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1. The Case of the Girl in Grey review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the second in Jordan Stratford's The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency-series, The Case of the Girl in Grey -- yes, juvenile fiction (though what I still have the most trouble getting over with are the liberties Stratford takes with historical dates/figures).

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2. Historium, curated by Richard Wilkinson and Jo Nelson

Historium is the second (wonderfully oversized) book in Big Picture Press's Welcome to the Museum series which started with Animalium. More than an encyclopedia, the Welcome to the Museum books are about organization and exploration. Readers "walk" through galleries, but not before a preface that introduces readers to the creativity of humanity. Next, an introduction from the curators lets readers know how the items in the book/museum were chosen then answers the question, "What is archaeology?"

Africa, America, Asia, Europe, The Middle East and Oceania make up the galleries/chapters in Historium. From there, each continent is divided into three to five smaller galleries with a paragraph or two about each civilization, most which are defunct. Rather than photographs of the 130 artifacts, Richard Wilkinson, using photographs as resource material, draws them in minute detail. They are then reproduced on smooth, not shiny paper, and presented on a solid, colorful background.

Featuring items that range from the sacred items to the everyday tools, Historium is invaluable for the way in which it encourages readers to look at and think about the things that humans have created throughout the centuries.

Don't miss the first book in the Welcome to the Museum series:

Source: Review Copy

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3. Stella Prize longlist

       The Stella Prize is an Australian prize for the best book -- fiction or non -- by an Australian author who is a woman, and they've now announced the sixteen-title-strong longlist, selected from 170 entries (which, unfortunately, they apparently do not make public).
       The shortlist will be announced 10 March, and the winner on 19 April.

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4. Fablehaven

Recommend me!Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Have you ever heard stories where mythical creatures help the hero save the day? Well, the creatures at Fablehaven aren’t that nice. Fablehaven is a preserve for magical creatures, but dangerous creatures that are on the brink of extinction. The creatures usually stay in their territories, but on the equinox and solstice, the creatures run wild through Fablehaven. The caretakers, Stan Sorenson and his wife, Ruth, can usually defend themselves, but as Midsummer’s Eve nears (a.k.a. the summer solstice), Stan and Ruth’s grandchildren stay with them. Kendra and Seth have no clue when they arrive at their grandparents’ house that it is a magical preserve. Piece by piece, as Midsummer’s Eve draws near, Seth and Kendra learn more about Fablehaven and its secrets.

On Midsummer’s Eve, Kendra and Seth are instructed by Stan to go to bed immediately at sundown, and NEVER, under ANY circumstances, open the window. But of course, that rule gets broken. And bad things happen. Very bad things happen.

I think that Fablehaven is a really good book series and all of you should read it. It is a page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to read the other four books in the series. Happy reading!

Alex, Scholastic Kids Council

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5. Nobody Knows Anything

Confused“Nobody knows anything…… Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.” ― William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade
I’ve always liked this quote, because it’s so true—and it applies to publishing, too. We don’t know how a book will do until it goes on sale, or sometimes, until it’s been on sale several months or even years.
Publishing companies and Hollywood studios routinely produce works they predict will sell based on past success of similar works. It’s a flawed method of decision making, but it’s the best we’ve got.
Besides analyzing past experience, what can we do to predict future success of a book or movie? We watch the market; we pay attention to the cultural zeitgeist; we look at what’s going on in the world and think about how that might affect people’s choices in how to spend their leisure time; we look at what people are enjoying in the other arts.
But predicting the future based on the past is an inexact science. Not really a science, even, but an art. Anytime we’re trying to project future success of an individual project, we are making an educated guess, no more.
A corollary to “nobody knows anything” is Billy Wilder’s famous tip: The audience is fickle. Sure, last year they may have gone crazy over vampire novels, but will they still be so enthralled next year? Nobody knows.
It takes just as much effort, time, and money to create a movie or a book that’s going to bomb as one that’s going to do well. This underscores the truth of “nobody knows anything” because if we knew—if we were able to make accurate predictions—then perhaps in the pursuit of the bottom line, only bestsellers would be published and only blockbuster movies would be made.
Instead, we have thousands of non-bestselling books published every year so that there are many, many great choices for those of us who like to read. The fact that nobody knows anything works in your favor if you’re a writer, and even if you’re a reader.
Anytime you ask an industry professional a question that has to do with predicting the future (Will Amish fiction ever go away? Is paranormal going out of style or will it still be hot next year?) just remember that the answer they give you is not gospel, it is simply their informed opinion based on what they see around them. It could be completely accurate… or dead wrong.
Only time will tell.
Need a publishing coachBased on what’s happening in books and movies today, what predictions can YOU make about the future?

