Challenges Update # 22 – A Wrap-up of New Books November + Who Day and other Exciting Acquisitions!

Season’s Greetings my jolly, yuletastic Bookbaggers!

Sorry I have been AWOL since my last update. Initially I didn’t do an update because nothing had really happened challenge-wise what with the end of War & Pages and the wrapping-up of New Books November, but I was going to still share my experiences of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and other goodies I have acquired before and after. That was the plan last week, however at work we are winding down to the christmas break which has been a bit hectic and exciting, so blogging has sort of fallen behind the couch of things-to-do.

But! I am back and will at least do this last challenge update before my chrissy holidays begin 😀

I have lots of exciting things to share with you but firstly here’s a quick wrap-up of New Books November:

  1. New Books November challenge badgeNew Book November successfully included at least one book/graphic novel from all 4 piles (Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read; Books-Borrowed-From-Libraries; Books-Borrowed-From-Others; and Graphic Novels) and 6 books/graphic novels were chosen, which is a great result
  2. I still haven’t started The Living Dead anthology or Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde as I’ve been so distracted, however since I will have a lot of time on my hands I can enjoy them before Christmas 🙂
  3. I have only read one chapter so far of Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger but I was giggling throughout so this is another one I’ll sink my teeth into before xmasetiquette and espionage
  4. I finished Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland last Saturday and I absolutely loved it! The story was a really interesting sort-of stand-alone which saw Willow journeying to another dimension of sort in order to restore magic to her world. As you can imagine from the title, there were Alice in Wonderland elements to the story, such as a cryptic man-sized caterpillar, but mostly it was its own exciting and insightful story, especially for fans of Willow and her struggles with magic. The art was absolutely stunning and definitely enhanced the vivid setting. willow wonderland
  5. I also finished Death: The High Cost of Living, last weekend (on Sunday) which was another sort-of stand-alone in a world I love. It of course followed the character of Death from the Sandman comics as she spends one day as a mortal on Earth, as she must do every 100 years to understand the struggles of the people she takes everyday. death the high cost of living
  6. I also started and finished FreakAngels #1 on Sunday which was fantastic! It was set in a post-apocalyptic world and focused on a group called the Freakangels – 12 people born at the exact same moment 23 years before, who despite their parentage have the same pale skin, purple eyes and powerful psychic powers which they were forced to use to end the world and start anew. The first volume was nicely mysterious, giving away little tidbits of information but keeping major plot points for later on. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next volume!freak angels vol 1
  7. This challenge was also fun because I had my mascot – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales which I polished off on Sunday (sunday was spent almost exclusively reading comics :D) I thoroughly enjoyed it and it has been a big highlight of this challenge, and of the year 🙂 buffy tales
  8. Overall it was a really fun challenge that allowed me to choose recently bought, borrowed or published books without cheating 😛

Now onto the excitement that was Who Day! 😀 😀

As I said in my last update, my best friends and Official Jar Chooser, Sarah, and I had been invited over to my workmate, Scott’s place to stay up until the wee hours to watch the 50th at the same time as Whovians the world over. We started our day/night of fun by meeting in the city centre where Scott presented Sarah and I with our own Who Day 2013 lanyards that he had made especially for the occasion (thus awarding him many cool points) before we headed to the ABC Shop where they were having a special 50th Anniversary event with lots of Doctor Who loot for sale, a costume competition, a quiz and other fun activities. None of us were in costume except Scott wore a shirt with the TARDIS on it and I wore my 10th of Hearts shirt from Teefury:

10th-of-Hearts-TeeFury-Shirt-of-the-Day

So we knew the costume comp wasn’t really for us, plus we wanted to get going fairly quickly to start our day of movie watching, so me and Sarah quickly filled in the quiz (we got all questions right with minimal cheating :P) and perused their wares. Scott went away with a fabulous TARDIS cushion, Sarah got a Sylvester McCoy era DVD (her first and favourite Doctor) and a cute TARDIS-shaped soap dispenser and I got a cute TARDIS book light which has a normal light and a UV light to revel hidden messages written with the included invisible ink pen; a Tom Baker era DVD, Masque Of Mandragora; and a book of course! – Who’s 50 which covers 50 episodes/story arcs that are must watches 🙂

All my Who Day goodies :D

All my Who Day goodies 😀

We then bussed to Scott’s neck of the woods, had lunch at his local shopping centre food court then headed back to his to start our exciting viewing extravaganza! Scott had plenty planned for us before the 50th anniversary episode so we got cracking with the Star Trek Next Generation Movie – First Contact, which I had never seen before and Sarah hadn’t seen since it came out when we were kids. I was amazing on Blu-ray and on Scott’s impressive TV and was an awesome way to start the festivities! Next we watched a doco that Scott had kept a secret – Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope – which followed a few very different sets of people going to San Diego Comic-con (two artists hoping to break into the industry; a comic book seller hoping for good business at the con to keep his business afloat; and a troupe of master cosplayers) and interviewed a whole bunch of con regulars and newbies, fans and professionals alike. It was also fantastic and me and Sarah were both by surprised how much we were rooting for the artists, sellers and cosplayers to succeed! After those few hours of sitting we went for a welcome walk with Scott’s adorable Corgi cross German Shepard, Fudge and had top-notch bento at a local Japanese place before settling in for the evening’s entertainment.

