Friday, November 28, 2014

"And Something to Read:" A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Literary Gift

As far as gift-giving is concerned, you may have heard the phrase that it's best to get for others "something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read."  That phrase is something I like to keep in mind when selecting gifts for loved ones.  Particularly the "something to read" part.  

I love giving books as gifts, but sometimes it can be difficult to select just the right book.  A vintage copy of War and Peace might be perfect for one friend, but may come off as pretentious to another.  A book of Van Gogh images might be just right for the coffee table of a different friend, but may just collect dust on the back of someone else's bookshelf.  

Clearly I worry way too much about this.

Among my anxiety over selecting books for various friends and family members, I've found a few tips to help me in my selection.  Want to give a book as a gift this holiday season, but aren't sure what book to give?  I've got you covered.  Here are some different kinds of books for you to consider on your journey to selecting just the right book for your loved one.

Consider Books with Phenomenal Covers
I have a theory that books are much more likely to be read if it has a pretty cover.  But, even if that fails, they can use the book as a decoration or a conversation starter.
Suggestions: any book from the Penguin clothbound classics or drop caps line.

Consider Books that Reflect its Recipient's Interests
Want to get a book for someone who frankly doesn't read much?  Look to their other interests.  Books on cooking, style, or even books that are mostly pictures (I'm talking about professional photographs, not children's board books) may be just the ticket.

Consider Nostalgic Books
Maybe your friend used to love the Anne of Green Gables book when they were younger.  Or maybe they loved the Peter Rabbit books as a child.  An updated edition of these beloved stories will bring up happy memories and will beg to be read again.
Suggestions: The Hobbit; James and the Giant Peach; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Consider Award Winning Books
Maybe your loved one only wants to read one book per year.  Better make it a good one!  Look up what books won prestigious awards in recent and past years, and you'll have a pretty hefty list of books to choose from.
Suggestions: The Goldfinch; The Black Count; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Consider Hot Topic Books
Click over to and news headline and you'll see articles on Ebola, police brutality, and human trafficking, among others.  These are all serious topics, but they deserve to be discussed.  Giving a book about hot topics such as these is certain to get a worthy discussion going.
Suggestions: I Am Malala; 41: A Portrait of my Father; Food: A Love Story; Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Consider Old Books to Start a Collection
I'm a little biased when it comes to this tip, as I have an old book collection myself.  I love my old books.  I love the charm and character they bring to my bookshelf.  And every time I receive an old book for a birthday or holiday I am beside myself with glee.  (Even if your loved one only has normal amounts of happiness associated with old books, it's still a great gift.)
Suggestions: This is a good resource (and is where I found the books in the above image), but it's probably best if you check out your local indie bookstore.

Consider Classics
If nothing else feels right, classic books are the way to go.  Everyone has a connection to classic literature through school, even if they haven't read a classic since they were assigned to in high school.  It's never to late to start, and never too early to re-read some favorites.  Plus, many classics have been around for decades, and have dozens of beautiful editions for you to choose from.  No one regrets having a classic on their bookshelf.
Suggestions: To Kill a Mockingbird; Pride and Prejudice; The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; etc.

What other tips would you add?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing


The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Library
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary"The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for."

Review: If I ever get asked what is the most mediocre book I read in 2014, my answer will be immediate: The Jewel.  For everything positive there is something negative.  For every scene I liked there is another scene I didn't like.  I didn't love it.  I didn't hate it.  To me, this story just doesn't stand out in any way.  

From the summary you'll certainly see parallels to The Selection, Wither, and The Handmaid's Tale.  Those parallels are justified, though this book is not as light as The Selection, nor as dark as The Handmaid's Tale, nor as excruciating as Wither.  It has problems, but it is at least entertaining.  Even if it doesn't hold up well to digestion.

There were inconsistencies all over the place within this story.  They say that the surrogates are basically property and have no inherent value beyond producing offspring, but when one dies, the surrogate's owner throws a lavish funeral that the entire aristocracy attends.  This does not compute.  Also, supposedly Violet has been training to be a surrogate for years.  She apparently learned nothing in her years of training, because she knows nothing - nothing - about the Jewel, the culture, the people, etc.  She's like this wide-eyed, helpless doe at every turn.  I get that learning about the Jewel during training and actually being in the Jewel are two different things, but her level of ignorance about every single thing around her was baffling.  Plus, this book has the terrible curse of insta-love.


