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March 31, 2011

Trailer: The Three Musketeers

So . . . on the one hand, this doesn't look particularly good, and people who are more familiar with the book and/or previous movies than I am seem to be outraged.

On the other hand . . . Matthew Macfadyen.

Posted by Kat at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/31/11)

Happy Thursday! I have determined that it IS Thursday, even though NPR completely confused me by saying it was Wednesday in their 5 a.m. newscast. Don't toy with me like that, NPR!

Also: We're getting a big snowstorm tonight. This does not appear to be an April Fool's joke. Please prepare yourselves accordingly.

Tonight's TV Picks: The Mentalist and . . . that's it. Wow. That's sort of good, because all I've managed to watch this week is Castle, so I'm way behind.

Oh, Tea Party, never ever change.

Burn Notice fans! Head over here to watch the prequel trailer.

Gone with the Wind typescript found!

John Le Carre is not into prizes and wants his name taken off the Man Booker list to give the space to a newer author. The Man Booker people do not agree. Sheesh. If he doesn't want your prize, he doesn't want your prize.

Block angry-making British tabloids with tea and kittens.

Actually, the Tea and Kittens site itself is pretty nifty. "Presenting for your enjoyment a fine selection of Tea and Kittens for the removal of stress in office environments."

Why do screenwriters hate nerd love?

I can tell you from personal experience that making a wedding cake actually is a pretty effective way to upstage your friends at their own wedding. (Also, just a nice thing to do!)

Posted by Kat at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2011

This weekend's TV news...

Just realized I never posted the link to this Sunday's column at TheTelevixen. Enjoy! Note: sci-fi fans, especially, should be sure to click over this week, because there's a lot of that sort of news.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/30/11)

Hm. April Fool's Day is almost here. I just figured I'd warn you so you can start preparing yourself, in case you HATE it as much as I do.

Tonight's TV Picks: Mr. Sunshine and Justified

You know what Newt's worried about? A "secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists."

Those who live in glass houses with no birth certificates probably shouldn't throw stones.

What You Need to Know About the Wal-Mart Sex Discrimination Case

The Fug Girls go on a wonderful (but serious) rant about the way women are portrayed on magazines like Rolling Stone.

This is really good advice on validating people's feelings without necessarily agreeing or giving advice.

Okay, that was all kind of heavy. Here, it's an adorable Nathan Fillion gallery!

The Awl has many good questions about this Tommy Hilfiger ad.

Useful: Simple Drinks for Stupid People

Something to watch: Catherine Cookson's estate is going to publish scores of cheap ebooks without notifying her print publishers. (Unless, you know, they read it in the paper.)

Posted by Kat at 06:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2011

Non-Spoilery Review: The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of The Demon's Surrender, the final volume in Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon's Lexicon trilogy. There's always a little trepidation that comes with reading the last book in a series, because what if it's not as good? What if it sours your memories of the whole series? What if it ruins everything?

Well. In this case, I needn't have worried. The Demon's Lexicon and The Demon's Covenant were the two best books I read in the past few years, and The Demon's Surrender was EVEN BETTER. And instead of ruining anything about the previous books, it made me love them even more. And it made me want to talk about them to everyone I know, but since this book isn't out until June, no one I know has read it. (I resorted to actually e-mailing the author herself, not to mention constantly harassing her on Twitter, and she has put up with this very kindly.) As I mentioned a few days ago, as part of my quest to make everyone read these books, we're going to do a book-of-the-month thing with the first two in April and May. In the meantime I've been more or less hitting my friends over the head with the first book (sometimes literally).

And the extra-difficult thing to do with talking about this book is that almost ANYTHING I can say about the plot will be a spoiler for the previous books. That's why I've been rambling for two paragraphs here without actually saying anything. It's awesome! I love it! Isn't that enough? No, no it's not. So let me say, in a general sense, that The Demon's Surrender takes everything we thought we knew about these characters and this world from the first two books, flips it sort of inside out, throws in a bunch of new problems, and then resolves everything in a way that is thoroughly satisfying but not simplistic or saccharine. And if you're anything like me, it will make you want to immediately go back and reread the whole trilogy and work out how it was all set up, because it was set up BRILLIANTLY.

One unusual thing about this trilogy is that each book is told from the point of view of a different character. I know some readers have complained about this, but I ended up LOVING that feature and now sort of think that all series should be that way. (Well, maybe not all, but more, anyway.) The viewpoint character of this third book was one on whom I hadn't gotten much of a read in the previous books, so I was a little wary, but I wound up adoring her. But more importantly, I adored the way the world and circumstances of the books looked completely different from her perspective. For example, her version of one of the main characters was funnier than the version seen by the previous narrator, but also less attractive. Her take on magic and demons was completely different. And issues of race and class, which I'd never noticed all that much in the previous books, became vitally important in this one, because they were vitally important to this narrator. At the same time, though, the series was completely consistent and the different narrators were clearly describing the same world. The changes in points of view made the world of the books more believable and more enjoyable, not less so.

What else can I say without spoiling? How about a list of Awesome Things you will find in this book?

