Mailbox Monday (With an index of excuses)


Is it bad that this post makes me all warm and fuzzy and sends me into a sheer panic attack at the same time? I know I said it last year, but in 2009 I REALLY need to make an effort to read what’s already on the shelves. I’m starting to believe that there may indeed be too much of a good thing :p It would be different if I had my own house with a room devoted as a library, but sadly I don’t. Anyway, here are some excuses for you:

1. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – I’ve been wanting to read something by Jones forever. I think I have something else by her on my bookshelf, but I’m not entirely sure :/ I loved Miyazaki’s interpretation of this one and hope I enjoy the book as much as the anime. I mooched this one so it was free.

2. Company of Liars by Karen Maitland – This one was a Christmas gift from Carl! I’m so excited about it. The cover is fantastic to begin with and it’s supposed to be somewhat of a modern Cantebury Tales. Really looking forward to it!

3. Blood Harvest by Brant Randall – This one is a review copy for Pump Up Your Book Promotion. I’ll be doing a review and author interview in January, so stay tuned for that. And Mr. Randall was kind enough to autograph it to me!

4. Comic Book Tattoo ed. by Rantz A. Hoseley (The Flying Dutchman) – I bought this one with a Borders gift card after lusting over it for a long time. I also gave it to Megan as a birthday gift. Let me tell you, this book is absolutely amazing and totally worth the price. I’m about halfway into it and it’s just a beautiful book. For those who don’t know, it’s a collection of short comics by different authors all based on Tori Amos songs. They have the lyrics to each song before it’s comic. Oh, and an introduction by Neil Gaiman in which he explains how he came to know Tori Amos.

5. Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte – As I mentioned yesterday, I had to get this one after reading Bookfool’s review. I also bought this one with a Borders gift card. I jumped right into it and I’m loving it! It’s fantastic. It’s a memoir of Bob and his wife Linda who moved from the big city to a quiet farmhouse where they proceeded to become the owners of many, many animals including ducks, various birds and parrots, rabbits, cats, turkeys…you name it. And they all live in the house :p It’s an automatic top rated book for any animal lover I promise!

6. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Vol. 1 by M.T. Anderson – Ok, another one that I bought with my Borders giftcard. It’s about time I read this one, eh? I’m really looking forward to it! It sounds fantastic.

7. Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Poems and Tales published by Barnes and Noble – I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about this one. It’s been on my wishlist ever since I first saw it on Carl’s blog as a giveaway during the RIP challenge in 2007. Unfortunately, it was no longer available at Barnes and Noble…but my mom tracked it down for me for Christmas this year! Yay! It’s beautiful.

8. How to be Good by Nick Hornby – I found this one on Bookmooch and I know absolutely nothing about it. Those usually tend to be the best books! I’m excited about this one. 

9. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby – Got this one on Bookmooch too! I’ve been wanting this one since 2005. I first saw it at a bookstore when I had evacuated for Katrina while looking for something to read. About time I got it!

10. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan – Am I totally nuts starting this series? I’ve been wanting to read The Wheel of Time series ever since I started reading fantasy in my early teens. I’ve heard very mixed reviews of this series though…I’ll just have to judge for myself! I mooched this one too.

11. Motel Life by Willy Vlautin – I got this one from my Secret Santa! It sounds like an excellent book and it’s another one I know nothing about!

12. I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallman – I had to get this one after reading on Mariel’s blog that it’s her favorite book. I found this one on Bookmooch too! Yeah, I know…I lucked out this week on Bookmooch. It really sounds like a beautiful book and I think it will work well with Eva’s World Citizen Challenge.

13. The Guersney Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – Ok, I have no idea if I’ll like this one or not, but it’s been on my wishlist ever since reading all of the reviews. It was another Christmas gift from Mom!

14. Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison – Another Christmas gift from Mom…I’m so excited about this one too. It’s written by Augusten Burroughs’ brother who has Aspergers and it’s his story of living with the disorder. I have a special place in my heart for kids with Aspergers so I know I’ll love it.

15. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – Another one to blame on Nymeth :p After her review I had to read this one. It’s the last of the Christmas gifts from Mom.

