Friday Face-Off: Wrapping Around

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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 wrap around cover

I thought right away of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series, with some cool coordinating, wrap-around covers.

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Friday Face-Off: Merlin at Stonehenge

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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 Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – Pagan rituals/standing stones/blazing suns – a cover with your own interpretation

The first thing to come to mind on this topic was Stonehenge (probably not that surprising), and the first book to come to mind was Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave.  Merlin is instrumental in building Stonehenge (using some magic, of course), and buries Ambrose the king at its center.

I was able to go on an Inner Circle tour of Stonehenge a few years ago, the only tour that takes you within the stones, with the friend who introduced me to The Crystal Cave.  As soon as they pointed out the altar stone, we were like, Ambrose’s grave!  And there was a raven perched on Stonehenge for a long time, that we suspect was Merlin, still keeping an eye on things…

All right, on to the covers!

This was the only one I found that showed Stonehenge…too bad Merlin is looking kind of freaky there!

Continue reading “Friday Face-Off: Merlin at Stonehenge”

Friday Face-Off: Sugary Delights

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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 “Coraline opened the box of chocolates. The dog looked at them longingly.” – A cover featuring something sweet

Well, my choice feels so obvious it seems almost like cheating…but I thought I’d see what I could find for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

This one is bright and fun, but you can’t actually tell that it’s about candy or chocolate (title aside, of course).  I was surprised, actually, by how many covers did not prominently display sweets!

Continue reading “Friday Face-Off: Sugary Delights”

Blog Hop: Ancient Writings

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: What’s the oldest work (by publication date) you’ve read?

I took a Greco-Roman class in college where we read a number of ancient Greek and Roman works.  I can’t name most of them from memory, so let’s give it to Homer (8th to 7th century BC) with The Illiad and The Odyssey.

The Bible is an ancient text I read daily–I’m currently reading the Gospel of John, which dates to around 100 AD, one of the later books.

Setting religious texts into its own category, the oldest author on my shelf I read on a semi-regular basis is probably William Shakespeare (lived 1564 to 1616).  Hamlet (1602) and Much Ado About Nothing (1600) are my favorites.

After Shakespeare, I think it would be Jane Austen, who lived  slightly before Charlotte Bronte.  My favorite Austen is Northanger Abbey (1818), my favorite Bronte Jane Eyre (1847).  And once you’re into the second half of the 1800s, I’ve read lots of books from that time.

Hmm, there’s a big jump in time from Homer to Shakespeare–about 2,300 years!  Makes me feel that I’m actually ignoring most of human history.  Anyone got a recommendation for a good book from around 600? 🙂

Blog Hop: Chunksters

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you read books over 400 pages?

Yes…and that actually feels like a pretty normal length for a book.  I’d guess most books I read fall somewhere between 300 and 450 pages.  A YA book might be shorter, but I read less of those than I did in the past.

500 pages is a longish book which might give me a little pause, 600 pages is long and gives me a definite pause, and 1,000 pages is a LONG book that I need a compelling reason to pick up.  Reading very, very long books feels like a bigger commitment than shorter books–it has to be one I really want to live with for weeks, to the exclusion of others.  But I’ve read a number of books up there in the LONG range, and wouldn’t completely rule a book out because of its length.

Though I do seem to have a block about picking up the very long Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell that I can’t seem to get past…

Blog Hop: Parting Ways?

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you continue with a book even though you aren’t liking it?

Mostly yes, but for a few different reasons.  I think I’ve mostly given up the idea that a book that isn’t good on page 100 might yet turn it around, but still I keep reading most of the times.  Sometimes it’s a commitment for some special reason–there were a lot of not great Newbery Medal winners, and I’ve finished some book club picks mostly so I could talk about them (and be decently informed if I wanted to argue why they were terrible).

Some books that go darker than I want to read I’ll finish anyway, because that actually gives them less power…it’s like I can close the book in my head that way.  That said, I have started dropping books occasionally if I can tell they’re heading a direction I don’t want to read.  I recently stopped one where a girl was being sexually exploited by her boyfriend, and while she hadn’t been badly hurt yet, I felt very, very sure it was coming, and so I stopped reading before we got there.

Some books I stop because they make me angry.  I’ve never got over the Abandon trilogy, so perhaps I should have finished that one and closed the book, as noted above!  It’s hard to get to that point of disgust with a book though, and most I stay with.

The biggest reason I’ve stopped books is when I realize I just don’t care–if there’s no compelling reason to keep going, like a challenge goal.  But barring that, if I realize 60 or 100 pages in that I’m not emotionally invested at all?  Not worth continuing.

But none of the reasons for quitting come up very often.  I probably don’t quit more than 1 or 2 books a year, so that’s something like 1% of the books I read.  Most are a lot better than that–or at least good enough to see through.

Blog Hop: A Few Questions, Please

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Which author would you most like to interview, and why?

Limiting myself to living authors…I’d like to interview Brene Brown, whose work on vulnerability has been amazing and life-changing…though I’m a little afraid I’d inadvertently try to turn it into a therapy session, wanting her insights on everything in my life!

I’d also like to interview Catherynne Valente, partially because I love her Fairyland series so much, and partially to see if I could somehow (discreetly, politely) puzzle out the question of why that series is SO DIFFERENT from the rest of her books.

I’d love to interview Geraldine McCaughrean, who wrote the wonderful White Darkness, and wrote me a wonderful letter back when I wrote to her about it.  So I think she’d be just lovely to meet.

Do you have an author you’d like to interview?  Purely because they’re awesome, or do you have questions you really want answered?