Mar 7 2017

Life in the virtual woods

I... really don't know how I feel about this. A video game based on Henry David Thoreau's Walden? It's not that I'm opposed to a game that aims to "reinforce our connection to the natural world and to challenge our hurried culture" or "achieve work-life balance", but doesn't doing that via a $20 video game...

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Mar 6 2017

Utterly Uncle Fred, by P.G. Wodehouse

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Utterly Uncle Fred is an omnibus edition of P.G. Wodehouse's stories about the irrepressible Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, 5th Earl of Ickenham. This collection includes the novels Cocktail Time, Uncle Dynamite, and Service With a Smile, and well as the short story that introduced us to the character, "Uncle Fred Flits By"...

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Mar 6 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Utterly Uncle Fred, by P.G. Wodehouse

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This week's Book Giveaway is the P.G. Wodehouse omnibus Utterly Uncle Fred, which consists of one short story ("Uncle Fred Flits By") and three novels: Uncle Dynamite, Cocktail Time, and Service With a Smile. Any one of these, including the short story, would be well worth the cover price, so you can only imagine their combined awesomeness...

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Mar 2 2017

100% covetable

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I recently ran across these absolutely gorgeous new editions of four classic Mary Stewart novels via the website Mary Queen of Plots. A little poking around the internet reveals that the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, was also responsible...

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Mar 2 2017

No, thanks.

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Well, I was never particularly excited about a TV miniseries adaptation of Jay Asher's YA novel Thirteen Reasons Why, and this new trailer is not doing much to change my opinion...

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Mar 1 2017

Immortalized!

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This is great news: according to NPR, Lego has just announced their "Women of NASA" set, which will include Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician whose story was featured in Margot Lee Shetterly's book Hidden Figures...

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Feb 28 2017

Hiding in plain sight

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According to the Guardian, a long-lost novel by Walt Whitman was recently discovered in the archives of a Victorian New York Sunday newspaper. Described as a "rollicking anti-lawyer revenge fantasy", The Life and Adventures of Jack Engle was published anonymously...

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Feb 28 2017

Tour guide

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Atlas Obscura recently posted an article called "Exploring Cuba, Guided by Graham Greene". Taking advantage of the recent reconciliation between Cuba and the United States, essayist Luke Spencer sets out to explore Cuba, using Graham Greene’s satirical 1958 spy novel Our Man in Havana as a travel guide...

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Feb 27 2017

Take the Key and Lock Her Up, by Ally Carter

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Take The Key and Lock Her Up is the final installment in Ally Carter’s Embassy Row trilogy. Sadly, this series ends the way it began: fun, frenetic, and stylish, but ultimately a little empty...

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Feb 27 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Take the Key and Lock Her Up, by Ally Carter

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This week's Book Giveaway is Ally Carter's Take the Key and Lock Her Up, the third book in Carter's Embassy Row series and the one that fully pushes this series into "Princess Diaries meets James Bond" territory. (If that's a mash-up you've been hoping for, congratulations!) A full review will follow shortly...

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Feb 23 2017

Once and future Studio Ghibli

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The trailer is out for Mary and the Witch's Flower, which I'm interested in for two reasons. First, it's based on a novel by Mary Stewart, author of my beloved Nine Coaches Waiting (which is...

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Feb 23 2017

Unexpectedly stoked about this

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According to the Guardian, Neil Gaiman recently announced a sequel to his 1996 book Neverwhere. (Technically, Neverwhere is a novelization, rather than an independent story, but the BBC TV miniseries it was based on didn't quite work out, so Gaiman reworked it very successfully into a novel.) Gaiman...

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Feb 22 2017

Did anybody try EXPLODING that stone?

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The official trailer is out for Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which looks cheesy as hell. (The official plot summary describes it as an "iconoclastic take" on Arthurian legends, which apparently translates to "now with loads more explosions".) On the other hand, I...

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Feb 21 2017

Devil in Spring, by Lisa Kleypas

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I have long treasured Lisa Kleypas as one of the world's most consistently entertaining historical romance novelists. Unfortunately, her most recent series is putting a dent in that image, which I find very upsetting. I rely on you, Lisa Kleypas...

