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 🙂

Challenge Update # 16 – Week 5 of War & Pages + Things & Stuff

Salutations my glorious, distinguished Bookbaggers!

Welcome to the fifth update of  War & Pages + a wee bit of news regarding my first Old Books October choices 🙂

war &  pages challenge badge

As I said in my last update, I finished World War Z by Max Brooks last Tuesday, so this challenge has started to get to the pointy end! Plus, since I also read some of Catch 22 on the weekend this week’s total has made up a little for last weeks poor effort:

Catch 22:

catch22

12 pages (1 chapter)

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

43 pages – Finished! 😀

Total:

55 pages

As I have finished World War Z (which I absolutely loved and it definitely is one of my top 10 reads of this year) the challenge now falls solely on Catch 22. I will be keeping up the 50 pages a week quota and from a quick look at the number of pages remaining, I can tell that the challenge only has a max of 4 or so weeks to go. Perfect timing for Catch 22‘s replacement to be a contender in New Books November 😀

Now to the Things & Stuff:

comiccompanions-badge

I thought I’d do a little Comic Companions update since I’ve been reading some excellent graphic novels this week, and it hasn’t gotten its own look-in for a while what with the other challenges.

Firstly, last weekend I also read all my Free Comic Book Day comics – Star Wars: Captain Midnight/Avatar: The Last Airbender ; Mouse Guard /Rust flip book ; and Molly Danger/Princeless

free comic books day1

They were of course all very short and besides the front-runners, each one had other short previews of different comics, which was fun. I think of the three my favourite was the Mouseguard/Rust flip book because the art for both the main stories and the other snippets was lovely, and the little stories were just enough to gather interest in the series’ without making zero sense on their own. I also thought Princeless was quite cute and funny, and the Star WarsCaptain Midnight; Avatar: The Last Airbender and Molly Danger stories were all action-packed and colourful.

Then early this week I read the second half of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis #2 – The Story of a Return)

persepolis cover

While it wasn’t quite as confronting as the first half, with the author/main character studying abroad in Austria for most of her teenage years, it still didn’t shy away from tough topics, and introduced new ones that many teenagers face regardless of race and upbringing – exploring a developing identity, the balance between fitting in and being unique, experimentation with drugs and other rebelions, the expectations and confusion of hormones and sexuality etc. I was generally surprised by how much I enjoyed this graphic novel, as I don’t usually like autobiographical, or biographical stories. Yes it was hard to read in parts, but with every account of oppression, every death or every heart-breaking moment, there was an account of triumph, a hilarious story or an uplifting moment. Satrapi’s simple black ink artwork paired with the more complex written work created something which touched me without pushing me away, and in the whole I learnt a lot about Iran’s culture and politics (plus how the outside world perseived the country at that time) and ultimately about a young woman’s struggle to find herself and BE herself in a world trying to stifle her. it really made me think about our preconceived perceptions and asumptions of countries like Iran, and how as a westerner, I have been guilty of seeing a whole nation through the choices of a radical few. I hope that these realisations stay with me and make me take pause if I ever I find myself lumping people together rather than seeing an individual’s actions as their own.

I am glad I finally read Persepolis; cheers Banned Books Week :). It is definitely one of the best graphic novels I’ve read this year and will be featured in one of  my Top 10 Reads of 2013 posts (this year because I’ve read so many graphic novels I thought I’d do a Top 10 purely of graphic novels plus the usual one of books 🙂 )

Besides Persepolis I also started one of my other Comic Companions yesterday –  The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists 

sandman4

which I would’ve continued all the way through if it wasn’t one of my favorite TV nights (Wednesday night has a great line-up on Australia’s non-commercial channel ABC) and I plan to delve into the world of the Endless again tonight, and maybe also start my other Comic CompanionSoulless 

soulless manga

Old Books October challenge badge

There is only a tiny bit of news on the Old Books October front, but I’ll share it anyway 😛

This week I started one of the two books chosen: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

guards guards

which even 15 pages in is already very funny in Terry Pratchett’s wonderfully weird and witty style (as seen in my most recent Notable Quotable). I haven’t opened Brisingr yet, but I hope to do so this weekend when I have some spare time.

