Blind Date with a Book

A few weeks ago I had a unique book-buying experience – I bought a book without seeing the title, the author, the blurb, and most importantly the cover!

As I have said before, I am a constant breaker of the “don’t judge a book by its cover” rule. Cover art is an area which can make or break a book for me, and sometimes I worry that I’m missing excellent reads because of this superficiality.

That’s why when I saw a picture advertising a new Blind Date with a Book promotion at one of my favorite bookstores, Kaleido Books, I thought I should give it a go 🙂

Thanks to the admin on Kaleido Books' Facebook page for letting me use this image - go check them out and give them likes if you like your bookstores funky, creative and manned by awesomely friendly staff :)

Thanks to the admin on Kaleido Books’ Facebook page for letting me use this image – go check them out and give them likes if you like your bookstores funky, creative and manned by awesomely friendly staff 🙂

As I am forgetful, sort of lazy and prone to procrastination (endearingly so I hope :)) I likely would’ve missed out on the promotion if I hadn’t seen another Facebook post reminding people to come in because it was the last day and there was only a few books left. I went in that day after work and faced my options with the typical mix of feelings encountered on a blind date – excitement, trepidation, and lack of control. What greeted me was a few lonely singles sitting patiently on the display table, clad in plain brown paper or newspaper, with a few choice keywords on their front, and just the price and a purchase code of some kind on the back.

My biggest fear was that I would pick a book with tantalising keywords only to find out I had already read it, or even worse, I already owned it since I have so many books (ahem….possibly too many but at least it’s a relatively healthy addiction) so my first thought was to get something that sounded up my alley, yet somehow also different from what I normally buy.

Then I saw this intriguing number:

blind date with a book cover

I thought to myself “I like weird books, I like funny books, and I don’t buy (or read) many true books. This could be my perfect match!”

Before I could talk myself out of it I took my Blind Date up to the counter, ready to jump head-first into judgement free book discovery and waited with bated breath as the helpful Kaleido guy rang up my purchases (I also bought a Graphic Novel :P)

I became even more intrigued when after looking up it’s mysterious purchase number he chuckled to himself and said “You’ll like this one!”

I stood there thinking “Oh gosh I hope so. What if I somehow do own it? What if it’s about a topic that may be weird, true and funny, but that totally doesn’t appeal to me? What if we can’t make it work!”

To further keep me in suspense my Kaleido match-maker took a black pen (as his trusty Sharpie had gone walkabout) and obscured the book’s details on my receipt

blind date with a book receipt

With my enigmatic blind date snugly tucked in my bag I left Kaleido Books and mere minutes and metres later I tentatively  opened the plain, brown paper to reveal my mystery book:

Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

A book about the various uses of dead bodies!

Weird? Oh yeah!

True? Yes, indeedy!

Funny? I can only imagine!

A perfect match for me? Absolutely! 🙂

I had heard of Blind Date with a Book promotions before, either in bookstores or in libraries as part of Library Lover’s Day, and thought it was a cracking idea but I had never encountered it myself. I’m so glad that I took the plunge and discovered a book I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at otherwise.

I say hurrah to Kaleido Books for choosing to do this promotion and I hope it will become a semi-regular occurrence! 😀

May all your blind dates (book and otherwise) be perfect matches 🙂

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?

comiccompanions-badge

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

aliceinwonderland

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:

BookofHumanInsects

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 🙂

Jar-full-o-books-june-july-august

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)

Challenges Update #3 + a kaleidoscope of new comics (and books)!

Soooooooooooo….. its been a while since my last challenge update…because I haven’t really been actively challenging :/

I didn’t bother posting an update last week because I had nothing to report – I haven’t finished any books, so I haven’t started any new ones, complete with Comic Companion, and I have been really slack with the Poe challenge…

poe.my.god challenge badge

As I suspected the weekend of comedy shows was not conducive to some casual reading – my entire weekend was made up of social happenings before and after the shows and the seeing of the shows themselves, which if you’re interested were Justin Hamilton’s Perth International Comedy Festival (PICF) show on Friday the 3rd, and then on Saturday the 4th Adam Hill’s show, Happyism which were both absolutely hilarious, if very, very different (Justin Hamilton was in a small room, very intimate and casual, and Adam Hills was in a theatre of 2000 people with a sigh language interpreter and choir!).

