Tuesday, November 15, 2011

some catch up and a link

Now that my work office has pretty much been moved to a new location, I am feeling much more settled and a bit less tired and drained. I am hoping that I will not have to see any more packing materials for quite some time, though I will make an exception for moving to a new house or apartment - though that would require a nice windfall at this time and I would prefer it be a lottery winning as opposed to an inheritance.  

I have some post ideas up my sleeve.  I keep index cards on my night stand so I can jot down random thoughts and I am hoping to get them out onto the blogosphere soon. Until then, a link for your pleasure: Book Shelf Porn  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

TBR Tuesday

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
September 8, 2004
Bloomsbury USA
(image from Amazon.com)

Wow I've had this book for seven years.  I better get to it then!  It has all the elements that are right up my alley - folklore, fantasy, magic, faerie, 19th century Britain - so what the hell am I waiting for? I don't think I've ever attempted to start it.  There is something wrong with me. 

Maybe the fact that this book is a chunkster kind of intimidated me. 800 pages, baby! Ok, ok I'm not afraid of big books, but given the choice I'll usually try to read shorter books to get through the "Leaning Tower of TBR" rather than spend a week with a huge novel.  Now that the weather is getting cooler (though the past few days of 80 degree temps had me fooled...Fall, WTF?) I might be finally tackling this book.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday

 
Quirk Books, January 17, 2012
Image and Description from Amazon: When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .

The Thorn and the Blossom
 is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning.


It's only 82 pages, but I don't care.  It looks gorgeous and something right up my alley.

Check out Theodora Goss' short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting as well as her website.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Borders Book Haul (of awesome or crazy) / IMM #2

So it's been quite a while since I've updated.  I feel bad about that.  I still am not sure what I want to do with this blog.  I did jot down some ideas recently, so I hope to be updating here a bit more often. I've also bought many books since mid-May that I hope to talk about at some point.  However, to get back in the swing of things, I thought I would share my Borders haul from a couple of weeks ago.  My honey and I also went shopping today - apparently I couldn't resist the final week of discounts - and I'll be sharing that haul next week.

So without further ado, let the insanity commence.

Total books bought in two days, including about 5 blank journals: 78 (I didn't include my boyfriend's portion of the haul)
Total money saved: $560.07 (wow!)
Room to store these tomes: Working on it! An IKEA trip will be in order soon.
The complete and utter giddiness factor of buying so many books at once: PRICELESS! 


 Here's the first pile of YA/middle grade books.  I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to find quite a few titles that I've been wanting or have heard of and thought were cool. I actually started to read Tamora Pierce's The Song of the Lioness series, so getting Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen was a no-brainer.  I'm really looking forward to reading the Robin McKinley books in this pile. 
1. Trickster's Queen Tamora Pierce
2. Trickster' Choice Tamora Pierce
3. Dark Lord of Derkholm Diana Wynn Jones
4. The Outlaws of Sherwood Robin McKinley
5. The Door in the Hedge Robin McKinley
6. The Blue Sword Robin McKinley
7. The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice 1) John Flanagan
8. The Penderwicks Jeanne Birdsall (looks like a cute series)
9. Chains Laurie Halse Anderson (I thought Speak was excellent, so had to give this one a try)
10. Here, There Be Dragons (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica) James A. Owen

11. Sunshine Robin McKinley
12. The Poison Eaters Holly Black
13. White Cat Holly Black
14. The Dead Tossed Waves Carrie Ryan
15. Bleeding Violet Dia Reeves
16. hush, hush Becca Fitzpatrick


 

The second pile of YA/middle-grade books.  Tamora Pierce is at the top again with her latest book of short stories set in the world of Tortall (the setting for the Alanna books).

