The 2013 Book Polygamist Awards!

Welcome Ladies, Gentlemen and super-intelligent cats who secretly surf the web while their owner is at work, to the 3rd Annual Book Polygamist Awards!

Since 2011 the Awards have been publicly aired on my humble little blog, rather than the bottomless pit of Facebook, or the relative privacy of my book journal, and as long as Book Polygamist sticks around each year I will share my quirky Awards with you, my precious few Bookbaggers 🙂

Like last year and the year before the Awards will be broken up into two categories: the Annual Awards, which are the same each year, and the Special Awards, which change with the calibre of books read and any patterns I notice.

This year, since I read more comics/graphic novels than ever before there will be some Awards specifically for the format i.e. Best Inside Art.

So without further ado I present: The 2013 Book Polygamist Awards!!!

Annual Awards

Shortest Read (Book):

the-amber-amuletThe Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey – approximately 1 hour

Honorable Mentions:

The Tiny Wife by  Andrew Kaufman – approximately 2 hours

Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen – 6 days

Longest Read:

Tales of mystery and imaginationTales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe – 1 year, 1 month and 1 day!!!

Honorable Mentions:

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller – 43 weeks, 6 days!!

Kraken by China Miéville – 30 weeks, 3 days!

Most Books/Graphic Novels Read by a Single Author:

Gaiman,_Neil_(2007) Neil Gaiman – 2 books (Anansi Boys and Neverwhere) and 6 Graphic Novels (The Sandman Vol # 1, #2, #3 and # 4; Death: The High Cost of Living; and The Books of Magic)

Honorable Mentions:

Stacia Kane – 5 (Unholy Ghosts; Unholy Magic; City of Ghosts; Sacrificial Magic; Chasing Magic)

Gail Carriger – 5 (Changeless; Blameless; Heartless; Soulless Vol #1; Etiquette and Espionage)

Best “New” Author Award:

Every year I try to discover authors I’ve never read before (in addition to my old favourites and follow-ups to “new” authors from previous years) and then I compile a list of ones I want to read more from, and pick one from the bunch that’s the stand-out. It’s always a tricky process because I find so many great authors that are new to me, but usually I just weigh-up the impact they made on me with the amount of work they have that I can continue on with, plus take into account how new they are to writing, and how unknown they were to me (and sometimes others) before I discovered their work. In the case of the winner for this year I had never heard of them before picking up the first book, and since then their series was one of the highlights of my reading year and has become a bit of an obsession for me and my best friend, Sarah 🙂

stacia kaneStacia Kane (Unholy GhostsUnholy MagicCity of GhostsSacrificial MagicChasing Magic)

Honorable Mentions:

 China Miéville (Kraken)

 Max Brooks (World War Z)

 Jasper Fforde (Shades of Grey)

Special Awards

The Best End to a Series Award:

house of many waysHouse of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

Honorable Mention:

chasing magicChasing Magic by Stacia Kane

This is a cheeky honorable mention because it’s not actually the end of the series, but at the time of reading it I did think it was the end, and it was a fucking awesome end! Lucky for me and Sarah the next book is due to be published at some point 😀

The Best Start to a Series Award:

shadesofgreyShades of Grey (Shades of Grey Book 1) by Jasper Fforde

Honorable Mentions:

Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen

The Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman (writer), Sam Kieth (penciler),Malcolm Jones III (inker), Robbie Busch (colourist), Todd Klein (letterer)

 FreakAngels #1 by Warren Ellis (writer) and Paul Duffield (artist)

The Longest and Strangest Title Award:

BookofHumanInsectsThe Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka

Honorable Mention:

Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp  (author) and George O’Connor (artist)

The Tick That Off The Bucket List Award:

catch22Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

in 2013 I continued the accidental tradition of reading a book from my Top 10 Classics I Want to Read list – in accidental order and all! – which definitely deserved another award! To continue this tradition I will have to read The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger this year so I better locate it quick smart 😛

