Dec 29 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Blandings Castle, by P.G. Wodehouse

Let's ease into 2015, shall we? In the interest of kicking off the new year with a little comfort reading, this week's Book Giveaway is Blandings Castle, a collection of non-Jeeves-and-Wooster short stories by P.G. Wodehouse. A full review will follow shortly, but here's a spoiler: it's Wodehouse at his most Wodehousian...

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Dec 23 2014

Holiday reading for all

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Before we take off for the rest of the week, I've put together a short list of holiday-themed book recommendations for a variety of tastes. (Never say I'm not here for you, dear readers—this list covers the holiday mood from schmaltzy to murderous.) And another tip: if you need to visit a bookstore, don't go until about an hour before closing on Christmas Eve. Apart from a handful of relatively mellow dad-types wandering around—guys who do 100% of their Christmas shopping between...

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Dec 22 2014

Waterfall, by Lauren Kate

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After reading Stacey Jay's latest novel, I decided it was time to give Lauren Kate another shot. I've complained about Kate's writing before, but Jay's book left me feeling hopeful. Contrary to some previously-held fears, YA writers can improve over time... but, alas, Kate does not seem to be one of them. Actually, I'm worried her books may be getting worse...

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Dec 22 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Waterfall, by Lauren Kate

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This week we're giving away a copy of Lauren Kate's Waterfall, the sequel to last year's Teardrop, which we complained about at length here. A full review will follow later today, but (SPOILER) we didn't like Waterfall, either, so we strongly encourage our readers to enter this drawing and pick up this book for the only worthwhile price: free...

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Dec 16 2014

Shenanigans

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Also on NPR: a thrilling account of a literary-award beatdown! (Not really.) Anyway, Australia's top book prize, the Prime Minister's Literary Award, was given out last week, and there were a pair of winners in the fiction category...

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Dec 16 2014

Rowling on TV

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According to NPR, the BBC is planning to adapt two more of J.K. Rowling's novels for television: The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm. Rowling wrote both books under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and...

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Dec 15 2014

Princess of Thorns, by Stacey Jay

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Stacey Jay's first two novels had plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon, and my hopes for her future efforts were not high. Her third book—a sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast—was much more successful, and her latest effort...

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Dec 15 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Princess of Thorns, by Stacey Jay

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This week's Book Giveaway is Princess of Thorns, the latest book from popular YA author Stacey Jay. I've complained about every single one of Jay's novels, but her last book was a massive improvement...

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Dec 12 2014

Cheeseball to the 1,000,000th power

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The trailer is out for Insurgent, the second film adaptation of Veronica Roth's Divergent series. Once again, I am stunned at how hokey literally millions of dollars' worth of CGI can look...

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Dec 11 2014

The better to admire you on the subway with, my dear.

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Hmm. It seems the U.K.'s Kobo e-reader service keeps track of both what books people buy, and what books they actually finish. I'm obviously not surprised to learn that people are much better about finishing romance novels than they are high-profile tearjerkers about cancer patients or missing kids, but I am a little taken aback to realize that so many people make...

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Dec 10 2014

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Simple Soul, by John Allison

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First up: I know this cover was decided on long before I complained about the overly cutesy packaging featured on the previous two volumes in this series, but I'm taking credit for this eye-popping image anyway. Thanks, Oni Press! And don't worry: that little arsonist is adorable. I'm sure the kids will still want to read alllll about her...

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Dec 9 2014

Thus far: meh.

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The French trailer is out for the upcoming film version of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's famous novella The Little Prince, and it appears to be 90% Pixar; 10% Dave McKean...

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Dec 9 2014

And speaking of Takahashi...

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...there's going to be an anime version of Rin-ne! Not that I really had any doubt (almost all of Takahashi's work has been animated, and most of it has been wildly successful), but I hadn't heard any details until recently...

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Dec 8 2014

Ranma ½, by Rumiko Takahashi

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I have spent the past few days wondering how to describe Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma ½ without making it sound like a 36-volume-long fever dream, and I've finally decided it's an impossible task. Just... bear with me, okay?

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Dec 8 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Ranma 1/2: The 2-in-1 Edition, by Rumiko Takahashi

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This week's Book Giveaway is Viz Media's 2-in-1 edition of the first two volumes of Rumiko Takahashi's classic manga Ranma 1/2. We recently featured this series as part of our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, and trust me: winning a free copy would make an even better holiday gift for yourself...

