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<<November 2014>>
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1. Our Favorite New Favorites of 2014

Every week, we gather together a small pile of newly released titles that we agree should be on everyone's radar. We deem these titles our New Favorites (check out our recent picks here). Now that the year is winding down, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the standouts, in case you [...]

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2. NaNoWriMo Tip #17: 3 Skills to Help With Writing Dialogue

What helps to bring characters to life? Dialogue!

The animated video above features a TED-Ed lesson called “Three Anti-Social Skills to Improve Your Writing.” Educator Nadia Kalman prescribes the following skills:

(1) Eavesdropping.

(2) Treat fake people (a.k.a. your characters) as though they were real human beings.

(3) Mutter to yourself.

This is our seventeenth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. To help GalleyCat readers take on the challenge of writing a draft for a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, we will be offering advice throughout the entire month.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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3. Baring it all - Haiku

At the break of dawn

lotus unfold its petals

my cheeks are blushing

Text and Image ©Copyright 2014 By Sannel Larson.

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Featuring the Forbidden Planet exclusive variant cover by Adi Granov – a fabulous illustration of Boba Fett hitting the ground adistinctly Marvel style!

Join Luke Skywalker and his ragtag rebels fresh from the destruction of the Death Star. Fuelled with confidence, the Rebel Alliance is striking out for freedom, against the evil forces of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor.

Written by Jason Aaron (Original Sin, Thor: God of Thunder) and with art by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny Avengers), this is the Star Wars saga as only Marvel Comics could make it!


You can find these products on our website, here: -

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5. Time Bomb Comics: Longship



Time Bomb Comics
Written by Lawrence Rider
Artwork by Rebecca Teall
56 Pages
Full Colour
Format: 21 x 21 cms
Retail Price £7.99/$10.99


Please contact us directly through sales@timebombcomics.com

I actually wrote a quite long review which Blogger appears to have deleted.  It was there and ten minutes later -nothing.  You have no idea how close I am to chucking this all in.

The story/script was, apparently, written long before an artist was found in Rebecca Teall, a fine artist who had never worked in comics before.  You can find her blog here: http://www.rebeccateall.co.uk/

Anyway, just what is Longship about?  Interestingly, Lawrence Rider explains on his blog http://lawrencerider.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/longship/

"So what is it about? I’ve spent quite some time describing it as fifty-odd pages about a funeral, but that tends to make people uncomfortable. Nobody really likes funerals, and they like talking about them even less. Funerals are about loss and grief, and we understandably tend to put them to the back of our mind. Which is, in a way, what Longship is about?

"I often tell people that I want to be interred in a pyramid when I die. I’m pretty sure that most of the people that I tell this to think that I’m a touch morbid. It’s not morbid, though, at least not in my mind.

“My pyramid is intended to be a celebration of my life, something for people to remember me by when
I’m gone. I don’t see planning for that as morbid, I see it as a culmination of my life, something I can leave behind. Which is, again, kind of what Longship is about.

"I’ve described Longship, perhaps a little pretentiously, as a story of life, death, what you leave behind, and what we will do to honour those we love. It’s about loss, and acceptance of that loss, but also about celebration.  It’s a celebration of a life after it’s ended. That’s also what Longship is about.

"The story is about a Viking ship burial on a hill somewhere in Yorkshire, set in the modern day. It’s beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Teall....She has made it look far better than I ever dared to hope."

I think that sums it up nicely.  In the old days of TV this story would have been the basis for a slice-of-life
Play For Today.  As it is, this story flows nicely and Teall's art works wonders.  I loved the use of Runes -see page below.

Is it really "an emotional roller-coaster" of a story as one person put it?  Well, it obviously impressed Time Bomb Comics Steve Tanner enough to publish it.   I never give too much away story-wise and in this case it is hard to give "spoilers" -you have to read the whole book to get the feel of what is going on.

