Jun 27 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Stiletto, by Daniel O'Malley

This week's Book Giveaway is Daniel O'Malley's Stiletto, the sequel to his 2012 novel The Rook, which we reviewed here. Admittedly, I have about a dozen books that I seriously need to finish, but I actually want to read Stiletto, so it's jumping the queue. Our review will follow shortly...

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Jun 23 2016

I do remember how terrible the covers were.

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The website Lenny recently posted novelist J. Courtney Sullivan's gushing tribute to Ann M. Martin's Babysitters Club books. As a book-loving woman in my 30s, I'm definitely in the same demographic as Sullivan, but my parents tended to be a little dismissive of "series books"...

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Jun 23 2016

Head to head

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According to Lainey Gossip, Paramount and Sony are developing competing biopics of Agatha Christie. Sony is going the traditional biopic route, while Paramount is focusing on the mystery behind Christie's 11-day disappearance in 1926. Emma Stone...

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Jun 22 2016

Confused

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The first trailer is out for the movie adaptation of M.R. Carey's zombie novel The Girl With All the Gifts. The movie has a recognizable cast (including Glenn Close and Gemma Arterton), and it looks very artistically gloomy, but...

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Jun 21 2016

My mom will watch this (but she'll cover her eyes a lot)

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Slate tells me that Sarah Polley is adapting Margaret Atwood's 1996 novel Alias Grace into a six-hour-long miniseries for Netflix. The novel is a fictionalized account of the life of Grace Marks, a Canadian housemaid who was convicted of murder in 1843...

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Jun 21 2016

When in doubt...

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In light of their current struggles, Vertigo is going back previously fertile ground: they're reviving the Fables 'verse, which ended about a year ago. The new spin-off series will be called Everafter: From the Pages of Fables. Here's the...

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Jun 20 2016

Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho

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Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown is a mildly amusing historical fantasy novel, full of nods to Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. While her book features some ambitious ideas, Cho rarely explores them in sufficient depth...

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Jun 20 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho

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This week's Book Giveaway is Zen Cho's debut novel Sorcerer to the Crown. I'm a little nervous about this book, actually. It has great reviews, but it triggers two of my rage buttons: the British get a VASTLY superior cover than we do, and I can't find a solid release date for the sequel. What if I really like it and book two doesn't come out until...

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Jun 16 2016

RIP, Ms. Duncan

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YA suspense author Lois Duncan has died, according to the Washington Times. Ms. Duncan is best known for her book I Know What You Did Last Summer (which was made into a movie in 1997, transforming Duncan's somber novel about teens being forced to take responsibility for their actions into a slasher film, much to her irritation). Ms. Duncan...

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Jun 16 2016

Wicked the movie, for serious

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According to The New York Times, a movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Wicked (based on the Gregory Maguire novel of the same name) has been scheduled for a December, 2019 release by Universal Pictures. Rumors of this project have floated around for years, but...

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Jun 15 2016

Politeness costs nothing

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Today, The Ugly Volvo posted an Open Letter to the Female Hat-Wearing Dog From Go Dog, Go that's pretty much perfection. Even as a small child, I remember being appalled by the hat-rejecting dog's rudeness. Didn't his parents ever teach him about the value of a polite redirect? Those conversations should have gone like this...

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Jun 14 2016

No loss

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Awwwww: according to THR, Nicholas Sparks Productions, the film and TV production company founded by the author of the same name, is shutting down. The company launched in 2012, and went on to produce two adaptations of Sparks's cloying melodramas (2013's Safe Haven and 2016's The Choice)...

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Jun 14 2016

I would have pushed him down a well.

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I normally avoid movies that scream OSCAR BAIT!!! this loudly, but I'm mildly intrigued by the new film Genius, about the relationship between notoriously verbose writer Thomas Wolfe and his long-suffering editor Maxwell Perkins. The trailer looks...

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Jun 13 2016

And I Darken, by Kiersten White

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As one might expect from a story about a gender-swapped version of Vlad the Impaler, Kiersten White's And I Darken is heavy on angst and violence. On the other hand, it is also unexpectedly well-researched and thoughtfully constructed—despite the lurid nature of her subject matter, White has written a respectable alternate-history fiction, not the YA equivalent of Dracula Untold...

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Jun 13 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: And I Darken, by Kiersten White

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This week's Book Giveaway is And I Darken, the first installment in a new teen series by Kiersten White. This book is apparently (very) loosely based on the historical events surrounding Vlad the Impaler. I have no idea how a story about a murderous, sadistic, 15th century nutjob will translate into a darkly seductive YA novel, but I'm looking forward to finding out...

