May 26, 2009

Atmospheric Pretties


Aren't these three just sort of striking and atmospheric?

First up, Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan is due out October 6th. As you can tell by the awesome cover, it's all kinds of steampunk and is the first in a new series. Yay!

Longtime favorite of mine Sharon Shinn has a new YA out also in October, the 15th to be exact. Gateway is about an adopted Chinese girl and is set in an alternate St. Louis modeled after 19th century China.

Ever since getting lost in The Historian, I've been wondering what Elizabeth Kostova would write next. The Swan Thieves is due out the same day as Leviathan and follows a solitary psychiatrist treating a tormented artist. I'll take it.

May 22, 2009

Friday Giggles: Condensed Version

For your Friday Giggles I present you with the hilarious Book-A-Minute Classics and Book-A-Minute SF/F sites, with their "Ultra-Condensed Books" lists. Browse about at will. But make sure you take a peek at the particularly giggle-worthy ultra-condensed versions of A Tale of Two Cities, Pride & Prejudice, The Fionavar Tapestry, and my personal favorite--The Book of Three. What the heck, let's throw Twilight in there for good measure. Enjoy.

My Hero


Here she is. I'm kind of digging her. What with the wings and the whip and everything. Diana Peterfreund is giving away three copies of Sarah Cross's new novel Dull Boy about a boy named Avery who discovers he has superpowers. So head over to The Hero Factory and make your own. Then go tell Diana about it and enter the contest. This book looks great!

May 21, 2009

Guest Blogger: Laurie R. King

First off, apologies to Angie and her Ville for the delay in this post. My brain went dead following two weeks on the road, and the various attempts at writing something produced words so dull, they put me to sleep. Of course, pretty much anything put me to sleep, after an average of 5 ½ hours of sleep a night for 12 nights…

One of the things I love most about an author tour is having a chance to meet the people who read my books. In a normal job, a person gets feedback as she goes along, conversations with customers and colleagues, but my job is to sit in a quiet room for ten or eleven months and tap my fingertips down onto buttons. Little opportunity for ongoing feedback there.

On a book tour, it’s all about the feedback, particularly since my events consist of about ten minutes of me talking, two minutes of reading from the book, and 48 minutes of Q&A. It’s true, as my daughter pointed out, that I don’t actually answer the questions, but I do use them as springboards to talk about some topic that is more or less (granted, sometimes a lot less) related to the question. And no one has ever loudly complained that I didn’t give them an answer, so I guess they’re happy.

But one of the joys of the events is seeing how fiction touches people. Readers come to my events not to hear how I do research, or to ask how they can get published, or to complain about the flaws in my chronology. They come as an acknowledgment of the power of the story.

Sometimes people who come to an event are not familiar with the work of this particular writer, but they’re curious to see what such a creature looks like. Or they come because they’ve heard I write about England, or history, or Sherlock Holmes, or a lesbian cop. They come to get a taste of who I am, and (with luck) stay long enough to buy at least a paperback, so as to dip their toes into the water, but that they come at all to listen to a person they don’t know is an acknowledgment of fiction’s power.

Then there are those who know my work, and come because the characters and the stories have affected them in some way. They like the stories, or they like the setting, or they like the low-key but omnipresent sense of love and attraction between the characters.

Or they come because they’re fifteen year-olds who see themselves in Mary Russell. Or because they were once fifteen year-olds who saw themselves in Mary Russell.

It’s an odd sensation, at times, to know that a fictional creation for whom I am responsible has changed lives—actual, physical, lives. I know of at least half a dozen young women who have aimed themselves at Oxford because of Russell, and more who have gone into a study of theology because that is Russell’s chosen field. I have heard of two separate women who went to India in part so that they could follow Russell. I have yet to meet anyone who deliberately sought out and married a man forty years her senior, or who went to live with the Bedouin, but those will no doubt come.

Fiction is an escape, but fiction also enlarges us, gives us a stage to spread our wings and become something more. A book tour reminds an author of this very real responsibility, a part of the dialogue between writer and reader. And even if it means I miss a promised deadline for a guest blog, it is a valuable reminder of why I do what I do.

*******

Laurie R. King is the Edgar award winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Mary Russell series of historical mysteries, the modern police series of Kate Martinelli, and a number of standalones. Her web site (www.LaurieRKing.com) is celebrating the publication of her ninth Mary Russell novel, The Language of Bees, now in stores everywhere.

