Recently, Patrick Ness came to a bookstore in Seattle. I read and loved A Monster Calls (here's my review) but I already own a signed copy due to the loveliness of Jo over at Wear the Old Coat. What other Ness books have I read? Well, now that you bring that up....none. But that wasn't going to stop me from getting some books signed while he was in town, especially considering how much some of my blogger and reader friends love his Chaos Walking series. I couldn't physically be at the event because of work but I had an employee who was working the event get books signed for me and I cracked up at what he wrote in one of them:
I wish! Speaking of author events, though I won't be recapping ones I went to during my "lost time," I hope to be doing more of that. I recently got books signed by Lish McBride and Victoria Schwab and I am concurrently realizing that I flew to San Diego that night and my books have been sitting at work in a bag for about two weeks now. (Oops!) I bought copies of Vicious, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and Necromancing the Stone...and maybe The Archived, I can't remember. While I was in San Diego, I spent a day with one of my favorite people, Maggie from Young Adult Anonymous. It has pretty much become commonplace for us to spend a day or two together every time I go down to California and one of our favorite places to go is BookOff. We have gone to *cough*a few other San Diego and Los Angeles bookstores but they were mostly letdowns. I didn't buy too much this time around but I did pick up:
Though there is really nothing on the blog to reflect it, I became addicted to short stories in 2013. I think, and they can correct me if I'm wrong but I'm 99% sure I'm right, all three of us did. We read, discussed, suggested, listened to, hated, and loved hundreds of stories last year and that also got me really into buying short story collections. Honestly, I went a bit overboard with it and I think I have every one of those famous-author-edited "Best American Short Stories of [enter year here]" from the past ten or twenty years. No kidding. Here's some of them to the left, along with another series that I seriously cannot resist buying: "The Year's Best Science Fiction." Those ones are chunksters and they usually put some sort of irresistible (to me) space-related images on the front. The extra bonus in this pic is a bunch of DVDs I found at Target for less than $10 each. In case you can't see in the picture, they are Silver Linings Playbook, Sherlock Holmes, Mean Girls (my old copy has scratches!), Gatsby, and The 10th Kingdom. Have any of you ever seen The 10th Kingdom? I was $5 worth of curious so I just went for it, though I've yet to watch it. Also, it has an 8.4 on IMDB! Speaking of television and movies, though, two recent recommendations from me, which I will probably mention in another post: The Bletchley Circle and Populaire. The former is a Netflix Instant-available miniseries about a group of female code breakers from WWII who help solve a serial murder crime a few years after the war and the latter is an adorable French movie about a businessman who enters his secretary in speed typing competitions. (also on Netflix Instant) Oh, and I also recommend Senna, a documentary about a Brazilian Formula One racer who is often considered the best racer of all time. I had close to zero interest in F1 racing and I still don't care too much about it, but I was super interested in the story of his career.
The books to the right are all from Half Price Books. I read Green Rider by Kristen Britain as part of She Made Me Do It this past fall. My friend Alexis dared me to read it and I'd been meaning to for ages. It was a lot of fun and I didn't have as many problems with it as some of my reader friends did in terms of originality. (or lack thereof) I liked it enough to buy two more installments when I was at Half Price. Coincidentally, I also went to the Half Price Outlet in Olympia with Alexis when she was last home and picked up a few of the books pictured then. Listening to Pat Conroy's My Reading Life has been one of my favorite audio experiences to date and I wanted to own a book copy of it. Daggerspell was mentioned by Kate Elliott at an event I went to as being the beginning of her favorite series. (I think I might've bought another copy then but I didn't see it in my shelves immediately so who knows?) I also bought a Marillier book, Cybele's Secret, The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier, Shopgirl by Steve Martin, and four more unnecessary but exciting short story collections.
Last of the bunch of random-books-that-are-only-about-half-of-what-I-recently-acquired-but-that-I-saw-at-first-glance-and-took-pictures-of are these two books I picked up at the University Bookstore semiannual book sale. All the books on a few long tables were 50% of their lowest price so I ended up paying about $5 for both of these. I think that cover for Alif the Unseen is ridiculous. The color and outline are lovely and the wall of text just completely ruins it. I am going to see how well I like the book because I'm not sure I can have that eyesore on my shelves. I have Eclipse One and Eclipse Four now so we all know what that means...
