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!

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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

HOD

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

HOD

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

HOD

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

HOD

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

HOD

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

HOD

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!

 

Book Review: Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien

Z for za

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Ann Burden has been living on her own for nearly a year when a man tumbles into her valley. This might not seem too unusual, except that the world was desecrated by a nuclear war. This stranger and Ann, may very well be the last people on Earth. As she turns sixteen, a crucial year for any teen, her life revolves instead around her safety.

As the two between comrades of this radiated world, Ann hopes for a positive future. But how much can someone trust a stranger even if they are the last on the planet?

What a great vintage YA! This is a fantastic example of how I wish modern YA would explore with main female leads. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE ROMANCE YEAH? Ann is a brilliant female character, full of thought, logic and bravery. She rocks! Power to girls everywhere for learning how to rework a tractor when electricity doesn’t exist! She is flawed with her caring, but that’s a good thing in the end. Ann just never gives up and is a beacon of hope. Ah, how there needs to be more characters written with strength like Ann Burden!

As this is vintage YA, it’s riddled for discussion. The male character Mr. Loomis is a textbook example on why men in power just end up killing everyone. Just because he’s a man doesn’t mean he actually knows what’s best. I mean seriously, a scientist that believes he knows more about farming than an actual farm girl? Pla-LEASE. I bet this book makes a lot of men uncomfortable. Losing control is not easy for anyone, but as men are usually in that position, seeing his deterioration provides a humbling experience for everyone including myself.

I was on edge with each chapter. Even with the simple plot I didn’t know what was coming next. It’s short and well written and stands as an excellent example of why we as humans should never let science grow out of control. In the end, the Earth will always find a way to be the victor. 

Freshly Published: October

Hot off the book presses this month! Since it’s still early in the month, I’ll be posting the publishing date too. 

Use your library! Place a hold today if the book has or hasn’t been published! Or place a pre-order if you must have it as soon as it’s out!

Enjoy!

xx

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles (Wild Cards #1) – October 1st

Wild Cards cover

“After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain–people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?”

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia (The Legion #1) – October 1st

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.”

Perfect Run by Lauren DeStefano (The Internment Chronicles #1) – October 1st

Perfect Run cover

“On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan’s older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.”

Teardrop by Lauren Kate (Teardrop #1) – October 22nd

Teardrop cover

“Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux’s mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn’t, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn’t know Eureka’s darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.”

Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein – October 8th

premeditated cover

“A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.”

That’s a quick round up of some of the books being freshly published this month! I think next month I might include some adult titles. Yay or nay?