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Showing posts from June, 2009

Guest Blogging at Mrs. Magoo's + Clockwork Heart Giveaway!

For anyone interested, today I'm guest blogging over at Mrs. Magoo Reads. She interviewed me for her Blogger Profile feature and you're certainly invited to stop by and say hi. I'm also giving away a copy of Clockwork Heartby Dru Pagliassotti to one lucky commenter.You've probably heard me go on about this book before. In my review, which you can read here, I had this to say:This debut novel by Dru Pagliassotti is being billed as a steampunk romance/urban fantasy. And it is all of these. But it transcends each of them as well, making it IMO an incredibly enjoyable cross-genre read. I'm sitting here trying to think of someone I wouldn't recommend this book to and I'm coming up blank.Clockwork Heartdelighted me. I went into it complacently, wanting to love some characters and hate others unreservedly, but Ms. Pagliassottii's multi-faceted characterization made that impossible. I was forced to sit up and care about all of them, to see their flaws and their…

It's a Mystery

Have you ever finished a book that just knocked your socks off? So far off you felt like shouting its praises from the top of someplace very high. And have you then gone trolling around looking for reviews and discussions on said book and been absolutely flummoxed to find...nothing? Or, if not nothing, small pockets of devoted readers here and there but nowhere near the following you feel it deserves. Last week Diana Peterfreund wrote a thoughtful post about Under-the-Radar Books in which she listed a few of the books she wishes everyone were reading and threw the question out to her readers. A lot of it, for better or worse, has to do with money and marketing but in this day and age it seems like authors and readers and bloggers can do a lot to spread the word on a few hidden gems and why they deserve the love. I can think of a host of excellent books--books that have ended up on my Beloved Bookshelf--that I would never have picked up on my own. But because of some other reader's…

YA Book Carnival: Fragile Eternity Giveaway Winner

And the winner is...robin_titan!
Please contact me with your mailing address and I'll get your copy of Fragile Eternityin the mail. You guys, I was completely delighted with the turnout and all of your awesome comments. It looks like many of you are already Marr fans and I was happy to see all the Holly Black and Robin McKinley shout-outs. Black'sModern Faerie Tales rock. And McKinley is the master. A ton of you love the Merry Gentry series as well and that is one I haven't dipped into yet. Thank you so much for the recommendations!

Beastly: the Movie

Alex Flinn's Beastlywas on my Best of 2007 list and it remains my favorite modern-day retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. In my review I had this to say:This B&B story hits everything right and the changes Ms. Flinn made enhanced her grittier version of the tale. For instance, Flinn's Beast is more akin to a dark superhero. Batman prowling the streets of Gotham City at night. He even takes a new name--Adrian--symbolizing his complete reversal in fortune, bleak new outlook on life, and ultimate rejection of the boy he used to be. In addition, the reader gets to catch the whole transformation thing as it happens. In most versions, we come to it way after the fact. Often the Beast has been languishing under his curse for hundreds of years when we come upon him. In this case, Kyle/Adrian has just two years to find true love and break the spell. I liked that we got in on how he coped with it all, as opposed to getting it in retrospect. This is also the first versi…

YA Book Carnival Giveaway: Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

This week Shooting Stars Mag is hosting the first ever YA Book Carnival! I'm delighted to be participating by giving away a brand spankin' new copy of Fragile Eternityby Melissa Marr. This is the third book in Marr's Wicked Lovely series and a direct sequel to Wicked Lovelyitself.You can check out my reviews of the series here:
Wicked Lovely reviewInk Exchange reviewFragile Eternity review
And all you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me your favorite book or series involving faeries or your favorite classic fairy tale or fairy tale retelling. This giveaway is open worldwide and will run through Sunday June 28th. Make sure to leave me a way to contact you! Also don't forget to stop in at Shooting Stars Mag this week to check out all of the other fabulous giveaways going on as part of the YA Book Carnival.