Well, that’s all folks, for the moment anyway 🙂 Keep your eyes peeled for more Stuff and likely more Things as well next week, but until then:

It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, plenty of books, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.

(As The Blues Brothers is probably my favourite movie of all time, and I caught some of it last weekend I thought this tweaking of a famous line was appropriate. I even use to have a sound bite of this quote [minus the books part obviously :P] as my SMS tone for years, but I lost it when changing to my current phone 😦 If any of my clever, nerdy Bookbaggers can think of other pop culture references/quotes I can adapt to be book related, share away in the comments, drop me a line at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or saunter on over to the Facebook page 🙂 )

Challenge Update # 15 – Week 4 of War & Pages and the first Old Books for October!

Well hello there my ravishing, lovable Bookbaggers!

Welcome to fourth update of  War & Pages (and frankly a pretty anticlimactic one!) + the announcement of the first books chosen for Old Books October!

war &  pages challenge badge

The reason this week’s update is a little anticlimactic is that I had a fun and busy weekend, firstly doing a Studio Noah photography session with my dogs on Saturday morning (yes, I know that is a bit weird, but they’re getting old and I wanted at least one really nice photo of them which was done by a professional instead of just grabbing my phone and taking a few blurry shots when they’re being cute) and then just as I was settling down to read for the day, I got a call from my friends inviting me to AQWA (The Aquarium of Western Australia) and a shop around Hilarys boat harbour! We had a fantastic afternoon oooing and ahhing at sea critters, perusing the quirky little shops (I ended up with 3 pairs of earrings, a broach, a hair-clip bow and other goodies) and ending the adventure with a treat from Cold Rock Icecreamery 🙂 of course afterwards we hung out at theirs until the wee hours and the next day Sarah and I slept until 3pm (Which really messes with your head, time-wise) and chilled the rest of Sunday, so I didn’t read any of either Catch 22 OR World War Z all weekend!

I did read a little bit of World War Z earlier in the week, so it wasn’t a complete failure, but I didn’t come close to my quota:

Catch 22:

catch22

0 pages (0 chapters) 😦

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

15 pages

Total:

15 pages

I hope to do better this week, and I’m already on track since I finished the last 40 odd pages of World War Z on Tuesday 🙂

On that note, on to more positive challenge updates:

Old Books October challenge badge

On Sunday I was pretty positive that I would finish both World War Z and Heartless by Gail Carriger during the week so I asked my Official Jar Chooser, Sarah, to pick my first books and graphic novels for Old Books October! Good thing I thought ahead too, because I finished Heartless on Monday, and as I said above, I finished World War Z the day after.

Since both books I was finishing are from the Books-Borrowed-From-Others Pile (Red Slips) I got Sarah to pick 1 new book from that pile, 1 from the Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read Pile (Purple Slips) since that is the largest, and 2 Comic Companions, 1 for each new choice.

The first book she chose, and the one that replaces Heartless is:

guards guards - Old books oct

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett 

Since I read the last Discworld book at the start of the year, I’m really excited to get into some more Discworld hilarity 😀

And for the Comic Companion:

Sandman season of mists - Old books oct

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

Again, I’m excited to read the next installment of this awesome graphic novel series, and I’m also enjoying the coincidence of the first two choices for Old Books October being from the “published before 2000” part of the challenge 🙂 Plus with a Terry Pratchett offering and a Neil Gaiman one, its like my own personal Good Omens reunion 😛

For the second book which replaces World War Z she picked:

Brisingr - Old books oct

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini 

I am less excited about this because the last book (Eldest) took me forever, and this one is a monster, but I have had it forever and the end of Eldest was good so even if it takes me forever to get through I will do it goddammit!

