Mar 28 2016

Arena, by Holly Jennings

Holly Jennings's novel Arena looks and sounds like a sci-fi novel, but it's really more of a near-future sports story. I'd like to think that the idea of virtual gaming tournaments watched by millions of rabid fans is pure fantasy, but apparently the future is now...

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Mar 28 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Arena, by Holly Jennings

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This week's Book Giveaway is Arena, by Holly Jennings. I'd like to think that an "exciting coming-age-story [set] against the backdrop of a world where virtual competitive gaming has become the most popular form of entertainment" would qualify as pure science fiction, but I live with people who listen to livestreams of South Korean League of Legends matches. Willingly...

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Mar 24 2016

I've heard worse suggestions.

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Super-mega-bestselling author James Patterson has another plan to boost reading. According to The New York Times, Patterson wants to launch a line called BookShots: a "new line of short and propulsive novels that cost less than $5 and can be read in a single sitting." I have my doubts...

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Mar 23 2016

No, maybe, OPENING DAY

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Three movie trailers were brought to my attention today, all based on (or at least loosely inspired by) literary sources. Here they are, in order of least-to-most-likely to be seen by Julia...

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Mar 22 2016

So stoked

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Penguin has just released their first "Penguin Classics" edition of a Korean novel: The Story of Hong GilDong, which they describe as "the quintessential Korean classic: the Robin Hood story of a magical boy who joins a group of robber bandits and becomes a king." This particular edition features...

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Mar 22 2016

Action! Hemingway

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This is... really embarrassing, frankly. There's a movie coming out soon called Papa: Hemingway in Cuba, which appears to turn Ernest Hemingway into a regime-toppling superhero. The film was shot in Cuba, and features a sidekick character (Robin to ol' Hemingway's Batman) based loosely on...

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Mar 21 2016

The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman

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Reading Alison Goodman's new YA novel The Dark Days Club is a bit like eating a ten course meal: the individual elements were delicious, but eventually I found myself too full to properly appreciate them...

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Mar 21 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman

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This week's Book Giveaway is Alison Goodman's new YA novel The Dark Days Club. Goodman is the author of the brilliant Eon and Eona, so my hopes for this book are sky-high. Admittedly, the story loses a few points for the blurb on the back that proclaims it "Not your mother's Regency romance!" (a phrase that always strikes me as ageist and sexist; my mother is a badass and so is her taste in Regency romances), but...

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Mar 17 2016

Win some, lose some

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So, bad news: according to THR, Mark Osborne's widely-praised and absolutely gorgeous-looking film adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince was quietly removed from Paramount's film-release schedule, which had originally slated the movie to open in the U.S. tomorrow...

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Mar 17 2016

Bigger, better, bloodier

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And speaking of movie adaptations, the latest trailer is out for the upcoming remake of Ben-Hur, which looks, frankly, cheesy as hell. I'm not sure how interested the filmmakers are in the Christ parallels featured in the original novel...

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Mar 16 2016

To be expected, really.

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The trailer is out for Tim Burton's upcoming film adaptation of Ransom Riggs's 2011 children's book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The movie is due out in September, and stars Eva Green (as the titular Miss Peregrine) and Hugo's Asa Butterfield...

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Mar 15 2016

How nice?

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NPR recently posted an article about Forrest Fenn's The Thrill of the Chase, a self-published book of poetry that allegedly holds the clues to the location of a box of buried treasure. Fenn, a millionaire art dealer based in Santa Fe, claims...

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Mar 15 2016

And the shadiness continues...

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There's a deeply depressing article in New Republic about the death of the mass-market paperback edition of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The article is well worth reading in full, but here's the gist: Lee's estate (under the direction of her highly controversial lawyer, Tonja Carter) has required that all bookstores sell off...

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Mar 14 2016

The Watsons, by Jane Austen and John Coates

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Sometime between 1803 and 1805, Jane Austen wrote the first five chapters of a novel called The Watsons. The story opens on a grim note: a young woman named Emma Watson returns to her family after spending many years in the care of a widowed and wealthy aunt. When her aunt makes a foolish second marriage, Emma is shipped off to her father's house, where she joins her three older sisters...

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Mar 14 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon, by Jane Austen

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This week's Book Giveaway is this Penguin Classics collection of Jane Austen's juvenilia and unfinished works: Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon. We've already shared our thoughts on Sanditon (and its continuations), we're impatiently waiting for the film version of Lady Susan, and...

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Mar 10 2016

Creepy! But fascinating!