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R.J. Anderson

I don't generally review many middle grade novels, but I had read several lovely reviews of Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter--a debut middle grade fantasy novel by R.J. Anderson--and then was lucky enough to receive a copy from the lovely Ms. Anderson herself. Interestingly enough, the same book has been published in the UK under the title Knife, with dramatically different cover art. The changes in title and artwork make it clear they're marketing it to a slightly older young adult audience over the pond, while the U.S. cover and series-friendly title are distinctly more middle grade. As a result, I wasn't sure what to expect going in--a state I honestly quite like being in when starting a new book by a new author.
Bryony is a faery who has spent her short life longing to leave the Oak tree that forms the boundary of her people's world. The only faeries allowed out in the wild at all are the Gatherers who are sent out to forage for food and the Queen's own hunter--a faer…

MWT FTW!

You have no doubt already heard the stellar news. But for anyone out there not already dancing in the streets, Megan Whalen Turner has written a fourth book in her spectacular Queen's Thief series. Enticingly titled A Conspiracy of Kings, book four follows Sophos (yay). And, yes, I have it on good authority the rest of the gang will be there. I would imagine there's no way in Hades Gen would stand for being left out of any conspiracy, of kings or otherwise. There. Carry on with the street dancing, fireworks, and general celebratory merriment.

Fire by Kristin Cashore

I seem to be in the reading sequels to my favorite books of last year mode. For the record--a freaking awesome mode to be in. Gracelingwas one of my very favorite reads of 2008and the year's best YA I would venture to say. And before you get all up in arms, let me assure you I enjoyed The Hunger Gamesas much as the next person. But Gracelingwas just the one, you know? And I have this feeling that Kristin Cashore is something special. I was positively thrumming with anticipation when I heard she had a second book to follow. And it's the one I chose to take home with me on the plane ride home from BEA. Fireis, in point of fact, a prequel to Gracelingand takes place 30 years or so prior to Katsa and Poe's story. It is also set in an entirely different land, though definitely in the same world, and (as I am sure you have already heard) a certain terrifyingly familiar character from Gracelingmakes an appearance in Fire. Otherwise, it is its own story and it stands completely on…

Ballad: a Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater

And right on the heels of Shiver comes Ballad--the sequel (perhaps companion novel would be a better term) to Lament. In a shift similar to the one in between Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovelyand Ink Exchange, Balladswitches narrators from Dee to her best friend James Morgan. And James, like Marr's Leslie, is in rather a lot of trouble. The story follows his struggle to recover from narrowly escaping death at the hands of homicidal faeries in order to protect Dee, as well as his stuttering attempts to deal with life after telling his best friend he's in love with her and having her not return the sentiment.
Even though James doesn't care much what happens to himself, he does still care about Dee (almost against his will). And so he follows her to Thornking-Ash Conservatory, enrolling in a school full of gifted musicians guaranteed to annoy the crap out of him, in order to be near her. And despite the fact that he's a piper and they have no program to suit his level of ex…

Bookworms Carnival

Just a quick post to let you know the 31st Edition of the Bookworms Carnival is up. This edition focuses on Parnormal Fiction and is the first one I've contributed a review for. They've divided the the entries up into four categories: Angels & Demons, Magic & Fey, Vampires & Shapeshifters, and Random Supernaturals. Check them out here.
And make sure to drop in tomorrow as I'll be announcing the winner of the Shivergiveaway followed by my review of Ballad!

Old Friends

Old Friends - Simon & Garfunke...I'm a huge re-reader. I re-read therefore I am. I cannot imagine going through my life reading each book just once. Never forming such an attachment to a character or group of characters that at some point down the road I find myself having to return and walk with them once more. I know that, as Tom Stoppard said, "I'm going to be dead before I read the books I'm going to read." But I don't care. Or at least not enough to change my ways. I could as soon give up re-reading as breathing. So it was with much delight that I came across this piece in the New York Times, "Some Thoughts on the Pleasures of Being a Re-reader." The author describes his rereading library:It’s a miscellaneous library, always shifting. It has included a book of the north woods: John J. Rowlands’s “Cache Lake Country,” which I have re-read annually for many years. It may still include Raymond Chandler, though I won’t know for sure till the ne…

The Haul

Surely the best UPS package ever to grace my doorstep.

