Important Stuff

Nothing going on here... as you were...

In My Mailbox #2

 Sunday, 31 January 2010

Ok I'm sorry I've not posted in a while, I had an exam on Friday so the days before I was trying to revise and yesterday I was too tired so today I'm going to have to have a multi-post day possibly. Anyways back to our scheduled programming.

In My Mailbox was inspired by a post by Alea @Pop Culture Junkie and is hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren

Right, so remember I said last week was busy because I'd lumped all the books I'd bought so far this month into one post and that this week would be pretty empty? Well I had a major week of FAIL and bought 17 (count 'em seventeen) books and probably spent nearly £50 which I really can't afford to being a student with no job.

Here we go:

And to your left is this week's *insane* YA spree that I went on. A thing to mention - I have already read all of these except Sabriel and Beautiful Creatures (which I may start tonight).

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
The Secret Circle vol.1 by L.J. Smith
The Secret Circle vol. 2 by L.J. Smith
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

What's crazy awesome is that Leviathan and Sabriel were bought from  my local Oxfam bookshop, though while it's no British Heart Foundation (whose shops I adore) it still is pretty good. Get this- Leviathan cost me a fantabulous £1.99!!! The slipcover had a 2" slice down the front which in no way bothered me so I was seriously chuffed with my find and I read it that evening. (I'll post a review at some point soonish, hopefully)

The second half of my spending spree is more classically orientated. I know I bought 4 Daphne du Maurier books last week and that people with sharp eyes and memory will see those books repeated in this set to the left. But before you cry "why buy two copies of four books?" I'll explain; this boxed set I found in the same shop I bought the du Mauriers from last week and for a set that is worth a mind-boggling £70 ! The Works was selling them for £9.99!!!
So even though I did already own five of those 9 titles I still bought it cos it was a real bargain that I knew I shouldn't pass up. The duplicate copies I took to my Oxfam shop and donated them to the nice folks in there who were very grateful for them.
So the books in this set which I didn't have before are: The Loving Spirit, The Scapegoat, The House on the Strand and The Glass-Blowers. I have My Cousin Rachel at home so when I go back for Easter I'll donate my other copy to the BHF (it was a second-hand copy in the first place).

What an eventful week it's been! I'm going to have to forbid myself from buying *any* books until March now or I'll be in serious trouble with my parents. They're going to flip out as it is when they see how many books I've got now at Uni, I'll have to try and convince them that the books were breeding and multiplying while I wasn't looking :P
Tomorrow I shall be doing a round-off post for January with a list of the books I've read this month and my top 3 from that list. I shall try and get a few of the reviews I need to do posted on here but it may take me a while and I won't do posts for all the books I've read this month or I'll never clear the backlog.
So Happy Sunday, hope folks are having a nice weekend and I'll see you next sunday with (hopefully) nothing to report if my book-buying hiatus goes to plan.


My Top 5 Wishlist Books for 2010

 Tuesday, 26 January 2010

So I was feeling a little befuddled as to what I could blog about because I'm very new to this I don't really have any interesting regular features so apart from putting up book reviews for what I've read recently and doing a couple of memes I don't really know what else to do. Ideas anyone? Another thing about my reviews, I'm really inconsistent sometimes I can write a decent amount about what I thought and it sounds relatively coherent but then other times I'm a mess so I may be picky with which reviews I put up on here (all of them are on my 75 Books challenge thread on LibraryThing though).

Anyways, the point of this post is to highlight the five books which are coming out this year which I am most excited about. I'm not really on the pulse about what are the most anticipated YA books for this year but these are the next-in-series books which I really *really* want.

#1. Strange Fate by L.J. Smith

For people who haven't read any of L.J. Smith's books this is the *Very* long awaited final book in her Nightworld Series. The nine books preceding this have recently been reissued with funky new covers in three chunky omnibuses along with many of Smith's other books. I discovered her books back in 2008 and was hooked pretty quickly to the Nightworld stories which while all being linked into a much larger story could stand pretty well on their own. I have read the first two of Smith's Vampire Diaries series but I do prefer this series (I've yet to read the Secret Circle books but they're on my Amazon wishlist)
Strange Fate is due to be published (in the UK) on the 6th of July which is conveniently the day after I'm due to get back from a cricket tour in Barbados so I shall definitely be pre-ordering it to ensure I get it ASAP. I'd better get onto re-reading the first nine books!