Can we predict the future success of a book? Click to Tweet.
Nobody in publishing knows what’s going to work. It’s a guess, every time. Click to Tweet.

Image copyright: sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo

The post Nobody Knows Anything appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

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6. Which mythological creature are you? [Quiz]

Today, we're looking at the less fashionable side of this partnership and focussing our attention on the creatures that mortals feared and heroes vanquished. Does your gaze turn others to stone? Do you prefer ignorance or vengeance? Have any wings? Take this short quiz to find out which mythological creature or being you would have been in the ancient world.

The post Which mythological creature are you? [Quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. TruthRider Tour & Giveaway #Truthwitch #Riders

To help kick off the exciting "TruthRider" tour featuring TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard and RIDERS by Veronica Rossi, we have a great swag giveaway (Including that awesome Truthwitch map-poster!) I'm planning on being at the Bethesda stop representing YADC. Will I see you there? Truthwitch/Riders Swag package: Signed "Riders" poster Signed "Truthwitch" bookplate A "Riders" bracelet  A "

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8. Looking at Student Writing

Comparing two writing samples may be as effective as scoring using a rubric

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9. A Magical Extra Day

It’s February and do you know what that means? An extra day for reading! It’s Leap Year y’all! Twenty-nine days this month instead of twenty-eight. I almost said I wish every year were Leap Year but then it would just come to be a regular year and the joy of an extra day of reading would get washed away. Any plans for cramming in some extra reading? It is unfortunate that the extra day falls on a Monday but we’ll just have to make the best of it.

The piles on my reading table are shrinking and it’s not because I am reading the books on there that I own. Nope, it is shrinking because I am working my way through the library books that got added to the table. It feels good to have my library reading under control. At the moment I have only four books checked out, two of which came today, The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli and All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Anders. Also out from the library is a book of poetry by Joseph Massey called To Keep Time. It is most excellent. And then there is Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho with which I am just about finished. It too is good.

I have six outstanding hold requests at the library, for two I am up next, for the rest I am in the nebulous who knows when my turn will come, probably all at once realm. Only six outstanding requests is pretty darn good though given my profligate ways of late. I can even see several of the non-library books on my reading table and I am eyeing them and thinking , oh, I forgot you were there! Looking forward to reading you! I am quite proud of myself and if I am not careful I will cause harm to my shoulder and arm from patting myself on the back so much. That or my inflated sense of self-worth will be too large for me to fit through my door.

Other books on the go at the moment include Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. This is my slow, meditative read of the moment. Very much enjoying it. Then I am still working my way through The Art of Slow Writing by Louise DeSalvo. She writes in short chapters and it is the perfect book for the spare ten minutes here and there. While it is quite good, I don’t want to try reading it in bigger chunks, it would lose its umph and quickly become boring.

And finally, I just began reading a review copy of a new biography of Charlotte Bronte that will be out in March. Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman is pretty good. It is advertised as being groundbreaking but since I haven’t read any other Bronte biography I can’t say whether it is or not. At the moment Charlotte is still a young girl and the family has just moved to Haworth. There are a good many more siblings than I knew about which means bad events ahead.

There are a couple other books I am in the midst of that have been moved to the back burner and not worth mentioning at the moment since I haven’t picked them up in a few weeks. I will get back to them, just probably not this month! Or perhaps the extra day will grant me the chance to get them in front of my eyes again. Ha! The odds in Vegas don’t seem to be leaning in my favor. Imagine that!

Filed under: Books, In Progress Tagged: Read the Table

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10. World Read Aloud Day -- 7 Strengths Countdown

I blogged about Belonging Week, Curiosity Week, and Friendship Week, and then I dropped the ball! Now I'm going to attempt to combine Kindness Week, Confidence Week and Courage Week all into one post!

Last week (on 2/2, the day the book was released), I started Pax, by Sara Pennypacker, as our next read aloud. It's another book with hard issues that we can feel in our hearts; another book that will make us gasp with fear and cry with relief; another book that will put us in the shoes of a character who is dealing with hard problems; another book with a character on a physical journey and a journey of the heart.

This remarkable story is told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Peter (the boy) and Pax (the fox). Both Peter and Pax encounter other characters who show them unexpected kindness and who help them build their confidence and grow into a place of courage. In fact, the parallels between the boy's and the fox's stories are something I hope my students will notice on their own. Who am I kidding? They are already making amazing comparisons between this book and Dan Geminhart's The Honest Truth and Some Kind of Courage.

