Archive for the ‘for the love of reading’ Category
Thanks to Dark Cargo for starting the TBR Topple campaign. This is where you look at your teetering stack of books you’ve been meaning to read, and instead of buying more books (for therapeutic reasons, of course), you take a handful of books from your TBR pile, read the first chapter or two just to get a taste, and see which ones taste good enough to keep reading. And the ones that don’t do it for ya? Get ‘em outta the TBR and regret nothing!
Here’s what I got:
Some of the books mentioned below I’ve already cracked open to see what tasty morsels abide within, others I, umm…. haven’t. But I will! I hope!
From the library:
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, recommended by My Bookish Ways, it’s magical realism/urban fantasy. Kinda Charles deLint-esque?
Mastering Communication at Work – yes, this is something I’m reading for work. You know how must business books are drier than dust and make you want to die of boredom? This one isn’t. It’s readable, interesting, has a bunch of exercises to do. I’ve read the first 2 chapters and flipped through the rest. I wish I’d read this 10 years ago. A bit heavy to read all in one go, but I may need to buy a copy of this.
I don’t think I can afford to buy any more books until the end of the summer! Also, reviews have been light recently because I’m up to my eyeballs in epic The Diviner, by Melanie Rawn. ignore it’s hokey cover art, and go read this right now because it is amazing. Review will show up eventually, I’ve got to finish it first!
but, there’s New Stuff!
A Stranger in Olondria was recommended to me by my friend at the bookseller. The debut novel from Sofia Samatar from Small Beer Press, it never hurts to support new authors and small presses. the cover art? eh, bleh.
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay – after a long discussion with the other half last night about how Kay’s writing has evolved over the years, we decided that even though neither of us were in love with Under Heaven, we should give the pseudo-sequel, River of Stars a try.
New to me stuff! (because I can’t resist a used bookstore!)
Yes, I know the Doctor Who novelizations are kinda hokey. BUT I DON”T CARE I LOVE THEM!
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding – I remember hearing a ton about this when it came out, time to give it a shot.
Kushiel’s Dart by Jaqueline Carey. When 99% of the blogging world is saying this book is a must read, who am I to pass on it?
well, at least New To Me!
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I found a really nice newer printing, with some beautifully Frazetta-esque cover art. I had started listening to an audio version of this, but the audio I had (free download? sometimes you get what you pay for) just wasn’t working for me. Happy to have finally found a copy, regretting that I didn’t the other two Burroughs books they had.
Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon, by Spider Robinson. Never read any Spider Robinson. And how can I say no to something with that ridiculous of a title?
Plague Ship by Andre Norton. Speaking of things I can’t say no to. I got a kick out of the cover page that says Andre Norton writing as Andrew North. The “about the author” page closes with”Miss Norton presently resides in Florida under the careful management of her feline associates.”
A Million Open Doors by John Barnes. I loved his earlier novel, Orbital Resonance, so why not give this one a try? It’s the beginning of a trilogy, I think.
Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein. A title I’ve heard about, but never actually seen a copy of. HAD to buy it! I like that it says “To Fritz Leiber” on the copyright page. this might be a first paperback printing. anyone know?
Boy was it lucky I happened to stop into my local bookstore the other day (picking up an Iain M Banks book, of course). My friends there let me know about the Edible Books Festival that was happening later than evening. A room full of edible books? why yes, yes I would like to attend! and so I did.
The Edible Book Festival was exactly what it sounded like. Hosted by our Book Arts Center, there were nearly twenty “edible books”, often punning the title. Submissions were from local restaurants, book stores, book clubs, and pretty much anyone who wanted to make something. We looked, we photographed, we voted, and then we ate! Good thing I was able to snap some quick photos, as within five minutes of the winners being announced, the tables were rushed by hungry people. I heard Call of the Wild and Pair A Dice Lost were very tasty.
Ready for a chuckle? here’s the photos, with their punny captions:
20 bloggers posted over 40 reviews and discussions, there were guest posts, a giveaway (which still has a few hours left in it, go win yourself some goodies!), and new bonds formed in the blogging community. Wow people, is there anything we can’t do? The only bad thing was that there was so much going on I couldn’t keep up with it! I wasn’t even able to comment on all the reviews, and I do apologize for that.
