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Showing posts from February, 2010

Retro Friday Review: Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Retro Fridayis a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc.




I'm a sucker for reading other people's favorite books of all time. When someone tells me a certain book is one of the books of their life, I get this pressing urge to run out and secure a copy. It generally doesn't matter what genre or style of book it is. I think this is mostly because I know what it means to care so much about a book you have to have it nearby at all times. Maybe you own more than one copy so that if you lend one out you've still got a spare...just in case. Maybe you can't remember a time when you hadn't read and loved that book, those characters. I know what that feels like. And because I have such tender feelings for certain books, I want to have read the books others feel the same way about. It's almost always a …

Bibliocrack Review: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Lately I've been feeling a bit blue. Nothing desperate. Just in need of some cheering up, some laughter, something bright inside amid all this dreary weather we're enduring outside. I found myself craving it every night when I settled down to read and just not finding it in the books stacked around me. Then about month ago Keishon over at Avid Book ReaderreviewedManhuntingby Jennifer Crusie. I love Keishon's reviews and eclectic taste and I remembered I'd been wanting to give Crusie a try for awhile now. I asked for suggestions in the comments there and got several good ones. The consensus there and on a few other sites I checked was that Bet Meis widely regarded as one of Crusie's best titles. So on my next trip to the library I picked it up and settled in that night, not sure exactly what to expect, but hoping for the best.

Minerva Dobbs is ready to kill her suddenly ex-boyfriend David when he dumps her in a crowded bar a couple of weeks before her sister's …

Wednesday Giggles: Shakespeare Version

I don't know about you, but I've been in need of a good dose of laughter and awesome and I got it when I ran across graphic designer Mike Young's sweet cover designs for some classic Shakespeare plays. I think my favorites arethe MacBeth and Romeo & Juliet covers.
Don't you want them on your shelf? Make sure to stop in and click on each thumbnail to get the full effect.

Thanks to The Olive Reader for the heads up!

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

I've been looking forward to this book ever since I finished Jellicoe Roadand heard Melina Marchetta had a fantasy novel already out in Australia. It took awhile but eventually word went out that the wonderfully titled Finnikin of the Rockwould be making its American debut this February and I settled back, somewhat impatiently, to wait. Jellicoe Roadwas my first experience reading a Marchetta book and I consider it a pretty much perfect reading experience. To say that my anticipation for her next book was high would be something of an understatement. Though the fact that it was high fantasy gave me some pause. I read quite a bit of fantasy of all kinds and I was fascinated to see how the very modern, fragmented style of writing I loved in Jellicoe Roadtranslated to such a wildly different genre.

Once the son of the King of Lumatere's warlord, Finnikin of the Rock ran wild and happy with his best friends and rivals Prince Balthazar and Lucian of the Monts. As boys they make a b…

Alpha Cover

Rachel Vincent just revealed the cover for Alpha--the sixth and final book in the wild ride that has been her werecat Shifters series. Personally, I think it's the best of the lot. Each cover has been fun in its way, but this one is just sort of awesome. Faythe looks in charge. Love the hair, love the tights, love the grip, love the fact that she's sitting in the chair! All kinds of subtext going on there. I've enjoyed this series from book one and I've loved watching Faythe grow and progress as a character. The fifth book, Shift, is sitting on top of my stack right now just waiting for me to crack it open and I'm so very glad Alpha will be coming out this fall so we won't have to wait too long for the concluding volume.

28 Days of Winter Escapes: A Q&A with Rachel Hawthorne

Today I'm pleased to be the official book blog partner for Harper Teen's 28 Days of Winter Escapes Tour. I'll be spotlighting young adult paranormal author Rachel Hawthorne's latest Dark Guardian novel Shadow of the Moonwith an exclusive Q&A with the author herself as well as a chance to win a signed copy of the book and an iPod Touch. Please welcome Rachel Hawthorne! Dark Guardian Rachel Hawthorne 1.Your characters in this series are destined to be together—how do they know they’ve found the one? They feel an immediate attraction. They can’t stop thinking about each other. But there is also an element of danger because the feelings are so intense. Sometimes they can cause one of the characters to pull back from the relationship. What the characters feel is scary, exciting, thrilling, comforting—it encompasses all emotions and makes them all seem much bigger than anything else they’ve ever experienced. 2.Transformation and love are big themes in this series—what’s your …

Evening Stops

This evening I've got several interesting links for you.

