Wrapping Up 2009

Warning, Warning! Long post ahead…I’m not breaking this down into 2 or more posts, I’m just combining stats, favorite reads, and goals all into one post :p So feel free to skim or just skip this all together if you so desire!! 2009 has been an odd year for me. I actually read more than I ever have this year, but I was disappointed in the amount I read. I think it’s because of the level of stress this year threw on me. I’ll talk about that toward the end of the post though…right now let’s start with favorite reads of the year! As usual, I can’t limit it down to 10 :/ And so I give you, my favorite 18 reads of the year, in no particular order:

1. A Fine and Private Place by Peter Beagle – This book was absolutely beautiful and easily became my favorite Peter Beagle book. It’s quiet in it’s tone but filled with beauty and the essence of what it is to be alive despite taking place in a graveyard and dealing with the dead.

2. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – I can’t really talk about this book much, but it’s a dystopian novel that continues to haunt me to this day. I love it more and more as each day passes. I cried when I read this one and I just want to embrace the characters.

3. The Red Tree by Shaun Tan – This book has really become my saving grace on a bad day. The art is beautiful and the message of the book is incredible. I think everyone should have a copy of this one to read on a blue day.

4. Sorrow by John Lawson – I absolutely love the worlds that John creates. They’re simply amazing. This rivals Witch Ember which, to date, is my favorite of his books. This one is shorter and available as an ebook at a great price and it’s one of the most original mysteries I’ve read in a long time set in a unique fantasy world.

5. The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson – I become obsessed with this book when I read it and had the pleasure of talking with Rupert Isaacson a few times over twitter. He’s a great guy. This is such an incredibly moving story about a young boy with autism and the healing power of animals and shamanism.

6. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork – I’m a little surprised this one is making the list actually! But it seems to have grown on me over the year. This one is about a boy with Asperger’s learning to work in “the real world” while still holding on to what makes him, him. Loved this one!

7. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist – The best vampire fiction I’ve read since Anne Rice. I’ve grown sick of all of these angsty teen vampires that are out these days. This is real horror with depth and meaning to it and what an amazing story this was.

8. The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson – The runner up in the Nerds Heart YA competition! I loved everything about this book. It was a brutally honest portrayal of teen life and kudos to Mr. Ferguson for going there. Possibly my favorite YA read of the year.

9. The Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee O’Malley – I haven’t had this much fun reading a graphic novel series in I don’t know how long. I just want more and more volumes and I hope the series never ends…though I know it does have a planned end ๐Ÿ˜ฆ This is the graphic novel series that I want to put in everyone’s hands and say “read this please, ok bai.”

10. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters – I’m not kidding, don’t even click on my review if you haven’t read this one…don’t even read the back cover. Just go into this one knowing nothing except that it’s made of AWESOME and it’s victorian and you can go ahead and know that it’s a mystery but so much more than just that.

11. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – I know I said that these are in no particular order, but this my friends is my favorite book of the year, hands down. Such an incredible book that took me on an emotional roller coaster. Ness has so many other writers beat by a landslide. He has power in his writing and he writes with depth. Oh, and I’m totally naming my next dog Manchee…that’s not even a joke.

12. Breathers by S.G. Browne – This is the fiction book that I want to put into everyone’s hands and say “read this now. ok bai”. Seriously, it’s such an incredible book. I thought this was going to be just a funny spoof on zombies, but it’s not. There’s a lot of really great social commentary here.

13. Between Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters – Amanda told me about this one and I just fell in love with it after I read it!! It’s so good. About a lesbian couple raising a young boy and the problems that the family faces. Really a beautiful book!

14. The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo – I love everything this woman does…she really can’t do any wrong with me. This book may be my new favorite of hers. It was melancholy and sweet and sad and very hmmm…wintery. I loved it.

15. The Wild Things by Dave Eggers – I want to read everything Eggers after reading this book. Such a wonderful take on Sendak’s classic tale. I loved his elaboration on the story. I just wanted to hug it and jump into his world.

