Thursday, July 29, 2010

Truth in advertising?

Whoa. The women at GoFugYourself recently featured British socialite-turned-bestselling author Katie Price modeling a truly impressive outfit to promote her new book Paradise. I'm not sure about that promotional blurb describing Ms. Price's book as the "sexiest, most sizzling novel of the summer", but that thing she's wearing certainly looks like it would be sweat-inducing... although not, sadly, in a fun way.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A prize-winning novel interpreted via nail polish

I'm not sure what's up with the sudden trend toward literature-inspired nail polish, but whatever: I like books and I like nail polish, so I'll just roll with it. I'm particularly impressed by these upcoming Rescue Beauty Lounge colors, inspired by Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning novel Wolf Hall, a fictionalized account of the life of Thomas Cromwell. The colors are named after four of the wives of Henry the VIII: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Catherine Howard. I've never cared about Katherine Parr, although I was a little bummed poor Anne of Cleves didn't get her own color (400+ years later, she's still getting stiffed on the beauty front!), but otherwise I love these colors--Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon's shades are particularly gorgeous.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

27 days and counting...

Portland, Oregon's Powell's Books is hosting a midnight release party for Mockingjay, the third and final book in Suzanne Collins's bestselling "Hunger Games" trilogy. The shindig will start at 9:00 p.m. and include a costume contest, trivia battle, and giveaways. Sadly, this is a Monday night event (August 23rd), so attendance might be limited to people who don't have to get up early on Tuesday (read: shrieking teenagers).

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Jane Austen's Fight Club

I'm no fan of the endless Jane Austen book parodies currently glutting up the market, but this... I have to admit it, I cracked up.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

The price is right

Quick-on-the-draw Kelley Armstrong fans should whip over to SF Signal and enter their Waking the Witch giveaway. The contest ends at 10:00 PM (Central Time) tonight, so you've still got a little time, but the clock's a-tickin'...

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Release the merchandising tie-ins!

Sadly, I grew so bored by the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics that I didn't bother to read the last six or so issues. I have 'em... and I might get to 'em eventually... but it'll need to be a slow, slow day on the reading front, you know? However, I realize that there are people out there who love the series, and those people should take note of the fact that Jones has released a limited-edition line of soda featuring artwork from the comic. I don't think they've done anything too exciting with the actual flavors (bubblegum, grape, green apple, etc.), but if you've got $12.99 burning a hole in your pocket and you want to blow it on six bottles of soda, congratulations: now's your chance.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Wave of the future?

According to The New York Times, announced on Monday that they've been selling more titles for its Kindle e-readers than hardcover books during the last three months—143 e-books for every 100 hardcovers, to be exact. I don't quite see these numbers as a death knell for the printed book format (as the article mentions, hardcover sales are also up 22% over last year), but it's certainly a culture shift in the world of book-buying.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

So dorky, seriously.

My standards are not high when it comes to book trailers, but this one—it's for James Patterson and Maxine Paetro's Private, and a slightly longer version is currently popping up on Hulu—is particularly weird. The first bit feels straightforward (and looks relatively high-budget), but by the end of the spot I was waiting for the punchline. I have yet to see one of these trailers that I actually enjoy, but this sucker seems even more embarrassing than most.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Behind the times

How did I miss this? The 2010 Bulwer-Lytton contest results were released late last month, and this year's winner is (as they always are) a delight:

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.

-Composed by Molly Ringle, of Seattle, WA
I'm also really enjoying the Bulwer-Lytton people's newest game, which involves celebrating bad sentences found in real, published books. My favorite?

"The possessiveness in his voice was deep and strong, its triumphant throb cutting through the layers of sexual delight as thoroughly as a knife through warm butter, and it hit her like a deluge of cold water."
Apparently, this comes from a book by someone named Helen Brooks called Husband by Contract. Now, for all I know, the rest of this book is fine... but that sentence? That sentence is a treasure.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Manga for the rich and famous

Huh. If you're artistically inclined, this might be worth investigating: according to AnimeNewsNetwork, the Italian fashion label Prada has announced a Manga-themed contest in celebration of its new "Swing" collection of 1950s-inspired sunglasses. (Which are, by the way, super cute.) According to their site, participants must create a comic storyboard featuring a "fantasy heroine" decked out in said eyewear and submit the storyboard by August 31st. The winner will receive 5,000 euros. You can check out the details on the official Prada website, under the "Projects" section. Good luck!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

An embarrassment of popcorn-worthy riches?

The most recent "Trailer Park" post on Cinematical features four book-nerd-friendly movie trailers: Howl (based on the obscenity trial over Allen Ginsberg's poem of the same name), an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic children's novel The Wind in the Willows, Ben Affleck's The Town, inspired by the Chuck Hogan novel Prince of Thieves, and The Social Network, an upcoming movie about the founder of Facebook written by Aaron Sorkin and adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Upscale goth

Check this out:

This, dear readers, is a $30 nail polish set inspired by Morticia Addams. Specifically, the Morticia Addams of The Addams Family Musical, a Broadway production starring Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane and based on the classic cartoons by Charles Addams. Now, I like nail polish, and I like Morticia Addams, and I approve of the fact that all proceeds from the sale of these polishes will benefit The Actors Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps professionals in the performing arts... but thirty bucks is still an awful lot to pay for nail polish.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I want one.

Sadly, this Epic Win FTW submission isn't a real book:

But on the up side, one of the comments informs me that this is, and doesn't that almost make up for it?

