The first Free Pick – just movin’ on to the next City :)

The other night I finished City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (review to follow shortly) and was super excited to choose my first book for Free Pick February 🙂

There were way too many to choose from if I took all four piles into account, so to narrow it down I decided to just pick from the pile that City of Bones came from – the books-I-borrowed-from-my-little-bro-pile – and since City of Bones was such an enjoyable and addictive-ly fun read, (and I borrowed the box set of the first three books in the series) without a thought I picked the next installment – City of Ashes.

More supernatural excitement 🙂

I am at the halfway point in another book I’m reading and a fair way into another one so maybe (probably) I’ll finish them before the end of the month and will get to do more Free Picks 🙂

Happy Reading!

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Fiction and Fairy Tales in the mail and a Raven rises from the Grave.

Yesterday I woke up to a lovely sight – a package of books that mum had brought in out of the heat for me and left on the arm of my chair 🙂

I had almost forgotten that I ordered a couple of books from my book club Doubleday when they were having a sale and I could get an added discount thanks to a code I received in an email (I’m a sucker for a bargain!), so I was quite excited to rip open the cardboard and gaze upon my bounty!

The two books I bought were The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, which was the 2011 Man Booker Prize winner and an absolute steal at $17.95 instead of the usual price of $30; and Fairy Tale Rituals by Kenny Klein, a non-fiction book that delves into the magic and mythology behind popular fairy tales and then details rituals based on the tales that work on different aspects of your life. As I may or may not have mentioned before, religiously I define myself as an Eclectic Pagan and mainly take my beliefs from various mythologies as well as herb/flower/animal/stone etc. based beliefs, and since I love traditional fairy tales I was instantly drawn to this book (plus it was only $11.65!).

Then, later in the day while I was hiding from the heat in front of a fan in my room and reading, I finished Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris  and chose a new book from the Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read pile which had grown to 19 strong!

This meant a long and involved eeny meeny miny moe session (in which I wrote down the publication details for all the books to make it easier in the future!) and eventually I landed on The Raven’s Heart by Jesse Blackadder, a debut Historical Romance set in Scotland during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. I haven’t read much Historical fiction of late (the last one was Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier and that was one of only a handful last year) and since it is one of my well-loved genres it was nice to delve into the past again, especially as my other reads are on the more fantastical side.

In other news this month is the first time I have posted 10 posts (more now!) in the one month since May! This may be due to the fact that I’m on holidays so I’m reading more, or it could be because of my 2012 National Year of Reading extras, but either way I’m quite pleased that my post numbers have been up when they’ve been lagging a bit over the months.

Stay tuned for the next Top 10 lists (Top 10 “Classics” and Top 10 Classics I Want to Read) at the end of January/beginning of February as well as the final Top 10 theme poll, and hopefully some old reviews so I can get back to regular reviewing 🙂

Happy Reading!

From Blood to Black and a new Book Journal!

This afternoon I *FINALLY* finished the Books of Blood vol. 1-3 by Clive Barker today after reading it sporadically over 34 weeks!

This meant that I could finally choose a new book off the pile that I borrowed off my friend Sarah, which has remained untouched since I read Coldheart Canyon. There were a few on there that I have wanted to read for a while, including another Clive Barker, the Phryne Fisher book I’m up to, a book of short stories, the second Parrish Plessis book (a Sci Fi series by a local author that I began reading last year) and the first book in a series Sarah has raved about (The Parasol Protectorate).

After a fairly quick eeny meeny miny moe I ended up on Code Noir, the second Parrish Plessis book by Marianne De Pierres 🙂

Since I filled up the last couple of pages of my Bibliofile (my reading journal) with the first two reads of the year I have been noting down new books in the back to be transcribed into the new reading journal I bought once it arrived. This has been pretty annoying to me because, as you may have noticed if you’ve been reading Book Polygamist for a while, I like to do things a certain way and I have a ritualistic way of choosing and chronicling my reads. Therefore I was very excited when I went to the letterbox today before heading to the shops and found a package waiting for me!

As I haven’t ordered anything else besides The Book Lover’s Journal I knew what was inside the paper and bubble-wrapped gift, so as soon as I returned from my shopping adventure I ripped it open and started inputting my books into the journal and otherwise perusing its contents.

