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 🙂

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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 # 19 – Week 8 of War & Pages + New Books Approacheth!

Greetings my scintillating, scallywag Bookbaggers!

Welcome to the 8th update of  War & Pages + news on the state of New Books November one week in 🙂

war &  pages challenge badgeDespite being really lazy with reading Catch 22 during the week I managed to read some Sunday morning and coincidentally ended a chapter at the perfect place to fulfill my quota:

Catch 22:

catch22

50 pages (4 chapters)

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

Finished! :D

Total:

50 pages

How perfect is that?! I’ve also been really slack this week (mainly because Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is getting even better and has usurped all my other reads) but will likely read my 50 or so pages on Sunday again.

New Books November challenge badgeNew Books November has been up and running for almost a week now, and while I haven’t finished any books and replaced them with New Books November contenders, I am very close! As I said above I have been loving Neverwhere and am a few chapters away from finishing, and Catch 22 has 160 pages left, so if I keep on target two weeks after the end of this one I’ll be finished 🙂

I’m not sure if I’ll finish either before the 15th, but if not that just means I get to do a random pick out of all the piles and then when I do finish I can choose more 😀 Doesn’t sound too shabby to me!

This week I also started my New Books November mascot – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan (writers), Tim Sale,Doug Petrie, Leinil Francis Yu, Gene Colan and others (artists)

buffy talesI read the prologue story which was about the first slayer, and then the next three slayer stories: one set in medieval times with a slayer who gets accused of witchcraft; one set during the French Revolution with a slayer who is tricked into killing a mortal man; and one set in an Austen-esque world of balls and manners in which the slayer has to masquerade as an eligible gentlemen.

All the stories were excellent, with different art and lettering fitting the setting, and I enjoyed them all very much 🙂 I will likely read a few more this weekend.

In other news I was naughty and bought more comics last Friday 😛

It started because the first issue of The Sandman: Overture, a 25th Anniversary Sandman origin story, was out which I have been excited about since I first heard word of it, and then once I’m in a comic store I’m bound to find something else I like…and we went to two…

Comic book haul - Quality and Red Griffin

The Sandman: Overture #1 – Chapter One by Neil Gaiman (writer), J.H. Williams III (artist), Dave Stewart (colourist), and Todd Klein (letterer);
Ghostbusters: The New Ghostbusters #1 – Volume 5 by Erik Burnham (writer, artist), Dan Schoening (artist, cover), Andrew Harmon (colourist), and Luis Antonio Delgado (colourist, cover);
Sky Doll: Space Ship #1 by Alessandro Barbucci, Barbara Canepa (writers), Pierre-Mony Chan, and Matteo De Longis (artists);
Zombies Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Jim McCann (writers), David Baldeon (penciller), and Jordi Tarragona (inker)

I got The Sandman: Overture and The New Ghostbusters from Quality Comics and I got Sky Doll and Zombies Christmas Carol (which were 15 and 17 bucks respectively thanks to a Halloween sale!) from Red Griffin Games

Also yesterday I went into the city after work and got a couple more from another local comic place, Comiczone:

Comics ComiczoneThe Witching Hour is by a host of artists and writers since it’s a horror anthology (follow the title link to see the whole gang :)) and Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’ Stardust is by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess surprisingly enough, and is more an illustrated novel than a traditional graphic novel.

All of these will have to wait until New Books November is finished, but I certainly won’t have a lack of graphic novels and comics!

That’s all for now Bookbaggers 🙂 Keep a look out for little bit and bobs and next week’s update, but until then:

Ray, when someone asks you if you want a book, you say “YES”!

😛 Since I bought the New Ghostbusters graphic novel I thought it fitting to adapt a quote from one of my fave movies – Ghostbusters 🙂 As always if you have other book-related quotes or pop-culture ones which I can bookify, share away in the comments, send me an email at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or post on the Facebook page 🙂

Let New Books November Begin! :D

Welcome one and all, new and ancient, earthlings, aliens and…whatever that is, to the grand opening of:

New Books November challenge badge

You are all welcome to join, use my nifty challenge badge on your blog and come up with your own rules related to new books but the official rules for myself are:

  1. The 2 books on each pile that are the newest to be added go in the draw.
  2. In addition to the 2 newest-on-the-pile books, any book (or graphic novel) on any pile which was published this year (2013) also gets entered into the draw
  3. If a book that is newest-on-the-pile was also published in 2013 then it’s entered under that category and the next newest is added
  4. The eligible books from each pile get put in the jar and will be chosen using the current system – when I finish a book the new book will come from the same pile (i.e. if I just finished a library book than I’ll choose a new library book), If I am already reading one from that pile (as is often the case as I read 4-6 at a time and there’s only 4 piles – library; borrowed from friends; books I bought; and graphic novels) the new book will be picked from the pile with the most books
  5. Comic Companion will still be chosen with each new book but they will also be chosen using the above rules
  6. If the chosen book is one of the 2 newest-on-the-pile ones the next newest will be added to the draw for next time
  7. The challenge goes from the 1st of November to the 30thAnd one more added when it occurred to me that the whole month could go by without me finishing any books:
  8. If at halfway through the month (the 15th)  no books have been chosen, all contenders for all piles (except graphic novels) will be put in the jar and one book will be chosen, plus a comic companion from the green slip contenders

The current contenders for the challenge 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

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

etiquette and espionage

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

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

Carnevale by M.R. Lovric

carnevale

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

shadesofgrey

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

The Living Dead by Various

the_living_dead

Books Published in 2013:

None.

Graphic Novels (Green Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

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

death the high cost of living

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

freak angels vol 1

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

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)

willow wonderland

Also, since I was recently gifted an amazing comic collection for my birthday I have decided to make it the official mascot of New Books November:

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

buffy tales

I’m not even going to enter this into the draw as I want to read it so much! Instead I will read in throughout New Books November (its huge so it may even last the whole month) and I’ll update you on the tales I’ve read each week with my other challenge updates 🙂

Let the festivities begin! 😀

Stay tuned for updates as the month goes on and until then:

Happy New Books November!