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Showing posts from 2015

I've finished A LITTLE LIFE and it was quite a journey

After picking it up, putting it down for a while, then picking it up again; I've finally finished A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara. It may be the saddest, most beautiful novel I've ever read.

At work (I work at Penguin Random House, specifically for DK), my colleagues in the sales department starting talking about this book, about how it spoke to them, it moved them, and how sad it was--and my curiosity was peaked. 
It was a substantial novel, the hardcover coming in just over 700 pages. I started reading it, but due to my habit of picking up more than one book at the same time, it sat for a while.
Back in May of 2015, I got the opportunity to meet the author as she was in the Random House midtown office, where a small group of us got the chance to discuss the novel with the author and her editor. 
They spoke like an old married couple, arguing about everything from the cover choice, which Hanya advocated for, even if it was a topic of strong opposing points of view. It is an pho…

"Out there, past them trees..." A short review of CALIFORNIA by Edan Lepucki

A subtle tale of life in the post-apocalyptic; in California by Edan Lepucki, a couple survives in isolation in the wilds of a broken world, fearful of what remains of civilization just beyond their reach.
Then the novel shifts as Cal and Frida discover then attempt to become part of a  community called The Land, which is somehow connected to their lives before the fall.
The novel is about the strength of a marriage at the edge of the world, the twisted bonds of family and the question of what one must do to survive and somehow retain some civility.
I marvel that this is a first novel, the author clearly had worked her way through revisions, honing her skills to create a beautiful and enthralling read.
There was something wonderful about the pacing of the novel, it really fit well with the story, discovering bits of backstory and what was really going on in The Land. I really enjoyed it.

Game of Thrones, Season 5 product showcase: Get Your Drink On

In my continued attempt to cover cool products related to HBO's GAME OF THRONES adaptation of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, let's act civilized and have a drink. And if you're a fan, there are some very cool products available now.

Also, as shown here, available from Calhoun Sportswear, are the house banners from GoT, so you can show your Stark or Baratheon, or other affiliation. Many of the popular houses are available. The banners run 30 by 50 inches, and have three grommet holes so you can hang wherever you please.

When at the HBO headquarters on April 13, for the product review, there were many cool items on display. Here are a few related to Dornish wines, and the like.

And on to the drinks accouterments table, where featured were various glasses, steins, coasters and wine stoppers. See detailed photos below, there are so many great gift ideas for your banner-men. 

A coaster set from Dark Horse features the bold house sigils, a crowd pleaser for Sunday night GoT view…

Game of Thrones Season 5 Product Showcase, part 1: Upcoming Game of Thrones Monopoly Set

Greetings to all fans of HBO's amazing GAME OF THRONES series, meticulously adapted from the spectacular book series by George R.R. Martin. After tuning in to the first new episode on Sunday, I know that fans around the globe just can't get enough of Westeros and the amazing action that takes place there.

As a blogger who talks about books and popular culture, I was thrilled when I was invited to the HBO offices in midtown Manhattan to see the collection of upcoming licensed products tied to the HBO series, and they had many of the current and coming soon products on display. I plan to post a few times to focus on each of the product categories, but felt the premiere post should feature the new GoT Monopoly set which will be coming next month, in May, and which looks amazing.

All products are or will be available the online HBO shop in the US ( and EU (, and the HBO shop in NYC on 6th Avenue & 42nd Street, and at retail outlets around the world. G…

Hitting neutral in the tail of a commet...INTERSTELLAR

Finally rented INTERSTELLAR on Saturday night, and wow... just wow. The intense science of it: the relativity, time loops, hibernation sleep, the singularities, all of it is swirling in my head as if I was thrust into a black hole, floating aimlessly into the unknown. 

The film opened up so many possibilities, so many questions, and again I was very impressed by Christopher Nolan. The man makes a heck of a film. I do love a movie or book that you can't stop talking about after finishing it. My wife and I have talked more about science in the past few days than we have in some time. I can't seem to get it out of my head. 

It felt very apt that INTERSTELLAR was the next thing I posted about after finishing reading THE MARTIAN last month. There have been very strong space travel books and films of late, and I'm currently really into reading about this stuff.

In the coming weeks I look forward to posting about Ernest Cline's upcoming second novel, wonderfully titled, ARMADA. …

What a Strange Trip: THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

I finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir today, and man, what a terrific novel. I know I'm a little late to jump on this bandwagon, but sometimes such is my lot in life. As my brother once said, I may show up late, but I show up.

Back to The Martian. I had picked up this book at some point last year when people at work had been talking it up, and I read the opening chapter and was very impressed. What happened next, a side effect of my past-life of being a book club acquiring editor: I soon after picked up another book, then another. I do this a lot, I start new books before finishing others. Sacrilege to purists, I know. It's a feeling that I need to read some of a lot of books instead of all of a few of them. It's a symptom of those many years with manuscripts and advance reader copies from various publishers stacked on my desk. Even though I've moved on in my publishing career, old habits...

Recently while out with some sf/f publishing friends, The Martian came up …

12 MONKEYS, episode 1 on Syfy and the Art of Adaptation

I caught the first episode of the Syfy channel new series debut, 12 MONKEYS. The pilot episode evoked the ghost of the 1995 film, Twelve Monkeys, on which the series is based. I was intrigued, especially being that the film is one of my favorites of the 90s.
Packed with details, little things from the original film, like the scrambled phone message, the archaic yet futuristic time machine not fully explained, and the cabal of future scientists that emerge underground to lead the charge to take the planet back. It was nice to see little details, many of them a clear nod to the film, the series' inspiration, which I thought was handled well. The acting was very good, a nice debut with strong numbers from what I've read.
Also in promotion for this new series I read that Syfy planned to use the film as a jumping off point and plans to digress, which I'm okay with, depending on how it goes. Some adaptations such as Under the Dome and The Walking Dead have diverged from the the so…