1. A gritty, compelling British setting - with an extra hidden layer of magic
2. Hot brothers fighting evil, while being somewhat shady themselves. (I have a weakness for this.)
3. A young male feminist
4. Two strong, independent teenage girls, who totally pass the Bechdel test
5. The girls are both awesome but very different (physically and otherwise), but both attractive, and to some of the same boys.
6. Characters who are gay, just as a matter of course. Totally not a big issue, in the best possible way.
7. Plot twists that genuinely surprised me, and yet made complete sense in retrospect. (Honestly, that's pretty rare.)
8. Exciting fights, of both the magic sort and the knife sort. And sometimes the magic knife sort.
9. A demon's hilarious/sweet/scary version of romance
10. More of the wonderful sibling relationships from the first two books, plus a new one that's both sweet and fierce.
11. Ridiculously hot make-out scenes. (One features a book, because SRB knows what the nerdy girls like.)
12. My new favorite Couple of Lying Liars, supplanting even Chuck and Blair in my "deceitful romantics" affections.
13. Many, many lines that will make you literally laugh out loud, plus at least a few that will make you laugh and cry at the same time.
14. Oh, did I mention the hot guy taking care of a baby?
15. And the DEMONS and MAGICIANS and DANGER and FIRE?
So, basically, I'm saying you probably want to just preorder this now, because if you haven't already read The Demon's Lexicon (order that while you're at it) I'm going to browbeat you into that next month, and then you'll want to read the rest of the trilogy as quickly as you possibly can. Promise.

Posted by Kat at 08:24 AM | Comments (2)

Hey, it's me! On a podcast!

Melissa and the other kind folks at TheTelevixen's Vampire Diaries podcast were kind enough to invite me to join them for a recent episode, when they discussed "The Descent." I can't bring myself to listen to my own voice, but a kind friend listened and promised it isn't completely embarrassing, so I might as well tell you all that you can listen here.

Posted by Kat at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)

Trailer: William and Kate

I haven't been this excited about a Lifetime movie since Logan Huntzberger and Lexie Grey went Amish.

Posted by Kat at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/29/11)

It's . . . Tuesday? Yes. Tuesday. Not Wednesday, as I keep thinking. But I finally got my movers scheduled yesterday, so yay!

Tonight's TV Picks: Series premiere of Body of Proof! Also: The Good Wife and Lights Out

Jennifer Garner as Miss Marple? I . . . I don't even know. Unless it's a prequel. Is it a prequel? That would be a little better.

TIME releases its list of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds of All Time. And it took me way too long to realize why they picked 140.

A Birtherism Lexicon

He NEVER RECOGNIZED Fergus Cullen? Dude, Giuliani has no chance. But we knew that already.

The Burdens of Female Politicians

How to Beat the Salad Bar is funny but kind of misses the point.

If you haven't read the Hunger Games series and want to know what everyone's going on about, here's a decent cheat sheet.

Alyssa Rosenberg makes me less inclined to just write off Sucker Punch.

I like the idea of dollar coins.

Royal Wedding Cakes Revealed! Really, a McVitie's cake sounds like the best thing ever, and I'm determined to make my own.

Posted by Kat at 06:29 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2011

Yet another parody Boston Movie trailer . . .

This time with real movies!

Posted by Kat at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/28/11)

Happy Monday! I'm in a productive mood. Let's hope it lasts.

Tonight's TV Picks: Make It or Break It starts its new season. Also: Being Human and Castle

YA author Diana Wynne Jones passed away over the weekend. I have to admit that I haven't read her (yet), but you should definitely read Neil Gaiman's memories of her regardless.

Armie Hammer as the prince in Snow White? Sure. (Note: This is not the Kristen Stewart Snow White. Apparently we're getting several. Or at least two.)

Tom Hooper's next project: Les Mis. That could be fun, although I'd rather a miniseries faithful to the novel than a movie of the musical. Oh well.

George Harrison forgave Patti Boyd. Aww.

An important point: Selective Fetal Personhood.

TV movies based on Sarah Mlynowski books! Whee.

Sucker Punch sounds so bad, and we were all so hopeful. Sigh.

Apparently there's an "insatiable appetite" to challenge Gov. Lynch. Joy.

How the Filibuster Wrecked the Roman Senate

Leaving aside the (very good and valid) point about gender and race that others have made, the strained Brat Pack references in this article make it a thoroughly weird read.

Sci-Fi Hero Samplers! Want.

Posted by Kat at 06:43 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2011

Books You Will Want To Read

Not one but TWO authors I love announced new book series today! First, Gail Carriger announced her new Victorian steampunk finishing school series, and seriously, SIGN ME UP, as I love all those things. Also, it has "well-dressed espionage," which is basically my favorite thing EVER. So. I am excited.

And then! As though that were not enough! Sarah Rees Brennan, who I actually found myself describing as my "favorite living author" the other day, this afternoon announced a gothic romance trilogy involving unlikely crime-fighting partners and a lady sleuth and the Cotswolds and a maybe-imaginary friend and murder! Really, I am beside myself with glee about all this.

Posted by Kat at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/25/11)

Happy Friday! Finally!

Big breaking TV news last night: Fringe was renewed. Whew.

