Friday, October 30, 2009

Spooky October Halloween Reads!

In the last month, I've gotten my nose into a few really great reads; and not just any reads, spooky reads. I thought to share with you these titles as good or bad recommendations. So, here goes:

'Twilight' by Stephenie Meyers was my first read. I began it in late September and finished it in a week. I found it very light on, but still an interesting look into vampire lore; with a different take on how they act and what they are all about. Some of the older lores have been brought into it, yet some of the ones she wrote about are newer. A good light read for a teenager or Young Adult. My second book was the next book in the series: 'New Moon'. This one is thicker and has a few more story twists. The way she has established Bella's depression in the early stages of the book was brilliant; how the chapters didn't have to be written and they just had the month names on them was well-done. It took me a little longer to get into though as new characters were introduced and themes from the first book were being brought forward.
'Single White Vampire' by Lynsay Sands. Well, I've just written a review about this below. So, I won't say too much about it; except that it's typical Lynsay. It's funny, romantic and darkly wonderful all the way through. It also points out the dangers of being a vampire loving a human.

'Bloodline' by Maggie Shayne. I received this book from a friend of
mine in Bookcrossing when I met up with her and her Mum here in Brisbane. However, I have never heard of this author; and so was willing to give this one a try. The storyline was great, the subplots were good enough to make this book stand alone and I enjoyed the way it bounced from first person to third quite easily without confusing me too much. However, it was Lilith who was the downer. She pulled the story down with her internal thoughts and groanings about everything from not trusting Ethan to The Farm. If you can put up with this in a character, by all means, read it, if not, well, I'd skip it.

So, there they are, my Spooky Reads for October. Join me next year around this time when I'll be reviewing another lot of spooky reads again. And next month, I'll try and read more different books to pick up the pace and feel of the book reviews.

Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands

Lucern Argeneau is the best-selling writer and biographer of his family, books that were just pigeon-holed as 'paranormal romance'. He's reclusive, quiet and doesn't wish to be disturbed by the outside world too much. All he wishes for is to write his family biography in peace. His new editor Kate C. Leever of Roundhouse Publishing has just discovered a legacy author dying to be broken out. Actually her whole career depends on it. In her opinion, this very tall, sensually handsome and extremely rude man needs to have a reality check.
Lucern really doesn't want to be dragged from his very comfortable home in Toronto to a Romance Convention all in the name of publicity. His books are doing just fine in his opinion. And he wishes he could do something to get rid of Kate; yet whenever she's not around him, he misses her like crazy.

This very funny and erotic vampire romance had me laughing and remembering the frustrations of how the relationships between men and women haven't changed; even if those particular relationships and age groups span a few centuries. 'Single White Vampire' is well worth a read over a good dreary weekend when there's nothing on the television; as it's a great one to sink your teeth into.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October Book Buys

This month, I've been busily purchasing books for all kinds of things. One of those things was a meet-up with two lovely Bookcrossers from interstate; and so I went book-hunting at a newly-opened Life Line Super Store on Wembley Road at Logan Central. And what a shop! It doesn't have much of a book section, but it had a huge variety there of books; and I dove in and bought up big!
'Oxygen' by Andrew Miller was a nice-looking hardcover that caught my eye and I thought I'd read it over the warmer months (I do try to read less-challenging books over Christmas as it's the time we do kick back and have fun). Then, there was 'The Year of Dangerous Loving' by John Gordon Davis; which is set in China. So, this one is being sent off to a good friend of mine who lives South Korea who loves reading books based in Asia. 'The Booke of Days' by Stephen J. Rivelle is another that caught my eye. I did own a copy of this one last year, however, I let it go out into the wild via a Bookcrossing Mass Release; and I absolutely regret it! Now, I'll read this one before doing anything with it. I found 'London - A Novel' by Edward Rutherfurd in paperback! And what a huge book! I have a copy of this one in hardcover; so I'll be using this one to post off next year for a competition or something. Then, I found 'Two Moons by Jennifer Johnston and 'Tullulahland' by Lyn Messina which I sent off to my two Bookcrossing friends who I met up with here in Brisbane. I finally found a book at another store which I fell in love with titled: 'The Touch of Twilight' by Vicki Petterson. A few weeks before - around the beginning of October - I bought two books at Angus & Robertson. They were situated behind the counter and were half price. There was: 'Sage-ing While Age-ing' by Shirley MacLaine and 'After River' by Donna Milner. So, I had a brilliant month budget book buying; and seeing a good lot of them have ended up being presents, I don't feel too guilty about spending the money. So, until next month's guilty pleasures... Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Oak by Geoffrey Patterson

