Feb 17 2016

Source material

If you watched the recent BBC adaptation of Tolstoy's War and Peace, you might be interested in this recent Daily Mail article about some of the series' visuals...

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Feb 16 2016

Reforming a Rake: With This Ring, by Suzanne Enoch

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Suzanne Enoch's Reforming a Rake: With This Ring is lazy, cynical, and as predictable as an Applebee's meal. It is also about 1000 times better than the last romance novel we reviewed, partly because Enoch is a far better writer and partly because when it comes to romance novels, I don't mind a little predictability...

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Feb 16 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Reforming a Rake: With This Ring, by Suzanne Enoch

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This week's Book Giveaway is Suzanne Enoch's 2009 novel Reforming a Rake: With this Ring. After reading this, I find myself in need of a historical-romance palate cleanser, and Enoch is the kind of consistently amusing writer who can be depended upon to provide one...

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Feb 11 2016

Less Disney, more Angela Carter

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I'm intrigued by this NPR review of Giambattisa Basile's 17th-century book of fairy stories The Tale of Tales, which was apparently recently adapted into an Italian/British/French film starring Salma Hayek. The subtitle of this particular edition...

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Feb 11 2016

#TeamKenyon

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I read with interest that author Sherrilyn Kenyon is suing author Cassandra Clare, accusing her of copyright and trademark infringement and false advertising. I have never read one of Kenyon's novels, and our (limited) coverage of Cassandra Clare has been...

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Feb 10 2016

The price is right

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Harlequin Books is running a Valentine's Day special: they're offering a bunch of books recommended by the popular romance blogs Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, all...

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Feb 9 2016

Austen could only improve it.

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Speaking of Shakespeare, I've been spending some time in Washington D.C., and the Metro is plastered with ads for the Folger Library's "The Wonder of Will: 400 Years of Shakespeare" celebration. The centerpiece of the event is, of course, the...

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Feb 9 2016

My favorite is his Richard III, but I don't want it on a t-shirt

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Literature-inspired clothing line Out of Print has just released a pair of new designs featuring Milton Glaser's cover art for William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, and The Tempest...

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Feb 8 2016

Dreamer's Pool, by Juliet Marillier

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When it comes to fantasy novels, I usually judge books on three categories: world-building, characterization, and adventure. Juliet Marillier's Dreamer's Pool features complex, sympathetic characters and an intriguing plot, although the world she has built is an odd blend of brutality and utopia...

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Feb 8 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Dreamer's Pool, by Juliet Marillier

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This week's Book Giveaway is Dreamer's Pool, the first installment in the Blackthorn & Grim series by Juliet Marillier. That's not the kind of cover that usually floats my boat (I avoid any book that looks like the author might describe someone's eyes as "cerulean orbs"), but I've been deeply impressed by Ms. Marillier's books in the past, so my hopes are high...

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Feb 4 2016

To Lure a Proper Lady, by Ashlyn MacNamara

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When I reviewed a previous Ashlyn MacNamara book, I gave her writing a lukewarm but honest endorsement. Unfortunately, her upcoming novel To Lure A Proper Lady is the kind of hot mess that undoes a lot of preexisting goodwill...

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Feb 4 2016

What about that car, though?

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Additional, far more exciting TV news: according to Variety, NBC has given a formal pilot order for a TV update of Cruel Intentions. The potential series "picks up 15 years after the movie left off and...

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Feb 3 2016

It's cute, I guess.

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Dramafever informs me that Warner Bros. has recently given Animate (Japan's largest retailer of anime, games, and manga) the exclusive rights to produce a wide range of anime-style Harry Potter merchandise...

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Feb 2 2016

Riverdale is... TWIN PEAKS

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According to Variety, the CW has picked up the Riverdale pilot, based on the long-running (read: why won't it die?!?) Archie comic book series. The producer is apparently promising a "surprising and subversive take" on the material...

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Feb 2 2016

70s food images!

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Brain Pickings recently featured a look at The Museum of Modern Art Artists' Cookbook, a 1977 gem co-written by Madeleine Conway and Nancy Kirk. The cookbook is a collection of thirty famous artists' "favorite recipes and reflections on food", and features contributions from celebrities ranging from Salvador Dalí to Andy Warhol...

