Stacking the Shelves…with too many good books

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Stacking the shelves is a book meme hosted by the lovely people at Tynga’s Reviews. It allows us to tell the world about our new books and it’s a good way to know about new titles, get to know other book-lovers, and find out what everyone else is reading.

In case you didn’t get to read my rather long post before this, I recently purchased a lot of books at a festival. I went him with twenty-one books. Then, with the two netgalley books I got, book overload is happening at my house. Because I added so many, I will just link up a few that I am really excited about.

THE BEST OF THE BEST

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A little back story on this gem. I have waited for over a year to purchase this book. It sold out last year at the festival and I got the last copy this year, the tenth anniversary copy mind you. After I finish up two or so netgalley books, I am going to crack open this baby. It isn’t available at any bookstores, really. It is published by a small Canadian press called Coach House that has a great collection of books. This was the one vendor I was dying to visit. Too bad I could only buy this book as I spent the rest of my money.

 

16059426 (signed by author)

17237214 (signed by author)

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and way too many more to post and link. Just follow my reviews 🙂

 

Happy reading!

 

Literary Happening: Brooklyn Book Festival 2013

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The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City, presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors. One of America’s premier book festivals, this hip, smart diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages to enjoy authors and the festival’s lively literary marketplace. 

With over 200 different stalls from indie publishers, authors, literary organizations such as the Jane Austen Society and the Kurt Vonnegut Library; as well as booths selling literary style clothes, book marks, and other book needs. Then, there were panels throughout the day accompanied by author signings. Open from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, there was just not enough time to do everything, see every booth, and meet every author. Sacrifices had to be made.

This year, the festival took place on September 22nd. This was my second time going, but my first getting everything out of it and more. I went with three of my friends, one being the awesome blogger Christine at Readerly Musings.

My did we have fun. Christine and I got there long before my other friends, allowing us to listen to the first ever YA panel on the main stage with Francesca Lia Block, David Levithan, and Lauren Myracle where they discussed banned books, the effect it has on the authors, and the people who defend their work. It was nice to hear an author’s perspective on the ridiculousness that is the banning of books. Which was even better, in my opinion, was that all three of them have been banned before, coincidentally on the same year. I got to understand what it takes emotionally to withstand such negative reactions and press. Lauren Myracle even said she got many e-mails asking her if she was a pedophile and the like.

What was nice, was how they spoke about the people that would go to battle for them: the librarians who wanted to keep their books on the shelves, the teachers who believed the books were important to their curriculum and should not be regarded as something vile and banned worthy.

David Levithan told a nice story how he met some parents who would leave his book, Boy meets Boy, by their son’s bed or on the table to say they know he’s gay and it’s ok. Of course, some of the sons went the “passive aggressive way” as Levithan put it and left the book so there parents could see. Lauren Myracle had a heart-warming story, too, about a concerned father not from what she wrote, but asking for advice to connect to his teenager daughter, and thanked her. I would say best first panel I went to.

Following that panel, each author was available for signings. Unfortunately, my photos did not upload so I can’t show you the pretty author pictures, but rest assured they exist. I had David Levithan (my second favorite YA writer) sign his latest book Two Boys Kissing and the tenth anniversary edition of Boy meets Boy. To say I was fan girling it with him would be very apt. I gushed. And, Francesca Lia Block signed her latest book Love in the Time of Global Warming. This was all new to me since last year I wasn’t really aware authors were available for signings. 

It was tough to make it to all of the stalls, but Christine and I covered almost all of them. And, I left stumbling with all my bags filled with books. (Another post on that to come).

I finally got to meet poet and writer Tao Lin. He was definitely unfazed by being an author/public figure a person would want to meet. He shrugged A LOT, which I find both delightful and disarming. He was kind enough, beyond kind really, to give me a copy of his first book of poetry you are a little bit happier than i am that I have wanted for a long time. I couldn’t believe he did that. So, I delightfully devoured it in one sitting (only 72 pages, but still).

To say I had a great time would be an understatement. I spent too much money, my arms hurt from carrying my boatload of books, and I spent too much money. I am happy with every single purchase I made. I just couldn’t resist and don’t mind. Thankfully, this is only a once a year thing or I really will be broke with no shelf space.

