Saturday, 16 June 2012

A fun way to exchange books

My friend Patricia has Crohn's disease.  Every year she holds a fundraiser, for the annual Crohn's Charity Walk held here in Ottawa.  In the past few years she has come up with a fun way to raise money for this cause: a book exchange.  Bring a box of books, peruse all the books everyone else has brought, and after leaving a donation in the jar,  leave with the books you want.  This has grown until this year, they had two tables filled with books, with people bringing boxes in (we brought one too), and leaving with as many books as they brought.  We raised a lovely donation of money for Crohn's, and I personally found some awesome books to bring home:

Of Saints and Shadows - Christopher Golden
Ring of Bright Water - Gavin Maxwell
Russian Winter - Daphne Kalotay
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - Helen Simonson
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor - Stephanie Barron
The Darkness and the Deep - Aline Templeton
The Children of Hurin - JRR Tolkien
The Dragon Who Liked To Spit  Fire - Judy Varga
December - Phil Rickman

I think I found some real treasures here, I've been wanting to read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand ever since Raidergirl3 raved about it in 2010,, and here at the end of 2010.  I want to try the Jane Austen mysteries for fun.  I read almost everything put out by Tolkien, but not Children of Hurin  yet.  Ring of Bright Water we owned as children, and I think my daughter will like it as she gets older.  Plus I need to reread it.

Mostly, I felt really good at supporting such a good cause for a dear friend.  Books to bring home - icing on the cake. Delicious icing!

And, bonus for second-hand stores:  I  found this in a new antique/second-hand store that has opened in my neighborhood. I have been searching for a copy of It, The Stand, Salem's Lot and The Shining by Stephen King - all of which I am certain I own, but are not on my shelves.  I am waiting for 11.22.63 to come out on July 5 in paperback (countdown is on!!), and have found myself craving a Stephen King to read - either Salem's Lot, or The Stand (because I'm missing the read-along online, I know!!!)  - or the only recent one I haven't read yet, The Cell.  Lo and behold, today in this vintage second hand store I found The Cell!  
A friend who reads horror  had just mentioned  to me that this was one of the recent ones she'd read that she really liked - vintage King, she said.  I was able to return the favour about Duma Key, which I really enjoyed three years ago.  So on this very warm late spring Saturday, I have a new to me Stephen King to read.  I don't know about you, but for me, Stephen King and lazy hot days made for reading go hand in hand.  Hurray for second hand stores!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Inspiration for writing - sibyl on a tea pot

Check this out:  a silver tea pot, with a sibyl on top!  I love this tea pot. It's at our National Gallery of Art, and it is so beautiful. I want one to drink out of this!  This one is made by Laurent Amiot, a Quebec silversmith c 1810.  This tea pot has inspired me in the story I'm working on.  I love how things can strike a chord within us, and spark ideas and dreams.  I find myself wanting to touch this teapot, and lightly go over the sibyl with my finger.  From the handle and the spout, this tea pot was made to be used.  It is lovely and finely worked in silver, as you can see from the picture. That sibyl on top though makes it a teapot extraordinaire, for me.

Wouldn't you like to drink out of a tea pot with a sibyl on top?  And perhaps get a glimpse of the future?

On a bookish note:  I am happily reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemison.  This is a fabulous fantasy debut novel.  I'm about 3/4 the way through, and devouring it. I've gone out and bought book two and three yesterday in the series, for the weekend. If you need a new fantasy to read, this one is a lot of fun and interesting and intriguing.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Books I'm Waiting For, Part 2

Yesterday I posted about some books I was waiting for to come out in softcover, hopefully mass market size.  While I would love to be able to buy new books in hard cover, unfortunately my budget doesn't permit it except on occasion, and right now, my arthritic knees are so inflamed that any extra weight that I carry makes them ache so much more , that hard covers are out right now for me, except at home. So, while I seem impatient for books to come out, its because they are there, only I just can't quite get to them until they are in soft cover!  and sometimes it takes AGES.

