International Book Week

It’s International Book week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the fifth sentence. Don’t mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your post.

“Among them went whichever men or women had been leaving gifts for me, or arranging for them to be left.”

What’s your 5th sentence?

The Brides of Rollrock Island

The Brides of Rollrock Island

By: Margo Lanagan

(http://www.amazon.com/Margo-Lanagan/e/B001IQUOLA)

Ember 2013

A Young Adult fantasy review

Isolated on the sea, Rollrock is a simple island where everyone knows the rules: Work on fishing boats, bear children, and fear the witch.  For a witch can draw beautiful women out from the seals of the sea, and when these changed selkies come to Rollrock the island will also transform.

The shame of seal lineage marks Misskaella, but with power instead of beauty.  The love of seals will only take her so far, but the enchantment of them gives her the means to remake Rollrock completely.  What will men pay for the allure of a seal maid, how strongly will seal blood course through new children, how far can the seal witch reweave her island?  With the voices of witches, and the young of generations, Lanagan weaves a tumultuous, but bewitching tale.

The pace pitches and rolls unevenly, but with the suspense and surety of a sea voyage.  The characters bring you into their depths less with likeability and more with the vividness of their thoughts and the universality of their emotions.  Loneliness, bitterness, and betrayal all become part of Lanagan’s siren song alongside love, desire, and success.  “The Brides of Rollrock Island” explores the importance of control, follows the speedy lanes and jagged byways of blame, and showcases the pull of looks.  Yet the heart of this book, is that everyone must be true to themselves, even though that self may transform completely.  The selkies yearn for the sea, a man alters in response to his home, and “a lad that loves his mother above all” can explain a mire of heart-wrenching evolutions.

Lanagan’s honeyed writing lays a glistening coat over the bitter chocolate of her characters’ rough tales.  Thick with the caffeinated inevitability of time and awakening readers’ taste buds with plenty of sea salt,  “The Brides of Rollrock Island” is something to savor, that sticks with you as the sweet only enlivens the dark.  This book will enchant you with words, steer you through the waves of multiple minds, and submerge you in powerful emotions.  It’s a dark fairytale bursting with magic and connections, strong with life’s tides and haunting choices.  For a look at life’s layers, coats, and hidden currents, Lanagan’s work provides a beautiful vessel.

Top Ten…ish Authors I’ve Read the Most Books From

This is a rendition of thebrokeandthebookish.com’s Top Ten Tuesday.  I found this week’s very interesting.  I actually have 2 sections, prolific authors where I’ve read the highest numbers and less prolific authors whose works I have read in their entirety (or nearly so).  Here goes:

In order, authors I’ve read the most works by:

  1. Agatha Christie-She stimulates the little grey cells!poirot
  2. Ann M. Martin-Of all the huge series I read growing up, it seems that the first 35 of the Babysitters’ Club was the only real strain actually written by the same author instead of being ghost-written.  (Which I am kindof grateful for, without those ghost writers this post would be overtaken with Sweet Valley Twins and Nancy Drew, etc.!)
  3. Dr. Seuss-Oh, the books that I’ve read!  They get stuck in my head!  His rhymes simply sped, like a Liternffafed.
  4. Georgette Heyer-For heroines with spunk, romances with bickering, and incorrigible pets, she’s your lady!
  5. Dave Barry-Reading this humorist basically runs in my family.
  6. Rafael Sabatini-Swashbuckling heroes, historic shenanigans, and high romance ahoy!
  7. Diana Wynne Jones-Griffins, goddesses, and greatness-all with good quirk and great heart!Howl-s-Moving-Castle-howls-moving-castle-913538_1024_768
  8. Madeleine L’Engle-I still find the odd quote or image from her books spring to mind surprisingly often.

Authors who didn’t write as much, but who I have read the most books from PROPORTIONALLY:

9. Jane Austen-I’ve even read “Lady Susan” and some of her journal writings.

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10. Barbara Helen Berger-I’ve read every book published.

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11. Sarah Prineas-Read every book published so far and have definitely got dibs on her next one!

