Archive | November 2013

November Purchases

Happy Saturday everyone!

It’s been a very busy month for buying books! Granted most of the purchases have been in the past few days, so those books will have to remain secret!

Anyways, here a few photos of the books I can show that I purchased this month! Two are from/for a book signings (Allie Brosh and Peter S. Beagle) and the other was a fab suggestion from the Seattle Mystery Bookshop. Aren’t they lovely?

Books 1

Books 2

I’ve been super lucky with book purchases this month and I can’t wait to see what Christmas brings next month! Did anyone else have lots of fun shopping for books on Black Friday? I seriously got some great deals at Half Price Books! Let me know what you found! 

Happy Thanksgiving from Ashleyisee!

It’s Turkey Day in the USA! It’s been four years since I’ve been home for Thanksgiving, so you know what that means – SHOPPING!

Anyways, no review today – just happy rest of the week for everyone and I’ll return on Saturday. 

And a book turkey courtesy of Tumblr: chpinterns

book turkey

Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!

Book Signing Adventures: Peter S. Beagle and The Last Unicorn Tour

This year has been one, tough, year. There have been multiple life changing events that I have been made to shoulder and carry on with. 

However, none of that was thought about last Monday. Last Monday I met my hero, Peter S. Beagle, author most known for The Last Unicorn, a book that was turned into a movie in the 1980’s that has basically shaped my life. 

Mr. Beagle is currently on a two year long book signing, Q & A and viewing of a digitally remastered The Last Unicorn! Find all the info here – yes he’s coming to the UK!

I don’t want to bore you with all the silly stories about how this movie and book shaped my life. The brief of it is that I have been watching it since I was three, and it’s all I would ever watch so we were never allowed to own it on VHS. But man, those times when I could trick a family member to renting were the best weeks ever!

This signing was absolutely spectacular. There were remastered prints to buy, different editions of the book to purchase as well as the freshly published graphic novel released this year. There was also magic handmade unicorns that I played with my friend P that attended with me. 

Plaing with unicorns

There was also a speciality designed jewellery range that I am considering purchasing, the designs are simply spot on!

I was really, really, really excited to be there.

Me excited

Super excited

Especially because me, S and P got there super early and were eighth in the queue! Peter signed for an hour beforehand and I wanted to be apart of the first part of the group, I had been looking forward to this night all year and then some. 

Pat and Peter

S and Peter

He was so gracious and kind. He chatted with S and P and when it was my turn, I asked for a hug (I cried a little) and he smiled and said my hair smelled nice!

Ultimate hug!Crying pic

Peter signing Litograph

Meeting Peter was everything I had hoped it would be and more. He signed my 1st edition of The Last Unicorn and Litograph poster. I thanked him for his time and then we took more pictures of the posters and promotional things around the hosting event – Seattle Cinerama. 

Sarah with PrintUnicorn print 2Unicorn print 1

After that came hunting for a spot for the movie. There was a raffle (we didn’t win anything – boo) and then a lovely Q & A with Peter.

Things that happened during the Q & A:

A couple got engaged

Peter signed a baby

A little girl’s question was, “Did you write The Last Unicorn because you believed in unicorns?”

There wasn’t a dry eye in the theatre – and it had nearly been filled to capacity! 

Then it was time for the movie, and it was stunning to see it on the big screen for the first time. 

Overall it had been one of the most perfect nights. I can’t believe how lucky I was to be there and to have the chance to finally meet my literary hero. His words have taught me so many things and his movie has given me all the strength to keep believing in hope, love and magic. 

I’m so grateful the lawsuit has been finally sorted with the film and Peter’s royalties. He deserves every penny made from the film and because of the lawsuit being resolved, it’s the reason Peter has been able to promote the movie along with his book for this tour. 

Thank you so much to Peter S. Beagle, he is amazing! Many thanks to his publishing partner Connor for heading the tour and many thanks to my friends S and P for joining me on one of the best days of my life. I was very emotional and all over the place with excitement and they stood by me the entire time. I appreciate it so much!