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Jun 10 2016

Another one to skip

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I'd managed to forget that Kenneth Branagh was making a movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, but apparently the deal has been hammered out and Angelina Jolie is in talks to star. I have no idea what role she'll play (personally, I'm hoping for a gender-swapped Hercule Poirot)...

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Jun 9 2016

Murderously adorable

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Man, Jonathan Franzen really doesn't like cats. According to this article in New Republic, Franzen thinks the time has come for cat genocide: “The bird community’s position is, we need to get rid of the feral cats, and that means cats must die.” He's also a big fan of the upcoming book Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer...

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Jun 8 2016

Mediocrity in pretty dresses

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Over the weekend, my mom and I went to see Whit Stillman's Love and Friendship, which has been receiving glowing reviews. I enjoyed the acting, the sets, and the fact that one of Jane Austen's lesser-known works (the novella Lady Susan) was getting some attention, but I thought the movie itself was pretty bad, and I blame most of that on Mr. Stillman...

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Jun 7 2016

A world of no.

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According to Deadline, there are some big names attached to the film adaptation of Gay Talese’s The Voyeur’s Motel: Sam Mendes will direct and produce; Steven Spielberg is also producing. The movie, which is based on this insane magazine article written...

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Jun 7 2016

Educational props

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Over the weekend, NPR posted a fun article about a class at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts: Philosophy 280: Philosophy for Children. The class uses visits with second-graders and discussions of classic children's books—Frog and Toad Are Friends, Shrek, Horton Hears a Who!—to better understand the central tenets of philosophy...

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Jun 6 2016

Julia Vanishes, by Catherine Egan

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Catherine Egan's YA novel Julia Vanishes is better than V. E. Schwab's thematically-similar A Darker Shade of Magic series—creepier, more complicated, and inhabited by less glamorous but more interesting characters. Unfortunately, the cover art for Julia Vanishes is merely adequate, while Schwab's books look spectacular. I sincerely wish Egan's publisher had shelled out for something more impressive, because...

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Jun 6 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Julia Vanishes, by Catherine Egan

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This week's Book Giveaway is Julia Vanishes, the first book in Catherine Egan's new Witch's Child trilogy. The plot description—involving magic, orphans, thieves, and serial killers—sounds pretty exciting, so I'm looking forward to reading it. A full review will follow shortly...

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Jun 2 2016

Leave well enough alone

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The first pictures of the in-character cast are out for the upcoming stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and everybody looks spectacular. Of course, creating lush visuals has never been Rowling's problem...

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Jun 2 2016

Jumping the gun

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According to Coming Soon, Awesomeness Films is planning a film adaptation of Aaron Starmer's young adult novel Spontaneous. Here's hoping they didn't pay a ton for the rights; the book doesn't come out for another couple of months, and the idea of a story...

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Jun 1 2016

Share with a friend, or just give yourself a fake twin?

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BIG NEWS: according to the Huffington Post, James L. Mathewuse—the artist behind the Sweet Valley High book covers that looked so intriguing when I was in elementary school—apparently takes commissions! For as little as $200, you could...

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May 31 2016

Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas

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Lisa Kleypas's Marrying Winterborne is a massive step up from the first book in her Ravenels series, but it still falls short of her best work. It feels like a throwback to the romance novels of my teen years—books that relied on far-fetched, telenovela-style plot twists, rather than more realistic (and, to me, more interesting) interpersonal conflicts...

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May 31 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas

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This week's Book Giveaway is Lisa Kleypas's latest historical romance: Marrying Winterborne, the second book in her Ravenels series. The first installment was one of the author's rare missteps, but I'm hoping this one will be better.

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May 26 2016

I want it.

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WOW: according to the New York Post, the house that reportedly inspired the heroine's home in Harriet the Spy is up for sale, and it could be yours for a mere $4.95 million! The house is gorgeous, and in a perfect world some enterprising hotelier will turn it into a boutique hotel that serves nothing but cake and tomato sandwiches...

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May 26 2016

Well, that's appalling.

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According to Slate, Texas has agreed to include a textbook on Mexican-Americans on its list of proposed titles for the 2017-2018 school year. Seeing as 51.3 percent of the state's public-school students in 2012-2013 were Hispanic, this seems like a perfectly appropriate gesture. Unfortunately...

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May 25 2016

Maybe if I took out a loan...

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I was recently introduced to the Folio Society, a London-based publisher of beautiful (and painfully expensive) books. I'm impressed by the fact that they appear to devote just as much effort—if not more—to books like Stephen King's...

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