Category: random things (page 2 of 22)

Book News, Aug. 16th

I’m coming down to the wire, bookworms! Less than two weeks to go before I fly east for awhile. With all the craziness of an international move (seriously – House Hunters International makes it look WAY too easy), I’ve been finding it difficult to unwind and read. But – of course – my “to read” list continues to grow. Alas, the life of a bookworm. With summer also coming to an end soon, what have you been doing to hold on to just a little bit more summer? Let me know in the comments, after you’ve soaked up some Book News:

  • Darn those women and their support of other women! (Sarcasm, obvs!) Kelly Jensen continues to knock it out of the park with her Book Riot posts and one from earlier this week is no exception. In reporting that Twilight author Stephenie Meyer will produce one of Lois Duncan’s novels, Jensen explores the the harsh “feminist” train of thought that discredits Meyer’s influence, solely because of Twilight. Regardless of what you think about that series, it helped open numerous doors for other female-center books and movies. And Meyer is now using her clout to help other female authors, screenwriters and directs get their projects made. Why on earth would a successful woman helping another woman succeed be a bad thing? (Pretend, for a moment, that we don’t live in an obviously patriarchal society.)
  • Dragons lay waste to Westeros! Jon Snow is secretly a Targaryen, despite not looking like one at all! Everyone dies just like in Hamlet! I know no idea if any of these theories are even remotely true, but according to George R.R. Martin, some of his fans have already guessed his long-planned end game for his Song of Ice and Fire series. Even with two books to go, Martin says he’s left “subtle and obscure” clues in his books, and some fans have picked up on them. Though he’s debated changing things up, he’s not going to. Which means, when A Dream of Spring is finally published, there will be at least a few Game of Thrones fans rejoicing over their own cleverness.
  • You get a Harry Potter cover, and you get a Harry Potter cover! Harry Potter covers for everyone! Both the US and the UK publisher of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series have recently released new cover art for all seven books. Though US fans won’t be able to buy copies of the UK covers (unless, of course, you actually go to the UK), Book Riot has compiled many of the different covers, with their varying art styles, in one handy post. I’m personally fond of the most recent covers from Scholastic, and the Swedish cover for The Deathly Hallows is pretty darn cool, too. If only we could say the same thing for Italy’s cover. Eek!
  • I scream, you scream – July was apparently National Ice Cream Month (seriously – how did I not know that?!) and Quirk Books celebrated by conjuring up some tasty ice cream flavors based on books. There’s the Clockwork Orange Creamsicle, if you like a bit of weird with your dessert, War and Peach, a flavor as epic as Tolstoy could ever hope for and Oliver Twist, a flavor that will have you begging for more. Sadly, none of these flavors are real, but if Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert can have ice cream flavors named after them, surely Harry Potter can too. Right?

As always, happy reading.

Comfort Books

ReadingThe last few weeks have been extremely crazy and hectic. In addition to my own upcoming move across the Atlantic (just a couple of weeks to go!), my parents are also moving. And in a bit of complicated “moving musical chairs,” they are planning to store most of my belongings (including the books left behind), which means I’ve had to pack up my apartment sooner than I anticipated. And I’ve been doing some freelance work in between the packing and the schlepping and the cleaning, so I’ve been fairly busy.

So I’m exhausted. And when I’m tired, it can be difficult to focus on a new (or new-to-me) book. I have a never-ending “to be read” list, and I’m trying to read as many as my hardcover books as I can before they’re packed away. (Thankfully, the e-books will travel with me.) But sometimes, even with a long list of new books to choose from, I just want something familiar.

A comfort book.

For me, comfort books are books I already know and love, so I don’t have to think so hard or even read the entire thing. I can open to a random page and just start reading, without worrying about what I might have missed. Perhaps equally important for a book blogger, comfort books are books I’ve already reviewed, or didn’t plan on reviewing at all. I don’t have to worry about making notes or finding quotes to recall later. I can just read, pure and simple.

To my mind, any book can be a comfort book. It’s all about what make you feel comfortable and relaxed. A comfort book is meant to be enjoyable (which is not at all to say that these are “easy” or “fluff” books). While I’m almost always drawn to historical and contemporary romances, some of my favorites have become comfort books. They provide a sense of familiarity, of returning to good friends after time away. And, for me personally, they almost always involve the countryside or wide open spaces.

This summer, when I’ve needed a comfort book, I’ve picked up my much-loved, slightly battered paperback copies of Sarah MacLean’s Regency books. I also  dove into yet another Jill Shalvis series. I even had to pause while packing several times, because I wanted to comfort-read just one scene from a book before it went into the box. (I’m especially guilty of doing this with my Harry Potter books.)

Life will always have stressors and times of chaos. That’s why we need our comfort books. I’d love to know what books are your comfort books. What do you read when you just need something familiar and fun?  

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Boxes of Books

Moving BoxesIn May, I shared the news that I’ll soon be moving to Ireland to start a graduate program. This will be a big change for me in many ways, and it starts with a task I am all too familiar with: packing.

Given the detailed logistics (and the high price) of a trans-Atlantic move, I’m selling my furniture, putting most of my non-essential belongings in storage, and bringing only what I truly need. Unfortunately for me, this means that most of my beloved books will be staying behind.

(I know. I KNOW!)

Currently, I live in a small, but big-enough one-bedroom apartment. And, being the resolute bookworm that I am, I have four different bookshelves, all filled with a variety of books. Sadly, I have to limit myself to one small box of books to take with me, which means I’m facing the daunting and heartbreaking task of figuring out which books will get left behind. 

I know some people might laugh at my melodramatic take on something relatively simple, but to me, it’s not simple. Take, for example, my Harry Potter books. I own the original U.S. hardcovers – all seven of them – and my fellow HP fans know that books four through seven are not slim volumes at all. True, I don’t necessarily read (or re-read) Harry Potter all the time, but I have loved the comfort of knowing I could pick any one of those books off the shelf and start reading, at any time, whenever I felt like it. Leaving these books behind will mean giving up that comfort.

Lest you think I’m completely incapable of the task before me, I have managed to fill three boxes of books to donate to my local library. But I’m still faced with agonizing choices: my paperback copies of Jane Austen novels, or my signed, hardcover edition of Susan Cain’s Quiet? Favorite books I’ve read several times over, or books I’ve purchased, but haven’t yet read? Practical writing style guides (helpful for a graduate program) or purely for pleasure fiction novels?

Any choice is a hard one, and I have a feeling I’ll be packing and unpacking up until my final days. I’m fairly certain I’ve definitely decided on all of my Gayle Forman novels and my Sarah MacLean mass market paperbacks (which, added bonus, take up less space and weight). Other than that, I’m still a bundle of indecision as my life gets reduced to cardboard boxes and I figure out which books I actually cannot live without. 

Side notes: (1) I’ll obviously have less free time to read, what with being in school and all, but I’m the kind of person that needs to have all sorts of books around, whether I have time to read them or not. And (2) I do still have my Kindle, which holds a great deal of books, for which I am grateful.

[Photo Credit: Word Press, via Google Images]

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