16 Nov 2011

I have a new favorite website

I realize it has been ages since I made a post on here and for that I apologize.  I got married over the summer and it was a lot of work to get everything put together in the timeframe I had.

Anyhow, enough of that.  I'm back and hope to be posting more regularly, especially now that I am off the book buying ban!!!  To celebrate I splurged over at Bookcloseouts.ca and snapped up some books that I've been wanting to read for a while now.

Great prices and fast delivery have made this my new favorite book buying website.  I'm betting you'd rather just see what I got instead, so here we go:

Allison Hewitt Is Trapped: A Zombie NovelPaul Is UndeadBlood Song (Blood Singer, #1)Bad Girls Don't DieThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianOf Saints and Shadows (The Shadow Saga, #1)Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (Shadow Saga 2)

Looking forward to getting into those. Now, over the summer I did read. I went through a bunch of my ebooks, but only managed to read a few of my physical books so I'd have to say the ban wasn't a major success in getting my huge piles of books read. It did make me realize just how many books I was buying in a year, so cutting back certainly won't hurt anything except my ego.

23 Jun 2011

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?

3 Jun 2011

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 :D

12 Apr 2011

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.

8 Apr 2011

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.

30 Mar 2011

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.

25 Mar 2011

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.

10 Mar 2011

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.

3 Mar 2011

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.

2 Mar 2011

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.

21 Feb 2011

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.

15 Feb 2011

A Trio of Thoughts

In the past couple of days I've stared at my bookshelf and couldn't decide what book I wanted to read next which is generally a good sign that my brain just isn't into reading anything 'heavy', so I went to the library and grabbed a couple of YA books to fill in the gap until I feel more up to tackling something like the new Tony Burgess book.

Give up the Ghost by Megan Crewe is one that I actually own.  I purchased it at a local horror/dark lit festival and Megan was nice enough to answer my questions and even signed the book for me.  It has taken a while, but I finally sat down and read the book.  I really enjoyed it.  I like when a book surprises me by not turning out the way I thought it would.  I was expecting a book about how Cass could talk to ghosts and all the hilarity that would ensue etc, etc.  Instead I got a tale of learning how to let go of grudges and move on in life.  I could relate to the petty hatred that Cass was carrying through high school and her own way of believing that she was doing 'good' when all she was really trying to do was humiliate her former best friend.  Megan did a great job of growing the character throughout the book so that by the end, Cass had learned to let go and move on.  The only thing I felt was weak was the actual ending, but I still enjoyed the book overall.  Looking forward to seeing what Megan Crewe comes up with next.

The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger is one of the library choices that I grabbed.  I have seen this book reviewed on a couple of the blogs I read so I was curious to see how it read.  I'll be honest and admit that I liked the book.  I think the story rings true in the language and actions simply because the author is still in her own teen/ya years.  The writing was sharp and I loved the main character, Bianca.  Her sharp tongue managed to get her into more than her fair share of trouble, but it was also nice to see her grow up some near the end and make the connections and realizations about herself and her friends that she did.  A good read to kill some time with and one that my teen self would have related to.

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel was another one of my library grabs.  I was skimming the YA shelf while my mom waited patiently nearby when I saw this one and seemed to recall reading decent things about it.  I read the back to my mom and she was actually the one who decided to check it out and read it.  She was surprised by the fact that she really enjoyed it and said that teen books had come a long way.  Once I finished with The Duff, I picked this one up and finished it in a couple of days.  It is a vampire story (surprise) and there is a hot guy involved (surprise again) /but/ it is a fast read that made me want to actually pick up the next book in the series.  Lenah is the new girl at Wickham boarding school; she also happens to be a 500+ year old vampire who has been returned to her human state by an ancient ritual.  Now she has to learn how to fit into this situation and figure out what to do when her coven realizes she's not returning to them.  There is some growth in Lenah as she goes from spoiled, evil, selfish vampire queen to regular human sixteen year old girl who learns how to look outside herself for a change.  There's also some action at the end of the book when the coven comes hunting.  The flashbacks to Lenah's vampire life are also a nice addition to the story and don't detract from the main plot line at all.  Again, a quick read to fall into for a day or so and one that I'd probably recommend to my friends who like this kind of story.  I'll be reading the sequel for sure to see where things go.

Now I'm debating if I'm going to read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, People Live Still in Cashtown Corners by Tony Burgess, A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files or Lucy by Laurence Gonzales.

