Makeover!

Hey Bookpolygamistites¬†(bookpolygamisties? any one I can think of is a bit of a mouthful o.O maybe I’ll make up a collective noun for you guys :P) as you may have noticed, I’ve revamped the blog a tad ūüôā I changed the theme because i¬†liked the look and features of this new one, and I’ve added tabs for different pages.

I’m not 100% about it yet, so any feedback on what you guys think would be great ūüôā

Mmmmmm Books….. *drool*

So, I realised that I¬†haven’t done a new post in a little while, because I haven’t started, finished or received¬†any new books ūüė¶ so I¬†thought I’d¬†share some thoughts I had a week or two ago.

When looking at the crazy pile of books from my friend Sarah (which is now the biggest “choosing” pile – yes Sarah, you win!) I realised the books I¬†borrow from her are either quick fun reads, or pretty creepy shit (ie. zombies, Clive Barker) and it made me think of the different types of books I¬†read – not the genre or recommended¬†age range per say¬†but more how they are to read – and because It made sense in my head, I compared them to different foods.

Firstly¬†the fun quick¬†reads, which for me include “light” mysteries (ie. Phryne Fisher mysteries), YA fantasy series, and currently, the Sookie¬†Stackhouse series. These books I¬†compare to junk food – not the stuff you feel bad about eating, like a maccas¬†binge or a whole tub of ice-cream¬†(those would be those “guilty pleasure” books *cough* mills and boon), but the stuff that doesn’t feel naughty¬†because it’s so small and so worth it – like a bit of really good chocolate or a tiny cupcake. And those of you who have become hooked on a really enjoyable series would know, it’s just¬†as risky to have a whole box set of an addictive series¬†sitting there then it is to have a whole batch of delicious cupcakes – if you’re not careful they’ll all be gone before you know it.

The next group is the somewhat-hard-to-read-but-worth-it books, or the health food. Belonging in this¬†category is creepy or gross or sad or¬†disturbing books, books that (just like health food) are kinda difficult to swallow at times, but you know they’re well worth it. I need to include one of these most of the time, or else my reading experiences feel really fun, but kinda hollow, just like I could never survive on just cupcakes – i’d crave some fruit and veg after a while ūüėõ

Another group is books that I¬†have wanted to read, or have meant to read for a¬†long, long¬†time (ie. classics that I¬†never get around to). These I¬†compare to those restaurants you’ve heard great things about and swear you’ll visit, but never quite end up doing so; or recipes that you see in a magazine, clip out because you wanna make it some time, but completely¬†forget about. These books, while seeming kinda pointless, are an important group – yes, some of them you’ll never get to, and some that you get to may not live up to the pedestal you’ve put them on (famous books that are somehow¬†lacking ; a well reviewed restaurant that fails to deliver) but for those rare ones that you finally get to, and are amazing, it’s worth the wait.

Lastly (and don’t quote me one that – it’s likely that I’ll¬†think of another one and re-post) there are the treasured books that you read over and over, or for those that only read books once, the authors who you love so much that you look forward to a new book by them, and devour it as soon as possible. These books are the family favourites; the meals that your mother or grandmother made when you were a kid that you never tire of; the dish at your favourite restaurant that no matter how much you tell yourself “This time I’ll try something new on the menu” you always end up ordering.

Happy reading (and dining) ūüôā

Short story? SHORT!?

So, I started reading the first story in Yearn : tales of lust and longing¬†on Sunday¬†night thinking that I could read it all that night as well as start Stardust… and I only finished it last night. The reason why it took me three night to read it when normally I read a short story in one go? It was 70 odd pages long! That is not what I call a short story! But to its credit it was a great story and definitely needed as much explanation as was given, so it can be forgiven. *Spoiler Alert: If you don’t want to know the basic plot of this story, don’t read on*

The story¬†is set in Victorian England and¬†is about a young biographer who¬†has almost finished writing a biography on a famous explorer but has just about¬†run out of money as his father doesn’t support him anymore. He is therefore relying on his new book to be a success, when he finds out that his arch-enemy (and coincidentally, the uncle of his fiance) is writing a biography on the same subject, and as he is more well-known and respected, his book would be more popular leaving our hero’s book to fall into obscurity.

