Challenges Update # 17 – Week 6 of War & Pages + Birthday Happenings & a Glut of Book Journals!

Ahoy there my rollicking, rambunctious Bookbaggers!

Welcome to the 6th update of  War & Pages + a little news regarding Old Books October and the fast approaching New Books November, a little share of what I did/got for my birthday this week, and some book nerd stuff about book journals/reading diaries/reading logs/whatever you wanna call em 😛

war &  pages challenge badge

This week has only been somewhat successful in the War & Pages department, mainly because I’m down to just Catch 22 now and last weekend was filled with celebrations for my 27th birthday (as the calendar has conspired against me and put the actual date on a unfavourable-for-celebrations Tuesday). Despite this I still came pretty close to my quota:

Catch 22:

catch22

43 pages (3 chapters)

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

Finished! :D

Total:

43 pages

…I’m not sure whether to be pleased that I almost reached my goal, or frustrated because I came so close! I did mean to read one more chapter on the weekend to get over 50, but I was too busy getting spoilt by my wonderful close friends, Sarah, Luke & Ron. I wasn’t gifted any book-related prezzies (while books are obviously one of my main loves, I rarely get gifted them as its hard for loved ones to know what I already have) but they did cover some of my other most favoured things: jewelry, foxes, owls, crystals and teapots, so I was mighty chuffed 😀 We also went to my favourite local restaurant Picco’s Kitchen which none of my friends had been to before (or at least not since it was under former ownership as a gourmet pizza place) and  I had an awesome steak with potato gratin, grilled asparagus and this zesty avocado and tomato salsa 😀 YUM!

On my actual birthday I was feeling a bit under par, with an annoying tickle in the back of my throat and a persistent cough, but when I got into work I was greeted by a lovely surprise – my boss, Yve, had decorated my desk with a couple of birthday banners, balloons, a poster wishing me a happy birthday from the whole team, and this hilarious poster stuck to my computer monitor:

Star Trek birthday posterXD Love it! The birthday spoilage continued with a lovely card (which had Nerdy spelled out with elements – N = Nitrogen; Er = erbium; Dy = dysprosium) and a morning tea of mini sausage rolls and red velvet cupcakes 🙂 That night I went out to another local – Rifo’s Cafe – with my mum and had a huge bowl of chilli mussels with garlic bread, so all-in-all, despite my annoying throat it was a great day 🙂

Then yesterday when I saw my workmate, Scott, at East Perth (I work at the Mt Lawley campus of my college Monday-Wednesday and then at the East Perth campus Thursday-Friday) I got probably the best present of the whole birthday week:

Buffy the vampire slayer TalesBuffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug Petrie, Leinil Francis Yu, Gene Colan and others (artists)

The book is a beautiful hardcover with place-keeping ribbon, and is filled with stories from different generations of slayers and vampires all illustrated by different artist’s with unique styles. With every random turn of a page I found a new style of art and from what I saw all the work is stunning! I can’t wait to get into this one and may even let it bypass all my usual processes and challenges 😀 As if this wasn’t enough of an awesome present, Scott also brought in donuts and cronuts for us to have for morning/afternoon tea (the sheer amount and yumminess of the treats allowed for two separate teas) which in my opinion was way better than cake!

Ok, now onto the actual challenge stuff :P:

Old Books October challenge badgeNot much Old Book October activity this week. On my birthday I finished  The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman et al

sandman4

Which was my favourite volume so far! It started with a meeting of all but one of the Endless (Destiny, Delirium, Desire, Despair, Dream and Death) which included a beautiful spread of individual portraits with wonderful descriptions of each character. The rest of the story was also excellent with Dream/Morpheus/The Sandman travelling to Hell to right a wrong only to find it empty and that Lucifer has quit and released all the damned and demons. Lucifer also leaves the key to Hell, and the kingdom it unlocks to The Sandman to do with as he pleases. As Morpheus has no interest in running Hell, he soon finds his Dream realm filled with all manner of Gods, demons, angels and other being vying for the rights to the abandoned kingdom. As always the writing and art were top-notch and I loved how the Sandman team had envisioned some famous beings from Mythology like the Norse Gods Odin, Thor and Loki.

I have also been loving Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (which isn’t technically involved in Old Books October but deserves a mention anyway as its awesome) and the Soulless manga by Gail Carriger (writer) and REM (artist). On the downside, I haven’t read much more of Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, I still haven’t even started Brisingr by Christopher Paolini yet :S but I hope to read them more next week. With less than a week left the likelihood of another Old Books October choice is slim, but I’m happy with what was already chosen 🙂

New Books November challenge badge

New Books November is very close now and in light of all the exciting new comics/graphic novels I have I have decided to tweak the rules a little 😛 Instead of putting new purchases aside until after November I’m going to include all my to-be-read comics/graphic novels, so the two most recent and any published this year will be contenders. This will only be a rules change for the Comic Companions pile and any books I said would have to wait will do so. Also I may make my new Buffy book the official mascot of the challenge or something so I can start reading it straight away 😛

The full rules and list of contenders will be posted on the 1st of November 🙂

In other news, the other day I got a very exciting package – 3 book journals I bought from Abe books recently for about 3-4 dollars each!

Book journals

Now, I can almost hear what you’re thinking even through the noise and chaos of cyber space (OoooEeeeOoooo!) – I know you read a lot Book Polygamist, but why on earth would you need 3 book journals all at once? Well the truth is that I had a bunch of trouble finding a new book journal – all the ones I found on Bookdepository or Amazon were either ones I’ve already tried (and I like to mix it up each time rather than having the same journal over and over), didn’t have features I wanted, or when I found a great new one they didn’t ship to my country! I was getting so frustrated that by the time I tried Abe books and found three suitable ones at a cheap price I just got all of them so I wouldn’t have the same issue next time I ran out of space.