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Feb 21 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Devil in Spring, by Lisa Kleypas

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This week's Book Givewaway is Lisa Kleypas's Devil in Spring, the third book in her Ravenels series and a second-generation sequel to her 2006 novel Devil in Winter. I'm really not feeling that cover art. I've seen a fair amount of Victorian fashion, and I'm pretty sure they weren't big fans of strapless wedding gowns...

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Feb 16 2017

Image Comics [hearts] Planned Parenthood

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This is cool: Image Comics will be releasing 11 "variant covers" in celebration of Women's History Month. The covers will acknowledge "the careers of women in comics, the strides made throughout comics history made by the women’s movement...

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Feb 16 2017

There are some rich Disney fans out there, folks.

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According to Revelist, L'Oreal is releasing an ultra-fancy limited edition makeup collection inspired by Disney's upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast...

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Feb 15 2017

Times change

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The Guardian recently posted an impressively misleading article entitled "Portrait of 'real' Mr Darcy unlikely to set 21st century hearts aflutter". Unfortunately, this isn't a portrait, at least not of a real person...

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Feb 14 2017

The Beguiled: 2.0

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The first trailer is out for The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola’s remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie of the same name. The movies are based on a Southern Gothic novel by Thomas P. Cullinan (originally titled A Painted Devil)...

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Feb 14 2017

Way to go, Mother Jones!

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Congratulations to Mother Jones magazine, which was recently named as the magazine of the year by the American Society Of Magazine Editors. According to Deadline, this year's National Magazine Awards were full of surprises...

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Feb 13 2017

Mansfield Park: An Annotated Edition, by Jane Austen

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It's been a few months, and I am a huge nerd, so it's time for one of my favorite literary indulgences: reviewing annotated Jane Austen novels! Today I'll be complaining about Harvard University Press's recent edition of Mansfield Park. As always, please note: this is not a review of Austen's novel...

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Feb 13 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Mansfield Park: An Annotated Edition, by Jane Austen

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This week's Book Giveaway is Harvard Press's Mansfield Park: An Annotated Edition. This will hurt me to give away, both because I'd quite like to keep it and because it weighs a zillion pounds, and will thus cost a fortune to ship. A full review will follow shortly...

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Feb 9 2017

The book was worth 10K, by the way.

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There's a very tactful, measured essay up on the Antiques Roadshow blog called "Understanding Concerns about Lewis Carroll". The essay is specifically related to an AR episode from last summer, in which a guest brought in a signed 1st edition...

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Feb 9 2017

I think I currently owe $1.15.

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There's an interesting article on Slate about why some public libraries are choosing to eliminate late-return fees. Apparently, the money isn't worth the hassle, the fees tend to disproportionately affect the people who need libraries most, and many librarians feel that charging fees undercuts...

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Feb 8 2017

Live Action-ish

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I always feel ridiculous calling a movie a "live-action adaptation" when everything I see about it appears to have been digitally altered (ahem, Beauty and the Beast). Thankfully, I totally don't care about the J-movie adaptation of Hideaki Sorachi's manga Gin Tama, so the the CGI-heavy cheesiness of...

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Feb 7 2017

All too timely

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Check out this video of Ian McKellen reading a speech from an Elizabethan play titled Sir Thomas More, which scholars think contains Shakespeare's handwriting. Regardless of the play's progenitor, however, the featured speech...

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Feb 7 2017

Turn that angry squint to good account, Leo!

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According to Entertainment Weekly, Leonardo DiCaprio will be starring in (and producing) an adaptation of Stephan Talty’s upcoming book The Black Hand, which sounds like it will be right up the actor's alley. Check out this plot summary...

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Feb 6 2017

Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell

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Reading Sarah Vowell's 2011 book Unfamiliar Fishes is like skimming through a 230-page-long magazine article. It's a witty, easily digestible take on a fascinating element of American history—but I would have preferred less wit and more dry facts...

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Feb 6 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell

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In times of politically-induced stress, I frequently find it soothing to read about the politically-induced stress of Olden Times. (Sometimes I need to be reminded that humanity is cockroach-level resilient.) So this week's Book Giveaway is Sarah Vowell's 2011 book Unfamiliar Fishes, about the American annexation of Hawaii in 1898...

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Feb 2 2017

Second try

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Yesterday Dramabeans posted a casting rumor about the upcoming movie adaptation of my beloved Cheese in the Trap. I still feel really weird about this project...

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