And Autumn Turns to Winter

December is here, and, in my mind, that means winter is here, too. I know, I know. It isn't officially winter yet, but for all intensive purposes, it's here for me and my blog because I want to make a new seasonal reading list. But first, let's see how I did with my Autumn 2012 Reading List...


A little housekeeping update: after a solid nine months, I've changed my blog's header. Remember this bad boy?

Well, I wanted a header that would allow for easier identification that this is, in fact, a book blog. Though it's never been pointed out to me, I venture to guess that the previous header may have confused those who stumble upon my little slice of the internet. Is it a nature blog? A photography blog? Well, I do like to showcase my budding photography skills here, and my primary subject is nature; however, I want it to be clearer for new readers that this blog is more about my literary pursuits than anything else. Plus, I had fun fiddling around with the fonts and book images to create my new masterpiece header. So, the old header had a good run, but, for now, the blog will be looking like this:

I wonder if this change will attract more readership. We shall see, I suppose. And a big thank you to those who have been reading my posts so far! I'm really enjoying blogging, and I hope you've had as much fun reading as I've had writing.

The Best of the Big Three: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

It’s official. I have finally read all of the “Big Three” in dystopian literature! The big three being Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World [read August 2006], George Orwell’s 1984 [read April 2012], and, of course, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which I just finished reading this month. Fahrenheit 451 happens to be my favorite of the three, and not just because it’s the most recently read of the bunch. The subject matter, books and their destruction, loomed heavy on my heart. Bradbury uses the most beautiful language; some passages left me breathless. Here are the quotes I wrote down that hit me the hardest—those that I think capture the essence of the tone Bradbury set in what is arguably his masterpiece.

Click the link to read on.

Graphic Novel Haul: Autumn 2012

The past three months have been very good to me in terms of inexpensive graphic novel finds. Half of this haul hails from my favorite used bookstore. The other half comes from a local bargain outlet store, where the books were as low as two for $1, and none of the books I purchased were over $3. Can you blame me for losing control of myself? The answer is no, no you cannot.

Here they are all stacked up. Um, I didn’t realize how many I bought until seeing them amassed like this. I just contemplated taking a pledge to myself not to buy anymore graphic novels until all of these are read, but that’s a promise we all know I can’t keep.

Back to the books. Let me break it down for you:

  • Raina Telgemeier’s Drama
  • Miss Lasko-Gross’ A Mess of Everything
  • Martin Rowson’s The Wasteland
  • Marjane Satrapi’s Chicken with Plums
  • Richard Sala’s Peculia
  • Matt Groening’s Futurama Adventures

  • Adam Sexton’s Shakespeare’s Macbeth: The Manga Edition
  • Richard Appignanesi’s Manga Shakespeare: The Tempest
  • Jordan Mechner’s Prince of Persia
  • John Matthews’ The Chronicles of Arthur: Sword of Fire and Ice
  • William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (the ISBN on this gn is linked to the original work. Why? I don’t know.)
  • Darren G. Davis’ Ray Harryhausen Presents: Wrath of the Titans
  • Chuck Dixon’s Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal Son

  • Sergio Aragones’ Louder Than Words
  • Aline Kominsky Crumb’s Need More Love
  • Steve Niles’ Daughters of Fly in my Eye
  • Michael Barson’s Agonizing Love: The Golden Era of Romance Comics

  • Rex Michael’s Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian
  • Rex Michael’s The Egg of Misery: Fangbone, Third Grade Barbarian
  • Stefan Petrucha’s Nancy Drew #15-21

The beauty of graphic novels is that they take a few hours to read tops, so it really won’t take me long to get through this glorious mountain of sequential art. ...Fine, yes, that's what I tell myself to allay the bookhoarder guilt. What of it?

Linked up here, here, here,and here

Assorted Autumn Reads [Part 1]

I journaled about several of the books I read this autumn, but I haven’t mentioned the others I managed to squeeze in during this busy season.