Gone

After nine years, Readerville is shutting down for good. I've mentioned this place now and then as the venue that got me started discussing books online, but I'm not sure I've ever touched on just how much it meant to me and how sad I am it will be no more. Because it was a happy place. I "met" and made so many friends there. I was a regular member through the majority of my formal education, including the writing and defending of my thesis. I got pregnant and they threw me a virtual baby shower, sending me the most beloved books of their childhood. Logging on and checking out the threads marked the beginning of every day. Suffice it to say, it and its members had a huge influence on my life at a time when I needed that kind of community. I've moved on to blogging now and it is wonderful in its own way as well. But something inside seemed to go out when I read that announcement. So here are a couple of favorite posts from the 'Ville, in which people descr…

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Review + Giveaway!

As I was packing for BEA, I said to DH, "Oh, and I still have to pick out which books I'm taking." He let out a bark of laughter and put his hand on my shoulder pityingly. "You do realize you'll be coming home with a box of books, right? You do not need to take books to the Book Expo. They will come to you," he said in soothing tones. And so after much debate, I allowed myself one book to get me there. There really wasn't any doubt as to which book it would be. A copy of Shiverhad shown up in my mailbox shortly before and I was fairly itching to dive in.
At the edge of the woods in Mercy Falls, Grace lives alone. Oh, her parents are there but nigh unto incapable. Wrapped up in themselves and their careers, they are aggravatingly oblivious, managing to check in with their seventeen-year-old daughter in the unlikely event it occurs to them. And since she's never known any different, and they are her parents, the eminently practical Grace made her peace…

BEA 1.0

For the last several years I've been experiencing a more-than-passing longing to attend the legendary Book Expo America. It all started back when I used to frequent a lovely place known as Readerville. I met so many wonderful people there and a few of them used to regale us youngsters with tales of floors of bookish sorts, rows of publisher booths, stacks of free galleys, and line after line leading to authors willing to talk to you and smile at you and nod patiently while you tell them you love them. My longing grew. Soon I began plotting how to get around the minor obstacles of lack of funding and a location nowhere near New York City.
Well, this year everything just fell into place. It should be noted that it helps to have ahusband willing to keep the kids and garden alive while you go off gallivanting with a few thousand other hopeless bibliophiles. And every time you call to check in he tells you everything's under control, everyone's happy, and go back to enjoying you…

A Couple of Stops

Reading and Ruminations is holding a fantastic Summer Reading Blitz giveaway, in which she's giving one lucky commenter the entire Ivy League series by Diana Peterfreund. You've heard me go on about this series and, now that the fourth and final one is out, this is a superb chance to get a hold of the whole lot and read them through without even having to blink an eye in between. At least, that's what I'd do...Go leave a comment and be entered in the contest.




My friend Martha has a lovely post up on her favorite literary places. She's got some great golden, glowy places on her list, including the Murry's kitchen from A Wrinkle in Time, the Dancing Dove from Tamora Pierce's Alanna books, and Mr. Tumnus' house from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I love each of those places so much. When I think about the coziest literary places I love to return to again and again to curl up and just be with the characters, those always come to mind, along with Cha…

Coming Soon, I Swear

I'm back from BEA, or the event that shall hereafter be known as The Most Unbelievably Awesome Gathering of Bookish People Ever. Or, TMUAGOBPE, for the acronym inclined. And my report is coming soon, I swear. But while I'm hugging DH and kiddoes and working and trying to wrap my brain around the fact that it's over *sob*, I leave you with two very dissimilar but noteworthy items. Enjoy.The first 800 words of Pegasus.
and