Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Magicians Magician

Hola Readers!  Ready for some rambling?  Awesome!  Let's see, I'm starting to amass a stack of books to ramble about...Um...Let's go with The Magicians of Caprona by my lovely and much missed Diana Wynne Jones.  This is one of the entery's into the Chronicles of Chrestomanci and this time we get away from England and his castle.  This book was a great expansion into the world of Chrestomanci and gives a bigger glimpse into this wonderful and varied universe.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
This is a tale of two households, both alike in dignity...wait...wrong book...still...  Anyways in the Italianish city of Caprona, magic is part of everyday reality.  It is used to keep pests away, bridges intact and any number of other conveniences.  Most of the magic and spells are created by two families, the Montana's and the Petrocchi's.  At some forgotten point in history these two houses had a falling out and now they have a deep seated dislike of each other.  In Casa Montana we meet Paolo and Tonio two children who are trying to learn the family magic.  Paolo does a respectable job, but Tonio has problems remembering even the simplest of spells.  Tonio however is one of the very few in the house who can converse with the cat Benvenuto.  While we meet the family, we also learn that a mysterious enchanter is running around Caprona causing problems and both Casa Montana and Casa Petrocchi have been admonished by the child like Duke to figure out just what in the heck is going on.  Eventually the idea that they need to find the original protection spell/song of the Angel who came so long ago and is now revered as an almost religious icon of Caprona.  All of this chaos is just added two when Tonio and Angelica (a young Petrocchi girl) are kidnapped and the blame put on the opposing family's, a huge fight breaks and the fighting threatens to end the city until Chrestomanci the great enchanter shows up and reveals that there is in fact a malevolent enchanter running around.  Back with Tonio and Angelica we find them trapped in a box and turned into Punch and Judy puppets for the amusement of the Duke and his friends.  Turns out his wife, the Duchess is the evil magician, hell bent on destroying Caprona. Tonio and Angelica find a way to combine both of their unique magics to all sorts of interesting results.  They are still in miniature form when they are rescued by the Duke, who is not as child like as he seems.  The Duchess has been keeping him in a sort of cloud.  The Duke uses everybody's assumption of his dimwittedness to sneak the kids out of the castle.   All kinds of confusion and fighting and angst occur and we find many of the Montana and Petrocchi kids teaming up to save Caprona.  Eventually six of them end up on top of the huge angel statue, able to read the words of the long forgotten song and save Caprona.  The story ends with a wedding between a Montana girl and a Petrocchi boy who start a new era of family ties and much magic between the two houses.
World Building - I always love reading Diana Wynne Jones in particular for her world building skills.  This book is no exception.  Caprona is a fully realized placed with it's own asthetic, layout, customs, politics and people. After reading this book I feel like I could actually go to Caprona (even though it doesn't exist) and live their comfortably.  She does a great job of blending places you may already be familiar with (Italy, Venice, Europe) and adding her own fantastical twist to make a world that is complete and amazing.

Story - In this book the story intertwines with the world building in a sublime way.  We definitely get a story with a beginning middle and end, but we also get a sense of history and a glimpse of the future of the families and city with which the story is told.  The story moves along at a great pace, with plenty of unexpected moments, humor, morals and magic.  The story is so clear and so entertaining...everything a great story should be.

Character - Again this author shows her chops when it comes to characters.  I feel her books are known for having a huge cast of characters, and yet I am never confused about who is who.  Every character has their own sort of story and their own contributions to furthering the book.  In this book in particular I liked the pairing of the Montana family with their counterparts in the Petrocchi family and how they were similar in some ways and complimentary in others...once they put aside their differences anyways.  I love how she makes you give a damn about the characters and you can actually cheer them on, or root for their downfall, or sympathize or whatever it is you are supposed to do.

Editing - This book fits in nicely with the series as a whole, with no errors or continuity issues.  The book was eminently readable to the point I did not realize how many pages I had read without realizing it.  A complicated book like this can be tricky to edit as you have to make sure that everything is explained while not boring the reader with to much exposition.  This book has the perfect balance of complexity and readability that I have to give the editor props for.