First off, Liz over at A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy has the scoop on two new Madeleine L'Engle reissues and the covers are so lovely that I have to post them here as well.
Aren't they sigh-worthy? I just love them. And since And Both Were Youngis one of my favorites of her lesser-known works, I will definitely be picking up a copy. I hope these new editions and covers help both books find a new and receptive readership. They deserve it.

Second, Chelle over at Tempting Persephone has started up a new weekly feature that I think is awesome. She calls it "I♥ This Art" and has this to say:
I ♥ This Art is a weekly feature on Tempting Persephone. Art, no matter the medium, buoys my spirit up. Each week I’ll spotlight a piece that speaks to me, makes me want to know more, or just makes me feel.The first spotlight she has up, "A Boy and a Girl," is so lovely. I've already been over to the arti…

Retro Friday Review: Seaward by Susan Cooper

Retro Fridayis a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. When I was in sixth grade I had a teacher who was a real fantasy reader. And the man could do the most excellent voices for every character. We sat enthralled at his feet as he read aloud to the entire class each day. No mean feat to keep a mess of eleven and twelve year olds' attention like that day after day. He's a huge part of the reason I love the genre and he is responsible for introducing me to so many of my all-time favorites, including (and perhaps most memorably) the incomparable Lloyd Alexander and Susan Cooper.  Not long after we, as a class, inhaled Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence, I struck out on my own looking for anything else I could find by the woman. A kind school librarian handed me a copy of Seaward. It was instant love, you …

Silver Snippet

So did you notice Patricia Briggs posted the entire first chapter of the upcoming fifth Mercy Thompson book--Silver Borne--to her website recently? I stumbled across it yesterday and let's just say it is nice and long, Adam is there (and so is Sam), and by the end I had a big, fat smile on my face. Go on. You know you want to read it...

Interestingly, Patty has the following to say about Silver Borne:
This is Samuel's book and also deals with the terrible things that can happen when you are late returning a borrowed book.Awesome.

Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre

I know what you're gonna say. "Um, Angie? Doubleblindcame out like five months ago. What are you doing reviewing it in February? And you call yourself a fan..." Before you judge me too harshly, I thought I'd lost it. I've been ransacking my house for months trying to find it and hadn't replaced it because I knew it just had to be there somewhere. But it was starting to get a bit ridiculous and just when I was about to go buy another copy, I found it! I won't tell you where because it's embarrassing. But it and I were supremely happy to see each other again and I immediately dove into the Adventures of Jax 3.0 and it was like I was right at home again, as though we hadn't been apart for months on end.

Jax is growing up. Despite herself. As the ambassador to Vel's home planet of Ithiss-Tor, she finds herself forced to play a part. A part she feels supremely unsuited for. It doesn't help that she's accompanied by her particularly ragtag g…

Ruby Slippers

Even though Valentine's Day has passed, I couldn't resist a quick post on what made mine surprisingly lovely this year. The thing is, Aaron and I, we don't really do the big day of love. Occasionally we'll get out for an early dinner but that's about it. This year the topic didn't even come up. And then, after a long frustrating day, I came home, did the whole evening routine with the kids, and turned around to find an unassuming silver bag sitting on my desk. Aaron was in the other room so I was able to read the poem sitting on top and cry in private (I'm a sucker when the boy writes me poems).

The poem was entitled, "Appropriate Footwear." You see, we have a long tradition of him making fun of me for my inappropriate footwear. Let me make it clear upfront, there is nothing wrong with my shoes. It's just that I tend to wear moccasins in the snow, sandals in the rain, no socks when temperatures are in the teens... that sort of thing. I won'…

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

It's fascinating to me how, given two quite similar books or styles of book, one will leave you cold and the other has you at hello. I think about this phenomenon all the time and wonder what quality it is that pushes one over into a reading match. Most recently I found myself pondering this as I read Alexandra Bracken's debut novel Brightly Woven. The cover caught my eye back in October and, really, it is at once so attractive and nicely representative of both the book and the character. I then read several pretty exciting reviews and was delighted to win an ARC in a giveaway hosted by the generous Anastasia Hopcus. I eagerly awaited its arrival in the mail and cracked it open the day it came.

