Blog Hop: To Borrow, To Buy?

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Have you ever read a library book you loved so much, you just HAD to own it, so you bought a copy for yourself after returning the library book you had already finished?

This is how I buy most of my books.  I read almost everything from the library first, then eventually buy the ones I particularly loved.  The only exceptions are authors I love so much I’ll buy their books unread (though I’ve maxed out most of them), and even those are authors I read from the library first.

I feel like this question implies a shorter time frame than usually applies in my case.  I usually don’t buy books until months or years after I read them the first time.  I’m trying to recall a book I loved so much I immediately went out and bought it…and though I’m sure it has happened, I’m having trouble thinking of an example!

Oddly, what comes to mind are movies.  I rented Jesus, a three-hour miniseries, and I think I ordered it on Amazon before I even finished it.  Both because it’s that good, and because I’d seen enough to be sure it was the one I vaguely remembered watching and liking when I was a kid.  Similarly, I rented Christopher Robin, loved it so much I meant to buy it immediately–got bogged down trying to decide how to apportion a gift card–and my husband bought it for me for Valentine’s Day maybe a week after we watched it (I promptly watched it at least twice more with other people within the following month!)

Have you read a book from the library, or borrowed somewhere else, and then rushed out to buy it?

Friday Face-Off: September Days

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It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: “Warm September brings the fruit” – a cover that is seasonal for Autumn/Fall

I decided to go with one that may only be glancingly fall–but the heroine is named September, this series always came out in the fall so I read it then, and the reds and golds do have an autumnal feel.  So my pick for today is The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.  A relatively recent book, there seem to be only a few cover options.

This is close to the cover I’ve seen before, but with some extra swirly bits.  It’s a bit too much, although putting Neil Gaiman’s endorsement at the top is a nice touch!

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Book Review: Learned Optimism

I’ve written before that one of my favorite nonfiction subjects to read is psychology–I’m fascinated by how the mind works (on the level of thoughts, not so much neurons).  I recently read Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman, Ph.D., and it was one of the most intriguing I’ve read to date.

Seligman details extensive studies he undertook and the conclusions drawn from them to define and explain pessimism, optimism and depression.  In brief, he found that learned helplessness (believing that whatever you do doesn’t change the outcome) is a key component of depression, and that explanatory style (how you explain events, especially negative ones) influences whether learned helplessness becomes prolonged and intense.  Optimists and pessimists explain their lives and events very differently, but it’s possible to learn optimism by challenging your explanations of events and consciously changing your thought processes.

This is an old book (about 30 years old) but as far as I can tell, Seligman is/was the foremost expert on the heavily related topics of learned helplessness and optimism/pessimism.  He’s the one that the later books cite, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him referenced in other things I’ve read.  I’d like to read something more recent to see if there’s been any updates in thought, especially regarding the causes of depression.

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Blog Hop: Pick Your Poison

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Have you ever enjoyed the same book in two or more formats (print, ebook, or audiobook)?

Not simultaneously, but yes, very much so.  When I first started listening to audiobooks (about…four years ago?  Seems longer) I listened almost exclusively to books I had already read in print.  I think it was sort of my gateway into the format.  For a while it seemed weird to only do a book on audio, as though it wasn’t quite the same.  I got over that, and it feels like pretty much the same thing now to do print or audio–though more audio-only books means I have no idea how to spell some characters’ names!

I still like re-“reading” favorites on audio, and have done entire series that way: Narnia, Harry Potter, most of L. M. Montgomery’s canon.  I’ve read Agatha Christie almost exclusively on audio, to the point that I think it might feel weird to pick up a paper one.  I’ve probably read 15 of her books, and only the first one was paper.

I’ve read very few ebooks–probably less than five.

The only time I can recall that I did one book in multiple formats in a single read was earlier this month when I had an audiobook out from the library, and had to return it with half-an-hour left in the book.  So I got a Kindle-unlimited free trial and just read the last portion.  Otherwise, I only move between formats on separate reads.

Do you go back and forth between formats?  Do you have a preferred one?

Friday Face-Off: From Page to Screen to Page

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It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: A cover that is a movie tie-in

I know I default to discussing The Phantom of the Opera, but it seems especially appropriate this week.  I decided to see how many tie-ins to different movies I could find, while limiting myself to Gaston Leroux’s Phantom.

Here we see the Lon Chaney Phantom, one of the more famous images of the Phantom.  I’ve also noticed that, unlike every other movie Phantom, he’s virtually never shown with his mask on.  (Here’s an image, which might suggest why!)

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Blog Hop: Turning Back the Pages of Time

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you read historical fiction?

I do, although I suspect I read less than I think I do.  Along with actual historical fiction, I read a decent amount of fantasy books set in magical past eras–or as I like to describe the time period of my Beyond the Tales books, in the “faux medieval” era (loosely medieval, but I never worried too much about the details).

When I read historical fiction, I like books set in the first half of the 20th century,  the Victorian era, Napoleonic wars, Elizabethan…or ones that go all the way back to the Roman Empire, or ancient Greece.  With occasional forays into Camelot-era (though mostly that involves fantasy!)  I think the mere way I describe eras probably  indicates a preference for British historical fiction.  I tackled the enormous tome of London a few months ago, which pretty well covered everything of the last 2,000 years.  I especially liked the Roman era, both Julius Caesar and the days of Londinium.

There’s something fascinating about very different time periods, when life was very different–and, perhaps, the same to a surprising degree too!

Do you read historical fiction?  Do you have a favorite era?

Friday Face-Off: The Most Notorious Pirates

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It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.” – A cover featuring Pirates

Lynn already posted with Peter Pan, but I thought back to my pirate-fandom days…and thought of A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates by Captain Charles Johnson.  I bought a copy back when I was writing a novel about the Golden Age of Piracy, and the history of the book is as interesting as the book itself.  Published in 1724 (so, pretty much in the last years of the Golden Age itself), it’s the source material for most of the famous myths about pirates.  Plus, no one really knows who the author was!  Some theories say it was secretly Daniel Defoe, but there’s hot debate on the subject.

Despite the book’s long history, I found only a few covers readily available–this is the first time LibraryThing has let me down for this meme!

This seems a pretty standard piratical cover, with sailing ships and a looming skull.  Though the double S in Johnson (not seen anywhere else I’ve read about) is a little questionable…

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