#2 Hunger Games 3 by Suzanne Collins

Ok, who else besides me is getting a *leetle* bit tetchy about the lack of title for the third Hunger Games book when it's coming out in AUGUST!! I'm slightly concerned about this because what if it's a bad sign that she's maybe not quite finished writing it yet? What if they push back the date of the release? After the god-awful cliffhanger at the end of Catching Fire how in the name of the Holy McNuggets do they expect us to WAIT PATIENTLY!!! *breath, calm...* Sorry couldn't help it the stress gets to me. Anyway this is going to be my most anticipated book for August most definitely but I really hope that Suzanne isn't rushing to finish for a deadline set too early by her publishers cos that could really affect the quality of the book if it's being doing at break-neck speed. *chews hands* gah the anxiety is gonna kill me!

#3 Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Dang blast it I can't find a photo for the cover. *pouts* Never mind.
Yes, I am dying to know what's going to happen next with Rose and Dimitri (who in my eyes is the *best* vamp man candy). I raced through Blood Promise almost as soon as it arrived and now I need to know where things go; although I'm probably going to have to have a full series re-read beforehand as I think I read them all so fast that certain details didn't stick in the old grey cells. I really don't want to be confused when I finally get Spirit Bound in May. I expect that I won't really care that I'll be in the middle of exams by then and rip through it in a few hours in the manic fashion that I usually do. Ah c'est la vie.

#4 Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Although I've seen a couple of "meh" reviews for this I still really, really want to read it because I LOVED Shiver. I hadn't really read many books with werewolves in before that so I really liked the idea that they only shifted to human during the summer and that after a certain number of years they wouldn't be able to shift back at all. Sam also became one of my literary crushes and I am always glad to read more books with my crushes in (that's why I'm so impatient for the third Opal Cowan book from Maria V. Snyder cos VALEK'S IN IT!! *swoon*)
So yea bring on the 20th July! This summer is for uber reading time!

#5 Forest Born by Shannon Hale
I bet some people just did a double take and were like "Huh? But that book came out last September!" True but that was the US hardback which I didn't want. I'm patiently waiting for the UK paperback which is coming out on the 5th July (ooh another early July will *have* to pre-order that) so I can have all my Shannon Hale books with their gorgeously pretty and matching covers. Yes I *am* that weird about my book covers.

This is the cover for the first Book of Bayern -The Goose Girl which is brilliant. But how lovely is that cover? all the UK Bloomsbury covers for Hale's books are of the same theme and I think they're wonderful which I why I'm really excited for Forest Born. I'm hoping they'll do the cover in purple since they've done green, orange and blue so far and I think purple would go well. (Ok I'm biased cos I'm like addicted to the colour Purple but shush). Gah I'm rambling now.

So they are the books which I'm most anxious for at the moment, I've got several other books on my list of Must-Buy-This-Year but those are the more prominent in my mind. This has been a rather mish-mashy post and I'm not sure how much sense it'll make to folks but ah what the heck?

A Bientot


In My Mailbox #1

 Sunday, 24 January 2010

The "In My Mailbox" meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and was inspired by a post by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie

Ok so this is my first IMM and even though I don't get books for review I thought "ah what the heck, I'll do it anyway". This is going to be a combined post for all the books I've bought so far in January so next week's post should be pretty empty.

On the Top is:
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (I actually already have a copy but I've given the other one to my sister)
The Mysterious Affair at Styles and Taken at the Flood both by Agatha Christie
Selected Letters written by Jane Austen
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula le Guin
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
and a gorgeous leatherbound copy of Villette by Charlotte Bronte.

On the Bottom is:
Rule Britannia, Mary Anne, The King's General and The Birds all by Daphne du Maurier
The Running Vixen and The Time of Singing by Elizabeth Chadwick
Sovereign by C.J. Sansom

All of these books except the two Chadwick books (which were sent to me via Amazon) were bought from second-hand bookshops around town and I probably saved about £40 off their original prices. As I'm a student I can't really afford to buy brand-new books from Waterstones or Wh.Smiths so I am addicted to charity shops and second-hand shops because a surprising number of bargain books can be found if you look hard enough.

