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Showing posts from August, 2010

Giveaway of giveaways

I apologize for a single-giveaway post, but this one is just too drool-worthy to resist! Win Susan Holloway Scott's entire bibliography! I kind of hating advertising it, as I desperately want to win, but I'm willing to share the joy! Thank you to Passages To the Past for hosting!

Dracula in Love - Karen Essex

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Title:Dracula In Love
Author: Karen Essex

Genre: Fiction (Paranormal)

Love/Hate?: Mostly love, but things got a little frosty between us toward the end.
Rating: 3.5ish/5
Did I finish?: Y to the E-S.

One-sentence summary: Mina Murray tells all, news at eleven.

Tropes: SPOILERS! The expected - vampires are sexy; make good soul mates. (I don't get it the appeal of alabaster skin on men. Or blood sharing.) Also, motherhood trumps all.

Why did I get this book?: I didn't want to be the last one to read it!
Source: Public library.
Challenges:Historical Fiction, Support Your Local Library

Do you like the cover?: Yes. I want to be that chick so desperately, right down to her gloves.

First line from book:Everyone has a secret life.

Did... I become so engrossed in Mina's telling of the story that I often found myself cursing Stoker for covering things up, as if this were a real-life tale?: YES.

Did... this book remind me of the Francis Ford Coppolla film?: Yes, due to one major plot point.

Di…

Short Fiction Friday, 8/27

This week's offerings are all of a sci-fi-ish bent. Clearly I was in a mood when I started collecting items!

'Invisible' by Lisa Martens

This is not a story for the easily offended: a very direct look at sexism and desire. Twisted -- and very good.

'Five Rules for Commuting in the Underworld' by Merrie Haskell

I have a soft spot for Persephone, and I like stories that place power back in her hands.

'The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model' by Charlie Jane Anders

I'm a bit impatient with scifi that is too technical too fast, or loaded with a lot of scientific jargon that goes over my head. This great piece has fabulous world building, and does so in a brief amount of space and time without losing the reader.

Winner - For the King

And by random draw, the winner of my copy of For the King by Catherine Delors is

MJ

Congrats! I've sent an email; please send me your mailing address so you can get this amazing book in your hot, little hands! ;)

WWW Wednesday, 8/25

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Cute meme from Should Be Reading, WWW Wednesday!

* What are you currently reading? Kiss Me Deadly, which is really completely perfect for a day like today!

* What did you recently finish reading? Persuasion by Jane Austen

* What do you think you’ll read next?: I'm dragging out Dracula In Love because I don't want to finish it it (in a good way). So it's a concurrent/next read.

What are you all reading now?

Giveaway Roundup, 8/25

Haven't done a giveaways post in a while -- now that Mockingjay and Red Queen are out, I'm waiting to see what the next hot books will be. In the meantime, there are still so many other delicious books available!
At Lu's Bloody Big Book Blog, she's giving away up to three books if she can reach 200 followers!From VVB32, two fabulous giveaways! French Women for All Seasons and Cinders.

Persuasion - Jane Austen

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Title: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen

Genre: Fiction (Classic/Literary)

Love/Hate?: Looooooooooooooooove.
Rating: 4/5
Did I finish?: I did!

One-sentence summary: Middle child given bad life advice, misses out on man of her dreams, but gets second chance!

Why did I get this book?: I have the 'Jane Austen is my Homegirl' challenge; and I was in the mood.

Source: Local library!

Do you like the cover?: Yes -- I like the sweet simplicity of it, although I think the row boat is a bit odd. Schooner perhaps?

Did this book make me wish my commute were longer?: YES. Or that I should have no commute and could sit around a read all day.

Did this book require a dictionary?: YES: éclaircissement (the clearing up of anything which is obscure or not easily understood; an explanation), and weirdly enough, retrench, only because I thought I knew what it meant, but decided to double check.

Did I eventually have to quit dog earring any page with a quote I liked because I was going to end up simply retyp…

Teaser Tuesday: 8/24

Teaser Tuesday hosted by Should Be Reading.

Oh, this week's teaser is So.Good. I literally opened my brand new copy of Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love so I've no idea the context of this teaser, but damn, I'm intrigued! It comes from the short piece 'Hare Moon' by Carrie Ryan.