17. Tortall and Other Lands Tamora Pierce
18. The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2) Rick Riordan I thought that this was the first one, so I will have to get it from Amazon at some point.  I read the first book in the Percy Jackson series and liked it, so I thought I might as well get this one as well.
19. Eona Alison Goodman Need to get Eon.  Gorgeous covers and I believe these books are inspired by Mulan (not Disney).
20. Vixen (The Flappers #1) Jillian Larkin.  The second one is out now.
21. Firelight Sophie Jordan Another beautiful cover.  A shapeshifting dragon sounds right up my alley.  Vanish, the second novel is also out now.
22. Chime Franny Billingsley Don't remember what this one is about, but have see others talk about it on their blogs.
23. Mistwood Leah Cypess A signed copy!
24. Nightspell Leah Cypess Sequel to the above.  OMG, my cover love knows no bounds.
25. Unearthly Cynthia Hand I've been wanting this one for a while now.
26. Sapphique Catherine Fisher  I do need to get Incarceron, since there wasn't a copy to be had in Borders.

For under three bucks each, I couldn't resist these fantasy paperbacks! Apparently, I managed to find books in this section that are parts of series that I needed to start collecting, or to round out my collection.

I was going to get the following Parasol Protectorate books on my Nook, but I would have spent more. I'm not overly fond of the covers, but I do want to read more books in the Steampunk genre.
27. Souless Gail Carriger
28. Changeless Gail Carriger
29. Blameless Gail Carriger

I started to read the Seven Waters books a while back and now that I own all the books thus far, I plan on reading everything straight through, hopefully by the end of the year.
30. Heir to Seven Waters Juliet Marillier
31. Heart's Blood Juliet Marillier
32. Blade of Fortriu Juliet Marillier
33. The Well of Shades Juliet Marillier

Had my eye on these for a while.
34. Black Ships Jo Graham
35. Hand of Isis Jo Graham
36. Shaman's Crossing Robin Hobb
37. Forest Mage Robin Hobb
38. Fortune and Fate Sharon Shinn
39. Reader and Raelynx Sharon Shinn

The adult lit haul begins here:

40. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Katherine Howe. My boyfriend has this book. He read it and enjoyed it.  I might be giving this one away but I'm not sure yet.
41. The Enchantress of Florence Salman Rushdie I'm on a mission to collect and read all of Rushdie's works. This work has a beautiful cover.
42. Angel Time Anne Rice If it wasn't already discounted, I might not have bothered.  I was a huge Anne Rice fan in college - even went to New Orleans for one of her Halloween Balls, The Memnoch Ball - and I haven't really read her books in years.  I do have a story about a book signing I went to that I may tell later.  Really sweet lady.
43. Juliet Ann Fortier I do like this cover but I would have preferred the soft cover.  Then again, I paid for a hardcover what the softbound would have cost, so I think I win.
44. Tales of the North Jack London When I start getting into reading classic literature more heavily, London is one of the authors I would like to read.
45. The Way of Kings Brandon Sanderson Apparently he is following in the footsteps of Robert Jordan. Sanderson is not only completing Jordan's Wheel of Time novels he has started his own lengthy series.  Brandon you are not allowed to die.  Neither is George R.R. Martin!  The end papers of this book are so, WOW!  The top images kind of look like the Kabbalistic tree of life, if it had more sephiroth. (There I go getting all esoteric on you. Wink).

 Inside the front cover

Inside the back cover.

















46. The Year of the Flood Margaret Atwood
 Also on a mission to collect and read all of her works.  I'm excited that she will be doing a reading at my college next month. My co-worker and I plan on going!
47. Possession A.S. Byatt Yep, collecting her works as well! I have a stunning copy of this book from Folio Society but couldn't resist this one.  It's the cover that I have wanted in paperback.  I made the mistake of buying the one with the movie version a while back and yeah, I'm not a movie version cover person. 
48. Penelope's Daughter Laurel Corona Pretty much the cover and that it is about the Odyssey made me buy this book.  Who needs reasons, really?
49. Arcadia Falls Carol Goodman
50. The Lace Reader Brunonia Barry
51. Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel  I really would like to sink my teeth into British History, particularly the history of the Royals.  I believe this author won the Orange Prize for this work and well, another one of my goals is to read Orange Prize novels.


