December 5: Ten Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

 

Places I want to visit again:
1) Oxford (All Souls Trilogy) and London, England (Shades of London, All Souls, Tunnel Vision). I loved these places. I can never tire of London and I am rereading the All Souls Trilogy so I want to go on a tour of Oxford with Deborah Harkness. I wish I was there when they were filming the TV show.

All Souls College in Oxford, Radcliffe Camera and the Bodleian Library.

2&3) Paris and Grasse, France (The Secret Ways of Perfume by Cristina Caboni)
Shopping spree!!!!!!!!!

4) Volterra, Italy (Twilight: New Moon)
I wore a green shirt and jeans like Bella did in the movie. It was such a quaint and beautiful town. I’d love to go back and spend more time there than just a few hours. They also had a beautiful alabaster shop. More shopping!

They had a Twilight section in the alabaster shop. I have always regretted not getting these alabaster white queen chess pieces.

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New places:
5) Naboo, which was really Lake Como, Italy.
I hear they have tours of the villa where they shot Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. I want to stand on the terrace where Anakin and Padmé were married.

6) NOLA (A Density of Souls, Out of the Easy)
Not during Marti Gras and not during hurricane season. But I would like to see the famous sites.

7) Hawaii (Everything, Everything)
Warm weather, heavenly beaches (and I am not a beach person), and volcanos. I want to go!

8) Salem, Mass. (The Crucible)
It’s my favorite play and the witch trials are a sad part of American history.

9) Scotland (Harry Potter, The Winter Sea)
I want to take a train there from London.

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10) Siracusa, Italy.
I have yet to read Siracusa by Delia Ephron but I won’t say no to Italy.

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Top Ten Tuesday – November 28: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

1) Iron Gold by Pierce Brown, expected publication: January 16th 2018. This is my most anticipated book. I am going to reread the trilogy beforehand and go to the book signing in NYC!

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2) Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. I think I will read the hardcover and listen to the audiobook.

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3) The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst. Picked this one up at Book Con 2017. It’s one of many on that Book Con pile.

4) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I plan to listen to the audiobook. I already have it downloaded. 52 hours though…

I have been on a roll with the books I got from NYCC 2016. Almost done with that pile. I want to keep the momentum going with these 2017’s NYCC books:
5) Age of Myth The Legends of the First Empire No.1 by Michael J. Sullivan
6) Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
7) Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
8) Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins
9) Year Zero by Rob Reid
10) After On by Rob Reid

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Good luck to me!

Top Ten Tuesday – November 21: Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

November 21: Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For (Happy Thanksgiving week in the USA!)

I feel like this list is redundant of last week’s topic. The books I would want my future children/Godchildren/nieces/nephews to read are the same books I am thankful for. They changed and shaped me in someway and for some of them I became a part of a fandom.

So, in addition to last week’s list I will add these books that I am thankful for.

1-3) All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.

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I have read them more than once, participated in the Real Time Reading events and am part of a Facebook group where I can talk about it with other obsessed fans. Now that they are filming a TV series, and that only fuels the obsession.

4-7) Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.
I made so many friends through this fandom and am still friends with a few of them today. I am thankful to Twilight for those friendships. Back in the day we would go to the midnight book launches, the movie screenings, the morning talk shows, and would try to meet Rob on the set of Remember Me.

8) Star Wars. There are too many books and comic books to count here, but when I was 13 I read my first EU books: Jedi Academy Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson (Jedi Search, Dark Apprentice, Champions of the Force). I didn’t really get into the EU again until Revenge of the Sith was about to come out. By then I had soooooooo many to catch up on and it helped to be part of a Star Wars book club on a message board. I was on a binge read and wish I just kept up with it when I was 13 in the mid-90s. Now they’re considered “Legends” and there is a new Disney canon, but I still have shelves and piles of those old EU novels and comic books.

9) A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice.
I remember I bought this from a mail order book club way, way back in the day (17 years ago!) I loved it so much and gave it to a friend to borrow when she was going to Sicily for the summer. She was visiting family in the middle of nowhere and to keep her from boredom I let her borrow it. She was (and still is) the only friend I have that I trust with my books because she is just as neurotic with them as I am. Thing is, her younger sister read it before she did while in Sicily. I should have warned her about the adult themes! But it was the start of our own mini book club. We don’t trade books as often as we used to, but this was the first and I’ll always remember that.

10) She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb
This is another book that was part of our mini book club. My friend read it first and suggested it to me. We even came up with a list of our dream cast for the movie (that was never made) giving the roles to our favorite actors and actress of the day. From time to time we say to each other, “Remember our casting list for She’s Come Undone?”
I would love to reread it some time and do an updated dream cast.

New York Comic Con 2017 – Sunday, October 8

Sunday, October 8

My sister decided to splurge for Mark Hamill’s autograph. (The price went up since he was last at NYCC in 2011). So in the morning she queued for his signing. Mark had the photo ops first, but the queues get really long real fast.

