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Showing posts from October, 2009

Blogiversary + Giveaway!

So guess what? Today is my blogiversary! That's right, the very first post here at Angieville went up on Halloween of 2005. I'm even posting this at about the same time in the evening as that one was. I can't believe it, really. Things have changed a lot, including focus, layout, posting frequency, and (best of all) all of you who stop in to say hi and share your thoughts. I love this blog. I honestly get sad imagining my life without it and I hope I can keep it going for as long as we're all game. But this does seem to call for a celebration, does it not? So, in honor of the occasion, I'm giving away an anniversary mega-pack to one lucky commenter. The pack will include one brand new, signed paperback copy of Suite Scarlettby Maureen Johnson, one brand new paperback copy of Going Too Farby Jennifer Echols, one brand new hardback copy of Catching Fireby Suzanne Collins with accompanying limited edition T-shirt and mockingjay pin, one brand new paperback copy of Brig…

Apparently, I Want It All

It's Halloween tomorrow and everyone's dressing up. If you're my boy, you get to dress up for the school Halloween parade and class party today as well as tomorrow night for the actual trick-or-treating. I'll be walking around with him, carrying babygirl in my arms. Any of you out there dressing up and/or attending Halloween parties? As I was making the rounds, I came across Carolyn's hilarious Reading Personality Quiz: Cinderella vs. Little Red Riding Hood over at The Thrillionth Page (link via See Michelle Read). Not a pairing you see very often. I highly recommend you head over and answer the questions to see which one you are. You probably think you already know, but the result may surprise you. I was leaning LRRH but I ended up with my answers split right down the middle. Of which Carolyn has to say: You want it all! Drama, conflict, crazy devotion, HEA, heroines who can take care of themselves...extra points for a cool outfit. Yep. That pretty much sums it u…

Eyes Like Stars: Theatre Illuminata, Act I by Lisa Mantchev

Awhile back I won an ARC of Lisa Matchev's Eyes Like Stars. I was even more excited to read it when the book arrived and I saw the tagline: Theatre Illuminata, Act I. Loved it. Love the whole title, the lush, edgy cover, and the main character's incredibly apt name--Beatrice Shakespeare Smith--known to the inhabitants of the Theatre Illuminata as Bertie. So I was happy to see Eyes Like Starsnominated for a Cybils award in the YA Scifi/Fantasy category so that I could kick my panelist reading off with a book I'd already been looking forward to reading. That it was about the stage and included numerous references to Shakespeare was icing on the cake.
Bertie lives in the Theatre Illuminata. Eighteen years ago she was left on the doorstep as a baby and taken in by the Wardrobe Mistress and adopted by nearly every denizen of this most unusual theater. You see, every character in every play ever written lives in the Theatre Illuminata. And in the Theater Manager's office ther…

A Halloween Treat

Just when I was all set to sulk the day away, this little package shows up on my doorstep. I am having difficulty containing my glee. Then I thought of something, went and checked, and sure enough, a surprisingly similar package showed up on my porch a year ago almost to the day! I believe this constitutes the making of a new tradition. A Shinn/Marillier Halloween package tradition. I'll take one every year, thanks! Now the only question is....which one first?

Fiery

So I'm trolling around, minding my own business, when I stumble across the little detail that Kristin Cashore and Suzanne Collins will be doing a signing together at one of my favorite bookstores in the whole wide world--Books of Wonder! That's right, the author of Gracelingand Fireand the author of The Hunger Gamesand Catching Firewill be double teaming the crowd on the evening of Tuesday, November 10th. Truly it is the height of injustice that I live so very far from New York City...Anyone out there going to be able to make it to this night of awesome? To cheer myself up, here's the fun Firewidget in which you can cast your favorite characters in a hypothetical movie of the book. Having browsed through the options, can I just say Gael Garcia Bernal as Brigan FTW!

Retro Friday Review: The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

I remember buying my copy of The Ruby in the Smokeat a B. Dalton bookstore in San Antonio, Texas. I liked the cover with the young girl in the cape holding something mysterious in a white handkerchief for a slightly creepy old woman to inspect. But, in the end, this was yet another example of a book I bought for the opening lines alone. On a cold, fretful afternoon in early October, 1872, a hansom cab drew up outside the offices of Lockhart and Selby, Shipping Agents, in the financial heart of London, and a young girl got out and paid the driver. She was a person of sixteen or so--alone, and uncommonly pretty. She was slender and pale, and dressed in mourning, with a black bonnet under which she tucked back a straying twist of blond hair that the wind had teased loose. She had unusually dark brown eyes for one so fair. Her name was Sally Lockhart; and within fifteen minutes, she was going to kill a man. Yeah, there was sort of no way my 12-year-old self wasn't going to make a beeline…

Reissued Pretties

It can't be just me, right? These reissues Square Fish has done of Madeleine L'Engle's Austin Family Chronicles are simply beautiful. Enough so that I'm actually pretty impressed at my unusual display of self control at not having purchased them the day they came out! I love the title font, the simple, solid colors, and the detail of the window box art on each one.