The My Brain Hurts But I Love It! Award:

kraken-by-china-mieville-UKKraken by China Miéville

As I said in my Top 10 Books I Read in 2013 list, this book was the literary equivalent of taking a trip and at times the language and sheer craziness of the world hurt my brain, but I loved every second of it! 😛

Honorable Mentions:

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Best Cover Art (Book):

the-tiny-wifeThe Tiny Wife by  Andrew Kaufman

Honorable Mentions:

shadesofgreyShades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Neverwhere (1)Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

kraken-by-china-mieville-UKKraken by China Miéville

the-amber-amuletThe Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey

Best Cover Art (Graphic Novel):

willow wonderlandBuffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland 
by Jeff ParkerChristos N. Gage (writers) Brian Ching (penciler), Jason Gorder (inker),
Michelle Madsen (colourist), David Mack (cover artist), and Joss Whedon (executive producer)

Honorable Mentions:

persepolis coverPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi

the unwritten vol 1The 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)

BallPeenHammer_COVER_300rgb(1)Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp  (author) and George O’Connor (artist)

buffy talesBuffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales by Joss WhedonJane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug PetrieLeinil Francis YuGene Colan and others (artists)

Best Inside Art (Graphic Novel):

buffy talesBuffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales by Joss WhedonJane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug PetrieLeinil Francis YuGene Colan and others (artists)

This is a bit of a cop-out as this anthology contains a whole bunch of amazing artists making it the easy choice, but with such diverse art from story to story this was a clear winner. Below is an example of some of my favourite art styles for you to ogle 😛

Buffy tales art

Honorable Mentions:

Zombies Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Jim McCann (writers), David Baldeon (penciller), and Jordi Tarragona (inker)

Star Trek TNG: Hive by Brannon Braga (story) and Joe Corroney (art)

Most Fun Challenge:

comiccompanions-badge

While I set myself some great challenges last year, I had to choose Comic Companions as the best as it led me to read so many amazing comics and graphic novels! This year I’m not continuing this challenge but I’ve decided the graphic novels pile is just as important as the others so I’ve been going through the same process in reading them – when I finish one I pick another from the pile (or rather a random green piece of paper from my book-choosing jar so I don’t have to choose which wonderful graphic novel I want to read next – I’m chance’s bitch instead 🙂 )

Best Book Chosen for Old Books October:

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

guards guardsI haven’t actually finished Guards! Guards! since I’ve been pretty slack with reading this year, and I got distracted with other books and comics at the end of last year, so I’ve been reading this very funny Discworld novel for a while, but every time I do read a bit its highly entertaining! Plus the other book I chose for Old Books October is Brisingr by Christopher Paolini which I have been even more slack with, so this was a no-brainer 😛

Best Graphic Novel Chosen for Old Books October:

The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman (writer), Kelley JonesMalcolm Jones IIIMike DringenbergMatt WagnerP. Craig Russell,George PrattDick Giordano (artists), Daniel VozzoSteve Oliff (colourists), and Todd Klein (letterer)

sandman4

Best Book Chosen for New Books November:

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

shadesofgrey

Best Graphic Novel Chosen for New Books November:

 FreakAngels #1 by Warren Ellis (writer) and Paul Duffield (artist)

freak angels vol 1

2013 was a really interesting year for me, both in my reading life and personal/professional life, and I certainly have some good memories from it. I hope all my Bookbaggers also had an excellent year with a bevy of brilliant books (gosh I love alliteration :P) and tons of good memories, and that your 2014 is just as fruitful 🙂

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Top 10 Graphic Novels I Read in 2013

Hello all and welcome to the first (and hopefully annual) Top 10 Graphic Novels list! I had to do a list of graphic novels as well as my usual one of their pictureless brethren this year as I read so many great ones (thanks in no small part to my Comic Companions challenge). As my re-kindled love affair with comics continues I hope that I can make this list a regular part of my yearly awards to serve as recommendations to any comic-loving Bookbaggers 🙂

So without further ado here is my very first Top 10 Graphic Novels I Read in (insert year here) list:

