Archive | December 2014

Book Signing Adventures: Cary Elwes

There was an inconceivable book signing last night!

CE9I did meet him!

The amazing University Bookstore hosted the talented and brilliant Cary Elwes last night! He’s currently on tour for his book, As You Wish, a gathering of behind the scenes stories during the making of ‘The Princess Bride’!

Before Mr. Elwes arrived, University Bookstore had a band come and play fantastical tunes!

CE8Play us a song piano man

The upstairs of the bookstore (where the event was held) was PACKED. I mean it was crazy how many people crammed themselves into the section for a glimpse of Elwes. The look on his face when he saw how many people were there to see him. It was priceless.

CE6Hi Cary!

Oh wait, what truly was priceless was a little boy dressed up as Westley. Yes, that brought a lot of tears to the room. His name was Cole.

CE4 CE5Seriously, the only reason to have kids…

Mr. Elwes was such a delight. He delved into some of the stories written in the book. To hear him speak about Andre the Giant—it was moving, it was magical, it was spectacular. The best part—Elwes did voices! Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Bill Goldman, Andre the Giant and more! He had the entire room captivated.

CE7In the bookstore window

The hour flew by, Elwes is an amazing storyteller. There was a short Q & A and then came the signing. The room was extremely crowded, but University Bookstore held down the fort and make sure that those who had been there for over two hours (hem, hem) and were sitting in the seating area got their books signed in a front to back row fashion. I love University Bookstore. They know how to handle crowds for high profile signings, which makes sense why they have so many. For patrons, it’s so greatly appreciated to have order and direction. Elwes did gave time to everyone and signed as quick as a whip.

Before I knew it, it was my turn. He was so gracious and kind, he asked my name and shook my hand. A true gentleman that Mr. Elwes.

CE2Have fun stormin’ da castle.

It was such a lovely evening, full of laughter and people gathered over the love of a truly remarkable movie. We all ate up all the secret stories, I can’t wait to tear through the pages of his book. I’m so thankful to Cary Elwes for stopping in Seattle and especially to University Bookstore for hosting. It was an amazing event!

CE1Thank you Cary Elwes!

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

GreystatsThis is a story that is best left until you read it for yourself. I choose to review this book during winter because, well, that way you’ll have at least maybe an eighth of feeling of what it was like for Lina. This is a shocking story of the Stalinist repressions of Lithuanians. It’s a story that is written in fiction, but was born from fact and needs to be known.

Sepetys language is brilliant and heartbreaking and frighteningly real. You feel the emotions of the characters, you gasp in breathe at the destitution of their situation. You cry when their heart breaks because your heart is breaking too.

When I was home in America, I had become close to a Lithuanian family. The shocking reality of what these people attempted to survive is…there are no words for how they lived and were taught to never mention a word. This is history, although it’s written in fiction, it is still history that desperately needs to be known.

In a starkly honest view, Sepetys paints how life would have been life for a Lithuanian family that was highly educated with opinions. Their stories need to be heard, and this book is the one that tells it with grace and civility. Sepetys’ words are hollow, but strong and angering all at the same time. Her book is powerful and it needs to be read. This is a sliver of World War II that grossly goes under the radar.

For those that are sensitive, this might not be the best book, but I can’t back down in how I feel that this novel, although it is fiction, is a fantastic and a frightening depiction of what life was like for Lithuanians during WWII. It’s time their voices be heard. It’s time their stories be known. They are still afraid and that is the powerful message at the end of the story that proves true. For American’s, this is history relatively unknown or understood. That needs to change.

Between Shades of Gray opens up the world during a time when the world was a terrible place. Sepetys does an amazing job making it clear that once the war was over, not everyone won.

This book is not just for teens, but adults would do well to understand the difficulties of those not from this land. This is the eye-opener. This story makes you appreciate what you have. Stop ignoring the past. Between Shades of Gray gives evidence to our future. How will we roll the dice? Let’s be accepting of everyone this time.

Book Signing Adventures: Christopher Moore

This signing may have been back in April, but it was still an absolutely amazing event!

CM1

After I graduate college I came across You Suck and adored Moore’s writing. One of my close friends is a major fan so I offered to join him for this amazing appearance.

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Moore was witty, charming and even gave out goodies! (Soxx-long story).

We sat for a good amount of time, 30-45 minutes? It didn’t matter, hearing Moore talk was hilarious, engaging and full of charm.

Then came the signing. That took much longer, and the best part was that my friend discovered that his dad already had meet Moore himself and signed the copy of Lamb he’d nicked from home.

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My friend decided to just hand it to Moore to see what he would do. He signed it again. Two perfectly matched signatures, more then ten years apart.

Moore wasn’t supposed to pose for pictures either. He is seriously one cool author.

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I finally picked up The Serpent of Venice, I hope to get through it this month. I have so many books to catch up on for my Goodreads challenge and this is going to be one of them!

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It was a pleasure to hear Moore speak, and even more to meet him in person. I look forward to his future books and can only hope he’ll return someday to Seattle.

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Book Review: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

FrozenRatingIt was supposed to be a harmless prank. Sophie and her best friend Jay were just having a little fun. When an Ouija board app on Jay’s phone predicts his death…which later occurs….Sophie is devastated and frightened.

The timing couldn’t be any worse—with her mother away on holiday, Sophie is sent to stay with her Uncle and cousins for a few weeks on the Isle of Skye. There’s a secret buried deep in the house on the hill they live. What used to be an old school house is haunted with memories of its former students…and then there are the frozen Charlottes.

Could there be a link between Sophie’s best friend’s death and the mysterious bumps in the night at her Uncle’s home? She just might have to risk her life to find out…

What I see: I LOVED THIS BOOK! What a fantastic spooky read for October! I read it during November and unfortunately Seattle got down to 18 degrees! That’s cold for us in the Pacific Northwest (well, those close to the city that is…). The funny thing was that the temperature was PERFECT for feeling the chill of the howling wind while reading this brilliant book.

Bell’s writing is strong, clear, creepy and engaging! Written with perfect hooks to keep to you turning pages and excellent redirection to delay the suspenseful ending. Relevant and mystical at the same time, Frozen Charlotte is a pleasantly paced and thrilling read for teens and adults alike. Ideal for October, this story is also great for when the deep winter cold has blanketed the land. If you’re looking for a story that is haunting with a hint of mystery, this is the book for you! Seriously, some of the imagery was truly terrifying. You’ll never look at dolls the same way again!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Stripes Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the lovely team at Stripes! I look forward to the next exciting titles from Red Eye!

Frozen Charlotte will be released in January 5th 2015!

Pre-order your copy now!

Quarterly December 2014

It’s another bunch of goodies from Team Riot! Pretties in December!

Quarterly 1

What I got:

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

Ms Marvel Vol 1: No Normal by G Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Custom BOOKS Hat

Litographs Temporary Literary Tattoos

and

Shakespeare Candy from Archie McPhee! (Archie McPhee is local-so I’m ecstatic!)

My coworker and I were thrilled with the Litograph choices and immediately put one on.

Quarterly 2

She went for Shakespeare and I went for Austin. Her almost looks real! Excellent placement choice.

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The hat is fantastic, perfect as it’s freezing here now. I couldn’t be more pleased with this final Quarterly parcel for 2014. Book themed items during the holidays…could anything be better?