I was curious about the characters, despite their inconsistencies.  I wanted to know what caused the split between the Lake and her neighbor.  (I can't remember her name... the one who bought Raven.)  I was curious about Lucien and wanted to know why he wanted to help Violet.  (Really, there are so many surrogates, why her?)  Without knowing why he wanted to help I was a little suspicious of Lucien, but I liked how he complicated the plot.  I thought the Duchess' niece was kind of pathetic.  I hoped that she and Violet could be friends, or at least allies, but they seemed determined not to like each other for no reason whatsoever.  The romance was the weakest part of the whole book - completely unbelievable - but what it lacked in spark it made up for in suspense every time they were together.  Also, there is a twist at the end that makes me want to read the next book. 


I still don't understand why the upper class needs surrogates at all.  We're told that they can't reproduce, or if they do, the children have horrible defects.  But I wanted to know why.  What caused this?   Why exactly was Violet chosen to be a surrogate?  Supposedly there is some kind of blood test, but I don't get how that works.  I was curious about the three Auguries, but never received enough information about them to get a clear picture of what exactly they were.  Frankly, they feel a little like magic.  But, if that is the case, why don't the people with magic rule the country?  (And how can you tell if someone is "magical" by sampling their blood?)  This book asks you to trust it, but doesn't give you a reason why you should.  I felt like I was asked to suspend my disbelief too many times for it to truly succeed. 


I read it in a 24-hour time span.  I was truly entertained the afternoon that I read it.  There were certainly plot holes, but I had a good time while reading.  I feel like I should give it 2 stars because of all of the issues, but this readability made me bump it up a star.  It wasn't until after I finished that I realized how many problems there were in this book.  So it was attention-grabbing and compelling while I was reading, but lacked substance after I swallowed.  Kind of like a potato chip.  One with a good opening crunch but an unsatisfying aftertaste.

Review in a GIF:
confused animated GIF

Bottom Line: If you liked The Selection and Wither, then maybe give this one a shot.  It will probably entertain you for an afternoon, even though it is, on the whole, pretty mediocre.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book-to-Film: New Trailers: Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Jurassic World

I've got three trailers for you today!  First up, here's the new Cinderella trailer:

Most everything about this film looks lovely and magical.  I confess myself a little disappointed in her ballgown (it looks exactly like a ratty old dress that was in our dress-up box as children - not exactly prime ball-wearing material) but I'm still looking forward to seeing this film. 

Next, the trailer for Pan:

This film is clearly darker than the beloved children's story, but I'm intrigued.  And not just because Hugh Jackman is in it.  (Seriously, he is amazingly talented.  I will pretty much see anything he stars in.)  I'm disappointed that they cast a white girl as Tiger Lily, but everything else looks great, from what I can tell.

And, lastly, here is the new trailer for Jurassic World:

Truth be told, I don't think this film is strictly based on a book.  Michael Crichton does have a book called Jurassic World, but his book is merely a bound copy of both Jurassic Park and The Lost World together.  So this film will clearly draw heavily from the Jurassic Park books, but appears to be its own original story within that world.  I love dinosaurs, so I'm down.

Which are you most excited for?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

I'm participating in today's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's prompt is:

Top Ten Books on My Winter TBR

My TBR list is out of control.  Seriously.  I think I need to hire someone to prioritize it for me, because looking at it makes me feel extremely overwhelmed.  However, despite the insane and slightly hilarious chaos that is my TBR list, I am really excited about these ten books, and will drop everything to read them as soon as I can:

10. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

9. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I'm almost at the top of the library's wait list for this one.  Maybe next week...

8. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman
I'm intrigued.

7. Golden Son by Pierce Brown

6. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutoski
I am insanely jealous of everyone who got an ARC of this book.

5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
This one has been on my list for a while.  Can't wait to finally read it!

4. The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Just picked it up from the library!

3. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I'm not sure why I haven't read this book yet.

2. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott
This book needs no other selling point besides its title.

1. China Dolls by Lisa See
I am so intrigued by this book, but I know no one who has read it.  Have you?

What are you reading this winter?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekly Words: The Great Read

Friday, November 21, 2014

Feature Friday: Rowling's Revelations

Though the last "Harry Potter" book was published more than seven years ago, Rowling has spilled many secrets related to the series over the years through Q-and-A's, Twitter, her website and Pottermore. Let's take a look at the tidbits she's tossed to her fans over the past few years.
Harry Potter fans need only glance at the millions of pages of fanfiction based in the Potter world to know how rich this story is: the wizarding history, the culture, and, above all, the characters make these books ridiculously epic.  But what more can be known about this world that isn't in the books?  Rowling has revealed bits here and there over the years, over which fans have gone appropriately gaga.  (Did Hagrid ever marry?  What were Ron, Hermione, and Harry's professions after Hogwarts?  What was the one question Rowling dreaded being asked before the seventh book was released?)  I thought this compilation of those tidbits, complete with a timeline of when they were released, was excellent.  Enjoy.

