Releasing the Frontal Lobe: A Catch-Up Post

So, I really haven’t been doing much reading lately–well, I have, but I just can’t seem to finish anything! With all the events of the last few weeks, including LATFOB, Gayle Forman’s Musical Tour, and Children’s Literature Council, and everything I need to read/write/make for school… My eyes are about to fall out of my head.

So I’m going to unload a little bit of information onto the blog, and hope that makes some room in the grey matter chamber to finish the semester without too much screaming.

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have by Allen Zadoff
If you hunger for love and thirst for approval, you’ll devour this clever novel in just a few bites. This book was funny, touching, and a great counterpoint to Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. I think it’s pretty strange that I decided to read them both at the same time. Food is much more enjoyable; I enjoy the complexities in the various characters like O. Douglas, the quarterback who takes Andrew “under his wing” so to speak; the various attitudes toward fatness that help both Andrew and the reader see beyond the blubber. For the synopsis, click here.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (The Queen’s Thief, Book 1)
This has been sitting on my shelf for at least a year or two. I finally picked it up last week and couldn’t put it down! Storytelling figures greatly in this book as Gen and other characters retell folktales based on Greek myths. The final twists and turns revealed at the end of the book are clever and well worth the wait! I wish I weren’t still in the middle of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell so I could plow through the next three books. For the synopsis, click here.


Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder (Inside Out, Book 1)
A wildly imaginative new fantasy from the author of Poison Study. Some may find the endless tension tiring but it just kept me wide awake. I know from experience, Maria’s hard on her heroines–they can never seem to catch a break. If you love dystopia, you’re in luck. And if you’re not an attentive reader, leave this one alone: I needed a map to figure out where the heck Trella was going under, inside, in-between and upside down in this futuristic thriller. Luckily the author provides them on her website. 😀 For the synopsis, click here.
FORTHCOMING:

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2)
Due out July 20, 2010. I got my hands on an ARC of this for about 24 hours and I was not disappointed–all the romance of the original plus a sly, creeping dread; a new wolf; and what I love most of all: Maggie’s lyrical writing. So few writers now can really use language in a way that makes you want to dance; Stiefvater’s musicianship seems to come out of every instrument–even the lowly word processing application can be made to sing. Play on, Maggie, play on!

There’s more, but I’ve got to get to chem lab (shakes fist at double-displacement reactions) so check back later!

I leave you with a link to new original fiction at Tor.com: “The Courtship of the Queen” by Bruce McAllister.

I know you’re going to laugh at my New Year’s resolution…

So, the resolution is not to buy any books in 2010.

Books *required* for school are ok; but books that are just *suggested* are not.

My husband is quick to interject that books for series we are already following (and I’ll quote him: “Hunger Games Book 3!”) are also allowed. So Patrick Rothfuss, if you publish, we will buy!

Ok, ok, and books gotten for free don’t count as buying.

eBooks and audible downloads will likewise “not count” as they do not take up any space, which is mainly the no-book-buying issue I am seeking to alleviate.

It looks like I will finally be using that public library card I have been carrying around all this time… eeeee!

Ahem. This resolution is expected to save me over $3600 in the next calendar year. (um, yes, I do spend that much money per month on books. More in summers and winters.)

Beautiful Creatures, why you should keep two copies of a few books, and some silly questions

Photos will have to wait because I forgot to charge the camera battery before today.

But (*squee!*) I got to meet Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, the authors of the new YA fantasy novel Beautiful Creatures.

Their launch party was held in the teeny tiny Diesel Books (support thy independent bookstore! – my shopping list follows) at the Brentwood Country Mart.

First of all, thanks to Jane and Alfonso for giving us a ride to Santa Monica–it’s not that I forgot about the signing, but that I had absolutely given up hope of doing anything other than working ridiculous holiday hours for the next month. Thanks for reminding me to have a life and eat some Popeye’s fried chicken.

Next of all, thanks to Margaret and Kami for writing such a fantastic book!

Third of all, thanks to Kristen @ Bookworming in the 21st Century for the ARC. (Although I do also have a hardcover, and an audiobook version… hrm. I may have to splurge for the eBook too, so I can have it with me at all times without fear of scuffing up the jacket.)

