Blog Hop: Bookish Collections

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: Do you collect things that are book related? Like bookmarks, nameplates, 1st editions…

I mostly just collect books!  I wouldn’t say I have any collections of bookish things, but I do have a handful of souvenirs that I bought because of their bookish connections…

P1030436I visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour earlier this year, and couldn’t resist buying a wand at what must be the coolest gift store ever (boxes of wands, piled everywhere!)  You can get pretty much any character you could possibly want, but I decided on Hermione’s, because it’s gorgeous but more importantly because–seriously, Hermione?  SO awesome. Continue reading

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Book Review: Mark of the Thief

I loved Jennifer Nielson’s False Prince (and liked its two sequels reasonably well), so I really wanted to love Mark of the Thief.  And from that, you already know it didn’t go all that well, right?  There were a lot of good things in here–but somehow I could never quite get into this book.

The story is centered on Nic, a slave in a Roman mine a few centuries after Julius Caesar.  Nic is sent into a secret chamber deep in the ground to seek Caesar’s bulla, a kind of amulet.  Not unlike Aladdin, Nic manages to take possession of the bulla himself, and finds that it grants powerful but unpredictable magic.  Soon Nic has a price on his head, with powerful Romans from the Emperor down chasing him, and the fate of the Roman Empire at stake.

Ancient Rome is an era I enjoy, and I like the concept of a scrappy, defiant slave seizing power and freedom.  There’s lots of conspiracy and mystery in here, with neither Nic nor the reader always sure who can be trusted.  We also get a cool griffin, a tough girl Nic gradually builds a relationship with, and plenty of displays of magic.  Because also, magic in ancient Rome?  Very cool.

So.  Where did I run into a problem?  It never quite felt like ancient Rome.  Continue reading

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Blog Hop: Bookmarks

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: Do you use bookmarks? If so, do you match them to the book you’re reading or do you use random scraps of paper?

I have a bookmark collection, and have been mostly using the same ones for ten years or so.  They’re all home-made, and I remade some just a  few months ago because they were getting rather tattered around the corners.

My bookmark collection, essentially, reflects some of my very favorite characters…

Bookmarks (1)Mostly, it’s the characters I wrote stories about in my fanfiction days–and so they continue to live in my head (and the books I read) in a way that other much beloved characters do not.  The exception to that rule is the Doctor Who bookmark, which I created new when I was refurbishing the others.  That’s also my only two-sided bookmark…

Bookmarks (3)When I’m thinking about it, I like to match characters to the book I’m reading (a couple of recent reads involving Rome were definite Kirk books, for instance, while Peter Pan usually lands in the kids books).  But I don’t always think about it, and end up using the same one for weeks!

Do you have favorite bookmarks you like to use?  Any particular habits around them?

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Reading Challenges, Mid-Year Update

We’re a little past the midway point of the year (how did that happen?) so it’s a good time to check in on reading challenges.  I’m being laid-back this year, which is a good thing since I started a new job about four months ago and it’s been distracting me!

One of my reading goals was to do more rereads of sort of…second tier favorites.  Books I like a lot, but don’t frequently think of rereading.  That’s been going along well, especially on audiobooks, where I’ve been working through the Harry Potter series and The Little House series, alternating books (one Harry Potter takes me about three weeks; Little House tends to be one week or less…)  I’m enjoying them both, however different they are, and I highly recommend The Long Winter as a good COLD read during hot weather!

I also realized that I’ve neglected two of my first tier favorite books for almost five years, and promptly reread L. M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle and Star Trek: First Frontier by Diane Carey and James I. Kirkland.  Both of them wonderful character studies with excellent setting descriptions!  Continue reading

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Blog Hop: Hearing a Story

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: Do you listen to audiobooks?

I do!  I only started in the last few years, which I largely account to reading other bloggers’ accounts of listening to audiobooks.  I also started a new job a few months ago with a longer commute, so I get more audiobook time in.  I only listen to audiobooks in the car, and out of respect for the fact that I am, after all, driving, I tend to listen to rereads rather than new books.  And preferably ones that won’t be too suspenseful.

Though I also have a habit of listening to Agatha Christie novels, which are both new to me and suspenseful so…I can’t explain that. Continue reading

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