I love this series and have done so for a long time now. My copies of The Young Unicornsand A Ring of Endless Lightare extremely worn well-loved from having been read so many times. I love the way the siblings grow up and change and love each other across the arc of this five-book series. I love emotional Vicky and precocious Rob, tragic Zachary and grey-eyed Adam. And the music. The way the Austins love and play and appreciate music. They are happy books for me.
Are there series you love so much and over such a period of time that they're reissuing them? And do you find yourself with the urge to own multi…

Unexpected Moments

The other night DH surprised me with tickets to see the movie Bright Star. He knew I'd been quietly languishing to see this movie about the relationship between Romantic poet John Keats and the young Fanny Brawne. I was certain we'd never find the time to go and I just knew it was one I'd want to see on the big screen, sitting in the dark, surrounded by other Keats readers. Then at the end of a long Friday I walked in to see tickets in his hand. *love* Now I know that with a master's in British literature I was predisposed to enjoy this film. But "enjoyed" is too tame a word. I absolutely loved it. And there's a particular scene that has stuck in my mind ever since. In this scene Keats is visiting Brawne's family at Christmas and, when asked for a poem, begins reciting the first lines of "When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be." Folks, I literally burst into tears the moment he started speaking. And it took me completely, utterly by surpri…

Nice Guys

You knew it was coming. After the much-debated Bad Boys post, I felt it was only fair to follow in Persnickety Snark's footsteps and do a Nice Guys one as well. After all, I did publicly admit to falling for one every now and then, and doing so instilled in me the undeniable urge to explain just what's involved in the complex equation that determines whether or not I fall for a Nice Guy. As you can see from the above image, and as some friends have already stated, Gilbert Blythe pretty much takes the cake as far as Nice Guys go in my book. He encompasses all the essential qualities necessary to make him an irresistible Nice Guy and there's no doubt in your mind that you wouldn't want Anne to be with anyone else. So let's break it down. Gilbert's the best friend. Now, I know, Diana is without a doubt the best friend. But so is Gilbert. I'll tell you why. They grow up together, for all intents and purposes. They know each other's strengths, weaknesses, qui…

Retro Friday Review: The Road to Damietta by Scott O'Dell

I'm stretching pretty far back here for Retro Fridays this week. I think I was eleven or twelve when I read The Road to Damiettafor the first time. I was in the middle of a serious Scott O'Dell binge and had just moved back to the States after living in Italy for a few years. So it had the added attraction of taking place in that country I loved at a time when I was having a fair bit of trouble transitioning back to the American culture and pace of living. I'd already burned through Sarah Bishop, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Serpent Never Sleeps, The Spanish Smile, and Streams to the River, River to the Seaby the time I came across a copy of The Road to Damiettain a narrow, dusty bookstore in West Yellowstone. My copy had the cover you see above on the left. I have always liked it. Though the French cover in the middle is also quite nice. I have to be honest and say that the current cover on the right kind of scares the crap out of me. Don't think I would ever have…

Graceling/Fire Giveaway! (and Nice Guy Po)

So, first off, Diana Peterfreund is giving away two signed copies of Gracelingand Fireby Kristin Cashoreover on her blog today! The little minx had the opportunity to attend the last stop on Ms. Cashore's Firebook tour and snagged these lovely copies while there. Why, no, I'm not jealous at all...








To enter all you need to do is leave a comment on her post telling her what your Grace would be (if you had one) or what color hair you'd have if you were a human-shaped monster like Fire. But she adds one additional way to enter that made me laugh out loud. She states that if you are Angie you can publicly admit that Po is the very nicest of nice guys and yet you love him madly...apparently my reputation for crushing on the bad boys precedes me! At first I thought she was referring to Poe-with-an-e and I was like, noooooo! I can't! I WON'T! My beloved Poe is not and will never be a Nice Guy. Bad Boy to the core. Though certainly the "good" kind of Bad Boy. The ki…

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen's debut novel, Garden Spells, is the perfect example of one of those books I would never have picked up were it not for the recommendation of another excellent blogger. In this case it came from my good friend Michelle over at See Michelle Read. One of her favorite reads, she suggested I would like it and was she ever right. I'd seen it around several times and all I knew was that it was a New York Times bestseller. I couldn't really work out what genre it was and I sort of mentally sorted it into the The Secret Life of Beescategory and left it there. Not that I didn't enjoy The Secret Life of Bees. But I've never had the urge to reread it, you know? But Garden Spellsshares only a rather charming Carolina setting (North as opposed to South) with Sue Monk Kidd's novel. Beyond that, it is entirely its own work.

Claire Waverly is a creature of habit. She gets up. She goes about her work, making deliveries, catering events. She gardens. She visit…

Just Excellent News

After much hoping against hope and crossing of fingers on my part, I was completely delighted to read that Dennis Lehane is working on a sequel to his beloved Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro mystery series. This is huge news, people. Particularly since the last book in the series--Prayers for Rain--was written ten years ago! I've been crazy about this series for a few years now, ever since DH introduced me to them. I love Patrick and I love Angie and I love crazy, psycho Bubba. Die hard fans of the hardboiled P.I.s were afraid the series was over for good, but with this news there is so much to look forward to as Lehane has said the new installment will be a direct sequel of sorts to Gone, Baby, Goneand will take place eleven years after that devastating case. No word yet on a title or release date but this is just excellent news.
Thanks to Keishon over at Avid Book Reader for the heads up! For a rundown on the series and where to start, head over there to check out her great post on…

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

This book has made the rounds and no mistake. I started seeing early reviews awhile back and read a fewdelightful interviewswith Leanna Renee Hieber and found myself intrigued to read her first novel--The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker. I was, therefore, tickled to receive a copy for review from Ms. Hieber and quickly set about settling in. I knew it was a Gothic paranormal mystery of sorts, featuring (among other things) a group of loyal comrades, a private London academy, a bit of magic, an albino, and a swoon-worthy broody professor a la Richard Armitage in North & South. *moment of silence for the awesomeness of The Armitage* And that was the extent of my pre-reading knowledge. That and the fact that I loved the cover with its simple yet moody, midnight blue and its slightly off-kilter, scripty title.
Miss Percy Parker is about to embark on an adventure, albeit a much larger one than she imagines. Leaving the convent--the only home she's ever known--and dippi…