If you haven't read this amazing book, move it to the top of your TBR stack!

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11. TAAFI: Eric Goldberg, Michel Gagné, Michael Rianda Confirmed As Guests

Hanna-Barbera legends Willie Ito, Jerry Eisenberg, and Tony Benedict will also be guests in Toronto this spring.

The post TAAFI: Eric Goldberg, Michel Gagné, Michael Rianda Confirmed As Guests appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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12. Daniel Radcliffe Features in Short Film Defending The BBC

Daniel Radcliffe joined celebrities Dame Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, David Oyelowo, Sir Ian McKellen, Naomie Harris, and James Corden in a new video on behalf of The Great BBC Campaign, defending the BBC against cuts.

The video’s slogan is “Don’t let the BBC become a memory. Fight for it”.

Radcliffe thanked the BBC for his first role in David Copperfield, which also featured Dame Maggie Smith, and Imelda Staunton:

“I got to work on the first job I did with Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Ian McNiece, Imelda Staunton, Paul Whitehouse, Emilia Fox, it just goes on and on.”

The film – made by Simon Curtis – has been released before a white paper is published, which will detail the future of the BBC.

Watch the video below!

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13. Tip of the Tongue

What’s her name again? That actress
In that movie we just saw?
Is she English, maybe? Ooh, her name
Is stuck inside my craw.

Yes, the one we saw on Sunday.
I forgot the movie’s title.
I know it’s not so important
But right now it seems so vital.

The director also did a film
We both enjoyed a lot.
It had many famous people
But I can’t recall the plot.

I could Google it, but really
It’s up in my brain among
All the other miscellanea
That’s gathered on my tongue.

If I’m lucky and I’m patient,
Sometimes what I need will slip
To the place where I can reach it
Just an inch out from the tip.

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14. International Prize for Arabic Fiction shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (and revealed the names of the judges -- kept secret until now).
       The winner will be announced 26 April.

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15. Preview: Lola XOXO Wasteland Madam #4

LOLA-WM-04b-HansonAspen Comics relased a preview ahead of this Wednesday’s finale of their second Lola XoXo series. Wasteland Madam began as a holdover until the launch of the official Volume 2 by creator Siya Oum. The book became a welcome chapter to Lola’s still in infancy universe filled with the same fast paced action as the […]

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16. Lose something?

I've been collecting gloves. Well, pictures of gloves, at any rate. You know how I go on and on about how nice people are here in Edinburgh? Here's proof.
     It gets windy here and folks are constantly dealing with layers of hats and scarves and gloves. You're bound to drop something at some point and have it blow away. But rather than getting trampled, oftentimes, somebody will pop your lost item on a fence tine in the hopes that you'll be back by that way to reclaim it.

     Every time I see one of these, it makes me smile. It's like a polite little, "Did you lose this? Here you go." (Said in the sweetest Scottish accent.) It's a lovely act of kindness and I see it all the time.

     (That's the castle behind this pink glove, hidden by the tree branches.)
     Heck, once I even saw an entire outfit. It started with the tie.
And was followed by the shirt and the pants. Not sure what that was about, it was on Rose Street after all, which is a bit of a party central after hours. At any rate, even the pants were nicely folded and placed over a rail (you can see them behind the tie).
     Just the other day I became part of the process... I found a sweet little pink mitten that some little girl was bound to be missing. So I put it on a windowsill where she might find it.
     These found items make me happy, so I'm going to keep collecting photos of them.

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17. Certain Songs #446: Fishbone – “Everyday Sunshine”

Fishbone Reality Album: The Reality of My Surroundings
Year: 1991

What a pure blast of unfettered energy.

As one of the greatest singles in my favorite year for music, “Everyday Sunshine” should have been as big of a single as the Sly & The Family Stone songs that it proudly steals from.

In retrospect, it was probably inevitable that Fishbone would attempt a song like “Everyday Sunshine,” as they turned out to be as hard to pigeonhole into any single style as The Clash or Sly & The Family Stone ever were.

“Everday Sunshine” starts out with a huge blast of joyful horns over funky bass & keyboards and almost issues its thesis statement:

I wish everyday the sun would shine
Take me to another place in my mind
Where everything is beautiful
And no wants or needs
Nor sign of greed
Could rule our soul

As they progress, trading off vocals and harmonizing on the chorus, “Everyday Sunshine” doesn’t even show a hit of being sarcastic or ironic or anything but a full-out plea for, well, everyday sunshine.