1.  The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

by Neil Gaiman (writer),
Kelley JonesMalcolm Jones IIIMike DringenbergMatt WagnerP. Craig Russell,George PrattDick Giordano (artists),
Daniel VozzoSteve Oliff (colourists), and Todd Klein (letterer)

sandman4I read Volumes 1-4 of The Sandman in 2013, which were all amazing but Season of Mists was definitely my favourite so far. Firstly the story of Morpheus/Dream/The Sandman trying to make amends for the revengeful punishment of his lover millenia ago leading him to being the reluctant new owner of Hell with beings from all over vying to be its new master was epic. Secondly it was really cool to see almost all of The Endless (Dream and his siblings) together, especially the gloriously coloured pages which described them. Thirdly the various beings which gathered in Dream’s realm to petition him for ownership of hell (including Gods from various religions, demons and agents of order and chaos) were so different in their methods and reasons for wanting Hell, making the final scenes riveting and wonderfully suspenseful.
If you are a fan of fantasy graphic novels you really must read this fantastic series 🙂

2. The Beatles Graphic by Hervé Bourhis

beatles graphicI learnt so much about The Beatles from this comprehensive biographical comic which goes through every significant moment in the band’s development as well as the personal lives of John, Paul, George and Ringo (plus a bit of background on important figures in their lives, such as Yoko Ono). As it’s written by a Frenchman the book also gives a unique perspective on the Beatles influence on Europe which I found really interesting, and as a fan he did short reviews of every album and single released, not only by the Fab Four, but solo and other collaborative projects, and he was very honest with his opinions. Definitely recommended for Beatles fans and people interested in musical bios.

3. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

persepolis coverThis was another biographical graphic novel (autobio this time) which taught me a lot about Iran before, during and after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, but was also a touching, thoughtful and at times very funny coming-of-age tale. I decided to read Persepolis in honor of Banned Books Week and right away I empathised with the frustrated students who were robbed of this fantastic graphic novel. Yes, it was very confronting which I guess is why people felt it should be banned, but it was well worth it, and I think it would be especially poignant to kids the same age as the author when her story began. If you don’t know much about Iranian history and culture besides what is parroted by the media, or you want a unique perspective on life in a very different world, I would highly recommend Persepolis. 

4. Batman: The Killing Joke: The Deluxe Edition

by Alan Moore (writer), Brian Bolland (artist, colorist, writer), Ellie De Ville and Richard Starkings (letterers)

the-killing-joke-deluxe-front-cover1This one is straying into more traditional comic territory, but this spectacular deluxe edition which I borrowed off my friend Scott, is far more than your run-of-the-mill Batman comic. Firstly, let me just say, I use to read any and every Batman comic that came into my local library, and would reread my favourites (namely anything with Harley Quinn) over and over. When I borrowed The Killing Joke it had probably been 10 or 15 years since I’d last dived into a Batman comic and yet it felt like I had never left, and it was even more engrossing than I remember. This may be thanks to the brilliantly twisted mind of Alan Moore, or to Brian Bolland’s amazing art, or maybe just because it delved deep into the past of the Joker like nothing I’d ever read before, but whatever it was made for a gripping read! I would of course recommend this to Batman fans (if they haven’t already read it of course) but also to people who like Batman but don’t really know where to begin in the huge backlog of comics – this one is not to be missed.

5. Clive Barker Omnibus (collecting The Thief of Always The Great and Secret Show ; and Seduth)

by Clive BarkerKris OpriskoChris Ryall,  Christopher Monfette (writers), Gabriel HernandezGabriel RodriguezRay Zone (artists),  Robbie Robbins (letterer)

CliveBarker_OmnibusAs a Clive Barker fan I was eager to read this omnibus, especially since I had read The Thief of Always earlier in the year, The Great and Secret Show was one of my first trips into the world of Barker and was starting to become a vague memory, and Seduth had never been published elsewhere. None of them disappointed either in the story-telling/adaptation or the artwork – hell, even the lettering was stunning and perfectly fit the mood of each story! I read each story on a different day (in fact I think I read The Great and Secret Show over a couple of days because it made up the bulk of the omnibus) so I was fully immersed in each story at the time, and even though I had read two of the three in novel form, I felt like I was experiencing them for the first time. I would definitely recommend this to Barker fans, but also to people who may have wanted to read his stuff before but prefer a graphic novel format.

