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If You Give a Nerd a Computer…

Found on Pinterest. If you made this, wave so I can credit you!

I’m gonna be straight with you; y’all are just here to indulge me today, okay? Because I know I’ve talked before about how much I love The 100, but I really, REALLY love The 100. If you don’t remember my eight very solid reasons for loving this show, you should check out this post, but today I’ve come to add one more reason.

One of the more fascinating things to me over the past two seasons of The 100 is the different alliances, groups, and found families within the universe. Though we start with one group (the people living aboard the Ark, a floating space station and humanity’s supposed last hope), we soon learn of other groups out there. Also, within all of the groups are subgroups that overlap in interesting ways. Being the nerd that I am, I decided to use Venn diagrams to graphically categorize every single named, onscreen character within The 100 universe through the finale of Season Two. Because I can. Continue Reading →

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Why You Should Watch The 100

Once upon a time, a wide-eyed blogger went to BEA and got a whole stack of books. One of those books was a slender, white volume about criminal kids in space sent to explore a radioactive Earth. The blogger did not like the book. Fast-forward a year and some change, and the book is now a TV show. All of Twitter has gone mental over said TV show. The wide-eyed blogger was confused and wary. She gave into peer pressure. She watched the show. And now she’s going to school y’all on why you need The 100 in your life.

Seriously, I’m kind of obsessed with this show. I blame Gillian and her Bellarke tweets. (I’ll explain what a Bellarke is later.) The very brief synopsis is that Earth was destroyed by a nuclear war and the survivors fled to space and have orbited around Earth in a massive space station called the Ark. Now, decades later, the Ark is running out of air, so the Council has jettisoned 100 teenage criminals to the ground as guinea pigs to see if Earth is survivable. There are so many exciting twists and turns and plot threads that spin out of that basic concept, and I don’t want to ruin them all for you, but here are just a few reasons why I love this show. Continue Reading →

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Darcy and Pan and Eyre, Oh My!

I want to talk about a fantastic thing that is happening in the book community. Two years ago, Hank Green, Bernie Su, and Jenni Powell started a feed on YouTube called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (LBD). Together with carefully selected actors, writers, assistants, and artists, they set out to retell Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a modern day vlog (video blog). There’s a good chance that you’ve heard of LBD or even watched some of the videos, because the series completely took off. The series was Kickstarted into a DVD, the actors went onto parts in other (non-web) arenas, and the feed was changed to Pemberley Digital, a fictional company that then retold other pieces of classic literature.

Wait, perhaps I should explain what I mean by a literary web series. Okay, some vocabulary. First of all, what is a web series? A web series is basically what it sounds like—a series of sequential videos that tell a story that is posted for public viewing on the web. Or, to quote Wikipedia:

Generally, the best place to find web series is YouTube, but they can technically be found anywhere online where videos can be saved and shared. Technically, a literary web series means any web series about a piece of literature, though really when most people talk about web series, they mean something like LBD—a scripted conceit in which a piece of literature is visually retold and reimagined in the modern day.

LBD changed things. I don’t know whether literary web series were a thing before, but they definitely are now. Companies and individuals alike are trying their hand at retelling a familiar piece of fiction in visual form for a wide audience. Whether or not literary web series were a thing before, they are A Thing now.

I tried to explain to my mom why literary web series are such an amazing thing, and the best explanation I could come up with was the ingenuity involved. This isn’t a bunch of high school kids wandering around in period costumes, drinking tea, and talking with bad accents. What a good literary web series attempts to do is take a beloved, familiar tale and recontextualize it in the modern era. So for instance, in the original Pride and Prejudice, we read about Elizabeth Bennet, the second of five daughters of a poor landowner and his meddlesome wife, and Ms. Bennet’s ever-changing relationship with the haughty and misunderstood Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. It’s a wonderful, romantic story set in the 1800s and full of scandal, romance, and witticisms. In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, we hear Elizabeth’s story from Lizzie herself as she attempts to record everyday life for her thesis project in grad school. In this story, her best friend is Charlotte Lu, is a film student who agrees to help her with the project, Bing Lee is a Harvard medical graduate, and William Darcy is a young, business-minded entrepreneur with a penchant for newsboy hats.

It’s so exciting to see how your favorite characters and scenes will be reimagined. Maybe Darcy’s cousin is actually black and named Fitz Williams. Maybe Lydia is a rambunctious redhead with a social media addiction. Maybe Mr. Collins is actually a geeky guy with a neckbeard. Maybe Kitty Bennet IS AN ACTUAL CAT.

Recently, I set about collecting all the literary web series I could find so that I could check them out at my own pace. I was tired of hearing about some amazing, new retelling and then forgetting before I could watch. And oh my gosh, what a fiesta that opened up. By my count, there are at least FIFTY literary web series being produced in some form at this very moment.