The only hope for the young biographer is to find some nugget of information on his subject that is new so that his book will make an impact. He looks over all the resources he has found, with no luck, and then, while he’s wallowing in despair a chimney sweep comes to clean his chimney. They get into a conversation about work, and when the sweep hears of the subject of the book he reveals that he swept the chimney of the very house that the great man once lived in, and in fact found a canvas bag up there with a journal in it belonging to the man. Trying to hide his desperate excitement the¬†biographer asks if he can look over the papers to help with his writings (leaving out the importance of this find, so he doesn’t have to pay the sweep).

On reading the journal he discovers it contain detailed descriptions of an elaborate ritual the explorer participated in with his lover in Tahiti that involves taboo sex acts (involving two men and two women) and animal sacrifice. The biographer is elated as he knows that this controversial material is just what his book needs to become a hit, but the purpose of the ritual interests him even more. The ritual is meant to channel the participates sexual energy to a goddess that will allow the person conducting the ceremony to see through another’s eyes for an hour as long as they have a personal item of the person they want to inhabit. In a recent altercation between the biographer and his rival, one of the rival’s gloves comes into his possession and this gives the young man an idea – he could recreate the ritual, which would not only prove to him that the journal was real, but also allow him a peak at his rivals work.

To perform the ritual the biographer borrows a large amount of money from family members to buy the supplies, hire two prostitutes and enlist the help of the chimney sweep. The four travel to the woods and perform the ritual and at the moment of joint climax, the biographer does find himself looking out through his enemy’s eyes. What he sees sickens him, but you don’t find out exactly what it is until the end.

The biographer publishes the book to high acclaim, and there is even rumours that it will be banned (which is course a writer’s best publicity) but then the biographer receives a message saying that his writing has been called into question by his rival, and he has to prove it is not fiction at a public debate the next day. The biographer has the manuscript, but he also needs the chimney sweep as a witness. The biographer goes into the chimney sweep’s impoverished neighbourhood, despite the fact that there has been a outbrake of cholera, but finds that the man he seeks has died of the disease. Dismayed, the biographer returns¬†home,¬†uncertain of what he will say in his defence, and is visited by none other than his rival. The rival reveals that he knows the diary was a fake because he hired the chimney sweep (an actor) and wrote the diary himself, using his knowledge of the explorer’s writing style and handwriting, and he simply copied the details of the ritual from an old grimoire. The rival threatens to¬†reveal he is a fake, but the biographer becomes enraged, and proclaims that the ritual works because he performed it himself. At this point his fiance (and his rival’s niece) enters and accuses the biographer of betrayal. He then explains what he saw¬†through¬†his rival’s eyes – the man having sex with his own niece. He makes the rival a deal –¬†he won’t expose him and his niece if he withdraws his accusation and publically¬†endorses the book at the debate.

It was a great story, and even had potential to become a novel, but I’m glad the next one is much shorter ūüôā

Fairy tales and Erotic tales

Because I finished both Beatle Meets Destiny and All Together Dead  the other night, which were both my own books, I chose two new ones to read from the vast pile of my own books next to my bed. Because I had gotten a few new ones recently that I really wanted to read, I added them to the pile and coincidently it was two of those that won the eeny, meeny, miny, moe РStardust By Neil Gaiman,

that I mentioned in a past post; and Yearn : tales of lust and longing By Tobsha Learner,

which I received from my book club shortly before I started writing this blog.

The two books are worlds apart. Stardust for those of you who haven’t seen the movie¬†is a fairy tale style story about a young man in a mythical Victorian era town of Wall, who travels over the wall that gives the town its name to fetch a falling star¬†for his beloved. I loved the movie, and have read a bit of Neil Gaiman’s work (and loved what I read) and so have been wanting to read this book for a while. Yearn¬†on ¬†the other hand is a collection of strange erotic stories by Australian author and bizarre erotica extraordinaire, Tobsha Learner. I have read her previous collection of erotic stories Tremble which contained wonderfully strange stories such as: a woman who is given a mandrake root by an older female family member, which one day turns into a living disembodied penis, and goes on a psychotic rampage when her affection turns to an actual man; a nun has an immaculate conception due to touching a saint’s dried up nipple, and has to hide on an island to give birth to, raise, have a sexual relationship with, and eventually watch die,¬†a rapidly growing incarnation of Jesus; and a diver who gets trapped in an underwater cave/air pocket sleeps with a mermaid, who then kills him. When I read Tremble I was constantly retelling the strange stories to my housemate, so now that he’s moved out, be prepared to see them aired here – these are stories that have to be shared to be processed ūüėõ

…..I just realised that i¬†don’t have a “sigh off” yet – so any suggestions would be much appreciated ūüôā

Eeny, meeny, miny… Nerd

Before I write a post about the two new books I’m¬†starting I¬†have a little confession to make regarding how I choose new books to read.