6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales

by Joss WhedonJane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan and others (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug PetrieLeinil Francis YuGene Colan and others (artists)

buffy talesThis was without a doubt one of the best presents I got on my last birthday, if not the best hands down and it definitely had to go on this list! My lovely workmate Scott gifted it to me around my birthday in October and I was in love from the moment I looked at it. It contained a treasure-trove of stories I never even knew about before, written by former writers of the show amongst a bevy of other talented writers, with each story beautifully, and uniquely brought to life by a cast of gifted artists. There wasn’t a single story I didn’t like (though some of course stood out more than others) and it made New Books November even more fun in its role of Official Mascot. I have already raved about it to my Buffy-loving friends (though I keep forgetting to loan it to my best friend Sarah, a Buffy fan from way back, as its so big and ironically gets missed whenever I give her a bunch of graphic novels to try) but I would highly recommend it to any Buffy fan out there, especially if you love comic art – there’s so many styles on offer here its a veritable smörgåsbord for comic-art geeks 😀

7. The Books of Magic

by Neil Gaiman (writer), John BoltonScott HamptonCharles Vess and Paul Johnson (artists)

books of magicThis one was read later in the year, just days before Christmas, but I enjoyed it so much I was willing to push earlier titles off the list in order for it to make my Top 10. Being written my Neil Gaiman, with a somewhat Sandman-esque feel to it and each section illustrated by a different artist to fit the mood of each realm, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I loved this graphic novel. It was one of those stories that you just fall into, and for the minutes, hours, or days that you read it you are lost to another world. In the case of The Books of Magic I was gone for about an hour or so as it’s a sort of mini-series kind of graphic novel, with 4 parts. I have since put my brother on to it, and he was just as lost (I watched him read it so I can attest that he was definitely not all there anymore!) and I plan to find and add it to my growing comic/graphic novel collection 🙂 I would recommend this to Neil Gaiman fans, especially if you like the Sandman, and fans of epic, archetypal fantasy.

8. The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka

BookofHumanInsectsThis one I have to admit was bought because of its bizarre title (I love me a weird title :P) but I was also intrigued because the author and artist is the mind behind Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion, two of my favourite shows from when I was a kid (thanks in part to them being faves of my mum who saw them new, and the habit of Australian TV in the early 90’s playing lots of repeats of classic shows) but I had never read his graphic novels. The Book of Human Insects was worlds away from the cartoons of my youth, but I loved the juxtaposition of Tezuka’s big-eyed, round-faced characters in a world of sex, manipulation, fraud, violence and intrigue. The feel of the story was very film noir, with a classic femme fatale as the main character, and it was a fun blend of absurdity and relatability. I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone (I haven’t passed it on to my brother or friends coz I’m not sure if they’d like it) but if you like manga with a lot of depth, and many a dash of odd, or if like me you’re curious about Tezuka’s work beyond adorable kings of the jungle and robot boys with rocket books, give this a try.

9. Nevermore 

by Edgar Allan Poe , Ian EdgintonJamie DelanoJohn Reppion, and Leah Moore (writers) and D’IsraeliJames (Jim) FletcherJohn McCreaShane Oakley and Steve Pugh (artists)nevermoreI read Nevermore at a perfect time, right after my Poe.My.God! Challenge when I still had all the stories fresh in my mind. This anthology took 9 of Poe’s most famous tales (The Raven; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar; The Murders in the Rue Morgue; The Fall of the House of Usher; The Black Cat; The Oval Portrait; The Tell-Tale Heart; and The Masque of the Red Death) and re-tells them in modern (or sometimes futuristic) settings, each illustrated by a different artist in their style, but sticking to a moody black and grey colour scheme. I thought the adaptations were really clever and the black and grey ink work really put me in a dark, gothic, Poe sort of mood 🙂 Unfortunately because this was a library item I couldn’t hand it straight on to my brother (who is a huge Poe fan since he was a kid) but I hope to add it to my collection in the future, and in the meantime if he’s interested, I can always get it out from my work, since that’s the library it came from (albeit a different campus) and make him swear in blood that it returns unharmed. Very fitting for Poe, don’t ya think? 😛 I would recommend this to Poe fans, people who like classic tales interpreted into new settings, or anyone who likes a dark, broody graphic novel.