Sounds like Michele Bachmann is running. This will be SO MUCH FUN. I will go to a campaign event and report back, I promise.

Women just ruin everything, including publishing, apparently. Sigh.

The summer Masterpiece: Mystery! schedule is up. They're giving me Rufus Sewell as an Italian detective for my birthday? AWESOME.

<3 is now a word.

Google's recipe search promotes the wrong things.

Houdini everywhere!

Posted by Kat at 07:36 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2011

Morning Coffee (3/24/11)

Happy Thursday! Only Thursday? Really?

Tonight's TV Picks: Fairly Legal season finale! Also Community and Parks and Rec

Honestly, I will probably buy music from the royal wedding.

Oh, RNC, never change.

GOP commentators are trying to appease Palin fans by convincing them that the presidency would be a step down for her. That's . . . kind of adorable, in a horrifying way.

Audra McDonald is going to star in Porgy & Bess. Awesome.

Not awesome: "updating" The Thin Man. With Johnny Depp? REALLY? Must we?

The Russians are studying yetis, in case you were concerned.

I so wanted Red Riding Hood to be good, so this is very disappointing.

Posted by Kat at 07:49 AM | Comments (2)

March 23, 2011

Cowboy Book Giveaway Winners!

Everyone entered on Twitter rather than in comments, so I'm going to tweet the winners, but I figured I'd put them up here too in case anyone was curious. So, hey, @librarianamy, @jaleh_f, @MalloryDuVal, and @Chibinessie! I need your addresses to send your books!

Posted by Kat at 07:44 AM | Comments (1)

Morning Coffee (3/23/11)

Good morning! Just to warn you, I have some stuff going on (all good stuff! Don't worry!) that may mean a bit less blogging in the near future. But we'll see how it shakes out. And I promise I'll tell you when it's official. But this seemed like a good time to ask - What do you actually want to see here? More book reviews? More links? More TV analysis? More music? Cooking, knitting, something else entirely? Let me know!

Tonight's TV Picks: Mr. Sunshine and Justified

Sharron Angle is writing an autobiography. Called Right Angle. God, I LOVE campaign season.

Check out our shiny new Staff Page at TheTelevixen.

If you're a Cassie Clare fan but didn't figure out the password for the secret Dirty Sexy Alley Scene link, it's now available to the public here.

Which TV characters would make good Amazing Race partners? My first choice would be Michael Westen. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind.

Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story should in fact have been called "WTF Sullivan Entertainment?!!!!"

A YA author's story was taken out of an anthology because of a boy/boy romance. Sigh.

Oh my. A Royal Wedding refrigerator.

Mark Paul Gosselaar fans - Check out WereTotallyLawyers.com for some fake law firm ads that are actually Franklin and Bash ads.

Posted by Kat at 07:01 AM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2011

I love Rep. Weiner.

I know I'm a little late on this, but if you haven't watched Rep. Anthony Weiner's sarcastic rant about defunding NPR, you really should:

Posted by Kat at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/22/11)

Good morning. It's . . . Tuesday? Yes. I guess so. Yes. Even though I keep thinking it's Wednesday.

Tonight's TV Picks: Lights Out and The Good Wife

Important, from Matt Yglesias: Lack of Congressional Authorization for Use of Force is an Abdication of Responsibility, Not a Power Grab.

My new favorite thing: The Electronic Publishing Bingo Card

Penguin on a plane!

Ooh, an official Royal Wedding coin.

Julian Fellowes is doing a Titanic miniseries! Comment from a friend: "Those will be the wittiest drowning people ever." In other miniseries news, HBO is doing a Cheney miniseries. Huh.

Cadbury Creme Deviled Eggs!

Valerie Plame Wilson is going to write suspense novels. Hm. I thought her memoir was fascinating, but the writing didn't particularly jump out at me. She'll have a co-writer, though. I'll definitely give them a try.

Posted by Kat at 07:43 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2011

This week's TV news...

... starts with a picture of Matt Bomer, so you probably want to head on over to TheTelevixen to check it out.

Posted by Kat at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

Castle Recap: "Countdown" (at TheTelevixen)

Castle finally returns tonight. Refresh your memory of "Countdown" with my recap for TheTelevixen!

Posted by Kat at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/21/11)

Happy Monday! No, I'm not actually feeling that cheery about it, as I stayed up too late reading. One good thing about this particular Monday, though: fans of Cassandra Clare should keep an eye on her blog because the DSAS video is coming.

Announcement! I'm going to start a book of the month feature, where I pick a book I love and have a variety of content about it throughout the month, generally aimed at making you all read it and talk to me about it. We'll start in April, and if you want to prepare, the book will be The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. (I'll be looking for a few guest posts, so let me know if you're interested.)

Tonight's TV Picks: Pretty Little Liars season finale! Also: Castle, HIMYM, Mad Love, Chicago Code, Being Human.

What the current presidential campaign books tell us.

26 Great Season Finales (I would have added last year's Vampire Diaries.)

Whoa: Vegetarian couple barred from adopting in Greece.

The Six Most Horrendous Things About the New Wonder Woman Costume

Ausiello's May Sweeps Scorecard is always fun to track.