One of the best from TBC to date?  I'd just say you ought to support British talent and buy a copy because for a 50+ pages colour book the price is cheap!
Now, as I have re-written and TRIED to publish this for the last hour let's see if it works now!

interior pages

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6. 100 Authors Sign Books to Help Boost Holiday Sales at Barnes & Noble

barnes-noble-logo11 (1)Barnes & Noble asked 100 authors to sign 5,000 copies of their latest books. Some of the participants include The Goldfinch author Donna Tartt, Inferno novelist Dan BrownFifty Shades of Grey trilogy writer E. L. JamesHumans of New York blogger Brandon Stanton, and children’s book creator Jeff Kinney.

These 500,000 autographed books will be made available at Barnes & Noble’s 650+ brick-and-mortar locations. The data from the previous two holiday seasons show that the retailer’s sales figures have been in decline for both the digital store and physical shops.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “Drawing customers into its physical stores has become an urgent priority for Barnes & Noble. The chain has been battered in recent years by competition from Amazon and by a sluggish book market. It has closed more than 20 stores since summer 2013 and will spin off its money-losing Nook division into a separate company next year…Some authors said they hoped the new campaign would help the struggling chain.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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7. The Harry Potter Alliance Re-Launches the ‘Odds in Our Favor’ Campaign

Odds in Our FavorThe Harry Potter Alliance has re-launched the “Odds In Our Favor” social justice campaign.

Here’s more from the press release: “#MyHungerGames aims to put action to those words. The Harry Potter Alliance is calling on the public to join the real-life District 13 — to hack the Hunger Games narratives, and to open up the pervasive personal narratives of the daily realities of income inequality in much the same way that the great #YesAllWomen did with the daily realities of misogyny.”

The group hopes people will open up and share stories about their struggles using the #MyHungerGames hashtagDonald Sutherland, the actor who plays the evil President Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games film franchise, has given his support to this cause. What do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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8. Four white women talk about race

About thirteen years ago, I was on a work trip with several colleagues when we heard the news of police shooting an unarmed Black man (one of many such incidents in this country's history). The four of us (all white women) talked about this. Three of us felt sick by it and confused too, which I think is a sign of our privilege. Feeling confused and surprised by evidence of racism is the luxury of those who don't have to deal with it every day. The fourth woman, who I liked and admired generally, said something I haven't been able to forget: "Well, maybe the police had learned through experience that men who look like him usually have guns."

We all stopped walking and looked at her. She couldn't be saying what we thought she was saying, could she?

She went to clarify. She didn't hold the police officers at fault. After all, if in their experience Black men carried guns, then naturally they would assume this one had a gun, and so shooting him was in self defense.

"But he didn't have a gun," I said, in case she'd missed that part somehow. "He was afraid and running away from police, afraid they would shoot him, which they did. Even though he didn't have a gun."

"But he might have," she insisted. "They didn't know. Plus he shouldn't have been running. He should have just surrendered."

By her own logic, I wanted to add, perhaps then he had reason to be afraid the police would shoot an unarmed Black man, even if he surrendered. Perhaps his experience had taught him that that was likely.

We tried to point out to her that this is what the problem is with stereotypes. Even in the extremely unlikely scenario that every single Black man these white police officers had ever met had been carrying a gun and intended to use it to kill cops, this one wasn't. He should have been treated as an individual, as a human being, not by what others who looked like him had done in the past. He was killed for the color of his skin, not for his actions. That is the danger of stereotypes. That's what racism is.

She could not understand. She couldn't grasp what we were trying to explain. She could only see the situation from a single point-of-view. I don't want to paint the other three of us as heroes. I'm sure we are all spectacularly ignorant about a great number of things. But in this one instance, for whatever reason, we could see something that this other woman simply could not.

I wonder about this woman. I wonder if she only ever had friends who looked like her. I wonder if she'd ever read a book with a Black protagonist and learned to identify with him or her. I wonder if learning to recognize the pervasive racism in this country would have so upset the way she understood the world that she just couldn't manage it. If it was scary for her. If ignorance was a security blanket that she, as a white person, could afford to cling to.