I know it must seem odd that I say I read a lot of YA fiction and then have only 2 books which can actually be called YA out of the 12 books I've bought this month. It's mostly because I'm trying to expand my reading into other genres e.g. Mysteries with the Christie books. I'm also partly addicted to buying Daphne du Maurier books whenever I see them cheap because I love the covers and I intend on reading at least one of her books each month this year. If you haven't ever read one of her books - do it! Her writing is amazing and I've adored both of the books by her which I've read so far.

Anyhow I'll finish things up here as I don't wish to drone and I'm not feeling very well at the moment so it's early doors for me tonight.

See you next week!


Booking through Thursday - Favourite Unknown

 Thursday, 21 January 2010

This is going to be my first meme post and I'm actually really looking forward to it because this week's topic is about what author you really like but no one else seems to have heard of.

I know exactly who I'm going to talk about :)

Tamora Pierce. Now I know any US or Canadian people may already know who she is but from my side of the pond it's a whole different story. In the UK it is *very* rare that you find someone who even knows who Tamora is and even rarer if they've actually read her books. But she is my absolute favourite author EVER- I picked up one of her books Wild Magic when I was about 13 or 14 (so not very long ago - I'm turning 20 this year *gasp*) and after reading this first book and seeing that Tammy had written more, I became like a girl possessed. I searched everywhere to try and get hold of her books, which was easier back then because Scholastic still published them in the UK but now there is actually NO UK Publisher *boo hiss*. But with the help of my mum, who at that time worked for a bookseller company, I was able to get all of Tammy's Circle books in one fell swoop to add to the Tortall books I'd already found.

I remember a rather funny incident which involved the Circle books that my mum bought for me - when they arrived I was actually forbidden to read them until *after* whatever exams I may have been doing at the time and my parents hid the bag of books. Now me being the book-devouring addict that I was (and still am of course) I searched the house for the loot and found them appallingly easily (in plain view in a wardrobe in the spare room- dear me was that the best they could do?). I had the brainwave that I could open the bag and take just the first book out, read it and then put it back so my parents wouldn't notice. Over the next week I read through all of the Circle of Magic quartet without my parents ever realising, I think I'd also read the first two books of the Circle Opens quartet. Then one day my dad says that I can now read one of my new books and fetches me one at random - of course he brings me one I've already read so I just take it and put it in my cupboard. The next day I claim to have finished it and he gives me the next one et al. This basically continued until I had got all of the books in my possession most of which I'd already read when they were given to me. Thankfully because they are Tamora Pierce books I have no problem re-reading them over and over.

Now I've wittered on forever about my acquisition of the books I'd better extol on *why* Tammy's books are so wonderful. If you've ever imagined (talking to the females here) when you were little, that you were a warrior and pretended to flail swords about and fight battles then Tamora's books are like a huge dream come true. Her heroines are not the delicate, wilting girls who'll let the men do all the fighting for them - they are very capable of defending themselves and those around them and perfectly happy to assume that role. That's not to say that the menfolk don't do anything, Tammy's male characters are some my favourite characters out of all the books I've read in the last ten years- they fight, they're often hilariously funny and they can actually be romantic with whom they fall in love with. Now if you add into the mix of brilliant characters a hefty dose of magic and the medieval-esque backdrop (This is Tortall folks, I'll get to the Circle books shortly) then you have a superb recipe for some excellent books. Tamora has written so far 16 books in the Tortall universe; 3 consecutive quartets, 1 duet which follows the quartets and 2 books out of a trilogy which is set 200 years before the first quartet, The Song of the Lioness. The last book in the Beka Cooper trilogy - Mastiff is due to be released in the Spring of 2011 I believe, although IMO that's *way* too far away.

In her other universe which centres around the country of Emelan, Tammy has written 10 books so far- 2 finished quartets, Circle of Magic and the Circle Opens and 2 books in the latest quartet, The Circle Reforged. The Emelan universe has a more modern feel than the Tortall world- it's more like 16th Century Europe with more sophisticated technologies and of course magic. There is a slightly different magic system used in these books which has certain people's powers manifesting through ordinary objects rather than just having powers which can be applied to any task. The four main characters in the Circle books start off as children of around 10; Sandry, Briar, Tris, and Daja, all of them have lost their families in one sense or another and were rescued from their situation by Niko Goldeye, a powerful mage, who brings them all to the Winding Circle Temple in Emelan. Over the course of the books the children grow and learn about their powers and in the second quartet they all split off and have their own adventures in far off countries (I know I suck at book descriptions- bear with me). Some people prefer the Tortall books to the Circle ones and I can understand why because with the latter having four main characters it's a tad difficult to like all of them equally- I personally love Briar and Tris but other people may have different favourites.