You can check out the entire list here, but I just want to pick out a few I’ve enjoyed and some I’m excited to check out.

Ones I’ve Watched:

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Duh. Of course. Watch it NAOW. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Emma Approved

This retelling of Emma is produced by Pemberley Digital and follows Emma Woodhouse, head of the matchmaking and lifestyle division of the developing Highbury Partner’s Lifestyle group. Basically, she’s Yenta meets the guy from The Kid. I love this retelling pretty much entirely for Knightley. Mmmm, Knightley.

East & West

East & West is a retelling of North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell, a.k.a. one of the most romantic stories you will ever read/watch in your entire life. Unlike the previous two series, this one seems to be produced by two individuals, and amateur individuals at that. However, it’s so lovely. There are only three videos up right now, and the only character we’ve met so far is Maggie Hale, but she’s lovely and has a wonderful accent. I have very high hopes for this series.

Ones I Want To Watch:

Elinor and Marianne Take Barton

Of all of the Sense and Sensibility retellings on the list, this one seems to be the most promising. It’s a bit amateur, but that’s okay. They have accents.

The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy

Confession: I think Peter Pan is creepy and more than a little sociopathic, and I think man-child characters are annoying. However, I watched the first episode of this retelling and both laughed and “awwww”‘d, so I’m definitely going to give it a chance.

The Autobiography of Jane Eyre

So the first video is really, um, emo hipster-ish, but I watched the second video, and it’s pretty nice. I’ve heard good things on Tumblr, and I can’t wait to see how they do Mr. Rochester and his history (*cough cough*).

Nothing Much To Do

I am not normally a Shakespeare person, but I’ve heard amazing things from Tumblr, and I liked the first episode. And oh my gosh, you guys. SHE’S A KIWI. Hi, my name is Shae, and I have an accent obsession.

In Earnest

This guy is cute. He has an amazing smile. The channel art implies that boys in suits may be a regular fixture. I’m in.

Some that aren’t out yet that interest me:

The Misselthwaite ArchivesThe Secret Garden retelling. Yay! Coming January 23rd!

Masked – Oooh, a Scarlet Pimpernel retelling. Yes, please. Coming Summer 2015!

Project AoGGAnne of Green Gables! Gilbert Blythe! GIMME! Coming… soon?

What about you, my people? Which of the series on the list have you seen? Which are your favorites? Are there any retellings you’d give your right arm for?

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Introducing Emma Approved

Following up their latest Gigi Darcy-centric series Welcome to Sanditon, the masterminds behind the internet sensation The Lizzie Bennet Diaries launched their latest series yesterday afternoon.

Emma Approved is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma. We don’t know know too many details so far, but just based on yesterday’s webisode, it will be… interesting.

(If you’re having trouble watching the video, you can watch it on YouTube.)

We first meet Emma Woodhouse, the head of the matchmaking and lifestyle division of the developing Highbury Partner’s Lifestyle group. From what I can tell, that means she’s a cross between Yenta the Matchmaker and Bruce Willis’s character from The Kid. Emma is being played by Joanna Sotomura, or as I shall be calling her, She of the Ombre Hair. Continue Reading →

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Rewind and Review (18)


Blog Posts You May Have Missed

Now for something different. For the first time ever, I’m going to attempt to vlog the “stuff” portion of Rewind & Review. Wish me luck.

… Your luck didn’t work, guys. Blogger, YouTube, and my computer are in cahoots. They hate me. All I can do is link to the video. *bangs head against wall* Here.

Bloggers mentioned: Christina from A Reader of Fictions, Gillian from Writer of Wrongs, and Ems from In Which Ems Reviews Books.

Books I Read This Week
  • Not a Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Stuff I Received

  • White Space by Ilsa Bick (from the Egmont via Edelweiss)
  • Mister Max and the Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voight (from the RandomHouse via NetGalley)
  • Cherry Money Baby by John Cusack (from the Candlewick via NetGalley)
  • A SIGNED hardcover of The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen (from my amazing blogger friend Ems of In Which Ems Reviews Books)
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (from Scholastic!)
  • Margot by Jillian Cantor (from the Penguin via Edelweiss)
  • SIGNED hardcover of Born of Illusion by Teri Brown plus swag (from HarperCollins!)

Stuff I Won

  • ARC of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  • Chapter sampler of United We Spy by Ally Carter (both from Disney Hyperion)

Many thanks to Ems, Egmont, RH, Candlewick, Scholastic, Penguin, HarperCollins, Netgalley, and Edelweiss! You all rock my socks.

Miscellaneous Happenings

That’s it for my week! Thank you all for reading along and not laughing at that vlog. I hope you enjoyed it and had a lovely week.
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Happy Star Wars Day!

