Dec 8 2016

Holiday Gift Pick #5

Gift Idea #5: Uncle Goose Alphabet Blocks

Okay, this suggestion IS for little kids. Uncle Goose produces absolutely gorgeous, 100% made-in-America wooden blocks. Their classic ABC blocks are lovely, but they make a wide variety of...

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Dec 8 2016

Holiday Gift Pick #4

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Gift Idea #4: Jason Porath's Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics

Porath is a former professional animator, and his website Rejected Princesses is a fascinating, informative, and frequently genuinely moving read. This book tie-in features...

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Dec 7 2016

Holiday Gift Pick #3

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Gift Idea #3: Mini Lumio Book Lamp

At $125, this is the most expensive item on this year's list, but it's just so cool. Here's the item description...

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Dec 6 2016

Holiday Gift Pick #2

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Gift Idea #2: ThinkGeek's Harry Potter-themed 1000-piece puzzle

There are actually two versions of this puzzle. We prefer the vintage-travel-style "Ride the Hogwarts Express" one; but the Marauders' Map one is okay too. Both retail for $15.99...

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Dec 6 2016

Holiday Gift Pick #1

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It is time once again, dear readers, for our annual Holiday Gift Guide! We're going to spend the week showcasing some of our favorite book-themed gift ideas, which vary widely in style and price point...

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Dec 5 2016

Stars of Fortune, by Nora Roberts

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I really only had one problem with Nora Roberts's Stars of Fortune, but it's a big one: Roberts simply isn't very good at writing fantasy. She keeps trying, but the genre does not play to her strengths...

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Dec 5 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Stars of Fortune, by Nora Roberts

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Nora Roberts's Stars of Fortune, the first book in her Guardians trilogy. If past experience is anything to go by, I'll probably have a LOT of complaints, but who knows? Sometimes Roberts decides to knock it out of the park. Plus, the final book in the series comes out tomorrow, so at least I won't need to wait if I decide to finish it...

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Dec 1 2016

Apropos, but...

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Well, Entertainment Weekly has the first images from the upcoming miniseries adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and they look creepy as hell. That is, of course, an accurate...

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Dec 1 2016

Unexpected bedfellows

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Sports Illustrated's The Cauldron has posted an essay by Erin Finnegan about the intersection between sports stories and romance novels. I'm not sure I buy all of the author's arguments (I think the combination of wealth, fitness, and celebrity has a lot to do with the appeal of sports-star romance heroes), but...

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Nov 30 2016

Getting creative

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Quartz recently published a fascinating article about Mei Fong, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter whose book, One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment, has been unable to find a Chinese-language publisher...

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Nov 29 2016

Great question

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Yesterday, Literary Hub set out to solve one of the great mysteries of our time: "Who is the genius behind Merriam-Webster's social media?" The short answer is: a lot of people, but...

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Nov 29 2016

Lovely!

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According to NPR, there is a long-unpublished H.G. Wells story that will finally be seeing the light of day. In its new issue, The Strand is publishing "The Haunted Ceiling", described as a short story...

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Nov 28 2016

Pride and Prejudice: Third Norton Critical Edition, by Jane Austen and edited by Donald J. Gray

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When reviewing an annotated Jane Austen novel, I always want to emphasize that I am focusing solely on the quality of the critical content featured in this particular edition. (I don't have anything left to say about Pride and Prejudice other than it's amazing, and...

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Nov 28 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Pride and Prejudice, Third Norton Critical Edition, by Jane Austen and edited by Donald Gray

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As everyone who loves me knows, there is nothing I find more relaxing than hate-reading critical essays about Jane Austen. I picked up this particular book right after the election, and I'm offering it up this week as part of our Weekly Book Giveaway. Here's hoping it works its soothing magic for you, too...

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Nov 22 2016

Wow.

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Somebody bought a Tintin illustration for 1.55 million euros, apparently. Seems reasonable! The image (from the popular Tintin adventure Explorers on the Moon) fetched the highest amount ever for a single cartoon drawing, well above...

