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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trailer: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

I'll be reviewing this one after Jane in June is through, but until then, I thought I'd tease you with the trailer.
Check it out:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs
Release: June 7, 2011 from Quirk

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography,Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

TBR Tuesday: Into the Wild Nerd Yonder

Most of us have books we've bought with all intentions of reading (or maybe just because it was cheap!), only to have them fade away on a shelf or disappear into a stack of books, never to be seen or thought of again.
TBR Tuesday is a way to talk about the books we own but haven't read, see what other people think about them, and help us decide whether to bump it up our list or knock it off completely.

Everyone is welcome to participate; feel free to link your TBR post to the linky below. :)

On my TBR

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder
Julie Halpern

It’s Jessie’s sophomore year of high school. A self-professed “mathelete,” she isn’t sure where she belongs. Her two best friends have transformed themselves into punks and one of them is going after her longtime crush. Her beloved older brother will soon leave for college (and in the meantime has shaved his mohawk and started dating . . . the prom princess!) . . .
Things are changing fast. Jessie needs new friends. And her quest is a hilarious tour through high-school clique-dom, with a surprising stop along the way—the Dungeons and Dragons crowd, who out-nerd everyone. Will hanging out with them make her a nerd, too? And could she really be crushing on a guy with too-short pants and too-white gym shoes? If you go into the wild nerd yonder, can you ever come back?

This one was a gift from the ever-awesome Ksenia, and I had actually never heard of it.  I was completely taken by the title and tagline (which if you can't read it, says 'My life on the dork side'), and I almost started to read it soon after receiving it.  But as too often happens, it got placed in a stack in my room (and books are so hard to get out of stacks without the whole damn things collapsing), and it's been there ever since.  The spine peeks out at me on occasion, reminding me to get in touch with my inner nerd.  Not that I need a lot of help remembering to do that.  I mean, I write a book blog.  I host fairy tale and Jane Austen events.  So...that's pretty much covered, amirite?
Have any of you read this one?  Are you in touch with your inner nerd, or do you still try to play cool and deny it?
What's on your tbr?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Beach Reads UPDATED 4/29/13

I've mentioned in passing a few times now that I am going to be doing a Beach Reads meme this summer, so I figured it was time to finally tell you a little bit about it, since, you know, it's almost summer.  The idea for Beach Reads came about from my need to read more contemporary, and the generall summery desire for "fluff", contemporary or otherwise.
So here are a few details about my Beach Reads:

* update: Although I originally posted these every Friday throughout the summer of 2011, I will now post Beach Reads throughout the late Spring and summer, whenever I see fit (ie whenever I've read a good "beach worthy" book).

* They will mostly focus on light, fun beach-appropriate stuff, though there may be the occasional not-so-fluffy read (for the 'serious' beach reader). update: "Light" mostly refers to tone - anything that's engaging and quick, or to which the terms "spunky," "fiesty," and "hilarious" can be applied (to main character or author).

* I will try to keep the reviews quick and fun, and will rate the "beach-worthiness" of the reads.

* Anyone is welcome to steal the button above and post about their own beach reads (faves, what you're reading this summer, pics of you reading at the beach, etc)

* Jane in June will include its own line up of Beach Reads, for all you beachy Janeites.

Here is the line-up so far:

  1. Mr Darcy Goes Overboard by Belinda Roberts
  2. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
  3. A Weekend with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly
  4. What Would Mr Darcy Do? by Abigail Reynolds
  5. Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick
  6. Heist Society by Ally Carter
  7. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
  8. Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando
  9. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Tara Altebrando
  10. One Butt Cheek at a Time by Amber Kizer
  11. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  12. School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

More coming soon!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

In My Mailbox: 5/29/11

Make sure to leave a link to your IMM in the comments, so I can see what goodies you got!  And if you've read any of my goodies, let me know what you thought of them. :)
And as always, In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

My computer was being a jerk so there's some wonkiness in the middle where I kinda sound like a drag queen...so enjoy that!

Wildcat Fireflies by Amber Kizer
Shine by Lauren Myracle
White Cat by Holly Black
Murder at Longbourn by Tracy Kiely
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
Chloe Doe by Suzanne Phillips
Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer
The Everafter by Amy Huntley
Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

3 Things Cool and Bookish (4): Awesome Articles

On the Cool and Bookish today, I wanted to feature a few of the awesometastic articles I've come across lately.
I don't know if any of you are article readers (its like a blog, only not), but if you're not, don't worry - I did the work for you.