Chrestomanci - I always look forward to our great enchanters entrance into any of his stories.  This time his role is less prominent then in earlier books, but no less important.  I like how the author used him this time as more of a catalyst or helper then as a savior.  His compassion, limitations and ability to get people to help themselves while not over simplifying the situation is great to read.  His character is always one of my favorites, quietly powerful while still able to assess and adjust to a situation and retain his sense of humor.

New Places - I very much enjoyed taking a trip away from Chrestomanci's estate.  The first two books I read in the series took place on his home turf and were awesome, but getting a look at another place in the same world just adds even more flavor.  I liked seeing how this paticular world related to each other in the sense of how Caprona associated with England, how Caprona had issues with their fellow city states, how some things were similar to Chrestomanci's area vs their own regional flavor.  It was like a little travelouge into World 12 (Chrestomanci's world) and added even more dimension to this awesome universe.

Caprona Magic - Much of the magic done in Caprona is manifested in some sort of physical form.  We have songs, which I feel is the perfect medium for magic.  We see it written into special ribbons and papers (YEAH FOR THE POWER OF THE WRITTEN WORD).  The description of a long cherry colored strip stamped with a black leopard or a leaf green envelope bearing a silver winged horse evoke awesome images of corporal magic.  One of my favorite things about magic is how different authors have their characters use it in a myriad of ways and this book is no exception.

Overall Impression - Obviously I really enjoyed this book.  I feel like I haven't been able to successfully impart the complexity, yet readability of this book...I have that problem every time I try and ramble about this authors books.  These are the kind of books I like best, ones that get you completely immersed into the world, the story and the character, a book that sticks with you after you put it down, but does not require you to puzzle anything out.  Reading this book was a wonderful literary experience and I can't wait to read the next one.  I give it 9 out of 10 Punch and Judy dolls and recommend it to pretty much everybody!  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Literal Decorative Books

So apparently you can buy/rent "decorative books" to make your house look like it is a super ritzy library type house.  The books are not really meant for reading, but to add a bit of "how awesome am I to have such a great looking library" to your home.  Now to be fair, this is usually used for set dressings where the look is important, but according to the site they do lots of private homes as well.
 I guess if I had a choice all my books would be pretty...I just want books I want to read, not just look at.  That being said, if you are looking for a way to swank up your library go to and you too can have a library if nothing else "looks" like it belongs to a collector of antiquities.  I will admit that the various collection this site has is stunning and if we could just figure out a way to take my existing books and make them look just as good.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Angry Reading

It has not been a fun couple of day...In fact it has been a down right crappy week.  One of the ways I get my self through weeks like this is to brutally throw myself into books.  I usually like to choose sci-fi or fantasy or something that is completely different from my current life as a way to escape.  Unfortunately my crazy brains sometimes finds it hard to focus on the words on the page when I have so much stuff rumbling through it.  This is when I switch to what I call angry reading mode.  This is where I actually exert a fair amount of effort to shove all the stupid to the side and do my best to let the book take me away.  I usually will pick up one of my go to favorites so that I don't have to add ire over a badly written book to my list of grievances.  Lucky for me, even though it takes a bit of effort, this trick usually will help me escape and can even calm me down for the most part.  So here is to a better week next week.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