Her hand shakes as she dips the pen into ink and holds it above the page. The printed words are impossible to decipher, tears trembling from her eyes and her body racked with sobs. And then she writes: There is always a choice. It is what makes us human. It is what separates us from the Unconsecrated. But that does not mean that choice cannot turn men into monsters. I have chosen survival over life.

Mailbox Monday, 8/23

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Hosted by Chick Loves Lit!

An amazing haul this week!

Adam & Eve, via LibraryThing. There seems like a metric ton of plot happening here, which could be awesome or terrible. I'm pretty excited.
Naslund (Ahab's Wife) delivers a cheesy blend of futuristic thriller, pseudoreligious speculation, and idyllic romance. In 2017, Lucy Bergmann's astrophysicist husband is murdered just before he is to reveal the existence of extraterrestrial life. Now, as the keeper of a copy of his data, Lucy's being stalked by the leaders of a sect called Perpetuity, who intend to destroy any challenge to their fundamentalist beliefs. And when Lucy agrees to transport an ancient scroll that offers an alternate version of the Book of Genesis from Cairo to the Dordogne, she becomes a double target. Lucy pilots a plane (this convenient ability is indicative of the preposterous plot) and crash-lands in Mesopotamia, where she meets a gorgeous, naked man named Adam (an American GI gone a touch nu…

Suddenly Sunday

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I'm not sure I'm doing this right, but here's my first attempt at Suddenly Sunday.

Today I'm hosting my cousin-in-laws, my wife's 16-year old twin cousins. Right now we're all parked in the living room watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians -- not my normal tv fare but I can't say no to the girls. The wife is baking something from The Pioneer Woman so the day promises to be tasty and sweet-scented.

Book reading has been delayed by the house guests -- but as I love the girls, I don't mind! Plus, I'm going back to work tomorrow so I can catch up on my reading during my commute.

Blog Hop: Following blogs

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Since I've found a few great blogs through the blog hop, I'm 'hopping' this week. The question: how many blogs do you follow?

Erm, so many I can't count. My Google Reader is my daily, primary source for news, pop culture, updates on my friends, etc. And books. I usually filter and focus, depending on how my day goes: books, the Etsy shops I favor, and Hark, A Vagrant.

Anyone stopping by who uses Shelfari -- any tips on getting the widget to actually work?

I'm having my first giveaway! Leave a comment for a chance to win!

Short Fiction Friday

Please leave a comment for a chance to win my copy of For the King!

'Salome danced': Short but powerful. I'm not even sure I liked this story, but it's stuck with me.

A great short story by Tananarive Due, 'Patient Zero'. I'm a sucker for dystopias, especially when there's a virus involved.

And technically, the final offering isn't short fiction, but it's too diverting to be passed up! Blogger Hyaline Prosaic shares an amazing find: a 1945 diary of an American girl, put online by her son, and linked with pictures and trivia of the era. Amazing.

My first giveaway! For the King - Catherine Delors

Having finished and lovedFor the King, I thought I'd repay the karma of recent giveaway wins and offer my copy to someone!

If you'd like my copy (hardcover, read once, with only two small dog-ears, sorry!), leave a comment with your email address. I'll pick the winner at random on 8/25.

For the King - Catherine Delors

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Title: For the King
Author: Catherine Delors

Genre: Fiction (Historical)

Love/Hate?: Love!
Rating: 5/5
Did I finish?: Couldn't finish fast enough, which was bad, because then the book was over!

One-sentence summary: Police inspector fights conspiracies within police, Paris, personal life.

Why did I get this book?: It was singing my name
Source: I won a copy from Hist-Fic Chick

Do you like the cover?: Yes, although it didn't catch the flavor of the book

First line from book: It had been one of the shortest days of the Year Nine of the Republic, the 3rd of the month of Nivose in the revolutionary calendar.

Did I routinely stay up after midnight to keep reading?: Yes.
Did this book make me wish my commute were longer?: Yes.
Did I nurture a crush on one or more of the characters: Yes. (Roch and Alexandrine, of course!)

