Posts Categorized: Lists

Top Ten Tuesday

December 10, 2013 Lists, Meme 9

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Almost did the wrong list (I pulled next weeks by accident)! It’s why I’m late posting. I had to think!

Betwixt and Between by Jessica Stilling

As I mentioned last week, I saw this on the new arrivals shelf at the library and it just called my name!

To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl

Heard about this one on the History Chicks poscast and it sounds amazing.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

It was on sale Black Friday, or maybe Cyber Monday… either way, I snapped it up. It’s Donna Tartt y’all!

True Grit by Charles Portis

Completely Melissa’s fault.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Also on sale whatever day that was…. Sounds like a nice, cozy read. Actually got the whole trilogy.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

AND on sale. Been meaning to read it forever.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Need to review it…. And that cover is just so cute to me!

Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

Was on sale sometime or other. Sounds good!

The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins

For Estella!

The Devil in Silver by Victor Lavalle

Reading this with my Andiroo. We call it the demon buffalo book.

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.

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Okay. This is what I’m taking.

July 5, 2013 Books, Lists 7

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Let us pray I don’t change my mind before Sunday. Cause we all know I will.

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (ebook)
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (ebook)
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (ebook)
  • Doll Bones by Holly Black (I’m behind in Holly Black books) (book)
  • Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (ebook)
  • The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine (ebook)
  • The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich (if I don’t finish before I leave) (book)
  • Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne Valente (book)
  • Smoke & Mirrors by Neil Gaiman (audiobook)
  • The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison (ebook)
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (ebook)

That should hold me, right? What do you recommend as good beach reading?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Most Intimidating Books!

July 2, 2013 Lists, Meme 10

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.

This week! The Top Ten Most Intimidating Books (might be intimated by size, content, that everyone else loves it but you are sure you won’t etc). Since I just LOVE lists, I’m going to give you two. Books I haven’t read and books that DID intimate me, and I read, conquered, and loved!, them anyway.

 Books I Haven’t Read (but really want to)

  • Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – I don’t know why. Seriously. I need to read this. Soon.
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – Starting it today!
  • I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb – It’s just so huge!
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – I tried. I really did.
  • Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes – I tried this too. Really!
  • Game of Thrones by George RR Martin – I have it. It’s on my list. Swears!
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison – Toni Morrison just intimiates me.
  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens – Ahhhh…Dickens. My literary nemisis. I think it’s because I love Wilkie Collins so much and I imagine them to have been rivals. It’s all in my imagination. I should write a book.
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray – I TRIED, OKAY?
  • In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust - Il est français et effrayant.

 Books I Have Read (and totally loved)

  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – Historical fiction at its best.
  • The Stand by Stephen King – Just as horrific as I expected, but in a less overwhelming way that I was expecting. Definitely one of my top ten favorite books ever now.
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas – LOVED this book. So funny to me.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo – Oh, Quasimodo. How you broke my heart.
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – I’m sorry, but Scarlett is like one of the best villians ever.
  • The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber – Yes, the same book I just tanked on rereading (IN AUDIO, in my defense). Still love it though.
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman – Loved it the first time. Loved it the second. Will love it again.
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert – Made better by reading it with Andi, but also stinking hilarious. Oh that carriage ride.
  • North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell – THE ENDING. And also, Richard Armitage.
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – Good LORD y’all. I love this series SO HARD. I reread this one this year and loved it even more. I can’t wait for the next one.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books of 2013 (so far…)

June 25, 2013 Lists, Meme 9

 

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.

Oh goody! I love this list. This list will be fun. Although, first, I have to remember what I have read so far this year….

Oh. Right. Now I remember.

My Top Ten (So Far) of 2013 (in order read)

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (read by Emily Klein)
  • Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore
  • Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman (read by Jenna Lamia)
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

What’s that you say? That’s 11 books? Umm…yeah…. So? What’s your point?

What books are in your top ten so far this year? Have you read any of mine? What did you think of them?

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Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Day 1

September 10, 2012 Books, Lists 24

It’s that time of year again! Today is the first day of the annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Today’s topic is:

Appreciation! There are no awards this year, but it can still be hard to navigate the huge universe of book blogging. Share with your readers some of the blogs you enjoy reading daily and why.