1. Flavorwire featured What Your Favorite Kids Book Then Says About You Now...  Based on The Independent's list of 50 books every kid should read, this is a quirky fun look at what your reading habits really say about you.  I'm still not sure what Anne of Green Gables says about me, as it didn't make the list (though I have some guesses...), but here's what my love of a few other books says about me:

Where the Wild Things Are

 "Your friends may be totally crazy, but you’re together enough that you can go out partying with them every night and still hold down a full-time job."

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

"You’re a creative gastronomist with a flexible policy on slave labor."

The Secret Garden

"You may or may not be that lady who talks to her plants."


2.Fantaaaaaaastic author Patrick Ness (the Chaos Walking series) penned an article for The Guardian -called the "Top 10 'unsuitable' books for teens" - on those great books you read as a kid that you probably weren't supposed to.  All those slightly scandalous books that you snuck and read when no one was looking, or told your parents you got in the youth section.  You know - the books that are meant for adults, but best understood as teens.
Patrick lists some of his favorite "enlightening" tales from his youth, including The Virgin Suicides and Beloved (and 1 I've had personally recommended (and sent) to me, Jitterbug Perfume).
Having been a big fan of VC Andrews as a pretty young kid, I know exactly what he meant with this list.
Jitterbug PerfumeVirgin suicidesFlowers in the Attic (Dollanger Saga)


3.  This last one is less an article and more a pictorial courtesy of Buzzfeed on the atmosphere in the various closing Borders stores.  Though I hate to see a bookstore close, I have to say, I love these employees reactions to it:

*Come across something you'd like to see on Cool and Bookish?  I'd love to hear about it. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

P&P Read Along sign - up post from Kim

Hey, all.  This is just a quickie guest post of sorts from Kim, who emailed me to tell me she would like to be involved in the Read Along, but doesn't have a blog to post to.  She will be doing her response posts via guest post here on TBR (yay)!

From Kim:

My name is Kim and I love Jane Austen, although only know all of her works through movies.  I have read Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion and I am hoping to read Sense & Sensibility.
Favorites in order:  Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park (which I have never really liked).

PiRat: Booty!

Every Friday throughout May, The Book Rat will be forcibly taken over by the PiRat, most dread rodent to appear on the high seas since Reepicheep.
Capt. PiRat will be sharing with us his take on some swashbuckling tales - because what's a rat to do in all that downtime when he's not marauding?  Read, of course...
(and drink rum. but that's a given.)

Captain PiRat and I couldn't decide which pirate to capture for you this week, so we decided to let you in on something. You see, Captain P has recently come into possession of a treasure map that tells of a great many pirates' lost loot.  Whether they've all sunk to the bottom of the sea, lost to Davy Jones Locker or they're reclining on a sandy beach somewhere, only time will tell.  But for now, Captain PiRat and I are ready to sail off into the sunset in search of all this lovely loot.
We're hoping to fill our treasure chests near to bursting with:

"What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex. 

In short, it's about everything."

According to PiRat's sources, The Princess Bride is rumored to be marooned on an island off of Barbados.
I don't know though...Barbados?  Inconceivable!

"In 1794 England, the beautiful Sovay dons a man's cloak and holds up stagecoaches in broad daylight. Posing as a highway robber began as a lark to test a suitor's devotion. But when she lifts the wallet of one of England's most dangerous men, Sovay begins to unravel a web of deceit and duplicity. "

PiRat says there's good booty to be had from "Land Pirates" - I just think he's got it bad for this "Sovay" chick and her, um, booty...

"America is on the brink of war with England, and Fin Button is about to come undone. She s had it with the dull life of the orphanage, and she is ready to marry Peter and escape the ever-watchful Sister Hilde. But an unexpected bond forms between Fin and the fiddle-playing cook, Bartimaeus, setting her on a course for the high seas of the American Revolution."

First Mate Giada informs us that there are female pirates in disguise in The Fiddler's Gun.  The Captain and I are fans of this.

"Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught. . . ."

Female pirates in disguise: see above.
Plus Capt P sometimes gets restless, and he thinks this HMS Dolphin may give him a good swashbucklin'.

"Twins, Connor and Grace, never dreamed that there was any truth to the Vampirate shanty their father sang to them before he died, but that was before the two were shipwrecked and separated from each other. For Connor, who is taken aboard a pirate ship, there's the chance to learn to swordfight, but for Grace, aboard a mysterious ship of vampire pirates, the danger is great. What will it take for them to find each other?"