Oaks are amazing trees; and they can grow almost anywhere in the world. We have some here in Brisbane's Botanical Garden; and they are magnificent! This book is a gorgeously illustrated book that tells the story of one oak that begins from the acorn when it fell from the parent tree and it grew. This Oak Tree grew and it witnessed the goings-on of the township around it from its beginnings as a village to a bustling, industrial city. The Oak survived all kinds of weather through the years as time passed, carnivals came and went and the many people walked around it.
However, it's not just the illustrations that can tell the story, the way Geoffrey Patterson has written book is brilliant. It's suitable for all ages and keeps us interested to the very end. And he says the same thing every time: Oak Trees are the most beautiful and long-lasting trees. They stand the test of time and are worth growing if you have the space.

Geoffrey Patterson was born and brought up in Wimbledon and left school to work for the interior designer, John Siddeley. he then moved to BBC Television where he spent 10 years working as set designer and now he lives and works in Suffolk as a free-lance illustrator. The Oak is largely a result of Geoffrey's particular passion for trees.
Geoffrey Patterson is a published author and an illustrator of children's books. Some of the published credits of Geoffrey Patterson include The Elephant's Child, The Lion and the Gypsy (Windy Edge).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Great Cities: San Francisco

I love this city; absolutely adore it to the very core! From the Golden Gate Bridge to Coit Tower to Lombard Street and the infamous prison 'The Rock' Alcatraz in the middle of the bay, I have had a love affair with this city for a long time... however, I've never been there.
There have been films and television shows I've watched just to see the gorgeous views and I've taken in educational shows about the San Andreas Fault that is the biggest of its kind.
However, it's the city I'd love to live in and see and delve myself into; and this book get me lost in it every time. It doesn't matter that it's an old one, it's the beauty of the parks, the streets, the people and those cable cars that get me every time. And just like the song, I have lost my heart to San Francisco and would love to see her sights and smells and journey around her hilly surrounds to find out more about her.

This book may be published in 1979, however, I don't mind. I know this city has changed a lot. And since, my parents have been there to see it (and strangely enough, every time we talked over the phone, I kept suggesting places for them to and see and when they did, they were surprised I knew about them!). Mum said she could see me living in San Fran quite easily because it was an easy place to get around, the people were lovely, food was gorgeous and there were so many art galleries, I'd be there for a few years just to see them all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bookcrossing Meet-up in Brisbane.

Today, I was in Brisbane City to meet-up with some Bookcrossers and to have a talk about books. We met up outside the Treasury Casino and - after escorting one their husbands into the place so he could play Keno - we were off to have coffee and to control release books to each other. These are the books I received.

'Angel's Pain' and 'Bloodline' by Maggie Shayne were in the books that were given to me. However, I haven't heard of the author; but I will give her a try. By the look of the blurbs on the back, they sound brilliant. Then, there were other paranormal romances/thrillers that were given to me as well, such as 'Dark Seduction' by Brenda Joyce, 'Witch Fury' by Anya Bast and 'Nekropolis' by Tim Waggoner; however, I've only heard of the latter author and I will give these others a try.

Other books I received today were 'Fatal Flaw' by Roger Maynard; which is about the 2002 murder on Norfolk Island. 'Jericho Falls' by Christopher Hyde, 'Fear Itself' by Jonathan Nasaw and 'Sovereign' by Simon Brown (this last one is a book 3 of a trilogy; so I'll be looking around for the first two before reading it). A P.D James 3-In-One book was given to me as well as 'Don't Fall Off The Mountain' by Shirley MacClaine and a short story collection called 'Seaserpants' by various authors. What a meet-up and what a great lot of books to get my nose into!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Forks isn't the same without the Cullens - especially without Edward around. Bella is having nightmares from the time she closes her eyes to the moment the poor excuse for daylight filters through her window to wake her. And even then, life feels like a living nightmare. She tends to drift from home to school to her part-time job at a camping store in town and back again; and it's driving her father, Charlie, nuts. He threatens to send her to Florida where her mother is with her new husband and Bella snaps, screaming at him that this is her home and it's where she's going to stay. It's around this time she begins to hang around Jacob Black; her old childhood friend.
After a few weeks, she finds that life isn't so bad and she can laugh and smiled again. But there's a new threat on the horizon... in fact there's a few. After learning about vampires in Forks, is Bella ready to enter the world of a different kind? The world of werewolves?
Then, comes the news that Edward is in Italy. He's ready to kill himself because he's heard she is dead; all because of a high risk stunt Bella pulled. Will she choose to stay with Jacob and his kind? Or will she risk her life in Italy amongst a city run by vampires?