Sydelle Mirabel has always lived in a small, dusty town in a small, dusty corner of her country. An accomplished weaver, Sydelle lives a quiet life completing her chores, helping her hardworking parents, and sneaking what moments she can to roam on the hills with her childhood friend an…

Fire won the Cybils!!

Firewon the Cybils!! And, uh, several other extremely wonderful books and you should go check out the list of winners posted yesterday if you haven't yet. I served on the YA Fantasy & Science Fiction panel and pulled really hard for Fire. I'm so happy to see such a gorgeous book win such an awesome award. Congrats, Ms. Cashore and a big round of applause for the other nominated titles and authors, the hard-working panelists, judges, and organizers!

Woman's Last Stand

This is an unusually non-book-related post, I know, but did anyone else see the appalling ads run during the Super Bowl? I was disgusted by several of them, but Dodge's "Man's Last Stand" ad took the cake in the Outrage Angie department. In case you had the pleasure of not watching it, the ad features a series of haggard men enumerating the numerous things they've done for their women and announcing they deserve a Dodge Charger for all their sacrifices. *gag* I know it's hard for both men and women these days, especially when it comes to roles and expectations in and out of the home, workplace, social environment, etc. But I was very happy to see this completely awesome response/parody to the ad. Thanks to Diana for the heads up! Also, you should go read her post as well as Sarah Rees Brennan's on gender in YA, literature, and film. Because they are made of awesome and make me so energized I want to go climb a mountain. Warning: there is a bit of language …

Retro Friday Review, Valentine's Edition: Romance is a Wonderful Thing by Ellen Emerson White

Retro Fridayis a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. When I decided I wanted to do a Valentine's Day edition of Retro Fridays this time, I knew I wanted it to be something old and sappy and sweet and a favorite. And it didn't take long at all before my mind alighted on a title I am almost sure you have never heard of--Romance is a Wonderful Thingby Ellen Emerson White. Now, I regularly fly my White fangirl flag as you know, but I don't know if I've ever talked about this early, lesser known book. I'd been a devoted White reader for years before I ever heard of it and then it was only thanks to my friend Nan (a devoted EEW fangirl herself) who clued me in to its existence. So I ordered a copy off Half.com because, naturally, it was out of print. And when it arrived in the mail I devoured this tri…

The Hunger Games 3 Cover + Title!

As you no doubt have already seen, Scholastic released the cover and title of the third and final Hunger Games book today. Mockingjayis due out August 24th. I love the cover and the title. It's unexpected and different from the previous two, but perfect in its way. What do you think? Yay? Nay? Any predictions? I'll give you mine.
Ahem.
But most of all:
Some other reactions around today: All Things Urban Fantasy
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?
Maw Books Blog
The Neverending Shelf
Penultimate Page
Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm
Vision Quest Fail

Vintage Pretties

When it comes to gorgeous, incredibly effective covers, these three sort of hit it out of the park. Vintage Classics knows how to package a book is all I can say and I want--no, I need--these three editions in my personal library. Covers, both good and bad, have been on my mind lately and these examples just go to show what magic can happen when you let talented graphic designers who've--wait for it--Read. The. Books. create new, attractive, and inventive covers. All it takes is a glance at the twining roses set against the brick wall backdrop on this cover of North and Southto send me into John-and-Margaret raptures. Similarly, the broken windowpane on Wuthering Heightsinstantly evokes Cathy's ghost calling out his name. As for Jane Eyre, the silhouette is perfect and I want to go re-read it right now. When you get a chance, wander on over and check out their complete catalogue. I'm a particular fan of vintage Dracula.

BEA 2010 & Book Blogger Con

Last year I took the plunge and booked a flight and went to BEA. I was nervous, not sure what to expect, and feeling sort of like an impostor in someone else's club. But I went ahead and did it and I haven't regretted that decision for a moment. That trip was worth its weight in gold. If you love books and, more importantly, you love talking about the books you love with other book lovers, and you are dedicated to spreading the word on good books, then Book Expo America is the place for you. Yes, there are tons of ARCs being handed out for free. And, yes, there are scads of wonderful authors signing those ARCs. But, as mind-blowingly lovely as those two things are, they're not the main reason to go. The main reason is those connections you make when you're standing on line and you strike up a conversation with the people next to you and you exchange recommendations and contact information and you know that, even though you're total strangers and you may live in sta…