Anyway, I am sneaking this post in near midnight on the weekend so I am counting this as my weekly post. I didn't let myself down yet! Have any of you read any of these books? I am specifically interested to know if you've read any of the shorts in any of these collections. Happy Monday, everyone!
Pulse Check and a Promise
Oh hey, remember me? I used to regularly post here with my two partners in crime, Tatiana and Catie. No? Not ringing any bells? Well, regardless of whether or not you've missed our regular updates, I have missed them. I still email with Catie and Tatiana but I want to know every minute detail of what they think about every single thing they consume in the book, television, or movie worlds. Here are a few other things I miss when I'm not blogging:
Anyway, I miss my online reading buddies, I miss recapping book events, I miss reviewing things, and I miss being a book blogger. So I'm going to try to be a book blogger again. Check back every once in awhile; this ought to be good.
Classics Retold: The Movie and Television Adaptations of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A few months ago, I signed up for a crazy ambitious challenge that a bunch of bloggers organized called Classics Retold. The aim of the event? For bloggers to select a classic work and then evaluate the retellings, sequels, and adaptations of it. Since the scope of source material is so vast, there are several organizers, each in charge of a different section of source material. Here they are:
I thought for a while about what book I would like to tackle but finally decided on Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. How many adaptations could there be, right? BAHAHAHA, WRONG. There are so, so many. Today, since it is already halfway through September, I just wanted to finally put a post up acknowledging that I am working on this project--though it will probably take me further into October--and to start talking a bit about what's out there in terms of retellings. Let's look at the movie and television adaptations...
Movies & Television
I'm very excited to tell you that, DRUMROLL PLEASE, there is a Lifetime movie about the March sisters and it only came out last year! The March Sisters at Christmas (2012) centers on the four sisters in modern times trying to keep hold of their family's dilapidated estate. It doesn't sound from the blurb on IMDB like it will be anything other than a very loose adaptation but it does have something that I love watching movies about: home renovations. I spent a few bucks and bought this version on iTunes so it will be the second retelling I'll tackle. Have I mentioned I'm far more excited to watch retellings than read them? I don't have a lot of free time these days and he time investment is much lower with movies. I can just lay around on the couch like a slug instead of doing all that hard work of turning pages or hitting 'next page' on my Kindle.
There are a few more versions that I don't think I'll be able to find access to, especially not in the next month. These include the 1918 version and the 1970 TV miniseries. Sigh, there just is never enough time.
What movie/TV version of Little Women is your favorite? Have you heard of any/all of these ones before? Do you know of any others? Which ones do you think I should definitely watch?
Hello, and welcome to another edition of Books I've Recently Acquired! I'm your host, Flannery, so let's get things started with random science fiction and fantasy books that caught my eye at Half Price Books the other day. I picked up Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr based on Kate Elliott's recommendation of the series at an event I went to two weeks ago. She said it was her favorite fantasy series of all time and that was obviously enough to sell me on it. I also grabbed a copy of A Horsewoman in Godsland by Claudia J. Edwards because I loved her book Taming the Forest King. Even though I already own a copy of Horsewoman, I never see copies of her out-of-print books anywhere and buy them when I find them. I kind of feel like the protagonist from The Shadow of the Wind trying to find all the existing copies of her work, especially considering there is basically ZERO information about the author out there on the net. [at this point in typing the blog post I went to ebay and bought two more of her books so I would have a complete set] Are there any mysterious authors of depressingly small fame that you wish more people would read? Do you have any authors whose works you automatically buy when you find those old used copies hidden in the shelves?
The other paperbacks I picked up--all were $1, I believe--were Groundties by Jane Fancher, One On Me by Tim Huntley, and Grasp the Stars by Jennifer Wingert.