I'm reminded of her a lot this week. People are reacting to the news from Ferguson in vastly different ways. One of those ways is, "It's not about race. Why do people have to make everything about race?" If someone were to say, "It's obvious that racism is a real and huge issue, but in this case, carefully examining the evidence, I don't think it applies here," I could respect that. I'd disagree with you, but I'd respect that. But to claim "there is no racism" is alarmingly blind and willfully ignorant.

Until we all choose to see and try to understand the racism around us and in us, nothing is going to change. And we so desperately need change. So desperately the need aches. It stings. And for some, it kills.

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9. Princess In Black on NYT BESTSELLER!!!

Here's a sneak peek of the line up for the NEXT Princess in Black book.  Let me know what you think...

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10. Black Friday ’14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)

by Zachary Clemente

gift guide Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)If you’re like me, you don’t have any siblings, which is a real shame since I really want to get kids into comics. Thankfully, I have enough younger cousins who are easily susceptible to the gift of comics no matter the occasion, so I spoil them rotten at pretty much every turn.

I hope they actually like them.

Either way, here’s a collection of great gifts to get your younger cousins (or siblings or children or whatever – take your pick) this Black Friday consumer-fest in preparation for the upcoming holidays.


STK644501 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Adventure Time Fionna & Cake Mathematical Edition Hardcover – $29.99 (-25%) TFAW

Literally one of the most beautiful books I’ve read – whether you’re a fan of Adventure Time’s sometimes heroines, this loving tale of friendship with melt your heart. This is the collected series. Written and Drawn by Natasha Allegri.

prv14944 cov 772x1028 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise Library Edition HC - $23.99 (-40%) TFAW

A must read for any fan of the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series. This hardcover collects the three volumes of Gene Luen Yang’s canonical stories of the events directly after the end of the hit series, Drawn by Gurihiru. There are two more series after this one; “The Search” and “The Rift”.

4064457 01 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Bride’s Story, Vol. 1 – $13.24 (-22%) Amazon

There is literally nothing like Kaoru Mori‘s series about the life of Amir Halgal, a young woman living during 19th century Silk Road, betrothed to a boy 8 years younger than her. Bride’s Story represents this situations with care, keeping the events historically accurate while making it accessible and entertaining for contemporary audiences. Additionally, Mori’s art is unparalleled with this series, currently 6 volumes in total.

BandettePresto Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Bandette Volume 1: Presto! Hardcover – $7.49 (-50%) TFAW

A lighthearted jaunt through the life of Bandette – the first collection of Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover‘s “harmless” crime romp is delightful and exquisitely executed. The second volume to out April 2015.

BATMAN 66 vol1 nm1mbsipz0  527c205d3e9f65.33103894 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Batman ’66 Vol. 1 Hardcover – $12.64 (-37%) Amazon

Bringing back the spectacular fun of the classic Batman series, Jeff Parker writes dastardly deeds and timeless heroics with artists Jonathan Case, Ty Templeton, Joe Quinones, Sandy Jarrell, Ruben Procopio, and Colleen Coover. Batman ’66 currently has 2 volumes out, with the 3rd out April 2015.

cvr9781421550640 9781421550640 hr Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Box Set - $42.00 (-30%) Amazon

Actually the most amazing thing on this list. While most American readers are familiar with Hayao Miyazaki‘s early masterpiece in animated form – it was original a manga – a far deeper and involved story about Nausicaä’s adventures. I literally cannot recommend this enough. The whole series is printed in two gorgeous hardcover books in this set.

91Z0pfjw9UL Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Battling Boy Vol. 1 Paperback – $9.68 (-39%) Amazon

A distillation of everything cosmic about Kirby and magical about Miyazaki; Paul Pope‘s entrance into all-ages comics is a fantastic tome for anyone looking for adventure. This is the first of two volumes, with an offshoot series Aurora West having one of two books currently out.