  • Erin Morgentern’s The Night Circus [read 9/1/12] 4/5 Stars
    I feel as if I read this book eons ago, when really it’s only been about three months. The thing is, I’ve read fifteen (almost sixteen) books since this one, so my memory isn’t as clear. Note to self: write about books as soon as you finish them like a good little book blogger should. From what I can recall of my feelings toward this lovely novel about magic and mystery, I remember being completely entranced  by the ballroom scene between Marco and Celia. It was written so beautifully that I could practically feel the longing between the two characters. I found myself deeply exhaling after holding my breath because the tension is just so tangible; the passion radiated off the pages.  The novel is a bit slow here and there, but the original storyline and fascinating characters completely won me over.

  • Daniel Clowes' Ghost World [read 9/12/12] 3/5 Stars
    After wanting to read this book for years and years and having it hyped up by several friends, I imagined this graphic novel to be, at most, life-changing-- or captivating at the very least. But for me, it is neither of those things. I was bored. I was annoyed. Maybe if I had read it during my angsty teen years, my feelings would be different, but I couldn’t connect. Bookish disappointment. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

  • Mark Gatiss' The Vesuvius Club Graphic Edition [read 9/21/12] 3/5 Stars
    Apparently this graphic novel is based off of its literary novel counterpart, Lucifer Box. Too bad it wasn’t extraordinary enough to make me want to read the original. The story follows Lucifer, an English secret agent during the Edwardian age, and his investigations of various unsavory characters. The only aspect that sets the story apart from countless other tongue-in-cheek-mysteries of the historical fiction genre is Lucifer’s sexuality. Otherwise, I was not wowed by the plot or the artistry.

  • Vera Brosgol's Anya's Ghost [read 10/13/12] 3/5 Stars
    I promise I didn’t read three graphic novels in a row. I read Howl’s Moving Castle and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in between—both of which are fantastic reads. Anya’s Ghost, on the other hand, was just okay. The art is cutesy, but I suppose that’s to be expected, or at least accepted, for a Young Adult graphic novel. The plot is original in many ways, but moved a bit too slowly for my liking.

Check out the other autumn reads I journaled about here and here.

“There isn’t anyone out there who isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady”

My Favorite Quotes from J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey

From Franny

Lane himself lit a cigarette as the train pulled in. Then, like so many people, who, perhaps, ought to be issued only a very probational pass to meet trains, he tried to empty his face of all expression that might quite simply, perhaps even beautifully, reveal how he felt about the arriving person (7).

Lane was speaking as someone does who has been monopolizing the conversation for a good quarter of an hour or so and who believes he has just hit a stride where his voice can do absolutely no wrong (11).

“I do like him. I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect” (20).

From Zooey

“It happens to be one of those days when I see everybody in the family, including myself, through the wrong end of a telescope” (58).

“The cards are stacked (quite properly, I imagine) against all professional aesthetes, and no doubt we all deserve the dark, wordy, academic deaths we all sooner or later die” (59).

“Phooey, I say, on all the white-shoe college boys who edit their campus literary magazines. Give me an honest con man any day” (98).

“Every time all hell breaks loose around here, it seems very funny to me that it always comes from that spot right where you’re lying. And you’re always the one that’s there” (157).

Although there was nothing markedly peculiar about her gait as she moved through the hall—she neither dallied nor quite hurried—she was nonetheless very peculiarly transformed as she moved. She appeared, vividly, to grow younger with each step. Possibly long halls, plus the aftereffects of tears, plus the ring of a telephone, plus the smell of fresh paint, plus newspapers underfoot—possibly the sum of all these things was equal, for her, to a new doll carriage (186).

“He says the only people he ever really wants to meet for a drink somewhere are either all dead or unavailable” (191).

“You’d better get busy, though, buddy. The goddamn sands run out on you every time you turn around. I know what I’m talking about. You’re lucky if you get time to sneeze in this goddamn phenomenal world” (198).