Speaking of Half Price Books, every few months they have a warehouse sale over in Greenwood. This go-round, all the books were under $3. I went early in the morning but it was absolutely bonkers with people so I made one quick perusal of the area and peaced out of there...after waiting for over half an hour in line. I picked up the seven books to the right for around $18. I was especially psyched about this because all but one are hardcover and all are in great condition. I haven't read any of them yet but some of them are definitely permanent collection pieces. I am particularly happy I found a copy of Skin Hunger since Catie and Tatiana really loved (love?) that series, and The Highest Frontier since it is about young adults in school in space. I tried to start it once before but my reaction was something like this: "Oh cool! A girl going to college in space! This is going to be so FUN! Wait, what about botany?...there certainly seems to be a lot of talking about plants in this bookzzzzzzzzzzz." I'm hoping my second attempt will be more successful.
Happy birthday to me! Well, it was last month, but these books were given to me as gifts, which is beyond exciting for a bookaholic. Maja sent me Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. Naomi sent me Six Impossible Things (signed!) and Wildlife by Fiona Wood. And Tatiana sent me The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson. All three of us Readventurers really enjoy Wilkinson's books and how she is able to keep them fun without crossing into the land of unbearable cheese. Thanks, buddies! (for the record, the equally awesome Catie gave me an Amazon gift card which I should've used on books but instead I used to buy a new cover for my phone.)
If you are a fan of graphic novels, you are probably already addicted to Saga by Brian K. Vaughn (of Y: The Last Man and Runaways fame) and Fiona Staples. If you haven't read it yet, please get on it. I preordered the second compiled edition and read it the day it arrived. It was just as weird as the first one, though it had a few more really awkward sexual inclusions that had Tatiana and I scratching our heads. Have you read it? What do you think the point of including the huge ogre balls and blowjob pics was? I thought they were just distracting and frankly, they made me kind of angry because they lower the number of people I would feel comfortable recommending the series to. The other graphic novel I bought recently is Empire Lanes by Peter Gross. I bought this one after I really enjoyed Gross' artwork in the Unwritten series by Mike Carey, and I read THAT because I basically loved Mike Carey's short story, "Iphegenia in Aulis". That story is included in An Apple for the Creature, a collection of school-related short stories from about twelve different authors. I recommended that particular story to Tatiana in our ongoing edition of She Made Me Do It and she enjoyed it as well. (spoiler alert!) If you get the chance, you should listen to it. The Ilona Andrews short in that book is also worth a listen. Anyway, Empire Lanes is about a group of people who come through a magical portal from medieval times into the back of a bowling alley. I haven't finished it yet but I kind of love stories about people working at bowling alleys, water parks, golf courses, etc. so I'm looking forward to it.
Hooray for friends! I wasn't able to make it to a recent conference, but some of my bookish buddies were there and they mailed me a few of the galleys they knew I was on the lookout for. My college roommate was also there but she is not as efficient as Arlene and Rachel, so I might have to include whatever she got signed for me in another edition...some other time...when she gets around to mailing it. The books are The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, The 100 by Kass Morgan, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, The Vow by Jessica Martinez, and Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce. Thank you, thank you!
I haven't gone to a ton of author events recently but I did go see Neil Gaiman, Kate Elliott, and Margo Lanagan. I bought one or two books at each event to be signed so here is an amazing picture I took of them in my majestic wood-walled bathroom. I'm joking about the picture being amazing, obviously it is my usual point and click crapfest, but it is actually in my bathroom. True confession: On the other side of that wall is a book of Far Side cartoons that I look at every time I go to the bathroom. They make me laugh every.single.time. The problem with these books is that once books are signed, I never want to crack them open and change the quality. Library, here I come.
The other day I was at work and the store was having a 50% clearance event. I have never read any books by Anne Bishop but I am physically incapable of passing up mint condition, signed hardcovers for $7 by authors I think I might enjoy trying out. In addition to the two random books in the Black Jewels series that I picked up (I know the reviews are mixed!), I also grabbed an installment in the Chicagoland Vamps series that I was missing and Circus Galacticus, which I remember I requested and was denied on Netgalley when it was coming out. Isn't it funny how we remember exactly which books we were rejected for? I know how lucky reviewers are to even be given the chance to read prerelease books, but the rejection still hurts a bit. At least it does for me.