An Elf A Halfbreed and A Dragon Walk Into A Book

One of my favorite things about used book stores is the availability of older books to find that may not be available so readily on the shelves of our favorite big box store.  One of these books I found was The Elvenbane by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey.  I remember stealing this book from a friend in highschool and am very happy to have rediscovered it as a bit of a more mature reader. Shall we see what these two favored authors of mine came up with?  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
I'm gonna give you fair warning.  This first book in the Halfblood Chronicles...well the whole series in all honesty is a pretty complex if this synopsis is a bit confusing that is probably why.  Also vodka.  Ok let's jump into this shall we.  We start with a human woman by the name of Serina Daeth remembering the events that led to her wandering and pregnant through the desert.  We learn that this world was initially populated by humans who have what the call mind magic, but were dominated and conquered by alien elves who came from another world through some sort of portal.  The Elves are now the dominate force and have enslaved the humans for hundreds of years through the use of breeding, conditioning and their own potent magic.  Serina was a human concubine in one of the high lord's Dyran's household.  She made herself invaluable to the lord and ascended to his favorite.  A jealous fellow concubine switched out the food that contained Serina's birth control, causing her to become pregnant with Dyran's child.  In this world carrying a halfbreed is tantamount to death as the elves are deathly afraid of the combined magic powers that a human/elf combo wields.  With the birth imminent Serina flees and is found by one of the Kin, a dragon who's magic is the ability to shape shift into just about anything.  The Kin, who also come from another world, hide themselves from both humans and elves for fear of conflict.  Serina gives birth to a baby girl and dies.  The dragon Alara, who is also the clans Shaman decides to adopt the baby and raise it.  The baby is named Shana and is raised by Alara and her son Keman.  Alara's daughter Myre is not so enthused about her foster sister.  Alara teaches both Shana and Keman how tho use their own special talents.  After an incident where Shana displays her unique magical talents in defense of her foster brother, the clan freak and force Alara to send her away. Keman takes off after her to try and find and help her. Shana ends up back in the city of her birth confused and afraid. She is put up for action and "bought" by a supposed representitive of Lord Dyran, who actually turns out to be another halfbreed who has come to rescue Shana.  Shana is shocked to discover other halfbreeds like herself in a place called the Citidale, and ancient stronghold left  over from the old wizard (what the elves call halfbreeds) war.  Here Shana continues to develop her powerful magic and discovers some shocking secrets in the historical records kept in the Citidale.    Meanwhile back in the elven city, Lord Dyran's son and heir Valyn conspires to get his halfbreed cousin and friend Mero to safety.  They end up at the Citidale where they join with Shana and Keman, who has finally caught up with his foster sister.  They are persued by an elven army who have discovered that the wizards are still alive and kicking.  Much action and chaos and angst ensue (seriously so many subplots!) and the merry band are eventually aided by a group of Kin who have decided that they can no longer hide.  The Kin and wizards decided that they can no stay hidden forever.  They all gather around Shana as the prophesied Elvenbane and decide to try and take down the reigning elves...but that is a story for the next book.
Worldbuilding - This book is very detailed...sometimes to the point of over explanation.  That being said this book is full of a fully realized world filled with various races, cultures, politics and details. It is a world that is mostly based on a class like fantasy world with just a touch of sci fi thrown in for good measure.   I feel like the world was built in a completely realized manner with all of the various races and their unique specifics explained and fit together in a seamless manner.  We get enough history and current affairs of the world to know exactly what is going on and each piece is thoroughly though out.  A+ on world building.

Story - The book gives us an epic story spanning time and space, individual and groups, small places and world wide stories.  This story is complex, yet interesting.  It combines the individual stories apace with the wider scope that affects everybody.  It is interesting and varied and gives the reader a reason to continue to turn the page.  There were so many threads and subplots that one never got bored with any one storyline, and yet the authors managed to keep the story as a whole completely coherent.

Characters - I absolutely loved the huge variety of characters in this book.  Each of the characters that got page time were unique and multi-faceted.  We get to see people from every race, class and walk of life.  This not only gives us some extra world building cred, but makes me feel like this is a real place with real people.  I love it when a character, especially the main ones have strengths and weaknesses and individual likes and dislikes, it gives a ring of authenticity and makes me root for them.  I also like it when their is more to the "bad guys" then them being flat out bad.  There is just so much to love when it comes to the characters in this book, it makes me so happy!

Editing - Two separate authors worked on this book and (this is a compliment) you can't tell.  The book flows smoothly and there is no sign of a struggle between the two authors.  The only real complaint I would have is that sometimes I felt that the book got over explanatory.  Overall though the editing was an assets to the book and we will see if this continues through out the series.

Two Authors - Speaking of the two authors...I have read and enjoyed both Norton's and Lackey's works (as my rambling list can attest to).  I felt like both authors were very well represented in this book.  I could easily find Norton's signature sci fi/fantasy mix.  The premise that the Kin and the Elves both came from other worlds through either magical or scientific means to shape the world our story is set in is very much in the vein of our lady Norton.  Lackey's in depth characters and complex plot...and overexplenation is also very much evident.  I think the combination of these two ladies of epicness is pretty awesome.