“An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s” (199).

“There isn’t anyone out there who isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady” (201).

Book Journal: Max Brooks' World War Z

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
By Max Brooks

Mini-Summary: The Zombie War has been waged around the world, and the human race won, but at what cost? This book is a compilation of thoughts and experiences from warriors and survivors alike.

Some Themes: survival, death, sickness, physical and psychological stability, pre and post war economy, fate of humanity

Some Thoughts (Spoiler-ish, fair warning):
I’m not one to dally in the horror genre, but Halloween was upon me, and I was looking for something to spook me.  Enter: Max Brooks' World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. I don’t usually read books in accordance with the seasons or holidays, but I thought, what the hey?  Zombies could make for a fun time.

Stick a Plant in it!

Similar to "put a bird on it," yet decidedly more bookish.

via 1. Apartment Therapy 2. Etsy 3. Green Wedding Shoes

The only question that remains is this: can I overcome my reverence of vintage hardcovers to create a beautiful book planter such as the ones shown above?

Book Journal: Mary Ann Shaffer's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer (and Annie Barrows)

Mini-Summary (blurb taken from the back of the book):  January 1946: Writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

Some Themes: the healing power of friendship and companionship, nontraditional family, impact of war, chaos and order, coping with death, embracing love, empowerment of self and community,  destruction of beauty, sacrifice, social and individual progress, motherhood, inner-strength

Characters: Juliet Ashton, Sidney Stark, Sophie Strachan, Dawsey Adams, Isola Pribby, Amelia Maugery, Eben Ramsey, John Booker, Elizabeth McKenna, Kit, Remy, Markham Reynolds, Gilly Gilbert

Some Thoughts
(Spoiler-ish, fair warning):
When I decided to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I actually had very little idea what it was about. All I knew was that it was a favorite among book clubs and that it was written in a series of letters. I was intrigued by the idea of a novel composed entirely of letters, so I did not let the odd-sounding title deter me and got to reading. Much to my own surprise, the reading turned into devouring, and I am now extremely pleased to say that I have found a new all-time favorite book.

Book Journal: Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle
by Diana Wynne Jones

Mini-Summary: Sophie, a young girl placed under an aging spell by the Witch of the Waste, travels with the Wizard Howl, his fire demon Calcifer, and his apprentice Michael in their Moving Castle. Along the way, Sophie encounters all kinds of magical happenings while learning about herself and uncovering Howl’s deepest secret.

Some Themes: Identity, Good v.s. Evil, Friendship, Trust, Love, Family, Wealth, Vanity, Jealousy, Magic

Characters: The Wizard Howl, Calcifer the Fire Demon, Sophie Hatter, Michael, the Witch of the Waste, Martha, Lettie, Fannie, Mrs. Fairfax, Scarecrow a.k.a. Turnip Head, Mrs. Pentstemmon, Miss Angorian, Percival,  the King, the Wizard Suliman

Some Thoughts (Spoiler-ish, fair warning):
Such a delightful story! After watching the movie (about a dozen or so times), I knew I just had to read this book. So glad that I did, too.

Autumn 2012 Reading List

I enjoy making lists, but I love making book lists. Now that summer's basically over, I thought I'd create a nice, ambitious reading list for the fall ...Maybe too ambitious...

New Additions to the Library for Autumn Reading:
  • David Sedaris' Naked
  • Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes
  • J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey
  • John Irving's The World According to Garp
  • Annie Barrows &  Mary Ann Shaffer's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  • Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus
  • Diane Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle
  • Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game
  • Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Vera Brosgol's Anya's Ghost
  • Alison Bechdel's Fun Home
  • Art Spiegelman's Maus I
  • Art Spiegelman's Maus II
  • Daniel Clowes' Ghost World
  • Mark Gatiss' The Vesuvius Club Graphic Novel
  • Sabrina Jones' Isadora Duncan
  • Mat Johnson's Right State

