Feb 22 2017

Did anybody try EXPLODING that stone?

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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Feb 2 2017

Pre-Valentine's Day

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NYMag's new site The Strategist just posted a list (charmingly) titled "12 Romantic Books That Won't Make You Gag". I'm not, you know, a six-year-old boy, so romance doesn't actually disgust me, but whatever. They have some good picks on there...

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Feb 1 2017

This is a million times more disturbing as a live-action.

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And in non-political, non-depressing news, the final trailer for the upcoming live-action version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast is out. I am...

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Jan 31 2017

Apropos

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I've been seeing a number of people linking to this 2015 Washington Post article about Anne Frank and her family being denied entry as refugees into the U.S. in 1941. It's a long (and terribly depressing) read, but...

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Jan 31 2017

Maybe there are CliffsNotes?

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According to Quartz, Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism is now sold out on Amazon. I've read The Origins of Totalitarianism, and all I can say is: if people are buying it in hopes of a quick, comprehensible explanation of Trump's rise to power...

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Jan 30 2017

The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman

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I recently reviewed the first two books in Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series, and was delighted when the third installment, The Burning Page, showed up on my doorstep. It's a fun read, but I don't see any evidence of a fourth book, and I much prefer The Burning Page as a series installment than a series conclusion...

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Jan 30 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman

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This week's Book Giveaway is The Burning Page, the third (but hopefully not final) book in Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series. We've enjoyed this series thus far, and our review of The Burning Page will be posted shortly...

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Jan 26 2017

They're already written? They come with built-in fanbases?

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There's a new article at the Verge called "Why Hollywood is turning to books for its biggest productions". While the author makes a couple of decent points in the second half of the article, he confuses me early on with the suggestion that faithful, ambitious TV/movie adaptations of books only began...

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Jan 26 2017

The more you know

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NPR recently posted great article about the Merriam-Webster twitter feed, which has been sharing a lot of pointed political definitions recently. Frankly, I don't think the new president cares much about expanding his vocabulary...

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Jan 25 2017

Doublespeak

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So... according to the Guardian, George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty Four recently became the 6th best-selling book on Amazon...

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Jan 24 2017

Now on TV

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Deb Perelman, creator of the popular cooking website Smitten Kitchen, just made an exciting announcement: Food Network has launched a Smitten Kitchen digital series. You can watch the first episode via the embedded link, and...

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Jan 24 2017

A hundred and thirty-odd years later...

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I got an e-mail last week about The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, a "never-before-published, unfinished children’s story by Mark Twain, completed and brought to life by Caldecott Medal winners Philip and Erin Stead", which will be released next September from Random House. The cover art...

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Jan 23 2017

The Mating Season, by P.G. Wodehouse

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Regardless of whether they're 20 pages long or 200, P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories are always the same: heavy on whip-cracking aunts, hapless young men, formidable young ladies, and romantic misunderstandings that can usually only be resolved by making an ass out of poor Bertie Wooster. Since there are so few differences between his novels and short stories, I prefer the short stories—they cram just as much awesomeness into far fewer pages...

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