16. Atlas by Katrina Vandenberg – As I said in my review, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so affected by a book as I have with this collection of poetry. Simply put, it’s the most beautiful collection of words I’ve read. This is another one that I want to put into everyone’s hands and say “read this” and I actually did do that with quite a few people for Christmas :p

17. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger – So there have been mixed thoughts galore all over the blogging world about this one, but personally, I fell in love with this one. And the more I think on it I actually think I enjoyed this one even more than The Time Traveler’s Wife. I just can’t get it out of my head. The characters were incredible though unlikeable at times and the setting of Highgate Cemetery was just perfectly done. The best ghost story I’ve read in years.

18. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote – What a wonderful collection this was. The title story itself is my new favorite Christmas story and I know I’ll be rereading it each year. Capote’s writing is truly captivating and I fell in love with it. It’s like sitting by a warm fire and having a story read aloud to you.

So there’s that! Any surprises? Anything that you thought would make the list and didn’t? I wanted to add many more, but these were the books that stuck out like a sore thumb as books that absolutely blew me away. Now lets look at some stats from this year. I’m just going to use my same format as last year….many of the stats taken from Nymeth’s format :p

Total Books Read: 96
Total Pages Read: 22,078
Comics/Graphic Novels Read: 23
Non-Fiction: 6 (sad :()
Novels: 49
Short Story Collections/Anthologies: 8
Poetry: 3
Childrenโ€™s & Young Adult: 30
In Translation (that I know of): 4 (another sad stat :()
By Women: 34
By Men: 58 (These stats are embarrassingโ€ฆI really need to read more books by women next year!)
Featuring both Men and Women authors: 5
New to me authors: 54 (Good Lord!)
Chunksters (450+ pages): 7
Favorite New Authors Discovered: Kazuo Ishiguro, Douglas Coupland, Marjane Satrapi, Drew Ferguson, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Sarah Waters, Patrick Ness, Katrina Vandenberg, S.G. Browne, Dave Eggers, Truman Capote)
Best Reading Month: April – 18 Books, 3,885 Pages
Worst Reading Month: July – 3 Books, 462 Pages

Fun stats as always ๐Ÿ™‚ Now onto the goals for next year and I PROMISE this post will finally be done. This year saw me going through many funks and I’m sure that all of you noticed that. I disappeared a lot. I still disappear a lot and I haven’t been around the blogosphere as much as usual. So one of my goals for this year is to blog more often and to get back to responding to my comments. Because, dammit! That’s one of the things that makes me happy. And I need to make time for myself.

One other thing that I’ve decided to do to keep me out of funks this year is an idea that I stole directly from Debi. She’s keeping track of all of the little good things in life and I’m doing that myself in a handwritten journal. With work and deadlines and the mundane parts of life, it’s easy to forget all the tiny good things that happen in a day, so I’m not going to let those things pass by. I’m going to be more cognizant of all of the happy things that happen during each day this year and keep a journal detailing them. I really think that will stop me from going into those funks where I just disappear.

I want to thank all of you for continuing to come around here. 2009 has been a great year. I’ve made yet more wonderful online friends, I’ve actually met some of my online friends!!!! And I’ve continued to build on my already existing friendships. You guys all mean the world to me and I mean that from the bottom of my heart! Happy 2010 to you all and may it bring you all peace and prosperity and whatever your heart wishes for the most.

The Most Embarrassing Bad Bloggers Post EVAH!

I suppose we should get right into it, eh? I haven’t done a bad bloggers post since Thanksgiving and since then I have gotten Christmas gifts, placed a BookCloseouts.com order, spent giftcards, gotten mooches and swaps, and have indulged a little myself. These 33 (yes t-h-i-r-t-y-t-h-r-e-e) books are the result:

1. Counting Stars by David Almond – Just because it’s a David Almond and I want to read everything of his! (Paperback Swap)

2. Bluenose Ghosts by Helen Creighton – The lovely Susan was posting little snippets from this wonderful book of supernatural encounters every day for awhile during the Halloween season and I fell in love with the stories she would tell and I managed to get a copy of it from Paperback Swap! So a point for Susan!! (Paperback Swap)