May 20, 2009

The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King

I love the title of this the 9th Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novel. In name and spirit, The Language of Bees brings things back to the beginning once more. Back to the Downs, back to the hives, back to a 15-year-old Mary Russell stumbling over a retired detective tending his bees in peace, thus setting into motion the unlikely formation of a most formidable and engaging partnership. What an adventure it's been, and how fascinating to follow these two dominant personalities meet and clash and meet again, picking their way ever so rationally toward a kind of home.

In this installment, Russell and Holmes indeed come home to Sussex after months and months abroad--tired, anxious, and, in Russell's case, tangled up in self-doubt and disillusionment. They walk through the door to find Holmes' beloved bees have inexplicably fled their hive and a stranger waiting for them. A stranger who is not a stranger after all. They met surrealist painter Damian Adler once before. Now he solicits Holmes' aid tracking down his missing wife and child. Holmes and Adler depart for London, leaving Russell to unpack, unwind, and investigate the mysteriously missing bees. Soon, however, the pair will reunite and blaze a trail across the isles of Britain, following a string of standing stones, gruesome suicides, and sacrifices, as they attempt to locate Damian's family.

There is something of the truly macabre in this volume. Even the cover, which at first glance is merely lovely, takes on a particularly disturbing quality after all is said and done. Undertones of madness course throughout the tale and I found myself, along with Mary, shaking off shivers of fear and uncertainty in my haste to find out what was behind the string of awful deaths and missing people. Interestingly enough, I found the crux of the mystery to be not so much who did it but the effect of fear and uncertainty (and, yes, madness) on each of the major players. Excepting, of course, Holmes' unflappable brother Mycroft, who continues to be a delight despite his sudden loss of weight. Russell and Holmes' stay with Mycroft was one of the high points for me, as was (rather surprisingly) Russell's solo stay at home. Usually I prefer my Russell and my Holmes together for as much of the story as possible. However, I found myself completely riveted as Russell paced the halls of the place that has, after nine years, become her home, trying to find herself once more amid a houseful of Holmes. Laurie R. King pulls out all kinds of stops in this one, managing at once to entertain and make the reader think and feel and wonder, like Russell, if anyone can be trusted. Holmes, Adler, even herself. I will say that this one does end unresolved in certain respects and, as such, left me longing for the next installment. Alas, a not altogether unfamiliar emotion.

May 19, 2009

Shallow, Part II

Apparently this one's the real deal. What do you think?

Saw the New Star Trek Movie


So. much. WIN.
Also, I'm in love with Spock.
That is all.

May 18, 2009

Summer Blog Blast Tour, an Interview, and an Excerpt

Chasing Ray has the Summer Blog Blast Tour dates up. These wonderful folks put the tour on every year and it's always a fest o' awesome. This year they've got a great lineup and I'll definitely be dropping in to catch Carrie Jones today at Writing and Ruminating, Maggie Stiefvater also there on Wednesday, and Kristin Cashore at HipWriterMama on Friday. Rumor is...there'll be a Graceling giveaway!

In case by some freak chance you are not already a regular follower of the sneaky and cheeky Book Smugglers, you should rectify that problem. Harry over at Temple Library Reviews is interviewing Ana and Thea this week and it would be a perfect way to get to know them. Read Part I of the interview and then continue right on to Part II.

There was a high-pitched shriek heard round the 'Ville when I stumbled across the first chapter of Heroes at Risk, which Moira J. Moore has posted on her livejournal. If you're having a hard time holding out till August for your next Taro and Lee fix, go read the first chapter. And if you have no idea who Taro and Lee are, allow me to introduce you to the first in a fine series. Ignore the covers. That's what I keep telling my mother-in-law. Actually, I picked her up one of these handy-dandy book covers for Mother's Day. Now she'll never have to suffer cover embarrassment again...

May 15, 2009

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

Sookie always saves me. Just when I'm wondering if Spring will come at all, the new Sookie is suddenly out and life is brighter and more amusing. I'm always reminded of the spring I discovered this wonderful series and how they saved me then and, my, has it really been a year since I spent time with the gang, and how is every little thing? The last two books were somewhat transitional installments, in that Sookie's been through the wringer and is forced to reevaluate several aspects of her life, particularly the undead and shifty folk she's allied herself with and how much longer she's willing (or able) to go on being the one commodity everyone wants to have in their arsenal.