Close-ups of these gorgeous covers. Why? Well another one of my favorite things is Pre-Raphaelite art.  The left cover is a painting by John William Waterhouse called "Psyche Entering Cupid's Garden" 1903 and the right cover is "The Beguiling of Merlin" by Edward Burne-Jones.  Waterhouse wasn't part of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, however he does tend to get lumped in with them.  If you want to find out more about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, my friend Grace is blog-mistress of The Beautiful Necessity, where she shares wonderful tid-bits and gems of information about the PRB and anything PRB-related.

52. The Guild by Felicia Day and Jim Rugg.  I love MMO RPG's, particularly World of Warcraft.  If you do too, then you will understand why I purchased this. 

53. Good Masters, Sweet Ladies Laura Amy Schlitz  In the post before this, I had made a list of books that I was going to read for the Award Winning Reads challenge held by Ashley at Basically Amazing
over the summer.  Unfortunately, I didn't really put a dent in the challenge, but this was one of the books that was on my list, so I hope to read it as well as the rest of the books on my list, at some point!


And FINALLY!

54. The Unwritten Volume 2: Inside Man I read the first one and liked it.  In short it's "Harry Potter" in the adult world.

Well if you made it through all of that, I commend you!  I'll be back again soon with another book haul and hopefully, some intelligent posts having to do with what I am reading.

Fare thee well gentle reader, until next time.




Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Award Winning Reads Challenge

Ashley from Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing  is hosting an "Award Winning Reads Challenge" from May 30th to September 5th 2011.  If you have expressed a desire to read or re-read any of the Newbery or Printz award winning books, here's an opportunity to do so.

Click on the button in the side bar or go here to read about the challenge as well as to find links to the book lists.  There are 4 levels to the challenge so it's something that anyone can accomplish.  I am going for Teacher's Pet - 12 books. Summer reading! Yippee! 

The 18 books that are highlighted, in all those purdy colors, are the ones that I am most interested in reading.  If I get through them all, I will be a SUPER Teacher's Pet. Haha!

Newbery Medal Winners

1.  Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpol
2.  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
3.  Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura
     Amy Schlitz, Robert Byrd
4.  The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some 
     Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo
5.  The Giver by Lois Lowry
6.  Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
7.  Dicey's Song (Tillerman Family, #2) by Cynthia Voigt
8.  A Visit to William Blake's Inn: A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for 
     Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard
9.  Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
11. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
12. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
13. The White Stag by Kate Seredy
14. Shen of The Sea: Chinese Stories for Children by Arthur Bowie Chrisman
15. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Newbery Honors

16. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
17. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
18. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
19. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
20. The Thief (The Queen's Thief, #1) by Megan Whalen Turner
21. The Blue Sword (Damar, #1) by Robin McKinley
22. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope, Richard Cuffari

(Stopped looking at the list at 1975 since it was becoming too unwieldy)

Printz Winners

23. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
24. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Printz Honors

25. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
26 Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
27. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
28. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
29. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson







Proud to be a book nerd

Not everything on this list applies to this bibliophile, but those that do are so true.

75 Signs You're a Bibliophile (Found via perusing The Avid Reader's blog)


Sunday, May 15, 2011

IMM #1 for 5/15/2011

IMM  (In My Mailbox) is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

Welcome to my first IMM posting. HUZZAH! Since this is my first post, I was going to include books that I've gotten over recent weeks, but then when I looked at the piles, thought better of it. Eventually I will be doing a photographic tour of my bookshelves - that will be a huge project - so they will be included at some point. I don't own a video camera nor a webcam so I will be sharing my books via photos. Maybe someday I will get one but that would also mean getting over shyness and stage fright.

Ah well, on with it then.
All books were purchased from Amazon.com. From top to bottom: Two copies of the House at Riverton by Kate Morton; The Annotated Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente; The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton; Promethea (Books 4 and 5) by Alan Moore and the 2007 and 2008 editions of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror.