3. The Outlander by Gil Adamson – I really need to read more Canadian lit and Kelly absolutely loved this one. And she made it sound SO good! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and now I have ๐Ÿ™‚ Point to Kelly. (Paperback Swap)

4. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld – Most of you know how I got this one already! My wonderful secret Santa, Amanda from The Zen Leaf sent it to me and it’s a book I’ve been wanting to read ever since Nymeth reviewed it awhile back. So even though Amanda gave it to me, Nymeth gets the blame for putting it on my wishlist :p (Gift from a friend)

5. Evermore by Alyson Noel – Amanda also sent me this book and she actually gets the point for this one!! She reviewed it and put it onto my wishlist. Really looking forward to reading it. So a point to Amanda ๐Ÿ™‚ (Gift from a friend)

6. Holy Stars by Kathleen Edwards – I haven’t been accepting review copies lately, but this one sounded really cool and it really is! It’s a graphic novel that does a two page spread on all sorts of different dieties, saints, gods, and holy figures from around the world. From Jesus to Muhammed to Shiva. I absolutely love it! (Review Copy)

7. The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Lilli Carre – I’ve already reviewed this one. Absolutely loved it. A graphic retelling of Andersen’s The Fir Tree. (Bought it)

8. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen – I absolutely loved this one!! Such a sad sad tale, but a very sweet tale as well. I had such a wide array of emotions while reading this short tale. And I bet he didn’t even know it, but Jason is to blame for me getting this one as the result of a twitter conversation with Nymeth! Point for Jason! (Bought it)

9. Matchless by Gregory Maguire – And as a result of the same conversation mentioned above, Nymeth is to blame for this one. I enjoyed this one. It’s Maguire’s own take on Andersen’s tale and the second section is pretty much an exact retelling of The Little Match Girl. It was done pretty well. Point for Nymeth. (Bought it)

10. The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian – I THINK this one is Eva’s fault. I have to admit though that I once again have no idea what this one is about :p Just that I really wanted it after she reviewed it :p And I haz it now. Point to Eva! (Paperback Swap)

11. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa – This one sounds SO GOOD!! It’s one I had my eye on for a little while but I didn’t NEED to have it until Amanda fell in love with it. So a point goes to Amanda for this one! (Bought it)

12. Night Runner by Max Turner – I think this is the book about the kid who doesn’t realize he’s a vampire but he is? Interesting take on the vampire thing. Becky reviewed this one and it sounded really cool. So point to her. (Bought it)

13. Fathom by Cherie Priest – Just because I adore Cherie Priest and it was available on Book Closeouts for $1.99!! (Bought it)

14. The Savage by David Almond – Well it’s illustrated by Dave McKean, so that should be a good enough reason, but then all kinds of awesome people reviewed it and loved it as well. But Nymeth was the first that I read, so she gets the point :p (Bought it)

15. The Onion Girl by Charles DeLint – I know you all are thinking “don’t you already own like 2 copies of The Onion Girl?” Yes, I do…and no, I haven’t even read it yet :p But I love Charles de Lint. And this is the Subterranean Press special limited edition that I ordered a year and a half ago!!!! And now I finally have it and it’s signed by Mr. De Lint and I have copy 24/500 ๐Ÿ˜€ Very happy Chris here ๐Ÿ™‚ (Bought it)

16. Come Closer by Sara Gran – Nymeth reviewed it and it sounds in freaking credible. And I found out that Ms. Gran lives here in New Orleans part time! Point to Nymeth. (Paperback Swap)

17. One for Sorrow by Christopher Barzak – One may say that Christopher Barzak is like my favorite author that I’ve never read :p I’m convinced that I’ll love him. I read his blog regularly and just love his writing and his views there and the ideas of his stories really appeal to me. I own his books and why I haven’t read them yet, I don’t know. But I have this one now too! And Becky first put this on my radar AGES ago. So a point to her. (Bookmooch)

