Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Too many books

I really do have this problem!

I now have books stacked up against other books thereby destroying my once beautifully organized shelves. Eventually, I'll end up with books on the floor again. Time to head off to Ikea again I think!

I guess I should stop soon before I run out of wall space but there are just too many good books to read and more being released every month.

I suppose some people would recommend a ebook reader thingy to keep the piles down somewhat but I just can't enjoy a book in digital form.
I have tried, I read Jane Eyre, or tried to but halfway through I picked up a paper copy instead.

So, either I get help for my book shopping addiction or I buy more shelves!!!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Oblivion - review

We went to see Oblivion on Sunday night with much skepticism and no idea what the movie was about.
I'm generally not overly impressed with mainstream science fiction movies and, well, Tom Cruise was not really helping those expectations any!

Well, I was pleasantly surprised.
It started off nice and slow, introducing Victoria and Jack and Sally, plus the world they inhabit, but you still had the nice little hints that things aren't quite what they seem.
Then the action picked up, Julie arrived, and things got really exciting. 
Plus there was the unexpected bonus of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau , aka Jamie Lannister, popping up midway through the movie!

I was engrossed from start to finish and thought it was a brilliant story line. 
By the end of the movie, I was praying the graphic novel by the writer, , had been released so I could read it only to be brutally disappointed that it hadn't!

This is definitely a science fiction movie I'll be watching again and I recommended it to anyone who loves action, even if you are not a big sci-fi fan.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Last Bookshop - a short film

Shelf Awareness shared this link to a short film called The Last Bookshop, written by Richard Dadd (who co-directs with Dan Fryer), features Alfred Hoffman and Joe Holgate and "imagines a future where physical books have died out." 

According to the filmmakers, "We wanted to contribute to the cultural debate with our own celebration in support of these glorious independents and their shelves of treasures. So with the help of some remarkable independent bookshops, and a lot of talented friends, we have been able to make our idea for The Last Bookshop into a reality. We hope you enjoy this film and share it with your friends...."

The beginning of the movie shows a world that is not that hard to imagine, no shops left and everything is online. A boy's screen has busted, he doesn't know what to do with himself so takes ends up wandering the streets. Everything is boarded up and you can tell it's just normal for him, all these boarded up shops. 
He then discovers a bookshop, that's open and is confused by all the books, he's obviously never seen any before. 

Now that's a scary thought, that our kids may get to a point where they've never read a book made out of paper! That they might not even know how to open a book.

Anyway, regardless of the point the movie is making, this is worth a view for the bookstore alone!

Incidentally, I really, really want to visit the bookstores used in this movie!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2013

I just woke up to the announcement of this year's The Pulitzer prize for Fiction.
I'm very happy with their choices this year. I was so sure they were going to pick a Hilary Mantel! God forbid!  

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is a brilliant book.
I bought this book after attending a Brisbane Writers Festival panel that Eowyn Ivey was on.
She didn’t actually talk about her book but I liked her so I thought I would give it a try. also, I've been a sucker for anything Alaska ever since Northern Exposure was shown in the 90's!!
 Unfortunately due to the backlog of books I have, it’s taken me 5 months to pick it up and read it but I’m glad I did. I took it on a 5 day holiday, which was pretty action packed and yet I still managed to finish the book by the end of the holiday!
It’ is a lovely book and I, very quickly, got lost in her wonderful descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness.
The fable on which she bases the snow child herself is told throughout the story, it’s a sad story and ties in well with the lonely couple in this book, who are trying to survive in an alien landscape whilst still grieving for the loss of their only child.
It is a lovely book and there is a list of book recommendations from the author if you are interested in reading anymore books about Alaska which of course you will be after reading this!

The Orphan Master's Son is a book I've heard a lot about following the Tournament of Books. It's not really a style I think I would enjoy but it seems to hugely popular, wonderfully written and a fascinating story.

I've never heard of What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander but I will be keeping an eye out for it now as the judges seem to have excellent taste in books!

After all, Olive Kitteridge won one year and I love that book!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Book Review - anything by Richelle Mead

I love, love all books by Richelle Mead!

She never fails to pull you into her books and the lives and loves of her characters.

All her main men make you swoon and you want to be every one of her main female characters.
Plus anything with a little bit of magic or has a supernatural sway makes a story so much more fun.