Why two copies of The House at Riverton, you say? Well I was expecting the copy at the top of the pile, but Amazon sent me the second one. I. Was. Not. Happy. So I sent off an e-mail to customer service and promptly received a response from a lovely gentleman saying that he wanted to make it right for me. The correct copy went out in the mail, via one-day FedEx shipping and I received it yesterday. Now looking at the pic below, you can see why I wanted the one on the left. A cover with a pretty estate with a fountain or one with a staircase. Um, yeah, no brainer. Oh and if you are wondering what that creature is above the books, it's a light-up angler fish that my honey bought for me for my birthday this year.

Angler fish approves of the prettier copy.

I purchased the Annotated Pride and Prejudice because I am gearing up for an all things Jane Austen extravaganza which will be hosted by Misty of the Book Rat. Check out the button in the left side bar and this post too. I was going to purchase the Norton Critical edition but found that I was drawn to this cover more. I also like that there is the text of the novel on one side and the notes are on the facing page, similiar in format to any of the Folger's Shakespeare plays. Go editor David Shapard! I am also expecting his editions of Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion when they come available from Quality Paperback Book Club - darn back orders! QPB e-mailed me begging asking for me to come back, so I couldn't pass up the sweet deal of six books for $1 each.

As I've mentioned before, I've never read a stitch of Jane Austen, so I am excited.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland: In A Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente is really a lovely looking children's book. It was originally published by the author online and I believe it was a story that was mentioned in her novel Palimpsest. Love the illustrations, which kind of remind me of the ones in the Harry Potter series.  I look forward to reading about September's adventures and getting back to Palimpsest at some point.  At the time I found it difficult to get into.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I wanted to round out my Kate Morton collection. I originally purchased a copy on my Nook last year but found that the map that is in the text doesn't show up correctly.  Also the end papers are unavailable in e-Book format and since it is a print of an Arthur Rackham work, I had to have a copy - love him! Ms. Morton's works are inspired by faerie and fairy tales, which are themes right up my alley.  

Books 4 and 5 of the graphic novel Promethea. I've had the first three for ages and finally wanted to finish the collection. I don't really remember much of what I read so I am looking forward to sitting down and devouring them one after the other. Myth, magick and mayhem ensues in this series. Alan Moore also created The Watchmen.  Movie was good but I never seemed able to finish the comic.  I might do a full post on the entire Promethea series at some point.

It's a mission of mine to collect all of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. I got the 2007 and 2008 for less than $10 dollars each. I believe there are 21 years in all and Terri Windling was a co-editor for most of them. Covers are quite gorgeous given that it's the work of Thomas Canty, whose art has graced many a cover of a fantasy novel.

Well that's it for me. So what did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jane in June Read-along


The awesome Misty of http://www.thebookrat.com/ will be hosting a Pride and Prejudice read-along next month as part of her Jane in June celebration and I am quite excited because, you see, I've never read a Jane Austen novel. 

There, I said it.  Don't hate me!

Given the huge fandom that Jane has become with all the re-tellings and re-imaginings in fiction and on the screen you would think I would have gotten on the bandwagon at some point. I think I might be one of the last people on the planet who hasn't - or at least it just feels that way.  I think I've only seen two movies - Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma and Masterpiece Theater's Persuasion - and somehow I managed to miss Jane in my college education.  I was an English major too <insert facepalm>. June 2011 shall remedy that.

I consider myself a "Janeite in Training." Here's hoping I will come to love her works.  I think I will because I don't think that her numerous fans can be wrong. 

Oh and to celebrate Jane in June as well as my going from a "Jane Newb" to (hopefully) a "Jane Nerd", there will be a couple of goodies that I will be offering as giveaways via Misty's blog.  More on those next month, so stay tuned!


Book cover eye candy

I've been a fan of Charles de Lint for a good 15 years now.  I was on Amazon earlier looking for some of his books that I've been meaning to buy to round out my collection and I came across this stunning cover for Eyes Like Leaves.  