Our next viewing was The Cabin in the Woods, an unconventional horror flick from the genius mind of Joss Whedon along with fellow buffy/angel writer Drew Goddard. I had always meant to see Cabin in the Woods, as had Sarah and within the first few minutes I think we were both thinking the same thing: “WHY HAVE WE NEVER SEEN THIS MOVIE BEFORE.” It was truly epic and amazing, one of the best and most original horror films I have ever seen and definitely one I will now need to find for my collection. If you’ve never seen it and you’re a Joss Whedon fan, or a horror movie buff, or a fan of good movies in general, do yourself a favour – see this movie ASAP! With still many hours until our beloved 50th Anniversary episode we then decided to get into the Who mood a bit by watching Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide a 2 hour special which chronicled every regeneration as well as key villains, companions and gadgets from the show. After that it was getting to be pretty late and with a couple of hours still before the 50th ep we were all stating to lag. As a preventative measure we went for a film full of action and scary stuff to shock us awake if we started to nod off – World War Z. It was a pretty good disaster/horror movie which differed from the book (which Sarah and I both read recently after borrowing it from Scott) but not in a way that annoyed me – they were their own entities and as a zombie movie this was genuinely terrifying and creepy. Suffice to say it kept us awake until the main event!

I don’t think I have to say that the 50th Anniversary episode – Day of the Doctor – was AMAZING. We all had fangirl/fanboy moments throughout, laughed and gasped and cheered, and I know that I teared up on multiple occasions. I won’t give anything away in case you haven’t seen it, but as a Whovian I was definitely chuffed 🙂 And we made it all the way through to morning without falling asleep or dying so that’s an achievement!

Who day extravaganza collage

Despite being proud of our efforts and feeling not that shabby we all agreed a power nap for a few hours was in order before we ventured out for breakfast, so we kipped until 10ish, had some much-needed coffee and prepared ourselves for a final outing. But, before we headed off Scott had a lovely surprise for us – a goodie bag of presents for the two of us including a couple of DVDs, 2 audio CDs (one Doctor Who story and one Torchwood!) and a graphic novel. immediately we split the DVDs between us as one was the final season of The L Word (mine) and the other was an anime (Sarah’s) and I latched onto the graphic novel as it had been one I had eyed out whilst perusing comic stores with Scott previously:

American vampire

American Vampire #1 by Scott Snyder, Stephen King (writers), Rafael Albuquerque (artist), Dave McCaig (colourist) and Steve Wands (letterer)

However, I will loan it to Sarah once I’ve finished if she so desires 😉 The CDs have gone to Sarah as I had the lion’s share, but I’ll be borrowing them off her also. It was such an unexpected gift that me and Sarah were quite touched – the day/night itself was gift enough, presents on top were just icing on the cake 🙂 We ended our adventure by getting a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, hash browns and ice coffees all around in the city centre once more, before me and Sarah headed back to mine to talk about what a fantastic time we had for the rest of the day. It really was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a really long time.

In other news I’ve made a couple more exciting purchases, as I do.

The Friday before Who Day Scott and I went to a local comic place, Comiczone where I got some very exciting things:

Comiczone purchases

Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere by Mike Carey (writer), Glenn Fabry (artist), Richard Horie, Tanya Horie (colourists) and Todd Klein (letterer); The Crow: Skinning the Wolves by James O’Barr (writer/artist) and Jim Terry (writer/artist/colourist); and Telling Tales a CD of Neil Gaiman reading some of his short stories with accompanying orchestral music for ambience 🙂

Then we went to Kaleido and I bought 2 books:

Kaleido purchases

I am Legend by Richard Matheson which was proclaimed as a must-read by Scott, and Grimm Tales by Philip Pullman which just sounded neat because it’s a retelllling of Grimm’s fairy tales.

And I also got a few of their bookish badges:

Kaleido badges

Then this week I popped into Kaleido again to pick up a book I had on order:

20131205_184517

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter which I have heard great things about and, come on, Alice AND Zombies? I know I’ll love it 😛

That’s it for now my faithful Bookbaggers 🙂 I may be notably absent for the rest of the year as I enjoy my holiday and gear up for Xmas, but I promise I will drop by with little bits and bobs when I can and then I’ll be back to do my annual awards!

