Posts Tagged ‘books’
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:
Remember my book haul from the other day? shortly after I posted that, I picked up this beauty:
Why yes, that is Charles Vess artwork on a Subterranean Press limited edition of a new novella by one of my favorite authors! It’s so pretty I almost don’t want to touch it. almost.
And yes, yes there is more:
I want to trace that signature over and over again, learn the shapes and patterns my hands and fingers make, and memorize the order, turn the movements into a mantra.
and then the logical part of my brain starts ticking. . .
number 56? Maybe she got to this one before her hand got tired. Do authors sign all the books all in one day of wrist wrenching carpal tunnel risking signature scrawling? Or do they do a dozen at a time? Do the pop in the extended edition of Star Wars to stave off the boredom? what if the author messes up or the pen runs out?
Ok, one new book, and everything else is older, but it’s all new-new stuff for. And so very pretty!
I know they say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but I have been drooling over this book since I first saw the cover art a few months ago. I’ve read a few Marie Brennan short stories and enjoyed them, and I don’t even know even know what this one is about, I just knew I had to have it. Teh blurb, in case you are interested:
A Natural History of Dragons -
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, knows Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light ofmodern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiousity, of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.
Wowza!! When do I get to reward myself with reading this?? I’ll make you a deal: after I review Iain Bank’s Use of Weapons, and finish Athyra by Steven Brust, Seeds of Earth by Michael Cobley, and King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, I’ll reward myself with this beautiful book!
ok, on to some other new-to-me goodies:
Husband got me addicted to Fritz Leiber a few months ago, and we’d picked up the first book and the last book in the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series, so it was nice to find all the middle ones in the same printing. You don’t need to read these in any particular order (book “one” was actually written last), but there is a sort-of chronological order to the lives of the characters.
and speaking of “you don’t need to read them in chronological order because they weren’t written that way”, I’m slowly filling the gaps in my Steven Brust collection. The problem is that I forget what I’ve purchased, so sometimes I end up with duplicates. I can tell in the first couple pages of a book if I”ve read it before, and at the store I was pretty sure I was missing Athyra, so I grabbed it. I started reading it last night, this one was a good choice, as I”ve read the one that comes right after like 3 times, so it’ll be nice to see how that situation came about.
The Swords Against Tomorrow collection is a little volume of sword and sorcery and sword and planet tales, including a yes, you guessed it, a Fritz Leiber Lankhmar tale, yay!
I couldn’t resist the Rising Stars novel by Arthur Byron Cover. You probably recognize the name J. Michael Straczynski from Babylon 5, but he also wrote a wonder trilogy of graphic novels called Rising Stars. A little like X-Men, but no exactly. I hope I can find more novels in this series, as I LOVED the graphic novels!
For the most part, all this new stuff is rather slim, which means I can cram it into the remaining nooks and crannies in my bookshelves.
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)
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!
as a surprise, a very good friend of mine lent me her kindle, preloaded with a few anthologies I’m interested in, and two Neal Asher novels, which I was very interested in. She certainly knew how to tease me.
Change, to mis-quote Agent Smith, is inevitable.
After a few days of staring at the thing, I decided I better pick it up and start using it. What if I couldn’t figure out how it worked? what if I broke it (Don’t worry E, it’s perfectly safe!)? GULP, what if I liked it, and had all this time been a super-hypocrite of e-readers??
Here’s goes nuthin’, right?
Granted, I have read PDFs of books before, but they were usually exactly that – a PDF of the printed version, complete with page numbers at the bottom, identifiers at the top, chapter page breaks, etc. On the screen it looked exactly like the page of a book, and if I printed it out, it looked like I’d photocopied a page out of the printed book.
but these true e-books? these are interesting beasts. I feel like a scifi character on a mission of first contact. Will I be able to communicate with the alien? will their technology dwarf mine? how does their language and syntax compare to what I’m used to?
Some nice surprises that I liked about the Kindle, and the e-book experience:
The skinnyness of the thing is very nice. It nestles perfectly in my purse, and I feel very sophisticated reading from it during lunchtime at work. It also has a super durable leather cover, offering a little bit of tactile interaction, and a lot of protection. I’m not a klutz, but a little extra protection on an expensive electronic gizmo is always a plus.
The buttons and menus are very intuitive. it holds a battery charge a long time, and even better it uses the same universal charger as my cell phone. It took me less than 5 minutes of messing with the thing to figure out the basic menu options, how to tell how much battery was left, etc. Intuitiveness is a big plus for non-techies like me.
And the things that shouldn’t have been a surprise, but were: