Monday, July 31, 2006

Wordcandy loves the mass-market paperbacks

I realize that for many people, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was a daunting proposition. After all, the book was A) approximately one million pages long, B) close to thirty dollars, and C) awfully, well, wordy. So I'm very happy to report that it's now out in a mass-market paperback edition. Sure, A and C still hold true, but now you can buy it for a mere eight dollars*!

*Unfortunately, you get what you pay for, so this probably means that the last hundred pages or so will fall out of the crappy glued binding before you get around to finishing the book.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hollywood brings the creepy

While Ruth Rendell's books consistently give me the heebie-jeebies, P.D. James has also been known to scale pretty high on the give-Julia-the-creeps-o-meter, and her novel The Children of Men has just been made into a movie. (Check out the trailer here.) I'm too much of a coward to watch the Rendell adaptation, but I might check the James movie out....

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Further proof...

...that the Warner Bros. people don't monitor their young stars' lives too closely: Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe is set to star in a West End play that will require him to appear in the nude.

Our first thought? EW! EWWWW!!!!!!

Our second thought? If the play in question is desperate enough to cast Radcliffe (who's a pretty mediocre actor, in our opinion) just for the inevitable "See Harry naked!" publicity... well, then we'd bet money it's an astoundingly crappy play.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006


Okay... so I have been missing in action for a few weeks. Sorry guys, this move to D.C. has become so much more time-consuming then I thought. But I was checking my e-mail this morning and on one of my writers' newsletters I saw the cover art for Dreams of the Oasis Volume 2: Ellora's Cavemen.

I was totally horrified, slightly grossed out, and (I couldn't help it) giggling. In the end, all I wanted to know is who authorized these covers, and why--WHY?!?--did they think that artwork was a good idea?


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Meg, Meg, Meg...

So, I picked up Meg Cabot's new book How To Be Popular yesterday. It was fun, as all of Cabot's books are, and it had a great cover (the picture doesn't do it justice--the book jacket is actually a metallic gold, covered with hundreds of tiny, colorful asterisks), and it was a much, much better book than Cabot's last offering, Queen of Babble.

All of that was of the good.

On the other hand, you see that little piece of paper the book is standing upon? If you flip that over, my friends, you will find an ADVERTISEMENT, thoughtfully provided in each copy of the book. For CLINIQUE. Now, quite apart from the issues surrounding advertisements being stuck inside novels--and, really, Ms. Cabot, did you need the money that badly?--who writes a book about being true to yourself and then puts in an ad for a skincare line? Be true to yourself, children... unless you have bad skin. In that case, drop fifty bucks at the Clinique counter and people will like you better.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wordcandy odds and ends

Juicy tidbits regarding Wordcandy-approved books are drifting in left and right…

1. The Eragon movie
Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of this series. It was okay, but I don't think that it would have been published--certainly not without some hardcore editing--if it weren't for the author's unusual age. Still, it was entertaining enough, and the movie version is apparently coming out on December 15. I'll probably see it. I'm weak, and (judging by the movie homepage) it looks fun--imagine The Lord of the Rings, edited down for a made-for-TV-movie, aimed at twelve-year-old girls. Doesn't the hero look like a WB star? (And doesn't that girl's leather bustier thingie look uncomfortable?) But why that particular camera angle--does the straight-up-the-nostril angle have some special significance?[Source]

2. More Stardust movie news

More and more images are leaking from the set of Neil Gaiman's Stardust. This picture features the Dread Sienna Miller, all dressed up as the Barbie-esque coquette Victoria. Seems like a role that will suit her, actually. I'll definitely see this one, but I fully intend to hiss when she comes onscreen.[Source]

3. (Best of all) A boatload of Fables info!
There will be a new, limited-run Fables comic called 1001 Nights of Snowfall, which will take place before the events of the main series. It's an Arabian Nights-style story, with Snow in the role of Scheherazade. (And Charles Vess is gonna paint the set-up story!) The next storyline in Fables is going to be a four-part series called "Sons of Empire", which will continue the story of the Empire's plans for war, as well as featuring mini-stories devoted to some of the minor Fables. And the January 2007 issue of Fables, called "Burning Questions", is going to be devoted to answering some of the dangling plot threads that might have bothered readers.[Source]

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Monday, July 24, 2006


I WANT one. And you know what the best thing is about this awesome bag? It was made out of a copy of Sense and Sensibility, my least favorite Austen novel, so I don't even need to feel guilty about sacrificing the pages!