16. A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveler by Frances Mayes – Borders had a buy one, get one half off sale today, so I blame them for this one. It sounds like a great book though. It’s a travel memoir of a woman who spent a year traveling from country to country and documenting their different cultures and her experiences. This one should work for Eva’s World Citizen Challenge as well!

17. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain – I’ve been wanting this one for AGES and it happened to be on the buy one get one half off table. As a bonus, it has new bonus material added to it! Looking forward to it. I know Dark Orpheus would be proud of me for getting this one 😉

That’s all…I swear…that’s all.


22 Responses

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle seems like a book that would be better on the second read. I was very confused; Jones has a really interesting writing style. It wasn’t bad, just complicated to follow, leading me to believe the next time I read it I will have an easier go at the story.

    Good luck with the Wheel of Time. I made it to book five before I keeled over from the massive amounts of tl;dr and little to no plot movement. The first three books were my favorite. I’ve moved on to G.R.R. Martin.

    Octavian! Hearts! Hope you enjoy it.

    You’re on bookmooch! I’M on bookmooch and using it, finally. We could be friends!

  2. You’re right. I am very proud of you for picking up the Bourdian 😀
    Hope you find something in Kitchen Confidential to delight you.

    The Guersney Literary and Potato Peel Society – it keeps popping up on the bestsellers lists/review – but I’m still not sure if it’s a book I would read.

    Robert Jordan – What nostalgia. I followed the series about 9 years back – but I stopped because it took too long waiting for the new books to come out. But I do remember how it started slowly, then suddenly the series just carried me away by the second book and I couldn’t stop. I started going on new-groups to chat abut the World of Time series because it just sucked me into the world, and the characters – who are a little annoying at time, but they also feel like friends.

    But the series collapsed under its own weight – because the editors were hurrying Jordan to get his books out fast. There was little editing or re-writing to improve on the latter books.

    Did I mention Howl’s Moving Castle was the first book selected for our bookclub? After the meeting, I learned that it’s a richer book than the anime.

  3. Renay, I’ll keep that in mind when I’m reading Howl’s Moving Castle! From watching the anime, it seems like it would be a confusing book…hopefully having seen the film will help some. I’m very hesitant about reading The Wheel of Time series, but I’m going to go for it. I’ve heard from almost everyone that they start off good and then get reaaaaal slow. I love George RR Martin! I’m on the 3rd book of Ice and Fire right now and it’s really a great series. And I see we’re now friends on Bookmooch 🙂

    D-O, I knew you would be proud 😉 lol…I feel the same way about Guersney Literary…I don’t know if it’ll be for me or not, but it’s bound to be enjoyable by some extent…I’ve heard so many good reviews of it. I’m glad to see that you enjoyed at least some of the Wheel of Time series! That’s sad though when quality starts to lack just because a publishing company gets greedy and wants the book out faster to make a buck. I’m sure that plan backfired on them though as it seems like Jordan lost a lot of readers a long the way who just sort of gave up. Very cool that y’all read Howl’s Moving Castle for your bookclub! I’m excited now. I loved the film, so if the book’s even better, I know I’ll love it.

  4. I’ve been thinking that there can certainly be too much of a good thing, and I slipped past the too much of a good thing line long ago and am now cruising toward “you’ll need a preternaturally long life span to finish these books before you drop dead” line (and that’s if I don’t acquire a single new one between then and the end of the unusually long life and it might be necessary that I quit my job, too) – even this dawning reality has failed to stop me in my quest to acquire yet more books. Your stack for the week is impressive – I’m as jealous as I am glad I didn’t go and acquire quite that many this week (I mean, where would I put them?) 😉

    I second Nymeth’s recommendation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I expected to like it, but not near as much as I did!

  5. How to Be Good and A Long Way Down are both excellent – I love Hornby.

    I also loved The Guernsey …… book.

    What bounty! I know what you mean about getting all warm and fuzzy and panicky at the same time. I’ve made a promise to myself not to buy more than 20 books in 2009. Since I have over a hundred waiting to be read, this shouldn’t be a problem.