After Reading this book: You are a Little Bit Happier Than I Am by Tao Lin

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you are a little bit happier than i am

By Tao Lin

Released: November, 2006 by Acton Books

Length: 72 pages

Genre: Poetry

Rating: Five Stars

Acquired by author

 

I don’t quite know what to say about this short book of poetry. Wow isn’t completely apt enough. Intense, funny, self-deprecating, and heart breaking, maybe if you mix it together. Throw all those adjectives into a blender and you have Tao Lin’s you are a little bit happier than i am. I couldn’t stop reading this. I read it on a bus ride. I got a few looks when I laughed hard. Sometimes not even because of the content of the poem, but by the title. Some of my favorite titles (not necessarily the poem itself) are: i want to pour orange juice on my face, poems that look weird, pessimism or robotics?, and possibly my all time favorite- book reviewers always praise books as “life-affirming” because the more humans there are on earth the better.

This collection just made me happy, and sad when it ended. I loved his second book of poetry Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that I read first. That was just as unique as this little gem. The way Lin writes his poetry is not in a form we typical read There is something so organic about them. Although he doesn’t capitalize anything like e.e. cummings did, there is no other poet around that writes like Lin, can emulate Lin, and capture a realness that Lin does. Not all of his poems make sense, hence why they are just so great. He just doesn’t care.

I met Lin this past Sunday at the Brooklyn Book Festival, and he basically shrugged at everything I said. Not in a mean way, though. Just, in a way where he just didn’t care. I admire him for that, but also want to shake him because he did agree to do a signing. The least he can do is be a little more forth coming, right? Well, he gave me this gem. And, I will forever be grateful. I have had this book on my goodreads shelf since I joined over three years ago. And, he just gave me his copy that he was reading! Took out his bookmark, post-it, and handed it to me, with a shrug for good measure. I was shocked. No other author I think would do that. He just said he had more copies. Makes up for his shrug and lack of empathy.

I would say I would highly recommend this collection, and I would, but it isn’t for everyone. The poems are not traditional. More stream of conscious writing, if that is even close to what it is. You really have to have an open mind; no real comparisons at the ready. You really will never read a poet quite like him, I think. At least, I haven’t. I haven’t read all poetry, but I can tell you his is the most entertaining because it all seems like one big shrug now that I met him. And, I love that. I respect him for not caring, but caring a lot if the two go together.

Take Me Back to Russia: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

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The Firebird (Slains #2)

By Susanna Kearsley, narrated by Katherine Kellgreen

Released June, 2013 by audible.com

Around 16 hours

Genre: Historical fiction, Historical mystery

Four and a half stars

 Nicola follows a young girl named Anna who leads her into the past on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.

Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird isn’t your typical historical fiction novel. Taking place both in the past and present, Kearsley takes you from London, England to Scotland, all the way to Russia where the story really takes off. This story maybe considered a sequel to The Winter Sea, but this novel does not have to be read in order to follow the story line of The Firebird. I actually haven’t read The Winter Sea, and I was able to still enjoy the novel.

The story focuses around a woman called Anna Jamison (among other last names) during the time where Jacobites were fighting to reinstate King James as the rightful owner of the crown. Yet, it is how the story focuses on her that is interesting. Nicola, and her companion Rob, both have the ability to see the past; Nicola by simply touching an item, the reason of the quest in the first place when a dying woman tries to sell a family heirloom known as the firebird; Rob’s is more powerful where all he has to do is concentrate. Ultimately, you are following two great story lines. You read about Anna’s past, but not exactly through her eyes per se. There is no I felt, this happened to me etc, only with Nicola’s present story line.

This novel kept me on my toes. And for all you romantics out there, the end is a douse. I can’t tell you why, but there may have been a long awe coming from me. I truly enjoyed listening to this. So much so, I know I probably wouldn’t have been as engrossed if I read it instead of listening. The narrator, Katherine Kellgreen was truly incredible. The accents she did were fabulous. They were spot on. Her Scottish ones were great. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of them. Although I haven’t been to Scotland yet, I have a feeling they were pretty accurate.

Every part of this novel felt real and authentic. As I have been to Russia before, it was great to “revisit” the country. Honestly, it is the second book I read this year about Russia. And, I’m not complaining. Both got really high ratings from me.

I would highly recommend this book. Although it started slow, once I hit part two, I was hooked. I listened for over nine hours straight! The second and last part were both are four- five hours give or take minutes. And, I enjoyed every single minute of it. And, if you are like me and love cultural historical fiction, this is one book you don’t want to miss. If you are more of a fan of love stories, still pick up this novel. Like I said, the end is a big awe inducing moment. I enjoyed everything I learned while reading this. I definitely think I would listen to this book again. Maybe skip some of the first part, to be honest. If you stick through the first fifty or so pages, all the rest you will breeze through. Really it all picks up once Rob is introduced and they start their journey together.