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Friday, July 21, 2006


Comic-Con 2006 is underway. Have fun in San Diego, you lucky little devils! Let me know if Snakes on a Plane is as crappy as I hear it is (truly bad, not Plan 9-style enjoyably bad), and if the Masquerade Ball is as excruciatingly embarrassing as it looks.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

You know what I miss?

The Classics Illustrated series from the early nineties. Remember those? I mean, I had some Classics Illustrated rip-offs (including a particularly terrible Pride and Prejudice comic, where all of the Bennet sisters looked like Barbies), but none were as well-done as the First Comics series. I wonder why they went out of business...


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

English As She Is Spoke

I was having a lovely time last night, amusing myself by reading the excellent blog Manolo For the Men (not that I am a man, or am particularly interested in men's fashion, but, hey, it's a good blog), when I came across a post devoted to this book:

How have I not heard of this before? Apparently, this is a Portuguese-to-English phrasebook, written in 1855 by two Portuguese dudes who spoke no English and owned no Portuguese-to-English dictionaries, but instead made do with a Portuguese-to-French dictionary and a French-to-English dictionary, which resulted in helpful phrases like: "What news tell me? All hairs dresser are newsmonger", and--my favorite--"To craunch a marmoset!".

If I ever need a battle cry, "To craunch a marmoset!" is my #1 choice.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Uh... okay.

So, apparently there's a new adaptation of the perennial book-to-screen favorite Les Liaisons Dangereuses. This version is called Bulldog in the White House, it's set in an all-gay Bush White House, and it uses Jeff Gannon for the Valmont role. The Village Voice describes it as a "semi-coherent narrative [serving] as a burlesque revue of Bush II scandals", and says that it "splits the difference between political commentary and gay porn".

I was a little concerned that this might turn out to be a false story, and I'd feel like that guy who got all worked up about the Onion article, but I double-checked and I'm pretty sure it's a real movie. This isn't really the kind of movie that I'd pay money to see, but if anybody else goes, e-mail me and let me know who Gannon seduces. (Karl Rove?)


Monday, July 17, 2006

Wordcandy Weekly Book Snippet

Excerpt from:
The World of Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse

Why you should buy a copy of your very own:
Because no one on God's green earth does this sort of humor like Wodehouse. And these paragraphs are almost pure description--imagine what the man could do with a little dialogue.

In this scene...
Once again, young Bertie Wooster is about to be imposed upon. This time, it's by Lady Malvern, who has decided that Bertie is the perfect person to look after her son, Motty, for a few weeks.

"Lady Malvern was a hearty, happy, healthy, overpowering sort of dashed female, not so very tall, but making up for it by measuring about six feet from the O.P. to the Prompt Side. She fitted into my biggest arm-chair as if it had been built round her by someone who knew they were wearing arm-chairs tight about the hips that season. She had bright, bulging eyes and a lot of yellow hair, and when she spoke she showed about fifty-seven front teeth. She was one of those women who kind of numb a fellow's faculties. She made me feel as if I were ten years old and had been brought into the drawing-room in my Sunday clothes to say how-d'you-do. Altogether by no means the sort of thing a chappie would wish to find in his sitting room before breakfast.

Motty, the son, was about twenty-three, tall and thin and meek-looking. He had the same yellow hair as his mother, but he wore it plastered down and parted in the middle. His eyes bulged, too, but they weren't bright. They were a dull grey with pink rims. His chin gave up the struggle about half-way down, and he didn't appear to have any eyelashes. A mild, furtive, sheepish sort of blighter, in fact.

'Awfully glad to see you,' I said, though this was far from the case, for already I was beginning to have a sort of feeling that dirty work was threatening in the offing."