Goodbye, productivity.  Hello, Potter trivia.  :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Library
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "A young mortician goes behind the scenes, unafraid of the gruesome (and fascinating) details of her curious profession.

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.

Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?

Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

Review: I first picked up this book because it seemed like an appropriate read for Halloween.  The subject matter was certainly macabre, but the tone was not spooky at all.  Doughty's memoir is respectful and blunt and often quite funny.  Didn't expect to laugh in this book, but I did.  But more than being humorous, this book was very informative.

We don't talk about death very much in American culture, but sometimes I wish we did.  When I was nineteen years old, a very dear friend of mine died in a car accident.  In the weeks following his death, I had many friends and coworkers share with me their experiences with death.  My manager at the bank I was working at told me about a friend of his who commit suicide when they were kids.  Another coworker told me about her brother who died in a plane crash two years previously.  Another friend had a cousin who died from leukemia.  It seemed like everyone was missing someone.  

And then it hit me: of course everyone is missing someone.  Everyone dies eventually.  If you live long enough, you are going to have people close to you die.  Maybe a lot of them.  Death is a universal experience.  It should not be so taboo to talk about it.  I think those around me shared with me their experiences in order to communicate that they understood a little about what I was going through, which I appreciated.  But my greater takeaway was that we are all carrying a heavy burden without ever acknowledging it. 

So, with that background, I greatly appreciated how transparent Doughty was with her subject matter.  How crematories function, where corpses are stored in the time after dying and before their cremation or burial, how the dead bodies are cared for... all of this was new to me.  And, at the age of 29, it shouldn't have been.

I admit, before reading this book, I knew nothing about the specifics of embalming.  Now that I know exactly what that process entails, I am pretty firmly against it.  It feels empowering to know more about what has happened to the bodies of my deceased loved ones, and I feel more prepared for how to proceed in the future when I will need to make these decisions for others.  This topic might be too uncomfortable for some, but I appreciated knowing more about the various options available to dead bodies.  I feel more capable to handle death, if that makes sense.  

My first brush with death was not at the age of 19, and it wasn't my last either.  I have been to several funerals, and have had several people close to me die.  I've experienced the drawn out death of ill grandparents, the sudden death of youth, and many in between.  I don't consider myself an expert at death, but I am certainly familiar with the extreme and heavy grief that accompanies saying goodbye to a loved one.

I mention this because I cannot imagine having to make all the decisions to care for their body in addition to dealing with the unimaginable grief that usually accompanies death.  I therefore think it is wise to have at least a rough outline for what you want to happen to your body, and to communicate those desires to those who will be responsible for arranging it.  Many don't like talking about death at all, but that just makes it harder on those you love to make these decisions, if they have no idea what you would have preferred - and even worse since they will be making these decisions in the middle of their grief.  

So I appreciated the chapters that explained in specific detail what happens to dead bodies that are cremated vs. bodies that are embalmed, etc.  I liked learning how other cultures deal with their dead, and how that process can be a strong catalyst for helping them deal with their grief.  Those chapters left me feeling empowered and inspired.  Maybe that's a strange feeling to get from a book taking place in a crematory, but there you go.

Except for one chapter.  

I knew that most American hospitals offered a free cremation for stillborn babies/late-term miscarriages, but I had never thought about how that process fully played out.  Having experienced miscarriages myself, this is somewhat of a sensitive topic.  Doughty was never disrespectful in her depiction of how she cared for the bodies of deceased infants, but the chapter was still disturbing to me.  The topic of dead babies is just difficult for me, and I wish I had skipped that chapter.  I urge caution to others who have experienced miscarriages or stillborn births, as this particular chapter could be similarly disturbing and difficult to read.  Similarly, I would hesitate before recommending this to someone who has just barely had a loved one die.  Some time and distance could be helpful before reading something this blunt.

The ending of the book was the weakest part, in my opinion.  I could see Doughty's reasons for why she was calling for better ways to deal with death and our dead, but I did not leave the book feeling like I had a secure picture in mind for what her ideas were for change.  I wished for more specifics there, which felt kind of odd since she was so good at being specific up until that point.  I also wished for more concrete experiences illustrated in her chapters discussing her time at mortuary school.  But even without these additions, this was a strong book and an illuminating read on an important topic.  I'm glad I read it. 

