Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recent Good Reads

Time for a wrap-up of my favorite reads from the second half of August. I've got 3 Middle School/YA books, 1 Fantasy, 1 Urban Fantasy, and 1 book for the geek in all of us.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Theme song...

I've been trying to think of a theme song for Brenna Yovanoff's The Space Between contest.

There's been a hell of a lot of ups and downs in my life this past month. I guess I could go for something quiet and introspective, but to be honest with you, when life kicks me in the face, my first inclination is to kick back. And when I absolutely positively must kick some ass, "More Human Than Human" by White Zombie is the soundtrack.

This song has the added bonus of Blade Runner references, which satisfies my geek requirement.

So what's your theme song? You have until Sunday August 28 to enter the contest.

And lookee at Yovanoff's new book (oooh, shiny, pretty):
Demons, angels,danger, love - I can't wait! It's out this November.

I also really enjoyed The Replacement (dark but still filled with hope, love and acceptance). Somehow, Yovanoff has made the cover gods very, very happy, cause she has some great ones. This one in particular is one of my favorites.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Must-Have-Books Coming Soon

Yes, my TBR list runneth over, as usual. In the next couple of months there are even more books coming out that I really want to read. In particular, there are some continuing series and trilogy conclusions that I need to get my hands on.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In Honor of Dad - His Favorite Books

In previous posts I've talked about how influential my parents were in my love of reading - taking me to the library, bookstores, sharing books. My dad and I really shared a love of all things fantasy (mom likes fantasy, but really isn't into vampires - we kind of converted her). He made sure I watched all of his favorite genre movies - more than once to ensure that I appreciated them (it took a couple of showings of Krull before I loved it too). He was also very supportive of my writing. I think he got a kick out of reading it.

One important lesson that I took from my dad was to always make a point to talk about and recommend the things that you like. He mentioned many times that most people just complain when they don't like something, but that you should strive to promote the good. Whether we were at a restaurant, Disneyland, or even when he was in the hospital, he made a point to recognize good service, usually seeking out the manager to point out a particular employee. Dad preferred to dwell on the positives in life, and I'm trying every day to follow his example.

We lost dad last week, and in his spirit of promoting the things he liked, I'm going to spotlight a few of his favorite books.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Running Away to the Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I received an Advance Readers Copy of this book to review for Amazon Vine [link goes to Vine Review]. (Actually, I read it back in June, but since the official release date is September 13, I held onto it for awhile before putting it on the blog.)

The bulk of this book focuses on a mysterious circus, Le Cirque des Reves, that appears suddenly, without fanfare, is open only at night, and is filled with all things thought impossible. It instantly brought to mind my first visit to Cirque du Soleil - before they were a Vegas fixture. Seemingly overnight, a tent appeared in the mall parking lot. Curious, my parents and I walked up to the booth, and bought tickets (they were not yet so well known that tickets had to be purchased in advance). We had no expectations, no idea what awaited us.

It was magic - the music, the language, the costumes, the performers - seeing people use their bodies to create artistic tableaus, daring feats, it was as though these artists had created their own world under the big top. It was the first time I'd ever dreamed of running away to join the circus. That sense of wonder came back to me time and again as I read The Night Circus.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Some Recent Reviews...

Here's the next batch of quick reviews. I've got 3 middle school/YA books, 1 steampunk magic adventure, and 5 adult UF books. Yep - I've been running a bit behind.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Vacation Reading...

So I had my Kindle stocked with all of the books I've bought (but put off reading so I could get to ARCs and library books), hopped in the car, ready for a week-long vacation and to nothing. I barely touched a book, checked e-mail only a couple of times, and had one of the best get away from it all vacations I've had in awhile.

I visited the folks and had a massively great time at a little ol' place with a castle and giant rodents, dogs and assorted princesses.

But I missed talking books with my favorite readers, and while I was gone I did find one very fun book. The folks love books as much as I do, so I enjoy perusing their shelves. There I found:
Weird California by 
A guidebook to the weird, spooky, and wacky places you can visit in the Golden State (as well as some caveats for some of the spookier ones). It has a wonderful snarky undercurrent too, not too much, just enough to keep me grinning throughout. Must go check out Weird U.S. too.