(c)P.G. Wodehouse, 1967

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bone news

Tons of excellent Bone tidbits coming our way...

1. You can play a demo version of the Bone computer game here. Don't the little CGI characters look great?

2. Jeff Smith will be available for signings at San Diego's Comic-Con International. on Friday, July 21st. You can also pick up a beautiful poster featuring the new Bone: One Volume cover art.

3. And the second printing of the One Volume edition is going to be released in September, so if you failed to pick up a copy the first time, set aside some money now--this is DEFINITELY the cheapest way to get your hands on the full Bone story.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Clearly, Christmas has come early this year.

I'm a big fan of Korean entertainment. Their televised dramas are so awesome, even if their sexual politics frequently seem a little strange to my American eyes. Over the past few months, I've patiently worked my way through two excellent k-dramas (My Name is Kim Sam Soon and Goong, in case you're interested), and I'm looking forward to downloading several more. I've been having such a good time with the TV shows that I decided to check out some Korean movies while I was at it--

--and just look at what I found:

Yes. That is what it looks like--a Korean movie adaptation of Jean Webster's novel Daddy Long Legs! In a word? WOOT!

The hell with downloading it. Who can wait that long? I'm going straight to e-Bay--and if I had to, I'd probably go straight to Korea.


Thursday, July 13, 2006


Mary Stewart's Nine Coaches Waiting finally--finally!!!--gets the cover art it so richly deserves! Okay, it's not perfect. I'm not crazy about the wonky "w", and I'm really not crazy about the "New Forward by Sandra Brown" bit, but still: a vast improvement.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

'Sinfest': fresh out of the box

Tatsuya Ishida's awesome (but not always family-friendly--consider yourself warned, impressionable young readers!) webcomic now has a brand-new home. Ishida's update record in 2006 has been more than a little spotty, but the archives are chock-full of past strips, providing hours of Sinfest entertainment.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006


And speaking of Harry Potter, has anybody seen these dolls? (More importantly, has anybody been murdered by one of these dolls?) Because, seriously, they scare the crap out of me:

Hey, you may mock, but just note the Ron doll's uncanny resemblance to Chucky....

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Mark your calendars...

...because we're just about two weeks away from Lumos 2006: A Harry Potter Symposium! According to the schedule, there will be classes on a variety of topics, from the more high-minded ("Parameters of Speculation: The Different Ways of Thinking about the End of the Harry Potter Saga", or "The Magical Bell Curve: A Critical Look at Wizarding Education") to the more... simplistic (Friday morning's "Bloody Hell! Why am I so wild about Harry?"). This is book-dork-ery of the most impressive kind... plus, it's pretty much the only reason I can think of for willingly going to Vegas.

Above: Future symposium visitors. The kid on the right might even grow up to be a guest-speaker.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006


Okay. At first, I was pretty excited about the upcoming film version of Neil Gaiman's novel Stardust. He wasn't going to direct it (good), it's one of my favorite Gaiman novels (good), and it was inspired by Lud-in-the-Mist, which I just read for the first time, thereby making me feel like a smartypants (excellent). But there's always a rub, isn't there? And this movie's rub is that it has Claire Danes and Sienna freakin' Miller in it. I'm not much of a Claire Danes fan (eat a sandwich, honey--angular is not your look), and (as longtime readers of the blog know) I can't STAND Sienna Miller, damn it.

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'Alice in Wonderland' Couture

I never realized how many of the, er, lesser filaments of the couture world had been inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Check out these little treasures from the Disney Couture (no, I'm not joking--there really is one) jewelry line:

Ghastly. But it's not just the more Wal-Mart-esque side of high fashion that has sought inspiration from Carroll's classic story. The following photo comes from an Alice-themed photoshoot in Vogue:

So. Langerfeld is playing... the Duchess? Heh. Inspired casting.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Wordcandy Weekly Book Snippet

Excerpt from:
The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammet

Why you should buy a copy of your very own:

Because the dialogue, the mystery, and the characters are all awesome--sure, there's all that drinking (the book is awash in alcohol; Nick and Nora have, like, a pre-breakfast cocktail hour and just keep rolling from there), but that's just part of its charm.