Then for the Comic Companion she picked:

Free comic book day comics - Old books oct

My little collection of comics my workmate, Scott, picked me up from Free Comic Book Day –
Star Wars: Captain Midnight/Avatar: The Last Airbender ; Mouse Guard /Rust flip book ; and Molly Danger/Princeless 🙂

Since they’re all really short and were included as a bonus anyway I said Sarah could pick another graphic novel which was:

Soulless - old books oct

Soulless by Gail Carriger (writer) and REM (artist)

I am especially pleased about this one as it’s the first volume of the Soulless manga, based on the Parasol Protectorate series (of which Heartless was the fourth) which I absolutely love, and I can’t wait to see how they’ve adapted it visually!

So I have a veritable cornucopia of new (old) reads to start at the moment!

Also, since I’ve chosen books out of the original contenders the list needs to be updated. As Guards! Guards! and The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists were Books Published Before 2000 and not Longest-On-The-Pile Books they don’t get a replacement (ditto the Free Comic Book Day comics since they were a bonus) however, Brisingr and Soulless make way for the next longest on their respective piles.

Here is the update list of contenders:

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

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

gravesurprise

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

the-graveyard-book

Books Published Before 2000:

The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll by Lewis Carroll
(Collection published in 2008 but works collected published from 1865)

The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)

a clockwork orange

Carrie by Stephen King (1974)

Carrie

The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

the shining

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

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Forbidden Fruit by  Kerry Greenwood

forbidden-fruit

Skinlane by Neil Bartlett

skin lane

Books Published Before 2000:

None.

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

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Everville by Clive Barker

everville

Sharp Shooter by Marianne Delacour

sharp shooter

Books Published Before 2000:

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton  (1994)

The-Laughing-Corpse

Graphic Novels (Green Slips)

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

 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)

House of Mystery

The Unwritten:  Inside Man (The Unwritten Volume # 2)
by Mike Carey (writer) and Peter Gross (artist)

UNWIM_CVR.indd

Books Published Before 2000:

None.

That’s it for now 🙂 Stay tuned for the next War & Pages update next week (which will hopefully make up for last weeks abysmal effort!) and anything else that takes my fancy.

Until then:

Reading is Next to Godliness!

(Better than cleanliness in my opinion 😛 If you agree, or not feel free to vent in the comments,  via  bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or on the Facebook page 🙂 )

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 # 10 – a Preemptive Pick

Hello again my highly esteemed Bookbaggers!

Last weekend I was getting deliciously close to the end of two books – one which I had been reading for ages (since January O.O) and one that I only started a few weeks ago – and while I could’ve been patient and waited until I was done before picking new reads from the Jar O’ Books, me and patience have never been close and my semi-official jar chooser, Sarah, was over so I thought why not pick preemptively and see what was in store for my reading future 🙂 As it turns out a lack of patience was a virtue in this instance because Sarah picked a few really exciting books and graphic novels which made reading the final chapters of the two books that much sweeter.

Behold:

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

My most close-to-finished read of the two was the one I had been reading virtually all year, and also happened to be one borrowed from Sarah:

kraken-by-china-mieville-UK

Kraken by China Miéville; and close in second was a book from the library:

obsidian dagger

The Obsidian Dagger by Catherine Webb, so I asked Sarah to pick a red slip (books borrowed from friends….but mostly from her), a blue slip (library books of which I had seven more out O.O) and two green slips (graphic novels) to be Comic Companions.

She picked the two green slips first which were both Graphic Novels I had purchased a while ago from one of my favourite bookstores, Kaleido Books:

Alice in wonderland + the book of human insects - Jar O' Books

Sorry for the slightly shit-tastic photo – I killed my camera shortly after it returned from a prosperous European journey with Sarah (as you do when you’re as clumsy as me) and had to take it with my phone

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll , Lewis Helfand (writer/adapter) and Rajesh Nagulakonda (artist) and The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka 😀

For the blue slip she picked:

House of many ways - Jar O' Books

Still not that clear, but wait til you see the next one O.O

House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones which is the third and last book in the Howl’s Castle series and a book that I have borrowed and re-borrowed an embarrassing number of times without getting to,

and for the red slip she picked:

Wow. That's probably the worst of the lot - and this was the "good" one out of the few I took O.O you get the idea tho...right? Book. Red slip with scribbled info on it. All good if a bit blurry....ok a lot blurry....