And I couldn’t have done any of this without YOU. Give yourselves a round of applause for rocking it out AGAIN. Here’s a listing of everyone I know of who participated. If you should be on this list, and aren’t, shout at the top of your lungs in the comments, and I’ll fix it up.
Over the Effing Rainbow
Bitter Tea And Mystery
Coffee Cookies and Chili Peppers
There’s a right broad
Pan Spectrum Analyzer
Two Dudes in an Attic
Lynn’s Book Blog
Impressions of a Reader
Stainess Steel Droppings
The Finch and Pea
You Can Never Have Too Many Books
Ready When You Are, C.B.
Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
Dab of Darkness
Science Fiction times
Whether you posted one book review or ten, or did a discussion post or a guest post, or tweeted or retweeted or simply lurked and enjoyed what you saw on other people’s blogs, I give you my heartfelt and sincerest thanks for spending the darkest days of winter with me and being willing to read some crunchy paperbacks by authors we’d never heard of.
I got some totally sweet stuff coming up in February too. A little less in the crunchy-dead-person department, but still, rockin’ cool stuff is heading our way! (also, spring might be heading our way, which is also damn cool)
Posted January 19, 2013on:
Today’s guest post is from Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings. When I first started visiting his blog about two years ago, I was immediately struck by his well considered and lovingly written reviews and all the beautiful artwork that graced his website. Beyond the artwork and enlightening content, every post generates warm and friendly conversation. Please welcome Carl!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The book cover—at its very best it draws you in, singling itself out amidst the noise of other books vying for your attention, and your book buying dollars. At its worst it provokes a visceral reaction, discouraging you from giving any consideration at all to what the book in question may be about and it may even turn you off from the genre in question completely. That is a lot of responsibility for an illustration to bear and the interesting dilemma facing art directors the world over is that the same book cover illustration will elicit both reactions at the same time. We are all different and we all respond to different visual cues, especially those of us who are fans of science fiction and fantasy, a genre in which the community is not afraid to vocalize their opinions. But this guest post is not about good or bad genre cover art, it is about the importance, or lack thereof, of the art itself in the wake of the rapid rise of electronic books, or ebooks.
Laying aside the pro and con arguments of reading paper books vs. electronic ones, let us agree with the premise that ebooks offer publishers a way to cut production costs significantly over their traditional paper offerings. That cost savings presumably translates into a cost savings for the consumer. That being the case I have often wondered over the last year if there will be an increased move by publishing companies to eliminate or significantly reduce the costs associated with cover art by moving away from commissioning artwork from established artists and up and coming talent. This question was brought back to my mind when a reader asked this question on my Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy Covers of 2012 post:
“Given so many people are using ereaders nowadays, does that make cover art more or less important? Ebooks don’t have covers, and they’ll soon make up most of the market (if they don’t already). Does that mean it’s not worth bothering, or mean the looks of dead-tree copies matter more as people attach more worth to them as actual physical things?”
My first reaction, which I stated in my reply, is that ebooks do have covers. As I thought about it, however, I understand that both answers are correct. Many ebooks currently have covers in the sense that they have an image advertising the book and for those books that also have print copies available the image used is often the same as that created for the book cover of the physical copy. On the other hand they do not have covers in that the word does not apply. The image attached with the ebook does not “cover” anything. Will publishers begin to think this way as well and if so will that translate into fewer actual pieces of art being commissioned for the use of science fiction and fantasy novels, short story collections and anthologies.
And perhaps more to the point, do you care?
It’s almost January, and you know what that means!
well, besides THIS of course, January means it’s time for the 2013 Science Fiction Experience over at Stainless Steel Droppings! The SFE runs January and February, and Carl does a beautiful job with artwork and articles and link lists. If you’re not familiar with his blog, get your rear-end over there and check it out. His is THE PLACE when it comes to friendly and in depth discussions of speculative fiction.
there’s even banners and badges and goodies like that!