I drove down to Eugene two days ago to help one of my siblings move. On the way down and back up, I continued my alternation between the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews and the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. I enjoy both series in audio format and I am almost finished with #2 in the CD series, after which I'll move onto #3 in KD. Two or three people have told me that Magic Strikes is where the true magic of the Kate Daniels series picks up so I am pumped to start that one tomorrow. When I was in Eugene, my sister and I stopped to get burritos for lunch and the place happened to be next door to Black Sun Books. What an interesting find! The store has a lot of lit, both used and new, and large sections of poetry, native peoples, and books in translation, among other sections. It isn't much for genre fiction, but the store is well kept and the owner seems to truly care for his books. I found a like new hardcover of War Dances and the Nobel Prize-winning book, The Passport by Herta Müller. I didn't look at the Goodreads reviews for that one before I bought it, and they seem very polarized. I have no idea what I'm in for, but I guess it will be interesting either way.
The last few books I recently acquired include Shadows by Paula Weston and two of The Edge books by Ilona Andrews. We are going to be part of the US/Can blog tour for Weston's book and I am pumped to read that one because it is very popular with my reader friends. Have you read it? What did you think?
I received the two Ilona Andrews books (and a handmade stuffed animal) from the amazing Olivia, one of my oldest friends from Goodreads. No matter how many times I try to tell her NOT to send me things, she always manages to sneak me back a package. Considering how much I am enjoying the Kate Daniels books, I am hoping that The Edge works for me as well. Thanks, Olivia!
So, these are most of the books that I have recently added to my collection. I know many bloggers do weekly posts to talk about what they buy/request/check out from the library but I don't have the discipline to do that. Random posts every once in awhile is the way I have to go. I also added an entire bookshelf to the house recently, and it is already filled with backlog. One of these days I will have a place with a room I can make into a library!
Maja from The Nocturnal Library Throws Down the Gauntlet for Flannery (aka Tackling Recommendations from Friends)
One of the most challenging parts of book blogging, and really to having any friendships with bookish people is managing your to-be-read pile. There are quite literally thousands of books I hope to read in my lifetime and the list gets longer every day after discussions with friends, coworkers, reading reviews, seeing tweets, and reading blog posts. Maja from The Nocturnal Library has been a great friend of mine for a few years now and she has recommended so many books to me, but have I read most of them yet? No. She is certainly not the only friend who probably wants to shake some sense into me but she IS the only I am attempting to appease at the moment. How? Well, I had her compile a list of 50 books she would like me to give a go and we'll see how many I finish in the next few weeks. My personal goal is at least 5 but I am being kind of beastly in how fast I am plowing through audios lately so we'll see if I can do more.
Maja is posting her list at the same time as this post so you can read her challenge post here. She has broken down her recommendations into genres with an emphasis on urban fantasy because I asked her to include a lot of them since I am woefully under-read in that area and she is an expert. She has no idea what my plan of attack is, but she does know that I got a head start.
One of Maja's favorite authors is Ann Aguirre and I get embarrassed every time we have a conversation about Aguirre and I have to pretend I know what is going on, since I have only ever read Grimspace, the first in her Sirantha Jax series. I want to finish that series but they aren't on my list, so I am keen to read both Bronze Gods (which the lovely Maja sent me a copy of) and Perdition, which sounds AMAZING. Seriously, go read the blurb. Actually, here it is:
WELCOME TO HELL
The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.
Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.
Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…
I know, right?
Obviously I am not sure what I will actually get through, but I have to admit that I am most curious about the books that Maja gave 5 stars to. I am notoriously stingy with my 5-star ratings and I am always peeking through people's shelves to see what they've deemed worthy of that top spot. What did they see as basically flawless or have such an emotional attachment to as to rate it so highly? Maja 5-starred 12 of her 50 recommendations, but the ones I am most interested in checking out are The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell, Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee, As If I Am Not There by Slavenka Drakulić, Meet Me Under the Ombu Tree by Santo Montefiore, and Betty Blue by Philippe Djian. A few of these are on her "made-me-cry" shelf and I am morbidly always interested in books that made people cry since it is such a rare occurrence for me. Will I have the same reaction?
