Blog Watch Wednesday and Montly Planned Reads!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Reviews Posted:

Fun Stuff:

Is FaceBook making us lonely? All things in moderation, I don't believe so. An hour or two online isn't detrimental as long as that is not the only social interaction used.

Microsoft invests $300million in Barnes and Noble's Nook.

First listen of Florence and the Machine's "Breath of Life" track for Snow White and the Huntsman's soundtrack.

What would manga characters would look like in real life? Short answer? CREEPY

Game of Thrones in Legos! Of courrrse they choose that scene.

Check out some of the concept art for the show as well. SPOILERS for season 2 if you've not read the books.

Game of Thrones humor and Nathan Fillion. I love you, Mr. Fillion. Spoilers for season one!

An allegory of Thrones. The last one is what really got me.

Game of Thrones episode RESPONSEs from Ewa:
(I am stealing the word schemeface.)

TUMBLR OF THE WEEK: Project Unbreakable

The 13 Most Useless College Majors. I'm in there with both of my desired degrees - history and anthropology

Julie Kagawa's brand new vampire dystopian novel, The Immortal Rules, has been optioned for film. (My review for the novel is above.)

Juliet Grey, author of Becoming Marie Antoinette and this years Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, will be doing a live chat on Passages to the Past on May 16th for the 242nd wedding anniversary of Marie and Louis XVI. There will be four giveaways in the hour-long chat so tune in.

Movie posters from other angles.  I love stuff like this.

A flash mob of Carlton dances led by none other than... Carlton Banks.

Re: The Story Siren's Plagiarism
From Cuddlebuggery: What Happens Now?
From one the victims, Grit &Glamour:  "Now It's MY Turn For a Clarification"
From Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: On hatemail and plagiarism itself

From Cracked:

Planned Reads for May 2012:

 Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (ARC provided by publishers and NetGalley)

 Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

The Queen's Vow by C.W. Gortner (ARC provided by publisher and edelweiss)

No one believed I was destined for greatness.
So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.

Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon.

As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.

Gilt by Katherine Longshore  (ARC provided by publisher and NetGalley)

 In the Tudor age, ambition, power and charismatic allure are essential and Catherine Howard has plenty of all three. Not to mention her loyal best friend, Kitty Tylney, to help cover her tracks. Kitty, the abandoned youngest daughter of minor aristocracy, owes everything to Cat – where she is, what she is, even who she is. Friend, flirt, and self-proclaimed Queen of Misrule, Cat reigns supreme in a loyal court of girls under the none-too-watchful eye of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.

But when Cat worms her way into the heart of Henry VIII and becomes Queen of England, Kitty is thrown into the intoxicating Tudor Court. It’s a world of glittering jewels and elegant costumes, of gossip and deception. As the Queen’s right-hand-woman, Kitty goes from the girl nobody noticed to being caught between two men – the object of her affection and the object of her desire.

Over the course of one gaudy, chaotic year, Kitty is forced to learn the difference between trust and loyalty, love and lust, secrets and treason. And when the tide begins to turn against the young Queen, Kitty discovers all too late the true weight of the diamond collar around Cat’s neck.

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny (ARC provided by publisher and NetGalley)

 Dr. Gabriella Mondini, a strong-willed, young Venetian woman, has followed her father in the path of medicine. She possesses a singleminded passion for the art of physick, even though, in 1590, the male-dominated establishment is reluctant to accept a woman doctor. So when her father disappears on a mysterious journey, Gabriella's own status in the Venetian medical society is threatened. Her father has left clues--beautiful, thoughtful, sometimes torrid, and often enigmatic letters from his travels as he researches his vast encyclopedia, The Book of Diseases.

After ten years of missing his kindness, insight, and guidance, Gabriella decides to set off on a quest to find him--a daunting journey that will take her through great university cities, centers of medicine, and remote villages across Europe. Despite setbacks, wary strangers, and the menaces of the road, the young doctor bravely follows the clues to her lost father, all while taking notes on maladies and treating the ill to supplement her own work.

Gorgeous and brilliantly written, and filled with details about science, medicine, food, and madness, THE BOOK OF MADNESS AND CURES is an unforgettable debut.

Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris (bought, owned copy)

Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian.

These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest . . . and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, along with her into the perilous fray.

For a malevolent brotherhood is operating in the deepening London shadows, intent upon the enslavement of all Britons. And Books and Braun—he with his encyclopedic brain and she with her remarkable devices—must get to the twisted roots of a most nefarious plot . . . or see England fall to the Phoenix!

The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris (ARC provided by edelweiss and publishers) 

Evildoers beware! Retribution is at hand, thanks to Britain's best-kept secret agents!!

Certainly no strangers to peculiar occurrences, agents Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are nonetheless stunned to observe a fellow passenger aboard Britain's latest hypersteam train suddenly vanish in a dazzling bolt of lightning. They soon discover this is not the only such disappearance . . . with each case going inexplicably unexamined by the Crown.

The fate of England is once again in the hands of an ingenious archivist paired with a beautiful, fearless lady of adventure. And though their foe be fiendishly clever, so then is Mr. Books . . . and Miss Braun still has a number of useful and unusual devices hidden beneath her petticoats.

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