Until then I’ll just leave you with one of the funniest parts of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode, as a taster:

As always share away in the comments, send me an email at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or frolic on the Facebook page, and check out my mad pinning (which will likely increase with my free time) on Pinterest :)

Challenge Update # 18 – Week 7 of War & Pages + A Wrap-Up of Old Books October and More

Hello again my magical, mysterious Bookbaggers!

Welcome to the belated 7th update of  War & Pages + a little wrap-up of Old Books October since New Books November has officially begun, and news about a couple of new books I got that won’t be part of New Books November, but are still exciting 🙂

war &  pages challenge badge

Last week (or the week before last now!) was a good week for this challenge! I read Catch 22 a few times over the week and surpassed my quota:

Catch 22:

catch22

70 pages (4 chapters)

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

Finished! :D

Total:

70 pages

I’m pleased I read 20 pages over my target since I didn’t quite make it last week and it’s getting really interesting (in a surreal and funny way) as I near the end 🙂 

Old Books October challenge badge

There’s not much to say about Old Books October at its close but I thought it deserved a proper send-off, so here’s the highlights:

  1. I finished the Soulless manga by Gail Carriger (writer) and REM (artist) the other day and I have to say I enjoyed it immensely! I was impressed with how much they could get in and with the amount of lines that were straight from the book, and I thought the Manga style of illustration fitted really well for the world and characters of this series. I will definitely we getting my hands on the next installments (each based on a book from the series) and it has also given me a hankering for the last book – Timeless I’ll have to borrow it from Sarah and add it to the pile 😛soulless manga
  2. I finally started Brisingr by Christopher Paolini! Or at least I read the synopsis at the start of it which covers main events of the last two books (very handy since I finished Eldest way back in September 2010!). I got the guilts because my brother (who I borrowed it off) was visiting early this week and he saw the unopened book sitting on the arm of the couch (I thought if it was sitting there when I got home it would encourage me to start :P) and then proceeded to tell me how this is the best one of the series and I just had to read it! Now I’m at least caught up on what’s happened I just need to dive in and then I’m sure I’ll get into it 🙂Brisingr
  3. Overall I was pleased with my old book choices – Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett is very funny so far and the perfect book to tuck into my bag for commuter reading;  The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists was the best volume of The Sandman I’ve read so far; Brisingr, while daunting had probably been on the pile longer than any other (except maybe Everville by Clive Barker which neither I nor Sarah cavn remember how long ago she lent it to me) so it was a very fitting choice; the Free Comic Book Day comics were a fun bonus; and Soulless as I said above was excellent! So, all-in-all it was a fun challenge which allowed me to start some books which have been gathering dust for far too long 🙂

In other book-news last weekend I did a bit of a shop as a birthday present to myself (mainly because I had 50 from my nana to buy my own gift and partly because I had a money spare and was still in a birthday mood :P)

Firstly I went to JB Hi-Fi with my workmate, Scott, specifically to buy American Horror Story: Asylum but then since they were doing a 2 stickered TV series’ for 30 dollars promotion I also go Twin Peaks Season 1 and Six Feet Under Season 1 – a right creep-fest all round 😀

Then I was meeting Sarah at Kaleido where she said I could pick out a book as an extra bday present 😀 Not knowing where to start I suggested maybe a China Miéville book since I loved Kraken which she lent to me. She initially wanted to get me The City and the City since that is another Miéville she has read, but alas it was out of stock so instead she picked Un Lun Dun which another friend of mine had recommended.

ChinaMieville-UnLunDunThen just as we were chatting with one of the Kaleido guys and looking at books near the Miéville’s I spotted something very exciting:

the rookThe Rook by Daniel O’Malley

I first saw The Rook months ago in a bookstore when I was too strapped for cash to buy it, but I did remember the intriguing blurb and that the title had the word “rook” in it. Then recently it popped up on Tammy’s Top Ten Unusual Character Names list on Books, Bones & Buffy, one of my favourite book blogs, and I told myself “I have to find this book!”. Since Sarah knew I had been looking for it she made it my present instead of Un Lun Dun which I then bought for myself 🙂 They both went straight on my TBR pile but will have to wait until after New Books November 😛

Well, that’s it for now, but expect an update next week as usual plus some other bits and pieces 🙂
Until then:

Books. People never really stop loving books. Fifty-first century. By now you’ve got holovids, direct-to-brain downloads, fiction mist. But you need the smell. The smell of books, Donna. Deep breath! – See more at: www.planetclaire.org/quotes/doctorwho/series-four/silence-in-the-library/#sthash.AfRu9AbB.dpuf

Since the last sign-off was Giles from Buffy showing his love for books and their smelly-ness I thought it only fitting to make this one The Doctor voicing his opinion on the subject 🙂 The quote is from possibly my favourite episode of Doctor Who – Silence in the Library. As always if you have other bookish quotes or ones which can be transformed into bookish quotes, share them in the comments, drop me a line at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or pop on over to the Facebook page 🙂