Its early days still but this may be the best reading journal I’ve used so far. Before the Bibliofile I used a different book called Book Lover’s Journal which I loved because It had the usual fields to fill out (Title, Author, when you read it, your review etc.) but had added ones like Life Experiences While Reading and a Synopsis of the book; it was littered with interesting quotes and book lists; and it was very pretty 🙂 The Bibliofile was different but also really good because it had special pages to document your favourite authors, reading habits, movie adaptations of books etc.

My new Book Lover’s Journal is like a mix of the good points from its predecessors – it has plenty of fields to input data about the books into, from the standard title/author to number of pages, genre, how you discovered or acquired the book and noteworthy experiences while reading, but it goes beyond by having a rating system where you can give a rating from 1-10 on the quality of writing, pace, plot development, characters and more; it has an area for recording books you want to read, as well as an area that keeps track of where you acquire books and ones you have borrowed or lent; and it also has sections for fave authors and other details of reading habits.

But the best bit about this journal is there are 67 book log spots so I won’t be running out of space and writing notes in the back of the book any time soon! 😀

And the winner is!…a Post-It?

So, yesterday afternoon as I was getting off my final bus of the day I finished Adultery by Richard B Wright which I have been reading for a couple of weeks but have really devoured over a few days commuting to and from work (it takes me at least an hour to get from my home in Maylands to Duncraig Library where I have had most of my shifts this year).

It was a good little read, not exactly what I was expecting from the genre sticker on its spine but still insightful and interesting nonetheless, and I will review it as soon as I get through the back log (soon my pretties, soon :D).

As soon as I got home (luckily after more than an hour on buses and trains its only a minute to walk home) I laid out all the books from my Library Pile, which consisted of 3 from the City of Bayswater libraries and 4 from the City of Joondalup, ready to eeny meeny miny moe to a single novel when I remembered that there was still one book waiting for me at Maylands Library – American Gods by Neil Gaiman – that I had requested and meant to pick up but I’ve been so busy it has been neglected.

I didn’t want to leave it out because 1. I still had a couple of days before my request expired and I have some time off work so I would be able to collect it; 2. I really wanted to read it as I have heard great things about the book, I have loved the other works by Neil Gaiman and I borrowed it once before but it had to be returned before I could read it because it was requested at another branch!

To include it in the process without it being in my hot little hands, I found the book on The State Library of Western Australia catalogue and copied all the relevant details (Author, Title, Publisher, Date of Publication, Place of Publication, Number of Pages and last digit of the ISBN) onto a Post-it note and lo and behold at the end of the eeny meeny miny moe-ing the Post-it was the winner!

I plan to pick American Gods up today and I am even more excited to start it because of the unlikely circumstances of it being chosen 🙂

In other news, since I announced my new features to celebrate 2012 as The National Year of Reading I have noted down a couple more quotes and have decided to rename the Weekly Quotable feature so that it is not restricted to being a once a week post and I can post less or more often. From now on the posts will be called Notable Quotables and will be posted whenever I find a quote in one of the books I’m reading that I think is inspirational, insightful, funny or otherwise interesting enough to share with you all 🙂

 

A rest from murder and gore in a City of Bones and a Night Circus?

I realised at the dawn of the new year that a frightening theme had emerged in the books I was reading – they were either about murder or death in some way or were violent horror! O.o

  1. I was still reading The Books of Blood vol 1-3 by Clive Barker which are so twisted, disturbing and disgusting that I can not read more than one in one sitting because I can almost feel them turning my brain into demented jelly;
  2. I also took The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson with me into the new year, which revolves around a series of murders and which has a violent and action-packed second half;
  3. On top of those I started Adultery by Richard B Wright which is about the backlash a married man has to deal with when his mistress is kidnapped and killed on their dirty weekend;
  4. And Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris which is about a young woman named Harper Connolly who can “sense” dead people and so helps the police by finding murder victims.

Cheery stuff huh?

Suffice to say, when I finally finished The Girl Who Played with Fire last night I was hoping for a new book with a slightly lighter subject matter. Luckily there were not too many gory or murder-filled offerings amongst the 16 books on my Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read pile, and after my usual process (which I had to do twice!) I ended up with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, one of the books I got for my birthday and I’ve been hangin’ out to read 🙂

Love the cover art of this one!