Very different movies with identical titles

The lead guy from Blur is writing and performing in a musical about John Dee, an advisor to Elizabeth I. I . . . I just . . . I don't even know.

Any time you can replace Ron Moore with Michael Chabon, you're certainly trading up.

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2011

Morning Coffee (3/19/11)

Happy Saturday!

Tonight! Supermoon! Don't miss it!

Matt Yglesias's take on Libya echoes a lot of my own thoughts, which is reassuring because I'm sure he's better-informed than I am.

Saturday means that the latest edition of Slate's presidential Facebook feed is up.

Minnesota Republicans to Outlaw Poor People Having Money

Adorable in vitro kittens! Awww!

Dave Grohl is my new hero.

This is how they're making Wonder Woman "a serious, non-campy take"? Really? REALLY?

I am dismayed by the cruel reaction of grown adults to Rebecca Black, a child. Good takes on the issue here and here. (Caveat: Black's supposed Twitter account has since been debunked.)

A Boxcar Children prequel? Is that . . . necessary?

Posted by Kat at 07:00 AM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2011

Amanda Seyfried Covers "Little Red Riding Hood"

I've given up on seeing her Red Riding Hood movie in the theater - it's supposed to be SO BAD that I'll just wait for Netflix - but, wow. I had no idea she sang. Or played. This is not half bad. (Apparently she sang in Mamma Mia, but I still have not managed to see that.)

Posted by Kat at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/18/11)

Happy Friday! As I mentioned, I'm taking a quick trip this weekend, so I'm currently running around getting ready.

Tonight's TV Picks: Fringe, Merlin

The Times has announced digital subscription details, including its new paywall (after a certain number of articles, and not counting links from blogs or Twitter). A lot of people are up in arms, but I want the Times to stay in business, and I don't think anyone has any magical right to all their content free, so . . . I don't really get the issue. That said, I'm a paper subscriber, so it's nice that they're including the digital subscription with that.

Another thing about which people are up in arms: Jennifer Lawrence being cast in The Hunger Games.

Taylor Swift and Zac Efron are finally doing a movie together, as some of us who spend too much time thinking about this stuff have been saying they should for quite a while. Please, Taylor, fall in love and write us a song about his pretty pretty eyes.

Real-life Mills & Boon covers

A producer of Midsomer Murders was suspended for making awful comments about how he refused to cast ethnic minorities on his show because it would make it less "English." Gah. In general, I'm in favor of movies or shows set in a particular time and place accurately reflecting the demographics and attitudes of those settings, but this obviously . . . doesn't.

Killing the "Literary Wife" Memoir Subgenre

Posted by Kat at 06:59 AM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2011

Book Giveaway: Cowboys!

Harlequin seems to have declared it the Year of the Cowboy, and they sent me five copies of a cowboy book to read and share with my friends. I will keep one copy to review (look for that next week), but I figured I might as well offer the other four to you guys! It's a romantic suspense novel (part of their Intrigue line) called Smokin' Six-Shooter* by B.J. Daniels.

Want one? To enter, just comment here or @reply me on Twitter and tell me the name of your favorite fictional cowboy (from books, TV, movies, whatever). I promise I won't actually bias the results toward anyone who says "Raylan Givens," much as I may be tempted. I'm going on a little trip this weekend, so you have until Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern to enter. When I get home on Sunday I'll randomly pick four winners.

* That link goes to a Kindle edition, but these are in fact paperbacks I'll be sending out.

Posted by Kat at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/17/11)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I made a soda bread for my critique group, and even took a picture for you, but I'm running late so I'll try to get that posted tonight.

SiriusXM listeners: Don't miss the special Irish music channel today!

Tonight's TV Picks: Community, Bones, Parks and Rec, Fairly Legal

It seems that Jennifer Lawrence will be Katniss in The Hunger Games. She wasn't my first choice, but she certainly has the acting chops, and I'm sure she'll do fine.

Look, another theory about the Ninth Legion.

Here's the Orange Prize longlist.

The sad, hypocritical retirement of Evan Bayh

This review covers most of my issues with the Glee original song nonsense.

In Praise of Cultural Omnivores


These TV show drinking games are pretty great.

FishbowlDC interviews PoliticoMouse.

Posted by Kat at 07:10 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2011

TV Trailer: The Killing

I love murder mysteries, and I really love the idea of a murder investigation that won't be wrapped up in one episode (but also doesn't turn into an ongoing serial killer arc) the way most procedurals do. So I'm EXTREMELY excited about The Killing, which starts on AMC on April 3:

Posted by Kat at 07:33 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/16/11)

I woke up thinking it was Thursday. It's not. It's Wednesday. This is actually sort of good, because I have a bunch of stuff to get done before the weekend and I need more time.

If any of you (or your kids or other teens to whom you have ready access) took the SAT last Saturday and wouldn't mind answering a few very quick questions, would you get in touch? Thanks!

Tonight's TV Picks: Justified and Mr. Sunshine

Could you survive the Victorian period? Find out in this handy game!

Horror Stories from Women in Tech

Fascinating: "I Was Undocumented on Sesame Street

This is pretty huge news for the industry: Netflix is getting into original programming.