Trivia gleaned: Sodomy was decriminalized post Revolution!

Review: I stayed up until about 3am to finish this book because I was dying to find out how things concluded. Delor…

Wandering Wednesday

So last week I did my whole meandering-the-internet post on Thursday, but I can't shake the alliteration thing so I'm considering 'Wandering Wednesday'. Hence, links today. Who knows what I'll post tomorrow!
Tall tales from history: Are historians best placed to write historical fiction?Kate Furnivall, Why a PrequelFrom Jeff VanderMeer: The Past, Present, and Future of Ambergris
And for a bit of silliness, I couldn't resist this: Sylvia Plath paper doll

Teaser Tuesday!

Inspired/lured by Should Be Reading, I'm taking part in Teaser Tuesday.

I'm cheating (so soon!) by posting the paragraph. Two sentences isn't enough!

Roch recognized the fragrance of carnation and lily of the valley. Blanche would leave a little perfume bottle open, probably to mask the odor of the room, the mercenary smell of a place where too many had passed and no one lived. Yet Roch forgot about the mixed scents, about the roundish stains on the chairs and the flowery coverlet. He wrapped his arms around Blanche and kissed her greedily. He realized how much he had missed her during those three days since the attack.

From For the King by Catherine Delors. Don't let the quote fool you; it's got some sexy in it, but this book also reads like a thriller. I am in swoons over it.

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker - Leanna Renee Hieber

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Title: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Strangely Beautiful, #1)
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber

Genre: Fiction (Paranormal/Victoriana)

Love/Hate?: Dislike
Rating: 1/5
Did I finish?: No!

One-sentence summary: Friends of Justice, Victoriana-style, wait around for the The One in order to fight evil.
Tropes: Preternaturally attractive heroine, aggravatingly moody hero

Why did I get this book?: People I like like it!
Source: Public library

Do you like the cover?: Not particularly.

First line from book: The air in London was grey.

Did this book make me wish my commute were longer?: NO.
Did this book require a dictionary?: NO.
Did I want one of the characters to be my BFF?: NO.

Review: I've tried twice to read this book, and on my second attempt, I made it further -- third chapter. But neither time nor more pages made this book any more engaging for me. I found it bland and familiar (in the worst way). Worse, I didn't like any of the characters, least of all the eponymous Miss…

Reading Challenge: Support Your Local Library

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This is a total no-brainer for me; nearly all the books I read in a year come from my local library. I am so all over this challenge! Hosted by Home Girl's Book Blog.

I'm going to aim for Just My Size – Check out and read 50 library books.

So far, as of 8/2010, I've read 7 books from my local library. (Eeek, I need to catch up!)


Fay Weldon, She May Not Leave (5/5)Gail Carriger, Soulless (5/5)A.E. Moorat, Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter (5/5)Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver (5/5)Katharine McMahon, The Rose of Sebastopol (5/5)Julia Cameron, The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size (2/5)Gail Carriger, Changeless (3/5)Jane Austen, Persuasion (4/5)Karen Essex, Dracula In Love (3.5/5)Susan Kaye, None But You (5/5)Susan Kaye, For You Alone (5/5)Melanie Benjamin, Alice I Have Been (5/5)Gail Carriger, Blameless (4/5)Gary Shteyngart, Super Sad True Love Story (4/5)

Saturday Giveaways

Why yes, this is my idea of a hot Saturday night!

Win one of three fabulous ARCs from Confessions of a Bookaholic: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, Halo by Alexandra Adoretto, or Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

Laurie Viera Rigler - Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

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Title: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Author: Laurie Viera Rigler

Genre: Fiction (Historical/Jane Austen)

Love/Hate?: Liked with reservations.
Rating: 3/5
Did you finish?: Yes.

One-sentence summary: Modern-day Courtney wakes up as Regency Jane.

Why did you get this book?: Won it!

Do you like the cover?: Yes -- very pretty.

First line from book: Why is it so dark in here?

Review: In the end, the book was charming enough that I didn't openly hate it, but my friends can attest to my frustration whilst reading it. The writing was great, the research thorough, making it all the more aggravating that our heroine Courtney/Jane was rather awful for most of the book.

