Ugly but true

If you enjoyed the 2012 cinematic hot mess Snow White and the Huntsman, there's been some fascinating—and probably accurate—speculation about the future of the series posted at LaineyGossip. Check out this and this, for an insider's take on what goes into movie-making decisions. It's a little depressing, but if the recent #OscarsSoWhite kerfuffle has shown us anything, it's that Hollywood is still a long way from "fair" ....more

<i>The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up</i>, by Marie Kondo

My birthday was this week, and my mother gave me a copy of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. No, this was not a pointed hint—I have done some work as a professional organizer, and I am a huge, huge nerd, so my mom thought I would legitimately enjoy reading it. Thanks, Mom! ...more

<i>Annihilation</i>, by Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation is simultaneously clever and pretentious, engaging and irritating as hell. I am by no means certain I actually enjoyed it, but I'm definitely going to read the sequels. The story is set in an uninhabited landscape known as Area X ....more

Weekly Book Giveaway: <i>Annihilation</i>, by Jeff Vandermeer

This week's Book Giveaway is Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation, the first book in his Southern Reach Trilogy. I'm not sure that I buy other reviewers' comparisons between this book and the works of H.P. Lovecraft, but I will give Annihilation this: that cover is awesome. As always, this contest runs Monday through Friday ....more

Musical fans take note.

According to FilmDivider, producer Marc Platt has confirmed that a film adaptation of Wicked is trotting along towards a 2016 release. The adaptation will be of the Broadway musical based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, rather than the book itself. This was only to be expected: I'm pretty sure that Into The Woods will eventually be more profitable than Oz: The Great and Powerful, and Hollywood likes to stick with what works ....more

About time.

According to People, the Harry Potter Alliance (a HP fan organization dedicated to social justice issues) has successfully pressured Warner Bros. into guaranteeing that by the end of 2015, all chocolate sold at their "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park will be certified 100% Fair Trade. This might not sound like a big deal, but cacao production is infamous for its human rights abuses, which include child slavery ....more

<i>Autumn Falls</i>, by Bella Thorne and Elise Allen

I can't believe I'm writing this, but I'm giving Disney Channel actress Bella Thorne's debut novel Autumn Falls a glowing “Nowhere near as terrible as I thought it would be”. I'm not saying it's actually good, mind you, but I've read way worse. After her father dies in a car crash and her mother moves the family to Florida, Autumn Falls hopes to quietly transition into her new high school ....more

It is a mystery.

Okay, I had no idea a Gone With The Wind musical even existed, but I am sincerely impressed by the cheese factor of this South Korean version. K-pop idol Seohyun plays Scarlett O'Hara, and while she makes a lovely stand-in for Vivien Leigh, I really don't understand the goings-on in this scene. Why the pop music? ...more


Hark! A Vagrant author Kate Beaton recently announced that she has written her first book for children, and clearly she knows her audience: the book will be called The Princess and the Pony. I have no idea if said pony is THIS pony, but I certainly hope so ....more

<i>Shut Out</i>, by Kody Keplinger

Kody Keplinger has received a lot of attention for her complicated, thoughtful, sex-positive YA novels. Admittedly, I've only read one of her books, but so far I'm not seeing where this praise is coming from—her 2011 novel Shut Out is neither particularly thoughtful nor complex, and it's only “sex-positive” in the sense that her sexually-active teen characters aren't constantly beset by the pregnancy/marriage/infidelity crises featured on ABC Family shows. Shut Out is a loose modern retelling of the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata (the story of a group of women who decide to withhold sex until their husbands end the...more