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Feb 1 2016

A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

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V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic is plastered with encomiums that make it sound like the second coming of Dune—it's described as “compulsively readable”, “ingeniously clever”, and “an exhilarating adventure”. This breathless enthusiasm struck me as distinctly overblown, but Schwab's story is undeniably thoughtful, imaginative, and action-packed...

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Feb 1 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

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This week's Book Giveaway is V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic. It's giving off a distinctly UnLunDun vibe, but I'm hoping I will like it better (or at least that it will be less pretentious). A full review will follow later today...

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Jan 29 2016

At least it's creative.

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And speaking of webtoons, this weekend I started reading Witch Workshop, the latest effort from Goong author So-Hee Park. (English-translated chapters are available here.) So far it's not as instantly charming as Goong, but it's worth reading for the magical curse besetting one of the main characters...

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Jan 28 2016

Yay...?

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According to the Guardian, "Researchers at Poland’s Institute of Nuclear Physics found complex ‘fractal’ patterning of sentences in literature, particularly in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, which resemble ‘ideal’ maths seen in nature." This...

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Jan 27 2016

The Deal, The Mistake, and The Score, by Elle Kennedy

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I recently read Elle Kennedy's The Deal, The Mistake, and The Score, a collection of fun, loosely-connected New Adult romances set in the college hockey world. In The Deal, aspiring singer Hannah Wells sets out to overcome a past trauma with some no-strings-attached sex with her new pal Garrett Graham, the captain of her school's championship-winning hockey team. In The Mistake, Garrett's teammate Logan...

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Jan 26 2016

Scandalous!

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I recently picked up a copy of Jane Mayer's nonfiction book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. I love books about financial scandals, and this one is even juicier when you take into account the contents of this New York Times article, which...

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Jan 26 2016

Little House on the Prairie: the movie

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THR recently posted an update on the upcoming Little House on the Prairie movie reboot: apparently, the project has moved from Sony to Paramount and they've hired Martha Marcy May Marlene filmmaker Sean Durkin to direct...

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Jan 25 2016

By Possession, by Madeline Hunter

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On a recent trip to the beach, I picked up a battered copy of Madeline Hunter's 2000 novel By Possession from a Little Free Library. As longtime readers of the site know, I rarely read pre-Regency romance novels (I can't get fully invested in any sex scene when I'm wondering when the participants last bathed), but hey: I'd already finished the books I brought with me, and the price was right...

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Jan 25 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: By Possession, by Madeline Hunter

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This week's Book Giveaway is Madeline Hunter's historical romance novel By Possession. Please note: I picked this particular edition out of a Little Free Library, and it is trashed. Totally readable, though, and at least we're recycling...

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Jan 21 2016

Cheese in the Trap, by Soonkki

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Today we're going to review something a little different: an ongoing Korean webtoon by Soonkki called Cheese in the Trap. Normally I would wait to cover this kind of thing until it was finished and fully translated, but A) I'm not that patient, and B) this story is so interesting, you guys—it's totally worth the inconvenience of reading it online...

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Jan 21 2016

Same issue, different book

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Literally only a few months after the flap over the depiction of slavery in the children's book A Fine Dessert, there is another, virtually identical controversy...

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Jan 20 2016

Maybe?

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Variety informs me that CBS has ordered a drama pilot featuring a contemporary take on the Nancy Drew series. According to the article...

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Jan 19 2016

Emma, by Alexander McCall Smith

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Emma Woodhouse is not my favorite Jane Austen heroine, but she deserves better treatment than she receives in Alexander McCall Smith's Emma, one of the six titles in The Austen Project, an attempt to re-imagine Austen's novels with a modern setting. Austen's Emma is a flawed but endearing character who eventually begins to correct her many faults; Smith's Emma, in contrast, is...

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Jan 19 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Emma, by Alexander McCall Smith

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This week's Book Giveaway is Alexander McCall Smith's Emma, a modern re-telling of Jane Austen's novel of the same name. I have my doubts about the wisdom of this project, frankly. Not only is Smith inviting comparisons with the original novel, he's also inviting comparisons with Clueless, and that seems like a really stacked deck. Our review will follow shortly...

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Jan 14 2016

Books on demand

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There's a cool article in The Orange County Register about a book-dispensing vending machine located inside the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center and run by the Anaheim Public Library System...

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