The wolves are coming out of the walls. On a quiet night in Merlotte's, Sookie serves patrons and watches as the were community officially comes out to the world, painting themselves as the vampires' fuzzier younger sibs. Reactions in Bon Temps range from mildly bemused acceptance to wildly outraged fear. That last courtesy of Sookie's sometime friend and co-worker Arlene and her crazy Fellowship of the Sun boyfriend. The level of unease increases a fair bit when a young were is found murdered outside Merlotte's and Jason is the prime suspect. Sam is called out of town on urgent family business and he leaves the whole mess for Sookie to manage in his absence. As though she doesn't have enough on her mind working out just how she feels about her continuing relationship with Eric, getting to know her fairy prince great-grandfather, and handling the ubiquitous Bill who never seems to stop lurking around her back porch. Eric continues to be my favorite character, after Sookie, and I'm glad they're finally talking to each other instead of circling uncertainly. Only good can come of it.

Time (and the neverending demands of the supernatural communties) have taken a toll on Sookie Stackhouse. That seems to be the central theme of the series at this point. If book 8 was spent recovering from the disastrous vampire summit, book 9 is all about Sookie coming to grips with what she has become. She's been independent and on her own (deadbeat Jason doesn't count) for a long time now and, though various vampires and shifters have passed through her house and affections, it always seems to come back to her frequently being a target and only being able to rely on herself. Eric, Bill, and Quinn are all interested in taking up some of the slack for her, but Sookie is smart. And strong. And will make a decision (if she does) when she's ready. And when she feels like she has all the pertinent information and a body she can trust. In the meantime, I trust her. I absolutely loved this installment. Book 10, see you next Spring!

May 14, 2009

You'll Thank Me Later

Molly over at Ten Block Walk has started a great discussion about the books we'd go back in time to give our younger selves if we could. If it were me, I think I'd stealth stalk my teenage self, leaving single books in unmarked, brown paper wrapped parcels. One on the back step, one on my pillow, one in my locker on that first day of high school...And the deliveries would have to start with Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti. I read that book a couple of years ago and just could not get over how I wish every teenage girl could read it. Like if they did it would help them know who they are and avoid a fair chunk of unnecessary pain. It's a beautiful book and one I highly recommend. Follow-up dropoffs would include The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White (because EEW books rock), Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher (because it would have made me think about things I wasn't thinking about then but should have been), An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (because 14-year-old Angie was in desperate need of a good laugh), and the complete Harry Potter series (because I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven). What books would you love to have read then? Go check out the discussion and leave a comment!

May 13, 2009

Awkward Giggles

We're gonna have to have a bit of a reschedule on Ms. King's guest post as she is just returning from her book tour and is understandably a bit behind. I can't even imagine the pressures of touring and promoting! We'll be sure to get the post up shortly, though. Until then, I leave you with some awkward giggles.


Make sure to click back to the older entries and, whatever you do, do not miss Happy Mother's Day, Doubledelish, and Bon Family. They are inexplicable. And wonderful. *wipes away tears*

May 12, 2009

Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

For those unfamiliar with or new to the series, Fragile Eternity is the third book in Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely world and the long-awaited direct sequel to Wicked Lovely itself. The painful and beautiful Ink Exchange was more of a companion novel toWicked Lovely and followed Aislinn's friend Leslie. Fragile Eternity picks up shortly after the end of Ink Exchange and divides its time between the four original principals--Aislinn, Seth, Keenan, and Donia. All of them are struggling to deal with the consequences of their actions (or, in a few key cases, inactions), which resulted in Leslie walking away from it all and Irial abdicating his throne, effectively forcing Niall to fill his deep, dark shoes.

How they live now includes:

1. Aislinn working really hard not to touch Keenan with a ten-foot pole. Bad things happen in the castle when she does. Mostly for Seth.
2. Keenan working even harder to do a lot more than touch Aislinn. All in the name of his court, of course, but still. You are starting to really piss me off, Summer King.
3. Seth alternating between the Pit of Despair and fighting the good fight to save his lady from a fate worse than death, a.k.a., Keenan. He's worked so hard to be good, but he's still so freaking mortal.
4. Donia growing more and more like Beira with every falling snowflake. It's hard to blame her. After all, she's in love with an insufferably arrogant faery who seems bent on destroying her court and trampling her heart. Not necessarily in that order. You'd be cold, too.