To be fair, Rigler does what I require for a character involved in time travel: some real confusion about what happened and how to proceed. But quickly Courtney/Jane's constant -- and rather repetitive -- musings grew tiring, and as an alleged Jane Austen devotee, she seemed pretty oblivious to aspects of Georgian/Regency life…

Short Fiction Friday

This week's short fiction suggestions are wildly different -- no theme jumped out at me!

From The New Yorker is Karen Russell's "The Dredgeman's Revelation". I tend not to be a fan of the kind of stories featured in The New Yorker but Karen Russell was one of the handful of women on their 20 Under 40 series and I had decided to read all the women at least. This story was a winner for me. I've a little crush on Louis Thanksgiving Auschenbliss.

One of the Children’s Aid nuns came in to retrieve the newborn orphan, and Louis lost his true past in a few squeaks of her nun shoes on the linoleum. Carrying him away, leaving that widening blank of a woman behind him, this wimpled stranger wound the clock of Louis’s life. The nun (who sometimes dreamed she was a man in advertising, writing copy for Hollywood movies) tucked a paper with a short description of his delivery into his blanket, thinking that this might help him to be adopted by a Christian family: MISLABEL…

Thursday: Meanderings

Forget alliteration; I'm going to just think of other clever ways to describe my 'theme' posts. So, Thursday will have Meanderings -- links to lead us around the internet...or something like that.

Fitzgerald eye candy: Coralie Bickford-Smith is a senior cover designer at Penguin Books and she offers a drool-inducing series of covers for F. Scott FitzgeraldAnaïs Nin Myth of the Day: Myth #15: Rupert Pole “romanticized” the story of his first meeting of Anaïs Nin.From the Smart Set: The bacchanalia of the British EmpireGive Yourself Permission: by editor Molly O'NeillNot the kind of parties my book-loving friends and I throw: Celebrating ScandalBlameless Book Launch Tea: I am still on pins-and-needles for Carriger's next book, so I think I need to throw a Blameless party of my own!James Ellroy interview; I had no idea his mother was murdered when he was a child. How especially sad.

Thursday Giveaways

I've a bit of a cold so the idea of winning freebies perked me up a little!

Win an $80 Gift Card from CSN Furniture! from Butterfly Book ReviewsAlso from Butterfly Book Reviews, win a copy of Almost to Die For by Tate HallawayA copy of The Body Finder at Liz Writes

Gail Carriger - Changeless

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Title: Changeless
Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: Fiction (Paranormal romance)

Love/Hate?: Sentimental like.
Rating: 3/5
Did you finish?: Yes -- I was dying to get to the dénouement!

One-sentence summary: Alexia Tarabotti wrangles her husband's former pack and solves a mystery.

Why did you get this book?: Sequel to Soulless

Do you like the cover?: Eh.

First line from book: "They are what?"

Review: Maybe I should sit on this a little, since I finished this book literally twenty minutes ago. There's a cliff hanger at the end which I hate, only because my mancrush Conall responds in a way that feels (to me) a bit out of character. I feel awfully curmudgeon-y for this review: while the book was witty and droll, it also felt a little off for me. I disliked the new characters -- Madame Lefoux, Lady Kingair -- and was pretty annoyed with the returning ones -- Ivy and Angelique. The only thing that kept me happy was Alexia and Conall, so it felt like a big slap when I hit the end!

Jane Austen is My Homegirl Reading Challenge

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The title is obvious, but for clarity: read as many Austen inspired and Austen spin off books as you can before the challenge ends at the end of July, 2011.

!!

I had to join since I just got my copy of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict -- clearly, fate wants me to!

Read

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Laurie Viera RiglerPersuasion, Jane AustenNone But You, Susan KayeFor You Alone, Susan Kaye

Literary Mashups and then some

At The Qwillery, there is a fantasticarticle about the rash of horror/supernatural literature influenced by classic literature. Qwill breaks them up into three categories, which is helpful, as I do find one vein of the trend more appealing than others (the 'twisted history' trend). But even though I'm not wild about the mashup trend, I still drooled a little at the nice catalog of books Qwill put together -- I always need more books to add to my TBR.