During the week I did intend to read some stories to catch up, but I’m usually too tired after work and I just want to veg out in front of the TV, eat dinner and go to bed, so my good intentions fell by the wayside 😦 These wasted good intentions  carried on into the weekend as my best friend, Sarah, moved around the corner from me (:D!!!) so I was distracted by the exciting tour of the new house, conveniently located catch-ups, and helping her build a snazzy new bed. Up until yesterday I was convinced I would somehow still complete the challenge before the horrifying One-Year-Since-I-Started-This-Book date, but guess what today is? That’s right, the 14th of May….. Happy Anniversary Tales of Mystery and Imagination -.- 

Anyway, since I still want to challenge myself, and as I’ve established before I enjoy repeated numbers, why not extend the challenge until it hits the 1 year, 1 month and 1 day mark? This would mean that the challenge would go until the 15th of June, or 5 more weeks which works perfectly with the amount of stories I have left too because I have 15 to go so I only need to read 3 a week and I’m done!

comiccompanions-badge

On the Comic Companions front I haven’t fared much better, because as I said I haven’t finished or started anything.

But!

I have acquired quite a few new graphic novels that can be read as part of the challenge.

Firstly I have borrowed a few from the East Perth campus of my college, where I work on Thursdays and Fridays:

graphic novels from work

Lots of great Graphic Novels have been donated by my workmate, Scott, so I may borrow some more in the near future 😀

They are: The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity (The Unwritten, Volume # 1) by Mike Carey (writer), Peter Gross (artist), Chris Chuckry and Jeanne McGee (colourists) and Todd Klein (letterer); White Tiger: A Hero’s Compulsion (White Tiger, Issue # 1) by Tamora Pierce  and Timothy Liebe (writers) and Philippe Briones (penciler); House of Mystery: Room and Boredom (House of Mystery, Volume # 1) by Matthew Sturges and Bill Wilingham (writers), Jill Thompson (penciler), Luca Rossi (inker) and Todd Klein (letterer); and Nevermore by Edgar Allan Poe (because its an adaptation of some of his short stories), Ian EdgintonJamie DelanoJohn Reppion, and Leah Moore (writers) and D’IsraeliJames (Jim) FletcherJohn McCreaShane Oakley and Steve Pugh (artists)

I also borrowed two graphic novels off my workmate at East Perth, Scott:

Batman + Buffy = :D

Batman + Buffy = 😀

Batman: The Killing Joke: The Deluxe Edition by Alan Moore (writer), Brian Bolland (artist, colorist, writer), Ellie De Ville and Richard Starkings (letterers); and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Origin by Dan Brereton and Christopher Golden (writers), Joe Bennett (penciler) , Rick Ketcham (inker), Guy MajorJeromy Cox (colourists), and Ken Bruzenak (letterer).

And Scott kindly picked me up a few comics from Free Comic Book Day which was on the weekend of all the comedy:

Two of them have a different comic on each side, so I've placed the two pics side by side to show all the covers

Two of them have a different comic on each side, so I’ve placed the two pics side by side to show all the covers – sorry for the weird glare and change in light :/

Star Wars: Captain Midnight/Avatar: The Last Airbender ; Mouse Guard /Rust flip book ; and Molly Danger/Princeless

Then on Friday night while looking for a Mother’s Day present for my mum I had a mini shopping spree at one of my new favourite bookstores, Kaleido Books 

Kaleido buys

 

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollLewis Helfand (writer/adapter) and Rajesh Nagulakonda (artist); The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka (writer, artist and cover designer – go Mr Tezuka!); The Beatles Graphic by Hervé Bourhis (writer, artist and cover designer – again, go Mr Bourhis!); and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (another classic I’ve never read)

And lastly, I bought a quartet of books at the end of my holidays when me and mum went op-shop trawling that I forgot to share with you:

Op-shop buys

 