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Slate recently reviewed Victor LaValle’s novella The Ballad of Black Tom, which I'm eager to read. In addition to having an impressively eye-catching cover, I'm always interested in stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft—and this novella, which apparently explores the role Lovecraft's bone-deep racism...

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Mar 10 2016

This will work.

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The Folger Shakespeare Library is bringing the people what they want: forget the First Folio, Mr. Darcy's wet shirt is coming to America! According to the Smithsonian, the shirt (from the pond-swimming scene in deservedly popular 1995 Pride and Prejudice TV miniseries) will be...

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Mar 9 2016

It looks just like his art.

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Monotype, a company specializing in font development, has created a "bespoke handwriting typeface" inspired by the handwriting of Quentin Blake, best known for his iconic Roald Dahl illustrations. The font is spiky and idiosyncratic, yet remarkably easy to read...

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Mar 8 2016

Soaptastic!

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Variety informs me that Andie MacDowell will star in an ABC drama called Model Woman, inspired by Robert Lacey’s 2015 biography of Ford Modeling Agency co-founder Eileen Ford. The show will focus on the "notorious modeling wars of the 1970s"...

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Mar 8 2016

Unnecessary, but to be expected

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According to Deadline, Disney is planning a live-action movie adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The film will be directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and called The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. This feels like a missed opportunity to me: see, I grew up with...

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Mar 7 2016

Island in the Sea of Time, by S. M. Stirling

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This is super, super nerdy, but I mean it in the most complimentary of ways: S.M. Stirling's novel Island in the Sea of Time is like a mash-up of Sid Meier's Civilization and Harriet M. Welsh's “Town” game...

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Mar 7 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Island in the Sea of Time, by S. M. Stirling

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Today's Book Giveaway is S.M. Stirling's 1998 novel Island in the Sea of Time, the first book in his "Nantucket" trilogy. Clearly, the late 90s were not a great time for cover art, but thus far the story is Dan Simmons-level ambitious. A full review will follow later today...

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Mar 3 2016

The ABC's of Kissing Boys, by Tina Ferraro

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If Beth Reekles's The Kissing Booth had been written by an actual adult, it probably would have resembled Tina Ferraro's The ABC's of Kissing Boys. The two books have a lot in common, but Ferraro's novel is smarter, more substantial, and infinitely less cheesy...

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Mar 3 2016

The Terror on TV

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According to Deadline, AMC has ordered an "anthology drama series" based on Dan Simmons's bestselling 2007 novel The Terror. They're aiming for a 10-episode run and a 2017 premiere. Here's hoping AMC has a LOT of money saved up: The Terror is historical fiction, a man-versus-nature story, and a horror novel...

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Mar 2 2016

Am excited about this, but...

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So, I've been keeping an eye out for the trailer for Whit Stillman's movie Love & Friendship, an adaptation of Jane Austen's novella Lady Susan. Sadly, all I can find is this cast interview, despite the fact that the (presumably complete) film was screened at Sundance back in January. Why so...

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Mar 1 2016

Iffy math

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Booklist recently posted an article about the massive increase in the length of middle-grade literature over the past 40 years, attributing the 173% increase to the popularity of the Harry Potter series. Unfortunately, the author doesn't seem to consider changes in font or style, which I would assume accounts for...

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Mar 1 2016

In a nod to Blackadder, this is King's magnificent octopus.

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Entertainment Weekly informs me that production has finally gotten rolling on a movie adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower. According to the article, Idris Elba has been confirmed as the gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey will play the man in black. The film will be directed by Nikolaj Arcel...

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Feb 29 2016

Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, by Sabrina Jeffries

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I have read and reviewed three romance novels this month. The first one was straight-up ridiculous. The second was irritatingly flimsy. I don't want to sound like Goldilocks, so I'll just say the third—Sabrina Jeffries's Let Sleeping Rogues Lie—is unquestionably the best of the bunch...

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Feb 29 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, by Sabrina Jeffries

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This week's Book Giveaway is Sabrina Jeffries's 2008 novel Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, the fourth book in her long-running 'School for Heiresses' series. A full review will follow later today, but here's a spoiler: of the three romance novels we've read recently, this is DEFINITELY the pick of the bunch...

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Feb 25 2016

No, thanks.

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Koala's Playground recently posted a collection of promo images and the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation of the manga Terra Formars, which looks totally cheeseball. Judging solely by the mega-serious cover art, I'm assuming this story isn't meant to be goofy...

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