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

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

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

poe.my.god challenge badge

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

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

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

comiccompanions-badge

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

But!

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

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

graphic novels from work

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

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

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

Batman + Buffy = :D

Batman + Buffy = 😀

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kaleido buys

 

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

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

Op-shop buys

 

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

New books up the wazoo!

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

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

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

library books

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

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

op-shop buys

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

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

hyde park fair books

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

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

soulless from oz comic con

and these cute bookmarks:

bookmarks from oz comic con

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

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

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

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

That’s it for now, so as always:

Happy Reading (and acquiring)!

From the Land of the Free to simply Freedom; and move over Lee, here comes Poe!

On Friday on my way home from work I finally finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman, a book I have been slowly enjoying over 16 weeks. This may seem like a while for a book that I was enjoying and not struggling through, but besides being so busy and unable to read most of the time, I was purposefully taking my sweet time with  American Gods because it was such a wonderfully rambling, intricate, epic tale that every bit I devoured deserved a good rumination and digestion 🙂
I will get to reviewing it eventually (probably along with a flood of  backlogged reviews once I gain my diploma in June – yay!)

The only problem with finishing American Gods (despite the fact that it was one of those novels I wished would never end) was that I had no books on my library book pile to choose from! Of course I still had four other books on the go so it wasn’t really a disaster, but there were so many books at the library (or libraries really) that I have borrowed and had to return before I could even get to them that to have zero to choose from was just sad. Luckily I could just jump on the Maylands Library catalogue over the weekend and request a bunch of “lost” library books to borrow come Monday and as soon as my class finished midday today I checked my account and saw that 5 of my requested books (out of 8) were already waiting for me 🙂
Once I got home I went through my usual process and ended up with a novel I have heard a lot of positive hype about: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.

Meanwhile, during the Mother’s Day weekend when I wasn’t spoiling my mum with flowers, a home cooked brekkie (breakfast in Australian :P) and a scrumptious dinner at her favourite local restaurant/cafe Picco’s Kitchen, I was reading the last few chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The raving for this classic is virtually bottomless so I won’t add to it now, but I will get to an appropriately raving review soon 🙂 Once I finished and wrote my thoughts in my Book Lover’s Journal I waded through the mountainous Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read pile and ended up with Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a collection of stories by Edgar Allan Poe that I received for Xmas last year. I’ve never actually read Poe’s stories, though I’m a fan his poem/short story The Raven, so I’m quite excited to get into some classic Gothic creepiness 😀

As always Happy Reading to you all, especially all those mothers out there, other loved ones that are surrogate mothers and women like myself who choose not to be mothers 🙂

And the winner is!…a Post-It?

So, yesterday afternoon as I was getting off my final bus of the day I finished Adultery by Richard B Wright which I have been reading for a couple of weeks but have really devoured over a few days commuting to and from work (it takes me at least an hour to get from my home in Maylands to Duncraig Library where I have had most of my shifts this year).

It was a good little read, not exactly what I was expecting from the genre sticker on its spine but still insightful and interesting nonetheless, and I will review it as soon as I get through the back log (soon my pretties, soon :D).

As soon as I got home (luckily after more than an hour on buses and trains its only a minute to walk home) I laid out all the books from my Library Pile, which consisted of 3 from the City of Bayswater libraries and 4 from the City of Joondalup, ready to eeny meeny miny moe to a single novel when I remembered that there was still one book waiting for me at Maylands Library – American Gods by Neil Gaiman – that I had requested and meant to pick up but I’ve been so busy it has been neglected.

I didn’t want to leave it out because 1. I still had a couple of days before my request expired and I have some time off work so I would be able to collect it; 2. I really wanted to read it as I have heard great things about the book, I have loved the other works by Neil Gaiman and I borrowed it once before but it had to be returned before I could read it because it was requested at another branch!

To include it in the process without it being in my hot little hands, I found the book on The State Library of Western Australia catalogue and copied all the relevant details (Author, Title, Publisher, Date of Publication, Place of Publication, Number of Pages and last digit of the ISBN) onto a Post-it note and lo and behold at the end of the eeny meeny miny moe-ing the Post-it was the winner!