The interesting thing about Fragile Eternity is that the most compelling characters are not those four. Everyone's fate seems to hang on them, yes, but it's the peripheral characters who steal the show. First of all, Niall. I have no words for how awesome the Dark Lord is. With the flapping coat and the brotherhood with Seth and the freedom he inhabits as the leader of the dark fey. Is it me or does it take embracing evil to see clearly in this world? Irial felt the same way to me and, though I have loved Niall in all his forms and allegiances, I think this incarnation may be my favorite. Second, Sorcha. The queen of the High Court and the most remote of faeries, I thought I would find her tedious and cruel. Instead, she stepped right off the page and the scenes with her and Seth tugged at my heart and made me look forward to more from her in the fourth (or fifth) book. I'm actually a little worried for her, which just goes to show how Marr was able to lend a certain humanity to a faery who goes out of her way to avoid conversing with humans. And third, Sorcha's younger brother Devlin. Devlin is Sorcha's enforcer and all around scary guard. He has a weird and potentially extremely problematic bond with both his sisters, Order and Chaos, and I feel absolutely certain he will play a larger and more important role in books to come. So while all four of the main characters annoyed me at times (I now officially repudiate Keenan), these three peripherals delighted me to no end and from the moment Seth meets Sorcha I hit the point of no return and had to read it straight through to the finish. The awful, exciting, invigorating finish. Can't wait for the next one, Ms. Marr.

May 11, 2009

It's Good to Be Back

Phew, I'm back. Vegas was hot and windy, but the wedding we attended was lovely. Lots of yummy, yummy Thai food at the reception and many good people to visit with. A much-needed getaway.

I just wanted to put up a reminder that Laurie R. King, author of the most wonderful if-you-haven't-read-them-yet-you-must Mary Russell series, will be guest blogging here on Wednesday. Laurie is promoting her latest and greatest Mary Russell--The Language of Bees. You're in for a treat so don't miss it!

I've also got several good reviews on their way up this week. Look out for my review of Fragile Eternity (much to say on that one), Dead and Gone (Sookie rules), and of course The Language of Bees.

May 7, 2009

Mary Stewart Giveaway Winner

And the winner is...Kerry!

Please send me your mailing address and a brand new copy of Madam, Will You Talk? will be wending its way to your door. I wanted to thank all the commenters for sharing your lovely stories. It was a treat reading them.

May 6, 2009

Which Tortall Heroine Are You?

To celebrate the release of Tamora Pierce's Bloodhound, Random House has put together a bit of fun with their Which Tortall Heroine Are You? quiz. Find out here. I took it and it looks like I am:
Kel
You are most like Kel. You are an untraditional girl and are known to take great risks. You will stop at nothing to protect those who are important to you or those who are unable to help themselves. You always manage to hold your own in a fight, either due to your sheer determination or your magical powers.





Untraditional...check. Protect those important to you....check. Ooh, magical powers! Excellent...

In Which I Might Be Shallow...

Yes, it's a fake. And yes, he's shirtless, and tortured, and poor RPattz, etc. But...I don't know...it's sort of how I picture him. Edward, that is. The Edward of New Moon. Pre-Breaking Dawn Edward. Back when he was still awesome and dangerous and ready to End It All In Italy. Sigh. Good times.

May 5, 2009

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

I bought Marcelo in the Real World for its beautiful cover. Isn't it gorgeous? I love the warm light in the treehouse, the cool sky full of stars, and the two black silhouettes walking hand in hand. The title is wonderful as well and, having read it, I can't think of a better one for this lovely book. And we might as well go ahead and acknowledge that Francisco X. Stork has got to be the best author name I've come across in ages. Seriously. Put the three together and I don't see how you can not pick this one up.