All this could change, but for now, this is where my brain thinks I am going to go. Did you go check out Maja's list? What do you think I should go with? Even just the two I've already knocked out already make me feel better about our friendship. I want to read everything my friends think is amazing and/or that they think I might like. It makes me happy that Maja took the time to compile a group of recommendations so I could read a bunch of them and then pat myself on the back. Hooray for bookish friendships and the amazing book recommendations that result from them!
Last February (16 months ago), I wrote a post about all the books I have been meaning to read. In some cases, the books were newer releases I'd heard good things about. In others, I've owned to the books for over a decade and I like to imagine the characters inside of them as actors who've given up on the performance that will never come and instead spend their days tanning by the pool (or probably by the pond since most of these books are oldies) and their nights playing snooker and getting wasted on cocktails. I am 100% sure this daydream of mine is a result of my obsession with Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, in which all of our books are constructed in the BookWorld from the sets down to the casting of actors. Because I love that series, I had no trouble at all catching up with the one book I was behind on and then the next one, which was published after my initial list post. Likewise, I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Eve and Roarke in J.D. Robb's In Death series. I am now adamant about listening to every installment, after plowing through six audiobooks to catch up in the last year and a half. The only problem with that series is that NORA ROBERTS IS TOO DAMN PROLIFIC AND EVERY TIME I CATCH UP THERE IS A NEW RELEASE! YOU'RE KILLING ME, SMALLS! (FYI Thankless in Death comes out September 3rd.)
All told, I have finished 26 books from my list thus far. Here they are:
Not too shabby but still a bit embarrassing. Several other bloggers were inspired by my list and made lists of their own but I'm not going to link to them because they all seem/ed to be far more successful than I was thus far and this is the part of the internet where I can pretend I kick ass even when I am just meh at something...like completing this list of books to read. Lately (read: since about two months into this challenge until now), I've been thinking about revisiting this list and amending it. I think it would be better for fickle ol' me to have a list, yes, but a list that has some fluidity to it. Therefore, I am going to nix these 26 off the list as well as about 20-30 more that I have an inkling I will never want to get to in the time period and those I don't want to read anymore at all. Also, I think it was optimistic (read: delusional) of me to include long series to finish. Sometimes series go horribly wrong midway (Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse, & the Undead series, anyone?) and I need at least the first book in a series to see whether it will be a good fit so I have deleted the remaining books in series that are new to me and only left on the first books.
In terms of new categories of books I want to add onto my list, I have done some serious thinking about this. I have been having a really hard time keeping up with blogging lately but I do love doing it and I especially love doing some of our feature posts. For that reason, I want to include a few books that I really want to compare to their movie counterparts, so here goes:
1. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
3. An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
4. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
6. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
7. Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I chose most of these because they are movies I have seen so many times that I know them nearly by heart. Several of them I have read before but want to read anew to compare them to their respective movie/s. This is particularly true for Little Women because I signed up for Classics Retold, a feature coming up in September hosted by Alyssa at Books Take You Places, Alison at The Cheap Reader, and a few other bloggers in which tons of different bloggers tackle all the versions (book, movie, tv show, etc.) of a classic and compare the retellings. I've chosen Little Women for that event and I'm excited to get started on all of it. What are your favorite books that have been made into movies? I have so, so many that I don't even know where to begin.