As well as The Night Circus I also chose a book from the pile of books I borrowed off my little bro, since the other day I borrowed the third Monster Blood Tattoo novel and the entire The Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare ,and after a much quicker eeny meeny miny moe (there was only 3 books to choose from) I chose The City of Bones, book 1 of The Mortal Instruments.

Supernatural creatures covered in tattoos - this ones gonna be fun 🙂

Neither of these are murder mystery/thriller/horror books so now at least if the death gets to be too much for me I can hide away in a city full of supernatural creatures or a magical circus 🙂

From Flowers to Fossils

Hello my beloved Bookbaggers!

I know I have been MIA lately and I apologise. Since I finished my term/semester/year of studies I expected I would able to relax and do things I enjoy (such as blogging) much more but as soon as I was on holidays I was inundated with calls to work at the City of Joondalup libraries (where I am on the casual pool). I loved getting some more library experience but It meant that I had no time to write the second half of my last Top 10 list or to do any long overdue reviews.

So this is just a little check-in to let you know that I’m still living, breathing and reading and I hope to at least do the other Top 10 and a review or two before the end of 2011, and to fill you in on my recent reading adventures 🙂

I little over a week ago I finished The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Niffenbaugh, which was a beautiful story that will definitely be a late addition to my top reads of the year 🙂

I then was faced with a monumental task: picking a new book from the frighteningly tall pile of books I have bought but have yet to read. The pile has been growing in height for a while because the shelf that usually houses all my book buys is pushed to its limit and of course I still keep purchasing books or receiving them as gifts! So when I laid them out on my bed there was a grand total of 17 books to choose from, way too many for my usual process to work. I still did my eeny meeny miny moe (as I am a freak of habit) but instead of just eliminating a single book at each stage I eliminated two and it worked quite well.

Once I was down to two I couldn’t be bothered trying to invent a new step so I just choose the book which has been on the pile the longest: Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. Remarkable Creatures is the only Tracy Chevalier novel that I have not read yet and as soon as I saw she had released a new book I bought it. That was in 2009 so it is about time I finally started it and so far I have loved it just as much as previous Chevalier gems – it even looks like it will be in my top reads of 2011 (if I finish it in time O.o)

That’s it for now, but stay tuned for action before and after Christmas as I have no more work lined up til January.

From Flavia to Flowers

About a month ago I received a distressing email….from the library. It seemed one of the books I was reading, A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (the latest Flavia de Luce mystery) was overdue, but fear not! I said to myself and journeyed to their website to renew the book and continue reading in peace. However, to my horror I was denied my relieving renewal because some other Flavia lover had requested it!

I have conquered you, you wily bastard! 😀

What was I to do? I was already well into the story and who knows whether I could find it at a supplementary library, especially since I had encountered trials with this exact book before. So I did what every sane person would do – I read the shit out of that book so I could return it before getting too many late fees! 😛

Suffice to say, I had a grand ole time in the world of Flavia de Luce for about a week and then returned it for the next person in line to enjoy 🙂 This was around the beginning of November and I had just been gifted a hearty swag of birthday books, so even ‘tho the book I had finished was a library one and I was due to choose my new book from the library pile, I thought the Books-I-Own-But-Haven’t-Read-Yet pile could use some pruning.

It turns out that pruning was an appropriate word, as once I had reached the end of a complicated and exhaustive eeny meeny miney moe (more complicated and exhaustive than usual as there was 13 books on the pile!) I arrived at The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, one of the books my mum gave me 🙂

Very intriguing already

However, since I had neglected my other books while I was engrossed with my Flavia mission, I’ve been doing some catch-up and didn’t actually start The Language of Flowers ’til the other night. Even ‘tho I was tried I still read a few chapters and am drawn in already, so stay tuned for a review fairly soon.

Also I apologize for my lack of reviews lately. I have quite a few waiting to be started (The Eddie Dickens Trilogy; Coldheart Canyon; A Red Herring Without Mustard; Monster Blood Tattoo Book 2: Lamplighter; and Watchmen) but as each one involves some serious brain-work and my brain is busy with whats left of my assessments/homework for the semester, I’ve had none to spare.

I promise (cross my hard-drive, hope to crash) that once the semester ends (or possibly before if I’m clever and get stuff done early) I will write every damn one of them! 🙂