Feb 13 2018

Remember phonics?

There's a fascinating (and horrifying) interview on NPR about the disconnect between current research on the science of reading and how it is actually taught to children, which might explain why only a third(!!!) of American schoolchildren read at grade level. The interview subject is Mark Seidenberg, a cognitive scientist...

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Feb 13 2018

At least there's that

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I don't really see the need for yet another Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie adaptation, but apparently one is in the works. At least this version won't be...

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Feb 12 2018

An Extraordinary Union, by Alyssa Cole

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Alyssa Cole's An Extraordinary Union is ambitious: it's a Civil War-era action/romance featuring a biracial couple, both of whom were inspired by real historical figures. (The heroine is based on Mary Bowser, the hero on Timothy Webster.) Cole doesn't stick every landing, but her story succeeds on an impressive number of fronts...

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Feb 12 2018

Weekly Book Giveaway: An Extraordinary Union, by Alyssa Cole

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Continuing our month-long celebration of romance novels, this week's Book Giveaway is Alyssa Cole's historical romance/adventure An Extraordinary Union. I'm only about halfway through it, but thus far the romance stuff is fine, but a bit of a distraction from the A+++ spy action. A full review will follow shortly...

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Feb 8 2018

May it be the first of many

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For the first time in its 40+ year history, the British comic anthology 2000 AD will feature an all-female creative lineup for one of its upcoming summer special editions. According to THR, everyone working on the Sci-Fi Special issue is female...

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Feb 8 2018

Bored already

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The teaser trailer is out for Sony's upcoming Venom adaptation, and I am underwhelmed. First, this movie appears to be devoid of humor. Second, I'm still confused as to how these movies connect with the Marvel universe. And third, where the hell is Venom's costume? I want to see something that looks like demonic bug...

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Feb 7 2018

PIGOONS!

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Variety informs me that a TV series adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy is in the works at Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. This isn't the first attempt at adapting this material (Darren Aronofsky was previously working on an adaptation of the novels for HBO—thankfully we've been spared that), but...

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Feb 6 2018

The wonderful world of Stephen King

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I keep seeing commercials for Castle Rock, the upcoming Hulu miniseries that appears to mash together loads of Stephen King stories into a single world. The show will feature a bunch of actors who have appeared in movie adaptations of King's books, from Sissy Spacek to Bill Skarsgård, although...

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Feb 6 2018

A workable theory

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Atlas Obscura recently posted an article about the mysterious Voynich Manuscript, which we have written about before. It has long been regarded as gibberish, but Grzegorz Kondrak, a computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence, thinks he might have cracked the code...

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Feb 5 2018

The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

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Sally Thorne's The Hating Game borrows heavily from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I applaud Ms. Thorne's taste in inspirational material, but her book serves as a reminder of how much more there is to Pride and Prejudice than than the romantic storyline. Don't get me wrong: I'm as big a Lizzy/Darcy shipper as the next nerd, but if you stripped their story down to a series of squabbles, mistakes, and inept courting, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying...

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Feb 5 2018

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

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This week's Book Giveaway is Sally Thorne's novel The Hating Game. It's the first in a month-long series of romance novel reviews, all of which I have chosen based on recommendations from this post. (It's a change from my Target Method, but one must live dangerously.) A full review will be posted shortly...

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Feb 1 2018

Tattoos for the indecisive

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And speaking of fashion, I also love these temporary tattoos featuring the artwork of Oliver Jeffers, the illustrator of The Day the Crayons Quit...

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Feb 1 2018

100% would watch

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Go Fug Yourself recently featured a couture fashion show by Chinese designer Guo Pei (best known for Rihanna's Met Gala gown a few years ago), and it was glorious. I don't know anything about high fashion, but...

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Jan 31 2018

Award-worthy

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The first pictures are out from the upcoming movie adaptation of Angie Thomas's much-buzzed-about debut novel The Hate U Give. I still haven't read this book (though I mean to!), but the movie adaptation has attracted a great cast...

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Jan 30 2018

Don't understand

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And the first trailer is out for the upcoming Jack Ryan TV show, based on the Tom Clancy novels and starring John Krasinski. I find Krasinski far more charming than Tom Cruise, but was this series really crying out...