71iS9Uek5CL Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Smile/Sister Boxed Set – $18.68 (-15%) Midtown

No offense, but if Raina Telgemeier‘s work isn’t on your radar, better move out from under that rock and pick it up. I recently attended an event where she ran a workshop and it was literally swimming with eager children.

dcb772b0 e6df 43fa a11a 20f906690597 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Ms. Marvel Paperback Vol. 1 – No Normal – $12.79 (-20%) TFAW

Same as above, if you aren’t aware of what Marvel is doing with the name “Ms. Marvel” you need to check out this book. Meet Kamala Khan, a teenage superheroine who is learning the ropes of how to juggle a like of crime-fighting and being an inconspicuous teenager in a devoutly Islamic household; it’s tremendous and important work. Written by G. Willow Wilson and Drawn by Adrian Alphona, this is an ongoing series.

Ewoks SoE Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Star Wars: Ewoks – Shadows of Endor – $3.99 (-50%) TFAW

There literally isn’t a reason to pick up Zack Giallongo‘s wonderful Star Wars book. He has a marvelous style that allows for epic battles and violence while riding the line of accessibility for all readers. Also, c’mon – Ewoks are the cutest. This is currently a standalone book.

johnny boo cover new lg Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Johnny Boo Hardcover Vol. 1 – Best Little Ghost in the World - $4.97 (-50%) TFAW

There are so many books by Vermonter James Kochalka that could (and should) be on this list, but the Johnny Boo series is my favorite. There are currently 6 super-cute volumes out and they’re all really fun.

Costume Quest Invastion Of The Candy Snatchers Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Costume Quest Hardcover: Invasion Of Candy Snatchers - $19.99 (-20%) TFAW

For me, this was a dream come true. Zac Gorman is well-known online for crafting wholly unique animated comics that distill that feeling of beating a temple in The Legend of Zelda on the first try at 2 in the morning. Since then, he’s been making amazing comics in print. Costume Quest is a property from the immensely wonderful company Double Fine (Psychonauts, Broken Age) and well-deserving of a beautiful comic.

MAY140616 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)How Toons: Tools Of Mass Construction  – $9.74 (-35%) TFAW

That’s right. There’s a comic made to teach kids how to use DIY projects to practice science and explore engineering principles (safely enough). Created by Nick Dragotta, Saul GriffithJoost Bonsen, and Ingrid Dragotta, How Toons is the perfect gift for that would be physicist or doctor without seeming forced.

2005185 sailor moon 1 600dpi Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Sailor Moon Kodansha Edition Vol. 1 - $6.65 (-39%) Amazon

Fair warning – there are like 12 volumes of the premier Shōjo manga by Naoko Takeuchi, so in for a penny in for pound. Retranslated and reprinted starting a few years ago, the adventures of Usagi Tsukino, the leader of Sailor Senshi, are an absolute joy to read.

nov090804 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Kazu Kibuishi’s Copper – $6.49 (-50%) TFAW

Last but not least, is Kazu Kibiushi‘s early work, Copper. Don’t get me wrong, his work on Amulet, Flight, Daisy Kutter, and more are amazing – especially as a fan of seeing his progression. However, nothing – any I mean nothing – has gotten as close to the tone and feeling that Calvin & Hobbes encapsulated; and we have to celebrate that.

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11. Makes Great Gifts, Hint Hint


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12. LAX, Gate 35

We arrived at LAX an hour and a half before my flight yesterday, so I painted this study of the aircraft at the gate. It's about 5x8 inches in a Pentalic watercolor journal.

I used just four colors: white, black, cadmium yellow deep, and ultramarine. Although I couldn't paint the red graphics of the Virgin America, those colors gave me a complementary gamut.

Halfway through the painting, the aircraft pushed back, but I got lucky. Another identical airplane arrived to take its place, so I could finish the study.

To see a detailed step by step, with all the stages of this painting, check out my Facebook page.

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13. CCI is aware of offensive remarks by alleged SDCC committee member

Last night twitter user Bill in San diego @BillntwrkBill got very vocal about the Ferguson protests on his account. Which is his right, as laid out by our Bill of Rights. However, it went over the line of what one might call civil commentary with calling the mother of a dead teenager a “whiny bitch” for grieving for her son, and a lot of other offensive rhetoric.