Book Review: Sarah with an H by Irwin Hadley

Sarah with an H

Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 21.22.02

“When the new girl at LaMond High School arrives, Marti is instantly envious. Sarah has everything Marti wants, but is also nice, smart and is a terrific basketball player. Sarah is also Jewish, and soon ugly prejudice becomes evident, not only in school, but in their small Iowa community as well.”

What I See: It’s interesting how this book is almost 20 years old, and its message is still relevant to modern issues. Every child should read this book. Marti isn’t perfect and her character is flawed in a fantastic way. Her emotions are written beautifully, in a natural flow as she learns to sort through her racist feelings amongst getting to know Sarah with an H as a sweet and kind person.

It’s the natural state of growing up, being scared of what you don’t understand, but the lesson Marti learns is one that everyone should learn. This is the substance that young adult needs to be covering, and I wish there are more excellent examples for young readers like this out there!

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection

Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 21.11.35

“For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.”

What I see: I. Loved. THIS. BOOK! I could not. PUT. IT. DOWN! 

I am slightly ashamed about that sentence, but there is something about this first in a series. There is a feeling of desperation, for the lower casts in the society. I loved reading about how the ranks of people operated. However, everything about this story, the dystopia setting, the terrible love triangle, the fact it is so like The Bachelor, I shouldn’t have loved this as much as I did. I should hate it, everything about it is so entirely cliche. The love interests are horrible. The Prince is unreliable and Aspen is a child. America knows nothing of love and is a insecure teenager, as one would be during a war and living in poverty. 

But I still loved it. Breezed through in two days. The atmosphere about the castle, the stories behind the other girls in the competition. The fact that there is a ridiculous competition at all, there is a spark to this book and I adored it. 

I feel the author gave enough details but not all the information to keep me intrigued, which I think is hard to do because it’s pretty obvious how the first book ends. Still, I loved each page except for the ending. I am not blind to the annoying factors in the story too, how it’s flawed with it’s too easy plot points or cliche characters. I saw it all and still loved it. It is a book that has everything I hate about YA, and yet I was eager to get back to each chapter for more. 

It’s pure YA fluff and I love it. But that is all it is, there isn’t anything long with standing. I’m hungry for more and can’t wait to get through the second and third book (once it’s published), but I doubt it will have the shiny magical touch the first book captured. Much like The Hunger Games and going to the Capital, The Selection takes one from the bottom and brings them to the top. What it is about books that begin in the dark and move to the light that are so interesting? 

Plus the cover is amazing! Beautiful, engaging and full of wonder! For dystopian YA, this is one of my favorites for the year!

 

Book Signing Adventures: Giada De Laurentiis

What did I say about the book signings right? This one was slightly different, I was joining my friend S in order to make sure she got some photos, but I didn’t get a book myself. 

It was still such an experience! 

So this book signing by the amazing chef Giada De Laurentiis, which was held by Williams-Somona, the location at Bellevue Square Mall (WA of course). 

WS

It was held for up to 400 people!

Here is my friend staking her spot in the queue, she got there at 4pm when it started at 6pm! There was still 60/80+ people ahead of her!

Sarah with book

I popped off to see how long the queue was. 

Queue 1

It went on.

Queue 2

And on.

However, since WS was hosting the signing, there was free food being handed out! It was all mini versions of Giada’s recipes in her book! SO GOOD!

Free food!

Yum!!!!! Then it was suddenly S’s turn! I tried to take as many pics as possible, for the amount of people, it was one of the quickest signings I have ever been too! It was very conveyor belt-y, but she was super sweet to S!

Sarah and poster

Sarah Giada smiling

We also made sure to get the money shot of S smiling with the book and Giada! Then we were out of there and off to taste samples at the fancy popcorn place. 

Sarah and Giada

A truly delicious book signing! I don’t know about you, but I’m going to keep my eye on Williams-Sonoma book signing events from now on!