On treating TV like movies

If you missed it yesterday, Etsy did something really dumb: they made it so people's purchase history was public by default. They've changed it now, but SHEESH. Makes me glad I've never gotten around to actually ordering anything from Etsy.

Posted by Kat at 06:59 AM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2011

Listed: 5 Things I'm Looking Forward To About My New Apartment

1. Living on a paved road

2. Streetlights!

3. Shoveling being someone else's responsibility

4. No basement to flood every time it rains

5. Having a desk in the living room

Posted by Kat at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

Song of the Day: "Awake My Soul"

Posted by Kat at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/15/11)

Happy Tuesday! This will be another short one - I'm still recovering from the time change, which makes getting up early much harder. And - news! - yesterday I put down a deposit on my new apartment, so I'm really moving! This means I have to pack, so I'll have less blogging time for the next month or so. Sorry.

Tonight's TV Picks: Lights Out, Glee, Traffic Light

I haven't caught up on the Japan news yet this morning, other than what I gleaned from NPR as I was waking up, but here's the most recent Times story as of this writing.

Heh. The Modern Prometheus.

The brothers who run the Wisconsin legislature

Pregnant Iowa Woman Arrested for Falling Down

Will and Kate are inviting their exes to the wedding! Gasp! Yes, New York Times, some people stay friends with their exes. Really.

Posted by Kat at 07:25 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2011

Book 7: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
Genre: YA
Pages: 229
Grade: 83

15-year-old Ruby Oliver is sent to a shrink after total social meltdown makes her start having panic attacks, and the doctor has her make a list of all the boys she's ever been involved with, or had a crush on, or anything. This list and her conversations with the doctor about each boy form the framing device of the story, and while I liked the idea of the list and its use in the books structure, it drove me nuts that it was called a "boyfriend" list, because most of the boys on it were not "boyfriends" in any sense in which I have ever heard the word used by anyone ever. Honestly, this one issue probably biased me against this book from the start, and is part of why I gave it a solid B but not higher.

My other main issue was that I had a hard time relating to Ruby, especially at first, because of what I've started calling (you know, in my head) the "But doesn't she have a hobby?" problem. She spent so much time thinking about boys, and so little time concentrating on or caring about anything else. I know boys and crushes and social are a huge preoccupation for teens, but the extent of it seemed unrealistic. I mean, sure, when I was that age I had crushes, but I spent far more time reading and playing the violin and yelling at my mother (sorry!) than I did thinking or talking about boys. On the other hand, I did a quick survey of some friends who had read this, and a few said that this was exactly how they thought/acted in high school, so maybe my experiences were atypical.

But enough negativity! Because there were tons of things to like about this book, too! First of all, there were footnotes, and I love me a novel with footnotes, especially funny ones like these. Overall, the tone was both hilarious and touching, and Ruby had a very strong, distinctive voice. While I thought her obsession with boys and social jockeying was a bit much, many of the specific incidents at school and in her social life felt scarily true. Also, Ruby gets bonus points for living on a houseboat, because that was something fun and different to read about. But my favorite thing about the book was the way that Ruby herself was not exactly quite a reliable narrator - both in ways she was aware of and in ways she only realized as the book went on. She thinks she knows what her problems are, and she sort of does, but there are other things going on that she doesn't want to face, and it's fascinating to watch her come to terms with that.

Oh, and all the boys? On the list? Most of them were really not so great - a few were downright awful - but there was at least one dreamy boy toward the end of the list who has real potential. My curiosity about him, as well as my interest in Ruby's ongoing self-actualization, made me go from having a hard time warming up to Ruby to immediately requesting the second book from the library. And it doesn't have "boyfriend" in the title, so my hopes are high!

Posted by Kat at 07:14 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/13/11)

Grumble grumble, Monday. And it was SO DARK when I got up. This is why I don't like Daylight Savings Time.

Tonight's TV picks: The Chicago Code, Mad Love, Being Human, Pretty Little Liars

The fundraising drive I was helping with was wildly successful, and we raised over $14,000. Read all about it. Thanks so much to everyone who helped!

I kind of just loved this headline: Idaho Rancher Revealed as Gangster From Boston. Oh, Boston.

Dear Michele Bachmann, the battles of Lexington and Concord were actually in Massachusetts.

A Macy's Parade movie? Hrm. I am skeptical.

Soy takes its place at America's dinner table. And now I want some tofu.

Pens for women? Really? Sigh. Pens are, in fact, one of the areas in which I am proudly and staunchly in favor of the patriarchy: My dad declares an "official family pen" and I buy it. No, really. (I guess we're kind of weird.)

The timing seems kind of weird for Atlantis to be found, no?

Posted by Kat at 07:00 AM | Comments (1)

March 12, 2011

IMPORTANT: Name of the ShelterBox

This is going to be a one-link Morning Coffee, both because the earthquake's devastation is too recent for me to feel like being as frivolous as usual, and because all my free time the past day has been spent helping with fundraising instead of finding you fun links. So let's talk about that!