I left her briefly to go to Rob Reid’s signing at Random House’s booth.

I purchased After On. It was on sale and I got an ARC for Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins with the purchase. Rob’s first book, Year Zero, was a giveaway. He signed both copies.

I was wearing my new Jurassic Park shirt and Rob was wearing a shirt with the Jurassic Park logo, only his said “Golden Gate Park”.

Rob remembered me from the Deleted Scenes panel on Friday. (I was sitting in the front row.) I said the David Hasselhoff scene was hysterical and that really sold the book for me, and too bad it wasn’t in the book (After On). But he said that the character who writes the reviews is in there and all the reviews are online.

I pointed out our sort-of matching shirts and asked for a photo.

Then he said that he hopes I like After On. I read the first page while waiting on the queue. It’s funny.

Then I went back to wait on Mark’s queue. It was a long wait. First he had his photo ops. Then he had a break and I assume had some lunch (it’s only fair). So of course the autograph session stared like more than an hour late. The first people on the queue were cosplaying as Beauty and the (human) Beast. They were spectacular. Wish I had asked for a photo. Hundreds of others were asking.

Finally we get up to talk to Mark. Since my sister was the one actually getting her photo with him signed I just observed.

Mark saw their photo and said, “Look how cute you are.” I think my sister was too nervous and I had to tell her afterward that he said this. She was concentrating on the whole speech she prepared.
She told him that we were at his conversation last night. Mark had said how when he got the script for “The Last Jedi” he was surprised/disappointed about how Luke had lost his optimism.
My sister said she agreed with that and added that Luke also lost his Original Trilogy persistence to save Ben/Kylo.
Mark responded that he “has to be careful” of what he says, but it’s not a long wait. It will be answered before we know it.
We said we’d be there opening weekend and thanked him.

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Top Ten Tuesday – November 14: Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

November 14: Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read (Or nieces and nephews, Godchildren, etc.)

1) The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. I don’t expect them to read all of the books in the series because there are a LOT. But I still have the ones I read and it’s really the series that got me into reading in the first place. To share that with a younger generation would mean a lot.

2) Harry Potter, books 1-7. There are so many wonderful themes about love and friendship, and it’s a great coming of age story set in a magical realm. And really such a huge part of pop-culture. It would also be great to see it though fresh, innocent eyes. You can vicariously relive the feeling of reading it for the first time through their perspective.

3-5) Between Shades of Gray and Salt to Sea by Ruta Sepetys and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. These YA stories set during World War II are incredibly sad but so essential. I think learning a little bit of history through historical fiction is important. It builds empathy.

6) Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. If I had to read this in school when I was 11 and cry my eyes out, then so do the children!

These next few I would wait till the children were a bit older, like their mid-teen years when they could understand and appreciate them more.

7) Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. How could I not get the kids into my favorite literary science fiction story? Next to Star Wars, this is a must.

8) The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. A coming of age story for every teen.

9) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. It is a flawless masterpiece. Besides, by the time they are old enough to read it they’ll already have the movie with Keira Knightley memorized.

10) Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story by Jewel. There are some good life lessons in here. It’s a spiritual self help book by one of my favorite singer-songwriters. These future children would already be raised listing to her songs and like the title says, “songs are only half the story.”

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Obviously I would have them read my entire library, but these 10 will do for this list.

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Should you ever go back?

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question: can you ever outrun your past?

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Book Con 2017 so I can’t say how this differs from the final printed version.
My friend borrowed my ARC and read it first. She’s a fan of Krysten’s acting work but was disappointed in her first novel. She said there was too much environmental stuff. She just wanted the hometown story.
That lowered my expectations about the novel. I thought I would be bored with environmental jargon.  I felt the opposite.  Abby leaves most of the environmental research to her team, and 3/4 of the way through they go back to Chicago to continue investigating there. Abby becomes more and more obsessed with what happened to her friend, Kaycee, ten years ago, and the scholarship conspiracy at Optimal.
**Minor spoilers below**

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Top Ten Tuesday: November 7: Ten Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

November 7: Ten Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders (Leaders of what? That’s your decision. Who could lead a country, an army, a book club, a classroom, etc. Or maybe characters that would be trendsetters?)

I am going to go with the book club theme. I thought about doing leaders of a country, solar system, galaxy or an army, but all I could come up with were characters that already do that in their stories. I also thought about trendsetters but all could think of was Alice Cullen and Rosalie Hale from Twilight.

Top 5 Book Club Leaders

1)Hermione from Harry Potter. She is the most obvious first person to come to mind. I don’t need to say more.

2)Maddie from Everything, Everything. Poor girl was isolated and wrote her reviews online. But once she was free she could make new friends through a book club then eventual be its leader.

3)Roque from Red Rising. It would be more of a poetry reading.

4)Diana from All Souls Trilogy. It would be filled with a bunch of creatures wanting to know the secrets of Ashmole 782.

5) Jo March from Little Women. They would act out the stories with costumes and voices.