Too bad I will have to wait until February 2012 to get my mitts on this!  I would love a print of the artwork to hang in my home office.   A red haired woman with antlers, a gown made of moss and leaves and a fox companion.  So magickal!  If I could create this for a convention I so would!  I have a friend who can make the antlers - LindenSidhe has a shop on Etsy. Go visit, you'll love it! -it's the gown that would be tricky. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Fairy Tale Fortnight Giveaway

To celebrate Fairy Tale Fortnight, hosted by Misty from http://www.thebookrat.com/ and Ashley from http://basicallyamazing.blogspot.com/ I am giving away one copy of Bruno Bettelheim's The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales.

Description from Goodreads:
"Bruno Bettelheim was one of the great child psychologists of the twentieth century and perhaps none of his books has been more influential than this revelatory study of fairy tales and their universal importance in understanding childhood development.

Analyzing a wide range of traditional stories, from the tales of Sinbad to “The Three Little Pigs,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “The Sleeping Beauty,” Bettelheim shows how the fantastical, sometimes cruel, but always deeply significant narrative strands of the classic fairy tales can aid in our greatest human task, that of finding meaning for one’s life."

 
It is open to all (international) and runs until May 8th! To enter use the link below now! Good luck!

http://www.thebookrat.com/2011/04/giveaway-uses-of-enchantment-from-edie.html

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Well that was lame

I have not touched this blog in over two months.  So much for resolutions. My humble apologies to the few people following this blog who seem to have shown interest in reading it. I've been in a reading slump brought on by general life worries and woes, however now that spring has sprung, I feel like I'm coming out of my frozen winter shell. Aren't we all?

I've been on a YA kick and I have a few people to happily blame for that - will mention them in another post.  This past month has seen me turning to Amazon.com more than I care to admit.  I've been enticed by beautiful covers and a need to recapture a youth that I didn't quite have.  The end table in the my living room is graciously holding stacks of books bought on a whim, however, whimsy is what I am in need of.  There's also a package making it's way to my abode as I type this, happily containing books and the Blu-Ray of Tangled.  I missed this in the theatre and my guy and I are looking forward to watching it in the comfort of our own home.  We also missed the first part of Deathly Hallows.  Shocking!  I knew that getting a new, fancy-schmancy wide-screen TV would kill any desire to go to the theatre.  I love the convenience of the pause button and the ability to adjust the volume and my somewhat agoraphobic tendencies are pleased as punch not having to deal with the generally annoying hoi polloi. 

But I digress.  

So I hope this will be the post that inspires me to continue sharing my thoughts at regular intervals. Once a week shouldn't be too much to ask of myself, so that is what I will try to shoot for.  I have a couple of posts in mind and there are a few readalongs that I am interested in.  See you shortly. 













Monday, January 3, 2011

French kissing, yes....lotsa French language in a novel, NO!

I went into reading this chunkster absolutely blind.  Ok, maybe not completely, I did read a little bit of the intro but I never looked at chapter 1. I got to about page 50 of the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace last night, and the one semester of French I took in college, oh so many moons ago, is not helping. <insert a giggle and a snort> It's also not helping that all of the French is footnoted and I am reading the book on the Nook. This book is not e-Reader friendly at all. There are footnotes every few lines in the first 20 or so pages -don't remember exactly-so it's not like I can easily flip to the back of the book to look them up. 

Sigh. What to do? 

I was considering purchasing the same volume in hardback, but when I went to look "inside the book" at Amazon, it directed me to the Modern Library version.  Okaaaay.  Actually, I like Modern Library books so I decided to read a little bit of it and guess what, no French! Yay! I can understand the translators wanting to keep the French intact but it really was a hindrance to me, so I think I will have to spring for this translation, otherwise I might never get through it. 




Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well it's a new year.  I haven't made any resolutions except to read more.  Off to fire up the Nook and start reading the books for my readalongs.  For details click on them at the left.  Let's hope War and Peace doesn't scare me off. Eeep! Now that the readalong is finally here I am feeling a bit intimidated. I actually searched for some guides for it but then decided that they might be an option if I get really stuck.  Wish me luck!