In this scene...
Nick and Nora are chatting about the tail end of the mystery. Nora's trying to do a spot of detective work, and Nick's not playing.

"She frowned at me. 'I wish you'd found out more about that big fat man they called Sparrow and that big red-haired woman.'

'But how about Dorothy and Gilbert?'

'I wanted to ask you about them. Do you think he's got any very strong paternal feeling for them?'


'You're probably just trying to discourage me,' she said. 'Well, knowing them, it's hard to think either of them might've been guilty, but I tried to throw out my personal feelings and stick to logic. Before I went to sleep last night I made a list of all the--'

'There's nothing like a little logic-sticking to ward off insomnia. It's like--'

'Don't be so damned patronizing. Your performance so far has been a little less than dazzling.'

'I didn't mean no harm,' I said and kissed her. 'That a new dress?'

'Ah! Changing the subject, you coward.'"

(C)Dashiell Hammet, 1934

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Watch out, Harry!

It seems that Ms. Rowling caused quite a stir during her interview last week, where she stated that two "main characters" won't survive the last book and dropped hints that one of them might be Harry. (It comes as no surprise that she is now receiving hate mail from some of her fans.) What is interesting is that the British company William Hill is currently taking bets as to which character will be the one to off the boy wizard.

"The favourite is Potter's evil nemesis Voldemort at odds of 4/5, but some fans are even mistrustful of his closest pal Ron Weasley, at 6/1." A spokesperson for William Hill, says, "The phones have not stopped ringing since JK said Harry might be killed off. Most of the early money has been for Professor Snape at 5/2 and Draco Malfoy (evil schoolboy) at 6/1. If Harry survives, all bets will be void and money returned. We're praying keen Potter fans haven't worked it out and fleeced us." [Source]

I am not sure who I think would kill Harry (which I don't think will happen) but if I was going to lay money on it I would not be betting on Snape or Draco--way too simple.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wordcandy loves nonfiction

In honor(?) of Ken Lay's unexpected death, we'd like to recommend the excellent non-fiction title The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. It's an intelligent, carefully researched book, with just enough bleak humor in it to make the grimmer sections bearable.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Celebrate the Fourth the Wordcandy way!

...with a little Bloom County Babylon.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

"The Golden Compass" news, part two

So, here's what the Imdb had to say about the new The Golden Compass film adaptation:

-Writer Philip Pullman wants Nicole Kidman to play Mrs. Coulter and has indicated that he would like Jason Isaacs to portray Lord Asriel. He has also indicated that he would like the part of Lee Scorsby to be played by Samuel L. Jackson

-Anand Tucker was announced to be the director of this film in August 2005. He started pre-production work on the film and filming was set to start later in 2006. However in May 2006 he suddenly pulled out citing differences with the studio and American Pie (1999) director Chris Weitz was announced as his replacement

-Screenwriter Tom Stoppard wrote various drafts of the screenplay adaptation of this film. When director Chris Weitz became involved he also assumed the role of screenwriter

Nicole Kidman? Awesome! Jason Isaacs? Also awesome! Samuel L. Jackson? Even awesomer! But Chris Weitz? Chris Weitz?

Excuse me. I'll be weeping in the corner.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Wordcandy (hearts) librarians...

...but not as much as Jen Wolfe does. Please take the time to check out Ms. Wolfe's awesome online tribute to librarians, which includes a Miscellaneous Librariana page, featuring snippets of books that mention librarians (everything from Gary F. Wood's NSFW novel The Hottest Librarian--librarian sexploitation!--to the cheerful-looking children's title Carlo and the Really Nice Librarian), as well as a page devoted to vintage "career romances" featuring librarians. After all, what bibliophile could resist a book called Kitsy Babcock: Library Assistant?


Saturday, July 01, 2006

And speaking of movies...

...guess what's freshly out on DVD? That's right: the special-edition version of Valley of the Dolls (proud holder of the number 5 spot on our Wordcandy List of Unreadable Books). Avoid this one at all costs, gentle readers. I know that glossy cover is tempting, but heed our warning: craptastic books make for craptastic movies!!!


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