18. Transformations by Anne Sexton – Words cannot convey my excitement over this book. I did not know of the gorgeous woodcut illustrations inside of the book!!! One of my favorite poets doing retellings of fairy tales through poetry? I’m all there! Thanks Nymeth for putting this on my radar back in the day ๐Ÿ™‚ (Bought it)

19. Dreamside by Graham Joyce – A point to Maree! She keeps telling me to read his books so I keep getting them whenever they become available :p (Paperback swap)

20. Someday this Pain will be Useful to You by Peter Cameron – Another fantastic sounding young adult book that Becky Recommended. Point to Becky. (Bought it)

21. Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi – Believe it or not, Bookfool made me really want to read this one!! I really love John Scalzi, but this one wouldn’t have been at the top of my list had it not been for her. (bought it)

22. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie – Another Christmas present ๐Ÿ˜€ I hadn’t even heard of this one before!! This came from the wonderful and beautiful Nymeth and she says it’s a book that she read prior to her blogging days. I still haven’t read a Rushdie so this looks like a great one to start with! (gift from a friend)

23. Phantoms in the Brain by VS Ramachandran & Sandra BlakesleeRich sent me this book for Christmas and I squealed with excitement when I got it! No, I’ve never heard of it before but it excites me sooooo much!! It’s basically about how our brain works and sounds absolutely fascinating. I can’t wait to dig into this one!!! I might just let Rich start picking out books for me ๐Ÿ™‚ (gift from a friend)

24. Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix – And the squeals just continued when I opened this one! This one came from Annie and she must know how much I love Haddix! I cannot WAIT to read this one!! It sounds absolutely amazing! (gift from a friend)

25. Now and Forever by Ray Bradbury – I started to lose my voice at this point when I opened this one from Debi. We share a deep love of all things Bradbury and I hadn’t even heard of this book before. And it sounds so wonderful and has a stunning cover. I don’t know which of these to read first!! (gift from friend)

26. Thessaly by Bill Willingham – And Finally I got to this one and I think I broke the neighbors window. Debi also sent me this one and it’s one I’ve been wanting for ages. It’s a gorgeous graphic novel illustrated and written by none other than Bill Willingham of Fables fame and tells the story of a Sandman character. And it’s a book that gives another point to Nymeth! (gift from friend)

27. Pictures that Tick by Dave McKean – Can I say that I nearly died of excitement when I saw this one? Amanda was there! I knew right away that I had to have it and so I did :p I’m nearly halfway through it now and I just want to savor it. It’s a collection (a book one, I might add) of Dave McKean’s own short graphic tales. And they are so wonderful!!! Highly recommended for the Graphic Novel challenge!!! (bought it)

28. A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas – The only book I got for Christmas from my family and I absolutely love it ๐Ÿ™‚ I told my mom I wanted it after Nymeth reviewed it! Boy, Nymeth…you racked up on the points this round! (gift)

29. Geektastic edited by Holly Black – So awesome!!! Seriously…so many great authors in this collection that I can’t even begin to explain! Point to Kelly for making me really want this one (bought it)

30. Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor – This book looks gorgeous! I found it today while giftcard shopping. It has beautiful illustrations! Becky told me I should read this one and now I will. (bought it)

31. Thirst by Mary Oliver – I was looking for some poetry collections and Lu recommended Mary Oliver among others and I found this collection which sounds wonderful! Point to Lu! (bought it)

32.Learn to Crochet by Sally Harding – I need this book because I am indeed learning to crochet!! The reason being is so that I can make the little things from the last book. (bought it)

33. Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden – I was book shopping with Amanda and found this book and knew right away that I had to have it and that I had to learn how to crochet :p And I’m learning! I bought my yarn, crochet hook and filling today! These things are so damn cute!!! (bought it)

Ok bai! That’s all…phew!

Merry Christmas To All

7813

I just wanted to take the time to wish all of you a very merry Christmas, a happy Kwanza, a festive Yule, or whichever holiday you choose to celebrate this season. And for those who do not celebrate the holidays, may you enjoy the coming days anyway! For me, it will be a welcome couple of days to relax and enjoy time well spent with family and friends. I just love Christmas and much of that spirit has been lost in the end of the year madness. But I’m making the time for myself to enjoy these next few days. I hope you all can as well!