I plan to pick American Gods up today and I am even more excited to start it because of the unlikely circumstances of it being chosen 🙂

In other news, since I announced my new features to celebrate 2012 as The National Year of Reading I have noted down a couple more quotes and have decided to rename the Weekly Quotable feature so that it is not restricted to being a once a week post and I can post less or more often. From now on the posts will be called Notable Quotables and will be posted whenever I find a quote in one of the books I’m reading that I think is inspirational, insightful, funny or otherwise interesting enough to share with you all 🙂

 

From Flavia to Flowers

About a month ago I received a distressing email….from the library. It seemed one of the books I was reading, A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (the latest Flavia de Luce mystery) was overdue, but fear not! I said to myself and journeyed to their website to renew the book and continue reading in peace. However, to my horror I was denied my relieving renewal because some other Flavia lover had requested it!

I have conquered you, you wily bastard! 😀

What was I to do? I was already well into the story and who knows whether I could find it at a supplementary library, especially since I had encountered trials with this exact book before. So I did what every sane person would do – I read the shit out of that book so I could return it before getting too many late fees! 😛

Suffice to say, I had a grand ole time in the world of Flavia de Luce for about a week and then returned it for the next person in line to enjoy 🙂 This was around the beginning of November and I had just been gifted a hearty swag of birthday books, so even ‘tho the book I had finished was a library one and I was due to choose my new book from the library pile, I thought the Books-I-Own-But-Haven’t-Read-Yet pile could use some pruning.

It turns out that pruning was an appropriate word, as once I had reached the end of a complicated and exhaustive eeny meeny miney moe (more complicated and exhaustive than usual as there was 13 books on the pile!) I arrived at The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, one of the books my mum gave me 🙂

Very intriguing already

However, since I had neglected my other books while I was engrossed with my Flavia mission, I’ve been doing some catch-up and didn’t actually start The Language of Flowers ’til the other night. Even ‘tho I was tried I still read a few chapters and am drawn in already, so stay tuned for a review fairly soon.

Also I apologize for my lack of reviews lately. I have quite a few waiting to be started (The Eddie Dickens Trilogy; Coldheart Canyon; A Red Herring Without Mustard; Monster Blood Tattoo Book 2: Lamplighter; and Watchmen) but as each one involves some serious brain-work and my brain is busy with whats left of my assessments/homework for the semester, I’ve had none to spare.

I promise (cross my hard-drive, hope to crash) that once the semester ends (or possibly before if I’m clever and get stuff done early) I will write every damn one of them! 🙂

A-Rise new Library!

This post is a little behind the eight ball, but on the 16th there was an open day for The RISE (which houses the new library in my suburb of Maylands as well as a gym/sports hall, community centre, meeting rooms and a child health clinic) and I was there to FINALLY take a look-see inside 🙂

According to The Eastern Reporter The RISE stands for Recreation Information Socialising Entertainment and also refers to how huge-mongous it is. Personally I think the name is a bit wanky, and I also thought it would be confusing as there is already a nightclub in Perth called the Rise, but I have since found out that they have shut down so I guess that won’t be a problem….still wanky tho – whats wrong with Maylands Multipurpose Centre (which is what everyone thought it was going to be called)?

Despite the name, the building is very impressive and it was great fun exploring all the rooms of this huge structure that I have watched emerge over the last year or so. I was the most excited to see the new library of course, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s still sort of small but makes better use of the space and the layout is quite intuitive. The whole library is very bright and colourful and thanks to large windows on most of the wall space, it is filled with natural light. I was also stoked to see that they have upgraded their computers and there is a nifty self check-out computer that I used on my first proper visit 🙂

The first book I borrowed from the new library - The next Flavia de Luce mystery 😀

So, if any Bookbaggers out there are in or near Maylands in Perth, and haven’t checked out the RISE yet then go have a look or recommend it to people nearby – It’s just another step to making our humble suburb all fancy 😛

There are rumours that the old library building (that previously has been the city meeting hall and a theatre) will become a community theatre again, which would be great, but at the moment it still sporadically hosts an art gallery in its basement and otherwise is a cruising spot for horny pigeons 🙂

 

My last trip to the library…until the new one opens

It seems like a century has passed since they started building the new multi-purpose centre in Maylands, now christened The Rise. I have been waiting impatiently for news and hoping that it would be done before I finish my Diploma (July 2012) so I could try to snaffle a job in the brand spanking new library 🙂 so I started to get excited when I heard that they were opening this July! Sure enough, about a week ago I received a letter from the library with news that they will be closed from the 5th and open at the new library on the 18th! JOY! This means they will be open by the time I start next term when I’ll be doing my industry work placement, and might get to do it there!! ^-^

So, anyway, I had books to return so I thought I’d pick up a few more while they were still open 🙂

Last books borrowed from the old library!