You may remember that I posted about author Maureen Johnson's fundraising for ShelterBox a few weeks ago. At that time, we raised $15,000 for crisis areas around the world. When the news hit about Japan, Maureen decided to get another drive going, and I'm once again helping out by keeping track of the donations for her. We've raised $6500 since yesterday morning, and the drive goes until tomorrow morning.

Would you like to help? Sure you would! Read all about it here. And did I mention the prizes? We have DOZENS of prizes to give away, mostly signed books or ARCs from a variety of wonderful authors. And SIX signed first editions of a Neil Gaiman book. Other authors involved: Holly Black, Ellen Hopkins, Stephanie Perkins, Carrie Ryan, Kiersten White, Robin Wasserman, and many more!

Posted by Kat at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2011

Morning Coffee (3/11/11)

Good morning. Obviously the big news of the day is the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. My prayers are with those in all the affected areas. It sounds like Al Jazeera English has the best coverage; watch it here.

There are lots of places taking donations, obviously; my choice is ShelterBox. They do amazing things, they're well-run, and the people have been a pleasure to work with. Donate from the U.S. here or U.K. here.

Go donate somewhere. We'll return to our discussions of dumb politicians and hot vampires tomorrow.

Posted by Kat at 07:36 AM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2011

Book 6: Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper
Genre: Young adult
Pages: 293
Grade: 86

Seth lost his job, got dumped by his girlfriend, and saw his father on what looked like a date with a woman who wasn't his mother, all in one day. This novel follows him as he tries to navigate these situations and his life in general now that everything he thought he knew has crumbled. He starts an anonymous podcast called the Love Manifesto but, of course, it doesn't stay anonymous for long. He gets a new job. He finds a new girl, and then maybe another. He plays in a golf tournament. He starts to realize that things - good and bad - may never have been as they seemed. And everything slowly spirals out of control.

I really liked most things about this book - Seth's voice was strong and distinctive, the plot was less predictable than I thought at first, and it was interesting to read a teen book written from a male point of view that dealt with romance and family themes more often associated with "girl books." And I'm going to sound like a hypocrite here, because you know I usually like it when YA protagonists have hobbies and interests that feel real. But in this case, the fact that Seth had two hobbies - podcasting and golf - that he talked about a lot made the book feel rather infodump-ish at times, and that made it a little hard for me to get through. By the end, though, I felt like it was all worth it.

Posted by Kat at 07:25 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/10/11)

Welcome to Thursday. The end of the week is in sight!

Tonight's TV Picks: Bones, Fairly Legal, The Mentalist

I didn't entirely follow what was going on in Wisconsin last night - I was out with friends and then came home and went to bed - but here's a primer from Ezra Klein.

I know this is more serious than I usually go for here, but it's important: This article about the gang rape of an 11-year-old is possibly the worst thing I've ever seen in the Times: They chose to use no quotes expressing any concern or sympathy for the victim. Instead, they quoted someone saying "These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives." REALLY? Also, they blame the victim for dressing older than her age and her mother for not supervising her, but say that the perpetrators were just "drawn into" the situation. This is disgusting.

Okay, there's no possible segue here, so we're just going to move on to hot guys and vampires:

Colin Firth is going to play a vampire. Please celebrate or mourn as you see fit.

The Twitter prank war between Jeff Eastin and Shawn Ryan is getting pretty entertaining.

The Royal Mail has awesome wizard stamps. I am jealous.

Posted by Kat at 06:59 AM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2011

Song to Counteract Glee: "Animal"

When Glee does a good job with a song I like, I sometimes end up buying their version. When they do a bad song, I end up spending the next day listening to the original over and over to get the Glee version out of my head. In case you're in a similar boat with "Animal" today, here you go:

Posted by Kat at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/9/11)

Good morning! I'm going to look at an apartment today. Wish me luck.

Tonight's TV Picks: Justified and Mr. Sunshine

I assume there is someone out there who would want to rent movies from Facebook, but for the life of me I can't figure out why.

In Facebook news that's actually interesting, Mark Zuckerberg adopts adorable puppy.

This takedown of the Newsweek redesign is hilarious.

Ooh! Sneak peek at The Borgias. If the whole moving thing goes according to plan, I'll actually have fancy cable and be able to watch this.

I've been avoiding saying anything about Charlie Sheen, but this Chinese editorial is amazing - his father "was once the president of the US" - and TWoP's suggestions of new showrunners are pretty good too.

Ryan McGee has an interesting look at continuity in serialized television.

Apparently the movie J. Edgar didn't think it was hot enough already, what with Ed Westwick and Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer, so they cast Jeffrey Donovan. AS A KENNEDY. This is my new favorite movie already.

The complete @MayorEmanuel archive

Here's a Casablanca-style Parks and Rec poster.

Sweaters Are Awesome

Posted by Kat at 07:31 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2011

Ayelet Waldman & Husband to Write/Produce TV Show

This is by far the best news of the day, and cannot possibly wait for my weekend TV news column: Ayelet Waldman, one of my favorite novelists and essayists, is working on a show for HBO along with her husband, writer Michael Chabon. And it's about MAGIC and WORLD WAR II. I mean, seriously, Waldman writing about magicians battling Hitler? How many of my favorite things can they possibly combine? Did they create the idea for this show out of my dreams? If I hadn't already been convinced to get HBO for Sorkin's new show, I would be now.

