Waiting on…Friday

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a meme for book bloggers to post about an unpublished book they’re eagerly waiting for.  I’ve never actually participated…and technically I’m not participating today, since it’s Friday.  But I thought I’d take the inspiration of that meme and share about all the books I’m anxiously waiting for in the next twelve months.

I read so many older books, and so many of my favorite authors don’t publish all that frequently (sigh) that I usually don’t have a lot of books I’m waiting for…but I’ve somehow managed to stumble my way into lots of half-written series, and am now left waiting for the next installments…

1) The Pink Carnation Series: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla by Lauren Willig (August 5) – A historical fiction/romance/spy adventure series, each book focuses on a new couple in the web of families and friends, mostly from the ton in 1806 England.  Since the books are self-contained, I’m not too desperate for the next one–although since it focuses on the sister of my favorite hero of the series to date, I am excited about that!

2) Fairyland 4 by Catherynne M. Valente (October?) – This is my favorite new series I’ve discovered in a very long time.  And I am tragically without any information on the next installment–like a title or a release date.  Since the previous ones have come out each fall, I am hopeful for an October release of the next one…and I will pre-order it on Amazon as soon as I can.  (If you read my blog often and have noticed that I put all new books on reserve at the library, then you will know that pre-ordering something is a Very Big Deal for me!)  And if anyone knows more than I do about Fairyland 4, please tell me…

3) Castle Glower Series: Thursdays with the Crown by Jennifer Day George (October 7) – The first book of this series about a sentient, constantly-changing castle was delightful, the second book ended with a cliffhanger, and now I am eager for the third!

4) Smek for President by Adam Rex (October 14) – The first book, The True Meaning of Smekday, told a hilarious and heartwrenching (a surprising combination!) story about when the Boovs landed on Earth on Christmas Day (of course), took over the planet and renamed December 25th Smekday.  No idea where the sequel is going, but the last one was so much fun.

5) Jacky Faber Series: Wild Rover No More by L. A. Meyer (November 4) – I’ve been reading the Jacky Faber series since high school…and as you might guess from the title, this is the final one!  In a way I’m sad–but I’m also excited to see how life finally turns out for the irrepressible Jacky.

6) Exile by Tamora Pierce (Fall 2014) – This is sort of a new series…and not.  It’s Tamora Pierce’s new series in her familiar world of Tortall.  Since other series in Tortall have been life-changing, I’m kind of looking forward to this one!

Dearest7) The Woodcutter Sisters: Dearest by Alethea Kontis (February 3, 2015) – Rather like the Castle Glower series, the first two books were fun and wound up with the promise of exciting things ahead…

8) The Lunar Chronicles: Winter by Marissa Meyer (February 2015?) – No release date for this one yet either, but since the last two were out in February I am hoping for a February release again (I mean, unless we can get it sooner…) and I already lamented how desperate I am to get the end of this story!

9) Magic Ex Libris: Unbound by Jim C. Hines (Early 2015) – I loved the premise of Libriomancer, and will definitely read the second one, Codex Born, long before the third one is out…so I’ll have to start waiting for that one pretty soon.

Storyteller Cover 1 - Small10) Beyond the Tales: The Storyteller and Her Sisters by Cheryl Mahoney (October 2014) – One last bonus #10…I’m not waiting to read this one, but I do very much look forward to getting it published and letting all of you read it!

Are you in the middle of any unfinished series?  What books are you most eagerly awaiting?

Laughing Over Book Titles

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was an invitation to choose from any of their previous weeks’ topics.  Well, it’s not Tuesday…but I thought that was such a fun idea to come up with a bookish topic for a post anyway!  So today I thought I’d write about a few of my favorite “Hilarious Book Titles,” with a thank-you to Top Ten Tuesday for the idea.

1) How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain – This is a surprisingly accurate title, as the book is about an alien who comes to Earth looking for her perfect match; she has a picture, and it looks a lot like Johnny Depp.  Unfortunately, the title was the best part of the book, as the “I” of the title keeps romantically pursuing the alien girl even though she’s horrible to him–but beautiful.

2) Beatnik Rutabagas from Beyond the Stars by Quentin Dodd – Titles don’t get much better than that.  The book was actually a little too random for my taste–though I guess I should have expected it!

3, 4 & 5) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There and The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente – There’s nothing all that funny about any one of these titles, but when you put them all together it takes on a tinge of absurdity.  Or when you try to say them all on one breath.

6) The Celery Stalks at Midnight by James Howe – Part of the Bunnicula series, this book is about a possible attack by evil vegetables.  So…the celery stalk is stalking.  !!!

7, 8 & 9) Harpy Thyme, Roc and a Hard Place and Swell Foop by Piers Anthony – These are funnier if I explain that they’re about magical thyme that slows time, a giant bird, and a really terrific foop.  I perhaps should also mention that the Xanth series, of which these are a part, is powered mostly by puns…

10) A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag by Gordon Korman – This is both funny and deeply philosophical.  Really.  It’s a metaphor, based on a commercial showing the strength of a garbage bag, valiantly trying to hold together while more and more pressure is pumped in.  Anyone who’s felt stressed and can’t take one more thing can relate.

