April Haul

I’m not feeling too bad about the books I bought in April, since most of them were second hand and therefore incredibly cheap, but I am absolutely on a book-buying ban from now on! 👿

April Haul

I also bought Half Wild, but it’s not in the photo ’cause I lent it to a friend…

1) All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully by Carrie Hope Fletcher. A book of advice on dealing with difficult issues that often come up during “the Teen Age”. I’ve already read this, so you can see what I thought about it in my April wrap-up.

2) Reaper ManGuards! Guards!, Pyramids, Wyrd Sisters, The Last Continentand Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett. These showed up in the charity shop where I volunteer, so I decided to buy them – I’ve been collecting these editions of the Discworld series for a while now, but I don’t know specifically what these ones are about…

3) Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett. A collection of short stories that Terry Pratchett wrote as a child, I believe. This is the collector’s edition, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

4) Hildafolk by Luke Pearson. A really short graphic novel about a little girl who goes on a mini adventure. I’ve read this already, too, and I’ve talked about it in my last wrap-up.

5) Roald Dahl Audiobooks: 10 Dahl Puffin Classics on 27 CDs, which consists of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Danny the Champion of the World, Esio Trot, Fantastic Mr Fox, George’s Marvellous Medicine, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, The Enormous Crocodile, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, The Twits and The Witches. I read a couple of these when I was little, but I’m really excited to listen to the rest. 😀

6) Jabberwocky and Other Nonsense by Lewis Carroll. A collection of Lewis Carroll’s poetry, in the beautiful Penguin clothbound edition.

7) Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman. A re-telling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti. I really loved The Sleeper and the Spindle, so I have high hopes for this, too. 🙂

8) Zombie-Loan Volume 13 by Peach-Pit. This is the final volume of the Zombie-Loan series, which I picked out of the clearance bin at Waterstones for just £3, though there wasn’t anything wrong with it that I could see (unlike most of the other books in there). I probably won’t be reading this anytime soon, since I don’t have volumes 7-12 yet…

9) Half Bad and Half Wild by Sally Green. I got these at the Cambridge Literary Festival so I could get them signed, even though I own both of them as ebooks already. I love these so much~! ❤

10) A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. The first book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy, which I’ve been meaning to read for a while. This showed up by chance at work, too, and I decided to buy it, since it was pretty cheap. As far as I can tell, it’s a historical gothic fantasy series, which sounds fun.

(A brief aside: ChapterStackss posted a really interesting video a little while ago – In Defense of Libraries – where she discussed, amongst other things, book-buying habits, and you should definitely check that out if you’re at all interested. 🙂 )

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: Mid-Event Survey & More Challenges!

So, we’re halfway through the readathon, and it’s just passed midnight. I’m making pretty good progress so far (though I wish I’d saved more of my fudge), but I’ve got a couple of challenges to catch up on, plus a survey – so here we go:

MID-EVENT SURVEY

1) What are you reading right now?

Talon by Julie Kagawa.

2) How many books have you read so far?

Just one – Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean. Though I’ve also finished the first act of All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher.

3) What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Apart from finishing Talon, I’m also excited about reading A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan (which, now that I think about it, is very ominously titled… Hopefully I won’t conk out before I finish it. :/ ).

4) Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Unless you count snack breaks / mealtimes as interruptions, then no. I’ve had a pretty calm reading day.

5) What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

I’ve not been reading as quickly as I expected to, which is a shame, though I’m thankfully still enjoying the books that I’m reading. The biggest surprise, though, is probably how much I liked Peter Pan in Scarlet – definitely a happy surprise! 😀

IN 100 YEARS CHALLENGE

This challenge was to come up with a list of three recent books that you think people will still be reading in 100 years, and to explain why, which is a really interesting idea.

1) The Harry Potter series (by J.K. Rowling). This kind of an obvious choice, but I’m pretty sure that it’ll still be very well known in 100 years, if only for the impact that it’s had on society and fan-culture. Who knows? It might even have become a set text in schools (it wouldn’t surprise me 😛 ).