Leftovers from Summer Reading List that I'd Still Like to Read:
  • Max Brooks’ World War Z
  • Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
  • Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Shadow
  • Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea
  • John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces

Leftovers from Summer Reading List that I Don't Particularly Feel Like Reading but Still Might Read:
  • Richard Adams’ Watership Down
  • Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It
  • Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood
  • Yann Martel's Life of Pi   
  • Kim Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • Ann Brashare’s My Name is Memory
  • Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale
  • Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger
  • Sharon Creech’s The Wanderer
  • Natalie Babbitt's The Search for Delicious

Ahhh, that's some satisfying book listing. I suspect I'm pretty much setting myself up for failure to attempt to read all of these books in the next three months, but we shall see. Either way, it's my idea of a good time.

Newest Arrivals

Over the past few weeks, I've acquired a substantial amount of new and used books. Some are giveaways, some gifts, some products of self-indulgent book-binging... and all mine, mine, MINE! Observe:

These three hailed from  the used bookstore to knock a few books off the ol' wishlist

And these gorgeous graphic novels are also all from the used bookstore. Can you tell I feel considerably less guilty over buying books when they are purchased from the used bookstore? I justify these guilt-free splurges several ways: 1) They are significantly marked down from their retail prices, 2) It is my personal duty to the community to patronize local brick-and-mortar bookstores, and 3) These books used to have a shelf they once called home, and they need me to adopt them because their days of readability are not yet over.

In this pile, the first book was a gift from a co-worker who highly recommends the series after learning I haven't read anything of the steampunk genre yet, and the second is a gift from my mother for a long day of travel.

These beauties were all won in GoodReads' First Reads giveaways. Though I think I am going to cool-it with the giveaways as I don't have any particular interest in some of these books other than that they were free.

And last but not least (by any means), these were all purchased with a birthday gift card! I put that generous gift card to excellent use, as you can see.

Though it probably goes without saying, I openly admit that I am a full-fledged bibliophile, and I make no apologies.

Linked up here and here.

The End of the Summer 2012 Reading List

This is a compilation of books I own that I planned to read this summer. I drafted the tentative list on May 25th, and though it's still technically summertime, I consider the summer season over now that September started. It's the academic in me, I suppose.

  • Meg Mitchell Moore’s So Far Away: A Novel [finished 5/26/12]
  • Sharon Creech’s The Wanderer
  • E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey [abandoned 5/27/12]
  • Emily Giffin’s Something Borrowed [finished 8/13/12]
  • Ann Brashare’s My Name is Memory
  • Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale
  • Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere [finished 8/23/12]
  • Max Brooks’ World War Z
  • Richard Adams’ Watership Down
  • Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
  • Yann Martel's Life of Pi
  • Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth [finished 6/1/12]
  • Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It
  • Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Shadow
  • Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea
  • John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces
  • Kim Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger
  • Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood
  • Cassandra Clare's City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments Book 5) [finished 6/4/12]
  • Tina Fey's Bossypants [finished 6/21/12]
  • Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis [finished 8/16/12]
  • Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis 2 [finished 8/17/12]
  • Natalie Babbitt's The Search for Delicious
  • Sharon Creech's Bloomability [finished 7/8/12]
  • Sharon Creech's Hate That Cat [finished 8/17/12]

I read 10 out of the 26 books, so I accomplished roughly 38%. Not really anything to brag about. Ah well, there's always the Autumn 2012 list to aspire to.

Assorted Summer Reads

I journaled about several of the books I read this summer, but I haven’t mentioned the others I managed to squeeze in during this busy season.

  • Tina Fey’s Bossypants [read 6/20/12] 4/5 Stars
    This memoir is absolutely hilarious. I read it during a particularly stressful stretch of time for me at work, and it was the perfect escape-read during lunch and breaks. Tina Fey talks about her adolescence, her relationships with the male figures in her life, her time at SNL, and having a baby, all in a humorous and personal voice. The tone was self-deprecating yet very empowered at the same time, which I loved because it felt so authentic. Basically, it was a great pick-me-up that I would recommend to anyone who loves to laugh.