The Prophecy - In the book a re-occuring thread is the vague prophecy of the Elvenbane...which the book is named for.  We learn that the Kin have been spreading the rumor of the prophecy both uchto bolster the humans and to discourage the elves.  When Shana appears and begins to lead the non elves in rebellion it seems the prophecy may actually be true.  The part I like best about this book is the debate about whether Shana is actually the fulfillment of the prophecy or if she is the embodiment of a self fullfilling prophecy or if the only reason people even think of her as the Elvenbane is because of the efforts of the Kin.  This type of thinking and discussion always makes me happy because it gives so much thought to the difference between magic, religion, human thinking, science and practicality.  I don't know, I just like it.

Various Factions - I think the think that held my interest the most in this book was that there was no good vs evil.  Instead we were introduced to three (well four if you count the halfbreeds) very different races.  Within each of these races were groups and individuals with their own agendas.  This leads to so much mass chaos that you totally understand why the real world is so messed up.  It was great to see that just because you were a human or an elf or a dragon that the you did not necessarily think the same as the rest of your race.  This added so many layers and possible combinations of individuals and plans that you felt that almost anything was realistically possible.  This made a fantasy book about humans, dragons and elves into an epic examination of motivation and environment.

Overall Impression - Overall I really enjoyed this book, it was complex and interesting.  I stopped several times to consider various ideas that the book brought up.  For a supposed "fantasy" novel I feel that this book brings up a lot of very in depth and layered things to piece together.  I found it engaging, entertaining, page turning and overall worthy of picking up and finishing the series.  I give it 8 out of 10 beryls and now need to scour the bookstore for the next book in the series.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Planning My Nook

Are all sick of hearing about my new house yet?  You are?  Well tough teeheehee.  One of the coolest things about my soon to be new house is that I have a whole area to my own personal book nook/library.  I am in the planning stages now so here are some of my current inspirations for what will soon be the most epic of book nooks (some of these might have been seen in previous posts...but that's ok 'cause now there for a purpose).

My favorite part about this one is the tree.  I also like the built in little desk to maybe write my super awesome blog on.

So this is probably closer to what will actually happen at my house, a comfy chair shoved into the middle of as many bookshelves as I can cram into my space.

Soooo....I'm pretty sure my Hubbin won't mind if I open up the floor between the stories to make this right...

I wonder how hard it would be to build a day bed right into the book nook?

I would love to add some cool architecture to the room, just for a little uniqueness.

These are just a couple of ideas to add to my ever changing idea of the perfect reading area.  The best part about owning the place is I can pretty much make whatever modifications my budget and know how allow so WOOOHOOO!   Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Asleep Awake

Between an epic bout of insomnia and my absolute insane schedule I am beyond exhausted.
Lucky for me I can at least read to escape my busy brain for a while.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Memories Of Teeth