But here’s the interesting part. His bio lists

U. S . Navy Vet. Comic Con Regular Committee member. Married to wonderful woman. My tweets are my own. Go to CCI official website for factual information. Socal

and Comic-Con did indeed come up in several tweets. Bill (identified in this thread on his misdeeds as Bill Purcell) claimed he was not a committee member, but rather a volunteer. A volunteer who offered to give out passes for sexual favors?
billpurcell CCI is aware of offensive remarks by alleged SDCC committee member

And other sexual threats against comics industry members.

Although Bill claimed he was a volunteer for the con, I’m told he was actually a committee member for a while. And he was not a volunteer last year.

While, once again, expressing civilized opinions of current events is perfectly acceptable even if you disagree, using an association with one of the world’s biggest entertainment events—one which has a laudable track record for inclusion and diversity—as a platform for abusive, name calling language and threatening rape is probably not acceptable.

I reached out to Comic-Con and was told “This matter has been brought to our attention and we may be able to comment later in the day.”

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14. Return to Rome by Margot Justes

It was a packed one day in Rome and my first transatlantic cruise,  time just didn’t allow for more. On this cruise we would stop in  Livorno, Italy-Cartagena  and 3 of the 7 Canary Islands in Spain, and Agadir, Morocco in Africa,  the final destination was Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

For the longest time I wanted to see the Borghese Galleries in Rome. Usually you have to book months in advance, but I was lucky. I walked through the beautiful gardens up to the Villa Borghese, and was told they were sold out. I must have really looked dejected, and the woman took pity on me and sent me downstairs to the ticket counter.  She told me sometimes they have returned tickets.

I did as I was told, and they had a couple of extra tickets if I was willing to wait three hours. Waiting was not a problem, first and foremost, the gardens are positively stunning and vast, there is a museum shop on the lower floor, along with a cafeteria that offered excellent coffee, and delicious paninis, I chose ham and cheese and it was yummy. 

The Borghese family arrived in Rome in the late 16th century, and the villa dates back to the early 17th Century.  There are two floors and twenty rooms filled to capacity, the collections is vast, it is one of those places that is so packed you don’t know where to look first, and it is overwhelming. I prefer galleries that aren’t quite so crowded. You will find works of Bernini, Correggio, Raphael, Rubens, Titian and Caravaggio to name just a few masterpieces exhibited.

The amazing collection is not to be missed, the self guided tours lasts 2 hours, and there is an audio option. The tours are staggered, and they only allow 350 visitors per tour; time and number of people are strictly controlled.

I came away inspired by the works of Bernini-he of the fountains of Rome fame-along with the magical fountains, he was a magnificent sculptor. The collection is massive and in reality for me, the two hours were enough.  There is just so much crammed into the available space, and the collection is so massive that I was on overload. I walked back to the hotel in the rain, and that wet breath of fresh air felt good.

I did make the most with my time in Rome. I walked through the Borghese Gardens and Galleries, I saw the finished renovation of the Bernini Fountain below the Spanish Steps, and had a delicious dinner-homemade pasta cooked al dente with porcini mushrooms and Parmesan Reggiano. It was a packed day and by the end I was exhausted, and slept like the proverbial baby.

The next morning the hotel provided a scrumptious buffet breakfast filled with various breads, sweet rolls, cakes, cheeses, hams, eggs and all the espressos and cappuccinos I could drink. My kind of breakfast.

There was an unexpected adventure I hadn’t anticipated. The driver picked me up from the hotel and off I went to the Civitavecchia Terminal, the Port of Rome. The driver stopped at the security gate at the terminal and had a lengthy conversation. I should have known something was wrong; the discussion at the security gate and the fact that I couldn’t see the ship should have given me a clue that not all was well. I didn’t even think twice about the rough waters lapping against the wall as we neared the port. I thought maybe we’ll have to be tendered because the ship was docked elsewhere.

The ship was indeed docked elsewhere, in a different location, and in fact in a totally different port in another city altogether. As the driver informed me-the seas were too rough and Civitavecchia is very rocky; the ships already there couldn’t get out, and new arrivals couldn’t get in. My ship was stuck in Naples.

There were buses lined up along the terminal, the passengers and the luggage were loaded on said buses and off we went on a three hour ride to Naples to board our ship.  Celebrity Cruises handled it really well, they provided water and snacks-heaven forbid you should be on a cruise and not have food.