To me it's terribly sad that so few people in the UK known about this wonderful author especially considering how many books she's written over the years. I actually bought my best friend the Song of the Lioness quartet for a combined christmas/birthday present (Happy Birthday for Saturday Jess!! ) so I could have someone I knew to talk about and share the books with. Once she's read the first quartet I'm going to try my damnedest to help her find copies of the other Tortall books on this bereft island- of course that's if she *wants* to read the others *grin* - I'm not gonna turn all rabid fan-girl and force her to read them.

I do wish that a British Publisher would re-print Tammy's books over here so a new generation of girls could know about Alanna, Daine, Kel, Aly, Sandry, Tris, Briar, Daja and all the other wonderful people you learn to love as you read the books. But with all the teenage girls being obsessed with vampires, werewolves, faeries and the other hosts of supernatural creatures that are all over the Waterstones 3 for 2 tables at the moment I would worry that Tammy's books wouldn't be given the notice they deserved. Although maybe if they brought them out en masse with the amazing covers that Scholastic used before:

This is the quartet omnibus of the Song of the Lioness.
Isn't it brilliant!?!?!

 This is Wild Magic, the first in the Immortals quartet and the first Tammy book I ever bought.

This is First Test, the first Protector of the Small book which has my outright favourite Tortall heroine Keladry learning to become a knight. LOVE THIS QUARTET!!

Now since I've bored you all long enough with my extensive gushing about Tammy and how great her books are  I shall bring this to a close. If you didn't know about Tamora Pierce before you read this post well *tsk tsk* if you want to know more go find one of her books and READ IT!! 
Here is the Link to her website, which I acknowledge as the source of the cover images. (I would have scanned my books but I don't have them at university with me *sniff*)

Thank you for sticking with me, see you next Thursday!


Book Review - Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

 Wednesday, 20 January 2010

So my first book review on my new blog is going to be on the marvellous Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. 

I finished this around half 2 this morning and OH MY WORD! I was utterly gripped for the last quarter of the book, I couldn't bear to put it down no matter how late it was. This was only the second du Maurier book I've read but I really do love her writing - it's so beautifully descriptive and at the same time deliciously creepy and gothic.

Rebecca draws you in from the very start with the very long and drawn-out dream sequence taking you all the way up the drive to a wild overgrown Manderley and there are such vivid images of the chaos surrounding the house that you are completely entranced by it all.

I found it so sad that you never find out the first name of the second Mrs de Winter, but I realise that this was du Maurier's intent to have her as an unremarkable shadow of a woman who is always overlooked and compared to the vibrant and much-loved Rebecca. The only unusual thing about her was her unique name but we are cruelly denied the knowledge of what exactly it is - I know it will frustrate *me* forever as I dearly want to know because I felt so sorry for her having only her role as "Mrs de Winter" to identify herself and being entirely dependent on her husband. I know I would despair at such a fate.

I loved and loathed Mrs Danvers - god that woman was terrifying! But she was so brilliantly poisonous and cruel that any scenes with her and Mrs de Winter were wonderfully exciting whilst being horrifying at the same time. Her spiteful behaviour towards Mrs de Winter made you feel really uncomfortable as you pitied the poor girl for being reminded of the woman who came before. Rebecca, who was her superior in every respect and her presence which could be felt everywhere in Manderley slowly destroying the second wife's confidence and self-esteem to the point where Mrs Danvers very nearly succeeded in pushing her over the edge with her vicious lies.

Overall this book was spectacular - I was hooked from very early on and as I raced towards the end I was unable to tear myself away from the revelations around Rebecca's death and her marriage to Max. The final scene was built up with such a feeling of dread that you knew something awful was going to happen. I cannot recommend this highly enough and it's now one of my all-time favourites. I will definitely look forward to reading more of du Maurier's work over this year. Wow. Just. Wow.  )


Monday Musings

 Monday, 18 January 2010

I thought it might be a good idea get into a routine of posting on here or else I'm highly likely to let it fall into neglect very quickly and then it'll be a total waste of... something that I know not.

So I decree that Monday posts shall be reserved for ramblings of a varied nature - sometimes they'll be book related, other times they may be for random musings on things in my life (not that my life outside of the internet is terribly interesting but I like to whinge about certain things from time to time).