I love it when I discover a book that I bought, put on the shelf and forgot to read, it's kind of like discovering a secret treasure stash.  The other day as I was going through my shelves to pack a book caught my eye and I realized I had forgot to read it so YAY!  The book is Toothiana Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies by William Joyce and is the third book in The Guardians series.  It was the perfect length and tone for my mindset at that moment so here we go.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
We last left our friends Katherine (the orphan girl with a fierce yet gentle heart), the wizard Ombric who has protected and enriched the hidden village of Santoff Claussen, North the valiant protector of Katherine and her friends, Nightlight the mysterious human like manifestation of pure light, and Bunnymund the rabbit like alien who is both a fighter and a lover of all things eggs, rejoicing at their defeat of their enemy Pitch.  Pitch and his nightmares have not been seen in some time and the group dares to hope he has been defeated for good.  The whole group, along with the villiage decide to go visit the Lamadary in the Himalayas.  Once there they learn the long lost story of Toothiana and how she became the queen of her strange little tooth fairy army.  She is the daughter of a Sister of Flight ( a race of winged women who lived in an ancient and fantastic city guarded by flying elephants) and the servant of a vain and cruel maharaja.  The maharaja wanted to hunt the flying elephants but was defeated by the Sisters of Flight.  His life was spared only by the intervention of his servant and the maharaja was turned into a sort of man monkey.  Fast forward several years later and Toothiana is born.  Once the small minded humans discover her wings, she and her family are hunted. Turns out it is actually a being called the Monkey King (the maharaja in monkey form) who is perusing the little family  and her parents give their lives to protect her.  Before dying they give Toothiana a ruby box to protect.  We also learn that Toothiana collects childrens teeth because they contain the memories that the children eventually forget.  Katherine, after her previous encounter with Pitch decides to use her last baby tooth (which she loses while at the Lamadary) to try and get some sort of memory of her parents of whom she remembers nothing.  Toothiana and her little mini me's (these are what constitute her army) arrive, but before Katherine can bargain with her they are all accosted by the Monkey King and his soldiers.  They carry off Katherine to the lost city of the Sisters of Flight and there she finds Pitch, not quite as defeated as she would wish.  The Guardians after much discussion form a plan and march on Pitch.  Unfortunately our faithful Guardians instead of just going to rescue Katherine, start to feel hate and anger and the need to not just incapacitate but kill Pitch and his army.  Katherine however protects Pitch from the killing blow saving the goodness that is what makes the Guardians themselves.  A wild and mysterious woman appears and spirits Pitch and Katherine away.  The book ends with the Guardians realizing that they erred when they let hate take over and vow to do better.  With that thought they all go to find Katherine.
World Building - This book, like the rest of the series does a great job in creating a fantastical yet understandable world.  This book in particular draws from Indian like settings and has a bit of Middle Eastern flair that fits into the global mythic world that the series is creating.  This installment continues the flow that was started in the first two books and it is very very easy to immerse oneself in this world created to escape to.

Story - I liked that this was both a continuation of the story in the series and added a new bit with the story of Toothiana.  I felt that this particular origin story of the tooth fairy was fresh and original and just all around very cool.  Being mostly a middle grade book I felt the story was simple enough for a younger person to follow, but not dumbed down in any way.

Character - The characters continue to be developed and diverse.  They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, races (some mythological in origin) beliefs, just all kind of goodness.  I also like that most of the main characters have personal conflicts, strengths, weaknesses and so forth.  Especially in books for younger people I think it is important that characters are not perfect, or stereotypes, but that everybody has good and bad sides and needs to learn to work with them.

Editing - I feel that the book is well edited with the story flowing quit well.  The continuity through out the series has been excellent and the book was very readable and age appropriate.

Illustrations - One of my favorite things about this series and this book is no exception is the amazing illustrations peppered through out the book.  They are line drawings with the cover being beautifully rendered in color.  Even if the story sucked I would still pick up these books just on the sheer beauty of them.   In addition to being gorgeous, the illustrations actually help move the story along so they are practical as well.

The Village - So in the story the village that most of our hero's are from decided that they ALL wanted to go visit the they do.  I just love the combination of the sheer impracticality of transporting a whole village...even if it is by magical means, and the idea that the book acknowledges that everybody has the right to go adventuring, not just the main characters.  I also love how it was a given that if the whole village wanted to go, then they would go, no arguments.

Origin Story - Toothiana's origin story was pretty awesome.  I love how the series in general, and this book in specific take something as familiar as our childhood legends and twist them around so they mean so much more.  Along with Toothiana, we also get more of North's future story and more hints into Bunnymund.  It is cool to see these overly familiar characters get a diverse and rich origin story.

Overall Impression - This was another beautiful and wonderful installment to this series and I give it 7 out of 10 molars and now need to go see if I can find the next one.  I recommend it to anybody who loves retellings, myths or needs a book to read with their wee ones.

Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Packing Up The Library

Started packing up all of my books today.  I was going to wait until a little bit closer to the move, but realized that as I started packing up the first round of books in the spare takes me forever.  See, I can't just grab a handful of books and put them into boxes.  Apparently I have to open every book, read the back cover, scan through the book, exclaim over how I forgot I had this particular book (between Hubbin and I we have over 700 books and counting).
Sometimes I even start actually reading the book and totally forget that I am packing in the first place.  With the amount of books I have this makes for a potentially very time consuming task.  This is why even though I'm not moving for over a month I am still gonna go ahead and start packing the tomes now.  Of course if all my books are packed I'll have to buy more to read until we move and then a couple more to read until I unpack the books...that is completely reasonable right?!?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Don't Go Extinct

Dear Everybody, this is an important service announcement.
Don't go extinct...READ!!!!!  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Glitter And Weirdness

Hi hi hi, busy busy busy, but what else is new right?  Finished a short story collection that I have been working on for a while now.  Glitter and Mayhem edited by John Klima, Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas was initially put on my list for a very specific story and was read because of the insanely open ended yet very interesting premise.  Essentially this is a vastly varied and extensive collection of stories that span the genre's from sci fi to fantasy to disco romance.  Every gender, race (alien, fantasy and human), and potential setting is represented here in some way shape or form.  This makes for a collection that has something for everyone even if every one isn't into every something.  Ok on to my favorite stories.
Sister Twelve: Confessions of a Party Monster by Christopher Barzak - We start the collection with a twisted version of one my favorite fairy tales, The Twelve Dancing Princesses.  In this version, the girls go with their mysterious princes through a portal that leads to all kinds of famous clubs through out various era's (think Studio 54).  Our girls lose themselves in the sex, drugs, alcohol and music of the various era's.  Definitely hits the ground running for a first story in this collection.

Subterraneans by William Shunn and Laura Chavoen - This is a bit of a twisted and uncomfortable story about a pair of girls who get mixed up in a crowd that allows a person to "ride" another.  Special pills enable the taker to essentially ride along in another person's head even to the point of being able to influence them to some degree.  It all falls apart when the being that is supplying the pill gets upset and has to be dealt with by using her own pill against her.  This story is both intriguing and unsettling in it's conveyance of free will, possession, addiction and power.  All kinds of crazy cool in this story.

The Minotaur Girls by Tansly Rayner Roberts - Our story is a take on the Minotaur myth with a roller skating twist.  The Minotaur is a skate club that only is available by invitation.  Our heroine's friends are selected to become a part of the elite and eventually Tess (our heroine) is too.  Once in the club she discovers that all the boys and girls who have gained enterance to the club are actually prisoners in this bizzare glittery skate disco.  Tess follows various clues and hints through a labyrinth that eventually leads her to the Minotaur, a "woman" who controls the club and informs Tess that she is just a body for the Minotaur to inhabit.  Tess rebels and eventually frees everybody to try and live a different and better life YAY!

Such and Such and So and So by Maria Dahvana Headley - This story is just plain weird...but some of the visuals are so cool that it is still worth the read...even if I still have no idea what it's about.  The best part of the story is how the various drinks come to life and interact with the various patrons based on their contents.  So...yeah I like this story for the alcohol...

Bad Dream Girl by Seanan McGuire - This is the story I originally got this collection for in the first place and it did not disappoint.  It is a short story set in the authors InCryptid world and features one of my favorite characters Antimony.  I have been dying for a full book with this character as the lead, but I'll settle for this roller derby short story instead.  In this tale, the youngest Price girl combines her love of roller derby with her job as an InCryptid hunter/protecter to help the beings that she has spent her life on.  The story contains all of the authors plus's and makes me really really want another full length book!

A Hollow Play by Amal El-Mohtar - A recently out as gay Emily is adjusting to her new life in a new city.  She is invited out to the Spangled Cabaret by Anna, a girl who Emily admires from work.  They are mostly there to see Lynette one of the three in the triad that Anna is part of along with a guy named Kel.  Lynette turns out to be an amazing singer and Emily ends up at home with all three of them.  Emily discovers that Lynette and Kel are actually beings from another dimension that need a great sacrifice to get home.  Emily volunteers to give the sacrifice in return for finding someone she lost.  The results are bittersweet, but end on a hopeful note.  This is a cool mix of humanity at its best and a wonderful fantasy element.