A miniature pirate in my life says there's treasure to be had from the Vampirates - if on is willing to face them, that is...
Captain PiRat looks forward to the challenge.


So if we hit all of the Xs on this precious, hard-won map, I'd say the Captain and I will come back with some pretty stuffed treasure chests.
That is, if we don't kill each other on the high seas first.   That rat can not hold his rum...

Anyway, treasure waits for no man (or woman.  Or rat.), so we'd better be off.  Captain PiRat!  Ready to go?
Captain?  Hello?
Wait a minute, where's the map?
THAT RAT!  Just wait till I get my hands on him, I'll garotte him with his own tale, I'll beat him with his pegleg, I'll -- never mind that, but if you see him, be sure to tell me where, yeah?

Until then, though, why not give me a peek inside your treasure chest?  It's just a peek, promise.
Pirate's honor.

Friday Face Off: Out with the old....

I've been coming across a lot of books lately that have had complete overhauls in the cover department between the hardcover and paperback releases.  Sometimes I'm torn (does this mean any sequels aren't going to match the original hardback? Are they targeting a new audience?  What if I liked the old cover?), and sometimes I'm all for it (Ooh, shiny!).  Here's one I came across recently that I was really torn on at first.  They are two totally different approaches, and have little - if anything - in common.  On the one hand, I loved the original cover.  On the other, the new one, though bleak, has a lot of visual interest and tells more of a story.  It's intriguing.  I didn't think I really liked it at first, but then, um...I ended up buying it.  So yeah, it grew on me.
What do you guys think?  Do you like the old cover or the new?  If you've read the story, which do you think suits it best, and if you haven't, which makes you want to read it?
Which one did it better?

Last week on FFO: We went a little Hairshow, with The Frenzy, Delicious and Texas Gothic going head to head.  I was a little surprised by the results, as nearly everyone seemed to love my least favorite cover, Delicious.  It was a little funny to me when I was putting the post together because even though all three books use a similar style and very hard to ignore element, and even though they have strong similarities, I really liked two (The Frenzy and Texas Gothic) but really can't stand the cover for Delicious.  It's not much different, and yet something about it... Pass.

Winnah! ---->

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya's Ghost
Vera Brosgol
Release date: June 7th, 2011
from First Second

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part . . .
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks.
Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

First I want to start with a HUGE THANK YOU to Ksenia of Polish Outlander for being awesomesauce and surprising me with a copy of this.

click to embiggen
I kind of don't know where to begin other than to say I fell in love with this.  The illustrations are just perfectly stylized and atmospheric, and incredibly expressive.  This probably has less text than any graphic novel I've ever read (entire pages go by with no words), and yet it doesn't lack for story.  It's always so clear and complete - I never felt it was lacking simply from not having a lot of text.  The story is fully there in the pictures, which not a lot of graphic novels pull off or even attempt.  Furthermore, her style was distinctive and memorable.  It reminded me somewhat of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis in the simplicity and almost cuteness of the black and white illustrations, but Brosgol has definitely put her stamp on it.

Beyond the fact that the illustrations are just perfect, the book works on so many levels.  Brosgol has a great sense of humor - in Anya and in the illustrations - that acts as a good counterpoint to the growing tension and unease regarding her ghost, Emily, who she meets when she falls down a well.

And speaking of Emily - oh, I loved her.  I mean, you don't ever not see what's coming with her (did that make sense?), but it's so delightful watching her morph from this little lonely ghost to this maniacal sort of poltergeist with a vengeance.  She's a sweet little nutjob, and I loved it.  And Brosgol's depiction of her and the way her character evolves as her story is slowly revealed is fantastic.

She goes from this:
to this:
to this:

and I loved every minute of it.  On that level, it was a great classic ghost story, a creepy story of control and obsession and longing.

But it's not just a ghost story.  Anya's Ghost is also a bit of a coming of age story, and an immigrant/Outsider story that makes Anya relatable and lovable (even when you want to smack her).
Brosgol created Anya's voice really well, and captured both her desire to be normal and mainstream as well as her awkwardness and insecurity and bitterness about what it means to actually be mainstream.

Do you ever have those books where, when you try to recommend them to someone, all you can come up with is "Just read it"?  I know I've kind of rambled, and just shoved pictures in your face, but - just read it.


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