Marcelo (pronounced mar-SEL-o) is different from other 17-year-old boys. He has what doctors and other "normal" people call a cognitive disorder. As Marcelo is constantly forced to explain to people, the closest thing his condition can be likened to is a mild form of Asperger's. But that is not what Marcelo would call it. Certainly not a disorder. In fact, Marcelo experiences a heightened sense of order. The way he sees the world is governed by a rigid set of principles self-imposed to help him function and make sense of the often baffling people and predicaments that surround him. His mother has always been supportive of his interests: an obsession with religion in all its forms, the tending of ponies at the private school he attends, the treehouse room he lives in outside his family's home. His father, on the other hand, has a few problems with Marcelo. He offers him a deal. If Marcelo agrees to work at his dad's law firm for the summer, he can choose which school he'll attend his senior year--the public high school that intimidates the hell out of him or the private academy for other kids like him where he feels safe and accepted. Backed into a corner, Marcelo agrees and enters the real world.

This book had me from the beginning. Despite his inhibitions and seeming inability to express emotion, Marcelo is an entirely sympathetic character. I thoroughly enjoyed following him from safe haven to real world, even though it was periodically extremely painful to watch him stumble through social interactions he had no preparation for and deal with ruthless people who had no understanding of him and no inclination to acquire any. I loved the simple, almost imperceptible way Marcelo and Jasmine became friends in the copy room and I loved Marcelo's theological debates with his friend Rabbi Heschel. There is nothing flashy about this story. It builds slowly and organically, in such a subtle way that several chapters later you find yourself looking up suddenly at the clock, wondering where the time went. A favorite passage:
I walk to my desk and read the paper that Jasmine has given me.
12:30 P.M. Copying, collating, binding
1:30 P.M. Walk over to federal courthouse to file documents
2:30 P.M. Scanning
3:00 P.M. Mail sorting
3:30 P.M. Filing system and file retrieval
4:30 P.M. Last mail run (stay away from Martha. Her condition worsens as evening approaches.)
5:00 P.M. Time to head for home (You made it through the first day of Camp Mini-Hell. Consider seriously not subjecting yourself to this and stay home tomorrow.)
Aurora once told me that she knew I was different within the first few months after I was born, because as a baby, I never cried. She had no way of knowing if I was hungry or if my stomach hurt until I was old enough to point and talk. Even when I fell and it was obvious that I had hurt myself, I did not cry. When I didn't get my way, I would go off by myself and sulk or have a tantrum. But I never cried. Later, when I was eleven and Abba died, I didn't cry. When Joseph, my best friend at St. Elizabeth's, died, I didn't cry. Mabye I don't feel what others feel. I have no way of knowing. But I do feel. It's just that what I feel does not elicit tears. What I feel when others cry is more like a dry, empty aloneness, like I'm the only person left in the world.
So it is very strange to feel my eyes well with tears as I read Jasmine's list.

Great, huh? There's really no way not to fall in love with Marcelo. His story is layered and full of compassion and I would not be at all surprised to find it on my Best of 2009 list. Recommended for fans of Madeleine L'Engle, Meg Rosoff, and Lisa Ann Sandell.

May 4, 2009

The Mary Stewart Affair + Giveaway

Prompted by my Bibliophile Birthday post from last week, I've decided to do a Mary Stewart giveaway! This is partially a selfish endeavor so that then I'll have an additional person to talk to about these books. And if you win it and read it and you love it, come back and tell me. And I'll tell you which one to read next! I figured I ought to give you a little more background on my love for Mary Stewart's books, so I'm sharing an essay I wrote a few years ago for the Readerville journal. It explains it the best, I think.

The Mary Stewart Affair

My mother loved Mary Stewart. In the summer of 1967 when the word “bell bottom” was first introduced into the dictionary and the Bee Gees were struggling new artists, my mom was a sophomore in high school in the small town of Malad, Idaho. Few events from the outside world penetrated this little valley at the foot of the Samaria Hills, but that summer my mother discovered a library shelf full of mystery novels by a British woman named Mary Stewart. She spent that summer immersing herself in Stewart’s cleverly crafted tales of smart, elegant young women stumbling unwittingly into European intrigue and romance.

Growing up I heard the name Mary Stewart and titles such as Madam, Will You Talk?, Airs Above the Ground, and Touch Not the Cat referred to in tones of hushed reverence. Stewart books proudly adorned the family bookcases sandwiched in between the likes of Dickens and Shakespeare. All those lovely volumes my mother painstakingly collected over the years from used bookshops across the nation appeared soporific and unappealing to me as a child, with their delicate dust jackets and their uneven pages like the sheets of some forgotten manuscript.

