Challenge Update # 11 – A Couple of Comic Weekends, Many a Book Purchase, and a Rigging of the Draw!

Salutations oh resplendent, long-suffering Bookbaggers!

Once again it has been almost two weeks since my last update with nothing to satiate your thirst for book ramblings! And I don’t even have the excuse that nothing happened challenge-wise or book-wise because quite a bit did! Lets just say that I’ve been busy with ho-hum day-to-day stuff and get on with the update, shall we?


The weekend after my last update I did indeed begin my preemptive picks and Sunday was almost exclusively spent reading the two Comic Companions:


Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll , Lewis Helfand (writer/adapter) and Rajesh Nagulakonda (artist) was a lovely little graphic adaptation of one of my biggest literary loves – Alice in Wonderland and anything Alice related (more on that later ;)). It is part of the Campfire Classics comic series for children which means that on the one hand it was quite simplified and aimed at young minds, but on the other hand it was gloriously bright and colourful. Ultimately I enjoyed it because it was so close to the original (while the visuals were like the Disney film) and it was a great way to introduce kids to a classic. I also liked that there was a little two-page spread at the back about Mythological creatures 🙂

Since Alice in Wonderland was so short and simplified I was finished within about 45 minutes and started the second, much thicker Comic Companion:


The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka was pretty much the polar opposite of Alice. For one it was much longer (364 pages to Alice’s mere 72) and occupied me for the rest of the day, breaking only for food and the call of nature. Secondly it was MUCH more adult than Alice (and more adult than Tezuka’s most famous works – Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion) being a sort-of noir style story (except set in 1970s Japan) filled with violence, murder, schemes and sex scenes. It was a gripping read, if a little bizarre in parts, and a great way to spend a lazy Sunday 🙂


I also have been reading my preemptive picks quite a bit, especially House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

house of many ways

From the Sunday I started it until the following Sunday when I finished I read a couple of chapters almost every day (I think I only skipped Friday and Saturday and that was because I was busy with other fun – more on that later also!) and if I didn’t have work and other commitments I probably would’ve read it 24/7. Because I loved the two previous books, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Castle in the Air, and because I had borrowed and re-borrowed House of Many Ways from the library so many times I was itching to get into it and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It was charming, magical, funny, exciting and overall just ace – it may even be my favorite of the whole trilogy 🙂 Stay tuned for a Micro Review of it in the far-off future (as I have a ridiculous back-log of them to do >_< )

Now, to the flurry of activity which was this last weekend!

On Friday night myself, Sarah (aka the Official Drawer of Books out of the Jar) and our other friends Nay, and Amber, had tickets to see Wil Anderson‘s comedy show, Goodwil. Since it was at the Riverside Theatre in the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, located in the heart of town, we had plans to meet up there after work, do a little shop, have dinner and then go to the show. This worked perfectly for me as I work nearby in East Perth on Fridays, and just have to take the train one stop in, plus one of my favourite bookstores Kaleido Books is right there on the station and I had put a hold on a gorgeous book (via their Facebook page – oooo la-de-dah-tech-savvy!) a few days previously.

So, I went in with my workmate, Scott, to have a bit of a browse and pick up my lovely new purchase (drum roll please!):

Omigod Isn't it pretty?!

Omigod Isn’t it pretty?!

Gosh. Even looking at that sub-par pic of it makes my heart all fluttery! As most of my regular Bookbaggers know I am a huge fan of all things Alice, so when I saw this on Kaleido’s Facebook page amoungst a new lot of bound classics, I coveted it mightily and said so! However, since they looked so beautiful I was sure I was looking at 50-100 bucks a piece, a price I possibly still would’ve been tempted by, but one that would’ve made future me, and my bank balance, a little unhappy. So when another Facebook follower put a hold on a different volume, and the helpful admin told her they were only $35 I jumped it right away and reserved my Lewis Carroll 😀

As I was so close to town I was there a fair while before the others, so once I’d had a quick peruse and then claimed my coveted prize, I thought perusing for a bit longer wouldn’t hurt. I should’ve known really. It’s like an alcoholic saying “Oh it wouldn’t hurt just staying at the pub for another hour or two. I don’t need to buy any more beers”. Luckily I came out with only two more books, and considering what they are, and the fact that they were pretty cheap I don’t think I did much damage….despite the fact that I don’t have anywhere to put them until I get a new bookshelf -_-

stephen king buys

Those are of course Carrie and The Shining by Stephen King, neither of which I’ve read (pause for gasps). In facts (ready pause for further gasps) I have never read a single Stephen King novel. This little confession is a surprise, even to myself, as I’m quite fond of horror and otherwise spooky novels and it has been something I’ve wanted to rectify for a while. Luckily I had the combined recommendations of Scott and a Kaleido staff member paired with a Stephen King display for the upcoming sequel to The Shining working in my favour and I’m quite happy with my two introductions to the mind of King 🙂