Wow. I read quite a few every day. Here are a few of my very favorites, I read them if they publish, every day. This is just a small bit of the ones I check if they pub. I can’t name all of the blogs I read, or I might as well write a novel! There are SO MANY good ones out there now!

The Avid Reader’s Musings - Melissa is awesome. And so is her dog.  I love her readerly mind.

BermudaOnion’s Weblog - No one has commented on my blog as much as Kathy. And she is such an awesome reader. She reads so many books I want to read, if I could ever find the time!

Beth Fish Reads – My GO TO Audiobook reviewer! And cookbook reviewer! And photographer to drool over! Plus she’s just awesome.

Booklust – Aarti challenges me more than just about any blogger, except for maybe Ana.

Book Nut – Melissa is my go to for kids books. She reads them all, so I can weed out what I think my kids will like. And also me. :)

book-a-rama – Chris rocks my socks off. Nuff said.

The Estella Society – can’t really get away from it. lol

Fig and Thistle – Gosh, Amanda, Andi, and I have been at this forever. Together. We all started about the same time, over 7 years ago! Amanda is my go to woman for all things Mama, classic reading, feminist reading, cooking, cleaning, crocheting, knitting, embrodering, and more. Amanda is one of my heroes, in so many ways.

Fizzy Thoughts – JILL! Of COURSE I read Jill’s blog! Where else will I get a slightly vulgar song that knocks my wicked socks off?

Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity – Um, if you don’t follow Trish, there is something wrong with you. Also, she has the cutest baby ever. Well, since my own. Yes, I am completely biased.

Regular Rumination – Lu is awesome. She reads great books AND she crochets! She rocks!

Reading Adventures – Marg has been around so long, I can’t remember when I “met” her! She’s my go to for historical fiction and all things Australia. AND she’s my interview partner for tomorrow!

Stainless Steel Droppings - Carl. Oh Carl. I don’t know what I would do without Carl and his awesome reading events. My Autumn would never be the same and I know no matter what, I will celebrate RIP in someway for the rest of my life.

still nothing of importance – DEBI! My dear, sweet, loving Debi. I always read her blog because I just love HER so much.

Stuff as Dreams are Made On – And here is my Chris. What would I do with out Chris? He has taught me so much, I don’t think he even realizes it. And he reads such great books! Listens to such great music! Even if sometimes I don’t get it! lol He’s just wonderful.

things mean a lot – Ana challenges me so much as a reader. Don’t tell her this, because it would embarrass her, but she intimidates me a bit too. But she is the sweetest, most gentle person ever. She’s just fantastic.

Tripping Toward Lucidity – Andi’s my best bud, I guess everyone knows that by now! She’s my reading soulmate, best friend, and rock.

The Written World – Kelly! Kelly challenges me too. She reads SO MUCH! And so variedly! I think she is the first one to convince me to try something science fictiony and I am so glad she did. Plus she’s my go to for all things Canadian.

Write Meg – Beautiful photography, beautiful food, beautiful words. Meg’s place is not a place to miss. She invariably makes me hungry, thirsty, and desperate to read whatever she’s reading.

Gosh, that was way more than I meant to do, but there were so many I couldn’t bear to leave out. I STILL left out so many I can’t bear to leave out! Now, I can’t wait to visit everyone and discover new blogs! Happy Book Blogger Appreciation Week everyone!

 

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R(eaders) I(mbibing) P(eril): Year Seven

August 30, 2012 Books, Lists, Reading Challenges 8

The leaves are turning shades of red and orange. The air is cooler. I made my first pot of soup last night. School started weeks ago. It’s time for this young girls’ thoughts to turn to vampires, werewolves, psychological terror, and grisly horror.

RIP VII is here.

I cannot believe it’s been seven years since I first took part in this magical, mysterious, and blood-curdlingly exciting event. Without a doubt, it is the highlight of my favorite season. My plans are to do Peril the First (read up to 4 books), Peril of the Short Story (I never succeed at this, but I always keep trying!), Peril on the Screen (hopefully starting with ParaNorman!), and Peril of the Readalong. Andi and I are hosting a readalong of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, a bloody good spooky book, over at The Estella Society. And, despite the fact I’ve already reread The Graveyard Book this year, I will probably do that one too. It is, after all, probably my most favorite book, now that The Princess Bride seems to have been knocked from that pedestal (hangs head in pitiful sadness).

