Not Enough Bookshelves: January 2009

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Graceling Covers

I just finished Graceling by Kristin Cashore and I completely loved it. I’m going to have to wait a few days to write a proper review because when I fall in love with a book and with characters the way I did with Katsa and Po I find it nearly impossible to say anything but “you must read this now!” But really you must!

Sometimes I never get over that stage and find it impossible to be objective, which explains the near divorce when my husband called Looking For Alaska incredibly boring and refused to finish it. I was mystified but then he is mystified that I never finished Catch 22 and we’re both astonished that our parents didn’t like Saturday by Ian McEwan.

Anyway I digress, instead of a review I’m comparing covers. I have a terrible habit of judging books by their covers. Also being British when I go home I’m always comparing the Uk/US covers. Usually I prefer the US, I certainly do in this case. I think the US cover is just perfect and beautiful. What do you think?

US Cover


UK Cover


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Tuesday Teasers


* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
* Please avoid spoilers!

Just found this and I love it, what a great way to be tempted to buy more books! Also the book I am reading is so amazing I can’t wait to share some with you.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

“It occurred to her that it wasn’t just the strangeness of his eyes that disconcerted her. It was that he wasn’t afraid to hold hers.”

Monday, 26 January 2009

Seven Things

I was tagged by Ann from Books on the Nightstand to tell you seven things about me. So here goes.

1) I fall firmly in the love it camp on Marmite. There is nothing like thick white bread, toasted, spread with butter and marmite and washed down with a cup of tea – the perfect comfort food.

2) I once woke up with a black tongue in Acapulco and thought it was from swimming in the sea! Turns out you shouldn’t have Pepti Bismol after drinking alcohol, it has a strange reaction.

3) I got to find out that we’re having a boy last Monday, due to the miracle of the ultrasound machine, so glad I don’t have to wait until June.

4) I am currently addicted to both Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares and The F Word. My husband says Gordan Ramsey is my pregnancy craving 🙂

5) I am very impatient – see no 3 🙂

6) I am currently attempting to write my first book, it’s very, very hard but also the most enjoyable “work” I have done ever.

7) I take strange irrational dislikes to things (tomatoes, beer, TV shows, book covers!) and usually have to admit I was totally wrong.

I shan’t tag anyone but please do grab the meme if you want too and let me know if you do it.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

SS – Don't judge a book by it's cover

My Husband has been bugging me for the longest time to read Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and I have resisted. Mainly because I didn’t like the cover but also because I’d heard Haruki Murakami wrote mysterious, surrealist type books. After repeated assurances from my husband that it wasn’t surreal and that I would totally love it. I finally picked it up two days ago and devoured it.

It’s a coming of age story and a tragic love story too. The characters are compelling and the writing is beautiful, full of lines I wanted to write down to remember, because they said things I knew but in such a wonderful way. Such as

People leave strange little memories of themselves behind when they die.

I highly recommend it and I may even give the more surreal novels a try.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

BTT – Sing! Sing a song


But, enough about books … Other things have words, too, right? Like … songs!

If you’re anything like me, there are songs that you love because of their lyrics; writers you admire because their songs have depth, meaning, or just a sheer playfulness that has nothing to do with the tunes.

So, today’s question?

* What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?
* Why?
* And … do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?

You don’t have to restrict yourself to modern songsters, either … anyone who wants to pick Gilbert & Sullivan, for example, is just fine with me. Lerner & Loewe? Steven Sondheim? Barenaked Ladies? Fountains of Wayne? The Beatles? Anyone at all…

Great idea as I have certain songs that remind me of books I’ve read or inspired things I’ve written; I could do an epic post but I shall restrict myself to three.

Defying Gravity from the Wicked soundtrack.

Something has changed within me.
Something is not the same.
I’m through with playing by the rules of someone elses game.
Too late for second-guessing.
Too late to go back to sleep!
It’s time to trust my instincs.
Close my eyes, and leap!
It’s time to try defying gravity

I love the whole song but the above lines are my favourites. I really like the idea of trusting yourself and striving for something, even if you might not get it.

Coldplay Vive la Vida

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but I love the rhythm of this song and it also inspired my NaNoWriMo story, so it had to be here.