10. Fray

by Joss Whedon (writer), Karl Moline (penciler),Andy Owens (inker), Dave Stewart (colourist) and Michelle Madsen (colourist and letterer)frayThis last one was tricky because I had a bunch of great contenders, but once I discounted parts in ongoing series’ (a rule that made compiling this list easier, but one I don’t think I’ll stick to next year) there was one amongst the final choices that stood out. Fray is another graphic novel loaned to me by my friend Scott, and another one set in the Buffy Universe, but far in the future after magic has left the world and Slayers aren’t even a blip on history’s radar. To me this felt almost like a Buffy reboot as it had some of the great elements of early episodes of Buffy when she was training and coming to grips with her destiny. The difference between Fray and early Buffy though is firstly it is set in a very different time and place complete with amazing futuristic scenery and interesting slang, and secondly Melaka Fray can already kick some arse as she is a sort-of cat burglar by trade. I really enjoyed the story, but what made it stick out in my mind was the art. Wow. The way Karl Moline and Andy Owens drew and inked the characters and backgrounds were stunning, and the colours by Dave Stewart and Michelle Madsen were glorious, especially Melaka’s multi-coloured hair. This is a big recommendation for Buffy fans but even if you’re not really familiar with the show (cue gasps and a look of horror from the author) this is a great stand-alone.

Happy 3rd Blogiversary To Me And My Tenacious Bookbaggers! :D

Greetings my steadfast, spectacular Bookbaggers!

I came on today to try to finish off and post, at least one of my 2013 Awards, and was reminded by the WordPress fairies that it’s Book Polygamist’s 3rd Anniversary!

My intention was to do a Blogiversary competition again since last year’s was so fun, but with a new job situation I just haven’t had the time to organise it unfortunately 😦

If you’re a regular visitor to the site you probably noticed that I changed my theme to Sorbet which was the only theme that got a vote in the recent poll, so I haven’t disappeared for good and hope to get back to some kind of regular schedule – perhaps when I finally bite the bullet and get a new laptop to replace the one my grandparents gave me on my 21st (as I’m approaching 28 this year it is definitely on its last legs and has been dubbed the Zombie ‘puter for all the times it’s died and inexplicably risen from the dead).

I didn’t want an anniversary to go by without any acknowledgement, so in lieu of a blogiversary comp here’s a few fun things:

A list of 18 obscure books recommended by John Green, author of the best-selling book The Fault in Our Stars (as well as many other books which I keep meaning to read, especially because I love him on the Mental Floss YouTube channel)

Talking about Mental Floss here’s another great one with John talking about weird word origins:

And lastly a couple of nice GIFs:

From Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One of my favorite Giles quotes comes right after this scene – “Xander, don’t speak latin in front of the books” 😛

And lastly one from the highly exciting Doctor Who Christmas special The Time of the Doctor where *spoiler alert* the doctor regenerated

And lastly one from the highly exciting Doctor Who Christmas special The Time of the Doctor where *spoiler alert* the doctor regenerated

I also wanted to thank you all for sticking with me even when there’s nothing but tumbleweeds and crickets on the blog. I now have 132 followers, which isn’t heaps compared to many blogs, but more than I ever expected, and 47 on the Facebook page and I hope that you all have gotten something out of my strange ramblings which only sometimes follow the “rules” of book-blogging.

I hope that Book Polygamist can live to see its 4th blogiversary and I will do everything I can to keep it at least partly afloat 🙂

Hopefully more things will be up soon, but until then I’m gonna get old-school on you are sign-off with:

Happy Reading!

Challenges Update # 21 – Week 10 of War & Pages + New Books for New Books November!

Hello my gracious, gregarious Bookbaggers!