Come on over and join in. It is SUCH a good book and perfect for RIP.

Contenders, since no RIP post is complete without pictures of books, am I right?

And also on my iPod:

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, read by Simon Vance
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova , read by Justine Eyre, Paul Michelle (reread, if I can get my husband to read it too)
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, read by Steven Crossely (ditto the above)
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, read by Stefan Rudinicki (if I can’t get into the book. I’m determined to read this one this year!)
Dracula by Bram Stoker, read by Anthony Valentine (reread, since last years’ reread was so disappointing. I think this one is unabridged!)
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, read by Simon Vance (haven’t read this since college!)
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, read by Scott Brick
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (got hubby reading listening to this now, may have to reread so we can discuss)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (this makes me laugh. I’ve never read this book and despair that I ever will!)

eBooks:

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (It may be a stretch, but I’m putting it down anyway. Those monkeys are hella scary.)
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes ed by Georgia McBride and Michelle Zink
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Peterson
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Ratcliffe
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

And maybe also this:

Do I get a nose?

Now I think I’ll sneak off and start reading. If you would care to join in the fun (please, you should!), head on over to Carl’s blog and sign up. Happy RIP everyone!

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The Classics Club August Meme

August 9, 2012 Books, Lists 15

This month’s meme asks a truly difficult question.

What is your favorite classic book? Why?

Okay, asking what classic book is like asking me what’s my favorite flavor of chocolate. How on EARTH do I pick? I could say so many:

Gone with the Wind
The Great Gatsby
The Old Man and the Sea (yes Andi, I KNOW.)
The Three Musketeers
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Les MiserablesThe Count of Monte Cristo (I went through a very hot and heavy French author phase around age 14)
The Scarlet Letter
Dracula
Huckleberry Finn
The Woman in White
The Moonstone
The Secret Garden
Frankenstein
Pride and Prejudice
Little Women
The Faery Queene (I’m not kidding!)
Jane Eyre

Oh my gosh, I’m giving myself an itch to reread all of these!

If I HAVE to pick a favorite (go on, twist my arm), at this very moment, I would have to go with… um… well. Let’s see. I guess I will pick… aw, geez. I’m sorry to hem and haw, but I just can’t seem to make myself pick. Okay. I’m just going to rip it out, like a bandaid…

And this is mainly because I want Andi (and the REST of you, if you haven’t read it yet) to read it.

Why? I think it’s the sort of book every book lover should read at least once. Francie Nolan is one of the best characters ever written. And, for me, it’s a comfort read. It’s the story of the coming of age of a confirmed book worm, set in 1940s New York. It’s about the struggle to grow up in less than ideal circumstances. It’s about loving someone who doesn’t deserve it. It’s about loving someone a little less, who deserves it more. It’s about struggling to raise yourself up and become something better than you are. It’s about love. And family. And music. And words. And faith.

It’s one of the best books ever.

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A Music Post

August 5, 2012 Lists, Music 6

I don’t know what to call my music post yet, or what day I’m going to do it on (I am leaning toward Sunday though!), so right now it’s just called A Music Post. Not feeling terribly creative this morning!

First thing, I have to apologize to Chris. I’m PRETTY sure he tried to introduce me to Grace Potter once before, on one of his Christmas gift mixes. I guess it was a matter of timing, because it didn’t click. It does now though. Sorry Chris, because what a voice!

And also:

Thanks Pandora, I discovered Damien Rice. I am so butt crazy in love with this song, OMG.

Lastly, this girl is awesome. Her voice. Oh my gosh. Love.

Um, I never realized this was Adrian Brody in this video… And no, I didn’t *just* discover Tori Amos…let’s just say I *just* discovered a new appreciation of her.

Also, I started another YouTube playlist of songs I like that are not classical crossover. It’s here….How about you? Heard any good music lately?

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Books: The Birthday Loot

January 23, 2012 Books, Lists 28

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I have had the most bookish birthday of my life today, you guys, and I could not wait to share it with you, so I’m posting it now. All of the above are books I either got or purchased with gift cards. For my birthday. I’m still pinching myself. Here are the deets, from left to right, top down:

Ha’Penny by Jo Walton – because Ana loves her and I recently got Among Others as well.

In 1949, eight years after the “Peace with Honor” was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dicatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb.