The fun and book-buying bender continued into Saturday with a special event at one of my other favourite bookstores, Planet Books

Planet Day

Cheers to the admin at the Planet Books Facebook page for letting me use this great banner – If you’re a fellow Perthite or planning to visit check out their page and give it some likes 🙂 And even if you’ll never visit the physical store the page is worth a look for it’s excellent book-nerd pictures and posts

Since we had stayed up until 4am the night (morning?) before, Sarah and I weren’t up to the whole day, but we went down in the evening (and dragged along my mum with promises of books and records that she too would love) and both came back with 3 books (plus stuff for loved ones). These are my very exciting purchases :D:

Planet Day buys

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by  Neil Gaiman (which I have been super excited to read even before it came out, and may skip the queue :P); A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (which I have been bursting to read for ages also because A. SO MANY people have recommended it to me, B. SO MANY people are surprised I haven’t read the series, C. I can’t believe I haven’t read the series since I enjoy epic fantasy, and D. I watched series 1 and 2 of the show recently and OH. My God!) ; and White Cat by Holly Black (which has been floating around many a book blog that I follow, gathering my interest).

Then to top off my exciting weekend I got Sarah to choose me a new book + Comic Companion as I was near the end of House of Many Ways and was almost certain I would finish it on Sunday.

Now, this is where I get to a bit of a confession….I may or may not have had a niggling urge to read a certain book which was not on my Library pile (which since House of Many Ways was a library book this was the rightful pile I should’ve chosen from)…. also this certain book may or may not have been one that Sarah was also dying to read….and I may or may not have added a new slip to the draw with the name of this certain book inscribed on it….and I may or may not have made the slip conspicuously smaller than the others….and I may or may not have indicated to Official Drawer Sarah that while she could pick any purple (my books), blue (library books) or red (borrowed books) slip from the jar, if she was so inclined there was a smaller purple slip that may take her fancy.

In short, we rigged the draw:

That slip isn't suspiciously tiny at all your honour!

That slip isn’t suspiciously tiny at all your honour!

I just couldn’t resist starting the last Downside Ghosts book by Stacia Kaneand now that I’m 5 chapters in I’m glad I rigged it (And I would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!).

Since a new book was picked (albeit by sneaky means) I also asked Sarah to pick a green slip (comics/graphic novels) for a Comic Companion, but before I did so I altered the draw again (*GASP* this operation is rife with corruption!).  I did this because I have a growing number of comics and graphic novels waiting to be read, some with more of a deadline (ones borrowed for my work library and borrowed from my workmate, Scott) so I removed all the slips for ones I’ve bought leaving just the 4 I have out from the library and 1 that Scott lent me on Thursday. Out of this smaller pool Sarah picked:

ball peen hammer - jar o' books

Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp  (author) and George O’Connor (artist) which is a comic I borrowed from the East Perth branch of my work a while back after returning other ones. I thought it sounded like a interesting, gritty, post-apocalyptic story and when I read it this Sunday it was definitely all that…plus a tad depressing, but the interactions between the characters and the vivid, and fitting visuals made it a good read. After I had finished (it only took me about an hour) I was a little depressed and also had a wee bit of guilt over the rigging, so I thought to appease my order and rule loving mind I would pick a book from the library set of slips in readiness for when I finish a book, and another Comic Companion out of the culled pool just for the heck of it.

My preemptive library pick was (a pretty damn exciting one actually!!):

neverwhere - jar o' books

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman 😀 and for the Comic Companion:

Star Trek Next Gen Hive - jar o' books

Star Trek TNG: Hive by Brannon Braga (story) and Joe Corroney (art) which was kindly lent to me last Thursday by Scott 🙂 I also read this on Sunday, over an hour or so and it was crazy intense! The story was pretty darn epic, especially as I’m a bit of a newbie Star Trek fan (especially Next Gen….and Voyager‘s good too….ooo and I’ve been enjoying Deep Space Nine also) and the art was bloody brilliant!

Well that’s it for now (phew!). Sorry for the extra long update – the next one will hopefully be a bit briefer. I have a few things raring to go up soon including a new Adventures in Etymology, a new Collective Nounitude, a new Micro Reviews from Planet Procratination (sorry it’s been ages with this one – the story is hard to keep brief O.O), plus news on future challenges, Notable Quotables, and another adventure at Kaleido 🙂

Until then:

May the books be ever in your favor!

Heh. That sign-off is more my style. If you agree/disagree/wish to bombard me with other Hunger Game based sign-offs or ones using bad puns (I love a good bad pun :P) let me know in the comments or at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com)

4 thoughts on “Challenge Update # 11 – A Couple of Comic Weekends, Many a Book Purchase, and a Rigging of the Draw!

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