  6. Megan, Well I am SO glad to find someone else that seems to have a TBR pile as bad as mine, lol. I honestly think that mine is somewhere around 200 books. Have you gotten that bad? lol…The sad thing is, last monday I added 15 books :/ That’s 32 books in just 2 weeks…oh my God that’s bad! lol. I’m so excited about The Perks of Being a Wallflower now! Seems like everyone likes it!

    Carrie, I’m a big fan of Hornby too, but believe it or not, I’ve only read one of his books :p About a Boy. And it was a long time ago. But he’s just a really cool guy and I know I’d like his other stuff. Looking forward to Guersney..seems like everyone liked that one! Good luck with the only 20 books next year! I said no books at all this past year and as you can see, that was a total failure :p Yay…yet another person with a TBR pile of over 100! You’re making me feel much better 😉

  7. Ha, excuses, excuses. 😉

    I got to page 227 in Company of Liars today. Man is it good!!! I hope to finish it in the next couple of days and it will be my last read of 2008.

    I bought The Guersney Literary and Potato Peel Society for Mary for Christmas because the blog reviews I had read made it sound wonderful.

    Isn’t Comic Book Tattoo a great looking book? I’ve only read the first few stories but look forward to getting back to it in 2009.

  8. Carl, Yeah, I know…no excuse. Can’t wait to read Company of Liars! I’m hoping to squeeze it in early in the year. I’m in the middle of 3 reads right now trying to finish them all by the end of the year, but I don’t know if that will happen. Comic book tattoo is absolutely amazing. The artwork is just incredible in some of the stories. I’m seriously considering buying a second copy and (dare I say it) making prints out of some of the pages. The thought of cutting up a book that beautiful kind of makes me cringe though :/ I’ve thought about doing some prints for the Dewey challenge. She loved graphic novels and I could make some cool framed prints as prizes from some of those pages. We’ll see if I get the balls to actually cut up a book though 😉

  9. I so understand and relate to this comment:

    Is it bad that this post makes me all warm and fuzzy and sends me into a sheer panic attack at the same time?

    Been there. 🙂 But, you know . . . you were Katrina’d. That’s still a good excuse — must replenish the shelves. When you start to trip over them (an experience you really don’t want) and have little mini-avalanches (ditto), then you can work on self-control.

    And, on to the titles . . . Octavian Nothing is on my wish list, thanks to John Green. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. I loved A Long Way Down. How to Be Good is the only Hornby book I couldn’t get through and I think there was just too much similarity to my own frustrations with marriage, so you probably won’t have a problem with it. Enjoy your books!!!

  10. Wow, that’s a lot of books! I just love mailbox Monday, it makes me warm fuzzy to see what I’ve gotten over the week too. 🙂 And of course the panic sets in (especially if they’re all review copies I’m obligated to finish by a certain date).

    I love the title Enslaved By Ducks! I haven’t read it though.

  11. You are so bad!! Of course, I L-O-V-E Hornby, so I won’t give you a hard time about those!! I didn’t like A Long Way Down as well as some of his other books (like High Fidelity or About a Boy). Still good reading.

  12. Wow, you really had a good week at Bookmooch! I mooched two books recently, but other than that I haven’t found anything much lately. Mariel really made me want to read I Dreamed of Africa too. And I’m so glad to hear Comic Book Tattoo is that good! I really need to get it soon.

    I hope you enjoy Howl’s Moving Castle. Considering you loved the movie, I think you will. The second half of the story is quite different, but both are great in their own way. And plus I think Diana Wynne Jones’ writing is such a delight.

    Don’t feel bad…I think all those excuses are pretty convincing 😛

  13. ok, so i put the duck book on my wish list…

    hearing your tbr list is well over 200 made me wonder if someone made a challenge that you (anyone who joined) could not buy/ order/ mooch etc a book until they read 25 books from their tbr list.. if you could do it?! (doubt it lol) I think for your birthday you need to have everyone chip in and buy you a “storage unit” !!

    I do think you need to read more Pern books before you take on Robert Jordan!!! (ok so i’m predijuice!)

  14. I’ve read the entire Wheel Of Time series, and the first three are still on my list of all-time favorite books. And I’m not much of a fantasy reader! The rest, I was/am very indifferent about. I thought they started to drag, but I kept up anyway. The first three are absolutely fabulous though!