10 Feb 2011

Thoughts: Handling the Undead

Title: Handling the Undead
Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Pages: 364
Source: Borrowed from the library

In his new novel, John Ajvide Lindqvist does for zombies what his previous novel, Let the Right One In, did for vampires.

Across Stockholm the power grid has gone crazy. In the morgue and in cemeteries, the recently deceased are waking up. One grandfather is alight with hope that his grandson will be returned, but one husband is aghast at what his adored wife has become.

A horror novel that transcends its genre by showing what the return of the dead might really mean to those who loved them.

An odd heatwave in Stockholm is topped off by a weird electrical surge that gives the populace an intense headache and causes all the appliances to stay on. Once it passes, things go back to normal with one exception; the recently departed have come back to life. This is the beginning of the new novel by the author of Let the Right One In.

I loved what Lindqvist did with his previous novel, but Handling the Undead left me uninspired. I didn't have the same sort of 'run out and tell everyone to read it' that I had after I finished Let the Right One In. I had actually forgotten, albeit only momentarily, how Handling had ended, even though I'd only finished it the night before. That's how much of an impact this book made on me.

What worked was the base concept. I was really looking forward to reading a completely different take on the whole zombie thing. How would people deal with their undead relatives returning to them? We get to see some of that explored through the three main families that move the story along. David's wife, Eva, dies in a car accident just shortly before the strange surge so he's at her bedside when she returns to life. Gustav's grandson passed away a few months before the surge, but becomes reanimated as well. Flora's grandfather finds his own way home from the funeral home, scaring Flora and her grandmother half to death. Each family has to deal with this new situation and each does in their own way.

The writing is haunting, but the story itself is relatively slow and plods along towards the end.

What didn't work for me was the multiple POV's. I'd just get into what was happening with Gustav and we'd be switched to David or Flora. Tossed into the mix were short blurbs at the end of some chapters that were filled with government insights, military reports, foreign news reports about the situation in Stockholm; honestly some of those were more interesting than the main plot lines. The end felt rushed and, in my opinion, was unsatisfying. Just as things started getting interesting the book ended.

This didn't feel even remotely anything like what JVL did for vampires in Let the Right One In at all.  I suppose I was hoping for more than what was delivered, but the book still gets an 'it was OK' from me.

30 Jan 2011

The New Year hath arrived

Crap.  Six months without posting is never a good thing.  I blame it on insanity.

Lets see ...  the big events of the past six months:

1.  We bought a house.  Yep.  Moved in sometime in September and had our first Halloween and Christmas here.  Took a little getting used to, but everyone is pretty much settled in now.  Still have some boxes that need unpacking but have no where to put the stuff that is in them so... yeah.

Heh.  Yeah that's about the only real major thing that's happened.  Halloween was really cool.  We had a /ton/ of kids come by for trick or treating and it was great to see all the really neat costumes.  Christmas was fun, though busy.  My brother and his family came down from up north and A's brother made it as well, so it was a full house here.  Lots of noise and lots of food and everyone seemed to have a good time even though we had no snow.  Mother Nature has since made up for that lack in the last few weeks.  We've got our winter wonderland outside now. 

I managed to read 74 books last year, so I've set my goal for this year to 100.  5 down so far.  I also started a separate blog for my book reviews.  If you are so inclined you can find it here.

Oh.  We got a dog.  After we moved in we got a gorgeous Golden Retriever puppy and named her Bailey.  She's six months old now, just recovering from being spayed and microchipped.  Lovely dog with a great personality and soooo good with the little guy.  Speaking of ... he just turned 5 yesterday.  Five years... lord that's gone by fast.

The other two are doing okay in school, though the eldest is slacking and really needs to work on his time management and keeping track of his assignments.  Keeping my fingers crossed that his next semester will make that sink in.  Middle child ... well we're still working on his anger issues and trying to find something that we can all agree on re: his autism.  I've been a bad parent and haven't made all the phone calls I should have to find programs for him.  I know it is going to come back and bite me in the ass, but he's not even remotely interested in making an effort so ... can i force him to hang out with other autistic kids just to make him realize he's not alone?  Bah.

New addictions of note:  Fallout 3 for the PlayStation 3.  My new video game addiction.  Wasn't doing so great at the shooting part of the game, but I love that it is an RPG as well as a first person shooter.  There is a story in there that is really interesting to watch evolve.  I still have issues with staying alive while exploring, but at least I'm still having fun with the game.  Enough fun that it drives the eldest bonkers since I'm cutting into /his/ game time *snickers*. 