Orbiting- The Weepies

And I’m out of your range
Now it’s kind of strange
How we change orbit in our lives
You were kind of a moon outside of my room
I could just feel you nearby
Now I feel you gone
‘Cause I know which side you’re on
And it’s not mine

I walk the line between now and then
It’s deep-sea diving with no oxygen
Guess I went somewhere to hide
Far behind my eyes
I willed you there to see
But you never came for me

I love all the Weepies songs they write amazing lyrics but I think the words to this one are just beautiful, especially the line “It’s deep sea diving with no oxygen.

If you want to share your favourite songs pop over to Booking Through Thursday and sign up.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

BTT – The Best?

It’s a week or two later than you’d expect, and it may be almost a trite question, but … what were your favorite books from 2008?

Well I managed to narrow it down to ten, in no particular order:

1) The vanishing act of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrel

2) The secret History – Donna Tart

3) The Ivy League Novels – Diana Peterfreund. I don’t know how I can wait till May for the last one to come out!

4) The Truth about Forever – Sarah Dessen

5) Looking for Alaska – John Green

6) The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

7) The Twilight Saga (not BD!) – Stephanie Meyer

8)The Gurnesy Literary and Potato Peel Society – Mary Ann Shaffer

9) The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

10) Water for elephants – Sara Gruen

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Let it Snow

I devoured this book just before Christmas, on a train journey from New York to DC and it snowed and there was some kind of girls sport team on the train! So a perfect setting to read the book in. Luckily we didn’t crash so I didn’t have to trudge through the snow to the waffle house and have an adventure, like the characters in these three excellent short stories.

Let it Snow features three stories by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Mryacle, and the characters from each cross over into the other stories, which I loved. Of the three authors I was only familiar with John Green’s work but I’ll definitely be checking out Maureen’s and Lauren’s books because I loved both their stories too.

John Green as always didn’t disappoint with a story about finding love right under your nose. Maureen Johnson’s story was hysterical. I mean it features parents who are so in love with a Christmas village set that they have named their daughter after the main piece – it doesn’t get more perfect then that! Lauren Myracle story was the sweetest and her character grew the most, as she reconnected with a lost love, always harder than finding someone new. I didn’t like Addy at first possible because she reminded me of me as a teenager but she grew on me and I loved the ending. Also this story had teacup pigs, so adorable!

I’m really curious about how they collaborated on the project whether they wrote their characters dialogue in the others stories or whether they just edited it.

It’s a great book for snuggling with in the winter time though, I highly recommend it!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Sunday Salon – Happily Ever After

Tap and Gown is the final book in Diana Peterfreund’s Ivy League series. I am so excited about the publication of this book, how will I survive until May? Thankfully it is the middle of May, so I should have time to devour it before the baby arrives!

Due to certain comments by Diana on her blog I’m not sure the book will have a “traditional” happy ending. It got me thinking about how much a happy ending (in the sense of the heroine wandering off into the sunset with the man of her dreams) matters to me in a book.

While I am a sucker for “and they lived happily ever after” endings, most of my favourite books don’t have them – The Pursuit of Love, His Dark Materials, The vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, Hideous Kinky, The Book Thief, Looking for Alaska, The Secret History.

I’d rather have an ending that is fitting for characters I’ve come to love than a forced “happy” ending. Of course if it fits that the heroine and hero end up together then I’m all for it, such as with, Pride and Prejudice, The truth about forever, The outlander books. If books end on a fairy tale note that feels forced and ridiculous (like the end to a certain saga that was published this year) then it completely ruins it for me.

So I like a happy ending but not at any cost, how about you?

Friday, 2 January 2009

Farewell 2008, Hello 2009

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.

2008 was a good reading year for me.

I read 80 books.

I discovered Young Adult books.

I found some amazing new to me authors: Maggie O’Farrel, E.Lockhart, John Green, Sarah Dessen, Diana Peterfreund, Me Cabot,

I only read a handful of books I didn’t care for.

I discovered I don’t do well with challenges. I like the idea but as soon as I have to read a book, I get that homework feeling and put it off!

Reading Goals for 2009 are:

To read 80 books or more, might be tricky this year with the arrival of a baby in June, but they sleep right?

To try at least 10 new to me authors.

To keep up to date with my reviews and try and make them proper rather than one line, although I do like one line reviews.

Hope you all have a wonderful 2009

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