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Jan 30 2018

Hopefully it makes loads of money

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The first trailer is out for Ant-Man and the Wasp. It's apparently the first Marvel film to name a female character in the title, so: yay for progress! On the other hand, I...

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Jan 29 2018

Runaways: An Original Novel, by Christopher Golden

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I'm not totally sure what “Original Novel” means to the bigwigs at Marvel, but that's the slightly misleading phrase they're using to describe Christopher Golden's new book Runaways. (I guess “Transparent Cash Grab” didn't fit on the cover.) Golden's book doesn't seem to be a direct relation of either the rebooted comics or the recent TV adaptation, but rather a story that branches off from an early volume of Brian K. Vaughn's original series...

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Jan 29 2018

Weekly Book Giveaway: Runaways, by Christopher Golden

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This week's Book Giveaway is Marvel's Runaways, by Christopher Golden. It has "An Original Novel" as its official subtitle, which is a little confusing: it's based on the Marvel comic series of the same name, but it appears to operate independently from the storylines created in either the comics or the TV adaptation. A full review will follow shortly, but be warned: it will be rife with possibly confusing spoilers for fans of this story's other formats...

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Jan 25 2018

Ugh, no way.

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I just ran across a review for the movie Colette, starring Keira Knightley and inspired by the life of the famous French author. I had no idea this movie was a thing, and while I see the reviewer describes the film as "politely sexy", I have my doubts that a biography of Colette could be anything other than profoundly depressing...

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Jan 25 2018

Cute~

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I like these "Hero Bookends" from Uncommon Goods. (There's a "Heroine" one, too, don't worry.) They're cute, eye-catching, and, at $25, they'd make reasonably priced gifts...

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Jan 24 2018

Sure, why not?

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According to Deadline, Legendary Entertainment has picked up the rights to Claire McFall's YA trilogy Ferryman, with an eye towards turning it into a create a franchise. I haven't read the books, but the article offers a nice summary...

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Jan 23 2018

Painful

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Ouch: a bookstore in Bangor, Maine, suffered a massive loss recently when a water main burst near the building, seeping into the basement and destroying a number of rare books. The damage included dozens of first- and limited-edition Stephen King books, as well as...

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Jan 23 2018

Could be worse

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Last week it was announced that George Clooney's upcoming miniseries adaptation of Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 has been picked up by Hulu. I'm having trouble imagining how well Heller's story will translate to TV, but if I had to pick someone to direct it, I probably would have chosen...

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Jan 22 2018

The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories, by Charlaine Harris

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Charlaine Harris's The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories is a collection of nine short stories and a novella. I'm not sure how hardcore Sookie Stackhouse junkies will feel about this book, but as a casual fan I actually found it more fun than a full-length novel—it offers a tantalizing glimpse of Harris's characters and world-building, but you get to skim over all the tedious background drama created by thirteen books' worth of storytelling...

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Jan 22 2018

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories, by Charlaine Harris

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This week's Book Giveaway is Charlaine Harris's The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories. Considering the popularity of this series, I'm always surprised by the homemade vibe of the cover art, which feels like something designed by an artsy middle school student. (But what do I know? Clearly, these books sell just fine.) Our full review will be posted soon...

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Jan 18 2018

This is our lives now

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Slate informs me that The Wire creator David Simon announced that he is adapting Philip Roth’s novel The Plot Against America into a six-part miniseries. I haven't read this book, but it's apparently an alternate history in which aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh...

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Jan 18 2018

Word swap

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There's an interesting article in the Guardian about the translation of Han Kang's award-winning Korean novel The Vegetarian. It's been difficult for English-reading critics to assess the novel, as the translation seems to feature both basic errors and tonal changes...

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Jan 17 2018

Saga, the musical?

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Man, Brian K. Vaughan is having a moment: first Runaways on Hulu is a success, and now there are rumors floating around that Lin-Manuel Miranda might, just possibly, one day adapt Vaughan's space-opera comic series Saga into a musical...

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Jan 16 2018

No singing!

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According to Deadline, Masterpiece and BBC One are working together on an six-part "event adaptation" of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables...

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Jan 16 2018

What happens next

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The trailer is out for the second season of The Handmaid's Tale, which will take the series in a new direction now that they've covered the material in Margaret Atwood's book. I didn't watch the first season (because creepifying misery isn't my jam), but...

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