Update on Book Buying Ban

It has been 20 days since I put myself on a self-imposed book buying ban and dug out a stack of ten books to read.

I have to admit that, now that I have the stack staring me in the face, I’m really not inclined to actually read the books I picked out.  I suppose it is the whole ‘being forced’ feel to it and I should just shelf them all and pull them out one at a time in random order so they don’t look so … intimidating.

However, I have managed to read two of my ebooks and one from my stack of ten, so that’s three books down and a billion more to go (or so it feels like anyway).

I was tempted to buy new books.  I went shopping with my mom and found a couple of books that I’d been thinking about reading and they were on sale for $3!!!  It was /so/ hard not to walk out of the store with them in my arms *sighs*.  But all is not lost!  I have a new book in the house; Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson.  I did not buy it!  I actually won it in a Twitter contest from Chapters/Indigo.  So, I suppose I’ll make do with that, though I think it may get offended at how often I open the cover to smell that new book scent.

How’re your summer reading plans going?

Self-imposed Book Buying Ban

I’ve been watching videos on YouTube lately (and making my own as well) and one fellow that I watch put himself on a book buying ban.  I thought about it for a little while and then decided it was actually a good idea.

So, I have put myself on a book buying ban for the summer.  I have over 50 books on my e-reader and a ton more on bookshelves and tables all over my house so it isn’t like I am lacking in reading material around here.  I decided to set up a stack of ten books to try and read over the summer.  Normally I just grab something and read whatever I’m in the mood for so this is going to be an interesting experiment for me.

My stack of ten:

The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annier Barrows
Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Objects of Worship by Claude LaLumiere
People Live Still in Cashtown Corners by Tony Burgess
A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

I’ll come back and update this post as I finish them.  Here’s hoping that I’ll get them done this summer so I can go back to buying new books 😀

Things I Got Today

I was going to make this one of those In My Mailbox posts, but realized that I’m not sure what day that is supposed to happen on, so instead just some things that I got today.

First, hand delivered by the UPS man, I give you the most exciting thing I’ve received in the mail this month:

StickStick by Andrew Smith: Now, I knew this was coming in my mailbox. Andrew Smith is, in my opinion, an amazing person and a talented author. He was kind enough to send my eldest a signed copy of The Marbury Lens and, after hearing that said kid loved it, offered to put us on the short list for an ARC of Stick. I’ve already started reading it and I’m already in love with the way it is written and laid out on the page.

Despite my latest post decrying the library, I ended up with another set of library books in my house.  In my defense, however, it wasn’t the usual six or seven.  I only brought home two this time.

Red SnowRed Snow by Michael Slade: Another installment of the Special X stories. I started reading Slade waaaaay back in the beginning with Headhunter and then I fell off the wagon. I saw this on the library rack and went ‘ooooooh, haven’t read a Slade in a while’ and snatched it up. Hopefully I’ll be able to fall back into the world of the psycho hunters of the RCMP. Crossing my fingers that not too much has changed.

Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the VampireBaltimore (or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire) by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden: I thought this was a graphic novel when I first spotted it on Goodreads, so I put it on reserve at the library thinking it would be a quick read. Turns out it is actually a novel with some illustrations. Still, looks like a worthwhile read about vampires during WW1. I generally like Golden’s work, so this should be quite the tale.

That sums up the things I got today.  Although we had an absolutely gorgeous day here so I got a sunburn too.

Ixnay on the Ibarylay

So, out of the last library haul I posted I am only going to finish one book.  I took the others back because, to be honest, I just wasn’t in the mood to read them.  I find that I get into these reading slumps after I’ve powered through a bunch of books.  Once I finish the last library book I have here, Soulless by Christopher Golden, I’ll probably put the library on hold and concentrate on working my way through the books I have here at home.

I do have another review coming, but I’m still working out how I want to say the things I want to say about the book.  Perhaps I’ll try vloging it instead of writing about it.

In other news, Andrew Smith had a cover reveal for his new novel, Stick.  You can check it out on the blogs listed in his post here.  I think it looks pretty cool and I can’t wait to read it.  I did pick up In the Path of Falling Objects for the kid to read, but if he doesn’t start it soon I may end up getting into it before he does.

My Library Haul (3)

If you click on the covers you’ll be taken to the goodreads page for each book.

I didn’t take my own picture this time around simply because I’m feeling horribly lazy today.

The Book of Joby  This library haul starts with The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari.  I put this one on hold because I read the summary on the library newsletter I get each week and it sounded like it would be an entertaining, funny read.  I also seem to enjoy the whole “God and the Devil have made a bet based on the soul of a single human being” type stories.