  •  Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands [read 7/3/12] 3/5 Stars
    I picked up this book directly after Bossypants, hoping for another hilarious empowered female read. However, Handler's memoir is empowered in a completely different way from Fey's: it is overtly sexual. I mean, I already knew that going in (considering what the title is), but this read wasn't really for me. I kept thinking of it as the female version of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. I certainly admire a woman owning and exploring her sexuality, yet this foul-mouthed memoir is a touch too coarse for my tastes.

  • Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood [read 8/16/12] 4/5 Stars
    Graphic novels are my favorite kind of literary change of pace. I find that when I'm in a rut or getting bored with reading, picking up a visually stunning graphic novel puts me back in the analytical mind-frame. Persepolis has gained much acclaim, and I've been curious about it for years, so it was serendipitous when I found the hardcover versions of book 1 and 2 at my favorite used bookstore for five dollars a piece. Persepolis as a graphic memoir is incredibly heartfelt and engaging, and I learned so much about the culture of the Middle East during the Islamic Revolution. I was deeply affected by Satrapi's portrayal of the militaristic and religious oppression and the ways in which she and her progressive family fought against it in their own ways, big and small.

  • Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return [read 8/17/12] 3/5 Stars
    I thoroughly enjoyed the first book but the second book... not so much. Satrapi's voice is no less honest than in the first book, but the pacing in Persepolis 2 is very slow and boring. I grew tired of hearing about her romantic interludes and struggles with drug use. I think that Satrapi is very much in her own head in this book, whereas the first book is focused on the social commentary of the time and place in which she was living.

  • Sharon Creechs Hate That Cat [read 8/17/12] 4/5 Stars
    Another wonderful and poignant Children's/Young Adult book written in free verse by Creech! Hate That Cat is written as the poetry journal of a young boy in elementary school. Jack uses his poetry to express both his grief over the loss of his beloved dog and his love over his new kitten. I adored the nods to the poetry greats like Poe and William Carlos Williams. Although this book is a sequel to the previous book Love That Dog,  I didn't need to read the first book in order to be touched by this one.

Check out the other summer reads I journaled about here, here, here, here, and here (whew).

Book Journal: Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere

By Neil Gaiman

: Richard Mayhew’s humdrum life is turned upside-down when he is dragged down into London’s dangerous supernatural underworld after he meets a magical girl who desperately needs his help to avenge her family.

Some themes at play within the novel
: Poverty, Friendship, Identity, Discovery, Revenge, Good versus Evil

Characters: Richard Mayhew, Lady Door, marquis de Carabas, Hunter, Islington, Mister Croup, Mister Vandemar, Old Bailey, Anaesthesia, Lamia, Serpentine, Black Friar, The Earl, Lord Portico

Some Thoughts (Spoiler-ish, fair warning):
After reading Gaiman’s Black Orchid, I was curious to read more of his work. I noticed Neverwhere received great reviews on GoodReads, so I bought it for some adventurous summer reading without having much of a clue as to what the book is about.

Fight/Book Club

This gave me a nice, hearty chuckle. Jimmy Kimmel's thoughts on what would make Oprah's book club more exciting...

You're welcome.

#DailyBookPic Photo-a-Day Project, The Finale

This is a very delayed update on the finale of my adventures with the #DailyBookPic challenge. Consider this entry the Closing Ceremonies, if you will. Let's pick up where we last left off...

Day 29- Autographed Book: My autographed copy of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros! I listened to her speak at a nearby university a few years ago, and afterwards I got to meet her. She is an amazing and inspirational woman.

Day 30- Book-to-Movie: My favorite Austen adaptations. I have quite the collection, if I do say so myself. They are the best to watch on rainy days. 