Some of my close friends and family¬†will know what I do….to some extent but still probably don’t know how nerdy the process has become since starting my Library and Information services¬†studies.

I am an equal opportunity¬†reader –¬†I¬†like to leave it up to chance which books I will read next, and what better method of choosing¬†by chance then the timeless Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. If you’ve never heard of the children’s counting game this Wikipedia article is quite extensive. I use the following version of the rhyme:

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
catch a tiger by its toe,
if he hollers let him go,
eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

But after doing that for a little while, you can easily determine¬†which book will get “moe” so I¬†started using the “boy scout you’re out” system of elimination. If you’re also not familiar with “boy scout” it goes like this:

Boy scout
you’re out
of this game.

And this meant that I¬†could slowly eliminate books and get down to one. However, once I¬†was down to two, I¬†found I¬†always ended up with the second book and since¬†I¬†chose what order to lay them out in, this system wasn’t left to chance so much anymore. After starting my course I¬†started to order the books alphabetically by author, but still I¬†always knew the outcome. And so I started this¬†rather complicated, but very efficient and defiantly nerdy system:

  1. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe and boy scout, with the books laid out alphabetically by author
  2. same process after one book has been eliminated, but the books are laid out alphabetically by title
  3. same again but laid out alphabetically by publisher
  4. same again but laid out by date published, from earliest date to latest
  5. same but laid out alphabetically by place of publication
  6. same but laid out by amount of pages, smallest to largest
  7. same but laid out by last number of ISBN, smallest to largest

If multiple books have the same publisher, date etc. then they are ordered alphabetically by title. And of course the amount¬†of “rounds” depends on how many books in the pile I’m choosing from – so far 7 rounds has been the maximum.

Now, I’m sure a lot¬†of you are now thinking “you freak!” or wondering how I¬†can be bothered doing all that just to choose what book to read next, but I¬†really love doing it, It¬†allows for an element of surprise in my choices and means I don’t just pick a book willy nilly¬†but often find a real gem¬†that i¬†wouldn’t have normally picked. It’s weird i know, but just like keeping a book journal, and having different piles of books, and even writing this blog, it’s a nice little ritual that makes my hobby of reading more exciting ūüôā

REVIEW : All Together Dead By Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead

For all of you who might’ve set up a nice little cottage under a rock somewhere, All Together Dead is¬†one of the books (number 7 to be exact) in the Sookie Stackhouse or Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris which the hit tv show True Blood is based on. The¬†premise behind this series is¬†Sookie Stackhouse, a nice, innocent, southern girl who is a waitress in Bon Temps, ¬†Louisiana, also happens to be a telepath. In the world of the series vampires have just “come out of the coffin” revealing their existence to the world after Japanese scientists created a synthetic blood substitute, which means vamps can live without feeding on the living. In the first book Dead Until Dark, a vampire called Bill Compton¬†comes into the diner/bar where she works -Merlotte’s-¬†and Sookie is instantly attracted to him because unlike all the human men she is around, she doesn’t hear his thoughts. From there Sookie is thrust into the world of vampires and other supernatural beings.