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Nov 21 2016

Ambitious

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[Note: due to the shortened holiday week, we won't be doing a Book Giveaway today. See you next Monday, bargain hunters!]

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount TV and Universal Cable Productions are teaming up to adapt Robert Heinlein's 1961 sci-fi classic Stranger in a Strange Land as...

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Nov 17 2016

Crafty (maybe)

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And the first full trailer is out for the Ghost in the Shell movie! I have Notes. First, the accusations of cultural appropriation in this sucker appear to be richly deserved. Second, why on Earth did they choose Rupert Sanders as the director? Or was...

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Nov 17 2016

I approve

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According to the Guardian, organizers have announced the launch of a Quidditch Premier League in the UK. Obviously, some modifications are necessary for Muggle players...

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Nov 16 2016

Sure? I guess?

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And speaking of unnecessary remakes, the first full trailer is out for Disney's live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. This movie strikes me as superfluous on several fronts, but the two...

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Nov 15 2016

Don't get your hopes up

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A trailer is out for the latest adaptation of the inexplicably popular Itazura Na Kiss. (This time it's a Japanese movie, although I think there's another Taiwanese drama in the works, too.) I suspect this particular article makes the story sound more interesting than it really is...

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Nov 15 2016

Spectacular

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A few months ago, Wired compiled a list of 10 of the Most Beautiful Libraries on Earth. Beauty is subjective, and I suspect people who prefer their libraries to resemble, say, Hogwarts aren't going to find much to admire in this list. But...

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Nov 14 2016

Shadowed Souls, edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes

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Shadowed Souls is a bit of a bait-and-switch. Based on the style of the cover, I had assumed that this was a Dresden Files-themed anthology written by a bunch of big-name urban fantasy writers. Instead, it's an uneven collection of “dark and gritty” short stories tied together by...

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Nov 14 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Shadowed Souls, edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes

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This week's Book Giveaway is Shadowed Souls, a collection of short stories set in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files universe. The featured authors include some longtime Wordcandy favorites like Seanan McGuire, Kat Richardson, and Butcher himself. (Sadly, the book does not...

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Nov 10 2016

Sci-fi conspiracy theory

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I keep seeing the teaser trailer for the upcoming movie Valerian and the Thousand Planets, which I'm told is based on a long-running French comic. I have waded through the title's Wikipedia entry, and I am now both excited about the...

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Nov 10 2016

We approve

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Last week on Twitter I mentioned Australian graphic designer Jennifer Wu's amazing Tess of the D'Urbervilles cover, which cheers me up whenever I look at it. (Currently v. necessary.) Ms. Wu informs me that this cover is part of a larger project called #LoveRomance . The #LoveRomance campaign is devoted to championing romance writing and highlighting its exclusion from...

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Nov 9 2016

Net win, but...

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So, the good news is that Ally Carter is releasing another Heist Society story! The bad news is that said story is a mere 120 pages, only available in a digital format, and seemingly connected to "The Gift of the Magi", my least-favorite...

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Nov 8 2016

Behold

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Check out the spectacular Instagram of Sabeena Karnik, an artist who uses paper art to make beautiful typography. (Her work is featured on the book cover at left, too.) All of her letters are gorgeous, but I...

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Nov 8 2016

Counting down

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If you, like me, are spending the day trying out anti-anxiety tips you found on the internet and obsessively reading the latest election speculation, here are a handful of free and delightful things you could be reading instead, arranged in order of most to least political...

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Nov 7 2016

Bad Blood, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Bad Blood is the fourth and final book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Naturals series. Once again, Barnes has delivered a briskly-paced thriller seemingly tailor-made for a CW adaptation. (Seriously, the fact that this series isn't already on my TV is bewildering to me.)

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Nov 7 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Bad Blood, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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I am in no mood for anything other than 100% undiluted entertainment, so this week's Book Giveaway is the latest book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Naturals series, Bad Blood. I'm not sure that even Ms. Barnes's book will be entertaining enough to distract me from my overwhelming election anxiety, but I figure it's got a better shot than most...

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