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12. James Thurber-An older humorist, his works are harder to come by, but I’ve read nearly all of them, plays, picture books, essays, and all!

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What about you?  What authors have you read the most from?  Which haven’t written as much but you have thoroughly devoured them?

Top Ten Bookworm Characters

This is a rendition of thebrokeandthebookish.com’s Top Ten Tuesday.  I found thinking of favorite bookworms surprisingly difficult!  If this were cinema it would be another story, but in books it was surprisingly hard to think of someone I’d really term a “bookworm.”  This is what I came up with:

1. Alexia Tarabotti from “The Parasol Protectorate” series by Gail Carriger

(Review of the first one here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/soulless-the-parasol-protectorate-series-1/)

Alexia loves reading and education and she hides out in libraries.  Ergo, I am confident we can call her a bookworm, although honestly we hardly ever see her read.

2. Tonino Montana of “The Chrestomanci Chronicles” series by Diana Wynne Jones (Specifically, “The Magicians of Caprona”)

Now, here is a real bookworm!

3. Will Stanton of “The Dark is Rising” series by Susan Cooper

Will, as an Old One, is very attuned to the power of books.  I think of him as a bookworm, though again, I’m not sure how much he actually reads…

4. Mr. Tumnus of “Narnia” by C.S. Lewis

His home was filled with books.  So, there.

5. Sophie from “The School for Good and Evil” by Soman Chainani

(Review here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/the-school-for-good-and-evil/)

Sophie loves all of the stories, she knows every tale, every stereotype, and every last word about blemishes.  I’m going to say that counts even though she doesn’t actually read books, even to study.  (Yes, I know Agatha does, but she never seems to enjoy it for itself, does she?  It’s always for a useful reason.  This is the same reason I couldn’t include Kami Glass of the Lynburn Legacy series.)

6. A-Through-L or Ell of “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making” by Catherine Valente

This Wyverary loves books like none other.  After all, his father is a library, so how else to show family feeling?

7. Professor Percy of “The Custard Protocol Series” by Gail Carriger

(Review here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/prudence-custard-protocol-series-1/)

This man gets lost in his books, thrives on his books, and marvelously moves the plot forward with books, all while still having quite a presence.

8. Charles Wallace of “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeline L’Engle

The intuitive genius loves his books.

9. Mr. Bennett of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Ah, the denizen of the library.

10. Death of “Bitterblue” by Kristin Cashore

(Review here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/bitterblue/)

This royal librarian has both bite and brains.

Who are your favorite bookworms?  Also, who would you rather discuss books with?  Read alongside?  Whose taste in books would you most share?  From my list I would say Alexia Tarabotti, Mr. Bennett, and Tonino Montana.

Top Ten Authors I’d Love to Meet

This is a rendition of thebrokeandthebookish.com’s Top Ten Tuesday. This week it’s the Top Ten Authors I’d Really Love to Meet.  Now, there are several favorite authors which I would actually prefer not to meet, either because I don’t want to discover they aren’t like the version of them in my head or because I love their work too much to want meeting the creators to influence it.  Hence, this is a list of authors I would adore hearing a lecture from and/or having a good, long lunch with.  Classic authors such as Voltaire and Jane Austen are excluded, however.  That’s just too hard.  Here goes:

Top Ten Authors I’d Love to Meet

1. Maurice Sendak of “Where the Wild Things Are,”

who dictated that this list include dead authors, as well as living.

2. Kristin Cashore of “Graceling”

because Katsa is my spirit-animal.  Also, I like her blog so I’m confident we would get along swimmingly.

3. Sarah Prineas of “Magic Thief”

and

4. Rachel Hartman of “Seraphina”

because each of these authors has powerfully reminded me of one of my dear friends, which instantly makes them fascinating, approachable, and wonderful.

5. Umberto Eco of “Baudolino”

because that book is written, not in how I expected it to go or what I thought fit in with the genre, but in the way that I think!

6. Jane Yolen of “Sleeping Ugly”

because she dabbles in so many of my favorite subject matters.