Review in a GIF:
movie animated GIF

Bottom Line: If you are interested in what goes on inside crematories and how the dead are cared for, then this book is a great choice for you.  I found it to be empowering, though would urge caution if this subject is a really sensitive one for you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book-to-Film: The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

From Big Books Tiny Voices:

 Upon the decent box office success of The Maze Runner, based on the James Dashner YA trilogy, Fox has announced that it will move forward with a sequel (good news in light of other YA adaptations these days). Wes Ball, who directed the first, will be back alongside star Dylan O’Brien. So far, newcomers will include Aidan Gillen, who plays Game of Thrones character Littlefinger, to play the villain in Scorch Trials. 

I just saw The Maze Runner in theatres a couple of weeks ago, and though I didn't love the book, I thought it was a decent adaptation.  I was particularly impressed with the acting across the board, and thought the glade and the maze were both pretty impressive sets.  I was still a little annoyed with the lack of answers in the film, but it wasn't as irritating as the book, which only answered the questions I had with even more questions.  Still, I enjoyed the film and am glad that this series will continue with its film adaptations!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Read

I'm participating in today's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's prompt is:

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait to Read

I've been lucky lately with many of the new series' I've started, which is a two edged sword.  It's good because I'm digging the story; it's bad because I have to wait to read the sequels.  At least it gives me something to look forward to, right??  :)  

Here are some of my most anticipated sequels:

10. Jeweled Fire (Elemental Blessings #3) by Sharon Shinn
I've been pushing this series on everyone around me ever since I finished Troubled Waters.  I can't wait to read Corene's story!  It kills me that this book doesn't even have a release date yet.  It doesn't even have a cover image yet!  *dies*

9. Throne of Glass book #4 by Sarah J. Maas
Having just recently finished Heir of Fire, I am in serious ToG withdrawal, and am prepared to offer Ms. Maas a years worth of homemade baked goods if she'll kindly send me an ARC of Book #4.  (If you know Ms. Maas, PASS MY OFFER ON.)

8. Of Dreams and Rust (Of Metal and Wishes #2) by Sarah Fine
I really enjoyed Of Metal and Wishes, and am excited that there is going to be a sequel!  I'm not clear on whether this series is a trilogy or a duology, but either way, there's more to read so I'm A-OK with that.

7. The Forgotten Sisters (Princess Academy #3) by Shannon Hale
I'll never say no to a Shannon Hale book!  (Though it kind of bugs me that this cover image - lovely as it is - does not match the other two covers in the series.)

6. The Heart of Betrayal (Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception blew my mind, and left me nearly in tears when I saw that its sequel wasn't slated for release until freaking SUMMER 2015.  *dies*  *again*

5. The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #2 and #3) by Brandon Sanderson
Happily, this entire trilogy has already been released, so I just need to finish my obligation-reads and then I'll be all over these next two books. 

4. Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown
Red Rising was a huge surprise for me.  I was not expecting to get so swept up in this world.  Naturally this means I'm now completely obsessed with this series.  Two more months until Goldon Son's release date!!  

3. The Heir (The Selection Series #4) by Kiera Cass
I just found out that this book and book #5 will take place twenty years after The One ends, and will focus on America and Maxon's daughter, Princess Eadlyn.  (More here.)  BRING IT ON.

2. The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski
I loved how The Winner's Curse wrapped up.  It wasn't a complete cliffhanger, but there are a LOT of things that still need to be resolved.  Looking forward to reading this next installment!

1. The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire #6) by George R.R. Martin
These books are so dense.  I mean that in a good way.  I'm sure I'll be up until the early morning hours reading this book, if it ever gets released.  (Martin, please write faster.)

All this talk about these series' has me salivating.  I neeeeeeds them, precious!!
What sequels are you waiting for?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekly Words: Annonymous

Friday, November 14, 2014

Feature Friday: The Age of YA: A Timeline of Young Adult Historical Fiction via Epic Reads

Via EpicReads:

Click on over to Epic Reads for more information, links, etc.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Rating: 4.75 stars
Source: Library
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?"

Review: GAH.  How can I even do this book justice?  I will attempt to illustrate why I love this book - and this series - so much, but I'm not sure anything I say will convey the depth of my adoration for this series.  *Breaths deeply*

Celaena.  Oh, Celaena.  What I love about Celaena is that she is so difficult to describe.  She is at once tough, hardened, angry, petrified, loyal, sarcastic, passionate, beautiful, willful, dejected, skeptical, and hopeful.  She is hard and soft, both vulnerable and unapproachable, winning enemies and allies to her cause with her temper and her dedication.  She feels like a whole person.  And I adore her.