I was ecstatic to have my hand on not 1, but 3 new (well used but in near new condition) journals, but then I was faced with a dilemma – which one should I use first? After weighing up the amount of entries for each book, the fields to fill in for each entry, and other features of the 3, as well as their relative condition (the Reader’s Journal on the left has a name in the front and the one on the right has a few parts filled in which I have to decide whether to white out or keep as a look into the previous owners reading habits – perhaps I’ll get some recommendations :)) I decided I would go with Smart Women Read Between the Lines: A Reader’s Journal

Smart Women Read Between the Lines A Reader's Journal

Besides its lovely retro cover art it is filled with neat features such as tabs along the side for easy access to the different sections, a pocket at the back for storing review clippings and the like, ownership stickers to put in the front of your books, and little tear out bookmarks with art from the different sections on them (only one of which was missing from my used copy!). The journal is broken up into 4 sections: Book Read & Reviewed or Smart Women Never Judge a Book by its Cover, which is where you chronicle the books you’ve read; Novel Ideas or Smart Women Read Between the Lines, where you can jot down quotes and the like; Books to Read or Smart Women Thirst for Knowledge, which is where you put books you want to read; and Lists or Smart Women Make a List and Check it Twice, which has all kinds of lists to fill out such as books lent and borrowed, books to give as gifts, bookclub and supplier info, and favourite books as well as a list of Smart Women A-Z.

It also has 32 pages for noting books you’ve read so that should keep me going for the rest of this year and some of next year, at which point I will have two others waiting for me 🙂

That’s it for now. Keep a lookout for upcoming regular features and the official opening of New Books November next week but until then:

Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a – it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It’s-it’s there and then it’s gone. If it’s to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly.

So that one is just a straight up quote by Giles in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode – I, Robot… You, Jane (Season 1, Episode 8) but I thought it was fitting what with my awesome Buffy-themed present plus its one of my favourite Giles moments 🙂 As always, if you think of any pop culture quotes I could adapt into a sign-off, or if you just have some nice bookish quotes for me hit me up in the comments,  at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or over at the Facebook page 🙂

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Just in time for Halloween and Birthday Bonanza :)

Things have been pretty exciting in my life since my last post, mainly because my birthday was on Saturday and I’ve pretty much been celebrating and getting spoilt by friends and family for the past week. Since this celebrating and spoilitude involved getting some new books (of course) I thought why not share my goodies with you, my loyal Bookbaggers, as well as update you on my recent reading exploits 🙂

Ok, so firstly, on Thursday the 20th, after going out to a lovely birthday dinner with my family (yes, I did say my birthday was Saturday, but my grandparents have a weird thing about only going out to dinner on Thursdays – don’t ask me!) I FINALLY finished Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker, which I have been reading for a really long time. It was a pretty crazy book (I’ll post a review soonish) so it was a bit strange finally getting to the end of it, especially as It was the only book I had been reading for a few days, but it also meant that I could now pick a new book from the scary towering library book pile next to my bed. Now, I was determined to use my usual process to pick a book instead of just picking one of the newer more exciting ones, but the towering pile of certain death consisted of 11 books, when my eeny meeny miny moe…ing only works for 7, so it took a bit longer and was more complicated. However, eventually I did have a winner – Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood (the 4th Corinna Chapman book).

Happy Halloween!

Now onto the much more exciting topic of my book haul this birthday 😛 I received a total of 6 books for or around my birthday this year, 1 with money my nana gave me (as well as too very pretty bookmarks), 1 from my friend Sarah, 2 from my mum (as well as new sheets, a pillow and some clothes – score!), and 2 which I had ordered from my bookclub but just happened to arrive near my birthday, which was pretty sweet timing.

The brand-spankin’-new books are (in order of when I got them):

  1. The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
    An awesome collection of “lost” Dr. Seuss stories that were never published when he was alive. One of the bookclub presents to myself 🙂 Arrived Thursday before my bday.
  2. Zombie Felties by Nicola Tedman & Sarah Skeate
    An adorably gruesome craft book that details how to make 16 cute and creepy zombie pals. This was the awesome present from my friend Sarah, which would’ve been awesome on its lonesome, but my best friends also all chipped in and got me a butt load of craft supplies so I can make the little zombies! Naw, you guys 🙂
  3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    An intriguing book about a travelling circus, that I bought at one of my fave bookstores – Planet Books – the day after my bday, with nana bday money 🙂
  4. The Secret Language of Flowers by Samantha Gray
    A beautiful little book all about the meanings of flowers from Victorian courtship, to ancient mythology. The second bookclub present-to-me. Arrived yesterday.
  5. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    Another book about flower meanings (surprise, surprise) but fiction instead of non-fiction. My mum has wanted to buy it for me for a few weeks now, so she got it today as part of my continuing bday present 🙂 awesome.
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    I have wanted to read this classic for such a long time, and when I saw it today at Big W for just 13 bucks, my mum immediately added it to my bday basket of goodies 🙂 Yay!

So, pretty spoilt this year huh? And this is only the book-based prezzies! I also got new bedding/pillow and clothes (which I already mentioned); a gorgeous owl statuette (I collect owls :)); an owl Skelanimal; a Sanity gift-card which I used to get the third season of True Blood and the first season of How I Met Your Mother; the new Gotye album and other awesome bits and pieces.

Now that my birthday week seems to be meandering to an end, expect reviews for the Eddie Dickens Trilogy and Coldheart Canyon as well as the next Top 10 (on the theme of book to screen adaptations) at the end of the month.

Happy reading!