The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch King-and- Country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain’s Prime Minister and his new ally, Adolf Hitler.

Against a background of increasing domestic espionage and the suppression of Jews and homosexuals, an ad-hoc band of idealists and conservatives blackmail the one person they need to complete their plot, an actress who lives for her art and holds the key to the Fuhrer’s death. From the ha’penny seats in the theatre to the ha’pennies that cover dead men’s eyes, the conspiracy and the investigation swirl around one another, spinning beyond anyone’s control.

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean – ditto the above

In the ancient Scottish ballad “Tam Lin,” headstrong Janet defies Tam Lin to walk in her own land of Carterhaugh . . . and then must battle the Queen of Faery for possession of her lover’s body and soul. In this version of “Tam Lin,” masterfully crafted by Pamela Dean, Janet is a college student, “Carterhaugh” is Carter Hall at the university where her father teaches, and Tam Lin is a boy named Thomas Lane. Set against the backdrop of the early 1970s, imbued with wit, poetry, romance, and magic, Tam Lin has become a cult classic—and once you begin reading, you’ll know why. This reissue features an updated introduction by the book’s original editor, the acclaimed Terri Windling.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley – can’t quite remember why, but I’m thinking it’s because of Kelly.

History has all but forgotten…In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.

But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her..

King Rat by China Mieville – I’ve been dying to try Mieville. This seemed as good a place as any to start and goodness, it sounds so good.

Something is stirring in London’s dark, stamping out its territory in brickdust and blood. Something has murdered Saul Garamond’s father, and left Saul to pay for the crime.

But a shadow from the urban waste breaks into Saul’s prison cell and leads him to freedom. A shadow called King Rat, who reveals Saul’s royal heritage, a heritage that opens a new world to Saul, the world below London’s streets–a heritage that also drags Saul into King Rat’s plan for revenge against his ancient enemy,. With drum ‘n’ bass pounding the backstreets, Saul must confront the forces that would use him, the forces that would destroy him, and the forces that shape his own bizarre identity.

Love’s Shadow by Ada Leverson – honestly, I love these covers. I’m kinda collecting them.

The heroine of Love’s Shadowis the delightful Edith Ottley. She lives with her husband Brace and her two children in a very new, very small, very white flat in Knightsbridge. As we follow Edith’s fortunes we enter the enchanting world of Edwardian London, bewitched by the courtships, jealousies and love affairs of Edith’s coterie – Hyacinth, Eugenia, Charles and Cecil, Vincy, Madame Frabelle and many more.

A Kid for Two Farthings by Wolf Mankowitz – ditto above, plus, unicorns? Hello!

A six-year-old boy in the British immigrant community of Whitechapel believes he has discovered a unicorn for sale at the market. Though it looks to most people like a white goat with a bump on its head, young Joe is certain it will make the dreams of his friends and neighbors come true—a reunion with his father in Africa, a steam press for a tailor shop, a ring for a girlfriend. Others may be skeptical of the unicorn’s magic, but with enough effort, Joe believes he can make it all real.

Seedfolk by Paul Flieschman – on my list from Debi

A vacant lot, rat-infested and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise: To Curtis, who believes he can win back Lateesha’s heart with a harvest of tomatoes; to Virgil’s dad, who sees a fortune to be made from growing lettuce; and even to Maricela, sixteen and pregnant, wishing she were dead.

Thirteen very different voices — old, young, Haitian, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful — tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury – was looking for The Halloween Tree, which is on my list from Debi. They didn’t have it, so I got this.

The tattooed man moves, and in the arcane designs scrawled upon his skin swirled tales beyond imagining: tales of love and laughter darkness and death, of mankind’s glowing, golden past and its dim, haunted future. Here are eighteen incomparable stories that blend magic and truth in a kaleidoscope tapestry of wonder–woven by the matchless imagination of Ray Bradbury.

The Nun by Simonetta Agnello Hornby – I was browsing and goodness gracious, this sounded GOOD.

August 15, 1839. Messina, Italy. In the home of Marshall don Peppino Padellani di Opiri, preparations for the feast of the Ascension are underway. This may be the last happy day in the life of Agata, the Marshall’s daughter. She and the wealthy Giacomo Lepre have fallen in love. Agata however must forsake her beloved Giacomo for the good of her family. Unfortunately the extended families of these illicit lovers cannot come to an agreement in their efforts to put the tawdry matter of their offspring’s affair to rest and when Marshall don Peppino dies, Agata’s mother decides to ferry her daughter far from Messina, to Naples, where she hopes to garner a stipend from the King. The only boat leaving Messina that day is captained by the young Englishman, James Garson.

