We owe it to each other to tell stories - Neil Gaiman

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Review coming soon: The Secret Supper Club

Hannah Sugarman is a modern day every girl who seems to have it all. She works for an influential think tank in Washington, lives in a great apartment with her high-achieving boyfriend, ans is poised for an academic career just like her famous parents. The only problem is that Hannah doesn't want any of it. What she wants is much simpler: to cook. 

When her relationship collapses, Hannah seizes the chance to start fresh and that means starting an underground supper club out of her new landlord's townhouse. Though wildly successful, her underground operation presents some problems. First, running an unlicensed restaurant out of someone's home is not, technically speaking, legal. And she might have forgotten to mention it to her landlord - who just happens to be running for local office...

On top of all this, Hannah is faced with various romantic prospects, all of which leave her confused, parents who don't think cooking is a career, as well as her own fears and doubts that threaten her dreams, 

A charming romantic comedy, The Secret Supper Club is  a story about finding yourself, fulfilling your dreams, and falling in love along the way. 

Review coming to a screen near you 6 December 2012. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Fated - Alyson Noel

Title: Fated

Author: Alyson Noel

Pages: 448

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Source: bought

Other: Book 1 in Soul Seekers Series

The Synopsis

Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter's sanity, Daire's mother sends her to live with the grandmother she's never met, but who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness the powers of her ancestral legacy, but it's when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, when things take an alarming turn. Forcing Daire to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with...or if he's allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

The Review

I will admit, I dove into this book without knowing very much about it. I find that it is a very liberating experience doing that - going into a book with no expectations. I am so very glad that I did that, as I was quite pleasantly surprised by this book. I'll be honest with you, Alyson Noel for me is one of those authors that I automatically have on my TBR list, despite not having read anything except a short story of hers before this. (I'll be reviewing Kisses from Hell shortly, and you can read about it there). I will also tell you, that after reading Fated, Alyson Noel has earned a spot on my favourite authors list. I have all the Immortals books, and will slowly be collecting her other books too, since her books are so well written. I am even more amazed when you look at the short period during publications, 2 books from the Soul Seekers per year, leaves us with the whole series in 2 years instead of waiting an impossibly long 4 years. I do wish that more authors could do this. But enough about my rambling, and gushing and onto the important part... what I thought of the book...

I found Fated intriguing from the very start. The way we are introduced to Daire and her ability, and how it makes her seem crazy, to how the rest of it pans out. It is a very compelling story. Aside from the story line, the elements of Shamanism and magic and spirit animals is very fascinating and so well described. Alyson's research certainly paid off. Everything is written so exceptionally well that you can imagine yourself in Daire's shoes as she discovers this whole new world and her talents. This book managed to re-awaken my inner anthropologist, so I'll definitely be getting a few mythology books to read up and review soon. There are the twins - Dace and Cade, and I am certain that they will make the story very interesting, considering the story of their origins.

This is a book that you have to read, so that I can one day write about Fated again and include spoilers, as there is just so much I want to say but can't, because I don't want to give anything away and ruin it for you.

And Something Extra

If you would like to see some photos that Alyson took whilst researching for this series, click here. I cannot tell you how impressed I am by both this book and  Alyson. I hope to one day also get the chance to do a Shamanism course and find out my spirit animal, and all the things described in this book, because life is just too filled with fascinating things that have to be experienced.

This book is definitely a great example of why reading is so much more than sitting still and processing words, it definitely supports the quote that says that the person who reads lives more lives than the person who doesn't.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

50 Shades of Ick

I am ashamed to say that I succumbed to the curiosity regarding the popularity of 50 shades of grey. It was just an abstract concept until I saw them in bookshops, and saw it was real, and I just had to know what the big deal was. I know that I am late to write about the 50 Shades trilogy, but better late than never, right?

Yes, I read all 3 books in a weekend. Yes, I had to know where it was going. I am only human. No, I was not hot and bothered. No, I didn't blush. I found these books rather tame. I had a good laugh whilst reading them, and really I don't see what the big deal was. I thought I was going to be hot and bothered and 50 shades of blushed, instead I was annoyed by Anastasia's limited vocabulary, and she's supposed to be an English major? Honestly, if you want to read a book that will shock you and have you hot and bothered, and 50 shades of scarlet, then read Revenge by Sharon Osbourne - now that is a page turner! That is a book you can justify not being able to put down! 

