Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year's Eve, guys! The Wordcandy staff will be back on Monday with a full week's worth of reviews, book news, and new contest information. In the meantime, have fun, be careful, and don't do anything we wouldn't do....

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Catherine Jinks changes it up a little.

Catherine Jinks (Evil Genius, Genius Squad) is offering readers a fresh take on teen vampire literature, and I for one am super excited about it. The Reformed Vampire Support Group is due out in May, and the publisher's description sounds awesome:
"Think vampires are romantic, sexy, and powerful? Think again. Vampires are dead. And unless they want to end up staked, they have to give up fanging people, admit their addiction, join a support group, and reform themselves.

Nina Harrison, fanged at fifteen and still living with her mother, hates the Reformed Vampire Support Group meetings every Tuesday night. Even if she does appreciate Dave, who was in a punk band when he was alive, nothing exciting ever happens. That is, until one of group members is mysteriously destroyed by a silver bullet. With Nina (determined to prove that vamps aren't useless or weak) and Dave (secretly in love with Nina) at the helm, the misfit vampires soon band together to track down the hunter, save a werewolf, and keep the world safe from the likes of themselves.

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The price is right

Readers with a high tolerance for reading stuff online can currently read Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries in its entirety for free on the HarperCollins website.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Movies not getting made (part II)

Twentieth Century Fox, which has long argued that it holds a copyright interest in the upcoming Watchmen movie adaptation, has won an important victory: a federal judge in Los Angeles has issued a preliminary ruling in favor of the studio, confirming Fox's claim and possibly delaying or preventing the movie's March 6th release date.

"Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the Watchmen motion picture," according to U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess. The case is set to go to trial on Jan. 20, although the judge is recommending that the parties reach a settlement.

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Movies not getting made (part I)

Disney confirmed last week that they have declined to co-produce and co-finance The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader... and not, apparently, because the first two movies they'd made were poorly scripted and incredibly violent, but because of "budgetary and logistical reasons".

Sorry, Ben Barnes fans. The future of the Narnia series is now in doubt, if not totally DOA. But I hear he might turn up in one of the future Twilight films (and you can bet money those will get made), so at least you have that to, uh, look forward to.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Be back on Monday, folks.

The Wordcandy staff is taking a short vacation, dear readers. We'll be back on Monday, December 29th, and we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!


Das Kapital: the manga

News sources (well, The Rachel Maddow Show and the AP Wire) are all abuzz about the unexpected success of a fictionalized manga edition of Karl Marx's Das Kapital. The book hit Japanese bookstores this month and sold about 6,000 copies in its first few days—not quite Harry Potter numbers, true, but pretty good for an unfinished nonfiction book that came out in 1867, don't you think?

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Chapter of Banhonsa

A new chapter of Banhonsa has been uploaded to our main site.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A little look-see

We were impressed by Justin Gustainis's gore-filled monsterfest Black Magic Woman, so we're stoked to see the sequel is almost out. Evil Ways will be on shelves on December 30th, but if you're all a-quiver for an early look at the story, you can read a lengthy (and R-rated--shield your eyes, young readers!) excerpt from the novel at Bookspot Central.

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Stephen Colbert hearts Jane Austen

As well he should, of course.

In honor of Jane Austen's birthday last week, the Stephen Colbert-centric site No Fact Zone has collected Mr. Colbert's Top Three References to Jane Austen for your viewing pleasure.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Baz Luhrmann to direct a film version of The Great Gatsby?

Say it ain't so, Cinematical. I love me some Luhrmann (well, I love Strictly Ballroom and Romeo and Juliet, and I'm on slightly-warmer-than-nodding terms with Moulin Rouge!, but I haven't seen Australia yet*), but he's all wrong for The Great Gatsby.

*Seriously, a three-hour running time? Does the man not realize we are a nation with ADD?

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No books for teenage boys?

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book, recently wrote an essay for the Times about two buzzworthy young adult titles—John Green's Paper Towns and Kevin Brooks’s Black Rabbit Summer. I'm only mildly interested in these specific titles, but I was intrigued by what Sutton had to say about young adult books for boys: basically, that there aren't many.

I don't quite agree. Sure, the books featured in your local chain store's teen section might be overwhelmingly aimed at female readers, but I've always thought that was because publishers like to consider books about young men's coming-of-age "universal literature", and books about young women's coming-of-age "fluffy, sophomoric trash". That doesn't mean there aren't any books about teenage boys; it means that most of 'em are shelved in the regular fiction section. One of my all-time favorite books is Chris Furhman's The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (about a group of eighth-grade boys in a Georgia Catholic school in the 1970s), and you know where that's shelved?