And of course, they eventually double-down on that by exploding into a double-time, ecstatically trading off “Everyday, everyday, everyday” until the song finally screeches to its end.

“Everyday Sunshine”

“Everyday Sunshine” performed live in 1991

The post Certain Songs #446: Fishbone – “Everyday Sunshine” appeared first on Booksquare.

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18. Off to New York

Watercolor illustration of a carrier pigeon wearing a red vest on a rooftop in New York, by Jessica Lanan

Well, the bags are packed, the portfolio is printed, and soon I’ll be on my way to the Big Apple to schmooze with a bunch of introverted, book-loving nerds. At this time tomorrow I’ll probably be hurtling through the streets on an ill-advised taxi ride or something. I’ll let you know how it all goes (if I survive.)

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19. DEADPOOL sequel already being planned

deadpool_still_4Big estimates have allowed Fox to turn on the green-light

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20. “The experience of chocolate craving”- an extract from The Economics of Chocolate

It is indisputable that chocolate consumption gives instant pleasure and comfort, especially during episodes of ‘emotional eating’, which involves searching for food (generally in large amounts) even if not physiologically hungry in order to get relief from a negative mood or bad feelings (e.g. stressful life situations, anxiety, depression). The pleasure experienced in eating chocolate can be, first of all, due to neurophysiological components.

The post “The experience of chocolate craving”- an extract from The Economics of Chocolate appeared first on OUPblog.

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21. Humans in Danger in the Superstition Mountains.

by Sparkin

Hi Friends of Dragons,

Okay, we have a dangerous situation going on. My Da was out on a fly around today, and saw a disturbing sight.  Goblins and several Cyclops had rounded up some human hikers and were herding them into a cavern in the Superstition Mountains.

Da alerted the rest of the Danchun and the Ancient Ones. I will update you as soon as I find out what they are going to do about it.

In the meantime, I think I will sneak out and do my own fly around. I want to make sure the humans are safe.

Wish me dragon luck!

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22. Beth Revis and Cristin Terrill on women writing science fiction

It’s Jocelyn sneaking in a non-weekend post because Lindsey was kind enough to let me borrow one of her WoW slots for an interview with Beth Revis and Cristin Terrill. A while back, I attended one of their Wordsmith Workshops and Retreats, and it was amazing! In between craft sessions, critiques, writing, fellowship, and delicious food, I found time to chat with these delightful ladies. See what they had to say about being women who write science fiction.

Read more »

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23. Little Chef: Watcha Cooking?, by Suzanne Rothman | Dedicated Review

Author Suzanne Rothman has crafted an interesting way to deliver the message of being positive no matter what happens through her main character, Little Chef.

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24. Sketching People: Publication Day!!!

Yep, today is the official publication day for my new book Sketching People: an Urban Sketcher's Guide. Hurrah!

So, if you have pre-ordered a copy, it should be with you today or tomorrow. If this is the first you have heard about it (though that would be hard, the way I have been banging on about it...), you can read all about it and see lots of sample pages here.

Copies can be ordered from any bookshop or through Amazon

If you are in the US, your co-edition isn't quite published yet, I'm afraid, but you only have to wait another 3 weeks. This is where you pre-order the American edition.

Happy sketching everyone! Don't forget to leave me some lovely reviews on Amazon :-)

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25. Me Before You Leads iBooks Bestsellers List

cover225x225-1Me Before You by Jojo Moyes has joined the iBooks Bestsellers List this week at No. 1.

Apple has released the list of Bestselling iBooks from the week of 2/7/16. January by Audrey Carlan is No. 2 on the list and The Choice by Nicholas Sparks held the No. 3 position.

We have the entire list for you after the jump.

iBooks US Bestseller List – Paid Books 02/7/16

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – 9781101606377 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
2. January by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
3. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks – 9780446401319 – (Grand Central Publishing)
4. Brotherhood in Death by J. D. Robb – 9780698161481 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
5. Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman – 9780345541413 – (Random House Publishing Group)
6. When Breath Becomes Air by Abraham Verghese & Paul Kalanithi – 9780812988413 – (Random House Publishing Group)
7. April by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
8. NYPD Red 4 by James Patterson & Marshall Karp – 9780316288729 – (Little, Brown and Company)
9. July by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
10. August by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
11. February by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
12. September by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
13. Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell – 9780062325426 – (William Morrow)
14. October by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
15. November by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
16. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press)
17. December by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
18. Blue by Danielle Steel – 9780804179652 – (Random House Publishing Group)
19. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
20. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – 9780812989076 – (Random House Publishing Group)

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