Once I read 'Twilight', I thought that it wasn't really much. But then, I looked at how thick the second book was and thought it might be okay to read; it may tighten up (as many sagas I've read do). And 'New Moon' has been a total change from the light, popcorn-type of read. In fact, I found it a complete opposite to it. It was full of more tension and suspence, humour and violence than the first one. If you can put up with the first book, which is really a fast and light read, I do recommend this book to you. However, it's still very light-on with the vampire lore that I know of.

There is a Stephenie Meyers link on the sidebar to her official website. And seeing I've already done a review of 'Twilight', I won't run the risk of repeating myself about her education and life again here. Just click on it and you'll be taken straight there.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Birthday Books!

I had my birthday on Monday; which means, I received a lot of books! Yep, my Mum organised a big surprise for me and so a lot of my online friends bought up big on my behalf and sent me plenty of books off my Wish List on Bookcrossing; and now, I have a nice collection of books to get my nose into. I thought it would be good to share some of the title with you.

'The Gargoyle' by Andrew Davidson. This is a debut novel; and what novel! I've just begun reading it and have found it hard to get my nose out of its pages! I had it on my Wish List for a long time; and am thrilled to have received it on Monday. It will be some time before I let this one out of my sight!

'The Colorado Kid' by Stephen King. I'm a very big fan of this writer; and have been since I was in high school and he was scaring the be-jesus out of me there. So, when this book came out, I really wanted to see what he could do as a crime writer. From what the critics have said on the first few pages, SK is pretty good as a horror and as a crime writer both.

'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul' by Douglas Adams is the last installation of the Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy - Trilogy In Four Parts. I've wanted to read this book for some time; but haven't been able to find here in Australia; which was unfortunate. And I also received this one on Monday.

'Swallowing Darkness' by Laurell K. Hamilton. I haven't heard of this author before; however, from the blurb on the back, I'm sure to enjoy this book. It's sci-fi fantasy, with magic, faeries, Kings, Queens, murder and mystery all wrapped up into it... hmmmm... I'll most definitely have to get my nose into this one soon!

Along with these, I also received: 'The World According to Garp', 'Dinner at the Homesick Restuarant', 'Face to Face', 'Vulture's Gate' and 'Belly Dancing for Beginners'. There are a few more parcels to arrive as some of my Bookcrossing friends got them off a little late - but I don't mind, it's the thought that counts - so I have made a thank you blog ('My Birthday Presents' blog) so that I can thank them all personally with photos and they all get a personal note of thanks and gratitude; and best of all, it's permanent. I don't intend to delete the blog after its use is over. I'll be turning it into a Bookcrossing Thank You Blog for any gifts and goodies I receive from them.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A New and Exciting Purchase

I found this book in a Salvation Army store while I was searching for something else - isn't that always the way? Well, I always peruse the classics shelves; you never know what you may find there. And out of print, first edition - or better still - a signed copy! I came across this lovely number in hard cover for $4.00. And having searched the net, found out on (the link to it is on the sidebar), it's worth around $55.00 or so in its current condition.

This book, with its three short novels within, continue the lives of the Brangwen Sisters. So, I do look forward to reading this rather hefty volume of stories; as I've heard D.H. Lawrence a bit sexy and racy for his time. So, do look out for his works if you're interested.
Also, I've included a site you can go to on the sidebar for more information about him and his works.

Collectors Magazine

Anyone can be a collector. In fact, you're probably one anyway; of books, vinyls, broaches, rings, fishing reels, lures... heck! You can collect pretty much anything and everything these days; and the people who are collectors are very educated about their collections and dedicated as well! Now there's not only the television show, website and dvds you can either collect or curl up in front of, but there's a magazine too! And check it out! There's a lot going on in each issue.

The four great presenters (Andy, Adrian, Nicole and Gordon) are from all walks of life and they have plenty to offer in each issue of the magazine from what to look for in art deco-style posters to transistor radios to antique perfume bottles and
what to look for in spotting a good piece of bronze.

So, if you're serious about your collecting and would like something textile to keep around your house so you can compare your finds with the experts, this magazine is definitely for you.
You can find it all ABC Shops and Centers and selected newsagencies around Australia for around $8.95; and believe me, it's well worth its price because you'll be forever referring to it over time.