Day 31- Did Not Finish: A few books I gave up on. I am willing to start Life of Pi again, though. 

Check out my recaps of Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4

All the Daily Book Pics, collage style:

Here are my personal favorites:

I was lucky enough to be featured on Book Riot a grand total of 7 times for various #dailybookpic prompts!
It was a really fun creative exercise that combined my new love of photography with my first love, books. The challenge is supposed to come back around again on Book Riot some time in the autumn, and I can't wait to get involved a second time.

Book Journal: Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed
By Emily Giffin

Mini-Summary: Rachel, a 30 year old lawyer living in Manhattan, breaks the cardinal rule of friendship and sleeps with her best friend Darcy’s fiancĂ©, Dex. Darcy, Rachel’s complete opposite, continues planning her wedding, unbeknownst to her that Rachel and Dex are continuing to see each other behind Darcy’s back. Lines of right and wrong are blurred, and the characters become tangled in a web of deceit.

Some themes at play within the novel: friendship, betrayal, relationships, sex, loneliness, manipulation, infidelity, jealousy

Some Thoughts (Spoiler-ish, fair warning):
A good friend of mine really hyped this book up to me. It is one of her all-time favorites, and I generally trust her judgment, as she is a big literary lover not unlike myself. That being said, to my chagrin, I do not like this book. I don't absolutely hate it, but there is very little about it that I enjoyed.

#DailyBookPic Photo-a-Day Project, Week 4

Okay, I admit it. I slipped this week. I had to double (or triple) up a few times on some days. Blame my busy schedule and my slight disinterest in this week's prompts.

Day 22- Comfort Reads: Anne, Jo, and Elizabeth never fail to comfort me. Classic heroines to the rescue!

Day 23- Learning to Read: ...deeply and analytically. I could have used the textbooks from my Spanish course, or I could have used some children's books from my childhood, but I decided to go this route.

Day 24- Book Quotes: Who didn't love the quotes in the beginning of the chapters in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series? This quote is one of my favorites.

Day 25- Book Bag: One of many bags I used to transport my books. Pretty much any bag big enough will house a book of mine at one time or other.

Day 26- Re-purposed Books: My R & J Book Page Monogram from the Summer Pinterest Challenge. Every time I look at this frame, I fall in love all over again.

Day 27- Outdoor Reading Spot: I posted a similar picture of my favorite reading spot previously, but it still remains my favorite place to read, so why not post again?

Day 28- Well-Worn Book: Some of my grandfather's books that were passed down to me. They are incredibly precious to me.

Only three more days till the end of the photo-a-day project! Sadness. Check out my recaps of Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3.

Some Bookish Desires

Yes, I have a Book Wish List. No, I have no business wishing for more books until I make a dent in the To-Be-Read piles I already have. I know this, yet my bookish heart won't listen to reason. Hence, this list:

  •  Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov- When it comes to Russian literature, I am woefully under-read. I'm not totally sure if this is the best place to begin, but I know this particular book is a favorite among several friends of mine.
  • Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind- Another genre I barley touch is historical fiction. I don't have a real reason why I stay away being as I've enjoyed the few I have read. I figure, why not put my money where my mouth is and tackle this epic mother?
  • James Dashner's The Maze Runner- Okay, so here is a genre I may actually be over-read in: Young Adult Dystopian. But so what? I love it. I could gobble up Dystopian books like BLTs with extra-crispy bacon.
  • John Irving's The World According to Garp- I honestly don't know what this one is even about. What I do know is that one of my favorite college professors uses this book in one of the courses I didn't get to take.
  • Audrey Niffenegger's The Adventuress- I was blown away by The Time Traveler's Wife. I sort-of liked The Three Incestuous Sisters. I am intrigued by the title. And that explains that.
  • Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes- This book was really popular when it debuted in the late 90s. I remember my Uncle talking about reading it on the train to work when it was first published. I don't know much else about it, but I've been curious about it ever since then.
I'm sure I'll get my hands on these books eventually. For now, I'll just stick to my current bounty and try not to get too intimidated by the mountains of books forming in each room.