So there I was, lying in bed after writing my post, and I suddenly thought: The Fault is in Our Stars!  I forgot to mention it!  How could I???  So herewith, is my second list of more books I am waiting come out in soft cover this summer/fall:

The Fault  In Our Stars - John Green July 24/12  (I am so excited!  I've wanted to read this ever since it came out!)
Black Skies (newest title out) - Arnaldur Indridason ***this will be in trade softcover.  Yaay!
Outrage  -           "         "      July 3/12  (as I said yesterday, only a month to go!)           
A Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny - Aug/12 (hardcover, but for all you lovely Gamache fans who can read hard covers, lucky lucky you....newest one in two months!)
A Trick of the Light - Louise Penny - FINALLY - July 3/12
The Twelve - Justin Cronin Oct 16/12
11.22.63- Stephen King - No date yet...  sob....for the softcover.....
Boy in the Suitcase - Lene Kaarberbol Sept 4/121
Zone One - Colson Whitehead - July 10/12 (zombies!!!!)
Harbour - John Arne Lindqvist Sept 18/12 (At long last.....I  have been waiting so long for this one, it seems.  Ghosts!)
And his Little Star will finally be available here in Hardcover Oct 2/12

And look......Tana French has a new one out!!!
Broken Harbour - Tana French - July 3/12, and it looks awesome.

*happy sigh*  I'm sure if I looked harder, there would be more to come.  Is it good or bad that I have most of these lined up on Amazon so I can see right away if one is coming out? 

Apparently Peter Lovesey''s Stage Struck is already out in paperback (April), so I think I'm going to have to order it since I haven't seen it out here.

The Beaggar's Opera  - Peggy Blair - Feb 2013 (this is in large paperback already, the mass market is next Feb)

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading - Nina Sankovich - June 19/12! another one this month! at long last!

Sigh, happy happy sigh. 

****Edited to add:  for lists of new books coming out :(in any edition, all first time releases,) go to Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made Of here, and Kailana at  The Written World here.   They both have super lists of upcoming new books.  ****I'll be waiting for the softcover editions a year from

Redshirts or books I am excited about reading

I have to thank Christa at Hooked on Books for this post.  When I saw this book, I think my heart  started pounding:


It's out?  At last?  The book about the subject we all joke about:  how red shirts on a Star Trek episode meant the character was going to die.  Well, John Scalzi has written a book that while not taking place on the USS Enterprise, is about what being a redshirt could be like, if  you were on a ship exploring space, with a captain, first officer and doctor who somehow always survive dangerous encounters - and the lowly crew members selected to join the missions, do not.

It's not out yet! June 5!  I. Must. Get. This. June 5.  OMG!!!!  Suddenly, my reading life looks exciting again.

I am waiting, not so patiently now, for:
All these to come out in soft cover:
- Outrage by Artur Indridason  (Come on publishers, it was supposed to be out in April!  It's JUNE now, where's my book????)

- A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness (ditto.  Why are soft covers waiting so lo-o-o-ong to come out now????? There are so many of us with back problems who can't carry hardcovers!  Move along, publishers!)

- Charles Dickens - Claire Tomalin - this doesn't even have a date yet!!!!

- The End of the Wasp Season - Denise Mina - at a huge size, this is soft cover, but much too large to carry around.

- The Beggar's Opera - Peggy Blair (ditto, really heavy oversize  paperback.  Not sure when it will be in a smaller size). A mystery set in Cuba, it sounds wonderful. 

- Flashback - Dan Simmons - ooh! out this month !  hurray!

On the new books in paperback front, I am delighted to say that The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill is out in softcover.  It just came out here, so I grabbed it on Wednesday. 

Do you wait for books to come out in softcover, Gentle Reader?  Can you wait that long?

*****All this being said, I am aware Redshirts is coming out in hardcover.  I am also going to buy it June 5, take it home, and read it - I hope in one sitting, but at the house.  I don't care.  I know it's not 'Star Trek', but it is about how the red shirts find a daring plan to survive their missions.  I have to read it asap!!   

*****Added June 2:  Peggy Blair left a comment this morning after I put up this post (I'm so excited!) The Beggar's Opera will be out in paperback (small size) next February, along with the second book in the series.   Thank you, Peggy! I have a list started now for next year's books to come out!

****Also Raidergirl reminded me in the comments that Arnuldur Indridason's new book, Black Skies, is due out in Canada in July. It doesn't feature Erlendur, however, either.  So I have TWO books now I'm waiting for by him!  lol (added June 2)