Once we arrived in Naples, the check-in was relatively painless, and we were on our way, the first stop the next day was Livorno, Italy-the port for Pisa and Florence. I had high hopes of finally seeing Michelangelo’s David.

Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Blood Art
A Fire Within

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Writer: Stephen Walsh 
Artist: Keith Page
Published 2010, 56 pages
A4 Graphic Album
Perfect bound
Full colour cover/black and white interior.
Order online: http://timebombcomics.com/products.html

According to the blurb when this was published:  

"Squadron of the Screaming Damned is their amazing follow up to London Calling which we released to critical acclaim in 2010.  Once again featuring Charlotte Corday – the mysterious secret agent whose missions are so top secret even she doesn’t know what they are – the story begins with a WWII German U-boat surfacing in Charlotte’s bathtub, as Page and Walsh give us another fabulous dose of the weird and wonderful that made London Calling such a hit."

Now I really loved London Calling even if I cannot find my review on CBO -or was it on the old CBO? Never mind.

I was reading this at 0330 hrs this morning. This is the weird and fantastic at its best.  It had all the elements that for me, as a comic reader who likes the quirky and odd, worked!  Great fun story....or was it? I forget.  It was a great fun story....was it---we could go on for days like this!

Seriously, buy this one and I note London Calling is still available.  Man, if you don't buy both these books then you are a complete mental.  You should not be reading quality comic books.  I think the late Brian Edwards would have loved this!

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16. ‘Jurassic World’ Trailer Has Arrived

Released today: the first full trailer for "Jurassic World."

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17. What's On Your Nightstand (November)

The folks at 5 Minutes For Books host What’s On Your Nightstand? the fourth Tuesday of each month in which we can share about the books we have been reading and/or plan to read.

Reviews Coming Soon...in December...

Brown Girl Dreaming. Jacqueline Woodson

Jane Austen's First Love by Syrie James

Princess in Black by Shannon Hale
Recently finished:

Tolkien: How An Obscure Oxford Professor Wrote the Hobbit and Became the Most Beloved Author of the Century. Devin Brown. Abingdon Press. 145 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I'll be reviewing this one at Operation Actually Read Bible this week or next. It was WONDERFUL.

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell. Review will be coming in January. (Yes, I'm all booked up for December already, at least at Becky's Book Reviews.)

 Operation Bunny (Wings & Co. #1) Sally Gardner. Review will be coming in January.

Sleep In Peace Tonight. James MacManus. Review will be in January.

Currently Reading:

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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18. Chris Colfer to Work On Multiple New Book Projects

201575_215x340Glee star Chris Colfer has landed a deal with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for several new projects. Editorial director Alvina Ling will continue to work with Colfer on his manuscripts.

According to The Associated Press, Colfer plans to write two more installments for the Land of Stories middle grade series. Book four will come out in July 2015 and book five will follow in July 2016.

Colfer has also agreed to create two picture books set in the Land of Stories universe. He will also be working on a new young adult novel that stars “a young actor and his fans on ‘a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country road trip.’”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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19. Review of Nuts to You

perkins nuts to you Review of <i />Nuts to You</b></em></p>star2 Review of <i />Nuts to YouNuts to You
by Lynne Rae Perkins; illus. by the author
Intermediate    Greenwillow    260 pp.
8/14    978-0-06-009275-7    $16.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-226220-2    $8.99