In case you can’t read the covers in this terrible mobile photo, the books I borrowed (from left to right) are: Adultery by Richard B. Wright; Skin Lane by Neil Bartlett; The Tiger in the Well by Philip Pullman (the third Sally Lockhart Mystery, as opposed to The Tin Princess which I borrowed last time thinking it was the third :S); and Sphinx by Tobsha Learner.

Huzzah to the new library! 😀

Hi ho, hi ho, a cataloguing i go!

Welcome to part two of posts about presentations I’ve done recently! If you didn’t read the first post, It was about my favourite author, Craig Silvey. This one will be about a presentation I did for my Information Literacy class, on a Web 2.0 (or Library 2.0) technology.

The technology I chose was Social Cataloguing. If you have never heard of this term before then follow the hyperlink to a Wikipedia article about it, or go to this wiki but I’ll give you a quick definition in my own words anyway.

Social Cataloguing refers to sites or apps where you can add items (like books/DVDs/games/food)  you own or have read/seen/played/eaten etc. and then rate them, write reviews, share them with friends, add tags and do a whole lot of other nifty things.

As this is a book blog I’m just going to give you links to ones where you catalogue books, but with a quick google search you could probably find the other categories of sites.

During the research for this class (we had to use the same technology for three assessments) I have completely fallen in love with Social Cataloguing. Before my research, I did in fact use a Social Cataloguing app – Visual Bookshelf on Facebook–  I just didn’t know that it was a “thing”. I have since joined 6 other Social Cataloguing sites to try them out. These sites are:

 

 

There are ones I loved …and ones….well, not so much, but I can tell how any of them could appeal to the right person.

My personal favourite was Shelfari, because of some neat features it has:

  1. You can choose the exact cover of the book you own/have read from a drop down row of covers, and if yours isn’t there then you can upload the right pic.
  2. You can easily edit your books using a drop down box, where you can tick boxes to say you’ve read a book, are currently reading it or plan to read it, as well as highlight a heart is it’s one of your faves, a gift box if it’s on your wish list, or a cute little safe if you own it.
  3. Your books are displayed on a lovely wood-look shelf 🙂

My lovely shelf 🙂

You can also put a widget of your shelf on your blog, which is a feature of many of the sites.

I would encourage any of you to take a look at one of these sites, especially if you love sharing what you read as much as me 🙂 a lot of them alow you to login via Facebook or Twitter, so you don’t have to create an account and some allow you to take a “tour” before you join so you can see all the features.

Once again if you want to know more, check out my Powerpoint slides: Social Cataloguing

Or check out the bookmarks I gathered on del.icio.us for the assessments: Social Cataloguing Bookmarks.

Happy Cataloguing!

Trip to the Library OH JOY! :)

Today I took two books back to my local library, Maylands Public Library  (one that I had finished and one that I couldn’t renew because it was requested 😦 ) and realised that I only had two books out O.o so time to get some more:

Ooooo pretty

For all of you who don’t have crazy good sight and can see every title and every author name on those covers, I borrowed (from left to right) The Monsters of Templeton By Lauren Groff; Equinox By Michael White; The Secrets of the Chess Machine By Robert Lohr; Twilight By William Gay and The Tin Princess By Philip Pullman.

Now a wee little confession about my selection of books – they were mainly chosen for their covers and titles. I know you’re not meant to “Judge a book by its cover” but I do – how can you not when some of them are so pretty! …and when some of them are so crap. I admit I have rejected books for bad covers before, and equally I’ve read books that had interesting covers that turned out to be rubbish, but mainly, if I like the cover I usually love the book. I also am really attracted to strange titles and put off by lame ones. I almost didn’t borrow Twilight because of its title – you can’t even say twilight relating to a quite pleasant time of the day anymore without people assuming you’re talking about sappy glittering vampires (same goes for New Moon and Eclipse). So, books like The Monsters of Templeton and The Secrets of the Chess Machine which not only have great titles but stylish silhouetted covers barely needed a glance at the blurb before they were tucked under my arm.

The only ones that were given any thought beforehand were The Tin Princess which is the third book in a series i’ve been reading, and Equinox which i almost bought at Hyde Park Community Fair  .

Lets hope they’re all fabulous 🙂

In other news, this arrived in the mail today 😀 :

Stardust By Neil Gaiman

Double JOY 🙂