If you are an audible member, make this book your monthly choice. I did, and there are no regrets. With other audio sites, I am unaware of it is the same narrator. Check first is my recommendation. Katherine Kellgreen’s narration of this novel is not to be missed.

“Hiding the person you are,’ he said, ‘won’t make you happy. I never hide who I am. What I am.” 

Tackle Your TBR Shelf Read-a-thon Finale

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ORIGINAL GOALS

Goal One- Read 5-6 books: read two to three netgalley books on my shelf (I have 15, oh my!) my late library book The Ambassador’s Daughter, The Bookmaker’s Tale, and a surprise.

Goal Two- Write a review for each and post on same day as read.

Goal Three-Participant in at least half of the challenges and visit most of the participants.

Goal Four- Read 2100 pages, whew.

FINAL UPDATE REVEAL 

The end has neared. I know I haven’t done many updates, but believe me I have been busy.

Let’s see how I did, shall we?

Goal One– total books read 4 and 1/2 

READ:

Sideshow of Merit by Nicole Pietsch (DNF but review linked)

Reaping Me Softly by Kate Evangelista (3 stars- review linked)

4 to 16 Characters by Kelly Hourihan (2 and a half stars-review linked)

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley (4 stars and a half stars-review to be posted)

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen (4 and a half stars-review linked)

*Three netgalley books read and reviewed- goal 2-3 to be read completed

*One impluse e-book buy

*One audio book

Goal Two: post all reviews

Four out of five books read, reviewed, and posted.

Goal Three:

One challenge missed out of six.

About half of participants visited. (I even got new followers, thanks all!)

Goal Four:

Pages read: 1439 in 11 days!  (I thought I had three weeks so not bad, not bad at all)

16 hours of audio listened to (totals around 400 pages, I shall count in page count, I shall)

All in all, I had fun with the challenges, participants, reading in excess, and catching up to my goodreads goal. I was behind by 11, now I am behind by 7. Woo hoo. 

Big thanks go to all the people who set up challenges, giveaways, and to Tressa at Tressa’s Wishful Endings and Laura at Colorimetry to make this wonderful event happen. I enjoyed it immensely.  

 

Edgar Allan Poe was a romantic: Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen Book Review

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Mrs. Poe

By Lynn Cullen

To be released October 1st, 2013 by Gallery Books (imprint of Simon and Schuester)

336 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Acquired by Netgalley

Rating: Four and a half stars

A writer and his demons. A woman and her desires. A wife and her revenge . . . 

Where Winter in New York City is desolate, freezing, and unwelcoming becomes center stage for this thrilling historical fiction novel about struggling poet Frances Osgood and Edgar Allan Poe. From the winter of 1845, when they first met, Cullen masterfully describes their relationship until Winter 1847.

It’s 1845, Mr. Poe’s The Raven has just been published to wide acclaim. Struggling poet Frances Osgood gets yet another rejection, and told by her publisher to write like Mr. Poe- terrifying stories for women. Frances Osgood wasn’t a fan. Dejected, she found nothing special about The Raven and, more so, the author himself. Yet, after a chance meeting at a literary conversazione, a spark is ignited. Frances Osgood wasn’t supposed to fall in love with Mr. Poe. She was married to a philandering husband where he was, unbeknownst to her,  living the life of a half way struggling artist with a divorcee in Cincinnati, Ohio. Poe, himself was married to his first cousin half his age. In the span of two years, the reader experiences the relationship alongside the ill-fated matched. Both married, their love could never be. It was one spouse in particular that is in the way, Mrs. Virginia Poe. Mrs. Poe takes a liking to Mrs. Osgood that leads to a more complicated relationship than either three were prepared for. Add in a somewhat crazy mom in law, and a simple romance takes a terrifying turn. And, that turn, you’ll only find out if you read this electrifying novel.

I never pictured Poe as a romantic. His stories are the poster children of macabre literature, and in general. There is darkness, death, pain. Yet, here he is, a romantic. Cullen includes poems the lovers sent to each other through his journal Tribune. I expected Osgood to be a romantic poet, considering her main subjects were always flowers that represent femininity, but Mr. sullen, dark Poe, never. The poems are beautiful. The love real.

Lynn Cullen does an excellent on depicting this love story, especially with Edgar Allan Poe. Mrs. Poe was a good character, but in the end there is one character who takes the cake. I was excited by this story after finishing two books I didn’t like very much. I loved this novel. It was fascinating, hearing Frances voice and the enfolding of her affair. I did not expect the thrill of an end; thus making me very satisfied.