7. Raphael Sabatini of “Scaramouche”

because no one can do adventure, swashbuckling, or romance like that man.  Also, I wish to discuss history with him.

8. Emma Thompson of “The Further Tales of Peter Rabbit”

because I am convinced we could have the most epic tea time ever, given that she didn’t try to foist any haggis.

9. Diane Zahler of “The Thirteenth Princess”

because I love the tone and beauty of her stories.

10. Madelaine L’Engle of “A Wrinkle in Time”

because who doesn’t want to hear her talk more about weird and wonderful things?

Also, it must be said, I would also love having a good, long chat with Alton Brown about ridiculous and showy ways to be evil.  He didn’t make the list because although he has written books, I’ve only watched him on TV, but his malicious wit deserves recognition.

So, who would you like to meet?  Which authors would you prefer to love from afar?  Have you ever found an author who reminded you of a friend?

Top Ten Authors

This is a rendition of thebrokeandthebookish.com’s Top Ten Tuesday. This week it’s the Top Ten Authors of All Time…For Today, Anyway being my caveat.  Nevertheless, I have hunkered down and considered, rejected authors of favorite books whose other works I didn’t love as well, realized who truly felt like a good, old friend, and didn’t let myself narrow it down by any genre, whatsoever.  It was tough.  It was revealing.  It was…..

Top Ten Authors:

1. Raphael Sabatini

-No one does great adventure, high romance, or dramatic swashbuckling like Raphael Sabatini.  Also, excellent insults.

2. A.A. Milne

-For keeping me six forever and ever, where I’ll always stay clever as clever.

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3. Kristin Cashore

-Katsa is my spirit animal.

4. Shakespeare

-The bard is not to be denied.

5. Oscar Wilde

-The only thing I have to declare is his genius.  *Begins to eat muffins….out of my handbag*

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6. Barbara Helen Berger

-Authors/Illustrators’ combined work counts, for this list-I didn’t even deny myself that.

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7. Maurice Sendak

-Once a king, always a king when someone loves you best of all.

8. Jane Austen

-It is a truth universally acknowledged that a reader with great taste, must be in want of an Austen.

Mr. Darcy!

9. James Thurber

-Just here, in this doom-shaped list, after this doom-shaped number, on this doom-shaped blog…

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10. Madeleine L’Engle

-She will never leave my mind.

Who be yours?

Top Ten Books for Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

This is a rendition of thebrokeandthebookish.com’s Top Ten Tuesday. This week it’s the Top Ten Books for Blank, and I have chosen….for those that love Alice in Wonderland.  Because that’s how my writing desk ravens and my mushroom resizes.

1. The Chrestomanci Chronicles by Diana Wynne Jones

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-Zaniness, strange logics, and spunky young heroines and heroes.

2. Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

-Because pixies convinced they are dead are a good start and a young girl with an extreme fondness for logic and good advice follows through.

3. Candide by Voltaire

-Adventures with a satiric take on the world, characters that continuously pop back up, and naivety making the world strange.  Didn’t think I could make that case, did you?

4. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salmon Rushdie

(Review here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/167/)

-Genies finnicking with faucets are a great continuation of rabbits with pocket watches.

5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

-If you like Alice and her attitude of trying to be sensible amidst the bizarre, you ought to like Ella and her attitude of being a rebel amidst exact obedience.

6. The Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

-Weird worlds, weird peoples, and Englishness…Englishocity?

7. Le Petit Prince by Antoine St.-Expupery

-Talking flowers, new views, and wonder.

8. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

(Review here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/the-grand-sophy/)

-I like to think that Alice sighs over Sophy’s antics, and then turns around and achieves exactly the same results.

9. The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern

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-Wonderland loves to delve and explain the illogical.  The Princess Bride takes the logical and explains them so thoroughly they become fantastic and strange.  They belong together.

10. The Poems of A.A. Milne

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-Englishocity, royalty with obsessions, children fooling adults, etc.

So, what do you guys think?  Have you read anything more Wonderlandian?

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