SoullessI’m working my way, albeit slowly, through the various works of Christoper Golden.  Soulless will be the third book I’ve read by him and caught my eye via the summary on Goodreads.  I’ll note here, for the record that I won’t be reading any of Golden’s work that is based on television or films.  His graphic novels I’m currently on the fence about and will decide on those at a later date.

I, Lucifer: Finally, the Other Side of the StoryAnother author first for me, I decided to read I, Lucifer after seeing it on that evil library newsletter. Again I was drawn in by the summary; really who doesn’t want to read the story of Satan as told by himself while he’s stuck in a human body for the summer? Okay maybe not everyone, but it sounded like something I could wrap my brain around for a while.

Dreaming WaterGail Tusukiyama is another author that I throughly enjoy reading. I’m also trying to work my way through her body of work as well, so Dreaming Water was next on the list and I finally managed to get my hands on the library’s copy. So far I haven’t been horribly disappointed by her stories and I hope that trend continues with this book.

So there you have it, my latest haul from the library.

Thoughts: Rot & Ruin

Title: Rot & Ruin
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Pages: 458
Source: Borrowed from library

In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother’s footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

In Benny’s world, fifteen is the age at which people are expected to get a job and pull their weight otherwise their rations get cut. Benny and his friend Chong try out a variety of jobs; each one having disadvantages that make the boys decide not to keep it as a vocation. Eventually Chong takes on a job as a tower watcher and Benny, grudgingly, decides to apprentice under his older brother as a zombie bounty hunter.

Rot & Ruin was a book I picked up expecting to read the usual YA fare — some sort of love triangle, some fluff about how horrible the zombies are blah blah blah. I was awesomely pleased when I finished the book because none of that was true. Jonathan Maberry has crafted a world in which the zombies are more part of the scenery instead of the catalyst to the story; a trend that I’m really starting to enjoy in my zombie fiction. Yes, Benny and Tom are zombie bounty hunters, but the story revolves around the humanity of the people who survived First Night rather than playing out scene after scene of zombies trying to break into the town to eat the survivors.

Benny doesn’t like his brother. He thinks Tom is a coward and can’t understand why people in town seem to treat him as some sort of hero. Eventually, after training with Tom, Benny starts to learn more about the people, and the world, he’s grown up with; and not all is as it seems. Maberry has done a spectacular job telling a coming of age story where the main characters learn some hard truths about the world in which they live; mostly that the zombies may not be the most evil thing in the world.

The writing is tight and flows amazingly well. There is lots of action, a little bit of non-gushy romance (and /not/ a love triangle, thank god!), and tragedy; everything a good story should have. This is a book I’ll pass on to my kid to read and one I’d recommend to zombie/post-apocalyptic fans.

My Library Haul (2)

I love my local library, even though sometimes they never have what I want.  I adore being able to log into the system, find the books I’m after, putting them on hold and then just wandering over to pick them up when they arrive.  Sometimes I go in just to pick up my holds but then I end up roaming around and walk out with more than what I went in for.  Such was the case today.  I was only going to go pick up the last three books in The Walking Dead series, but I ended up with three other books on top of those.

Yep, the library is just as bad for feeding my addiction.  Fortunately it is a /lot/ cheaper than the bookstores. 
Crawlers by John Shirley – Almost finished this one, actually.  Pretty good little mix of creepy and science fiction.
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves, The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade, Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, Matched by Ally Condie and, of course, books 3-5 of The Walking Dead graphic novel series.

I just finished reading Overwinter by David Wellington and will post a review soonish.  Right now I’ve got errands to run and books to read so, since it is a miserable day outside I’ll be curling up with my books and my tea after I get back from picking people up and dropping people off.

Oh!  The kid finished The Marbury Lens.  He loved it.  Said it was the best book he’s read in a long time.  He sent Andrew Smith an email telling him so.  Now I wait until Gramma is done reading it and then it’ll be my turn.

Duo of thoughts: Godmother & Wildwood Road

A bit ago I posted about my latest library haul where I ended up adding a few books to my already gigantic to be read pile.

Out of the pile I’ve finished two and discovered that one of them I’d already read before.  I’ve never actually done that before; taken a book out of the library that I’d already read, but I blame myself for not writing down the actual titles of the books I was after.  I knew I still had a couple of Gail Tsukiyama’s books to read, but it was Dreaming Water I am after, not Night of Many Dreams which I read back in January of 2009 (thank you Goodreads).

Wildwood Road by Christopher Golden

I read my first Christopher Golden book a few years ago and have been on a slow hunt to read more of his work. This one was a typical supernatural thriller/ghost story and, in my opinion, was a little draggy in parts.