Just Another Future Song by Daryl Gregory - I have two words for you...David Bowie...This entry is another weird one, but this one contains a bit of a mystery for us to figure out.  I'm kind of proud of myself 'cause I figured out the "twist" if you can call it that from almost the first line of the story.  Ok I'm not really explaining this story 'cause really you just need to read it.
Of the twenty one stories in this collection I really only like about half of them and really only had the few I mentioned stick with me.  I felt that a lot of the stories in the collection were overly weird just for the sake of being weird...but that is just my opinion.  I think the sheer number of stories may have contributed to the muddled feeling of the overall collection with no real pointed direction.  That being said, I really enjoyed the stories I liked and it is nice to see such a broad range of life so well represented in the pages.  The plus side to so many and so varied stories is that a broad range of people if they are patient enough to sample all the stories will probably find something to love.  I give it 6 out of 10 disco balls and recommend it to anybody who likes something out of the box.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, June 6, 2016

I Can't Believe I Read The Whole Thing!

With all the crazyness and adulting we have been experiencing lately, Hubbin declared yesterday a day of do nothing we don't want to.  These happen very rarely and we decided to take full advantage.  To make it even better the day was all cloudy and stormy...perfect for some reading.  I have been finding it difficult to read more then a chapter or two of any book at a time so I looked forward to some uninterrupted reading.  Lucky for me I even had a new book on hand.  So we made a big cup of coffee, Hubbin settled on the couch and I snuggled into my favorite giant reading chair.  I found every available pillow to cushion me and started reading.  I kept reading until the book was all done!!!! I have not been able to read a book start to finish like that in ages.  It reminded me of when I was young and still in school without all my adult responsibilities and tearing through whole books in a single day, especially during the summer was actually pretty normal.  My poor parents would have to take me to the library for insanely large stacks of books on a regular basis just so I could keep up.  I very much enjoyed my day of literary immersion and will try and build in a little more down time for the brain freeing experience that is the ability to read with no interruptions.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Book Gang

Spent the night at my fire station exchanging books with my gang.
Seriously a night with my crew AND books...Life is good my friend.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Money Money Money

With all the potential house buying going on all I can think about is how many books I could buy with the money we are spending.  That got me thinking...what are the most expensive books out there.  Here is a list of a few outrageously expensive tomes.
Codex Leicseter
This book tops the list at a sell price of 30.8 million USD!  That's like a bajillion paper backs, or half a bajillion hardbacks!  It is a one of a kind collection of the amazing Leonardo da Vinci's notes and to be honest I would probably pay that much just to turn the pages of this one of a kind tome.  Possibly the best  book ever so far.

Rothschild Prayerbook 
This beautifully illuminated prayer book was sold for a whopping 13.4 million USD.  This book is not only a literary prize, but is absolutely beautiful in it's hand painted illustrations.  This book reminds me how much of a piece of art a book can be on so many levels.

The Canerbury Tales
The first edition of this ancient short story collection sold for 7.5 million USD.  I actually totally understand spending the big bucks for this original of such a well known classic.  I feel like history would be tangible if you owned this priceless edition.

Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies (a.k.a. First Folio)
So...yeah...the 6.1 million USD paid for this is a steal in my opinion.  I adore my buddy Shakespeare and to have this first folio in my hot little hands would be worth...well WAAAAAY more then I could afford...still a girl can dream.

The Gutenberg Bible
This game changing book sold for 4.9 million USD and to me is probably one of the most historically important works in the literary world.  It is the reason we have mass produced books and it is what enables non billionairs such as myself  to be the obsessive reader that I am.  To top it off it is also the most popular book in the yeah super valuable.

The Tales of  Beedle the Bard
An extremely limited (only 7 were made) handmade version of this special book was created and only one was available for sale.  This single book was auctioned off at an astounding 3.9 million USD with all of the money going to The Children's Voice charity campaign.  I love that this beloved series was able to not only contribute to the literary world, but to a real world cause as well.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
This is one of my absolute favorite books for so many crazy I guess spending 1.54 million USD for a first addition is totally reasonable...right?  Can you imagine holding one of the first editions of one of the most recognized books in recent history?!?

So just in case there was any question, if I won the lottery I would pretty much just go around buying every first edition of my favorite books I could get my hands on.  I also think every should send me 10$ to go into my outrageously priced yet totally worth it book fund.  Happy Reading Everybody!