Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The BEA (Book Expo America) Post

I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do for this post. I could list the books I got (all of them or just a few) but I thought that just talking about the experience would be better. (I will list my favorite I got at the bottom / the ones I'm most looking forward to reading).

I went to the Blogger convention the day before BEA started. It was different then last year, I had done this before, and I had an idea of what I was doing - kind of - so I felt better sitting and listening to the keynote speakers.

The Keynote speaker was author Will Schwalbe, who wrote a book called The End of Your Life Book Club, and I loved his talk. One of his main points was how we should all ask each other 'what are you reading?' more, and it would randomly pop into my head over the weekend. It's a good question to ask at BEA if you're in a line and bored and exhausted, people at a convention about books normally have an answer.

However, if you went out, just on the street, and asked someone - they might not. They'd be surprised, might say they're not reading anything, that they're inbetween books, which is just kind of... sad. I hope you know what I mean about that, meaning there's a book for everyone and they could be missing out on the one that would convince them to change their whole life and move to Australia. Anyway, let's not get too philosophical here, aren't you here to hear about books and shenanigans?

I met up with my friend on the first day in line, Jennifer Levine, who you should follow on twitter here (she has Glass, it was kind of awesome, and she's documenting conventions with it so you should probably check her out). And we ended up hanging out pretty much the whole convention and tag teaming lines and stuff, it was a blast. I got to see some other friends, who are authors, and I hadn't seen in far, far too long.

I think one of the best things ever, was meeting Daniel Handler (aka: Lemony Snicket), he is hilarious and amazing and will just joke with you until you have to walk away because the line needs to keep moving. He was fantastic and I'd love to be his best friends (also his pink tie rocked, I wish I'd remembered to compliment him on it). Also, there was a younger girl in front of us, probably about ten, and she was fangirling kind of quietly and in awe. It was adorable.

Another 'best thing ever' that we did, was get first in line for one of those author friends signings. Robyn Schneider was signing for a short time and we wanted to see her (and get arcs of the book I feel like I've been hearing about for years). And she was overwhelmed by the line, it was incredibly long. And, apparently, a fairy played her out on a flute? I missed this, as I didn't stay for the whole thing, she told us after, when we ran into her at the HarperCollins booth, apparently the fairy was signing after her.

I didn't take really any pictures, honestly. I should have, probably, but I just didn't. I couldn't find my main camera when we were packing and I ended up with just a Flip camera, my other one with no memory card. I have pictures from the week, but not many.

I talked to a girl in line, waiting for Harry Potter lithographs, and she was a nerdfighter (I'm assuming, she was also fangirling David Levithan), and she was amazed I didn't vlog. And her and Jenn kind of convinced me so - soon, that will be happening soon. As soon as all the books that are just piled on the floor get in the new bookcase that isn't set up yet.

Now, onto the books. Before that, though. Did any of you guys go to BEA? Could we have met? (I didn't write a 'hey, I'm going to this thing post' because I bought my ticket two weeks before it happened because my mom thought we should go. So there's that).
If you did: what books did you get? did you have a blast?
If you didn't: did you watch some of the livestreams? Were they awesome, too? And did you just avoid twitter all week to not become jealous? (That's what I do during cons I'm not at, so I'm curious if any of you do, too). Now - books.

Books I got and am most looking forward to:
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman (I already finished this on the drive home, shh. It was amazing!!)
Vicious by Victoria Schwab
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig
Where Did You See Her Last (All The Wrong Questions #2) by Lemony Snicket
The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett (which is a rerelease, but I've never read it and it's apparently very different from the original book he published when he was very young).
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

And there's more, a pile about, but those are the ones I have in a pile next to me, waiting for the right time to be picked up and read.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Series Review: The Spiderwick Chronicles

Series: The Spiderwick Chronicles
Author(s): Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adventure (Middle-Grade)
Over-all series rating: 4/5
Number of Books: 5
Books in Series: (Goodreads links)
The Field Guide
The Seeing Stone
Lucinda's Secret
The Ironwood Tree
The Wrath of Mulgarath

Plot/Series information (no spoilers):
This is a series about these three kids, Mallory, Jason, and Simon, moving into a kind of creepy old house that's in the family, Aunt Lucinda's house, because their mom thinks it'll be good for them and it'll be financially easier on her.
Right away they kind of start noticing things are a little off, that there's some mystery.

The first books just barely introduce the fey mythology, but it gets more into it in the later books. All of these books are short, but that doesn't seem to take away from the story at all.