#DailyBookPic Photo-a-Day Project, Week 3

Another week down, a week and a half to go. Yes, I am still holding strong with the fun and challenging #DailyBookPic project. If you couldn't tell I was a bibliophile before, at this point my dedication to the project might be all the proof I need.

Day 15- Marginalia: Some margin notes in a Norton Reader from my college days. I never write in my books; I only use sticky-notes if I ever feel compelled to scrawl.

Day 16- Cover Art: Folio Society's edition of Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate. Not only are Folio books beautifully cloth-bound, but they have the most amazing cover art as well.

Day 17- Favorite Bookstore: The great and glorious Mr. K's Used Books. By far my favorite local indie bookstore.

Day 18- Book Club: ...get it? haha. I'm currently not in a club, but this is a popular book club pick.

Day 19- Reading Glasses: This pair may be my all time favorite of all the pairs I've ever owned. Not only does it have little gems embedded into the sides, but it sports a G, my second favorite letter (R being the first, guess why).

Day 20- Book Pusher: This was a tough prompt. Its intent is to depict who or what pushes you to read. I originally wanted to photograph Jeff because he is probably my greatest reading supporter, but he thought I should take a picture of GoodReads or a recent mail-order of books. I ran with that and decided that the Mail Woman was my book pusher as she faithfully delivers me my beloved book packages.

Day 21- Books in the Wild: "Crikey! An elusive Borders Classic in its natural habitat!" said in my best Steve Irwin voice. Yes, the selection of The Jungle Books was deliberate, if you didn't already connect those dots.

Getting down to the final #DailyBookPic days. What will I do with myself when the challenge ends? Check out Week 1 here and Week 2 here for my previous prompt submissions.

The Best Kind of Mail

In my continuous and steadfast crusade against the downfall of paper media, I do solemnly swear that I will only buy print books; however, sometimes this must be accomplished via the internets as opposed to going to a brick and mortar bookstore. I do my very best to support my local bookstores, though I can't deny it's fun to receive packages full of books on my doorstep.

In the past week, I've received three of said book packages from W.W. Norton, Gray Wolf Press, and Hachette Books respectively.

I was lucky enough to win both Don Lee's The Collective from W.W. Norton and Ted Sanders' No Animals We Could Name from Gray Wolf Press in two Good Reads First Reads giveaways.

Major bonus that they aren't ARCs or Galleys, which is usually what a person wins in a First Reads giveaway. No Animals We Could Name is a shiny perfect-bound paperback, and The Collective is a hardcover! Both have beautiful cover art, too. I can't wait to feast on these two books. I just have to finish my Random Reads challenge first, but I'm halfway there.

The third package I got in the mail from Hachette Book Group contained the three items I've been drooling over admiring from afar on Chronicle Books' website. I finally bit the bullet and bought them thanks to the incredible sale they were having for Family and Friends: 35% off and free shipping. The sale is going on until July 24th, so you have a few more days to check it out.

I have been pining away for years over Grady McFerrin's This Book Belongs To bookplates and labels. And, I can officially say that they are everything I imagined them to be. Hmm.. that sounded pretty dramatic, but it doesn't make it any less true.

Being the Shakespeare lover that I am, I jumped all over this gorgeous specimen. Feast your eyes on the beautiful, modern illustrations by Caitlin Keegan.

And lastly, I bought the Carpe Diem Journal. I figured it could possibly motivate me to meet all those small goals I set for myself and then promptly forget about because life gets in the way. Plus, it's pretty.

Look at them all together in perfect harmony. It's a sweet coincidence that their colors all complement each other so nicely.

Now to find the perfect bookshelf to place my spoils. That's always half the fun, at least if your name is Rosie. So, how about you? Get any new books lately?

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