More often than not I opted for Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden when it came to summer reading material, with the result that I came to my own inevitable Mary Stewart summer late in the game. Home for the summer, triumphant from my freshman year of college, I emerged from a week of recuperation in desperate need of a good book. Or twelve. As my eager fingers ran along the spines of good old Nancy and Trixie, they passed over Dickens and Shakespeare to stop on the creased spine of a small, worn paperback copy of Madam, Will You Talk? Why not? I asked myself. Now had to be as good a time as any to find out what all those hushed tones meant. So I settled down on the floor of my bedroom, book balanced against bent knees, and read that first unforgettable line, “The whole affair began so very quietly.”

May, June, and July passed quietly and the affair continued seamlessly as I fell completely under the spell of a mystery writer who read like Jane Austen meets 1950’s debutante London. I found myself frequently laughing over sophisticated women in “affairs of yellow chiffon” and always delighted by the way Stewart wove obscure literary references into her chapter headings and witty dialogue. More than once I glanced up to see Mom smiling at me through the doorway, not even bothering to hide her pleasure that her only daughter couldn’t put down the same books that had captivated her as a girl thirty years ago. Fifteen books and one summer later I closed the final book with a reluctance and a reverence only to be matched by my mother’s. That first Mary Stewart summer never seems dimmed by the passage of time or the pages of countless other books. For there have been many since.

So. All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway. Tell me about your favorite book-as-gift giving experience. Which author did your mom turn you on to? Do you have a favorite Stewart? It's very hard for me to pick my favorite. I can whittle it down to my top three or four, but from there it often depends on the time of year or what kind of day I've had. So I'm going to give away a copy of her first book, the first one I read, and the one I honestly think everyone should start with--Madam, Will You Talk? You can read a brief summary and excerpt here. I'd leave this open a week but I'm going out of town on Thursday so you have until this Wednesday the 6th at midnight, when a random commenter will be chosen. Make sure to leave me a way to contact you. I'm all excited!

May 1, 2009

A Bibliophile's Birthday


I used to live in Italy. Growing up an Air Force brat, I moved around frequently and, with parents who both spoke fluent Italian, it was inevitable that we'd be stationed there at least a couple of times. While I was in graduate school, they had the gall to move back to Italy without me. Fortunately, DH and I got to visit them several summers in a row. As I have a late summer birthday, we generally managed to be there for it. I have so many sun-drenched birthday memories. Memories filled with sea salt, Aranciata, marble floors, and happiness.


One of the things I've always loved about my family is that we do birthdays well. Wherever we happened to land on my birthday over the years, my dad always managed to finagle a birthday cake. These cakes came in all manner of flavors, shapes, and sizes. Sometimes they were smushy affairs made of yogurt and jam, sometimes they had messages spelled out in a hilarious mixture of languages, always they were heartfelt and delicious.



I've been told more than once that I'm difficult to buy presents for. Part of this may be that I love books more than just about anything and it's intimidating for other people to buy them for me as they're never sure exactly what I've already read, what I have and haven't heard about yet, etc. This doesn't stop my husband though. One particular summer in Italy DH surprised me and pulled out all the stops.



On my birthday he handed me a folded letter. As it technically qualifies as a love letter, I'll just extract a few pertinent snippets:
I hope that somewhere in this collection of books by one of your favorite authors is the perfect gift. If not I hope it's close. We have many years, and I will get it right eventually. Most of all I hope you know I love you more than music and laughter, for you are both these things to me.

As far as I can tell I have found all of the Mary Stewart novels for you. Many of these I know you already own and I found more than one interesting copy of most of them so you'll have a very redundant collection. However, there are, I believe, seven 1st editions in the group and at least four 1st edition paperbacks. I found a couple signed copies, but they were simply beyond our meager budget...someday. In total you will be receiving 36 books in the mail over the next several weeks. Two of these are coming from Wales and Scotland and will take some time, the rest from the U.S. and Canada should be quicker. You'll have to make sure to check the mail every day as I don't think our little mailbox will be able to handle the volume.

Happy Birthday and all my love with these simple gifts.

There's really not much for me to add except to say that it was the loveliest birthday present this bibliophile ever got and that I'm awfully fond of that man.

The Collection