Mailbag Monday

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OMG, I finally have my first mailbag Monday! Today, thanks to My Jane Austen Book Club, I got my copy of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.



I just have to finish up Blameless and then I think I'm going to dive into it. I'm slightly nervous -- I wasn't wild about By a Lady: Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen's England by Amanda Elyot and the premise seems very similar. At least in CJAA, Jane Austen only makes a cameo; in BAL, she became the heroine's BFF, which was a bit much for me.

Sunday Giveaways

More giveaways (it's crazy awesome how many there are!):

An ARC of Torment at Ramblings of a Wanna Be ScribeIron King and Iron Daughter at Good Choice ReadingThe Paranormal Pre-Order contest at Book ObsessionInterview with Maggie Stiefvater and a giveaway of Linger at A Life Bound By BooksARCs, ARCs, and more ARCs! at Carol In PrintWin ARCs of either Matched or Beautiful Darkness at The Publication Follies of Alexandra Shostak

Fiction Friday

Some great short fiction found online (not necessarily new, though it was new to me!). The first story cracked me up and made me snicker on the subway; the second story was a poignant twist that stuck with me; and the third is by one of my newest favorite authors, featuring her trademark ability to make me fall in love in under 100 words.


From A Twist of Noir, 'Things To Do In Deptford When You're Dead' by Paul D. Brazill.

The trouble with me is that I never realise how deep in the shit I am until I’m choking on the stuff.

Take last summer, for example. It started, as usual, in a pub and ended up, as always, in a graveyard. But that wasn’t the problem.

You see, I’m a professional killer. A hit man. Twenty years in the business, man and boy. Booze and bullets and bodies are all par for the course in my game. But it was a bird that landed me in it. And not just any bird, mind you. It was the boss’s bird.

From Cabinet Des Fées, 'In Defense of a Queen' by Donna Quattrone.

F…

Friday: Giveaways

A round-up of lovely giveaways!

A number of YA fantasy ARCs at Babbling Flow (I am particularly desperate for Clockwork Angel and The Replacement.)Beautiful Darkness/Low Red Moon giveaway at Page Turner's Blog.ARC for Torment, which I am also very hot for right now, offered at Ramblings of a Wanna-Be Scribe.Summer Pack giveaway, including Evernight at Confessions of a Bookaholic.But that's not all from Confessions of a Bookaholic! There's also Shayla Black/Charlaine Harris goodness happening!

Theme posts? Thursday's experiment

Is it too cutesy to have 'theme' posts on certain days of the week? I kind of like it when I see other blogs doing it. Of course, I don't have a snappy title for today, but I was thinking of sharing links I liked. So Ttttttttttlinky Thursday?

Gail Carriger shares her character studies. I just love it and am totally stealing for my own use, when/if I ever do detailed character studies.FDR's Newly Acquired Letters Include Notes from His Mistress. Initially, I was all gasp-y with excitement, but then I remembered that I only like infidelity plotlines in my fiction, not in real life.I've been thoroughly enjoying Book View Cafe's So You Want to Commit Novel blog series.I sort of shrugged my shoulders at this article on the rash of stunt books. Given the US obsession with reality tv, stunt books seemed a logical next step.

The Writing Diet - Julia Cameron

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Title: The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size
Author: Julia Cameron

Genre: Non-Fiction (Self Help)

Love/Hate?: Haaaaaaaaaaaaaate
Rating: 2/5
Did you finish?: Yes, with great effort

One-sentence summary: Cameron cobbles her creative writing shtick with more AA principles and other peoples' dieting tips

Why did you get this book?: I saw it at the library and felt v bitchy

Do you like the cover?: Despite myself, yes!

First line from book: I'm a creativity expert, not a diet expert.

Review: I have to confess I only picked up this book so I could shiver gleefully at the horrifying way Julia Cameron has continued to shill her particular brand of writing how-to. As I ended up having to admit mid-read, this book isn't nearly as hideous as I had anticipated -- and it might, for some, even be helpful.

Having become an amateur competitor in the world of weight loss, I'm familiar with many of the techniques Cameron proposes, and they come from reputable sources I like and a…