Welcome to the 10th update of  War & Pages (and actually the 11th and final update too!) + an exciting update on  New Books November and other crazy dribblings from my mind parts 😀

war &  pages challenge badge

This Sunday I was feeling a little under par (probably a combination of the heat and an overindulgence of junk and underindulgence of sleep the nights before) so I stayed inside, napped, and read in between napping. As a result I read over 50 pages of Catch 22 and likely would’ve finished the whole lot if I hadn’t fallen asleep again:

Catch 22:

catch22

59 pages (4 chapters)

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

Finished! :D

Total:

59 pages

Then Tuesday afternoon and evening I plunged in again and before I knew it I had finished the last 2 chapters and the extra bits at the back! Since it seems silly to wait until next week to officially update you on this development, I may as well do this:

Catch 22:

catch22

53 pages (2 chapters + thoughts on Catch 22) – Finished! :D

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

Finished! :D

Total:

53 pages

Overall it was a wonderfully surreal and darkly funny book, and while it took me the good part of the year to read it, this challenge certainly helped me get into the story and finally finish this excellent classic. I know a lot of people struggle with Catch 22, so to them I say: don’t worry if it takes you forever to pick it up, if you start and abandon it a dozen times, or when you finally stick with it, it takes you almost a year – or longer – to get through –  in the end its worth it 🙂

So that’s all folks for the War & Pages challenge, which started with a link between two books I was struggling with, and in the end both books were in the top 10 of books I’ve read this year! I do have another idea for a reading challenge (*cough* possibly to do with Brisingr *cough*), so perhaps when New Books November is done and dusted I will announce something new – I’m getting to love this challenge business!

In other exciting news I have chosen my first books for New Books November!

New Books November challenge badge

As predicted I didn’t finish anything before the 15th, so I planned to get Official jar Chooser Sarah to pick me a random slip and a Comic Companion to go with it on the weekend, but then I also finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman Friday afternoon (it was awesome by the by) so instead I got her to choose 1 random slip, 1 blue slip (since Neverwhere was a library book and thus had a library book successor) and 2 greens for the Comic Companions. Then yesterday she came over for a coffee and chose a purple slip (Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read) and another Comic Companion to replace Catch 22, so for New Books November I have at least one book from each pile! 😀

The random slip Sarah chose was actually a blue so I just made that the replacement for Neverwhere and got her to choose another random:

The Living  Dead - New Books November

The Living Dead by Various

I borrowed this zombie anthology from my workmate, Scott, at the same time as World War Z so I’m really excited to get into some more zombie creepyness (especially because I finally got around to watching The Walking Dead since the first episode is finally airing on free-to-air TV in Australia (yes we are way past the 8 ball on this one).

And for the Comic Companion:

Willow wonderland - New Books November

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland
by Jeff Parker, Christos N. Gage (writers) Brian Ching (penciler), Jason Gorder (inker),
Michelle Madsen (colourist), David Mack (cover artist), and Joss Whedon (executive producer)

I’m really excited about this choice as Willow is my favourite character from Buffy, and the art for this collection is just stunning!

For the blue slip replacing Neverwhere she picked:

Shades of Grey - New Books November

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

This interesting sounding sci-fi came before the whole 50 Shades phenomena and has been raved about on many book blogs I follow so I’m eager to see what its like 🙂 Sounds to me a bit like The Giver meets The Hunger Games with its own twist, which is very promising 😀

And as the Comic Companion:

Death the high cost of living - New Books November

Death: The High Cost of Living
by Neil Gaiman (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciller) and Mark Buckingham (inker)

I was also super excited to read this stand-alone volume set in the Sandman universe, staring one of its most intriguing characters – Dream/Morpheus/The Sandman’s sister and fellow Endless, Death.