That's right: the general fiction section, where the books for grown-ups live.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

More contest news, too!

I know, I know: we've had contests coming out of our ears. But this one's a little different: we're pointing you guys in the direction of the 5th Annual Menu For Hope, an annual fundraising event in support of the UN World Food Program. Each year, food bloggers from all over the world join forces to host a massive online raffle, offering an array of food-related prizes. Each ten (American) dollar donation buys a raffle ticket towards the prize of your choice—and there are some seriously awesome prizes, dear readers, including loads of cool-looking cookbooks.

While the winners won't be announced until Monday, January 12th, don't you think this would be a fun twist on the idea of giving a charitable donation as a gift? The recipient would get both the donation in their name AND a shot at winning whatever prize you think they'd like best.

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Even more Tantalize news

There's going to be a graphic novel adaptation of the same material, tentatively titled Tantalize: Kieren's Story. I can't find much information about it, but Ms. Smith did mention it in a July interview with The Compulsive Reader:

"Interviewer: Do you plan on writing any more books similar to Tantalize?

Author: At the moment, I’m working on a very similar book—a graphic novel adaptation of Tantalize, told from the point of view of Kieren, the werewolf leading man. Because the prose novel is told from Quincie’s perspective, there are plenty of new scenes and insights in the graphic version."
I'm always worried about how the artwork will affect projects like this (because so often it's for the worse), but I'll be keeping an eye out for it.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

At long last...

...the sequel to Cynthia Leitich Smith's excellent (and totally gross) YA novel Tantalize is coming out! Eternal is due out on February 10th, and Ms. Smith is currently featuring an excerpt and a reading guide on her webpage. Eternal features different characters than the ones in Tantalize, although both casts will apparently be brought together in the third book in the series, Blessed.

I look forward to reading 'em both, even if I'm not sure I'm strong enough to face another description of a "chilled baby squirrels" recipe.

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Achewood fans take note:

Today's the last day you can buy stuff from the Achewood online shop and have it delivered by December 25th—and note, too, that Mr. Onstad does his best to support "those even less fortunate than cartoonists*", which is why 5% of any purchase will go to support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

*According to the Achewood holiday newsletter.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Contest news

Today, dear readers, is my beloved Jane Austen's birthday, and the fine folks at AustenBlog are celebrating with a couple of contests: send them an e-mail to enter to win either a free copy of Amanda Grange's novel Edmund Bertram's Diary, or a two-pack of Austen-themed notecards.

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Behold: the F4, all costumed up!

The always-informative Dramabeans has posted several promo posters from the upcoming Korean adaptation of Boys Before Flowers:

Dude, I am so excited. Everyone looks great, and we only have a few more weeks until this sucker is on the air!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

X-Men Origins: Wolverine trailer is up and running.

Seriously, casting Hugh Jackman in this role? Best. Decision. Ever.

Because I'm pretty sure nobody else would have a snowball's chance in hell of selling it.

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Take a gander at Where the Wild Things Are

Cinematical has posted a gallery of early images from the upcoming film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, and I gotta say: this movie looks gorgeous. I was worried about how Maurice Sendak's highly idiosyncratic artwork* would translate to the big screen, but these pictures have set a lot of those concerns to rest.

*I was more worried about the artwork than the story, because the story's never made all that much sense anyway.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Hellblazer for the holidays!

John Constantine: Hellblazer is hitting issue #250 (the first Vertigo title to do so), and they're celebrating with a veritable feast of guest authors, including Wordcandy favorite China Miéville. The issue is due to hit shelves on December 17th.

[Via Publishers Weekly]


Contest news for the 14-and-under crowd

Nickelodeon Magazine has listed the nominees for its first Comics Awards, and now through the end of December, kids ages 14 and under can vote for their favorites, and two lucky readers will win a collection of 25 graphic novels and comic books. Winners will be announced in Nick Magazine’s April 2009 issue.

Note: I was amused to note that--for once!--I've actually read the majority of the nominations for something. What does this say about my maturity level?

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pride and Prejudice, condensed

Behold: Austenbook!

[Via AustenBlog]

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Even more Nodame

Following this week's earlier announcement of a third season of the anime adaptation of Tomoko Ninomiya's Nodame Cantabile, AnimeNewsNetwork is now saying that there will be two more live-action movie adaptations, too.