Before I go into my review for All Together Dead –¬†SPOILER ALERT! For any of you who want to read these books in the future, or have started them but are not up to where I am, I will be talking about stuff that may spoil earlier books for you, so if you don’t wanna know stop reading. If you don’t care about knowing details before you read a book, or you’re not planning on reading them anyway, go ahead. We good to go? ok ūüôā

Firstly Sookie is no longer with Bill, and personally I say thank god for that, because I never liked him that much, either in the books or True Blood¬†– he reminded¬†me too much of an older, grumpier Edward Cullen- but since the last book has been in a new tentative relationship with weretiger, Quinn (yay!). Also since the last book Sookie has been working for the Queen of Louisiana (The vampire community is¬†led by sheriffs who rule/monitor areas of each state¬†who are¬†then commanded by a King or Queen who rule the state) Sophie-Anne Leclerq, reading the minds of human “companions” of the vampire to see if they’re lying or hiding anything. In All Together Dead¬†the Queen requires Sookie to escort her to a vampire summit in the opulent vampire hotel, Pyramid of Gizeh in Rhodes. Her main purpose is to listen and look pretty (the King of Texas has his very own telepath, Barry the bellboy, who Sookie met in Living Dead in Dallas so having a telepath is like the new must have accessory for a vamp royal) but she is also the only witness to the “death” of the Queens former husband, the King of Arkansas, and can clear her of murder during her trial. During her work there Sookie discovers a few mysteries going on including the majority of the remaining Arkansas vamps being found slaughtered in their hotel suite, a bomb camouflaged as a Dr Pepper can right outside the Queen’s room, and a series of unclaimed suitcases being sent to different King or Queen’s rooms which no one seems to own. When Sookie and Barry investigate further they find that any witness they seem to find gets killed before they spill their guts…so to speak, and by the time they figure it all out it’s too late, making for a action-packed and somewhat distressing climax.

This isn’t my favourite of the series so far, but as always it’s a great fun read, and it has a host of characters both old and new. I especially liked the format of all the mysteries in the hotel – it reminded me of an old whodunnit where all the guests are stuck in a big grand mansion with the murderer while the detective unravels it all (The butler did it!) and except for the mysterious bags that I was sure were fishy from the start, there was some mysteries that had me stumped, which is always fun :). I also liked the introduction of some more otherworldly creatures – the Britlingens – which are efficient warriors summoned from another dimension to act as guards for one of the King vampires. I’d love to find out more about them in upcoming books.

I give All Together Dead By Charlaine Harris:

3¬Ĺ/5 Stars

REVIEW : Beatle Meets Destiny By Gabrielle Williams

Beatle Meets Destiny

Welcome all to my first blog review ūüôā

On the surface Beatle meets Destiny is a pretty simple story : boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy already has girlfriend, *YAWN* but once you get into the meat of the story, it is so much more than that.

The book centres on a boy, John “Beatle” Lennon and a girl he meets at the bus station on Friday the 13th, Destiny McCartney. Beatle¬†and Destiny are pretty ordinary teenagers in year 12: Beatle¬†has a twin sister, Winsome (that was actually born 6 weeks after him¬†because he¬†was born premature due to an accident his mother had), a kooky superstitious hippie ¬†mother, a couple of close friends, a girlfriend called Cilla (which happens to be his sisters best friend),¬†¬†he¬†walks with a limp¬†and is wanting to get into film school; Destiny is one of nine kids all with names that “mean” something (Grace, Prudence, Patience, Frank, Faith, Charity, Hope, Destiny of course and Ernest), the daughter¬†of stylish¬†parents, she also has a couple of close friends, writes a regular “joke” horoscope column¬†and¬†excels at¬†Art. They both live in Melbourne, Australia but Beatle’s family is in a poor-middle class area and Destiny’s live in a huge grand house in Kew.

The narrative swaps between the two lives, broken up occasionally¬†with documentary¬†interviews with twins which makes sense at the end of the story (I’m not giving it away ūüėČ ). The pages involving Beatle¬†and Destiny are printed with the occasional coffee ring or spot, which makes for a very quirky and casual look, and the pages on the twin interviews are printed with bold stripes on the corners, somewhat like the cover, which gives the different parts distinction.

The differing families of the two as well as Beatle’s guilt over already having a girlfriend gives the story a satisfying “star-crossed lovers” feel, but it’s not just about their¬†relationship. The book explores themes of friendship and family, “accidental” relationships, superstitions and destiny, being a twin,¬†and being young and getting into trouble. It is a simple story but with plenty happening, so it soon becomes addictive and enjoyable reading. it also has an effortless, young humor to it that I¬†really enjoyed. I think it would be a great book for teens, especially those of a similar age, and it could easily be a lighthearted addition to an English curriculum.

I give Beatle meets Destiny By Gabrielle Williams:

4/5 stars.