Then last night to replace Catch 22 she chose:

Etiquette and espionage - New Books November

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Darn lens flare! This is another uber exciting choice because it’s the first in Gail Carriger‘s (of Parasol Protectorate fame) new series, and if it’s good (which it definitely will be!) I can lend it to Sarah after 🙂

And as the final Comic Companion:

Freak angels - New Books November

 FreakAngels #1 by Warren Ellis (writer) and Paul Duffield (artist)

Which I bought at the same time as Death: The High Cost of Living and looks excellent 🙂

While there is next to no chance that I will finish something else before December 1st, the contenders still need updating, just in case. The updated contenders are:

Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read Pile (Purple Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

a-game-of-thrones

White Cat by Holly Black

white-cat

Books Published in 2013:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

neil-gaiman-the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane-book-cover

Books-Borrowed-From-Libraries Pile (Blue Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

Carnevale by M.R. Lovric

carnevale

Skinlane by Neil Bartlett

skin lane

(Yes, I know this was also on the Old Books October contender list, but I now only have three books on this pile, so they’re all included)

Books Published in 2013:

Metro Winds by Isobelle Carmody

metrowinds

Books-Borrowed-From-Others Pile (Red Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen

flip this zombie

Away with the Fairies by  Kerry Greenwood

away with the fairies

Books Published in 2013:

None.

Graphic Novels (Green Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

         Scott Pilgrim Volume 1: Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley

scott pilgrim vol 1

Batman: Nevermore Issues 1-5
by Len Wein (writer), Guy Davis (penciller and inker), and Jeromy Cox (colourist)

Batman Nevermore

Books Published in 2013:

Rat Queens #1 – Gold, Guts and Grog, Part One
by Kurtis J. Wiebe (writer) and John Upchurch (artist)

rat queens #1

In other New Books November news I didn’t end up reading any of my New Books November mascot – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales – over the weekend, but I did read some Monday afternoon

buffy tales

I read the Melaka Fray story that I mentioned last week, but then when I was all ready to get into the Vampire half I saw that there was one last Slayer story that I missed – and a pretty darn epic one at that! The forgotten story was actually a story in two parts that circled back on each other in a way. The first half was about Buffy and the Sunnydale crew dealing with a Djinn at Sunnydale high, and it was illustrated in this glorious, psychedelic coloured, cartoonish style. The second part was set in the late 1930s (during WWII) and had the Slayer enlisted to impersonate a German spy, but ended up with her discovering the same Djinn and trapping it.

In other, other news, last Friday I received a really exciting parcel in the mail – my two pre-ordered copies (one for me and one for Sarah) of Hyperbole and a Half by the hilarious Allie Brosh 😀 😀

Hyperbole and a half

Because Allie is hilarious and the book is filled with stories/comics both from her blog and previously unpublished, I have also been dipping into this all week, so with all the books I was already reading, the New Books November picks, plus this and my New Books November mascot, my currently reading page is looking like some sort of crazed orgy of books and comics at the moment!

I haven’t started the majority of the new picks (only Etiquette and Espionage which I started during my lunch break yesterday) and I probably won’t get to them this weekend as the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode – The Day of the Doctor (linked in case you live under a rock… which still has internet access…and yet you still haven’t heard about the 50th….under a rock with internet access but you only read my blog? Little weird and stalkerish Mr Under-rock dweller, but that link’s for you :P) is airing Saturday night/obscenely early Sunday morning and my workmate Scott, Sarah and I are staying up all night to watch it 😀

That’s all for now (“All?!” I hear you say. “After that bombardment of news I need a lie down” O.O) but stay tuned for more updates, maybe a new challenge and other things that I can think of/can be bothered doing 😛

Until then:

You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have – arm yourselves!

In honor of the 50th Anniversary I thought I’d go with another book-related Doctor Who quote, this time from the Season 2 episode (of the New Who series that is) Tooth and Claw.

and this is a representation of how excited I am about the 50th, especially seeing David Tennant as the doctor again:

Doctor who David Tennant gif

Also, in case you haven’t had enough Doctor Who stuff on this post (is there such thing?) have you seen the Google Doodle for today?

If you go there today it should be there and if it ends up the the archives after I'll update the link :)

Updated to link to the doodle in Google’s doodle archive…that’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it?