Wow. That’s definitely the worst of the lot – and this was the “good” one out of the few I took O.O you get the idea tho…right? Book. Red slip with scribbled info on it. All good if a bit blurry….ok a lot blurry….maybe when (if) I revive my camera (or more likely replace it) I’ll re-take it 🙂

Heartless by Gail Carriger, book 4 in the Parasol Protectorate series which I have been loving this year 🙂 making this my favourite of the picks!

I finished Kraken (which was absolutely brilliant in a bizarre-ow-my-brain sort of way) and The Obsidian Dagger (which was a rollicking, crazy, Victorian adventure which had my eyes glued to the page and giggles erupt from my mouth without warning) earlier in the week but I have yet to start my preemptive picks due to boring work busyness. I will probably begin them this weekend though so stay turned for more challenge updates as well as other regular features which spill forth from my twisted, but hopefully lovable mind 😛

Until then:

May your bookbags overflowith!

(as you probably suspected that’s a try-out of a possible new sign-off. I’m not sold on it so feel free to tell me how excellent and original it is, or how woefully clichéd and boring, or to provide me with other possibles, either in the comments or at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com)

Challenges update #9 – the joys of being on holiday with a useless arm

Hello sorely missed Bookbaggers – long time no….well anything, to be honest.

As those of you who follow my random ramblings (that’s a bit of a tongue twister) may have noticed I have been completely absent for over a month now, since my last update. The first two weeks can be explained away pretty easily. As I said in the last post I was on holiday during the semester break and would probably be luxuriating and neglecting my blogger duties. The rest of the time? Well lets just say that’s less because of choice, lazyness and the joy of relaxing and more because of a continuing shoulder issue which makes typing not so fun, a very hectic first couple of weeks back at work, and another attack from some sort of plague flu.

But! I am back and (somewhat) well so I thought I should let you know I wasn’t dead and that I haven’t abandoned books and blogging 🙂

I’ll start of with a bit of a recap of my holiday and challenge-related news:

My holiday was nice of course, but did feel more like I was on sick leave than a well-earned break. This was because I finally had time to really look into what the fark was wrong with my shoulder, which had already been hurting for a couple of weeks, and resulted in an obscene amount of time and money spent going to doctors appointments, getting an x-ray and ultrasound and being pummeled by a Physiotherapist a few times a week. As a result I couldn’t do much, but what I could do was luckily my idea of a fun holiday – namely watching TV/DVDs, catching up with friends more regularly (*GASP* on week nights!) and of course reading 🙂

comiccompanions-badge

Firstly I finished the final few stories in the graphic adaptation of Poe I had started when you last heard from me:

nevermore

Nevermore by Edgar Allan Poe , Ian EdgintonJamie DelanoJohn Reppion, and Leah Moore (writers) and D’IsraeliJames (Jim) FletcherJohn McCreaShane Oakley and Steve Pugh (artists).

The final 6 tales (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 finished off will a short biography of Poe) were so good that I finished them in one sitting on the first night of my holidays.

Jar-full-o-books-june-july

As most of my books were still in their early-ish stages I didn’t manage to finish any over the break, however I did start a new one just for shits and giggles (and because I was bursting to read it and then pass it on to Sarah who is also hooked :P):

sacrificialmagic

Sacrificial MagicBook 4 in the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane 🙂 It wasn’t quite as engrossing from day dot like the last one, but it was still exciting and addictive and I finished it just the other day.

Since I cheated and started a book without picking from the jar, I thought it only fair to pick a Comic Companion through proper channels so I got my lovely assistant Sarah to pick a green slip out of the Jar which was:

beatles graphic

The Beatles Graphic by Hervé Bourhis 😀 I was very pleased with that choosing as it sounded and looked just brill, and it certainly didn’t disappoint! It was fabulous holiday reading and I was practically glued to the pages for three days reading all kinds of facts about one of my favourite bands (many which I didn’t know since they had sadly come and gone before my time) written and illustrated by a lifelong fan who gave his own unique perspective to the phenomena, especially from a European point-of-view (as he’s french) and wrote short reviews for each and every album/single release! Look out for my mini review in a Micro Reviews from Planet Procrastination in the future 😉