I’ve read some great holiday books lately, but I’m not going to be able to get reviews up for them. I’ve sort of hung up the blogging coat for the year. I’ve read Let it Snow, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl, and Gregory Maguire’s Matchless. All were absolutely wonderful, I can tell you that much…and I’d recommend them all. Next year will be a year of reading what I want to read along with many other goals. One of those goals will be responding to comments again!! I sincerely apologize to all of you for that. I’ve been really bad about that for the last 6 months or so and there’s really no excuse. I’ve just been in this chaotic hole lately, but my goal starting in January is to start replying to all of my comments again and to make blogging what it used to be for me. I really miss talking with everyone in the comments section! I can assure you that each and every one of your comments puts a big smile on my face though ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, I’ll be back in a few days with a really embarrassing bad bloggers post and then we’ll wrap things up with a best of list for the year. Enjoy the holidays everyone!!! I hope they’re truly wonderful for each and every one of you all!!! You’re all wonderful people and deserve the best. *hugs*

-Chris

A Weekend With Good Friends!

I’m a lucky guy this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ Two of my very favorite bloggers came to visit New Orleans and while they’re here, they’re spending some time with me!!! Amanda from The Zen Leaf and her husband Jason from Moored at Sea are here with the kiddos and frankly, all five of them are adorable! They came in last night and I got to meet them all last night. At the same hotel that I got to meet Debi and her family at a few months ago!!! I felt so comfortable with them all right away, just like I’d known them forever…you know that’s the sign of a really good friend ๐Ÿ™‚

Me and Amanda went for coffee and hot chocolate at a local coffee shop on Magazine street last night and just chatted about this and that for awhile until the coffee shop was about to close. It’s amazing how you can never meet someone face to face but then have so much to talk about when you finally do. Yet there are people that you see every day that you just have nothing to say to at times. Then we called it a night because it had been QUITE the long day for the Gignacs!

Today was awesome!! I spent the day at the zoo with Amanda and Jason and their ADORABLE kids ๐Ÿ™‚ I love those boys!! They’re so damn cute. But of course this was not before they tortured me for 6 minutes….you will all soon be privy to this torture as soon as the next death and baby death book hour goes up on Amanda’s blog….it’s bad. After the zoo, we headed over to Morning Call for beignets as a treat from the ever so sweet Debi ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks again, Debi!!! You’re the best ๐Ÿ™‚

Right now, it’s relax and nap time while the Gignacs go out for dinner, but as soon as they’re done, guess what we’re doing? Yep, hitting up the bookstore! Here’s some pics of Jason and Amanda and another of the kiddos ๐Ÿ™‚

jandakids

Clay by David Almond

almond_clayToday I’m bringing you a buddy review with Darren of Bart’s Bookshelf! We’re doing this in the same style that Kelly and I normally do ours. We both asked each other 3 questions and we’re both answering all 6. First I wanted to tell you a little bit about what Clay is about. This is my first Almond book and it certainly won’t be my last. He tells an amazing and often eerie tale about two young boys in England, Davie and Geordie, best friends with a sworn enemy who are asked to make friends with a new boy named Stephen by the local priest. This boy seems odd and comes attached to a bizarre history. He’s been kicked out of seminary school there are rumors of devilish behavior that are soon to be brought to light at Stephen sculpts his beautiful clay figures and breathes life into them.

1. What did you think of the ambience/mood of the book?

Personally, I loved it. It changed so many times and went from being nostalgic and carefree to being one of the creepiest books I’ve read in ages. There were scenes that I thought captured the innocence of childhood perfectly. Scenes of Davie and Geordie hiding out in their cave and playing together and serving as altar boys…it reminded me of my own childhood. And then there were the scenes with Stephen who was more than a little unsettling at times. There was one scene in particular that just sent chills down my spine. The scene where he first brings the clay to life. Terrifying stuff really. The mood of the book almost reminded me a bit of Ray Bradbury in that he captured childhood innocence so well yet evoked a sense of fear and mystery at the same time…sort of like Something Wicked This Way Comes.