My next new category is books I've bought or my friends have bought for me that I have not gotten around to, but instead of the ones I included last time (that had been sitting on my shelves for ages), I am picking only the books I acquired in the last few months:
9. Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre
10. Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield
11. Pivot Point by Kasie West
12. Golden by Jessi Kirby
13. A Brief History of Montmoray by Michelle Cooper
14. The Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey
15. Wildlife by Fiona Wood
16. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
17. Girl, Defective by Simmone Howell
18. All This Could End by Steph Bowe
19. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
20. The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint
21. The ZigZag Effect by Lili Wilkinson
And a few arcs (of the many) that I really want to read:
22. Vortex by S.J. Kincaid
23. Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier
24. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
25. 15 Days Without A Head by Dave Cousins
26. The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway
27. The 100 by Kass Morgan
28. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
29. Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce
A lot of my recent reading time has been taken up by graphic novels, and I am hoping to keep that up for years to come. Though I have quickly plowed through a lot of the "must reads" in that area, there are a bunch that I want to get to so I can be more well-read in that format. I don't think I can consider myself any sort of superior recommender of graphic novels until I've completed these ones I haven't crossed off yet:
30. The Watchmen by Alan Moore
31. Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughan (read the first, at least 1 more)
32. The Transmetropolitan series by Warren Ellis (at least 1)
33. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
34. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
35. The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman (at least 1)
While perusing my shelves, I found a lot of books I bought with the intention of reading them because I loved something else I read by that author. With that in mind, here are a few additions to the list that are around because I love the author (for one reason or another):
36. A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson
37. The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde
38. Hold Still by Nina LaCour
39. Stories of My Life and Others by Ted Chiang
40. The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap
That's 40 new additions, so here are the former list items I am keeping, in hopes that I will get to them. All told, I am back up to a few more than 110 so I can keep my arbitrarily made up challenge title of '110+ Books I Have Every Intention of Reading Next':
So, what do you think? Did you start your original list after me and then LEAVE ME IN YOUR DUST? (*cough*BONNIE*cough*) Are you still working on a list of your own? If so, leave me a link in the comments and I'll swing by and harass you about it every once in a while. Feel free to do the same for me. Or maybe start a list of your own and link me to that! I LOVE lists, especially goal lists of books to read.
I know there are a several book blogging memes about acquiring books. In My Mailbox, Showcase Sunday, and Stacking the Shelves are a few that readily come to mind. Here at The Readventurer, we are way, way too lazy to commit to a weekly post on anything. I do, however, want to post a few times a year about a few acquisitions I make to my ever expanding bookshelves so I am going to call the series…wait for it…My Ever Expanding Bookshelf. I know, original, right? Maybe I can harass the other two into doing the same, though my powers of persuasion seem to be minimal these days. Also, I am going to leave a lot of books I purchased for myself and many I received as advanced reader copies out of this post. Why? Because it’s my post and I can do whatever I want!
I am kind of addicted to entering giveaways. I usually go through phases where I will completely binge on giveaways and spend about a half hour per day entering things. Don’t worry too much about my sanity, it is usually while I am catching up on the DVR. I try to enter all the giveaways my friends are hosting, not only because I can be snarky (some might even say annoying) in the giveaway forms, (My name, you ask? ‘IT’S ME, YOUR FRIEND FLANN! PICK ME RAFFLECOPTER, PICK ME!’) but also because I like to support them in everything they do. And boy am I lucky. From blogger giveaways, I recently won All This Could End by Steph Bowe, signed copies of Slammed and Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover, The Kassa Gambit by M.C. Planck, arcs of TransAtlantic by Colum McCann and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag, a signed copy of The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers. From publisher giveaways I won School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins, Crewel by Gennifer Albin, and an arc of Our Song by Jordana Friebourg.
My coup de grace was when I happened to be on Twitter and saw people tweeting about Epic Reads’ Wednesday Tea Time, which I’d never heard of. I clicked over to watch it and they were having an “arc party” and one lucky winner would win every arc they were talking about. I think you see where this is going. Here are the ones I received in my box of awesome:
I know, right? I am one lucky lady. I mailed three of the arcs off to blogger buddies of mine after I took the picture because I am not caught up on some series and they were very excited to read and review them. It would be jerky of me not to help my friends out! Because I sent a Twitter friend of mine the Kasie West arc, she kindly mailed me her arc of Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier, which I have been looking forward to since I read Shadowfall last…fall.
Here are ways I find giveaways, in case you are wondering:
1) On Twitter, I search “signed copy,” “win a copy,” “book giveaway,” “blog tour,” “blog hop” etc.
2) I read through all the post headings in my Google Reader/Bloglovin’ and find ones that might have a giveaway. (Listen, I also read regular posts, I'm not a jerk, but I'm specifically talking about how I find giveaways to enter. I don't unfollow people after giveaways are over, either, unless they clog up my Twitter feeds.)
3) I go through the giveaways lists on I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and often make my way through the giveaway hop lists. (this is huge time suck, though)
4) I sometimes google the Twitter search terms I mentioned and add a filter for the past few days
5) I ‘liked’ most of the publishers I read on Facebook and Twitter, as often they will run promotions through their websites and Facebooks and mention them on those platforms.