Succubus series by Richelle Mead

 This series is about a pretty girl working in a bookstore and falling for an author, except she is also a succubus for the devil. Bought over to the dark side centuries ago, Georgina Kincaid has learnt to live with her unusual job-on-this-side. She and her friends, bar one angel and the guys from her day job at the bookstore, work for the devil but they are so much fun, it doesn't matter! 
These books are easy reads, with great characters and storylines. 

Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead

The Vampire Academy series contain 7 books with the Bloodlines series following on from that as a spin off series.
The academy is for Moroi and Dhampirs. Dhampirs are Moiri Guardians who are born of a human and vampire and Moroi are pure blood vampires, though not immortal as we usually find in most stories.
Lissa, a Moroi, and her best friend, Rose, a Dhampir, return to the academy after being on the run for 2 years.
The books follow their lives at school, their bond with each other as well as with other students and teachers (namely Dimitri, Rose’s tutor and crush).
They also have to contend with the bad guys, Strigoi. Strigoi are vampires who are immortal and want to kill pretty much everyone.

The Bloodlines series follows a girl called Sydney who is human and part of a group called The Alchemists. Their job is to ensure humans don’t know the Moroi, Dhampirs and Strigoi exist.

Richelle Mead draws you into every story she writes, the characters become best friends, when their hearts break, so does yours.
These books are well recommended if you love romance, fantasy and are a lover of serials. You won’t be able to think about reading anything else whilst working your way through these books and now I think I must go back and read them again-oh well, that’s another month lost in Rose, Lissa and Sydney’s world. Please don’t bother calling me, I won’t answer! I’ll be in the hammock!

The Vampire Academy series is being made into a movie which is due for releases in 2015, much to my husband's disappointment as he knows he'll be dragged there, just like he was to the Twilight movies, Star Trek and Doctor Who!

I have yet to read her Dark Swan series but I have added the first book to my 25 books to read before July list.
She also has a new adult fantasy series, Age of X Series, the first of which is coming out in June and is called 'Gameboard of the Gods' and is also added to the above list.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Bookstores going down

I know this story is a couple of weeks old but I've been busy!!

This is a link to a story about a woman who has started charging customers $5 to browse her store. The $5 is redeemable if you buy anything.

You might laugh or think she's nuts but honestly, sometimes in a bookshop, it's tempting to do just that. 

I love the book shop I work in, the customers are wonderful though we do have, luckily in the minority,  some customers who come in and look around, or they ask your advice on what books to get and you are friendly and help them with recommendations that you are more than happy to give because you love books and want to share your knowledge, in the hope the customer goes home, settles down with the book and is happy with their choice.
Then they actually tell you they are going to buy that same book online or in Target or Big W, so you want to brain them with hardback copy of War and Peace.

I know it's cheaper online or even in discount bookstores and most of us are guilty of looking around for the best price before buying, myself included, but why should  we be allowed to do this for free?

That's why bookstores, most independent stores in general are struggling or even going out of business and why eventually, there will only be discount and second hand bookstores left.

In fact, the way it's going at the moment, there will be no independent stores left at all, of any kind.

We'll all be shopping online or at big brand departments stores.

Do you think that's a bad thing, or that it doesn't matter where books are sold, as long as they are still being published?

I personally will be very, very sad to see the personal attention you get in an independent store die off.

I just found this great article on Bookriot regarding this very subject-what do you think?

Book Review Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Sorry, I've been too busy to blog in the last few weeks but I'm back now!!

Cloud Atlas was not at all what I expected.
I started the book thinking it was going to be this fantastic journey full of mystery and wonder.

The first half of the book, I was thoroughly enjoying, however as the book got further and further in, and less and less exciting things happened and I couldn’t discover any mysteries, I started to feel cheated.

There were 2 sci-fi/fy chapters (stories) and that was it, though those were very entertaining to read, again, here was where I expected something to happen and it didn’t.

It’s basically a book of short stories with some very minor connections between them all.

I can fully admit that each story was wonderfully written and I loved the different voices and styles to each story which definitely made me complete the book and made sure it wasn’t a complete waste of my time. The author also had some wonderful insights on humanity, the journey we are on and potential we have to completely fuck up this world and ourselves!!

Still, I wouldn’t recommend it and now have no interest in seeing the movie.

I’m sure others will argue with my review, fair play, as they say, ‘no two people ever read the same book.’