Archive | October 2013

October Purchases – Gold Found at Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair

Hi all! 

Last weekend I was lucky enough to do some browsing at the annual Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair! Over 100 vendors where there, mostly from Washington but there were at least over 20 from others states and even one from the UK!

This of course meant that I couldn’t many of the books. $2,000 for a first edition of Stephen King’s The Shining? Or how about the 1st edition The Great Gatsby with the original dust jacket? (over $13,000). 

Lots and lots of pretties! 

There were books that were affordable, there was a lovely little booth of vintage cookbooks, but I choose to spend my money of this little gem of a first edition children’s book!

October Purchases

LOVE IT! There was also a very nice military book booth and he had some vintage mysteries for sale. How could I resist? 

I picked Carrie up at Half Price Books. It is October after all! I’m still on the hunt for an affordable The Shining! Any leads, let me know!

Book Review: Scarlett by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet

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The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.”

What I see: This was fantastic! What a great second in a series! Full of action, full of adventure, low on love and laced with humor. As the mystery surrounding Cinder is expanded, Scarlet delivers her own story in France. There is nothing fru-fru about this series and I think that’s one of the reason why I’m all for it. Scarlet takes on both Scarlet’s story line and follows Cinder’s as well. Two strong girls that will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. Girls that kick butt! Finally!

It’s smart, it’s experimental and at time harsh. I don’t like the sugar coated YA’s. Scarlett stands on it’s own, but is also a fantastic addition to the series. When the world is dystopian, it’s fantastic to have a setting that isn’t America, but acknowledges that the rest of the world still exists. I can’t wait for the third book, Cress, being published in 2014!

Top Ten Books I was ‘Forced’ to Read…

I’m finally participating in one of The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday’s! This Tuesday is as the title: Top Ten Books I was ‘Forced’ to Read!

1. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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Three times I’ve had to read this, and it’s NEVER grown on me. I can appreciate it for it’s literary significance, but I still hate this book and will forever! 80 pages of NOTHING!

2. The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George

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Love, love, loved it! A great forced read from my boss who definitely knows her stuff!

3. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

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This book was from my senior seminar at Uni, and it was one of the first books I read in college that was science fiction for credit. I never expected to read science fiction at uni, but it was one of the best classes (modules) I ever took! The seminar was all about American Literature. 

4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

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Have to be honest, this was for my Russian literature class and I wasn’t able to finish it. The next book explains why. 

5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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Yup, I read both Anna Karenina and War and Peace in the same quarter for my Russian literature class. I was able to finish Anna Karenina though and loved it. 

6. Greywalker by Kat Richardson

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This recommendation was from a sorority sister. SO glad I listened! I was also able to finally meet the author a couple months back when her latest book was published! I was a total fangirl. 

7. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

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I was requested to read this book during my fantastic internship with Harlequin Mills & Boon. As an editorial intern for the UK editorial department, my editor knew exactly which author from their long standing line of books that I would fall in love with. She’s my guilty pleasure author, everything Chamberlain writes is gold and I love zoning out with her latest novel. (I’m currently waiting for her latest from my local library).

8. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

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I was forced to read this book as joke from one of my publishing friends, and also because if I wanted to dislike it, I needed to read it to actually know if I hated it or not. I do not like it, because I am from Seattle. A senior in college who is an English major who never get by by BORROWING her roommates computer. An English major needs her own. And that’s only the beginning…but I also got to meet E. L. James too!

9. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

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I lived in London for nearly four years so it was only natural when one of my mates from my original study abroad in London during 2006 would return and make me read this book. Bloody brilliant. 

10. The Long Walk by Stephen King

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This was a forced read for my fiction module during my Master’s. I am so grateful to my professor because she reawakened my love for Stephen King. It’s like I had forgotten he’s written all these books I’ve yet to read and the following years whichever titles I could get my hands on in the London’s libraries I hungrily devoured. Now that I’m back in the US, King’s books are so my oyster. 

That’s my list! What’s on yours?

 

Book Review: Gods is in the Pancakes by Robin Epstein

God Pancakes

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“Fifteen-year-old Grace Manning is a candy striper in a nursing home, and Mr. Sands is the one patient who makes the job bearable. He keeps up with her sarcasm, teaches her to play poker . . . and one day cheerfully asks her to help him die. At first Grace says no way, but as Mr. Sands’s disease progresses, she’s not so sure. Grace tries to avoid the wrenching decision by praying for a miracle, stuffing herself with pancakes, and running away from all feelings, including the new ones she has for her best friend Eric. But Mr. Sands is getting worse, and she can’t avoid him forever. Robin Epstein has delivered an incredibly engaging, thought-provoking debut YA novel, with all the snappy dialogue and attitude of the movie Juno.”

What I See: This book challenges it’s characters in a rarely seen contemporary way. I appreciated that, but there was still something missing. Grace Manning is a strong female teen character, and perhaps that’s why I’m not entirely on board. She acts a bit too adult. She’s a bit too mature.

It’s a different kind of story, with beautiful passages and thoughts through Grace. I don’t want to hate on Grace, I just want to bring to attention that it’s all a bit cookie cutter when it comes to the end. To go from super adult to typical YA ending makes have a disconnect. 

Nevertheless, it’s a story that tugs at the heartstrings. It’s a coming of age story that hits all the buttons and targets for what a books needs to be. And yet, I wanted something more. Not more pages, but I guess it’s the ending for me. It’s a bit 80’s romantic comedy. The major chunk of the story is full of heart and trials, and I guess I wished the end reflected that growth of character. But the grief subject matter is a great discussion point and I’m pleased that Epstein went there. There needs to be more contemporary, stand alone YA books out there!