Posted by Kat at 07:49 PM | Comments (0)

Pilot Review: Breakout Kings

Breakout Kings, which premiered on A&E Sunday night, is about two mismatched U.S. Marshals who put together a team of convicts to catch fugitives. So it's basically exactly at the crossroads of White Collar and Chase as far as plot, and that's also where it seems to be as far as quality. It's nowhere near as good as White Collar - few shows are - but the pilot was at least watchable, unlike Chase. The plot involving the fugitive they had to catch was neither particularly interesting nor particularly poorly done, but the characters were different enough to warrant a second look. (I'll watch practically anything if I really like the characters.) Unfortunately, my favorite character seems to have been replaced after the pilot, and there's a solid chance that they're going to slip into the rut of having each character have One Big Issue that makes them Quirky and Interesting. But for now, I'm curious enough about the evolving dynamics of the group to keep watching. You can watch the pilot online here.

Posted by Kat at 07:29 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/8/11)

It's Tuesday. It's cold again. Blah.

Tonight's TV picks: White Collar season finale! Also Lights Out, Traffic Light, Glee.

I love campaign season:
The magical shrinking GOP field
Can Mitt Romney win?
An interesting profile, such as it is, of Callista Gingrich.
Oh, John McCain, not quite.
Arizona might get a Tea Party license plate.

Hey, look, it's a project James Franco is no longer doing. Amazing.

The "paper beats rock" thing is nonsense.

How to Always Get a Seat at a Crowded Coffee Shop

Is ANYONE surprised that Glee is releasing a Warblers album?

There is no Summer Glau curse, folks.

Posted by Kat at 07:11 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2011

Song of the Day: "Cherish"

Posted by Kat at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

Trailer: Meek's Cutoff

It's like Oregon Trail or Kate's Book came to life. Starring Michelle Williams. I cannot wait.

Posted by Kat at 07:54 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/7/11)

Happy rainy Monday! I love rain but don't love my basement flooding, so my feelings are mixed at the moment. But at least the snow is melting!

Tonight's TV Picks: Pretty Little Liars, The Chicago Code, Being Human, Mad Love

Haven't had time to read this yet, but it looks interesting: The People V. Football

The most admired women in America

Is FOX News considering getting rid of Glenn Beck? Oh please oh please.

How did I never realize that Katie Cassidy is David Cassidy's daughter?

I want a TARDIS purse.

Posted by Kat at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2011

Here's your weekly TV news!

Head on over to my column at TheTelevixen for news on renewals, guest spots, pilot casting, and more.

Posted by Kat at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)

Another Game of Thrones trailer!

I'm excited about this show and I don't even get HBO. Sigh.

Posted by Kat at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/6/11)

Good morning! Happy Sunday!

Tonight's TV Picks: Breakout Kings premieres on A&E at 10. I'm not completely sold on the idea, but I'll give it a shot.

Your James Franco project of the day

TWoP comes up with more ideas for celebrity ice cream flavors.

Colin Firth's wife is pretty awesome.

Posted by Kat at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2011

Another Terra Nova promo...

I remain highly uncertain about this whole thing, but it is looking shiny...

Posted by Kat at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

Listed: 11 Actors I Like Who Haven't Been Cast in Pilots Yet

1. Colin Hanks
2. Janel Moloney
3. James Badge Dale
4. Bradley Whitford
5. Jason Dohring
6. Alexis Bledel
7. Sabrina Lloyd
8. Jenny Wade
9. Diana Maria Riva
10. Dominic Keating
11. Josh Malina

Posted by Kat at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/5/11)

Happy Saturday! Finally.

Here's what you should do this weekend: watch Anne of Green Gables and play this drinking game.

An illuminating explanation of concert ticketing

Huntsman and Romney have a fascinating history.

Some more biological ideas to explain Henry VIII's futile quest for a son.

Slate has the latest Obama Facebook feed parody.

"American Masters" Subjects Ranked in Order of Americanness and Mastery

Oh, John Edwards.

Advice for Callista Gingrich regarding political mistresses becoming wives.

Read the short story on which they based The Adjustment Bureau.

Glee does Neon Trees. Bleh.

The weirdest Vampire Diaries scandal ever.

Posted by Kat at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2011

Morning Coffee (3/4/11)

Happy Friday! I'm a little distracted because I have a wildly exciting ARC to read. (Don't worry; I'll review it for you when it gets a little closer to its publication date.)

Tonight's TV Picks: Looks like Supernatural and Merlin are both new.

No, seriously: There is no YA Mafia.

The most important thing you'll read all day: Ask an Abortion Provider

The other most important thing you'll read all day: Anna Holmes on Charlie Sheen and domestic violence.

100 Most Memorable Female TV Characters

Daniel Radcliffe is all grown up, and seems remarkable stable and down-to-earth.

An interesting idea from Yglesias: improving education with better sorting.

I do, in fact, always check my boots.

Jimmy Fallon ice cream! That sounds really good.