I've never liked Nodame's live-action adaptations as well as the manga or anime (they're well done, and the actor who plays Chiaki is supernova-hot, but I still think Nodame's slapstick humor doesn't suit the live-action format), but all this news just makes me even more eager for Ninomiya's return from maternity leave. Hurry back, Ms. Ninomiya--your public awaits.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Random (but exciting!) movie news

Dude, they're making a movie out of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, one of my favorite kids' books! (Does anybody else remember that episode of Reading Rainbow?) Cinematical is currently giving us a peek at what the movie will look like.

You know... they should totally make more episodes of Reading Rainbow. That show was awesome.

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Wordcandy handles your holiday shopping!

The holidays are here, dear readers, and once again, the brave Wordcandy staff has been on the lookout for the coolest literature-inspired gifts... and, keeping in mind the current financial atmosphere, everything we chose is $25 and under. Happy holidays, and we really hope these suggestions help:

For manga fans:
Manga plushies are cute, you can usually find them for specific series, and they're relatively cheap—this xxxHolic plushie is $12 full price, and currently on sale for $8.99.

For crafty types:
These "Sexy Librarian" embroidery patterns are a mere three dollars, and totally adorable.

For collectors:
Why not look for a vintage copy of one of their favorite titles online? I've always wanted a first edition Georgette Heyer hardcover, and you can usually find those for well under $10 on sites like

For people willing to wear their book-geek-ness in their ears:
You can find anything on etsy—these Nancy Drew earrings are only $6.

For pop fiction fans:
Check out big-box retailers' bargain-priced books. Right now, Barnes and Noble's online discount section is offering Meg Cabot’s How To Be Popular, Marta Acosta’s Happy Hour at Casa Dracula, and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, all for less than $6.

For kids:
The Klutz series of how-to books are fun, easy to understand, and most retail for under $25.

For fans of the classics:
This elegant $14 paperback combines two of the earliest versions of The Nutcracker, both in new translations: E.T.A. Hoffmann's 1826 story Nutcracker and Mouse King, and Alexandre Dumas's 1845 retelling of Hoffmann's story, The Tale of the Nutcracker.

For general fairytale fans:
Jim Henson's delightfully creepy series The Storyteller is currently available on for a trifling $15.

For fairytale purists:
More than 200 stories are combined in this gorgeous paperback reissue of The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales, currently available for $18.

For readers with, uh, lively senses of humor:
Chris Onstad's twisted-yet-awesome Achewood collections (as well as assorted Achewood-themed shirts, art, etc.) are available at his online store for $14 apiece.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Nodame Cantabile keeps up the awesome

AnimeNewsNetwork has announced that there will be a third "season" of the anime adaptation of Tomoko Ninomiya's Nodame Cantabile manga, set to air in fall '09. I'm totally obsessed with the currently-airing "Paris" arc, so I'm thrilled to hear this series will continue!

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Fables on TV?

Zap2it is reporting that Bill Willingham's comic book series Fables has a pilot deal with ABC. The pilot will be written by Raven Metzner and Stu Zicherman (Six Degrees), and directed by Heroes' David Semel. According to the article, this isn't the first attempt to transform this story into must-see TV—NBC and writer Craig Silverstein (Bones) considered it for the 2006-07 development season, but the project wasn't picked up.

Here's hoping that if it does get made, they don't get too crazy with the CGI. I'm all for realistic special effects, but what about characters like that dude who's always putting out his own eyes? I don't need to see that.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Contest winners

Our "Win a Wordcandy-approved Supernatural Romance" contest is now over, and e-mails have gone out to the winners. Please check your mail, participants, and keep checking back for news about our next contest...


For once...

I am happy to report that Nora Roberts's latest book (The Pagan Stone, the final book in her "Sign of Seven" trilogy) does NOT feature an obnoxiously smug heroine. This is quite an accomplishment for Ms. Roberts, actually, who frequently confuses "sexy, self-sufficient and confident" with "condescending as hell"*. If this is something you have found off-putting about Ms. Roberts's previous books, allow me to reassure you: read away, because the three women in these books treat each other with easy respect and affection.

*The worst example of this was Mia Devlin from the "Three Sisters Island" books, who went around addressing her friend (who was the same age, but had a troubled past) as "little sister".


Friday, December 05, 2008

Scrapbooking through the ages

Salon is currently featuring an interview with Jessica Helfand, the author of the new book Scrapbooks: An American History. Ms. Helfand is a graphic designer and critic who teaches at Yale, and she apparently got into some trouble a few years ago, when she wrote an article about her ambivalence regarding scrapbooking that managed to offend both professional designers and scrapbookers.