This story is split in three ways: it tells Celaena's story across the sea, it tells the story of those she left in the glass palace, and it introduces a third perspective: a witch called Manon Blackbeak.

Celaena's chapters were filled with growth, both within Celaena, and within the story as a whole, as we learn of events in Celaena's history that fill in the gaps within this world's past.  We are also introduced to a new character named Rowan, who just might be my favorite ToG character to date.  *fans self*

The chapters in the glass palace were SO INTENSE.  Bad stuff is happening there, and as a reader, I felt like it was just a matter of time before one of the major characters took a hit.  And when it happened, OMG I WANTED TO DIE.  The King of Adarlan is a Really Bad Dude.  I am going to need to up my anxiety meds in order to cope with life until Book 4 is released.

And then there's Manon.  Considering that her story felt pretty detached from the other two, I was surprised with how interested I was.  I kept waiting for her storyline to connect to the others in a more direct way.  Though it didn't in this book, I'm certain it will in the future.  I'm convinced that Manon has a heart, no matter how fiercely she denies it.  Also, Ms. Maas can write one heck of a wyvern attack scene.

These books just keep building on top of one another.  You will not be able to read this book without reading the other two - you just won't understand what's going on.  The plot is complicated and the stakes are high - people get hurt and die and you will want to tear your own heart own to stop it from breaking, but all of that is just a sign of a really, really great book.  I loved reading it, and am already counting down until book 4 is released.  (Hopefully my heart survives another Maas book!)

Review in a GIF:
 sad animated GIF

Bottom Line: This series gets better and better with each installment.  The action, the scheming, the magic, the characters, the gauntlet being THROWN THE HECK DOWN... At the end of this book I was a frayed disaster from FEELS OVERLOAD but IT WAS WORTH IT.  GIVE ME BOOK 4 IMMEDIATELY.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book-to-Film: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

Well.  How about that?  Suddenly I'm interested in reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  Didn't see that coming.

From the EW:

It might be time to get reacquainted with Jane Austen’s most famous family. Elizabeth (Lily James), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady), Jane (Bella Heathcote), and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) aren’t just eligible singles anymore; they’re sword- and knife-wielding martial artists.With a zombie apocalypse that’s been raging for more than 70 years, they kind of have to be. Writer-director Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) took on the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s enormously popular book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies after years of development hell—David O. Russell had penned a draft and was attached to direct at one point—and rewrote the script with an eye toward realism. “The first thing I did was reinsert all the Pride and Prejudice beats,” says Steers, who also beefed up the roles of Darcy (Sam Riley) and Wickham (Jack Huston).But it’s the spark-plug sisters who steal the show with their corset-bound roundhouse kicks. When it comes to her character, James doesn’t think that’s too much of a stretch. “Even in the original story, Elizabeth’s a fighter and beyond her contemporaries in her ambitions and her ideas of women,” she says. “She’s a badass warrior. She’s a ninja.” Filming began in late September; the action-adventure literary adaptation should hit the big screen next year.
Will you see it? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Characters I Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

I'm participating in today's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's prompt is:

Top Ten Characters I Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

Let the side-character-love-fest commence!!

10. Cinna from the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
I want to know what made him so compassionate.

9. Liv from the Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi
Roar and Liv are fan-favorites, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to read more about their ill-fated love story.  (I want more than the novella Rossi wrote about them.  They deserve their own series.)

8. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Seriously.  Who wouldn't want to read this book??

7. Rowan from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
Because he is one of my all time favorite characters, ever since I finished the book so long ago (last week).

6. The Darkling from the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo
Think of it as a villain origin story.  IT WOULD BE AWESOME.

5. Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
He was certainly brilliant, but he was also flawed.  How I would love to read this biography.  (Not Rita Skeeter's, though, thank you very much.)

4. Dancer from The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima
I loved Dancer throughout this entire series.  I always wished he had more pagetime.

3. Cosme from The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson
Cosme was maybe my very favorite character in this series.  She's feisty and powerful, and would make a great protagonist herself.

2. Littlefinger from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
How is it that dozens of other characters have had chapters told from their point of view, but Littlefinger hasn't??  I want to know what is going on in his head, since I have a feeling he's going to be instrumental in how everything ultimately shakes out in Westeros.

1. Grindelwald from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
He seems like a very different villain from Voldemort.  I want to know more.  Think of it as the antithesis of the Dumbledore biography above.

Who would you add?