2. Did you have any sympathy for Stephen, the antagonist of the book?

I did have sympathy for Stephen, though at times, it became harder and harder…especially towards the end. But Stephen was a troubled child who certainly comes from a very troubled past. It’s hard to tell with Almond how much of this book was meant to be taken as reality and how much of this was symbolic, but there was a lot of evil to this kid. But what is evil and where does it come from? I don’t think that Stephen is pure evil, though I think he was created to represent that at times. But his evilness is the sum of his experiences in his all too short life. That’s why I have sympathy for him.

3. What, if anything did you think Almond had to say about religion with this book?

I think Almond had quite a lot to say about religion with this book, I’m just not exactly sure what that is yet. It may hit me in about 3 months from now. There are quite a bit of religious undertones and overtones to this novel. It’s not subtle. But he never smacks you over the head with it. I don’t think it’s a pro or anti religious book. I think he’s saying that anything in it’s extreme is dangerous, including religion. But at the same time, I think that he’s showing us with certain characters and certain aspects that religion can be a good thing for those that choose to turn to it as their support. As long as it’s used as a support and not an excuse or a solve all.

4. Do you have a favourite section to share?

I do ๐Ÿ™‚

“I watched the dust tumbling through the light, gathering on us. I watched the clay figure taking shape between his hands.

‘Watch this’ he said.

The Figure was tiny, delicate, half formed, not like the other formless, soulless lumps, but like a baby, half made. He lifted it to his lips.

“Move,” he whispered to it, “Move, my little one.”

That was the exact moment where the story took a creepy turn for me!

5. I asked Kelly the same question when we reviewed Kit’s Wilderness together… What did you think of the setting? Could you picture it in your mind? What did you think of the accents? (Why, yes I am cheating and using 3 questions in 1!)

I LOVED the setting. I could absolutely picture it in my mind. I pictured a little English country side suburb type town where everyone knew each other with a town church and a little cave in the meadow where the boys would go hang out. It was just fantastic to me. I think that Almond did a fantastic job of creating it. The accents were perfect! I really loved them and they were so unique to anything else I had ever read as far as British accents go. I was actually wondering, Darren, if you were familiar with this type of accent ๐Ÿ˜‰ And if so, can you PLEASE tell me what the hell “Howay” means!! That was killing me, lol.

6. Almond, chooses not to answer most of the questions he poses in the book. What do you think about that?

It didn’t bother me so much….honestly, I’ve always sort of like books that left answers unanswered. Now…if they’re plot related questions, that drives me nuts!!! If they’re more philosophical questions or whatever happened to so and so…that’s fine. I don’t need to know what happened eventually with all of the characters in this book. And I don’t need the answers to all of the questions that he made me ask myself when it comes to religion and fate and what makes us do the things we do and the motivations we all have….I like to think on that stuff….so I’m glad that he opens those up for discussion.

As you can tell by now, I HIGHLY recommend that everyone read this book and there will certainly be LOTS more Almond in my future ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading this with me Darren!!! Head on over to Bart’s Bookshelf to read his answers!!!!

Graphic Novels Challenge 2010 Time!!!

buttonbig

Ok…so I can’t tell you how excited I am about this year’s Graphic Novels challenge! Why, you ask? Because…..I’m cohosting it with the oh so amazing Nymeth!!! This like makes my year you guys. And have you seen the amazing button that her boyfriend has designed? I’m in love with it. So….if you want this button on your blog, you know what you have to do. You have to sign up for the challenge. And you do that by going to this link which will take you to the Graphic Novel Challenge blog that Laza has so kindly let us use now that she has passed the reins on. While you’re there, you can give us your opinion on a few topics and you may want to subscribe to the blog as well because I’ll be asking for volunteers soon to help out with some mini-challenges!! Oh yes, this is going to be a fun filled, graphic novel love-fest that will continue all year long. So I’m begging you all to head over there and join. Like Nymeth said on her blog, the minimum requirement is 3 books and you can read that in one afternoon!