Past The Shallows by Favel ParrettThe Winter Queen by Boris AkuninThe Highest Tide by Jim Lynch; and the Calvin and Hobbes book, Scientific Progress Goes “Boink” by Bill Watterson 😀 

So, I have PLENTY of comics to read for my challenge, as well as more books that I don’t have room for…..and like any true book addict instead of culling my collection, or heaven’s forbid, stopping my endless purchasing of new and used books (*GASP* *dramatic Victorian lady swoon*) I will eventually buy a new bookshelf that I can fill with even more! (*cue maniacal laughter and crazed grin*)

That’s it for now my booktastic Bookbaggers! Stay tuned for updates as they occur + the usual junk and I bid you all:

Happy Reading!

Challenges Update # 1 + Tiny Tidbits from Leederville

Hello Bookbaggers one and all! this is just a quickie post to update you on my current challenges and tell you about another small book purchase I made (ooo naughty naughty!)

poe.my.god challenge badge

  This weekend I only read one story from Tales of Mystery and Imagination because it was a lengthy and pretty distressing one – Murders in the Rue Morgue. If you haven’t read it I won’t be a rotten spoiler, but lets just say it’s about a horrific murder with an unusual instigator, and it’s quite gory – especially for the time period. Anyway, the story directly after, The Mystery of Marie Rogetis a sequel to Murders in the Rue Morgue and is also fairly lengthy, so I didn’t quite have the energy to read it and a couple more to reach my goal. Luckily next week I am on term break (yay!) so I will have plenty of free time to catch up 🙂 comiccompanions-badge   Tuesday arvo I finished Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane  and so chose the Diviner’s Son by Gary Crew off my library pile:gary-crew-diviners-son-1and as the Comic Companion, the first Volume of The Sandman – Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman: preludes and nocturnes   As for the little purchase, I was in Leederville because I had a Professional Development session (Dealing with Challenging Students as a Frontline Officer) at the Leederville campus of my work, so once it was finished I had a little peruse in one of my favourite bookstores, Oxford Street Books to see if they had a book I’d been looking for for a while – Craig Silvey‘s The Amber Amulet. To my delight they did have The Amber Amulet, and I was so elated I made a couple of impulse purchases with books displayed at the checkout – The Tiny Wife, an adorable wee novella by Andrew Kaufman and The Little Book of Books by Jennifer Worick 🙂

Here they be:

oxford street books buys

 

And I just realised that they all have a similar colour scheme  which also happened last time I bought from Oxford Street Books…. hmmmm

Anyway, they are currently sitting on my bedside table where I normally place my phone and glasses before snooze time, so I will probably just read them on a whim, maybe whilst I’m on holidays 🙂

Ta, ta for now and:

Happy Reading!

New books up the wazoo!

I week or so I realised that recently I have acquired quite a few new books that I haven’t shared with you, my beloved Bookbaggers!

You may not be particularly interested in my new purchases/library borrowings, but if you are read on and gaze in wonder at the bargains and tantalizing tomes I have acquired! 😀

Firstly I took a trip to my local library when I had to take Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane and Mammels by Pierre Mérot and got a new haul:

library books

In case you can’t quite read the titles: Peaches for Father Francis by Joanne Harris (AKA Peaches for Monsieur le Cure, the second sequel to Chocolat); The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman (the first Sandman graphic novel); Shades of Grey by Jasper FfordeSkinlane by Neil Bartlett (which I have borrowed and re-borrowed a few times without actually getting to it); Carnevale by M.R. Lovric;  and The Diviner’s Son by Gary Crew.)

Then while visiting one of my best friends, who has been working at the Maylands Salvo’s store I bought myself a bunch of books:

op-shop buys

Again the titles are: Zoology by Ben Dolnick (a debut novel from 2007 with a very pretty cover 🙂 ); Ravelling by Peter Moore Smith (another debut novel, from 2000, which sounds wonderfully spooky!); The Third Brother by Nick McDonell (who also wrote Twelve, a book I read a few years ago and was one of my Top 10 Reads of 2010 – pre-Book Polygamist); The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz (which is another debut novel, from 1996 with a very pretty cover); Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier (which I read a few years ago but still wanted to own); and Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge (which I chose because of the blurb: “In a cut-throat world of highwaymen, spies and smugglers, and insane rulers in silly wigs, runaway Mosca Mye and her goose companion have uncovered a dark plot winging its way toward the city”. It had me at “goose companion” :P).