  15. I’ll be trying to read some Poe myself next year. I’ve been wanting and wanting to get to the Guernsey Literary book, but there is a long long waiting list at my library. I hope you enjoy Octavian Nothing!


  16. I blamed Nymeth for The Perks of Being a Wallflower as well! 😉

  17. I am just so pround that I hardly bought any books in 2008, so even if that doesn’t extend into 2009, I did it one year!

    I want my books to come already! I am getting impatient. They shipped but I am hoping they will get here before the holiday messes everything up!

    Oh, and good luck with Robert Jordan. I gave up on him… I had all the books and everything, but I got bored and ended up bringing them to the second hand store. I might try again someday… It’s nothing I am in a hurry with, though!

  18. That’s quite a pile! Fantastic. I hope you enjoy Howl’s Moving Castle. Nymeth’s right, the second half is very different and there’s a branch of it that’s missed entirely from the film that I absolutely adored in the book (reminded me of Susan Cooper). Octavian Nothing is on my wish list at the moment. I’m loving browsing the blogs at the moment, I’m getting all sorts of ideas as to where my Christmas book tokens should be going!

  19. Soooo many goodies! I’m positively salivating. My favorite of the bunch is Kitchen Confidential. I hope you like it as much as I did. And in truth, I liked A Cook’s Tour even better! I hope you can get your hands on that one if you enjoy Kitchen Confidential.

  20. Bookfool, Have I ever told you that I love you, lol. You just made me feel so much better by reminding me of the fact that Katrina took all of my books away :p Isn’t it sad when we look for excuses? lol. I love your disasters with book piles…they cracked me up.

    Alyce, Enslaved by Ducks is fantastic! Check it out…I’m sure you’d enjoy it!

    Steph, I know :/ It’s really bad, lol. Glad to hear that you’re a big fan of the Hornby books! Can’t wait to read them!

    Nymeth, I’m glad you find my excuses convincing…at least someone does :p I’m so curious now to see the difference in the book and movie versions of Howl’s Moving Castle…I need to get to that one soon. And you’re gonna LOVE Comic Book Tattoo whenever you get it!

    Deslily, Yay!!! I’m so glad you bought the duck book, lol. If the rest is as good as what I’ve read so far, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Can you believe how big my TBR pile is??? It’s pathetic, lol. I have enough books to last me almost 3 years at my pace of reading! lol. Someone really does need to make a challenge like that…and don’t worry, I’ll definitely be reading more Pern before I start Jordan…I’m still debating if I’m actually going to read Jordan, lol.

    Lezlie, That’s what I keep hearing from everyone! That’s amazing that the first three books were so good and then the rest of the series was such a let down…that’s really sad 😦

    Becky, I can’t wait for Octavian Nothing! Yours was the review that originally put it on my wishlist…as you do with so many books 😉

    Bart, Let’s just blame Nymeth for our whole TBR pile :p

    Kailana, I’d be proud too! You really did do a great job not buying so many books this year. I sadly cannot say the same 😦 I’m having cold feet about jumping into the Jordan books. I’d hate to start a series only to be disappointed and stop reading it…

    Stormfilled, It’s too big of a pile! lol…Can’t wait to see how the book differs from the film! I need to read that one ASAP. Oooh, can’t wait to hear what you buy with you Christmas gifts!

    Andi, I know! Too many goodies, lol! I can’t wait for Kitchen Confidential. I’ve been wanting to read it for 2 years now when I first read Dark Orpheus’ review of it. I love Bourdain…he’s great!

  21. I think I’ll be caving this year and buying Octavian Nothing and the Perks of Being a Wallflower too. So much for my ambitions of not buying too many books this year! Maybe I should join Bookmooch instead. I loved the anime of Howl’s Moving Castle and I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of the book!

    I truly hope you (and Nymeth) love I Dreamed of Africa as much as I do. Be warned though, it is painfully beautiful, I cry every time!

    Happy reading and a very happy new year!!

  22. Hi Chris! I am soooo late on this but wanted to let you know that I finally caved in and got The Motel Life for myself *grin*. It’s living on my huge TBR right now but I’m going to try to get to it sooner rather than later. I hope you enjoy it!

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