Jan 7 2014

Another step forward

See that little bar on the right? The one above the long ad, with the bird on it? Yes, dear readers, today Wordcandy joined Twitter, once again bringing us up to date with the cutting-edge technology of, oh, 2007 or so...

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Jan 7 2014

Palace of Spies, by Sarah Zettel

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We had such high hopes for Palace of Spies, the first book in Sarah Zettel's new YA trilogy. Zettel's writing is consistently solid, she chose an unusual time period for her setting, and she avoided the cover art controversy that has dogged her otherwise-excellent Dust Girl books. The end result, sadly, fell a hair short of our dreams, but let's face it: even Zettel's B-grade work still stands head and shoulders above...

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Jan 6 2014

Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

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In the author's note following her novel Teardrop, Lauren Kate shares the following story: once, when she was crying, her husband reached out and swiped a tear from her cheek, blinking it into his own eye. If that's the kind of thing that strikes you as indescribably romantic, Teardrop is the book for you. If (like me) your reaction hovers somewhere between “Ew” and “...why?”, move right along...

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Jan 6 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Palace of Spies, by Sarah Zettel

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This week's Book Giveaway title is Palace of Spies, the first book in a historical YA series by Dust Girl author Sarah Zettel. Our review will go up tomorrow morning, seeing as we still have to post our thoughts on the Book Giveaway title we featured over our winter break: Lauren Kate's Teardrop...

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Dec 23 2013

My birthday is coming up.

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With the exception of our Weekly Book Giveaway pick, we are taking the two weeks off between December 23rd and January 1st, but this is too magical not to share: the Creative Action Network has partnered with the Harvard Bookstore to offer a series of beautiful artist-designed classic book editions that can be printed on demand...

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Dec 23 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

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Our current Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Teardrop, the first book in a new trilogy from popular YA author Lauren Kate. Her Fallen series was hit-or-miss, but here's hoping she's learned something along the way...

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Dec 19 2013

More monkeys

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I always wonder about authors like Pierre Boulle, who wrote both The Bridge Over The River Kwai and the novel that inspired Planet of the Apes. That's a wide-ranging literary legacy, you know? I'm sure more people have read The Bridge Over The River Kwai than La Planète des singes, but certainly more people have watched The Planet of the Apes than read the two books put together. Anyway, Boulle's monkey book is the gift that keeps on giving...

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Dec 19 2013

Ridiculously cool

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Clearly, nothing says "holiday spirit" like the sex-and-death world of Game of Thrones, so we all have to be grateful to interaction designer* and storyteller Krystal Higgins for providing us with ten incredible (and free) GoT-inspired snowflake patterns...

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Dec 18 2013

Sacred and Splendor, by Elana K. Arnold

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Sacred and Splendor, the first two novels from YA author Elana K. Arnold, are ambitious, creative... and totally devoid of editorial judgment or restraint. The books contain a number of intriguing ideas, but the sum total is a hot mess...

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Dec 17 2013

My eyes remain dry.

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The Guardian posted an article about a trio of unpublished J.D. Salinger short stories that recently leaked online. The transcripts are apparently accurate, and have lead to considerable hand-wringing for Salinger's fans, who are torn between their desire to read the difficult-to-obtain* stories before Salinger's approved publication date of January 27th, 2060...

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Dec 17 2013

"Shaken, not stirred" might refer to an alcoholic tremor

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According to NPR, a group of Nottingham University Hospital scientists spent a year analyzing Ian Fleming's James Bond novels and tabulating the number of drinks the spy downed each day. The grand total? Six to seven drinks per day, or an average of 45 per week...

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Dec 16 2013

Tomorrow, by C.K. Kelly Martin

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I always feel weird making this criticism, but C.K. Kelly Martin's Tomorrow is Too Much Book. It crams enough action and drama for an entire series into a scant 250 pages, leaving readers more shell-shocked than anything else...

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Dec 16 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Tomorrow, by C.K. Kelly Martin

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Tomorrow, the sequel to C.K. Kelly Martin's Yesterday, which we reviewed here. Sadly, her publisher still has not granted us the insanely lurid 80s-inspired cover art of our dreams, but (spoiler!) Tomorrow is pretty good anyway. Our review will go up later today...

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Dec 12 2013

Riiiight.

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NPR recently featured the new book Dangerous Women on its "Book News" blog...

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Dec 12 2013

Death comes to BBC One

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Unwilling to let NBC steal all the questionably-adapted thunder, BBC One is offering up a trailer for their upcoming adaptation of P. D. James's Death Comes to Pemberley. I haven't read this book (I'm not a fan of unnecessary drama in my Austen pastiches), but...