Also, on a very slightly related note, is a fascinating experiment happening over at Teresa Frohock‘s blog (Yes! that Theresa Frohock, author of Miserere!). A handful of authors have provided writing samples written under a pseudonym, and your job is to figure out if the sample was written by a man or a woman. Truly, go check this out.
Meanwhile, I have already broken my Vintage Scifi intend-to-read list by reading and listening to stuff that’s not even on there.
It is a dark time in the northern hemisphere. Although Black Friday has been survived, the upcoming holiday season drives bookworms from their hidden libraries, and pursues them across the galaxy. . .
Evading the dreaded TV toy commercials, a group of bloggers led by yours truly established a secret plan for January reading.
It will be known as Vintage Science Fiction month, and many vintage books will be read, into the far reaches of the blogosphere. .. . .
I suddenly kinda feel like watching Star Wars. hey, the first one came out before 1979, so it’s vintage. . . right?
Ok peeps, here’s the deal: A while ago I realized I was horribly underread in the classics of Scifi. Sure, the stuff is dated and sexist and clunky and sometimes the language is archaic, but damn if I don’t enjoy reading about Martians and black holes, and old Star Trek books and Jules Vernian adventures, and stories from back when everything was possible because no one knew what might not be possible. The more of the stuff I read, the more I liked it, but I was so distracted by new shiny stuff that, well, you get the idea.
So last January I hosted Vintage Science Fiction month, and a whole ton of ya’ll participated by reading Vintage-y stuff and blogging about it, and we linked it all together here. My definition of Vintage is anything before 1979, and my definition of Scifi is pretty loose: scifi, sci-fantasy, sword and sorcery, robots, magical swords, near future, far future, pulp scifi adventure, satire, War of the Worlds, Jules Verne, Mary Shelley. . .
And guess what? It was buckets and buckets of fun! I had the opportunity to read obscure out of print goodness, met a bunch of new blogger friends, researched some authors, worked and read my butt off, and had the best month ever! On a more serious note, I gained a deeper appreciation for books that were written in the last 30 years by reading what came before them. From a genre-evolution standpoint, it’s truly fascinating.
Vintage SciFi month was so much fun, in fact, that I’m doing it again this year! Same month, same channel, same badge. Start your countdown to interstellar adventure and link to your January reviews in the comments of the Vintage Scifi tab at the top of the page. But this time, there’s a twist. I’ve got some surprises up my sleeves for you!
comments? questions? thoughts? shout ‘em out!
After the second call in a week from our local bookstore letting us know something I’d ordered had come in, my hubby says to me “What would you do if you had to read all the unread books in the house before you could bring any more books home?” My response was a look of utter terror. Me, not bring books home? it’s against the laws of physics!
on a scale of one to ten of enjoyment, I give reading a ten.
on a scale of one to ten of enjoyment, I give finding new interesting books a ten.
But I buy/borrow/library them far faster than I can possibly read them.
Our home really does look like a library threw up. books are stacked upon and stacked upon each other, the bookshelves are sagging. I have no discipline, whatsoever. It isn’t a spending problem, as most of the books are purchased used or on loan from friends or the library. It’s a space thing. and a discipline thing. I don’t have the kind of free time that I did once upon a time, but I’m still interacting with books like I have all the free time in the world.
So dear bookish friends, how do you manage to get through the stack of books you want to read without getting distracted by a hundred other books that you want to read? Or should I just revel in the beauty of being surrounded by hundreds of my favorite fetish object, the book?
and before you suggest it, “just don’t go to the bookstore/library!” isn’t going to work for me. the bookstore lures me in with their friendly cat, and everyone there knows me. it’s my Cheers. and don’t go to the library? yeah, like that’s going to happen. the library is my place of zen, my monastery, where I go when I need to relax and mentally detox.
thoughts? suggestions? maybe I should put my library card in a sooper seekrit hiding place, so seekrit that I forget where it is? Move further into the country, so the bookstore isn’t so convenient?
I’m feeling some anxiety about this whole thing. Nothing a quick trip to the library won’t cure!