I find #1 and #2 to be the funniest titles–but #10 is the funniest book!

Can you think of any particularly funny titles?  Share a title (and a laugh) in a comment!

November News and RIP VIII Wrap-up

Here we are at the beginning of November…with all sorts of things happening today!

It’s the third anniversary of Tales of the Marvelous.  Thank you to all of you for making blogging so much fun for the last three years!

It’s the beginning of NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month).  I participated for the last two years, but I’m skipping this year, so that I can concentrate on publishing (!) and because I need to work on revising existing drafts for a while, instead of starting new ones!  Huge good luck to all the intrepid writers going on the NaNo journey this year.  Sending lots of good writing vibes!

RIP8main400And it’s time to wrap-up the Readers Imbibing Peril experience!  It’s been a fun two months of shadowy reads and especially of shadowy movies.

I read most of the books I planned on, although I never got to Doyle and Christie–but I did get a couple other spooky reads off my TBR list.

The surprise of the event was movies.  I didn’t have any plans along those lines, but I watched Sunset Boulevard on a whim near the beginning of September…which put me in a Hitchcock mood (even though it isn’t Hitchcock) and then I found myself on a Hitchcock/film noir kick!

So here’s what I wound up with:

Peril on Screen:

Did you enjoy some shadowy reading or viewing this year?  I’d love to hear about it!

And meanwhile, I’ll be starting to stack up my sci fi for January’s* Science Fiction Experience… 🙂  See you there!

*Correction: change this year, December’s!

Soaring Over Fairyland with September

Girl Who Soared Over FairylandYou may have noticed–or guessed–that I was eagerly awaiting the new installment of Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two.  I jumped (flew?) in as soon as the book arrived, and was so very happy to find that it was once again delightful!

Fairyland 1 (review here) introduced us to September, a girl from Omaha who flew away to Fairyland, where she met a Wyverary named A-through-L and a Marid (a kind of sea genie) named Saturday, and fought the wicked Marquess.  Fairyland 2 (review here) brought September back to Fairyland a year later, to confront her own shadow, who was stealing shadows and magic from Fairyland.

Fairyland 3 picks up again a year later.  September is beginning to grow up, with new responsibilities, including learning to drive.  She’s only fourteen, but I suppose the driving-age rules were lax in rural Nebraska, in the 1940s (or possibly 1910s–I’m not positive which World War September’s father fought in).  She still has no hesitation when the opportunity presents itself to return to Fairyland, this time chasing the Blue Wind who has carried off a neighbor’s automobile.  September lands in Westerly, the city of the winds, and makes her way to Fairyland’s moon, where she reunites with Ell and Saturday, and sets off to fight a fearsome moon-Yeti.

Valente continues the lush and beautiful writing style of the previous two books.  There are so many beautiful turns of phrase and twists of thought.  We’re still guided along by Valente’s sly narrative voice, who if anything is a little more present here than previously.

I was desperately anxious to start reading this book, but once I did, I didn’t feel any need to keep hurrying through.  This is not a page-turner, and I mean that in a good way.  I normally devour quickly books I enjoy, but this one required savoring.  As I read, I was also looking forward to rereading, because I felt like I couldn’t take it all in on one read!  These aren’t books driven by the plot and the need to know what comes next–it’s more like a delightful opportunity to linger with September and her friends and enjoy the sights of Fairyland.

There may have been a little too much lingering in the first portions of the book.  September meets several new characters, and while they’re interesting, I kept waiting to reunite with familiar ones.  Ell and Saturday do eventually come in, but I would have liked them sooner–though I can imagine that on a reread, when I know where the book is going, this may bother me much less.

The growth from Fairyland 1 to Fairyland 2 continues here, as September continues to grapple with what it means to grow up.  In particular, she’s trying to work out what she’s coming to feel for Saturday (and realize that he feels for her), and both September and Saturday have to deal with the question of Fate vs. choice.

We get to visit more wonderful landscapes here, including a city (and people) made out of paper, and a photography city all in black and white and two dimensions.  This series would be amazing in an animated movie!

So I got this far without gushing…let me just wind up by saying this is a lovely, lovely series, and while you shouldn’t start on Fairyland 3, if you haven’t read the first two, go read them!  And if you like classic children’s fantasy and brave heroines and fantastical landscapes and poetical writing style, move them to the top of your to-read list!

And with a cliffhanger at the end of Fairyland 3 which may (or may not) change the structure of future books, and with loose threads from Fairyland 2 still left loose, I am now anxiously awaiting Fairyland 4…

Author’s Site: http://www.catherynnemvalente.com/

Other reviews:
Sturdy for Common Things
Consumed by Books
Bunbury in the Stacks
Tell me about yours!

Buy it here: The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

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… 🙂