6) I subscribed to Shelf Awareness (for Readers and Pro), Publishers Weekly, and Tor.com e-newsletters, which sometimes have giveaways in them.
7) I attend many, many book events and often, if there is a publishing rep there (and sometimes even where there isn’t!), there is a giveaway or a few, especially if it is a multi-author tour.
8) I regularly check publisher websites, which often run giveaways.
9) I can’t think of any more line items at this moment.
10) Which is a shame because everyone knows you need 10 line items to make a list.
The biggest time investment in obtaining books is making friends and maintaining friendships. Barf. Who needs friends, amiright? All those months (years!) of feigning interest netted me two books this week: Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre (from Maja!) and Wildlife by Fiona Wood (from Nomes, with candy!). Huzzah! And though I know most of you know I am kidding, just let it be known that I am joking about feigning interest. It is probably a little sick how interested I am in the lives of my friends. The only other books I want to mention are Blackout by Mira Grant, which I found in perfect condition at Half Price Books for $4 the other day, The Witness by Nora Roberts, which I undercover bought at Costco when my mom asked me to go there to pick up some stuff for her (Muahahaha!), and a remaindered copy of Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt that I found at Third Place Books when I went to see R.L. LaFevers. That one made me insanely happy as I read an e-arc and did not have a hardcover copy.
So what about you? Do you enter giveaways? Have any tips or tricks for me? Have you acquired any great books lately?
Our readers know how much we loves books, movies, and especially books that are made into movies. (see our Book vs. Movie feature) We also love Tina Fey, so when we were asked to promote Focus Features' March 22nd release, Admission, we were on board. First off, Tina Fey is hilarious. I read her memoir Bossypants a few months back (review) and I will basically see anything she has a part in, whether she writes, produces, or acts in it. I was totally surprised to find out that the movie was based on a book, Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz. At the end of this post, you can enter for a chance to win not only the book the movie was based on, but also a copy of Bossypants and a bunch of movie-related materials. (US only)
ABOUT THE FILM:
Tina Fey (Date Night, 30 Rock) and Paul Rudd (I Love You Man, Knocked Up) star in Admission, the new film directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Weitz (About a Boy), about the surprising detours we encounter on the road to happiness. Straight-laced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Fey) is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by her former college classmate, the free-wheeling John Pressman (Rudd). Pressman has surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted -- but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.
The comedy also features some of my perennial favorites, including Michael Sheen, Wallace Shawn, and Lily Tomlin. I have to admit, I feel like this movie will result in a flashback to senior year of high school when I was applying to colleges. Even though I had an absolutely wonderful college experience, I still have all my acceptance letters from other schools and I wonder what life might have been like had a made a different choice. I can only imagine how hard it must be to make admissions decisions at schools like Princeton, where Fey's character works in this movie. In the trailer, we are treated (or probably more properly described as appalled by) the lengths that some parents will go to to sway the admissions office into admitting their "talented" children. I predict there were will be a lot of cringeworthy scenes in that respect but I'm hoping for a solid comedic gem that I can see at the theatre and that watch over and over and over when it comes on television, like Fey's Mean Girls and Baby Mama and about ten movies Paul Rudd has been in, from Clueless to Wet Hot American Summer to Role Models.
So what do you all reckon? Where do you think this movie will end up on the Tina Fey and/or Paul Rudd Pyramid of Awesome Movies? Do you still wonder what your life could've been like if you went to a different college? Are you currently going through the admissions process and dreading the decision?