Jed the squirrel’s odyssey begins dramatically when he is captured by a hawk and carried far away from his community. Using an “ancient squirrel defensive martial art,” he escapes and so begins his journey home. Meanwhile, his two best friends Chai and TsTs set off to find him. In the course of these two (eventually converging) adventures, our heroes meet some helpful hillbillyish red squirrels, a threatening owl, a hungry bobcat, and a group of humans who are cutting brush and trees for power-line clearance, thus threatening the squirrels’ habitat. The three make it safely home only to face their biggest challenge: convincing their conservative community to relocate before the humans destroy their homes. Part satire, part environmental fable, and all playful, energetic hilarity, this story takes us deep into squirrel culture: their names (“‘Brk’ is pronounced just as it’s spelled, except the r is rolled. It means ‘moustache’ in Croatian but in squirrel, it’s just a name”); their games (Splatwhistle); and their wisdom (“Live for the moment…but bury a lot of nuts”). Perkins uses language like the best toy ever. The storm “howled and pelted, whirled and whined; it spit and sprayed and showered. Its winds were fierce. Its wetness was inescapable.” The book begs to be read aloud, except that you’d miss the wacky digressions, the goofy footnotes, and the black-and-white illustrations with their built-in micro-plots. Another completely original and exceptional package from Perkins.

From the November/December 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

share save 171 16 Review of <i />Nuts to You</a></p>

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20. Golden Wolf Creates ‘VANDROID’ Comic Book Trailer

London-based Golden Wolf created this slick animated trailer to promote Horse's upcoming graphic novel release of "VANDROID."

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21. A Few of My Favorite Things

There is nothing I love more than finding a new author who blows my socks off and keeps me up reading well past my bedtime.

With Christmas on the way, I'll tempt you with a list of my favorite finds from 2014:

1. Susan Kaye Quinn: Third Daughter, Second Daughter, and First Daughter.

A bollywood steampunk trilogy, how is that for a combination? I enjoyed the world-building, interesting plot lines, and delicious descriptions.

I enjoyed Quinn's other series: The Mindjack Trilogy, a dystopian YA set in Chicago. In a world where everyone can read minds, how do you fight back?

And the Debt Collector serial: Time is a commodity, have you earned yours or is it time to collect?

A second Debt Collector series will be completed December 15.


2. Brenna Yovanoff: The Replacement, The Space Between, Paper Valentine, and Fiendish. Her stories are modern-day fables reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm. The plots are slight, but her glorious use of language and description makes up for them. Paper Valentine was my least favorite. The other three I could not put down.


3. A. R. Kahler: The Immortal Circus Trilogy

This circus performer has terrific world-building and delightful wordsmithery. Queen Mab runs a circus and it is a hell of a show. This is a trilogy I will never forget.

He is working on a new series: The Hunted.


I can't wait to see what 2015 will serve up. More yummies please! If you've discovered an exciting new voice, let me know in the comments (no blantant self-promo please - this is a time to pay forward).

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22. Constable & Robinson Publishes ‘The Very Hungover Caterpillar’

hungover caterpillarConstable & Robinson, a division of the Little, Brown Book Group in the U.K., has published a parody of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

According to BuzzFeed, The Very Hungover Caterpillar stars an over-inebriated father. The protagonist turns to a number of hangover foods and cures to help with his ailment.

Writers Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees collaborated on the story for this adult-themed picture book. Artist Gillian Johnson created the illustrations. What do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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23. Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson is an Illustrator represented by Heart Illustration Agency. He is inspired by folk art, 1930s studio photography and secondhand bookshops. His clients include; Penguin, Creative Review, Radio Times and The New York Times to name a few.

To see more of this great illustrators work: Visit his website and blog

Posted by Jessica Holden

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24. Leslie Feinberg Has Died

Leslie FeinbergLeslie Feinberg, an author and LGBT activist, has died. She was 65-years-old.

As a writer, Feinberg (pictured, via) became well-known for her novel Stone Butch Blues. Prior to her death, she had been working on features for a 20th anniversary edition of the book including a slideshow called “This Is What Solidarity Looks Like.”

Here’s more from The Advocate: “Her historical and theoretical writing has been widely anthologized and taught in the U.S. and international academic circles. Her impact on mass culture was primarily through her 1993 first novel, Stone Butch Blues, widely considered in and outside the U.S. as a groundbreaking work about the complexities of gender. Sold by the hundreds of thousands of copies and also passed from hand-to-hand inside prisons, the novel has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, German, Italian, Slovenian, Turkish, and Hebrew (with her earnings from that edition going to ASWAT Palestinian Gay Women).” (via CNN)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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25. Short Stories

Short stories are alive and well in the young adult market.


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