How About Some Bad Bloggers Points?

One of these days I’m going to have to stop bringing books into the house…but today is not that day :p Here’s what’s come into the house:

1. Puppy Fat by Morris Gleitzman – Just because it’s Morris Gleitzman. (Paperback Swap)

2. Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman – Can’t wait to read this one! Sounds very “something wicked this way comes…” I recently heard that Shusterman has a sequel coming out to Unwind in 2012!!! Woohoo!! (Bought it)

3. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal – This one sounds SO good..described as a Jane Austen novel but with magic. Point to Carl for putting it on my radar! (Bought it)

4. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark by Guillermo Del Toro – This book looks AMAZING. Seriously, it’s just designed gorgeously. It’s part diary/part fairy dictionary. Can’t wait to read this! (Bought it)

5. The Wisdom of the Radish by Lynda Hopkins – I’ve already started this one and it’s so so so so good. It’s about a girl who starts a farm with her boyfriend and they sell their veggies and herbs at a local farmers market. Makes me want to do the same!! Point to Debi for telling me I had to read this one 🙂 (Bought it)

6. The Beekeeper’s Lament by Hannah Nordhaus – I’ve been wanting to read a book about bees for awhile now and I saw that Nancy was reading this one…which led me to pick it up too :p Point to Nancy! (Bought it)

7. Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart – I’ve been wanting this one for ages…now I want her new one, Wicked Bugs too! (Bought it)

8. Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link – I’ve heard that this is a very very good short story collection! And Shaun Tan illustrated it..yeah, had to have it :p (Bought it)

9. The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns – In Carl’s farewell to Borders post, he mentioned this book as being very creepy and I just couldn’t pass up that endorsment! Another point for Carl! (Paperback Swap)

Advertisements

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

 

I fell head over heels in love with this book. It was charming and sad all at the same time….just the kind of book I’ve been looking for actually. I first heard about The Borrower from Jill at Fizzy Thoughts and had a pretty good idea that I would like it. Having read it now, I can say that I sealed the deal.

Lucy is a librarian who loves nothing more than working with children when she’s not fighting off guys that she really has no interest in or being unable to flush her toilet because it might disrupt the playhouse that she lives above. There’s one child in particular that she’s always felt really close to. That would be 10 year old Ian. Lucy makes lists of incredible books for Ian to read, but his parents have other ideas. They’re super religious and are afraid that their child may be gay. And he very well may be. But they go as far as to monitor what he reads to make sure he doesn’t get any funny ideas and then put him in an anti gay, religious program.

When Ian can’t take it anymore, he tricks Lucy, the librarian into kidnapping him. Yes, you read that right. Sometimes you’re not entirely sure who’s been kidnapped. But both of them dive into this kidnapping and make the most of it…Lucy trying to help Ian find who he is and that it’s ok to be who he is and Ian just trying to find himself.

Oh I loved this book so much. The only bummer is that this is Makkai’s first book so I now have to WAIT for her to write something else. But in these pages, I found tears and laughter. Ian is a kid that you can’t help but absolutely love, and Lucy and the cast of characters that surround her are wonderful as well. And in the end, you don’t know which character has helped the other find themselves more. I thoroughly enjoyed going on their adventure with them.

Go the F*ck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach

This book was super cute. I really loved this one and I laughed at every single page as the narrator of the story got more and more irritated as the story progressed. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not a dad (yet) because I would probably ACTUALLY read this to my child :p It’s one that I think everyone would enjoy! It manages to still have a lot of sentiment behind it while being quite offensive at the same time. And the art is truly amazing!!! I didn’t expect to see such fantastic art. I thought it would just be a quirky/gimmicky picture book, which it was, but it was also much more than that and I can totally see this actually becoming a classic picture book. Pick up a copy next time you see it 🙂

Creeping in on Lady Business

I had the best intentions of coming back to blogging with a vengeance. EL OH EL. I need to stop promising people that I will come back to blogging regularly! Read all the posts! Answer all the comments! Clean all the things! I just had to throw that last one in there…sorry >> Anyway, I’m not going to promise that I’ll do all of the above again….but I WILL TRY. I’m appearing on the blog today though because Lady Business has a contest MADE OF AWESOME 😀 I’m posting this just because I think it’s fun and want other lists of lady books. Not for the prize. Honestly, I don’t like Hunger Games and I have a copy of Kindred. Though A Wish After Midnight would be cool 🙂

So…the homework assignment suggested topic: Prepare a short list of books by ladies about ladies (or the dudes) that fall into the spec fic genre and explain why you LOVE THEM. So off we go!

1. Mirabilis by Susann Cokal – I’ve been wanting everyone to read this for so long!!! It’s a historical novel about a woman who is the daughter of a witch who basically keeps a country alive by breast feeding them all. It’s really absolutely amazing. I love this book so much!!!

2. Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell – I’ve had the privilege of becoming friends with Carole over the years after reading her book. And she’s an AMAZING person that is all about representing the ladies. Her book Windfollower features an amazingly strong woman in an alternate historical fiction desert society. Truly amazing book. I was blown away by it. Some may want to know that it does contain a rape.

3. Anything Lois Lowry has written. She’s just amazing. I love her. She writes incredible male and female characters that are strong because of who THEY are…not because of what gender they are.

4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – This book is just…amazing. It might be bothersome to some that Clare is referred to in the title as “the time traveler’s wife”, but she’s anything but a weak character that falls in the background of her husband. She’s an amazingly strong woman and a beautiful one at that.

5. Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest – One of my absolutely favorite dark fantasy/spec fic books. Eden is an absolutely amazing character that stands on her own as the strongest character in this series. Gah, I love Cherie Priest!!!!

6. The Bone Doll’s Twin by Lynn Flewelling – Fuck I love this book. In this book, gender doesn’t really matter. Well it does at it’s a central part of the plot…or the lack of gender…but the main character has to be strong because of he/she is. Once again, not because of his/her gender. Truly amazing writing and very interesting gender discussions here.

7. The Wood Wife by Terri Windling – Love this book too. Terri Windling is queen of writing amazing mythic based fiction. And here is a female character that has overcome a LOT of bullshit in her life and has made a new life for herself in the desert. It happens to be a life filled with lots of mythical creatures too…

8. Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan – Just go read my review and you’ll know why I loved it so much. Ultimate woman writing about strong women book.

9. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter – I was so swept away by Angela Carter when I first read this book. Still am. This book is an alternate take on fairy tales with a feminist slant and they’re freaking amazing. Truly amazing.

10. Foiled by Jane Yolen– This is a graphic novel about a young girl named Aleira who takes fencing lessons and eventually falls into a world that she never prepared for but finds that she IS prepared for. Beautiful story 🙂

11. Green Angel by Alice Hoffman – This book had everything I love in it. A bit of dystopia, beautiful language, gardening and an amazingly strong and beautiful woman. Love.

12. The Armless Maiden and other tales ed. by Terri Windling – This is THE best short story collection I’ve ever read. All stories that deal with surviving abuse, told in a fairy tale manner. Beautiful…every story in this collection.

And now I’m going to stop otherwise I’ll never stop :p WHAT ARE YOUR RECS??? Please write your own post and link it up to the fabulous Lady Business site!

More Books? Me? Why Yes! Bad Bloggers Time!

After all, *I* can’t take all of the blame for these books….right? right…So here are some points for you all. Also, I want to publicly apologize for being such a stranger lately :/ It’s been a rough week or so with the headaches and with work. But I’m going to TRY to start keeping up with my comments here and visiting other people’s blogs. I promise I will try! Anyway…here we go:

1. Absolute Sandman Vol. 2 by Neil Gaiman – I’m trying to get all of these…and as you will see later, I’ve gotten Absolute Sandman 2 AND 3…but I got good deals on them..I did NOT pay $100 for each one :p (Bought it)

2. One Piece vol. 1 by Eiichiro Oda – So this could pose a problem…Renay wants me to read ALL OF THE ONE PIECE with her. And I have this compulsion with having to own my books…and there are like 80 something volumes of this one :/ But we’ll start with this one :p Point to Renay!! (Bought it)

3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – I’ve actually been wanting to read this for awhile..or just ANYTHING by Foer really…but after Trish reviewed this one…well I had to have it NOW. Point to Mrs. Trish! (Bought it)

4. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi – Renay makes me buy books. She wants to read this together too. And I started it and had a complete brain fail because it was too smart for me /o\ So now we’re reading the first In the Night Garden book by Valente. And it’s freaking incredible. But she still gets a point for making me buy this one :p Point to Renay! (Bought it)

5. Water Wings  by Morris Gleitzman – I think I’m going to cry again just writing the TITLE of this book. I love Gleitzman. This was such an incredible book…you can read my review here. (Paperback Swap)

6. The Kid by Sapphire – And I’m guessing I can plan to cry while reading this one too. This is Sapphire’s follow up to Push that follow’s Precious’ child, Abdul. Can’t wait to read this one. (Bought it)

7. Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue – In the middle of this one right now and goddamn it’s amazing!! Wonderful fairy stories 🙂 Though I REALLY shouldn’t be reading this at the same time  as In the Night Garden…I’ve been getting them confused with each other :/ (Bought it)

8. Absolute Sandman Vol. 3 by Neil Gaiman – Hell yeah! Now I just need Absolute 4 and Absolute Death..and of course there’s an Absolute FIVE coming out too….damn you and your expensive but absolutely gorgeous books…(Bought it)