The story reads like a story on its own, but then you remember it is heavily based on extensive research, making all that much satisfying and enjoyable. As much as I admired Poe’s work, I feel like we are on intimate terms. As Mrs. Poe calls him, Eddie. And, Frances Osgood is a great female “character” and person that I would have liked to meet. Through the whole novel she was strong, resilient, and a force to be reckoned with. How much really would one not do for real love?  I would highly recommend this book, even if you aren’t familiar with either or both writers. I also feel this novel is just for people fans of historical fiction; nor just for people wanting to read a love story. There are so many dimensions to this novel that I think many people would find enjoyable.

 

 

 

Everyone likes to read good news..indie is no exception!

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I am very honored to have been nominated for this great award by Joana in the Sky with Books. I have only being writing this blog for about three and a half months. It was a great surprise to see in my notifications a post by Joana saying she nominated me. My fellow bloggers, I haven’t said this before but each and every one of you are awesome. I love how much of a community feeling I get. Plus, who doesn’t like finding out about new books? I can go on and on about why I am so glad I was finally convinced to start a blog. I didn’t think I had anything worth writing. Ok, I am getting a little sentimental on you guys. What can I say? I cry at most movies, and copious amount of tears were cried when Siruis Black was killed. And, to every heart broke, good endings, and true love in Sarah Dessen novels to say a few. But, shhh, don’t tell anyone. 🙂

Rules:
  • Link back the blogger that tagged you;
  • Nominate 10 others and answer the questions of the one who tagged you;
  • Ask 10 questions for the bloggers you nominate;
  • Let your nominees know of their award.

To the questions!

  1. What are you currently reading?

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

2.) Do you have any weird bookish habits?

Hmmm, not sure if it is just bookish, but as someone also trying to be a writer I carry AT LEAST three pens with me, two-three notebooks, a bookmark, and tabs. Plus, sometimes a pencil case more often than not that has a highlighter, markers, and a pen with glue.

3.) If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

That is a tough one. There are just so many. I think The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen (3 rereads at this point) or The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky. I was always a rule breaker..

4.) Which is your favourite secondary character?

I thought about this. Lately I have been loving side characters more. But, I think the award has to go to Xemerius from Kerstin Gier’s Sapphire Blue (Red Ruby Trilogy #2). He was delightful for a demon gargoyle. So witty and hysterical. I wish I could have him as a sidekick!

5.) What is your main blogging goal at the moment?

Being able to give great book recommendations (especially with smaller known books and authors).

6.) Do you prefer series or stand-alones?

Stand alones, hands down. I get bored with series. Not with Harry Potter, but that may be one of the few series I have read completely through. There are a couple I wanted to finish, bought the books, and now they are just waiting for me. Specifically The Immortal Secrets of Nicholas Flammel. I have read the first two, and have two more. Been two plus years now they have laid untouched.

7.) What made you decide to create a blog?

My friend Shelia at book journey.  I met her this past June at the Book Expo of America. I was a power reader, non-affliated participant, so I was only allowed to attend for one day. Shelia told me all about the perks of writing a blog, especially about books. She wasn’t wrong. I have now joined Netgalley, have wonderful followers, and am have a lot of fun. Thanks, Shelia!

8.) If you could meet any author, who would you choose?

Well, since Jane Austen is dead; and I have met Sarah Dessen, so I would have to say David Levithan. I absolutely adore him. Hopefully, Sunday I will get to meet him at the Brooklyn Book Festival where he is doing a talk on banned books week.

9.) What has been your happiest moment as a blogger?

Getting my first follower and my first netgalley approval. So many more, of course!

10.) What made you want to start a blog?

In hopes to meet fellow readers I could connect with, read with, and learn more from.

My questions:

1.) What book, or books, are you currently reading?

2.) What was one of your recent reads you wish you never picked up?

3.) What was the most recent book you couldn’t put down?

4.) If you could recast any movie based on a book (like twilight..) what book would it by?

5.) What is the best book to movie adaptation?

6.) If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what genre would it be?

7.) Trapped on a desert island, would you want a wand or a sword?

8.) What is the book that made you cry (tears of joy, I hope).

9.) List three (or more for the fun of it) books are your favorites.

10.) Whose your favorite author? Least?

My Nominations: (in no order)

Shauna at A Little Cup of Random 

Anya  at on starships and dragon wings

Tanya at Read. Run. Study.

Francine Soleil at the bookworm in boots is always lost in books 

Cait at Escape Through The Pages

Lydia at My Feather Quill

Jorie at Jorie’s Reads by Starry NIght Elf

Geri at The History Lady

Shelf Made Girl at Shelf Made Girl

I hope you all accept. You are all awesome!

 

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