I'm not a fan of scrapbooking, but I am curious about Ms. Helfand's book. Apparently, it focuses on scrapbooks as artifacts of social history, and features images from the scrapbooks of various famous figures (Zelda Fitzgerald, Lillian Hellman, Anne Sexton, etc.), as well as memorable books by ordinary citizens, including one woman who carefully showcased her blisters!


Catty, yet true.

The Go Fug Yourself ladies have written a snide (but delightfully accurate) post about Kristen Stewart, the star of Twilight, discussing what a wonderful ice-skating routine the series would make.

All I can say is: why do Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison persistently refuse to wash their freaking hair? Look, children: if you're not too cool to star in this tripe, then you're not too cool to shower in honor of its various premieres.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

So wrong. So very, very wrong.

But also? So very funny.

I saw this on Roger Sutton's Horn Book blog (he posted it under the heading "I am so going to hell"), and giggled straight though it:

Slash fanfic authors, take heart!

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What happened, Gurinder Chadha?

So, Gurinder Chadha's (Bend It Like Beckham) adaptation of Louise Rennison's Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging is apparently coming out on video NEXT WEEK in the U.K. What happened? Did it come out here and I totally missed it? Will I be able to watch the DVD version, at least? (Netflix has the release date listed as "unknown".) I mean, I'm far from sure that I'd be able to actually sit through a full movie's worth of scenes like these, but I still want the opportunity:

See? Totally excruciating, but I bet it would sell.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Life imitating art

English mystery geeks take note: today is December 3rd, the anniversary of Agatha Christie's disappearance in 1926. The cause of the novelist's 11-day-long disappearance has never been proven (people have suggested everything from a blow to the head to a publicity stunt to attempted murder to a "psychogenic trance"), but it certainly provides plenty of food for speculation!

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Pick your poison: Watchmen or The Spirit?

Which glossy, violent, mildly pretentious-looking comic book adaptation tickles your fancy?

This one?

Or this?

Neither? Both? I'm voting for Watchmen. I have yet to actually enjoy an Alan Moore story, but at least it doesn't have Scarlett Johansson in it.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Oh, Forks...

I'm not sure what I'm more distressed by: the fact that the Twilight series has made such a difference in this tiny former logging town's fame and fortune (c'mon! Meyer didn't even visit before writing the first book*!), or the fact that their official "Forks Bites" t-shirt features such dorky-looking font:

Their "Vampires (heart) Forks" bumper sticker looks way better. Also, why is the shirt only available in unisex sizes? I know there are some male fans of these books, but wouldn't a more fitted style have been a better seller?

*Actually, has she ever visited?

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Contest news

Powell's Books is giving away a full, 20-volume set of the Oxford English Dictionary (something I have always dreamed of owning). Click here for details!


Monday, December 01, 2008

Borders keeps on trucking

In business news, Borders Books appears to be holding in there, despite some ugly returns in the third quarter and, of course, the across-the-board grim economic outlook. The company has cut expenses and lowered its debt and inventory in the past year, and is no longer up for sale.

Please Note: If Borders would like to get more of MY retail dollars, I'd recommend improving their cafe menus, because the cookies they sell are straight-up gross.


Impossibly High Expectations: Jonathan Stroud edition

Early reviews are beginning to pop up for Jonathan Stroud's Heroes of the Valley (his first book since Ptolemy's Gate, the conclusion of Bartimaeus Trilogy, came out in 2006), and they're very positive. Here is the Publishers Weekly notice:
"Witty and cinematic storytelling propels Stroud's engrossing novel, set in a medieval world that recalls Norse epics—no gods, but plenty of heroes to go around. Twelve Houses control sections of a valley. Halli Sveinsson—at 15, the youngest child of the rulers of the House of Svein—goes against tradition when he sets out to avenge the death of his murdered uncle, and his actions result in warfare among Houses for the first time in generations. Halli, “a cumbersome stump of a boy,” is a quick-witted, appealing underdog and troublemaker (“Leif needs no sabotage from me,” he quips. “If he manages two sentences without tripping over his trailing knuckles he will have exceeded my expectations”). Smart, funny dialogue and prose, revealing passages about the exploits of the hero Svein, bouts of action and a touch of romance briskly move the story along. Offering more than just a grand adventure (which the tale certainly is), Stroud (the Bartimaeus Trilogy) explores the consequences behind legend-worthy acts of glory and the power and peril of blind faith and hero-worship. Ages 10–up."
Sounds pretty great... but having endured Stroud's idea of "romance" in his last book, I'm not holding my breath for a happily ever after for these characters.


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