Twice in April? This is what happens after a book-buying ban, I go overboard. Shortly after returning from my travels in Pennsylvania I received 2 coupons in the mail from Barnes & Noble. I was so elated that I ran to the store the very next day. I grabbed so many books that I didn’t know which ones to get so I had to sit in the café and weed them out. I whittled down my pile to these:
Since I already have Volume 2, I found it hard to pass up purchasing Volume 1. I bought Volume 2 on a whim last year at B&N. I was in the store and wasn’t searching for anything in particular and when I saw a magazine featuring artists’ sketchbooks, I had to buy it. At the time I was upset that I couldn’t find Volume 1. But now I have it! I can’t wait to start reading! What I love about these magazines is that they present commentary from the artists alongside their sketches so you get some insight about what the artist was thinking while he sketched and why he chose that image or style and much more!
I’m way behind on my Classics Reading Challenge, I think. It’s just that my stereotyping the classics as stiff, boring books is so strong that whenever I think of reading a book commonly referred to as a classic, I get turned off and run to the comfort of a fantasy novel. At the beginning of April I treated myself to a trip to Philadelphia and read Jack London’s The Call of the Wild on the way there. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did (I do believe this sentence pops up in all my reviews of classic novels). As soon as I read the first sentence, I was hooked and knew I would have to pause reading Mary Norris Between You & Me until I was done.
The Call of the Wild is about Buck, a half St. Bernard and half Scottish shepherd dog, who is abducted from his sheltered life in Santa Clara Valley, California, and traded into the toils of the unforgiving North to repay a debt. Though taken from the comfort and surroundings he knew, Buck proves to be intelligent and resourceful, quickly learning how to maneuver his surroundings and adapting to the changes and strangers he encounters. His adaptability, instincts, observant nature, and large size help to keep him alive and prevent other dogs from picking on him. He is owned by several masters but never loses his independence. After the loss of John Thornton, his master and friend who loved him dearly, Buck loses all vestiges of civilization and returns to the wild as a leader of a pack of wolves.
I was surprised when I received a copy of Rachel Hartman’s Shadow Scale in the mail. I’d sent a request for an ARC after seeing a giveaway in a Shelf Awareness newsletter. Once I got it, I delayed reading. I knew that if I started reading immediately, I’d probably get stuck in a fantasy rut and forget about completing Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before, a book on habits. Also, I had to reread Seraphina, the first in the series to acclimate myself to the story once again. I even read the prequel, The Audition, though it didn’t add much to the story, I find. But reading the books back-to-back helped me to keep up with the story.
Re-reading Seraphina made me appreciate the story more. Though I enjoyed my first read, I didn’t find the story fulfilling because I rushed through it. This time I read quickly but also paid attention and thus grew to admire both Hartman’s world building and Seraphina’s strength and gumption. These elements are heightened in Shadow Scale, which is adventurous where Seraphina is more introspective. The adventures Seraphina embarks on while searching for the half-dragons requires her to draw on all her skills and also exposes the foundation of Hartman’s world of dragons.
A quick recount: (spoilers)
Shadow Scale picks up a few months after the events is Seraphina. The dragon civil war is in full swing. Demands have been made for the Comonot to return to Tanamoot to be excised and punished but Princess Glisselda refuses to turn him over, which places Goredd in danger of a dragon attack. Since Goredd doesn’t have much dracomachia machines, or many men knowledgeable in fighting dragons, they are at a disadvantage. Therefore the Princess, Prince Lucian, and Seraphina were all happy when Orma sent a note detailing a weapon that ityasaaris (a.k.a. half-dragons) can wield to fight the dragons and protect Goredd. The weapon requires that the ityasaaris link their minds using their mind-fire, the source of the special abilities. After having Abdo and Lars test a small version of it, the Princess consents to Seraphina’s search for the ityasaaris she encountered in her mind to bring them to Goredd to help with the war. With the consent, Seraphina hopes to make real the garden she has created in her mind.
Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.
Note: I started with the first image that popped in my head and went with it until I ran out of steam. I have no idea where this came from. I’ve never been in such a situation before.
My vision was red when I woke. I was so enraged. I thought that a quick nap would shake off the anger but instead it slept along with me, patiently waiting to resurface, and now it was ready. Ready for me to take action. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my jacket, and left the house in search of him. I drove my blue buggy right up to his house and banged on the door until he opened it. He refused to meet my eyes knowing that he had done wrong, that he had pushed me too far. I shoved him into the house and entered after, intent on putting a hurting on him that he’d soon not forget. No one messes with me.
As I drew back my fist to deliver a punch, a flash of pink caught my eye and I looked around to see little Sara staring at me. The sun caught the flecks of green in her big hazel eyes as she stared up at us, opened mouthed, probably wondering what I’m doing to her daddy. But my anger refused to relent even for this little girl and I tried to sweeten my voice as I coaxed her to return to the living room and her cartoons, but she continued to stare. Dammit!
I’m fairly new to these tag features in the book-o-sphere but I think they are fun and a great way to get to know book bloggers and what they love. I discovered The Ultimate Book Tag over on The Diary of a Bibliophile and decided to participate. My plan was to do this later this week but I changed my mind since I’m in a writing slump and currently find it hard to write a review of the three books I’ve recently completed. Hopefully doing this will help me rise from the slump. So here we go:
Do you get sick while reading in the car?
Nope, never have. Actually, I enjoy reading in vehicles and these days I do most of my reading while travelling. For some reason, I’m more susceptible to distractions when at home, especially social media, so for now my favorite reading places are on the train and in cars.
I did a bit of traveling in Pennsylvania during the last week of March to Pittsburgh, for work, and to Philadelphia, a belated birthday gift to myself. Apart from the time away from home and the fun I had, what’s awesome about these two trips is that I GOT NEW BOOKS!! Here they are:
First up is Mary Norris’ Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, which I acquired at the annual American Copy Editors Society conference that was held in Pittsburgh. I’ve wanted this book ever since I first read of it and, being the book lover that I am, I annoyed everyone around me by constantly talking about it.
I was elated when I saw on the conference’s program that Norris was a speaker for one of the sessions, and I became even more excited when we were told that 40 early release copies would be signed and available for purchase after the session (this was in late March and the book was published on April 6). You bet I was one of the first ones in line to get a copy. I was so overjoyed, I didn’t know what to say to Norris when I met her other than that I’ve enjoyed reading her articles. As is characteristic of her, she signed my book with a pencil. I didn’t see what type it was but I bet it was a No. 1 pencil.
It’s a lazy Saturday so I’ve decided to do another book news roundup, my third so far. I hope you enjoy reading them and find something to look forward to.
The Book of Yeezus: the Kanye West bible
As a commentary on today’s worship of celebrity icons, an Etsy shop is selling The Book of Yeezus, a bible in which every mention of God’s name is replaced with Kanye West’s.
With this product, the sellers say they are trying to highlight “the way cultural icons have come to be the contemporary spiritual figures in our information culture.” The book is described as a novelty coffee-table book in black hardcover with a gold-leaf imprinted title on the cover, all for $20 (Hollywood Reporter).