Archive | April 2014

Report: World Book Night 2014

This week has been an amazing week for books! To start off, two titles chosen for this year’s World Book Night (Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette and Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet) in the US is based (or have reference to) Seattle! The amazing authors gathered at the beautiful Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle’s Capital Hill for the giver event on Tuesday. Of course I showed up! 

World Book Night

 

The organizer of the event  invited new as well as past givers to come up and tell their stories about this amazing book event. (Here’s all the info). As others spoke about how and where they gave out last year’s titles, I learned Elliot Bay had some extras to give out!

Then Maria and Jamie were invited to speak. 

But not before Jamie insisted on a selfie with Maria. 

Selfie

Adorable! 

Jamie Ford spoke about his book and the hilarious tweets that teens have been saying due it being on school reading lists. I wanted to tell him that even if the impact is negative right now, later on in life it might change and that’s one of the beautiful things about books. 

Jamie and Maria Speaking

Then Maria spoke about her book, and she is just charming, hilarious and funny as her writing! I want to be her friend!

Then came the book signing! Authors are so cute with their books!

Maria with Book

Jamie Ford with Book

Afterwards, I made sure to speak to the organizer as a last minute giver. Lo and behold, I was able to snag 20 copies of Maria’s Where’d You Go Bernadette! *happy dance*

Giver BoxBernadette Book Covers

My Pretties

I couldn’t wait to be a part of World Book Night for the first time in the US (I’d been able to help with UK’s in year’s past). As I had a YA title, I wanted the books to go somewhere that helped teens in need. After a quick search I was able to find Friends of Youth, that had a housing program for homeless teens in Redmond, Washington (where I live). 

I called the morning of World Book Night and Friends of Youth were thrilled for the donation of these amazing books! I dropped them off soon after and hope that teens that don’t have the access to books, or aren’t interested in them will give Maria’s book a chance! It was a great experience to be a part of World Book Night and I hope to be a giver next year! 

Were you apart of World Book Night? If so, which title did you get and where did you hand them out?

 

 

Freshly Published: Seattle Health Magazine Spring Issue

Hot off the presses! My internship with Seattle Health Magazine has sadly come to a close, but this also means that all the pieces I wrote, researched and compiled are finally in print! I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday week! 

Seattle Health Magazine Spring 14

Photo: Seattle Health Magazine

We’re bringing sexy back (haha!) this spring! I was lucky enough to be assigned to three mini pieces (one of which I was supposed to write for online, but my editor liked it so much she put it in the print edition!), two sidebars for one of the main articles, a chart and I was also responibile all the events, classes and clinical studies at the back of the mag. 

I’m so grateful for this experience, I loved every minute and everything I was able to learn for my first print writing stint!

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You can purchase your copy at newsstands now if you’re in the Washington State area, or if not, you can download the Spring issue for free: http://seattlemag.com/download-digital-edition-springsummer-issue

Happy reading everyone! May you all have a wonderful Easter too!

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Ocean

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Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.”

Oh my goodness what a read! I was lucky enough to meet Gaiman during the release of this book and hear him read a section of it. (swoon) I’ve read a few of Gaiman’s books when I was in England and this latest novella doesn’t disappoint from his earlier works. 

In the beginning the story is charming. After a few chapters the fun gets going and then before the reader expects it, the end is near. The heart is strong with this one. Readers must not be afraid of a few cracks once they reach the final pages. 

The simplistic fantasy elements, the knowledge that magic is sometimes there and sometimes not, the use of carefully repetitive language that’s comforting to children are just a few of the elements that make this book a must read. I personally favored the English colloquialisms. But the imagery of the farmhouse, the countryside and the character’s families are also stunning. The story it must like it’s title. It may be a small book, but the story is as wide as the ocean it’s named of. 

I loved it. Gaiman’s style and flow of blending reality with mythical is like a cherished friend. I know I can count on his books for a fun time, and yet he’ll also challenge me too. I wish I had seen Lettie when I was in Sussex. Perhaps I did. Perfect for any and all readers, I highly recommend you get the closest copy and dive in! 

 

Book Signing Adventures: Amy Tan

It was a dream come true. 

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I had bought my copy of The Joy Luck Club from one of the secondhand bookshops outside of my tube station for £1. I had always wanted to read the story: It had steamed from the fact that in my AP English class during my senior year of high school, one of my best friends said that Tan’s book was what he had read over the summer from our reading list. All the girls including my teacher within the room burst into laughter at him. He had stated it was the only book he could find. I never understood why it was so funny. I had meant to read it because of that memory. 

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Instead I had Tan sign it, making it one valuable read. 

I brought Mum along. I thought she would enjoy meeting Tan and having her own very first signed book. 

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Tan was adorable. She browsed the shelves of Elliot Bay before one of the other happily excited patrons exclaimed, “Hi Amy!” She turned and looked at us, a formed queue, all holding tightly her books. 

“Oh, you really are here!” She said with a smile. 

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Due to Mum and I driving across the bridge to get into Seattle (this means going around due to a toll bridge and trying to forgo motorway construction), we made sure we left super early and snagged the first in line spot! The bookstore thought I was mental, but I was thrilled. I had never been first before and it was fantastic to snag some time with Tan. Elliot Bay Books also had their original picture from when Amy had first paid a visit to the bookstore. 25 years ago! (Her hair was super long!) We also met another lovely woman who spelled her name exactly like Mum does. The brilliant people you meet at book signings! (now if only I could just find a boyfriend at one…)

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She was so lovely, kind and intelligent. She even took a picture with Mum and I. 

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Her outfit was gorgeous. Her style is just like her writing. Talented. 

To have the opportunity to meet Tan, a true icon of women writers. There are no words to explain what an amazing moment this was. I’m so glad we ventured out to do so, and I thank Amy Tan and Elliot Bay Bookstore for making this fantastic book signing event a possibility.