2) The His Dark Materials trilogy (by Philip Pullman). This is one of those rare children’s series that actually provides a really powerful commentary on science, religion and humanity in general. It definitely doesn’t hurt that they’re also fantastic books.

3) We Need to Talk about Kevin (by Lionel Shriver). This was just a really, really, astonishingly powerfully-written book; the kind of book that’ll have you thinking about it for months after you’ve finished reading it.

PLAN A BOOKISH PARTY CHALLENGE

1) What book is your party themed around?

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll!

2) What food will you serve?

Scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream; cucumber sandwiches shaped like dormice; biscuits decorated to look like playing cards and top hats; and marshmallows shaped like mushrooms, with “eat me” labels on them.

3) What’s your signature drink?

Tea, naturally. 🙂 And maybe some brightly-coloured punch or cocktails in little “drink me” bottles.

4) What games will you play?

Croquet, with bright pink mallets, and the card game Hearts.

5) What party favors will you send home with your guests?

A deck of Alice in Wonderland-themed cards and a variety of interesting kinds of teabags.

Cambridge Literary Festival Wrap-Up

So my brief adventure at the Cambridge Literary Festival is finally over, and I enjoyed it a lot, though I didn’t get to go to all the events that I was hoping to: the Judith Kerr talk sold out before I could get tickets, and unfortunately I couldn’t persuade anyone to go to the International Book Aid Quiz with me…

Anthony Horowitz//Point BlancMy favourite event was probably the Alex Rider 15th anniversary talk with Anthony Horowitz, and if you ever get the chance to hear him speak, then I really recommend that you do – he’s an incredibly entertaining speaker. He talked a lot about his inspiration for the books, and how he based a lot of the villains on teachers that he’d disliked at school, and the like. 🙂 Afterwards, there was a book signing, and I took along my old copy of Point Blanc, since it’s my favourite Alex Rider book. I got to have a (very) brief chat with him, too, which was a lot of fun. 😀

Sally Green//Half BadI was a little late to my second event – the YA talk with Sally Green and James Dawson – because the queue for Anthony Horowitz was so long, but luckily I didn’t miss all that much. The talk was rather like an informal interview, with a journalist chatting to the two of them about various different aspects of YA literature, and the audience chipping in every now and then, too. As you’ll probably know if you’ve been following this blog for a while, I’m already a huge Sally Green fan, and it was really great to hear her talk about how she came up with the idea for Half Bad; James Dawson I’d never heard of before, but he made his books sound really interesting, and I definitely want to pick up his new book, All of the Above, when it comes out later this year.

I decided to buy physical copies of Half Bad and Half Wild so that I could get them signed, and I was tempted to get one of James Dawson’s books as well, but most of his already-published books are horror, which is a genre I really don’t get on with… But they were sharing a table in the signing room, so I got to chat to them both, and I even asked Sally Green about the likelihood of a Nathan/Gabriel endgame in the Half Life trilogy – the upshot of her answer was that I’d have to wait and see (of course!), but she did agree that they were perfect for each other, so I remain hopeful. 😉

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst//The Story of AliceLastly, on Sunday I went to a talk by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst about his new book, The Story of Alice, which is a biography of Lewis Carroll, the real Alice Liddell, and of Alice in Wonderland itself. The talk was interesting, and there were several good questions asked by the audience at the end. Gillian Beer (who was chairing the talk and asking questions) also read out one of Carroll’s poems – My Fairy – which I liked a lot (and you can read it online here, if you so desire), and Douglas-Fairhurst finished up with an extract from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Again, I got my copy of The Story of Alice signed at the end of the talk, and I was very tempted to buy a copy of Jabberwocky and Other Nonsense (a collection of Lewis Carroll’s poetry), since they had the beautiful clothbound editions available, but unfortunately I didn’t have enough cash on me… :/