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Dec 4 2014

Editing a sacred cow

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There's an interesting article in The New York Times about a decision by the Swedish national broadcaster to edit out two scenes in a newly-restored DVD version of the 1969 TV series Pippi Longstocking...

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Dec 4 2014

Bad sex

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The Literary Review has announced the winner of its 22nd annual "Bad Sex in Fiction" award: The Age of Magic, by Nigerian author Ben Okri. I have not read this novel (and I'm not gonna), but...

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Dec 3 2014

So... many... links... (The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide)

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Behold, our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide! Prices range from $118 to $7.95, and links are provided below

1. Marquee Lights - Ampersand...

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Dec 2 2014

Lost and found

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According to NPR, the long-lost Neal Cassady letter that inspired Jack Kerouac's stream-of-consciousness novel On the Road has been found, and will be auctioned off next month...

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Dec 2 2014

Also, doesn't he have enough money?

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Obviously hoping to milk a little more money from the Game of Thrones cash cow, George R.R. Martin has released a new edition of his 1980 children's novella The Ice Dragon, now featuring illustrations by Spanish artist Luis Royo. The story is set in the same world as Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, it's apparently targeted at readers aged 12 to 17, and costs $14.99...

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Dec 1 2014

Now That You're Here, by Amy K. Nichols

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Now That You're Here, the debut novel from Amy K. Nichols, has an absolutely gorgeous cover and an intriguing premise. Sadly, the story never quite lives up to the promise of either cover or premise, but it's only the first installment of a two-book series, and I think things might improve...

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Dec 1 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Now That You're Here, by Amy K. Nichols

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This week's Book Giveaway is a copy of Amy K. Nichols's debut novel Now That You're Here, despite the fact that it involves parallel universes and will almost certainly lead to a lot of grousing from Nathan about iffy science. (To which I say: at least it's not time travel.) The book won't be released until next week, so...

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Nov 25 2014

I covet.

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I'm not a big fan of H.G. Wells's 1895 novel The Time Machine, but I am totally in love with the many and varied cover images it has inspired. Seriously, the story has been graced with some...

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Nov 25 2014

Congratulations, mom!

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My mother is prone to long, ongoing obsessions with totally random subjects, where she reads everything she can on the issue and accumulates an encyclopedic knowledge of details of no interest to anyone but herself. Her latest fixation is on Scientology's ongoing legal disputes, so...

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Nov 24 2014

Daughter of Xanadu, by Dori Jones Yang

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When I picked up Dori Jones Yang's novel Daughter of Xanadu, I was hoping to find a fictionalized version of the story of Khutulun, the most famous Mongolian girl of the era. My expectations were totally off* (they usually are), but Yang's novel has charms of its own...

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Nov 24 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Daughter of Xanadu, by Doris Jones Yang

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This week's Book Giveaway is Daughter of Xanadu, by Doris Jones Yang. Judging by the somber cover art, the story won't be a rollicking good time, but I notice the main character shares several characteristics (and a birth year) with Khutulun*, so there might be a happy ending in store...

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Nov 20 2014

Surrealism, food, and sex: a recipe guide

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The Huffington Post recently featured a fascinating description of Les Diners de Gala, Salvador Dali's 1973 "erotic cookbook". I can think of few artists whose vision I find less erotic than Dali's, but maybe food was his one true medium? I sincerely love the cover, although...

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Nov 20 2014

Computers are hard.

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When I first read this vitriolic plot summary of the book Barbie: I Can Be... A Computer Engineer, I honestly thought it was a joke. I mean, no one, not even Mattel, could be that tone-deaf, right? Turns out I was wrong: according to NPR, Mattel...

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Nov 19 2014

Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers

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The first two novels in Robin LaFevers's His Fair Assassin trilogy are intelligent, atmospheric, and jam-packed with historical detail, and the final installment, Mortal Heart, is no different. None of the books have been perfect, but this is still one of the most interesting and ambitious teen series to come out in years...

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Nov 18 2014

Not exactly giving it away, but not bad.

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If you too have always coveted one of Kate Spade's Book of the Month clutches, ModCloth is offering a more affordable alternative: this Elusive Edition Bag is a comparatively cheap $59.99...

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