– – –

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is exactly what I aspire to be as a human being: pretty, funny, and smart all in one package. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl have written a seamless and utterly absorbing tale of a cursed romance: a Mortal boy who falls for a Caster girl in a small Southern town. Meaningful thoughts about love, loyalty, and prejudice unfold from this intricately parsed novel: those who love books will delight in the literary references, those who love love will swoon over the star-crossed couple, and those who love good writing will greedily devour every carefully chosen word.

Better yet, get the print version and the audio, both. The music and sound effects (particularly for the dream sequences) in the audiobook version add yet another dimension to the Gothic atmosphere the authors have built.

Another book for the loaner shelf*.

*You will need two copies of certain books–one to loan out to friends until they get hooked and become convinced that they also need to go out and buy a copy (or two) and one to have handy in the middle of the night so that when you get the hankering to pick up and read a certain passage (or 576 pages), it’s there. Believe me, after the number of times (7) that the Poison Study and Twilight series caused me the distress of not having a copy to read when the book-hunger struck at 1 am (because some “friend” or other borrowed my book) taught me, there are books for which you need to keep a loaner copy. BCis one of them.

**I was asked recently why my reviews are so short. I have a long chain of reasons. 1) I’m very busy. 2) I’m very tired. 3) I’m kind of lazy. 4) I don’t want to give anything away–if you asked me in person, I would probably tell you too much. With blogging I can edit myself and stop before I’ve told you who wins and whether the dog lives or dies. 5) You can find the synopsis anywhere, so why waste time copy-pasting it? (See #3, above.) 6) I’d rather be reading.

– – –

Also at the launch party: Pseudonymous Bosch, suspiciously without any kind of disguise (I wish I’d known–years ago I had him sign my copy of The Name of This Book Is Secret, but my other two volumes are conspicuously missing signatures!)

and, freshly ordered from thebookstorethatshallnotbenamed.com, Katie Alender, author of Bad Girls Don’t Die. (Quick! Add this to your TBR on GoodReads.) Hurry up, mailman! I need this book, stat!

– – –

Is Beautiful Creatures the Next Twilight?

I agree with TeamBella76–it’s not the next Twilight. It’s the first Beautiful Creatures. According to the article, the first of five (*squee!* sorry…), and I hope no Patrick-Rothfuss-like delays result in the next four years. I just pray that unlike most book-to-film adaptations, no one screws it up. (Amen.)

– – –

So, it’s a year until the release of the as-yet-un-named sequel to BC. What to read in the meantime? And where to buy it?

The Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle (Book I)

Candle Man, Book One: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance

Toby Alone

– – –

Missed Margaret and Kami at their launch party? It’s all good! You have many more chances to meet them. They’ll be at Borders in Northridge, CA at 7 pm on Thursday, Dec. 3. (Ooh! I’m off that night… wonder if they would take kindly to being gently stalked…)

Turkey Day Splurge (Future IMM)

Bookstores closed? Borders.com is never closed!

I meant to buy this:

Mirrorscape

and ended up with this:

Avatars, Book One: So This Is How It Ends (Avatars)

and

Gateway

and

A Brief History of Montmaray

and found out that Sony eBookstore also had this:

Guardian

(which I could never justify buying unless it’s brilliant, because it’s so short, so I’m probably just going to borrow it)

and this:

Tall Stones

for just a few bucks, which I might get.

But first, empty bellies must be fed!

Husband made the meal this year–pot roast and chocolate chip cookies. Thanks for my husband who can cook 4 things really well, for my family who doesn’t suck, for books and booklovers of all shapes and sizes, for my coworkers who are the only reason I bother showing up to work any more (even though sometimes they are the reason I don’t want to show up, thanks anyway).

What are you thankful for?

Wow, and this day really started out sucky

Well, not anymore.

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1)

“Goodreads member Alethea calls Carriger’s debut novel, Soulless, a “stake-and-crumpets Victorian steampunk series” that’s “part Charlotte Brontë, part P.G. Wodehouse, a dollop of Joss Whedon and just a dash of your favorite bodice-ripping author.”