Now, as you probably have noticed it’s not longer June/July, so my Jar Full ‘O Books June/July Challenge should be kaput now right? Well, I’ve picked 6 books/graphic novels from the jar over that time which is ok, but there is still a whole lot in there (at least 30) and I have enjoyed it so much that I made an executive decision:

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

That’s right Bookbaggers/lovers of crazy-choosing-out-of-a-jar-shenanigans! I have extended the challenge for another month, again just for shits and giggles 🙂 Sarah will be pleased to know her jar choosing duties have not been made redundant just yet 😛 And since I am a fickle beast, don’t be shocked if come September I extend it even more because that’s just how I roll!

That’s it for now – I promise I won’t disappear into the wide blue yonder again anytime soon, however thanks to my slowly recovering shoulder I may be posting a little less often – especially in the arena of longer posts.

Until then I bid you all:

Happy Reading!

P.S. I’m getting a bit sick of my sign off, especially as it is used by other book bloggers which makes me feel like a rotten copy-cat. I will be brain-storming a new one but until then I welcome any strange or funny suggestions in the comments or if you’re shy shoot me an email at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com 🙂

Challenges Update #8 – A Super(nova) book haul and some more Poe!

Hello my weird and wonderful Bookbaggers!

Since my last update I have finished a book and comic and chose new ones, been gifted an interesting comic present, received an exciting couple of parcels filled with a certain series that I’ve been loving this year, and gone to the Supanova Pop Culture Expo here in Perth where I bought almost exclusively books and graphic novels (surprise, surprise).

But first my Comic Companions activity:

comiccompanions-badge

Because the last Comic Companion I chose – Clive Barker Omnibus (collecting The Thief of Always The Great and Secret Show ; and Seduth) – is longer than previous offerings (at 400+ pages) it took me longer than one or two reading sessions.

As I said last time I started by reading just The Thief of Alwayswhich was excellent. Then later in the week I read The Great and Secret Show (over two or three session since it made up the bulk of the omnibus) and I was very impressed! I read the book it was based on (of the same name) many, many years ago when I first got into Clive Barker, and I couldn’t remember much of it, so I was pleasantly surprised when as I went through the graphic novel adaptation it started to come back to me in a fantastically visual way! I was also amazed that the  writers were able to adapt a really long book (my copy has 698 thin bible-like pages covered in smallish font and out of my Barker collection is only beaten by its neighbour, Imajica, at over 1000 even more bible-y pages) into a graphic novel without seriously cutting down the plot. Bravo! I then finished it off by reading Seduth on Friday afternoon, which was an excellent, creepy, gory, trippy and artfully illustrated original comic written by Barker. Even if the two adaptations were rubbish (which they were far from!) the omnibus would’ve been worth it just for Seduth.

CliveBarker_Omnibus

Besides the  Clive Barker Omnibus, I also devoured The Rescue (The Guardians of Ga’Hoole # 3) by Kathryn Lasky 

the rescue

over the last two weeks (which was a rollicking ride setting up even more action and plot development in the books to come) so this weekend I was able to choose a new book and graphic novel out of the jar.

Jar-full-o-books-june-july

Once again I let Sarah choose the slips out of the jar. Since I have quite a few books under the red category (books borrowed from others) and people may want them back at some point, I got her to choose one of these which was:

World war z - Jar O' Books

World War Z by Max Brooks, “an oral history of the Zombie war” which my workmate, Scott lent to me and is the basis for the new Zombie blockbuster of the same name. I started it last night, and already its fascinating and promises to be a great zombie book 😀

For the accompanying Comic Companion Sarah picked:

Nevermore - Jar O' Books

 Nevermore by Edgar Allan Poe , Ian EdgintonJamie DelanoJohn Reppion, and Leah Moore (writers) and D’IsraeliJames (Jim) FletcherJohn McCreaShane Oakley and Steve Pugh (artists), which I borrowed from my work early on in the challenge. Last night I read the first 3 stories (The Raven; The Pit and the Pendulum; and The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar) and enjoyed the simple, but effective, black ink-work and how the tales (2 of which I read in Tales of Mystery and Imagination, plus The Raven, which I was very familiar with previously) were adapted into modern settings and experiences. I look forward to the other 6 tales (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) which were all included in Tales of Mystery and Imagination and were among some of my favourites.