It’s not completely Star Wars-related, but you can’t celebrate Star Wars without celebrating the man who gave us such icon music (as opposed to George Lucas, who gave us Jar-Jar). Hope this tribute put you in the right mood for the day.

Happy Star Wars Day, and May the Fourth be with you!

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A Special Message From Saint Mortain

We are nearing the end of the Attack of the Assassins! blog tour, a week-long celebration of the His Fair Assassins series by Robin LaFevers and the release of the second book in the series, Dark Triumph. To check out all of the great events going on (and to enter a giveaway!) check out my introductory post.

Today is a very big day, the biggest day of the entire tour. Because today is the RELEASE DAY for Dark Triumph! That sounds you hear is bloggers and readers everywhere doing flailing happy dances in front of their mailboxes.

In honor of the festive occasion, I bring to you a first for this blog. We have a special video message waiting for us from the head honcho himself, Saint Mortain.

Aw, wasn’t that sweet? What a good daddy. And who knew he was an Isaiah Mustafa fan.

Chime in below with your own book birthday well-wishes for Sybella and her deadly sisters.

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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I know I’m really late to the party, but I’ve just started watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I know most of you are probably already acquainted with the series, but perhaps a few of you are not.

So here’s the skinny.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen told in the form of a vlog (video blog) on YouTube. It’s really cool.

Lizzie Bennet is a 20-something grad student living at home with her family as she works on her master’s degree in mass communications. As a thesis project, she has started The Lizzie Bennet Diaries with the help of her best friend, filmmaking genius Charlotte. In the course of her vlog, in which she details the daily events going on in her life, we get to meet the rest of the Bennet clan, as well as other friends and annoyances, and watch the story of Pride and Prejudice unfold in an entirely unique manner.

I’m going to assume that you all know the basic story of Pride and Prejudice. Even if you haven’t read the book or watch one of the movie adaptions (and you should, you know), anything I say about the characters here won’t spoil it for you. I’m only 3/4ths of the way through the current episodes (they’re not done yet) and I haven’t gotten into the extra material such as Lydia’s videos or Charlotte’s videos, but here are some of the characters I’ve met so far. [Note: I thought about putting their pictures up, but half the surprise is finding out how they’ll look, so I’ve only included pictures of those who appear in the first episode.] Continue Reading →

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Happy Wednesday! No, Really.

I hate Wednesdays. Does anyone else hate Wednesdays? In my humble opinion, they suck. They’re just far enough in the week from Sunday that I’m starting to get tired but still too far from the coming weekend to offer any real hope. Wednesday is the day that life starts to get hectic at Other Job but is still deadly dull at the bookstore. (Wednesday is just not a prime book-buying day. I don’t know why.)

I thought about putting together a nice discussion post today, but forget that. I don’t need to ruminate today, not on a Wednesday. No, I need a laugh. Below, for your pleasure, are the various tidbits I’ve squirreled away that have made me smile, laugh, or otherwise express happiness in some way.

I hope they make your Wednesday a bit brighter.

Richard Armitage reads a scene from Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. Hat tip to Angie-ville.

Given how much I adore secondary characters, it should be no surprise that this tweet warms my heart. Be inspired.

Hat tip: Katherine Fergason

Cary Grant has a puppy in his pocket. You can’t get much more adorable than that.

Tim Hawkins is always good for a laugh.

Free books make me happy, too. Check out Freebook Sifter for daily lists of the most popular free ebooks around the web.

And if all of this happiness is making your nose turn, if you LIKE being dour and gloomy… Well, then, this collection of laughs is for you.

I hope you all have a great Wednesday. If you have any bits of happiness to share with the class, leave a comment below.

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I Give Thanks For…

Hi all!

Thanksgiving is only a couple days away, and I thought about doing some big post listing all the things I’m thankful for. But while that’s a great personal exercise, I’m not entirely sure it would make for a fun read for you all.

Instead, I’ve decided to do a post about one particular thing that I’m thankful for: words.

I’m such a word nerd. I LOVE words. I love fun-sounding words, and words with cool meanings. I was the girl who would giggle with delight over GRE flashcards. Yeah.

Some fun (real!) words I’m thankful for:
– Expectorating
– Ubiquitous
– Opprobrium
– Spelunk
– Tartle
– Lugubrious
– Delugtition
– Ozostomia
– Maulifuff
– Collywobbles
– Quodlibetarian
– Booboisie

I also like learning how words evolve and change over time to encompass new meanings.

The Mysteries of Vernacular is a set of paper animations detailing the etymological roots of everyday words. That may not sound interesting, but it’s super-cool. As of this post, they only have 8 posts up, but they hope to have 26 at the end, one for each letter of the alphabet.

I’ve posted a few of my favorites below, but you can watch them all at http://www.mysteriesofvernacular.com/

Assassin
Hearse
Pants

Word-wise, what are you thankful for?

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