I thought the whole BDSM thing was over rated when people spoke about it - really this stuff has to have been watered down. I expected it to be so much worse. Unless it was merely an incredibly bad case of exaggeration?

Now, let's get to the real stuff regarding 50 shades and why it's such a hit, obviously it's not the writing that has you wanting more. What it is, is the unhealthy Hollywood idea that for the perfect relationship you have to find a damaged man and fix him so he'll be yours forever. This doesn't happen. It is not real. You cannot change or fix a man. You certainly cannot transform someone who is so damaged. That's not real life, you're not going to get that, and if you do you're not going to have a happy ending.

So it sells because it fulfils a fantasy, and gives women an excuse to read erotica and be a bit more obvious like men, but it certainly is not what it's cracked up to be and sadly is leaving no classic safe with the emergence of erotica that can now be read in the open. I for one hope that it'll go gently into that good night because this is not a literary trend that'll do any good. It’s only popular smut.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

My Bookish Quirks

I have many bookish quirks, some you may be afflicted with too, but hopefully you are lucky and are not afflicted with too many. I'd love to know which of my quirks you share, and if you have some that are different from mine, do feel free to list them in the comments. I am quite an eccentric bibliophile, so where should I start?

Dust Jackets - I love and Loathe them. I love them because they are so pretty, and make me feel awesome for owning a hard cover copy, but how I despise them when I am reading that book. I get so anxious that I am going to tear or fold or some how ruin the pretty dust jacket that I end up taking it off and putting it in a drawer. This is not always good, as I am Ozzy and U2 by U2 have still not been reclothed in their dust jackets *sigh*

Much books have to match. In a pinch I'll get a none matching copy, but then I have to get a copy that matches too. I feel sad for the book that has to be the odd one out, but they have to all match. Never thought I'd be a book discriminator. 

You know how in each series of books you have that one favourite scene or one favourite book that outshines the others? Well I am unable to go to that favourite scene to relive it unless I have read all the preceding books and gotten to there as you are supposed to. My bookish OCD knows no bounds. So to get to my favourite scene where Fred and George leave Hogwarts in The Order of the Phoenix I have to read the preceding 4 books. 

This is a big issue and quirk of mine, I cannot stand having my books damaged. If I lend you a book and it is in pristine condition, I want it returned in pristine condition, If I can read my book without cracking the spines you have to be able to do that  too. If anyone is going to damage my books it is going to be me, and not the person who I lent it to. I hate cracked spines and dog eared pages. If you ruin my book I don't want it back and I am never lending you books again, so don't even look my way is my attitude. I lent Dead until Dark to a co-worker who ruined it. I could not stand to look at it, so I gave it and the other 4 books from the series that I had to the library, I cannot look at books that were new but were ruined by others. On that same note, another quirk I have is that when I buy a book, I have to be the first one to read it. It's great that you want to read it too, but wait your turn it is mine. My inner control freak really comes out in this quirk. The book eyed monster really jumps out of me. 

The odd thing is whilst I hate having my books damaged, I love second hand books. As long as they are not falling apart or written in, I will buy them. Even if their spines are cracked. It is a complete anomaly, but there is no rationality in this bibliophile. 

If I read about a book that you have loved and I happen to not be broke at the time I will immediately order it. I may not read it as soon as it arrives, but I HAVE to have it. 

And last but not least, my craziest quirk, I (sometimes) sleep with books in my bed. And I sleep with books next to my bed. Insane, I know, but it's a comfort thing. I love having books near me, and sometimes there are just too many books in and next to my night stand, and I am too lazy to put it else where so they end up in bed next to me. Also, it is nice to just wake up and have books next to you. Crazy I know, but I love books, and these are my quirks :) 

And now it's your turn... what are your bookish quirks?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Feeling inspired

Well, as the title of this post would suggest, I am feeling inspired. You of course know that I felt slightly burnt out not so long ago and had a leave of absence from my blog. You will ofcourse have noticed that a post went up this morning. I had scheduled it, as I was planning on returning to blogging today. When I thought about it yesterday, I still was not ready, but now I feel so very inspired!!!!!!

What has brought this inspiration you ask? Well, I got a catalogue from a publisher in the UK and seeing all the amazing books that are anticipated for next year, just got me all excited again! Sometimes I think we need to remind ourselves about how exciting it is to talk to others about books, and well it truly is exciting when you are a bibliophile. However, life has a way of taking the wind out of your sales, which I am sure I don't have to tell you can really leave you questioning things.