The Dansky’s are the perfect couple. They have great jobs, great friends and love each other deeply. However, after the Halloween party all that is about to change. While Jillian is passed out in the backseat, Micheal narrowly misses hitting a little girl. Of course, like any good citizen, he offers her a ride home only to discover that her house is just a bit creepy, just a bit off, just a bit wrong. He has some sort of supernatural encounter but doesn’t remember any of it when he and Jillian are awoken the next morning by police tapping on the window of their pulled over car. Now Micheal is seeing the little girl everywhere and Jillian is turning into a not-so nice person leaving Micheal with the burden of trying to figure out what exactly is going on.

Did I like the book? Yes. It was, like I said, a slow read. It wasn’t a book that screamed at me to pick it up and finish it now. This was, actually, my most recent “bathroom” read. The overall main plotline was good. The flashbacks of Jillian and Micheal’s history together, while I suppose they were important to build their relationship strength, were distracting. I wanted more ghost/supernatural and less mushy ‘we’re so perfectly in love in our perfect world’.

The entire ghost mystery part was /awsome/. I loved the story behind the how/why. I wish there had been more of that in the book. Overall not a horrible read, but not one I’d likely sit down and read again.

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon

I had been waiting a long time to read this book. My local library was doing huge renovations when I first tried to put it on hold. Once the renos were done, I actually had to ask one of the librarians if this book was even still around since they’d had a giant book sale a few months back. Fortunately, it turned out that it was just buried in the stacks and she was more than happy to retrieve it for me.

It was mostly worth the wait. Turgeon’s writing is lovely. I had no problems losing myself in the story of this ill fated fairy godmother, though I was a little confused as to some of the things happening to her in the current time. The flashbacks to her fairy life were sprinkled throughout the book and fit in well with the overall plot line, slowly revealing exactly what happened on that fateful night that Cinderella went to the ball.

The book was a fast read for me; I finished it in a day so it is safe to say that it did suck me in and had me wanting to know more. The ending is one that I kind of saw coming, but wasn’t too sure if I was right or not until the very, very end. It is an ending that sneaks up on the reader and, in the case of my mother, some may need to re-read it to see if they’ve followed it correctly.

Overall a book I’d recommend to friends and family alike.

to the author from socal

Sometime back in February there was a twitter post on my feed that lead to YouTube and this video in particular where author Andrew Smith discusses books for boys, about boys, by boys.  I watched the entire thing and even watched a few of the response videos and then I sat down and wrote an email to Mr. Smith.  All I wanted to do was thank him for expressing and honest opinion about the apparent lack of strong books for teenage boys and for the book suggestions he made in the video.  I have two teenage boys.  My eldest will be fifteen in a few months and is impossible to buy books for.

I got a really nice response from Andrew and he even reached out to my son and myself with a bit of a challenge.  Two titles were offered up and, after choosing one, Andrew said he would mail a copy out to Sean as long as the kid agreed to read and offer feedback when he was finished.  I was /very/ surprised by the offer, but put it to Sean and he ended up choosing The Marbury Lens.  Andrew also blogged about the whole thing on his blog, Ghost Medicine, right here.

So, Andrew, I just wanted to let you know that the book arrived today!  It sat on the kitchen table and stared at me all day.  When Sean got home I shoved the package at him and demanded that he open it.  Right. Now.  It really is a fantastic cover and I love the way you signed it for him.  Sean’s comment when is slid out of the envelope was ‘wow it is kind of big’ and he wants to know what Mind the Gap means.  I told him it probably will be more clear after he reads the book.

I told him he’d best hurry up and read it too, because Grandma has already picked it up and started reading it.  She made it to chapter three before Sean caught her and informed her that she needed to wait her turn.

So, two of us are waiting for Sean to finish so we can fight over the scraps, and you’ll all get to read for yourselves what the kid thinks about the book when he finishes reading it.

My Recent Library Haul

My mom wanted to go to the library to look for some beginner Spanish tapes so we hopped into the van and off we went to the main branch since the one by the house doesn’t have a lot in the way of audio media.

Of course, this proved to be a rather large mistake since I had a big list of books to check for while I was there. Mom managed to find a decent Spanish CD and I came home with seven books to add to the stack I already have. I really, really, really should be avoiding the library. It just feeds my book addiction without the pain to my pocketbook.

I’ve already finished Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon. I read it while I was curled up in bed feeling all achey and stuffy. I’m currently working my way through Wildwood Road by Christopher Golden (I love his adult stuff!). Then I have the next two Allie Beckstrom books, Magic on the Storm and Magic at the Gate, by Devon Monk, Overwinter by David Wellington, Night of Many Dreams by Gail Tsukiyama and The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens to read.

Also this week all the kids will be in school since the two that were home sick are feeling much better, so mom and I will be heading back to the library to play with the Ipads they just got in. I will have to exercise all my willpower to make sure that stack in the picture doesn’t end up having a few more books dropped onto it.

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