Daily Archives: July 23rd, 2010

Day 2, of 30 Days of Books

Day 2: A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about

Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak.

Both of these books staggered me so much that words have generally failed me in trying to convey their sheer awesomeness.

Shadow of the Wind: boy has father who owns bookshop. Finds a book no one else seems to have read or own a copy of. Weird things (in a non-fantasy way) happen, which appear to be connected to said book. Boy meets fascinating people, has complex relationships with many of them, has classic but non-contrived growing-up experiences. Also, set in Barcelona, which features so prominently in the story that I wish I knew the place to appreciate it better (my copy had a map, showing the congruence between real life and the book!). Madly, wonderfully, fabulous.

The Book Thief: set in Hitler’s Germany, it follows a little girl’s experience of living in a little German town, not really understanding what’s going on. I’m not a fan of war books, but this isn’t one; war provides the setting, and motive for some of the action, but it is not the centrepiece. Relationships are: how she relates to her guardians, to her friends, to the man who comes to stay in their basement, and to the rest of the townspeople. For all its setting, and that it has some unpleasant parts – I couldn’t accuse Zusak of whitewashing WW2 – this is still a delightful book overall. I read it in a day, and almost cried when I had to put it down so that I could do something trivial, like prepare food. The joy of humanity, the power of books – that’s what this is about.

Everyone should read these two books.

You can look forward to:
Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever
Day 05 – A book or series you hate
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise
Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve watched more than five times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book (of any sex or gender)
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book
Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 22 – Favorite non-sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever
Day 24 – Best quote from a novel
Day 25 – Any five books from your “to be read” stack
Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending
Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Day 29 – Saddest character death OR best/most satisfying character death (or both!)
Day 30 – What book are you reading right now?

Galactic Suburbia #12

Download us from Galactic Suburbia or iTunes (while you’re there, you could rate us, too!).

In which we talk about publishers behaving badly, authors self-publishing, the future of reading and the price of a short story. Also we talk about books. Shocking, isn’t it?

News

Night Shade apologises for any problems they’ve caused any of their authors.

SFWA puts Night Shade Books on probation as a qualified SFWA market for a period of one year, effective immediately.

The Weird Revival.

Aqueduct publish their 50th book in 6 years of publishing.

Shirley Jackson awards winners.

Mythopoeic Awards announced.

Don’t forget to vote in the Hugos (by July 31) and nominate for the Ditmars (um… today, July 23)

What have we been reading/listening to?

Alex: The Walled Orchard, Tom Holt (abandoned); Soulless, Gail Carriger; Secret Feminist Cabal, Helen Merrick; Pattern Recognition, William Gibson.
Listening to: Coode St podcast; AstronomyCast; SGCast (definitely abandoned); Bad Film Diaries.
Tansy: Moonshine, Alaya Johnson. Palimpsest, Catherynne Valente on the iPad! Kraken by China Mieville (abandoned).
Listening to: the Ood Cast. Bad Film Diaries
Alisa: Power and Majesty

Pet Subject: self publishing in the changing face of the publishing industry

The Omikuji Cyberfunded Art Project
Apple opens iBookstore to self-publishers

We’re looking to do another feedback episode soon, so get your Feedback, etc: galacticsuburbia@gmail.com

Day 1, of 30 Days of Books

Created by alg. Because I am a sucker for a good meme.

Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)
Over the last few years, I have consciously tried to not read ongoing series that have not yet ended. My experience with waiting for the next book by Robin Hobbs scarred me perhaps more than I realised; I’ll always be grateful that I didn’t even start reading Harry Potter until after the last was published. That said, had I been writing this 6 months ago I would have answered immediately with Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series: I waited so long for the last couple to be published! Nearly drove me mad (and was not helped by the fact that each one was finished within about 3 hours of me getting it home).

Anyway, I wish Juliet Marillier’s Wildwood Dancing series had gone on longer. I guess it’s still possible that it will, and I just haven’t heard about it…. I loved the first one, Wildwood Dancing, about 5 sisters and their experience of the faerie world, one falling in love with totally the wrong boy and the other not realising what she had before she lost it. I loved their sisterly relationships, and their relationship with their father (what IS it with missing mothers??); the descriptions of landscape, and dancing, and frocks was captivating. When I heard there was a second one, Cybele’s Secret, I thought: BRILLIANT! And then I read the first couple of pages, aaaand… what the heck? This isn’t what I was expecting! No; Marillier decided to pick up the story of one of the other sisters, rather than my beloved Jena. After I got over my grump, I decided this was ok, because she was a cool sister: she’s much like Mary from Pride and Prejudice, much the most studious of the girls but still not lacking in gumption. This one, too, includes adventure and romance and some awesome references to/discussions of the cult of Cybele, one of the archetypal mother-goddess figures.

So what I would like to see is at least a third book, following the baby of the sisters, Stela. That way I could catch up on Jena and Paula, and have another exciting maybe-18th-century adventure/romance. Win!

(Also, I would like more Hawk and Fisher books, please Mr Simon Green. Just retcon them; I don’t care.)

You can look forward to…
Day 02 – A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about
Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever
Day 05 – A book or series you hate
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise
Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve watched more than five times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book (of any sex or gender)
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book
Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 22 – Favorite non-sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever
Day 24 – Best quote from a novel
Day 25 – Any five books from your “to be read” stack
Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending
Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Day 29 – Saddest character death OR best/most satisfying character death (or both!)
Day 30 – What book are you reading right now?