flapping coat...

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Apr 22 2014

WHATEVER.

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There's an article in the Times of London about author and illustrator Jonathan Emmett's suggestion that boys aren't reading because "the majority of publishers, editors, librarians, judges and reviewers of children’s books" are women, and this disparity is apparently enough to convince boys that Books Are For Girls. To which I reply: riiiight...

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Apr 21 2014

Meant to Be, by Lauren Morrill

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Like most YA novels that aren't straight-up angstfests, Lauren Morrill's Meant to Be has its fair share of cringe-worthy moments. But if you can disengage your sense of secondhand embarrassment, Morrill's novel is an engaging opposites-attract love story, offering readers a fun alternative to the current overabundance of supernatural romances and dystopian horror stories...

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Apr 21 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Meant to Be, by Lauren Morrill

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This week's Book Giveaway is Lauren Morrill's Meant To Be, which I have to admit I chose pretty much because of the gloriously Easter-candy-colored cover. As near as I can tell, it's a secret admirer/Cyrano de Bergerac story. I usually avoid those, due to a crippling fear of secondhand embarrassment caused by fictional romantic hijinks, but I will do my best to be brave...

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Apr 17 2014

Yet more crying at the movies this summer

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The trailer is out for the upcoming adaptation of Gayle Forman's 2009 YA novel If I Stay. I considered reviewing it, but I'm not into tearjerkers, and the allure of the central question (would the comatose heroine choose to survive, or join her family in death?) was somewhat lessened by the fact that I heard there was going to be a sequel...

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Apr 17 2014

Unfortunate

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An author over at The Atlantic recently pointed out that Amazon.com's data-mining techniques seem to have inadvertently created a recommended-purchase list that serves as a helpful guide to setting up your own drug-dealing kit.

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Apr 15 2014

Alien monkeys!

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According to THR, Twentieth Century Fox has picked up Mark Millar's comic Superior, intending to transform it into a big-screen adaptation produced by Matthew Vaughn. The comic ran for seven issues and centers around a 12-year-old boy who has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis...

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Apr 15 2014

Testing, testing

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Slate recently posted an interesting article by David Z. Hambrick and Christopher Chabris about the effectiveness of the SAT. The authors feel the test is far more effective (and that SAT prep companies are far less effective) than many recent articles have made them out to be...

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Apr 14 2014

MetaMaus, by Art Spiegelman

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I've had a copy of Art Spiegelman's MetaMaus gathering dust on my to-be-read bookshelf for almost three years now. I have always hesitated to review it, believing that Spiegelman's most devoted fans probably leapt upon it like starving lions the moment it was published, and suspecting that it would be of little interest to anyone else. I still think that's true, frankly, but as more universities and high schools assign Maus in their classrooms, it seems increasingly possible...

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Apr 14 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: MetaMaus, by Art Spiegelman

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Due to a crippling case of... well, laziness, mostly, I didn't get as much done last week as I planned to, which means our Comics Week is now two weeks long. (Sorry, non-comics readers.) However, that does mean we have another comic-related Book Giveaway: Art Spiegelman's MetaMaus, the ultra-fancy 2011 reprint of his Pulitzer prize–winning Maus, complete with loads of bonus materials and a DVD...

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Apr 10 2014

So close

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We're rapidly zeroing in on 2014's Free Comic Book Day (23 days and counting), and the available titles have been released. If you're particularly masochistic, you can apparently read a shojo manga-style story called Les Miserables: The Fall of Fantine. Good times abound! (That's a lie.) Personally, I'm torn between...

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Apr 8 2014

Stand down

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If you, like me, sincerely loathe perpetual romantic waffler Archie Andrews, you've probably seen all those exciting "Archie to Die!" headlines. Don't get your hopes up, guys: according to CNN, the only Archie who is going to shuffle off this mortal coil is the star of the Life With Archie comics, a spin-off series that...

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Apr 8 2014

It could be internet-famous!

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April Fools jokes generally leave me cold, but I did enjoy these fake book titles from the Dear Author website. And while I have my doubts about anything written by someone named "Chastity Velvet", and—no joke—I have a bunch of YA books that look exactly like their Shattered Brokeness...

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Apr 7 2014

Little Lulu: Vol. 1, by John Stanley and Irving Tripp

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The character of Little Lulu was created in 1935 by Marjorie Henderson Buell, beginning life as the subject of a series of gag panels in The Saturday Evening Post and eventually becoming the star of an ongoing comic strip. In 1945, she graduated to her own comic book series, written by John Stanley and illustrated by Irving Tripp. In 2004, Dark Horse Books picked up the rights to reprint the Little Lulu stories, making Lulu's adventures available to a new generation of readers...

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Apr 7 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Little Lulu: Vol. 1, by John Stanley and Irving Tripp

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It's Spring Break, and we're celebrating by focusing on comic books—including several titles that we are seriously behind on reviewing (like the past year of Buffy). We're kicking things off by giving away a classic: the first "Giant Size" volume of John Stanley and Irving Tripp's long-running Little Lulu strip. Our review will follow later today...

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Apr 1 2014

In my defense, it's a super-fun game.

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I'm pretty sure this adorable Robin Hood-themed print from Ohio artist James Graves (currently on sale at HelpInk for $12) should inspire more noble thoughts than: "Dude, I haven't played Conquests of the Longbow in forever...

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Apr 1 2014

Horror redux

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British publishing house Faber & Faber has announced the publication of several new editions of the "strange stories" of horror writer Robert Aickman...

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Mar 31 2014

Furies of Calderon, by Jim Butcher

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I admit I'm a little behind the times when it comes to Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, seeing as, uh, the final book was released in 2009. But you know what that means? No waiting, not even for public library editions! And if you want to buy your own copies, everything's in paperback now! You can probably even find used versions. Why, it's almost like I put off reading these stories for almost a decade... for you.

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Mar 31 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Furies of Calderon, by Jim Butcher

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This week's Book Giveaway is the first book in Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, Furies of Calderon. I'm only a few chapters in, but so far this appears to be straight fantasy, not the more tongue-in-cheek style featured in his Harry Dresden books. Who knows, though? Maybe he's just holding off on introducing a perverted, hard-to-shut-up skull sidekick until a later chapter...

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Mar 27 2014

Caaandy...

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It's the 50th anniversary of the publication of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Publishers Weekly has posted a helpful round-up of Penguin's upcoming year-long celebration plans...

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Mar 27 2014

Mystery cake

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I have an ongoing fascination with heritage recipes, despite being A) deeply lazy, and B) vegetarian, which severely limits the stuff I'm ever going to actually make. (Sorry, 1901 edition of The White House Cookbook; I'm never going to try that recipe for roasted squirrel.) So I was pretty stoked to pick up a copy of America's Best Lost Recipes, written by the editors of Cook's Country magazine, and read with purely academic interest...

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Mar 25 2014

Sign me up

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The second trailer is out for X-Men: Days of Future Past, and I am so excited. Sure, I'll be there for the new Captain America movie... but I'll be thinking of X-Men. Everything about this speaks to me: the shamelessly melodramatic music, the glowering faces, the Buffy-esque power strides...

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