9. House of Cards by David Ellis Dickerson – Heard about this one on NPR and it sounds interesting….(Paperback Swap)

10. Faery Tale by Signe Pike – This book sounds SO freaking awesome! And it’s no one’s fault but Heathers! Take the blame Heather!!!! Point to Heather! (Paperback Swap)

11. White Time by Margo Lanagan – MORE MARGO! CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH MARGO! (Paperback Swap)

12. This I Believe by Various – Another NPR book of short essays…sounds really good! (Paperback Swap)

13. Misery Guts by Morris Gleitzman – Because I now need his whole collection (Paperback Swap)

14. Sleight of Hand by Peter Beagle – So I didn’t even know that this collection existed until Carl mentioned it! And I’m so glad he did. I love Beagle so much…can’t wait to discover these stories! Point to Carl! (Bought it)

15. The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai – This book sounds absolutely amazing. I heard about it on Jill’s blog. Go read her review now!!! Seriously she made it sound so good! I started it last night (because I really need to start ANOTHER book) and I’m loving it already. Point to Jill!! (Bought it)

16. Toad Rage by Morris Gleitzman – Yep…more Morris (Paperback Swap)

Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Well this book was a fun little charmer. This is actually the first novel that I’ve read by Maureen Johnson, believe it or not, and I can say that after reading it, I’m definitely a fan. Before this, the only book I had read by her was Let it Snow where she wrote on of the three parts of the book. But this one is her all by herself. And lucky me, I have the sequel autographed to me from her 🙂

This book tells the tale of Ginny, a teenage girl, on a journey all over Europe after receiving a package from her dead aunt. Shortly after her aunt dies, an aunt that she hasn’t seen in years but used to be quite close to, Ginny receives a package. The package has thirteen envelopes in it and instructions that tell her to get on a plane to London, bring only enough money for bare essentials, she can only pack a back pack, and she can’t bring a purse. This is exactly something that Ginny’s aunt would do seeing as she just disappeared out of the blue sending postcards a year ago.

So Ginny does it. She gets on a plane and heads to London, and envelope by envelope, she’s given a different task that retraces her aunt’s life, bringing her to many different countries and having many different and unique experiences.

I loved this one…I really, really did. It was filled with charm, sadness, hilariousness…a little bit of everything. I can see why Johnson is such a loved author. She paints scenarios that are so outlandish, but seem so normal at the same time. And she always makes it entertaining. Can’t wait to discover more of her!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This is a review of the 10th anniversary Author’s Preferred Text that just came out. Which I had to get of course as soon as it was released. Wow this book has power. It really does. Honestly, I can’t tell you what’s new and what’s not in this book because I haven’t read it in 6 years. But I won’t let another 6 years go by without reading it again. It does have a new introduction and some extra stuff in the back, but as for the rest of the 12,000 new words…I really don’t know which ones they are.

But that doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. Because every single sentence in this book belongs there. There’s not a sentence gone to waste and personally I think this preferred edition should be the only edition. Because when it comes to stories as good as this, who wants LESS words?

American Gods is a really hard book to summarize. The basic story is of a man named Shadow who is released from prison only to find that his wife is dead and that he’s become wrapped up in the world of the gods after meeting a man named Wednesday. Though he mingles mostly with the old gods, there are the new gods as well. Gods of the internet, cell phones, things like that. And a war is being set up between the two. But that’s a very simple version of this story.

It’s simultaneously a journey across America. A journey into all of the different places that make America so American. Gaiman takes us to vegas, the The House on the Rock which is basically a museum of miscellany and the bizarre, Rock City, and so many more places. Places that actually exist. It’s these places that hold power for the gods. These are places that hold a power in themselves because of the types of places they are. I’d love to use AG as a guide book one day and travel America.

When I first read this book in 2005, right after Hurricane Katrina, on a cruise ship I was living on after having lost my house, I fell in love with it. It was instantly my new favorite book. And it’s remained that for the last 6 years. I started reading this book again and thought to myself “damn this is good, but why is it my favorite book again?” I felt like I had read better…And then I kept reading. I fell back in with all of the characters. I got to the little town that Shadow stays in under the name Mike Ainsel. I got to Rock City. I got to THAT chapter with Shadow doing THAT thing for Odin with a tree. And it all came back to me.

This book isn’t just a reading experience…it’s so much more. It takes you into it’s world. It has so many wise things to say. It has so much research behind it. It reminded me again why Gaiman is such an incredible author and just an incredible person. There’s no one else out there writing the books that he does.

I was driving home today from the coffee shop and I saw a birdhouse sticking over a fence. It was painted all black except for “SEE ROCK CITY” painted on it in white. I smiled because those exact birdhouses are described in American Gods during the Rock City scene. I hadn’t even heard of rock city before reading this book for the first time. And I certainly have never seen a Rock City bird house until today. I’m telling you…there’s power in this book.