Here are some of the graphic novels that I’ve reviewed on this blog since I’ve been blogging and I’d recommend just about all of them! You can click on the links for my reviews:

Comic Book Tattoo โ€“ Edited by Rantz A. Hoseley
Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham
The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment by Brian Talbot
Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot
The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1 by Bryan Lee Oโ€™Malley
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 2 by Bryan Lee Oโ€™Malley
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 3 by Bryan Lee Oโ€™Malley
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 4 by Bryan Lee Oโ€™Malley
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5 by Bryan Lee Oโ€™Malley
Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee Oโ€™Malley
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader by Neil Gaiman and Andy Kupert
Bone: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith
Bayou Volume 1 by Jeremy Love
Rose by Jeff Smith
Fables Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham
Pictures for Sad Children by John Campbell
The Fir-Tree by Hans Christian Andersen adapted by Lilli Carre
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Fables Vol. 2: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham
Mateki: The Magic Flute by Yoshitaka Amano
Mouseguard: Fall 1152 by David Petersen
The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess et. al.
Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano

Ok…so everyone should be able to find SOMETHING that interests them, see??? And truly, this doesn’t even touch on the wide variety of stuff that is out there! So have fun everyone!!

I'm Still Alive!!

zombie-santaYou know it’s bad when you start getting emails from multiple people asking if you’re still alive :p The answer to that is “yes, I am”. I just took an unannounced break from blogging and twitter for the last week or so because it was very much needed. The holidays are my absolute favorite time of the year, but boy can they be a stressful time of the year too!! I love my downtime, but work is not so much fun. I’ve wanted to do nothing but sleep when I’m not at work lately, and sadly that’s about what I’ve been doing. And this constant weather change has my migraines acting a fool. But I got a full body massage today and that seems to have sort of done the trick ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let’s hope it lasts!

Last night sort of refreshed my spirits as well. I have two friends that play in local bands and they played a show together last night!! So me and Megan headed out to The Howlin’ Wolf to see them and it was fantastic. The crowd was small due to the weather (which has caused flooding all day today), but I kind of liked it like that. Made it even more fun! If you want to check out the bands, the first was The Lucks, whom my friend Rachel sings for and the second was The Public whom my friend Jack plays guitar for. Both are fantastic and they’re both doing really well and on their way to big stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

As for the rest of life, not too much new has been going on…you’re not missing out on anything. I’ve finished a couple of books that I’ll be reviewing here soon. I should have buddy reviews with Bart of Bart’s Bookshelf and Kelly of The Written World up soon. I have a really embarrassing Bad Bloggers post to do, but I’m thinking I’m just going to wait until Christmas is over and make it the post to end all posts :p Right now, I’m going back to reading The Vintner’s Luck because I had taken a break from it to do some Christmas reading and then I’m going back to Christmas reading with Let it Snow!!

As for Christmas itself, I have nearly all of my shopping done!! How about you? I have gifts too!! Of course, I got my wonderful secret santa gift from Amanda that I’m sure you’ve all read about by now ๐Ÿ™‚ Then Debi sent me this package that I really can’t even begin to describe to you!! Just…major spoilage!! I haven’t even opened it yet though…I’m trying to wait until Christmas :p And then today I got the most awesome journal from Nicky AKA Stormfilled!!!! I need to take a pic of it and show you, and I will, but for now I’ll describe it to you. It’s basically a small journal with beautiful cream coloured pages and a lovely red ribbon with these gorgeous marbled endpapers and genuine black leather cover and it says “Evil Plans” on the outside :p I’m in love with it!!!!! I’ll never stop advertising her gorgeous work…she makes all of her gorgeous journals by hand and I’m the proud owner of four of them now!!! Two I’ve bought and this is the second that she’s gifted to me…the last was a replica of the journal from The Watchmen!!!! So please head over to her website and check out her gorgeous work, and if you have some extra money to help out an incredible independent artist and craftswoman, please do!

So please let me know what I’ve missed!!! I’m afraid I’ll never catch up with everything on my own :/