What Are You Reading – and Give-Away!

It’s a busy week in the blogosphere, with Carl’s spring Once Upon a Time reading challenge starting on the 21st!  As a fantasy reader, I have some books lined-up…and as a fantasy writer, I have another fun idea for celebrating fantasy in the spring.  Since this is a What Are You Reading post, shall we start there?  (And if you just want to know about the give-away, scroll on down to the second picture.)

What Are You Reading OUaTWith fantasy and fairy tale retellings on my mind, I’ve just started Hero by Alethea Kontis, sequel to Enchanted.  Cramming together massive numbers of fairy tales, I look forward to picking out the different threads!  I also have the last book in Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series to read, The Pinhoe Egg, a fantasy novel that will finish my rereading of the series.

Mixing things up with some non-fantasy, I have Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness.  I finally read The Knife of Never Letting Go a few weeks ago (a few years after it exploded all over the blogs I follow), went promptly on to the sequel, and am looking forward to the final installment of the trilogy.  And in marked contrast to that dystopia read, I’m also midway through the nonfiction Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert, all about how the mind works and why the things we expect to make us happy don’t–and vice versa.

Wanderers 8 - Small CopySome nice variety, and a nice start to Once Upon a Time.  And speaking of which…I decided to celebrate the fantasy reading season by also offering a give-away of my fairy tale retelling, The Wanderers.  One winner will receive a signed copy of the paperback!*  If you don’t already know you want to enter, here’s a little about the book:

You might recognize the landscape.  You may think you know the rules.  But you’ve strayed beyond the tales.  Come join a wandering adventurer, a talking cat and a witch’s daughter as they fight monsters, pursue quests, and learn that sometimes, rules are no help at all.

The give-away will run from NOW until April 30th, so if the winner wants to read the book during the Once Upon a Time challenge, there will still be time.  But how can you be that lucky person?  🙂  I’m doing this raffle-style, so you can enter multiple times, and multiple ways…

1) Leave a comment anywhere on my blog with the hashtag #WanderersGiveAway, for ONE entry per comment

2) Tweet using the hashtag for TWO entries per tweet

3) Mention the give-away on your blog (and send me a link) or on Facebook (and send me a screenshot) for FIVE entries

And if you want to comment during the next month without entering, I’ll just assume you already have a copy and ask no questions.  🙂

I think that covers all the bits of business today…don’t hesitate if you have questions, and don’t hesitate to enter!  Now onward to the reading…

*Note for International Readers: Due to prohibitive shipping costs, I can’t mail a book outside of the United States–but I don’t want to bar my lovely readers from the UK, Canada and Australia (and if you’re from somewhere else, I’m sure you’re lovely too!) so if you win, I’ll send you the book direct from Amazon, and mail you a signature you can paste into it (or sell on eBay…whichever!)

What Are You Reading, Sci Fi Edition (sort of)

itsmondayI think it’s about time I checked back in on the What Are You Reading meme from Book Journey…and this is good timing, since I have plans.  We’re launching on the Sci Fi Experience from Stainless Steel Droppings, after all!

I’ll be starting the Experience off today with some Star Trek viewing.  In the book realm, I first want to finish off Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, third book of the Tiffany Aching subseries of Discworld.  I’ve never felt much concern about finishing Discworld (despite my two-year effort to complete series), but the Tiffany books feel more tightly woven into each other than other Discworld subseries, so I am trying to complete those four.

What Are You Reading Sci FiAfter Wintersmith, I plan to go on to The Masterharper of Pern by Anne McCaffrey, a first read for the Sci Fi Experience.  By the time I finish that, I will most likely have watched all relevant Trek and be ready for the next stage of The Great Khan Adventure, reading The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume One.

And somewhere in there I plan to finish a collection of essays, The Intimate Life of L. M. Montgomery.  I have officially run out of new-to-me writing by Montgomery herself (including novels, short stories, letters, journals and poetry).  This collection included a comic journal she co-wrote with a friend over several months.  It was, to my knowledge, the last of her writing I hadn’t read–at least until they make available any other currently-unpublished writing!  In the meantime, I’ll probably keep looking for essays and biographies.  I had doubts about this particular collection because I read a previous book by the editor and found her conclusions exceedingly far-fetched, but so far this set of essays has been well-reasoned and engaging.  I’ve got about four left I hope to finish reading soon.

So much for my plans…what are you reading?

What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading 1I’ve come down from the mad flurry of new books by favorite authors, and am mostly back to working through my usual goals and lists and challenges…

Right now I’m in the middle of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.  I’ve been making my way slowly through Austen for the last few years, and after this the only novel left will be Emma.  So far I’m enjoying Mansfield Park, although I’m finding the collection of characters unusually difficult to keep straight, even for Austen.  It doesn’t help having two Mr. Bertrams and two Miss Bertrams!

After Austen, I have a very random read I chose thoroughly on a whim.  I recently read the second volume of L. M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals, and sometimes she discusses her reading.  She mentioned Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Armin often enough and warmly enough that I got curious…and since Montgomery and I both count J. M. Barrie as a favorite author, I’m hopeful!