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Dec 11 2013

NBC is feelin' bold

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Fresh off the questionable success of their Sound of Music adaptation, NBC has ordered another update of a modern classic, according to THR: a four-hour miniseries based on author Ira Levin's 1967 horror novel Rosemary's Baby...

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Dec 10 2013

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, by Sebastian Faulks

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Sebastian Faulks's book Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse was formally approved by Wodehouse's heirs, who apparently hope that Faulks can introduce a new generation of readers to Wodehouse's most famous creations: the “mentally negligible” Englishman Bertie Wooster and his ever-resourceful valet, Jeeves. Frankly, I doubt it. I mean, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells might amuse Wodehouse groupies*, but...

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Dec 10 2013

A good cause

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J.K. Rowling recently wrote a lovely article about charm bracelets for Harper's Bazaar. She was promoting the sale of a charm bracelet she designed, the proceeds from which are going to benefit Lumos, the charity she co-founded in 2005 that wants to "[transform] how governments and communities think about looking after vulnerable children"...

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Dec 9 2013

Red, by Alison Cherry

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Alison Cherry's debut novel Red has its charms: her heroine is relatable and plausibly flawed, and she has the fun, flowing writing style of a much more experienced author. Unfortunately, the tone of her story kept flip-flopping between campy and realistic, ultimately failing at both...

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Dec 9 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: Red, by Alison Cherry

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This week's Weekly Book Giveaway pick is Alison Cherry's Red, which is either an entertaining satire about superficial beauty standards or a questionable (at best) metaphor about racial inequality. I haven't decided which one I think the author was aiming for yet, but I'm hoping to make up my mind before I post our review this afternoon...

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Dec 6 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Something to read aloud

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Gift Idea #8: The e-book edition of Irene Iddesleigh, by Amanda McKittrick Ros ($3.49)

You're gonna have to bear with me on this one...

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Dec 6 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Snuggly blankets (which I'm hoping is not a brand name)

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Gift Idea #7: Throw blankets

Wordcandy reading should always be a comfortable experience, and having a warm and fuzzy blanket to wrap up in can really help with that. PB Teen (the only even semi-reasonably-priced part of the Pottery Barn empire, IMO) currently has some great throw blankets on sale, including...

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Dec 5 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Animal Bookends

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Gift Idea #6: Zuny Bookends

Zuny Bookends are cheerful and sturdy (they're made of synthetic leather, so your kid would need to put in some serious effort to chew through one), and come in pretty much whatever animal form you can think of...

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Dec 5 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Literary posters

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Gift Idea #5: Jane Austen posters by PemberleyPond

I have some quibbles: These ladies got Sir William Lucas's name wrong on their Pride and Prejudice poster...

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Dec 4 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Roots: The Definitive Compendium, by Diane Morgan

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Gift Idea #4: Roots: The Definitive Compendium, by Diane Morgan

In addition to being the winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for "Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian" cookbooks* and the winner of the 2013 IACP Cookbook Award for single subject-cookbooks, Diane Morgan's book Roots (cover price $40, can be found for considerably less online) is...

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Dec 4 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Harry Potter necklace

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Gift Idea #3 Harry Potter necklace

Etsy is overflowing with Harry Potter-themed jewelry and clothing, but I fell in love with this delicate sterling silver "Glasses" necklace ($34). It manages to be both pretty...

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Dec 3 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Bizarrely specific journals

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Gift Idea #2: Blank Books

It doesn't matter what your friends and loved ones are into: trust me, there's probably a journal for it, and journals are almost always a safe and affordable gift. Check out BuyOlympia's wide selection of blank books and guided journals, which offer...

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Dec 3 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Kate Beaton t-shirts

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This year we're doing our Wordcandy-approved holiday gift list a little differently: we're going to put together a series of eight mini posts, each featuring a different gift idea. Like always, we're way late with these suggestions (our sincerest apologies to our Hanukkah-celebrating readers), but at least all of our suggestions are well under fifty bucks...

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Dec 2 2013

The Living, by Matt de la Pena

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Matt de la Peña's The Living has gotten a lot of praise for its supercharged premise, its sympathetic male protagonist, and the way it touches on class, wealth, and social injustice. Most of that praise is well deserved, and only one thing prevented me from wholeheartedly enjoying it: the discovery that this is actually the first book in a series, and (of course) nothing ever gets resolved in a first installment...

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Dec 2 2013

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Living, by Matt de la Pena

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This week's Book Giveaway pick is Matt de la Pena's The Living, which looks, uh, intense. There's a glowing quote on the front from James Dashner (not really a recommendation, to my mind), but NPR describes the book as "...at once a disaster epic, a survival story and a coming of age novel, told through the life of a young man who is becoming aware of class, prejudice and romance", and...

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