It seems, in fact that my adventures with Poe did not end with the challenge because recently I also received a surprise gift from Scott:

Batman Nevermore

All 5 volumes of a comic called Batman: Nevermore in which Batman (probably my favourite superhero) is in the world of Poe, Baltimore in the late 1800s! Scott, knowing of my Batman favouritism (as we often discuss comics, films and other nerdy fun) and my recent readings of Poe was culling his comic collection and thought that rather than donating them or throwing them away he should see if I was interested (good thinking Scott!). I have already added them to the Jar O’ Books (as a set since they’re single comics, not large volumes of a graphic novel) and I’m excited to read them at some point (as is my brother, another Scott, who is also a fan of Poe and Batman).

Around the same time I received two parcels from Book Depository which contained a series I recently bought:

downside ghosts

Sorry the pic’s a bit crappy – It’s from my phone and I couldn’t get a better one since I’ve now lent two of them to Sarah 😛

I’m so pleased to now own all 5 of the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane because I loved the first 3 books (so much so that I tracked down 2 and 3 via State Library interlibrary loans) and could not find the next one anywhere! Luckily they were available on Book Depository for 7 and a bit dollars each 😀 ❤ I of course immediately added Book 4 Sacrificial Magic, to the  Jar O’ Books so fingers-crossed I’ll get to read it soon (otherwise I might have to cheat my own system :P)

Lastly I put even more strain on my bookshelf (and bank account) when I went to Supanova on Sunday. I knew I was going to get at least 1 book (Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff  because  he was there to sign it and I had recently started reading his hilarious blog namely this great post, The hittable reflex, about people perusing his book at conventions) and was expecting to maybe buy a new addition (or two) to the Comic Companions horde. What I did not envision was this mighty (and heavy) haul:

Supanova buys

Besides Stormdancer (which I did get signed by Jay 🙂 ) me and Sarah stumbled upon the Ticonderoga Publications stall (which are an Australian independent publisher who specialise in Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror short stories and are regulars at Swancon) and took advantage of their buy 2, get 1 free offer. We both bought The Lady of Situations by local horror author, Stephen Dedmanbut different second choices and free books (because there was a choice of 4 free collections) so we could borrow from each other 🙂

My second choice was The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter which was billed as stories which go back to the traditional form of fairytales (which of course intrigued me greatly!) and I picked Fantastic Wonder Stories edited by Russell B. Farr which sounded like more fairytale fun. Sarah bought a collection of vampire stories called Red Dead Heart also edited by Russell B. Farr, and picked Magic Dirt: the best of Sean Williams as her free offering.

As if my bag wasn’t heavy enough with 4 books I then visited the huge Kings Comics stall and bought  Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft , which is an interesting looking graphic novel written by Joe Hill , with art by  Gabriel Rodriguez , colours by Jay Fotos and lettering by Robbie Robbins; and the The Sandman vol # 4: Season of Mists by Neil GaimanUpon purchasing my graphic novels I was given another free thing:

DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels And Chronology 2013

The DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels And Chronology 2013 lists a whole bunch of graphic novels by hero, or type, or creator with short explanations, issue numbers, prices, and the order they’re read in! I looked through it last night and got a lot of new ideas for the Comic Companions challenge so it was certainly a great, and surprising free thingy!

That’s it for now, after possibly exhausting you all with my crazed book buying! I am on term break after the end of this week, which will either mean a couple of weeks of more posting than usual coz I’m bored and I’ll be reading more, or a couple of weeks where I’ll be non-existent because I’m enjoying my relaxing holidays (probably the latter :P), however I have been working on the next installment of The Micro Reviews From Planet Procrastination so that may go up before my break begins.

Until next time I bid all my Bookbaggers:

Happy Reading!