Its a super funny and frustrating game (aren’t the frustrating ones also usually the most fun?) where you play as the doctor fetching all the letters of GOOGLE in different times while dodging Daleks and the like, and ever time you die you move on to the next regeneration! Very cool 🙂

Anyway, that’s really all for now 😛 As always share you’re weird sigh-offs, quotes and now I guess funny gifs too in the comments, at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or on the Facebook page, and feel free to follow me or just my individual boards on Pinterest 🙂

Challenges Update # 20 – Week 9 of War & Pages + Other Bits and Bobs

Good morrow my nifty, nimble Bookbaggers!

Welcome to the 9th update of  War & Pages + other little updates such as how New Books November is going 🙂

war &  pages challenge badge

I had another weekend of reading since it was hot and I’m a pale, ground-dwelling sort of beast which burns at the sight of a few rays making an inside relaxation the best option. I ended up reading a bit from most of my current reads (even Brisingr!) and easily made my quota with Catch 22:

Catch 22:

catch22

52 pages (6 chapters)

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

Finished! :D

Total:

52 pages

There is only a little over 100 pages left so I will be all done with this challenge either at the end of this week or the next, depending on how riveting it gets in the final chapters 🙂

New Books November challenge badge

 I still haven’t finished any current reads so the picked-for-New-Books-November tally is still at zero. While I am getting close, I don’t think I will finish either Catch 22 or Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman by the 15th, since it’s tomorrow, so it looks like I will be doing my just-in-case-random-picks as prophesied in the official challenge rules. I will be seeing my Official jar Chooser, Sarah, on Friday night so I’ll ask her to pick then or Saturday, and will probably also get her to pick ones to replace Catch 22 and Neverwhere in case I finish them right after (highly likely).

In other New Books November news, I also read three more stories from my New Books November mascot – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales

buffy tales
The first was set in the Wild West with a Navajo Slayer on the hunt for a particular vampire and it was beautifully illustrated in muted sepia tones; the second was set in Germany during World War II with a young Slayer coming to terms with her understanding of evil and who the real monsters are, and had a uniquely unsettling, childlike art style; and the last was set in modern times (my best guess is ’60s-early ’70s judging by the visual clues and the character involved) and was about a Slayer which featured in the show – Nikki Wood, one of the two Slayers Spike killed (the one who he “inherited” his iconic leather jacket from) and the mother of Principal Robin Wood from season  7.

There is only one tale left of the Slayers half of the collection, which follows Melaka Fray, the Slayer from the far future featured in the Graphic Novel, Fray, which I read earlier this year, which I will probably read on the weekend, and then I’ll be onto the Tales of the Vampires half 🙂

Another little bit of news is that I have acquired another Graphic Novel, this time from my local library. I logged into my account on their catalogue the other day to check when my books were due and thought I’d do a quick search to see what other  Neil Gaiman books they hold (since I’m a tad obsessed now :P). What I found was mainly stuff I’ve already borrowed or bought, but I did stumble across The Books of Magic which Neil Gaiman did with artists John Bolton, Scott Hampton, Charles Vess and Paul Johnson

books of magicI vaguely remember reading one volume of The Books of Magic when I was a kid, around the same time that I read The Sandman volume 3: Dream Country and whilst I don’t remember a thing about it, I do remember that I loved it, so I’m excited to read this collection of volumes 1-4 at some point after New Books November 🙂

Also I have recently joined Pinterest!

Book Polygamist on Pinterest

Not everything is book or reading related obviously but if any of you are interested you can follow one of more of my boards by clicking on the screenshot above or here

I’ve also put a link on my About page and if you don’t have Pinterest you won’t miss out because anything related to books, reading, libraries and the like that I think is especially share-worthy will also be put on the Facebook page

Well, that’s all for now Bookbaggers. Look out for my challenge update next week where I will very probably share my picks for New Books November! But until then:

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Quote from Goodreads

Since I obviously have Neil Gaiman on the mind I thought a quote from American Gods, one of my Top 10 Reads of 2012 was only fitting 🙂 As always if you have other lovely book quotes or pop-culture ones which I can fit books into somehow, let me know in the comments, send me an email at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or post on the Facebook page

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 🙂