Review (no spoilers):
The three main characters in this book - Mallory, Jason, and Simon - are perfect main characters. They're young, even for middle-grade, and they're a little odd. I loved them pretty much right away with how Mallory fences and Simon has his weird pet collection, Jason misses the city and everything from before. And they felt very real and very likeable/relatable.

They're good main characters to watch how this unfolds, because, at first, two of them don't believe their brother about what's going on. They have an overall good relationship, though, which grows and changes through the series.

The world in these books is something I adore. Reading them you also feel like the fey world is ten or twenty times bigger then we're shown, and I really enjoyed that. You meet a lot of different faeries/creatures over the course of the series, learn about them as the kids do.

What I did is I sat down and read this whole series in one day for the Bout of Books read-a-thon. And I thought I'd read them quickly, but they're just so easy to read, and you want to read the next one, so I was surprised at how quickly I read these. And when I finished the last one, I wanted to know what was going to happen next with the kids. I did think, though, that it wrapped up very well.

Overall, I'd recommend this series to any kid who likes fantasy with fey and anyone older who likes it, too. It is middle-grade, keep that in mind, but that doesn't change how likable the characters or how good the world building is.  The main point is I really loved this series. It was cute and fun, not incredibly in-depth or dark, like some things I read, but a nice break from that kind of thing and a fantastic read over all.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June TBR

And now we have the June TBR, only a couple days into the month. I, actually, have already read some, of course, on the drive back from New York. And I'm never really sure what I'm going to end up reading, but I do have some ideas for this month, considering the books surrounding me.

  • Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman (Already finished!)
  • The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett
  • Doll Bones by Holly Black
  • Amulet, Vol. 3: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi
  • The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
  • Power Play (Kingdom Keepers #4) by Ridley Pearson
And there's, of course, many more that I want to get read, but these are the ones that I want to for sure get read this month. Now, for example, these are some other books I'd like to read:

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Which I realized I never actually finished)
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
  • And so, so many more! (Way too many more to read in June).
So what are you planning on reading this month? Anything awesome? Or anything that's been sitting on your shelf for too long and you just can't put it off any longer?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

May Wrap-Up

This month was crazy! Everything was crazy about this month. To start off: the reason there are so many books here is because I did a read-a-thon. Which there will be links for at the bottom of this post. Obviously, I'm very happy with how much I got read during it.

  • Hamlet by Shakespeare (5/5)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare (5/5)
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (5/5)
  • Aesop's Fables by Aesop (5/5)
  • George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl (4/5)
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupèry (5/5)
  • The Field Guide (Spiderwick Chronicles #1) by Holly Black and Tony DeTerlizzi (5/5)
  • The Seeing Stone (Spiderwick Chronicles #2) by Holly Black and Tony DeTerlizzi (5/5)
  • Lucinda's Secret (Spiderwick Chronicles #3) by Holly Black and Tony DeTerlizzi (5/5)
  • The Iron Woodtree (Spiderwick Chronicles #4) by Holly Black and Tony DeTerlizzi (5/5)
  • This is Water by David Foster Walace (the 30min audiobook) (5/5)
  • The Wrath of Mulgarath (Spiderwick Chronicles #5) by Holly Black and Tony DeTerlizzi (5/5)
  • The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia #3) by C.S. Lewis (4/5)
  • Disney After Dark (Kingdom Keepers #1) by Ridley Pearson (5/5)
  • The Tempest by Shakespeare (4/5)
  • Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (5/5)
  • Witness in Death (In Death #10) by J.D. Robb (5/5)
  • Bake Sale by Sara Varon (2/5)
  • Disney at Dawn (Kingdom Keeps #2) by Ridley Pearson (5/5)
  • Bioshock Infinite: Mind in Revolt by Joe Fielder (5/5)
  • Amulet Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
  • Amulet Bol. 2: The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
  • Disney in Shadow (Kingdom Keepers #3) by Ridley Pearson
So - this is a lot of books, I think this is probably the most books I've ever read in a month and I doubt I could ever top that. And, at the end of the month, of course, I was at BEA with no real internet or time to write any blog posts. However, a wrap-up of the awesome will be coming soon, hopefully with a video showing of the books I got.

This month I'm splitting up the wrap-up and TBR again because this wrap-up is just so long, I don't want them to take away from each other. Anyway, to continue, these are all the posts that happened this month:

April Wrap-Up/May TBR
Book Review: Ready Player One
WWW Wednesday (15)

Bout of Books 7.0 posts:

Day Six Wrap-Up

The End Bout of Books Wrap-Up post