Ah well.  Life rolls along and we're all doing just peachy for the time being.

29 Jan 2011

Thoughts: Fay

First time reading anything by Larry Brown and, despite the fact that I only found Fay to be OK, I'd be willing to try another book by him simply because his writing style is amazing.  Fay does read easily, but the situations and the main character just felt too much like a Lifetime movie and, no offense, but I really wasn't expecting that.

The inside jacket information pretty much tells the entire story:
She's had no education, and you can't call what her father's been trying to give her "love." So at seventeen, Fay Jones leaves home, carrying a purse with half a pack of cigarettes and two dollar bills. She's headed for the bright lights and big times of Biloxi, and even she knows she needs help getting there. But helps not hard to come by when you look like Fay.
There's a highway patrolman who gives her a lift, with a detour to his own place. There are truck drivers who pick her up, no questions asked. There's a crop duster with money for a night or two on the town. There's a strip-joint bouncer who deals on the side. And in the end, there are five dead bodies stacked in Fay's wake.
And that is why I picked the book up in the first place.  I was looking to see just how this uneducated girl could/would end up on some sort of murderous rampage leaving all those bodies in her wake.  Well, I was left hanging on that, since only one of the deaths actually occurred at her own hands.  The prose does make the story very readable, though it rolls along towards an incredibly predictable conclusion.

From what I've gathered, this novel is actually a sort of sequel to one of Brown's earlier works, Joe: A Novel, in which Fay's brother is one of the main characters.  Perhaps reading that first would have given me more sympathy for Fay, but reading this novel stand alone left me rather blah about the entire thing.

Source: My copy of this book was borrowed from my local library

25 Jan 2011

Thoughts: Dexter is Delicious

Jeff Lindsay's Dexter is Delicious is the fifth book in the Dexter series and fans of the books will likely enjoy this installment, if only to see what happens when Dexter decides to try and be more human.

This time around we have our darling Dexter mooning over his newborn daughter and dwelling on all things that he'll get to do with this bundle of joy and bliss that has come into his life. At least that's his plan until his sister manages to drag him into an investigation involving a missing seventeen-year-old girl who's been running around with a group of self stylized vampires/cannibals. As usual, Dexter ends up in the middle of all the bad things and has to find a way out of the situation before he ends up being the main course.

Overall, a typical romp in the Dexterverse, though it is horribly lacking in our (anti)hero's usual playtime with his dark passenger. That, along with the more "human" version of Dexter in this book, left me longing for the Dexter of days bygone.

I'll be honest; I wanted to see more of Dark Dexter teaching his little minions more of Harry's Law. I wanted more of dear deadly Dexter and not this wishy-washy version of Dex that was dumped onto the pages of this book. The story itself was good, don't get me wrong on that front, I just wasn't happy with the way the character looked to be headed. I'm still a fan of Lindsay's writing style and I'll keep an eye out for the next book in the series to see what happens.

Source: I read my own ebook copy of this novel.

22 Jan 2011

Chizine Publications Announcement

Chizine Publications has announced on their blog that preorders are being taken for signed, limited edition hardcover editions of Gemma File’s A Rope of Thorns: Book Two of the Hexslinger Series over at Horror Mall.

I have the first book in the series, A Book of Tongues, sitting on my bookshelf in my "still need to get to" pile. I bought it from Chizine at a local horror convention along with People Still Live in Cashtown Corners by Tony Burgess (one of my guilty pleasures ever since reading Pontypool Changes Everything) and Objects of Worship by Claude Lalumière.

Chizine is one indie publisher I like to keep an eye on because they carry an interesting and varied selection of books that feed the spooky/horror fiend in me.

19 Jan 2011

Canada Reads

The 10th anniversary of the Canada Reads program, hosted by CBC, is getting ready to start the debate portion of the program. This year the novels were picked by the public in a campaign that started back in October. The public vote determined the top 40 essential Canadian novels which were then put to public vote until the final five were chosen.

Feb. 7, 8, and 9th will be the air dates of the hour long debates to determine which of the five finalists will be this years Canada Reads selection. The debates will air on CBC Radio One and will be hosted by Jian Ghomeshi in front of a live audience.