Find out more about the movie and join the discussion:
Visit the official website
Like Admission on Facebook
Watch the trailer on YouTube
Tweet using #Admission
Every year, the Audio Publishers Association nominates outstanding audiobooks for The Audies. Last year, Jennifer from The Literate Housewife and Bob from The Guilded Earlobe started the Armchair Audies. (They are joined in this year's hosting by Tanya from Dog Eared Copy) Participating blogs listen to the nominees in one or more of the Audies categories, review them, and predict who they think will take the award in May. Last year, we listened to the Mystery category and predicted a winner. Well, we each predicted a winner and all three of us were wrong. This year, REDEMPTION YEAR, we have a different category and a new chance to make a prediction. For the 2013 Armchair Audies, we are listening to the Solo Narration by a Female category. Catie is excited because two of her favorite narrators, Katherine Kellgren and Cassandra Campbell, make appearances in three of the nominated productions. Here are the nominees for our category:
One of the issues we had last year was that several of the mystery nominees were later installments in series. This year, when looking at the categories, I tried to pick a category where that would be less of an issue because it can be hard to jump into a series later on. The only series book in this year's batch of nominees is The Unseen Guest, which is the third installment in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. We are not so concerned about that specific one as it is middle grade and it should be an easy jump in and catch-up. Solo Narration is an interesting category because the nominees are all over the board; the only common thread is that the narration is "awesome," according to the APA. Of course, a narration is nothing unless the story is engaging.
So far, we've been able to collect most of the nominees from our libraries. The only one we will probably have to buy is the Audible version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as it is not readily available to us. We're excited to get started so look forward to a report back on our prediction and hopefully for reviews of each of them! Also, two of our blogging buddies are participating in the 2013 Armchair Audies: Heidi at Bunbury in the Stacks is listening to the children's 8-12 category, and Lucy at The Reading Date is listening to the Teens category. There are still a bunch of categories that have no one to listen to them yet, so go to the main site if you'd like to participate. (I'm (Flann) thinking of listening to Humor as they are on the short side and I've already listened to one of the nominees--Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened)
It's not often that we receive a request from a publisher that makes me downright giddy, but yesterday when Flannery forwarded me this message:
"Frances Hardinge has been called one of the best kept secrets in childrens/YA literature but as a huge fan of hers (and also working on her books) I don’t want her to be a secret, I want to help as many people as I can discover her."
I kind of got more than a bit excited. My response to this message went something like this:
A) You had me at Frances Hardinge.
B) WHERE DO I SIGN UP??
Only...you know...I did try to at least appear slightly more professional than that. I've made no secret during my time here at The Readventurer that I am a huge Frances Hardinge fan. Remember when I:
So today I will quite happily participate in spreading the word about the excellent works of Frances Hardinge. Since you've already heard a lot about me and my opinions, I thought I'd share some thoughts from my favorite reviewers about this fantastic author:
"I hardly know where to start when it comes to Hardinge's spectacular novel. For one, let me assure you that it blew me away and, despite being a Middle Grade Fantasy novel, I found that it was every bit as thought-provoking and intelligent as YA and Adult reads, if not better because of its subtleties, cleverness, and surprising plot twists."
--Keertana at Ivy Book Bindings, writing about A Face Like Glass
"I am overcome with Imperious Feelings demanding that I find the Right Words to write this review. Fly By Night is Absurdly Brilliant. This is not an overstatement."
--Ana at The Book Smugglers, writing about Fly By Night.
"The Lost Conspiracy isn’t just a darn good story, it’s a story that can open your mind and change the way you approach life. It will ask you to question the meaning of stories, acknowledge the importance of understanding one another, understanding yourself, and knowing what you need from life. It is a story of stories in which we get to wonder how much of what is made up just might be true, and how much is really just conspiracy. The Lost Conspiracy exists so that when you pass the point where the stories end, you will know you can go on."
--Heidi at Bunbury in the Stacks, writing about The Lost Conspiracy
"A writer who asks a lot from the reader is a writer who believes the reader can deliver. That’s a writer with a lot of respect for her audience. It’s a risk for an author to demand so much, and I want Hardinge to be rewarded for it. That’s because it’s a risk for a reader, too. A reader has to have faith in an author to invest so much in a story, and I think Hardinge pays back on that investment, a hundred times over.
Reading The Lost Conspiracy is like climbing the mountain and turning around to see the world laid out at your feet. Only, in this case, the mountain is a volcano."
--Megan Whalen Turner, writing about The Lost Conspiracy
Today marks the release date for the paperback edition of A Face Like Glass, and the publisher has very kindly offered up a copy for us to give away. Open internationally!
P.S. - I also happened to notice that the U.S. hardcover editions of The Lost Conspiracy and Well Witched are only $6.80 today over at Amazon!
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