Today several interesting and extraordinary things happened; the first was the phone call I got this morning from my sister telling me she'd slipped over outside and may have broken her ankle (it later transpired that she had indeed broken her ankle). To me this was partly amusing because in my family it's been a long-standing joke that I am never ill nor have I ever broken any bones whereas my sister has broken the same leg twice in one year and had more time off school ill than I will ever have in my life.
 But I am still concerned for her (it's my job as the older sister) as she's got to spend tonight and possibly tomorrow night in the hospital as the Doctor's want to operate on her ankle to pin a bit of bone to her tibia to stop it "flapping about" (technical medical term quoted to me by my dad) but since it's swollen to elephantine proportions they couldn't do it today.
On the bright side for her - she gets time off school (which is always enjoyable when you're fourteen) and she gets a load of time to read. I've recently managed to get my sister reading as before she hated it but since I lent her my copies of the Twilight saga she's become semi-addicted. She's read the Twilight books almost to death (they're basically her books now since I haven't read them in ages, nor do I want to) and I've been suggesting to her other books to read.
While she didn't really get on with the Sarah Dessen books I lent her she has really hooked onto Nicholas Sparks (whom I adore) after reading his newest book "The Last Song". She actually keeps pestering *me* to read it which makes a change but since I already have a mighty stack of TBRs it's not too high on my priorities. So I suggested that she read The Notebook and the other Sparks books which I own and I got the impression when I called my dad earlier that she's commandeered all of the books and has them stashed in her room which is great, so long as she doesn't damage them by leaving them about (I'm ridiculously fastidious about the condition of my books).
It is really wonderful to be able to share the books I love with my sister because we didn't use to be as close as we are nowadays. So now that we have more things in common we have truckloads of fun together and although I'm sure she won't ever have the exact same taste in books as me, it's good to know that we can find books that we *both* love.

The second extraordinary occurrence happened this evening while I was pottering about on LibraryThing which is one of my web addictions - this website (if you don't know about it) kicks ass and is brilliant for all you book-loving nerdy crazy people out there. Well anyway I got a comment on my Profile Page from a lady called Gillian Philip who is a British author who has written a YA paranormal book called Darke Academy: Secret Lives under the pseudonym of Gabriella Poole. I read this book the other week and made a small review on my 75 Book Challenge thread. I really quite liked the book since I hadn't really known what to expect what with the plethora of paranormal books for  teens that have flooded the market in the last year. I gave it a positive review and pointed out in particular that it *wasn't* a vampire book despite what impressions the cover and blurb gave.
Well Gillian actually saw my thread and left me a personal comment on my profile (she even took the time to find my real name on the page instead of just addressing me as LadyViolet) which thanked me for my review and my comments regarding the "not a vampire book" bit and she hoped I would enjoy reading the second book Blood Ties which is released in February of this year.
This comment left me totally amazed and rather impressed, that she singled me out and personally thanked me for reading and enjoying her book and for trying to convince other people to read it. It isn't everyday that the actual author of a book takes the time to speak to their readers so this just made my afternoon.

Since I have now waxed lyrical about today I shall finish now but I shall be posting again this week as I would like to try my hand at one of the weekly memes floating about the bookblogosphere - possibly Booking through Thursday which looks rather intriguing. 



Even Newer Beginnings

 Saturday, 16 January 2010

As you may notice by the lonely post from last year, this is going to be my second attempt at keeping up a book blog. I may not succeed but I really would like to be able to maintain this for at least 6 months.
I shall try to keep things simple to begin with as so not to overload myself - I'll probably do a monthly post on what books I've bought, a weekly post about any books I've read (equipped with my rather feeble reviews), and I may even try my hand at some of the memes that other book bloggers do i.e. Tuesday Teaser, Booking through Thursday, Sunday Salon etc. Hopefully I shall find what works for me and stick to it.

With regards to my reading I'm currently partaking in two challenges on LibraryThing; the 75 Books Challenge and the Books off the Shelf Challenge, the latter is in an attempt to cut down the number of books that I own that have been unread for a very long time and the former is my general thread for all the books I read this year.

If anyone has any ideas for other things I could include in this blog please let me know in the comments - I'm not too great with the whole technical stuff like redesigning the general look and layout of the blog so any changes to that will be slight and slow-going.

I shall try very hard to post again soon after I've done some blog stalking for ideas ;)


Blog template by

Back to TOP