Following a tempestuous passage to Naples, during which Agata confesses her troubles to James, Agata and her mother find themselves rebuffed by the king and Agata is forced to join a convent. The Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio Stilita is rife with rancor and jealousy, illicit passions and ancient feuds.

But Agata remains aloof, devoting herself to the cultivation of medicinal herbs, calmed by the steady rhythms of monastic life. She reads all the books James Garson sends her and follows the news of the various factions struggling to bring unity to Italy. She has accepted her life as a nun, but she is divided by her yearnings for purity and religiosity and her desire to be part of the world. She is increasingly torn when she realizes that her feelings for James Garson, though he is only a distant presence in her life, have eclipsed those for Lepre.

A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse – have you seen the cover? I arrest my case.

The founding of a unique Paris bookstore triggers jealousies and threats in Cossé’s intriguing follow-up to The Corner of the Veil (1999). Former comic-book seller Ivan “Van” Georg and stylish Francesca Aldo-Valbelli team to establish the Good Novel, a bookshop that will stock only masterpieces in fiction, which are selected by a secret committee of writers. At first, the warm welcome of the bookstore results in soaring sales. Then attacks in the press, the opening of rival bookstores, and attempts against the lives of committee members by persons unknown sour the atmosphere for the Good Novel’s community of readers and writers. Cossé poignantly depicts characters who have turned to literature for solace against the pain in their lives, creates ongoing speculation as to the shadowy first-person narrator, and furnishes sly commentary about gatekeeping in the literary world. Though purists may be disappointed with the solution to the mystery, there’s plenty of food for thought.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler – I loved Fledgling, so it’s been my mission to read more Butler. Now I have this and Kindred!

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.

A stirring portrait of 21st-century America by the author of Wild Seed. Forced to flee an America where anarchy and violence have completely taken over, empath Lauren Olamina–who can feel the pain of others and is crippled by it–becomes a prophet carrying the hope of a new world and a new faith christened “Earthseed.”

Snow White, Blood Read by Datlow and Windling – fairy tales, Datlow and Windling, and on the discount shelf. It was a no-brainer.

Once upon a time, fairy tales were for children–but not anymore.

In Snow White, Blood Red, some of today’s most acclaimed fantasy authors present stories that evoke the spirit of classic fairy tales, but that are decidedly for grown-ups. Here you will find magical tales of enchantment and delight, but also stories with a dark, sinister edge in which heroes and heroines are flawed and fallible, fairies and fey beings pursue their own wicked schemes, love lists toward lust, words and actions are weapons that draw blood, and not everyone lives happily ever after. Passionate, erotic, violent, and brutally honest, these stories simmer with emotions that their disarmingly charming fantasies can barely contain.

Edited by award-winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, and featuring the work of Neil GaimanCharles de LintGahan WilsonPatricia A. McKillipSteve and Melanie Tem, and fifteen other leading fantasists, Snow White, Blood Red is a connoisseur’s collection of fairy tales that have outgrown the nursery.

This provocative collection of magical tales explores the darker side of classic fairy tales. Penned by some of the most acclaimed fantasists of our day, here are tales of trolls, ogres, bewitched princesses and cursed kingdoms.

The Secret History of Fantasy ed. by Peter S. Beagle – I need more magic in my life.

Step Right Up and buy your ticket to the impossible marvels of the Barnum Museum. Take a highly caffeinated ride through the Empire of Ice Cream. If you dare, hunt feral archetypes deep within a haunted English forest. Or conquer the New World with a band of geographically-challenged Norsemen.

Tired of the same old fantasy? Here are the stories that you’ve never imagined possible. Nineteen extraordinary writers offer much-needed antidotes to clichéd tales of swords and sorcery. Combining the best of the old and the new, these instant classics will inspire even the most jaded of readers. Beloved author and anthologist Peter S. Beagle reveals the secret: fantasy is back and it’s better than ever.

The Homesick Texan by Lisa Fain – I loooove her blog, so glad my BIL got me this! PS: This book is gorgeous.

When Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan, moved to New York City, she missed the big sky, the bluebonnets in spring, Friday night football, and her family’s farm. But most of all, she missed the foods she’d grown up with.

After a fruitless search for tastes of Texas in New York City, Fain took matters into her own hands. She headed into the kitchen to cook for her friends the Tex-Mex, the chili, and the country comfort dishes that reminded her of home. From cheese enchiladas drowning in chili gravy to chicken-fried steak served with cream gravy on the side, from warm bowls of chile con queso to big pots of fiery chili made without beans, Fain re-created the wonderful tastes of Texas she’d always enjoyed at potlucks, church suppers, and backyard barbecues back home.

In 2006, Fain started the blog Homesick Texan to share Texan food with fellow expatriates, and the site immediately connected with readers worldwide, Texan and non-Texan alike. Now, in her long-awaited first cookbook, Fain brings the comfort of Texan home cooking to you.

Like Texas itself, the recipes in this book are varied and diverse, all filled with Fain’s signature twists. There’s Salpicón, a cool shredded beef salad found along the sunny border in El Paso; Soft Cheese Tacos, a creamy plate unique to Dallas; and Houston-Style Green Salsa, an avocado and tomatillo salsa that is smooth, refreshing, and bright. There are also nibbles, such as Chipotle Pimento Cheese and Tomatillo Jalapeño Jam; sweet endings, such as Coconut Tres Leches Cake and Mexican Chocolate Chewies; and fresh takes on Texan classics, such as Coffee-Chipotle Oven Brisket, Ancho Cream Corn, and Guajillo- Chile Fish Tacos.

With more than 125 recipes, The Homesick Texan offers a true taste of the Lone Star State. So pull up a chair—everyone’s welcome at the Texas table!

My hubby also got me a beautiful green cover for my Nook Tablet. It says “Choose an author as you choose a friend. Sir Christopher Wren. And I love it.

Now, the question obviously is; where do I begin?????

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Best of 2011 – Books of the Graphic Kind

January 17, 2012 Book Reviews, Books, Lists 5

Better late than never, right? I hope so, because I am sooooo late with this post. Put I had to get it out there, because, despite the decrease in number, the increase in quality of graphic novels I read last year just has to be put out here. I only read 23, 11 of which are from one series, but I seriously loved them all. Where do I begin?

I know exactly where I begin. With Bone.

Bone came to me early last year. On a whim, I picked up the first in the series, not really knowing what to expect. Next think I knew, I was buying the rest of the series (nine books total) and devouring them in less than a week. Here is my complete review of the series, with a bit of a highlight here:

That is just at tiny taste (and an inadequate one at that) of the awesomeness that is Bone. I loved Bone. I adored Bone. I want to marry Bone and have it’s children. Okay, that’s a little too far, but seriously, I loved it. It has been over a month since I plowed through all nine books and I find still find myself thinking about the story, the characters, the in jokes (Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures!!!), the gorgeous gorgeous art, and more. This story is so many things. Adventure. Coming of age. Road trip. Love. Loyalty. Destiny. Friendship. Finding yourself. Trust.  It’s dark. It’s funny. It’s epic.

And the art, again, is gorgeous. Seriously.

Other highlights include Anya’s Ghost, the Brian Selznicks and The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt. I hope to read many, many more graphic novels this year, to make up for last year. At least there was a lot of quality, if not a lot of quantity. And hopefully I’ll review them better too!

The rest:

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (review)
Shivers, Wishes and Wolves, ed by Donald Lemke (review)
The Stuff of Legend, Vol. 1
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Bone: Tale Tales by Tom Sniegoski and Jeff Smith
where i live by Eileen Spinelli and Matt Phelan
Bone: Rose by Tom Sniegoski and Jeff Smith
Little Red Riding Hood by The Brothers Grimm, Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus (review)
Bone 9: Crown of Horns by Jeff Smith
Bone 8: Treasure Hunters by Jeff Smith
Bone 7: Ghost Circles by Jeff Smith
Bone 6: Old Man’s Cave by Jeff Smith
The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
Bone 5: Rock Jaw by Jeff Smith
Bone 4: The Dragonslayer by Jeff Smith
Bone 3: Eyes of the Storm by Jeff Smith
Bone 2: The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith
Bone 1: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith

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