Life has still been pretty busy on my end since last I wrote a personal post, and I am still struggling to find some much needed balance, but I think it is good to evaluate things a little bit whilst you are feeling less than chipper.

So, I'm back! I hope that the inspiration lasts! I am going to ease back in and have only one post a week, so as not to crash and burn so soon after getting back into the swing of things.

I actually contemplated leaving Bibliophilia altogether and starting afresh somewhere new, but that just made me feel sad, because this has been my refuge for the last 3 years, my space for sharing my bookish thoughts with like minded people since there are no bookish people in my everyday life. I'd have to leave town to talk to someone about books, because you can't be on the phone all day to talk about books. And whilst I have bookish friends on twitter, in the flesh bookish conversation just cannot be replaced.

But now I am rambling... I think I should get back to some bookish talk. So here goes...

I am presently busy reading Absolutely by Joanna Lumley. I am enjoying how far back her book starts. I love being able to see that there is so much more to her than dear old Patsy Stone. Of course it goes without saying that I am dying to meet Joanna Lumley, so Joanna, if through some miracle you happen to be reading this (such wishful thinking) please come to South Africa! We would love to have you at Thicket Forum next year - it will be from 3 -5 September 2013 in Grahamstown. *Makes reminder note to self to get working on content for Thicket Forum website*

I am also still busy with my reread of Gone with the Wind. I have been reading really slowly, my brain is just a bit too bogged down by the audit, admin and the new project. The important thing though, is that despite it all I am still reading. I actually read most of Twilight last Monday - I was not particularly into it, but I just needed to read something that was words and was more substantial than the phone book and that didn't require too much thinking. Reading is my meditation, so I tend to feel a bit unhinged when I do not read enough.

Enough of my chatter, you could be reading a fabulous book instead of my crazy rambles. It's good to be back, and I look forward to catching up with you all in the next few weeks.

Much Bookish love.

666 Park Avenue - Gabriella Pierce

What if your mother-in-law turned out to be an evil, cold-blooded witch... literally?

Title: 666 Park Avenue

Author: Gabriella Pierce

Pages: 307

Publisher: William Morrow

Source: bought

Welcome to the Upper East Side, where the socialites are witches.

The Synopsis

Ever since fabulously wealthy Malcolm Doran walked into her life and swept her off her feet, fledgling architect Jane Boyle has been living in a fairy tale. When he proposes with a stunning diamond to seal the deal, Jane can't believe her incredible luck and decides to leave her Paris-based job to make a new start with Malcolm in New York.
But when Malcolm introduces Jane to the esteemed Doran clan, one of Manhattan's most feared and revered families, Jane's fairy tale takes a darker turn. Soon everything she thought she knew about the world - and herself - is upended. Now Jane must struggle with new-found magical abilities and the threat of those who will stop at nothing to get them.

The Review

When I saw this book among sale books on Kalahari, I was intrigued but I did not put it in my basket. A while later I read about a new series called 666 Park Avenue, and I thought it sounded familiar. So whilst I was browsing through the sale items again, and saw that this book was still available,  I had to have it. A book has to be pretty amazing if it's your debut and it gets turned into a tv series. 3 days later and the book arrived for me to read. I picked it up that weekend, and was quite intrigued, finishing it within the busy week that I had. But now onto the thing you actually want to know about... What did I think of this book?

In short I LOVED IT! This is definitely a book that you can relax with - the story allows you to get swept up into it and there is not too much thought required, so if you're looking for a book to kick back with this is definitely it. The characters are well developed with their own story lines, the story is well developed - never did I feel bored, it all unfolded very well. The plot and the intrigue was wonderful - it ended on a cliff hanger, so you know I have to get the next book, and for once, I am not dismayed by the fact that a book that I have read is not a standalone.

Malcolm is so swoon worthy, Jane is someone you just can't help liking, and like Jane from the very beginning you feel something is up with Malcolm's mother. This book, despite being about witches, was very believably written and honestly I wish more series books were written like this (YES, I am looking at YOU House of Night!!!!!). So if you're in the mood for a book that is a bit more grown up than YA but not as grown up as say Joanna Trollope, then get yourself Ms Pierce's debut - I promise you won't regret it.