~From the November GoodReads newsletter

Just for another 6 hours, until I have to go to work again, this day is pretty cool.

Of course, I will be spending those 6 hours working at home in the middle of the night… oh well.

Go visit Gail.

Aaaaand, we’re back! In 5, 4, 3, 2…

I have a day off!!! I’d like to celebrate this day off by reading like, 5 books. Actually, I get almost 2 full days off work, plus another one right after, so 5 is a very realistic goal at this point.

The first one will definitely be The Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy (Bloody Jack, Book 7) by L.A. Meyer. There are a number of absolutes pertaining to this book:

  • I absolutely will give it a 5-star rating, even though I’m only about 50 pages into it so far (I kept thinking through books 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 that this guy couldn’t possibly write the perfect book for me n+1 times in a row, and I was wrong every time, so let’s just end that doubtful equation right here)
  • I absolutely will re-read it on audio, for the series is always read by the ridiculously clever-sounding Katherine Kellgren, on whom I have an audible crush.
  • I absolutely have to finish it before the next time I work with Stephanie, who has a photographic memory, is a lightning-fast reader (no, not kidding, you think I’m fast? She finished Rick Riordan’s The Last Olympian in like, 3 hours–it would take me at least 6), and who has been teasing me that if I don’t hurry up and read, she will spoil the heck out of Rapture for me! Stephanie: “Oh, and that time Higgins did *this*?! Classic! Oh, you didn’t read that part yet? Well, too bad, Slowpoke!”

In fact, to save time, let’s just do this:

Rapture of the Deep by L.A. Meyer

Rapture of the Deep by L.A. Meyer


5

In preparation for YABC on the 25th, I will be re-reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Both were 5-star reads for me, but I definitely need a refresher if we’re going to discuss them. See also: Battle Royale by Koushon Takami. I haven’t read it, but my husband got halfway before he was so thoroughly depressed when the story kept killing off the “main” character and replacing him or her with a new one. He still plans to finish it, and I plan to read it someday but it’s not that high up on my TBR list (which is now a disturbing 1176 books long).

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I’ll also be reading Retail Hell by Freeman Hall (subtitled How I Sold My Soul to the Store: Confessions of a Tortured Sales Associate). I’ve met Freeman, he’s hilarious and friendly and I know I’m going to love this book too, especially after the retail misery that I just lived through this past week. I’m hoping he’ll also inspire my tell-all bookstore memoir (^_^) just kidding, Borders! I do try to release all of my customer-related frustrations out into the wild so they don’t affect my normally awesome customer service. But sometimes there are those ones you just can’t forget…

My fifth book will be A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb. Oh, don’t look at me like that. I’m already halfway through, I just got interrupted by the work shenanigans. And 2 of the 5 books I picked to read are re-reads, so it won’t take me too long to go through them again.

In addition, I’ll be doing some regular posts over the next couple of days. I really fell behind because of the job. I’ve definitely got lots of material for an IMM post, a few bookshelf photos, a Quickie review or two or three, and dare I say, a contest? (*gasp*!)

Some tune-ups due to the blog, too. Man, why do I work so much?

addiction...

addiction...

Oh, now I remember.

Heart of Stone, Heart of Stone

So, no posts lately–it’s been a rough time at work. My boss quit on one of our busiest days. Everything is in an uproar. I’m just chanting to myself the title of a spell that Kvothe in Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind uses to calm his emotions, to stop himself from acting on them in times when it’s crucial to keep a cool head.

I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. I just love it. It’s about two women survivors of an apocalypse, members of a cult called God’s Gardeners. The religious group has married science with religion and predicted a great Waterless Flood, and in Year 25 the Flood engulfs the Earth. I’m only about 10% into the book; so I don’t know what happens, but the writing is just beautiful. Atwood does dystopia so well, and thanks to books like Unwind and The Hunger Games, it’s one of my favorite genres right now.

Well, with my head a bit heavy and my heart trying its best to be stone-like, I haven’t much else to say today.

So I’ll leave you with this, since I’ve been missing Wordless Wednesday lately:

Oh noes! Dont eat the island!

Oh noes! Don't eat the island!