Then on the 3rd of March I went to the Hyde Park Fair and HAD to get this bunch of books (they were for orphans! What was i meant to do? :P):

hyde park fair books

Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris (as I’ve already established Joanne Harris is one of my favourite authors so I had to add this one to the collection 🙂 ); Pilgrim by Sara Douglass (Book 2 of the Wayfarer Redemption Trilogy, which is a follow-up to one of my Top 10 Fantasy Series’); The Good Major by Andrew Nicoll (which was one of my Top 10 Reads of 2011); Curious and Curiouser by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (a non-fiction buy which I’m certain will be very amusing and informative); and last but certainly not least, The Lot: In Words by Michael Leunig (a collection of essays by one of my favourite writers/cartoonists 🙂 )

AND THEN on the 10th of March I went to Oz Comic Con and besides getting lots of awesome bit and bobs (mostly jewelry :D) I got Soulless, the manga based on Gail Carriger‘s Parasol Protectorate series, which I have really taken a shine to:

soulless from oz comic con

and these cute bookmarks:

bookmarks from oz comic con

(that’s actually just two bookmarks – the single bird one has the black and silver on one side and the silver and blue/purple on the other, and the owl one is the same on both sides. I also go two badges which match the owls on the bookmark ^-^)

I’m absolutely chuffed with my new books and bookmarks, and I can’t wait to read some of them soon 🙂

I’m going to end with a short reminder. My blogiversary competition ends on the 31st, less than a week from now, so if you want to enter you need to get in quick smart!

Currently there are only 4 entrants, which means if no one else enters all but person will get a prize (nice odds for the current entrants, but not so lucky for the single person that misses out!) so if you haven’t entered please do so and make the giveaway a little more interesting 😉

That’s it for now, so as always:

Happy Reading (and acquiring)!

Kicking off 2013 with Owls, Mammals and Phryne Fisher!

I have already wrote about how poor my book tally has been this year, and even though I have had heaps of free time since Xmas to read (especially because it’s so hot in Perth at the moment and reading in front of a fan is about all I can manage) my grand total was only 26 – pretty sad considering the last few years I have read over 40 a year and 2012 was the National Year of Reading O_o

I did manage to finish a few great books at the last-minute (Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith; The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff; Soulless by Gail Carriger; and I finally finished the Neo-Noir anthology, Blood, Guts & Whiskey) which meant I could still choose my Top 10 of the year and Annual Award recipients (which I will post ASAP) but it was still a pretty disappointing total.

In the first few days of 2013 I chose a set of new books to read: one from my Bought-But-Have-Yet-To-Read pile – The Journey (Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Book 2) by Kathryn Lasky;

Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 2: The Journey by Kathryn Lasky

one from my Library Books pile – Mammals by Pierre Mérot;

mammalsand one from the pile of books that I’ve borrowed from my friend Sarah – Death Before Wicket (Phryne Fisher Mysteries, Book 10) by Kerry Greenwood

death before wicketplus I also have two reads which I’ve carried over from 2012: Pyramids (Discworld, Book 7) by Terry Pratchett

pyramids

and a book that I fear will be on my bedside table forever since It’s already been there since May and I’ve only read two stories out of it – Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe.

Tales of mystery and imagination

I’ve already gotten really into all three of my new reads so hopefully that’s a good sign for the year ahead, at least reading-wise!

Beloved Bookbaggers, keep thine eyes peeled for my Top 10 Books of 2012 and the 2012 Book Polygamist Awards as well as other little titbits before I’m back to work in February, but for now I wish you all a (belated) Happy New Year and as always:

Happy Reading!

I don’t remember the name of the book….but it had a blue cover?

As a former Library Studies student and now a Library Assistant I have often heard stories which have become akin to urban legends in the library world. The biggest of these is the patron (or client, customer, member, insert synonym-which-is-acceptable-to-use-when-describing-the-users-of-the-library here) who approaches the desk and enquires about a book they may have borrowed or browsed in the past and when prompted for further details on said book says something like “Well i don’t remember what it was called or who wrote it, but I think it was blue?”.