Steven King is writing some sort of time travel Kennedy thing. I really need to give King a try at some point.

A USA Network detective movie starring Mark Harmon? Sure.

Posted by Kat at 07:06 AM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2011

Song of the Day: "Hey Now"

Yeah, I'm on a Burn Notice kick.

Posted by Kat at 08:04 AM | Comments (0)

Listed: 5 SiriusXM Stations I Like More Than I Expected

(Listed is a new [daily-ish? we'll see] feature, because a) I love lists and b) sometimes I just want to tell you I like something or don't like something or whatever without writing out a big long explanation.)

1. Caliente

2. Chill

3. Lithium

4. Faction

5. 20 on 20

Posted by Kat at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)

Trailer: Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

I'll admit I'm more interested in this for the voice cast than for the thing itself. Nathan Fillion! Jason Isaacs! Elisabeth Moss! Kelly Hu!

Posted by Kat at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/3/11)

Ah, Thursday. Thursdays tend to be long. But it's almost the weekend!

Tonight's TV Picks: Thursdays are now a vast barren wasteland because everything's on hiatus. So you have no excuse not to watch Fairly Legal. (It's been getting better! Really!)

James Levine is resigning from the BSO. Can't wait to see who they choose next.

This profile of Lori Berenson is long but a fascinating read.

This infinite photo is neat but I eventually just found it annoying. LET ME GET TO THE END ALREADY.

10 Women Who Secretly Control the Internet

The House GOP is focusing on important issues, like making sure they stop composting and start using styrofoam. Styrofoam is more FREEDOMY, you know.

In order to become President, do people have to actually like you? Thanks to Newt Gingrich, we may finally find out.

How the 2012 Election Will Destroy My Life. This is so, so true.

NPR listeners really are horribly annoying.

Willow Smith has a new single, and it's pretty adorable.

How to End a Conversation

Posted by Kat at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2011

Bones recap: "The Bikini in the Soup" (at TheTelevixen)

Honestly, I wasn't the biggest fan of Bones's take on Valentine's Day. Read my take here.

Posted by Kat at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

Trailer: Apollo 18

Color me . . . underwhelmed. If your trailer just makes me think "I'd rather just watch the Star Trek episode with this plot," that's probably not the greatest sign.

Posted by Kat at 07:45 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/2/11)

Happy Wednesday! And don't forget, we're getting into the most confusing month of the year.

Tonight's TV Picks: Justified and Mr. Sunshine!

Listen to the new Mountain Goats album.

Don't forget to read Vulture's Gossip Girl reality index.

Good for Natalie Portman.

Matthew Morrison's first single is out, and you can listen here. It's kind of Jack Johnson/Jason Mraz-ish, with a hint of Michael Buble. I adore him, but I'm a little disappointed with this - I wish he'd do a Broadway album or something, frankly.

Josh Brolin + Tim Burton = Hunchback? Huh.

Does hidden sexism discourage girls from math and science? I'm not saying I don't believe this research, but these articles always drive me nuts for reasons I can't quite pinpoint.

Bristol Palin has a book coming out, and honestly, I'll probably get it from the library out of curiosity.

Babies in frontier states have more unusual names.

Here's an interesting look at how a TV rumor gets started.

Posted by Kat at 07:32 AM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2011

Trailer: The Adjustment Bureau

This is one of those movies that seems like it was made FROM MY DREAMS. Matt Damon! Emily Blunt! Politics! Ballet! Shady men in suits! Complicated secrets! Lauren Hodges! Anthony Mackie! John Slattery! Jennifer freakin' Ehle, as a . . . bartender? Jon Stewart, Carville and Matalin, and Michael Bloomberg, as themselves! Score by Thomas Newman! Lots of New Yorky shots! Ahem. I'll be there opening weekend.

Posted by Kat at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

The one Oscar clip you must see...

Zachary Levi (of Chuck), wearing a vest, and singing.

Posted by Kat at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Coffee (3/1/11)

Hey! It's March! Happy March! Sorry this is late again - my new routine on icy days is to get the car out BEFORE blogging so I don't have that hanging over my head.

Tonight's TV Picks: Attn. West Wing fans: Richard Schiff will be on White Collar. I've heard that and The Good Wife are both great tonight. Also: No Ordinary Family, Hellcats, Parenthood, Lights Out.

Today is Justin Bieber's seventeenth birthday. Mark the occasion as you see fit.

Gossip Girl fans: start your day with Tierney's recap.

Oscar stuff:
Breakdown of speech lengths (and how long each person kept talking after the music started). The winner in the latter category is exactly who you'd hope/imagine.
Some actually interesting behind the scenes stuff.
What Worked and What Didn't
Did James Franco Ruin the Oscars?
I totally want to go to one of these Best Picture marathons. (Actually, there are a few not far away. Maybe next year. Dad?)
What will James Franco do now?

Here's a good article on Last Little Shelter Box.

@MayorEmanuel revealed.

I'll admit I own most of these.

It's not that I was concerned that the new Tinker, Tailor wouldn't get distribution, but it's nice to be sure.

I felt pretty much exactly this way about I Am Number Four.

Posted by Kat at 08:01 AM | Comments (0)

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