This years final five are: (covers click through to nominee pages with info about authors and defenders for each novel)

The Best Laid Plans The Best Laid Plans

by Terry Fallis

Defended by:
Ali Velshi
The Bone CageThe Bone Cage

by Angie Abdou

Defended by:
Georges Laraque
The Birth HouseThe Birth House

by Ami McKay

Defended by:
Debbie Travis
The Complete Essex CountyEssex County

by Jeff Lemire

Defended by:
Sara Quin

by Carol Shields

Defended by:
Lorne Cardinal

You can listen to all the lead ups and the actual debates on CBC's website. Here's the direct link to the listen page: Watch/Listen at CBC

11 Jan 2011

Postertext - Interesting gifts for booklovers

Not a review, really ... okay maybe it is.

I know Christmas has come and gone, but I'm sure there will be times in our lives when we're looking for the perfect gift for the booklover on our lists that isn't a book! I stumbled across this website while on one of my long, random link clicking trips through cyberspace and was immediately intrigued, then amazed and then I actually found something I had to buy (in the not book related section) for my other half for Christmas.

Postertext has some really cool posters based around books, and a few other written items, where the image is formed by using the entire text from the novel. The poster I ordered was actually made from the text found inside the Linux kernel and made a cute image of the Linux mascot, Tux the penguine; my boyfriend is a Linux administrator for a large telecom company so it was the perfect present for him. Ordering was simple, delivery was quick and the poster came packaged in a super sturdy tube so there was zero damage to the product. Best of all ... he /loved/ it and was amazed that he could actually read the Linux code straight from the poster.

So, there you go. If you want a bookish present that's not a book, feel free to check out this site.

And no, I have absolutely no affiliation with the place at all. Just was impressed with the entire ordering process and concept of the place.

7 Jan 2011

Thoughts: Dust

Title: Dust
Author: Joan Frances Turner
Publisher: Ace Books
Pages: 374
Source: Borrowed from the library
Opening Line(s):"My right arm fell off today. Lucky for me, I'm left-handed."

Nine years ago, Jessie had a family. Now, she has a gang.

Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian. Now, she eats very fresh meat.

Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. Nine years ago, Jessie was human.

Now, she’s not.

After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.

But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life

I first heard of this book through an email newsletter I get from my local library. The summary sounded rather interesting so I put it on hold.

First and foremost this is a zombie novel told from the point of view of the zombies. These are not your typical zombies; they communicate with each other, they form groups for company, safety and survival, and fun. Zombies, intelligent or not, are NOT sexy and Turner does not shy away from keeping that point right in the reader's face. Many reviews of this book have mentioned the overly gross/disgusting descriptions of the zombies, their life stages, the way they eat etc, but none of those scenes bothered me much at all because the writing in the novel is great.

Turner has done an amazing job at building her world. The zombie culture is well written and fleshed out and even though Jessie and her crew don't have much ambition; they're content to eat, sleep and fight, that in itself is still interesting to read about. I found the first half of the book to be more enjoyable than the second simply because the characters were just that much more, pardon the pun, alive than in the second half.

So, why three stars? I liked the book. I did finish it. My biggest problem was that the second half of the book took a huge turn towards the almost mystical/philosophical and I wasn't really expecting it. I was hoping for a much more dramatic reveal about the sickness and how/why it was occuring and I didn't get that. Instead the whole how/why was rather a let down and the ending of the book was almost too pat and a touch corny.

I've heard there are to be two more books in this series. I'd certainly be willing to read them when they're released, if only to see where this world could possibly be heading.

5 Jan 2011

Happy 2nd Blog Anniversary, Pam!

Pam at Bookalicio.us is having a two year blog anniversary. She is giving away tons of books and advance readers. The Grand Prize is a NookColor! Head on over to Bookalicio.us to enter.

1 Jan 2011

Out with the old...

... and in with the new.

Welcome to my new book blog. Here is where I'll be posting reviews, discussing the books that I'm reading and just generally trying to keep up with my insane book addiction.

With Christmas over and done with my to-be-read shelf has had a few new additions and so I have come up with a single New Year resolution; no more new books until I have read at least half of my current collection. Hopefully this won't be too hard to keep and will help me chew through the crazy number of new books I own but have yet to read.

I've got three books on the go at the moment, two physical and one ebook, which I hope to put up as the first set of reviews in this new year.

Wish me luck and thanks for joining me on this journey.