This is baffling to library staff (probably book store staff also) because A. depending on the size of the library we could have anywhere from dozens to hundreds or even thousands of books with a blue cover and B. unlike titles, authors, publication information or even vague keywords, the colour of the cover is not something we can generally search for and unless the library is very tiny its hard to remember all books of a particular colour we have seen come in.

This is going to take a while…

I have personally never encountered the fabled Blue Book Enquirer, but I have helped many patrons who could remember very little about a book they need or want and I have noticed that cover colour and decoration are often what sticks. Because of this and my already established love of cover art, I usually am keen to notice what incoming books, or popular books look like, just in case. Who knows, perhaps one day a patron will come in with a life or death situation which requires a very rare book which they have only ever seen in this library and they have recently suffered a strangely specific form of amnesia where they cannot remember any details about things in their life pre-amnesia except colours, and my recollection of the textbook with a chartreuse cover and teal stripes could be the very moment that saves their life! Ok, perhaps that’s a bit of a stretch but better safe than sorry right?

Anyway, because of this I generally pay attention to book covers in my day to day life, and especially the ones I’m reading (so much so that I try and pick the bookmark out of my bookmark collection that best matches the book I’m using it in…..shut up) and when all or some of the books are the same colour…I get a tad excited. This happened to me recently when I was after a few quick reads around my birthday and coincidentally the four books I chose had predominantly blue covers.

It all started funnily enough with a graphic novel called Blue by Pat Grant.  I was feeling a little bored with my current reads and just wanted something I could read in one sitting so i visited my local library and picked up a few novels (to get to later) and a few graphic novels. I chose to read Blue because the cover and inside art attracted me, I had never heard of it before and the other two graphic novels were volumes 2 and 7 of The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and since I have never read the series in its entirety i wanted to go in order. Blue was an interesting and quirky little graphic novel that I read from cover to cover that afternoon, and it broke me out of my reading rut. The story explored racism and localism in a small coastal Australian town told through a trio of surfer teens, but the really interesting thing about it was how the race or races which were discriminated against were instead strange tentacled creatures with blue skin who doodled childlike yet intricate graffiti all over the town. The artwork was also really beautiful with hand lettering and ink-work completely in gray-scale with touches of blue. If you want to know more simply go to Pat Grants website, but I will also do a quick review at some point.

Definitely worth a look.

After finishing Blue I was still in the mood for another short read, and then I remembered that I still had The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr Seuss sitting on my desk since I received around my last birthday! Since my birthday was only a few days away I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that I had gone almost a year without reading a picture book which even 6-year-old me would’ve devoured immediately, so I quickly rectified this. As is to be expected from Dr Seuss the stories were a delight and even though I only dipped in in between doing other tasks around the house I had read them all within an hour or so (and I will also post a small review of them eventually). It was at this point that I noticed that both books were quite blue (as you can see) but as there was only two of them it was quite a small coincidence.

A few days later, on my birthday I stopped off at a few shops in Leederville (a hip suburb in Perth where I’m currently working) to buy myself some birthday presents. One of these shops was Oxford St Books one of my favourite book stores. After a very thorough browsing I left with City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (which is the forth Mortal Instruments book and the one I’m up to); Curses and Blessings For All Occasions by Bradley Trevor Greive (author of another blue number – The Blue Day Book and other funny little gift books featuring captioned animals)

How could you resist that happy looking whale?

and The Templeton Twins: Have An Idea by Ellis Weiner.

At this point my brain may have subconsciously been craving blue things :-\


I enjoyed Curses and Blessings For All Occasions that afternoon and evening and had a good giggle (again I’ll post a brief review soon) and then read The Templeton Twins (which was a hilarious children’s adventure in the vein of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, filled with lovely black, white and blue illustrations – review to follow) on the bus to and from work over the next two days. By then I was so chuffed by my collection of short, blue reads that I just had to share it with you, my beloved Bookbaggers 🙂

I hope you enjoyed my rambling and, as always:

Happy Reading!