After that, I’ve been meaning to reread the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede for ages and ages, so I plan to jump into one or two of those for something lighter.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

What Are You Reading – Mad Excitement Edition

What Are You Reading - ExcitementThis is clearly the most exciting week of the year in reading.  Last week, Shadows by Robin McKinley and Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce both came out.  My library already got me Shadows, and I’m #9 in line for Battle Magic–and the library system ordered ten copies, so I expect to receive it momentarily.

Next Tuesday, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente comes out.  That one I have pre-ordered from Amazon and I’m #1 on reserve at the library, so someone will get it to me quickly (not that I’m obsessive of anything…)

Just for fun, the new Neil Gaiman book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which I’ve been waiting on the library hold list for since June, picked this weekend to finally reach me.  And the list was vastly shorter for his newer book, Fortunately the Milk, so I expect that at any time as well.

To top the whole thing off, I got the proof copy of my own novel, which I’m self-publishing in November (more on that here), so I’m reading through that for typos, weird formatting, and final-final-final edits.

So this week I find myself with a large stack of must-be-read-now books, all competing and clamoring for attention.  It’s such a good thing I don’t have many evening plans coming up… 🙂

What Are You Reading, Spooky September Edition

What Are You Reading SpookyI’ve begun properly plunging into spooky reads for Readers Imbibing Peril, and you can expect the reviews to start multiplying over the next few weeks!  I reread Catherynne Valente’s Fairyland books which I madly love, and collected several more dark and shadowy tales from the library.

I recently finished A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz, a rather dark and, well, grim retelling of some more obscure Brothers Grimm tales.  Next, I’m midway through Doll Bones by Holly Black, which has been decidedly creepy so far!  I’m also reading a play version of The Phantom of the Opera–not the Webber one, but a different musical.  It was made into the Charles Dance miniseries, but without the songs, so I was curious to see the original script.

And then I have my big intimidating book of the month, The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.  It’s actually relatively short, compared to Hugo’s Les Miserables…though most books are “short” relative to Les Mis!

Meanwhile on the screen, I’ve been indulging in lots of Hitchcock, continuing the spooky mood!

Have a wonderful weekend–and let me know what you’re reading.  🙂

What Are You Reading, RIP Edition

What Are You Reading RIPThis past week saw the launch of the latest reading challenge from Carl at Stainless Steep Droppings: the Readers Imbibing Peril autumn reading experience.  This one focuses on the darker side of books, like mysteries, gothic and horror.  Read my launch post here.

I expect my reading to get a bit more shadowy in coming weeks…though not so much just yet, because I have to get some of my shadowy reads from the library still!

Right now I’m midway through The Professor by Charlotte Bronte–because it’s Charlotte Bronte and I madly love Jane Eyre.  So far, I’m not quite sure if I like The Professor, but I like reading it…if that makes any sense!  There’s just something about how Bronte puts words together, and I can’t explain it beyond that.  I’m also reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.  It’s a little heavy on the science but is still very readable and has really interesting insights, particularly about how society tends to favor the extrovert ideal…which may not be the right fit for all of us who like curling up alone with books!

Next up I plan to reread the wonderful, amazing, incredible The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, to be followed by its sequel, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There.  This, of course, is to prepare for the release of Book Three next month: The Girl Who Soared Above Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two.  I LOVE those titles!!  I’m counting these books for RIP too, with a creepy autumn scene in the first and lots of shadows in the second.

If it arrives soon enough from my library, I think I’ll read Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame in between the two Fairyland books.  I’ve been wanting to read it ever since I went to Notre Dame to see Quasi’s gargoyles–and even more since reading Les Miserables.  It’s another good one for RIP too, and for my goal to read more long and intimidating books!

A Hidden Magic by Vivian Vande Velde (new) and The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (reread) are a couple I have on my shelf that I’ve been meaning to get to–and which ought to keep me busy if I finish the others while still waiting on the rest on my library’s hold list.

Speaking of which–I’m up to #44 in line for The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  I was #125 when I joined the list, and it’s since grown to 266…not that I’m keeping track or anything.

So much for me!  Visit Book Journey for other What Are You Reading posts.  And…what are you reading?

What Are You Reading, Mostly Montgomery Edition

What Are You Reading - MontgomeryRegular readers know that I’m kind of a fan of L. M. Montgomery.  So it may surprise you that I haven’t read her Emily of New Moon trilogy since I was sixteen!  I’ve reread plenty of others, but it’s been a long time for that one.  So this week I am deep into correcting that oversight.  I’m almost done with the first book, and plan to go right along into Emily Climbs and Emily’s Quest.

I find it fascinating to read these after reading Montgomery’s journals, as there are a number of incidents in Emily’s life lifted directly from Montgomery’s own life.  I also find it fascinating that long books always give me qualms, yet I can contemplate reading three books directly in a row, 900 pages total, without batting an eye.  Although since it’s a reread, I do know what I’m getting into too…

After Emily, I plan to jump to another reread and read The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, another favorite I haven’t visited in too long.

Meanwhile at the library, I’m #75 in the hold list for Neil Gaiman’s new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which is not bad considering I got in line at #125, and there’s currently a hold list of 237.  I’m also planning to continue my series reading, and have on hold Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, and The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig, the next book in the Pink Carnation series, which releases on Tuesday.

So much for my reading plans!  Visit Book Journey for other What Are You Reading posts.  And…what are you reading?