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Little Ponies gone wild

Today is apparently Embrace Your Geekness Day, and someone at Buzzfeed decided to celebrate by collecting 50 of the most geek-tastic My Little Pony dolls. Most of them are movie-related, but there are a few book nods thrown in, too, including plenty of Lord of the Rings dolls, some Lovecraft (at right), a few comic book shout-outs, and an AWESOME Harry Potter doll. Our sincerest compliments to the creators of these dolls; they're absolutely amazing.


RIP, Harvey Pekar

NPR put together a really nice obit for Harvey Pekar, the author of the American Splendor series, most of which focused on the day-to-day reality of life in Cleveland. Mr. Pekar was found dead in his home on Monday—the cause of death is currently unknown, but he was 70 years old, and suffered from a variety of health problems, including prostate cancer, high blood pressure, asthma and depression. Our sympathy goes out to his family.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Build your own book review

I had never heard of Common Sense Media before yesterday, but their purpose statement sounded innocuous enough: they're a nonprofit organization dedicated to "improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology." Unfortunately, this School Library Journal article paints a more disturbing picture. CSM's reviews break literary content down into various categories, including appropriate age levels, "good stuff", and "what to watch out for". Thus a book like Lauren Kate's Fallen gets a high rating, because it contains relatively low levels of violence, sex, drug and alcohol abuse, bad language, and consumerism. (Plus, the author of the review feels fallen angels are "more charming" than vampires, although no reason was given for that assessment.) The fact that Fallen was poorly thought out and featured an emotionally bipolar love interest doesn't bother CSM one bit, apparently.

Ugh. Look, if you're worried about what your kid is reading, read it yourself. Don't rely on someone else (no matter how well-respected) to tell you what's safe and what isn't. And just think: young adult and kids' books can be fun. You might even enjoy yourself!

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Home improvements

Behold the Bookshelf Apartment. Sadly, it's not a real, lived-in space, but a structure built for the "Small Spaces" exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. I so want to live there. Or at least visit.

[Via Gizmodo]

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Friday, July 09, 2010

Used books on the cheap

Dude, this sounds so cool: the online used-book retailer Once Sold Tales has opened a brick-and-mortar store (well, less bricks and mortar and more a corner of one of their warehouses, but whatever) where they sell books for a flat $1 a pound. You'll have to make your way to the wilds of Kent, WA to visit, but if you're in the area...

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Made of awesome

Aw... I recently found out that Washington State's Grays Harbor Transit System is letting kids participating in the Timberland Regional Library's summer reading program use their library cards as bus fare to and from the library, starting in mid-June and running through Labor Day. Isn't that a classy move? I think readers should see if their local bus system offers something similar, and if not, totally suggest it.

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Pride and Prejudice and cell phone apps

AustenBlog has posted a generally-positive guest review by some dude named Douglas R. Burchill of the new Pride and Prejudice and Zombies video game for the iPhone. If you're looking for the short version, here goes: Mr. Burchill liked the game overall, but thought it was too short. However, for $2.99 you can't go too far wrong, can you?

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Summer Reading: Kids' Comics Edition

The School Library Journal's blog Good Comics for Kids has published their list of recommended summer reading for 2010, and I agree with about 70% of their suggested titles. (Which isn't a bad ratio, really.) Check it out here, but take it with a grain of salt... and totally ignore those glowing words about Itazura Na Kiss and Scott Pilgrim, okay?


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Insatiable, by Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot's new novel Insatiable is full of nods to the current vampire craze (love triangles, seemingly ordinary heroines with mysterious abilities, broody-yet-hot dudes with weird dietary habits, etc.), but Cabot's irrepressible sense of humor guarantees that her book is anything but a Twilight ripoff.

Cabot's heroine is Meena Harper, a soap opera writer with a highly undesirable power: she can tell when and how someone is going to die. Meena's “gift” and her under-qualified new boss have made life difficult, but she's coping—at least until she gets caught up in a struggle between a modern-day vampire prince and the vampire hunter determined to take him down.

Insatiable is reminiscent of The Mediator and 1-800-Where-R-You, Cabot's early series for teens. Like those titles, it balances its far-fetched fantasy storyline with a refreshingly sane heroine. (Meena is strongly attracted to both of her suitors, but she's not about to give up her job, her apartment, or her dog for just anyone, you know?) The book is left open-ended, and we're looking forward to seeing where Cabot takes her heroine next. Will Meena end up with the vampire bigwig or the human warrior? Can she nix the stupid vampire storyline she's been forced to write into her soap opera? Will her unemployed brother ever get a real job and move back out? Only time—and the inevitable sequel—will tell....

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Did we really need another one?

Wait. So there's really going to be a new Three Musketeers movie, this time starring Milla Jovovich as Lady de Winter and that dude who played Percy Jackson as D'Artagnan? Wow... that was one of those announcements I had (mis)filed under the mental heading "Things I assumed were April Fools' Day Jokes".

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Brace yourselves, horror fans...

If you're looking for a genuinely creepy take on the vampire genre (versus, say, a mopey, dopey, heavy-on-the-sixpack-abs one), check out the trailer for Let Me In, the upcoming film remake of the 2008 Swedish movie Let The Right One In, which was based on a 2004 novel by horror writer John Ajvide Lindqvist. I've never had the stomach to read the book (there's more horror in it than just the vampire stuff, apparently), but I hear it's very good.

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wonder Woman goes business casual

Starting this week, Wonder Woman will be wearing a new outfit: DC Comics has nixed the superheroine's iconic costume in favor of pants, a shirt, low heels, and a jacket. Oddly, I think she looks trashier now, perhaps because the old outfit (a stars-and-stripes-themed bathing suit and red boots) was relatively modest for a swimsuit, while the new clothes (tight, low-cut, shiny) are quite slinky for business wear. It's all about context, people.


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